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.

20150821_202105

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: V-Neck Emery Dress

Guess what, I made another Emery Dress hack!  I know, I’m surprising no one with this.

V-Neck Emery

But this dress is special because it’s NYC bound!

V-Neck Emery

Yep, next Saturday, I’ll be shopping in the garment district!  I’m so excited, and can’t believe the trip is only a week away! Broadway shows are also on our agenda, so I wanted to make a new dress to wear.

V-Neck Emery

For this version of Emery, I re-drew the neckline into a v-neck, and added the skirt from Simplicity 2444.

V-Neck Emery

I found the fabric at a local shop.  I’m pretty sure its 100% poly, but I liked the texture and color.

V-Neck Emery

Because the fabric is pretty heavy, I knew gathers wouldn’t work.  So that’s why I used the Simplicity 2444 skirt. Now that the dress is finished, I’m wondering how a half-circle skirt would have looked.  I also made a tie belt, but am not sure if I like it.

V-Neck Emery

I stabilized the v-neck with twill tape, and it worked well.  It doesn’t gape, which is nice.

V-Neck Emery

I kept the finishes pretty simple.  The bodice is lined per the Emery instructions.  I finished the armholes by sewing them on my machine using this method from Colette patterns.

V-Neck Emery
V-Neck Emery

I also used lace hem tape.  I haven’t used this stuff in a while and I forgot how easy it is.

V-Neck Emery

The other bonus to this fabric is that it’s wrinkle resistant, and with the crinkly texture, any wrinkles it does get won’t really show.  So it will pack well.  Speaking of packing, I’m trying to plan strategically so I have enough room in my bag to bring fabric home!

V-Neck Emery

Along those lines, does anyone have tips or suggestions for the garment district?  I’m putting together a list of stores and a list of fabrics I want to look for. I plan to wear comfy shoes and am prepared to be overwhelmed – hopefully in a good way! 🙂

Completed: The Bird Dress (Simplicity 2444)

My last dress might not have turned out so well, but I’ve forgotten all about that because I love this one!  Seriously love it.  It may be one of my favorite things I’ve made.

Bird Dress

I think what makes this dress is the fabric.  It’s 100% cotton and I purchased it at The Fabric Store during the LA Sewist meetup.

Bird dress

To be honest, when I picked it out I didn’t even notice that it it had birds on it!  I thought it was just a neat geometric print.  Once I realized it was birds though, I liked it even more!

Bird dress

It’s not obvious from the pictures, but in addition to the birds, the fabric has a really cool rippled texture.  It’s like 3D fabric.  Some spots are thick and others very thin, to the point where it’s a little sheer.

Bird dress

After a lot of deliberation, I decided to pair the fabric with Simplicity 2444.  I thought the full skirt would really let the birds shine.

Bird dress

I’ve sewn this pattern before.  Even so, I had to re-muslin the bodice because my last fabric was a stretch cotton, and I knew I’d need more ease for this stable bird fabric.  I’m glad I took the time to do it, now I’ll be ready to sew S2444 in any fabric.

Bird dress
Bird dress

One thing I changed this time was to cut the front skirt on the fold, rather than have a seam down the front.  I like this so much better.  The skirt also hangs nicer and flows better when I walk.  Oh, and it’s got pockets!

Bird dress

I didn’t try to match the pattern across the back, but it turned out pretty good!  Happy accident, there.  🙂

Bird dress

Here’s the dress flat:

Bird Dress Details

I hand-picked the lapped zipper.

Bird Dress Details

Onto the inside.  I underlined the bodice with a light cotton, and left the skirt unlined.

Bird Dress Details
Bird Dress Details

The armholes are finished with bias strips cut from bemberg rayon.  It’s kind of a pain to make bias tape with this stuff, but I love that it doesn’t add any bulk.

Bird Dress Details

I also used the bemberg bias strips to finish the edge of my facings, and on the hem.

Bird Dress Details
Bird Dress Details

I didn’t have a matching blue belt so I paired it with mint green and a blue sweater to wear to work yesterday.  Next time I might try red accessories.

Bird dress

It feels great to have a sewing win after my last disappointment.   And really, how can I not be happy when I’ve got a flock of birds cascading down my dress?

Bird dress
Next up, I’ve got something in store for Tribute Month. . . .

 

Sew Dolly Clacket: Simplicity 2444

Here’s my contribution to Sew Dolly Clackett.  Whew…I am truly getting this in at the last minute (maybe 20 minutes to spare?), so I will try to keep this brief.
Simplicity 2444
To honor Roisin’s impecable style, I chose Simplicity 2444, and a bright (but sadly not novelty) print.  The fabric is a stretch cotton that I found at a local shop.
Simplicity 2444
This pattern deserves all the hype it gets, I love it!  I did have to add some darts to the back neck to get rid of some gaping, but that’s about the only change I made.
Simplicity 2444
Initially, I was going to swap the skirt for a pencil skirt, but after draping the fabric on my dress form, I decided to go with the full skirt.  So glad I did!  This dress makes me feel happy and girly.
Simplicity 2444
I tried to take pics outside my front door in true Dolly Clacket style, but the sun was not cooperating.  So this was as best as I could get.
Simplicity 2444

Here are some detail shots. I’m really loving the pleats on the skirt and the interesting waist darts.
Simplicity 2444
Simplicity 2444
Unlike most my dresses, this one is not lined.
Simplicity 2444
Simplicity 2444
I used self-made bias tape to finish the facing edge and the armholes.
Simplicity 2444
I also put in my first machine-sewn lapped zipper! Turned out pretty good, I think.
Simplicity 2444
Simplicity 2444
I also went with a quick rolled hem because the fabric was not taking my hand stitches very well.
Simplicity 2444
Thanks to Sarah for organizing this sew along, it’s been great fun to watch all the pretty dresses popping up!  And of course, congratulations to Roisin and Nic!
Simplicity 2444