Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Easy Breezy Summer Dress - McCall M7405


It is a steamy 102 degrees in the Chicagoland area.  At least where I live.  HOT! HOT!

Summer is definitely here.  So instead of complaining, dress appropriately.  Rayon Guaze from Joann's Fabrics is the perfect match for McCall's M7405 Easy dress.  I could easily have a dozen of these comfy dresses in my wardrobe.  It's perfect for any occasion.   

This pattern has been out for a while.  I never noticed it until my fellow sewists across the Instagram platform started posting their beautiful dresses.  And of course, I had to get on the bandwagon too.  ;-)

McCall's pattern description:  Loose-fitting, sleeveless, pullover dresses have neckline gathers, back neck slit and hemline variations.  C: Belt, and side slit. D: Elasticized waist.

I didn't follow any of the versions as indicated on the envelope.  I did my own thing.  My version is view B with elasticized waist and belt.  I used between large and medium sizes. 

Basically, my dress does look like the drawings "combined". Tee Hee.  This is how I wanted my dress to look.  I often think of patterns as being templates to help me design the project I have invision.

The instructions were super easy, and I did not encounter any confusing steps.

This pattern is very easy to like and very forgiving on the figure.  My likes are it was easy to sew, stylish, and versatile.  I was so excited sewing it together and couldn't wait until I was done.  No dislike to note.  However, I made a few little changes.

One thing I was concerned with was how it would fit in the bust area.  I didn't want to experience any gapping at the lower armhole.  Luckily there wasn't any.  But the armhole was a bit too low.  So, I brought it up about 2 inches.   Also, after I sewed the sides, it was too big in the upper portion of the dress.  I just tweaked it a little until it was right for me.  Another small change I made was the placement of the elastic.  I tied the belt around my waist to act as a marker.  Then I used a mirror and safety pins to mark that location in the back and used needle and thread to run a base stitch around the front.  In the end, my elastic waist placement is very different from the front and back of the dress.  But you cannot tell when I have the dress on.  So, it works for me.  After making the change, I also thought about the placement of the elastic in general as it can be lower or higher depending how you want to style the dress.  The final little change was with the bias tape to create the elastic casing.  I used a strip of fabric to make my own casing to match the dress.

As I stated earlier, my fabric is from JoAnn's Fabrics.  They have a nice selection of cotton guaze in a variety of colors and prints.  I loved this floral print.  It was easy to sew and a great choice for a summer dress.

You know I will sew this dress again.  I like it a lot!  ;-)  It is designed for beginners.  So all level sewists could make it with no problem.  This ends my little pattern review for this one!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Mixing It Up With Simplicity Cardigan S8992 and Vogue Pants V8859

My little collection of TNT patterns is growing.  It's the simple style lines and easy sewing that makes some of these patterns extremely valuable to me.  Vogue V8859 pants I've made at least a dozen pair so far.  And I don't see myself retiring this one any time soon.  I love these pull-on pants.  As for Simplicity S8992, I've only made it once before.  The dress is below.  This could quickly become a TNT.  It is part of Simplicity's "Pattern Hacking" collection.  I like it a lot too.

I started this project with making the pants.  I wanted to add a tuxedo style stripe down the sides.  Like I said to try something new.  Personally, they turned out to be a great looking pair of pants.  After I finished them, I saw that I had about 3/4 yard of the knit fabric left.  So, I attempted to "squeeze" out a little cardigan.  But of course, I had to use another fabric for the stripe and the sleeve to complete it.  The difference in fabric didn't matter.  In fact, they complement each other.  

In the end, I not only made another great pair of pants, but I also have a nice little cardigan to match.

Just to provide some details on the fabrics, I purchased the ponte knit from Vogue Fabrics last winter.  I only bought two yards which was more than enough for the slim pull-on pants.  The ribbed black knit (used for the sleeve and the stripe on the cardigan) came from Joann's.  It was a remnant from another project.  

Also, for the cardigan I used snaps and buttons for the closure.  I didn't want to make buttonholes.  So, I sewed on snaps and sewed buttons to the right side of the front closure.

I like how the outfit turned out.  It is definitely an early fall project.  The ponte knit is too heavy for summer weather. Lol I'll save this outfit for the right time and weather conditions.  

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Navy Stripe Leisure Set - Vogue V1835

Surprise, Surprise!

I'm back. Lol  

It's good to be back.  I missed blogging and sharing my sewing projects. There are so many things going on.  And lately I seriously wanted to spend my limited free time sewing.  

So today, I'm reviewing one of my outfits made in early May.  This little leisure set was easy to make and didn't take much time to do so.  I do want to point out that I could have given myself a tad more move across the bust area.  In the photos I notices a little pulling across the bust.  Anyway, here is my review.

Pattern Description: Misses' close-fitting tops can be worn on or off the shoulder; close fitting cropped pants have elastic, drawstring waist.  Slippers are lined.  

Pattern Sizing: This pattern comes in size A(XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL)  I used between medium and large.  I should have just used the large for the top.  It would have been better for me across the bust since I didn't want to fuss with making a FBA.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very easy to follow, and there weren't any confusing or complicated steps.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the style of the outfit.  It speaks comfort and chic at the same time.  It just depends on how you style it.  I became interested in trying this pattern after seeing other sewists' version on Instagram.  

No real dislikes.

Fabric Used:  My knit fabric came from FabricMart Fabrics.  I bought it several months ago.  At the time, I didn't know what I'd make with it.  Vogue V1835 was a great choice.  This medium weight knit fabric has an interesting diagonal stripe navy on navy. There is about 35 percent stretch crosswise.  I think the same lengthwise.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made a few changes/adjustments. 

  • I cut between a medium and large for both top and pants.
  • The neckline was a little snug when I wore it off my shoulder.  So I made the opening slightly larger so the right side wouldn't bunch up at the base of my neck.
  • For the pants I installed two eyelets instead of making buttonholes for the drawstring.
  • As usual, I lengthen the pants.
  • Adding elastic to one side of the top to create ruching and drape.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I actually would like a few more sets of this outfit.  I will tweak the bust area a bit though.

Conclusion:  I think this wearable muslin version turned out pretty good.  This is a design that I think would look good on most people.  Plus it is easy to sew.

Parting shots:  This is my nephew, Roy.  He graduated in May.  Roy also received a full football scholarship to Northern Illinois University.  We are very proud of him.  Believe it or not, he is the baby of the family, standing at 6'7".

Happy Sewing Friends!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Purple Flower Power Dress Revealed - Vogue V1858


It has been almost a whole month since I last posted about this dress.  I had mentioned that I wanted to do something extra.  My "extra" was to add some silk flowers and petals to the dress.  It took me a while to decide how to place the flowers and the petals on it.  I knew I wanted to make a corsage like flower, not detachable.  Also, I thought of putting one flower at the hem.  I still wasn't sold on the placement.  

After talking with Rhonda about my idea, she helped me rearrange the flowers and the petals.  So today, finally, I'm sharing how I finished the purple flower power dress.  First, I added three flowers at the top shoulder area.  The one directly on top is a detachable corsage.  I was afraid that it would get mangled if I sewed it onto the dress.  The leaves were the biggest concern.  The remaining two were placed on the back shoulder, kind of in a cluster like a bouquet.  Then I sewed on petals falling down the back of the dress with the majority of them at the hem.  To complement the beaded zipper, I added a few beads to each petal and flower. 

I changed the length of the dress as well.  Initially, I added several inches to it.  After taking a few pictures, I decided to shorten it a bit.  Above are a few photos taken prior to the floral additions and the length adjustment.  So, that's it for now.  

I haven't made anything new since March.  I've been busy with other things.  We will see what the coming warmer season brings.

BTW- This was my Easter dress.  

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Notes on a Pattern - Vogue V1858

Today I want to talk about Vogue V1858.  This is one of Vogue's latest pattern releases.  It is basically a princess seam dress with a curve "V" neck front yoke and a back yoke.  Nothing really extra special.  But it has a neckline that I haven't seen.  And that is why a decided to purchase the pattern.  

I considered this to be a relatively easy dress to make.  There is no lining, it has princess seams, and it requires moderate stretch knits.  On the envelope, it indicates a sewing rating of average.  That's okay because there is an invisible zipper and the front yoke may present a little bit of a challenge to get it just right.

Vogue describes the pattern as:  Fitted dress has shaped contrast neck bands, side front and side back seams, three-quarter length set-in sleeves, invisible back zipper, hook and eye closure, stitched hems. 

I made some changes: no invisible zipper and I hand-stitched the hems.  Simple changes.  

But first, as always, I need to make sure the pattern fits.  So, immediately I made my typical adjustments.  Only later to discover that they were a bit too much.  I started by cutting size 16.  I could have used size 14.

Below are my original adjustments.  

The FBA was spot on.  But all of the added width was too much.  

The swayback adjustment was good too.  This time I added the amount removed to the hip area instead of at the hem.  Now this area seems to be a better area to add the length back into the garment.  

Using size 16 in the shoulder area was okay.  But at the very top of the shoulder, an inch or so front and back, was too long.  I adjusted it before setting the sleeves.  So, there was no need to add in the shoulder blade area.  

The overall size selection was a little bit off.  This has happened with other princess seam dresses like Simplicity S1314.  I ended up doing a lot of tweaking to get the best fit in other areas of my body, resulting in huge seam allowances of 1" or more. 

Simplicity 1314

What I like:  the front yoke and princess seam.

Other changes that I made in my dress:  I hand-picked the zipper and added beads instead of installing an invisible zipper;  I added several inches to the length. The dress is on the short side; I hand-stitched the hems.

Right now, I can consider my dress finished.  But I was thinking of adding some more to the dress to make it extra special.  I thought of adding petals of silk flowers:  one at the side bottom hem area and another at the left shoulder.  Or a small panel of lace somewhere.  

This making it extra special feature may not materialize.  It something that I was thinking about. 

These are my notes on this pattern.  I really like the neckline and hope to incorporate it into another dress or top.  We will see. Lol.

Anyway, I hope this information was useful to other sewists who have similar fit adjustments as I do.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Simplicity S8992 A Simple Easy Dress


Pattern Description:  Misses' front buttoning dress or cardigan, with options for pattern hacking. Garment length and sleeve length variations. Designed and sized for stretch knit fabrics only. Can be constructed using an overlocker/serger. I used size large with a few modifications. 

Pattern Sizing:  It's contains Sizing XXS to XXL.  I made view A, the dress with belt loops and belt.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  It does look like the drawing. I decided to contrast the belt and create a contrasting band much like the inspiration dress. Note:  I made two belts: one in the floral knit and the other in the contrasting ribbed knit. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were easy and typical. There was nothing confusing in them. A beginner should be able to make this.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  There is much to like about the pattern. It's a great template for designing your own cardigans and button- front knit dresses. That is one of my favorite elements about the pattern  I like the fit and the style of the dress. This is a great silhouette for me, A- line. Third, the in-set pockets and the front and back facings doubling as a band to add some more interest to the dress.  That's what this pattern is about, having the option to create personalized look.

Fabric Used: This ponte roma double knit is from Minerva Fabrics. I love the vibrant colors and the feel of it.  These colors are so me. And who doesn't love a floral print.  It was easy to sew. I prewashed it and it came out of the dryer soft and fluffy. It's a great piece of textual.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Lucky for me I didn't have to do major fit adjustments. The fabric had a fair amount of stretch, but it's not stretched out when I'm wearing the dress. It just rest nicely against my body. I only added a small amount of width at the bust area. Nothing more.  I was amazed at how well it fits. My other change was in the design. See previous post for that and a few tips.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. I want to make another dress and a cardigan. This pattern can be used again and again. All level sewists can craft beautiful pieces using this pattern.

Conclusion:  I am very pleased with how my dress turned out.  It sewed together with no problems and it wears like a dream. The colors of the fabric are spot on for me. And the texture of the is lovely.  Happiness.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Contrasting Band - Sewing Tips Simplicity S8992


Simplicity S8992

I recently made Simpmicity S8992 with a contrasting band. Today I want to share how it did it with the front and back facings.

Below are the steps. Sorry no illustrations of those steps. When I made it, I didn't think to take pictures.

From facing to band:

I decided to contrast the band. But before I attached it to the dress, I stitched the interfacing together as well as the front and back facing. Next, with right-sides together, I stitched the outer edge, turned and pressed. This created a clean edge on the band. Finally, I stitched the band to the front and neckline with the right-side of the band facing the wrong-side of the dress, turned the band to the right-side of the dress, pressed, and stitched to the dress along the outer edge.

Stabilized Buttonholes:

To sew neat buttonholes, I used stabilizer.  Also, I adjusted the tension of the foot and the feed dog so that the fabric could flow smooth between the two.

I hope these tips are helpful. I will post more on the dress soon.

Happy Sewing!

Parting shot: Celebrating one of my sewing students' latest creations. Ms. Bonnie made McCall's 8289 dress ( she used a different skirt pattern - not enough fabric for the one that came in the envelop.)  Dress well done! Two snaps up for Ms. Bonnie 


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