The Atomic Dress (Butterick 5454) and a daily dress!

Greetings robins! It’s alright. Everything’s fine here in Minnesota. You can come back now. We miss you. I will buy worms at the bait shop to feed you until it’s officially spring. And look! I have a spring dress. Sort of. That’s right, at long last, I actually snapped a few poorly lit photos of the wrap dress I finished, oh, a month ago…

Since I only have a few photos, we’ll make this quick and sweet, shall we? The pattern is Butterick 5454, a cute little wrap dress with a few different sleeve options. For my version, I cut a straight size 24 which is the largest size the pattern runs to. It’s technically smaller than my ‘size’ if I go by the actual measurements, but with all the ease built into the pattern, along with my preference for a bit of negative ease in the shoulders and bust, it fit very well. It is, as you can see, a bit on the short side. A lot on the short side. It’s still longer than my fingertips, but I won’t be wearing this without tights until I’m well slathered with self-tanner and will likely have to wear matching bloomers in case of wind-related peep shows.

One point that make me feel BRILLIANT was my excellent finishing. OK. Maybe it wasn’t 100% excellent, but I hemmed the entire thing – neck, bodice, front seams and hem – in one fell rolled hem serger swoop. The brilliant part was that instead of trying to neatly turn the corners where the hem and the front of the dress meet, I did a nice little curved trim job. No 90 degree impossible to serge corners for me! I turned the neck and bodice under and double stitched for a nicer finish, and just left unfolded at the waist to leave the rolled hem for the skirt front and bottom edges.

For any of y’all worried about serious flashing as a result of wearing this dress, I really haven’t felt overly exposed. I think I saw in comments on that the overlap isn’t large enough, but that wasn’t the case for me.

Let’s move on to the last word, shall we?

The Last Word: Butterick 5454

Pattern: Butterick 5454, view A
Notions: I used a bit of 1/4 inch double sided tape (the wash away kind) to help with the neck and bodice turn and hem. Other than that, just a lot of serger thread.
Time to complete: 1.5 hours to cut the pattern and fabric, 1 hour to sew, 30 minutes to hem
likelihood to make another?: It’s already made! I added a bit of length to the bodice, which made the pleats sort of funky – and I need to wash the fabric, but other than that I’m nearly done!
curvy girl score: 8 I really like the style, and the sleeves are super flattering. This sort of surplice neckline can be problematic and a bit too cleavagey, but other than that it’s a winner!

oh, and about the name… I’ve had this fabric, some sort of mystery poly jersey, in my stash for a while. I always thought it was all about the circles, until I finished the dress and tried it on! Now all I can see are the diamonds – the pattern totally reminds me of 50’s diamond formica tables. Very atomic-age, don’t you agree?

Oh! And as a little bit of extra cherry on the sunday… I wore this to work today. Let’s do a daily outfit post, too, shall we? A two-for-one!

dress | handmade, blogged, well… here!
scarf | a little giftshop in Galena, Illinois
tights | Assets reversable grey/black tights. This is the grey side, if you can believe it!
bolero sweater | a little cashmere refashion that I made from a mens thrift find and never bothered to blog about!
boots | ah… my second pair of ACTUAL leather wide calf boots I got at end-of-season prices. I like ‘em, except they’re only boots to wear with dresses – the calves aren’t wide enough to go over jeans! (available here)






  1. […] me-made (Butterick 5454), unblogged, but same pattern blogged here Shoes: […]

  2. Valery Peters says:

    Hello! Fabulous job on the Butterick 5454! My name is Valery and I work at the McCall Pattern Company in NYC. We would love to post your photos on our Butterick Facebook page with your permission, of course! In turn, we will post a link to your blog. Please let me know at your convenience via my email address at Have a great weekend!


  3. Miles says:

    The dress looks great! I guess the fabric you used was just waiting for the right pattern to come along.
    Miles recently advice for menMy Profile

  4. Faye Lewis says:

    That is too cute on you!
    Faye Lewis recently posted..LINKY PARTY…My Profile

  5. Michelle says:

    OMG! I love you! I had been looking for a baby doll dress pattern and ran across your blog by accident. I just started sewing again after 25 plus years and feel so lucky I found your site. You are filled with knowledge, humor, and awesome go girl panache! I love your blogs and will be a loyal follower. And great news I found McCalls 7523 and am going to start tomorrow. Thank you for reenergizing me. Toodles, Michelle
    BTW- I graduated from HS in 1983, but so loved the 90’s. In fact for Christmas I bought a pink pearly pair of Docs and a blue flowery pair. Can’t wait to pair them with a baby doll dress!

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