Friday, July 22, 2022

Update - Simplicity S9598


Happy Friday! I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.  As promised, photo of me wearing Simplicity S9598.

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Festive Summer Vacay Dress - Simplicity S9598

Pattern DescriptionSlim V-neck pullover knit dresses in two lengths have long or short sleeves with cutout back and twist detail.  One view feature contrast layout.

Pattern Sizing:  The pattern is available in two size groupings (6-14) and (16-24).  I used between size 16 and 18.  This is very close fitting and I want just a little ease in the dress.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did.  I really like the way the dress turned out.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions were typical and easy to follow.  There was nothing confusing in them.  Of course, I changed a few things.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the V-neck, the twist/cutout, and the option to color block the dress.  There was only one dislike; the way the back elastic facing is supposed to be finished.  It did not look good.

Fabric Used:  I used an ITY knit that I purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics a while ago.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  There is always something that needs to be adjusted or changed.  Here is my little list:

  • Small FBA made that produced a bust dart.  You can barely see it in this print.
  • Made a prominent shoulder blade adjustment.  I didn't want the twist to pull too much.
  • Selected a length between the two indicated on the pattern.
  • 3/4 Sleeve instead of the long sleeve
  • Sewed a channel for the elastic to be threaded through.  It looks better than just having the elastic between the skirt and facing.
  • Used a twin needle to hem the sleeves and the skirt.
  • The neckband was gapping a bit.  I had to make a deeper center front seam to make it fit better.  See pattern pieces showing the blue marking to indicate the new stitching line.  Note:  You must be precise in your stitching making sure both neckbands are stitched the same.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Of course, I will sew it again.  I don't know when though.  There are so many other dress patterns in my to make pile for 2022.  We will see how it goes. 

Conclusion:  I think this is a great little pattern to make a fun, festive summer dress.  It a good one for all level sewists. 
P.S.  I'll post pictures of me wearing soon.  No one available for a photo shoot today. Wink, wink.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Daisy Dress McCall M8103


Summertime is in full affect here in the mid-west, and it can be challenging to look polished, cool, and comfortable when temperatures are in the upper 90's and the humidity is 95 percent. It feels like a sauna.  So, the best thing is to go with the flow, look your best, and enjoy the summer months while they are here. In no time at all, it will be September, which will usher in another season for us.

My comfort look is soft and floaty. It provides comfort and style for the season. And that is how I feel wearing my latest summer dress.

I used McCall Daisy M8103 to make my latest summer dress.  With the slightest breeze, the skirt dances in the wind.  That is one of the things I love about it.

I purchased the fabric from Joann's a few months ago. They may still have it in stock. It's a cocoa brown guaze type viscose fabric. It is very soft and easy to handle.  There is one small draw back though. It is very loosely woven and has the tendency to "grow" throughout the project. So be careful.

I used size 16 with modifications.  This pattern comes with multiple cups sizes for the upper front. This may save a little time for most sewists. For me I used the D cup. But I hate the one huge dart. It never turns out like intended.  So, I tweaked the pattern a bit and created three darts in the upper front bodice.

There are many qualities that I like about this pattern.  The one that drew me to the pattern is the flounces. Love them.  They do take a lot of time to finish.  I devoted one sewing segment to finishing the hem and attaching the flounces to the waist and hem of the skirt. Another like is how the skirt is attached to the bodice. The faux wrap crosses over the entire front of the body. So there is no worry of "exposure". Wink, wink.  The separate cup size pattern pieces are a plus too. All of these things, in addition to the floaty fabric, made this a loveable sewing experience.

Now, I do have a few dislikes. The expansion of the fabric during the entire project was annoying. I had to keep making adjustments as I went along. Oh yeah, I did make a muslin. The fabric that I used was tightly woven and didn't present the challenge that I experienced with my fashion fabric.  It would be wise to do some stay stitching on some pieces to hold the shape. 

Other changes I made:

  • Adjusted the shoulder straps
  • Raised the upper front and back armsyce.

I did not lengthen the skirt. But compared to the photo, my skirt is longer on me than the one on the model. Overall, I think my dress looks like the dress on the envelope.  

I'm happy to have this new edition to my wardrobe. And with some restrictions being lifted, I also have something new to wear to upcoming events. Happiness.

This is a great summer dress pattern to try. Be ready to spend some time constructing and finishing the flounces. Other than the fitting this is where I spend the most concentrated time. 

I may make it again. But in the meantime, there are several other dresses I planned to sew this summer. Til next time, enjoy your summer, and I hope you are able to make something that you love.


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Summertime Fun Dress in Ankara Fabric - Simplicity S8594

Today is the last day of June and it is 98 degrees HOT!  Great time to wear my latest creation, using a red and black, Ankara fabric that I purchased at the Textile Warehouse. I began sewing this dress last Thursday and finished it on Sunday.  

My photographer, DD, was available to take a few pictures of me wearing it this afternoon.   The sun was high and bright.  The heat was on. Lol

This will be a short and sweet review as I don't have pictures of the pattern alterations.  Sorry.  If you check out many of my previous princess fit adjustment makes, you'll get a good idea of the changes I had to make for this pattern. 

Pattern Description:  Misses and Petites with bodice and skirt variations.  The bodice options include a crewneck with slit or a halter, and the skirt can be made straight or flared with pockets.  I made View C with modifications, size 14 graded up. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, it did.  Of course, I lengthen the skirt and made a few other changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Sorry, I really didn't read the instructions.  I've made this style dress many, many times before.  At a glance, I guess they were typical.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the halter style of the dress.  And I thought it would be a great style for the fabric that I selected.

Fabric Used: I purchased this Ankara fabric from the Textile Warehouse in Chicago on 21st Street.  They have a variety of colors and prints for the reasonable price of about $6.00 per yard.  It is 100 percent cotton.  It also washes and presses very well.  That's something I always appreciate with natural fibers.  I love the print and the vibrant red and black colors.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made a ton of changes.

  • FBA and graded the pattern up.  When I purchased this pattern, the largest size grouping available at the store was size 14. So, I made it work for me.
  • I shortened the straps by 2 inches, much too long for me.
  • NOTE:  I forgot to make a sway back adjustment.  Not too bad though.  If I use this bodice again, I'll be sure to do it to remove the excess fabric at the lower back.
  • Lengthen the skirt.  Also, I barely had enough fabric for my desired length.  On a few of the lower corners of the skirt, I had to "piece" the corners together.  See picture below to see an example.  You can hardly tell. wink, wink.
  • I installed an invisible zipper instead of a regular one, only because I didn't have one in my stash, and I refuse to buy another one. 

Observation:  The bodice is a little low at the underarm.  I'd would bring it up about 1.5 inches for a better fit and look.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and yes.  I would consider making it again.  This view, view C, which I like the most.  Also, I recommend it to others.  It's a great little summer dress that is not difficult to make.

Conclusion: I am pleased with how this dress turned out.  The fit is almost perfect. and I really like the combination of the fabric and style.  Great little summer dress that beginners and experienced sewists could make with no problem.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Easy Breezy Summer Dress - McCall M7405


It is a steamy 102 degrees in the Chicagoland area.  At least where I live.  HOT! HOT!

Summer is definitely here.  So instead of complaining, dress appropriately.  Rayon Guaze from Joann's Fabrics is the perfect match for McCall's M7405 Easy dress.  I could easily have a dozen of these comfy dresses in my wardrobe.  It's perfect for any occasion.   

This pattern has been out for a while.  I never noticed it until my fellow sewists across the Instagram platform started posting their beautiful dresses.  And of course, I had to get on the bandwagon too.  ;-)

McCall's pattern description:  Loose-fitting, sleeveless, pullover dresses have neckline gathers, back neck slit and hemline variations.  C: Belt, and side slit. D: Elasticized waist.

I didn't follow any of the versions as indicated on the envelope.  I did my own thing.  My version is view B with elasticized waist and belt.  I used between large and medium sizes. 

Basically, my dress does look like the drawings "combined". Tee Hee.  This is how I wanted my dress to look.  I often think of patterns as being templates to help me design the project I have invision.

The instructions were super easy, and I did not encounter any confusing steps.

This pattern is very easy to like and very forgiving on the figure.  My likes are it was easy to sew, stylish, and versatile.  I was so excited sewing it together and couldn't wait until I was done.  No dislike to note.  However, I made a few little changes.

One thing I was concerned with was how it would fit in the bust area.  I didn't want to experience any gapping at the lower armhole.  Luckily there wasn't any.  But the armhole was a bit too low.  So, I brought it up about 2 inches.   Also, after I sewed the sides, it was too big in the upper portion of the dress.  I just tweaked it a little until it was right for me.  Another small change I made was the placement of the elastic.  I tied the belt around my waist to act as a marker.  Then I used a mirror and safety pins to mark that location in the back and used needle and thread to run a base stitch around the front.  In the end, my elastic waist placement is very different from the front and back of the dress.  But you cannot tell when I have the dress on.  So, it works for me.  After making the change, I also thought about the placement of the elastic in general as it can be lower or higher depending how you want to style the dress.  The final little change was with the bias tape to create the elastic casing.  I used a strip of fabric to make my own casing to match the dress.

As I stated earlier, my fabric is from JoAnn's Fabrics.  They have a nice selection of cotton guaze in a variety of colors and prints.  I loved this floral print.  It was easy to sew and a great choice for a summer dress.

You know I will sew this dress again.  I like it a lot!  ;-)  It is designed for beginners.  So all level sewists could make it with no problem.  This ends my little pattern review for this one!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Mixing It Up With Simplicity Cardigan S8992 and Vogue Pants V8859

My little collection of TNT patterns is growing.  It's the simple style lines and easy sewing that makes some of these patterns extremely valuable to me.  Vogue V8859 pants I've made at least a dozen pair so far.  And I don't see myself retiring this one any time soon.  I love these pull-on pants.  As for Simplicity S8992, I've only made it once before.  The dress is below.  This could quickly become a TNT.  It is part of Simplicity's "Pattern Hacking" collection.  I like it a lot too.

I started this project with making the pants.  I wanted to add a tuxedo style stripe down the sides.  Like I said to try something new.  Personally, they turned out to be a great looking pair of pants.  After I finished them, I saw that I had about 3/4 yard of the knit fabric left.  So, I attempted to "squeeze" out a little cardigan.  But of course, I had to use another fabric for the stripe and the sleeve to complete it.  The difference in fabric didn't matter.  In fact, they complement each other.  

In the end, I not only made another great pair of pants, but I also have a nice little cardigan to match.

Just to provide some details on the fabrics, I purchased the ponte knit from Vogue Fabrics last winter.  I only bought two yards which was more than enough for the slim pull-on pants.  The ribbed black knit (used for the sleeve and the stripe on the cardigan) came from Joann's.  It was a remnant from another project.  

Also, for the cardigan I used snaps and buttons for the closure.  I didn't want to make buttonholes.  So, I sewed on snaps and sewed buttons to the right side of the front closure.

I like how the outfit turned out.  It is definitely an early fall project.  The ponte knit is too heavy for summer weather. Lol I'll save this outfit for the right time and weather conditions.  

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Navy Stripe Leisure Set - Vogue V1835

Surprise, Surprise!

I'm back. Lol  

It's good to be back.  I missed blogging and sharing my sewing projects. There are so many things going on.  And lately I seriously wanted to spend my limited free time sewing.  

So today, I'm reviewing one of my outfits made in early May.  This little leisure set was easy to make and didn't take much time to do so.  I do want to point out that I could have given myself a tad more move across the bust area.  In the photos I notices a little pulling across the bust.  Anyway, here is my review.

Pattern Description: Misses' close-fitting tops can be worn on or off the shoulder; close fitting cropped pants have elastic, drawstring waist.  Slippers are lined.  

Pattern Sizing: This pattern comes in size A(XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL)  I used between medium and large.  I should have just used the large for the top.  It would have been better for me across the bust since I didn't want to fuss with making a FBA.

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 very easy to follow, and there weren't any confusing or complicated steps.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the style of the outfit.  It speaks comfort and chic at the same time.  It just depends on how you style it.  I became interested in trying this pattern after seeing other sewists' version on Instagram.  

No real dislikes.

Fabric Used:  My knit fabric came from FabricMart Fabrics.  I bought it several months ago.  At the time, I didn't know what I'd make with it.  Vogue V1835 was a great choice.  This medium weight knit fabric has an interesting diagonal stripe navy on navy. There is about 35 percent stretch crosswise.  I think the same lengthwise.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made a few changes/adjustments. 

  • I cut between a medium and large for both top and pants.
  • The neckline was a little snug when I wore it off my shoulder.  So I made the opening slightly larger so the right side wouldn't bunch up at the base of my neck.
  • For the pants I installed two eyelets instead of making buttonholes for the drawstring.
  • As usual, I lengthen the pants.
  • Adding elastic to one side of the top to create ruching and drape.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I actually would like a few more sets of this outfit.  I will tweak the bust area a bit though.

Conclusion:  I think this wearable muslin version turned out pretty good.  This is a design that I think would look good on most people.  Plus it is easy to sew.

Parting shots:  This is my nephew, Roy.  He graduated in May.  Roy also received a full football scholarship to Northern Illinois University.  We are very proud of him.  Believe it or not, he is the baby of the family, standing at 6'7".

Happy Sewing Friends!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Purple Flower Power Dress Revealed - Vogue V1858


It has been almost a whole month since I last posted about this dress.  I had mentioned that I wanted to do something extra.  My "extra" was to add some silk flowers and petals to the dress.  It took me a while to decide how to place the flowers and the petals on it.  I knew I wanted to make a corsage like flower, not detachable.  Also, I thought of putting one flower at the hem.  I still wasn't sold on the placement.  

After talking with Rhonda about my idea, she helped me rearrange the flowers and the petals.  So today, finally, I'm sharing how I finished the purple flower power dress.  First, I added three flowers at the top shoulder area.  The one directly on top is a detachable corsage.  I was afraid that it would get mangled if I sewed it onto the dress.  The leaves were the biggest concern.  The remaining two were placed on the back shoulder, kind of in a cluster like a bouquet.  Then I sewed on petals falling down the back of the dress with the majority of them at the hem.  To complement the beaded zipper, I added a few beads to each petal and flower. 

I changed the length of the dress as well.  Initially, I added several inches to it.  After taking a few pictures, I decided to shorten it a bit.  Above are a few photos taken prior to the floral additions and the length adjustment.  So, that's it for now.  

I haven't made anything new since March.  I've been busy with other things.  We will see what the coming warmer season brings.

BTW- This was my Easter dress.  

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Notes on a Pattern - Vogue V1858

Today I want to talk about Vogue V1858.  This is one of Vogue's latest pattern releases.  It is basically a princess seam dress with a curve "V" neck front yoke and a back yoke.  Nothing really extra special.  But it has a neckline that I haven't seen.  And that is why a decided to purchase the pattern.  

I considered this to be a relatively easy dress to make.  There is no lining, it has princess seams, and it requires moderate stretch knits.  On the envelope, it indicates a sewing rating of average.  That's okay because there is an invisible zipper and the front yoke may present a little bit of a challenge to get it just right.

Vogue describes the pattern as:  Fitted dress has shaped contrast neck bands, side front and side back seams, three-quarter length set-in sleeves, invisible back zipper, hook and eye closure, stitched hems. 

I made some changes: no invisible zipper and I hand-stitched the hems.  Simple changes.  

But first, as always, I need to make sure the pattern fits.  So, immediately I made my typical adjustments.  Only later to discover that they were a bit too much.  I started by cutting size 16.  I could have used size 14.

Below are my original adjustments.  

The FBA was spot on.  But all of the added width was too much.  

The swayback adjustment was good too.  This time I added the amount removed to the hip area instead of at the hem.  Now this area seems to be a better area to add the length back into the garment.  

Using size 16 in the shoulder area was okay.  But at the very top of the shoulder, an inch or so front and back, was too long.  I adjusted it before setting the sleeves.  So, there was no need to add in the shoulder blade area.  

The overall size selection was a little bit off.  This has happened with other princess seam dresses like Simplicity S1314.  I ended up doing a lot of tweaking to get the best fit in other areas of my body, resulting in huge seam allowances of 1" or more. 

Simplicity 1314

What I like:  the front yoke and princess seam.

Other changes that I made in my dress:  I hand-picked the zipper and added beads instead of installing an invisible zipper;  I added several inches to the length. The dress is on the short side; I hand-stitched the hems.

Right now, I can consider my dress finished.  But I was thinking of adding some more to the dress to make it extra special.  I thought of adding petals of silk flowers:  one at the side bottom hem area and another at the left shoulder.  Or a small panel of lace somewhere.  

This making it extra special feature may not materialize.  It something that I was thinking about. 

These are my notes on this pattern.  I really like the neckline and hope to incorporate it into another dress or top.  We will see. Lol.

Anyway, I hope this information was useful to other sewists who have similar fit adjustments as I do.  

Happy Sewing!


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