Butterick 6019 — A Polka Dot Bombshell Dress

21 Jul

Howdy, friends! I hope this missive finds you well. I have been doing some sewing and knitting lately and finally have something finished to show you!




This is Butterick 6019, a bombshell dress by Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I have been muslining a dress like this intermittently for the past 2 years — I finally bit the bullet and finished one!




I chose this pattern because it has a lot of visual interest with the fitted bodice with sash accent, sarong-style skirt, and shirring on the back bodice. I think the shirring is what attracted me the most.




Alright, now for some wordy business about the process of creating this dress!

I started with the 14 D-cup pattern and made a muslin of the bodice. I ended up taking it in at the top and letting it out a smidge in the waist. I did a swayback adjustment on the bodice (but should have done one on the skirt, too). I also added about an inch to the bodice height to make the neckline more decent.

I found the cups to be waaaay too pointy for my taste so I tamed that down quite a bit also. I ended up shortening the bodice about an inch under the bust — I am accepting the fact that I am very short-waisted or my boobs are saggy…

That was all pretty straightforward stuff. The project got complicated when I decided to fully line the dress (the pattern only calls for partially lining the bodice — and for good reason I discovered) and then underline the bodice.




The bodice underlining was simple enough. I just used corset mesh cut a little bigger than the shirred pieces to stabilize that area but still allow for some stretch. I used muslin for the rest of the underlining and added way more boning channels than the pattern’s prescribed two. I sewed a waist stay to a few points on the bodice. Next time I make a dress like this, I will extend the underlining layer down to my high hip to keep it from cutting into my waist.




I also used bra foam for the cups instead of the batting that was called for.




For the shirring, I marked lines perpendicular to the grain at 3/8″ intervals. Sewing all the shirring was one of the most tedious parts of the project but also one of the most rewarding. Look how beautiful!




My dress is made from a navy and white polka dot silk cotton blend. It has a nice crisp hand but shows lint like it’s going out of style!




To line the bodice, I used a luscious 4 ply silk satin remnant for the non-stretch sections and a scrap from the Gertie slip kit (not finished yet) for the areas under the shirring. I left small openings in the back bodice lining seams to allow the waist stay to pull through.




Now, lining the skirt was a whole different monster. Since the skirt has a wrap front, I couldn’t just duplicate it and stick it inside. I decided to have the lining attached at the front vertical edges of both wrap panels which meant that something had to be stitched by hand — yuck! But hand stitch I did and don’t judge my really sloppy work.





I did a machine hem on the lining and a hand stitched hem on the shell. For my skirt lining, I used a cute ivory polka dot silk charmeuse.




I used my Threads #171 for inserting the lapped zipper with lining by machine, but as usual, I handpicked the overlap for greater control. Just like the method I used on my Rosy Elisalex.




I guess that’s about it on this dress. It was definitely a journey as I initially planned to wear it to a wedding a few weeks ago but ran out of time to complete it so let it sit for a few weeks before getting up the gumption to finish it. But finish it I did!



These photos were taken in the front yard of our eventual new house. I love our huge oak tree!

17 Responses to “Butterick 6019 — A Polka Dot Bombshell Dress”

  1. Judi July 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Beautiful dress…so worthy of all the work you put into it!!!!!

  2. crab&bee July 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Wow!! Nicely done on the fit and construction – this dress is a classic.

  3. Linda July 23, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    I really want to add more coverage on top, too. How did you do it?

    • Susie Homemaker, MD July 23, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Hi, Linda! I will be happy to share that info with you. I will either make a post about it or email you directly. Thanks for reading!

  4. craftsanctuary July 23, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Gorgeous! The fit is amazing, and I love the fabric!

  5. LLADYBIRD July 28, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    Omg, you look AMAZING! Beautiful dress, fits you like a glove! Very va-va-voom! Think I might have to make this up myself, even if I do have absolutely nowhere to wear it 🙂

    • Susie Homemaker, MD July 28, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks, Lauren! I am a firm believer in creating an occasion to fit the outfit 😉

  6. Amy August 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    Hello, I have come across your dress in googling reviews for this pattern. I am struggling with the muslin fitting myself and have found your descriptions very helpful, thank you! Your dress is just beautiful. I also feel the cups are too pointy for my taste, and I would like to raise the neckline as well. Did you pinch the cups to alter the pointy-ness? I have been a home sewer for over ten years but muslins are still new to me. I am also wondering if you shirred the muslin? So far I have just been working on fitting the cups and front bodice pieces. Thank you for your post and again your dress is wonderful.

    • Susie Homemaker, MD August 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

      Hi, Amy! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your very kind compliments! I apologize for taking so long to respond to your questions. I did pinch out the excess cup fabric until I got a shape I was happy with. I think I remade the cups a few times, ripping out the old ones and sewing the new ones into the bodice muslin until I was satisfied. I did shirr the muslin as well so I could get an accurate idea of how the finished dress would fit. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions. Would love to see your finished dress! 🙂

  7. Angela January 4, 2021 at 4:33 am #

    Wow! The extra boning looks like a great success, I’m working on this pattern now but don’t feel comfortable about making it Strapless. It sure looks great though, the best 50s Hawaiian dresses are strapless. They sure are pointy cups! I got a bit of a shock when I first sewed up the top.

    • susiehomemakermd January 5, 2021 at 9:46 am #

      Thank you, Angela! You’re right, the cups as drafted are extra pointy. It’s been a while since I made this, but I do remember having to tone them down quite a bit, lol! If you get the bodice fit just right, you might just like it strapless, but you could always make a removeable strap for insurance. Good luck!


  1. Bodice Modifications for Butterick 6019 | Susie Homemaker, MD - July 27, 2014

    […] with a quick “tutorial” post to address a question that came up about the fitting of my Butterick 6019 bombshell dress. During the muslin-making process, I realized that the bust cups of the dress were all wrong for […]

  2. Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tank | Jungle January | Susie Homemaker, MD - January 17, 2015

    […] I would sew the perfect garment and that perfect garment just never materialized. Sure, I have sewn some things that I really love and am very proud of, but I have not made many daily basics that work well for […]

  3. A Sewing Update | Susie Homemaker, MD - February 11, 2015

    […] last really cool bit of news is that I entered my Butterick 6019 bombshell dress into Gertie’s Grand Giveaway and I was selected as a finalist! Now I have to mail my dress […]

  4. Maria Denmark Rachel Wrap Dress | Susie Homemaker, MD - September 22, 2015

    […] patterns — 6019 and 5895 — both Patterns by Gertie. You can see my rendition of 6019 here. If you would like to be considered for the patterns, just leave a comment on this post below or on […]

Leave a Reply to craftsanctuary Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: