Jun 15

Butterick 6205 Shoulder Tie Dress

Dresses! There are SO many dress patterns, and I’m always seeing so many people sewing dresses. But where are they wearing all these dresses? I have a hard time fitting them into my lifestyle. A typical summer day has me on my knees in the garden, and in the winter, even with tights, a dress is just too cold. But, I’m going to try to wear more…


I picked up Butterick 6205 because looked very easy and very summery with the shoulder ties. It would make a nice tunic to wear with leggings in the fall, or it would even make a nice nightgown. The bodice is lined, which is a nice touch for this simple dress.

According to the size chart I should be in a size medium in this dress. But looking at the finished measurements printed on the pattern this dress has a lot of ease. I cut a size small and had plenty of room. One alteration I did was add some swing to the skirt by slashing the pattern from the bottom hem up and spreading it a bit. I don’t know if I needed to do this or not, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I had a floral linen/cotton blend from JoAnn’s that I wanted to use. It’s a bit heavy and a little scratchy (ugh, I know, but I loved the print) so I thought I’d use a light weight white linen/cotton blend for the lining. Because the ties show both sides of the fabric, I pieced the lining fabric with a seam at the top of bodice/beginning of ties so my ties would be floral on both sides.

Butterick 6205 Linen dress (3 of 4)

The dress was a very quick sew. The hardest part was inserting the elastic at the front and back necklines and waist. One omission on the pattern was after sewing the ties it only said to turn them, with no mention of trimming or clipping. I think on these “Fast & Easy” patterns they may want to mention this only because beginners tend to gravitate to fast and easy patterns and may have a bad outcome not knowing they need to trim and clip.

Butterick 6205 Linen dress (2 of 4)

After inserting the waist elastic I tried it on – oops – should have measured the waist depth before cutting. I’m short-waisted, but this dress is even more short waisted than me. Or maybe I tied the ties too high? I tied them where I want them to avoid an ugly underarm gap, so they are staying put. Anyway, I looked ridiculous with my high waisted dress. I pulled out the elastic and took my seam ripper to the casing. The casing is formed by turning the skirt seam allowance up, so I turned it down instead. Then I just omitted the elastic. I would wear a belt anyway so why bother? You can see the seam above my belt if you’re looking for it, but most people wouldn’t notice. Also, I made a mistake cutting and ended up with a seam up the back skirt. No biggie.

Butterick 6205 Linen dress (1 of 4)

I like the dress, and I hope to get some good wear out of it. It’s very comfortable and with the bodice lining and blouson style I could go bra-less and nobody would know ­čÖé

Butterick 6205 Linen dress (4 of 4)

Yes, I have a photo-bombing dog! He gets silly when I get my camera remote out!


Jun 15

A Gauzy Summer Top: Butterick 6172

I love it when new patterns are released. Some are hits right away, some look great in the envelope photos but the finished garments are notoriously bad, some look silly in the envelope photo but turn out to be nice.

I have to admit I bought Butterick 6172 as a challenge to myself. I’m usually a fan of uneven hems and layers, but this one looked like it went too far. What’s with the tail? But the pattern had some nice lines and I thought I could do something with it so into my JoAnn’s shopping cart it went.

Butterick 6172

I bought some lovely red linen gauze from FabricMart┬áthat was too sheer to wear on its own, making it perfect for a layered top. I love love love the fabric! The day after it arrived I found an Eileen Fisher scarf at Macy’s that was made from nearly identical fabric, making me love it all the more.

I wanted to make view D with the layers. But I only wanted 2 layers to avoid a bulky look and to stay cooler. I decided to use the bottom layer and the middle layer. The tail had to go so I used the back hem shape from views A & B, and I wanted short sleeves like view B.

Working with the gauze was easy on the straight seams and edges, but because of the very sheer stripes the rounded areas were a beast. I got the sleeves on but they looked horrible. I could not get them right so I chopped them off and went with a sleeveless look. That left me with BIG underarm gaps….eeew. So the top went to the time-out corner for about a week. Then I thought I’d ask for some help so I wore it to my local ASG meeting where they suggested I piece in some fabric under the arms to bring that area up for better coverage. I traced the lower armscye to make a double layer moon-shaped piece. I topstitched the edge just like the top and stitched over the original armscye topstitching to attach it. ┬áIt worked and gosh if it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to be like that. Many thanks to the ASG ladies!

Butterick 6172 Gauze Top (2 of 5)


I left the side seams open for a few inches on the left side only (it’s the lower side) for some nice movement when I walk.

Butterick 6172 Gauze Top (4 of 5)

The back is a nice length for butt-hiding, no need for a tail!

Butterick 6172 Gauze Top (1 of 5)

Butterick 6172 Gauze Top (5 of 5)

Yup – I love it and want to try the other views!

Jun 15

McCalls 7093 Raglan Top

Ahhhhh, here I am trying to catch up on posting…we’ll see how it goes. I get into moods where I just don’t want to sit and type anything. I’d rather be sewing, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

A couple days ago I finished McCalls 7093. I like the shape of the pattern and how it lends itself to color-blocking. It has variations for pockets and slits and is long enough to wear over leggings (or leggins…which always makes me giggle).

I cut the front and back from a multicolor rayon challis from FabricMart. The fabric is wonderful – drapey and substantial enough to make sewing and cutting very easy. It also hides pretty much anything you spill on it. I took these photos after eating BBQ chicken that landed on my chest, and cooking up a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam (splatter city). The sleeves are a woven poly/rayon crinkle.

McCalls 7093

No, I didn’t get all creative with color-blocking. I really wanted to make the back all black but in the summer I hate wearing black backed tops – way too hot in the sun. The black sleeves will be bad enough. I made view A with the side front slits. I love the slits and the way the top moves in the breeze – it feels wonderful.

I really dislike the sleeves. There are shoulder darts that are just awkward. Doing the shoulder darts in the crinkle fabric was a disaster. See my right shoulder point in the photo above? The left one has a point too, it’s just harder to see. I sewed them a few times, even cut new pieces but nope, they are just awkward. I normally sew a fine (non-pointy or dimpled) dart.

M7093 back


I made a size 14 but took it in above the waist a couple inches. There is a bit of an underarm gap but I’ve had worse. It probably would have been better to make a 12 and just flare it out to a 14 over the hip.

It’s a great top for casual stay at home wear (playing in the yard with the dog wearing garden clogs and very old faded capris? Yes!), I doubt I’ll wear it out anywhere. Will I make it again? Maybe…I’d love to see it in a linen, but only if the awkward sleeve dart has been resolved.