Butterick 5871 See and Sew: easy peasy floral dress

Butterick 5871 floral dress
Butterick 5871 floral dress

This is a Butterick See and Sew pattern. This pattern sells for £3 from my local fabric market stall. It says on the envelope “YES!” It’s easy”. And YES. I agree.

Butterick 5871 line drawing
Butterick 5871 line drawing

This pattern says it is designed for moderate stretch knits only. It has pattern 4 pieces, with 2 separate pieces provided for the bodice lining. I made view A, which has an asymetrical neckline, shoulder pleats and pleats to one side of the skirt front. I chose to fully line the dress by using the back skirt piece to form the skirt lining and bagging the lining – so not only are there no sleeves or zip to insert, I didn’t even hem the thing! Perfect for a newbie who wants to try sewing a knit dress.

Butterick 5871 floral dress
Butterick 5871 floral dress

Butterick 5871: inside lining

The fabric is some kind of ponte weight jersey but which has a finish almost like neoprene (?) to it. I don’t know exactly what its composition is. It was a remnant piece I picked up off ebay. I do love the bright colours. Actually I went to one of those Colour Me Beautiful events earlier this week (not a proper consultation) and from the survey I am apparently a dramatist (husband, if you are reading this, keep quiet!): that means I dress so that when I walk in to a room I want to be noticed. hahaha. Let’s not take that conversation any further.

Back to the dress/ pattern. I love the pattern. I can see myself making it several times over, in all colours. There are a couple of things I would change next time round:

1. I would lengthen the bodice. Probably by an inch or so.

2. I would possibly cut the bodice a smidge smaller.

I am not a huge fan of the elasticated waist, but this is an EASY make people. You could easily sew this up in a matter of hours. I will probably try and hide the waist with a belt of some kind.

Butterick 5871 close up of skirt pleats
Butterick 5871 close up of skirt pleats
Butterick 5871 floral dress
Butterick 5871 floral dress

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

Fitted dress with tapered skirt has lined bodice and elasticized waist. I made view A.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is such a quick and easy make! And I love the simple elegance of this sheath style dress. The shoulder pleats, the asymetric neckline and the tummy flattering pleats. There is nothing I dislike as such. I don’t love the elasticated waist, but this is an EASY make and you could hide it with a belt.

Fabric Used:

I am not sure. It like a ponte, but with a finish like neoprene.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I added 3 inches to the length. I fully lined the dress, using the skirt back piece to form the skirt lining. I cut off 1 and 1/4 inch from the lining and serged the bottom of the lining to the bottom of the skirt, right sides together, then turned it right way out to bag the lining. Nex time round I would probably add an inch to the length of the bodice and possibly cut it a smidge smaller.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes and yes!


I highly recommend this dress. It is simple, quick and elegant, and could easily become a wardrobe staple.

Butterick 5871: floral dress
Butterick 5871: floral dress

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

43 thoughts on “Butterick 5871 See and Sew: easy peasy floral dress

  1. Perfect for summer! You gotta love an easy knit dress now and then. I am remaking the knit dress I just finished because I am in the mood for easy stuff!

  2. This is so gorgeous! I have pulled this very pattern out many times, but just couldn’t decide if I would really like it or not…you have made me a believer! I am definitely gonna give this a try. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Love the color and the style of the dress, definitely one to add to the list! Thanks for inspiration!

  4. Oh my what beautiful fabric and you have turned it into a beautiful dress. I am so pleased to of found yoir blog. I also live in Cumbria , I am on the West coast ( Whitehaven) Where is the local market you mentioned in your post ?

    1. Thanks Lisa. This particular dress was made from material from eBay (a remnant piece). I tend to use eBay for most of my knits. But the covered market in Carlisle has a fabric stall where I do get some bits from, like the turquoise linen, the cottons for husbands shirts, the jersey that I made the simplicity twisty neck top from and the blue floral cotton that I did the Pantone top from.

      1. Ah thanks after I posted I guessed that’s where you meant. I shop there too when I’m in Carlisle. The lady on the stall had much more variety than normal – she said the Sewing Bee programme has really helped trade. I use ebay loads too. Have you been to Just sew at Penrith ?

  5. Yes I do I often go through but like you I am more of an internet shopper. I go through every few months and stock up on zips and I like looking at buttons in person. The charity shops in Penrith are great. Everytime I go through there I pick fabric or buttons up . ( I think there must be lots of sewers in Penrith) There is also a lovely shop in Lancaster called Fabrix . Preston market is also good. Every once in a while I have a day where I visit all three but not often enough sadly 😉

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