Butterick 6169

Man, life has been busy! I made this jacket, took photos, and drafted a post that has been sitting here for exactly a month. So yeah, this jacket was a last minute fall project, but the weather here has been cray cray warm, so I’ve managed to wear it so much more than I anticipated! I figured it would have been closeted until spring, but even this week—Christmas week—we’re looking at 60F degree weather. Unheard of out here in the Northeast. So anyway… I’ve been wanting a lightweight jacket as an alternative to my RTW denim jacket for a really long time. I love a denim jacket, but every once in a while it just doesn’t work with an outfit. So I decided to make Butterick 6169, which had been on my mind ever since it came out this past spring.

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I used a lightweight canvas from Joann’s for the shell and bemberg rayon for the lining. The canvas was pretty inexpensive, and I don’t think I’d really recommend this particular fabric. It’s thin, which is fine, but it’s a little bit “crispy” feeling. It has softened up a with wear, thankfully. Even though the fabric quality is a bit meh, its redeeming quality is the color—it’s the perfect neutral olive green and will go with so many different things in my wardrobe. I used a solid black bemberg for the lining. As much as I like bold colors or patterns for linings, I decided to keep it simple this time around. Ugh bemberg I hate working with you SO MUCH. But, it’s soft as buttah once all is said and done… worth the headache for sure.

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This pattern has been really popular, and for good reason. It’s fairly quick to make, as far as lined jackets go, and the exposed zip is a great feature. I did feel that the zipper was a little awkward to put in, though. The center of the zipper teeth are supposed to sit right on the seam line of the pattern piece, which means that you have to sew the zipper with a smaller seam allowance. So when sewing above and below the zipper, you have to kind of scoot your stitching line back to 5/8″. It looks totally fine in the end, so maybe I’m just being weird?

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I decided to top stitch many of the seams, using my 1/4″ foot as a guide. I wanted to use actual top stitching thread, but I couldn’t find a good color match and had to stick with regular thread. At least that saved me the trouble of switching out my thread constantly.

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I’m happy with the fit of the jacket, and I really didn’t fuss around with making many adjustments. I made an 8 through the shoulder and bust, grading out to the 10 at the side seams around the waist (my measurements here are approx 34″-28″-39″ and I’m fairly petite through my upper body). If I were using a heavier fabric I would have to go up a size, but for the most part this jacket will be worn with sleeveless tops and dresses, so I wanted it more fitted. I can easily wear a fitted long sleeve tee, but anything bulkier would be uncomfortable. I do like that the armhole is nice and high and the sleeves are narrow. I usually have to make alterations for that, but not this time.

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If I were to make this pattern again, I would do a forward shoulder adjustment and lengthen the sleeves. I usually add 1″ to sleeves but just forgot! Also, since I used a stiffer fabric, I had trouble with the seams that that required easing. If I were using a wool, or other more tailorable fabric, it would be totally fine. Overall, this is a really solid jacket pattern, and I wouldn’t mind making it again. It’s both streamlined and detailed and the style works with many different types of fabrics. Since our fall has lingered a bit I’m so glad I didn’t wait until the spring to sew it up!

lisa g.

Megan Nielsen | Mini Virginia Leggings and Briar Tee

When Megan Nielsen announced her line of “Mini” patterns for kids, I was super excited! I immediately signed up for testing, and tested the Mini Virginia Leggings. One thing I particularly love about the new patterns is the size range. Now that my oldest daughter is a, um, “tween”, she’s outsized of most kids patterns. These patterns make it up to a size 12, so they’ll cover all three of my girls for now. For testing, I made the larger size for my oldest daughter. I prefer to make a straight size (unaltered) for testing purposes, and really I made them a size too big and ended up taking them in significantly. In retrospect, my fabric was also a bit too stretchy, so unfortunately my test wasn’t the most accurate representation of the pattern. Regardless, she wears them all the time even if the fit is a little off.

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I still wanted to give the pattern another shot, so the other day I made up a pair for my youngest daughter, Isabella, who is 8. She’s itty bitty for her age, so I always run into the problem of her clothes being way too wide, or way too short. Also, being the third girl in line, her clothes are practically in rags by the time they make it to her closet! Basically, the leggings situation for her was dire. Her waist puts her in a size 4/5, but her height is in the 6/7 range. To accommodate, I traced off a 4/5, but added length to the rise and legs to correspond to the 6/7.

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This sizing alteration worked out perfectly, and she is so very happy with them! The fabric I used is a nice thick cotton spandex that was leftover from an older project. Since my machines were all out and threaded, I quickly made her a second pair in grey, also from leftover fabric. I suspect more requests for leggings will be rolling in, as daughter no. 2 was giving me serious side eye for making Izzie not just one, but two new pairs of leggings.

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Oh, and let’s not forget this tee… more scrap busting here! I found a large-ish scrap of this fabric in one of my bins, and I was able to just squeeze out a Briar Tee. Bonus points that it matches both pairs of leggings! I was on limited fabric yardage here, so I went with the longer variation, but cut it shorter by a size (6/7, cut to a 4/5 in length). I think this worked out really well, and she is absolutely in love with it. My girls really love the longer back hemline, so… more requests have been made. Isabella wore this outfit to school the very next day and bragged on it to her friends who were totes impressed that I made a tee shirt and two pairs of leggings in one afternoon.

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So far, these patterns are huge winners in this household. I love them, my kids love them… there will be many repeats!

Mini Tania Culottes | Mini Briar Sweater and Tee | Mini Virginia Leggings | Mini Wardrobe Pack

lisa g.

Disclosure: I was a tester for the Mini Virginia Leggings, and received the whole trio of finished patterns gratis. No blogging required, but hello! They’re adorable and I would have shared anyway.