I’ve recently gone down the rabbit hole of Mc Call’s and Butterick patterns in their PDF versions. Not all the pattern have this option available, but most do and this is amazing for those of us who can’t access the paper patterns due to our country of residence. I live in Brazil and have no access to these patterns whatsoever. The few I do have, have been generously gifted to me by friends and have been sent in the post to me.
Having PDF files available means I can have the pattern the instant I purchase it, and though even pricier than indie patterns, I do see the value in them when the design is not something I’ve seen anywhere else.
I set out to make Butterick 6680, This is a close fitting knit dress with unilateral side gathers made with an elastic (left side seam), a high round neckline, sleeveless armholes. The dress is fitted up to the full hip, where different pattern pieces will lengthen it and give it volume in different ways… three different views. Let’s see some art of the design from the website.
- View A: One same skirt pattern piece cut on the fold will attach to the top part of the dress and will have a total length above the knee for the 5ft6″ woman.
- View B: has two different asymmetrical pattern pieces composing the bottom skirt of the dress. This view will have a below the knee total length.
- View C: Will use the same bottom skirt pieces as view B, but have an ankle total length.
Important to note that there are no shorten an lengthen lines in the pattern for customized adjustments above the waist due to the curved shape of this design. Fingers crossed. I am a C cup and I know these patterns are drafted for a B cup. So far I have never required a full bust adjustment…. so I am really not expecting to need one this time too.
Knit fabrics recommended are moderate Stretch Knits (35% cross grain): Jerseys, Interlock, Cotton Knits, Rayon Knits. I chose a printed rayon/spandex for my version.
Due to the very descriptive words used in this pattern “Close fitting”, a close look (pun intended he he) at the sizing is warranted. I know size numbers are just that and by know I know my body measurements put me in a size 20 pretty much exactly for commercial patterns. For reference, I am 5ft 8″ with an athletic built hourglass. Have a look below.
The finished garment measurements are on the front main pattern piece, along with length references (bust, waist and hips). A good look at those will determine the size or sizes I will choose.
Bust finished measurements are 41″ for size 20. Comparing to the body measurements, this means there is 1″ of NEGATIVE EASE HERE. I’m ok with this amount of negative ease at the bust.
Waist finished measurement is 36″ for size 20. This means that there are 2″ of POSITIVE EASE HERE A bit of positive ease at the waist is great too.
Hip finished measurement is 43 1/2″ for size 20. This means that there is 1/2″ of NEGATIVE EASE HERE. Umm, NO. I don’t want negative ease at the hips, especially with my fabric choice. Size 22 has a finished hip of 45 1/2″, giving me 1 1/2″ of POSITIVE EASE and that is what I prefer.
As per all the numbers above, I decided to use the size as per my body measurements for the bust and waist (size 20) and then blend the lines to a size 22 at the hips. This will most likely result in the fit I prefer. I rarely am comfortable with negative ease in my knit dresses. Making these decisions calmly and not rushing will improve the chances of a good result. I don’t have fabric to make a quick toile or practice garment, so the pretty fabric is a little at risk with a pattern I’ve never made before.
With creativity I was able to figure out a layout to cut the pattern pieces required for view A with 1.5 meters (1.6yds) versus the 2 meters (2.25yds) required on the pattern. YAY! that is always a source of happiness for me. I have this footage available on my Patreon Page for those sewing enthusiasts that support my work there 🙂
- Size 20 at bust and waist blended to a 22 at the hips.
- The neckline seems very high. This original neckline would be unflattering and uncomfortable for my body shape and preferences. I will lower this neckline and determine how much with the garment actually on my body during the sewing process.
- For view A, I will lengthen the skirt piece by 2″ at the hemline as instructed in the pattern.
- I will draft my own neckband and armband due to the fact that I will be changing the neckline depth and probable the armhole shape too.
Of course I also have a video all about this dress on my sewing channel and there you can see:
- Overview of the pattern pieces
- Choosing the size to sew
- Blending sizes
- General construction focused on the elasticated ruching method on the left side seam
- Stretch stitch settings for some seams
- Stabilizing the shoulders (not in the pattern instructions)
- Lowering the neckline
- Binding the neckline and armscye different to the instructions
- Twin needle hemming
See it all in the fun video below… and also how it fits in action!
I did en up trimming away 1″ of the 2″ I had added to the bottom skirt piece. My initial adjustment was done by the very exact method of “eyeballing” knowing I needed extra, just not exactly how much. One thing to consider about rayon/spandex, it that it drops and ends up being a tad longer than expected.
For those who like numbers and details: I measured the circumference of the neckline and the armscye after I adjusted to my desired fit and made the pattern pieces rectangles 4cm (1 3/8″) wide by the length of the circumference at 85% (or 15% shorter). Example: The armscye circumference was 54cm, multiplied by 0.85= 45.9cm. Adding seam allowance of 1/4″ (1/2″ in total), my rectangle is 4cm X 47.2cm. Voila. I use 85% when I sew with rayon spandex with good results. The factor can be different for other knit fabrics. In all cases, the binding/band needs to be shorter in length than the circumference of the neckline for it to lay flat.
I am very tempted to make another version with a V neckline and I would just transfer most of the V neckline of the Laundry day tee from Love Notions. I have made this pattern before and liked how the V neckline looks and is drafted.
Have a go at this dress! I really like it despite it having a different construction method than my preference, no shoulder seams stabilization and generally some hurdles to chose a size, I do love the shape and fit of the design. Unfortunately, if your body measurements are beyond a 44-36-46, the pattern won’t work as it is not available further than size 22 🙁
DISCLAIMER: I purchased the PDF pattern and fabric for this project myself.
I have affiliate links in this post to the Love Notions patterns (Laundry day Tee). If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.
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Categories: Pattern Reviews