Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Projects

After Dinner Mint // Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern

I did it guys. I finally made something I can’t pick apart and criticize and beat myself up for failing to execute such and such perfectly. Because I F*CKING LOVE THIS  DRESS. Like, make it breakfast every morning and read it e.e. cummings in bed love. Like, buy a ticket to Vegas and elope love. And just like the first time you fall in love with um, a person, I can’t stop talking about it and hanging out with it and it feels so strange and exciting and new.

Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns

This minty-kelly green and white striped cotton called to me from a cheapo fabric store after a long day of spending too much money. I talked myself out of buying it (even though it was only $3/yd!) but had a strong “you must go back and get 4 yards of it” vibe so I listened. I wanted to experiment with some chevron action, and browsed the big 4 websites for hours until I found one I thought had some potential. This Butterick 5605 had a seam running down the centre of the bodice which would facilitate the chevron effect. The gussets allowed me to run the stripes horizontally on the side and i figured I’d run vertical stripes on the skirt. And I loved that little button strap detail on the back.

I asked you guys for your opinion on necklines and skirt shapes last week, but ended up sticking with my original plan of high neckline and short circle skirt. I had to do some serious figuring to work out how to cut the circle skirt and still get the vertical lines. The diagram I found here seemed to make the most sense, and I like the chevrons that happened where I matched my seams.

The real bitch of this baby was those damn gussets. They were nearly my undoing on this dress. The sharp pivot needs to be sewn VERY PRECISELY or else you get some major puckering. I found this great video on a Pattern Review write-up and Karen at Did You Make That had some good tips as well. Super invaluable. Thank donuts for all you wonderful knowledge-sharing sewing miracles out there, all your wisdom available after 2 seconds of googling. Couldn’t have done it without you.

Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns

Butterick 5605 Sewing Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
I modified the pattern a little to make it feel more modern. I shortened the sleeves about 2″, cut it into a mini and added one of my signature exposed zippers (I wasn’t planning on doing this but found a perfectly matching kelly green and gold zip at a great old-school notions store where i found my carved plastic button, and just couldn’t resist). Sallie suggested I do an exposed zip tutorial for all of you, and as much as I love you and want to share in the wisdom-sharing, I haven’t had a chance to properly put one together. So in the meantime, here is a very helpful Burda tutorial that should explain things to you should you be considering adding this fun detail (DO IT!).

As for fit, I did a muslin for the first time! I cut a 14 but it was way too big so went down to a 12, taking the shoulders down and taking in even more at the waist. Maybe a bit too much. There is ZERO ease on this dress which makes for an awesome fit but also means I had to unzip it to eat fried chicken in the park this weekend. Classy. Lined it with a cotton batiste at the bust but left the skirt unlined  since the cotton is quite thick and sturdy.

I love that it doesn’t really look like a 50’s era dress at all. I feel like a thoroughly modern Millie when I wear it, and it’s garnered more attention than almost anything I’ve made yet. Both men & women were stopping me to say how much they loved it – when do men ever do that? It’s a magical, magical dress. Which is why I’m debating remaking it for the Tessuti challenge. According to the rules you can use commercial patterns, and I’m not feeling brave enough to draft my own design in such a short period of time. What do you guys think? Is it dumb to enter a competition like that with a commercial pattern? Now that they’ve opened it up to world-wide entries it feels ridiculous to even consider it, but I’m mighty tempted.

Off on a little mini road trip with some homies to see one of my favourite podcasts (Uhh Yeah Dude) do a live taping in Boston. Gonna eat lots of fried seafood, laugh my ass off and maybe take an ocean dip. I’m bringing the dress. Hope you all have  a wonderful weekend!

(Big thanks to my lovely friend Dara for taking these magic hour alley shots for me!)

  • YOW!!! you marry that dress right now!!!

    and then make its twin and enter tessuti. definitely.

  • WOWZERS! I love this! It’s super, super, SUPER cute! Nicely done you!!!!!

  • So lovely. I never would have guessed it was a vintage pattern (in the best way)! The back is to die for.

  • The dress is fabulous and yes enter the comp. What have you got to lose?

  • I totally squealed out loud when I saw this dress…true story! It’s simply beautiful in every way and I’m not surprised at all that people are stopping you in the street. It’s so cool and bright and crisp and everything I would ever want in a dress. I love the back detail and the exposed zip of course. Well bloody done, it’s a masterpiece! Oh and don’t even think twice about entering it into the competition…do it now! ;o)

  • this is crazy amazing.

  • You’ve outdone yourself this time Heather. I am declaring you and your minty lovely dress the HOTNESS!

  • This dress freaking rocks. LOVE the colour green especially, but my favourite part is how the lines keep going over the sleeves – the design is puuurfect for what you’ve done to it. Amazeballs.

  • I too, adore this dress. Major props for the stripe matching. I am anal about pattern matching and this is PERFECT. It so doesn’t look like a vintage pattern, looks very modern. I have found that for some reason men respond to striped fabric, a friend of mine fell in love with a striped fabric and even though he knew nothing about sewing he bought some. Men are weird.

    Your dress is gorgeous.

    • “Men ar weird”, ha ha. I found the stripe matching to be insanely satisfying in a very surprising way….

  • Everything about this dress is amazing. I’m glad it worked out so well and that you love it!

  • 1) I fell in love w the dress when I saw the front
    3) I have no idea why you wouldn’t enter it
    4) I love that color. And your name for it, Kelly mint.

  • me again, also meant to list that the Sept Threads has info on exposed zips, in case your readers want something before/in place of your tute.

  • Wow – this fantastic. So beautiful.

  • Spectacular!

  • LOOK AT YOU! You’re positively GLOWING!! Love looks so good on, doesn’t it?? But seriously. This dress is no joking matter. IT. IS. THE. SHIT. Make it for Tessuti – why not?!!? You could win a trip to anywhere in the world – like GALVESTON TEXAS!!!! (hint hint hint) My applause to your armpits. Those gussets are beauts.

    • BI gotta plan some kinda Texas blogger road trip already.

  • You should definitely enter!! It’s awesome!

  • Ummmm, I’m feeling mighty covetous right now. I’m also planning my identical copy (cue maniacal laugh)

    • Go for it. I copy you guys all the damn time.

  • Wow!! This is amazing. So happy for you. I totally understand the want-to-marry-it feeling, and this dress deserves that kind of love. Congratulations. Great work. And definitely do the Tessuti! Good luck.

  • It’s gorgeous; great job! The exposed zipper really makes the dress.


  • Hi just letting you know I have nominated you for the Sunshine and Liebster Awards. Don’t worry if it’s not your thing, am just fulfilling my end of the bargain lol. Details are on my blog.

  • You are a total and COMPLETE babe in that dress!!! It is fantastic!

  • I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT!!!! I kept thinking, scrolling down, hum that pattern looks familiar…and then I hit the text with the link. OMG, you KILLED!!!

    I think I need one, right now, LOL!

    • Re:Tessuti Contest, I don’t think you can enter the dress, unfortunately.

      “We’re giving you the option to sell your dress or re-create the dress for anyone who may covet your design.”

      And all the patterns state FOR DOMESTIC USE ONLY.

      HOWEVER you can probably make another dress with the same stripe variations maybe from a basic block or something less recognizable. Think about it.

      I entered the contest before I read the rules about using Tessuti fabric being mandatory. I’ll only be voting but you’re on my short list already! Good luck!

    • I would guess that you can only sell the dress if it’s your pattern, but they do allow commercial patterns to be entered. My issue is really more financial. I would have to spend at least $200 on their fabric to make this again (maybe with some added details like a dotted crinoline). Seems like a crazy investment to me. That’s almost my budget for a year of fabric!

  • You look amazing!!! And – definitely enter the Tessuti competition using whatever pattern you want….how amazing would it be to win??!!

  • Wow. There are just no words for this. Nevertheless, I’ll try throwing out some words anyway — AMAZING. RADIANT. STRIPE GENIUS. I love what you’ve done with the chevrons on the skirt, the perfectly matching exposed zip, and even the way the stripes emphasize the cool gusset details. If I saw you on the street, I would follow you and try to secretly snap photos with my phone. Thankfully, you’ve already taken care of that!

  • This is so damn cute, I want to scream. And I agree with Cindy, STRIPE GENIUS! We should build you some kind of alter. This is chevronlicious.


  • It’s gorgeous!! Congrats on your lovely dress! It could hit the Burdastyle Best of July! 🙂

  • Your dress is fabulous, I totally love it. It looks great on you too, well done!

  • The link doesn’t go to a video for me it just goes to the circle skirt link.

    • Not taht am at that stage yet. Haven’t even made a top yet, but like to be prepared lol.

    • or “that” even lol

    • I fixed the link. Thanks lady!

  • Love, LOve, LOVE this! Totally rocks. You look great.

  • *bowing down*

    <3<3<3 + many exclamation points

  • This is gorgeous!! I’m working on a chevron project too, and am verrrrry impressed by your perfectly matching stripes!!

    Also, I thought I had a pretty good hold on the best sewing bloggers around, HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT YOUR BLOG? Hi, new follower here 🙂

  • I fell in love with this dress!
    What a beautiful way to make stripes more interesting and the colour is amazing. I am taking some inspiration from this thats for sure! way to go!

  • This is super cool – the best, best way to make use of a striped fabric.

  • Amy

    Don’t ya just love sewing when it all comes together like this? You are right, this is a really magical dress. I love what you’ve done with the pattern. I love the mint with the bright coral–what is that cool nail polish color?

  • I’m just going to go ahead and join this big ol’ love fest because… OH MY GOD THIS DRESS IS FREAKING AMAZING. That is all x

  • wow, I can see why you love it so much! IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Great job!
    The dress I’m currently sewing is one of those that’s making me want to stop half way through so let’s really hope I finish it and ends up ok.

  • Wow, this is sooo cute! The stripes look so great with all the directions! Inspired!

  • You did a GREAT job on this dress. The stripes are amazing. You should definitely enter the contest.

  • That is one fabulous dress!

  • Kazz

    What have you got to lose? Enter, she’s magnificent!

  • yummymummy

    love what you’ve done with the stripes, reminds me of Jeffrey Sebelia, Project Runway season 3 winner, who featured a similarly striped dress in his winning collection, but yours is more flattering. like the modern touches, in the shorter length etc

  • Tara D

    FANTASTIC DRESS! You have TOTALLY inspired me!

  • Had Armitstead

    This dress is amazing. I have just entered the world of sewing and your blog is probably my favourite so far. I love this dress. i hope I can get good enough to make this one day!!

    Please keep sharing your makes I love them!

    Had, Bristol, UK