Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Butterick 5736 Tunic to Maxi Dress Refashion

Who would have thought! I really like this pattern, which I first sewed as a tunic using the view in red. Good looking and easy to wear. It occurred to me that it would be a great starting point for a maxi dress.
There are so many patterns like this for knit fabrics - but just try to find one for wovens. Particularly something as basic as cotton, which is not very drapey. Not so easy!

The lines of view A are simple. A no-dart bodice and a softly gathered bottom.

The refashion was done in two steps, bodice and skirt. Changes to the bodice:
  • I redrafted the front neckline, dropping it about 3 inches into a scoop neck (shown in my previous blog).
  • I lengthened the bodice by 2 inches, adding the additional length at the bottom of the two bodice pieces.
  • The contrasting waistline is a two-piece casing, which was cut at 3" x 40" and sewn to the bodice with a 1/2" seam allowance. The 40" length was more than was needed, I just made the adjustment when I applied the casing.
  • The result is a casing that is almost at my natural waistline.
  • I did the binding on the neckline and armholes in contrast fabric at this point - it is so much easier to handle without the skirt attached!
Fabric, Cotton Minibolt, AC Moore
Contrast, Cotton Hibiscus Tropical Shirting, JoAnns
Changes to the skirt:
  • I traced new skirt pieces, which for me are 42" long and included 1 1/4" for the hem. Part of the additional length was added midway down the skirt and part was added at the bottom, to keep the skirt fairly slim.
  • Pockets! were added 5 1/2" below the raw top edge of the skirt in the side seams.
  • Once the skirt was constructed, I sewed it to the the bodice casing, again with a 1/2" seam.
  • And inserted 3/4" elastic in the waistline casing. Nifty tool for pulling the elastic!
I love the result! Photo gallery:

I really enjoyed drafting and sewing this dress and am wearing it like crazy :-) I have done two more using this refashioned pattern and will get some pics up soon.
Ciao! Coco


  1. What a pretty dress-and great idea on your part to design it from a top.

  2. This dress is really pretty! Now I know why you suggested contrast on mine!

    1. Thanks, Mary! I love mixing prints, and the contrast helps break up a long dress (and you know I love a long dress :-)

  3. I like the blue material, but one question, is it comfortable for your steps, because i have few dresses like this, some of them i sewed myself, but i had to walk with little step my dress didn't allow me to walk fast or make big steps. So how is your?

    1. Hi! I have no problem with walking at all! Plenty of room, because of the slightly gathered skirt. Love wearing this dress! I have two others from the same pattern :-)


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco