I think I found a winning pattern! Butterick 5948 is a dartless, boxy woven t-shirt or tank top with different sleeve lengths, necklines, and back options. I really like a lot of the boxy, loose tops I’ve seen lately and the line drawings on this pattern made it look like it had some potential.
I made View F with the length of View C in a 16 (bust) graded out to a 20 (waist and hips) and also made a minor broad back adjustment to the paper pattern since the back had a little more width than most tops I make (usually I need a major broad back adjustment). I decided to wait and see if it looked like I needed a forward shoulder adjustment and, if so, incorporate that into a later version.
One of my goals was to use up some odds and ends from my stash, so I managed to cut the front, sleeves, and pocket out of a bit of ’70’s fabric my mom gave me.
Someone way back in the past had given it to her. We think it was curtains at one point, but it also served as a skirt for my hippy costume one Halloween when I was a kid. 🙂 I’ve always loved the colors and those big flowers. Now it was about to get another life in this shirt.
Look at the pattern matching on that pocket!
The front fabric had more drape, but from having worked with the Tinted Denim before, I knew that over several washings it would soften up. I also used some random pink bias tape from my stash to finish the inside of the neckline. Yay for using up stash items!
I LOVE how this top came out.
A lot of people object to the amount of ease in Big 4 patterns, but I’m a fan. I don’t like my woven garments to be super fitted, and I love the shape and silhouette of this. I will say, however, that because the armhole is somewhat low, if you raise your arms, the whole shirt lifts up. I decided to experiment with the length of the shirt in version two.
For my second take on this pattern, I made the same size, but lengthened it by three inches, taking it back to somewhere around the look of View F. I had some Alison Glass Mariner Cloth fabric that I had planned to use for a third Peppermint Magazine Peplum Top (the two I made are in last week’s post), but I felt it would get more wear made up into this garment, so I re-appropriated it. I made a 3/8″ forward shoulder adjustment because I couldn’t quite figure out how to make a major forward shoulder adjustment on the paper pattern without making the shoulder areas of the front and back different lengths. (Jenny of SoleCrafts had some great shoulder fitting tips in the comments of last week’s post that are worth checking out if you struggle with forward shoulders fitting issues. I hope to try her tips in a future garment.)
Since I had been so excited to play with stripe placement with this fabric when it was destined to be the Peplum Top, I wanted to make sure I did that in this boxy top, even though it had fewer seam lines. I turned the stripes on the diagonal on the pocket, and placed them vertically on the lengthened section of the shirt. I also opted to use a spring green thread for a fun subtle detail.
Once the shirt was nearly done, I tried the it on and discovered that the longer length, while practical, wasn’t my favorite. I shortened it back to what it had been by taking the extra inches out of the main body of the shirt so that I could keep the bottom panel with the vertical stripes.
The fabric itself is interesting. It’s a little lighter and more loosely woven than a quilting cotton, but costs about the same. The neon stripes are bundles of long threads that are woven into the main cloth, and when you wash it, it rumples up kind of like seersucker. I really like it so far. We’ll see how durable it is over the long-term. I’m really glad I tried it. Both this and the Tinted Denim are from Pintuck & Purl.
So that’s the story with these tops. I would definitely make this again. In fact, I would be curious to try View E in a double gauze, although I always wonder how that will hold up over the long-term as well. I guess I wonder that about all fabric substrates that are more loosely woven. Hopefully in time I’ll have the experience and knowledge I’m lacking now. You never stop learning with sewing!
Along those lines…Sunday, September 16, 2018 marks my five-year “blogiversary”! I can’t believe I started this blog five years ago! Thanks to everyone for following along. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned (and how much sewing has completely taken over my life) in the last five years. I’m so thankful.
Lastly, thanks to my husband for letting me convince him to take a thousand pictures of me in these shirts and for always supporting me in all my creative endeavors. ❤