Let’s hear it again for B’s. The B5583’s

I finally decided that it was time to try my Butterick 5583 pattern again. I have now worn the shirt I made from that pattern several times and I knew some of the changes that I wanted to make to the next shirt I made with it.


I started out with a trip to the stash. I figured with the amount of fabric I have in the stash that finding a piece to make a shirt from would just take a few minutes but, boy, was I wrong. Because of the princess seams in this pattern I did not want a stripe or a repeating pattern in the fabric I used. What I learned very quickly is that I must really like stripes and repeating patterns because over the years I have bought a LOT of it. I finally found two pieces of fabric that I thought would work for the pattern. Being wise about this, I started with the piece that I liked the least. That way if it didn’t turn out well I wouldn’t be out too much.


I knew before I even started cutting that I wanted the front facings to be smaller and skinnier, with no breast shield on this shirt like the first shirt has. So other than the facings, I cut out the same size as I had before.


I stitched up the basic shell of the shirt and tried it on. I planned to do a lot of fitting to this shell and to make notes on all the changes I made to it for later reference. When I tried it on, there were a number of things I wanted to change. The princess seams on both the front and back just did not seem to be curving in the right spots to match my curves. As I tried to adjust the seams, I quickly figured out that if I took a little under an inch from the shoulder, 1/2 inch from the the front and 1/2 inch from the back, that would bring the princess seams up enough so that the curves of the seams matched my curves. This was a much easier fix than trying to adjust all the princess seams to be the same, so I decided to go for it. This seemed to answer the fitting problems I though, and it did until I continued sewing it up.


Taking the inch out of the shoulder took an inch out of the armscye. I knew that my sleeve would not fit now and cut an inch off the width of the sleeve. With the sleeves not yet sewn in, all seemed to be good. Taking out the inch had pulled the bottom of the armscye up which looked better than it was before with the inch still there. But, once the sleeves were sewn in, the armscye seems to be too tight and without as much reach room. The original shirt I made from this pattern seemed to have this same problem too, but it seems worse on this shirt. Is that because of the extra inch I took out of the shoulders? I will need to wear the shirt and see if it is really an issue for me as I move in the shirt.


The next problem with taking an inch out of the shoulder is that it shortened the length of the shirt. To remedy this I make the bottom hem as small as possible to give the shirt all the length I could. It is still a lot shorter than I like my shirts to be though. While studying the pattern more closely, I just couldn’t figure out how taking an inch out of the shoulder could make that much difference to the length. I wondered if something else was going on with the length. Pondering this question further, I finally wised up and looked back at the post I wrote on the original shirt and remembered that I had made the original shirt longer than the pattern showed too. So, yes losing an inch in the shoulder did shorten the shirt but that wasn’t the whole problem. This flustered me greatly. I was smart enough to double check the length on the first shirt I had made, but on the second try I didn’t think to do it. One of the reasons for writing my blog is to have a journal of my past sewing projects so I know what I did to solve previous problems. What good is it to spend the time write down my notes if I can’t remember to go back and learn from what I previously wrote. So, lesson learned. From now on I will go back and read my notes on my previous projects before starting a new one. Also, I have pulled out my pattern and made a note at the hem line to make it longer next time. I will not make this same mistake twice.

I’m really not happy at all with the finished shirt. I’m hesitant to cut into the other piece of fabric I dug from the stash now for the third one. I believe I need to wear this shirt for awhile and see what really is a problem for me and what isn’t. I have also started to think about my new measurements now that I lost a little weight. This pattern is based on my previous bust size and I’m now smaller there than I used to be. Maybe my fitting issues would be solved by going down a size the next time? I think I am going to wait on trying this pattern again for a little while. On my next try, I will take my measurement again and pick which size I want to make at that time and then see how that fits me.


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