pattern review · sewing

{Vintage Butterick 503}

Butterick 503-f

I made this lingerie slip some time ago – Ive just been a little behind on my new reviews.

A pattern given to me by my mother, handed down from my grandmother – this Butterick 503 Lingerie is perhaps the oldest pattern I own. The envelope was deteriorating badly when my mother owned it so she saved what she could & stuck the back & front to a regular A5 envelope. But the pattern pieces & instructions are original & better preserved in the new envelope.


I used a soft wine red crushed taffeta for the body & trimmed with black lace that I had in my stash for years. I realise a soft satin would be more in keeping with lingerie but I wanted to use the taffeta mostly because of the {VA VA VOOM} colour but also because its so different. If you wondering how I sleep in taffeta – I dont, I use this getup just to manipulate & control the hubsters…err…nevermind!! 🙂

I was not expecting to get such a great finished garment out of this so I was quite surprised at how well it really worked. Because the taffeta has no stretch, I needed to use a zip on the side, but it feels more fitted this way & support the boobies better thereby allowing me to put my best “foot” forward.

I cut mine on the straight but the instructions give a bias option as well if you feeling a little more adventurous and if using satin, probably a skimpier, clingier fit.

butterick 503-b

The pattern was easy to follow, really easy to construct & the fit is incredible.  The next one I make I think I might play around with the skirt making it a little less flared, with a side slit trimmed with lace….perhaps not as wide a lace as this one but I think it might look quite cute.

Have you sewed lingerie? Do you recommend any particular patterns, vintage or newer?

PS – Apologies for the mediocre pics of this project. Poppy {the dress form} is currently hosting the red V8550 project i blogged about before & I didnt want to disturb her. Since Ive never formally introduced Poppy, I will introduce  her real soon 😉

{UPDATE} : I meant to mention earlier on this post that there is no date on this pattern whatsoever. A date may have been printed on the envelope however its old & the edges are quite tatty and worn from use. My mother cut the envelope back & front apart to stick to a new envelope & cut through where its written something “Patented…” is all I can see. The bottom of the envelope reads “The Butterick Publishing Company Limited, London”. The instruction sheet on the inside (of which is 1 page printed both sides in square format) reveals no date either. The words “Printed in England” is printed at the bottom right corner. I might get in touch with Butterick for more info on this pattern & report back its age. Trust this helps for those that have asked.

8 thoughts on “{Vintage Butterick 503}

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