Butterick

Scrappy Floral Garden

Have you ever gone into your fabric stash and come out with an accidental project? You feel the immediate need to complete it A) because you have the fabric in hand B) there’s a pattern that is dying to be made from this sad little remnant.  That’s where this shirt began.  Lying in a little neat folded pile amongst other fabrics waiting for their turn to be beautiful.

I have a See & Sew pattern B5632 (out of print) that I haven’t used for a very long time.  I think it may be the first pattern I bought when I decided I would try to make my own clothes.  it touted that it would be “Sew Easy”! I had a hard time with it. I chalked it up to being a beginner and thinking I could slap something together without needing to fit it.  Well I’m much wiser at this point and realize that’s not how sewing goes, at least most of the time  anyway. The pattern is a dress but I figured I had enough to squeeze out a shirt. Simple enough!

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The top patterns pieces for this are cut in duplicate; one innie and one outtie. I have some very thin cream jersey that I figured would work for the innie and the outtie is the floral rayon scrap.  The package told me that I should cut a size 14. I knew it was wrong but I cut it anyways. Trimming down is easier than trying to magically make fabric grow. When all was said an done, I should have cut the size 8 which I figured but hey, I was trusting the creator.

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I have to say for such an easy pattern, I had a hell of a time with it.  Partially because of cutting the wrong size and the other because the pleats and overlapping is quite fiddly in the front. The pleats do not make for a nice rounded cup. It does weird things and I couldn’t get the fabric to lay flat against my bosom. So piss on that. I kept changing the position of the straps because putting the strap where instructed caused the fabric to flare out at the side.

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Talk about barely squeezing this out! I had to use the selvedge!

After wrestling with this “sew easy” project over a few days and many strong curses had been had, I completed a simple tank top.  All that for just a tank.  It should have been something more astonishing and marvelous but sometimes you take what you can get.

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For the hot, hot weather we’ve been having, this top is perfect. The rayon makes it light and it feels like I’m not wearing a top at all! Which did cause me to touch the hem a few times to make sure it hadn’t flown up or magically disappeared.

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I still think I need to come up with a much better way to construct the main pieces of this pattern because it is adorable and I can see me using it again. That can happen another time, when I have lots of patience and alcohol.

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Flower Power Reimagined

I noticed lately that a lot of the clothes I made when I first started sewing aren’t getting a lot of wear. That mainly has to do with my sewing skills being at a whole other level so all my new stuff is super amaze-balls. Instead of parting ways with my old makes, why not reimagine it?

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I made this maxi skirt out of poly chiffon. (You’ll recognize the fabric from my Granny Chic top) I didn’t wear the skirt a lot because I had a hard time pairing it with anything. What top to put with it? When I did pick a top I would have to wrestle with it to keep it down because the fabric is so slick.

With the big shirtdress craze going on right now, I thought why not? There should be enough fabric to knock it out. I picked my fav shirt pattern, B5526. There is a tunic length version already included (version C) so if I add a few more inches, take it in a bit at the sides up top and add a bit of space for my rump, it should be completely doable. I also didn’t want full sleeves, so that saves what limited fabric I have. This should give me an a-line, 3/4 length sleeve shirtdress.

The skirt came apart quickly and easily giving me two big panels of fabric. I went for the main three pieces first (2 front panels, 1 back). This way if I run out I can modify my original thought. Sleeveless with a mandarin collar would still work. Luckily, I had enough fabric for all the pieces. Even had enough for two tabs to hold up my 3/4 sleeves.


Most of the construction went fast. The collar takes the longest because, well because it’s fussy and I have to read the instructions. I hate reading instructions. I just want to make! I also sewed a few pieces on wrong so seam ripper to the rescue! Once I got the collar on I added the sleeves and a small cuff, which you can kinda see in the pic. I waited to add the tabs until I could properly try the dress on. I ended up placing them 1″ higher than the pattern indicated.  I can button the tab or leave them loose and the tab completely hides in the sleeve.


On the hem of the dress I made bias tape. I could have serged the edge and turned it a couple times. But with this kind of fabric that tiny seam would have flared out and drove me crazy. The tape ensured the hem had a bit of weight and it would hang straight down.


After completion I felt eh. Have you ever made something, put it on and went “eh”? That’s this dress. Is it the fabric? Do I need to add some back darts to give it more shape? Am I not used to wearing this kind lose style?

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I did give a belt a go just to see if I felt better about the dress. It’s okay that way too. Oh well, I like it better than the maxi skirt.


So here’s my glam shot of my “eh” dress. Well maybe not glam of me but definitely glam of Freckles. Look at his majestic beauty! I was worried about button gap the whole time I was making the dress. With 10 buttons down the front, no peekaboo. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Jack of All Trades

My sewing mojo has been on the fritz lately. I tried making a chiffon skirt, which I’ve made before, and it didn’t turn out well. There will be plenty of ripping, a dash of cussing and finally a glorious skirt will appear at some point.

So what have I been working on? I decided to go with a fail safe to work my confidence back up.  A TNT pattern if you will (Tried N True). Let’s take a step back. Have you ever found yourself envious of someone else’s make? I found myself in those green shoes (Get it? Green with envy? I’m hilarious people!) During Me Made May 16, I saw this little beauty from SewaStraightLine. I thought I could make a version of it but popover style.  I picked up a cotton sateen from Jo-Ann’s designed by the lovely Gertie.

Now is the time for that TNT pattern.  My fav pattern B5526.  I picked version A. I knew I was going to leave off the sleeves and use the collar stand only. Now each version of this pattern has a full button down placket. The easiest thing to do was to figure out the width of the finished placket and add that width to the front bodice piece that is cut on the fold. To make the baby sleeves I extended out the shoulder width by about 3″. The last adjustment that I made was to taper the bodice from the waist to the bust.


For my first partial placket, I relied on the instructions from Indie Sew and their easy placket tutorial. I made my placket 9 1/2″ long.  I think the interfacing that I used may have been a little too stiff because my placket has no give.  I’m hoping this will be fixed by a few good beatings in the washing machine. I felt like being a bit lazy and not adding buttons to my placket. Since it’s short, I figured it wasn’t necessary.


The collar didn’t take me long to add. Not having the actual collar and only the stand really only takes half the time.  Yippee!  There was quite a bit of the neck that needed to be eased into the stand.  I think my placket may have been a bit too wide thus creating more fabric to work in.


I made bias tape to edge the arms from random black fabric I had. I did have to make an adjustment to make sure they fit my massive biceps. I had to drop the arm hole by 5/8″. The bias tape also helped to drop the arm hole a bit more. After trying the shirt on, The arm holes worked fine and if I dropped them anymore my bra would be on display.


I’ve also been working on a pressie for the bestie.


I decided I wanted to design her a tank top. She works as a seamstress and a sewing shirt is pefect for her. I went with a classic tattoo style with a vintage sewing machine. Throw in a few banners and roses and ta-da!


The second item is a little sewing kit. I had a cute little round tin that needed a second life.  I used modge podge which is my second go round with this sticky weird stuff.  I used fabric to cover the lid and bottom portion. I bought a crazy little sewing kit for the tin’s guts. I had little strips of faux leather I was going to put around the edge of the lid and the bottom of the base.  I hated it.  I ripped it off and luckily found a few things in my stash that would work.  I used lace on the base to cover up the sides a bit more.  They were lumpy.  I had a strip of pre-made store bought bias tape that I used around the lid which may have also been lumpy.


I lined the inside with felt and made a little pin cushion on the under side of the lid.  There’s plenty of room on the inside for her to add her own bits and bobbins. Let’s just hope she likes it!

Side Note: I just bought a new sewing machine so hopefully things will be flying out of my sewing room and onto the blog.  New toys to play with are the best.

Black Workshirt B5526

My favorite shirt pattern from Butterick is B5526. Nothing goes wrong when I make this pattern. It comes out great every. single. time.  Until now…

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I bought this great black workwear fabric from Fabric.com. The fabric is wicking like “eww I feel sweaty. oh no I don’t” wicking. It feels light and great against the skin.

I made this shirt the same size as my other 5 (? It may be more). Everything was going great. I love the princess seams and the top stitching. It makes me happy working on the details and it comes together so quickly. I got to the point where I was ready to add the button plackets.

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This is where everything started going south. I sewed one side of the placket to the shirt and pressed the placket in half and then the seam allowance. Mistake number one. I scorched the fabric. May expletives later, I picked the threads and removed it. I cut a new strip and started again. This time I used a towel in between the fabric and iron. No scorch and a good press. Yay! I start to finish the placket by sewing the back down. Mistake number two. The fabric started twisting. Twisting! What the hell!?! I’ve never had a fabric do that. I sewed it on the best I could. I topstitched the folded edge and straightened it out, sorta. Both plackets tried to twist. I still can’t figure a reason behind that.

Elbows
I knew early on I wanted the sleeves to end above my elbow. I was going to use the cuff with three buttons. Mistake number three. I did not make the cuff long enough to fit around my massive bicep (hehe). After thinking awhile, I decided I would attach the cuff and flip it up. I did a few stitches near the split to keep it in place.

I hate putting on the collar. It’s always the worst and I think it comes out just okay. I read a new way to put the collar on the “shirt maker’s way”. I thought I would give it a try. Mistake number four. It was more difficult than the pattern instructions. But in the end, it looked better. I might have to give it a go again. We’ll see.

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I think I need a break from B5526. I feel we’re not on the same page.

Butterick Pattern 5526 & 5711: Mix and Match

I bought this pretty floral fabric from Joann’s during one of their Red Line sales. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is but I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of polyester.
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I decided to mix a couple patterns. To be more specific, Butterick 5526 version D and Butterick 5711 version B. I wanted the feminine bodice cut of 5526 but the girlie puffy sleeves of 5711. I also left off the collar. I made pattern 5526 before using a plaid cotton. The pattern was easy and came together nicely so I thought I would give it a go again.

This fabric was a bit of a pain to deal with. It’s light and flimsy. Running it through my serger wasn’t too bad but doing any top stitching with my sewing machine ended up in a cussing match. I like to think that I won. I did come out with a great shirt.
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You can see that the fabric is pretty sheer. So I have a tank top underneath, which shows when the sun shoots through the fabric. The seams along the front and back of the shirt really help to give it a feminine feel. It also fits to the body accentuating curves and trust me I’ve got plenty of that! You can see the collar band in this pic. I mainly left the collar off out of laziness but I’m super happy with the results.
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So professional and squinty. The sun was all to happy to try to blind me. You can see the poofiness of the sleeve. It’s longer than the drawing on the pattern. I didn’t want my arm to feel like it was being choked so I added a bit of length.

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Here’s an up close and personal look at that little bit of top stitching. I only did top stitching on the collar, arm, and front bands. Normally, I would have top stitched the front and back seams but honestly you can barely see the seams anyways so it would have been a complete waste of time.

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I did buy another print of this fabric. I was planning on doing the same pattern but I’ve scrapped that idea. I’d rather do something else with it only because of the time it took to fuss with it.