Completed: Pink Flamingo B5526

27 Mar

Another sleeveless B5526! Betcha didn’t see that one coming :B

B5526 Flamingo

I am pretty certain I’ve shared this pattern enough times that it definitely absolutely does not warrant another blog post, but, oh well. My blog, my rules, my pink flamingo shirt haha.

Some very brief info for anyone who is just dropping in for the first time:

  • The pattern is Butterick 5526. Yes, it is my favorite shirt pattern. I’ve made it over and over and over again. It’s a great, versatile pattern that is easy to fit and easy to modify. I lurvs it.
  • I originally cut a size 6, but have made several additional modifications – including shortening the length of the body and making the sleeves full-length (that is, when I add sleeves. Ha).
  • I have only made view D, which has the princess seams. I am sure the other versions are nice, but view D is the only one I have experience with!
  • I have finished my shirts with both flat-felled and French seams. Yes, you can do both on sleeves. Totally possible. I am living proof right here.
  • In other news, I think my sewing machine could sew this thing SOLO at this point.

For those of you who have seen every version of this shirt I’ve made over the years, here’s another one for you to enjoy!

B5526 Flamingo

Isn’t this pink flamingo lawn the cutest? I bought it ages at Craft South, aka where I work a couple of days a week. It’s from the Cotton+Steel Les Fleurs Collection, one of the pieces from their Rifle Paper Co collaboration. I had actually put myself on a fabric-buying ban just that morning (thinking I had enough beautiful fabric that I needed to actually use without buying more) and then this shipment came in. What do you do when you are presented with pink flamingo lawn? YOU BUY THAT SHIT. I got 1.5 yards and I’m glad I did, because it sold out quite quickly!

I’m not generally a fan of Cotton+Steel designs – I appreciate what they do, and I think their fabrics are lovely for quilting – but even the rayons and lawns tend to look, well, quilt-ty (except that cherry print rayon I got a couple of years ago, which is equally gorgeous and ooh I can’t wait until it warms up to wear again!). I think the collaboration with Rifle Paper Co was incredibly brilliant – pretty much all the pieces sold out as soon as they hit the shops – but again, too quilt-y/floral for my tastes. But these flamingos totally appealed to me. They’re kitchsy and novelty without looking too much like I made the shirt myself.

B5526 Flamingo

B5526 Flamingo

When I buy fabric, it’s about a 50/50 even split on whether or not I have a pattern in mind. I try to always have a plan, but sometimes you end up seeing something fabulous that just needs to go home with you RIGHT THEN and you will figure out the logistics later! But for this piece, I knew it would be a great button-up shirt. I actually prefer my button-ups to be in a drapier fabric – soft chambrays and silks are tooootally my jam – but a crisp lawn is also wonderful to make and wear them with. Since I knew I would be making this shirt for summer – aka without sleeves – the 1.5 yards I bought was plenty. I actually cut the pieces within a week or so of bringing the fabric home… and then it just sat for months. ha!

I eventually finished the shirt in February (seriously, months… according to Instagram, I bought that shit back in AUGUST hahahaahaha), when we were having this weird warm spell of 70-80 degree days. I figured if it was gonna feel like summer, I might as well dress the part! Of course, it immediately went back to frigid here, but after that Freak Snow we got at the beginning of March, we are creeping back toward warmer days. Which means I’ll be prepared now!

Part of the reason why I waited so long to finish this shirt is because I was stuck on a few details. I had considered adding piping (Rosa had just been released and I was feeling mad inspired by the black piping detail), but I wasn’t sure what fabric to use to make my self-piping – silk crepe in my stash, or go buy something? How big should the piping be? Where exactly do I want to put it? What should I use to finish the arm holes? Also, I had just finished 2 other button-up shirts and was feeling really shirted-out at that point (that’s totally a thing). So I shoved it in my not-technically-a-UFO-because-I-haven’t-actually-started-it box for a few months. I am glad I waited because I am quite happy with all the design decisions I made!

B5526 Flamingo

I did end up using piping – just around the collar and outsides of both button bands. I made my own self-piping, using 1″ bias strips of silk crepe (ultimately, it was the right color/weight and what I had on hand, so I went with that. I prewashed the silk ages ago, so the shirt should launder up in the machine fine). For the cording, I found a thick cord in my stash that was made with big twists and untwisted it to get 3 narrower cords. I had originally experimented with flat piping, but it looked a hot mess so I unpicked everything and added the cord.

Sewing piping in was very easy – here’s a tutorial from Tilly that goes over it. I can’t remember the last time I sewed piping into a collar (if… ever?) but it went in flawlessly the second time (first time being flat piping… yaaaaah, don’t do that you guys haha). Piping the button bands was really easy because they are separate pieces, so you’re basically just piping a seam. I topstitched 1/8″ away from the piping with black thread, to keep it in place and also cos it looks cool. I also topstitched all my flat-felled seams with black thread as well, to keep the look cohesive.

B5526 Flamingo

B5526 Flamingo

The arm holes and hem are finished with the same 1″ bias silk crepe, to make bias facings. The black buttons are just from Craft South. I bought an extra one so I could sew it on the inside of the button band as a spare, because I am a huge nerd and am delighted by details like that.

B5526 Flamingo

B5526 Flamingo

B5526 Flamingo

I don’t think there’s much else to say about this shirt. This was a fun little project and it layers nicely under a sweater, and will look awesome with shorts in the summer.

B5526 Flamingo

In other news, I know my pictures here aren’t that great. I feel like I am experiencing growing pains with my photo situation. I can’t go outside (ok, I can, but I live in a busy apartment building and I’m not gonna. Sorry.), and the lighting is really lacking inside. I just keep moving around my apartment in search of good light. It’s hard to tell how bad it is from the camera screen, and by the time I upload the pictures, I’m like “fuck it, I’m not taking those again” soo this is what you end up with. In the meantime, I guess it gives prime Lurk opportunities in my living space. That’s my living room! The creepy bust staring at me is named Saul, if you were wondering.


57 Responses to “Completed: Pink Flamingo B5526”

  1. Andrea Beattie-Nelson March 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    So cute! I love the black piping

  2. Deborah Penner March 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

    Love the pink flamingo fabric. I can see a number of projects made in this print!

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

      Yeah, it would be cute made up a bunch of different ways!

  3. Julie March 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    That black topstitching is πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

  4. Becky March 27, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    I love everything about this shirt – the fabric, the deets that you added, the black with a pink print, it’s all just perfect! I am putting it in the back of my mind to pull out later when I find a print that is that cute. Your pictures are not bad, but the light is better in your sewing area. Having said that, I can see everything i need to see, so who cares?

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you! And yeah, the light in my sewing room is great! Unfortunately, it’s a really small room that is mostly taken up by furniture (and a huge cutting table right in the middle), so there’s nowhere for me to stand or put my tripod, otherwise I’d get pictures in there. Actually, my cutting table is on wheels… so theoretically I could just roll it out of the way. BTW I am great at making excuses when I don’t want to do something haha.

  5. KS_Sews March 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Piping is errthang. I love it. I want to have the patience to do more piping but, alas!

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

      It’s worth the extra effort, I think!

  6. Alison March 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    I was jokingly going to warn you about the lurking face, so I laughed when you mentioned Saul.

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

      Saul is always creeping! πŸ˜‰

  7. cameliadb March 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    The fabric is really cool, love it! The piping and the black stitching are making this shirt perfect!

  8. Naia March 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm #

    Love the shirt!! I have looked at the flamingo fabric a few times but resisted. How do you like Cotten and Steel Voile? I purchased some when it first came out (make a skirt and button up shirt). Both items wrinkle so so much and wrinkles don’t usually bother me. These are the only two pieces of clothing I own that need to be ironed to wear.

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

      I’ve never handled the Cotton+Steel voile, I didn’t even realize they printed on that weight. I’ve only seen the lawn, rayon, and of course quilting cottons. What’s surprising to me is that the rayon is less wrinkly than other rayons. I guess because it’s thicker. That sucks about the voile! I hate ironing and avoid it as much as possible haha

  9. Elizabeth H March 27, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    Love the fabric and the shirt. You make such lovely things.

  10. girlintheflammableskirt March 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

    This turned out so cute! I’ve been wanting to make a shirt with this fabric since I first saw it up on Tilly’s blog, but every time I play with the fabric at the store I worry that it will be too thin and see-through. I guess I better just buy a white or “nude” bra and grab this fabric before it sells out though, since I don’t want to be the only one without a cool flamingo shirt.

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

      It’s a little thin, but I think as long as you wear a bra that matches you skin tone (I mean… ish. I’ve worn pale yellow and pale pink under this thing and it doesn’t show through), you should be fine. Don’t be the only one without a cool flamingo shirt! πŸ™‚

  11. Amanda S. March 27, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Adorable print and I lurve that black piping.

  12. DeniseM March 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    I too have made B5526 to death but the piping on this gorgeous effort has totally inspired me to make another one!

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

      Woohoo for the resurrection πŸ˜€

  13. lynl March 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    Always love seeing fitted buton-downs that, well fit! Great job as usual! Did you bring the armhokesin forthis sleeveless version or is that the original armscye? Thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD March 27, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

      I raised the bottom of the armsyce a little and brought in the shoulders as well (no more than 3/8″), other than that, it’s the original arm hole.

  14. Tomasa March 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    Such a cute and fun little shirt. I love the whimsical print and adding the piping was a great idea.

  15. Inclement March 27, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    Is a person not supposed to be able to buy this? I found it on their (Cotton + Steel) website, but I can’t find an order form…then I tried to email them using their contact form, and – not kidding – it rejected at least 10 Captchas. Do they only sell to retailers or something? I suppose I could phone…sigh. Such drama.

  16. Natasha March 28, 2017 at 12:57 am #

    I love this post for two reasons: 1. for that gorgeous shirt 2. for the sweet, sweet lurks.

    • LLADYBIRD March 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

      Lurks are the best! πŸ˜›

  17. yacurama March 28, 2017 at 3:14 am #

    Funny you made a shirt with piping, while I started a shirtdress with piping a few days ago. I thought about where to put the piping on the collar and buttonband, I never saw an shirt with piping anywhere! Wasn’t sure if the piping should go around the collarstand too, but how would that look oO And now you came up with this post, innervating my thoughts about where to put the damn piping πŸ˜€
    Your shirt looks very nice, like everything you do! Love the bright fabric with the contrasting piping, topstitching and buttons!

    • LLADYBIRD March 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

      Haha I love it when that happens! I spent soo long trying to research where the piping should go – you’re right, its hard to find a shirt that has piping to use as inspiration! So I’m glad I was able to help with your dilemma πŸ™‚

  18. Anonymous March 28, 2017 at 5:34 am #

    Cute shirt! I totally want flamingo fabric now. I’m so easily influenced.

    Have you thought about using a light reflector? You can buy profesh ones (like or you could go cheapo and use a sheet of white card (my usual choice).

    • LLADYBIRD March 28, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve been meaning to get something like that – of course, then I’d have to figure out how to use it, but that can’t be worse than my awful light quality right now. Maybe I’ll start with white posterboard and see how that works! Thank you for the rec!

  19. Laura March 28, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    Lauren, this is fabulous! I appreciate your explanation of the shoulder and armhole adjustment. Do you have any general fitting tips that can point us (me) in the right direction to altering patterns to get as spectacular a fit as you achieve? What was your process? Any recommended books? I enjoy your blog tremendously! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Laura March 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

      To clarify, I mean in general, not just this shirt. Thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD March 28, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

      Honestly, my biggest tip is to make a mock-up and use that as a starting point to figure out what your adjustments should be. Fitting books do help – my favorites are Fit For Real People (+ Pants For Real People) and The Perfect Fit. There are LOADS of great fitting books out there, those are just the ones I personally use! I will also say, I tend to fit into most patterns pretty well off the block, so that accounts for a lot of my fitting victories haha. But in general – a muslin mock-up and a good fitting book will get you very far!

  20. Tumultuous Tailor March 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Love the pattern! I’ve been trying really hard not to get a fabric with pandas or whales so I don’t look too childish with the finished garment. This shirt proves that not only floral patterns work for shirts though πŸ™‚

    Big fan of the collar as well!

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2017 at 9:23 am #

      Omg, no way – pandas and whales would be awesome! Just add piping and that’ll adult that shit right up πŸ™‚ haha!

  21. TarcyD March 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    I love the shirt and the fabric! I don’t have a lot of fabric store options where I live so I have been buying a lot of my fabric online. I’ve been pretty disappointed lately with some of my purchases and it is more the time I spent making my clothes than the money that I hate wasting. Do you have any suggestions on how/where to buy quality fabric online. My knits have pilling after wearing them twice. UGH!

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2017 at 9:24 am #

      Oh lord, I wish I knew what to tell you! I have just as much a problem buying online too. I have found that – generally – the cheaper fabric tends to make me unhappy (so I don’t buy a lot of stuff from, like, on deep discount – unless it’s something I’m very familiar with already, such as Robert Kaufman Mammoth Plaid). The smaller indie fabric stores generally have good stuff, and anything that sells designer fabric. Honestly, I buy most of my fabric from Mood and I’ve only had a couple instances where it was sub-par quality. I wish I had better advice for you! I think buying online can just be really hit and miss.

      • TarcyD March 29, 2017 at 10:50 am #

        Thanks for replying! I’m hoping to go to some of the stores near Atlanta next time I go visit my parents and hopefully I’ll find some good stuff there. Fine Fabrics USA is less than 30 minutes from where they live and it looks like they have a huge selection. I do have a few small local stores but their classes and fabrics are mainly quilting focused. I’ve looked on the Mood site but I get overwhelmed LOL.

  22. Fabric Wrangler March 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    I love this shirt! I particularly like the way you’ve arranged the pattern of flamingoes so it is more intense round the upper chest and waist and more spread out over the bust, adding more shape. Genius idea!
    Your apartment is beautiful too!!

  23. Hélène Martin March 30, 2017 at 11:29 pm #

    It’s so cool to see how much mileage you get out of that pattern and from the finished garments I wouldn’t even have guessed they were from the same source. You should do a post just on how you keep the physical pattern usable over all these iterations! Do you have lots of traced copies? Also, the lighting and your living room are awesome! No ragrets, no apologies!πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD April 5, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      lol I don’t do anything to keep the physical pattern usable… sadly, my pattern is all torn up and sad because it’s been manhandled so much! I should probably trace it off, or at least buy a back-up copy. I thought i lost the pattern the other day and I was SO SAD.

  24. Catherine from Canada April 3, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Have you ever had trouble with contrast top-stitching? I made a white Granville this winter and edgestitched it all with black and added black buttons. I love the effect – this is pretty daring for me – but to my surprise, the good ‘ol Coats and Clark black thread wasn’t color fast! I ended up with grey blotches all over my beautiful new shirt!
    Which I then wore with cardigans until successive washing got all the black bleed out…but still, who’dathunkit?

    • LLADYBIRD April 5, 2017 at 10:20 am #

      Nope, I’ve never had a problem with contrast topstitching, but now you are freaking me out! I would be SOOOO PISSED about that color run! You should definitely say something to Coats & Clark – that is super shitty!

  25. PsychicSewerKathleen April 4, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    I’ve been on a blouse making binge myself over the past few months – and they are all so similar to this one I thought it must be one of the patterns I’ve been using (surprise though that you would be using Cashmerette πŸ™‚ ) My latest is Tilly’s Rosa and she does have some great tutorials. I was too nervous to do topstitching though I confess…and in black thread! You have to be a really experienced sewist to take that on. Love your blouse! I’m in love with princess seams now – I can get such a great fit.

    • LLADYBIRD April 5, 2017 at 10:21 am #

      Ugh I wish I fit into Cashmerette patterns because I love her designs so much, but I can’t even complain because the plus sized ladies need their turn for fabulous patterns too πŸ™‚

      And hey, topstitching is way easier if you use a foot with a guide to keep your lines straight! That’s what I do! Totally the easy way out haha πŸ™‚

  26. fionaparker17 April 15, 2017 at 2:35 am #

    This pattern and fabric are so you that I could swear I’ve seen you wear this before…and I mean that as a compliment! It suits you so well. You’ve made so many good choices in this, it’s one of the posts that totally inspires me to go and sew as you can make exactly what you want. The piping, black buttons and black binding really make it

  27. Linda April 24, 2017 at 7:59 am #

    Great pattern this! I love your black piping! It really pops against the cute flamingo fabric.
    I have just blogged about the 2 versions I have made.


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