Bell Sleeve Tops- Butterick 6486

For my next pair of woven fabrics in my First Frost Wardrobe capsule, I decided that I needed to wave my hat to the current crazy sleeve trend, by making a couple of bell sleeve tops.  I had two very lightweight fabrics with great drape- a patchwork synthetic blend, and a silk crepe de chine with a burn out velvet border.  Doesn't that sound good enough to eat?

I decided on Butterick 6486 for both of them- a gathered waist pullover top with bell sleeve variations.  This is one of the more rare patterns that comes in XS-XXL sizing, with the size break being XS-S-M, and L-XL-XXL.  I'm a medium in the neck and shoulders and a large in the body, so no matter which size set I choose, I'm going to have to do some alterations.  So, this time I bought the larger set.  Turns out, this one had so much ease that I ended up whittling it down to the Medium after all.  So, if you are thinking about this one- size down!  I didn't even have to add any extra length, and I'm pretty tall.
In my last post, I told you about my problems sewing and chatting- that visiting with my daughter while sewing was causing me to screw up.  This turn of events got even more out of hand with this top, when I sewed the sleeve in completely upside down!  Yes, I matched the underarm of the sleeve to the shoulder seam!  Well, there was no getting around that I was going to have to rip that one out. LOL!
Since I had serged it, I cut off the serging, and made a teeny tiny seam allowance when I sewed it back in, and it is no worse for wear.

I very much like this look with the sleeves.  It's also very much in the way when you are trying to clean the counters in your kitchen though!  I kept flipping it up, and it would just flip right back down.  Probably need to have a ponytail band handy, to cinch up the sleeves when needing to do some actual work.

I love how it camouflages the tummy- is it the shirt, or her tummy?  You'll never know!

My second version of this blouse is going to be my holiday go-to top.  This unusual fabric was an Anna Sui fabric that I got from Fabric Mart years ago.  I've been petting it every once in a while, and finally decided to jump in and cut it up.  I had a choice as to whether to put the burn out on the top, or the bottom of the blouse.  My original instinct was the bottom, but those burn out velvet pieces are kind of stiff and not too flowy, so I opted to put it on the bodice and the sleeves.

See my incredible matching skills where the burnout flowers match at the armhole edge?  Just kidding, that was just an incredible stroke of luck.  I think that the sewing gods have been playing with me, making me sew things upside down, and decided to give me a break and match the motifs for me.

I won't be cleaning any kitchen counters with this one, being silk and all.  This one is strictly for sipping wine and snacking on hors d'oeuvres.  

I'm very happy with both of these-  have you got your holiday party wear sewn up yet?

Happy sewing!



  1. I love them both!! What a great pattern!

  2. I saw this pattern and didn't think it would be flattering. Boy, was I wrong!

  3. Love your top (especially that silk one!) - gorgeous fabric and nice fit everywhere :) I laughed reading about your mishap re the sleeve - I do things like this all the time and you just have to preserve your good sense of humour through it all which it reads like you did :)

  4. I really love both versions. Each fabric gives it a different look! I like the bell sleeves though they can be annoying at times. Lovely fabrics used perfectly.

  5. Both so cute! I love following along with your winter wear sewing.


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