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

 

Snuggly Robes for Winter – Simplicity 7417 Pattern Review

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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.

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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. 🙂  
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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.

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

 

 

 

A Simple White Blouse – Simplicity 1104 Pattern Review

I wanted a simple white top to wear to work and possibly wear to a dance competition.   I thought the Simplicity pattern 1104 might fit the bill, since I liked the shaping and the simplicity of the design.  I had just enough white Shantung Satin left over from a previous project, so it was meant to be.  As a pattern review, I used the the size 8 based on the finished garment measurements.

It looks like the picture on the envelope, sans the contrasting bias strip.  I was initially going to use black satin for that, but decided that it would be more versatile to forgo adding another color.  The instructions were easy to follow, but I remember going back to read the pleating section again to make sure I was doing it properly.  I lined it with leftover white Sassy Satin from another project.

I will most likely make this again, and possibly the dress version.  I actually made this top some time ago, but was undecided as to whether I wanted to move the zipper from the back to the side. Why? Because I can zip it fine, but for some reason I can not reach around enough to unzip it without help or a pair of pliers.  It wasn’t worth the time and effort to me to unpick the seams and all the understitching in the armhole, and my fabric and lining like to fray.  So, I will either be asking for help, or using pliers.  On the next version I may use a shorter zipper and a button at the top for a slight keyhole look at the back.

I Made A Jumper and I Like It – Simplicity 1325 Pattern Review

Yep, for some reason I made a jumper.  I picked up Simplicity 1325 sometime ago on sale.  The pattern kept calling to me from my stash, probably because of the V-neck. I haven’t made the shirt from the pattern yet, but I plan to soon.  I wore a sweater with it for pictures since it was around 50-60 degrees that day.  Look my jumper even has pockets!

As a pattern review, I made View C in a size 6.  The instructions were easy to follow, and I actually followed every one in order without alterations. 🙂 I even followed the one to slipstitch the lining down (instead of stitching in the ditch, lol)! I used an odd knit I picked up from Hancock Fabrics that only stretches on the bias, and had black flocking until I washed it.  So if you see it at the store and love it, know that the flocking will end up in your lint trap if you put it in the dryer.

This was also my first time doing a lapped zip, per the instructions instead of an invisible zip.  I had to run to Walmart to go get a regular one, it appears I  only stash invisibles :).  I don’t know why my photographer didn’t flip the lap down after I took off my jacket, but hey now you can see it. 🙂  All in all, this is a nice pattern to put together and will be useful to alter for your own ideas.

 

A Simple Velvet Dress – Simplicity 1018 Pattern Review

Another velvet dress you ask?  Yes, this is the last one for now.  I wanted to choose a simple pattern to showcase the designs embossed in the velvet I found.  Simplicity 1018 seemed to fit the bill and it was a relatively simple sew.  Between work and dance competitions it took me a month to get around to writing the blog post, sorry about that.

As a pattern review I made View A, without the elastic in the sleeves.  The instructions were easy, however I deviated from them on the seam allowances and hem depth.  I used a 3/8″ seam allowance instead of 5/8″ just to make sure as much of my pretty sparkly flowers would show as possible. I also used a narrow hem of about 1/4″ for the sleeves and skirt. I think it would have been too short (on me, I’m 5’8″) had I taken the full hem, and the sleeves were definitely too short. I knew they weren’t long enough prior to cutting and I intended to extend them when I cut the pieces out, but I cut on autopilot and only remembered after I cut the last piece.
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If needed I would sew it again.  It’s a nice, simple dress pattern. I would however, extend the sleeves to full length, were I to make it again. I would also measure the length I would want and adjust the pattern accordingly instead of going by the cutting lines. I’m too tall for this one straight out of the envelope.