Tag Archives: Butterick

Colorblock Jacket

After languishing on my make list for well over a year, this jacket made its way into my closet and I finally managed to get some photos of it that aren’t mirror selfies! These are once again courtesy of my 3 year old (equipped with a tripod).

02-04-18 The Jacket 1

The image below was my original inspiration for the color-blocking and I’m especially in love the fabric I found for the sleeves in the home decorating section of my local shop, Fabric Town. I was also surprised how close I was able to match the bottom portion with a designer knit from Mood (I got on a birthday trip in September of 2015…that’s how long I’ve had my eye on this!). The brown linen upper, gray linen binding and cream stretch jacquard I used for lining were all from JoAnn’s. My goal was a simply shaped statement jacket I could throw on over a variety of outfits and judging by how many evenings I’ve reached for it this week, I’d say I accomplished that. It’s neutral enough to go with most of my closet and colorful enough to make me feel fun and creative. Win win!

02-04-18 Jacket Inspiration

I used the same Butterick pattern (B6328) that I used for my “Used to be a Tablecloth” project since I knew it fit and was the basic shape I was after.  Starting with View C, size 8, I modified the pattern to match my inspiration photo and to accommodate my preferred construction method. Per the instructions, only the front portion is lined but in my opinion it was easier and more neatly finished to fully line the body. These are the changes I made to the pattern:

  • lengthened the front 4″
  • matched up the front and back side seam notches and lengthened the back to match the front (the recommended construction required different seam allowances on the front and back so they weren’t originally the same length)
  • measured up 11″ from the front and back hem to create the color blocking, cut and added seam allowance to both cut edges
  • measured up 9″ from the sleeve hem to create the color blocking, cut and added seam allowance to both cut edges
  • omitted the collar piece

02-04-18-the-jacket-2.jpg

The construction was pretty straight forward. First, I sewed the color blocking together for the two front pieces, the back and the sleeves.  I chose to line only the body of the jacket so I could wear it for multiple seasons, so I took extra care to finish the exposed seams inside the sleeves.

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Out of laziness, I had off white thread in the bobbin and by sheer luck, the white stripe of the sleeve aligned exactly where the lace hem tape needed to be sewn down inside so the thread blends seamlessly into the outside of the sleeve…don’t think I could have planned that if I tried!

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The body and lining were constructed as usual and with the lining placed inside I used handmade binding to finish the armholes inside and the front and neckline on the outside. The outside binding was a design decision because I felt like it needed one last element to pull all the different fabrics together and the inside binding was just the best way I could think of to properly finish the raw edges without creating a full sleeve lining. I didn’t originally purchase the stretch jacquard with a lining in mind but I’m really happy with the look and definitely the feel of it.

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The one issue I ran into was with the pockets. The jacket was complete with in seam pockets, but even after tacking them down inside, they just made the jacket hang weird and added a ton of bulk at the widest part of my hip…not a good look for an already oversized jacket. There was a lot of unpicking to get back into the pockets to remove them but I’m glad I took the time. I’d thought to use patch pockets instead but was concerned that since the lower portion is a knit fabric I’d have issues with sagging there as well so I just left them out. Kind of a bummer, but with a preschooler in tow I generally have to carry more than I can fit in pockets anyway. This is my second project with failed pockets so I’ve got to get this figured out eventually.

02-04-18 The Jacket 3

As you can see by my living room, I love lots of color and texture so this jacket is 100% ME and feels amazing to wear!

We’ve had some very warm daytime weather the last two weeks which had me digging into my spring/summer storage box sooner than I’d planned, but I’m looking forward to going through the process I did for my winter wardrobe and preparing my next seasonal closet. Even though fashion week is currently showing Fall, I’ve collected my inspiration from the August Spring shows and hope to be back soon with that, plans for my next sewing project, and take-away’s from my first seasonal closet. I’d also like to note for the record that I haven’t stepped foot in a thrift store to look at clothes once this year…a true victory for me 🙂

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6 Wrongs Make a Post

After two months of unsuccessful sewing, I decided all this work deserved at least a shared post to document the realistic journey into making ones own wardrobe. Plus, I’m always happy to read anything I can find about a new pattern before sewing it up, so maybe this will be useful to someone other than me??

  • The first top was a test run of the Vogue 9116 pantsuit top. I didn’t end up liking the elastic in the back or the partial lining, the neckline is too high for my taste and it’s too short for my proportions even after lengthening. Basically, I wanted to change it so much that I may as well draft a pattern myself, but instead it was neatly folded and put away until summer was over and I now have no desire to add this jumpsuit to my closet.
  •  The striped pullover woven top, Butterick 6293 View C, was a mostly successful sew except for messing up the construction of the overlapping hem at the side seams and having to wing it. It was a new technique and pattern shape though, so it was interesting to learn. The real issue is I had reservations about the fabric even before starting. I picked up a 2 1/2 yd piece from the thrift store for $2 because I loved the blue and brown, but sure enough, I never reach for it because of the pink and orange. This was a bonus in a pattern I purchased for the jacket and I like it, this version just didn’t earn a space in my closet.
  • After the semi success with the striped top, I cut a second one right away with big ideas for embroidery (inspiration here) only to completely botch the pattern alterations, attempt to sew from memory and mess up the side seams / hem intersection even worse than my first one! Total wash.
  • The Vogue 8909 joggers, upcycled from a garage sale Lucky Brand maxi dress, were going to be the lounge pants of my dreams, lol…until the fit was off, my elastic casing was attrocious and I decided I didn’t have the patience to redo it for something that would never leave the house.
  • Ugh, that color-blocked jersey dress, McCall’s 7383. I love the fit and it’s comfortable and flattering, but in my attempt to upcycle a blue tie dye maxi skirt that didn’t have sufficient yardage, I had to make a design decision that I really dislike now that it’s sewn up. So bummed because I love that blue fabric and I’m not sure I’ll get much out of the remnants even if I take this apart. BUT, the pattern works for me, so there’s that.
  • The midi skirt was thrifted, completely taken apart and resewn into a slightly different style. My mistake was thinking it was SO basic that I could cut and sew willy nilly and it totally didn’t come out right. This will be salvaged after taking it apart AGAIN and starting over.

Lessons learned?

  • Buying a pattern thinking I’d get handmade clothes in my closet faster than drafting saved me zero time.
  • If I’m not IN LOVE with the fabric before starting, the finished garment probably won’t change my mind.
  • The extra time to draw out designs on paper before getting excited and cutting is going to be worth it.
  • Slow methodical sewing with attention to detail will result in a wearable garment a whole lot quicker than fast sewing, shortcuts and lots of seam ripping.
  • I’ll never successfully execute my dream handmade wardrobe without learning to love the process. Every. Slow. Step.

I’ve decided that even though I’m dying to sew, I really need to step back and work through the creation of custom pattern blocks for myself. Draft, sew up, make adjustments. Get them just right, so when used to create my designs I won’t have so much pattern alteration to deal with after the fact. I’ve also realized that when I do purchase patterns, I should be focusing on those that will teach me specific construction techniques where my skills are lacking so I’m able to put together the patterns I make. Somehow, I hadn’t really looked at it like that before. It reminds me of that quote from Uptown Girls.

Fundamentals are the building blocks of fun.

Getting back to fundamentals for a while so I can create something worthy of it’s own post…and maybe sewing up that Schnittchen pattern I won on Instagram too 😉

 

Crochet Cardigan

The Challenge

I scored this crochet tablecloth for $1 at my local Wednesday flea market a while back so when Etimi over at The Secret Costumier invited others to play along with the #usedtobeatablecloth challenge, I jumped right in!

08-01-16 Butterick 6328 crochet jacket

The Inspiration

I wanted something pretty with a homespun vibe in a simple shape I could throw over a tank and jeans on a casual day or over a dress for a date night.

Image sources 1, 2, 3, 4 (1 and 2 were dead end links on Pinterest)

The Process

I picked up Butterick 6328 in a 3 for $5 sale with plans for a different jacket, then realized the front and back pieces minus the lining, collar, facing and pockets would work well for this project also. I cut View C Size 8.

I traced off a second front piece and sleeve in order to lay all the pattern pieces out on the fabric before cutting to work around stains and tears and utilize the scalloped edges for the ends of the bodice and sleeves. To construct the cardigan, I cut 1 1/2″ strips of matching jersey and made binding which was then hand stitched at the shoulders, side seams, sleeves and armholes. It wasn’t the original plan, but it required basting to keep all the layers flat and aligned and the basting stitches had to be so small that it was basically constructed when that step was done. Since the front edge was only a single layer, the binding was machine stitched there…not as straight as I’d like, but not horribly noticeable when worn.

This was nearly complete a week ago but I was unhappy with the fit because of how much the fabric sags so I removed the armhole and shoulder binding, chopped two inches off the shoulder of each bodice piece, an inch off the sleeve caps and put the binding back on a second time. Truthfully, my alterations didn’t feel like the correct way to go about it, but because this fabric is so forgiving it worked out just fine.

08-27-16 crochet cardigan 2

08-27-16 crochet cardigan 3

I’m pretty in love with it, but may end up taking it apart again to remove width from the side seams and sleeves to get a closer fit. I’ll decide after wearing it a while if it feels too fussy…like if it slides off my shoulders while chasing a toddler on the playground…

The Look

I paired it with my cat shirt (which I LIVE in), a thrifted pair of jeans I scored a few weeks ago for $8 and ankle moccasins I’ve had over 5 years now.

08-27-16 crochet cardigan 1

Today I finally set up my tri-pod and figured out how to operate the timer on my camera. YAY! Next time I’ll shower and style my hair so I don’t have to chop my head out of the photos, lol…baby steps.