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March 13, 2013

Retro Pattern Review – Butterick 5209 (Part 2 of Retro Formalwear)

By Andrea

Last week, I left you with a post showing my decision making process for a dress, that led to my daughter selecting Butterick 5209. This pattern is not an original vintage pattern, but is instead on of Butterick’s reproduction patterns. This pattern is currently still in print, so you should be able to get it anywhere that carries Butterick.


Here’s my daughter’s finished dress!


I had mentioned last week that I had swore off of Butterick patterns in the late 90s, as I had some run-ins with a few that were poorly drafted and overall unpleasant to work with. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this pattern. It was in fact very easy, and went together fairly quickly. I had the dress and the crinoline finished in approximately four hours. For the crinoline, I did a modified version of Gertie’s Crinoline Tutorial, that I’ve used before, this is just a shorter version.

I only made a few modifications to the pattern. I shortened it quite considerably (as per my daughter’s request), and I moved the zipper from the side to the back, as I find that much easier to work with, if alterations are required.

My only real complaint with this pattern was that it was strangely gappy at the sides, which required me to put in a couple of darts to correc

I was very glad I moved the zipper to the back, or correcting for that would have been a nightmare!

Overall, I would recommend this pattern, just make sure you check the fit along the way

(My daughter had hurt her shoulder, hence the sling)

As promised last week, here’s a more detailed shot showing the weave of the spider tulle:


And a shot of the dress, showing the crinoline a little more:

The spider tulle is really subtle, but it’s got a good stiffness to it, that helps the crinoline hold it’s shape well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this retro pattern review!

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4 Responses to Retro Pattern Review – Butterick 5209 (Part 2 of Retro Formalwear)

  1. Sara In AZ Reply

    March 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Oh my gosh, wow….the dress turned out GREAT!!!! Your daughter looks so pretty too! I am always amazed at how you can put together something so awesome in such a short amount of time, it’s probably a good thing you live so far away from me…..I’d probably be begging you to make me dresses ALL the time! 🙂

    • Andrea Reply

      March 15, 2013 at 12:50 am

      Thanks, Sara! Sometimes I think I must work better under pressure, as I leave everything to the last minute, LOL

  2. RetroRuth Reply

    March 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Soooo cute!!! What a great job. And I am glad that pattern was easy to work with.

    • Andrea Reply

      March 15, 2013 at 12:52 am

      Thanks, Ruth! I am glad it was easy, too, sometimes it’s nice when a pattern just goes together well!

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