Butterick B6556

This is a pattern that has been on my radar for a long, long time. It’s so long ago since I bought it that I had almost forgotten I had it. With Gertie’s monthly Patreon projects, I has plenty of her vintage patterns to work on. I bought this floral print cotton from The Rag Shop at the end of April and thought it would be perfect for this dress.

This dress is quintessential Gertie style; it is close-fitted, has a lined bodice, a full pleated skirt, a centre back lapped zip, and generous pockets.

It has both a sleeved and sleeveless option. I’ve been drawn to square necklines lately, and this dress features one on both the front and back necklines. I’ve been looking for a go-to bodice for a while now, ever since I had real difficulty getting the Sew Over It Betty just right (so much for a beginner pattern!) – I love it but there’s always a niggling issue no matter what adjustments I make.

I toiled this before I sewed up the final version – I sized down for the high bust and graded out at the waist, taking a little out of the back neckline and the arms to get a good fit. I’m really happy with the fit on the shoulders. I took in just enough that the shoulder straps don’t slip off – it was always my biggest problem with RTW dresses.

I made the mistake of not being all that thorough about the zip fitting so once I added the lapped zip I realised I could do with an extra 1/2inch so I will do an FBA next time (and I’m sure I’ll have a few other things to modify once I do – that’s always the way).

Even though I’m only 5’1″ I decided not to shorten the skirt – I love the real vintage feel of a longer length.

For a commercial pattern, the instructions for this pattern were pretty thorough. I didn’t have to double guess myself at all. I particularly loved that when you line the bodice you leave a gap in the shoulders which allow you to get a fair bit of under stitching done – it never hurts to get that tidy finish.

I will absolutely make this again – this may become a staple bodice once I sort out that FBA. I can’t wait to try it with different skirt types, too!

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