Denim Butterick 5984

What’s this?! A work dress that isn’t New Look 6968? Yes it’s true.

butterick 5984 6

This is Butterick 5984. The picture on the pattern envelope isn’t my cup of tea, but the line drawing has potential. This is view B, shortened to the view A length (and I’m tall, so if you want an above-knee dress you’ll need to shorten it further).


Some wrinkly, post-brunch photos. Thanks Marta, Kirsten and Kat.

butterick 5984 1

butterick 5984 3

The dress has a lined bodice but I used a stretch denim fabric that was fairly heavy, so I skipped the lining and flat-felled the seams, to go with the denim aesthetic.

inside out

To finish the neckline I used bias tape, and just machine-stitched across the front to finish. The stitching is nearly all hidden by the collar anyway.

inside neck

butterick 5984 5

I found the bodice sizing to be way off (too big), but it’s princess-seamed so reasonably easy to adjust. I might have overfitted it a little, looking at those drag lines across the bust.  The sleeves were also a problem; since the photos I’ve ripped them out and redone them, reducing the height of the sleeve cap to get rid of the puffed sleeve effect.

butterick 5984 4

I also raised the back (by 6cm!) to make it more work-appropriate. If you look at pictures online, this dress has a pretty low back. The front isn’t low-cut at all; I didn’t change it.

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The denim has a subtle pattern, and I’m really interested to see how it’s going to wear and fade over time. I loved reading very purple person’s discussion about ageing of jeans.  Sewing this dress gave me blue hands, so obviously the dye’s already trying to escape!

blue hand

  • Pattern: Butterick 5984
  • Fabric: stretch denim from the Fabric Warehouse
  • Alterations: lots. Raised back by 6cm, adjusted bodice fit, lengthened bodice 1cm. Didn’t line it. Changed back vent to a kick pleat.
  • Next time: make bodice size according to high bust measurement; grade out to waist if needed.
  • More versions: here, PatternReview.


Today seems to be American Thanksgiving, which for those of us on the other side of the world means that

1. Our newsfeed fills up with crazy recipes like sweet-potato-and-marshmallow-casseroles (really, Guardian, even you? What were you thinking?)

2. Tomorrow is Black Friday, which means online sales. Conveniently for NZ, this falls squarely on our Saturday, so there’s no work to get in the way of an online shopathon.

3. I am giving thanks that winter is no more, and summer is on its way!

And with that, here’s some knitting I did MONTHS ago.

pair1 inprogress pair1 2 pair1 1

These are my first ever socks! Appropriately I used a pattern called Easy Peasy Socks for First Timers, but then used some very fine yarn (because isn’t it beautiful?) and had to try and adapt it. They’re far from perfect but I love them.

pair2 1 pair2 2These are my second ever socks! They belong to the Fashion Critic. This time I had two 50g balls and not a scrap more, and so I used a toe up pattern (TDTU Vanilla All The Way Baby). The opposite issue this time – I had 8ply yarn and a 4ply pattern! It seemed to be OK.

By then I was pretty sick of knitting but it still wasn’t spring. Also I decided the Fashion Critic should wear slippers (he seems to be too cool for them, or maybe his feet really don’t get cold, I don’t know). So I ordered some wool on Trademe…

slippers 1 woolWe wound it up…

slippers 2 winding slippers 2 winding2

… And I got to work!

slippers 3 prefelted

slippers 3 prefelted2

It was pretty coarse wool (good for felting) and smelled just a bit sheepy. I used a pattern called Simply Felted Ladies Slippers (don’t tell you-know-who!). Because it uses two strands of 10-ply wool, it crochets up really quickly. If you want to feel like you’ve had a productive evening, try this pattern.

Then the fun bit.

slippers 4 machine

It took three cycles. Initially I just washed them with a pair of jeans, but for cycles 2 and 3 they just went in with the regular wash. I actually think the regular wash did a better job – maybe because there are more clothes in there for friction? Here’s what they looked like after the first wash:

slippers 5 onefelt

And here’s the final product:

slippers 6 threefelts

(just have to put buttons on)

slippers 7 finished

My friend has ordered some in purple for her birthday in April, and I’m looking forward to making them again. In the meantime, roll on summer.