Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top: Butterick 4259

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top: Butterick 4259

Wow!  This pattern was a crazy one.

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

I got Butterick 4259 for Christmas from my family.  I fell in love with the shape and style of the pattern and–let’s be honest–the cover art.  This is a vintage pattern with “Young Designer Kenzo” printed on the front.  I’ve never tried one of the vintage designer patterns, so this seemed like a good start, since it didn’t look too complicated.

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top


Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

Well, the shape wasn’t, but…let’s just say I would love to hear the story of how this pattern was produced.  I made a muslin, just to be safe, even though I thought the shirt would fit, although I planned to widen the waist and hips.  I’m so glad I made that muslin because I ran into a significant problem:  the collar was drafted to fit the shirt before the front plackets were folded in.  So, I either had to shrink the collar to a size that would be too tight or expand the shirt.

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

The main pattern pieces were really interesting, too.  Rather than a front and a back piece, there was a right side piece that was the front and the back and a left side piece that was along the same lines.  The picture below doesn’t show the whole piece, but hopefully it give you an idea.  The curve on the right is the neckline and the curve on the left is the sleeve.  The piece is about twice as long as what you see here.

Vintage Butterick 4259 by Kenzo

As far as the fit of the shirt, I decided I liked the size of the collar, so I cut down the length of the right and left side pattern pieces and spread them apart to add the necessary amount of length at the collar, which also widened the shirt.  (You can see this above.)  Then I removed the extra width I had added at the waist and hips.  This worked well, making the shirt and the collar compatible.  I was lucky enough to be able to consult my friend’s mother, who was a professional seamstress for years, and she also advised me to lower the collar in the front by a quarter inch to bring it down from my neck and closer to my collar bone.  She also thought this would help with the problem of the shirt pulling to the back, and it largely did, but you can still see that the back hem hangs lower than the front, which I don’t think is an intentional design element.  The shirt itself has a number of weird drag lines that I don’t love but in the end, we sort of just declared it good enough.

Vintage Butterick 4259 by Kenzo


Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

I ran into problems with the directions as well.  The way that the front interfacing is supposed to be applied seemed wrong, resulting in interfacing that would be visible inside when it was easy to enclose it, so I used my common sense to enclose the interfacing on the plackets.

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

I feel like, fitting-wise, this pattern is a bit tortured.  I would be interested to see it in a drapier fabric, but it really felt like a pattern that wasn’t tested or edited well.  I don’t usually run into that in the Big Four patterns that I sew with, so, like I said, I’m really curious about what the process was to get this particular pattern produced.  Maybe when my sewing skills are at a higher level, I’ll revisit it and work on the collar and sleeve areas to see if I can get rid of some of those drag lines.  The pattern in its current state doesn’t make the grade as my summer dream shirt, but it has potential.

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

In case you are curious about my final version, I used “You’re my Anchor Natural” in the Bluebird line from Cotton + Steel (purchased here) as well as vintage buttons and some of the Art Gallery lightweight denim for the pocket and inside collar stand.

Vintage Butterick 4259 by Kenzo

The denim was left over from these shorts.  I’m not entirely sure if I love the pocket, so I may take it off.  What would you do?

Vintage Kenzo for Butterick Top

One great thing about finishing this project is that with it, I finish up my 2017 Make Nine!  Yes!  This was my last one!  All the others were blogged with the exception of the Liesl + Co. Gallery Tunic since that was not for me (it was for my Mom, one of the few people I’m willing to consider sewing for other than myself–and that’s rare).

So, what’s next?  I’d really like to try to find some dress styles that I like, I have a few bathing suits I’d like to attempt (although I’ve shelved those for the moment to focus on the dress sewing), and who knows what else?  I have tons and tons of things I would love to try making, but sometimes that can be counter-productive (a.k.a. overwhelming–I want to SEW ALL THE THINGS!!!).  Maybe I need a new Make Nine just to keep me semi-focused.  😉

And in case you want to look it over, I reviewed this pattern over on PatternReview.  🙂


  • I would really love to make these Lobster Roll Sliders from Tastemade.
  • I still think it’s hilarious that this store is real, but I recently discovered FatFace when a store opened in our area.  Yes, this store is real and yes, it sells clothes to women (and men and children), and the style is pretty cool.  It still baffles my mind that the men who started this company think the name was a good idea (I think they named it after a mountain), but I am inspired by the style.
  • Rachel from Maker Style did a Q & A episode on her podcast and she mentioned me!  OK, it was just because she was answering the question I submitted, but I’ve never been mentioned on a podcast before, so I was excited.  I really love her podcast, which is all about garment sewing (and the businesses that are connected to that), and I highly recommend it if you like podcasts and sewing clothes.
  • I’m not sure what to say about this video, except that Americans do eat a lot of potatoes.  Here is Rita Pavone singing “My Name is Potato”.  My Italian is pretty rusty, so I apologize if there are any bad words or sketchy things I missed.

8 responses »

  1. You know what, I had this pattern in the 70s.

    I loved this pattern, because with a little altering you could make it out of one piece of fabric, plus additional pieces to make the front plackets. If you folded the fabric in fourths– you didn’t need to that center seam at all. It pleased my geeky brain.
    Plus, the effect seemed so nostalgic. I made it from a superfine white shirting, and embroidered a fat little cartoon airplane on the pocket of one, and a pine tree on the pocket of another. Another one was a rose printed calico. I was big into nostalgia.

    I also remember the problem with the collar! I had to scrounge extra fabric to recut my pieces to make them long enough to enclose the plackets.
    My guess is that no one really vetted this pattern at all, they just got it to the printers in a hurry. hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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