Stop the presses! A miracle has happened – Ann actually repeated a pattern. No kidding! I loved my Butterick 5678 shirt so much, I decided to do a second version. It came to me when I was finishing up the first version. I have had a lacy-eyelety fabric sitting in my stash since before I started Gorgeous Fabrics. This would make a wonderful, more dressy and wintery version. So here you go! I’m not going to re-review it. I’ll just point out the changes I made
Fabric-wise: I used a lacy fabric that seems like a cross between an eyelet and a lace. It’s been in my stash since, like, forever. I’m not even sure where I bought it, it’s that old. Because of the peekaboo nature of the fabric, I underlined the body with an ecru/nude-toned silk habotai from Gorgeous Fabrics (long since sold out, sorry). I left the sleeves unlined.
Finishing-wise: I finished the side seams by whipstitching the seam allowances to the silk underlining.
I also whipstitched the sleeve seam allowances.
This version isn’t finished yet. I haven’t put the buttons in. In fact. I’m thinking that I may want to set snaps instead of making buttonholes. But if I do, I want really cool ones, so I’m going to scout online this week and in person next week when I’m on a buying trip.
Have I mentioned that I really love this pattern? Here’s the mostly-finished version on Shelley (she doesn’t fill it out quite the way I do)
We’re supposed to get a rather nasty snow “event” later this week. If you are in the path of the storm, please be safe and don’t hurt yourself shoveling!
Pattern Description: MISSES’/MISSES’ PETITE SHIRT AND SASH: Semi-fitted shirt has shoulder princess seams and stitched hems. B: button tab belt carriers. C: roll up option with button tab on sleeve. A/B, C, D cup sizes.
Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes
How were the instructions? Good. There are no surprises in this pattern, and the instructions are clear
Construction Notes: I cut a size 12 with the D-cup fronts. I used a single layer layout to get the plaid matched. I got distracted at one point, and if you look closely you can tell. But it’s not so bad that I won’t wear it. In fact, most people won’t even notice.
I cut the pockets on the bias for contrast. I finished all the seams with my serger, taking time to hand finish the collar and cuffs. I used the narrowest width stitch on the automatic buttonholer.
Likes/Dislikes: I LOVE the different cup sizes in one pattern! I love shoulder princess seams – they make it so much easier to fit. I really like the lines of this pattern. I like the camp-shirt style sleeves with tabs.
There is nothing that I don’t like.
Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? Yes and yes. This is a great basic that I could see making in all sorts of fabrications.
Conclusion: A great pattern! I will definitely make this again. I’ll get lots of wear out of it. And check it out – I even got DH to take a picture of me in it!
If you haven’t got this one in your stash, I highly recommend picking it up.
Happy Sunday! Today we woke up to snow flying sideways. I hear that Cape Cod got blizzard conditions, and this storm thankfully went east of us, so we didn’t get nailed again. We have about 4 inches of fresh snow, but now the wind is howling. It was a good day to stay inside and sew! Yesterday I cut out Butterick 5678. This is a shoulder-princess seamed shirt. I’m making it from Perky Plaid Stretch Cotton which (can you believe it?) is not sold out! I rarely get to sew with current fabrics, so this is an absolute treat for me. I spent a ton of time yesterday cutting the pattern in a single layer layout to get the plaid placement. Alas, I managed to get distracted with one pair of pieces. I’m not going to say which, and the general (read, non-sewing) public will never notice, but when I started pinning it together, my reaction was very Cartman-esque: (bad language alert)
Well, even with that, I still like it. Here’s a picture of the progress so far on Shelley
Phyllis’ comment on the cowl on Pippa vs Pippa brought up a point that I wanted to share. It’s minor if you know what you are doing, but can be very frustrating to many stitchers, that the notches on the cowl and the under-bodice don’t line up. You are supposed to stretch the cowl to match, but even stretching the hell out of my muslin didn’t get them to match up
The cowl does fit properly onto the underbodice with stretching, so I would match the center fronts and the side seams, and not fret too much about matching the notches exactly. They were a little over 1/4 inch offset from each other in my muslin, but the seamlines did match at the edges and center.
That’s right, ladies and gents! It’s the smackdown you’ve been waiting for! The two Pippas, going head to head in the bridal pattern cage-match of the year! Yes, for your viewing and sewing pleasure, I’ve sewn up both patterns, and here I present you with the results of my sew-down.
First, several disclaimers to prevent anyone from getting mad at me. I have no affiliation with either pattern company. I like both of them equally well and I sew their patterns on a regular basis. Any and all opinions are mine alone, and should be taken with a pretty large grain of salt, since I’ve had two glasses of wine and my family is yelling at me to come help decorate the Christmas tree. In fact, I’m writing this with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I’m not going to comment at all on fit, since fit is all about the fit-ee, so go do your own, ya know? I made the Stylearc up fully in silk. The Butterick stopped at the muslin, so it’s kind of Macoun apples to Granny Smith apples. Okay? Onward!
Round 1 – Design Lines
Butterick: all pieces are bias cut
StyleArc: cut on the straight grain except for the cowl, which is cut on the bias
Butterick comes out swingin’, but StyleArc lands a good right hook!
Butterick: raglan sleeves
StyleArc: set-in sleeves
Butterick lands a hard left! StyleArc falls back, but wait! StyleArc comes back with a jab!
Butterick: Empire line in front, plain back
StyleArc: Empire line in front, continuing to design lines in back
Ooooo, StyleArc lands a hard right jab to the chin!
End of Round 1!
It’s close, but thanks to the back, StyleArc is on top. Without the back style lines, it’s an empire line dress with a fishtail hem.
Round 2 – The Bodice and Cowl
Ding ding ding! Butterick comes out of her corner with a bias cut bodice with a single bust dart from the empire seam. StyleArc has two bust darts: one from the side seam and one from the empire seam.
They circle each other. StyleArc is easier for a big busted gal to fit, but Butterick can dodge that jab if the user knows how to add bust darts. Plus, the bias cut on Butterick changes the fitting slightly. Like I said, fit is a whole ‘nuther championship match.
So far this round is a draw. The opponents come out with cowls blazing.
First up, Butterick throws a jab, with a cowl that is fully self-lined
StyleArc ducks, and comes back with a self-faced cowl:
Oooh! StyleArc lands a hard blow with that! Let’s do a slo-mo replay and show the audience why the self-lined cowl is good in theory but problematic in practice…
The Butterick Cowl folds over itself as a self lining, whereas the StyleArc cowl is one layer except at the shoulder seams.
At the side seam of the Butterick, You have 4 layers of fabric. Imagine if you want to put a lace overlay on the bodice, like I did? That’s 5 layers. And look at the curved empire seam.
The ref has called this one – Round 2 goes to StyleArc.
Round 3 – Instructions
StyleArc – minimal. StyleArc assumes you know what you are doing. The instructions are not bad, and the fact that the pattern is really, really well drafted makes them almost superfluous for an experienced stitcher. StyleArc feints with a right cross.
Butterick – I can’t make this up
The sleeve seam is shorter than the armhole edges
ETA 12/11 to clarify the instructions.Phyllis checked them for me, and my reading was correct. The instructions have it backward. They tell you to staystitch the front and back bodice pieces, not the sleeves. You need to staystitch the sleeves at the bodice seam, then attach them to the bodice, clipping to make them fit the (longer) bodice seam. Here’s Step 8 in the pattern instructions, showing it exactly opposite what you need to do (thanks for sending that, Phyllis!)
You need to staystitch the sleeve and clip it to fit the bodice, NOT the other way around (and BTW, they tell you the same for the front, which is also wrong). If you follow the directions, you will get bad results. Imagine doing that on an expensive piece of silk? Imagine if you are relatively new to sewing and you do that on your, or your daughter’s wedding gown? That’s just inexcusable. I hope Butterick sees this and fixes their instructions, because that’s just not cricket.
StyleArc wins with a TKO!
Now, in all seriousness, neither pattern is terrible. I’ve sewn both. I personally prefer the StyleArc. It’s drafted beautifully. The raglan sleeves on the Butterick are closer to the original McQueen, as is the bias cut of the gown. But it’s easy to change the grain, and the StyleArc will work just fine if you switch the grain to the bias. Be warned, though. You need a 60 inch wide fabric for the bias cut long gown. It is very rare, and very expensive, to find a silk that is 60 inches wide.
So ladies and gents, I hope you have enjoyed tonight’s matchup. Next on my sewing table is another Pippa (StyleArc). This one is going to be made from Catherine Malandrino Wool Jersey, and it will be my Christmas dress. More later, and as always,
The video of the concert isn’t supposed to be ready for about 2 weeks, but DH and DSons took pictures at the concert.
Here’s Ryan conducting the chorus Here’s The first song of our set – “I Can’t Sit Down”. I’m sitting next to Dick Frost, who is a wonderful baritone. I love singing with him, we always have a great time. We weren’t singing for this one. But the funny thing is that I was singing along silently with the chorus, to stay warmed up. You don’t see it in this picture, but there’s one picture where my mouth is closed while my throat is obviously working. You see that a lot with singers. And MTV videos notwithstanding, singing is not an aesthetically pleasing endeavor if done right. Watch any good singer and you will see that when they open their mouth, they have a lot of stuff going on at the back of their throat that doesn’t photograph well. Usually when you see stills of singers, they aren’t really singing. Same with videos. You’ll see people lipsynching, and keeping their lower jaw set so they don’t get a double chin effect. Not so when someone is really singing.
Dick was up next. He sang “I Got Plenty o’ Nothing”, and nailed it. The audience just ate it up. What fun!
After that, I sang “Summertime”. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t nervous at all. I think this was the first time in about 20 years that I didn’t have butterflies when I stood up to sing. I was even sitting there while Dick was singing, thinking, “Wow, my mouth isn’t drying out like it usually does before a performance. Whazzup with that?” I think it went really well. I love this song, and I can’t believe I never performed it in public before. It was a truly wonderful moment. I’ve said before that the closest I ever get to a religious experience is when I sing. This was it. Allow me a little navel gazing for a moment. When I sing, I really try to interpret and internalize the text. The music is beautiful, but it’s the words that make it communicate. “Summertime” is a lullaby, and when I sing it, I immediately call to mind holding my children and rocking them to sleep or comforting them. I try to float the high notes, not blast them. It makes the music that much more lovely to me, and I hope that comes across in my singing.
Okay, enough navel gazing. The last song was “I’m On My Way”. It was a blast. I got to hit the wicked high note at the end, which is always fun. That one I did power through. Fun fun fun! Here’s a better picture of the dress I wore. It’s Butterick 4343. I made it 5 years ago for another concert. It’s actually a little big these days – yay! It’s made from a 4 ply silk, lined with silk habotai. You can’t see it, but I did a hand-set embellished zipper with sequins and beads on both sides. It’s fabulous and comfortable! Okay, enough about me. Here’s the parting shots from the weekend. Mother’s Day was wonderful. One of the things we did was take Hoover to a place we call “Dogtopia”. It’s a huge field in Lexington that has a cistern where dogs can swim. Hoover loves to jump into the water, so here are some action shots I took: I cut out another knit top and am about 2/3 of the way through it. I’ll review it tomorrow. Happy sewing!
Here’s a story that may amuse only me. When I was in college, I worked on some computer animations in the computer graphics lab. The computer system we worked on was a big honkin’ IBM mainframe, and we worked on these state-of-the-art CRT monitors called AED512’s. We thought they were all that and a big bag of chips. And we thought that 3D geometrics flying across the screen with ray traced shading was the coolest thing going. At one point, Glenn, the professor, joked that we were using so much storage that we should start a club called the Terabyte Club.
Well, fast forward to today, when I am expecting my new disk storage device to arrive. It’s called a Time Capsule. And guess what? I am just about to join the Terabyte Club. But it’s not to store any shiny fongers or flying tetrahedrons. Nope, it’s holding family photos, articles I’ve written for various publications, kids’ homework assignment and music libraries. It’s really astounding, when you think about it. In less than one generation, we’ve gone from humongous disk drives that housed a whopping 64MB: And that cost somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000
To putting a trillion bytes of data on a box this size: For about $500.
Ain’t technology grand? So I’m joining the Terabyte club. Woo hoo! Wave the flag and show your card if you’re a member!
Speaking of clubs, and this one is probably more interesting. Today is the Super Triple Secret Sale for Club BMV Members only. All McCalls, Butterick and Vogue patterns are on sale for $4.99 each, but only if you are a Club BMV member. I bought my Ralph Rucci patterns through Club BMV, and they arrived really quickly. I think I’m going to order a bunch of other patterns during the sale today. So I’m off to check it out.
Well, as long as I’m republishing the jacket, I figure I might as well put up the skirt I made to go with it. This pattern is based on Butterick 4614.
Pattern Description: Misses skirt variations. Straight with kick pleats or A-line with godets. I made View C.
Pattern Sizing: 6-24
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope No, but that was intentional
How were the instructions? I didn’t use them because I changed the pattern and style significantly. Looking at them now, they seem very straightforward.
Likes/Dislikes? I wanted a skirt to go with the jacket I made. I thought a skirt with godets might work well, but I didn’t want to use my stash KwikSew pattern. I wanted something with larger godets so it would really highlight the contrast fabric. And I wanted something with a zipped waistline rather than an elastic waist. When I looked through the pattern books, this one jumped out at me.
Fabric: Double faced cotton/lycra.
Any changes to the pattern or design? Lots. Like the jacket, I wanted this to be deconstructed, so I changed a ton. First, I wanted to have seams inset with the contrast (yellow) side of the fabric: So I changed the godet pattern to add a long strip of fabric coming from the top of the triangle. You can see the resulting godet here:
Next I traced the pattern pieces onto and machine basted the side seam allowances. Then I cut the pattern at the seam lines. To construct it, I butted the raw edges of the sides together, centering them over the godet/seam insert and sewed 1/4″ away from the raw edges. You can see the inside here:
I also eliminated the waistband facing and used petersham ribbon for a facing, stitching it 5/8″ from the top. I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4″.
Finally, I stitched along the hemline and trimmed the hem about 1/4″ away so the fabric will ravel in the wash.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew it again, more conventionally next time. I would recommend this pattern. It goes together easily and it is very au courant.
Conclusion Here is a picture of the skirt with the jacket: It will get much softer as it gets washed. I’m very happy with how this turned out.
Okay! I got some sewing done for moi. I liked this dress a lot, and decided the other day to make it. I have a recital coming up next Monday, and I want a dress for it, so I figured I’d take this for a test run. I’m glad I did. Read on…
Pattern Description: From the Butterick website, “MISSES’ DRESSES: Dresses A, B in two lengths are pullover with bias front bodice, cowl neckline, gathered midriff, flared skirt and three-quarter length sleeves. A: below mid-knee length. B: mid-calf length.” I made View B.
Sizing: 8-24. I made a 14.
How’d it look compared to the pattern envelope? Pretty close. It’s difficult to see the details on the photo from the pattern envelope. But it looks like the line drawing. If only I looked like the line drawing!
Likes/Dislikes? This dress looks very much like a Nally&Millie dress I had back a couple of years ago. It’s very flattering to many figure types. The ruched waistline hides a multitude of sins, and is good for figures of many ages. I’m not as crazy about the ruching at the back.
How were the instructions? They were okay. It’s really a simple dress to make. There are some changes that I made, and others that I will make the next time. If you follow the instructions as printed, you’ll wind up with a perfectly good result.
Any issues (good or bad)? It’s not a huge issue, but it is worth noting that this pattern runs big. I made a 14, but the next time I would go down to a 12, possibly a 10. Now, I have been shaping up lately, but I haven’t lost that much weight! The neckline on this is also wider than I expected it to be. I need to add lingerie stays, and I have very wide, straight shoulders. If you have narrow shoulders, you will need to to a muslin of at least the bodice to make sure it doesn’t slide off.
Fabric Used: An absolutely beautiful modal rayon jersey that I have had in my stash for about 2 years. It’s so soft and comfortable, it’s like wearing pajamas.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: FBA. Also, my original Nally&Millie dress had narrow-overlocked hems, so I used those here, too.
Oh, I almost forgot to add. They tell you to sew the bodice side seams and attach the bodice to the skirt, then ease in the sleeves. I have to tell you, with knits, this drives me crazy. In almost every case, including this one, you can sew the sleeves in at the armscye before sewing up the side seams. That’s what I did here. It was much easier than the way the instructions would have you do it.
Any Changes if You Make it Again? The way this is constructed, you sew a ruched midriff band onto an inner band (they call it the corselette). To do this, they have you sew the side seams, then gather the midriff band at the side seams and secure the gathering stitches. In the next iteration, I’ll use a length of clear elastic and gather the ruched band onto that. I think that will work better.
Also, as I mentioned above, I wasn’t that wild about the ruching in the back. To me it looks like high-hip fluff. For the next version, I’ll re-draft the pattern back to eliminate the ruching and make a single piece of the back bodice and back corselette. Here’s what the back looks like:
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it? I am going to make it again. For my recital, I’m going to make it from This Paisley Knit. I do recommend it, but make sure the bodice fits the way you want it to, and consider if you are doing yourself a favor by putting ruching at your back waist. It’s good for some folks, but not for everyone.
Here’s the finished dress front:
Conclusion: Overall a good design. It’s flattering to a number of figures. Do make a test version first to check sizing and the shoulder fit.