Thanksgiving Outfit - Butterick 6285


This year the sewing fairy must have had a slow night, because she paid me a little visit to specifically dictate a Thanksgiving outfit. Usually my dressing concerns for America's favorite eating holiday are, A. Does it have an expandable waist and B. Will the sleeves accidentally fall into the gravy boat? Bonus points if fabric that doesn't readily show grease stains. Using these rules I usually put together an outfit without much fuss or pre-planning. The sewing fairy was having none of that and whispered in my ear that I "needed" to have a leaf print skirt for Thanksgiving.  It's Fall and leaves are festive....or something like that.  She probably knew I'd outright laugh at her if she suggested festooning myself with turkeys.
I did laugh at the thought of Thanksgiving specfic sewing anyway.  My desk already has a Christmas sewing list a mile long, like hell another item is going on there. The sewing fairy just looked at me and smiled slyly. "Of course my dear, do whatever you want.  You should probably stay away from that Etsy website after all. You know how you like to spend money on there." Say what now?! Wild horses could not keep me away from the Etsy site now.  I'll show you sewing fairy!!! And that's how I ended up purchasing 4 yards of vintage cotton with red/black leaves.
Once that yardage entered my house I felt contractually obligated to sew it up. Man that sewing fairy is a wily one! It's like she knows all my sewing weakness....or paid someone for information.  I'm looking at you froggie!  Well at least I could put that impulse buy of Butterick 6285 to good use.
Having been burnt by Big 4 ease in circle skirts before, I measured the waist area before tracing. Hooray for sometimes learning lessons from past projects. My ruler told me that Butterick had drafted this pattern with more ease than I'd like.  Two inches of ease has been added to the waist measurement for each size, so the size 16 with a 30" waist will have a 32" finished waistband.  My waist is exactly 30" so I dropped down to the size 14 and muslined up the skirt as is. That muslin did "zip up," but felt like it might grow uncomfortable as the day wore on.  Figuring it was a smart thing to do, I added 1" of ease around the side seam area......which made my final garment about 1" too big in the waist.  HAA HAAA HAAA, sob.   The waistband was left that way for Thanksgiving for obvious reasons.....specifically pie.  However I will HAVE to go back and take in the waistband because the skirt kept falling forward off my waist all day. It drove me crazy having to constantly adjust it.

One other thing to note about this pattern is that the CB seam and side seams are drafted with a 1" seam allowance and I'm not sure why. The directions do show you how to recess the pocket bags, sewing them at a 3/4" seam allowance so they disappear into the seam a bit better.  I do think this is a nice feature, but you don't need a whole 1" of seam allowance to do so. Dare I say that a standard home sewing 5/8" seam allowance is more than enough to accomplish the same thing. OK, my college prejudices of 5/8" SA being way too big might be showing. Let's just say that if you need to save some fabric you can always cut those areas down. Forewarned is forearmed or something like that.

Butterick 6285 - Skirt portion only.

Fabrics used
Vintage cotton, closer to dress weight than quilting weight.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. I went down one size and added an 1" of ease to the waistband.

2. Added 3" of length for a finished length of 27".

- You will want to stay stitch the skirt waist on this pattern immediately. I found it grew with even the lightest amount of handling.

- I'd meant to give you some photos of the skirt with a petticoat underneath and forgot to pack it for our trip to the in-laws. Anyway it's a nice look for the design if you want more fullness.

- The top in these pictures is a Nettie hack that is in no way ready for prime time. There's not enough ease for a faux wrap style and it's trying to gape open at every opportunity. In fact I'm going to rip it apart and turn it into a regular V-neck.

Husband Comment
"Oh did you make that too?  What's happening here with the extra fabric? Oh pleats? That's cool."

My Final Thoughts
I bought Butterick 6285 more for the kimono top than for the skirt, but really enjoyed sewing up the bottom portion.  I like the double pleats and the fact that the pattern comes with pockets.  Since only the waist area needs to be fitted, it's a quick pattern to bang out.  It took merely a week to sew both the muslin and the real garment. Guess the fabric fairy was right about me needing a new skirt after all. So if you'd like to add another cute circle skirt/kimono top to your pattern collection, then pick this one up during the next Butterick sale.

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