Sewing Butterick Pattern B5209

I've been working on trying to teach myself new sewing skills. I have a huge collection of vintage sewing patterns and vintage fabric, but I want to make sure I really know what I'm doing, before I start sewing with those.  I do have a number of vintage reproduction sewing patterns, so I decided to sew myself one of those.

For my first one, I chose to sew Butterick Pattern B5209. This pattern is a reproduction of a 1947 dress.  I love vintage clothes, but 1940s dresses in my size don't come up very often, so I was excited to try this one.

This pattern has two views.  View "A" is sleeveless and back with a halter top.  View "B" has short sleeves.  I already have a lot of sleeveless dresses so I went with view "B".

Since I've never sewn this pattern before I wasn't prepared to use any of my vintage fabric just yet.  So, I chose a soft rayon fabric with an abstract pattern and a slight vintage look to it.  


For the most part, the pattern directions were easy to follow and the dress came together pretty quickly.  I had the most trouble with the bodice. It kept gapping at the front of the bust area and I couldn't figure out how to alter the pattern properly to fix the problem.  I did make a muslin of the dress first, but the fabric was stiffer, so even though the muslin fit, the dress made with the rayon, just didn't drape the same.

My solution was to gather the fabric on either sides of the neckline, below the shoulders and created more of a sweetheart neckline, rather than the original v-neck.  This took up the slack of the extra fabric that seemed to be in the neckline.  I covered the stitching with little red bakelite buttons.  I'm sure this is definately not the correct solution, but it seemed to turn out okay.  Eventually, I'd like to get better at altering patterns the correct way, but this was not the time.

I'm pretty happy with the dress, overall. It is very comfortable and I do get a lot of use out of it.  I'm not sure I'd make this one again though, as there are so many other patterns to try and this particular one, isn't all that special.

Project Summary

Pattern: Butterick B5209

Fabric:  Rayon, purchased at Jo-ann's

Alterations:  Neckline change to fix gaping

Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate


Outfit Details

Dress: made by me

Glasses: vintage, Hollis Flea Market

Jewelry:  vintage, various local antique shops

Shoes:  "Betty" by Miss L Fire