Friday, May 11, 2018

Butterick 6261 in Glen Plaid Suiting

If you've been reading for awhile you know that I swore off Butterick's Connie Crawford patterns years ago after having a bad experience with one. But this one came across my feed and I thought I would give them another try...

My version is not exactly the same as the pattern picture but it works for me because it has the elements I wanted. It's a swingy topper with some interest made from one of the many glen plaid fabrics from the collection which goes perfectly with a pair of black jeans.

Materials ~
- Black 'n White Wool Glen Plaid from the collection by way of Fabric Mart
- Black lightweight fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply
- 4 buttons from the collection

Another garment made totally from items in the Sewing Cave which makes me soooooo happy! This is a ltwt. wool vest that I can wear during the spring before the heat sets in and it will be perfect again come fall. I made this in February. I'm just posting it to the blog because well it was "Shirt Month" last month.

Pattern Information ~
Can we talk about the pattern and it's sizing, first. Since its a Connie Crawford pattern the sizing goes up to a 6x. It's also a loose-fitting pattern and I needed not to succumb to my tendencies to choose a size with too much ease. To help me with this, I googled the ease wearing chart and came up with these two resources. The first one is an article on Craftsy by Patti Palmer about Ease.  The second one is the actual ease chart on the Butterick website.

Via Craftsy website

After reviewing the chart, I decided that 10" ease qualified as loose fitting (check that it's 5 7/8" to 10" for a jacket) and anything else would end up looking sloppy on me. With that decision, I chose to make a size 2x. Though I'm printing that chart out and putting it with my measurements on my bulletin board so that I don't have to look for it again!!!

Construction Info ~
I made this considerably more challenging because I used an uneven glen plaid instead of the even small check that the pattern was photographed in. All that plaid matching took time.  Then I decided to add black piping to the front of the jacket and the collar. More time but I like how the solid line of black defines the front of the jacket.

Additional construction information:
1. Added black bias tape to the shoulder seams to stabilize them
2. I used 4 buttons instead of the three recommended. I usually like an odd number of buttons but I put an additional one above the bustline seam.
3. I also added a small snap to the front to keep it closed.

Disregard the pattern instructions where it tells you to sew the sleeve into the jacket and then hem it. You can do it but then you have to drag the entire jacket around the sewing machine. 

I topstitched the hem facing and then hemmed the sleeves before I inserted the sleeves into the jacket. It was just easier to do these tasks.

3. Even though the pattern tells you to machine stitch the hems down on the jacket and the sleeves, I hand stitched them.  I wanted a clean finish on the jacket.

I cut my sleeves on the bias because I was too lazy to try to match the plaid across the front and back of the jacket. I figured the bias wouldn't need to match, it would just coordinate...because bias! And then no matter what I did, the sleeves did not go into the jacket right. 

Even after I worked out a solution to make the sleeves fit and hang properly, when I put a lightweight turtleneck under the jacket, it felt awkward on. So I decided to ditch the sleeves entirely and make it a vest.  

That's when I decided to add the piping to the armholes to tie it to the front of the vest.

A few pictures ~

Conclusion ~
I'm still not sure I like Connie Crawford patterns. I'm sure these patterns probably work wonderfully for others, it's just not all patterns are for all sewists. I'm just one of those that it doesn't work for and this is a one and done sew for me. I'm totally uninspired to use this pattern again.

So a couple of things:
- I'm kinda bummed because I tracked this pattern down and paid 50% off for it instead of the normal $2.
- I'm glad that I used a fabric from my old "professional" life for this project. It shows me that I can use these fabrics in my new life.
- I love the flare/swing of this vest.
- The black piping and black buttons are the best part to me.
- When I wore this to work, it was comfortable and even though I looked a little dressier than normal, I would wear this outfit again.

I'm moving on to the next garment... always more later!


  1. I think this looks beautiful on you. I had problems with the sleeves on a different Connie Crawford jacket pattern, too. They never *felt* right. I love her t-shirt pattern, though. I guess knits cover a multitude of sins.

  2. Love this as a vest--great save. This is such a flattering jacket with that swishing hemline. Keep looking at getting this pattern. Now I'm even more hesitant. Thanks for your input.

  3. I really like the version you came up with--especially the piping! It flares just enough, and looks really nice on you!

  4. I guess I am a Connie Crawford die-hard. Her patterns work better for certain body types--I'm an apple/rectangle. I have this pattern--never made it though. It loks great on you, especially with the piping and the black buttons. Thanks for posting this--it gives me an idea of what it should look like. I admit sometimes her sewing directions and drafting can be a little off.

    1. Robin - I agree I'm just not the sewist that these patterns work for and I'm moving on thankful that I did get this great vest from the pattern. Glad seeing it IRL is helping you determine whether to sew the pattern or not.

  5. Did you make the big bicep adjustment you sometimes do? Or did you figure pattern had enough ease? Would that have helped sleeves or were they just not for you?

    1. Margaret - I made my bicep adjustment so it wasn't was how the sleeve fit in the armhole and it hung funny. Maybe it was cutting it on the bias but I was done at that point and it looked good as a vest so I went that way.

  6. What a darling vest! Nice that you could do your own thing after reading the directions. Her pants patterns fit so well on my clients and her pieces are cut so precisely that make the matching and sewing less worrisome. The black piping just makes this garment so special. Thanks for sharing the decision to drop the sleeves and great photos!

  7. Your blog is so helpful! I always struggle with how much ease looks best. This pattern as a jacket doesn't do much for me but that vest is glorious!

    1. The swing on the vest is perfect. It's not overwhelming on a plus size figure and it has a wonderful drape!

  8. I'm not overly fond of her patterns either. This works well as a vest and with jeans and a turtle neck it's seems elegantly casual to me. Certainly chic for NYC. It's great to use older fabrics in the collection, isn't it?

    1. I'm actually trying harder to use pieces of fabric I've had for a minute. It's fun to dig in the stacks and find a piece that works perfectly now.

  9. I have tried 2 Connie Crawford patterns and had problems both times-in part because of wearing ease and Where the ease was...
    One I was able to make work and the other had enough going for it to make me try again...
    I will say that unlike similar patterns, her patterns aren't designed to "grab" at the bouncy, fluffy bita.

  10. I LOVE the piping. It makes it just a bit more special.

    I also really like using a more "formal" fabric for a more casual garment. Makes it more fun to style and wear!

  11. Gorgeous vest! The piping sets things off perfectly. Too bad that the sleeves didn't work, on the other hand - you do have a beautiful vest.

  12. Nice save! Love the swing.

  13. Yay for another supporter of n"unit construction", making each unit totally, as in your sleeves and then putting them all together at the end. Makes so much more sense. Very nice work, Caroline.

  14. Obviously you don't need my opinion since you make lovely clothes ... but FWIW, I think the bottom half of this is great but the top half is too big. I wonder (just as a thought experiment) if you took out an inch above the bust if this would hang even better.

  15. I love how this turned out. Now my motto is going to have to apply to patents as well as fabric. This is s wonderfully elegant look. g

  16. I'm surprised to hear you didn't like the pattern, all your comments were so positive and the end result looks great.

    1. Helen - I'm trying to be more conscious of my words about anything sewing related on the internet. So while I wouldn't make it again...I did get a good result. Also, I'm learning that not all patterns are for every sewist and this line sadly just doesn't work for me.


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