Butterick 4064: my new favorite skirt, and it’s not even for me. 

The pattern: is Butterick 4064, top, skirt, and pants, from sometime in the 1970’s. No date on the envelope, which is normal for vintage Butterick, and always a disappointment for me.

I love the artwork on this pattern. I think the girls’ faces are especially beautiful, the pointed chin on the girl in green and the calm smile on the girl in the apricot. I hadn’t really noticed the clothes before: the faces were so distracting and the envelope says moderate stretch only, which is not my favorite sewing thing. 

But, after making this plaid skirt for myself, I decided that it was such a nice quick project that I should make one for my sister too. But then I looked over at my boxes of untried patterns and thought, no way, I need to make her something from a new pattern, keep moving forward with the sewing/throwing. 

And I’m so glad I did because this is my new favorite skirt pattern. It’s better than the plaid. 

Here’s how it turned out:


Hahahaha just kidding. My son was home sick from school that day and kept bringing me scraps and saying Mama, sew this part right here, so I did. And that’s what he made. 

Here’s the real skirt:


It’s super simple. It’s meant to be straight grain with a center front and center back seam in addition to the side seams, but I cut it on the bias and got rid of the seams at front and back.

The fabric was a mystery. It had been discarded from the costume shop where I was working in 2003 or so, during a scrap-bin clean-out. I made a long narrow bias skirt for myself out of this, way back then, with a chevrons at the front back and sides, and a back slit. That skirt is long gone but I still had scraps enough to make this little skirt, with just a little piecing in the back. Can you see it? The back is in three Top Secret pieces. 

The fabric looks like wool or raw silk, or something big and slubby, and I remember back in 2003 being pretty sure I would pull a big ball of felt out of the dryer when I washed and dried the fabric the first time, but no, it was completely unaffected. I did a burn test while making this skirt for my sister, because after all this time I Had To Know, and after burning a bunch of scraps, I think it’s acrylic. Good old, totally durable, totally washable acrylic. 


It’s got a nice deep hem, finished off with two different colors of seam binding, because I like using up odd lengths of seam binding. 

The waistband (pieced in one spot), invisible zipper, and button here:


I assume my sister will wear a shirt with this, but that’s totally up to her. 

Here’s a view of the inside of the waistband, which I cut along the funny fuzzy selvedge, so the fuzzy part could make a fun inner finish. 

So that’s it! Simple little skirt pattern, took about four hours from cutting to putting on the button, nice stripey outcome. Also fun to confirm that this is yet another 70’s pattern that says it requires stretch fabric but doesn’t actually require stretch fabric.

I considered wrapping it up and making my sister wait until Christmas, just to torture her, but it turns out I’m not that mean. Who knew? She came over the other day (photo ready as always, but I was too lazy to set up the backdrop again) and tried it on and said it’s exactly what she had hoped for when I showed her the fabric in a “do you like this fabric” type text a couple days ago.

Sew It or Throw It: 

Sew It. Good lines, versatile, and I like seeing that pretty envelope on my shelf. 

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17 thoughts on “Butterick 4064: my new favorite skirt, and it’s not even for me. 

  1. Why didn’t I get to have a generous sewing sister like you? That is a perfect skirt. Nice work. I’m curious now about the top… (grin).

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  2. Top marks for candy stripe backside detail and 11/10 for imaginative use of funky selvage on a waistband. The piecing is quite invisible to my eye so you get points for that too. Hopefully you’re the same size as your sis’ and can swap this in and out of rotation with her?! Just love a free durable fabric and the potential of things others would pass up is, as always, not lost on you. Merry Christmas luvvy xxx

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      1. Just figured I should add: she is smaller than me and curvaceous, I’m more rectangular. Anything that fits her through the waist is way too small for me. So definitely no swaps. The skirt is photographed on my dress form here, and it closes but it’s a tight fit and makes me think I’d better double check the measurement on that thing.

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  3. gorgeous, also got a kick out of your sons creation – can he use the machine yet? lovey hang to your sisters skirt, beautiful colours, (hard to believe its an acrylic!)

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    1. He is interested in the machine, but not old enough to use it, just old enough to be bossy.
      I have a separate bobbin winding machine, though, and he considers himself in charge of that. He will sometimes check with me in hopes that I need a bobbin immediately. I like that ‘bobbin’ is part of his vocabulary.
      That fabric is really pretty great, I’m really happy to that it’s made into something and not languishing on my shelf anymore.

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  4. […] This was one of those projects that I grew to hate while making, and had to let it cool before I liked it again. Mainly because it was supposed to be my easy project, but maybe also because it’s a familiar shape. I had at least three short and low waisted skirts like this in the early 2000’s, and I have actually used this pattern once, in fact those diagonal lines on the cover are mine, I drew those in testing out the stripe direction to make a long, pocketless skirt, which was the original use of this fabric.  […]

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