Vintage sewing is a lot of fun and Butterwick 5254 is a perfect beginner pattern! Butterwick 5254 is a vintage sewing pattern originally distributed in the 1970s. It is advertised as a fast and easy project with very minimal supplies needed. This really is a great project for any beginner sewer, a perfect Me Made May Project especially for a mother wanting to make her children clothes.
I was fortunate that this vintage sewing pattern was well taken care of by its previous owner. All the needed pieces were still intact and not torn. I decided to iron the pieces and then transfer the pattern to freezer paper before cutting it out on the fabric. This will serve me two purposes. The first being this preserves the original pattern. The second being I can use this pattern over and over without wear and tear to the original pattern.
If you would like to see me work on this project from beginning to end then I highly encourage you watch the video I created documenting the process of sewing Butterwick 5254 Blouse B. You can watch the video included here:
Vintage Sewing Butterwick 5254 Blouse B
I cut out the pieces and was able to follow the directions pretty clearly up until I realized I needed to sew an elastic neckline. The instructions made this seem like an elastic neckline was a fairly regular thing to do in the 70s. However, I was only able to find one video on the internet explaining to me how to sew an elastic neckline and the video was referring to an elastic casing for a diaper cover.
I needed to stop at this point and go buy elastic and bias tape. Yes, I could have made my own bias tape, but for $1.99 I decided to buy it. If I had realized I needed these notions before starting the project I would have been able to finish this vintage sewing pattern in an afternoon. But, that is ok, I didn’t mind breaking up the second half of the blouse into another day because the neckline needed me clear-headed.
The process of sewing the elastic neckline was actually very simple and straightforward. This neckline finishing technique really did provide a cute and clean finish to the garment without needing to create any type of facing. Butterwick 5254 really is a fast and easy pattern, just as the vintage sewing pattern advertises. I will also include the pattern did not provide instructions to finish the bottom hem. I am guessing that because sewing your own clothing throughout the 70s, Butterwick must have figured they didn’t need to tell you to do so in the instructions. Well, I did and I felt very proud I went rogue and finished the last step on my own!
For the past 10 years, I don’t think I could really say that it was more cost-effective to sew or make your own clothes than it was to just purchase them. However, with the rising costs to purchase store-bought clothing, or even second-hand clothing due to inflation and other reasons, I found making this top more affordable to make than it would have been to purchase. I made this top for less than $5. I could easily make a second shirt for approximately $3 with the leftover notions like elastic and bias tape. With the biweekly 40% off fabric sale at Hobby Lobby, you can make a children’s blouse like this one for a very reasonable price.
Something I discuss almost weekly at BriannaLentz.com is how to make your house a home on a dime, or how to make your home a handmade home in the most cost-effective way. I am finding it to be more justifiable to create things for your home now more than ever due to the rising costs of literally everything store-bought. I would give sewing your own clothes or your children’s clothes a shot. It just might be easier than you think.
If you enjoyed this post then you may also enjoy: