Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh Butterick, why do you mislead me?!

I completed my first shirt Monday evening, and wore it last night for the photoshoot Daniel was doing (I was the dutiful assistant/packhorse/prop master)! It was wonderful, light, breezy, and very comfy...even though I have a decently sized bone to pick with Butterick.

This was a "Fast & Easy" pattern, and it lived up to it's name. The directions, however, left something to be desired. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be smarter than the directions, but let's face it...I can't always be perfect, right? My biggest frustration was something I should have caught if I had read ahead. When attaching the facing to the neckline, the directions had me trim away the seam allowance,
then informed me that I was supposed to understitch the seam allowance to the facing. Interesting idea, Butterick. How exactly was I supposed to stitch 1/16" seam allowance to the facing??? I couldn't come up with a way to make that happen, so I edge stitched (1/16" from the seam) through the front, seams allowance, and facing...three times before I was satisfied with the outcome (that equals a LOT of seam ripping with a seriously dull seam ripper and a very unhappy me).

I'm new with the stretchy materials (this was a light weight matte jersey), and couldn't quite get the edge stitching through all those layers without stretching it (perhaps I need to learn more about this stretch stitch I've read about?), so the neck and facing still lay a little funny, but I think it would have been just fine if I could have under stitched the facing. My other big issue is that along a couple of the pleats' seams, the stitching is pulling through the fabric...not quite sure how.

Another thing I tried to figure out, with no success, was a way to put a tighter (not tight, just not draping) strip of fabric on the inside across the bust to keep the gathers from falling into the anti-cleavage area that some "well-endowed" women, such as myself, somehow have. I just wanted to attach a strip of fabric (about 4" wide) across the front, starting just below the arm holes on both sides, to act as a nice barrier so an undershirt wouldn't be necessary. Unfortunately, no matter how I tried it, that strip would pull the shirt and make the armholes pucker. So, I wore the undershirt.
In the future, I'll know to under stitch before trimming, and I know that 100% against the narrow hem the pattern calls for. It would have looked light years better with a 1" hem or a nice band. I have fabric for another, and I think I'll try out a nice 3" band at the bottom.

I'm also contemplating making one for my sister's birthday to go with the skirt I made her. I made it out of a nice "linen look" blend that was light and soft, perfect for a long casual skirt in a Georgia summer! I wanted the skirt to be very finished looking, and I may have gone overboard with my French seams all around and a top stitched hem, but I like it. That particular fabric, however, informed me that I have a thing or two to learn about pressing, so I've been reading up. I did follow the directions in my Top Fashion book for the zipper (keyed it and everything) and am pretty happy with how it turned out. If I had the paper backed fusible webbing it called for, I think it might have been perfect! All I can say now is if she doesn't like it, I gladly accept returns.


  1. Both the top and skirt are really cute. Love the shirt pattern. I'm sure Melissa will like it too.
    Next time you come up, you can go through my buckets of fabric:)
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Anxiously awaiting your next post:)