Thursday, April 11, 2024

Super Easy Knit Dress with Vogue V1929

Pattern Description:  Vogue V1929 - Top and dress are loose-fitting through bust and have asymmetric off-the-shoulder necklines. Both top and dress include extra-long sleeves with thumbhole cuffs and stitched hems. Below-waist pull-on pants have elasticized waist and stitched hem.

Pattern Sizing:  It comes in two size groupings (8-16) and (18-26).  I used size 16 with very few modifications as I sewed.

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? Typical, but the instructions were super easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love the draped neck/shoulder and the seaming on the top and dress.  It was so easy to make this dress.  It only took about an hour and a half to sew.  

Fabric Used:  I purchased this texture knit from New Rainbow Fabrics on Roosevelt Road in Chicago.  It was on sale last Friday.  The fabric has a spongy knit texture/feel, like Liverpool knit.  I washed and dried the fabric.  It came out of the dryer wrinkle free and ready for me to cut into.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't do alterations.  I didn't serge any seams, it knit.  No raveling.  For the hem of the sleeves and dress, I simply made a small hem.  Because I want to wear this dress to church, I did a little tack of the drape at the shoulder show that the entire shoulder isn't exposed.  
I made one design change of omitting the lower half of the sleeve.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Oh yes,  I'll make this dress again.  Also, I have a pair of pants cut and ready to sew.  And yes, I do recommend this to all level sewists.

Conclusion: I really love the way this dress turned out.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Notes on a Pattern - Simplicity S9894 Part II

Hello Sewing Friends,

This is part 2 of fitting the corset of Simplicity S9894.  

I've made the second muslin.  It looks better.  With this muslin, I did the cup adjustments and lengthen the corset.  I wanted to see how it would look with those changes.  The upper front/neckline stands away from the body.  But a little tweaking can take care of that.

I will still raise the upper edge for more coverage, just a little.   And I'm thinking about adding boning to hold it in place.

Here are the second changes to the tissue pattern:

Stay tune.  part 3 coming soon!

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Notes on a Pattern - Simplicity S9894

Hello Sewing Friends,

I've been working on multiple projects again. Lol.  This is not uncommon for a lot of us.  I’m pretty sure many of you are working on more than one thing.  

Anyway, today I’m starting a new series of posts for a new project, Simplicity S9894.  My focus is on the corset.  It can be used to mix and match with several different dress/skirt silhouettes. My desire is to get the very best possible fit.  

Luckily this pattern comes with multiple cup sizes to help make the full bust adjustment process a little less daunting. The pattern description follows:  Cropped corset top with bust cups has underwire for support. Skirt has a slightly lowered waist and is offered in two length variations. Top and skirt both have side zippers. Top has separate pattern pieces pattern for B, C, and D cup sizes for Miss and C, D, and DD cup sizes for Women.

Size: 10-12-14-16-18, 20W-22W-24W-26W-28W

I started my project with using size 18/Cup D.  Hoping that the bigger size would help me have an easier time fitting the bust.  But that wasn't the answer.  For my first muslin, size 18 was too large with a cup size that needed some work.  The finished garment measurement is spot on as far as what is indicated on the pattern.  So, I scaled back to a size 16 for the best fit around my body.

After that change, I was able to address the fit of the cup size.  I used my bra to help me determine the cup circumference.  

In the photo below see the blue marking that shows about where the wire in my bra cup corresponds with the shape of the corset.       

Note:  The muslin is not pretty especially on my dress form.

The shape of the cup was the next thing to address.  There is too much fullness/length at the apex.  I needed to round out the apex a bit. The photo below illustrates the adjustment made to address the change in the cup shape.



This first muslin is too short for my taste.  So, I will add about 1.25” to the hem.  And to the upper edge, I will add between 1.50" to 1" for a little more coverage.  

My planned pattern adjustment for the bust cup are below.  Of course, if you are planning to make this, your changes may be different.  I wanted to share my changes in hopes that it would help someone else work through the fitting process of this corset pattern.

The pink lines on the front and side front indicate the new curve line. Length extended.

The pink lines indicate the new edge of the bust cup. Width added to the circumference.

For the next muslin, I will address the cup size/shape and extend the length.

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, March 21, 2024

Classic Black Jumpsuit - Butterick B6658

Good afternoon Sewing Friends,

I'm happy to be posting a review of my classic black jumpsuit project.  Last month I made this jumpsuit to wear to the stage play,  "Living All Alone," the Phyllis Hyman story.  It's been awhile since I sewed anything for a specific occasion.


I used Butterick B6658 to make it.  This pattern comes in multiple size groupings  6 to 14 and 14 to 22.  So the pattern has a very large range of sizes that sewists can work with.    

The description is, per the website, is as follows:   Wrap dresses and surplice front jumpsuit with sash are fitted through bodice with built-on shawl collar, hook and bar waist closure, and sleeve and length variations. A: Purchased belt. B: Sash, shaped hem. Wrong side of fabric will show. C: Sash, purchased bias tape for armhole, slash pockets. No provisions provided for above waist or hip adjustments. Note: Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D. 

I used size 16 with some modifications, mostly tweaks as I sewed the jumpsuit together.  Overall, my jumpsuit looks similar to the jumpsuit  drawing on the envelope.  I did lengthen the sleeves and the pant leg.  Those are the most visible changes that I made.  But everything else is pretty much the same as the drawing.  One note is that it fits slightly big across the back and along the sides.  I think I could have used size 14.  I had to take it in some through the sides and I made deeper darts.  These adjustments were all part of the "tweaking" that I did while sewing the jumpsuit together.

The instructions were typical, nothing confusing in them. 

My fabric came from JoAnn's Fabrics.  It is a medium double knit that has a dry hand and a crepe like texture on the right side and a neoprene texture on the  wrong side.  I loved the look and the movement of the fabric.  I wished JoAnn's carried more colors.  I only saw it in black.  This is a great fabric for pull-on pants and skirts as well as jackets.

This pattern has been in my collection for several years.  It is a classic design that is timeless.  That is one of the reasons I decided to buy it.  Another reason is that it has multiple cup sizes included.  With the multiple cup size patterns I'm always hoping to save a little prep time.  Luckily, I was spared the process of doing my typical FBA adjustments. My other likes are the princess seams and that the pattern has pants or skirt options.

I really don't have any dislikes.  Again a word of caution with the overall fit is that the sizing appears to be larger than normal.

My changes:

  • Lengthen the pants
  • Lengthen the sleeves - I really wanted 3/4 length sleeves, but I didn't have enough fabric.
  • Sway back adjustments
  • Tweaking throughout the side seams
  • Tweaking throughout the bust area
  • Shorten the crotch length by 1/2"
  • Adjustment of darts as I sewed

I was able to have an enjoyable sewing experience using the pattern and fabric.  Nothing fancy, just a classic comfort look for the theater.  Not sure if or when I would use this pattern again.  It is good to have classic patterns to choose from.  The bodice, pants, or skirt can be mixed or matched with other patterns to create a different look.  

I do recommend the pattern to others.  It is easy to sew.  

Happy Sewing!



Thursday, January 25, 2024

Copy That - Inspiration from Coachtopia Part III

Hi everyone,

Today, I'm posting my part III of my “Copy That” inspired by Coachtopia Cloud Tote.  First, let me say it has been so much fun making these tote bags.  There is so much you can do with a simple pattern.  You can elevate the look using fabric or by adding design elements to make it stand out.  And then sometimes it can be about making it more functional for your personal use.

Warning - This post is long.  I want to provide details on how I made the second and third tote. So here goes.

Tote #2 - Faux Fur with non-stretch knit "looking" wrong side.  The lining is a polyester taffeta that I purchased at Joann's Fabrics.  It is tightly woven and feels like a waterproof textile.  Very sturdy and perfect for the lining.

I purchased the faux fur from the Textile Warehouse in Chicago (West 21st near Damen Avenue).  It is a fun, funky animal print in hot pink and black.  Upon examining the back of the fabric, I thought it might need an additional layer of support.  So I used a double sided fusible web to adhere a cotton broadcloth to the wrong side of it.  This process added durability to the tote.

After I cut out the tote, I fused the web to the wrong side of the fabric following the manufacturer's instructions.  Below are a few photos that I managed to take during the process.


I wanted my tote bag to have some pockets.  Using the lining fabric, I cut two pieces of fabric, the same size, to make a doubled layered pocket strip.  After sewing the pocket strip to the bag lining, I then sewed four more vertical lines to make two large pockets and two small ones to hold pencils and pens.  For the smaller pockets, I also sewed a horizontal line across them to prevent the pencils/pens from falling too far into the slot.   


Once the broadcloth was secured to the back and the pockets/label were sewn on, I was ready to put the tote together.  

First, I sewed the body of the bag and lining together using a 3/8" seam allowance.  At the top of each side of the tote bag and lining, start sewing 3/8" from the top.  At the bottom curve of both, I sewed a second row of stitches to help prevent break through.  

I also sewed the straps together.  Next, I pressed both and turned the bag to the right side leaving the lining with the wrong side on the outside.  Then I slipped the lining inside the bag matching the straps and the front and back curve of the upper body.  Next, I pinned the two together; then sewed along the straps and upper part of the bag together.

The last step made it easy to add the bias tape to all of the raw edges of the tote bag.  To make my bias tape, follow the instructions in this link.  I cut my tape about 1.5" wide.  For the bias tape, I used a remnant of black silky polyester lining.  It was easier to work with than the taffeta.  The taffeta has almost  no stretch or give on the bias.   So once I had made the strip of bias tape, I folded it in half and pressed it.  Next, I sewed it to the wrong side of the bag along all raw edges keeping them even and slightly stretching the bias tape along the curve areas of the bag.  At each end I left about 1" (loose bias tape) as the ends needed to be sewn together to complete the circle.  There will be three separate sections along the opening and the straps of the bag that require this finishing.  Completing the circle of the bias tape edge was a little tricky; I ended up slightly overlapping them tucking the raw edge of the outer tape under to finish with a folded edge (if that makes sense).  Before rolling the bias tape folded edge to cover the raw edge, I trimmed away about half of the seam allowance to help make it easier. The folded edge of the bias tape should at least cover the seam line. 

Once that is done, Press using a pressing cloth.  Make sure not to flatten the pile of the faux fur.  That's it for this version.


Tote #3.  I used a slightly different method of constructing this tote.  First, the fabric I used is a quilted nylon with a fleece like backing also from the Textile Warehouse.  I added a broadcloth to the wrong side for this version.  Same process as the faux fur version.  The lining was also a taffeta that I purchased at Joann’s. 

I used the same construction process to make the pockets and to sew the lining and bag together.  But instead of sewing the wrong sides together to add a bias tape.  I followed the instructions given by Made Here is the link.  It was pretty easy.  I finished it with top stitching along all edges. 

I hope this was helpful.  Happy Sewing!




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