Friday, December 31, 2021

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Turtleneck Sweaters Are A Winter Staple

It's turtleneck season again!

I'm starting off the season with Burda Style 6990.  I think it is safe to say that this pattern is a TNT top for me.  This is the third time I've made view D.  

The sweater knit comes from FabricMart Fabrics.  It's a soft cozy cotton blend sweater knit that washes well and has great stretch recovery.  I needed some more navy in my wardrobe.  So this striped knit is a welcomed addition.

I'm wearing my new turtleneck with another pair of Burda Style 6879 pants made of a textured stretch woven fabric also from FabricMart.  These were made in early October.  This is the forth version I've made.  Other versions of the turtleneck and pants are here and here with full pattern reviews.

Save warm and cozy this winter.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Vogue Cold Shoulder Knit Dress - V1674

I pondered whether or not I could wear an off the shoulder dress. Because of my full bust I shied away from them despite my love for the style.

So Vogue V1674 reminded me of an off the shoulder outfit that the late Whitney Houston wore during one of her concerts.  I wanted to try the pattern but felt that it may not be a good look for me.  Then months ago I saw a really  cute version of the Vogue dress made by a fellow sewist. So I decided to try it.  This is my wearable muslin.  I think I want to make it up in some stretch velvet.

Here is my review of my first try at Vogue V1674.

Pattern Description:   Lined, close fitting dress with invisible side zipper and bodice variations.  For two-way stretch knits only. 

Pattern Sizing:  It is available in sizes 6 - 22.  I used 16, View B, with a few modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, my dress looks like the drawing of view B.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical and easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  There are quite a few things I like about the pattern.  They are:

  • The cold shoulder design.
  • The drafting of the entire dress.  I like the tapered skirt.  Also, I love that the length of the shoulder was not super long like many of the other big 4 brands.  
  • The easing along the bust area.  I didn't even need to make a FBA.  How great is that?
  • The entire dress is lined.
  • The easiness of making the dress.
  • None

Fabric Used:  The dress fabric is a jersey knit from FabricMart Fabrics with about 40 percent stretch.  I used a beige tricot knit from JoAnn's for the skirt.  The bodice lining is the same fashion fabric as the dress.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a very few minor changes:

  • Added 1" to sleeve length.
  • I didn't line the right sleeve; not enough fabric.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Oh yes, I plan to make view B at least once more.  This one is my wearable muslin.  And yes, I recommend it to others.  

Conclusion: I'm happy I decided to give it a try.  This dress is a easy make. It sewed up much like a t-shirt with a skirt attached.  The difference is the off one-shoulder, elasticized neckline. Oh, and it's fully lined.  Love it.

Happy sewing!


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Kitchen -Refresh For The Holiday

It's been awhile since my last post. These days I'm really struggling to find time to blog.    I want to get back to blogging on a regular basis.  Hopefully, I'll get a handled on it soon.

Today's post is on the kitchen curtains and chair covers I made to refresh my kitchen for the holidays.  It was easy and quick, taking only a few hours to complete. 

Like before, I didn't use a pattern. I literally measured and cut, pressed, stitched and pressed again.

 The chair covers are two cotton fabrics with fusible batting between them.  The covers provide a little cushioning and protect the wall from marring when the chair is pushed against it. 

The coordinating curtains are three pieces: two tiers and one valance in the middle. All cut free handed. Sorry no dimensions to note. Just me guestimating. It worked out fine. 

The fabric is from JoAnn's, Christmas cotton.  Natural fibers are so easy to press and work with. I pre-washed and pressed it before starting my project.

I really like how everything turnout. And the kitchen looks warm and inviting.  These will be up for awhile. 



Saturday, November 27, 2021

DD Is Holiday Party Ready - Simplicity S9370

Holiday Ready!

My DD's first holiday dress of the season.  I used MiMi G's Simplicity 9370.  And it turned out perfect.  She looks fabulous in her new dress.

I've been waiting to post my review for a few weeks.  Sometimes it's a little challenging to coordinate our schedules to do the photo shoot.  This weekend was perfect following our family Thanksgiving fest.  BTW I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday.

My review:

Description and Sizing

Simplicity - Knit dress with cut out midriff detail is slim or A-line shaped in two lengths with self-ties, sleeve and length variations.  Available in sizes 6 to 24.  I used size 12, view A.   I was able to cut it out without making any fit adjustments.  How great is that.  

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

The dress looks exactly like the drawing and photos.  I made a little change with the tie construction, but it didn't change the style of the dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were super easy to follow.  There weren't anything confusing in them or difficult construction techniques.  The dress went together with no problems. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

There is so much to like about it.  
  • The style in general is cute/sexy.  It's on trend with a lot of the styles that you may see at department stores like Zara's.  
  • The belted, elasticized midriff is one of the elements that I like a lot.  
  • The zipper side front.
  • The length of the slim skirt.
My DD loves it for the same reasons.  

Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

My fabric is "Flaming Red Viscose Jersey Knit" from FabricMart Fabrics.  I checked the online store to see if it was still in stock.  No luck.  I only purchased it two months ago.  On the color:  It looks more like a tomato red to me. Anyway, it's a great color for my DD.  The stretch is about 40 percent and it has great recovery.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The only thing I changed was the tie.  Instead of a single piece of fabric with the edges finished, I chose to double it, sew two pieces together and turn to the right side.  So, there is a little more bulk in the tie.  But that's all right.  It just adds a little more support around the waist.

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

This dress is really unique.  I would only sew it again if DD asked me to.  And yes, I do recommend it to others.  It sews up really fast and it's easy to make.  The most difficult part is to install the zipper.  


I love how this dress turned out and my DD does too.  I'm also happy to have the dress done for an upcoming holiday party early in December.  This is a very stylish dress that is certainly worth trying.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Brocade Holiday Skirt - Vogue V1725

I started this project with the idea of making the dress, Vogue 1725, View B.  After struggling with trying to make a FBA, I decided to make a skirt to wear with a top of a different fabric.  See previous post. The bodice of the dress after the adjustment, just wasn't flattering.  


The skirt of the dress did not call for a lining.  I added one because the brocade is not completely opaque.  The lining was cut about 2.5" shorter than the skirt even along the curved high section.  I didn't want it to show.  The skinny waistband is about 2.5" wide and completely interfaced.  And I omitted the pockets.

What I liked about the skirt is the fullness of it and the high/low style.  That's actually why I purchased the pattern.  For this version, the brocade makes it extra special and perfect for a holiday or special event outfit.

My fabric is from Minerva Fabrics UK.  It is a lovely brocade that either side of the fabric can be used.   It all depends on whether you want more gold or more black in your outfit. I chose more black. 

I'm glad I was able to get something out of the pattern despite the unflattering altered bodice.  In hindsight, I could have used another bodice already tried and true (TNT).  Anyway, I was able to get a nice  outfit.

So, what are you planning to make for the holiday season?

Happy Sewing!

Sorry the pictures are a little grainy and dark.  

Thursday, November 4, 2021

McCall M8238 Converted Into a Pullover Top

I really like to style of the bodice of McCall's M8238.  So I decided to convert it into a pullover top.  The process was so easy.  All I did was use a basic t-shirt front and back pattern combining them with the front and back patterns of M8238.  I didn't even draft new pattern pieces.  I merely pinned both to the fabric and cut.  That's how simple it was. 

I think we all can take advantage of the practice of hacking/splicing pattern designs to come up with our own designs or  designer inspired creations.  It can be as easy as what I described above.  Or something more labor intensive.  I'd probably save a lot of money.  

Anyway, the making of this top was just as easy as constructing the bodice of the McCall's dress. The steps were the same except for longer vertical seams and a hem to finish it off.  To follow some of the basic pattern review protocols, please read the following:

Pattern Description:  Knit keyhole cut-out-fit-and flare dress is a pull-on style with back neck closure, and half, three-quarter and long sleeve options.  My top is most like the bodice of view B with some modifications.

Pattern Sizing:  Groups:  6-14 and 16-24.  I used size 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes and no.  Only to the waist.  Top instead of a dress was the goal of this project. The style of the bodice is also the style of the top. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical and easy to follow.  Although I did not like the closure at the neck. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  

  • Keyhole
  • Cut out upper back and shoulder
  • Center front seam; option for color blocking and slimming affect
  • Closure - I ended up sewing a small strip of velcro to easily close the strap at the neck.

Fabric Used:  I purchased the black penne at JoAnn's.  Perfect for what I had in mind.  The knit has good stretch and good recovery.  I tossed it in the washer for a quick wash.  Then into the dryer.  No problems.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  
  • I changed the closure to velcro
  • For the FBA, at the lower front armscye I graded up to size 18.  Also, along the upper front side I graded up to size 18 tapering back to size 16 five inches down.
  • Spliced t-shirt with bodice to design a pull-over top.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and Yes.  I plan to make another top.  I also want to make the dress sometime in the near future.

I enjoyed converting this bodice pattern into a pull-over top.  It will be worn with a newly made audacious skirt (V1725), which I'll review soon.  This is another project from a Big 4 pattern company that isn't quite what the designer had in mind. Lol

I do recommend this pattern to sewists of all levels.  It is a nice change from the basic t-shirt style dresses/tops. 

Stay Tuned for more on the skirt I made using V1725.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Simplicity Shacket S9388 In Denim - Better Than The Last

Here I go again!  This is my second shacket, and I'm loving it even more than the first. 

This medium weight denim that I bought from JoAnn's is perfect.  For this version, view A, I decided to make a few changes.

The first was to change the design of the hemline.  I wanted to add a curve hem with slits on the sides.  So, I used a bowl the create the curve. then I decided the length of the slit. Easy, easy.  

With the first shacket I thought the front placket was a little too short.  But I wasn't absolutely sure because I added a few inches to the length.  For this version I cut the pieces exactly as instructed.  True enough, the placket is nearly two inches too short.  So after changing the hemline, I had to redo it and shorten the front enough to fit the length of the placket.  Easy solution.

Next change, I made the sleeve pleats deeper and I turned the upper part of the vent in.  The sleeves are really BIG, and the cuff too.  This change makes it fit a little better.

The final change was to use snaps instead of buttons.  I put them on today after finishing it a week ago.

This one is so versatile. I can wear it with almost any casual outfit.  today I'm showing two style options:  leggings, tall boots, and a colorful scarf and slim pants and a turtleneck top.  Not shown today, but definitely a great outfit for me too: a simple pullover dress cinched at the waist with a big scarf draped about the neck.  The style options are endless.

So, here's to the trending shacket.  I'm going to get plenty of wear out of this baby. ;-)

More to come.  Rhonda and I will continue our little sew along with a pink wool shacket.  So stay tuned.  Be sure to check us out on Instagram too.  There may be additional postings as we go along. 

Happy Sewing!



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