Friday, September 28, 2018

Style Maker Fabric Fall/Winter Tour

It's feeling much like fall these days.  I love the cool crisp mornings and the sunny afternoons that the Autumn season brings.  Fall also marks a new season to start a new wardrobe.  My first two fall garments are made with Style Maker Fabrics.  They have an entire store of new, beautiful textiles to start your new fall wardrobe with.

I'm new to Style Maker Fabrics.  Michelle contacted me to join the SMF Tour group and I'm glad I did.  It was a good introduction to work with her great fabric.  Through Instagram I learned about SMF and their textiles.  But had never made a purchase.  Now I will definitely use their fabrics again.

The new fall collection has so many lovely fabrics to pick from.  It was so hard for me to pick something; I wanted about 10 different fabrics at first look.  Forcing myself to select two (my choice), I focused on my color palette for fall.  Fall colors earthy; deep and vibrant colors like burnt orange, chocolate brown, firm and ever greens, and golden yellows.  These are some of my colors for fall.

I love a good print and I love sewing neoprene/scuba knit.  So, I just couldn't pass up the splattered paint rust, black, and sage scuba knit. The scuba knit was great to work with.  It has an impeccably smooth hand. The stretch is tight and great for active wear as well as fit and/or flare coordinates.  I love it.

My pattern an oldie but goodie Simplicity 1314.  I've made two other dresses using it.  So I decided to add a handpicked beaded zipper.  Luckily for me, I finished it in time to make it my annual "birthday dress".  More on pattern adjustments here

My second choice was a rust medium weight textured cotton cloth; soft and a dream to sew.  Amy also selected this fabric making the cutest cuffed pants.

I wanted to start by fall wardrobe sewing with a jacket/cardigan to help fight back the early morning or the night chill of the Midwestern winds.  I also wanted to make something that was special.  This fabric has a very rich color with the right and wrong sides looked the same.  So I chose a unlined jacket, Butterick 6329, view D.

This jacket is described as an unlined jacket with a snap closing.  It's relatively easy to sew and the style line is relaxed and had quite a bit of wearing ease.  I was able to skip my usual fitting adjustments only making slight changes along the side seams and adding 1/4" to the center front.  Because of the simplicity of the pattern, I decided to add something special to this piece as well.  Hong Kong finished seams was the perfect element.  This additive made the inside pop.  Every edge of the jacket sections is finished except for seam the that joins the facing to the jacket.

I really love how this jacket turned out. And I hope to make a few more possibly using the recommended medium weight moderate stretch knit fabric.  For the most part, I constructed the jacket as indicated omitting the topstitching around the front and neckline.  I did not add a snap either.  The instructions were easy and typical.  If you decide to make it, make sure you carefully mark the large circles and match them as instructed.

The sewing process was great for both projects.  I used a microtex schwertz needle, size 12. The pressing was easy and resulted in a crisp finish.  Both garments will be in high rotation this fall and winter.  I've already worn my dress on Sunday.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend that you take a look at the selection of new fall fabrics at Style Makers Fabrics.  I also recommend both patterns:  Simplicity 1314 and Butterick 6329.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

September Is Almost Over! Sewing Reflection

It's hard to believe that September is almost over!  This week I started seriously thinking about fall and winter sewing projects.  There is always so much I want to make and do.  It's overwhelming.  There isn't enough time in a day to accomplish as much as I'd like to.

I'm happy to report that I finished at least 2/3 of the summer projects on my list including a swimsuit (UFO) for my daughter.  Right now, I have three more summer projects to complete.  I'll work on finishing them over the course of the next several days.  I've ready finished two fall garments.  Reviews on those will be posted this weekend.  They are part of the Style Maker Fabric Fall Tour.

So over the next several days review to post are:

  • Simplicity Dress S1314
  • Butterick Jacket B6329
  • Butterick and McCall Swimsuit BP291 & M7578 for DD (UFO)
  • McCall Pants  M7726 (made in June)
  • McCall Shirt M7753 (made in July)
  • McCall Top M7687
  • Vogue Dress V1352
  • McCall Dress M6116 

Meanwhile, I'm continuing to work on my top ten projects to make this fall.  One will be McCall Jacket M6440, view D.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Multiple Cup Size Pattern vs. Manual Full Bust Adjustment

I know that title is a mouth full and may be poorly worded.  But I wanted to discuss my experience with trying to take advantage of multiple cup size patterns.  I wondered if others have a similar experience where there is some pulling across the chest about mid front armscye.  Feel free to comment.

So here we go..,

I have quite a few multiple cup size patterns in my collection.  Most I have not used yet.  But there are at least a hand full I have tried.

This summer I had created an overly ambitious list of sewing projects that I wanted to complete.  Two of them were patterns that have multiple cup sizes.  I may have hesitated to make them because of my past experiences with using the desired cup size pattern that are included.

McCall 6696 Dress

I really like McCall's 6696 set of dresses.  They create a more defined waist, have different skirt options, and a slip.  My hope is to make views B, D, and E.  Sometime in the near future.   When I was organizing my summer sewing projects, I decided to analysis the difference between the manufacturer's cup size and my adjusted pattern (cup A/B).  My findings were inline with how garments fit using the designated cup size.

There is enough width cross the chest area, but the fit is not uncomfortable near the armscye, about 2/5 of the way down from the shoulder seam.  That is, the area starting just above the fullness of the bust.  So from the small circle to the front single notch.  Additionally, for me the length isn't quite enough.

Below is a picture of McCall 6696 my adjustment of pattern front cup size for A/B and the manufacturer's version of the cup size C/D.  One on top of the other with my FBA of A/B on the bottom.  Note - The shoulder seam (my adjustment) is a bit too long. That's an easy adjustment.  Also, a few inches below the bust dart, less width is needed.


This is food for thought with determining the best way to address your FBA needs.  This dress will stay on my "To Make List" now that I have taken the time to make my FBA.

Happy Sewing!

NOTE:  This is my experience, not the "standard" or the "gospel".

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Keeping Cool in Butterick 6451 - Last Dog Days of Summer

Ohwee!  The intense heat encouraged me to put on my new maxi-dress.  At first, I was only going to  take a few pictures in it; then put it away for my vacation.  NOT!  Too HOT!  Fall is literally around the corner, but typical Illinois September weather today it is in the 90's with 90% humidity, tomorrow it is in the 60's.   I stepped outside my door and it felt like I stepped into a spa sauna.  My face went flesh before I could walk on the driveway. 

That being said, it's clear that this dress is very appropriate for today's steamy temps.  I used Butterick 6451 for my lovely dress.  At least I think so.

The dress is described as: very loose-fitting pullover dress has elastic at neckline, and/hem variations.  A, B:  Elastic at waist.  My favorite view is view B the one that I made.  It was super easy and only took a few hours to make.  It's certainly a summertime wardrobe piece.  The dress is comfortable and effortless to wear.  I chose to wear mine with a wide belt partly to help define my waist and to break up the print of the dress.

The sizing comes in groupings (XS, S, M) (L, XL, XXL)  I purchased the second grouping.  It was the only size left.  Normally I would have purchased the first size. On the website the size groupings are different than what is actually printed on the pattern envelope.  Using the large, I just scaled it down a little.  Remarkably, not my usual adjustments to fit it.  The neckline and the back were my fit concerns to which I made very little change.  I cut the elastic for the neck and waist just a little smaller.  My other changes were to use self bias tape for the armhole facing and the casing for the waist elastic.  This was really easy to do with a bias tape maker and a few stripes of fabric cut of the bias to fit those areas.

My dress does look like the one pictured on the model. Cute..,


  • Flounce neckline with option to pull it around the shoulders.
  • Floaty affects of the challis fabric
  • Comfort of wearing the dress.
  • My change to use self bias tape for the facing and casing.
  • Instructed use of stiff packaged bias tape.  The application areas look better with self bias tape.

My fabric was purchased at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, rayon challis print.

I see a few more of these dresses in my future.  The next time I make it, I'll bring the armhole up a little bit (1").  This is a dress, I think, all level sewists can make with no problems.

Parting Shot:  Me starting to sweat after only a few minutes in the sun.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It's Not Too Late - August, 2018 Sewing Projects

It's incredible, I wrote this blog on August 28, 2018; but didn't publish it.  Why?  I think because I became disappointed with the last project to finish in August.

I was almost finished with the dress when I tried it on again and decide it's just not for me.  It's, it's.., something..,  What I couldn't exactly pin point.

Anyway, after two weeks, I decided to try it on again.  This time, I saw renewed hope of finishing the dress. With a few more adjustments, it's wearable. 

Now, what's left to do is:
  - take it in where needed
  - finish attaching the facing to the dress
  - Make buttonholes and sew in buttons
  - Hem dress
and finally,
  - Decide on a different color belt.  I think that will improve the look.

This will be the last of five projects started in August.  To recap my sewing projects for August, 2018.  Blue is the common color theme for August; I really didn't notice before.

Vogue Top 1247 - I haven't worn this top yet.  I want to pair it with a red or white denim skirt for vacation.

Simplicity 8014 Gingham Dress - Love the 1" inch gingham squares. Perfect for this style shirt dress.

Simplicity 8014 Crane Shirt for DD - She really appreciated this little summer top and will get a lot of wear out of it.

Vogue 9260 Hacked Dress -  This floaty challis dress is my least favorite of my August makes.  But it won't be hidden in the back of the closet.  I've worn it and will wear it some more.

Stay tuned for notes and reviews.  I should finish the dress this week.   BTW - I still have a few projects from earlier this year to review.  They will be added to the September and October reviews.

Thanks you for following me and special thanks to those who continue to post comments.  They are much appreciated.

Happy Sewing!


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