Retro Butterick B5209 Header Image

Lady Danger: Retro Butterick B5209

September 7, 2013 · 27 comments

As I mentioned in a recent post I have been on a bit of a republished vintage pattern spree recently. I bought a bunch of them on sale a while back and have been working my way through them and really enjoying them. In the case of this particular one, Retro Butterick B5209, I was actually gifted it, along with the Liberty Tana lawn from the lovely people at Minerva Crafts who invited me to explore their online shop. Wasn’t that nice!  They do have an impressive range of sewing supplies on their website, loads of sewing patterns and even more dress fabric. So be sure to check them out if you haven’t already.

Retro Butterick B5209

I chose this fabric on account of the distinctly 1940’s feel it has as I felt it complemented the style of the dress. Red and burgundy are not part of my usual colour palette and I do think this would be a lot better suited to a slightly darker skin tone but sometimes it’s nice to step outside of one’s comfort zone and wear something a bit different. When I wore the dress for the first time I also discovered that the orange- red in it perfectly matches one of my favourite lipsticks- Lady Danger by Mac. Coincidink! I also think it’s a good colour palette for early autumn, nice and rich and would look good with a cardigan and over stockings.

Retro Butterick Sitting

The dress itself is rated as an easy pattern and it really, really is! It would be perfect for a beginner, great instructions and nothing more challenging than popping in a zip. That being said I still managed to make a bit of a booboo, despite over a decade of sewing experience (wow that makes me sound old!) and prepared the dress for a regular lapped zipper only to find that I only had an invisible zip to hand. For those of you who don’t use invisible/ concealed zips you have to insert them BEFORE stitching up the rest of the seam rather than afterwards like you do with a regular zipper and you use a different type of foot. If I was patient I could have waited until the next day and gone and got a regular zip but instead I inserted the concealed zip with a regular zipper foot as a lapped zip. It worked okay but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Note to self (and any fellow impatient sewists)- double check supplies before beginning!!

1940s dress image 2

I didn’t do much to change the pattern on the toile- I reduced the sleeves a little to compensate for the way in which my square shoulders jut this style out a bit dramatically and I was in-between sizes so I sized up and reduced the waist. Apparently I wasn’t zealous enough and the finished dress was still a little baggy around the middle but rather than unpick and take it in I decided to whip up a narrow little self-covered belt instead. I am actually quite pleased about this outcome as I really love little self- covered belts.

1940s dress bookcase

Have you made up any of the republished vintage big- four patterns? How did you like them? And are you ever tempted by fabric that you know is not really the best colours for you?

Thanks for reading!

(The pattern and fabric used in this post were supplied by Minerva Crafts, no payment or other consideration was supplied and the words and content are my own.)

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Janey September 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

I think the colours and dress look great on you! Yet another cute dress from you again, I really must get better at sewing so I can make my own pretty dresses!
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Louise - There She Sews September 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

The liberty print is lovely and you’re right it is going to work well for Autumn. It’s good to try something different sometimes – maybe we should give Sew Bossy a try ;-)
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Marie September 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

This is really beautiful! I bought that pattern in a recent sale and I can’t wait to make it up, even more so now ;o)
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Erica September 7, 2013 at 11:46 am

OK, I’m totally obsessed with this dress. It is perfect… the colors, the cut. Love it! Glad sticking the invisible zipper in worked out decently. It is so easy to get impatient when you are so ready to wear a beauty like this. ;)

I’m excited you give this pattern a beginner-level approval. I can’t wait to try it! :)
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Sam September 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

What a gorgeous dress, the colours might be a little out of your comfort zone but they look great on you. Love the lipstick too, my favourite MAC lipstick is Russian Red.
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baum September 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Wow, what a lovely dress, the fabric is a great match for this pattern. It suits you very well!


Gail September 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

These are different colors for you, but I think they look great! Love that lipstick too!

I’ve purchased almost all of the Butterick re-issues (including this one) as well as most of the Burda “Retro” patterns – but so far have not used any of the Buttericks, and have only made a pencil skirt from the Burdas! Shameful! I’m really glad to learn that the Buttericks have your stamp of approval, and to see what this dress looks like on a real body. This design is among my favorites from the Buttericks. Your dress is so beautiful, it makes me want to have a go!
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Mags September 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Love the dress and it really suits you. I have this pattern and you’ve inspired me to make it.


Wendy September 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Absolutely gorgeous and must have a look for that mac lipstick!


Ann Sinclair September 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Hi Ami, I love this pattern and the fabric you’ve used to make it up.

I made the halter neck version a couple of year ago for a holiday abroad and a french navy and white batik from John Lewis. It is such a straightforward pattern too. I wasn’t able to wear the dress this year due to loss of weight and a dress size too but you’ve inspired me to do some alterations for next summer.

These colours are lovely on you and the red lippy is gorgeous.

Ann xx


Aleksandra September 8, 2013 at 3:13 am

I love the reprint patterns. I’ve made two of the Butterick ones now — in fact I just posted a new one the other day. B5748 is definitely my favorite so far and I have a few other in my pattern stash. :)

Yours is super cute though — I might have to get a copy of this one myself! :)
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Layla September 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

Gorgeous! I’m totally copying and going and buying that pattern now!


Manju September 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

You look stunning in your dress: love the lipstick match too :-)
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Michelle September 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Very nice! It may not be your usual color palette, but I love it paired with your lipstick! The fit looks great on you, and I love that you added a self belt.
Michelle recently posted…My first Burda. Burda Magazine 12-2008-103 Daphne DressMy Profile


Ginger September 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

This is so cute! I love it on you! Love the lipstick, too! I do sometimes pick up colors that aren’t that good for me– I have a strange yellow that I loved, but have tried to cut it a few times and not gone through with it because I know in my heart of hearts that I will look sallow and sick wearing it. But I really don’t think these are unflattering on you!

You know what, I think I’ve only used a regular zipper once! I should probably try that out again! Invisibles are my go-to, and as I have an invisible zipper foot, I just haven’t really messed around with other methods!
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Tilly September 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

This is soooo pretty, Ami! x
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Miss Crayola Creepy September 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Fabric + pattern win!

I have this pattern, but have yet to sew it up. You’re making me rethink that!
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Ashley September 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I LOVE this on you! As soon as I saw the picture, I thought “Wow, she looks different, but in a really fresh, pretty way!” The red lipstick is awesome, and the dress looks great on you!
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Katalin September 12, 2013 at 8:14 am

Just beautiful, love the matching lipstick too!
Glad it is an easy pattern, tempted to try it.


Louise September 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Hi Amy
Love this pattern and you have done a great job.

Can you tell me where I could find it to buy? Also what size did you do, I’m a 10/12 but I understand that the vintage pattern sizes are different or is that not the case with this pattern as it is a re issue?


Gwyn September 13, 2013 at 11:50 am

I bought this pattern earlier this year and set aside fabric to make it this fall. I like your choice so much that I might rethink mine. Your dress is lovely.


Katherine September 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Beautiful dress, the pattern looks great on you. I tend to like 1970’s retro styles and I have not seen any of those patterns being re-released just yet. I am always tempted by fabric with colours that are not meant for my skin tone. I have orange and yellow envy! I am a redhead with very pink undertones in my skin, so sadly I have to admire orange and yellow from afar.
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charina September 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I love these Butterick styles. Clean lines. This one is so cool. Very refreshing prints. Suits you perfeclty.


Elise October 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Love this dress, the colours are so pretty :)


Kate January 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Dress is perfect! you have very good taste in color / patter combination.
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alexa April 22, 2015 at 5:54 pm

You are so gorgeous and talented! That fabric perfectly compliments you. I’ve been watching BombGirls on Netflix and it’s got me really interested in the WWII era of fashion. I’ve got to get my hands on that pattern!
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Jenna June 28, 2016 at 8:42 am

I’ve recently started learning how to sew and am really getting into now! I’ve done a couple of practice runs with this pattern and think I’m ready to upgrade to a fabric that I would actually wear out. Any advice on what types of fabrics would work well? It’s so expensive! I’m often drawn to quirky cottons but my dresses then end up looking very “homemade” and a bit stiff.


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