Butterick 5523: Lemon Yellow Knit Dress

Oh, hello. This old thing? I’ve just bottled the sun and made it into a dress. Doesn’t everyone do that?  This bright lemon yellow is from Fabric Mart’s ponte knit collection. I made a serious commitment last year to wear more yellow fabric.  If you look closely — you can see it gave my camera fits.

I have two other yellows that just may get made up while the yellow thread cones are on the serger. Of course, I realized I was creeping closer and closer to becoming my mother because I was stressed about how dirty the dress would get. Oy.

This is Butterick 5523. Because I am not used to the Big 4 directions (and neglected to read them) I made box pleats instead of ‘regular’ pleats. This made the dress (I think) more form fitting than intended. Speaking of fit, and because I didn’t read the pattern which clearly notes that it’s ‘close fitting’, I actually thought this was supposed to be a looser knit dress. I read on Pattern Review about a maternity look but I think the box pleats eliminated this.

I have also now waded into making FBAs in knit garments.  My FBA here is two inches which required darts at the waist and side seam. I am a little baffled at the FBA still. But, I can no longer lie to myself about my bra size. I was recently fit for new bras and went down a band size and up two cup sizes. I am also out an average $45 a bra. Grrrrr.

I did not make a swayback adjustment either. I figured the waist hit within the skirt vs the bodice. It’s also not snug enough to require that adjustment. I *do* think I could have benefited from a full seat adjustment. My rear seems to be pulling the pleats. Then again, this could be because I made box pleats.

Ah, yes. I also left the tab off the back. I’d like to be able to wear this with a belt if so desired.

It’s a great pattern. Totally wearable, most comfortable and I received many compliments yesterday. Likely because it’s barely 50 degrees and rainy and this is  definite punch at spring. And, it’s SUPER fast. I cut the pattern out on Monday night and sewed it in less than three hours on Tuesday night. Truly.

A few complaints. The pattern says long sleeves. They are not. I hemmed a scant inch and I think the dress looks like it should be longer based on the model.

Also, on me, the shoulders are massively big. I do have short shoulders but can fudge it in Burda. But, I forget in the big four it’s imperative for me to measure. The shoulders on this, for me, could be shortened by at least half an inch.

Best of all, I can wear my black and yellow glasses with this dess

And now, I bid you adeiu. I’m leaving for Santa Fe, New Mexico this afternoon for a few days with girlfriends. It’ll be all spas, Bikram yoga, French fries and chic flicks until Monday. I’m actually most excited about getting to read on the four hour flights there and back  😉


  1. Wow! That pattern never really turned my head, but now I must have it! 🙂 Your dress is so beautiful and the fit looks perfect.

  2. I agree with BeccaA, yellow looks amazing on you, and vice versa :). You should wear warm color more often.

  3. Dress and color are very, very becoming on you! I have the pattern and now will have to make it. You do indeed look like a ray of sunshine!

  4. I love everything about your bright yellow dress!!! The color is incredible and the style is so cute. It is perfect with the gray tights.

  5. Your dress looks great. It is a beautiful color on you and just perfect for spring. I think it fits really well too. And, it is probably really comfy – just what is needed as we transition from one season to another.

  6. This is a great color on you. The whole thing is so cheery. It reminds me of the daffodils so prevalent now.

  7. I am so jealous you can wear that color, I love yellow but it soooo doesn’t work with my hair and skin. It is cute and fun and makes me long for spring, good job and have a great trip 🙂

  8. This color looks AWESOME on you!!! It is perfect! The dress is beautiful! I can’t stop using exclamation points! 😀

  9. That’s faaaAAAAbulous! Imagine a fat chick saying that to you with a Tim Gunn accent, and the odd spelling will make more sense. Seriously, that dress ROCKS, and looks smashing on you!

  10. This is definitely a “shot of sunshine”. You look fabulous! (Mind sending us some spring weather north of the border?)

  11. The dress looks great on you – that’s an excellent color on you. Enjoy your long weekend. Girl parties are a blast.

  12. You definitely should make this again and maybe two tone it! Can’t wait to see the next yellow pieces and have a great time in Santa Fe.

  13. Absolutly beautiful. I just made up the same dress yesterday. I was actually considering making box pleats. Looking at your version I should have. I like the dress, the way you made it much better and I think it fit’s nicer. In my version (with the pleats as intended)I am missing the waist, especially in the back.(Well. Your’s also a much nicer color, I made mine in gray)

  14. That is a wonderful combination of colors, the yellow dress looks really great on you, love the combo gray – yellow.

  15. The dress is great! I think it looks better in your version than the roomier version from the pattern. I don’t know the difference between box pleats and regular pleats, so I’ll be googling that in a second. I’m just returning to sewing after being a beginner in high school. Thanks for your great blog. I always look forward to your posts and I always learn something.

  16. Yeah that is a cool color – and I don’t think there are any fit problems – looks like great fit all around to me.

    I might have to buy some of that fabric. Those knit dresses go together so fast, it’s super satisfying.

    Can’t wait to hear about Santa Fe – I took a job in Albuquerque and am moving there soon.

  17. So I hate to give away one of my well kept busty secrets but I feel bad that you have to shell out $45 for a bra. I am a 36G and find the best deals on ebay. I just got a brand new bra (Wacoal) for $16.99 that normally cost around $60. I just keep and eye out for my favorites.

  18. What a fabulous dress! The colour is fantastic – I had thought that was a dress for the depths of the winter but now I see your yellow version, maybe not!

  19. I love the yellow on you! It’s so darn happy. Would that I could pull off such a color. I did however make a similar commitment about green. I just forget that I can wear many greens quite well.

  20. That yellow is totally fabulous,a nd you’re gorgeous in it :-). But don’t fool yourself about box vs not pleats, they don’t make any difference to ease or whatever. I’m glad you’re finally owning up to your bust size, this looks very good, it’s about how much you need to add. But, I’m sorry, you need to make your darts shorter. They should be at least an inch away from nipples, at least, to avoid the 60s Liz-Taylor-in-cashmere look. Oh, how tacky, I’m sorry, we all wish we look like she did in the 50s. But you know what I mean..

  21. When I first opened this entry, the pic of u in the dress took my breath away. U look absolutely gorgeous!!! Great job!

  22. That yellow is beautiful and fantastic with your complexion. The dress is very cute!

    (I have to pay that much for bras, but because of the opposite problem.)

  23. Fabulous color and a great dress for this time of year! I actually bought some yellow knit today, too!

  24. Would have never thought of that dress in yellow and now I think of it in nothing but. Lovely dress and color and lovely on you.

  25. Hi,
    Will you please tell me the full name of the Burda magazine? I looked on the Burda Web site for “Burda World of Fashion” magazine, but it looks like that magazine went out of business? I am really trying to find the name of the magazine that everyone seems to have a subscription to, and use! I hope you can help – much appreciated! AND, I LOVE your blog!!!

  26. No Bikram Yoga? But we love it so much! 🙂

    This dress looks awesome on you. Color, fit, everything.

  27. Wow! I love the yellow on you. Such a cheery color. The fit changes you made are great for your figure. Perfect dress!

  28. I haven’t read all the comments, but if someone has already said what I’m about to say, then it bears repeating!! The lines of that dress are super, exceedingly, big-time great on you!!! The color is also tops. You’ve got a real winner there!

  29. This is my first visit to your blog and I just had to say that this dress is gorgeous. That yellow is beautiful!

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