Does your fabric ever talk to you? I ordered this beautiful watercolor floral cotton gauze from FabricMart at the beginning of this month, and it has just been screaming "Make Me! Make Me!" ever since it arrived at my house. I really didn't have time to sew, but yesterday, I just couldn't stand it any longer and gave in to the calls. Most of my fabrics can sit for months, even years, before they get sewn up, so this was highly unusual.
I also had a pattern that has been more lightly whispering, "make me". That would be Butterick 6021, an Ivy+Blu design from a couple of years ago. You know how a book just opens to a certain page every time? That was happening with this pattern. It had a hem that was longer at the front than the sides, a lined bodice, and tie belt.
So, I thought- well, let's just get this over with- the pattern is pretty simple, I should be able to sew it up in a couple of hours, and get on with my life. Right? Wrong. I fiddled and fiddled with the fitting pretty much all day.
Luckily, the only other pressing engagement that I had was weeding the garden, and the weeds are enjoying the sunshine and are quite content to be left alone.
So, the first challenge was that my fabric wasn't wide enough for the pattern. It called for 60" wide fabric, and mine was 54". Usually when the yardage chart says 60"on the fabric width, it is just a code for anything 54" or wider, but not this one. It really needed the entire width. The gauze did have an obvious directional crinkle to it, or else I would have switched the layout to a crosswise grain. So, my first adjustment to the pattern was to shave off enough of the pattern for it to fit my fabric's width.
Here is the first change:
This left the side seam too short for my tall self. So, I decided to angle the side seam enough so that it would be at least 23" long. See the folded edge- that is the side seam? This change removed some of the fullness of the skirt, but you can see that there is plenty of skirt fullness left in the finished dress. It does reduce the difference between the highest and lowest point, so the hem is not as dramatic.
Adrienne's Essentials, and she didn't mention any issues with the bodice sizing, so I forged ahead blindly without making a muslin. I cut my normal size, but the shoulder straps were way too wide for me, and ended up falling off my shoulders. I didn't have enough fabric to recut, so I had to fix what I had. For the front, I made two 1/2" pleats- one on each side of the center front. These are barely visible due to the busy-ness of my print, but you can see them here:
Finally, I narrow hemmed the whole skirt hem, and then tried it on. I should have reversed these steps: try on, then hem, because part of the skirt was on the bias and it had grown significantly longer in a certain section. It had to be trimmed up and re-hemmed there. So, if you make this, let it hang for some time, and then take a look at your hem before actually hemming!
Other changes that I made:
- I added inseam pockets. I used a pocket pattern from another pattern, and just placed them 3 inches below the waist on each side seam.
-I left out the skirt lining. My fabric was opaque enough to get away with it.
I'm pretty happy with the end product, and now I can get on with my garden weeding! If you have this pattern, I strongly recommend making a bodice muslin to figure out any tweaking that you might need for your body shape.
I'll leave you with June in central Illinois- sunshine, corn, wind and wide-open blue skies. I don't live on a farm, but this field is directly behind our house, and we really enjoy living so close to it. I grew up on a farm and love this time of year when we get to see the bounty of our part of the world.