Pattern Review: Butterick 6243 Dress and Jacket

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket has collar, side-front and side-back seams, and back button closing. Dress has fitted, lined bodice and midriff, semi-fitted skirt, and back zipper and vent.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 14.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: Italian Lightweight Lamé Brocade in Gold and Ivory from Gorgeous Fabrics, of course. Silk Habotai in Oyster. It sold out, sorry, but you can see other silk linings Here. The off-white habotai will work great with this fabric, too.

Machines and Tools Used: Juki 654DE serger, Pfaff 2130, Naomi the Naomoto

Needle/Notions Used: Microtex 70/10 needle, Pro Sheer Elegance Couture Interfacing, crystal buttons that have been in my stash forever, plain buttons, mesh tape invisible zipper from Botani, hook and eye, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Make the Lining First, pretty much Anything by The Pressinatrix, Els’ Invisible Zipper Insertion Method from The Sewing Divas, Setting a Sleeve into an Armhole.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were quite good. I went in a different order than the instructions but they were very clear.

Construction Notes: I made this straight from the envelope with no fitting changes. I used my Pfaff to sew all the seams, and because this fabric ravels easily I finished all the seams with the serger (including the seams that are covered by lining, just for good measure).

The jacket is unlined, so you can see how I finished the seams

I stitched up the lining first, then the outer garment pieces. Per the pattern, only the bodice and midriff are lined. If I were going to do this again I would make lining pieces for the skirt as well, using the skirt pattern pieces.

Bodice lining

One thing I noticed about this pattern as it comes from the envelope is that it has a pretty pronounced hip curve. I smoothed it in the pictures, but I recommend making a muslin to see if you like the way the hip curve compares to your curves. I used larger buttons than the pattern recommends. I bought these at G Street Fabrics when it was in the old shopping plaza on Rockville Pike. They’ve been in my stash since my kids were little, so it’s nice to finally use them.

I do love a statement button. Or four!

This fabric is lightweight, so even though the buttons aren’t heavy, I reinforced them with flat buttons on the back.

Each big button has a little button for support.

Likes/Dislikes: I call this dress the “Jackie Kennedy in India Dress” because it reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of her at that time. It’s got an early-60s vibe, and you can let your inner Jackie or Audrey get their bad self down with it. The pattern is really well drafted and sews together like a breeze. I don’t have any dislikes. It’s so refreshing to not have to spend a lot of time making a muslin! 🙂

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I’m not sure I would do it again for myself. It’s not my style. But I definitely recommend it. This would be a great MOB/MOG dress, and the style would also look fantastic on a young woman.

Conclusion: This is for a photo shoot, and I’m going to donate it to the thrift shop near me that benefits the local humane society once everything is done. Here are shots on the mannequin:

Front of just the dress

Dress back

Back with jacket

And front with jacket

All in all, a great pattern.

Happy sewing!

20 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Butterick 6243 Dress and Jacket”

  1. Kristen says:

    What a lovely dress! This is the second item you made for a photo shoot….Are you going to share details or is it top secret at this point?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Still secret, but soon! 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    That is a gorgeous dress. Whoever wears it should be very pleased.

  3. Liz says:

    Gorgeous dress. The jacket brings it into Jackie Kennedy territory, but the dress would be a great MOB/G choice.

  4. Faye Lewis says:

    Gorgeous Gorgeous!

  5. Carol S. says:

    My mother made my barbie the strapless version of that dress, but it was the Jackie O time.

  6. Chris Taylor says:

    A really lovely outfit – I might need something like that later in the year and am thinking of buying the fabric now just in case, thank you.

  7. Laura Hood says:

    Amazing dress, thanks for taking us through the process of construction. You may have already known this, but I only recently discovered that dear old G-Street is no longer :<.
    All the retail stores have closed, and there's only a tiny, not open to the public home decor/decorating fabric outlet left. I truly mourn the loss of their button room! Laura

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Laura, I think that might be just the store in NoVA? Please tell me the Rockville store is still there!

      1. Suzanne says:

        They have consolidated to one Rockville store, though it has moved about a block away.

      2. Laura Hood says:

        The big “Mamma “store on Rockville Pike is no longer, either… I have now heard that there is a small shop, open to public, at 12220 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, Md. I was over in NoVa about a month ago, and was heading toward their Centerville store when someone overheard my destination. She told me that _all_ their outlets had closed, and I was in shock for a few days! Have now done a Facebook search, and it does appear that they have the small place mentioned above. I know, I know, hits one right in the solar plexus!

  8. Nakisha says:

    WOWZA! I love the silhouette of that dress!

    Beautiful sewing as usual!

  9. Tany says:

    This is a fantastic dress, Ann; the fabric is exquisite. Thanks for reviewing it.

  10. Suzanne says:

    Lovely dress and fabric (fabric now on my wish list). When I lived in NoVA, the G Street in Centreville/Chantilly and the one in 7 corners were still there. I had become increasingly disenchanted with the one in Centreville – no turnover in the fabrics, or too expensive, or mostly quilting. Always busy tho. Same with the one in 7 corners (which was closer to me). I liked going there, especially for notions. Just hated the traffic in 7 corners.

    But then I discovered the joy and variety of online shopping and just stopped going. And, it was difficult bring a toddler fabric shopping (he liked to play with thread). This would have been around 2014, not long before I moved to Florida. That little boy is turning 5 and taking sewing classes at school now!

  11. ritas says:

    Hi Ann –
    I have a question for you on something I just can’t decide for myself. For clothing with curved and exposed seams (that require quite a bit of clipping) such as the jacket above – are you serging first before construction, clipping the surge and then using fray check, or are you creating the seam, clipping, and then surging afterwards?

    I’ve done both but don’t really like the end result for either. Is there another option?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Hi Rita,
      In this case I sewed, serged, then clipped. That’s the one downside of princess seams. One way to minimize the problem is to sew, serge both SAs together close to the seam, thus trimming the excess fabric, and press to one side (toward the side seams). Of course, that means that you can’t go back and alter the garment later. Another option is to use a catch stitch by hand of the seam allowances, a-la couture garments. And finally, you can sew the seam, clip, press open and then apply a continuous hong-kong finish. Does that make sense?

      1. ritas says:

        yup. As always, a font of knowledge. I think I will probably try the catch stitch option in the future. I’ve used some very light silk bias tape from Britex to finish seams as a binding, and think I could cover the catch stitching that way with minimal effort. (my hand is not that perfect yet)

        : )

  12. Angela S says:

    Lovely, lovely dress. If I lived by you, I’d be waiting at the thrift store! Lucky the one who gets this dress. I love the feminine retro styling, and your choice of fabric is simply stunning.

  13. Kelly says:

    I’m just making this dress with a suiting fabric. I’m afraid the jacket, especially the collar won’t have the necessary structure to fit as beautifully as yours must. This is literally my first attempt at clothes, so any and all help would be appreciated.
    I have quilted and sewn dog jackets, but my pup isn’t as picky and I didn’t use a pattern. 🙂

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Kelly, I would recommend getting a good sewing book – you can borrow one from the Library. Good basic books are the Vogue Patterns Sewing Book and Threads Magazine’s Sewing Guide.

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