Butterick 6183 – A complete outfit

I’ve started working on this pattern right after I finished my B6168 dress. I used size 14 for the dress and narrowed the shoulders in order to avoid a FBA, but since this pattern has different cup sizes, I cut a size 12 with a C cup for the top. Most reviews say the top is snug but mine came out roomier than expected and too wide at the shoulders, even though I used N. Zieman’s method of choosing the pattern size based on the front shoulder measurement. The reason? I didn’t measure myself correctly. Duh.

There’s just one alteration I’ve made to the top pattern – I shortened 2 cm above the waist. The CB length neck to waist was over 40cm, which is huge I think even for people with a standard height. Also, I didn’t use a zip, I just left the slit opened and added a button at the top. A button that is too big and heavy for this light viscose. Anyway, this top is going to the bin unfortunately. I finished the SAs with a pinking shears and they all got shredded in the washing machine. I’ll keep this in mind when I work with similar fabric. I plan to make more tops like this, but I’ll go down a size, make the sleeves 2-3 cm shorter and add 2-3 cm at the bottom.

The trousers are size 14 – I was worried they were going to be too small, so I used 1cm (3/8″) SA at the sides and lengthened the waistband. They didn’t look so wide from the top on the pattern cover, and they didn’t look so wide in the few reviews I’ve seen either. But they are. Loose from the hip to the ankle. I’m not complaining, I’ve been wearing them 3 times a week, they are very comfortable. I think they look better with a more fitted top, like the above Tonic that’s too tight to wear with anything else.

I found it odd that the pattern instructions didn’t say anything about interfacing the zip area or the pocket openings. I had to do that because the linen I used was very loosely woven, and my pockets are already gaping anyway. Some ribbon would’ve been even better. I added a snap to the waistband to help it keep it closed.

I have a few muslins cut out, but I didn’t feel very motivated to sew or knit lately. It;s probably the recent ‘tiny pocket tank’ fail and the lovey weather outside. Do you sew much during the summer? I’d surely need more dresses and airy tops but I don’t feel like staying inside.


Skinny Barb

I haven’t tried any StyleArc pattern until now, not because I don’t like them, but I keep hearing how expensive shipping is. To be honest, I never checked, I have no idea how much it costs. Recently I found out about one of their free PDF pattern – Barb – I think it’s their only PDF pattern. I think you can still download it, and you get the size you choose, plus the two nearest, each of them comes in a separate file.

It’s a very simple pattern, it has only 3 pieces – front back and waistband. I went for size 10 based on my measurements and I think 8 would’ve been better. After sewing them I decided to take them in and make them skinny. I don’t have a “before” photo, but straight trousers don’t look very good on me, I need to go to the extremes 🙂

I was looking after a bird 😀

The waistband sits pretty high, but I’m short so it might be just right for people with a normal height. The pattern requires 5cm wide elastic for the waistband.

The fabric is a stretch cotton I bought from Saeed Fabrics in Walthamstow Market. It was £8/m, expensive compared to what you can buy there, but there weren’t many stretch cottons available then, AND it has spots!

Two weeks ago I went back to Walthamstow and found a generous selection of stretch cottons so I have another pair of skinny Barbs planned. I will however make the following changes:

1. Make the waistband 1 cm narrower. I have plenty of 4cm wide elastic and no 5cm and it’s too high anyway.

2. The waistband has the same pattern piece for front and back, but the front and back of the pattern are different widths. I think I will change the waistband to reflect that.

3. I will add back pockets. I need a place to keep my Oyster and they make the backside look smaller.

4. I will make them even skinnier and add metallic exposed zippers at the hem. Probably in different colors because I don’t think I have a matching pair, but the fabric I’ll be using next is a colorful print, so it should be fine.

I wore the spotty pair 3 times last week, this would’ve been a good pattern for OWOP. They are comfortable enough to do this

This photo took a lot of hard work!

Soo, does anyway know how much the shipping costs for StyleArc patterns? I really like this jacket, similar to an out of print Vogue. I’m also worried about customs, I paid 30% in VAT and custom fees for an already expensive yarn I bought from US.

Monique Jacket

Burda 6/2010 cuffed shorts

This was the most challenging project I’ve worked on lately. There were so many things that went wrong from the beginning, I’m amazed I didn’t give up.

I’ll make a summary here, using a numbered list. I didn’t count them before, it will be a surprise for me too 🙂

1. Cutting – I only had 60 cm of this black cotton sateen and I carefully placed all my pattern pieces on it to see if I had enough fabric. Lucky for me (or not?) I’m so short that 60 cm is enough for a pair of shorts. Well, almost enough, because there wasn’t enough to include seam allowances in the back legs. But that wasn’t that big of a problem.

2. Cutting – because of fabric constraints again, I had to cut the belt loops separately. sewing the belt loops in one piece and cutting them after is so much easier.


3. Welt pockets – I applied the fusible interfacing for the welt pockets after sewing the dart. The fabric wasn’t laying flat, you can imagine the result. 

4. Front pockets – Burda usually has you cut the pocket facing in one piece from the main fabric. But since I didn’t have enough fabric, I slashed that piece and cut it from both the main fabric and lining. I probably messed up the seam allowances, because the back pocket pieces turned out huge compared to the front ones.

5. Front pockets – I applied interfacing on the right side of the fabric. I realised this soon enough, I was able to rip it up and press it on the wrong side.

6. I remember unpicking some seams, not sure where and why, but you can never forget unpicking seams in black fabric.

7. There is that weird pulling on the right front. I think I used a longer wider allowance when I sewn the waistband to that part of the front, where the drag lines start.

8. I almost forgot this one – the welts are different sizes, one is wider than the other.

I would say 8 is not a  lot, but not too little either. Still, despite that drag line, I see these shorts as very wearable. I think they look pretty good considering what I went through making them. The fly gave me a bit of trouble as well, I don’t enjoy sewing zip flies (is that the plural?), but it turned out ok. I used Jen’s tutorial, but I will try another one next time. I hand sewn the top of the cuffs to the pants, so they don’t sag and/or get out of shape in the wash. 

I had two cuffed shorts patterns in my Burda collection. The other one didn’t have the pleats and were shorter. I chose this pattern because they are very similar to a RTW pair I love. They are the exact same length – they end exactly were my thighs get slimmer 😀

see those drag lines? not visible in every image i have, but very visible here.

I wanted to wear that belt but somebody else had other plans 🙂