Monday, March 25, 2013

Butterick 5816

I had planned some more substantive posts, but Iris' school performance, subsequent illness, and then my illness wiped out my last week and a half. Instead, I offer a fluffy pattern review of Butterick 5816 View B.

The pattern envelope and the Butterick website does not offer a photograph of the blouse--generally a bad sign.  They may not have even tested the pattern before publishing it.  I didn't intend to purchase a pattern to be their beta tester; I originally wanted to make view D, which wouldn't have worked for this fabric.
This has a lot of collar, even when doubled over and twisted.

The collar looks more tailored and stiff when folded over without a twist.

If you have a loooooong neck, you can wear the cowl without folding it over.

Notice that the stripes don't match on the back neck seam.  I couldn't be bothered because I wasn't sure if I would like the finished product and thought this was just a wearable muslin.

It turns out, this is a fun, easy and very pretty blouse.  I think it will be worn quite often.

The pattern pleasantly surprised me with its engineering.  The bias cowl is lozenge-shaped instead of rectangular.  That allows it to lay more gracefully.  All the pattern pieces match up exactly the way they should.  My only gripe is that the pattern is drafted with straight shoulder seams. I am not shaped like that. I took a tip from the Burda draft and curved the shoulder seams down about 1/4" toward the neck edge to hug the indentation by my clavicle.

I purchased the mystery fabric at SAS.  A flame test revealed that it was either acetate or triacetate.  It has a lovely crinkled pique finish with satin and twill woven stripes.  It can fray like crazy, so I was careful when handling it.  The cowl seams are enclosed.  The shoulder seams are flat felled.  The sleeve and side seams are serged with gray thread, and the hems are turned under twice.

[I toyed with the idea of flat-felling the dropped sleeves, which have a flat sleeve cap, but, worried that would have created too much stiffness--a danger with drop sleeve caps.  Once the serger was rethreaded to gray, I took the path of least resistance and served the side seams.]

I sewed a size Medium (12-14), which is my size according to their measurement charts.  I usually shorten pattern sleeves by 1/2", but needed to shorten this one by 2.5".  Although the long-sleeved version of this blouse is shown in the longer (body) length, I cut it out in the shorter length.  I raised the center front neckline by 2", narrowed the neckline 1/4" on each side and redrafted to a smooth neckline curve.  The neck circumference at the seam line was 28" (instead of the original 32"), which is the circumference of the XS cowl piece.

BTW, I styled it with a denim wrap skirt made with Vogue 9414.  It's OOP, but Lanetz Living has two copies of it for sale.  I first made this skirt in linen and you can see it on me here.  I also found the linen and denim for the two skirts at SAS.

People often ask me where to buy fabric.  It's difficult now that all of the full-service apparel fabric stores in the south bay have closed.  In the last decade or so, we've lost TreadleArt, Florence Fabrics and the Cotton Shop.  I can't stand the stuff they sell at Joann's as apparel fabric.  These days, I find my apparel fabrics locally at odd jobbers like SAS Fabrics and Trash for Teaching.

Both are hit and miss because they stock leftovers from area apparel manufacturers.  They have what they have and it might not be what you need at that point in time.  But, at prices ranging from $1-$6 per pound for the odd-sized flat folds, or $1-6/yard (for fabrics on rolls) I buy what I like even if I don't have an immediate use for it.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Momen, a quilt shop with a distinctly Japanese flavor in old Torrance.  They sell Japanese-made fabrics for far less than they sell for in Japan.  The owners have great relationships with US and Japanese manufacturers and their selection and prices for top-quality  fabrics are unbeatable.  But, sadly, most of it is for quilting or home dec.

I keep a shopping list and order interfacing once a year from Fashion Sewing Supply.  I used to order thread and notions annually from Atlanta Thread and Supply, now part of WAWAK Sewing Supplies. Has anyone used WAWAK and want to share their customer service experience?

Bad Dad and I wished for a bookstore on Artesia and two opened up--one for new books and one for used ones.  The Cotton Shop and Luella's Quilt Basket closed down due to their owners' retirements, but a former Luella's employee opened up Nina's Quilt Barn.  There is an empty storefront on Artesia boulevard that would be perfect for an apparel fabric store with classrooms.  It even shares a parking lot with a sewing and vacuum shop.  Someone really needs to open up a fabric store there.  How hard do I have to wish?

Pattern review for Butterick 5816.


  1. Very nice! I have that pattern in my queue on the cutting table.

  2. This does look like a great, versatile pattern. The stripes are a nice match for the style.

    I've ordered from Cleaner's Supply, which is also part of Wawak, and been completely satisfied. Shipping is cheap and flat rate, it comes quickly, and their price on thread cannot be beat. I ordered some clear elastic last time and was pleased by the quality--it's more substantial than the stuff you can buy at Joann (and exponentially cheaper).

  3. It's very quiet over here. Hope all is well.

  4. @Myrna
    Thanks for your concern. I've been away from home, not sick.

  5. Anonymous15:33

    The collar looks really cool. I haven't see anything like that as far as the style. It's unique for sure!


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