Butterick 5868: DIY Liberty Cotton Lawn Summer Dress

Butterick 5868
Butterick 5868

Are you still with me Readers?

In the intervening time since I posted my last review this morning I have washed clothes (including two new pieces of jersey!), sorted dried laundry, cooked a prawn/ shrimp biryani, been for a walk, collected my daughter and eaten dinner and washed up. All in a (half) days work. Haha.

Here’s are the details and review of Butterick 5868 that I made for my daughter. This is one of those See & Sew patterns, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a classic child’s dress that could be made in a variety of fabrics with some lovely little RTW details.

Butterick 5868 line drawings - I made a sleeveless version of View B
Butterick 5868 line drawings – I made a sleeveless version of View B

First thing I love about this pattern: the full skirt.

Butterick 5868
Butterick 5868

Second thing: the button up back. I normally curse these buttons everytime I have to fasten them on my daughter, but virtually all her RTW dresses have this feature and I am quite proud of how this turned out, even though, IMHO, there is a major error with the pattern and I had to figure this part of the dress out on my own (see review below).

Butterick 5868
Butterick 5868

Third thing I love: the tulle gather at the bottom of the dress. This is a (very long!) piece of tulle which is doubled lengthways, gathered and sewn (in my case serged) on to the base of the skirt lining so the edges peep out. This is possibly my most favourite part of the dress, BUT!!! my daughter is complaining that the tulle is too rough and scratchy next to her delicate (!) skin. She’s right. Blegh. I have checked her RTW dresses and the tulle used in those dresses are much, much softer. Who knew there were different grades of tulle, right? So now I am faced with either cutting the tulle off or searching for softer tulle or…..??? One of you resourceful readers may come  up with something. The gathering of the tulle was actually quite a procedure. Yuk.

Butterick 5868
Butterick 5868

The dress is fully lined with cotton:

Butterick 5868 lining
Butterick 5868 lining
Butterick 5868 lining
Butterick 5868 lining
Butterick 5868
Butterick 5868

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:

Lined dress, below mid-knee, has back button closure, tie ends, narrow hem and tulle ruffle attached to lining. A: overskirt, front ribbon trim, bow and purchased flower appliques. B: short gathered sleeves, front ribbon trim, bow and tulle ruffle extending below lower edge.

I made a sleeveless version of View B.

Pattern Sizing:

3 – 6. I cut a size 4 bodice and graded out to a size 5 for the waist/ skirt.

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


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes…except for the instructions to complete the button placket. They just didn’t make any sense to me! Unless it was just me. I ended up looking at one of my daughter’s RTW dresses and guessing the rest. It worked out in the end. The placket matches the placket on the skirt, but it is a little off centre.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the fullness of the skirt, the button back (despite the problems with the instructions) and the tulle gather. But I didn’t realise that there are different “grades” of tulle, and my daughter is complaining that this tulle is too rough and scratchy on her skin. I have checked and the tulle used on her RTW dresses are much much softer. So I might have to cut this tulle off or replace it. Undecided yet. Nothing to dislike as such. Just watch out for the button placket and be prepared to contend with a lot of gathered tulle….

Fabric Used:

A delicious Liberty cotton lawn with full cotton lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:


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

I might sew it. I think that it would make a cute peplum top. Yes, inspite of the button business I would recommend.


A beautiful dress for a little lady with lots of nice touches.

Butterick 5868
Butterick 5868

Until soon and have a great week.






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

10 thoughts on “Butterick 5868: DIY Liberty Cotton Lawn Summer Dress

  1. Your daughter is so pretty, she is so lucky to have her mom sew for her. I hope you are teaching her too. That dress is really sweet, what a lucky girl.

    1. Thanks kat. She has tried sewing and knitting…I think she is still a little young! But I would be happy to teach her whenever she’s ready.

  2. Gorgeous! You could try chiffon or georgette for the hem ruffle, although you’d have to finish the edges unlike the tulle.

  3. What about sewing a strip of a similar colour of satin to the inside of the lining just above the tulle. It would basically be a soft lining for the tulle eliminating the itch but keeping the basic appearance. You could even do the strip in a skin tone to make it less visible I did this once for a skirt with a pretty but itchy tulle bottom.

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