Saturday, October 14, 2017

Butterick 6486 in an Embroidered Black Rayon

As mentioned in an earlier post, I went by Chic Fabrics with Meg & Claire shortly before it closed the old location. Thankfully they have moved just one block over to 38th Street, near SIL Threads. It's sad though because there are now fewer and fewer fabric stores on 39th Street which is similar to what happened on 40th Street. 39th Street now seems like it's turning into eatery row...*sigh*

Anyway, I touched this fabric and knew it had to come home with me especially since it was similar to a voile embroidered piece I purchased from Stylemaker Fabrics earlier in the summer.

It's that time of year here on the East Coast where the mornings start out chilly so you need a jacket/sweater/topper which you remove around the middle of the day. I've found I like nice tops to go over straight leg jeans or leggings, now that the weather is cooling down.

Enter Butterick 6486...

The pattern combined with the black rayon is the perfect fall top!

Pattern Alterations ~
This is a loose-fitting top so I didn't need to make a lot of changes to the pattern pieces except for the sleeves. I added a wedge to the sleeve pattern with it being 2.25" wide at the largest portion.

I made the same alteration to the sleeve ruffle.  It wasn't necessary since you gather the sleeve ruffle onto the sleeve but I wanted to keep the original sleeve design.

Design/Construction Info. ~
I sewed the entire top together and it was huge. I started with an XXL based upon the measurements. I should have gone down one or two sizes because this is a really loose fitting top.

1.  That was just the start of the problems. 
2.  The neckline was too large. 
3.  The sleeves hung way too long.
4.  The top had too much space and I kept longing for a dart in it.

So I started with the sleeves. After ripping them apart I took 2" off the bottom of the sleeve and removed 1" from the hemline of the lower sleeve. Then sewed them back together.  The sleeves were still long but I added an extra deep hem to get them to the length I wanted.

One more thing, the pattern tells you to use french seams to construct the sleeve. I understand why they do...because if you hold your hands up you want a clean finish on the inside of the sleeve.  However, I skipped this step and was so glad I did when I had to make alterations to my sleeves.

To remove the excess space from the sides of the top, I ripped it apart.  Do you sense a theme here?! I then sewed 1" seams on either side of the top and on both sides of the bottom.  The top and bottom were then sewn back together.

Solving the too large neckline meant making a pleat in the front. Then adding a covered button from the embroidered fabric to make it a design decision rather than a fix of the loosey goosey neckline.

Pictures of the top ~


Conclusion ~
To me, it was a lot of work for a fast and easy pattern. I ended up with a wearable top but not without a lot of work. Also, it is a little difficult to get out of. If you already own the pattern and want to make it, I have a couple of words of caution.

1. Measure the pattern carefully and pick the smaller size. This is a very loose-fitting top.

2. Check the neckline. I was so worried about the shoulder seam, which works by the way, that I overlooked the width of the neckline.

3. Make sure the seam for the upper and lower sleeve hits you in the appropriate place. When I made it using the pattern & instructions, the sleeve hem was so far down my arm that it looked weird.  Shortening the upper sleeve by 2" put the seam back in the right place.

4. My version is longer than the pattern because I wanted to include all of the embroidered edge in the bottom. So I added 3 inches to the bottom and then hemmed it using a one inch hem.

BTW, I'm wearing the top with a pair of Spanx leggings. I love these and bought three pairs of them because not only are they comfortable but they suppress. You will see them again with more me made tops. I will wear this top because it's cute and it works but this pattern is a one and done. I have loads of top patterns and am moving on to the next one. always more later!


  1. Thanks for the cautionary tale! They say the Big Four run large, and there you are taking things in and shortening like a madwoman. I'm definitely going to start measuring my RTW to compare to pattern widths to help determine what size. The top you show is a nice loose top. It must have looked like Omar's larger cousin's tent before you took in, by what? at least 4 inches around the middle. My goodness.

    You must stop showing me embroidered fabric. Every time you do, I end up with a box on my doorstep! Love that stuff, and can't leave it alone. So beautiful. I love the way you've used it in this top. Very pretty!

    1. Leigh - I can't guarantee that! I love embroidered fabrics as much as I love border prints and always go for them!

  2. Timely. I have a shirt with exactly the same problem-I have been trying to convince myself there was another way to deal with the all over hugeness that wasn't resewing the side seams. guess not.
    In the case of the neckline, I took 4 darts, reshaping the roundish neckline to a squarish one while taking out the excess (if that makes sense)
    I think the covered button for the pleat makes the shirt...

    1. I didn't totally remove the top from the bottom just about 4" on either side. Made the repair and sewed the sides back on. It made the task a little less onerous!

  3. All the work was worth it. You ended up with a great looking top and I really like the whole look with the leggings.

  4. What a wonderful top! Definitely worth fiddling with to get it to fit. Love that fabric.

  5. I really love this outfit. I love the top and it's worth all the effort. You look fantastic.

  6. The top is great! I really appreciate this post because I had so much trouble with a basically simple pattern yesterday! It helps to know others have to struggle with these issues!

  7. Wow, this is a really great look on you. And I can tell that you know it - so sassy! ;-) Using part of the embroidery for the covered button was a stroke of genius. Not only does it bring in the neckline, it adds a vertical "dart" and brings color and attention to your beautiful face. Such pretty fabric.

    I hadn't sewn rayon in awhile, but used it for several garments this summer. It was a reminder that rayon has a habit of growing after it is cut, and can continue to grow even after sewing. Maybe this is what happened to your top?

    I also bought the embroidered voile from StyleMaker this summer, and have it cut out in a peasant blouse. I'm waiting to make it until my new glasses come in - sewing black is hard when you aren't seeing too well! - but I'm having a hard time waiting. It's so beautiful.

  8. Well worth the effort to save and make that wonderful embroidered fabric work for you. Thanks for the reminder about Spanx leggings. I bought two pairs at the end of the season two years ago and they are fabulous. Would love to find them in brown and burgundy for this year.

    1. I bought mine from QVC and they had a bronze metal, wine, navy, gunmetal and black. I own them in black and navy.

  9. You and your top look so pretty together!

  10. It's always frustrating when a quick and easy project turns out to be a challenging one, but it was worth persevering- the finished top looks great. I love your covered button idea for a quick fix to the neckline, brilliant idea!

  11. Very frustrating but the fabric is lovely and was worth saving.

  12. I could have sworn I commented...

    At any rate, this fabric!!! Swoon!!!!! This tunic is pretty awesome and especially with the cool leggings.

    Having to stop and work to save a garment is stressful, but your save was so worth it. I love it!

  13. Fabulous top! I'd never guess you had to do so much to save it. And I had no idea spanx leggings were a thing - clearly I need to do some shopping.

  14. This turned out really cute despite all the trouble it gave you! Although I would totally understand if that trouble made you mad at the garment... I definitely hold a grudge against garments that are a PITA to sew or fit!

  15. What an awesome outfit! With the pleather leggings, you are styling. I love the flowy top and the fit is just lovely! A perfect look for the fall.

    1. *Fit is lovely after all that work, I mean. The big 4 sizing is ridiculous!

  16. This top is beautiful and it looks great on you!

  17. Oh Carolyn, I REALLY love this entire outfit! You were so correct in saying it was worth all the changes you made! I want this outfit!!! I definitely have to get that pattern...I've been looking for a casual woven top pattern and this is it for sure! You look great in it too!! But those leggings!!! (and Spanx too? Win win all the way!)

  18. Great job as usual and I love your entire outfit! The embroidery really pops!

    ~Eryn S.
    Style Sew Me

  19. The embroidery really makes this outfit pop! I love the entire look!


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