Butterick

GoalsĀ 

Yesterday I went to Joann because I needed fabric. (This is a permanent need.) They were having a 5 for $7 sale on Butterick patterns. 

Let me elucidate how extraordinary this is. Butterick patterns normally run around $19.95 each. Math math math–I got them for $1.40 each. Please take a moment to jump up and down because that is the appropriate response. 

I got one “Very Easy” pattern (sleep shorts and nightgowns), three “Easy” patterns (really cute mid-century dresses ranging from a 1940s swing dress to a 1960s Mad Men Joan-style dress), and an “Average” pattern for a sweet, modern dress with a keyhole. 

This brings me to goals. This “Average” dress pattern is my current goal. I am going to build my skills to the point where I can successfully make the Butterick 6168.  

 
Let’s. Do. This. Shit. 

June’s Project: DONEĀ 

Owwwww. My hands hurt. My brain hurts. I hate knits. I hate pins.

I finished my first dress (ever!) and it has some issues. The bust area is a little tight and the hips are a little loose (I always have the opposite problem, so this is weird). I think I can fix it… another day. 

  
For now, I’m going to stick to dresses with flared skirts–I have too much junk in the trunk to deal with fitted patterns right now. And now I’m going to take a relaxing bath. Oof. 

June’s Project: More Dresses (An Update)

I am absolutely determined to finish this dress before the end of the month. It will get done. 

 

Butterick 5554, view A

It’s a knit pattern, which means it’s OBNOXIOUS AS HELL. I have not mastered the wily ways of knit the way I’ve mastered the simple, non-stretchy proclivities of woven. This dress also has a zipper in the back, which should be interesting. 

I’m making view A, the sleeveless version. And of course, I’m making it in leopard print (the middle section) and jade (the outer sections). I showed the fabric to Mr. Something and he said, “Well, that’s perfect for you.” This is something that I love about sewing my own clothes; I can make them in my size and in my favorite colors. 

I hope (hope hope hope) to have this done by this weekend so I can wear it out. Photos to come! 

May’s Project: Update

I’ve been battling a spring cold, so I haven’t been super productive the past few days. Despite that, I’ve managed to put together my dress!

For my first dress, I’m making a Butterick pattern from 1952. It slips on over your head, and the back skirt pulls forward to snap at the bodice. It gives the effect of a sheath and overskirt. It’s so cute.

I had to learn how to sew darts, those lines sewn into clothes to give them shape; in this case, boob-shape and waist-shape. This tutorial was very helpful! 

The rest of the sewing has been very easy, which matches up with the “Very Easy” labeling on the pattern. Slightly curved seams and straight seams. Piece of cake.

The next thing I did was… take (nearly) the entire thing apart. I slipped the dress over my head and tried to close the front, but it wasn’t overlapping enough to add the snaps or be worn comfortably. I took the skirt off the bodice and separated the two skirt sections, then cut a small piece of fabric and added another panel to the skirt. If you’ve got a big booty and wide ribs, sometimes you need to swallow your pride and make your dress bigger. Whatever. It fits really well now!

The next step is to hem the skirt and add the bias tape. I’m holding off on this for a few days because I’m waiting on the delivery of my new narrow hem foot. It should make hemming a breeze. 

More updates soon!

March’s Project: Aprons

Gainfully Something | March's Project: Aprons

Let’s do this, pattern.

When I was at the fabric store for the hundredth time a few weeks ago, they were having a sale on Butterick patterns. They were all $1.99–ONE DOLLAR AND NINETY NINE CENTS. For comparison, these patterns normally cost $10.99-$18.99. I did a dance.

I picked up this apron pattern (Butterick 5765, version A), because it was advertised as “Very Easy.” Okay, so that was a little bit of an overstatement on Butterick’s part, but whatever. I figured it out.

Oh god what is happening

Oh god what is happening

Here’s the thing about paper patterns: they are crinkly and fragile and somehow expand ten times their size when taken out of their envelope. My dog and cats found them tantalizing, so I yelled a bunch which added to my creative fervor.

The instructions are vague and simple at the same time.

The instructions are vague and simple at the same time.

The hardest part of the entire thing is figuring out how to fold your fabric and position the pattern pieces on there, and then determine how many of each piece you need. This is probably excruciatingly simple, and yet it took me a stupid amount of time to cut out my pieces. Even a pattern that is “Very Easy” assumes that you actually know what you’re doing, which is a silly assumption. Oh, Butterick, when will you learn?

Anyway, after you cut out your fabric, things get a LOT easier. Essentially, you’re making a 3D fabric puzzle that fits together perfectly.

This bodice is adorable.

This bodice is adorable.

Ta da! When I finished the bodice part of the apron, I was so proud. It went together really easily and it looked more professional than anything else I’ve made. The rest went together fairly easily, too. This is not to say it went together quickly. It was mostly tedious (“Sew Bodice [SEVEN] to Waistband [FOUR]”, etc.). However, I think a second go at this pattern would fly by.

Oh, you want to see the final product?

It's so cute! Don't mind my terrible mirror.

It’s so cute! Don’t mind my terrible mirror. Also, the center skirt panel was supposed to be the orange fabric, too, but I ran out. Improvisation!

I really liked the end result. It fits nicely, especially in the bodice. Aprons never fit my zaftig frame, but this has a Wonder Woman kind of feel in the bust. I think I could use the bodice pattern to make a cute swimsuit.

The verdict on paper patterns: this one turned out great, and it was relatively easy to follow. Granted, I read through it about five times before starting, and there were a few confusing parts. I remember looking at one step and saying out loud, “What the HELL am I supposed to do now? Razzenfrazzenrazzlefrazzle.” (I’m trying so hard not to curse on here but that’s going to change soon, I think.) Sewing is all about taking something 2D and making it 3D, and that involves a different part of my brain than I normally use. It’s like origami, and I’m bad at origami. Basically I’m telling you that if I can build my skills to this point, you probably can, too.

I’ve also made a few other exciting things this past week, and I’ll share those soon!