Nautical Blouse

I found this adorable Navy blue fabric with little gold anchors on it. I thought it would work really well with the Butterick 6217 pattern.

I did the sleeveless version this time and added 1.5″ to the torso length. Its official the arm holes on this pattern are drafted wrong. I had to cut the facing down by more then an inch AND widen the arm holes just to get the two pieces to fit together.



Just for fun I used the alphabet feature on my sewing machine to write my name in the collar facing, like a label.


I serged all the inside seams which was really fast. I’m starting to warm up to how this looks



Unfortnatly I not as thrilled with the finished shirt. I think its more that Im not in love with how I look that the shirts fault….all those potato chips at work are starting to catch up with me.


Make it work.

I had selected this fabric to use with a discontinued Vogue pattern from my mothers stash.  I cut out all the pattern pieces before realizing that I was missing the instructions. I debated if I should try to wing it but I ultimately erred on the side of caution. I decided to use Butterick 5748.


I could still use the circle skirt I had already cut out and I had just enough fabric left to cut out the different bodice. After studying the finished garment measurements I decided to cut a 16….This is the first time I have ever cut the size that correspond to my body measurements but from the looks of the finished garment numbers there wasn’t much ease. Boy was that a mistake.


After sewing the bodice part way I tried it on, it seemed to big so I decided to do a 1″ seam on the sides to nip it it a little.  Once I had the dress sewn up (before I hemed it but after I hand put in the zipper sewed the lining in) I tried it on again. Still to big. So I tore apart the dress and made the darts bigger and added darts to the skirt  so that they would line up. The fit is not the best. Also I think this dress would benefit from some lengthening in the torso.


Some people have said that the notches are a little flimsy so I added some fusible interfacing to both the front and back to try and give them a little more structure.

Another selling point was that this dress was fully lined so no seam binding required. While making it I discovered that even though the skirt was fully lined it wasn’t attached at the bottom so I did a turn and stitch on the skirt seams which looks really good.



I did a self lining on the bodice and used broadcloth for the skirt. I like the look of the lining and it gives the skirt a little extra umph without having to wear a petticoat. But ultimately I think its a little heavy for summer. Maybe it would work with a cropped cardigan in the fall?



Update: The fit of this dress was really bothering me so I ended up ripping the whole thing apart.  I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the bodice again so I had to make due. I came up with the idea of doing a waist band to give me the extra length I needed. I also took in the sides, Moved the zipper, Re-did the hem, and removed the skirt lining.

This foot was made for walking

I picked up this McCall’s 7153 on sale, i’m not sure why, it’s not the style I would normally pick for myself. Its still retro (1933s) but not the most flattering shape for my figure.



I found a springy strip on my recent summer cotton blow out sale so I thought I would give it a go. My new machine came with a walking foot, which the store attended told me was for quilting (not really my forte). After some research I found out that the walking foot was originally designed for matching plaids and strips (see where this is going?). And the quilters co-opted it. It works by moving the top fabric with a separate set of feed dogs at the same time as the bottom fabric. So when you meticulously pin the stripes to match, they stay matched along the whole seam.  It looks like it may also help with some of the pulling I tend to get on neck seams and hems. This seemed like the perfect project to try it on.


It took me a whole day to cut out the fabric. I made it hard on my self by getting a stripe that had about an 8″ repeat that was not mirrored. What I found worked best was to lay the pattern piece and pin it, then with a pencil mark where all the dark stripes occurred. Then when I picked up the pattern and flipped it over I could line it back up for the other side. believe it or not they absolutely hardest piece was this tiny little triangle on the bodice sides. I had to re-cut it several times and still is not perfect. I decided to be OK with it since the belt covers up the actual seam anyway and it was close enough that your eyes will automatically think its continuous behind the belt.




Half way through I started thinking it looked like a hospital gown and was turned off from finishing but i’m glad I powered through it. I had a really hard time with the neck. I sewed it once, didn’t like it, ripped it apart sewed it again only with top stitching which looked OK but rounded out the point. That night I couldn’t sleep thinking about how to fix it and by morning I had the solution. I un-picked it again and made the changes. Now it at least forms a point that  mimics the bias cut, not perfect, but way better then what I started with.


The dress is very different then ones I have done in the past since it doesn’t have any shaping in the bodice. No darts or anything, It lays completely flat. It makes it a little awkward fit wise in the top. If you look at the envelope even the model has some fit issues in the back. When I put it on I wasn’t really thrilled. I decided to take some pictures anyway and when I looked at them it completely changed my perspective. I think that the dress fits really well, yes the arms are generous but not awful. The color looks perfect for a Downton Abby tea with  Lady Grandthom but still modern enough to not be a costume. I wanted to do this pattern to practice my pattern matching skills (which I did) and learn more about my machine attachment (check). As a bonus I  ended up with a nice little dress in return.


My First Button

I have a few projects under my belt now and so far my favorite has been a pattern by Gertie which produced this and this . I have worn the circle skirt dress several times now to a matinee of Book Of Mormon and out to a business dinner. It makes me feel like Zooey Deschanel in New Girl which is sort of my secret fashion idol.  I decided to try out another one of Gertie’s patterns. This time I selected Butterick 6217


I accidentally picked up the wrong size pattern (too small). After reading a few blogs people said the shirt was sized to be loose fitting which I defiantly didn’t think made sense with this style so I decided to try it out anyway.

I decided to make the A view (The one that Gertie is wearing). I used some cheap-o fabric from Walmart (who knew they had fabric). I have never done buttons with a machine or button holes and was a little hesitant. I figured with some cheap fabric I wouldn’t be to heart broken if it didn’t work out.  I don’t know what I was so worried about, it came out beautifully.

After putting this shirt on I think I would have preferred the button holes to be vertical for ease of use.


After the last two projects I was getting a little tired of seam binding so I just did french seams throughout and only bound the facing and the arm holes.


Now about those arm holes.  There are some serious issues with this pattern. First of the hole in the blouse is extremely tiny. I knew this was the case from reading other peoples experience so I cut them extra big and even still its a little tight. Also the petal sleeves are way to big for the arm hole. If I had to guess that is the size they are supposed to be and its the arm hole that was printed too small. You weren’t supposed to have to ease these sleeves, its why I picked this particular view. But with such a big size discrepancy I ended up having to run a gathering stitch to get them in. The end result looks fine but it just took me way longer then it should have.

DSC_0282 copy

Im neither hear nor there on the bust tie and with so much trouble on the sleeves I think that the next time I make this I will go for view C. I do like the neckline and I have this  dark navy fabric with gold anchors on it that I want to use. When I make it I will surely cut the arm wholes larger and probably add and inch or two to the length so that it doesn’t make me look so squatty.