Red silk dress made to be worn to the PEERS Secret Agent Ball using a retro 1952 pattern.

Pattern: Butterick Retro 1952 Dress B4919 View B. Added hidden side pockets, shortened bodice 6/8", shortened hem by 5".

DSCN1280 front back side

B4919 Review

Butterick B4919 View B Size 12. Turned out nicely. Unlike shorter circle skirts, the skirt didn't rise up to crotch level when spinning.
PEERS Secret Agent Ball
 Pattern Size on EnvelopeFinished Size Printed on Pattern ItselfMy Actual Measurements

Modifications: I shortened 6/8" top of the bodice and 5" hem and added hidden side pockets. Because I didn't have quite the right amount of fabric I flipped the skirt pattern piece which means the seams sew a vertical selvage edge to a horizontal/crossgrain edge. If I had made a striped skirt this would have been very noticable. As it was, I could tell the shine was off a bit.

The bust would probably look better if not as tight, but that's my fault for making a smaller size. Oddly the fashion and facing both had gathers and fullness on the front bodice. Might have been better with the facing being plain and form fitting with the fashion floating/gathered on top. One of the nice features is that the front piece hooks together in the back underneath the back bodice/zipper which gave it more support and stops the dress from shifting around. The back bodice piece has ties that wrap around the front and tie in back.

PEERS Secret Agent Ball

A small hook and eye above the zipper might be good. I kind of did a crap job on the zipper. I like the look of invisible ones better. Although invisible zippers might be wrong for 1950s, so would polyester teeth (instead of metal). I didn't drop the armholes when I shortened the bodice, so armholes might be slightly higher than they should be.

PEERS Secret Agent Ball


I tried buying this bra to get more of the pointy 1950s look, but unfortunately the straps sit too wide for the dress. I safety pinned them in, but they still showed a little. I also bought one of those modern waist cinchers that are elasticized with some boning. Unfortunately, my bigger gut/hips helped push it upwards over the evening until the bones started poking the bottom of my boobs. Will have to wear different undergarments next time.

Completed: June 2009