Monday, 24 February 2014

Butterick 5855 and StyleArc Shelly Top

I have finished another 2 tops. I had them all packed up to go to my ASG meeting at Rhodes to sew on Saturday however arthritis got the better of me and I ended up sewing them yesterday (Sunday AUS time).

They were both already cut and in plastic project bags and therefore they didn't take much time to sew up at all.

The first is the Butterick 5855 Caftan. I made View D. Not a very good pic from their website. I know that there are many people who can easily whip up their own caftan pattern - after all - it really is just a couple of rectangles - but I recall a teacher's comments on one of my projects at school. "Beverley needs to learn to draw straight lines". Well I never did and even the use of the technically advanced piece of equipment called a ruler doesn't help me much. So I figured if I want to cut straight lines I better get someone else to draw them!

I made it in the border print poly chiffon as blogged about in last post. This fabric looks so much better in life. It is absolutely gorgeous. I didn't make it as specified in their pattern as I had borders that I really wanted to incorporate so it is wider than the pattern. I also added an inch on the fold when I cut it, thinking it would give me more neck room - but I didn't end up needing it as it was wide enough as is. I also scooped a bit from the neck - I also really didn't need that. I was going to do a bias ribbon finish on the inside as I did with my tunics - but I had scooped so much that I thought a added neckband would fill it a bit. I do think the added neckband gives it a bit more interest too.

This pattern calls for darts from the bottom of the caftan to under the arms (or half way up) I didn't do this either but just added a line of stitching from under the arm to about the hips - giving a "split" that the pattern doesn't call for. Makes it easier for sitting I think. My tush needs room to spread you know. I added 2 inches to the length and then ended up cutting it off again. The length was perfect as is for my height.

I also did my first French seam across the shoulders. Note to self - in future make sure you trim all the frayed bits off otherwise you get "hairs" sticking out of your seams! I used my narrow hem foot to do the hems (as in my tunics) all the way around. Not much else to tell about the construction. It really is an easy cut and sew.

French seam

Right side of French Seam without trimming the fuzz first - where's those scissors!!!!

Overall, I am very pleased with this caftan. This fabric was one of my first fabric purchases and I don't know if your firsts are extra special or if it is true love with this fabric - but I was too scared to use it until now. Even on what would be considered easy by others - a caftan! It's not the cost - this fabric was a whopping $4.95 per yard from Denver Fabrics. It is more that it is so nice. A shame it is not silk. I would have paid the extra for silk but alas it only came in polyester.

This brings me to a question. I have another gorgeous border print poly purchased at the same time. What do I do? A caftan with the borders on the side like this one or a Michelle Tunic with the border on the bottom?

Now to my next sew. The StyleArc Shelly top.

No need to see the back - moving right along - nothing to see here. No need to see all the lumps and bumps the fabric shows!

Not so happy with this one and you know I am a lover of SA. It is not the way the pattern came together - easy peasy. It is more the look on me.  I haven't hemmed the bottom or cuffs of this. I also haven't ironed the seams. Supervisory Special Cat Elle is not impressed. This was sewn up as a muslin using a fabric I purchased on the internet and didn't read the description which talked about metallic and glitter. Hmmmm - didn't show up on the picture on the web. Teach me to read it properly.

I love me a cross over but I think this cross over it too high for me. The girls are very fussy you know. They like a low neckline and a cross that doesn't go across them but under. Emphasises them too much when the hem crosses them I think. I also don't like the gathering across the tum. I don't know if it is my sewing, the fabric or the size of my tum - but it just looks like wrinkles. That is an easy fix though. As for the cross over, I am thinking of going back to my original thought of using Jalie - although that will muck with my "Making my mARC with styleARC" SWAP for Artisans Square. *Sigh*

I do want make the cross over in this lovely ruffled fabric. Yes yes yes - I hear the yells and screams. Ruffles on big bosoms and tums just adds more bulk - but what can I say - I love the fabric. I am thinking of running the ruffles diagonally on the front following the cross over.

A big thank you to Rhonda  for the compliments on the up do. Here it is in all it's glory.

Courtesy of Jessica Simpson - although I really don't think it is her hair LOL!!!


  1. You're on a roll Beverley. I bet you've almost run out of fabric.
    The Caftan is tres chic.

  2. I love the caftan!!! It looks very nice on you and the color is gorgeous!

  3. Missed you at ASG and glad you were able to sew on Sunday. You are making some very beautiful SWAP pieces in gorgeous (and tricky to sew) fabrics. The Shelly top is quite special for lots of reasons :)

  4. Gorgeous caftan & a shame your arthritis kept you away on Saturday.

    You and the Supervisory Special Cat are right about the other top - the crossover is in almost the perfectly-wrong place. A much lower or higher cross and a deeper V for sure.

  5. Love your caftan - the fabric makes it!

  6. love the color, wraps can be tricky, I'm always scared something will come unwrapped lol!

  7. Wow, you've been busy! Love your caftan tops...especially this purple one...beautifully done! Hello to Ms Elle from the Cherry Calicos.

  8. Oh, that purple! Much love for that print placement- you are cranking out some real goodies!

  9. That is the most beautiful caftan blouse.. It looks so good on you, and the fabric is beautiful.
    I am drooling over your ruffle fabric..[gorgeous, can't wait to see it].
    You really accomplished alot.. Happy sewing and hope ole arthritis leaves you alone.And you
    feel much better.

  10. Your caftan is beautiful. Great idea to use the borders for the sleeves and also to add the pop at the neckline. Could you slash the knit through the middle of the triangles, add length and width and take the excess off the bottom to get the cross over where you want it and kind of alleviate some of the cling?

  11. I think you look like an Indian princess in that caftan!

  12. The caftan is lovely BeaJay - looks super, covers all. I agree with Elle - the t is not quite you. I think anything super clingy should be avoided by anyone - we all have lumps and bumps. Still, it's a good learning experience :)

    Hope the arthritis is better - I have a rheumatoid problem, so know how it interferes with sewing :)

  13. The caftan is absolutely beautiful! Love the fit, fabric and colour. The other looks like it could be comfy to wear on one of those lazy cold evenings. Thank you so much for sharing; you are an inspiration!

  14. Fantastic caftan and wonderful use of the border, it looks fabulous on you.

  15. The caftan is gorgeous, such beautiful fabric. It looked like silk to me and the ruffled fabric is divine. Shelley served her purpose as a useful muslin.

    Sorry to hear about the arthritis. I know what it's like to sew through pain. Mine is a bad shoulder which makes fitting clothes a struggle. Still we keep on trying don't we? ;-)


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