Ireland Holiday Dress: Butterick 6168


Back in 2015, I travelled to Ireland to present at the Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies conference in Dublin Castle. While I was in Dublin, I wandered into a fabric shop and bought this luxurious black and white printed fabric (content now unknown). I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it, so I bought 3 yards, but it took me 2 years to build up the courage to cut into it. 


I have made up this pattern once before, out of a red quilting cotton back in September 2015. That fabric was quite stiff and held its form, unlike this drapey material, which leads to a pretty different feel for this dress.


I didn’t make any fit adjustments to this dress. It is a straight size 6 out of the package, just like the last version. The only change I made was to do a deep 4″ hem, rather than the suggested 1.25″. In retrospect, I should have cut off about 2″ rather than forcing the extra material into the hem. It’s quite difficult to do a deep hem on a curved edge, even when hemming by hand.


Because this fabric is so much drapier than the quilting cotton I used on the first version, I avoided the tightness in the shoulders that plagued the first version without tweaking the pattern at all. The gathers are also less pronounced, so the unflattering side view is not nearly as dramatic.


I’m declaring this dress a resounding success. It is classic, comfortable, and flattering. I wore it to the Nutcracker and Christmas dinner this year, so it has become a special holiday dress. I should also be able to wear it out to dinner or parties, too!

Pattern: Butterick 6168 in size 6
Fabric: 2.625 yards mystery fabric from Ireland
Notions: Invisible zipper, interfacing
Cost: Unknown
Time: 5 hours


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