In deciding to continue my love affair with my new Butterick patterns, I chose B5538 as my next project. I probably should have been trying B5503 again, but the pattern is going to need some work and something new just sounded more fun. I have looked at patterns similar to B5538 often but always said no because of the princess seams. However, in an attempt to spice up my current sloper patterns, I am going to give the princess seams a try.


The journey started with a trip to the stash. I found a piece of fabric that would work for a wearable muslin. The piece was 3-1/4 yards long. The pattern called for 3-1/2 yards, so I figured I could make that work. It is amazing to me how much fabric these new patterns are calling for. I can get my basic sloper pattern from 2-1/2 yards. As on the last pattern, I would learn later why that was. The fabric was then pre-treated, ironed and ready for cutting.


The next step was to get the pattern traced and ready to cut out. After tracing all the pattern pieces, I was smart enough to remember my past lessons and pulled out my sloper pattern. Upon laying the two patterns together, I quickly realized that the pieces of B5538 were shorter than what I like my shirts to be. I am so thankful that I thought ahead and did this. I would be telling you a much different story if I had not discovered this fact while in the cutting process instead of the sewing and fitting process.


Already being 1/4 yard short of what the pattern called for and wanting to lengthen the pieces as much as possible, I turned to the pattern guide and studied the layout of the pieces on the fabric. I twisted and turned the pieces and finally got it all to fit as well as increase each piece by 2-1/2 inches in length. I had to put a seam at the bottom of one of the facings to make it work, but I have done this before on shirts and it has worked out fine. Unlike pattern B5503 that used all the extra fabric it called for in length and that I later ended up cutting off, this pattern required extra fabric because of the size of the facings. For the facings, you cut the front of the shirt again. That is a huge facing compared to other facings I have made. But, not being sure about the whole princess seam thing, I decided to make the facings as big as the pattern called for and see if that size is really needed, or if they just did not want to make a separate pattern piece for the facings.


Before sewing could start, the dreaded application of the interfacing had to take place, but I am happy to report that with the new info I now have about applying interfacing, it ironed on beautifully. I was so excited that I had to stop and do a little happy dance before I could start to sew.


This is part 1 of a 2 part post.



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