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Summer Dress Patterns

5638
5641
5637
5638

5638

Photo: Butterick.com

We all come in different shapes and sizes and now a few more patterns do too! We’re so excited that Butterick has added three dress patterns to their line specially designed to accommodate your cup size—from A/B to C & D. Not sure which size is right for you? Their sizing chart easily guides you to selecting the correct size.

First is pattern 5638. Make this princess seamed sheath dress sleeveless or with short sleeves. Optional flirty ruffles edge the v-shaped neckline. Put the finishing touch on this dress with the two included belt patterns. For a great summer look that really pops, use an all-over floral print for the dress and a coordinating solid color for the ruffles and belt.

Pattern 5641 is a fun, feminine dress with a fitted princess seam bodice and a full skirt. Make it with cute straps that frame the neckline or with raglan-style cap sleeves. A lightweight cotton/poly blend, such as a broadcloth, is a perfect choice for a weekend barbeque or use taffeta or silk douppioni for a chic evening party.

Finally, is a summery dress and tunic. Pattern 5637 has an empire waist with bust darts. The skirt portion has waistline gathers and three tiers for the ankle length, two tiers for the knee length and one for the tunic. Make it in a lightweight woven or a stable knit.

Do you use patterns sized by the cup size? How important is it to you?

annieoconnor Annie O'Connor, assistant editor
Posted on May 13th, 2011 in sewing, Patterns, summer, Butterick, cup size

Comments (8)

Soli Soli writes: Definitely prefer the patterns that have multiple cup sizes. Frankly, I think that every pattern should come in larger cup sizes - I read somewhere that the average American woman wears a 36C. Considering the proliferation of push up bras out there as well, it would be nice if RTW accommodated a bit more up top for real women.
Posted: 1:48 am on May 25th

amm amm writes: Threads has done many articles about bust alterations over the years. There are far too many to list here, but I'll include articles from the last few years.
"Q&A: Add a bust dart" in issue #152, p. 77
"Smart-fitting Series, Part 2: Fine-tune a Bodice Front" in issue #148, p. 48
"Add a Bust Dart" in issue #142, p. 48
"Altering Patterns for the Well-Endowed" in issue #129, p. 41
"Fitting: To alter for a diminutive bust, you must change more than the darts" in issue #113, p. 30
"Fitting: Adjusting princess seams" (bust point change) in issue #105, p. 24
"Fitting: Fitting the full-busted petite" in issue #96, p. 24

When you need to make major adjustments to a pattern, we recommend that you make a sloper first (essentially a "second skin" made from fabric). Then you'll be able to compare your body to the pattern to locate areas where adjustments must be made. (Remember to add in ease as needed.) Here are the articles about making and using a
sloper.

"Fitting: Multiple Alternations" in issue #107, p. 24
"Q&A: Where can I purchase a sloper?" issue #125, p. 73
"For the Best Bodice Ever" in issue #130, p. 51
"Use Your Sloper to Finish Your Shirt" in issue #138, p. 53
"From Sloper to Shirt" in issue #137, p. 46

If you don't have access to the issue, please contact our customer service department directly. If they still have the issue available, they will sell it to you. If not, they will make a copy of the article for you at no charge. There is a minimal charge if you request copies of more than 2 articles. You can reach customer service by calling 800-477-8727 9am-5pm ET Monday through Friday.


Posted: 1:31 pm on May 18th

hsenkler hsenkler writes: Cup size adjustment is *essential* to me. I have inherited the family DDD to H cup (depends on how you measure) so "regular" patterns have always required extensive modification or just letting them not fit well.

The newer patterns still get some tweaking and adjusting but they are *miles* ahead of older ones.

Thank you for helping me make the most of my sewing skills *and* my figure.
Posted: 2:11 am on May 18th

SeaSprite SeaSprite writes: How important is cup sized patterns to sewing for me?

They have been the difference between totally giving up on making my own clothing and gaining the confidence to start again! Im glad to hear Butterick is also making the multi cup size patterns. They are fantastic!

I have a growing collection of the cup sized patterns in different styles of bodices so I can have size references when it comes to adjusting the design (dart and princess variations)as needed for other patterns not available outside the B cup.
I just wish that more patterns would give adjustment markings on the patterns like the McCalls M6076 Palmer and Pletsch classic fit shirt pattern in 3 styles of princess line. It also includes step by step adjustment instructions. I will be keeping this pattern uncut as a Master reference for working on other patterns and tracing off for garment construction.

In my 20s I used to be the 12B figure, but then with the 30s and 40s, the bra expanded to a D and figure changed to where I was neither one size or the other but 3! But my dressmaking knowlege on how to make the changes didnt expand to fit! Very discouraging.
The cheapest poplin trials just didnt work... they either fell of the shoulders to fit the bust or were too tight around the bust or plain just didnt fit anywhere. Ten years passed before making another garment.

In 2008 I made my wedding dress under the expert tuition of a dressmaking tutor and it fit perfectly, but I didnt learn the all important full bust adjustment.
Later I had to rely on the two princess line patterns adjusted to fit in class to try and work out if another pattern would fit. Fear still ruled the scissors when it came to cutting good fabric.

The Simplicity 2648 Amazing fit pattern with A to D cups was the first successful sewing I did on my own. I used the 16D size and the dress was cut out in poplin and fit nicely across the back, though still a little tight across the bust. The real dress will be cut out of cotton sateen with a bit of stretch and using the 18D front. Im pretty sure it will fit properly.

The coat Im finishing was slow to get started as it also had to be adjusted. Even though it is a very loose fit pattern and the muslin was cut larger than measurements indicate(18), it was still over an inch short of the centre front and needed full bust adjustment.
The Threads bust fit DVD and the Palmer and Pletsch fit book were watched and read many times before hesitantly I made the adjustments to the front only. Im pleased to say the coat fits nicely front and back!

This is a real encouragement to go on to another pattern and construct another garment. The D cup size patterns are a real boost towards confident sewing.



Posted: 11:59 pm on May 17th

SewcietyMaven SewcietyMaven writes: Absolutely!!! I was so pleased to see that the pattern companies were adding this feature! I had pretty much given up sewing for my two beautiful, and well-endowed daughters; and now I am back in business!!!
Posted: 9:17 pm on May 17th

Bridgit Bridgit writes: Agree with Reetah, it's about time! I recently bought one of their patterns with the cup size options and was so pleased with being able to make smaller adjustments to fit my DDD size. First time in a long time I have even purchased a Butterick pattern because of the major adjustments in the past took away the pleasure of sewing. I hope they continue to make this option and add additional patterns to the lineup!!
Posted: 10:18 am on May 16th

Horse4Hmom Horse4Hmom writes: I 2nd that Reetah. I have a daughter who has pretty much given up on sewing because she now has a VERY ample bustline. All the cute styles she likes are way too complicated to do a complex bust adjustment.

I have repeatedly asked for directions for help from Threads, but not heard anything. :-(
Posted: 10:07 am on May 16th

Reetah Reetah writes: Thanks so much! It's about time.
Posted: 8:39 pm on May 14th

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