Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Butterick 5455 - get it before its gone

Slight interruption to my Celebrate the 70's week for a post about Butterick 5455, one of my all time favorite patterns. For ages I have been meaning to write about this pattern, and then today I saw it in the  clearance sale on the McCalls website. I guess it is going out of print which is kind of a shame as it is one of the best patterns I have come across in a long time.  I like it so much I have made at least 7 versions for different people, with nothing but smiles. (now that is a good batting average, right?)
But to tell the truth - I have never made it for myself!  Regular readers will know that I have an excess of dresses in my closet so I just never got around to it.  Pictured here is the first version I made, as a test, using quilting cotton. A bit small for me but I was able to squeeze into it.  As a happy coincidence we have an unintentional red, white and blue 4th of July theme.

B5455 front2
What is it about this pattern I like?  Just about everything.  For starters it has pockets incorporated into the skirt front, always a good feature. It is really easy to make. It comes with lining pieces. The shape of the V-neckline both front and back are very pretty.  The straps are delicate - since there is no sleeve option they didn't have to design the chunky shoulder that is common on the multi-version dress patterns. (those dresses never look right to me in the sleeveless version).  It has an open neckline but not too low cut.  It is relatively easy to adjust the pattern, in that for a full bust you can lengthen the bodice top pieces, reduce the front midriff portion, and no change needed on the back. I almost always have had to take up the shoulder seam but it didn't alter the look of the dress.  

Butterick 5455 back view

B5455 pattern
One of the versions calls for piping, but that is way too much work for lazy me.  Here is a red version, for a tall friend of mine, in cotton sateen (which works beautifully). Version on right for someone about my height, with the upper bodice lengthened a bit.

Red dress Butterickredwhite magic dress

A closeup of the bodice below, a version I made just last month as a belated birthday present for a friend. Same fabric as the first version in a brown colorway. It is hard to believe that hidden among the quilting cottons is this little gem with a bit of a sheen like a cotton sateen.  In fact the dress on the right is also quilting cotton, someone saw the blue version and then found this fabric.
MC brown dress front closeupbrown floral magic dress
So who is convinced?  I have yet to try a knit but I think in a ponte it would be great for travel. Interesting that this dress has a very similar shape to an older one, Vogue 2470 that is also one of my favorites. This pattern is going-going-almost gone but of course the same could be said for lots of others.  Why do I look at the sale website when I have a stack of perfectly good unopened patterns already?  Sigh. . . .

As for the garden, today I found a wasp's nest in a tricky spot, we are awash in zucchini as usual, no ripe tomatoes yet and the coral color rose in the foreground has had a reprieve since it finally started blooming after 2 years.

The celebrate the 70's giveaways continue, you can still comment on the previous post to be entered in the drawing for the groovy Simplicity sewing book. Check back, or maybe you might want to follow the blog as there is more 70's goodness to be seen including something to come from my sewing machine. It's a wrap! (that's a hint :)

If you are celebrating Independence Day -  stay cool and enjoy!


16 comments:

  1. If I hadn't seen your myriad versions I would never have noticed what a beaut this pattern is!

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  2. It is such a great shape on you!

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  3. I can see why this is a favored pattern...it's made some beautiful dresses!

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  4. Very cute, Beth. Not for me, but very cute on you and probably fabulous for a zillion women!

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  5. I'm convinced, LOL *waves hand in the air* In fact, off to pull it out of my pattern stash. Thank you for the final kick in the pants, so to speak.

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  6. I had actually been looking about in the Clearance sale and had this pattern picked out, and sitting in my shopping cart. Went toot sweet to put my order through, and is now on its way to me!

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  7. Beth - that is an absolute winner of a pattern for you. The lines suit you perfectly, and I especially love the back neckline! I jumped on those OOP sales and got a stack load of patterns I've had my eye on (but whose going to pay full retail, right?) and I might have to go back and get this one. Looks amazing!

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  8. What beautiful dresses! I love the most recent one on you too! Just gorgeous!

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  9. This pattern and all your versions - really something! Like a fashion show, I enjoyed it so much. Your sewing is beautiful.

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  10. This does look like a fabulous pattern. All your versions are so pretty, but I think the one you are wearing is my favorite! Happy 4th!

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  11. Those are all fabulous dresses. It's so good when you run across a pattern that you want to make again and again.

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  12. You've really made some gorgeous dresses using this pattern, what a winner! I love each of them. It is wonderful to have a great fitted sheath with pockets too. I shall have to check out the pattern, thank you!

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  13. This is a fab pattern and I have managed to locate a copy. Thanks for showing your great versions.

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  14. I love that book, never owned it but borrowed a friend's. Sometimes I find the explanations in books easier than the YouTube videos. I loved your review of this pattern, I will have to check my stash of patterns to see if I own it. I think as we get more experienced in life I need to relearn a few techniques because my sewing brain goes on overload. If only we could get cloud storage for information...

    thank you for your time and talents...

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  15. Beth, I love this pattern for the same reasons as you. I only made it once for myself, but I could easily make it again. All of the versions you show here look fabulous. You are a gem to make it for friends. And it is too bad McCall's retired this pattern. It has great bones and easy to sew as well.

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