Monday, June 17, 2024

Soft Crepe Dress Simplicity S9820

Hello Sewing Friends,

I finally have something to share with pictures.  This Simplicity dress was made immediately after I finished my Chicago Frock tails dress.  In fact, I made it the morning before the Frock tails Saturday evening affair.  I really needed something to cleanse my palette.  Because I devoted many hours to making my Frock tails dress which in the end lack luster.  The truth is I made two dresses.  One trashed and the other a substitute for what I really wanted to wear.

Anyway, Simplicity S9820 helped me feel better about all the hours that I spent on the party dress.  To start, I had already made the pattern adjustments.  Anyone who has similar adjustments knows that this takes quite some time with every new pattern to use in a sewing project.  It was so satisfying to go right to the cutting table.  Sewing time was about 3.5 hours plus time to hand stitch the hem.

Pattern Description:  As usual, Simplicity gives the vaguest pattern descriptions.  My description:  Misses's knit dresses and shrug.  View A dress is an A-line mid-calf knit dress with shoulder and neckline drape details.  View B dress is a floor length A-line strapless dress with a front knotted long sleeve shrug.  Both dresses close with an invisible zipper at the back of the dress.

Pattern Sizing:  This pattern is available in  sizes 8 to 26, which is very nice.  I used size 16 with modifications.

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 typical.  Nothing difficult or confusing in them.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love the shoulder and neckline drape.  The A-line silhouette was a plus too.  I was mostly interested in making view A.  But after I finished it, I considered making view B at a later date.


I don't have any real dislikes.

Fabric Used: My fabric is from New Rainbow Fabrics on Roosevelt Road in Chicago,  It is a blush, crepe knit with a soft hand.  The stretch of the fabric is more than 25%.  It has great recovery.  I think it is perfect for this dress.  New Rainbow has this crepe knit in a variety of colors at a very reasonable price of $7.00 per yard.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I have quite a few changes that I made.  I begin by examining the measurements on the pattern front for the finished dress.  The finished bust measurement is only 34 inches.  


  • FBA - Often, for my size it's around 39 inches.  So, I feel this pattern runs a little on the small size.  Because the front and back patterns are designed sleeveless, I had to think about how to make the FBA adjustment without distorting the shape of the dress.  Below is an illustration of the FBA.  I simply slashed through the neckline down to the bust area continuing the length of the pattern.  This had to be done twice because the front pattern piece was for the entire front body instead of half the width of the body.   This adjustment produce a dart.  I decided to angle the dart slightly.  I hate darts that are straight across from side to apex.

  • Added width to the two back pieces - When I make a FBA, the front is sometimes much wider than the back.  Particularly, below the bust. Often, I end up sewing larger side seams to slim down the rest of the dress.  This sometimes causes the back to be even smaller.  And the side seams are off center along the side.  So to balance things out a bit, I added some width across the back.  Note:  My usual prominent shoulder blade adjustment was not needed because the back of the dress falls well  below the shoulder blades.

  • Swayback - There are two back pattern pieces.  I suspect the reason is not to confuse the sewist with the markings for each shoulder and neckline attachments.  Tucks were made on both pieces.  Note:  the amount of the tuck has to be added back at the hem to balance out the hem.  

  • Marking the Lower dress pattern pieces - I decided to cut the pattern pieces at the hem for view A.  Each piece is label with the respective pattern number plus the letter "B".

  • Front and Back Facings -  I adjusted the width of both to match the adjustment that I made to the front and back.

  • Elastic Around the Top of the Dress -  To stabilize the neckline of the dress, elastic is added.  I measured the elastic by first stretching it to relief any added tension.  Then I measure it like I would to take an upper bust measurement.  This is how I determined the length of my elastic.  Next, I divided it into four sections.  Starting at the right back for section 1.  Sections 2 and 3 for the front.  Finally, section 4 for the left back.  I stretched the elastic to fit each section.  The elastic was attached after the facings were sewn on.
  • Shoulder and Neckline Drape - I added about an inch to each.  I didn't need it.  So, I had to remove the added length to those pieces.

These are my adjustments/changes.  I hope this is clear.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I think I will make it again.  Probably for a holiday dress.  There is always a holiday party to go to.  And this dress is a quick make with great results.  And, yes I do recommend it to others.  

Conclusion: I am very pleased with how this dress turned out.  It was the perfect antidote for recovery from a "not so great" sewing experience.  Lol

Parting Photos:   Me wearing Simplicity Combo S8735 and S8637.  The pattern review is:   Easy, Breezy Summer Dress.  It is perfect for the 90 degree temps we are experiencing right now.


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sewing Updates

Hi everyone,

I haven't been able to get back to my WIPs. I'm trying to make something new for the Chicago Frocktails, June 8-9, 2024.

More later...,

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Notes on a Pattern McCall's M7978 - Blouse


Here's another project that is in the works.  I've wanted to make this top for a few years now.  Early April, I made a muslin.  And over two years ago, I did the tissue paper fit adjustments.  Sometimes I start and stop, start and stop, working on a project.  But this time, I hope to finish this one with a very nice blouse that fits well.  I wonder how many of us do that. Lol.

Anyway, this Notes on a Pattern details the fit adjustments.  My hope is that the information is useful to other sewists with the same/similar fit adjustments.  

To begin, let me start with the design/style of the blouse.  I think it is a good silhouette for me.  The "V" neckline is great for my inverted triangle shape.  The midriff gives me a little more definition at the waist and the ever so slightly flounce helps with the lack of noticeable hips.  So I think it's good for me.

A, B, C, D tops have gathered front and back, self faced yoke, button and loop closures, forward shoulder seams and gathered sleeve variation and band. B: Flounce. A, B, C: Cuffs. D: Sleeve band, neck band and ties in one.  The pattern comes in sizing groupings (6-14) and (14-22).  I used size 16 with modifications, of choice.

Most of my likes about this pattern is related to how it will help enhance my figure.  I also like the gathers and the fullness of the long sleeve view.  Additionally, it is a pretty easy blouse to sew, and there are no difficult constructions steps that I see.

The photos and drawing are true to the pattern.  So there are no concerns there.

Now, let's get to the fit adjustments.  I'll start with the full bust adjustment the front, a surplus bodice.  For the surplus bodice, I simply slashed and spread the appropriate amount for me.  To do so, I had to determine the needed amount of width and length being careful not to create too much fullness to gather under the bust.  I really didn't need to add any width to the front midriff pattern pieces.  

Next, for the upper back, I added a little length to balance it out with the front bodice.  The lower back midriff pieces, I did a sway back adjustment to remove additional fabric to pool at the lower back area, then adding the length at the bottom to balance out the hemline.

The last thing I adjusted was the neck band and the tie.  For this pattern piece, I needed to add some length to the neckband part only, slightly less than what I added to the front bodice.  Less to reduce the chance of gapping at the fullness of the bust.  The difference in the front bodice can be eased in.  See neck band/tie photo slash above the tie section of the pattern piece.

As for the sleeve length, I wasn't too concerned about making that adjustment for the muslin.  Most of the time it's a matter of adding an inch in the lower half of the sleeve.  Easy.

So, this is it for the Note on a Pattern for McCall M7978.  Now, I need to get to work on the actual blouse.

More later.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Easy, Breezy Summer Dress - Simplicity S8735 and Simplicity S8637

There is nothing like a floaty, breezy summer dress.  This one has been in the making for two years.  Last week I finally finished it, and I am glad I did. 


Here again, I decided to use two different patterns to come up with the style that I wanted.  I used Simplicity S8735 for the bodice and Simplicity S8637 for the skirt and the flounce sleeve.  

I decided to use S8735 because it included different patterns for the cup sizes.  So all I needed to do was select my cup size and tweak it a little bit.  For the skirt, it was very easy.  No serious fit adjustments; just a little tweaking.  I used size 16 for both.  Both patterns are over six years old.  But they may be still in print. 


Because the bodice of S8735 is above the waist, my dress also sits above the waist.  That's something that you need to pay attention to if you're splicing patterns together.  

What I like about my new dress is:

  • The wrap - I love a wrap dress.  Perfect for my body shape.
  • Princess seam - easy to make fit adjustments.  In this case, having the different cup sizes made it even easier.
  • The flounce on the skirt - Who doesn't love a full skirt dress. 
  • The flounce of the sleeve - I wanted to try something a little different.  This is a cute style design.

No dislikes.

The fabric is from Mood Fabrics.  They may not have it in stock.  It's been in my collection for at least 4 years.  But I’m sure they have similar cottons that would look great in a summer dress.


I'll wear this fit and flare beauty as soon as an opportunity presents itself.


More sewing projects to come.  So stay tuned!


Happy Sewing,


Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Another Comfy Outfit with Vogue V1914 Tunic and Vogue V1929 Pants

This week I'm continuing with posts of projects completed.  It real really good to be back at sewing on a regular basis.  I wanted to wait to post this review with photos of me wearing it instead of having it on my dress form.  Is it me?  Many times I feel the dress form gives a poor representation of how the garment actually looks.  Or maybe I just need to breakdown and buy one of the professional dress form to drape my new outfits on.

Anyway, today’s post is another comfy outfit that I made using Vogue V1914 and V1929.  I'll begin with the tunic.  This is the very first time I used this pattern.  I bought it because of the top-view B.  So here goes with the pattern review.


Pattern Description:   Slim fit V-neck cardigan has button front, and neckline facings.  Loose-fitting asymmetric tunic has long sleeves, uneven hemline, and stitched hems.  Wide leg pull-on pants have elastic waist with drawstring, self-tie, and stitched hems.  

Pattern Sizing:  The pattern comes in two size groupings (XS - M) and (L-XXL).  I used large with small modifications.  

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 easy to follow.  This tunic didn't go together like a typical knit top with front, back, and sleeve. The design lines change the way the a typical top would be sewn together.  So, it is very important to transfer all markings and to follow the construction process as indicated in the guide sheet.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the design lines:  the slight drape at the neckline and the back side drape, the uneven hemline, and the different sleeve design.  These elements make this tunic unique.  My dislike is the dropped shoulder seam.  I like the standard shoulder seam line because it looks the best on my broad shoulders.

Fabric Used: The fabric was purchased at New Rainbow Fabrics on Roosevelt Road in Chicago.  It is a lightweight ribbed knit that has a lot of drape and stretch.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  This is my wearable muslin.  Because of the many directions and sections to form the tunic, I opted not to try to make any fit adjustments.  Besides I didn't know how it would come together.  So once I had the tunic sewn together, enough to try on, I was able to see how and where adjustments could be made.  Surprisingly, I only needed to slim down the sides and the sleeves so it would not look floppy.  Also, one sleeve was slightly longer than the other.  Across the shoulder and bust area, the fit was good.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I may sew it one more time.  Yes, I do recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is an interesting tunic with unique style lines.  I enjoyed making it and will enjoy wearing it.  It is worth a try.  


Next is my review of the pants

Pattern Description: Top and dress are loose-fitting through bust and have asymmetric off-the-shoulder necklines.  Both top and dress include extra-long sleeves with thumbhole cuffs and stitched hems.  Below-waist pull-on pants have elasticized waist and stitched hem.

 Pattern Sizing:  This pattern also comes in two size groupings (8-16) and (18-26).  I used size 16 with small modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Pretty much.  I added a waistband casing for the elastic.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were typical and very easy to follow.  The pants sewed up like pajama pants.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked this style of pant (flared leg) better than the drawstring pants included in V1914.  My dislike was that the finished waist fell below the waistline.

Fabric Used:  Medium weight knit from New Rainbow Fabrics.  Nice weight and texture.  And no issues sewing it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made two changes:  lengthen the pant leg and added a waistband casing for the elastic.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I could use a few more pairs of pull-on pants using this pattern.  And yes I do recommend it to others.

Conclusion: These pants were very easy to sew much like the dress that I already made twice.  I love how the pants turned out.  I will get a lot of wear out of them.


Happy Sewing!



Friday, May 3, 2024

Many Sewing Projects All At Once

Good morning Sewing Friends,

I wanted to post a short update on the many projects that I am currently working on.  During the past few months, most of my sewing time has been on pattern fit adjustments and making muslins to check the fit to make sure it's good.  Often I do several fit adjustments at the same time.  Then once everything is good, I move to the next step of making the actual garments.

Today, I'm posting a few of the muslins that I've completed.  My hope is to post a "Note on a Pattern" and make the garment.  So, here is a preview of some of my upcoming projects.  

McCall M7978 - Blouse

Butterick B6915

Simplicity S9783

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Vogue Dress V1929 - I Made Two

This is almost an all photo post.  It's took my awhile to get pictures, even though I've worn both dresses.  More the ever, my focus is on the event or activity vs. taking pictures of my wearing a new make.  Within a week I made a second dress.  This version is exactly the same as the first.  So here goes pictures of my wearing Vogue V1929.


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