Tuesday, January 23, 2018

title pic Gertie’s New 1950s Dress! Butterick 5882 Retro Pattern Review

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on February 23, 2013

Butterick 5882 Pattern Review

Hello,  dear Readers!

It’s been a crazy day around here!  I managed to whip out the very first version (and pattern review!) of the brand new 1950s Butterick Retro pattern designed by Gertie –Butterick 5882!  (Gertie, of course, is probably the most famous sewing blogger in the world and just recently started designing patterns for Butterick’s retro line.)


You may remember how when her very first 1950s pattern came out last summer, I got the first pattern review online of that coat in about a week!  This time, I had my pattern shipped Express mail and had the dress sewed and photographed on the same day I received the pattern in the mail.  Hooray!  The pattern only came out on Wednesday, and I just finished this dress today – on Saturday!  (It’s at times like these that I’m glad I keep a good “stash” of fabric on hand – this particular piece is a pima cotton sateen which has an incredibly crisp feel to it. )


Well anyhow, as soon as I saw Butterick Pattern 5882 with its fitted, boned bodice complete with the “shelf bust” detail, I knew I just had to make a dress from it!  The only thing was that the neckline was a little lower than I like to wear my dresses so I knew I’d need to do a few alterations.  Overall, though, it wasn’t too tricky to alter!  All I had to do was cut the curved neckline pieces longer than the pattern calls for, then continue the pleating throughout the extra fabric.


I loooooved this pattern!  The skirt is full, though not quite as full as a circle skirt.  It would look absolutely lovely with a crinoline petticoat underneath, too!  Unfortunately my crinoline is not at home or I would have worn it – it’s currently at the Threads Magazine studio (along with another 1950s dress I sewed) being photographed for an upcoming summer 2013 issue.  So when it comes back home I’ll have pictures taken with the petticoat underneath!


The pleats required some careful pinning and pressing. :)

The dress bodice has the most beautiful pleating and detailing, and it is fully lined and boned.  It has a back zipper closure and one long bias-cut strap that continues from the back shoulder to the front following the underbust seam, then the strap goes up the other shoulder where it finally comes back to the other side in the back.


For a number of years I’ve admired the gowns of famous 1950s ladies such as Mamie Eisenhower, Lucille Ball, and Rosemary Clooney who all wore elegant evening gowns with the “shelf bust” look just like this pattern has.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a shelf bust is, it is a type of bodice with basically an empire waist seam, but the seam doesn’t quite come as low as an empire seam and it is “u” shaped.  Up above the “u” is usually a pleated or ruched panel of fabric which has a lot more fullness than the tightly fitted bodice below, so you can see why it would have been popular in the 1950s when the hourglass look was favored.


The dress in progress.

The only downside about a shelf bust is that it takes a lot of fitting to get just right – I think I spent about seven hours sewing this dress, not including the hour and a half to cut out the pattern and fabric.  But if you take the extra time to fit your dresses you will be so much happier with the results!

Gertie has done a tremendous job with this pattern, and I’m so thankful for the creativity she has brought to Butterick’s Retro Patterns!  I am really thrilled with the way this pattern fits, and the instructions are excellently written.  On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this pattern a 9!


Besides making the neckline a little higher, the only other change I made was the addition of some tiny lace cap “sleeves” of sorts.  In actuality they were just rectangles of embroidered organza lace which I stitched in place since I don’t usually wear lots of sleeveless dresses.  Besides, I’ve found that wearing even a little bit of sleeves makes for a much more flattering bodice!  When there is emphasis on your shoulders, it makes them look wider and makes your waist, in turn, look narrower.  (In theory, at least!)

So that was my day today, and I am so happy to have made my goal of getting the first pattern review of B5882 online!  Yippee!  Speaking of new patterns, I’m hard at work for the “Liesl’s Edelweiss Dress” pattern and I’ll be sharing photos in the upcoming weeks.

Happy sewing!


P.S. I know that usually I go “all out” with my retro photo shoots and generally have my pictures taken in vintage soda fountains shops, historic mansions, and elegant gardens, but since I had such a bad cold there was no way I could go out in the rainy weather today.  Thus, I had to settle for using a corner of my spacious sewing studio as the backdrop, which I hope you will all forgive me for!  Also, I wasn’t able to smile more in the photos because my face is a little sore.  I’ll be back to normal soon, though!