Friday, July 24, 2009

Simplicity 2923

Pattern Description: Misses Shirt-Dresses and Belt Project Runway Collection

For my dress I sewed the bodice with stand collar, puff sleeve with band, and slim skirt

Pattern Sizing: 6-24. I have no idea what size my dress ended up being. I cut a 16 in the hips and 14 bodice but took it in a lot all over.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? The jury is still out.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were easy to follow, I just had issues making alterations to fit my new figure. I had cut this out months ago after my fabric arrived- Remember this post?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? First it was hard to know how much fabric to purchase since you can mix and match nearly every aspect of this dress to create a look for you. I purchased 3.5 yards and had over a yard left over. I am sure I can make something else with it but that was still annoying.
I liked the princess seams on the bodice and I originally liked the idea of having pockets on my shirt dress. In the end the pockets made me look extra wide which is never a good look. I disliked how difficult it was (for me anyway) to match up my bodice and skirt seams on the side being that they were different sizes.
Maybe I have a short neck but my stand collar just didn't seem to fit right on me. I honestly got frustrated with everything and was certainly not happy with how the finished product came out. Mostly because after all of the hard work, remeasuring, recutting, etc that it fits me like a sack. I added a belt which helps some but I noticed that in the back, my seam is lower and isn't covered by the belt. I am not sure how that happened.

Fabric Used:Chateau Cotton Poplin in Red purchased from fabric dot com.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the bodice and skirt per my usual. I wish I hadn't shortened the skirt or at least known/thought to adjust the back split accordingly. Although the skirt hits me just below the knee, the split is higher than I feel is appropriate for work. I ended up with more gathers in various places in my attempt to give the dress some shape. I was having so many issues with the fit that I didn't dare attempt to make button holes so I just hand-stitched 5 snaps on the inside.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would not sew this again just because I didn't like the finished product or my difficulties with getting a good fit. From other reviews on PR others have had better results than I did. Personally I feel that while you can really make this dress your own, that there are just too many pieces to fit together for it to come out looking RTW. Part of the reason I started sewing was to give my wardrobe that custom fit and this as one of my few projects that was nowhere near that.

Conclusion: I am still wanting to make a shirtdress that is flattering for my figure and have decided to give McCall 5847 a try. It seems that the princess seams as well as cutting the bodice and skirt in one piece will produce better results for me. Of course I will post a review when I'm done. Perhaps someone with a bit more patience and creativity will or did have better results with this particular pattern than I did.

Bottom Line: Fabric: Purchased 3.5 yds at $2.49/yd but only used about 2
  • 2 yds @ $2.49/yd=$4.98
  • Notions: facing, thread, and snaps from my stash.
Total ~$6.00

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Simplicity 2896

Pattern Description: Misses & Miss Petite Dress, Jacket, Pants, Shorts and Tie Belt

I made the dress which is view A.

Pattern Sizing: 6-24. I cut a a 16 in both the bust and hips. I ended up having to take it in several inches on the sides but that's because I am losing weight and keep forgetting to adjust accordingly.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! I love the classic nature of this dress and how flattering it is. It is a simple dress that is really hard to goof up. I can see myself wearing this dress to work or a casual lunch.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't actually follow the directions when it came to sewing but I did skim over them prior to sewing and they were very clear and easy to understand.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love how well drafted this pattern was and how easy it went together. Even after having to take the dress in about 1 1/2" on each side it still fits perfectly. I worked on this dress over the course of a few nights but you could easily knock it out in a few hours. I have no dislikes.

Fabric Used: A stretch sateen fabric purchased from It was labeled 'stretch cotton sateen mykah purple'

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the dress by a couple of inches which is usual for me. After hemming it hits right at the knee which is perfect. I also only used an 18" zipper instead of a 22". My gathers are in the center front instead of on each side. I tried to keep the circles lined up but realized it didn't really matter. I did a basic overlock stitch on the edge of the facing for a clean finish.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do plan to sew this dress again in a color more suited for fall. I also plan to sew both the jacket and pants from this pattern since they have both gotten great reviews on PR.

Conclusion: A solid pattern that is a great wardrobe builder. I highly recommend it for ease of sewing, clear directions, and the classic garments you can make with it.

Bottom Line:
  • Fabric=$3.98 (2 yds @ 1.99/yd)
  • Zipper=$1.49
  • Pattern=$.99
  • Total ~$6.50

Sunday, July 19, 2009

McCalls 5662

Pattern Description: Tunics A, D, tops B, C, E and dress F have self-faced middle sections and bodice variations; tunic A, top B has self-lined close-fitting upper front and purchased rings; tops B, E have gathered, draped middle section; top C, dress F have looped overlay; top E has three-quarter length sleeves gathered into cuffs; dress F has three-quarter length kimono sleeves.

I made view D.

Pattern Sizing:
X-Small to X-Large. I cut a medium. It looks a little snug on Caroline here because I was attempting to stretch the fabric a little in the hip area before wearing it.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part yes. I recycled some fabric from a dress I knew I would never wear again. I loved the color and thought it would make a fabulous top for summer. Dealing with material that has already been cut can be a challenge but I think I did alright. I could not find any thread to match so I decided to use a contrasting cream thread around the neckline. It will match the cami I plan to wear under this top.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Ha! This top is not a difficult top to sew at all but the instructions left much to be desired. I would much rather have them copy and paste directions under each view so you could follow continuously rather than skip back and forth. I really could do without having smiling cut out faces of those two women. All the jumping around could get very frustrating/annoying.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern was very easy to sew. Despite my issues it still came out well and I am happy with the result. I will say that I would not dare wear this top without a camisole underneath.

Fabric Used: Some recycled coral matte jersey

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I had to play around with the pattern pieces to cut them out due to recycling the fabric. I somehow ended up with more room in the back piece than I did in the front. When I switched them around it looked so awkward that I turned it back around and put gathers in the center back. I also didn't add the facing piece to the midriff.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would like to sew this again in a print fabric. Possibly in view E or F

Conclusion: Very easy top that could be worn anytime of the year depending on the view/fabric selection. It went together in only a couple of hours which was an added bonus. Would recommend.

Cost to make: Recycled fabric original price of $3/yd
Used roughly 1 1/2yds =$4.50

For the complete outfit I paired the top with a cream cami, jeans, and these shoes. Total cost of the outfit was under $30!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

McCall 5852

Pattern Description: Close fitting, halter tops A, B, C with front lining, front neckline variations and elasticized back. I made view C.

Pattern Sizing: 4-18. I cut a 16 in the bust and graded to a 14 in the hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It did. This appeared to be a simple and straight forward pattern so I decided to sew as instructed (for the most part) and see how it turned out. I was very pleased with the result.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes when I looked at them. This was an easy sew that I finished in one night. I glanced at the instructions to ensure that I was doing the neckline right but other than that I did not use them. It appears that they are very good and easy to follow so a beginner should be just fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love how fun and flirty this top was. The fact that it was an easy sew that went together with no problems was a plus. I had no dislikes.

Fabric Used: A lavender crepe de chine. Next time I will use a thinner fabric that has a little more drape to it but I am still happy with the result.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't fully line the bodice due to the thickness of the material. I am still not great at binding armholes and what not so I simply lined about 1/3 of the bodice or to just under the bottom ruffle. I also did a loose overcast stitch on the ruffles just because I was afraid they wouldn't fall as nicely if I did a hem due to the weight of the material. I did narrow rolled hem on the bottom.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would like to sew view A with the rosettes but I may not get to it until next spring. I would highly recommend it as you can easily dress this top up or down.

Conclusion: Very easy and fun pattern to sew. Cute spring/summer top that can be worn for a number of occasions.

Bottom Line:
1.5 yards of fabric @$1.95/yd=$2.93
Elastic from my stash
thread from my stash
=roughly $3

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Cozumel Dress AKA Simplicity 3503

Pattern Description:
Misses Day or Evening Knit Dress or Gown

Pattern Sizing:
6-22. I initially cut a 14 bodice and 16 skirt but once I started assembly and saw how much ease there was, it ended up being a 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes. I made view E without the jeweled neckline

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. I had no trouble making this dress. At some point I ceased to refer to the directions. Construction was a breeze.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The pattern was well drafted although there is a ton of ease. Even after I had to go back in and take in the sides, everything still went together very well. I would definately recommend cutting at least one size smaller than your usual. My favorite part of this dress is the neckline. It is very flattering and appropriate for a number of occassions.

Fabric Used:
A slinky turquoise fabric from denver. I call it my "Cozumel Dress' just because the color reminds me of the gorgeous azure waters there.
Once assembled the dress was on the heavy side due to the weight of the fabric. I ended up topstitching the neckline all the way around to keep it flat.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't do a FBA because of the stretch of the fabric. I ended up not having as many bust gathers as on the envelope but it still came out well. I also omitted the pockets-I didn't think they were necessary with the fabric or for look I was going for. Finally I chopped about5-6 inches off the skirt. I initially shortened the skirt by about 3 inches before cutting and still had to take off at least 2 more when it was done. I have to wear this dress with heels but it floats around the ankles which I love.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't know that I will sew view E again but I definitely want to sew view A.

Conclusion: I really like this pattern and am very pleased with the result. I wanted another maxi dress and this pattern allowed me to give simplicity 3803 a break! LOL. I highly recommend it.

LOL, and yes I was in World Market posing for pictures.

Bottom Line:
Fabric: 2.5 yds @$4=$10
Notions: facing and thread from my stash
Total $10!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thai Food

Random post but I love love love Thai Food. We live in the suburbs and there are no real ethnic places to get authentic Thai or even Indian food. On a quick trip to VA we were able to get out and get some yummy Thai food which made me very happy. This is a pic of my shrimp pad thai. I usually get chicken but DH had the panang which was delish so I decided to switch it up. We capped off the evening by watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Say what you want but I enjoyed it a lot a lot a lot.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Works in Progress

I can't believe I have been MIA from posting for almost 2 months-oh, wait yes I can. I have been super busy with work, travel, achieving some personal goals. I hadn't been on my serger or sewing machine for weeks and was too busy to even feel sad about it. At any rate things have calmed down a bit and I am back to sewing up a storm. True to form I have several projects going on. I'm working on simplicity 3503 in a slinky turquoise fabric that has been so much fun to work with. I am also working on 3803 for one of my best friends. She saw my safari version and loved it so I'm making one for her as a late birthday present. I will also be working on McCall's 5852. I saw Erica B.'s version and loved it. Mine will be in a lavender double georgette. And finally a skirt in a floral print in M5951. We are off on another cruise in a few weeks so I want to have a couple of new things to wear. I can't promise I will get pics up this week but next week for sure.

Oh and I must give love to my Big Sister for making this awesome paddle for me.