Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Retro Shirt Dress ~ Small Bust Alterations

The first of the projects I am showcasing is Butterick 5315, a cute retro shirt dress. I absolutely love it!

My fabric choice was genius. I love how the lightweight cotton breathes, making it perfect for hot summer days. For cotton, it really doesn't wrinkle so badly and I even got it on sale at Joann's.

I did the regular adjustments to the pattern before cutting out to the bodice front. To accommodate my small bust I narrowed the bust darts and moved the horizontal dart up almost an inch. I took out about 1/2" (on each side) between the apex of the bust and the center front. Although I cut out a 12 for this pattern, I have teeny tiny shoulders so I cut out just smaller than an 8 for my shoulders at the top of the shoulder and tapered it out to a 12 at the waist. Since the armholes were smaller, this affected the sleeves and so I gathered them at the armhole and around the edge with binding to finish them off. This was much easier than trying to re-configure the sleeve.

I used an invisible zipper on the side and finished off the collar with some cute vintage lace from my dearly-departed grandma's stash of lace. Thanks Grandma!


  1. What a cute dress, and how special to use lace from your grandmother.

    Thank you for the great information on making a small bust adjustment. Although I have the opposite problem (needing a full bust adjustment), I have sewn dresses for young ladies that could use this adjustment.


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