Tropical Print Birthday Dress – Inspired by McCalls 6887

Look, it’s my birthday dress! I’m posting this a month late (sorry), and I didn’t wear it on my birthday (I was at a dance event), but I did wear it to my birthday dinner two days before.  As I walked into the restaurant a girl gave me a compliment on it and said she wanted one, so I consider that #winning.  That tropical print knit fabric was found on FabricMart Fabrics website.  I saw it and knew I had to have it, it represented the vacation I haven’t taken yet this year, LOL.  I decided to make McCalls 6887, again.  I made it in the straight skirt version the first time, as you can see here.

As a pattern review, I made a modification of the full skirted version of the McCalls 6887.  Since I used a knit on a pattern made for woven fabric there were a few modifications that needed to be made.  The tropical print is lightweight so I underlined it in a heavier black knit (also from FabricMart Fabrics).  I initially made the size 6 in the woven so I made it smaller for the knit.  I deepened the neckline, and moved the section that crosses the back down 3/4″.  Since my version is not lined, in order to finish the neckline, armholes, cutout, and hem I turned over and stitched.

Yay for the birthday dress!  What do you think?

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. 🙂

Shorts with Pockets – New Look 6100 Pattern Review

FYI, I wrote this last year and never took pictures so sorry in advance.  Spring and Summer are almost here and I want/need more shorts. Since I’ve been sewing so much I decided to try my hand at making them instead of buying them.    I found the New Look 6100 pattern, and decided to purchase it.  Next we need fabric, right?  I wanted something substantial, yet soft.  On a whim at lunch one Friday, I stopped by a local fabric shop that caters to bridal customers (unfortunately this shop has since closed 😦 ).  I found this white satin in their remnant bin, it certainly fit the requirements of stiff yet soft at the same time.

As a pattern review, I used View A from the envelope.  This pattern is straightforward and the instructions are clear.  I don’t wear belts, so I omitted the carriers and tie. I interfaced the waistband with fusible interfacing instead of organza.  🙂 I have to admit, I was hesitant about adding the cuffs, very hesitant.  But when I tried the shorts on during construction, I decided that the cuffs would be necessary for the shorts to be flattering.  I continued following the instructions and added them with no issues.

I like the crisp clean lines of these shorts. Even though they sit higher on the waist than I prefer (I’m a low rise kind of girl), I think they are flattering. I was excited about them after I made them and wore them to a WCS (West Coast Swing) dance that weekend.  Someone looking at them asked me to turn around slowly, and then said “I’m not trying to be rude, but where’s the zipper?”  I showed them the side and said, “It’s invisible!”  Think that means I inserted it well enough? LOL FYI, the top they are pictured with is Lekala 5665, which I made this week, and the review can be read here.

Cute Pink Crop Top – Lekala 5665 Pattern Review

So I decided to try my hand at Lekala Patterns, despite the reviews of poor instructions and complaints about pattern geometry and construction. I purchased a five pattern bundle, with three knit patterns and two woven patterns.  Let’s talk about the first one up.  It’s listed as Top – Sewing Pattern #5665 and is a crop top.


I entered my measurements per the measuring tape, with no fudging (and that was hard lol).  I used a Pink and White Pebble polyester knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics to test this one and it came out well.  The instructions were fine (a bit bare, but it’s not a complicated item), however I changed the process to fit the look I had in mind. I doubled the front panel so the wrong side wouldn’t show. I did not serge the edges, I turned them under.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I like this one, it was first Lekala pattern I’ve tried, and people are correct about sparseness of the instructions, but it did fit properly.  I will be trying the others soon, and will let you know what I find.  By the way, the shorts are New Look 6100 and you can read the review here.

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. 🙂

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.

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