May 16

Little White Denim Jacket

I’ve had a serious hankering for a white denim jacket for a long time. Something to wear with blue jeans that wasn’t blue. Yes I know they say that blue denim with blue denim is hot right now but ugh, I’m not there yet. A couple months ago I ordered some white-ish stretch denim from FabricMart thinking I would make some pants with it, but every time I touched it, it said “jacket”. So I made Butterick 6169, a Lisette pattern. Yes this is me in my socks with Birkinstocks…hey that’s how I live!


I had earlier made a trial version of a size 10 B6169 in a sweatshirt fleece and found it too big, so this time I forged ahead and tried a size 8 with no pattern alterations, and it fits pretty darn good.

B6169 side

The upper back of the sleeves has a few wrinkles, as does that upper back on the right, but this is a casual jacket so it doesn’t bother me at all. I had to skimp on the sleeve hem allowance so if I make this again I’ll lengthen the sleeve, although I wear them rolled up most of the time. Oh – this pattern is known for it’s teeny-tiny pockets so I just enlarged my pocket bags.

B6169 back

The lining is a poly crepe (non-stretch) with stars all over it – it makes me so happy to look at it! Overall I’m so danged pleased with this jacket! It gets a lot of love from other people too, and now I know why 🙂

Oh – if you make this, check out the sew-along here at the Lisette Blog. I lays things out nicely and shows how to bag the lining instead of the fiddly Butterick instructions.

B6169 sleeves rolled

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 🙂

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 that 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.  It 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!

Dec 14

Butterick 5891 using men’s shirts

For round #2 of Pattern Review’s Surprise Sewing Bee we were to make an adult garment using up to 5 men’s button down shirts. I chose to make Katherine Tilton’s Butterick 5891, the vest option, but with sleeves.

PR mens shirts before

These are the shirts I used. The rayon/linen blend on the right made up the majority of the garment, with pieces of the other two used as facings and embellishment. We were allowed a small amount of other fabric for embellishment also, so I used a hand dyed wool gauze to make reverse applique circles, and red silk dupioni for bias trims and a small pleated portion on the hip area.

PR mens shirt (7 of 12)


It was a blast using the mens shirts! I didn’t win this round, but the competition was fierce and I was quite pleased to be chosen to move ahead with 24 others.

You can see my contest entry here.

PR mens shirt composite

Oct 14

How fun is this? Butterick 5891

Butterick 5891 Katherine Tilton Pattern

I made myself a little jacket! This is a Katherine Tilton pattern, Butterick 5891.

It started with the fabric – it’s a home dec fabric from IKEA in 100% cotton. It has a woodcut style koi print. I wanted to make a project inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e style, which was a popular genre of woodblock prints and paintings from the 17th through 19th centuries. You can now find it interpreted in modern works. My son is a Japanese major so I’m constantly learning interesting tidbits about Japan and the Japanese culture.

I thought the Katherine Tilton jacket would be fabulous for this print, but I didn’t want the whole thing to be THE PRINT. I found a few coordinating fabrics from my stash and narrowed it down to a grey cotton (I bought it long ago, it was a drapery fabric!) and a red linen for some contrast.

The jacket was very easy to put together and sew. I made a size 12, wanting it to be a bit over-sized. The only alteration I made was to lengthen the sleeves. The pattern shows just longer than 3/4 length but not quite full length….hmmm, I wanted full length that I could roll up. I think I added about 2.5″.

I used Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium interfacing on the front facings (oh my, such nice stuff) that ended up being just perfect. The collar of the jacket is meant to be kind of floppy and just hangs as it wants to, it’s part of the eclectic style of the jacket. With my linen, it likes to fold open. With a stiffer fabric it would probably stick up. Either way, I like it! Both sides of the collar fabric will show, so keep that in mind of you make this one. Also, both sides of the “points” at the lower sides by the hem show as you walk, too.

Koi inside

Inside the back: bias trim added to collar seam, selvedge edge finish of back seam, hand stitching.

I didn’t want a regular seam finish to show at the collar seam, so I made some bias tape from the koi fabric to cover it up. I cut the back pattern piece of the grey fabric along the selvedge edge for an interesting seam look with a mock flat felled seam.

Once it was all together, it looked good…but still needed something to make it POP. I added hand stitching using cotton embroidery floss. The designs mirror the water ripples in the print. I used both an off-white and a red.

Koi circle close

koi front

It looks crooked here, but only because of my poor hanging skills. The jacket hangs very straight in real life!

Koi side