Sunday, 26 May 2013

Summer Lovin'

Pattern: Butterick 5895
Size: 14
Fabric: Gingham stripe from Ditto Fabrics

It's no secret I love 1950s style and this shirt, designed by Gertie just sums up the era so beautifully. I knew exactly what fabric I would use straight away and I think they're a match made in heaven.

There aren't many reviews out yet, but the available ones all commented that it was crazy short. I even read on Gertie's own blog that she was surprised how short Butterick had made it. Interesting to know the companies tamper with designers ideas like that! I suppose those are the benefits of self-publishing like a lot of designers do these days. So, I added an inch and a half to the pattern pieces so it now sits at my waist. It definitely needs a cami underneath, or high-waist bottoms. Unless you're a tiny teenager who can get away with flashing a glorious midriff. Alas, those days are long gone. The front pattern pieces are strangely shaped as they include the tie pieces built-in, and there were no printed lengthening lines, so I was pleased I managed to successfully execute the modesty process.

It certainly isn't a pattern for beginners. There are some really harsh instructions that tell you do to something but give no suggestion as to how to do it. Even things like 'finish the raw edge' might seem simple but if you're new to sewing you may want some tips as to how to do that. My main gripe was the part early on that said to reinforce the corner of a collar piece but gave no idea of measurements, so I happily made it up, only to find that the ENTIRE success of the collar depended on that bit being really precise. So I had to do a lot of fudging later on which made this a not very enjoyable make. Thankfully the messy bits are hidden under the collar and my busy fabric helps!

I could possibly have got away with a smaller size, as there was a lot of excess fabric in the back, but I just increased the length of the darts and the problem went away :-)

I used a plain fabric for the facings although the pattern assumes you'll use the main fabric. I liked the idea of the contrast and I think it has worked really well. I can rarely bring myself to not add a bit of extra quirk to things (I hope I'm not turning in to Zooey Deschanel!) so decided to pick out the green from the pattern in the fabric and use buttons to match. I had some that were a free gift from Susan at (if you've never used the site, I totally recommend it - they stock a lot of the indie patterns and the customer service is second to none). Big Minx later pointed out they looked like they were made of Bakelite which just makes them even more perfect for my 50's top.

Despite the collar issues detailed above, I made this in one afternoon, having taken the day off for an exam, so it was very time-satisfying. Thankfully, the sun came out today, allowing me to wear it for the first time!

In case you weren't clear what kind of look I was going for, here are some polka dot cat's eye sunglasses.

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