Tuesday, 6 December 2016

B6024 Top

Butterick 6024 is a versatile smock top that can look arty, casual, boho or just summery according to variations of it I've seen on the web. The version that first caught my eye was a floaty white artist smock that I saw on the McCalls blog Facebook page. Then I saw it as a long sleeved linen dress on PR. A google search turned up some other great variations as well.  Anyway..
I sent away for the pattern. It wasn't on the books here because our two big fabric chain stores are so slow to move with the times that they only keep pattern books that are one issue behind. It's frustrating and I don't think they realise the sales that they are missing especially now that they don't have $5 dollar sales any more. Time to talk to store managers I think and voice dissatisfaction.

Butterick 6024

I made up View A without the duck tail out of a lovely Liberty cotton jersey from The Fabric Store and have been wearing it often. I am going to make it up in a floaty multi coloured speckled voile in my stash. Trying to decide on sleeves or no sleeves :)

Those cute flowers are really a fly swatter..

My alterations:  The pattern is designed for lightweight wovens but I made it from a one way moderate stretch jersey. The usual recommendation is to go down a size for knits but when I had a look at the pattern pieces I decided to stay with my usual medium size for the front but had to do something about the enormously wide back neck. I have straight square wide shoulders and paradoxically this kind of neckline (on me) needs bringing in either through the body of the back or at the side neck to sit properly. I considered doing back neck darts but then I ended up folding a vertical pleat out of the whole back piece to effectly bring the back piece down to a size small. Also the whole neckline sits a bit lower than in the illustrations so I will raise it 2 cm on the next version. I folded out a tiny sway back alteration at the waist. (see last photo)
On the next version the vertical back fold will be folded out and turned into a pleat sewn down partway like those at the front..maybe.

The pattern has you finish neck and armholes with bias strips attached then folded to the inside and stitched. I cut mine on the crosswise stretch one size shorter to take out a weeny bit of stretch. The neckline became a neckline border instead of folded in. I turned the armhole ones under and stitched as per instructions.
My pleats are folded to the inside not outside as I did not want to top stitch them and I pressed them all going in one direction when I was finishing the neckline. The directions have four pressed one way and five pressed another. This doesn't make sense from a construction or appearance viewpoint IMHO.
Also, on my next version I will bring out the side shoulders 2cm tapering to nothing at the armpit to give more of a cap sleeve effect. That's because of me not the pattern, for the previously mentioned wide shoulders.

Vertical 1cm folded out to reduce overall width, Horizontal small sway back adjustment 

It sounds like I tweaked it a lot but it did not take long. This is a quick sew and the pleats are placed beautifully and makes for a nice summer pattern.

May you have happy sewing,


Friday, 25 November 2016

Skirt from Jeans refashion

Hi everyone,

My daughter came over today and walked out with a skirt I made for her out of a pair of bootleg jeans she was not wearing any more. It was a experiment but lets just say she liked it! I was waiting for her to try it on and give a verdict and I had left the bottom of the skirt unfinished, thinking I could run a line of topstitching a couple of cm from the edge to stop fraying but she wanted it left raw and got busy pulling out a cm of threads out leaving an edge of white fringing - after I took the photos of course.

The bands are made from the jean legs so they are on the lengthwise grain but there is a bit of elastane and it worked ok.
The How:  
First I unpicked the crotch for about 10cm each side. then I cut across the jeans at the level of the unfolded crotch seam allowance. I unpicked both the back and the front curved parts of the crotch seams.  I overlapped the fronts until they lay flat and topstitched with rust coloured Gutermann topstitching thread, straight stitching down along the original fold. BTW I used normal white thread in the bobbin. I used the same method on the back because the bum had bagged out a little bit. I did not finish the inside of anything in this skirt, just trimmed off the excess.
I cut 2 x10 cm deep strips 4cm wider than the width of the 'skirt' from one of the jean legs. I curved them ever so slightly, following the existing knee curve of the inner leg of the jeans. I overlapped each piece over the other at the sides by 2cm and topstitched using a wide triple zig zag. I trimmed off the excess.
I attached this to the skirt using a straight triple stitch.
Then I cut the lower bands from the other leg, using the finished width of the first band plus 4cm and also went 10cm deep. I repeated the method used for the first band.
You can glimpse the band zig zag topstitching in the photo below.

It was all very quick and easy and nothing but the jeans and thread was needed. 
Happy sewing!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

V9176 Vogue Wardrobe Sheath Dress

Hi all,

Here we are with just over a month to go till Christmas and time just seems to speed up faster every year in the busy-ness of it's approach. Parties and get togethers galore, work and more work, plans and deadlines.  In Sydney we don't get a white christmas but we do get hot summer nights that are great for parties and pre-christmas dinner cruises. Last Friday night was such a night for my work's Christmas party harbour cruise. When the invitation came in I had the 'what will I wear' moment even though I of course have things to wear .. I had patterns I wanted to try and wanted something simple. I chose  V9176,  ran up a quick cotton muslin, refined the fit then decided to risk it in heavy *silk from the stash.
*Edited to add I did a burn test and found out it is not silk. I think it is cotton sateen. It's ultimately a mystery but it is a beautiful quality fabric I bought from either Tessuti or The Fabric Store, Sydney. I really should keep notes..


I lined the dress as per instructions. I also interfaced the neckline and armholes. Strangely, no sort of reinforcement is  mentioned in the instructions. I did an invisible zip, the best one I have ever done, following the sewing divas invisible zip tutorial

Just for my own records I am going to summarise what I did in my own words:

Pin back seam together, mark where zip will end, leaving 5cm of zip below the mark. Mark this with chalk on the zip, and also by your preferred method on the seam allowances.
Machine baste to mark then change stitch length and sew a few stitches, reverse a few stitches then sew the rest of the seam shut.
Press seam open.  Make sure you have pressed it enough so it will hold the crease when the basting is taken out.
Press the zipper tape and teeth open, carefully, on low heat.
Undo the basting stitches. Align zipper, face down on the seam and pin to seam allowance so that teeth are aligned with pressed edge. Pin zipper to seam allowances.
Machine baste zip to seam allowance down the middle of the tape. This is what I do to keep the zip in place for the proper stitching - it really helps. You can also do the zip up and check that both sides are sitting evenly.
Then switch to a zipper foot and sew close to the teeth from top to bottom, both sides, stopping at the chalk mark and back-stitching a few stitches.
That's it. Easier than stitching the bottom of the dress seam last, but I find even if I have to redo the bit below the zip it's somehow easier with this method. Thanks Els!

My alterations: Square shoulder adjustment, shortening the pattern at the waist by a total of 6cm and bringing out the waist curve a bit. Adding back 3cm to the hem. Note:  Watch the dress length, it's designed to be a mini. Pinching a scant .5cm out of the front neckline 'v' curve just above the bust to prevent gaping. The previously mentioned neck and armhole interfacing.

This will now be my go-to sheath dress pattern.
Leaving you with a couple of shots of Sydney harbour :)