Pattern Review: Butterick 5466 Skirt

Imagine, if you will, this scenario: You own an online fabric store. You get some beautiful cotton rough-weave panels in. The panels have fringe at one end. You must cut swatches in case customers wish to see/feel the fabric before they buy (been known to happen). So, you dutifully make a batch of swatches, leaving a piece of fabric that is the length of the panel, and 42 inches wide. It’s a shame to send this beautiful fabric – no, make that Gorgeous Fabric – to the recycler. What to do? Here’s your answer…
A simple skirt will do nicely, thank you! I made this skirt once before, but it used entirely different pattern pieces. So here’s a review of this version.

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, straight skirts A, B, C, D, E, above mid-knee, have back zipper closure. A, B, C, E: Darts. B, C: Waistband. C: Self-belt. D: Front and back princess seams. D, E: Raised waist. E: Back princess seams.

This time I made View A, the darted version with a faced waist.

Sizing: 8-24. I made a 14, but I should have made a 12 this time. Oh well, no big.

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: Fringe Benefits Italian Cotton Blend Panel – White/Blue/Black/Gray – miracle of miracles, it’s available on the site still! What a treat- usually I don’t get to sew with one of my fabrics until it’s long since sold out.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff sewing machine, Juki serger, Reliable iron/board, Ham.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 70/10 needles, Pro-Weft Supreme Light Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, lightweight invisible zipper from Zipper Shipper, hook/eye closure, Clover Fork Pins, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Sew from Wide to Narrow, Anything by The Pressinatrix

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes, with some slight exceptions.

Fitting Adjustments that I made None, I made a straight 14. As I say, at this point I can go down to a 12, but habits die hard.

How were the instructions? They were good. This is a very straightforward, easy skirt. You just have to sew the seams, apply the zipper and facings and finish the hemline.

Construction Notes: I didn’t make any big changes, other than the hem. I finished all the seams and the waistline facings using the serger

I marked the hemline (2 inches) on the pattern pieces and aligned the bottom of the fringe with that before cutting out the pattern pieces.

I used the Clover Fork Pins to ensure that I got a good continuous line at the borders:

Side seam view

I didn’t have enough fabric to try to match the patterns across the seams. If I had had a full width, I probably could have matched all the elements for a continuous line, but I was happy with the result anyway.

Likes/Dislikes: This is a great, easy pattern that goes together quickly. From start to finish, it took less than 2 hours to make. It’s a classic design that works with all sorts of fabrics.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Absolutely, to both questions.

Conclusion: Classic pattern, great lines, versatile – what’s not to love?

Finished Front

Finished Back

Oh, and here’s what I had left of the fabric when I finished:

Happy sewing!

Butterick 5678 Shirt Version 3 – Stripes!

ETA at 9:43 PM. I took a couple more pictures of the shirt, and the pockets just looked off no matter how I tweaked things (technically the pockets were level). That would have driven me crazy, so I removed the right breast pocket. It’s purely decorative anyway, and I took it off before the stitches had a chance to leave permanent marks. So now I only have one pocket, and no weirdness do deal with. Yay!

 

I’ve already reviewed this pattern , and I made a second version in a lacy eyelet fabric, so I’ll only tell you the differences this time. Alas, this pattern is now out of print, but Vogue has a pretty close approximation in V9029. The big difference between the two is that this pattern (meaning the Butterick) has B/C/D cup sizes, so most of the work is done for you.

The last time I made this pattern was 4 years ago. It’s a classic; it still looks fresh. To remind you, this pattern is a shoulder-princess-line blouse with sleeve, collar, (Oxford comma!) and length variations. I made a hybrid of all the different versions this time. Once again I made a size 12/D-cup at the shoulder, giving myself a little more room at the waist (sigh…)

The fabric I used this time is a stretch cotton striped shirting that was a gift from a very dear friend/fabric vendor. I can’t get any more of it, and I loved it so much I hoarded it for myself, sorry. Sort of. (Bad Ann! No biscuit for you or Gorgeous Fabrics!)

I ran this up on my Pfaff for the most part, and finished the seams on my Juki serger. Alas, my trusty Pfaff is having major trouble with the automatic buttonholer, so I wasn’t able to finish it until I brought Skippy the Emergency Backup Sewing Machine (an old Bernina) home from the office today. I adore my Pfaff’s automatic buttonholer, because you can pretty much set it and forget it, but I’ll give Skippy credit, the Bernina makes a beautiful buttonhole.

I used Pro-Woven Shirt Crisp interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply for the collar and cuffs. The buttons are Pearl Shell Shirt Buttons, also from Fashion Sewing Supply.

Construction Notes: I love working with stripes and playing with grain, as you know if you have seen the Article I Wrote for Threads Magazine. For this version, I decided to have a little fun. I made a half-pattern of the collar and cut it on the bias. As a side note, I probably should have made an under-collar pattern as well, to force turn of the cloth. Oh well. Next time. Back to the bias. This produces some fun results. First, you get the chevron at the Center Back:

Playing with stripes really makes me happy!

Second, when the collar is closed (which in reality it never will be on me, but that’s a neither here nor there) the stripes match across the center front:

Have I told you I love working with stripes?

I also cut the sleeve band on the bias.

Just for the fun of it

Finally, I took a hint from the Paco Peralta for Vogue Patterns 1527 Blouse and made the last buttonhole horizontal (the rest run vertically).

A cool designer touch
BTW, the pockets are level. I don’t know if it’s lighting or the angle that I took the picture from (slightly below) that makes them look off.

Once again, this pattern produced a winner of a shirt! I love the lines, I love the cup sizes, and I love this pattern! Here are shots on Shelley. I’ll get some on me later.

Not sure what’s next on my sewing docket. It’s FINALLY starting to feel like March around here. Oh wait, it’s April. Anyway, I’m thinking something spring like. I’ll let you know once I know.

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Butterick 6446 Dress

Wow, it’s been over a month since I posted something about actually sewing. I’ve been busy, just not with making too much. But I have been slowly working on this dress, from muslin to finished project. This will probably be long, so settle in…

Pattern Description: Fitted-through-the-bodice dresses have lined bodice and sleeve/skirt/length variations. B, C: Sash

I made View B, the sleeveless tea-length version with a sash.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 12, tapering to a 14.

Available as a PDF? Not from what I can tell.

Fabric Used: Milly silk twill from Gorgeous Fabrics. That fabric is sold out but You Can See Similar Here. For the lining, I used White Silk Habotai.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2030 sewing machine, Reliable Iron and board, ham and holder.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 75/11 needle, hand sewing needle, cotton basting thread, beeswax (for hand sewing thread), thread, zipper from stash, hook/eye

Tips Used during Construction: Make the Lining First, Sew from Wide to Narrow, Construct from the Inside Out, and of course, Anything by the Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were good.

Construction Notes: First I made a straight muslin, then I lowered the bust dart and did an FBA (kind of a cheat, in that I added an inch to the bodice CF length and started at 12 at the shoulder and armhole, but cut to the 14 at the side seam.

Front with FBA adjustments
Under Front/lining with adjustments.

 

I incorporated a back dart by angling the CB at from the shoulder blade level to the neckline.

One of the standards from RTW that I incorporated was trimming the neckline/lining seam allowance to to ¼ inch.

After under stitching and turning/pressing the neckline.

I decided to line the entire dress (the pattern only called for lining the bodice). I used the view A skirt for the lining (it’s not pleated) and I lengthened it to 2 inches shorter than the outer skirt.

I basted the lining to the outer skirt at the waistline, and attached both to the bodice, finishing the waistline seam with a bias cut binding of soft organza (also sold out, sorry, but oh man it feels nice).

Now, adding a lining presented some construction quandaries, so I decided to use a hand inserted zipper, a la Susan Khalje’s excellent method from Threads Magazine. Alas, my hand sewing skills are rusty, so the tension was all sorts of bad.

So this morning I woke up, undid the hand stitching (which was a major pain in the butt, but worth it), and redid it on the sewing machine.

So much better!

Lastly, I added some thread chains (made on my serger) to hold the sash at the sides.

 

Likes/Dislikes: This is a pretty pattern that appeals to the girly girl in me. No real dislikes – it goes together quite easily.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes to both.

Conclusion: Lovely pattern, goes together easily. IF it ever warms up here in Boston I’ll get a picture of me in it. In the meantime, here are shots on Shelley:

Front

Back

Here’s hoping we eventually get warm enough weather that I can wear this.

Happy sewing!

 

Sucky Selfies

Thanks, all, for your thoughts and comments on Preferences. Special shout out to Sewing Faille, whose description of the time, treasure and talent involved in getting a good set of pictures was so painfully funny, it practically made me spew coffee on my screen. I will continue to post construction pictures, and I’ll try to get shots of me in the clothes, but no promises that it will happen every time. In fact, I can reasonably assure you that it will continue to be a minority unless I can get my stupid Amazon remote photo clicker thing to work. It supposedly does with my camera, but it never has, and I’m not even sure where it is right now… Oh well.

Continue reading Sucky Selfies

Pattern Review: Butterick 5250 (OOP) High Waisted Trousers


Pattern Description: From the pattern envelope: “Misses/Misses’ Petite Pamts and Belt: Above-waist, creased pants ABC have fly front zipper and back darts. A, B front darts. C, D: front tucks. A: button trim and cuffs. B: carriers and belt.”

I made view B, but I skipped the belt and I’ll used a purchased belt instead.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 14.
Continue reading Pattern Review: Butterick 5250 (OOP) High Waisted Trousers

Pattern Review: Retro Butterick B6734 Dress

Man, it has been a week. My mother passed away peacefully last Friday after a very long battle with Alzheimer’s. That was a blessing. She’s with Dad now, which is good. The family drama that accompanied her death? Not so much. I’m not going to bore you with the details; every family has its own version, I’m sure. It’ll pass, like a kidney stone maybe, but it will pass. Her funeral was today, and it was lovely. I was able to hold it together until the incensing of the casket. That killed me.

Sigh…

But, as they say, life goes on. Last week I bought Butterick 6734, a retro dress with some style variations. I’m not usually much of a retro girl, but I do like some of the styles from the 1940s and this one really appealed to me.
Continue reading Pattern Review: Retro Butterick B6734 Dress

Pattern Review: Butterick 5466 Skirt

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, straight skirts A, B, C, D, E, above mid-knee, have back zipper closure. A, B, C, E: Darts. B, C: Waistband. C: Self-belt. D: Front and back princess seams. D, E: Raised waist.
I made View D.

Sizing: 8-24. I made a 14

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: Swiss cotton from my friend Alice at Mendel Goldberg. Yeah, I know, but even I like to shop at places where I can’t get the same things :). White silk habotai lining from Gorgeous Fabrics (natch).

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Naomi the Naomoto, Ironing board, ham.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 70/10 needle, Pro Sheer Elegance interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, invisible zipper from stash, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Sew from Wide to Narrow, Make the Lining First, Anything by The Pressinatrix, Sewing Invisible Zipper by Els from The Sewing Divas.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Didn’t use them. This pattern is well drafted and super easy, and I made some changes (see below)

Construction Notes: I added a silk habotai lining to the pattern. To make the lining, I used the skirt pieces and took off one inch at the hem and 1 3/4 inches at the top. I attached the lining to the facings, and I made a machine hem at the bottom of the lining. I used an invisible zipper and I hand-hemmed the outer shell.

Lining inserted in the skirt
Machine sewn hem on the lining and hand sewn hem on the skirt

Likes/Dislikes: This is a super easy pattern that goes together quickly. I started cutting out the lining at 1 this afternoon, and I finished hemming it at 5, in time to wear it to DS the Elder’s 21st birthday dinner. I love this skirt!

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Gosh yes. If you want a skirt that is easy to make and is well drafted, this is one.

Conclusion: Love love love! I will apologize in advance because I didn’t take many pictures until after we had gone to dinner, so it’s kind of wrinkled. But you can get an idea.

Front
Back (after dinner/wearing)

As I said, I wore it to dinner tonight (with a purchased tank top in a complementary orange) to celebrate DS the Elder’s 21st. Wow, where has the time gone?

Eddie Day 2
The day we came home from the hospital, it was hot!

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Butterick 6061 Shorts


Pattern Description: From Butterick’s website, “Semi-fitted shorts and tapered pants (below waist) have bias, front button, contour waistband, carriers, side-front pockets, mock-fly zipper and stitched hems.”

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 14

Available as a PDF? Yes

Fabric Used: A Ralph Lauren pinstriped denim from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course). That’s been sold out for a couple of years, but we have other suitable denims Here.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Juki MD654DE serger, Naomi the Naomoto, ironing board, sleeve board, Clover Hold It Stiletto, silk organza press cloth.

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 70/10 needle, Japanese hand-sewing needle, Pro Weft Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, zipper from stash, “couture” waistband closures, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: “J” or “L”?, Anything by The Pressinatrix

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were fine. This is a very (very) easy pattern to sew.

Construction Notes: I made a 14, and it runs big. I could definitely go to a 12 with no ill effects. I made the shortest view (A), which comes to about mid-thigh. The fabric I’m using is a regular stripe, to to get things to match up I cut one front and back, then used that piece as the template for the other side.

Likewise for the pockets, I laid the fronts on the fabric, lining up the stripes, placed the pocket pattern piece over the front piece, lining up the markings. Then I pulled the front piece from under the pocket pattern piece and cut it out.

Anchor the pattern piece once you’ve got the layout you want, then pull the front out from under it.

I also made an effort to line up the stripes at the center front. Here, though, I made a minor boo boo. I ended up reversing the left and right waistbands, and I didn’t realize it until after I had installed the waistband closures. Doh! Oh well. It’s not that noticeable, and since I usually wear my shirts untucked unless I’ve belted the shorts, no one will see it.
Here you can see the waistband “oops”

Speaking of the waistband closure, I bought waistband hooks and eyes that you install with pliers, rather than by sewing them in. I’ve heard them called “couture closures” though I prefer the term “industrial strength.” I did a practice run with one to make sure I installed it correctly. I didn’t worry too much in the test run about placement on the stripe, obviously.

L: the components. R: installed test run

After the test I decided to add a bit of interfacing to the CF waistband on the otherwise-uninterfaced side.
Just a small square, to lend more support.

That gives the fabric a bit more support. You need to be attuned to the order of construction with these. You don’t install them at the very end like you would a regular hook/eye or a button. You have to install them before you finish sewing the waistband facing. I like them a lot. They are quite sturdy, and since one of my least favorite sewing activities is attaching hooks and eyes, the fact that these go in with just a needle nosed pliers is a big plus.

Likes/Dislikes: This is a very easy, well drafted shorts pattern. It runs big, so do be sure to check the fit. I’ll go down a size next time. The one negative thing is this pattern doesn’t include a back pocket piece. It’s a minor nit, but I like to keep my phone in my back pocket, so I’ll probably add pockets to these.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes, with that one caveat about the sizing. My husband commented yesterday when I finished, “Boy, you’ve been on a shorts jag this year.” I guess it’s true. I am contemplating another pair, maybe capri-length.

Conclusion: An easy pattern that gives good results! Here they are on Shelley:

Front

Back

I finished these in time for July 4th dinner with friends and family. I’ll leave you with a parting shot of the cocktail we had before dinner, The Cherry Bomb (thanks to Epicurious).

Love the color!

Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Butterick 6330 Jumpsuit, and Sundry Other “Stuff”

Happy Sunday!!! It’s been a while since I last posted. So much has been going on, most of it not involving sewing. But I did manage to make a jumpsuit for myself. I picked up Butterick 6330 at a pattern sale recently. I wanted an easy jumpsuit. Why, I’m sure many of you are asking? After all, I lived through the first go-round with them in the 80s – big shoulder pads and all. But it seems like a nice spring thing. If spring ever gets here, that is. But this is a nice layering piece as well, so that’s how I’m wearing it today.

Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket has self-lined front, side-front seams, long sleeves, and optional topstitching. Sleeveless, pullover dress and pull-on jumpsuit/romper (fitted through bust) have blouson bodice, elastic waist, and back neck slit with button/thread loop. All have stitched hems. I made View E, the jumpsuit.

Sizing: 4-26. I started with a 12 at the shoulder, tapering to a 14 at the bust.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: Beefy Rayon Jersey in Blueberry from Gorgeous Fabrics. That fabric is sold out, but you can see Similar Fabrics Here. Because you step into this jumpsuit through the neckline, I recommend a fabric with a lot of stretch to it – at least 40% crosswise.

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130 home sewing machine, Juki MD654DE home serger, Naomi the Naomoto, sleeve board, ham, shoulder stand.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needle, thread, 5/8″ wide elastic.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Tips and Tricks for Sewing with Knits, Tip – Check the Grain on Knits.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were fine. I didn’t need them, really. This goes together quite readily.

Construction Notes: I took flat pattern measurements before starting, and this baby has a LOT of ease in the bust, so I didn’t bother with a FBA. Also, the pants part of the jumpsuit are REALLY long in the rise. I noticed it immediately when I made them, so I tried them on before attaching them to the top. I ended up cutting 3/4″ off at the waistline of the pants. It doesn’t affect the look too much, but in the future I will fold it out on the pattern. I recommend checking the rise against your own measurements. Unless you have a really long torso you may want to shorten the pants rise to avoid looking like Pappy O’Daniel.

I serged all the major seams. For the elastic casing I used a 1.5mm wide by 2.5mm long stitch. I added belt loops at the sides and center back.

I used a hook and thread-loop closure at the neck instead of a button/loop.

I hemmed the legs with a .5mm wide by 3.mm long stitch.

Likes/Dislikes: This is a very easy pattern. It goes together quickly and it’s really comfortable. The one dislike is the length of the pants rise, but that was an easy fix.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Not sure if I’ll do this again. Maybe I’ll make the shorts version for summer. That would make a nice beach coverup. Here’s a shot on Shelley and (gasp!) a really bad one on me.

The dress form with legs is at the office, so I pinned it on Shelley.
I couldn’t find the belt I wanted, so I used one that is narrower than I like.

Conclusion: Easy to make; easy to wear.

And in Other Areas of Life…
Today is DS the Younger’s final performance in his high school musical career. He has appeared in 6 musicals at our high school. When he was in 5th grade he was in “The Wizard of Oz” as a member of the Lollipop Guild. The next year he played a child survivor in “Titanic”. Freshman year he landed the role of Link Larkin in “Hairspray”, much to the chagrin of his older brother, who played Corny Collins. Sophomore Year was “Grease” and he played Doody, one of the TBirds. Last year he had the title role in “The Music Man” and this year he’s going out in high style as Bert in “Mary Poppins”.

On the brushes, step in time!
Over the rooftops, step in time!
I think his big bro was pretty proud of him

Poor kid got the flu after the first weekend performances, but he’s mostly over it (it’s all around the high school right now). So today will be his swan song. I may actually shed a tear; it will be the end of an era. Both boys had leading roles in the musicals each year of high school. 7 years in a row. Wow, it will be weird next year.

Well, that’s enough kvelling for the time being.
Happy sewing!

Pattern Review: Butterick 6243 Dress and Jacket


Pattern Description: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket has collar, side-front and side-back seams, and back button closing. Dress has fitted, lined bodice and midriff, semi-fitted skirt, and back zipper and vent.

Sizing: 6-22. I made a 14.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: Italian Lightweight Lamé Brocade in Gold and Ivory from Gorgeous Fabrics, of course. Silk Habotai in Oyster. It sold out, sorry, but you can see other silk linings Here. The off-white habotai will work great with this fabric, too.

Machines and Tools Used: Juki 654DE serger, Pfaff 2130, Naomi the Naomoto

Needle/Notions Used: Microtex 70/10 needle, Pro Sheer Elegance Couture Interfacing, crystal buttons that have been in my stash forever, plain buttons, mesh tape invisible zipper from Botani, hook and eye, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Make the Lining First, pretty much Anything by The Pressinatrix, Els’ Invisible Zipper Insertion Method from The Sewing Divas, Setting a Sleeve into an Armhole.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were quite good. I went in a different order than the instructions but they were very clear.

Construction Notes: I made this straight from the envelope with no fitting changes. I used my Pfaff to sew all the seams, and because this fabric ravels easily I finished all the seams with the serger (including the seams that are covered by lining, just for good measure).

The jacket is unlined, so you can see how I finished the seams

I stitched up the lining first, then the outer garment pieces. Per the pattern, only the bodice and midriff are lined. If I were going to do this again I would make lining pieces for the skirt as well, using the skirt pattern pieces.

Bodice lining

One thing I noticed about this pattern as it comes from the envelope is that it has a pretty pronounced hip curve. I smoothed it in the pictures, but I recommend making a muslin to see if you like the way the hip curve compares to your curves. I used larger buttons than the pattern recommends. I bought these at G Street Fabrics when it was in the old shopping plaza on Rockville Pike. They’ve been in my stash since my kids were little, so it’s nice to finally use them.

I do love a statement button. Or four!

This fabric is lightweight, so even though the buttons aren’t heavy, I reinforced them with flat buttons on the back.

Each big button has a little button for support.

Likes/Dislikes: I call this dress the “Jackie Kennedy in India Dress” because it reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of her at that time. It’s got an early-60s vibe, and you can let your inner Jackie or Audrey get their bad self down with it. The pattern is really well drafted and sews together like a breeze. I don’t have any dislikes. It’s so refreshing to not have to spend a lot of time making a muslin! 🙂

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I’m not sure I would do it again for myself. It’s not my style. But I definitely recommend it. This would be a great MOB/MOG dress, and the style would also look fantastic on a young woman.

Conclusion: This is for a photo shoot, and I’m going to donate it to the thrift shop near me that benefits the local humane society once everything is done. Here are shots on the mannequin:

Front of just the dress
Dress back
Back with jacket
And front with jacket

All in all, a great pattern.

Happy sewing!