Monday, February 20, 2023

Romantic Floral Dress - Birthday Dress 2022 B6320 and M8090

Hi There!
It's seems like forever since I last blog anything! I've been so occupied with other things.  I took a break from my usual sewing and blogging to complete a major goal, which I’ll share at a later date. 
Anyway, I'm happy to post a pattern review on my last birthday dress that I finished in September 2022.  A long time ago, right?  There are a few things that encouraged me to write a post.  (1) I was nominated (by two people on Facebook) to post things I've made for a certain number of days.  (2) Lately, I've been thinking a lot about sewing and blogging, and how much I've missed sharing and interacting with fellow sewists.
So today I want to review my birthday dress that I made for 2022.  I designed it using the bodice of Butterick B6320 and the skirt of McCall's M8090.  I really enjoy splicing two or three patterns together to come up with an entirely new design.  The bodice of B6320 is really cute, but for this dress I wanted a fuller skirt.  So I chose the tiers from M8090 to complement the bodice.
Pattern Description:

Butterick B6320 - Misses dress and jumpsuit:  Dress and straight-legged jumpsuit (semi-fitted through hips) have semi-fitted bodice and midriff, raised waist, tie ends, side pockets, armhole bands, and back zipper.  A:  self-lined sleeves B: bias sleeve band. B & C: front pleated pants. Separate pattern pieces for cup sizes.
McCall's M8090 - Misses' loose fitting dress has skirt tiers and sleeve variations.  B:  Lace trim.
I used B6320 view B bodice.  The bias binding on the sleeve is a really nice detail.  For the skirt of the dress I used the three tiers of M8090, no pockets.
Pattern Sizing:

Both patterns come in sizes from 6 to 22.  I used size 16 with modifications.

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

The dress bodice looks like B6320 (View B) and the skirt has the gathered tiered look of M8090.  Together the look is different from either pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow? What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

The instructions of both patterns are easy to follow.  Nothing difficult to understand or follow.   

  • Midriff of the bodice
  • Bias binding on the sleeve
  • Design of the bodice in general
  • Tiered skirt
  • Fullness of the skirt
  • As the dress is, I have no dislikes.  This style/design works for me.

Fabric Used:

I purchased the beautiful floral gauze from Mood Fabrics last summer.  It is still available if anyone cares to purchase  it.  Here is the link for the fabric,  This fabric is lovely.  It's perfect for spring/summer.  The fiber content is 100% viscose.  Easy pressing and handling.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

My design change was to splice the two patterns together to come up with a new design for the dress.

I did do some tweaking of the bodice.  But it wasn't my usual intense slashing to make it fit.  I used the cup D for starters and made my adjustments from there. Other than that, I really didn't make huge adjustments to get a good fit.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I will probably use B6320 bodice again.  My plan is to make the dress of M8090.  And I recommend both patterns to others if this is a style that you like.


I like how my dress turned out.  Each year I make it a point to make myself a birthday dress.  This addition was more like a summer dress, but it was a perfect choice for last September.  It was a very bright and sunny day. More summer like than fall.  

As for the patterns, both are great choices to begin your spring/summer wardrobe.  

Happy Sewing!  It's good to be back blogging and sharing.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Update - Simplicity S9598


Happy Friday! I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.  As promised, photo of me wearing Simplicity S9598.

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Festive Summer Vacay Dress - Simplicity S9598

Pattern DescriptionSlim V-neck pullover knit dresses in two lengths have long or short sleeves with cutout back and twist detail.  One view feature contrast layout.

Pattern Sizing:  The pattern is available in two size groupings (6-14) and (16-24).  I used between size 16 and 18.  This is very close fitting and I want just a little ease in the dress.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did.  I really like the way the dress turned out.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical and easy to follow.  There was nothing confusing in them.  Of course, I changed a few things.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the V-neck, the twist/cutout, and the option to color block the dress.  There was only one dislike; the way the back elastic facing is supposed to be finished.  It did not look good.

Fabric Used:  I used an ITY knit that I purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics a while ago.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  There is always something that needs to be adjusted or changed.  Here is my little list:

  • Small FBA made that produced a bust dart.  You can barely see it in this print.
  • Made a prominent shoulder blade adjustment.  I didn't want the twist to pull too much.
  • Selected a length between the two indicated on the pattern.
  • 3/4 Sleeve instead of the long sleeve
  • Sewed a channel for the elastic to be threaded through.  It looks better than just having the elastic between the skirt and facing.
  • Used a twin needle to hem the sleeves and the skirt.
  • The neckband was gapping a bit.  I had to make a deeper center front seam to make it fit better.  See pattern pieces showing the blue marking to indicate the new stitching line.  Note:  You must be precise in your stitching making sure both neckbands are stitched the same.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Of course, I will sew it again.  I don't know when though.  There are so many other dress patterns in my to make pile for 2022.  We will see how it goes. 

Conclusion:  I think this is a great little pattern to make a fun, festive summer dress.  It a good one for all level sewists. 
P.S.  I'll post pictures of me wearing soon.  No one available for a photo shoot today. Wink, wink.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Daisy Dress McCall M8103


Summertime is in full affect here in the mid-west, and it can be challenging to look polished, cool, and comfortable when temperatures are in the upper 90's and the humidity is 95 percent. It feels like a sauna.  So, the best thing is to go with the flow, look your best, and enjoy the summer months while they are here. In no time at all, it will be September, which will usher in another season for us.

My comfort look is soft and floaty. It provides comfort and style for the season. And that is how I feel wearing my latest summer dress.

I used McCall Daisy M8103 to make my latest summer dress.  With the slightest breeze, the skirt dances in the wind.  That is one of the things I love about it.

I purchased the fabric from Joann's a few months ago. They may still have it in stock. It's a cocoa brown guaze type viscose fabric. It is very soft and easy to handle.  There is one small draw back though. It is very loosely woven and has the tendency to "grow" throughout the project. So be careful.

I used size 16 with modifications.  This pattern comes with multiple cups sizes for the upper front. This may save a little time for most sewists. For me I used the D cup. But I hate the one huge dart. It never turns out like intended.  So, I tweaked the pattern a bit and created three darts in the upper front bodice.

There are many qualities that I like about this pattern.  The one that drew me to the pattern is the flounces. Love them.  They do take a lot of time to finish.  I devoted one sewing segment to finishing the hem and attaching the flounces to the waist and hem of the skirt. Another like is how the skirt is attached to the bodice. The faux wrap crosses over the entire front of the body. So there is no worry of "exposure". Wink, wink.  The separate cup size pattern pieces are a plus too. All of these things, in addition to the floaty fabric, made this a loveable sewing experience.

Now, I do have a few dislikes. The expansion of the fabric during the entire project was annoying. I had to keep making adjustments as I went along. Oh yeah, I did make a muslin. The fabric that I used was tightly woven and didn't present the challenge that I experienced with my fashion fabric.  It would be wise to do some stay stitching on some pieces to hold the shape. 

Other changes I made:

  • Adjusted the shoulder straps
  • Raised the upper front and back armsyce.

I did not lengthen the skirt. But compared to the photo, my skirt is longer on me than the one on the model. Overall, I think my dress looks like the dress on the envelope.  

I'm happy to have this new edition to my wardrobe. And with some restrictions being lifted, I also have something new to wear to upcoming events. Happiness.

This is a great summer dress pattern to try. Be ready to spend some time constructing and finishing the flounces. Other than the fitting this is where I spend the most concentrated time. 

I may make it again. But in the meantime, there are several other dresses I planned to sew this summer. Til next time, enjoy your summer, and I hope you are able to make something that you love.


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Summertime Fun Dress in Ankara Fabric - Simplicity S8594

Today is the last day of June and it is 98 degrees HOT!  Great time to wear my latest creation, using a red and black, Ankara fabric that I purchased at the Textile Warehouse. I began sewing this dress last Thursday and finished it on Sunday.  

My photographer, DD, was available to take a few pictures of me wearing it this afternoon.   The sun was high and bright.  The heat was on. Lol

This will be a short and sweet review as I don't have pictures of the pattern alterations.  Sorry.  If you check out many of my previous princess fit adjustment makes, you'll get a good idea of the changes I had to make for this pattern. 

Pattern Description:  Misses and Petites with bodice and skirt variations.  The bodice options include a crewneck with slit or a halter, and the skirt can be made straight or flared with pockets.  I made View C with modifications, size 14 graded up. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did.  Of course, I lengthen the skirt and made a few other changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Sorry, I really didn't read the instructions.  I've made this style dress many, many times before.  At a glance, I guess they were typical.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the halter style of the dress.  And I thought it would be a great style for the fabric that I selected.

Fabric Used: I purchased this Ankara fabric from the Textile Warehouse in Chicago on 21st Street.  They have a variety of colors and prints for the reasonable price of about $6.00 per yard.  It is 100 percent cotton.  It also washes and presses very well.  That's something I always appreciate with natural fibers.  I love the print and the vibrant red and black colors.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made a ton of changes.

  • FBA and graded the pattern up.  When I purchased this pattern, the largest size grouping available at the store was size 14. So, I made it work for me.
  • I shortened the straps by 2 inches, much too long for me.
  • NOTE:  I forgot to make a sway back adjustment.  Not too bad though.  If I use this bodice again, I'll be sure to do it to remove the excess fabric at the lower back.
  • Lengthen the skirt.  Also, I barely had enough fabric for my desired length.  On a few of the lower corners of the skirt, I had to "piece" the corners together.  See picture below to see an example.  You can hardly tell. wink, wink.
  • I installed an invisible zipper instead of a regular one, only because I didn't have one in my stash, and I refuse to buy another one. 

Observation:  The bodice is a little low at the underarm.  I'd would bring it up about 1.5 inches for a better fit and look.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and yes.  I would consider making it again.  This view, view C, which I like the most.  Also, I recommend it to others.  It's a great little summer dress that is not difficult to make.

Conclusion: I am pleased with how this dress turned out.  The fit is almost perfect. and I really like the combination of the fabric and style.  Great little summer dress that beginners and experienced sewists could make with no problem.

Happy Sewing!

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!



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