Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Butterick 5562, Puff Sleeve Tee

B5562 Thumbnail

Puffed sleeves have been a thing for a while, but they are still going strong, as you can see in this Bird by Juicy Couture Striped wool-jersey top ($230).

Source: via Trena on Pinterest

Butterick 5562 is a good entry in the genre.  It lacks the drama of this Pre-Fall 2012 Thakoon (which is completely awesome), but is more wearable on a day-to-day basis.

Short Sleeve Front Closeup

In addition to a shawl-style top, the pattern comes with two variations on the puff sleeve, a short sleeve version and a long sleeve version.

The two sleeves are not drafted the same, which is odd.  The short sleeve has a large dart at the shoulder, which gives more volume and a higher lift to the puff.  The elastic for gathering does not come up to the sleeve cap but starts lower down, which also allows for higher lift.  The long sleeve just has the rounded "microphone" shape at the top.  The short sleeve is definitely superior to the long sleeve in design.

However, I think there is an error in the short sleeve pattern, in the odious "guide for elastic."  The elastic length is only about an inch shorter than the area to be gathered.  I double-checked to make sure it wasn't my error.  I cut it to about 2/3 the length to be gathered.

Short Sleeve BackWhile the sleeves are great, I found the draft of the shirt appalling.  It is described as "close-fitting" but I found it quite huge.  It comes in RTW-sizing, XS-XXL, which sort of lulls you into thinking it might not have the Big Three Ease of Doom, but you'd be wrong.  I cut an XS at shoulders and bust, M at the waist, and L at the hips.  I should have taken a picture of the short-sleeve version before fixing the fit, but I took a good 3-4 inches out of the waist.

In addition to the general fit, I found the neckline too wide.

And then there are my personal body quirks.  You can see in the closeup photo how it is catching above the bust (which led me to take a tiny shortening tuck in developing my TNT tee).  You can also see the dreadful swayback, even though I added a CB seam.  Ugh!


 For the long sleeve version, I played it safe and just attached the Butterick sleeves to my TNT tee pattern.  That solved my fit problems, though the bulkiness of this stretch lace fabric didn't help.  I'm afraid that whole set of purchases from was a mistake.  This fabric was $7/yd, and is only going to last a few wears as it snags on *everything.*

I underlined it with a rayon knit, one of the fabrics I purchased in Hong Kong with AllisonC in 2009.

To make the elastic gathers in the long sleeve version, I found it easier to push the fabric underneath the elastic as I sewed it than to try to stretch the elastic to the proper length.  This ends up with sort of approximate gathering lengths, but it all worked out fine.
 Elastic at Lower Sleeve
The sleeves are looooong.  Even after gathering the ends they were way too long, so I had to cut off three inches and then add more elastic on the back end.

If I were making the long sleeves again, I'd do the sleeve cap elastic gathering before setting in the sleeve, so the top of the elastic would be caught in the armscye seam.

Short Sleeve Side Long Sleeve Front

The aqua version is one of the wicking fabrics I got from Fashion Fabrics Club.  I sewed it up at the last minute to take to Ecuador.  Alas, the fit is so terrible that I wore it on vacation but not otherwise (of course, it has nominally been winter as well).  Other than the swayback, though, in the pics it looks cute so maybe I'll give it another try this summer (weekend wear only).

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.


Lisette M said...

Whatever imperfections you see, all I see is super cute tops! We are our own worst critics =-)

Clio said...

Both are cute on you. How bizarre that the sleeve construction is different from short to long (short IS more dramatic!)

"Ease of Doom" LOL - so true!

CGCouture said...

I agree with Lisette, we're always too critical of our own work. I think they look really cute on you! And I hear you about snaggy fabric--I've ended up with more than my share of that stuff, and it's so frustrating to have all your hard work look bad after just a few wears. :-(

Little Hunting Creek said...

These are so CUTE on you - I think you could fix that small back fit problem - make another one for summer :)

sdBev said...

These are so cute. Would you conside adding a peplum effect by adding a waist to take up the back?

puu said...

funny, i had been thinking (before i got to that bit in your review) that those sleeves would be awesome on a TNT tee pattern for a little extra jazz. i love that you tried them and we get to see them--and i think you are being too hard on them--but i bet if you keep making them on a TNT, like the long-sleeve version, there's a lot of fun potential there!

and "ease of doom" is the best description of that problem i have heard, ever.

McVal said...

I love that affect!

Stephanie said...

I think you're too hard on yourself, both tops looks really cute. I particularly love the short sleeved one. I actually have this pattern in my stash and think I might attempt this next. May I ask, what size did you cut? I read that you took out 5 inches, but I'm curious as to your starting point, just to give me an idea when I attempt this on my own. :)

liza jane said...

The short sleeve definitely has a better puff! I like the aqua top a lot. I bet it would look great tucked in to a pencil skirt.

emadethis said...

The aqua is really cute--especially with that skirt. The ensemble is so springy!

Lori said...

I think your tops look great on you. I agree about the sizing, my top was quite big, not what you expect from a knit shirt.

MushyWear said...

You've given a helpful review of the pattern. Thanks for that! Glad you will give the short sleeve version another chance for wear this summer. I think it looks perfect with the cute sleeves and great color!

velosewer said...

This is cute style and it looks great on you. It's on of my favs.

Nethwen said...

If I were making this, I would lean towards the long sleeve version. I like how it is gathered at the upper arm, but doesn't create a puff at the shoulder.

Both shirts look good on you. Remember, no one else scrutinizes fit the way one does to oneself.

Marianna said...

Gorgeous splashes of colour (summer must be on the way). I'll give the Butterick a go I think!

Mrs. Micawber said...

Oh my gosh, I love that Thakoon tee!

Your aqua one is really cute. The short sleeves do look better than the long ones, although fabric drape may have something to do with it. I think a belt would work with the aqua top, which might help disguise the swayback issue a bit.

I remember a puff-sleeve tee pattern from the 80s that I adored. Huge on top, almost leg o'mutton, and narrow at the wrists. Everything comes around again.

Summer Flies said...

I've just watched the video and I think she has valid points but no one out of the professionals mentioned how many HOURS it took... it's easy to say it COST $200 in China to produce but they discount the expertise it takes. This ignorance is really sad.

Uta said...

Well, I happen to love the aqua one, so if you don't want it... No, honestly, this will look great with all your colorful and bright skirts! (I also really like the long sleeves top with the textured hose - what a match!)

Anonymous said...

You must ALWAYS show off that killer waist of yours. Looks sooo much better tucked in & belted. You've got the curves show them off!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing such detail on how the sleeve patterns work - it's great to see a pattern in action and have the good/bad described so well. They both look lovely, of course! :)