Butterick 5522: Trina Turk Inspired Dress

I like that it was my frequent companion’s birthday dinner and I made a dress for ME! Yes, that’s right. Part of my gift to him is to look awesome. I think that is not only fair and equitable, but simply the law of man.

Butterick 5522 (above) is inspired by designer Trina Turk. I only know this because Cindy did an ah-Mazing job knocking it off before the pattern even came out.

I know there is the occasional chatter on not posting reviews on PatternReview.com any more because of the lack of comments. I’ve been remiss in not posting reviews lately too.  I still find the reviews incredibly helpful. Well, good reviews are incredibly helpful.  Reviewers generally noted the lack of shape in the dress. But,this is not something I found. As I noted in my earlier post, I made a dartless FBA. I suspect I either could have made a bigger adjustment (as told by some folds pointing to my bust) or actually put in darts. Also, I could benefit from teeny shoulder pads in this dress.

I didn’t find the dress tentlike at all. Perhaps because I’m sewing a size I wore a few years and pounds ago (!). But, more likely because I measured out the pattern  🙂 The color of this double knit is a blood red. This piece is another gem from the Carol Collection. The color is brighter in these photos because my beloved SLR is in the shop. So, I’m working with a point a shoot for the next few weeks.

I made a 3/4 inch swayback adjustment and omitted the zipper. I could easily have done 1.5 inches and had a nicer fit in the back. The poly doubleknit is super stable and I do a bit of wiggle to get the dress on.

I hemmed by two inches from the length. Interfaced the hems and edges and used a twin needle to top stitch the hem. I really kind of wanted something shorter. In retrospect, it’s not gonna really be work appropriate at this length.  But, I wasn’t thinking about work when I sewed it!

The sleeves are somewhat bell shaped and pieced together.  I didn’t find them to be crazy large. Maybe in a drapier fabric they would seem more elaborate. I think I would have like a larger bell. But, again, I’m a dramatic kind of girl.

Overall I am very happy with this dress. It works super well on my figure and gives a lot of fashion impact with minimal effort. What’s even better is I’ve seen some women in the RTW version of this. Heh.

Finally, here is a photo with the birthday boy. Don’t worry, we didn’t have dinner in a basement. This is the afterparty with his friends.

And, after my pontificating, I dare not neglect  my review on PR.


  1. I love it! It’s lovely on you. On pattern review, i admit I don’t comment so much- if they have a blog I get so interested in all that that I forget to comment, but I do love a well written review. Thanks for this!

  2. Oooo Weeeee You look so stylish and comfortable and dare I say RADIANT! It fits great for a slip-over-your-head dress and the sleeves…well hello….how Art-Deco can you get?
    And what a reward for all that hard work…a dreamy date with a handsome man!

  3. I love this dress and love it on you. I had a very similar dress during the 70’s. It was navy blue with lime green inserts. I think the bell sleeves were even lined in lime green. It was one of my favorites.

    You and your companion look very cute together.

  4. Wow, you couldn’t possibly look prettier in another color! The fit in front is perfect. I would try increasing width across entire back from neck to hem before making another swayback adjustment.

    I would never have thought about this pattern for myself until I saw how great yours looks! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  5. Oh my you are rocking that dress. Every since you posted some construction pics, i have been PRESSED for you to post the finished dress. You did not dissapoint. I cannot wait until I can sew something that looks this good. Thanks for the detailed review and a pic of your handsome companion. Were there any hiccups in the instructions? I will go read your patternreview post now and comment. Thanks

  6. You two are adorable, and that dress is amazing! You look great in it. I admit I’m a teensy bit afraid of sewing those sleeves (I’m sure I’ll end up with puckers) but I might have to get over my fear. I LOVE the color combo together and on you. Really nicely done!

  7. Looks fantastic on you! But I knew it would…it’s a perfect dress for you.

    BTW, I think the reason there are fewer comments on PR now is because there are soooooo many reviews posted.

    • There are soooo many reviews. And, I don’t post nearly as much as I used to. It sometimes feels like I’m repeating myself. And, I sew so much Burda and they are hardly reviewed (comparatively speaking) that I don’t always look for those. I love blogs. I develop relationships with the writers (you!).

  8. You are a KNOCK-OUT in this dress!!!. It lights up your face. It’s perfect for your figure. I absolutely love it!

  9. I love the colors you chose, very nice “bright” twist on the colorblocking. And it doesn’t look shapeless at all on you: the skirt looks a bit flared and I knew that the sleeves were bell shaped.

    (Question: Are you wearing sheer pantyhose?)

    • I am! It was the perfect match for me. I bought (no joking) 25 pairs two years ago. I’m down to my last set and they have discontinued the color!!

  10. This is a gorgeous dress and it indeed looks great on you! The way you handled those sleeves shows your sewing-skills. It seems like a very hard job to get all the curved lines right so they don’t get wavy. But you sewed them in a perfect way.
    Oh, almost forgot: congratulations on the birthday boy!

  11. You look absolutely beautiful in that dress. I love the sleeves, the colour and the fit. Your man looks so proud to be with you – as well he should!

  12. You look fantastic, I think it’s a great present! I’ve loved this dress ever since I first saw it, it’s so nice to see you in it. And also to see your frequent companion :-).
    I also wanted to tell you how happy I am that you finally got a good fit with the Rebecca pattern! I made it myself in November but it turned out too small for me. Fortunately it fits my sister perfectly, so I made her matching panties and gave her the set for Sinterklaas (our equivalent to Father Christmas, but a bit different: it’s on the fifth of December and you’re supposed to write a rhyme to go with every gift, so I wrote one about her bussom, great fun :-)).

  13. Love the dress, your color choices are awesome and the fit… Superb! Thanks for e reminder to get back to posting reviews on PR, I’ve gotten away from it myself, and know that’s the first place I head when starting a new project. Overdue to pay it back!

  14. Girl, you look AWESOME in this dress!!! Love that color on you! I was thinking of swapping out the bodice of this dress with something a bit more fitted, but think I will keep the original now. Such a great look!

  15. Fantastic dress in an unusual but somehow still classic colour combination. You look amazing in it – I think it’s a good thing to have a few dresses that are for going out only and not for work!

  16. This looks even better than I imagined. I like how it skims the body. A great “eating” dress. The length did scare me a bit only because I thought you’d said earlier that you lengthened it. You two look happy, he’s super cute and got a great smile.

  17. Beautiful and dramatic on you!

    I think I found your blog (and others that I follow) thru PR, even if I didn’t necessarily comment on the review – often I jumped to the blog and commented there instead. So, additional incentive. And I do find the reviews really helpful before tackling a new pattern. So, I try to add reviews too.

  18. This dress looks fantastic on you! It so flatters your figure & looks retro & chic at the same time. It’s a good thing that you can’t wear it to work. I expect that the guys in your office would have a hard time focusing on their work if you did!

  19. You look fabulous! But then you always do 🙂 Great dress, it’s inspiring me to sew something myself.

    Love frequent companion, may have to borrow it.

  20. What can I say that has not already been said? You look radiantly happy. That silhouette (fit and flared? A-line chemise? both sound hopelessly old-fashioned) is definitely your friend. And, yes, it is a good gift to your sweetheart to look your very best for his special occasion. If he doesn’t remember to tell you, he still appreciates your effort. I promise.

  21. Your dress is so creative and well-done. I think it was a really bold project to try (those sleeves would have intimidated me) and it turned out so well.

  22. I don’t really expect any comments on PR, but they are appreciated when received. As others have said above, I tend to click through to the blog (if there is one) and comment there rather than on PR. I did, however, make a New Year’s Resolution to post more reviews on PR because I rely on them so much whenever I’m looking at a new pattern. The least I can do is add my reviews to the mix.

    I love your new dress.

  23. It looks great on you, just like I knew it would. This style really suits you and the colour is lovely on you. Your frequent companion is pretty cute, too!

  24. HI Miss Celie I do like this, and yes, like you since I have been sewing (not long now used to sew before just started again) I am beginning to analyse the ‘back’ as well as the front

  25. I love that dress on you! I’ve looked at that pattern several times and just couldn’t quite decide whether I liked it or not. On the model the sleeves look enormous and the dress looks shapeless, on you the sleeves are just right and the body of the dress hugs without squeezing, so you can see that the dress does have some shape to it. The style really does suit you right down to the ground. (I’m pondering the navy and green another poster wrote about above, it is one of my fave spring color combinations)

  26. I need to get this pattern next time it’s on sale. It’s been on my list for a while. You know what would look truly awesome?? A dress with matching stretch lace awesome. You could go all white, or all black or all red. But I would spray the beejeezus out of the stretch lace to Sullivan’s stabilizer spray. That way it would be temporarily cardboard stuff, making it behave while I’m sewing. After I’m done? It can misbehave all it wants!!

  27. That is one cute “frequent companion”!
    Your dress is great. I’m impressed. I may have to think about this one.
    Remember: If you do make a 1.5 inch swayback alteration, add the length back at the hem. The same goes for me when I tuck up the chest area for a small bust adjustment.

  28. How awesome. I think a shorter length suits this kind of dress so who cares about work appropriate. You look fabulous in that shade of red!

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