Vintage B5880: a fun frock for Froctober

I really like this pattern, Butterick 5880. It’s a vintage 1951 reproduction. Those packet drawings always make the frocks look so glamorous.  You need to remember though, that the woman’s waist is only as wide as her head. That aside, it’s still an elegant dress. It also fits right in to Frocktober.

butterick dress 5880

butterick dress 5880

Butterick 5880 has been on my sewing list since I saw the gorgeous version by Tulle and Tweed.

It’s described as ‘a lined dress (loose-fitting through bust) has semi-fitted skirt, side back seams, self-lined overlay with left side tuck, side zipper and self belt.’

butterick dress 5880



butterick dress 5880butterick dress 5880

There’s a handy video, of its construction online. I found it very useful for getting the tucks in the overlay right.

Overlay tucks Butterick 5880

Overlay tucks

I knew I wanted a navy linen for this dress. Tessuti in Surry Hills were so helpful, they sent me samples of 4 to choose from. I would never have gone with this one if I hadn’t seen the sample. It’s linen with a bit of sparkle. Just right for a slightly dressier look I think.

The dress has some lovely details, like the overlay, the cut out neck and the belt. I also like the side zip. I think that’s a bit of a feature of the era and it adds some class.

Neckline detai lButterick 5880

Neckline detail

I only lined the bodice, figuring there was enough fabric already with the overlay. I shortened the skirt by about 5 inches because I like my skirts just below knee-length.

I interfaced the belt with some hair-canvas I had left over from an early and not so successful jacket. It made a lovely firm yet soft belt. I also made a couple of belt loops to keep the belt in place.

Belt buckle and loop- Butterick 5880

Belt buckle and loop

Debbie’s idea about using a silk organza press cloth was brilliant for this fabric. It would have been awful to scorch it. The organza prevents that and you can see through it. Thanks Debbie!

I originally planned this dress to wear to a friend’s wedding, but then found out the bride would be wearing navy. Just have to make another dress for the wedding, oh well 🙂


Pattern: Vintage 1951 Butterick 5880.

Fabric: Linen with a metallic/crinkle finish from Tessuti, quilting cotton bodice lining from HobbySew

Notions: Zip and buckle.

Modifications: lined only the bodice and not the skirt, shortened the skirt and overlay by about 5 inches, added belt loops.

Location: Melbourne

Have you made anything for Frocktober? and have you or are you planning to see the Jean Paul Gaultier? I loved it. and Melbourne, marvelous as ever.

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claire shaeffer jacket, grainline tank

claire shaeffer jacket, grainline tank








14 thoughts on “Vintage B5880: a fun frock for Froctober

  1. Pingback: Sewing top 5 hits of 2014 | Barbara Jane made

  2. Pingback: Floralex – nice dress for a (navy) blue wedding | barbarajanemade

  3. Very elegant dress. I just completed a navy floral to wear to a wedding last weekend. Hope you can find somewhere to wear this.


  4. Just beautiful! Love both the detail on the neckline and the tucks on the skirt. Really striking fabric choice, elevates it to something really special. Now, you need to plan a special night out to wear it for, instead of that wedding 🙂


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