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!


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