Simple Tops For Fall – New Look 6108 Pattern Review

Do you ever buy fabric for a purpose, then change your mind, then go back to your original idea, and then change your mind, and then put it away and let it sit for a while?  I won’t lie, I do.  Last year, I intended to use this fabric to newlook-sportswear-pattern-6108-envelope-frontmake pants for a dance competition, but later nixed the idea and set the fabric aside in my stash for a later time.  Since I’m currently in stash busting mode, I pulled it out and put it to work.  So now I have two purple and silver shimmery tops from New Look 6108.

I picked up this pattern last year as well, but never got around to trying it out.  I made a size 4 in View A and View B.  The instructions were easy to follow but my copy had some printed mistakes.

View A: #7 says to stitch 1/4″ away from the edge and 1/4″ below the just stitched line. That didn’t make sense to me, since that would put it on the edge of the fabric, so instead I stitched  1/4″ above the first stitched line. Maybe if you’re using a zigzag stitch, that might make sense, however I straight stitched the entire shirt.


View B,C: #5 says for View C, but gives directions for twisting the shoulders of View B. It also says twist two times, but that only works if you consider 1 twist = 180 degrees. I tried it with two full 360 degree twists and it would not have looked like the pattern drawing or envelope picture.

I also found both patterns to be rather short on length, so instead of using the drafted depth of hems marked on the patterns,  I used narrow hems instead.

Either way, I like them both and will most likely make them again.  Happy Sewing! 🙂

A Velvet Jacket for Fall – McCalls 7254 Pattern Review

They tell me it’s officially Fall.  The weather here doesn’t necessarily agree, but I live down south so that’s to be expected. 🙂 So what’s Fall without a new, pretty jacket?  With the curvy lines of McCalls 7254 whisperingm7254 to me to make it, I couldn’t resist.  And in nothing less than red stretch velvet, because it’s almost red velvet season.

As a note, I purchased this velvet from FABRIC BRAVO- Better Service! on Amazon.  I ordered 2 yards and was sent 1 yard and 34 inches.  I emailed them about it and went ahead and used the fabric since I was able to squeeze my pattern pieces on it.  Lesson learned, though.

As a pattern review I made View E in an XS.  The sleeve on the pattern was short on me (I’m 5’8″) so I added 3″ to the length.  I debated on whether to interface the collar.  I eventually decided to do so, to ensure the collar would lay flat.

I like this jacket, the only thing lacking is pockets 🙂  I won’t complain though since velvet was not a recommended fabric.  It’s supposed to be for sweater knits.  The next time I make it, I may not interface the collar, depending on the material I use.  But until then I will certainly enjoy this one.

Am I Inspiration for a Michael Kors ad?

Two years ago I posted this blog post about a green fur coatToday, as I flipped through O Magazine I saw the second photo above.

White shirt, check. Blue jeans, check. Brown boots, check.  Awesome fur coat, check. Woman of color, check. 🙂 If she had big hair I would cry foul and ask why I couldn’t have just modeled for them too! lol

Maybe the stylist saw my blog, maybe great minds think alike, maybe Michael Kors wants to be me when he grows up, who knows? All I know is:

A. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

B. My look is in a top magazine.  Credited or uncredited, those who know me know I did it first. 🙂

C. I’m going to save this ad as a reminder to myself to keep being myself and making the garments I envision.

Have a great day! 🙂

 

From Scraps to a Shirt – McCalls 7356 Pattern Review

When  McCalls 7356 was released, I saw it and thought it would be interesting, especially in the C m7356and D views.  But I didn’t want to go buy fun and interesting fabric for it without a muslin first.  Besides, I’m also on a self-imposed “use your stash” challenge, so I decided to go through it and see what scraps I had that might be large enough to fit the bill.  Earlier this year I had to purchase two yards of red satin for the Fourth of July dress (since I went to Hancock Fabrics during their liquidation sale).  I managed to eke View A and the godets for View B (just in case) out of the remaining scraps from that dress.  I briefly contemplated using the leftover plaid from the Fourth of July dress as the contrast panels and ties as well, but decided that may be a bit much. Self editing is always a good idea! 🙂  I also used the red satin as the pockets and back pocket lining for the jeans below, but that will be for another blog post. 🙂

As a pattern review, I made a Size 8, in View A, out of Red Shantung Satin.  I omitted the piping and sleeves.   I also used the godets from View B as well, but they didn’t drape well once sewn, so I removed them.  The pattern has wide facings for the V-neck and the armholes.  I used them initially, but they were bulky and cumbersome.  This weekend I decided that the armhole facings had to go and I ripped them off ( 🙂 literally) and replaced them with 7/8 inch single fold bias binding that was leftover from a previous project.  It feels and looks better, on the hanger and on the body.  I also did not use the hem depth specified on the pattern and simply finished the edge and turned it under by 3/8 of an inch.

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I would make it again in the future, but with several modifications.  So, I’m glad that I made a muslin first. I would lower the V neck a little more, lengthen the top to a more visually pleasing length for my height, and use bias binding again for the armholes and possibly the neckline. I would also try to add the godets and ties if I were to use a much lighter weight fabric.

 

A Reminiscent of the Sea Dress – McCall’s 5292 Pattern Review

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A few years ago, I decided I was going to get back into sewing, and I picked up a few patterns to start with.  My mom cautioned me to pick 5292patterns of clothes that I would actually want to wear, not just items that looked quick and easy.  One of the patterns I bought was McCalls 5292.  Then, as it is wont to do, life happened, and sewing was pushed to the way side again.  Along with the sewing machine, McCalls 5292 was put away in a drawer and forgotten about.  It seems that even McCalls has forgotten about it, because if you search for it on their website, it doesn’t come up.  The picture to the right is from the website sewing.patternreview.com.  You can see my review of the pattern there as well.  Fast forward to present day, As I was perusing my patterns while looking at this lovely, lightweight fabric of green, blue, and purple squares (one of the polyester charmeuse fabrics gifted to me by my mother), this one popped up and the yardage needed matched the yardage I was given.  In my world, that’s a sign that this dress finally needs to happen. 🙂 So I made it 🙂

As a pattern review, I sewed View C in a size 10. I based my sizing decision on the finished garment measurements on the pattern. This is an older pattern that is discontinued and the sizing in the 4-6-8-10 range is smaller than most of my current patterns.

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I really liked the neckline and flared skirt, but my fabric was so lightweight, i decided to underline the skirt with the same fabric i used for the lining (a hunter green pongee lining fabric).  It was a little extra work, but I think it paid off in the finished product because the skirt hangs and wears nicely, without getting caught between my legs when I walk or stand.  Since the skirt is underlined, Instead of a 1-1/4″ hem, I used a narrow hem of about 5/8″. The only other alteration I made was simply for a clean finish on the interior.  The instructions have you machine stitch the midriff and midriff lining pieces together and then stitch them as one to the skirt, leaving that seam visible on the inside of the dress. For a cleaner finish, I stitched the midriff and skirt together, and then hand sewed the midriff lining down over that seam allowance.  Yes, I chose to hand sew of all things.  What can I say? My mom was right :), I like the look and feel of it better than leaving the raw edge.

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I like it and I’m glad I finally made it.  And look, I included a twirling shot just for y’all! I think it would make a cute peplum-style top instead of a full dress and who doesn’t like options? 🙂  What do you think?

A Festive Fourth of July Dress – Vogue 8972 Pattern Review

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I was invited to a wedding in Detroit, over the Fourth of July weekend.  I wanted to be weather appropriate and festive, and coordinate with my date, but instead of going dress shopping, I went fabric shopping.   He decided his tie and socks early on, and I decided to coordinate with them.  I also wanted a full skirt and a fitted bodice, so I dug into my patterns and came up with about four that might possibly work, then decided on one I hadn’t gotten a chance to make yet.  Vogue 8972, with it’s waist shaping and full skirt option, was my number one draft pick.  We went to Joann’s with no avail.  Then, on a last minute decision, we went to a liquidating Hancock Fabrics, and found the fabrics that said this dress was definitely meant to be.

As a pattern review, I made View D in a size 6 with an A cup bodice.   Oh yeah, let’s talk fabric! For the dress, the bodice – Red Shantung Satin, the midriff – Red, White, and Blue Plaid Cotton, and for the skirt – a Navy Blue that shimmers to Black Crinkle Taffeta. For the lining, bodice is self lined with the same Red Shantung Satin, the midriff is lined in a very lightweight White Satin, and the skirt is lined in Navy Blue Pongee Lining fabric.

As a design change/alteration, I used an invisible zipper and did not topstitch it.

I think it came out well. In future iterations I think I will scoop the neckline lower and possibly change to the B cup bodice pieces.  I also eventually want to make one of the sheath views.  By the way, the bolero is from McCalls 3033, with lengthened sleeves,  shaped back to match dress, and lined in plaid. 🙂  What can I say, I like to match. 🙂

Ride the Wave Dress – Simplicity 1375 Pattern Review

I once made a dress, in a pretty black and grey fabric, with gold chains on it.  I followed all the directions, tried on the dress, and it fit.  Then I tossed it into the laundry to be washed and worn.  When I pulled it out, the fabric had unraveled so much that a key seam was not repairable.  That dress was Simplicity 1375.  I still wanted a dress in that style, but the frustration caused me to put the pattern away for months.  I had a cruise coming up, and I thought this fabric (gifted to me by my mommy from her stash) would be perfect for it, do you agree?

As a pattern review, Simplicity 1375 is described as  “misses’ and plus size easy-to-sew maxi dresses with faux wrap & flutter sleeve with cold shoulder option. short dress can be faux wrap with flutter sleeves or deep v with 1/2 sleeves or cold shoulder.”  I sewed View D in a size XXS with a polyester charmeuse in greens and yellows with a dotted wave pattern.  This time to try to ensure I will be able to wear it more than once, I overlocked the raw edges after each seam was done.  My fabric did not hold a press well, so I overlocked the binding edges and stitched down instead of pressing under (as per the directions).  I  also altered the way the casing was done. I used both sections of the seam allowance and stitched them down, instead of following the directions to trim one edge and fold under the other one and stitch. I recognized (this time 🙂 lol) that my fabric is subject to fraying incessantly, so hopefully my changes will prevent this dress from coming apart.

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I liked this dress the first time, so I’m glad I took the time to make it again, and I’m glad that I took the time to think about the process beforehand to make sure it will last.  I now consider that first dress a lesson to not follow directions mindlessly.  Even in sewing we should critically consider every choice in relation to the whole and make the best decision from there.  I think this dress flattering, and hope to get a lot of wearings out of it. I do want to mention that the straight skirt does cause a long-legged girl like me to shorten her stride slightly. 🙂 but who cares?  Doesn’t it look nice? lol