Reading a Sewing Pattern Envelope: Butterick 6214

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

butterick 6214 sewing pattern

This video will help you understand how to read a sewing pattern envelope! There are so many great reasons to sew your own clothes!

I will warn you, though. It’s long and I talk a lot. But I promise it’s a good one! So much information and so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and amazing! Thank you to everyone who has watched the video and sent me comments and emails. As a teacher it’s always so rewarding when you provide your students with nuggets of information that make them have light bulb moments! I hope you’ll experience the same thing when you watch this super in-depth video tutorial where I walk you through how to read a sewing pattern envelope for the Butterick 6214 pattern.

You’ll notice that for this B6214 sew along I’ve chosen a rayon challis fabric. This is also what I recommend for you to use if this is your first go at this pattern. Rayon challis is breezy and has great drape. It is one of my favorite fabrics to use for tops, dresses and even skirts.

Also a quick note that we got the Clip & Slide measuring tapes back in stock right now! It’s so hard to keep these in stock. Every time I post about them we sell out so this is your chance to grab a couple while you can. They are a must have sewing tool for me when making clothes. Grab your Clip & Slide measuring tape here. 

Click here to watch Video #3 in the Butterick 6214 Video Sew Along

If you’re new to this Butterick 6214 sew along, start at the beginning to make a stylish, timeless shirt along with me! Click here for the complete list of the videos in this series. Happy sewing!

33 replies on “Reading a Sewing Pattern Envelope: Butterick 6214

  • Sharon

    Well done, I enjoyed video, i certainly learned a lot of things I didn’t know before. Thank you. Looking forward to the next one.

  • Doreen

    That wasn’t that long! I can’t wait to go to the fabric store to see what Challis knit feels like. I thought I knew how to read a pattern but you sure have taught me how much I did not know! No wonder nothing ever fit!

  • janice dinse

    Say like, according to your measurements you would wear the XL or XXL, but your hip says to make a medium as you explained in your video, and you cut out the medium, won’t the rest of the top be too tight?

  • Lynn Maynard

    Thank you Vanessa,
    For over 30years there hasn’t been home economics in many schools.
    Here in Arizona its Quilts quilts quilts. I’ve learned more in the last two years from you and Angela Wolf.
    Garment sewing was a nightmare for me in school in the 1960’s. Their idea was being perfect. no books just oral instructions from a teacher.

  • Arlene

    Wow, Thank you, thank you, thank you…absolutely GREAT VIDEO. I have been making my clothes for a long time now and as I said on my last comment to you, I was never able to get a good fit, NOW I KNOW WHY. I was not paying any where near enough attention to the information on the back of the pattern envelope. So this was definitely a ‘light bulb’ moment for me. once again, thank you for all the detail and instructions. Looking forward to the forthcoming videos in this series

  • Joni MeGuire

    Vanessa, this is incredibly enlightening. I’ve watched you for years and have learned SO MUCH. I’m primarily a bag and doll maker and have always sworn I’d never be a garment maker. BUT with you as a guide I feel like I can sew a top! So much good information…. you’ve got me excited! I Love love love your teaching style. You clear out so many cobwebs and turn on so many light bulbs!! Thank you!

  • bbarnes

    Have sewn for a long time but fit is always a problem. Looking forward to the next video to see how you adjust the medium to fit the larger bust measurement. Great video. Learned a lot.

  • Vickie Preston

    Game changing information. I have never had the back of the pattern explained so well. I have had horrible results because I really did not understand the information on the pattern, You always make the information easy to understand. You are right about the light bulb moment. LOL

  • Mary Maloney

    LOved it. So much information!!! You don’t talk to much. I appreciate all the time you take to make it easier to understand. Yes I am biting at the bit to start but I know I need to be calm and take it one step at a time or it will be a disaster!. Thank you looking forward to #4!!!! Thank you VAnessa

  • Cynthia

    Your a good teacher!!! You started out needing a XL based on measurements, but, ended up with Medium based on hip. So what is going to happen to your bust size? won’t the medium then be too small? and if the finished measurement has the final say, why bother with the other measurements!!!!

  • Selena

    Great video! I can now see that I was not paying enough attention to the measurements on the back. The only one I really paid attention to was the amount of fabric I needed. Also something to note is that the number sizes that go with XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL aren’t always accurate either. Depending on manufacturer, I can wear a size 8 in one top and a size 12 in another. Your personal measurements are what truly what is needed to get a good fit. Well done!

  • Melissa Greenfield

    Loved the video thanks! Going to double check my measurements with my new clip and slide tape measure. Before committing to cutting out an XS. What? I have never been an XS. I think I like Buttericks chart.???? But if my hip is 33 the XS is 43. That would make the hip still to big but adjustable. But cutting out the XS wouldn’t it make the top half to small?
    Thanks for the quick shipping on the clip and slide tape measure. Love it!????

  • Jo

    I enjoyed your video very much. I have been a sewer for years so I understand the pattern. Close to the end of your video I know you were talking about cutting the bottom of the shirt size 14, it may confuse someone that they should not for your size cut the complete shirt at size 14, only the bottom. Should be tapered to size 14 at bottom.
    Hope this makes sense.

  • Vicky Sutherland

    What a superb instructional video!!! Sewing is literally my therapy, but I rarely sew clothes, due to fails and wasted $ The latest hangs ignored, in my sewing room, unfinished. I really thought I knew how to read a pattern, but sure learned lots thanks to you!!! You’re fun and inspiring to watch!! Keep up the great job!!!

  • Patricia

    Thanks you Vanessa. When my granddaughter is ready to add making clothes to her “I wanna learn to sew grandma” I am gonna have her watch this video with me. She is 7 and we have been exploring the sewing machine together. I saw your video with your son. Inspiration comes in small bundles.

  • Nancy

    A question…. my measurements for the top Are for an extra large but for the hip should be a large. So now when going through the video with you I find I should cut out a medium to fit the correct hip size. If I do that what happens to the bust and waist measurements that I need?

    Your videos ROCK!!

  • Donna Kadi

    I love watching anything you do. You are so informative and you make it easy to follow and learn. I haven’t sewn any type of clothing (except baby clothes) in years and I think I might give it a try after watching your video. Keep on with what your are doing.

  • Moi

    What a good teacher you are! I’m looking forward to the next step as I don’t get how my bust and waist will work with the lower edge measurement. That comes out to be XS but my bust and waist are medium. I’m sure the next lesson will clarify that. Meantime, I’m off to pick out some fabric! Thanks again.

  • Kathy

    Great video, I am so glad you posted before and after pictures. I am going to try to do better reading. Home Economics was over 30 + years. Still have my raggedy ann doll but was not comfortable making my own clothes. Watching you has made it seem quite easier. I am going to see how well I listened to you. Looking forward to next video.

  • afptl

    In the future videos, please talk about cutting out one size on the bust, another at the waist and another size at the hemline. Great video here with good information! It’s like going to sewing class!

  • Christine Gibbons

    As an experienced sewer I must say you did a great job. I am going to sew a long with you on this top just for fun. You explained everything very well and think your lessons will be of great help to new sewer.

  • Gwen Poppi

    What a great informational. Learned a lot was great to know that now I don’t need the bigger size. I totally forgot to get the bias tape so back to the fabric store I go Great information on the finished garment measurements. I can’t wait to start this totally excited something different than making quilts and making him bags.

    And for those who complained about the length and the amount information provided my opinion is they can pound salt because I enjoyed the information

    Thank You,

  • Janelle Malec

    Will you add a video to your “to do” list? Lol like you have time. I failed at a hi low hem. Like in this pattern. You have decided to not use it here and I understand but I searched endlessly and couldn’t find help. So the front of my top has a whole separate hem then the back. And I was embarrassed when a friend pointed out they are supposed to circle around continuously. She’s my nurse friend otherwise she would come show me but we only see each other at the hospital.

  • Judith A. Sargent

    Thanks for another great video. I never understood easy or that you can go to pattern web sites and get the information you need. No wonder everything I sew is a flop!! Now better sewing to come thanks so much. I can’t wait for #4 to come!!!

  • Susan

    Ok… mind blown! No one EVER explained where to look for ease on the pattern website!! That’s why I hated clothes I made and stuck to sewing handbags. (Mic drop)

  • Rosie Tooley

    I really enjoyed watching the video. I am glad you covered finished garment measurements because that will help me to select the correct pattern size to sew.
    Thanks so much!


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