Pattern Description of Butterick’s B4954:
Jacket A: lined to edge with contrast lining, has princess seams, back pleat underlay, gathered sleeves, stand up collar and purchased trim. Skirt B: back zipper, full gathers and waistband.
I cut out the fabric for a size 20, but took in a lot on the jacket because I will be wearing it over a corset. All around, I think I took in about 5 or 6 inches around the waist and bust.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
More or less. The model in the photo has better proportions than I do, but otherwise it looks pretty good.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. There were a few times were I was unsure what the directions were saying, but it was more my fault, as I either read the instructions incorrectly (pay attention to what the pattern in saying, especially in regards to whether you’re working on the lining or the outside fabric!) or I didn’t have the skill set (particularly on the princess seams — I looked up how to do those on YouTube).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It’s easy enough for a semi-inexperienced sewer (I don’t consider myself inexperienced, because I can make stuff, but neither do I consider myself a true sewer) to make, and it lends itself well to being modified. I think I can use this pattern for a variety of costumes by just changing little things on the jacket or skirts.
Fabric Used: synthetic something-or-other. I don’t recall if it was true rayon or a polyester knit or acetate. The ruffles were just whatever the lace fabric store had that I liked.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Fitting: I took in the center back seam and the side seams of the jacket, and a bit on the bust of the princess seams. I chopped off the ends of the sleeves by two inches or so.
Style: I wanted to wear this jacket with a bustle, which meant that I couldn’t have long tails in the back, so I took off about 9 inches in the front, and 12 in the back. I also screwed up when I cut out the fabric of panel 5 in back for the lining, so I added some ruffles to cover it up.
For the skirt, I didn’t bother cutting out two 10 panels and one 11. I just cut out three 11 panels. I also added a pleated panel in the front that I sewed to one of the panels of the skirt. I then gathered along the waistband of the full skirt, not the pleated panel. I used the remaining fabric after all was done (almost 3 yards of 60” fabric) and pinned it up in back to make a bustle.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, most definitely. Partly because it’s a good pattern and a nice jacket, but also because I’m too cheap to buy a different pattern!
Great pattern, easy to make, does take some time, though. I worked on it on and off for about two weeks (fitting it in around my busy school schedule!). Maybe next time it will go faster now that I know what I’m doing.