Posts made in November, 2013

Butterick 5613 Causes Skirt Making Madness

Posted on Nov 28, 2013 | 0 comments



These are a few of our favorite beverages we like to partake of during the coming season.  The Pyrat Rum is for the hot buttered rum that warms us on chilly winter days and evenings.  There is a fresh batch of batter, heavily seasoned with Caribbean spices that I made last night, patiently waiting in the chillerator for us to add to the rum with steaming hot water that begins the kick off for today’s festivities.  We can’t leave out my favorite… wine, the fruit and nector of the gods!  And last but not least, fine scotch, Laphroaig 10 Year single malt, the water of angels!

This year, the feast is being held at my son and daughter-in-law’s home.  On this day every year, my children grab the opportunity to dress up for dinner… ties, sometimes dinner coats, dresses and occasionally hats!  A very fashionable and fun revelry that transcends into the New Year!  And what will I be wearing?  Well…


I recently purchased a new pair of leather riding boots because I decided that it’s going to be skirts and warm tights for the wearing this winter.  The problem however with making this decision… there is only one winter skirt in my closet.  I guess it was a DERP moment!  This one and only skirt I have is a heavy cotton/spandex that I purchased from the GAP back in… try 2004!  I have no explanations or excuses for the no skirts syndrome… just never thought much about them.   All of that is going to change though – now that I have my Butterick 5613 pattern!


Butterick 5613


So what do I like about this pattern?  For starters… the wide yoke.  They seem to be feel so much more comfortable than a narrow waistband.  Then there is the style options:  pleats, bubble hem or a lightly gathered flare.  The pattern calls for the light weight fabrics Broadcloth and Faille but also throws linen into the mix.  I need winter skirts not spring/summer skirts which these fabrics work well for so… since I like to bend the rules, I decided I would try something that would be heavier and warmer… like wool flannel.  But before going wild, I thought it best to practice with a fabric sort of similar and less expensive… like the wool crepe remnant that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away after making a dress out of almost two years ago.  It is sort of a red rose color.




The piece looked big enough to make a skirt from but it was not going to be big enough to make the pleated skirt.  I kinda figured but I had to try.  My good fortune still came forth however!  It just so happens that the pleated skirt has a lining if you want the bubble hem so guess what I did?  Yes… I made a skirt from the lining!  The beauty of this is that I made a muslin that is actually a skirt I WILL wear.  An added plus is another style of skirt to add to my style options.  Of course, I now also know how to line the pleated skirt which I am making next.


I definitely wanted to line my skirt because I find that wool crepe is scratchy on my skin.  I ended up with a polyester lining that was not what I was after but the color matched so perfectly with the wool crepe that I went for it.   It sure didn’t like to be ironed, even at the synthetic heat setting on my iron which is cooler than silk.




The pattern lining is really simple:  A yoke styled waistband (front and back),  the front skirt section (cut on the fold) with 2 darts, two skirt back sides, each with 1 dart.  I cut all of these from my Wool Crepe and then a second set of all of them from my lining.  Oh yeah, and also cut interfacing pieces for the yoke.


However… Before I cut out my  lining (after I cut out the actual skirt), I first shortened the front and back pattern pieces 1/2 inch in length.  Let me explain… the Butterick 5613 pattern “D” option for the pleated bubble skirt uses the lining to create the bubble hem by instructing you to sew the hem of the lining to the gathered hem of the pleated skirt.  The lining is shorter than the pleated skirt so when you do this, the lining pulls the skirt hem up and under, giving a finished hem in the process.  I wanted to do the same but since I was using the same pattern pieces for both the skirt and lining, I had to shorten the length of the skirt front and back tissues before cutting out my lining pieces.


Another cool thing …  because I didn’t make pleats,  the hemline width of my skirt and lining were the same and so sewing them together was easy peasy!  I just sewed the bottom of the skirt to the bottom of the lining, right side to right side, then folded the lining back under to the inside that I later basted to the inside top of the skirt.  But First!

Important Tip:  I didn’t sew the two hemlines together until after I first applied the fabric yoke and installed an invisible zipper ( I love the finished look of these).  Doing it this way made it easier to sew the lining onto each side of the zipper and gave a nicer finish.  I basted the lining to the seam allowance of the yoke and top of skirt, matching seams and notches.  Next, I top-stitched the outer bottom edge of the yoke, giving both a nice finish and more permanently attaching the lining.  Is this a correct way to do this?  Well… the art of sewing has developed through experimentation so is there a wrong?  I figure that if you get what you are after… then it must have been right!


This is what the hem of the skirt looks like finished.




It was now time to add the yoke facing which I did per the pattern instructions.   However, instead of under-stitching I chose to top-stitch the top of the yoke on the outside to match the bottom.  I did this after I turned the facing to the inside and slip-stitched it’s pressed under edge over the seam.




My first day of this season’s revelry attire includes my new skirt!


Btk5613 - FrontRS


It’s hard to model a skirt!  Maybe this is why they never get a lot of attention.  They are tucked in under everything.  Trying to show the darts here but it’s not working.  Sure got a laugh out of my daughter though!


Btk5613 - Front2RS


Up and coming soon, expect to see my black  Flannel pleated skirt, my “Edith Blouse” by Maria of Denmark AND my Burda 8836 black Georgette dress.   But right now… it’s time to start this season’s revelry so… with a glass of my favorite Chardonnay… here is my toast to you!

“May the coming season bring you joy and happiness in all that you do!”

Salute!  Jessica

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Pattern Review McCalls 6760

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 | 2 comments



I bet you’ve been wondering where I’ve been huh?!  Well… besides finishing up making wine, I just started on another mission… apple butter and applesauce!  Several of the family favs so they are necessary items for the pantry.   To complete the juggling act I have also been sewing…  and sewing…  and sewing on the same damn project!  Don’t get me wrong, I am really excited about the project I chose and I can’t wait to wear it but… well, let’s start at the beginning.


The pattern I chose for this project is Fashion Star McCall’s 6760.  I love the dress but I feel totally charmed by the jump suit.  Yeah I know – jump suits haven’t been cool for a long time – not since Diana Rigg rocked them in the original Avengers T.V. show.











I’ve seen a few in clothing catalogs recently but with skinny legs.  I can wear skinny jeans, have five pair of them, different colors, several in prints but truthfully, I have to be in just the right mood to wear them, which is most of the time NOT.


The pattern calls for Georgette, Jersey or Crepe de Chine fabric.  The jump suit looks gorgeous in what appears to me to be Royal Blue and I considered this but then decided that I would go classic black because the holiday season is right around the corner and I needed something elegant to wear.


I found several Jersey fabrics on-line  that I really wanted to buy but without being able to see and touch the fabric, I couldn’t bring myself to clicking the pay the “Your Total” amount key for 3 yards at $16.99  plus shipping!  Since I go to Beaverton frequently, I decided that a Mill Ends Fabric Store visit was in order.  I imagined a row of black jersey somewhere in the finer fashion fabrics section.  WRONG.  There was nada, zip, zilch, zero! I was in a total awe crap mood when I then stumbled across some black Rayon.  I struggled with this notion because while Rayon drapes so beautifully, it is a wrinkle magnet!  After about another half hour of wandering, I finally threw my fate to the wind and decided that I would make my jump suit out of Rayon!




For my lining, I wanted something matte and that would hang similar to the Rayon so I ended up with a slightly stretchy 60 inch matte “lining fabric”.  Yep, that’s what it was called and so I don’t know exactly what it is but it complimented the black Rayon so beautifully that I decided not to argue about it and purchased it as well.




Now that I had my fabric, I was ready to make a muslin for my fitting.  I didn’t cut the entire leg pieces, just a shorty version.  I’ve gotten very adept at making muslins; I go through lots of muslin fabric.  But… this is not because I am smart… this is because I learned the hard way by making too many garments that flopped!  Anyways, one of the things I quickly discovered was that the design of the back bodice was going to be a problem.  While it was really stylish with it open clear down to the top of the high and wide waist band, it was going to show my bra strap where it hooks.  There was no way I was going to give my female cupcakes air time so I decided to create an insert just high enough that it would cover the strap of the bra I would be wearing!


My designed insert was to be 1 1/4 inches wide, 3 inches long and tapering to nothing at the bottom.  It had 5/8 seam allowances around it.  Somehow I ended up with  extra width on the bottom, 1/4 inch to be exact which actually worked out quite well.  This is a picture of the pattern piece I drew up.




Using my new insert pattern piece, I cut three, one from the Rayon and two from the lining fabric.  I sandwiched the rayon piece between the two lining pieces and sewed top, bottom and one side.  There was some planning here because when I turned it right-side out, I wanted the rayon to be on the outside with the raw selvages open on the left side.  Then I laid my insert face down, selvages flush with those of the left bodice back, 5/8 inches up from the top center back edge of the waist band.   Now I was ready to sew the lining to the bodice per the instructions on the pattern which would enclose the selvages of my insert and voila.  Here it is.





So why did it take me so long to make this garment?  Well there were actually two reasons.  The first…  I chose Rayon.


I wanted  flow-y and drape-y but I knew that it would cost me, more than just the purchase.  Now that I look back, I had to really take my time cutting out my pieces but with the sewing, it went better than I expected.  I just had to take my time and be one with the fabric!  Time!  That’s the part I need to reiterate!  I couldn’t plow through the sewing process the way I usually do, I had to be patient.  EWWWW!  And I didn’t sip wine while I was sewing because I had to stay keen and alert, not relaxed! I think that’s why it took me so long though.  I should have been MORE relaxed!  Note to self:  Drink more wine while sewing!


Reason 2)  I don’t know about all of you but I have concluded that sewing with black fabric, black thread, black lining and black interfacing sucks!  You can’t see!  At least that was what I struggled with.  Everything was the same color and so… black!  I love to wear it but I don’t like sewing it.  One thing for sure, I definitely need to improve on the lighting in my sewing area.  Majorly!


Here is the finished insert that has two small BLACK snaps.




Here is a fuller view that includes the upper back.





This is an inside view with the invisible zipper down in the back.




The shoulders gather with ties that you make sewing long one inch strips folded in half lengthwise.  I hate making these when you are asked to sew the ends closed and turn inside out from the center.  I decided to do it my way and knotted the ends.  It may not look quite as finished but I rather like it and that’s what counts right?




The pattern instructions also had you top-stitch all of the bodice as well as the waist band and hem.  I am usually pretty good at top-stitching but I wasn’t liking the results I was getting sewing with Rayon.  I also thought the bodice looked more elegant by not doing this given the fabric I chose.  My daughter concurred so I was happy with my decision!


I tried to get a nice close up shot of the front bodice but it was kind of difficult because the Rayon was so slippery.  This is the best I could do.





I guess it’s time for show & tell… my new jump suit!




This is the back…




Gotta show the legs!





And… I got brave and gave my glamorous jump suit “pockets”.




It is actually quite comfortable.  The real test however will be sitting in it.  If there are going to be wrinkles, I think that’s when it will happen.  I’ll have to get back to you on that!   Until next post…

Salute!  Jessica


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