A cute combination of raglan sleeves and princess seams, I chose Butterick 6134 early this summer as a great wardrobe basic. It’s an easy pattern, but I fell into trouble with it – fabric choice and fitting!
I’ve been cleaning out things around home (including donating 7 amazing RTW designer suits from my suit days to charity and 20 yards of fabric to the art program at my son’s school). I came across this project I abandoned over the summer and decided to finish it for the lessons learned. And, voila it works. While this version is just okay, I have high hopes for the next version!
The pattern: Butterick 6134, released 2014. Fitted top with raised neckline. I chose view B, but with view C’s short sleeves.
The fabric: The pattern calls for faille, challis, or crepe. Crisp and architectural or soft and drapey? I chose a soft white tiny pique cotton woven I bought from Sawyer Brook at least 5 or 6 years ago. Spoiler: the fabric doesn’t really work.
Construction: Nothing complicated here. Except the fit. I cut and stitched a 14 through to adding the sleeves (a 14 – how’d that happen?). I basted in the raglan sleeves and tried it on. I thought I was being generous cutting a 14 … but … my midsection … too tight. In a fit, I took it off and threw it in the sewing closet where it stayed until I found it last week.
I tried it on again, now that I soberly realize that I need to fit the body I have, not the body I once had, or think I’ll get with exercise. It wasn’t so bad. I let out all the seams in the front and sides (where I needed room), and re-stitched with 1/2 inch seams up until the first darts, where I eased back to 5/8ths. It fits. I added about 1 inch doing so.
I also noticed when I finished the top that I need to think about one more fitting measure (at least). I had marked the bust point with tailors tacks, and I noted that the bust point was low. I pinched out the fabric above the bust between the sleeve seams (but not in the back), and the fit was much better. I’ve noticed “saggy extra fabric” in this area before, which leads me to believe that I need to muslin all my tops to check for the hollow chest adjustment.
Would I make it again and what would I change? Yes, but I would change the fabric (and fit adjustments). This fabric wrinkles too much, and it’s not “firm” enough. It doesn’t have the body it needs to look just right. It’s very fitted, so I’d recommend a stable knit (like a ponte). My next version will be in a grey rayon ponte remnant I picked up from Marcy Tilton. This version is fine as a layering piece, but I’m not thrilled with it as a stand alone.