There’s a Reason to Make Your Own Clothes

I was feeling particularly bored, and thought about shopping for fabric. Unfortunately, my conscience wouldn’t let me buy more fabric (or attempt to convince my husband that I should buy some more) until I finish the projects in queue that had fabric, pattern, and notions ready to go.

I reached into my project queue drawer, and the next iteration of Butterick 5495 is what I drew out. I wasn’t too happy about that, since I didn’t quite like this pattern. But the fabric was bought, laundered, and ready to go, so I might as well get it over with!

After I finished my first round of Butterick 5495, I was disappointed with how low the neckline was cut. I wouldn’t be able to wear this shirt modestly without a camisole underneath. Not that it’s a problem, but there’s a reason to making your own clothes: making them so they fit! Not only fit your measurements that might not line up exactly the same in all areas of your body given an off-the-rack size, but also to fit for areas like narrow shoulders, or being particularly well-endowed (or not so much in my case). So, in that case, I should have taken the time to see how the neckline would look on my front before I cut the fabric.

Well, I learned my lesson. I had bought enough fabric to make that pattern again, in another style. So when I went to cut out the front again, I made sure to adjust the neckline a whole 4″ up. I also altered the pattern (and had JUST enough fabric to do so) in the fact that I wanted the long sleeve design, not the half-sleeve design. But the long sleeve design was a much longer tunic, and I already felt the length of the shorter design was long enough. Anyhow, that wasn’t a difficult change, just needed to cut the length of the shirt at a different line.

Front view

Front view

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Another Bit of Summer Style Completed

Completed top

Completed top

Finally finished! I would have probably got it done earlier, but I spent a lot of time removing stitches and learning how to use my mom’s awesome back-up sewing machine.  I did deviate from instructions a bit:

  • All edges (armholes and lower hem) were finished with a straight stitch, save for the back neckline. The narrow hem was not necessary, since this jersey doesn’t unravel, so a straight stitch hem was good enough.
  • I tried THREE times to get the blind hem stitch to work on the front facing, but each time, I somehow messed it up. I think I’ll need some more practice on that, so I straight stitched it too. The seams aren’t super obvious, so it’s fine.
It’s a little deeper cut in the front than I would have liked, so I’ll have to wear a camisole under it.  But other than that, it fits wonderfully.  When I make my next one in the dark grey jersey with the sleeves, I’ll be sure to raise the neckline a bit.
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Hems and Haw

Front and back completed and stitched at shoulders

Front and back completed and stitched at shoulders

As you can see, I’m nearly finished. Just need to sew up the side seams, hem the bottom and the arm holes, and that will complete this tunic! It has definitely been a different kind of project. I don’t know if that’s because the pattern is suppose to be simple, or because I’m working with a knit fabric, but this was not your common “cut out a bunch of panels and sew them together” type top, like the last top I made.

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First Time with Jersey

Butterick 5495, Style A

Butterick 5495, Style A

When I told my mom about the next project I had in mind, she asked if I was ready to work with knit fabrics. If you’ve never worked with knits before, they can be tricky. I had such a difficult time just laying out my fabric so I could place my pattern pieces. And sewing it can be even scarier, since it stretches, you have the possibility of stretching the fabric while feeding it through the sewing machine! But I was, and am, up to the challenge.

This is Butterick 5495, a kind of a tunic. There’s two different lengths: I’m doing the shorter of the two. Some of the women who’ve made this pattern have even lengthened the longest style to make cute knit dresses.  The other option is with or without sleeves. I was so ambitious to do this pattern that I picked up fabric to do the style with sleeves (short length, again) after I finish the sleeveless tunic.

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