Butterick B5895 and Untangling Knots Hetty

OMG, when was the last time that I posted a finished project here? I have some to show you that I finished about last month but I’ve been too busy to blog about it. Pictures were taken almost four weeks ago but stayed in my hard drive until now just because life is very busy right now. I’m having so much work that after 6 pm I can’t bear to look at the computer save for watching some meaningless series. But fear not, here you have the first set of finished garments.

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These are Gertie’s ButterickĀ  B5895 pants. Since I didn’t find the printed pattern close by I bought the PDF from McCallPattern.com and they redirected me to PrintSew.com to download the pattern. Here the nightmare started. They don’t provide a PDF file, but a PDC, which is an encrypted PDF for which you need to install a program, LockLizard, and download a license from PrintSew. I printed the pattern last year after I just bought it, but I didn’t have the chance to sew it until now, and since I misplaced some of the pages, I had to reprint them again. I still had the LockLizard installed on my Mac, but my license did not work anymore, so I had to send an email to PrintSew and wait for them to come back to me the day after. I wanted also to mention that the pattern is 48 freacking pages, 8 of them totally blank, and quite some mostly blank as you can see here:

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According to my measurements I should have made a size 12, but after measuring the pattern pieces at the hips and waist I went for a size 8, but I had to make a full inner thighs alteration (as seen on Cation Designs blog), adding 2 cm to each pattern piece (4 in total).

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I also shortened the pants around 7 cm and tapered the legs after they were already sewn.

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The fit is not bad, but if I don’t pull them up vigorously I get horizontal wrinkles, meaning that the waist is too high, around 2 cm higher than my natural waist. Nothing too surprising, since I have a short torso due to being petite.

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I thought I was going to need more space for the bum (as it usually happens) but the stretch cotton sateen helps here and I don’t feel constricted. But look at those wrinkles. I definitely need to shorten this for next time. Well, this is just a wearable muslin.

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Even though it’s just a muslin I decided to serge the edges so that I can wear this without fear of it getting disintegrated. The left part of the zipper is a little bit wonky. I should probably interface this next time or just use more wash away quilters tape).

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When I started sewing my garments insides were a mess. I take now the effort to make them neat, and with a serger it’s easy peasy.

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Pockets are a value added to a pair of pants, even though these feel a bit weird because the waistband sits too high.

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And here is another garment I wanted to show you this time. It’s Hetty by Andi Satterlund. I attempted to knit this cardigan just after it was released, almost three years ago, but the recommended yarn was difficult to find in this part of the world, and I just saw it in maroon. No my favorite color but I gave it a try. I failed miserably, it’s not that I fell out of love with the yarn because I never loved it. It’s just that I started hating it…

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The result was that I abandoned this project for a very long time. I started it again last year with this pink Cascade 220 but abandoned it again after Gerry left us. Just after the summer I retook it again and finished it at the end of last year. Then we had Christmas and moved to a new apartment, so I didn’t sew buttons until almost two months ago. It’s one of the things I enjoy less, so I tend to procrastinate here. I know, ridiculous.

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After all the time it took me to finish this cardigan, I am very happy with the final result and the fit. I had my doubts about what to do with the repeats at the “seams”, but after checking several projects in Ravelry, those parts (sides and where the seam would go on the sleeve) are never perfect, since the pattern repeat is broken by plain stockinette. I was bothered by it at first, but I learned to live with it. It’s just a design feature!

I added two repeats to the sleeves to make them longer, as I always do with Andi’s patterns (my wrists get cold!). The bulge you see on the left one is my watch under the cuff.

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Our four lovebirds are often perched on me at the same time but you’ll never see the four very close together, except for Billy and Daisy, because they are a couple since a very tender age. They are very territorial creatures and they tend to have quite a bad temper. I love them anyway and enjoy their cheeky nature.

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And I finally solved my lighting issues. There were two issues in fact. First, I should explain that I mainly use two lenses for my photoshoots. I like my 35 mm F1.8 for close shots, like when I want to show a cardigan or a top. It’s a fast lens and I don’t need a lot of light. But for complete body shots I need to use my 18 – 55 mm F3.5-5.6. This lens needs more light so it’s restricted to limited conditions. When using the remote I usually shot in A mode, so that the camera auto adjusts if light conditions change (a cloud at a certain moment). But the last time I used this lens my pictures were very dark. I found out that my camera somehow miscalculates when using this lens, so I decided to shoot everything in manual this day for both lenses. Another issue that I had to correct was the non-uniformity of the light. The photoshoot location in my previous apartment didn’t have this problem, but my current sewing room receives much more direct sunlight and they tend to be dark patches in some places. So I bought this little gadget that folds to a very small size and it seemed to help.

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Details:

Spring for Cotton: Gertie’s Shirtwaist Dress

As very often happens, when I started this dress, I planned in my mind to finish it off in a couple of days to be able to wear it an event we were invited. I’m always such a naive! I also participated in the last “Fall for Cotton” and like that time, this project took me forever. I’ve been on the search for a shirtwaist dress pattern for a very long time. I had Gertie’s first book since it was released, but the shirring made me avoid this pattern until I saw Caroline’s version and she convinced me that I had to give it a try, that this was awesome.

I used some cotton poplin as I’ve already mentioned, which worked beautifully for the collar and it pressed nicely but the skirt feels a bit stiff. I still think that a more saturated color would have worked better.

I made a muslin to be on the safe side, mostly because as I’m petite, I was concerned about the waist placed correctly. Unexpectedly it was, but there was something weird happening with the shoulders. This was totally unexpected, since I’ve made Gertie’s 40s style blouse without alterations, and I was doing a size 4 here too. As I’ve read later, more people found the shoulders on this dress too wide. In my case I chopped off like 1 or 2 cm. As these are puffed sleeves, I didn’t alter the sleeve cup, but maybe I should, since there are some pulling lines over there.

This must be the year of the gathers for me. If you have followed me for a while, you may have realized that I never gather fabric (I have my personal reasons) but I think this is already my third project this year including gathers. I think the poplin doesn’t gather very nicely due to its crispness so next time I’ll go with my gut (as I should have done) and make a more traditional shirtwaist dress. Oh, well, at least I’ve learned something.

As I avoid making machine buttonholes like the plague (my machine never behaves) I made bound buttonholes. And I have to say that they look neat but they take time, steps and more steps, hand sewing and then more time again. They take a lot more work and time than machine buttonholes but at least there were neither tears nor swearing involved.

One of the reasons for which this dress took forever was the amount of hand sewing involved. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll attach both yokes to the back using the burrito method. I just don’t get why we are required to hand sew the inner yoke: you take more chances at having it laying wrongly and it’s a freaking amount of work. I also like a lot more the armbands on the 40s blouse as opposite to this ones, and one of the reasons may be the hand sewing involved. I’m just very slow and I know from experience that hand sewing can leave you some ugly scars. This is partly why I machine hemmed the dress. I didn’t think this shape would benefit from adding petersham, and I was anyway doing a narrow hem, so to the machine it went. Before hemming it I cut off 4 cm, and I should point out that I raised the pockets by 2.7 cm, but I wouldn’t have hurt to raise them a little more.

And talking about the skirt shape, it feels somehow out of balance. I don’t know whether it is either a problem with this pattern or the fabric I used. It’s like the non-shirred fabric is pushing the pleated fabric at the hem. I think the pleats and shirring may not go very well together, but I could be wrong.

Something that I noticed is that I had to chop 5.5 cm of the facings, since they were longer than the skirt pieces. I don’t remember seeing this mentioned anywhere so it could be that I missed something in the instructions.

I had some purple buttons in my stash, but after checking with other sewcialists on Instagram, I finally purchased mother of pearl buttons, and I think I made the right call. I really like how they look on this fabric.

I went the extra mile and made a fabric-covered belt. I am not sure how belting looks like but this is what I got at my local haberdashery. The instructions are very straightforward and are also included in the book. I purchased a white plastic buckle at another shop and they claimed that they still have many things from the 40s in store. The buckle had a prong but I didn’t want to overcomplicate things even more so I removed it with a pair of pliers.

All in all I’m quite happy with this dress. It may have some flaws but I put quite an effort on it and I’ve learned new to me techniques: shirring, bound buttonholes and fabric-covered belts. I think in every craft you have to try things to really know what you want to make, and now I know that I want to make a shirtwaist dress with no shirring or gathers.

I want to thank Rochelle for organizing this Spring for Cotton and give us the opportunity to try to go beyond our limits and create unique garments.

I’m wearing here my first pair of Rocket Originals and I love these shoes. They are very comfy for not being flat, and they go wonderfully with vintage dresses.