Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Summer Dresses In The Making - Butterick B6674

This fabric is a Mood Exclusive Abstract Concepts Stretch Cotton.  What drew me to it was the delicate outline of printed faces.  I'd seen similar prints but would not seen them in a fabric store.  So this one was just right for me.  It's 97% cotton; 3% Elastane.  The fabric has a slight sheen to it with a smooth hand.  Easy sewing and pressing helps speed up the construction process.  I used a universal sewing machine needle, size 12.

I it with Butterick B6674 which includes separate pattern pieces for cup sizes.  A plus and is helpful to me.  Because it decreases the amount a time I spent making pattern adjustments.  The FBA is the most involved adjustment I made.  Butterick pattern description: " A, B, C close fitting through bust, front self facings, sash, flared hem. A: Above mid knee length. B, C: Below mid knee length. C: Self ruffle. A/B, C, D Cup Sizes. D: Lined bag, bias tape seam finish. Note: Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D."  I used size 16 with some modifications.

This was the first garment that I made while in quarantine. I spent two days making this dress.  The first, finishing everything except the buttonholes, buttons, and hem.

This is a very simple skirt waist dress.  Another example of a fit and flare style.  This style is very appealing to me.  And I hope to make more similar dresses this year.  The ruffled neckline adds a little more interest to a simple silhouette and no pockets because the print was enough of an attraction.  So view C was perfect for my project.

My dress does look like the drawing, except I did not make a belt.  I have a RTW belt that would be perfect for the dress.  The instructions were typical but very easy to follow.  No part of the dress requires interfacing.  In general, a very quick sew.

Before I cut into my fashion fabric, I made a muslin.  I actually made it last summer.  So I tried it on again to make sure the fit was still okay.  It was good.  My usual pattern adjustments were also made last year.  So I checked them again since I hadn't looked at this pattern in awhile.

My fit changes:
  • Tweaked the D cup bodice pattern to fit.
  • Lengthen the bodice a bit
  • Swayback adjustment
  • Prominent shoulder blade at the shoulder seam, which produced a little dart.  I should have made it along the neckline.  I think it would look better. Next time.
  • Added a bit to the bodice back a the shoulder seam for my forward shoulders.
  • Lengthen the skirt a bit
My construction changes:
  • The fabric was too thick to follow the construction of the ruffle.  I decided to use Mood Italian Black Venise Lace trim .   I cut the lace the length of the ruffle.  Then I cut a piece of 1/4" black elastic the length of the finished neckline.  Stretched and sewed the elastic to the lace.  Then I sewed the trim to the neckline of the dress being careful not to stretch it.  NOTE:  A little stretching did occur, but it did not deform the neckline.  It actually helped it lie flat with no gapping.
  • For the neckline and armholes, I make bias tape from fashion fabric.
  • I used hem tape and hem the dress by hand instead of machine stitching it as instructed.

I am very please with how this dress turned out.  It is a classic silhouette.  And I can see myself making it again.  Next time with pockets and matching bag.  Isn't that tote cute?

This is a relatively easy dress to make once you have gotten past your fit adjustments.  You can also have some fun with trims to change it up a bit.  I recommend this pattern to all level sewists.  Have fun building your summer wardrobe.  Now is the time if you are quarantined or on coronavirus lock down.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Bright Orange/White Floral Speaks Summer - B6680

I finished this dress two days before my vacation.  Into the suitcase it went. The bright orange/white with royal blue floral knit was perfect for the sunny days of my Los Cabos vacation.  But I didn't get a chance to wear it!  Grrrgh..., Missed opportunity for a great photo shoot.

No worries.  Summer is coming!  And I'll have plenty of opportunities to wear it here is the States. But today, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my experience of making it.

My fabric comes from Mood Fabrics.  It's labelled Bright Orange White and Royal Blue Floral Printed Lightweight Ponte knit.  It has a smooth hand and has a firm weave with about 30% stretch.  Excellent recovery.  The colors are vibrant and rich.  Great print and color combination; perfect for summer.

The pattern used is Butterick B6680, published last year.  It is described as:  Misses' dress dress A, B, C is close-fitting with side gathers, neck and armhole bands; and slightly flared hem in three lengths.  I made view B below mid-knee length.  The pattern is available is sizes 6 to 22.  I used size 16 with modifications.

Three dress was on my to make list last year, but I didn't get around to making it until now.  I did a little online research to see if others had made it.  This is another pattern that I didn't find many pattern review for.  Only a few tried it, and they did not appear to have the same fit issues that I have.  I must admit, once I started to prep the pattern I wondered if the ruching at the side would be problematic.  Considering my swayback and the little fluff around the middle.

Anyway, I continued on with making a FBA.  Nothing extraordinary.  I just looked passed the curve on the left side where the ruching goes and followed the standard process of making a FBA.  I decided if darts are needed, then I sew them in.

Initial Dart on Right Side Just above the ruching

In the end I tested darts on both sides.   It was perfect on the left side.  But on the right side it didn't look good.  So I plucked out the stitches and extended the ruching through the dart area.  The construction process was to simply add the elastic.  The difference created by the dart needed to be gathered; then sewn together and elasticized.

Final Right Side with No Dart

Final Left Side with Dart

With that little challenge out of the way, my thoughts turned to whether or not this would be a good look for me given my swayback coupled with the ruching.  I did not do a swayback adjustment.  My rationale was it's ruched.  The extra would be ruched.  Anyway, it's a little more ruching then seen in the photograph and drawing, but it a good look.  So my only other fit adjustment was the prominent shoulder blade.

The instructions typical and easy.  Nothing confusing  Aside from my testing and adjusting, the dress went together very quickly.

I like the neck and armhole bands.  They create a very nice finish to the dress.  Godet of the right side and the flounce at the bottom of the dress add interest and flare, which I like as well.

No dislike.

This is a quick and easy dress to make if you don't have the FBA issue to address.  It easy to wear.  A nice casual summer dress that can be worn in the spring with a cardigan or jacket. I don't think I'll make it again, but I do recommend it to others.

Happy Sewing!

Vacationing in Los Cabos, Mexico at the Riu Palace - Dinner at the Mona Lisa Restaurant

This is almost a wordless post.  These are pictures from my vacation in LosCabos, Mexico.  We Lodge at the RIU all inclusive Resort and had dinner at the Mona Lisa Restaurant.

Friday, March 27, 2020


At the Mona Lisa in Los Cabos, Mexico

I didn't want another day to go by without posting something on my blog. We are in desperate times.  The world is suffering from the corona virus pandemic.  Cases of the disease are rapidly rising across the USA now.  Many states are on lock down, Illinois included.  This is a time that we NEED to be UNIFIED, compassionate, patient, supportive, and hopeful.  More importantly, we need to remain prayerful.

When I returned home from vacation on the 14th, I was not feeling my best.  I just thought I was tired.  But after a few days, I developed a low grade fever, congestion, a dry cough and sore throat.  Common symptoms to the corona virus.  So I was quarantined for 14 days with a promises of being checked up on by my doctor and a date to be tested for the corona virus.  Well, this is day ten of my quarantine.  My symptoms have definitely lessen.  On Monday, my doctor prescribed a Z-pack antibiotic to further help with my recovery.   Unable to leave home, I have depended on my daughter, who is a healthcare worker to do any shopping that is needed for my household.  It has been a challenge to secure basic necessities.  People are still hoarding goods and making it impossible for others to get what they need.  This is incredible.

I digress..,

In the mist of it all, I've been able to do a few things for myself and around the house.  Like taking care of my own personal hygiene and disinfecting areas where I had been.   Most of the time, I could get my own meals, not much cooking though.  I've spent most of the time in bed watching TV, texting, talking on the phone, on Instagram, on Facebook, reading, and thinking about sewing something.

It wasn't until Monday of this week that I was able to sew a little.  I made a dress and two tops.  Being in my studio a few hours per day, gave my an opportunity to survey some of the UFO's I managed to accumulate.  As I forge through my bags of projects, I thought about the Instagram Sewing Community making masks for their families and healthcare groups.  I want to do something useful too.  So today I decided to pull out some cotton fabric to try my hand at making a few.

Also, my thoughts have been on blogging and the lack there of these days.  I'm more incline to post on Instagram.  It's quick and easy.  At the same time recognizing that it is not the best platform to share all the details.  More and more, people are using Instagram and videos instead of blogs.  Ideally, I hope to find a balance.  Because I don't want my blog to die. 

There are several March projects I need to publish.  To name a few:  my black herringbone coat;  the orange and white Butterick dress, B6680; and the cream, black, and sand face Butterick 6674 dress. I hope you will continue to read my blog and share any comments that you like.  It's great to share and to journal my journey. 

In this time of crisis, stay well and busy.  We all must make the best of it and do what we can to help others.  No matter how large or small the deed, everything counts.  Be blessed and be well.

I decided to include a few pictures from my vacation.  It was a happy time for all that went to Los Cabos.

Happy Sewing!


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