Helen’s Closet – Blackwood Cardigan

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I just added my name to the LONG list of sewist who have made (and will continue to make) the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet. The are many reviews out there that describe how wonderful this pattern is. I concur and have nothing to add. The cardigan has been on my list to sew for quite a while but somehow always got bumped when it was its turn.

The pattern is well drafted and was a cinch to sew. I used a wonderful wool/lycra jersey from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, California.

I paired the cardigan with my latest version of Butterick 5526.

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For this version I drafted a separate piece for the left front band. I wanted to make a contrast band for the buttons to match the contrast of the collar stand. For additional details about the changes I made to this pattern, please visit my original blogpost for Butterick 5526. I like the relaxed fit of this style.

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I love the pairing of the Blackwood Cardigan with a classic shirt.

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Vogue 8952 – Sweater Knit Tunic

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For me this time of the year requires easy sewing projects. I like to always have a project going but my time is limited, so I opt to sew patterns that will yield good results without too much time or effort. Though I enjoy a sewing challenge, now is not the time to tackle them.

 

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I’ve seen some cute versions of this tunic online and decided the timing was right to sew one up. I made View A. I like the fit of this top very much.

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This lightweight sweater knit was a good weight for this pattern. I bought the fabric 1.5 years ago at Tissus Mode de l’Orme in Granby, QC.

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I found the neckline a little higher than what was pictured on the pattern. I would lower it a nudge if I make it again.

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A few years ago I made View B from this pattern. I had to hand-stitch the cowl to neck seam because it kept wanting to pop out.

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Style Arc Danni Dolman – Knit Dress

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I’ve had this Style Arc pattern in my stash for quite a few years. It never seemed to rise to the top of my to-sew pile. I wanted a new dress for Thanksgiving and because of the lack of time it had to be an easy project. This pattern came to mind.

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The pattern illustration is deceptive. The dress is pictured with full length sleeves but you can see that they clearly are not. That was fine with me because my plan was to shorten the sleeves. I wound up taking 2.5 inches off the length of the dress to get the hemline to hit above the knee. Once again the illustration didn’t quite match up to reality. I’m 5’7″ and, based on the pattern drawing, thought I might have to lengthen the dress.

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I purchased this ITY knit at Tissus mode de l’Orme in Granby, QC a couple of years ago on one of our trips to visit family and friends. I enjoy working with border prints and finding the best way to showcase the print within the constraints of the pattern.

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This dress reminds me of a style of dress I wore quite a bit in the 80’s except they always had sizable shoulder pads. The silhouette was perfect for our Thanksgiving dinner. I was comfortable throughout the meal and didn’t hesitate when the pumpkin pie came around 🙂

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McCall’s 7016 – Shawl Collar Knit Dress

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While in Granby, QC this past summer I paid a couple of visits to my favorite fabric store, Tissus Mode de l’Orme. I’ve always returned home with a suitcase full of amazing fabrics from this store. This past summer was no different. As soon as I saw this lightweight textured knit with 4-way stretch I knew it had to be a dress. I’ve had McCall’s 7016 in my stash for a while. I figured the lightweight fabric would lend itself well to the flounce.

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The crossover front was perfect for this lightweight knit. I plan on making the version without a flounce as well in a beefier knit at some point.

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Other reviewers have commented about the collar being too wide. I’m adding my voice to that observation. I meant to make that change and forgot about it. I like the look of the wide collar in the front but it winds up being too wide for the neck and back. It would sit much better if it was a little narrower.

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I added 1″ to the front and back. I’m 5’7″ and was worried the dress would be too short. I’m happy with the finished length.

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I can’t resist a good twirl when there’s a flounce involved.

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Butterick 6456 – Flounce Sleeve Top

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I’ve had this lightweight textured polyester in my stash for a couple of years. When I saw Butterick 6456 View D I figured my fabric would lend itself well to this style. It did.

There was nothing complicated about this pattern. I sewed it straight up without any alterations. It was a quick sew.

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I’m a sucker for an interesting sleeve though this one didn’t prove very practical over dinner. I like the slightly shaped hem on this top.

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I wore this top to see the “Contemporary Muslim Fashion” exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. I first read about this exhibit in Vogue magazine and was so glad to see that it was going to be in San Francisco.

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The exhibit featured 80 ensembles in a wide-range of styles. There were Muslim designers from around the world as well as designers such as Yves Saint-Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier. The exhibit was beautifully executed and did a wonderful job of showcasing modest fashion. Not only did I enjoy the clothing very much but the personal narratives along with the documentary photography enhanced the experience for me. I highly recommend this exhibit to anyone who has an opportunity to see it.

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Butterick 5559 – Scuba Knit Dress

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I’m still catching up on blogging the last of my summer sewing projects. I first made this dress a few years ago in a navy ponte. I wore the dress quite a bit and the fabric was starting to show some wear. It was time to let the dress go. That may sound a bit dramatic when it comes to discarding clothes but when I sew something for myself I develop a “bond” with it. The planning, anticipation, execution and challenges faced along the way all create a special memory for me and are part of the experience of sewing my me-made wardrobe.

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The previous dress served me so well that I knew I needed to make another one. This version was sewn with a medium weight scuba knit. I’m happy with my fabric choice.

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The only change I made to this pattern was to add 1″ to the length. The longest part of sewing this dress is marking the tucks.

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The dress is very distinctive with the tucks in the front and back but that might not stop me from making a sleeveless version. I really do like this pattern very much.

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Butterick 5950 – Another Summer Knit Dress

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Most sewists in the Northern Hemisphere are turning their sewing thoughts towards fall. Not me. I’m still catching up on the summer sewing I had planned for this year. I made View C from Butterick 5950 last fall and have wanted to make View A ever since.

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I used an ITY knit that I purchased a couple of years ago from Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC while on vacation.

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My fashion photographer caught me finding an uncut thread… And now that I see the picture I need to fix one of my seams which is 1/4″ off.

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I lengthened the bodice by 1″ and added 1″ to the skirt as well. Someone pointed out that the dress does not sit at my natural waist. I never noticed this until then. I had pulled on the lining to get it nice and flat for the pictures and by doing this I lowered the waistline. Once I move around in the dress the waist gets back in place. This ITY knit is very stretchy.

The pattern calls for a zipper in the back but I omitted it. The dress is easy to get on and off without the zipper. I kept the back seam because it provides some shaping. I also added binding to the back neck and armscye. The pattern simply has you turn and stitch. I prefer to use binding.

I also lined the skirt with swimsuit lining. Below is a picture of me wearing my dress inside out. I only lined the skirt because I didn’t want to mess up the front drape by having the lining interfere with it. I cut out separate skirt pieces from the swimsuit lining and attached them to the skirt prior to sewing it to the top.

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This is a simple knit dress with some great lines that create a flattering style.

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