It’s ALIVE! Frankenstein was made from several parts, hence the “Frankensteining” of sewing patterns is the idea of combining two or more patterns to make your own design. I’ve taken this concept to combine the Chalk & Notch Wren blouse bodice with the Butterick 6684 flounced sleeves to make this beauty below:
Sew…Here we GO! I love the Chalk & Notch Wren; however, it’s late spring and the heat is on. I love the design of the Wren bodice, but I wanted something flowy for summer on my arms. The Wren long sleeves were totally out for the season, and the Wren has a short sleeve version with elastic. Not what I was looking for. Now, the Butterick 6684 has the cutest flounced sleeve in their view D. Lightning struck and waaalaaah! I’ve Created A MONSTER! I’ll show you how I did it, SEW… keep reading on.
The first thing I had to do was to figure out how to cut the upper sleeve to fit the armscye of the bodice. I took the Wren upper sleeve pattern and used that as a guide. The sleeve pattern from the Butterick was then laid on top and lined up to where the underarms met. I needed to ensure the sleeve seam was the appropriate length. I wanted about a 4-inch seam before the flounce.
Now that I have my pattern pieces ready, it’s time to cut them out. I chose to use a white on white cotton embroidered fabric. Easy care, wash and wear woven. I love using my pattern weights and rotary cutter. I also love my wash away markers so I can mark all my notches and dots. I’ve changed my machine needle to a nice sharp Microtex size 10 and cleaned the bobbin area of my sewing machine before I start my new project. Last but not least, I do a test sewing line on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure correct tension and stitch. This project will use a 1cm seam allowance.
Don’t jump ahead of this sewing project, as the bodice of the Wren is done a bit differently than the usual. You won’t want to miss this cool way of completing the collar. Now let’s fuse the interfacing to the front bodice where the buttons and button holes will be. Go ahead and fuse the interfacing to the collar facings too. Since you’re at the ironing board, go ahead and press your darts so it will make sewing easier. Sew the darts; all of them; bust and backs.
Now we are going to line up our shoulder seams of the neck facing. This can be a bit confusing so remember, the “angled edge” lines up with the shoulder seam. See the photos below so you don’t get confused.
Sew the shoulder seams of the facing and press. Chalk & Notch suggests you sew a scant 3/8″ stitch line around the outer edge of the facing to use as a pressing guide. This is such a helpful trick and I would almost say an imperative step due to the edge stitching that will be up and coming.
Now press the edge over following this stitch line as perfect as you can. Take your time. Use spray starch or water if that helps you. Do not sew this edge down or finish this edge. We will get that done here shortly.
This is the different cool way to apply the facing. Don’t sew it in the usual way. Do this instead: With right sides together, sew the short edge of the facing at the 1cm seam allowance starting at the neck edge all the way down and keep going down the front to the hem line. This does two things: 1) it attaches the facing to the bodice and it gives you another “pressing stitch” down the front of the shirt.
Press the seam open and keep pressing down the front of the bodice a 1cm allowance.
Now fold the front of the bodice facing matching your notches and pin in place both the front of the bodice and the neck facing matching the shoulder seams.
Just around the neckline, sew 1cm seam. See below:
Understitch the neck facing to the seam allowances to help the collar lay nice and flat. Clip the curves and trim the seams of the neck edge. Turn right side out and if you have one, use your point turner to get that corner out nice and sharp. Give it a good press, press the front bodice facing down too matching your markings.
Pin the facings to the bodice. Now for the magic… sew an edge stitch all the way around and down the facings to hold them in place.
I adjusted my sewing machine needle all the way to the left so I could utilize all my presser foot motion to guide the fabric nice and evenly.
It’s magic. Look how pretty that came out!
Let’s work on the sleeves now. Set your sleeves in the armscyes matching the notches. Finish your seams with an overlock stitch or zigzag to keep in nice and neat.
Now sew the side seams together including the sleeve seams. Finish those seams also.
Time to prep the flounce. Sew the short flounce seam and finish with an overlock stitch. I suggest you hem the flounce now before you attach it to the sleeve. I did a double fold and edge stitched mine in place.
With right sides together I placed the sleeve through the flounce and pinned in place matching the seams and notches. Finish the seam and whaaalaaa! Give it a good press.
Now sew the button holes and buttons on and YOU’RE All Done. Wear it in good health! Keep cool for the summer.