Sunday, July 7, 2024

Simplicity S9894 Is Finally Done!


It is so gratifying when you've finally completed something that you've been working on for a while.  This corset/bustier style top took two muslins and two fashion fabric tops to get it right.  And I love the way it turned out. 

So today I want to give my final pattern review with all the changes that went into making this top.  BTW- the skirt was a piece of cake.

There are two posts already published.  Links to each follows:

Notes on a Pattern Simplicity S9894  - This post basically gives some insight on the pattern and my first attempt at the FBA.

Notes on a Pattern Simplicity S9894-Part II - Continues with working on the fit of the corset top.  I  provided illustrations on how I made additional adjustments to suit my taste.

After the second post, I continued tweaking the fit of the corset top.  I took some time and several putting on and taking off until I got the fit just right.  I suspect anyone wanting to try this top will have to go through a similar process.  With that said, me get to the other details.

Pattern Description:   Cropped corset top with bust cups has underwire for support.  Skirt has a slightly lowered waist and offered in two length variations.  Top and skirt both have size zippers.  Top has separate pattern pieces pattern for B, C, and D cups sizes for Miss and C, D, and DD cup sizes for Women.

Pattern Sizing:  Sizes 10-18 and 20W- 28W.  I used size 18 with lots of modifications for the corset and size 16 for the skirt.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did, except for the width of the straps.  I made mine twice the width.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical, and there was nothing confusing in them.  Easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I wanted to try this corset type top.  It reminds me of a long-line bra.  And bra making is something I want to try.  This top seemed to be a good way to practice bra making.  The skirt pattern design is a common pattern design that I probably have in at least a dozen pattern that I own.  

I didn't really have any dislikes.  

Fabric Used:  It was a gift to me some time ago.  And I thought this pattern would be great for it.  A linen fabric with embroidered polka-dots on it.  I love working with natural fabrics.  So easy to handle.  But this one presented a little challenge with the polka-dots.  The embroidery was raised and sometimes got caught in the machine.  But overall, the fabric was okay to work with.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 


  • FBA - See previous posts for details on making the FBA adjustment.  There was more tweaks to make here and there to get the right fit.
  • I raised the neckline and added a few inches to the hem of the corset.
  • I doubled the width of the straps.
  • No underwire inserted. The corset fit just fine without it.
  • For the skirt, I lengthen the short version by eight inches. 
  • Because I had limited fabric left, I made a straight waistband about 2.5 inches wide doubled.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Of course.  I did a lot of adjusting.  I will certainly sew the corset top again.  And I do recommend it to others.  Make a muslin or two. Lol  

Conclusion: I am so pleased with the results of this outfit.  It turned out very well.  I hope to make it again soon.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, June 28, 2024

Summer Dress - Simplicity S9597 and S9552

Happy Friday everyone!

Summer officially arrived about a week ago,  But let me tell you, it has been summer in the Midwest since early June.  The midwestern heat accompanied by the humidity and high pollen is no joke.  We already had temps close to 100 degrees.

All my Chicagoland sewing sista's  know to prepare early before the heat.  This summer dress had been in the works before I actually selected the fabric.  Starting with all the fit adjustments, I like to be ready to just cut and sew.  Such was the case with this beauty. 

Before I get started with the pattern/project review, be warned that this is a lengthy blog post.  So I'm starting with a lot of pictures of the actual dress.  This was a fun project, and I will get a lot of wear out of it.  So, excuse me for the lengthy post. 

I used two patterns to make this summer dress,  Simplicity S9552 for the bodice and Simplicity S9597 for the skirt.



Pattern Description:  The top S9552-Lined crop top has princess seams, button front straps and separating invisible back zipper.  Wrap skirts have flounce variation, large side front pocket and button closure.  The Skirt S9597- Mimi G's misses' flared ankle length dress and jumpsuit with buttoned back bodice has a shaped midriff tier and cut out dipped back with elastic.  I used size 16 with a lot of modifications.

Pattern Sizing:  Both have size ranging from 6 to 24, which is great. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  The silhouette was close to the Mimi G pattern. Some of the details were different.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, they were easy to follow.  And of course, I had to create a few of my own as a result of my changes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really like the silhouette of Simplicity 9597.  The elasticize back drop waist was interesting.  I didn't like that it was so low and the back bodice band showed too much of the softer side of me. Lol.   As for Simplicity 9552, I actually bought this pattern first and had intended to make the views worn by the model.  The princess seam bodice made the FBA easy to do.  I wasn't interested in showing a lot of exposed midriff.  That was an easy fix.  Overall, I liked the majority of S9552 design lines with the exception of the short bodice.  And the S9597 it's the skirt that I like the most.

Fabric Used:  The fabric I used is a cotton shirting that I bought during the Frocktails shopping day from The Textile Warehouse on West 21st Street in Chicago.  It was only $3.95 per yard.  A good deal for a Robert Kauffman fabric.  I pre-washed, dried, and pressed it right away.  It has a crisp, dry hand and it breathes.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  As I said, I made quite a few changes.  Let's start with the bodice.  



 First, I did a full bust adjustment and made a muslin to check the fit.  It was low, so I added about an inch to the top.  I also added about an inch to the side back to balance out the side front and back pieces.  Sometimes the FBA produces so much additional width, the side seam is not where it needs to be.  So, adding more width to the side back offers some room to adjust or take in both side front and back equally.  


NOTE:  I made the FBA without considering the length of the bodice of the MiMi G pattern.  Before I attached the S9552 bodice to the S9597 skirt, I cut it to my desired length, which was about two inches longer than the original  bodice of S9597,  I wanted to cover up that little roll on my side back. Lol


Back Closure of Bodice- 

I made the button loops for the back closure, same as S9597.  Because of the added length, I had to add two more loops and buttons.


Bodice Straps-

With the added inch at the top of the bodice, I didn't need the full length of the straps.  I didn't cut them off though.  I left the length as a design element.  Also, the buttons for the straps are different from the back closure buttons.  I didn't have enough in my stash, and I just did not want to go to the store for more buttons.  Maybe later.



I added a few inches to the bottom tier of the skirt.  The low back of the skirt gave me pause.  So I shorten the length of the elastic to draw it up closer my natural waistline.  This was done for comfort and modesty. Wink, wink.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I would recommend both patterns to others,  I plan to make the views the model is wearing for S9552. These are good summer outfit patterns for all level sewists.  Definitely, if you have a full bust, do a FBA for a better fit.  You may have to tweak it a little bit, but it is worth it.

Conclusion:   I enjoyed making this dress and will enjoy wearing it throughout the summer.  Throw on a nice hat and sandals, it’s a great vacation outfit.  Also, great for all the festivals around town. 

 Happy Sewing!




Monday, June 17, 2024

Soft Crepe Dress Simplicity S9820

Hello Sewing Friends,

I finally have something to share with pictures.  This Simplicity dress was made immediately after I finished my Chicago Frock tails dress.  In fact, I made it the morning before the Frock tails Saturday evening affair.  I really needed something to cleanse my palette.  Because I devoted many hours to making my Frock tails dress which in the end lack luster.  The truth is I made two dresses.  One trashed and the other a substitute for what I really wanted to wear.

Anyway, Simplicity S9820 helped me feel better about all the hours that I spent on the party dress.  To start, I had already made the pattern adjustments.  Anyone who has similar adjustments knows that this takes quite some time with every new pattern to use in a sewing project.  It was so satisfying to go right to the cutting table.  Sewing time was about 3.5 hours plus time to hand stitch the hem.

Pattern Description:  As usual, Simplicity gives the vaguest pattern descriptions.  My description:  Misses's knit dresses and shrug.  View A dress is an A-line mid-calf knit dress with shoulder and neckline drape details.  View B dress is a floor length A-line strapless dress with a front knotted long sleeve shrug.  Both dresses close with an invisible zipper at the back of the dress.

Pattern Sizing:  This pattern is available in  sizes 8 to 26, which is very nice.  I used size 16 with modifications.

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 typical.  Nothing difficult or confusing in them.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love the shoulder and neckline drape.  The A-line silhouette was a plus too.  I was mostly interested in making view A.  But after I finished it, I considered making view B at a later date.


I don't have any real dislikes.

Fabric Used: My fabric is from New Rainbow Fabrics on Roosevelt Road in Chicago,  It is a blush, crepe knit with a soft hand.  The stretch of the fabric is more than 25%.  It has great recovery.  I think it is perfect for this dress.  New Rainbow has this crepe knit in a variety of colors at a very reasonable price of $7.00 per yard.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I have quite a few changes that I made.  I begin by examining the measurements on the pattern front for the finished dress.  The finished bust measurement is only 34 inches.  


  • FBA - Often, for my size it's around 39 inches.  So, I feel this pattern runs a little on the small size.  Because the front and back patterns are designed sleeveless, I had to think about how to make the FBA adjustment without distorting the shape of the dress.  Below is an illustration of the FBA.  I simply slashed through the neckline down to the bust area continuing the length of the pattern.  This had to be done twice because the front pattern piece was for the entire front body instead of half the width of the body.   This adjustment produce a dart.  I decided to angle the dart slightly.  I hate darts that are straight across from side to apex.

  • Added width to the two back pieces - When I make a FBA, the front is sometimes much wider than the back.  Particularly, below the bust. Often, I end up sewing larger side seams to slim down the rest of the dress.  This sometimes causes the back to be even smaller.  And the side seams are off center along the side.  So to balance things out a bit, I added some width across the back.  Note:  My usual prominent shoulder blade adjustment was not needed because the back of the dress falls well  below the shoulder blades.

  • Swayback - There are two back pattern pieces.  I suspect the reason is not to confuse the sewist with the markings for each shoulder and neckline attachments.  Tucks were made on both pieces.  Note:  the amount of the tuck has to be added back at the hem to balance out the hem.  

  • Marking the Lower dress pattern pieces - I decided to cut the pattern pieces at the hem for view A.  Each piece is label with the respective pattern number plus the letter "B".

  • Front and Back Facings -  I adjusted the width of both to match the adjustment that I made to the front and back.

  • Elastic Around the Top of the Dress -  To stabilize the neckline of the dress, elastic is added.  I measured the elastic by first stretching it to relief any added tension.  Then I measure it like I would to take an upper bust measurement.  This is how I determined the length of my elastic.  Next, I divided it into four sections.  Starting at the right back for section 1.  Sections 2 and 3 for the front.  Finally, section 4 for the left back.  I stretched the elastic to fit each section.  The elastic was attached after the facings were sewn on.
  • Shoulder and Neckline Drape - I added about an inch to each.  I didn't need it.  So, I had to remove the added length to those pieces.

These are my adjustments/changes.  I hope this is clear.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I think I will make it again.  Probably for a holiday dress.  There is always a holiday party to go to.  And this dress is a quick make with great results.  And, yes I do recommend it to others.  

Conclusion: I am very pleased with how this dress turned out.  It was the perfect antidote for recovery from a "not so great" sewing experience.  Lol

Parting Photos:   Me wearing Simplicity Combo S8735 and S8637.  The pattern review is:   Easy, Breezy Summer Dress.  It is perfect for the 90 degree temps we are experiencing right now.


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sewing Updates

Hi everyone,

I haven't been able to get back to my WIPs. I'm trying to make something new for the Chicago Frocktails, June 8-9, 2024.

More later...,

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Notes on a Pattern McCall's M7978 - Blouse


Here's another project that is in the works.  I've wanted to make this top for a few years now.  Early April, I made a muslin.  And over two years ago, I did the tissue paper fit adjustments.  Sometimes I start and stop, start and stop, working on a project.  But this time, I hope to finish this one with a very nice blouse that fits well.  I wonder how many of us do that. Lol.

Anyway, this Notes on a Pattern details the fit adjustments.  My hope is that the information is useful to other sewists with the same/similar fit adjustments.  

To begin, let me start with the design/style of the blouse.  I think it is a good silhouette for me.  The "V" neckline is great for my inverted triangle shape.  The midriff gives me a little more definition at the waist and the ever so slightly flounce helps with the lack of noticeable hips.  So I think it's good for me.

A, B, C, D tops have gathered front and back, self faced yoke, button and loop closures, forward shoulder seams and gathered sleeve variation and band. B: Flounce. A, B, C: Cuffs. D: Sleeve band, neck band and ties in one.  The pattern comes in sizing groupings (6-14) and (14-22).  I used size 16 with modifications, of choice.

Most of my likes about this pattern is related to how it will help enhance my figure.  I also like the gathers and the fullness of the long sleeve view.  Additionally, it is a pretty easy blouse to sew, and there are no difficult constructions steps that I see.

The photos and drawing are true to the pattern.  So there are no concerns there.

Now, let's get to the fit adjustments.  I'll start with the full bust adjustment the front, a surplus bodice.  For the surplus bodice, I simply slashed and spread the appropriate amount for me.  To do so, I had to determine the needed amount of width and length being careful not to create too much fullness to gather under the bust.  I really didn't need to add any width to the front midriff pattern pieces.  

Next, for the upper back, I added a little length to balance it out with the front bodice.  The lower back midriff pieces, I did a sway back adjustment to remove additional fabric to pool at the lower back area, then adding the length at the bottom to balance out the hemline.

The last thing I adjusted was the neck band and the tie.  For this pattern piece, I needed to add some length to the neckband part only, slightly less than what I added to the front bodice.  Less to reduce the chance of gapping at the fullness of the bust.  The difference in the front bodice can be eased in.  See neck band/tie photo slash above the tie section of the pattern piece.

As for the sleeve length, I wasn't too concerned about making that adjustment for the muslin.  Most of the time it's a matter of adding an inch in the lower half of the sleeve.  Easy.

So, this is it for the Note on a Pattern for McCall M7978.  Now, I need to get to work on the actual blouse.

More later.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sewing,


Blog Widget by LinkWithin