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

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