Sewaholic 1201 – Nautical Renfrew Top

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When I wrote about my last Renfrew top on my blog in November 2015, I mentioned it would not be my last. This pattern is so versatile you can’t help but revisit it every once in a while. I had a vision for this poly-lycra knit and the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern helped me achieve it.

The pattern offers three different necklines as well as three possible sleeve lengths, making it a versatile pattern to have in your stash.

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I added tabs and buttons at the shoulders to create epaulettes.

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I also added 2.5″ to the length to compensate for omitting the bottom band.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this will not be my last Renfrew. There’s a reason there are over 200 reviews on PatternReview.com for this pattern; it’s a GREAT pattern!

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Butterick 6166 – Border Print Dress

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It was 93 degrees at our house today. Summer is still around and I’m still sewing summer clothes. I’ve started thinking of fall but with this weather it’s not easy. Besides, I have a few fabrics that I don’t want to see in my stash next year. They’ve been hanging around long enough and need to get sewn up.

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It’s no secret that I love a good border print.  I had to have this ITY knit as soon as I saw it online at Fabric Mart. The dress was simple to sew and came together without any issues.

I like the front drape and figured it would be perfect for the darker part of the black/white print. The pattern has a front overlay which I chose to omit. I also left out the back zipper as my fabric has plenty of stretch and goes over my head comfortably. I lengthened the dress by 1.25″. I’m 5’7″ and found the original length a little short to wear for work. The back darts give it some nice shaping.

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My only dislike with this pattern is that the armscye is too low. I was so anxious to cut up this print that I never thought of checking before cutting out the pattern. You can see in the picture below that it could easily be raised by 1″.

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In conclusion, this is a great little summer dress but beware of the low armscye if you plan on sewing this pattern.

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Vogue 1027 – DKNY Knit Dress

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Do you ever put on a dress you made a few years ago and think “Wow, I really like this dress, I should make another one”? That’s exactly what I thought a few weeks ago when I wore the dress pictured below that I made in 2011. It was time do dig out the pattern and make another one. After all, isn’t that one of the benefits of sewing your own clothes?!!!

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Vogue 1027 is out of print but it received a lot of attention when it was readily available. It was even named one of the Best of Patterns of 2008 on Pattern Review.com

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The pattern is fairly simple to make. I added 1″ to the bodice. I’m 5’7″ and I often have to do this with dresses. The pattern calls for a narrow hem on the ties. The wrong side of my fabric would have shown if I simply hemmed the ties. I chose to cut out the ties as directed but folded them in half and with the wrong sides facing each other stitched to the markings on the pattern. Next, I proceeded to attach the ties as directed.  The pattern also calls for cutting the skirt on the bias, which I did not do. I found this an odd thing to do for knits. I folded the pattern piece for the skirt (front & back) in half and placed the folded edge of the pattern on the fold of the fabric. Another step I changed was omitting the elastic at the waist. Both dresses stay in place very well and are comfortable to wear without the elastic.

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I had this cotton Lycra jersey in my stash. I bought it last summer at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, Qc. It is lightweight and has great recovery.

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I’m so glad I revisited this pattern. It probably won’t be the last time.

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McCall’s 6886 – As a Maxi This Time

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I think McCall’s 6886 is one of the most versatile knit dress patterns to come along in a while. I find myself coming back to it when I want a great-fitting simple knit dress. For this version I lengthened the pattern to create a maxi dress.

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I made this dress a couple of months ago but finally got around to taking pictures. The fabric was purchased last summer at my favorite fabric store: Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC. I just returned from another trip to the area where I visited family and friends and stocked up on fabric.

I added a contrast binding at the neck. The pattern has you turn in the neck edge with a 5/8″ narrow hem. I usually add a binding sewn to the inside but this time I decided to have it show as a contrast.

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There’s not a lot to say about this dress. I had a vision of what I wanted when I bought the fabric and McCall’s 6886 came through for me again.

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Jalie 3024 – Knit Dresses

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I had a very limited amount of this red/black double knit border print I purchased last summer at Tissus mode de l’Orme in Granby, QC.  I wanted to use the border at the bottom of the dress as well as at the waist. I turned to Jalie 3024, a simple dress that can be sewn mostly with a serger. I made this pattern five years ago for a trip to Italy and have been meaning to sew more dresses from this pattern. With this border print I felt I had the perfect fabric to pair with this simple style.

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The pattern offers a choice of necklines. The cross-over “V” can either go in the front or the back (or the front AND back). For this dress I sewed view A without the flounce at the bottom. I added a 1/2″ to the length of the bodice. The neck binding is sewn on the inside for this view.

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This was such a satisfying project that I decided to keep going. This time I used a cotton/lycra jersey also purchased at Tissus mode de l’Orme.

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Instead of sewing the inset as a separate piece, I taped the pattern piece to the top of the skirt to create a single piece. Once again I added a 1/2″ to the bottom of the bodice.

I chose to  sew the top with the extended sleeves (View A) but use the cross-over ”V’ for the back (View B & C). To accomplish this I placed the sleeveless pattern piece (bodice for B & C) over the pattern piece with the sleeve (View A). You have to adjust the back shoulder seams to match the front (or vice-versa if you are putting the cross-over “V” in the front) but it is very simple to do by matching the center fronts/backs.

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For this version I sewed the binding on the outside.

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Here is a picture taken in Venice five years ago. For this dress I put the cross-over “V”  in the front.

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McCall’s 7543 – Madras Off-The-Shoulder Top

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A few weeks ago I made a top from McCall’s 7543 in a white eyelet and was every happy with the result. I’ve seen so many cute versions of this top popping up that I decided to make another one. This time I chose the tunic length. I wanted to sew the sleeves with the ties again but I didn’t have enough fabric so I went with the elastic casing.

The fabric is a cotton Madras from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley. When I was cutting out the fabric I was worried that the top might look like a tablecloth.

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I shortened the tunic by 1.5″. I am 5″7″ tall and found the original length a little too long for my taste. I like that the curved hem is finished with facings. They give a little extra weight to the hem and create a nice finish.

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This tunic is so comfortable. Off-the-shoulder styles can sometimes be finicky to wear but not this one. The top feels secure on my arms and stays in place as I move around.

If you are wanting to sew an off-the-shoulder top and are still debating what pattern to use, I highly recommend this one.

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Vogue 9184 – Paisley For The 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love

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The de Young Museum in San Francisco currently has an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I figured my most recent dress in this paisley print would be right in line with the exhibit. More about that later, first things first. Before making the paisley version of Vogue 9184 I made the version pictured below:

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I had this fabric in my stash for a few years. I saw a similar dress in a store window and thought of my fabric instantly. I didn’t want to break up the plaid so I omitted the front and back darts. I also cut the collar on the bias just because I thought the plaid would look better on the bias.

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Because I chose to line my dress I didn’t need to finish the armscye with bias tape as directed in the pattern.

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A few weeks ago I purchased tickets for the Summer of Love Experience at the de Young Museum. The exhibit covers art, fashion, and rock & roll from the years surrounding the legendary summer of 1967 in San Francisco. My Fashion Photographer and I often attend events at the Museum. We have a routine around timing and parking whenever we head out there.  I’m the type of person that likes a plan. Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out as they are supposed to. It all started with the parking garage being FULL and a stream of cars slowly driving around Golden Gate Park looking for parking.  Forty minutes later we found parking that should have been a twenty minute walk to the museum. I say should have been because that is what it would have been had we not been going around in circles. My former boy scout fashion photographer blamed it on the lack of sun to help him get oriented. I was wearing sandals that are fine for visiting a museum but not fine for hiking around a park.

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By now time was moving on and I was getting cranky. Once we figured out where we needed to go, we realized we would not have enough time to enjoy the exhibit before it closed. We also had dinner reservations which we could have cancelled but by then I had a cocktail on my mind.  We chose to forego the exhibit and headed out to dinner at the Presidio, which is where we took pictures of my dress.

For this version I sewed the darts as directed and omitted the collar. I lined the dress for this version as well.

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This is a wonderful pattern and I see more dresses in my future. I’ll be on the lookout for fabric to make the longer length with the side slits.

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Heading to the bar…

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