One of my goals is to improve my garment sewing capabilities. I would probably rate myself as an intermediate quilter, but my sewing skills can best be described as … intermediate beginner? Is that even a term? I can sew a set in sleeve, but I’ve never done buttonholes till recently. I’ve never done a zipper. But I can make a pair of pants or shorts with elastic in the waist in about 30 minutes. Then again, who wants nothing but elastic waisted garments?
So, in an effort to step up my game, I’m making a serious effort to make myself some clothing. And in that spirit, I went to Hancock Fabrics with my mom and I chose Butterick B6070. It’s a very cute, allegedly simple button down shirt. See?
Now, I’m not exactly a small girl – that’s one of the reasons why I want to improve my sewing skills. Clothing for plus size often looks like a tent – it’s shapeless and the fabrics are more often than not just terrible. But that’s a post for another day. I chose this pattern because it was graded – or scaled to size – for plus size and I thought it could be a good basic top. It has a hidden placket, which I thought would further expand my skills, a collar with a collar band, and buttons. It’s really cute, isn’t it?
Things were going along swimmingly, and I was really enjoying the process of making the top. I traced off my pattern in my size, cut it out, pinned it to fabric that I got from my mom (I’m not sure if it’s considered “vintage” but it was bought before I graduated high school in 1986!), and cut it out. I was careful to mark all the notches and dots and everything. It was going great – until I got to the collar and collar band. I called my mom for advice, because I’ve never done one before, and she walked me through how to do it. And I got started on it, but I never got any further than sewing the collar pieces to each other and turning them right side out. You see, there are no NOTCHES on the collar to match to the collar band. The instruction sheet very clearly says to match the notches and other markings, but they don’t exist.
So I got on the internet (the trusty internet, where I can find almost anything) and I sent an email to Butterick and explained the problem. I did neglect to mention I was using the plus size pattern, so when the reply came back that the notches were definitely on the pattern and I must have just missed them, I went up to my studio and took photos of the pattern pieces in question and emailed them back. The girl apologized and said she would have the pattern piece regraded and sent to me. That was yesterday. It’s been more than 24 hours and I’ve not heard back from them. But I figured, you know, they’re probably busy, and I don’t HAVE to put the collar in before I do the sleeves, because I wasn’t really following the instructions anyway. When it comes to sleeves and side seams, I never do them like the pattern says, because I think it’s a stupid way to do set-in sleeves. I did learn SOMETHING from my mom, after all. LOL
So today, after work, I went back up to my studio and started to inset the sleeve. Only guess what’s missing … a NOTCH!! Now I’m a little perturbed, because they have missed at least two notches that I know of … though, hopefully, there aren’t any more missing, because there really aren’t many pattern pieces left. But seriously, TWO sets of notches missing on a single pattern?? You can bet I’m not happy. I can set a sleeve, no problem, but with no notches? Well … Maybe I can do it, but it won’t be easy.
And so, that’s why my frustration is out of control tonight. I am SO CLOSE to having this shirt done. I’ve got to put in the collar, put in the sleeves and put on the buttons. Hem it, and it’s done. But I can’t do any of that right now because the NOTCHES ARE MISSING!!
Sorry for yelling, but seriously … what does Butterick have against transferring all of the notches to the plus size patterns?