Completed: Simplicity 2444/McCall6833 Mashup

Ever have a pattern that you like part of, but not the whole thing?  That’s the story of this dress.

Bubbles dress

A few months ago I decided to sew McCall 6833.  But after three failed muslins, I gave up on the bodice.  It just wasn’t working for me.

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However, I liked the skirt.  I also noticed that in addition to the pleated skirt you see on the envelope, the pattern came with pieces for a 1/4 circle skirt lining that looked promising to use on its own.  And so I filed it away in the “to use later” pile and moved on.

I recently came back to the pattern and decided to give it a try with the bodice of Simplicity 2444, which is one of my favorites.  I used the M6833 skirt lining pieces, and I think it worked out really well.  I get the ‘fit and flair’ silhouette that I like, but the skirt is not overly full, and doesn’t blow up in the wind.

bubbles dress

Luckily I didn’t have to make any adjustments to make the skirt piece fit the bodice, the patterns matched up well.  I did lengthen the skirt by a few inches.  Because it was a lining pattern, it was pretty short as drafted.

bubbles dress

The fabric is stretch cotton sateen that I bought from Mood Fabrics in L.A.  I think I’ve said it before, but this is one of my favorite types of fabrics to sew and wear.  I like the body it gives this skirt. I tried to take care with the pattern placement over the front bodice, and I think the back matching looks pretty good.

bubbles dress

Here are some flat shots.

bubbles dress

The bodice darts get lost in the pattern, but they are there.

bubbles dress

bubbles dress

bubbles dress

~The armholes are finished with bias tape, and top stitched down.~

bubbles dress

~I did a small rolled hem so I didn’t have to hand stitch, or struggle to ease in a deeper hem.~

On the last night I was sewing this dress, the power to my house was scheduled to be shut off because the utility company was doing some line work.  I really wanted to wear the dress to work the next day, so it was a race against the clock to finish. I got it done just in time.  But wow, I don’t really like sewing under pressure. It was nice to know I can sew faster, but I think I’ll stick to my usual slow pace. :)

bubbles dress

Completed: Another Vogue 8379

After the success of my first Vogue 8379, I decided to make another.

Wrap 2

I made a couple of minor changes this time.  I went with the short sleeve version, and then shortened the sleeves an extra couple of inches.  I also lengthened the bodice by 1/2″. On my last dress, I thought the length was okay.  But after wearing it a few times, I decided it would be more comfortable if it was longer.  I was right, now the ties rest in a more natural spot.

Wrap 2

The fabric is an ITY knit that I ordered online a long time ago.   It sat in my stash because I wasn’t sure about the print.  It’s a brighter fabric than I normally choose.  But I think it pairs nicely with this pattern.

I’m particularly happy with how I got the colors to match up along the wrap side.

Wrap 2

And no gaping, yay!

Wrap 2

Here’s the inside.

Vogue 8379

Vogue 8379

I omitted the facings again. (I just turned the seam allowances under and top stitched them down.)

Vogue 8379

I wanted to make sure the ties were securely attached, so I stitched around in a rectangle. (Last time I only had one line of stitching holding the ties on and they feel a bit wobbly.  I need to go back and reinforce them.)

Vogue 8379Vogue 8379

I’m also happy to report that I did a better job finishing the seam with the tie opening this time around.  :)

Vogue 8379

I seriously could make several more of these dresses (and maybe I will)!

Wrap 2

Pattern Hacking and Mashing

One night about three months ago I was bored and frustrated with a failed muslin, so I started thinking about hacking a pattern that already works for me.  You might remember this picture if you follow me on Instagram.  Armed with some sticky tape and a few I ideas, I played around until I had some design lines I liked.   The line at the shoulder in particular stood out to me.  
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Here’s the final result:

contrast shoulder Emery

The bodice is based on the Emery Dress.  I eliminated the shoulder seam and added a contrast shoulder piece. I also added a waistband.
Shoulder Contrast Emery

The skirt is the pencil skirt from Gertie’s first book.  Surprisingly, the skirt pattern pieces matched up to my bodice pieces really well.  Got lucky there.  :) contrast shoulder Emery

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen that I bought at B&J Fabrics in NYC last fall.  I found B&J to be a bit pricey for me, so I only got this one piece of fabric there.  However, I did appreciate how clean and nicely organized the store was.  The solid black is from somewhere online.  (I don’t remember where.  I tend to remember all of my in-person fabric shopping experiences, but online is like a black hole.)

Here’s a closer look at the shoulder detail.
shoulder contrast Emerycontrast shoulder Emery

And the inside.  Nothing to fancy this time around.
Shoulder Contrast EmeryShoulder Contrast Emery
Shoulder Contrast Emery

I’m really happy with this dress, it’s great for work and is pretty comfy because of the slight stretch in the fabric.  One thing I would do differently next time is to add some light interfacing to the waistband.  It’s not too apparent here, but the waistband gets a bit saggy looking after wearing it for a while. contrast shoulder Emery
I’ve got another hack or two up my sleeve, hope to get to those soon!

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:

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And the inside:
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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.

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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: