I hope you’ll join me in a week and a half for our Lisette B6244 coat sew-along.




We will be hosting it in the Oliver + S sew-along group. Take a look at today’s blog post there for all the details.

Let’s talk about Lisette for Butterick B6260, shall we? This pattern includes a blazer and skirt. Both are fully lined and really versatile pieces. The jacket, while it works great with the skirt, would also be really cute with jeans or with trousers. The skirt is a wardrobe basic that will flatter lots of body types. But I’ll talk more about that later.




Here’s the story for you about how this jacket came to be. I was looking through Lucky magazine one day and came across this photo of Taylor Swift wearing a dress.




The dress is a little “out there,” right? Not something you’d probably choose to wear to work. Or most places, for that matter. But take a closer look at the neckline and shoulders.




Cute, right? I mean, the shoulders pads are fierce, but I like the square neckline and the bolero-inspired shaping at the shoulders. It has a few interesting elements that I wanted to work with. So that’s where I started for this style.

When I teach fit classes and when I hear from many of you, you often tell me that you want clothing that flatters your curves. A lot of jackets are too boxy for your taste. This jacket is my answer to that complaint. The princess lines will allow you to easily alter the jacket to fit your own body and fit preferences, and it’s more fitted and more curve-flattering than most jackets. And the details make it really interesting and give you lots of opportunity to play with fabrics and styling.

The jacket looks pretty conservative in the envelope photo, I know. But don’t limit your creativity to what you see there!




It can be worn open, too.




I plan to sew this style with a nubby silk tweed similar to the photo (I’m considering over-dyeing my fabric with indigo if I can find the time!), but I want to include a bit of that fringe idea at the bolero detail like the original Taylor Swift inspiration. (I think Taylor’s dress is Chanel, but I can’t seem to find it in runway photos.) I think this style could also be really cute in chambray, leather, or suede, and maybe even mixing a couple of those elements!

I also think it could be really fun to play with multiple fabrics for this pattern. Select a really playful, vibrant fabric and a more serious fabric and put them together for an interesting effect. Or you might choose an all-over pattern.

Does that give you a sense for this jacket? I hope you’ll enjoy the pattern. I think you’ll find that it’s easy to fit and to sew! Have fun with it and with your fabric selections.

Now, on to the skirt!

I’ve talked about the difference between a flounce and ruffle before. Both options give movement to a skirt, but a flounce gives you movement and a smooth silhouette, without the bulk added by a ruffle. And we’re all a fan of less bulk, especially near our hips, yes?




A skirt like this can be especially flattering. Like a classic A-line skirt, this style draws attention to your waist instead of your hips or thighs. If you don’t have much of a waist, this style can give you the illusion of a waist. If you need to balance a full bust, it will do that while emphasizing the waist. If you’re pear-shaped, it will draw attention away from your lower half. A-line skirts are sort of magical that way.

This skirt style is pretty straightforward, I think. It works really well in gabardine, sateen, linen, tweed, and wool suiting. You know that faux leather I mentioned yesterday? Perfect for this. I might try wool crepe, just because I’m a fan. I’ve been hunting for just the right shade of pale aqua for weeks now and haven’t found it, but as soon as I do you know I’ll get busy.

There you have it! As always, post your photos of your sewing to our SewLisette Flickr group or tag them #sewlisette and #B6260 on Instagram so we can find them. I can’t wait to see what you make!

I’m here to introduce the first of our two new patterns for fall 2015. Today I’ll focus on Lisette B6244 for Butterick, which includes two pieces: a classic dress with a little twist, and an elegant drapey coat. Don’t miss the video of the coat near the end of this post!




I love a classic silhouette with a little twist that makes it special. In the case of the dress, the silhouette is a feminine, fitted bodice with an A-line skirt: the dress that flatters pretty much every body shape. The added special detail is what I call the multimedia effect. It’s a bit difficult to see in these photos, but the side panels and shoulder yokes can be made with a contrasting or complimenting fabric. In the case of the dress on the pattern cover and in these photos, we chose a classic tartan and used a faux leather for the contrast panels.




I’m a little obsessed with the faux leather right now; it’s inexpensive, easy to work with, comfortable to wear, you name it. But you could also use lace, a solid color, or a contrasting print as your second fabric.

I’m excited to sew and wear this style as soon as I find time and fabric. (I loved the tartan so much I may need to make myself the same dress!) I hope you’ll like this style as well. I think it’s the sort of dress that’s perfect for work, but you can also dress it down with boots and a denim jacket. Layer it for cooler weather (thus the coat, which I’ll talk about next), and the short sleeves will let you wear it all fall and next spring as well.

Next, the coat: I can tell you that this pattern is a really quick and easy make. It has only three pattern pieces: front, back, and sleeves. No lining or facings, no separate collar, just three straightforward pattern pieces. It’s a very clean and straightforward design.




It’s sort of a cross between a winter coat and a comfortable cardigan; I’ll wear it on cold but not completely freezing days, and I think it will be really cozy. For me, it’s the coat I never have in my closet: the one that splits the difference between a heavy winter coat and a spring jacket. If you sew it from double-faced wool or wool/cashmere (which is what I really wanted to do until I fell in love with the burgundy wool you’ll see me wearing below) it may even be warm enough for the really, really cold days of winter.




What I love about this coat: its utter simplicity. I love architectural influences in fashion, and for me this is that sort of coat. The draped front occurs naturally when the front panel hangs from the shoulders, and the collar is formed with a simple dart and a neck seam. I think we’ll do a sew-along for this one, just to show you how incredibly easy it is to sew. You probably won’t need it, however. Each seam is finished with a flat felled seam so the inside of the coat is just as clean and finished as the outside. But I’ve already said enough. How about a video so you can see how the coat moves?



And here are more photos.








As you can see, the coat works just as well with casual clothes as it does with dressy. I wear jeans a lot during the fall and winter, and I’m pretty excited by how the coat looks with them.

So that’s B6244, and I hope you’ll love it! I think both patterns work really well as core pieces in a wardrobe. I didn’t pack many clothes for our time abroad, but I know I’ll be wearing the coat a lot this fall and winter. And the dress is on my To Make list as soon as I have time to sew it.

I hope you’ll show us how you sew these pieces for your own wardrobe! Post your photos to our SewLisette Flickr group or tag them #sewlisette and #B6244 on Instagram so we can find them, OK?

It’s the last day of the Lisette B6169 drapey dress sew-along! If you’re just joining us, you’ll want to start at Day 1. Today we’ll be hemming the sleeve and the dress, and then you can wear it out tonight! I hope you’ll post photos of your finished dress to the SewLisette Flickr group. It’s always fun to see what you make with our patterns, and fellow sewists like to be inspired by your work too!

Here we go with just a few final steps.


26. Finish armhole edges with a 5/8” (1.5cm) NARROW HEM, squaring stitching at square. (I added a row of basting stitches 5/8″ from the cut edge of the sleeve to help as a folding guide.)






27. Stitch 1/4” (6mm) from lower edge of dress, using long machine stitches, as shown. Turn up a 5/8” (1.5cm) hem at lower edge of dress, turning under 1/4” (6mm) on raw edge. Pull thread to ease in fullness. Stitch. (Because of the thickness of my fabric, I chose to do a hand-rolled, hand-stitched hem. Again, do whatever works best for your fabric and your preferences. You’ll also notice in the last photo of this post that my finished hem is much longer than the original pattern, and I made it straight with side vents for walking ease.)




And here is my finished dress, complete with the vertiginous heels I wore to a fancy event  last week.




I can’t wait to see how your dress turns out! Will you post a photo or two to the Flickr group?

Welcome to Day 3 of the Lisette B6169 drapey dress sew-along. If you’re just joining us, you’ll want to start at Day 1. Today we’ll be finishing the yoke and the neckline.

Yoke Facing

17. Stitch each yoke front FACING to yoke back FACING at shoulders. Press under 5/8” (1.5cm) on front edges of yoke facing. Trim pressed-under edge to 3/8” (1cm). (I like to use a basting stitch as my folding guide because it helps me to be really accurate, especially when I’m sewing with a slippery fabric. You can see my basting stitches at the top of the photo below. I waited to fold, press, and trim them until step 19, below.)




18. Pin right side of yoke back facing to wrong side of back, matching notches, centers and small circles. Stitch. Press yoke and yoke back facing away from back. (Here you’ve essentially sandwiched the front dress between the two front yokes and you’ll stitch right over your original stitching. This give the yoke a clean finish on the inside as well as the outside!)






19. SLIPSTITCH pressed-under edges of yoke facing over front seams. Baste neck and armhole edges together. (If you prefer, you can use the burrito method to stitch this seam. I had already trimmed my seam allowances at this point, so I followed the method in the instructions and hand-stitched the facing. The advantage of hand stitching is that you have better control over the fabric so you can be sure the layers lie flat as you stitch them, and since my dress is fancy silk I wanted it to have a fancy finish as well.)




20. Stitch back to front at sides, from lower edge to square. (I left this until after I had finished the neckline because I find that it’s easier to work with the garment as flat as possible for as long as possible.)

Neck Binding

21. STAYSTITCH neck edge of dress. (This prevents it from stretching and distorting as you apply the binding in step 24.)

22. Stitch center back seam of NECK BINDING (19).




23. With wrong sides together, fold binding along roll line. Press lightly. Pin raw edges together.




24. On outside, pin binding to neck edge, matching notches, centers and triangles. Stitch, stretching binding to fit. Trim seam allowances to a scant 1/4” (6mm). Turn seam allowances toward binding.








25. Turn binding to inside, encasing raw edges. SLIPSTITCH folded edge over seam, stretching binding to fit.



Do you like the clean finish of the neckline? Tomorrow we’ll finish up, hemming the sleeves and the dress.

Welcome to Day 3 of the Lisette B6169 drapey dress sew-along. If you’re just joining us, you’ll want to start at Day 1. Today we’ll be sewing the belt for View B. If you’re making View A you can sit back and relax and we’ll carry on tomorrow. Or you might want to consider making the belt and not attaching it so you can wear the dress with and without the belt for extra versatility? It’s up to you.

Since I didn’t make the belt, for my View A dress, I’m using the illustrations from the guidesheet today.

Tie Ends B

12. For each tie end, stitch two BELT (20) sections together at center back.


sash 01


13. Pin belt sections, right sides together, matching seams. Stitch, leaving an opening for turning. Trim seam allowances. (Trim the corners, especially! I also find that it helps to press the seam allowances open as much as possible before tuning the belt right side out in the next step. If you have a wooden dowel, you can insert it into the belt and use it to help you press the seam allowances over the dowel. Once you’ve done this it’s a cinch to get a nice crease at the edge of the fabric in step 14, below.)


sash 02


14. Turn right side out. Press. SLIPSTITCH opening edges together. (Use a point presser or a knitting needle to help coax those points to be nice and neat.)


sash 03


15. To gather belt, stitch 1/8” (3mm) on each side of seam, using long machine stitches.


sash 04


16. On outside, pin belt to back, matching centers and small circles. Adjust gathers. Secure thread ends. Stitch belt to back along center back and gathering lines, through all thicknesses. (This keeps the belt in place and helps the gathers to be even when you tie it.)


sash 05That was easy, right? Like I mentioned earlier, f you prefer you can always leave the belt unattached so you can wear the dress with or without the belt, but I think it looks really great when it’s attached.

Tomorrow we’ll finish the yoke and the neckline. I’ll see you then!

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