Happy belated new years Cali Blog Squad readers! I’m excited to share my first – and what I already predict to be – my favorite make for the year. This is the Butterick 6052 off-shoulder maxi dress made up in White Palms on Navy Rayon Challis Print and partially lined with Black Cotton Lawn.
Let’s start with the fabric. This challis print is currently sold out, but keep an eye out for this one, because it is simply amazing! I had started a muslin back in December but the fabric I used was a little lighter and slippery to handle – especially since I used it for both the main fabric and the lining. The white palm print seems to be the perfect weight for this dress – doesn’t need lining for the skirt, easy to sew the hems and slit, and where a breeze wouldn’t make the slit in the skirt feel scandalous. While this print is sold out, and I can’t vouch for the exact same weight and opacity of these, these are two other prints I think would also look great in this style: Blue and White Island Tribal Challis and Flamelike Brushstroke Rayon Challis Print.
As for the bodice lining, I chose cotton lawn because it would be breathable for the summer. It is lightweight and a little sheer, but hides the insides well enough. My first reaction was that it doesn’t feel as smooth as the rayon – it is my first time using cotton lawn – and I was worried. However, it’s actually very nice because it doesn’t shift out of shape and grips onto any fabric that you pin it to. When wearing it, I don’t notice the texture at all; it is very comfortable and I would use it again.
While I love the fabrics, I also highly recommend this pattern. I’ve heard the pattern cover doesn’t inspire much confidence, but don’t judge the pattern by its cover! I sewed size 8 graded to a size 10 at the waist and hips and it fit with minimal adjustments for me. The main change I made was take a wedge out of the bodice center front piece to bring the straps in by about half an inch following this tutorial. The other was slightly taking in the flare of the skirt bottom so I could squeeze the whole dress into 3 yards of fabric instead of 3 1/8 yards, and then adding the slit. I also shortened the waist by 1″ in the muslin only to find I needed to add it back in this final version.
The hem is one inch shorter than the hem for View B. For reference, I am 5’1″ and wearing 2 1/2″ heels.
The pretty lining! The neckline is understitched, and while the pattern recommends that the underarm be understitched as well, I was having a heck of a hard time doing so without catching some of the bodice in the stitching. After a few unsuccessful tries, I decided to forgo the understitching and found that it’s not noticeable at all. I also did not bother finishing the seam allowances in the bodice because the neither fabrics fray too much and I read that lining prevents all the friction that would cause the fraying. Here’s to hoping this dress withstands the test of time.
Thanks for reading!