introducing lisette for butterick B6661

Wow, I’m so pleased to finally introduce you to my newest Lisette pattern, Lisette B6661 for Butterick! It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time now, mostly because I’ve been trying to decide the best way to develop it. I’ll tell you a little bit about it and why it took so long to work out the details.

I’ve been thinking about sundresses for a few years, loving the idea of criss-crossed straps and playing with stripes in the princess seams. Princess seams are so helpful for letting you get a good fit, but they can also be used to get a chevron effect when you’re working with stripes, so that’s an added benefit of this style. But the style details of a sundress like this can be tricky for anyone who needs to wear a bra. Which is probably most of us, right?

I had a sundress sort of like this when I was in high school, and my mom made me wear a shirt under it because the sides were too open. (So funny, now S would be the one to make me wear something under it!) This design, however, actually shows only a little skin even though it gives the effect of being breezy and open and carefree. So, in effect, it actually is carefree because you don’t need to worry about showing too much–or more than you intended to show. The open back is quite deceptive, actually.

A couple of summers ago we were visiting friends in Barcelona, and we were talking about sundresses while walking around, people watching. I mentioned that I was thinking about this style and my concerns about not being able to wear a bra with it. I told them I was thinking about adding a shelf bra to the construction, and after a little discussion about how it would work we agreed that it would be helpful.

A shelf bra might not sound like enough support, especially if you’re full busted. But hear me out: First of all, you might be surprised about the amount of coverage in this style because of the way the straps get wider as they reach the sides of the dress.

Plus, remember that you can always add cup liners to a shelf bra, much like with swimwear. In fact, we had a long discussion about this when I stopped in at the Butterick offices for a development meeting this past summer. (That’s when we review the details, discuss which fabrics to use for the photos, etc. ) Between the wide straps and the shelf bra with cups, I think you’ll feel surprisingly secure and legitimately carefree in this style.

The skirt comes in two lengths (of course you can sew it any length you want, but it’s all ready for you in two different lengths when you open the pattern), and I think this sundress will look great in solid-colored fabrics as well. In fact, I’ve got some salmon-colored linen waiting for my copy of the pattern to arrive one of these days. But first I have to finish some of the other things that have been waiting for me to sew them. And it will take a while to get through customs anyway.

Need some inspiration for this one? Here we go. I think it would be fun to sew in an oversized gingham or a pretty floral, but a solid would be fantastic as well! And what about an eyelet (broderie anglaise)? And of course stripes would be wonderful.

And here are some of the images I started collecting when we were working on this pattern.

You can see more photos and ideas in my B6661 Lisette for Butterick Pinterest folder.

I hope you’ll have loads of fun sewing and wearing this dress! You can purchase the pattern right here. And please share your photos on Instagram with the hashtags #sewlisette and #B6661 so we can see how it turns out!




  1. Oh I love it! If only it wasn’t getting colder down here. 🙁

    1. Jennifer

      Just think of it as more time to finish before summer?! Maybe even two! Summer is essentially here in California, so given my pile of sewing, it would be ready for next summer. 😉

      Beautiful pattern Liesl!

  2. Sheila

    I love the back detail and the wide shoulder straps.

  3. I was so excited when I saw this release and even more pleased when I realized it was your pattern. I love the back details and its on my list to buy. If I can get myself together in the next couple months, this would be a perfect dress to wear for my daughters 8th grade graduation.

  4. Amanda C.

    What a pretty dress! As soon as I saw the back I thought about how to wear a bra with it, lol! I’m not only in the camp of needing to wear one (not full busted, btw), but needing an underwire to hold things where they belong! I think this one needs to come home with me!

  5. Amanda C.

    I forgot to add…..fantastic stripe matching on the back straps!

  6. This is one of those patterns where the envelope sample isn’t really ‘me’ but I can see loads of potential for making it more my style. The back is beautiful! And having the shelf bra included in the pattern is such a great help – otherwise I’d have tried to figure it out myself and probably given up. Will the fit be affected if the front panels are cut on the straight of grain?

  7. Kelley

    Will there be a sew along for this pattern?

  8. Gilly

    This doesn’t seem to be available in the UK? Is that correct? If so I am gutted as this is the perfect sundress.

    1. It should be available. If not right now, it could be because the UK release cycle is different. But it should be eventually. If not, or if you can’t wait to find a copy there, you can always order from our website and have it shipped to you.

  9. Bridie

    Would love it with a straight neckline like the Navy gingham inspiration photo. I wonder if that would be a simple hack?

    1. Nina

      That’s what I want to do as well! I’ve asked whether we can easily cut the front panels on the straight of grain, because that would make it a very easy hack. No reply yet…

      1. I apologize for the silence. I was waiting for my copy of the pattern to arrive to I could give you an intelligent answer. The pattern arrived today.

        Sure, you can cut the pieces on the straight grain. Obviously you’ll lose some of the drape of the pattern and you may need to adjust some for fit as well. And you could certainly cut the neckline straight as well. Keep in mind that the fitting is in the princess seams, so you’ll need to need to make a muslin to determine what shape to give the pieces with the new neckline. I’d be curious to see how it works out!

  10. Wanda Martinez

    Would love to by the pattern, but after my latested experience with a butterick pattern I’m kind of hesitant. But love your design, just dont know if it would work for me

  11. Sarah

    I normally wouldn’t buy a pattern with an open back but I always love your designs and was inspired by this blog post 🙂

    I just cut out a chambray version. What fabric do you recommend for the shelf bra? Some kind of knit? Would a power mesh be too much?

    1. The pattern recommends using your lining fabric. You could always try a knit if you wanted to.

  12. Lissa

    I am thinking of thinning the straps a bit and making it into a prom dress for a full busted teen in a crepe de chine. Is there any reason why it wouldnt work in a drapier fabric?

    1. If you try it let us know how it works out!

Post a comment