Scallops, A Revelation

Posted Wednesday, 6 March, 2019

Hello crafty people,

I hope this week has been treating you well. I’m typing this entry fresh from a yoga class, bagel in hand. Needless to say I’m doing just fine.

My latest make is Butterick 6175, version D. I can already see this becoming a tried and true pattern. Shift styles are excellent for highlighting fabric designs, straightforward to fit and workhouses for a retro wardrobe (beehive optional!).

The fabric that I chose was this gorgeous mid-weight cotton called ‘Beauty Shop Parlour Blue’ by Cotton and Steel, purchased last year from The Drapery. I really should hunt down more from this collection (Beauty Shop) because it’s an absolute favourite.

Every now and again a print or fabric comes along and just GRABS you (like in this instance) and I think this is lovely. It’s nice to have some connection to our clothes.

Sewing Notes:

  • Size-wise, remember that Butterick typically work a lot of ease into their patterns ands print their finished sizes on the pattern tissue, rather than on the envelope back. Just something to bear that in mind when considering your desired fit.
  • There were minimal pattern markings and very few pattern pieces, less if you opt to go sleeveless, scallopless and collarless! I would actually recommend this as a beginner-friendly pattern.
  • That said, there was a little bit of assumed knowledge. For example, if you don’t already know how to sew a thread loop that may be something you need to look up. It’s easy enough and there are a lot of good tutorials on YouTube, in particular this one from Tessuti.
  • An extra step that I took (not instructed in the pattern) is to slipstitch or tack the facings down as the side seams. I dislike facings that flap about!
  • Some tips for scallop newbies. For your first scallop project, use a heavier weight cotton or linen so that you can be liberal with the iron. Scallops don’t look very nice until they’re pressed into submission! To trace your scallop design, use a tracing wheel and tracing carbon paper. It's a lot less hassle than other methods. Also, clip right into the apex where the scallops join but be very careful – you don’t want to cut your stitching and have to do some repair work! Additionally, for pretty, flat-laying scallops, trim the seam allowances and clip the curves. I went in very closely with my pinking shears, only clipping where necessary and it worked a treat. 

Previously, I avoided scallops as I thought that they’d look a bit too twee. Now, I think that with the right styling they can be charming but not cloyingly sweet. I’m a scallop convert and have some scalloped vintage patterns waiting in my stash for the right fabric. Watch this space!