Striped Crop Jacket, Oh and a Strapless Dress – Simplicity 1325 Pattern Review

I had an idea that I wanted to play with stripes, so I made this strapless dress with a strapless bodice block and a gathered skirt.  I actually made this in the spring and it was too cool to wear it alone. So off I went through my pattern stash, and pulled out Simplicity 1325.  I have made the jumper before, and the shirt a few times, with and without modifications (darn, I haven’t blogged about that yet.  Sorry y’all, i will do better about taking pictures.)  The crop jacket looked like it would be perfect, and as you can see above.  It is.:) I like how it falls open at the front.  The fabric is a polyester blend with a slight amount of stretch to it. 

As a pattern review I made View E in the size 6 without the ribbon detail.  I didn’t need to make any alterations.  I hemmed the sleeves with a 3/8″ hem and steam-a-seam.  Quite honestly I was too lazy to blind hem stitch this one, but that would have been my other option.  The facing finishes the front, and the back I left folded and stitched in the ditch of the darts so there would be no visible stitching lines.  This was exactly what I needed as a light jacket for this strapless dress.  Oh, and speaking of the dress, in case you want to see it, I’ll leave the pictures here. 🙂


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.

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.

Ooohh, It’s Alpaca! Faux, Of Course – McCall’s 7057 Pattern Review


Here I am again, sewing with fur.  I had my eye on McCalls 7057 for quite a while and collected it sometime ago.  I couldn’t ever find a fabric i wanted to make it in when I went to the fabric store, until fur went on sale again.  I was spending time with my family and my mom needed cotton thread to finish her quilted Christmas place mats, so we took a field trip to the fabric store.  I wandered into the fur aisle, while she decided what colors she wanted.  As I focused in on a beige faux llama, my mom walked over and redirected me to this faux alpaca in black, white, and gray, saying, “You know you like soft…”  Yes, yes I do like soft fabrics, and it was 50% off, so it came home with me.  After it had been purchased, I mentioned the label said it was faux alpaca and she said, “Like on American Gangster.”  Thanks, Mommy.

As a pattern review, I made View B in an XS, which was listed on the pattern as having a bust of 37″.  In the pattern drawings and photos it appears longer with the pockets higher up on the pattern than it turned out.   The instructions were easy to follow; I thought about interlining it with fleece but decided not to.  Since I used fur I eliminated all topstitching. I lengthened the sleeves by 3″ at the lengthen/shorten line prior to cutting out the pieces. I made a couple thread loops for the belt and I left my edges raw, except for the faced front pieces.

I would sew the pattern again. I would also recommend it to others, with the caution to measure appropriate lengths and check pocket placement for their individual needs.  I like this jacket, there are varying ways to wear it and the hood is actually deep enough for all my hair.   I got several compliments at work and people randomly rubbing my arm or asking to touch it.  One co-worker told me that I was super soft and cuddly.  I can live with being cuddly. 🙂

A Jacket For Dance – McCalls 7026 Pattern Review

100_3296_Fotor  100_3290_Fotor

I’ve had McCall’s 7026 in my stash for a while, I fell in love with the back shaping as soon as I saw it. I just couldn’t figure out what kind of fabric I wanted to use to make it.  Every time I went to the store looking for something, nothing jumped out at me.  I saw other reviews from people using lightweight knits for running jackets, but I get cold easily and wanted something a  little heavier.  I had some leftover red fleece in my stash and a free weekend before a dance competition so I made a muslin of the size 6 to test it.  I consider this muslin quite wearable, even without a zipper.

As a pattern review, I used a red fleece to make the the size 6 of View C (shown above and to the right) without the lace and trim.  The instructions were easy to follow, the pieces were well drafted and fit together nicely.  I really like the shape of the jacket, especially the back and the hand cuffs.  I didn’t use a zipper because I didn’t go anywhere that day and don’t keep separating zippers on hand.  I actually like it without the zipper and I love the fit and shape of the back.


This muslin has proven quite wearable. I wanted this jacket for the cold ballrooms at dance competitions. I’ve worn it to two now and it keeps me warm while I wait and if I dance in it before I warm up, it moves with me and doesn’t swing and hit my leader. I would definitely make it again, perhaps with the hood and a zipper for outdoor wear.

A Simple Spring Suit for Work – McCalls 7054 and 6844 Pattern Review

100_3201  100_3204

I finally decided go through more of the fabric I used on the vintage looking wrap Vogue dress to try out McCalls 7054.  I bought the bolt last year when I found it at $1 a yard. The pattern seemed simple and i made a fitting muslin months ago, and needed no alterations.  I also decided, at the last minute, that a matching jacket would be nice for work.  McCalls 6844 had rave reviews with people using knits (as instructed), as well as wovens (those rebels). So this review is going to be a “two-fer”, since it doesn’t make sense to post the same pictures twice.

The skirt and lining went together quickly, the pieces are all similar.  I do want to do the floor length version eventually.  That version requires 6 yards of 60″ or 10 yards of 45″ fabric, so it may be a while before I find one that A. catches my eye, B. has enough on the bolt, C. is inexpensive enough to warrant me purchasing it.  The skirt is comfortable and the fullness is below the hip, so twirling doesn’t reveal the panties, (or lack thereof for those of you of an adventurous sort).

100_3202  100_3212

I didn’t make a muslin of the jacket, I used the tissue measurements to determine which size to use.  My knit version would have been an extra small, and the version you see is a medium.  It also went together quickly.  For the future, in a woven, I would draft the sleeves slightly wider around the elbow and wrist.  However, the fit there as originally drafted would make perfect sense if I had used the recommended fabric type.  I did not interface the collar band, and am happy with that decision.

100_3196  100_3200

I think the patterns go together well and I would like to use both in the future, together and separately.