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Every now and then a pattern comes along that fits perfectly and can be remade in a myriad of ways! Butterick 6686 has been one of those for me. It’s one of the new Butterick patterns and the thing that appealed to me most about it was the sleeves. No set in sleeves meant I likely wouldn’t have to do a full bust adjustment (party!) and I like how these sleeves give freedom of movement. That said, I did make some significant changes, but first let me show you my two makes!
The first version I made was out of cotton gingham from Hobby Lobby. I got it when they were clearancing out the Spring fashion line, so it was very inexpensive and a great quality. I did make a muslin like always and I’m glad I did because I ended up getting rid of all the gathers in the back. Here’s a line drawing for reference.
Every time there are gathers or pleats in the back of a top or dress, it tends to look very odd on me, especially from the side. I prefer things to skim my back and because I have a swayback, I almost always alter patterns in the back. However, the width at the hemline was perfect, so I didn’t want to alter that at all. I grabbed my tape and got to work taping pleats into my pattern piece. Here’s how it looked when I was done.
Additionally, I altered the armhole to not come out as far. It’s hard to explain, but I didn’t like how far down the bottom of the sleeve was and how it came out in a hook shape. I eliminated that and marked where I would stop sewing in order to hem my sleeve. You can see that dot in the photo above.
ALSO, I don’t care for collars that are one piece, I prefer the collar and stand to be separate. So I used the collar and stand pieces of my trusty button down shirt pattern and it just happened to fit this pattern perfectly. These changes may sound time consuming, but they really weren’t and the end result was so worth it. I think if I hadn’t bothered with a muslin and alterations and just plowed ahead with my nice fabric, it would have ended up in the trash. It’s always worth taking my time!
For my second version, I had a really pretty, buttery soft rayon I’d gotten on my trip to Colorado. I didn’t have much of it, though, so I needed a pattern that doesn’t use much fabric. Because it doesn’t have sleeves to cut out and because I took out the gathers, this pattern is perfect for just a yard and a quarter of fabric. This time I did something a little different. Rather than the collar, I made a bias binding for the neckline and left the tie ends long. I love how it drapes open at the neckline!
This pattern is perfect for hacking. Do you have a go-to pattern that you can hack into other things? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!