Completed: Butterick 5526, in silk georgette

15 Dec

Ah, Butterick 5526. I just can’t quit you.

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

This pattern is truly a TNT//tried’n’true for me at this point. I’ve made it several times – in various fabric weights and drapes, always tweaking the fit as I go – and it’s turned out to be my very favorite shirt pattern. I am pretty sure I’m repeating myself at this point, but JUST IN CASE YOU WEREN’T READING THE FIRST TIME – I fucking love this pattern!

Since I’ve already beat this pattern to the ground as far as shirting fabrics are concerned, I figured I might give myself a little challenge for the next make. And by “challenge,” I mean went temporarily insane and decided to make this up in some silk georgette.

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

And it turned out pretty good! Just don’t look too close 😉 Silk georgette is a slippery little beast, after all. Also, sorry about all the creases – I took these photos after wearing the shirt all day with a sweater over it. Turns out silk REALLY likes to set itself some creases!

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

I was bound and determined to have this ready in time for my London adventure – I just knew the shirt would look great under my various sweaters, as well as on it’s own (well, with a tank underneath it. It’s pretty sheer on it’s own! It’s not so noticeable in these photos, but… trust me.). The fabric is very thin, lightweight and drapey – which meant I could even get away with wearing it under a ponte tshirt. I knew silk would be a good bet because it’s so warm, plus, it would give me an entirely different look from my white cotton B5526 (nothing wrong with that shirt, by the way – except that the weird sleeve length means I can’t wear it with long sleeves. Which is why I’m making a second white button up. No judgement here). Based on my experience with the birdy silk geogrette of my dreams (and no, I still haven’t cut into my remaining yardage – too many options to choose from, can’t decide, HALP), I thought I’d give the fabric another try. At any rate, at least it won’t be shiny satin silk. I hate that stuff when it’s not part of a lining. Sorry.

I bought this silk double georgette from the Mood Fabrics website, sight unseen, only to find out that… well, it wasn’t *quite* the same as the bird silk. It’s much thinner – it’s basically sheer. I understand that the description explicitly states that, yet I still ignored it. It also has quite a bit of stretch, which is not ANYWHERE in the description. Whoops. Shoulda ordered a swatch, but I didn’t have time to wait. And I didn’t have time to buy something else, so I dealt with the cards fabric I was given.

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

Like I said, it’s mostly good. The worst part of the process was cutting this beast – talk about a PAIN IN MY ASS. The fabric is so shifty and I swear those pieces were moving around just to torment me. I usually don’t have too much of a problem with cutting shifty fabrics – I just rip the cut edge to get a straight line, match the selvedges and pin the hell out of them (buying a decent-quality fabric that’s already on grain really helps, fyi. If you’re going to go sheer/shifty, don’t cheap out!), and then pin all my pattern pieces as well. That simply did not work as well for this fabric. It basically didn’t want to be made into a shirt, and it fought with me every step of the way.

But I ended up winning, so there’s that.

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

To sew, I used my finest needle (70/10 Microtex) and my walking foot (since, again, shifty fabric). I used French seams for every part of this shirt and omitted most of the topstitching. I say most because I did topstitch the button band, but it ended up causing so much shifty drama that I decided to skip the rest and finish the collar stand by hand.

For the hem, I used bias facing, since the thought of rolling that hem made me want to cry. Bias facing was certainly easier, but it’s not really my best work on this shirt. For one, I didn’t have the right fabric – I was completely out of georgette (used up the whole yardage cutting the pieces, go me) and I don’t have any lightweight white silk in my stash. I did have some peach-colored silk (the same stuff I used to finish my boiled wool SJ sweater neckline), which worked out since it matches my skin tone at least. I must have done some crazy witchcraft distortion on the hem because it is now VERY wavy. But, you know what? Fuck it. I plan on wearing this thing tucked in for the most part anyway.

Also, it wasn’t until after I finished the shirt that I remembered I wanted to try to draft a v-neck for it. HA HA HA! Obviously that did not happen! Better luck next time!

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

Anyway, whatever. It’s pretty. I finished it on time. I wore the shirt out of it in London. People there probably think I don’t have any other clothes. Yay!

Have some close-ups and I will point out my mistakes so we can laugh together:

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

The tag is accurate. It is also hiding a big pleat in the collar stand facing that mysteriously grew longer than the interfaced side (I dunno, either).

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

I was ridiculously proud of how nice the sleeve plackets turned out, until I tried on the shirt and discovered that the sleeves were somehow too long (they still are, if you didn’t notice). I trimmed them as much as I dared, and as a result – my placket is maaaaybe 1″ long. It’s the saddest little weenie placket ever. I mean, it’s not the worst deal because I can still roll my sleeves up, but… yeah. Fuck you, weenie placket.

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

Here is my faced hem. Hey, it actually looks pretty nice in this picture!

White Silk Double Georgette B5526

Ok, I think that’s it! I do love the shirt – it hasn’t deterred me from my beloved B5526, or even silk georgette for that matter (I will try you again, and I WILL conquer your ass. I will also buy a swatch first, because, ~*YOLO*~). Despite the dramz that occurred to make this shirt (and also the fact that it took like 2 months to complete because I was right in the midst of the V1419 sewalong, argh), I feel pretty good about it. It’s definitely a good staple for the ol’ closet, and it served me well in London.

Sidenote: I did also make the shirt I’m wearing in these photos. It’s a Colette Mabel and I used this incredible black virgin wool sweater knit that is now sadly sold out of the Mood website. It’s super thick and cozy and I LOVE it. That is all.

53 Responses to “Completed: Butterick 5526, in silk georgette”

  1. Nakisha December 15, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Now that is beautiful!!!

  2. Margo December 15, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Wow! Despite the trouble this fabric gave you, it looks great. Hats off to you for tackling it in the first place! It looks really well made.

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      Thank you! It was definitely a battle, but I am pretty sure I won 🙂 haha!

  3. Angela December 15, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    I laughed out loud at that tag – definitely would be appropriate in many a garment I’ve sewn!

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      Same! haha! Although I save the labels for the ones that frustrate me the most, or else *every* garment would have one hahaha!

  4. Gertrude December 15, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    I think this turned out great. I would love it if you described how you did the hem. I am going to do that for a top I am making. Thanks.

  5. Kelly December 15, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Haha, you ‘wore the shirt out of it’. I’m guessing that’s a typo, but please leave it and pretend it was a clever pun all along 😉

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      Er, of COURSE it was a clever pun 😉 haha! Actually, it wasn’t, but I’m going to leave it up so maybe people will believe that it was intentional hahaha

  6. Connie December 15, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    The shirt looks just great and none of your mistakes would be noticed unless you point them out, but I’m glad you did. It makes me feel better to know that even you make mistakes have trouble with some fabrics.

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      I’m glad it made you feel better! 🙂 I don’t usually point out my mistakes (well, not in real life – no one notices them otherwise!), but in the case of a sewing blog, I think it’s applicable. Nobody is perfect, after all – and if they say they are, they’re probably just hiding something that you didn’t notice 🙂 haha!

  7. Ann T. December 15, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    I recently tried my hand at a similarly shifty fabric, but lacked your confidence that I could force it to submit. Instead, I used Sullivan’s Fabric Stabilizer. When it dried, the fabric was crisp, and willing to do whatever I asked.

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2014 at 10:30 am #

      I’ve thought about using that stuff, but it bothers me that it stays stiff until you wash it. I’m an avid try-as-you-sew maker, and I don’t like that I can’t do that if I stabilize the fabric first! So I’m trying to force myself to get better at sewing tricky fabrics without outside help. We’ll see how well that goes 🙂

  8. Rachel Meddoms December 15, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Lovely blouse. I understand how you felt about sewing georgette, I hope I have emailed you before you cut out your next piece. I discovered a hint, I cannot remember where to rinse slippery fabric in concentrated gelatin. I took about 2litres of water to about 4 sheets of clear gelatin, dissolved as per instructions , let it cool slightly, then dunked the fabric into a bowl of the mixture. Make sure all the fabric is equally wet, pat out excess water with a towel and then hang over something flat to dry. I have a wide upstairs banister which looks over my staircase. Georgett dries quickly and was ready the following day. I ironed flat between two pieces of cotton. This worked a dream, cutting out was easy as the fabric was like starched all be it slightly slippery cotton. Once I had sewn everything I then hand washed out the gelatin and then washed as per the fabric instructions. Fabulous it worked. If you don’t believe me try a test piece.

    Kind regards and ps I love your blog. Unfortunately I was stalked a few years ago, otherwise I would do one myself.



    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      That’s a great tip! I’m hesitant to try starching the fabric first (or any sort of stiffener), as I like to try on my garment as I sew – but I may try this anyway, just to see if I did it 🙂 Thanks for such detailed instructions!

      Also – YIKES! I’m so sorry to hear that you were stalked, that sounds horrifying! Hope everything is ok now ♥

  9. Michelle December 15, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    I love that you pushed yourself outside your comfort zone on this blouse. I think it paid off. And, I’m sure that the things you stumbled over during the making of this first Georgette blouse will get easier as you continue to work with it! Silk does wrinkle like nobody’s business, but it’s SO PRETTY. There are some DIY vinegar/water/essential oil sprays you can mix together at home. They help to reduce the amount of ironing and discourage wrinkling during wear. Just be sure to test on some scraps first if you’re going to use it, to be sure your fabric will play nicely with it. A lot of modern fabrics undergo some heavy chemical processing before they reach retailers. And, that shit messes everything up for everybody.

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:02 am #

      Ah, that’s such a good idea to de-wrinkle it. I don’t trust chemical-y stuff that you get at the store, but DIY sprays are right up my alley! I’ll look into that this weekend, thanks lady! 🙂

  10. maddie December 15, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    I bet you and your weenie placket looked amazing in London! : )

  11. McCallPatternCompany (@McCallPatternCo) December 15, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    You crack me up. This blouse turned out great. Many atta girls for sewing with a tough fabric. Takes patience!

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      Thank you! I feel stronger already 🙂 haha!

  12. Jo December 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Omg beautiful! I still haven’t conquered this pattern (I fiddled with it too much in the muslin stage haha). I’m amazed at your smooth set-in sleeves! Did you have to alter the pattern? I know the big four are notorious for extra sleeve cap ease! Well done, you showed that fabric who’s boss 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      I actually couldn’t remember, so I had to go back and look! Looks like I did reduce some of the ease in the sleeve cap, although according to my blog post for the first version – that sleeve is unaltered. It was just a bitch to set in smoothly:)

  13. Grace December 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    I would recommend pressing your bias strips prior to sewing with them. It removes a bit of the stretch from the bias which would prevent some of that waviness at them. Give it a a try sometime.

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Great tip, thank you! I’ll try that for my next one 🙂

  14. Frankie Carson December 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    I have no idea hoe you finish items so beautifully! But it makes me hate you a little bit (good hate)

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      It’s because I’m crazy anal retentive about making my insides look pretty too 🙂 lol!

  15. V Reed December 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Cutting shifty fabric, which I totally read as shitty fabric the whole way through, have you tried freezer paper? I know you hate tracing, but seriously…it’s worth a go. Trace your pieces onto the freezer paper and cut larger than the pattern size, iron onto the fabric then cut the fabric and paper together. The paper should peel off once you’re cut. Voila! Test a sample first, of course. 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      I mean, it *was* shitty fabric (only in the sense of being mean, not in the sense of being poor quality haha) if that helps 😉

      I’ve heard the freezer paper tip, but I’m reluctant to try it because freezer paper isn’t very cheap, and here, it’s strangely difficult to find – not every grocery store carries it (ok, I just realized I’m basing these assumptions off the last time I bought freezer paper in 2005, ‘way up in Pittsburgh, so, um, maybe things have changed since hahahaha). Plus, I hate producing a lot of unnecessary waste. But it might be good for smaller pieces/projects, so might come in handy in the future 🙂

  16. enquireendeavourexcel December 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Sewing some workwear is one of my 2015 resolutions and this would be perfect. Your seams on that fabric are amazing!

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:13 am #

      Oh, this would make a great work staple! Doooo it! 😀

  17. Basya December 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Lauren, you showed the silk double georgette who’s Boss. The shirt is beautiful!

    I bought six yards of that same black virgin wool sweater knit. So toasty. I made the Colette Oslo cardigan out of it last week.

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      Oohhhhh, I bet that’s lovely I’m so jealous you got away with 6 yards of it! I only bought half a yard and immediately wish I’d snapped up more 🙂

      • Basya December 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

        I keep stalking Mood’s site ready to pounce when/if more arrives.

        What would you recommend for a turtleneck, a crew neck sweater, and a cardigan? The virgin wool is a wee too stiff for such things.

  18. trudy mae December 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    lookin good!! finding a collared shirt pattern that works for me is on my [long] sewing bucket list. I’ll have to give B5526 a try!
    also I can’t stop laughing at “weenie placket” haha

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      B5526 is my very fabric, definitely give it a trip! I can’t speak for all bodies to fit into it, but it works very well for me 🙂

    • Topstitched by Anne December 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      I adore this shirt. I made my absolute first shirt in a slippery silk satin, and I ended up hand basting every single seam before taking it to my sewing machine. It turned out nice though, except for some construction flaws in the pattern alterations I did. Since then I always sandwich silk between two sheets of my very thin pattern/tracing paper before cutting in to it. It makes the slippery silk behave most satisfyingly. And I usually reuse the cut-outs from the tracing paper.

  19. Tomasa December 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Love your blouse! Very pretty. I find that putting craft paper underneath the slippery fabric helps me gain control over it. It works for me but of course, there are many other ways….including yours with the many pins. If it works, it works!

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      True! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about sewing, it’s a lot like cooking – there’s not really a “right” or “wrong” way to do something, it’s just a matter of what gives you the best results 🙂

  20. Heather M December 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Wow, very pretty! And a dream to wear, I’d guess. Lovely seams!

  21. shesewsswell December 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    You know, I’m heading to Europe in 10, count ’em 10 days…. And if I had more time, I’d make this blouse, but I’m still knee deep in other projects, not counting “real life”… So, I think I’ll add this to the New Years Goals 2015. You haven’t steered me wrong yet. Thank you, Good Night.

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Oh, yeah, don’t make this a frantic last-minute sew! It could always be your New Years treat 🙂

  22. BeckyLeeSews December 17, 2014 at 5:26 am #

    I can’t believe no one suggested this for your shifty fabric, but the trick is a rotary cutter. You cut the pieces out flat like a plaid vs. on the fold. For slippery, shifty fabric the last thing you want to do is to lift it off the pattern or table at all. Being a quilter by nature, the rotary cutter is a steady slave in my sewing arsenal but I took a Lutterloh class at my local Hancock Fabrics and the instructor (who is a hoot!) advised using the Olfa 28mm cutter vs. the 45mm preferred by my quilty friends. The 28mm is easier to navigate on the curves, tight spots, & notches and it’s also a lot less intimidating because its so much smaller. There’s also a gizmo to accurately cut the seam allowances if none are on the pattern. This one is on the 45 but it fits the 28mm too. Since you don’t like the additives/chemicals or paper waste, mastering the rotary cutter will make your life SOoooo much easier. Also, I recommend a tailor’s glue stick. Gluing your pieces together, and then stitching, will be like a miracle! Really…it’s a “DOH” moment. If you need a rotary cutting mat, hit up Hobby Lobby with their weekly 40% off coupon when the mats are not on sale. Enjoy!

    • LLADYBIRD December 18, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      You know, I might be the worst sewer ever for admitting this but I just CANNOT with the rotary cutter. I don’t know what it is, but they never ever work for me. Either I slice haphazardly into my pattern (because I suddenly have butterfingers) or I end up with a “cut” edge that has a little thread connecting the pieces together every 1″ or so (which is MADDENING). Or I slice myself! I’ve tried different rotary handles, new blades, even my mom’s stuff (that works fine for her, but not for me). I think I’m just a shear girl at heart 🙂 However, I do think that’s a good tip for pretty much anyone else wanting to try shifty fabrics, because i think most people are pro-rotary. And the fabric glue is trick is just brilliant!

  23. Ines December 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    This shirt looks great like all the other version great job, blah, blah, now since this is the third version I see, I feel it’s okay to give some tiny suggestions to improve it even more? I wonder and I could be wrong, if the sleeve cap could be higher ( I don’t know what that part is called but it’s the top of the sleeve cap that looks like a hill, and what I mean by higher is making it into a taller hill) this would make the shoulder seam higher and the shoulder width smaller, I think your shoulder width is like mine super petite, and it could use narrowing on the pattern, I think. And together with a smaller armsyce. If my suggestion is correct it would lift all the area closer to your measurements. I probably sound crazy at this point …forgive…this is what one gets when one has a blog…Merry Xmas!

    • LLADYBIRD December 18, 2014 at 8:45 am #

      Thanks for the tips! Now that I’m looking at my shoulder, it does look a little large and the seam looks a little low (gee, thanks a lot, I’ll never unsee that hahahaha 😉 ), so I’ll look into that for my next make. You know there will be a next make with this pattern 🙂 Always appreciate suggestions and constructive criticisms, so thank you!!

  24. symondezyn December 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    I really really love this. I mean a LOT!!! It’s classic and crisp yet soft and feminine because of the fabric. I love the way the French seams show off the excellent style lines. I love the length of the sleeves. I guess what I’m saying is I want this shirt. LOL ^_^

  25. rose carter February 23, 2021 at 8:00 am #

    One of the best and my favorite blog ever.


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