Monday, March 21, 2011

Rose Print Shirt: Butterick 5555

Here is Butterick 5555 as shown on the pattern envelope art: 

And here is the version I sewed up.  Hmmm, this shirt fits well but I'm not so sure about the print...

This shirt isn't exactly a wadder, it actually turned out the way I planned it.  But, maybe my plan wasn't such a good idea to begin with.  Sometimes I plan a great garment but my technical sewing skills fail me at some point and the garment doesn't come out as planned.  In the case of this shirt my sewing skills were up to the task but my design skills are what failed me I think. 
I think it was a mistake to use the large scale rose print for this shirt.  The detailing of the pattern itself gets lost in the print (I can't even discern the belt in the photo above) and I think the print might be too loud for a shirt anyway.
Also, the fabric I used is a quilting cotton.  I make clothes for my daughter using quilting cotton and I'm always happy with the results.  However, I don't have good luck making garments for myself with quilting cotton (with the exception of a couple of simple A-line skirts).  Am I alone here?  Do you make clothes for yourself and if so have you used quilting cotton?  I always see samples of Amy Butler patterns made up in her quilting cottons so people must be doing it.  Other designers like Anna Maria Horner and Valori Wells are adding more substrates to their lines like voiles which I much prefer for garment sewing.  

Here is my detailed pattern review.  Also posted at

Pattern Description: MISSES' TOP, TUNIC, DRESS AND BELT: Pullover, loose-fitting top A, tunic B, dress C have front gathers, self-faced front yoke, stand-up collar, gathered three-quarter length sleeves with sleeve bands, stitched hems and self-belt. A: above hip length. B: below hip length. C: above mid-knee length.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. They were easy to follow since this is a simple garment IMO but I'd say the instructions were just average. I think there should have been something to alert you that you are attaching the collar to a partially finished neckline. Also, I don't like how they have you complete the entire sleeve before sewing it to the garment. Whenever possible I like to set the sleeve in flat before sewing the side seam and I find that method much easier with a garment like this.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the versatility of the pattern allowing you to choose a length (shirt, tunic or dress). I disliked the fact that there was no long sleeve option.

Fabric Used:
I used a quilting cotton from the Greenfield South line by Free Spirit. It was really substantial. I washed and dried it before sewing and it fluffed up a bit - almost like a flannel but not quite. If that makes sense. I would not use this fabric again for this top. I should have used some cotton shirting - the quilting cotton is a little stiff.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None. Thought about lengthening the sleeves but didn't have enough yardage for that. I usually need to make an FBA and petite adjustments but neither of those were necessary for this pattern which made this a fun and fast project.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would consider sewing it again but this time in a solid color instead of a print. I loved the fit of the finished garment however it seems a little loud with the large, all over rose print. Maybe in a nice lawn, batiste or lightweight shirting. I will consider making this in the dress length for spring.

For me this shirt is a nice alternative to the usual button down or v-neck that I tend to wear. This is a great pattern for a beginner because it is easy to fit the garment - you won't have to fuss with the fit since it is so roomy and then just cinches in with the belt.

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