Tag Archives: dresses

I’m here, I swear!

It’s been a few months, and my sewing has slowed considerably. But I DID complete a few new things in time for an early-June trip to California: A pink seersucker version (for myself this time) of Simplicity 2591, and Burda 05-2010-114 tiered mini dress.

For this dress I used a Kaffe Fasset cotton print from Mulberry Silks, that’s a small enough print with that good rose tone that seems to be good for my skin tone:

I left out the zipper but kept the buttonholes, and lengthened the front bodice piece at the top and bottom for a little more coverage.

This dress was incredibly easy to make, and with our insanely high temperatures this summer I’m hoping to make this again.

Photos of both of these projects coming soon! Off to New York this weekend.. maybe there will be some time for the fabric shops?


Fitting Shell: Worth the $4

McCall was having a $3.99 sale on their website so I finally bought the fitting shell that I believe is online-only. I only tissue-fitted the bodice last night, but within a few minutes I finally realized where some things go wrong in my sewing! I have sloping shoulders, which causes the extra fabric between my bust and shoulders (you can kind of see it in the shirt dress photos). Easy re-drawing of lines in two places and it fit SO MUCH BETTER! Even with just tissue paper! This one simple change, plus noting that I have a high waist and a lower apex, has made me so much more excited about trying new, fitted patterns.

Fit for Real People shows how you can take your fitting shell and create princess seams and a load more — I’m eager to take my basic shell and make something new from it. I also finally got The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl’s Best Frock, which has great ideas about changing basic dress patterns into new dresses with lots of personality. The book seemed a little light on changing for fit, so these two books work perfectly together.

We’re expecting a large shipment from fabric.com in the next few days — bought 6 new patterns for SXSW & Spring wardrobes (not all to become clothing for me, but still sewing practice time for me)!

Simplicity 2473 – now, with tabs!

I finished Simplicity 2473 last night and wore the dress today to a holiday lunch. I decided to go back and add tabs at the midriff – which you can see better below! Sorry for the bad photos.

I cut a straight 12 but could have taken some out of the back, sides, and princess seams. That’s ok, though! It’s comfortable, warm, and has some sort of Mad Men quality about it.

It was fun to make, but I changed a few things since I added a lining. Still getting the hang of that, as I mentioned before…

Here’s me looking a bit crazy.

Next up: A men’s cowboy shirt for a friend of mine – McCall’s 4530.

Simplicity 2473 in the works

I originally bought this dark gray wool from Hancock for the pleated 10-2009-119 Sleeveless Dress with Pleats that was reviewed on PR a few times, but I’m glad I went with this pattern instead. It’s a Project Runway pattern so that means lots of fumbling with the direction pages, but it was all super easy to put together. I added a lining, definitely not how I should have — I realize I have no idea what I’m doing in the lining department. Hopefully that will change soon – maybe after making up some patterns that actually have directions for a lining.  I’ve just got to handstitch the lining at the zip and hem it up..

But then I went on ModCloth and kept seeing all these dresses with tabs at the waist. I think I’m going to go back and add two at the sides, to fall right at the bust points.

photo from ModCloth.com

Cute, right? It just needs a little something below all the angular action at the collar.

Hopefully this will be done tonight / tomorrow in time for a holiday lunch on Thursday!

Burda 09-2009-124

This is from Burda’s September issue, but I can’t find the line drawing on their site. It has shirring at the waist and arms, and shank buttons at the front. This came together really quickly, even though it was my first time in a long time using a plaid print. I was worried that since I started cutting out the pieces around 11pm that nothing would line up, but it all turned out fine.

The fabric is from JoAnn – one of their “Indian Summer” pieces I think. It’s a pretty loose weave and it frays really easily – the inside is a mess. Good thing you can’t see it!

For the shirring, I tried the Burda-suggested method: put down the shirring elastic and zig-zag over it, then pull. This gave me an enormous amount of control, unlike the last method I tried. Thanks for the suggestion, Mary Nanna!

More photos on Flickr.

Burda 07-2009-104 Shirtdress

Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-104 made out of a bed throw from Urban Outfitters. Yeah.

I bought that sheet thing because it was something like $6 and a lot of yardage. Figured I could do something with it. And here’s..something!

This was my first time doing shirring, and it went OK. The fabric has a really loose weave, and the shirring didn’t end up as tight as I wanted it to. I used the method where you put the elastic thread in your bobbin and use a straight stitch. I will probably go back and try again, or try a different method, because I feel like I have no waist in this dress.

Otherwise, it’s super comfortable, I love the rolled-up sleeves, and the collar & collar band was very simple. Surprisingly few steps for a Burda pattern!

I’m one straight stitch & two buttons away from completing Burda 08-2009-107 – the trench skirt!

simplicity 2591: the 3.0 party dress


Here is Simplicity 2591 made up in red silk dupioni for my friend’s 30th birthday! It was a great color for her, and the silk had enough shine to make everyone notice that she was the birthday girl.

I love this pattern. It’s deceptively simple (the pieces looked so confusing to me spread out on the table) and it comes together really quickly. I was staring at it for the longest time trying to decide how to shorten the waist, and ended up winged it, but it all ended up fine in the end.

Adding a lining was pretty complicated for me, since I haven’t done that in recent history and because the pocket pieces are built into the side front pieces, but it all ended up fine – using the back pieces as templates and building them off of the front and back facing pieces.

I’m planning on making this one for myself in a cotton print – The few examples there are on PR all look different, and all very pretty.