I'm not quite sure where I first saw Butterick B6351. Maybe Instagram? But I do know that it was immediate love. I noted the pattern number and at the first Joann's pattern sale (sad but true) I snatched it up. First off, I love the open back. It's a little sexy but still provides coverage. I also love that the pattern comes with an option for shorts or skirt.
I made an open, cross back dress once before (4 years and one blog ago!), by adapting Simplicity 1873 and it seemed to go a lot easier than this one. This wasn’t super hard but there were a lot more steps than I expected. I had to pay careful attention to every step, especially around the waistband.
I cut a size 16, according to my bust measurement, and used the D cup pattern. I think I should have used the size according to my upper bust because I ended up having to take out about 1.5 inches at the bust side seams. I also reduced the length of the back elastic by about a couple inches. Make sure to try on the dress before stitching down the second side of the elastic. I probably should have cut a size 14 with the D cup and it would have fit a little better from the beginning. Since I made this I’ve been diving into the full bust adjustment (FBA) and I understand it much better than before. And it’s not as hard or time consuming as I once thought.
The back seems to have a little too much fabric for me. I’d like it to sit closer to the body. Sometimes it reveals my bra back but maybe adding a tack between the two layers would help that.
I made view B of this pattern which is exactly the same as View A except it has a hem band. I wasn’t sure if I’d do a hem band but I definitely needed the extra length. I had enough fabric, so I cut my hem band on the bias. I love the contrast the bias hem creates.
The fabric is a vintage cotton that I inherited from my grandmother. I’ve been saving it for years and I’m really glad that I used it for this dress. I think it’s the perfect pattern and fabric pairing. It’s a really interesting woven fabric where the weave creates the geometric design. See this instagram post for a closer look. I used to use a lot of vintage fabrics, mostly from the thrift store, but over the years I’ve felt that they can sometimes feel too costumey for me. But this fabric has such classic colors that it doesn’t feel dated.
I really, really love this dress. I just feel so happy wearing it. It’s even kind of casual when paired with my Keds. If I’m ever invited to a croquet party you can make a pretty safe bet that I’ll be wearing this dress.