The Matrix Dress – McCalls 6886 Pattern Review

I have so many complicated patterns, and few simple ones.  I finally got around to purchasing McCalls 6886, a simple knit dress pattern.  I mixed and matched view features for the look I wanted and that’s definitely part of the beauty of this pattern. I had a knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics that reminds me of The Matrix, and I think it was perfect for it.  I love it!

As a pattern review I made View F with the length of View C instead of the longer length on View F. I also used the long sleeves of View B and lengthened them by 2 inches (I’m 5’8″).

KODAK Digital Still Camera

This dress is so flattering and comfortable. It’s a great basic and I’m so glad I got a chance to try it out. I will definitely be experimenting with it. 🙂

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A Spring Dress in Winter – Butterick 5317 Pattern Review

This dress has been on my mind for quite some time.  Last spring, I bought this floral border print fabric as a floor cut from Promenade Fabrics in New Orleans. I didn’t have the full yardage because it had a piece cut from it.  None ofb5317 the patterns I had suited this border print, so after some perusing, I bought Butterick 5317 specifically for it.  However, when I initially tried to fit the pattern pieces on the fabric in my idea to have the bodice and skirt go from white to black, I couldn’t.  I didn’t have enough fabric to make it happen, so I folded the fabric up and decided to see if another pattern would catch my eye.  Months passed, and every time I looked in my stash, it stared back at me, desperate to me sewn and worn.  Last month, (I know I’m behind on posting, but it’s been cold and raining) I decided to try again.  When I laid the pieces of this time, I figured out a way to make it work.  Not the look I initially wanted, but as close as I could get it. 🙂

As a pattern review, I made View A, in a size 6.  The floral print is a stretch cotton sateen,  and I used a lightweight white satin from my stash to line the bodice.  The deviations from the pattern that I made were, I did not add the contrast band at the bottom and I used a narrow hem due to fabric constraints.  As a note, the instructions for the side seam pocket and side zipper are interesting.

I like this dress and am glad that I finally got to sew and wear it.  When I went to take pictures, a lady came over to tell me it looked like I was in a garden 🙂 Wouldn’t you know it, I was in a printed garden in a botanical garden LOL.

Strokes of Fire Colors Dress – New Look 6301 Pattern Review

While perusing Fabric Mart Fabrics, i stumbled across this knit and fell in love.  It reminded me of fire, for some reason, so I think of it as my strokes of fire colors dress.  I have had New Look 6301 in my stash for a while, so I decided to use this fabric to try it out.  I was most interested by View D, the sleeveless version with a straight skirt.  What do you think of the result?

As a pattern review, I made View D, in a size 8.  I noticed the ties looked a little short, so I cut the the size 20 length of them.  I liked the pleats in the skirt and I thought the pleats in the bodice were interesting, but ultimately I don’t prefer them.  I also think the ties would need to be longer for me to really like what they would add to the dress.  It was very comfortable to wear all day, though, so that’s a plus.  I’m glad I finally made a dress from this pattern, but I’m not thrilled with the result.  I think I just like other wrap dresses better on me.

An Elegant Day Dress – Simplicity 8013 Pattern Review

I love this dress! It’s definitely a lot of fabric and work, but look at it, how could I not?  The neckline, the sleeve, the skirt that goes on for days, how could I resist?  I simply couldn’t.  Simplicity 8013 had been calling to me since last year.  I saw this picture, and had to have this pattern. simplicity-dresses-pattern-8013-envelope-front The recommended fabric requirement for the floor length version is a daunting 10 yards of 45″ fabric or 7 3/4 yards of 60″ fabric, not to mention 3 more yards for the lining.  10 yards of fabric can be an expensive proposition and when I made the first muslin it didn’t fit out of the package, so I set this pattern aside.

Out of sight was not out of mind however, and I decided to pull it back out just in time for spring.  In the right mindset to troubleshoot, I made another muslin and encountered the same issue as before. The back was fine, but the front pieces weren’t wide enough at the waist to allow the seam to fall correctly. I corrected this by adding a wedge to the side seam of each front piece, approximately 1/2″ wide at the waist, tapering to nothing at the armpit.  Given the skirt is a quite fully gathered one (an understatement really, since I did use all four side panels), I didn’t add any width to the skirt panels.

As a pattern review, I made View D in a size 6, with the aforementioned alteration.  I used a blue, black, and purple patterned crepe from Fabric Mart.  It feels nice and was just the right weight. The dress is lined in a black posh lining fabric from Joann.  I’m 5’8, so I cut the sleeves and skirt pieces about a 1/2″ longer just in case they weren’t long enough.  I also french seamed the skirt pieces together.  When I gathered the skirt to the waist of the bodice, I noticed that following the directions left more gathering to the sides of the hips, and less in front, likewise in the back.  I like that detail a lot.  Instead of buttons for the cuffs, I used black hooks and eyes.

I really do love this dress, and think it was worth the time spent on it.  I’ve included a twirling picture below, because how could I not?  🙂

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

Flowers on a Winter Day – Vogue 8633 Pattern Review

How about flowers on a “winter” day?  It’s February in Louisiana and the high for today is 83 degrees so I decided to take the opportunity to wear one of the dresses I made this month to work.  (By the way, more blog posts are to come, it’s been too cold and rainy to get things photographed).    The floral fabric you see was advertised as peachskin on Fabric.com.  It has a nice hand and is soft, however it’s not as soft as other peachskin fabrics I’ve sewn with from other places.  The bodice is lined with a royal blue crepe back satin from Hancock Fabrics.

As a pattern review, I made View E in a size 6ish.  I say “ish” because since the darts and neckline fell in the right place on my bodice muslin, I decided to add 1/2″ to the side seams of the front pieces so that the side seam could be sewn and fell in the correct place.  I didn’t go up a size, so my fit is quite exact, which is how I prefer it.

The shaping darts are interesting and a detail completely disguised by the pattern of my fabric. 🙂 I really like the shaped collar on this, however the darts were unusual.  They aren’t all your ordinary triangle shapes, and there are four of them for each of your front pieces (bodice and lining).   In conclusion, I’ll leave you with a little twirl picture 🙂 Look at that skirt get up and go!

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Snuggly Robes for Winter – Simplicity 7417 Pattern Review

cotton-flannel-robe

Winter in Louisiana may not be as cold as other parts of the nation, but it still gets colder than I would like.  So, why not make some snuggly robes to stay warm?   I found Simplicity 7417 in my Mom’s pattern stash and appropriated it for my own use.

7417

I made View E in an XS as my muslin, and it is totally wearable.  View E has a hood, belt, patch pockets and cuffed sleeves in the shorter length. I used a black and white Cotton Flannel with music notes all over it.  I did not have enough fabric, so I made the pieces fit by shortening the sleeve and hemming it, instead of having the cuffs.  The pockets blend in on the picture (yay, pattern matching), but they are there and they are a good size.

I decided that I liked it and purchased Red Double sided Fleece to make a View F version.  View F has the same features as E.  It has  the hood, belt, and cuffed sleeves all in a full length version.

For both versions, instead of purchased bias tape, I made matching ties of the designated length from the remaining fabric pieces.  I also used organza as interfacing for the facings instead of fusible. The instructions were pretty simple.  In conclusion, I like both of them and the hoods  are deep enough for all my hair, which is a major plus. 🙂  
double-sided-fleece-robe

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Purple Suede Trench Coat – Simplicity 2311 Pattern Review

Finally, I own a trench coat.  Every girl needs one you know, why not have it in purple suede?  I know it’s been longer than a month since the last post, but I waited for the cotton flannel to go on sale for this one, so sorry so late 🙂

I’ve had the suede and lining in my stash for a couple years, so it’s about time it got put to good use.  I found it under the sale table at my local (now closed) Hancock Fabrics, marked down to $1 a yard.  I left it there for a couple weeks, and then one day I foun2311d the purple lining fabric on top of the table for about $2 a yard.  At that point I decided it was fate, something had to be made from it, and so I bought 5 yards of both.

Fast forward to November and as I was flipping through my patterns, it came to me.  It would be perfect for a variation of Simplicity 2311.  I loved the the lapels, the length, the belt and closure.

As a pattern review, this is a Project Runway design pattern, where you can mix and match elements. I made a Size 4 in the View B front, long length, regular sleeve, tie belt closure.

The instructions were easy to follow, but do include a lot of flipping back and forth between the pages if you’re making anything other than View A.  I used a purple suede with waterproof backing from my stash, cotton flannel (from Joann’s Black Friday sale) for the interlining, and a purple polyester lining (also from my stash).

As far as changes go, I made a few.  I omitted shoulder pads, interlined it in cotton flannel (for warmth, of course), added a hang loop at the interior neckline, and I had to add 2.5″ to the sleeve so that it would fit properly.  The sleeve has an ease point at the elbow. My extension was added above that so that the easing for the elbow bend sat in the correct place.  Adding it at the bottom would not have worked.  Oddly enough, even though the sleeve was too short, the pockets sat in the right place for me, as did the belt and carriers.

I would sew this again, most definitely.  I think it looks great, (if I do say so myself).  I love the look of this coat and it’s so soft and not too heavy to carry if not needed immediately.   It was hard to capture the color accurately in these pictures.  A couple pictures from in the sun are below.