Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Adventure with Butterick 5610

By Sondra Arnold

I bought Butterick 5610 about four years ago and began my search for a suitable fabric. I liked the look of the inky blue top on the pattern envelope but could not find a nice, slinky fabric of that color anywhere.
Every time I met with the Couture group at G Street Fabrics in Centreville I would scan the fabric selection (and not just the ones on the bargain table) but what I wanted was not to be found. Why is it when we imagine the perfect fabric for a project it often seems not to exist? As I usually do, I checked out the review of this pattern on the Pattern website. This is a resource I highly recommend!
As I looked over the reviews of others who had sewn this pattern, I saw someone had made it beautifully in a boarder print. Wow! I searched for this also. I found a wonderful boarder print but it simply would not work with the layout of my pattern. Well, no loss there as I made it up into a great tunic.
After these years of searching, I finally found something at Hancock Fabrics just a few months ago, not quite the rich inky blue color I hoped to find, but close enough! I bought a royal blue polyester with a slight texture.
At home, as I laid out the pattern, I cut the hem two inches longer and added an inch to the sleeve length. When it was finally stitched enough to try on, discouragement set in. The front hem drooped, the torso was boxy and baggy, and the pleats and yoke looked odd. I liked the length in back. Instead of trying to make the front the same level, I took this opportunity to shorten it to make a high low hem that is popular these days. Problem one was solved.
The pattern illustration looked shapely in the waist, but the actual pattern was not. Pinning it in did not look satisfactory. I laid a blouse I liked the silhouette of on the top, matched the underarm seams, and pinned to the outline. Success! Problem two solved.

I thought the yoke was cut and sewn precisely, but it did not look right. Were the pleats pulling the yoke down? I took it apart and stitched again; how frustrating that it did not improve. Usually I would quit at this point and stick the project in the closet to wait until who knows when to tackle it again. There were other projects to work on but I simply did not want to change the needle and thread and then have to change it back later. I decided to try again today.
At the last Seams So Fun meeting, I was reminded that in couture seamlines are thread traced. Instead of lining up the cut edges to sew a seam, the seamlines are matched up. There was the solution to problem three! How helpful these meetings are! By measuring the pattern I saw the yoke was one eighth of an inch or less off here and there, so I took in one area and let out another. I don’t think this would have shown in a print but a solid fabric shows it all. I was so discouraged when I first tried my top on, but by patiently working through each issue, I now have a fun top to wear.

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