Butterick 6241, View A
What size did you make?
I cut a 20 at the shoulders, grading out to a 22 at the bust, waist, and hips.
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
For my first go-round with this dress, I wanted to skip the fussy parts (aka the zipper and/or raw seamed neckline), so I modified the front center piece by essentially not cutting the fabric where the zipper is supposed to be inserted, and by keeping the turtleneck one piece (just the seam in the back).
Here’s where I went wrong: I had recently sewed B6213, which has a similar line drawing and a similar feel – the idea is a semi-fitted knit dress with deep pockets. The main obvious differences are that B6241 has a turtleneck (as opposed to a scoop neckline) and much bigger, deeper pockets with more drape. With most “Big 4” patterns, I can comfortably size down, and B6213 was no exception. As a result, I didn’t make a muslin and just cut my very pretty, very soft, very expensive (for me) Art Gallery knit in a size 20 at the shoulders, grading to a size 22 below the shoulders. Yes, it was significantly smaller than my actual measurements, but I was pretty confident that past experience could be my guide. I cut out the pieces, serged them together with a generous 5/8 inch seam allowance, and assumed that all would be well.
This dress is VERY VERY snug. The pockets are gigantic and provide lots of “swingy-ness” but the front center panel and entire back verge on body-con. EVERY SINGLE bump and roll is plainly visible in an extremely unflattering way. I was prepared for it to be more close-fitting than the model, who is practically wearing a sack, but imagine my surprise when I pulled the final product over my head to discover I had basically created a wiggle dress. (Note: because of the multiple-panel construction, it’s impossible to try on and amend as you go – so if you’re concerned about sizing this would be a good one to baste first.)
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
Construction was a snap, and it came together very quickly in a single evening. (Note: following the complete directions with the zipper, etc. will probably double the amount of time spent sewing, so plan accordingly.) My only complaint is that there is a LOT of topstitching in this pattern and it’s really easy to pull/stretch your fabric when topstitching miles of seams. (I used my regular sewing machine with a small zig zag stich to allow stretch, but I suspect there might be a better way – coverstitch machine, maybe?) I spent a lot of time steaming and pressing the seams back into shape, but after a wash/dry I noticed some of the waviness had returned. You’ve been warned!
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
Um, you can see the photos right? I believe that “not flattering” is a very kind way of putting it. Honestly, even with a larger size I don’t think this pattern would be flattering on me. Here’s why:
- Turtlenecks are the devil for well-endowed ladies. I look like a cross between a linebacker and my grandma, who gifted me with her high, deep bust – thanks Gram!) I love a looser cowl neck, but this one was too tight for my preference. I guess the model on the pattern cover had a pencil neck… Even with a zipper to give me a v-neckline when partially unzipped, I don’t think this neckline would ever be a showstopper.
- Pockets are too deep – I love having a place to stow my hands, but these pockets go all the way to the hemline. That means anything you drop in there is going into an abyss. I slid my phone in to test the stretch factor, and not only did it obviously droop (pulling down the hem and making me look lopsided) but I couldn’t get it out. When I bent over, the hemline dropped accordingly, and I ended up having to pull the skirt up to a near-indecent length in order to grab the phone. Not cool.
- The pockets don’t drape right – the pattern cover and line drawing seem to indicate that the pockets should drape in several graceful folds. Even with my thin, soft, drapey fabric I didn’t get those folds. Instead, I got a saggy pocket that frequently showed the back side of the fabric. Pro tip: choose a fabric where both sides look similar to avoid looking like you are partially inside-out.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
While I want to love this pattern (comfy knit dresses for fall/winter? Yes please!), I don’t think I will make it again. In fact, if I can find someone to buy the dress from me to recoup the cost of the fabric, I will let go of this version. (Someone with a more moderate bust and a rough size 16-18, holla!)
Even with a larger size, there were just too many issues with the core elements of the pattern. And since I have another knit dress winner with a better neckline and better pockets (B6213, I’m looking at you!) I think I’ll chalk this up to a learning experience and move on to other things.
Final thought: this pattern uses a LOT of fabric – about 4 yards of 60-inch knit. (I only had three yards and so I couldn’t squeeze out the long-sleeves like I had originally planned.)
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
This is a recent release and I couldn’t find ANYTHING online to help – not even photos on Google search. I’m dying to know if I’m an outlier, or if this dress is a fail for others too. While I hope someone can love it, there is a big part of me that would find it gratifying to know I’m not the only one.
Size Range (1-5): 3 (Butterick, get with the program. Your patterns need to be consistently sized. If I can normally size down in your patterns, I need to trust that I can size down every time!)
Instructions (1-5): 4
Construction Process (1-5): 4
Final Fit (1-5): 2
Overall Rating (1-5): 3