My Sew Called Life

A Journey Through the World of Sewing

A Lesson in Poor Fabric Choice January 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Burke @ 9:51 am


It didn’t take very long for me to get bored sewing black wool. If you’ve never spent a great deal of time sewing black fabric with black thread, I would recommend it. I used to think I should wear all black all the time not only for its slimming nature, but for its versatility and ease of matching with other things. I enjoy only needing 5 minutes every morning to determine my outfit since it’s all the same color BUT sewing it is NOT fun.

One day at JoAnn I found some awesome heavy purple wool tweed. It was love at first sight. I bought two yards and relished in my fabulous find. The fabric sat for a week or so until I finally decided to turn it into this:


Some of you who have sewn will recognize this as the Butterick 5415 which specifically recommends that you use “Faille, Lightweight Crepe and Stable Knits.” Now some of you will see where this is going, but for those of you who cannot foresee the issue here it is: heavy purple wool tweed is NOT any of these fabrics listed. I learned the next important lesson with this pattern, the rule of drape:

5. Use the fabric(s) listed on the pattern envelope or the drape will look skewed.

In my defense, I was also going through the fitting confusion of my early days and made this entirely too large. I am convinced that I can pull this off as a “vintage” a-line sheath worn with some fabulously tall platform pumps that make me look much taller than 5’4″. I have yet to brave it, but I am hopeful that I can try it one day. Luckily for me, the style is very simple and straightforward, so the fabric doesn’t look terrible in the style BUT the first thing my husband asked upon seeing it was whether or not the pattern was intended for wool. Yep.

Even still, I successfully installed a pretty neat zipper, created a great hem, and managed to install the sleeve much to my surprise. I still need a smaller size I think, although the arms fit really well. I also moved the dart to fit my bust better – it was a bit too high on the pattern. Here is the final product (not ready to model yet…maybe in a few weeks):


Try to picture this on a brunette with black 3 1/2″ platform heels and the same hair as the model. Wishful thinking, but close enough.


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