Saturday, August 1, 2015

Butterick 6253 - Three Tiered Jacket

A girlie hoodie! Butterick 6253

Winter will come
and before it Autumn
with her clear scent and fresh chill.

Time to make some warm things...

Back View of Butterick 6523

This pattern combines
the practicality of a sweatshirt,
having the warmth and comfort I crave,
with a flattering feminine fit
and simple construction.

I've not yet worn the hood up
but I like the extra weight and warmth
of it on the back of my neck.

Suitable fabrics include
classic sweatshirt fleece (grey),
beefy Ponte (red), 
French Terry, 
light to medium weight polar fleece
or one of the new quilted knits (white).

All fabrics available from
of course!

Some Stitching Tips for View A & B

If you are making View C
the seams are sewn to the inside as usual.

Views A and B utilize the cut raw edge
of a fabric like fleece or Ponte.
The edges overlap
for a more textured effect.

Use a row of pins to mark the overlap line edge.

To make the gathering of the tiers easy,
I first stitch a double row of gathering stitches
on the top of each tier.
I want them to be about 1/4" from each other
on either side of the topstitching line
because I am going to use a double needle
for the topstitching down the center.

I mark a line with pins for the top of the tier
so things stay straight.
My line is 1" from the cut edges because 
I use 1/2" seam allowances.

Tiers pinned and ready to be stitched together.

Double needle topstitching.

Stitch down the center of the gathering lines,
removing pins as you go.
It might look like too many pins
but it works well for me
keeping the stitching easy
and straight.

Ties coming out of hood edge.

The hood is pretty straightforward.
I like to thread the ties through the placket
before I stitch the placket closed.
Here you can see that I edged
the inside placket edge
 with the same ribbon
that is used for the tie.

Finish the hood's inside seams.

Since the seams on the inside of the hood
will be visible when the hood is down
I finished these seams with some hand sewing.
The edges were rolled under
and slipstitched in place.

The zen of hand sewing appeals
to me more as I do more.

Don't Like the Hood?

The hood can be fashioned into a collar.
Use the width around the neck
that the pattern pieces provide.
Trim the depth of the hood pieces to about 3-1/2," 
plus seam allowance on the neck edge,
plus top hem depth.
A placket for ties can be included 
providing a nice design element.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reversible Shirt -- Butterick 6218

Butterick 6218

A multi-option t-shirt,
where you make the decision
of which side to wear as the front
and which as the back.
Your choice of 'front' or 'back' --
the flat hemmed side with the buttons
or the other side with the angled hem?

Butterick 6218

This side of the t-shirt looks just as good
on the front as on the back.

My version of Butterick 6218

Some days I like the angle in the front.

Some days I like the straight hem
in the front.

I opted to add some contrast
hand stitching rather than buttons
to this grey and black version I made for myself.

Butterick 6218

This is a very fun pattern
to play with color-blocking.

Butterick 6218

Ideal for stripes as well.

Butterick 6218

A natural for combining
some of those large scraps
you've been hanging on to.

I lay out all the pattern pieces
and play with variations of color,
print and motif.
When I find a pleasing layout
I tape a fabric clipping to
each corresponding pattern piece.
Then I sort them by color/print/motif
 so I can cut out all the pieces 
for each fabric choice at the same time.

It's like creating a fabric puzzle.

You might note that each of the shirts
on the pattern envelope
fits the model slightly differently.
This is due to the fluid nature of knits...
Each t-shirt version was cut 
from exactly the same pattern pieces.

Some knits will shrink as you iron them.
Some knits will stretch as you use them.

You never know.
Knits are like your cat --
you love them 
but you're never sure what they're going to do.

All fabrics used are from


Join Marcy and Katherine 
for a wonderful week in Paris
November 4 to 11th.
For more information please call us at
or check it out on
Marcy's website
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Versatile Dress -- Butterick 6213

Butterick 6213

There's an ease and comfort to this dress 
accentuated by an asymmetrical line
of a zipper or buttons.

Actually the buttons are 
much easier to do than I thought.

In the past I've let myself be intimidated
by a row of small buttons.
And, they were exactly the right thing here
so I put on my 'detail' hat,
pinned the loops in place,
stitched them into the seam
and sewed on the buttons
while I watched a movie one night.
Easy peasy.

If you can find a zipper
that separates on both ends
you can play with the best look
of open or closed
to go with your mood of the day or night.

The left side of the zipper
(or button loops) 
fits easily into the seam allowance.
The zipper's right side
(or your buttons) 
stitches smoothly onto the fabric 
when you have fused on a strip of interfacing
to stabilize the back of fabric.

Fusible tape on right center front piece (pocket on top right).

This photo shows the tape
fused to the seam lines 
on the wrong side of 
one of the red dress's center front pieces.

Fusible web goes behind right side of separating zipper or row of buttons.

You will want to place fusible interfacing
behind the zipper or buttons,
in and out
of the seam lines.

I like to baste the zipper in place
before machine stitching 
so it doesn't move
(which makes me crazy).

Jan asked me straight off if she could
eliminate the zipper 
and the buttons
to keep the dress simple.
Of course.
Simply stitch everything together
where the zipper or buttons would go.
The options are all yours.

Please send me photos 
of your variations.
I love to see what you do!

The line drawing shows how flattering the dress is.

Butterick 6213 zipper version.

All the fabrics used in my patterns
come from

an ever changing array
of the latest stunning fabrics
to inspire your creativity.
Marcy works constantly
to bring you the best
the fabric world has to offer.

Dreaming of visiting Paris?
Please join Marcy and I on our
ParisTilton adventures!
Spend a week with us
and a fabulous group of women
interested in textiles, design,
fashion, art and beauty.
Check out ParisTilton Tours 
for more information.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Paris Favorites

Paris will always be la favorite!

Her constantly changing skies.

At the Grand Palais.

Her hidden hits of beauty.

Her patterned rooftops.

Her serene canals.

Jardin des Plantes.

Her stunning gardens.

Christine having fun at the Palais Royale.

Her crazy tourists.

Her Eiffel Tower.

They say Paris is for lovers...
Count me in 
I love Paris.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Button, Button

Is there anyone reading this
who doesn't have 
at least a small box of buttons
tucked away somewhere?
I know that I 
have more than a few boxes
in my creativity supply stash!

Currently in Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs
is showcasing thousands of buttons
in a beautiful exhibition
or 'unbuttoned fashion'.

The Musée des Arts décoratifs
always does a beautiful job
staging exhibitions and this
is no exception.
Showcasing garments, accessories, 
drawings and focused collections
raises the humble button
to museum status.

I especially love the drawings for new designs.

It will be interesting to watch
and see how this exhibit informs
future fashion trends.
(I fear that in order to keep costs down
any buttons used in cheaper lines
will not meet my standards...)

Men's waistcoat  with fancy buttons.
Many times buttons were not even
functional but used as decoration
mostly in men's garments --
the peacock effect.

“As soon as buttons appeared in Western dress, 
they ignored their primary role as functional objects in favor of 
a new decorative role as objects of luxury. 
Henceforth, silversmiths and jewelers designed sets of precious buttons, 
using the same materials and techniques as for jewellery-making.”

Note the buttonhook in the upper left corner.
It would take forever to put these on!
Double buttons on a dress back.

“By the 1880’s the bodice had returned with vengeance 
to hold women’s bodies firmly in place. 
The tight rows of dome-shaped buttons down the front 
underlined the rigidity of the chest and enabled close-fitting bodices to shut firmly. 
While this allowed women to dress themselves, 
the buttons were sometimes positioned down the back, especially for wedding gowns. 
This arrangement, which implied the presence of a third party or a chambermaid, 
was strictly reserved for women and gave clothing a special character. 
Buttons were pointers of social status 
and demonstrated deliberate submission to the games of seduction.”

Designs of Henri Hamm.
A few of the 792 Henri Hamm buttons.

I especially loved the collection by
sculptor Henri Hamm.

Henri Hamm button display.

Against a grey backdrop and mirrors
792 of Hamm's buttons
repeat into infinity.

Black and white and graphic.

Notice the angled bound buttonhole on this bias cut coat.
Jacques Fath coat. 

Simple and elegant
this coat by Jacques Fath
is my favorite. 
Classic and graceful
the buttons provide a perfect balance
to the refined lines of the design.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.

Not all of the buttonholes work
but the design does.

Karl always knows when more is more.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Textures of Paris

After a week in Paris...
I am not yet satiated with bread,
salted butter, good wine,
fine food, chic clothing 
or great company.
And the tour hasn't started yet!

Always a treat to hangout with Marcy
and sometimes we run into friends!
Diane Lea is another talented creatrix
from Oregon, currently travelling in Europe.

The rain on Sunday 
didn't keep us from the flea market
where the gleaming surfaces
of interior gardens delighted the eye.

A dyed pigeon with extra wings.
Beautiful, macabre, thought provoking.

Hand-painted wine boxes.

One of the things I love seeing in Paris
are beautiful remains,
left as part of the remodel
purely for the aesthetic.
This mottled wall was
left exposed at l'Eclaireur.

Another unusual object from l'Eclaireur
is this contrasting textural couch.
Austin Powers would love this!

When you're with Marcy
you'll always notice the dogs in Paris.

Even on a rainy day
Gallerie Vivenne puts light and pattern
into perspective.

Oysters, spring rolls and Marcy taking photos.
It's been a full-Tilton week!

I'll leave you with a few unusual sweatshirt images
showing the variety of options available...
Hand painted silk organza overlay
on a sweatshirt.

If you have any extra giant grommets
left over from a curtain project here's an idea --
add a bow belt to your sweatshirt
and throw in something from the chandelier
just for fun!

I chuckle every time I see this one...

A la prochaine!