Butterick 6816 – A for Effort

25 Jul Butterick 6816 – A for Effort

“What do you think?” said I……

” I like those pants.” said hubby…..

“What about the top? I made the top!”

“It’s nice but I really like the pants. Did you make them?”

“No I bought them last summer on EBay during the pandemic when all of my pants became too tight. Do you not like my top?”

“Sure, great fit.”

“I’m going to make a skirt to go with it.”

“Don’t do that, just wear it with the pants.”

Such is the life of an unsung hero – the white blouse.

Would you believe it took me  a l l  w e e k  to make this top……..? I executed one bad idea after another. I’d spare you the details but then I wouldn’t have a post.

My inspiration for this top came from Charlotte Brody.  Founded by Jennifer Argenti in 2004, Charlotte Brody is an artisanal collection of luxurious ready-to-wear and made-to-order pieces designed and produced in New York City.

When the photo appeared on my Instagram feed I knew I must make both the skirt and top: the Cotton Trellis Blouse and the Cotton Poplin Tiered Midi Skirt.

I had a beautiful piece of white cotton lawn in my stash and I immediately placed an order for cotton poplin and the lightest weight batiste for lining from Fabric.com. The store has a nice selection of floral cotton poplins


I knew any pattern I bought would need modifications, and I settled on these – Butterick 6816, shirt and Kwik Sew 3877, skirt.

I liked the simple shaping of the top, and the pattern offers nice sleeve options for for later. I bought the Kwik Sew pattern because it features a small waistband, and should be easy to accomodate tiers.

I planned on taking two days to make the top  and one day for the skirt.

Immediately I was concerned about the sheerness of the cotton lawn, but I cut it anyway. 

Why didn’t I use this fabric for a loose fitting top I lamented.

You could see straight through the fabric.

Should I wear a camisole? 

I decided to underline the top with another layer of the cotton lawn. I had just enough, so I basted the two layers and darts together for the front sections and the back.

It felt bulky but I proceeded anyway.….

I increased the ease of the sleevecap in order to pleat the sleeve…… 

but not enough……..

I looked everywhere for simple insertion tape and finally located some at an excellent price on Amazon but to get here in a timely manner would cost $42.00!


I had some lovely cotton lace in my stash – maybe it would work. I attached the lace heirloom style, but when I cut the back away I didn’t like it at all.

At this point I didn’t know if I could finish the top. I cut off the bottom portion of the lace to showcase the scallops, gave myself a pep talk and  continued….

Like the Charlotte Brody top, I covered the buttons, something I hadn’t done in years.

So here it is starched and pressed 😊 There’s a few puckers that are here to stay, but I believe they’ll be less noticeable once tucked into a skirt.

But, if making the skirt is anything like making this top, my husband might get his wish after all …

Until soon 😊

  • Karen Hinson
    Posted at 08:13h, 25 July Reply

    I like the top. A different shaped sleeve, like a small bell would be cute, but I think it’s beautiful. I can’t wait to see the skirt.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:42h, 25 July Reply

      Now that’s a good idea! If I had anymore fabric I’d switch out the sleeves.. Many thanks, Karen😊

  • April Byers
    Posted at 08:33h, 25 July Reply

    good post. Thank you for sharing. The blouse is pretty.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:00h, 25 July Reply

      Thank you, April 😊 Not really what I wanted but I finished it………and who knows, it may work with the skirt

  • Joan
    Posted at 11:32h, 25 July Reply


    I always appreciate hearing the woeful tales of other seamstresses: it helps reinforce my personal fortitude when MY (sewing) times get rough!

    Lovely classic summer blouse: even if it isn’t just what you initially planned, the quality, fit and details stand on their own.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:24h, 26 July Reply

      Many thanks for your comment, Joan 😊 I do think it will work with the skirt………..and I do like the pattern.

  • Lesley
    Posted at 12:00h, 25 July Reply

    I adore the sleeves, the scalloped edge looks wonderful. A solid edge too heavy for the light summer feel. I agree with your husband – great trousers, wonderful print and they look fabulous on you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:29h, 26 July Reply

      Thank you, Lesley! I do wish I had slightly flared the sleeve, but the lace does give it a nice feminine touch. 😉

  • Lucy Augustine
    Posted at 12:35h, 25 July Reply

    First, the blouse is just right! Like the fit and the sleeve option you chose. I find the poofy sleeve difficult to grade. I am not tall, and feel rather overwhelmed with so much poof! I just feel like I am wearing water wings stolen from the kids in the pool! Your finishing scallops are very nice, also very on-trend if what I am seeing in the shops this Summer is any clue. Pants or skirt,, it is fine. I had to smile when you were attempting to elicit a response from husband. Mine usually doesn’t notice until a month or a year has passed when he comments…when did you get that? I rest my case!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:27h, 26 July Reply

      Glad to know the sleeves are on trend! I wasn’t going for the goofy look, but do wish I had widened the bottom of the sleeve 😉
      As for my husband, seeing how he is my photographer, he usually takes notice of what I’m making. Like I said the white blouse is an unsung hero, poor thing!
      Many thanks for the comment, Lucy.

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 13:36h, 25 July Reply

    I too like hearing about others’ struggles with dubious sewing decisions. And soldering on! Your blouse looks great, pretty and summery. I’m making a dress with a tiered skirt in floral print too so look forward to seeing yours. And I’m always impressed when a fellow sewist can achieve that perfectly smooth junction of collar stand to placket!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:22h, 26 July Reply

      As I’ve written before, I promised myself no UFOs or else nothing would be completed. Yes, I’m glad I finished the blouse and I think it will work with the skirt. Thank you for noticing the collar and placket, Alice and good luck with your skirt!
      Are you lining your skirt?

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 15:46h, 25 July Reply

    Your blouse really says summer. The lace is a wonderful addition. It really works. Thanks for the tutorial and sharing your inspiration.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:20h, 26 July Reply

      Many thanks, Bernadette 😊 I don’t know how inspirational I was… more like I needed to get it off my chest. Thank you for reading!

  • Marilyn+Winograd
    Posted at 15:48h, 25 July Reply

    I like the top a lot. I’m not fond (yet) of the big sleeve look or that of ornate lace. I much prefer your tatlored and beautifully executed look. I said “yet” because as I’m exposed to new fashion trends, I often do eventually embrace them. The problem is that I’m a season or two behind. You look stunning, as usual!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:18h, 26 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Marilyn! I predict those big puffy shoulders will be gone next season, but I love Karen Hinson’s comment. A butterfly sleeve would be so pretty!

  • Mary Ellen Roth
    Posted at 17:31h, 25 July Reply

    I like the blouse, very pretty with the trim. I have the same pattern, making it longer and using the longer sleeve with the flowing cuff. I am also using a sheer fabric, but decided I would just wear over a tank. Appreciate knowing others can struggle with choices and decisions in construction methods!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:16h, 26 July Reply

      …and what a struggle it was 😬 Many thanks for your comment, Mary Ellen and good luck with your top!

  • Linda
    Posted at 18:46h, 25 July Reply

    You look lovely in your new blouse! The sleeves are beautifully delicate and really accent the blouse. Looks like a winner to me, the fit is beautiful on you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:15h, 26 July Reply

      I like the fit, Linda, but underlining the fabric with the cotton lawn was a mistake in my opinion due to the puckering….. I’ll make the top again because I do like the pattern. Many thanks for your comment!

  • Elizabeth Lewis
    Posted at 21:18h, 25 July Reply

    Can’t see any photos. Is it just me?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:13h, 26 July Reply

      Elizabeth, My website went down yesterday as soon as I published this post, and it still isn’t quite right………I’m hoping everything will get straightened out today. Sorry.

  • Daisy BROMLOW
    Posted at 06:42h, 26 July Reply

    Love the blouse , it screams Charleston – simply elegant !

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:10h, 26 July Reply

      Thank you, Daisy! All I need is a glass of lemonade 😊

  • Barbara Fitzpatrick
    Posted at 18:03h, 26 July Reply

    Well, I absolutely love the blouse. It is beautiful, fresh, and it fits you perfect. I love the heirloom look of the sleeves. It is just perfect for this time of year. And I do thing it will look lovely with the skirt and whatever you were with it. The pants are great too I love the bright colors. You are a beautiful seamstress. If I could sew like you I would never buy clothes again.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:35h, 28 July Reply

      Well, what a lovely comment, Barbara 😊 Really, you made my day, because I really struggled with the issues that plagued this sewing experience. ………….. and I’ve found the more you sew, the better you get and the less you buy! Many thanks for your comment.

  • Jennifer Mariel Shaw
    Posted at 20:25h, 26 July Reply

    I really love your new white blouse! It is the perfect summer blouse. White cotton, elegant, perfectly fitted with just a taste of lace. I remember having a blouse that I wore to death years ago. I think that it was from Talbots. It had the prettiest bit of drawn thread work done on the collar and was a fitted blouse, too. Now you are inspiring me with a new look!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:38h, 28 July Reply

      Thank you so much, Jennifer! I’m discovering moderately priced RTW clothes have less and less detail to offer – both embellishment and fit. My mother worked at a Talbots so long that she retired with a lifetime 50% discount! Their clothes have changed over the years – I can picture your fitted blouse now!

  • Mary+Funt
    Posted at 06:05h, 27 July Reply

    Really classy, elegant and perfect for summer. Thanks for sharing your problem solving methods when things don’t go as planned. I rarely know exactly how a garment will go together and it’s the constant decision making that makes the process fun. I also had problems seeing photos; glad things are up and working.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:42h, 28 July Reply

      Thank you Mary! I always have a vision, but it’s true I generally encounter unexpected decision to make along the way. I don’t mind that, but I would have made several different decisions on the garment. 😉 I appreciate your encouraging comment.

  • celeste yanisch
    Posted at 10:57h, 27 July Reply

    I absolutely love this white shirt; it is the bomb. The way the front placket opens to a v-neck is just perfection. I think you handled the lace on the sleeves perfectly; the scallops make it the right length for your arms. ( The sleeves on the model look like epaulets gone rogue, to me.)

    I’m so glad you are writing and posting again; I missed you during Covid.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:44h, 28 July Reply

      Hi Celeste!
      Thank you so much😊 The placket is exactly what caught my eye and I do like the fit of the shirt. I look forward to sewing some of the sleeve options offered in the pattern.

  • ParisGrrl
    Posted at 06:17h, 28 July Reply

    It’s the kind of blouse you’ll reach for often I have no doubt, and it’s lovely. The original inspiration sleeves still call to me though–might they deserve a second chance, using more of a leg-o-mutton sleeve, and perhaps using a wing needle to create a pattern directly into the fabric instead of using lace?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:46h, 28 July Reply

      What great advice, ParisGrrl! A wing needle – of course!!!! However I’m not familiar with a leg-o-mutton sleeve, What is it?

      • ParisGrrl
        Posted at 16:12h, 28 July Reply

        Leg-o-mutton is one of those really big at the cap sleeves often seen on historical gowns. A puff sleeve or balloon sleeve could be a good starting point.

        • goodbyevalentino
          Posted at 06:16h, 29 July Reply

          Thank you – I know exactly what that is 😊

  • Mary Lynn Cheely
    Posted at 01:03h, 21 August Reply

    Hi! I’ve really;;y missed seeing your website. I haven’t sewn for several years now, but I looked up your website to see if you still had it! it was such a pleasure to read and enjoy! I hope everyone is healthy and doing well. Mary Lynn

  • Kathie Bennett
    Posted at 06:53h, 28 June Reply


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