Completed: A Wrap Dress (Vogue 8379)

I’m very late to the wrap dress game, but I’m so glad I finally jumped on board!

wrap dress

The pattern I used is Vogue 8379.  I had this pattern on my list of “to buy” patterns for months, but every time the Vogues went on sale, it was sold out.  Then finally one night I got lucky and found a slightly crumpled copy shoved into the back of the drawer.

wrap dress

The fabric is an ITY knit that I ordered on sale from FabricMart.  Its got a nice fluid drape, is opaque and feels slightly spongy and not too polyester-y, like some ITY knits do.  I think its going to hold up well.  (Though I’ve only worn it about 3 times, so it’s probably too soon to predict.)

wrap dress

When I initially sewed this up, I followed the pattern and added the front bodice facings. That was a mistake. (I should have listened to the reviews of this pattern that mentioned omitting the facings.  I am stubborn though and thought I could make it work, ha.)   No matter what I did those facings wanted to roll to the outside. ;(

wrap dress

~Apologies for the Instagram pic. (btw, if you want to see more of my sewing, follow me over there, my Instagram feed is a lot more active than the blog. My username is MarrieB.)

I knew I wouldn’t be happy with the dress if I left it like that.  So I recut the front bodice pieces and sewed it up again without facings.  I just folded under the 5/8″ seam allowance and stitched them down.  Here’s what front looks like from the outside:

And the inside:

This worked great, and the front of the bodice is nice and snug and doesn’t gape.  Has anyone had success with facings on a knit dress like this?  I’m just curious.

The other trouble I encountered was sewing the opening for the tie.  I constructed the dress on my serger, which was super fast.  But the inside around the opening isn’t finished very elegantly.  Oh well, it’s not visible from the outside.
Wrap Dress

I had a hard time getting a decent flat picture of this one.  Here it is looking more like an old bathrobe than a dress.


As far as fit alterations, all I did was a forward shoulder adjustment. On the sleeves, I left off the cuffs and just hemmed them with a single row of stitching.

This dress is so easy to wear, I think I need 5 more!   Plus, I like the slight swish factor.

wrap dress

Completed: More Polka Dots

It seems that no matter how excited I am about a project, or how well it’s going, I hit a point along the way where my progress stalls.  Usually it happens at the hemming stage.  That’s what happened with this dress.  Things were going along fine, and then when all I had left was the hem, I let it sit for 3 weeks.  Ah, procrastination, you are my enemy.

blue polka dot dress

Anyway, this dress is Simplicity 1873.  I had passed over this pattern numerous times because I just couldn’t see past the dress pictured on the envelope, which I personally don’t care for.  But during the last $1 pattern sale, I went ahead an picked it up after looking more closely at the line drawings.
Blue polka dot dress
I didn’t make many fit adjustments.  I made a quick bodice muslin and could tell the darts and armholes were off.  So I pulled out my Emery bodice and transferred the dart placement and armhole shape onto the Simplicity pattern.  That worked pretty well, and I’m happy with how it fits.  Although the waist is sitting just a bit too high.  If I make this again I will lengthen the bodice maybe 1/2 inch.  (I was expecting the weight of the skirt to pull the waist down more than it did.)  The waist feels fine with a wide belt though.

Style wise, I did raise the neckline just a little bit, out of personal preference.
Blue polka dot dress

The fabric is a cotton sateen that I got at Mood L.A.   It has a slight stretch, but not much.
Blue polka dot dress

I wasn’t sure how this fabric would be in a full skirt, but it turned out good, I think.  It has enough weight that the skirt doesn’t blow up too much in the breeze.
Blue polka dot dress

The bodice is lined with Bemberg rayon.  Here are a few shots of the insides.
Blue polka dot dress
blue polka dot dress
blue polk dot dress

So, I though I’d try out something different here and post a little video of the dress.  I think it’s helpful to see garments in motion, and I hope it will give you a better sense of the fabric/pattern combo I used. (I got a little extra twirl out of the skirt it due to the wind.)  But this comes with the disclaimer that I’m totally not a model, and I’m fully aware I look a bit ridiculous. :)  Okay, so here you go:

Completed: A Quilt For Buddy

When the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge was announced, I knew I was in.  I wanted to make something for Buddy, but I wasn’t sure what.  He already has a couple of jackets I made for him, and he doesn’t need another one.   Then one Saturday afternoon, while I was cleaning out my scrap bin, it occurred to me to make him a quilt.

See, Buddy is the kind of dog that can’t have a thick fluffy bed.  He shreds them.  Every. Time.  So a blanket or towel usually serves as his bed.  (He also has a cot that he likes and can’t destroy.)  So I thought a small quilt would be nice for him, practical, and would get rid of my scraps.


Although calling this a quilt is a pretty generous description.  Both the front and back are just strips of scraps sewn together.  Even the batting is scrap, which I pieced together with a zig zag stitch.  I tried some free motion quilting, but it didn’t go well, so I sewed simple vertical lines.  And instead of binding it, I serged the edges.  I know, totally not good.  And totally lazy. But it’s a dog quilt — that may or may not get chewed up.  So, I decided serged edges would do.


The good news, Buddy likes it, and hasn’t tried to tear it apart yet!  (So maybe one day I will go back and bind those edges for him after all. :) )

Completed: Polka Dot January Dress

Thanks to daylight savings time, I now get home from work before dark, which makes taking pics so much easier.  So, here it is mid-March, and I’m finally showing you a dress I made in January for the “Polka Dot January” theme I hosted over on the Sewcialists blog.

Polka dot dress

I love polka dots.  Always have.  I can’t image ever tiring of them, to be honest.  Although I do try to restrain myself and resist the temptation to make everything spotted.  I was looking through some old family pictures, and noticed that I come from a line of polka dot wearing ladies.

Here’s me and my great-grandma in the late ’70s.  I think a polka dot shirt dress is pretty timeless, and it could be fun to recreate this dress with shorter sleeves, a shorter hem, and a smaller collar (or in other words McCall 6696, ha).

Polka Dot Ladies

And here’s my grandparents.  Grandma was rocking the polka dot jumpsuit.  Polka dots feel one part classic and one part happy to me, and that’s the feeling I get from this picture.  Classy and fun – which was totally my grandma.  I recently picked up a similar blue polka dot fabric, not sure what it will become though.

Polka Dot Ladies

Anyway, back to my dress . . . . this project started with the fabric, which is a rayon challis. Since I know the the Emery pattern works well with challis, I went ahead and made another Emery.  (No apologies, I love this pattern.)

Polka dot dress

Polka dot dress

To mix things up a little, I hacked the bodice to add an inset waist (using this method).  I added a light interfacing to the waistband piece, and it works nicely.  Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to pattern matching, so the top of the waistband certainly could look better. However, I like that this gives the dress a little more waist definition, without needing a belt.



The rest of the dress is sewn pretty much exactly the same as my prior Emery dresses, so I’ll save you the boring details.  ;)

The time change has also motivated me to get back to sewing in the evenings, which I haven’t done in a while.  So hopefully that will result in more finished projects to share soon!

Completed: Marianne Dress

As you well know by now, I love the Emery dress by Christine Haynes.  So when Christine released her newest pattern, the Marianne dress, late last year, I scooped it up. Here’s my version.


Marianne is designed for knit fabrics, and has a loose fit, and casual vibe.  I paired it with leggings, because it kind of feels more like a long tunic than a dress to me.  This isn’t a dress that I can wear to the office (except on the rare casual day), but I think it will be good for weekend wear, or traveling.


I didn’t make a test version.  I just picked my size based on my upper bust measurement, and then graded out a size at the hip.  I think it fits reasonably well, although I do have some pooling going on at my low back.  A sway back adjustment is in order if I make this again.


I did make a slight change to the neckline.  As drafted, I found it was a little too high for my liking. I realized this mid-construction.  So, I very unscientifically put my dress on, and drew a new neckline with chalk.  (I think I lowered it maybe 1.5 inches.)  Because this made the neckline longer, I had to recut a new (longer) neckband piece.  I determined how long it should be using the method shown in this video.


I also stitched around the neck with my twin needle.


The main striped fabric is a cotton/lycra knit that I purchased at The Fabric Store, in L.A.  I bought this with the intent to make a tee shirt, so I only had one yard.  Thankfully the fabric was really wide, and I was able to get all my pattern pieces to fit.  The contrast is a bit of left over ponte.  I knew it was a risk to mix the two fabrics, but I think it turned out fine.  The only thing I don’t like is that the cuffs are a bit thick, compared to the sleeve.


Speaking of cuffs, I didn’t have any buttons that matched, so I just left them off.  I kind of like it this way.  But I may go back and add them later.

Here’s a couple flat shots.

Bottom line?  I like this dress.  It’s nice.  But I’m not like, ‘in love’ with it on me, if that makes sense.  However, it’s really comfy, and comfy is always a winner in my book, so I still see it getting plenty of wear (in fact, I’ve worn it twice already).  :)  If you’re just getting into sewing knits, I think this would be a great first project.  The pattern is easy to assemble, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  So Marianne gets a thumbs up, even though it hasn’t knocked Emery out of her top spot.  ;)



Finally, a couple of unrelated notes.  First, I recently re-organized my project pages, so that they are hopefully easier to navigate.  Sewing projects are now organized by pattern company.  Check out the sewing archive here, and knitting archive here. (Permanent links to the pages are at the top of my blog header.)

Second, on the topic of affiliate links, reviews, etc.: If you’ve ever wondered, or cared, I don’t use affiliate links. If I’ve added a link to something, it’s just because I thought it would be helpful for my readers (or me) as a reference.  Also, in the event I do a review or have some sponor-y type thing, I’ll let you know, k. ;)