Retro Butterick '53 B5708 - Shoulder Tie Dress

by - 5/29/2016

My finished Butterick 5708 vintage dress!

As soon as I saw this vintage Butterick pattern I knew I needed it! I love the tie shoulders and the multiple styling options displayed on the front of the packet. It's also something totally different to anything I already have in my wardrobe or in my pattern stash. I wanted to create a striking vintage style dress perfect for special occasions, sunny walks along the river and general Summer-time frolicking! I also thought this would be a fabulous edition for my Vintage Pledge 2016!

I love the Retro Butterick pattern range, in my dreams I own them all. I've previously reviewed the infamous Butterick 4790, otherwise know as the walkaway dress, and hoped the Butterick 5708 pattern would be equally as straight forward.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

Has there ever been such a versatile dress?

I hadn't read any online reviews before I bought the pattern, and it wasn't until the day before I thought I'd start sewing before I had a Google. I seemed to have chosen yet another controversial vintage Butterick pattern!

Beautiful sewing supplies from the online haberdashery Weaver Dee

Yet again, the sizing & fit seemed to annoy a lot of sewists. Issues with the bust and shoulder ties came up a lot on other blogs, with people saying they couldn't get the ties to sit nicely, or they created to much drape at the neck line and the back view was unflattering. People also said the skirt was very heavily gathered, which may not be to some people's taste, but it's a look I love. Overall, it seemed like the Butterick 5708 dress was on nobody's 'make again' list.

Feeling a little daunted by all these bad reviews, I knew I still loved the style of dress and my fabric is beautiful so I just hoped the outcome would still create a pretty and wearable dress! Luckily, I'm very happy with the result. So you might even be able to count this as the first positive review for this pattern!

The dress is classic 1950s style, and combined with this Rose & Hubble floral print cotton poplin, it has some serious vintage garden party vibes!

This dress requires victory rolls!

Initially, I hadn't planned to make a petticoat to wear underneath. I have a store bought one which I thought I'd try it with, but I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make my own! I had a look a few tutorials online, but some were quite fussy, tacky and some seemed quite time consuming and expensive. So I studied a few pictures online of true vintage styles and decided to guess my way through making my own.

Like candyfloss!

I'm really happy with my first attempt at making a tulle petticoat. I asked over on Instagram & Twitter if anybody would like a short tutorial on how made mine, so I will be doing that on my blog at a later date! So stay tuned...

My own take on a vintage petticoat.

I think the dress is destined to be worn with a petticoat to show off all the fabric in that gathered skirt. It just really adds to the vintage style. It makes it so swishy and fun to wear, and adds just the right amount of volume without looking too fancy dress. I won't go in to too much detail on my petticoat as I will be doing a separate post all about it!

The dress was rather straight forward to sew. As I've been sewing a few lined dresses recently and been sewing lots of invisible zips, I'm starting to feel pretty confident with my understanding of construction.

A couple of areas I found tricky, was unfortunately, the very first step.... The bodice comes to a point at the center front & back and has two panels at the waist the make the bodice straight. You have to sew the waist band pieces to the bodice and pivot at the point. It felt like I tried 1000 times, and I could just not get a sharp finish. In the end I was very frustrated and just did the best I could.

In terms of fit, because I'm an impatience sewer, I didn't make a bodice toile (I know, I know...) and just went straight in. I found the bodice too long in the body. Which didn't seem to be an issue for other people, so that might just be my proportions. The dress looks odd if I pull the bodice down completely as the waist sits almost at my hips - not flattering! But I found if I hoick it up and put a belt on, you really can't tell. Perhaps if my fabric were plain, it would be obvious, but I think I can get away with it!

On the front of the pattern packet, the dress is tied in 4 different ways. My preference is just off the shoulders. It feels secure and I think it is the most flattering on me. Also they don't fall down or feel tight, which other people commented on, so maybe it's just in the way you tie it.

1. Off the shoulder (my personal preference):

2. Asymmetric - creates under arm bulk, but if you tie in a knot once and use a saftey pin, the look is much more comfortable.

3. Strapless - no, no, no , no

4. Pulled up over shoulders - this I like. It does create drape at the neckline and when I looked down all I could see was down my top. But it looks nice in the photograph!

Sewing Summary:

Retro Butterick '53 B5708 - Weaver Dee

Fabric: 4m of Rose & Hubble Cotton Poplin - £7.49pm - Weaver Dee

Notions: 16" Pink Concealed Zip - £1.10 - Weaver Dee

Sewing time: Most of one day (not including petticoat)

Modifications: None

Fit: Okay. Too long in the body for my proportions, but otherwise I'm very happy with the fit.

Difficulty: Pretty simple, but will need coffee!

Watch out for: The waist/bodice construction, I could not get that center front/back point perfect for the life of me. Also the skirt is VERY gathered, so just take extra care when sewing so you don't get caught up in all that fabric.

Make again?: Yes! I love the style of this dress. I think it's super flattering and the fabric I chose is perfect for it. If I were to make it again, I would definitely fit the bodice on myself with a mock up to adjust the length. Or perhaps just make a straight waist band instead of the point. Either way, I love the shoulder ties and full skirt.

Overall I am in love with my new dress! It just proves you can't always take reviews you see online and discard a make because of it. I'm not giving up on the retro Butterick patterns just yet! And remember, I will be doing a tutorial on how I made my petticoat so don't forget to follow via Bloglovin etc so you don't miss out.

Get this dreamy vintage look for yourself at the fabulous online haberdashery Weaver Dee!

Thanks for reading, pinups. I hope you enjoyed this super retro sewing post!

The pattern, fabric and notions were my choices supplied to me free of charge by Weaver Dee. But all thoughts & opinions are my own.

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