Foxcroftesque Shirtdress

Apparently the Nordstrom half yearly sale is going on. Despite that the Rag and Bone booties I have been stalking with NEVER go on sale in black…ever, so says every sales person. So I was eyeing a Foxcroft dress and it popped into my head that I had already made something similar, to buy or not to buy? No, I guess not. How many striped shirt dresses need to be in one wardrobe, who am I Oprah?

So here is the McCalls 6885 summer version. I made the front and back into one piece and folded a narrow hem instead of finishing the hem first and then sewing together. I am generally too sloppy a cutter and sewer to get all professional on the finishing where exact measurements are required. This is a mystery fabric picked up at a thrift store that is light and airy, almost a linen but wrinkle free.

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Read pattern review here and below:

Pattern Description:
Shirt dress with multiple hem styles.
Pattern Sizing:
Used the smallest size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Nothing to dislike, great wardrobe builder.
Fabric Used:
Mystery fabric, a linen lend probably. All the lightweight benefits of linen without the wrinkles.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Lowered the back hem, omitted buttons on the front and sewed shut.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes!
Conclusion:
Easy to sew and versatile style. Lots of options for sewing and wearing.

Butterick 5601- Spring in Tuscany Dress

For our anniversary a couple years ago my husband and I were walking to a restaurant in Beverly Hills and I saw this in a storefront…

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May have been Prada or Oscar De La Renta but regardless my heart went a flutter and I thought want-it-need-it-gotta-have-it-get-on-my-body. I took a picture so I didn’t have to obsess over it all night, I could save that for later. I never looked up the price because if you have to ask you can’t afford it and despite my love of the look I can’t stand to wear blue.

So, I created a doppelganger and looking back at the photo I prefer my fabric. This Butterick pattern has a really lovely and slimming bodice.

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Read my pattern review below or here.

Pattern Description:

Dress with an interesting front bodice and triangle back ‘cut out’.

Pattern Sizing:
I made a size 6.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t use them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to sew together. Business in the front and party in the back.

Fabric Used:
A cotton tablecloth from Cost Plus.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I might have lengthened the skirt, I usually do just in case.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes! The inspiration for this was a dress I saw in a storefront in Beverly Hills. This fabric made it even better.

Conclusion:
Easy project, the shape of the bodice front and straps are slimming.

 

 

Ginger Jean- Low Rise & Skinny

This is not my first pair of jeans. When I made my first pair I was surprised how easy they actually were. The hardest part is the top stitching, which is INFINITELY harder if you use a bright gold thread and you have a silly little home sewing machine.  Jean material gets thick.

When I made my first pair I ripped apart my favorite pairs of pants (I bought two eight years ago so I had one to spare) and used the pieces as a pattern. This is when I discovered that for girls that are little in the middle but got much back that all waist pieces should be curved. Straight waists are for high waist pencil skirts, not jeans. Or maybe twiggy people but I don’t sew for them.

I didn’t need another jean pattern but saw someone online make them and became obsessed. I didn’t need another pair of skinny jeans either but somehow is doesn’t count if you make them yourself.

My M.O. when trying out a pattern for the first time is; don’t read the instructions, glance at the measurements, cut with a fabric you will wear and there is no such thing as a bad ‘muslin’ only a bad pattern. So I cut an 8 and was off to the races. Before I attached the waist I tried them on and they fit nicely in the thighs and butt but were too large in the waist. You can see below that there is also an interesting butt wrinkle going on, no idea how that happens.

I trimmed them in about 3/4 of an inch at the back and should have taken 3/8″ on the sides but waited until the waste was done, doh. Had I taken in the sides a curvier waist piece would have been nice for the low rise. The fix below drives me nuts but I couldn’t bring myself to redo the waistband.

The length is good, the cut isn’t so narrow that I can’t get them on and I can roll them over twice and get a nice cuff for wearing with wedges in the summer.

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I think my next pair will be in black with black thread and hardware since my pair of Lucky Jeans got ruined by the first wash, or maybe I will tear those apart and build a new pair….. uh, so much to do so little time…..

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Ginger Jeans review below and here:

Pattern Description:
Low rise skinny jeans. View A with B legs.
Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 8. I don’t think it has 1″ ease, when in doubt cut large.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I liked the pocket pattern, fly instructions and curved waist which is a MUST. I didn’t need the instructions but like to compare them to the big brands and these were very good for beginners.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think the pockets could be a little farther apart and lower.
Fabric Used:
Jean with very little stretch.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Had to take the back seam in 3/4″ and side seams in 3/8″. I have a 32″ inseams with heals so tall girls may want to cut these longer.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, probably not for jeans but for office pants. View B waist will be my next pair.
Conclusion:
If you haven’t made jeans before don’t be intimidated. I find these WAY easier than blouses which I can’t get to fit right for the life of me. Use a thread that matched your jeans (dark blue or dark grey) and make life simple for your first time.

Simplicity 1059 Jiffy Dress

So, I moved to LA. As in proper. So between the move and getting used to massive amounts of people out ALL THE TIME with nothing ever on the shelves I haven’t had much time to sew. Plus, the nearest Joann’s is about 6 miles, which is 20 miles in suburbia.

Jiffy dress, yes please! But, it was more than four pieces. In fact eleven (including the waist tie) plus a zipper. Ain’t nobody got time for that. To speed things up I cut the front as one piece with a scoop neck, back as one piece omitting the zipper and ditched the neck facing. With a serger that overlocks there is no reason to face a knit. To spruce it up I added a 2″ cuff at the end of the blouson sleeves. All that fabric in a little elastic lined cuff would be a let down.

It’s a sack but between the pleats at the neckline, cuffs on the sleeves and a belt for days you aren’t eating three Christmas dinner in a row you’re ready for a night out on the town. Or, at least to the grocery store in Santa Monica.

I tried to get some good shots of the neck pleat but this fabric is like a Magic Eye 3D puzzle, good luck finding it….

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Simplicity 1059 review below and here:

Pattern Description:
Jiffy brand retro style dress from the 60’s (maybe)
Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 6, since it is a tent.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, but I am digging the flowered version they have. Perhaps I will find a good knit for one with a plunging neck line, very Trina Turk.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t use them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I assume “Jiffy” was a play on getting it done quickly. I am sure it would have gone together quickly but I didn’t have time for 11 pieces and a zipper.
Fabric Used:
Knit, of some cotton jersey variety. All I know is knit and weave so all the options in the drop down menu confuse me.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
To speed things up I cut the front as one piece with a scoop neck, back as one piece omitting the zipper and ditched the neck facing. With a serger that overlocks there is no reason to face a knit. To spruce it up I added a 2″ cuff at the end of the blouson sleeves. All that fabric in a little elastic lined cuff would be a let down.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely! If you need an easy sewing win after a disappointing and difficult jacket experiment (not that i know anything about that) then this would be a good rebound project.
Conclusion:
Sew it, belt it, love it.

Vogue 8379- Swinging 70’s Wrap Dress

I love finding mystery fabrics at thrift stores, especially when I guess that they are vintage! Why sew something with fabric that you could possibly see at the mall, am I right? Fabric print and quality is what makes the difference between a dress from Forever 21 and a dress for DVF. Both can make a wrap dress out of a funky knit print but the quality of materials makes all the difference. And while I am a fan of DVF it seems the quality of their knit wrap dresses, printed on rather than dyed jersey, is more typical of F21 than the quality I would expect from a $300 DFV label. What’s a girl to do? Make her own for $5.99. Pattern on sale from Joanns + fabric from the thrift shop = score.  ♪♪♪ I’m gonna pop some tags, Only got twenty dollars in my pocket, I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up, This is f’ing awesome ♪♪♪

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Check out my review below or here.

Pattern Description:
True wrap dress with a slight 70’s flare.
Pattern Sizing:
Cut the size 8, I always cut the smallest size in wrap patterns or stretchy fabrics.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love how similar it is to the very expensive vintage DFV patterns, not to mention retail! The collar is a good proportion and the circle skirt makes it more flirty and fun for life after work.
Fabric Used:
This is a mystery fabric found at a thrift store. The fabric is very light but also stiff and has its own structure. It irons well so the pleats are crisp, the only downside is sitting and sweating makes the fabric crinkle.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None, other than I put a waist hole on both sides of the garment for some reason, doh.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely. This would probably be better in a knit rather than a weave since the directions tell me so. I am always amazed at how different fabric make totally different pieces. Next time I might even read the directions before getting started.
Conclusion:
Make it in a jersey, then tell me how it goes.

Butterick 5780 All dressed up with nowhere to go.

I was sooo excited when Butterick released this pattern, that must have been ages ago since it is out of print. What would Claire Underwood wear? This dress. Olivia Pope, her too. My only problem is finding somewhere to go. Being in construction my office is mostly business casual and when I walk in looking killer sometime I feel a fool. So, the next time we go to our fancy all white feel like you need to wear operating room booties lawyers office I will wear this and pretend I just walked off the set of Suits.

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Visit my full review here.

Butterick 5780

Pattern Description:
Dress with an interesting princess cut bodice to neck band fold.
Pattern Sizing:
Cut the size 6.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This was pretty simple to put together for a very tailored and structured look. The bodice is lined and if you properly finished all the seams this would take a couple hours. Given the fabric I just cut the pieces sewed/serged to whole thing together without going over raw edges. Never look inside my garments.
Fabric Used:
Thick knit with double layer lacey look from Levine Loft.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Zippers are not my friends, mostly because I am lazy, and since the fabric was a stiff, thick and stretchy knit I omitted the zipper. The dress is definitely easy enough to pull on even after I look about .5″ out of each side all the way down the dress.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Not sure how many dresses I need that fit in at expensive lawyers offices, especially since I don’t work in one. I will probably make the top with a thinner knit so it is not so razor sharp on the shoulders.
Conclusion:
If you work in an office where people dress business formal then this is the dress for you. If you regularly attend weddings, charity events, funerals or the opera then this dress is definitely for you. If your idea of comfort on the weekends is jeans with a tee, Netflix and Trader Joe’s movie theater popcorn find a less structured pattern and in an hour you can grab your remote.

Swimsuit McCalls 2772

An oldie but a goodie. A couple years ago I picked this pattern up at a thrift store in a size 10, cuz that’s what they had. I decided that my trip to Austin and Vegas would be a perfect time to dust this pattern off and give it a go. I was so obsessed with it when I finished that I packed this suit and another two top but no other bottoms. Which didn’t work out well since nothing else of God’s green earth could match this pattern.

This was very easy to put together and much quicker than I thought. This is actually my second version. The first was made with a super cute black and white hounds tooth pattern fashion fabric that ended being up too stretchy and thin. So I went and splurged ($10yd) on a fabric at Michael Levin’s after going to Mood on the west side and spending some time around downtown. A good swim fabric is HARD to find. I am not in love with the fabric but it was good enough to make due and seemed to be thick enough to keep the structure and hide certain things (you know). Unfortunately swimsuits are one of the most difficult items to make. Not because of the patterns but because the fabric, linings, trimming and closures all have to be SPOT ON for it to not only look fabulous but also for the suit to function properly. This get up is fantastic for sitting poolside or floating in the pool but inappropriate for diving or swimming aggressively.

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See the full review here and below.

McCalls 2772

Pattern Description:
Vintage style bathing suit, view E.
Pattern Sizing:
Size 10.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Easy to follow and surprisingly quick to put together.
Fabric Used:
Stretchy knit swimsuit fabric from Michael Levin downtown LA. $10yd and I used one yard.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I cut the waist high instead of adding an additional waist band. I lined the waist with 1″ athletic elastic and the legs and top with clear ‘bathing suit’ elastic (that is how is was labeled and sold at Walmart). The bra liner was left unsewn at the side seam so I can slip a bra liner in and out. I don’t like neck ties, they are bulky and uncomfortable, so I bought a gold slip ring at the leather store and sewed a fixed neck length. The bottoms have a high cut leg and wide cut bottom, so I may lower the leg and narrow the butt on the next round for a more modern look.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, however sewing athletic wear is difficult and very rarely do I find a way to make it tight enough to stay on but not so tight that it doesn’t cause fat rolls. The elasticity of the fabric, elastics, straps and closures are all very difficult to dial-in. Throw on top of that the weight of fabric wet or the drag through a pool while swimming and you have a recipe for nipplegate. This is a great bathing suit for sitting at the pool and relaxing, I just can’t think about diving or actively swimming. Maybe a smaller size and thicker fabric would make it better for active swimming.
Conclusion:
Cute for poolside and floating in the pool, which is all I usually do on vacation.