Butterick 5546, Palm Fronds Wrap Dress

photo 2

So, as I’m a little behind schedule with posting my finished projects, here is another one that I completed in late May. This is a pattern I’ve used before, but this time I went with the short flutter sleeves option. I really love the look of those wee sleeves! Although as you’ll notice in these photos, the right sleeve flipped up from when I had my bag straps on my shoulder. I was in a bit of a rush to take these photos so I didn’t take the time to notice. Oops. Also, my name tag flew over my shoulder. That white string isn’t a necklace. 😉 Why was I wearing a name tag, you may ask? Well, read on…!

The fabric is a cotton jersey that I bought for super cheap several years ago. I remember loving the softness of the fabric at the time, and the print just seemed happy for whatever reason. Probably because it reminded me of, well, palm fronds and warm weather. 🙂

photo 1

I had my phone on the HDR setting and it did this weird effect! I guess we become what we sew?

Too bad the above photo shows the side of the up-turned sleeve, though I’m just glad I have a side shot. Wasn’t planned, my friend just took it as I was walking to another spot!

Instead of turning in the sleeves 5/8″ as the pattern instructed, I used my serger to create a narrow hem finish. Annoyingly, the thread kept snapping, so there are a few parts were I had to go over the thread again. This makes it look clumpy in some parts. Thumbs down.


I made this dress specifically for an amazing study program I attended for ten days in Newport, Rhode Island earlier this month. The course, run by the Victorian Society in America, focused on 19th and early 20th century architecture and decorative arts, and we saw almost every single summer “cottage” of the Gilded Age while we were there (if you’re unfamiliar, many of New York City’s wealthiest families spent their summers here). For whatever reason, something about the Gilded Age and palm fronds came together for me when I thought of this dress. Just consider me part of the landscaping.

In any case, these photos were taken during our study program – our last day. The photo above is of me in front of the Elms, built in 1901. This was my favorite mansion that we visited, perhaps because we also were given a tour of the servants’ wing and the cellar (not sure if these are reserved for special tours only?). The rest of the photos were taken on a rock cliff near the former home of Edith Wharton. It’s a private home now so we were trying to eye it from the rock – architectural history espionage!


My bag worked so nicely with my dress. Hey, gotta look all grand and glamorous for a day visiting the grandiose homes of the former Newport elite!


8 thoughts on “Butterick 5546, Palm Fronds Wrap Dress

  1. Wow, your dress looks great! I think it aligns with the Newport aesthetic quite nicely. Very jealous of your trip. I love Newport and am such a history nerd that I have toured the homes two summers in a row. Love Marble house and Issac bell house. I did the servants tour at the Elms also- very interesting!

    • Yay, fellow history nerd! Love those two houses too. They said the Issac Bell House doesn’t get as much traffic as the others, but I loved it. I’m also glad to know the servants tour is available at the Elms for regular tours – it’s such a cool bit of history and now I can tell friends and family to be sure and go!

  2. What a great dress! It’s so pretty! Add me to the list of people obsessed with Newport! It’s just so interesting! If you ever have time you should hop up to New Bedford- it’s super strange and would probably interest you, too!

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