Tag Archives: jewelry

As Promised: Butterick 5526 Women’s Button Down Shirt with a Broad Back Adjustment

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As Promised:  Butterick 5526 Women’s Button Down Shirt with a Broad Back Adjustment

Hi, friends!  Here we are today with lots of pictures and words on Butterick 5526, which is a women’s button down shirt.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526

Butterick 5526

After my last button down, which was a little bit tight through the back/shoulder area, I decided to learn about how to do a broad back adjustment and measure things on the pattern before I cut my fabric.  The ever-helpful Maggie from Pintuck & Purl put me on the right track, and I found my final and very detailed answer courtesy of The Perfect Fit volume of the Singer Sewing Reference Library.  I cannot recommend these books enough!  One of the best parts is that they are often easy to find used at a very low price!  Mine were a gift, but I have bought one or two volumes that I didn’t have.

Singer Sewing Reference Library

Now is the point where things will get technical.  If you are just here for the pictures and general stuff, feel free to start scrolling at this point.  I’ll let you know when it’s over.

The book instructed me to have someone measure my back between the creases of my arms.

Making a broad back adjustment

I measured about 6″-7″ down from the prominent bone at the base of my neck.  The instructions said to measure 4″-6″ down, but I went a little lower so I could measure at the top of my arm creases.  My back width was 16 3/4″, and the book advised a minimum ease of 1/2″-1″ for a blouse, meaning my garment should measure 17 1/4″-17 3/4″ across the back.  The back width of the pattern was 16 1/2″, so I needed to add 1 1/4″ total or 5/8″ to the pattern piece (since the pattern piece was only half of the back of the shirt).

The book gives you instructions for making a minor adjustment and a major adjustment.

Making a broad back adjustment

Because of the amount I needed to add, I used a major adjustment.  The minor adjustment was appropriate for a total addition of 1/2″ for sizes under 16 and 3/4″ for 16 and larger.  The major adjustment is good for 2″ total in sizes under 16 and 3″ total in sizes 16 and up.  By ‘total’ I mean the amount across a full size back pattern piece.  If you are adding to a pattern piece representing half of the back, as I was, you would cut those ‘total’ amounts in half.  I chose the major adjustment because the amount I needed was more than the amount listed under the minor adjustment instructions.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

One puzzling part that I ran into is that the example shows a pattern piece without princess seams.  My pattern has princess seams.  I was a little worried since this was my first time making this adjustment.  What I ended up doing was taping the pattern pieces for the back and the side back together where they would be sewn together at the underarm and doing the adjustment across both pieces.  Then, I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.  The good thing was that, although I love the fabric I chose, it was also very inexpensive (it may have been around $3-$5 a yard), so if I really messed up, I wasn’t out too much money.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

The above picture probably isn’t the most helpful because I set the pieces together after the fact.  I should have taken in-progress pictures, but I didn’t think of it.  Below are the individual back and side back pieces after the adjustment.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

After making the adjustment to the pattern, I cut everything out, and sewed it all up.  This wasn’t a difficult pattern, but I was really happy that I had my last shirt under my belt.  It helped me to have an idea of how long things were going to take.  Shirts have a lot of little steps, but they are really satisfying to make.  I followed the directions as written, with the exception of going back and zigzagging my seam allowances that hadn’t been topstitched down.  At some point I may use a more polished finish.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

In my initial tracing of the pattern, going by my measurements, I made a 16 in the bust and graded out to an 18 for the waist and hips.  I found this to be very comfortable, and I wore it to the wedding I mentioned in the last post, but I sort of felt like there were little “wings” at the sides.  So, after getting home, I basted the side seams to be a little smaller, guessing how the shirt might have fit had I cut a straight size 16.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

I was worried that it would be tight across the middle, but it’s not at all.  It still has plenty of ease, but it removes the “wing” effect.  For my next shirt, I retraced the waist and hip part of the pattern and cut it down to a 16.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

The most technical parts are done!  Read on for less detailed information.  🙂

For others interested in making this pattern, I would say that this still has a fair amount of ease.  If you like your shirts to fit more closely, you may want to measure the pattern pieces and decide if you want to size down further.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

The less technical details of the shirt include pink topstitching.  I got some nice Gutermann thread for this.  I also found some crystal buttons at a nearby quilt store, Loom ‘N Shuttle.  I like the fanciness it gives the shirt.  😉

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

I also cut the cuffs, collar, collar stand, and plackets on the bias.  I was hoping it would work out ok since I was going to interface those parts with a fusible interfacing, and it worked out great.  You can see that  a little bit in the picture below.  I really like the effect.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

I found out about this pattern by reading Lauren’s blog, Lladybird.  She has the power to make me want to try out just about any pattern, and she wasn’t wrong on this one.  I’ve got another one in progress with more of the fabric I bought last summer, and I’m contemplating future versions in basic white and black.  This pattern is a winner.

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Butterick 5526 with a broad back adjustment

Now I just have to go back and try the broad back adjustment on Simplicity 1538.  I think that one needs a larger adjustment, though, so I put it on the back burner while I work on a few other projects.

One last thing before I go…I love getting recommendations, sewing and otherwise, from other bloggers.  If you’ve ever listened to the While She Naps podcast, you’ll notice Abby and her guests sharing recommendations at the end of the show.  I love that.  So, when I have something fun that I am really enjoying, sewing or otherwise, I’m going to put it at the end of the post in case you want to try it, too.  This isn’t advertising.  No one is paying me to write this blog.  It’s just stuff that is fun for me right now or a really great reference that I like.  That’s why I’m going to call it:  This is fun now…at least until I think of a better title.  Feel free to suggest titles–I’m listening.

This is fun now:  Today’s recommendation (other than the Singer Sewing Reference Library) is an etsy jewelry shop called Adam Rabbit.  I’ve been a fan for a few years now and my family has been nice enough to get me some of the jewelry in the shop the last few Christmases.  If you like chunky, rough gemstones and a style you might find in Free People or Urban Outfitters, you may enjoy this one.  The owner occasionally has deals for Instagram followers, too.  Enjoy!

Field Trip: Denver, Colorado

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My latest field trip is way outside my normal stomping grounds!  Earlier this month, my husband and I took a trip to Denver, Colorado for a wedding.  We almost never get away just the two of us, and definitely not to far-away places, so this was a pretty big deal!  We had such a great time at the wedding and a lot of fun exploring Denver and the surrounding area.

Of course there was sewing involved.  I used the wedding as a chance to challenge myself to come up with a creative outfit.  In the end, I took apart a bridesmaid dress that I had in storage and turned it into a skirt (which involved a lot more work that I thought it would!).  I also made a button down shirt with a pattern that I had been planning to try out (Butterick 5526).  This included making a broad back adjustment to the pattern before I cut it out (hopefully more on that in a future blog post).  After that, it was all about finding great colors to finish things off.  Here’s my final ensemble:

Fancy Wedding Clothes!

Wedding clothes!

I found the sweater on sale at J.Crew, and the earrings and bobby pin (which are harder so see, but they had gorgeous Swarovski crystals) on clearance at TJ Maxx.  I already had the tights, which was a good thing because white tights for women are harder to find that I thought!

Also…check out these shoes!

Fancy Wedding Clothes!

Thank you, Boden sale (and Christmas money!).  I had been saving up for some black heels, but in the end, the fancy shoes won out.

All of the colors together just made me so happy!  I love color!  This wasn’t anywhere near my original outfit ideas, but I’m so happy with how it all turned out.  It was so comfortable, and I know I’ll wear all the pieces again, both together and separately (actually, I’m wearing the shirt and earrings as I type).

The wedding and reception took place in a really cute barn outside of Denver.  The bride was gorgeous and everything was so beautiful.  Lots of our friends were there, and we all had a great time.

When we weren’t at the wedding, we explored the cute mountain town of Evergreen.  I have to recommend The Muddy Buck coffee shop if you are ever there.  I didn’t get any good pictures of it, but here are a few of Evergreen:

Evergreen, Colorado

Evergreen, Colorado

Evergreen, Colorado

My friend and I kept saying we couldn’t believe it was a real town.  It was so cute.  We felt like we were at a theme park or something.  The only thing I didn’t like was the curvy mountain roads!  They were good highways, but they are so curvy and very dark when the sun is down.

I also got a good (luckily not first-hand) education while in Colorado:

Colorado

Colorado

After spending some time in more mountainous areas, we took a day to head into Denver and explore there.  The bride’s parents had given us a bunch of fun recommendations of things to try in the area, and one of them was the Denver Biscuit Co.  I highly recommend this one.

Denver Biscuit Co.

I ordered the DBC Club.  Delicious.

We also spent a little lot of time in Fancy Tiger Crafts!!!!

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

When I got there, it was even bigger better than I had imagined!

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

And, I must say, their sales staff is just lovely!  I admitted to one of the ladies that I was kind of freaking out inside with excitement.  She said she felt the same way for the first month when she started working there.  🙂  Everyone was very friendly and really helpful.

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

During this next paragraph, you should read between the lines that MY HUSBAND IS AWESOME.  I was in Fancy Tiger Crafts for 2.5 hours.  Yes.  It’s true.  There was JUST. SO. MUCH.  I couldn’t make a decision.  I knew I wanted a few crafty badges (like Girl Scout badges for crafters), and I decided to get Deer and Doe’s Datura Blouse pattern…but then I got stuck.  I had fabric money, but what to spend it on?  They say that beggars can’t be choosers, but I say that when you are on a budget, every purchase has to count.  I didn’t want to buy something I wouldn’t use or wear.  Choice overload.

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

It was at this point that my husband gently suggested that we might want to go over to the Denver Biscuit Co. (before they closed), get some lunch, and come back afterward.

It was just what I needed.  Food and a little time to think.  When we went back, I found four fabrics to make up two Datura Blouses and with some help on the yardage calculations from the lovely Jaime herself, I was out of there in 15 minutes.

Lesson learned.  Sometimes you need to take a step back when you get overwhelmed to give yourself time to think.

Want to see what I got?

Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado

I also picked up two knitting badges for some friends.  I’m hoping this loot will serve me well when summer sewing fever hits.

Believe it or not, we even had time to do a little more exploring after that!

Denver, Colorado

Other fun highlights from the trip included pizza at Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs and Evergreen, Tattered Cover Book Store, Revampt, and the mountains!

Colorado

Colorado

These pictures don’t even begin to do them justice.

It was a great trip and a real blessing to be at such a special wedding with so many friends.

Next time (hopefully):  the nitty gritty on sewing Butterick 5526.

Maker Interview: Sue Schwabauer

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Today I’d like to introduce you to a very talented person.  I recently interviewed Sue Schwabauer who, I am convinced, can make just about anything.  She is one of my inspirations, and…she’s also my mother.  🙂

Sue and Dave Schwabauer; photo by Julie Shimer

Sue and Dave Schwabauer

photo by Julie Shimer

Tell me about your current medium/media for creative work.  What media have you explored in the past?
My current medium is sewing and quilting.  Other mediums I have explored in the past  have been painting (both acrylics and oils), stamping, jewelry making, crocheting, knitting and embroidery.
Jewelry by Sue Schwabauer

Jewelry by Sue Schwabauer

What project(s) are you working on currently?
Current projects are designing and making decorative pillows for my couch and making a cushion for a bench. I also just designed and made bridal shower invites. I am getting ready to make [one of my granddaughters] her big girl quilt and maybe make a couple of lap quilts for our family room.
What is the most exciting aspect of that?  What part(s) are you least excited about?
The most exciting part for me is designing and construction. The least exciting part is figuring out yardage for fabric and cutting it out.
How do you think your current work connects with/is influenced by your past work?
My current work connects to my past in a big way. As a teen I was unable to find tall size clothes so I learned how to make my own clothes from about age 14 or 15 on. As a young girl I loved to do embroidery.  So I have loved sewing and hand work for many years. Last year I did a quilted wall hanging that included hand embroidery, beading, and quilting. I really enjoyed that project.
Heirloom smocked dress by Sue Schwabauer

Heirloom smocked dress by Sue Schwabauer

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try out sewing, and quilting specifically?  How should they start? 
For someone who wants to start quilting, I would say don’t be afraid of mistakes…get a good seam ripper and realize that everyone, no matter how long they have quilted or sewn, has to rip things out and start over. Take a beginner quilting course at a local quilt store…it helps so much. I still take an occasional course off and on and always learn something. Also realize that most quilts use a quarter inch seam for all the blocks, so invest in a quarter inch foot for your sewing machine…it makes life so much easier.
What are some of your favorite resources?
My favorite quilt author for a beginner is Eleanor Burns. She has very clear instructions and great illustrations, making it easy to follow her patterns. Another of my favorite books is: Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts by Mary Hickey.  She has the best and easiest quilt binding instructions of any I have ever used.
Lap quilt made by Sue Schwabauer; Flying Geese pattern by Eleanor Burns

Lap quilt made by Sue Schwabauer using a Flying Geese pattern by Eleanor Burns

How did you come to this type of work yourself?
I came to quilting in high school.  For one week every year starting my junior year we had a week where students set up the curriculum.  We had to choose two classes to take during that week.  One of the classes I did my first year was a quilting class.  I decided to do a cathedral window quilt.  I chose it because it used muslin, which was relatively inexpensive at the time, and this quilt used no quilt batting.  I also decided to not repeat any of the 2 1/2 inch squares of patterned fabric in the quilt, so I “raided” my mom’s fabric scraps, neighbors’ fabric scraps and my Grandma’s fabric scraps.  I did not finish this quilt in that one week.  I worked on it off and on through the remainder of high school, all through college, and into the early years of my marriage.  At one point, I couldn’t stand to look at it any more, so it sat in a closet for about 10 years.  During that 10 years I made my first log cabin quilt.  Then, when we lived overseas, [Lisa] asked me if I would finish the cathedral window quilt for [her] bed, which was twin-sized at the time.  I finished it, but left one side with the ability to add on to it at a later date if needed.  Well, [she] ended up with a full-sized bed a few years later, so I added on to it again.  Then [she] had a queen-sized bed, so I added on again and this time I finished the unfinished side so I would never have to add on to it again.  :o)  [Lisa has] loved that quilt, and it goes to show that eventually you can get the drive to finish just about anything.  I did not repeat any fabrics and the fabrics span from the 1950’s [or maybe even earlier] to the 2000’s.
Cathedral Window Quilt by Sue Schwabauer

Cathedral Window Quilt by Sue Schwabauer

Cathedral Window Quilt (detail)

Cathedral Window Quilt (detail)

Who/what are your creative influences?
My creative influences have been friends, family members, quilt shows, art museums, nature, and a variety of magazines and books.  Sometimes I even get ideas while reading my Bible and doing devotions.
Thanks, Sue (Mom) for sharing some of your creative history with us.  If you have any questions for Sue, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I will try to pass them on to her.

Easy necklace round-up

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After all this discussion about easy necklaces, I thought it would be nice to have a little round-up of tutorials from around the web in case you need a quick weekend or evening project.

Check out Laura Parke’s version of the beaded necklace.

Painted Wooden Bead Necklace from Laura Parke

DIY jewelry from paperclips and tape at How About Orange

Nautical Necklace from A Pretty Nest

Washer and Ribbon Necklace from Nestled

Happy creating!

The bird necklace

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The last featured necklace this week is one I made for a friend.  I think of it as “the bird necklace”.  I like the juxtaposition of the red and the natural wood and ivory.

 

bird necklace button detail

This necklace is made from button/craft thread, unfinished wooden beads, a vintage button, and an ivory bird that I recycled from a vintage necklace.  You can find this thread very inexpensively at any large fabric store.  I think it costs a little more than a dollar and comes in nine colors.  It’s very strong and thicker than normal thread.  I used red, and I pulled it across a cake of beeswax several times, and then ironed it with a scrap of old t-shirt around it as a press cloth to strengthen it further and prevent it from tangling.  You could skip this step, but if you choose to do it, make sure to use a press cloth to protect your iron and ironing board (some of the dye from the thread came off on the cloth).  The beads are the same unfinished wooden beads I used in this post.  The bird, which I think is ivory (but I don’t really know) was from a necklace filled with small beads and birds that I got at a flea market.  It was a great necklace, but those little bird beaks were constantly poking me in the neck.  I decided they could be put to a better use, so I cut the necklace apart and sanded down the little beak just a bit for this necklace.

To make the necklace, I put the beads and the bird on the waxed thread in a pleasing arrangement, and then threaded the ends of the thread through the button a few times and tied a bow.  This way it can be untied and the length can be adjusted, if necessary.

You could make a necklace like this from any odds and ends you have around or that you find in craft stores and flea markets.  Here’s one of my finds from this summer that I hope to turn into…something.

Future jewelry?

Future jewelry?

Do you know what these are?  I didn’t, but I liked the graffic numbers and the material made me think of Bakelite (although I don’t know if it is Bakelite or not).

Guess what I found out about them?  They’re cow tags!  I didn’t grow up on a farm, so this was news to me.   The lady I bought them from said the previous owner was a farmer who used the tags to remember which cows he had milked.

What do you think I should do with them?  Earrings, maybe?  😉

Quick and easy necklace

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Here’s the next quick necklace for you in our week of quick and easy necklaces.  This one is also inexpensive and very easy (and great if you are around children that like to tug on your jewelry).

An easy necklace YOU can make!

This necklace is made of a strip of t-shirt material cut on the cross-grain and some one-half inch unfinished wooden beads from the craft store.

To make it, take an old t-shirt and cut a one and a half inch strip horizontally across the section that covers the stomach and back.  Then pull on the section like you are trying to stretch it out until it curls up.  Next, cut it open if there were no side seams or cut off the side seams if there were seams (giving you two shorter pieces).  The necklace can be made with the long piece or one of the shorter pieces depending on what you have.  Then thread the ends through the beads–as many as you want–and tie a knot in the end.  This part can be a little tricky, but it can be done!  I often rearrange my beads and sometimes I retie the knot to make the necklace shorter or longer.  You could paint the beads if you want to, but I like the unfinished look, and I’ve had people ask me where I got it or if I got it at J.Crew.  It’s great to say, “I made it!”