Another Dress on a Deadline: Butterick B5032 Dress and Capelet

B5032 vintage butterick reviewDress and caplette made from vintage fabric

James’ company recently did a website for a *fancy cruise line,*  who in turn gifted dinner cruise tickets to each team member and their sweetie.  Naturally, I decided that I had nothing to wear and the only solution was to whip up a dress three days before the event.  I do love to sewing with an impending deadline!


This is my sewing theme song. ALWAYS.

I wanted something classic and vintage that would use up some of my fabric stash, and finally decided on the rereleased vintage Butterinck B5032.  My mother had made it 6 years ago, and I remembered trying it on and liking it.  Because of my slightly masochistic sewing deadlines, I was forced purchase the downloadable pattern so I could start that night.  This meant downloading from PrintSew, which was a time-intensive, counter-intuitive, gray-hair inducing process to say the least.  More on this later.  Here is how it turned out:

butterick 5032 capelette and dress review

I sewed both the cape and dress in time to spend the hours before doing a fancy hair style and makeup instead of hemming and hand-sewing (which is too often the case)!  For the dress and cape lining I used a lovely blue chambray-like material with big purple and blue roses.  I found it at the thrift store, and realized only when I laid the fabric out that a huge chunk was missing!  I had to do a lot of fancy-pants pattern arrangement to make sure I had room for everything.  This proved an extra difficult task because I was hell-bent on lining the cape with the same fabric.  Oh, the things I put myself through!

Here is a view without the cape:

vintage blue rose floral dress with capeletteThe pattern was relatively easy and sewed up quickly.  My only problem was that it turned out huge!  The bust fit, but everything else was massive.  I spent two nights trying to adjust the fit every which way, and ended up just taking about 4 inches off of the center back.  I was so distraught that I finally put the dress on inside out and recruited James to pin me into it, mark a new zipper line, and unpin me out of it.  Next time I think I will size down and then do a full-bust adjustment.  Other reviews of this pattern suggested taking in a bit more fabric at the bottom of the skirt to give it a more pegged look, and I think I still might try that on this dress…

dress and cape from vintage butterick pattern

dress front from vintage butterick pattern 5032

For the final touch: a vintage metal zipper.

vintage metal zipper in butterick vintage pattern

And the cape, ah, the capelet!  It is so cute and sews up in an hour or two.  I lined it with my vintage fabric, but the outer fabric is a lovely linen that I got from Harts Fabrics.  My button choices were very limited, so I went with a navy rose button to mimic the roses on the dress.  I sent a picture to my mother, who warned that it was too similar in colour to the fabric, and would get lost in the cape.  I didn’t have the selection of buttons I would have liked, anyways, so I  stitched on the rose, then attached a hook on the under side and hand-couched a catch for it.   That way I can easily swap buttons when the right one comes along.

blue rose button for vintage capelet

hand couching closure

The only downside to the beautiful linen is that it wrinkles so easily; the wind blows and it looks all ruffled up!  Oh well, I don’t give a hoot and I’m already eyeing up a grey velvet remnant to make another cape.  As for another dress, the thought of properly fitting the pattern exhausts me.



  1. James

    Looks great!

    October 16, 2013