Monday, October 19, 2020

My First Cashmerette Appleton Dress


After that ten plus hour blouse, I needed something quick and easy.  The Cashmerette Appleton Dress fit the bill.  I used her sizing chart and my t-shirt dress sloper to help identify my size.  This process significantly reduced the amount of time that I would spend on fit adjustments.

One of the beauties of Cashmerette's patterns is that they include multiple cup sizes beyond D, which is great for a lot of people.  So for this dress I used size 16 with cup size E/F.  This was spot on for me.  The only other pattern alterations and changes made were lengthen the dress by 3 inches, lengthen the sleeve by 2 inches, lengthen the ties, and added just a little width across the back.    I didn't make a swayback adjustment because the dress ties around the waist.  


I can have a dozen of these dresses in my closet.  ;-)


The Appleton Dress is described as the classic wrap dress designed to play up your curves with a crossover front, a built-in waist tie, and a deep v-neck.  Designed by and for curvy women.

It is available in sizes 12 to 28 with cup sizes C/D, E/F, and G/H. 

My dress looks like the illustrations on the pattern cover.  And I am very pleased with how it turned out.

The instructions were good.  Easy to follow.  I really like that the construction for the ties, neck, and front bands. It creates a neat, clean finish.

There is so much to like about this dress; no dislikes for me.


  • Easy to sew classic wrap dress.
  • Multiple cup size for easy fitting.
  • Shoulder length is perfect.
  • Stylish and classic
  • Great wardrobe staple.


My fabric choice was perfect for this wrap dress.  It is a ITY jersey knit from Gorgeous Fabrics: Bold Scale Paisley ITY jersey
It sews up beautifully.  Before cutting it out, I tossed the fabric into the washer, then into the dryer.  Just a great yardage of fabrics that washes well too.  It has a soft hand and is great against the skin. 

I've already cut my second dress out.  So you can expect to see this wrap dress over and over again on my blog.  I highly recommend it to others.  But I think a large percentage of the online sewing community has already try it. 

 This is a great classic wrap dress.  A must have staple for every well dressed lady.  

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Prettiest Blouse That Almost Wasn't Made - McCall 6512


This blouse was a tremendous save.  In the sense that this blouse has been in a bag in the UFO's bind for the longest time.  To be precise, I cut this blouse out shortly are I returned from the Palmer/Pletsch workshop in 2012.  

I can't say why it took me so long to finish it.  But I am very happy that it done and it still fits.  It fits in with my current wardrobe capsule plans.  


Enough on the back ground information.  Here is my pattern review.

Pattern Description:  Misses' Blouses:  Loose-fitting blouses A, B have neck and front bands, yoke, front sleeves (cut on crosswise grain of fabric), no shoulder seams, back pleats and narrow hem.  A:  Pleated pockets with button flaps and short sleeves rolled-up (wrong side shows) with button tab. B: Bias collar extends into tie ends and sleeves gathered into button cuffs with seam opening.

Pattern Sizing: The pattern comes in size groupings from 4 to 18.  I used size 16 with some modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, my finished blouse does look like the illustrations on the pattern envelope. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical with the Palmer/Pletsch instructions for adjustments, which are always a plus.  For the most part, I followed them.  I didn't like the suggested construction for the collar/tie and neck band.  My preference is to attach the neck band to the top first.  I like to check and make sure everything lines up as it should.  I also found it strange/different to interface the collar/tie.  In my mind, it should be soft and fluid. So, I hoped that it would be fine as I added the interfacing to the collar/tie.  As it turned out, it's a little stiff but still floaty.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There are so many likes about the blouse, and there were a few challenges with the construction.  I start with the many likes.


  • The cut on sleeve that continues into the back yoke.
  • The join of the blouse front at the arm hole.
  • The front band and the 3/4 sleeves.
  • The overall style of the blouse with the tie.
  • My selection of fabric.  It's so soft and fluid.


  • The join of the blouse front at the arm hole.

  •  The front band and the 3/4 sleeves. 

  •  The overall style of the blouse with the tie.
  • My selection of fabric.  It's so soft and fluid.


  • The construction of the collar/tie and neck band.
  •  I struggled with the fabric.  The neck band and the front band that I cut eight years ago was a little off.  The fabric is slippery which makes it difficult to cut.  So when I re-cut these pieces (Thank God I had more fabric.), I block fused the interfacing to it before cutting out the pieces.
  • In order to produce good buttonholes, I cut stripes of wax paper placing a piece on top and underneath the buttonhole area. 



Fabric Used: The fabric is a silk chiffon that I purchased during the Palmer/Pletsch workshop way back in 2012.  I purchased it at the Fabric Depot.  It is pretty, soft, and fluid. But difficult to handle.  It slips and slides.  Initially, my plan was to do french seams. Somehow, I forgot all about that after making two seams  (the back sleeve to the back blouse).  No way was I going to rip out the next set of seams.  So, tested the look of the zig zag on the sewing machine.  It didn't look good.  So I finished the rest of the seam with the serger.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Some changes in construction are above. Additionally, I made a FBA.  No other pattern alterations.  My closure has seven buttons instead of six.


Next time, I'll add a few inches to the length of the sleeve and I don't think I'll add interfacing to the collar/tie.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I want to make at least one more.  And yes, I recommend it to others.  My blouse turned out pretty good.  This first one was a very slow sew.  I spent time than I normally spent on a blouse of similar style.  In the end though, it was worth it.  Now, I have one less garment in the UFO bind.  And I'm very happy about that.  

Conclusion:This project was a little challenging, but with patience and perseverance I finished another UFO.  I ended up with one more pretty blouse in my closet.

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Dior Inspiration from Fall 2019 Collection - Bucket Hats for Everyone!



Today, I'm sharing a little Dior inspiration.  These photos are from the Dior Fall Ready To Wear Collection 2019, posted on the Vogue Fashion website.  Every model is wearing a bucket hat, from casual to evening.  Most are adorned with a veil.  I hope you like the section of the collection.



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

September Hat Challenge - Inspiration and Pattern Review Vogue V7784


I decided to participate in Carol's September Hat Challenge.  It was an opportunity to get one more thing off my sewing to do list.  You see, I'd plan to make a Dior inspired hat months ago when I saw an ad in a fashion magazine.  Carol's challenge was all I needed to get moving on it.  


Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and my mask making, I've been going through bin after bin of fabric searching for cottons to use for masks.  In my search, I reacquainted myself with all the beautiful remnants I have stored away for the perfect accessory project.  I pulled several pieces from the bins and tossed them into the washer to freshen them up.  I chose to use this lovely brocade from Vogue Fabrics and a medium weight black faille from Mood Fabrics for the hat;  Remnant lining from a coat that I made last year and a 1" gross grain ribbon leftover from a skirt project.  That's a lot of leftover pieces.  Good thing is I've documented my sewing journey on this blog and in journals to help me keep track of all the wonderful sewing experiences that I've had over the years.  


For my project, I used a Patricia Underwood Vogue pattern, (V7784).  It's OOP, but you can find a copy on Etsy or Ebay.

There are seven lined hats of various shapes and sizes. I used view D.  The brim on the pictured hat appears to be stiffer than my brim.  But overall the design and look of the hat is the same.  Next hat, I'll interface the entire hat for a stiffer finish.  

The instructions were easy to follow and there weren't any confusing steps.  I did make a few changes though.  After stitching the under and upper brims together, I under stitched the outer edge for a polished finish.  Then I proceeded with channel stitching the brim.  Because the back brim is smaller than the front, I decreased the distance of the stitching beginning at three inches before the center back and three inches after the center back.  Also, I contrasted the under brim with the back faille because there wasn't enough of the brocade to make two brims.

I bought this pattern almost two decades ago.  Simply, I liked the design/style of the hats and knew one day I would make them for myself or for someone.  Luckily, this pattern was perfect for the inspired Dior hat.  My favorite part of this view is the detailing on the crown and the channel stitching on the brim. 

This was the first but not the last hat.  I already have remnants ready to go for the second one.  A dear friend was over yesterday and she loved the hat.  My DD wants to take my new hat!  So, already I need to make at least two more of this view alone.  ;-)


I do recommend this pattern to others.  Especially, those who want to use up some of their short yardages and who may consider this as a gift item.  It's easy to sew and the instructions are simple. The end results is a beautiful hat custom made to your desire.

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fall Is In The Air - Sewing Plans Blue and Red Wardrobe Capsule 2020


 Fall is in the air and it time for me to start planning what I want to sew in the upcoming months.  To continue my general wardrobe capsule planning, the next color theme is blue and red.  My planning strategy was born out of the fabric colors in my collections.  I have several yardages of blue and red tones. 

Above is a picture of my color palette fan, the same palette that I use to purchase fabric, to show you some of the blue and red tones that will be appearing on my blog this fall. The overall palette fan has limited shades of blue and red.  I'll also include darker shades of blue and red, like black navy and maroon.  These two colors will be the principle  shade of the garments that I will make.  


I'm not done with the Green Wardrobe Capsule.  There is more to come.  My plan was to include two more garments with the first segment, but I decided to start the new capsule for fall.  

 Moving from the infamous UFO bind to the sewing table, is a silk crepe blouse, McCall M6512, that I started at least six years ago. It's been cut and bagged all this time. I hope it still fits. ;-)



Another project is my McCall M6041 jacket that I started a started sewing a few weeks ago.  These are just a few things I hope to make during the fall months ahead.  


Parting Shot:  One of my favorite restaurants, Francesca's on Taylor Street, near downtown Chicago, is permanently closed after many, many years of service.  This was the gathering place for me and my dear co-workers and friends.  We celebrated birthdays, Christmas, Fridays, pay days, etc. at this wonderful place.

 Happy Sewing!



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

New Look N6594 in Review - Green Wardrobe Capsule PTIV


Finally, I posting about the fourth garment in my Green Wardrobe Capsule. It's been three weeks since the last post. My goal was to post a "Notes on a Pattern" next. But because I was "distracted" by so many other things, I never got a chance to post it. So today I decided to go ahead and post a complete pattern review of NL6594 instead. 

This dress took more time than I expected. My adjustments were a little off. Not making a muslin before hand caused a little set back. I ended up making the bodice twice. Thank God I had enough leftover fabric to do so. 

Anyway, this fourth garment completes the first segment of my Green Wardrobe Capsule. Here is the review. 


The pattern description is so unbelievably vague.  My description - Dresses with fitted bodice, front midriff,  and slightly flared skirt; side zipper. The dress comes with multiple length and sleeve variations.  It is available in sizes 8 to 20.  I made view C with shorten skirt and 16 with modifications. 

I used a beautiful kelly green tencel twill from Mood. The fabric is super smooth and easy to work with.   It's also very fluid and light on the body.  

My dress does look like the dress on the envelope.  But I expected it to be a little more flared.  As usual, I did make a few changes for fit and construction.  Those changes didn't change the overall silhouette of the dress.

First, I made several fit adjustments to the tissue pattern.  Those changes include:

  • FBA, little tuck along the neckline for a better fit along the bust area.
  • Swayback
  • Prominent shoulder blades, which produced a little dart in the shoulder seam
  • Length of skirt between view B and view C
  • No darts in the back skirt


After making the changes, I really needed to make a muslin.  Because there were areas where I needed to do a little more tweaking.  These changes weren't identified until after I almost completed the bodice.  You can image I didn't want to pluck all of those seam apart.  I decided to cut a whole new bodice, which in my mind took less time to do then taking the first one apart.

Last thought on that:  Make a muslin.


Construction changes:  

  • Instead of tacking down the facing to the dress,  I machine stitched in the ditch at the front gathered bodice and along the shoulder darts.
  • For the hem, I just serged the raw edges of the sleeves and hem, turned and stitched.
Close to the end of completing this dress I was ready to be finished.  I felt like I spent too much time on a very simple dress.



The instructions provided with the pattern easy, simple and typical.  Nothing confusing in them. 

There are a few things that I like about the style of this pattern:

  • The design and style of the front bodice.  This is a style that I'm fond of.  Partly, because of my body type, inverted triangle.  I think a more fitted "V" bodice looks best on me.  Sometimes I over compensate, which was the case of the initial bodice.  I think I almost got it right.
  • I also like the a-line skirt.  But it doesn't exactly work for me in this dress.  I think a fuller skirt would look much better.


I don't think I really have any serious dislikes. There is one thing I don't like; and that is, side zippers.  I prefer back or front closures.  One of my goals with making this dress was to fit a likeable bodice that I can interchange with other skirt designs.  This one I'll make again. 

A nice little dress that I recommend to others.  It is not a difficult dress to make I'd rate it average.  My dress is good. But I will tweak the bodice just a little more.  Then I make it again with a fuller skirt.  

This completes my review of my fourth garment of my Green Wardrobe Capsule.  I wanted to make one more dress for the summer season.  But, Fall is upon us.  So, I will start a new capsule:  Blues and Reds.  More on that later.

Happy Sewing!




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