Simplicity 1612 – Knit Dress


I love an easy-to-wear summer knit dress. I can’t have enough of them in my closet. My girlfriend Lise in Quebec sent me this beautiful textured ITY knit for my birthday. I knew it had to be a summer dress.


I made this version of Simplicity 1612 as a maxi dress last year and loved it. I shortened this dress (View A) by 1″. The front twist is nice but I think the back is what makes this dress interesting. As with my previous version I shortened the back elastic by 1.5″ in order to remove the possibility of gaping.


The bodice of this dress fits very well and is comfortable to wear. The twist front comes together easily. This was a quick sew yielding cute results.


Here’s a picture of the maxi dress I made last summer using this pattern:


Simplicity 1612


Jalie 3461 – Eleonore in Montreal


A couple of weeks ago my fashion photographer and I headed to Quebec for our annual trip to catch up with friends and family. We spent a day in Montreal playing tourist and meeting up with friends. I wore my most recent Jalie Eleonore jeans.


I blogged about this pattern a few months ago. This pair is made with a stretch twill from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I sewed a size R but used the length from size S. I also used 1.5″ elastic for the waist. I used this width of elastic for my previous pairs and will continue to do so for future pairs.


There’s not much to say about this wonderful pattern that has not been said by other sewists. It is a quick project that yields great results. All three pictures above are taken in the sculpture garden outside of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The fake fly and front pockets are not obvious in this print. I like the back patch pockets. They give the illusion of “real” jeans.


My previous Eleonore jeans:


McCall’s 7319 – Maxi Dress


I love maxis! They scream summer to me. Maxis are definitely something that I have more of in my closet because I sew. I don’t think I would own as many if my closet was filled with mostly RTW garments.


My latest maxi is McCall’s 7319. It nearly wound up a wadder through no fault of the pattern’s. The crossover front pieces are gathered and end at the sides approximately 4″ below the waist. I did not pay attention to this even though I had it well marked. I ended the gathers at the waist. This made for a lot of gathering in a much smaller area than designed.  Once the dress was sewn I tried it on and immediately realized my mistake. Ugh! I spent one evening undoing 3-thread serger stitching AND a knit stitch without making any holes in fabric. The following evening was spend re-gathering and sewing. I’m glad it worked out because I’m very happy with the final result.


The fabric is an ITY knit from my stash. I don’t know how long it has been in there or where it came from. The details of the dress don’t come through well in the pictures. Here are the line drawings from the pattern:


Now all I need is an invitation to a summer party.


La Mia Boutique 05-2015-13 – Knit/Woven Top


My fashion photographer and I headed to San Francisco for a walking food tour in Japantown. I wore my latest project, a woven and knit top made from a pattern in La Mia Boutique, an Italian pattern magazine.


The jersey had been in my stash for a couple of years. When I saw this top in the magazine I headed to Britex to match the jersey with a woven print. I found a wonderful cotton voile from Italy.


This was a simple project that came together very well until it came time to sew the hem. I was using my coverstitch for the hem when one of the needles fell out. It jammed in the finger plate. It took my sewing machine mechanic (who also acts as my fashion photographer) 1.5 hours to remove the needle and extricate my top from the machine. The top had a 3/4″ hole in the hem. The only way to “save” the top was to turn up the hem by an extra 1″.


No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Britex. Great things come in small packages.


The meeting place for the tour was at the Peace Plaza in Japantown. Pictured behind me is the Peace Pagoda. When I searched the definition of Peace Pagoda online this is what I found: A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa; a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace.


McCall’s 7186 – Border Print Knit Dress



By now you may know that I’m a sucker for an interesting border print. Border prints and panel prints are my fabric weakness. I can’t resist them. This one was no exception. I bought it last summer at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, Quebec.


I was attracted to McCall’s 7186 because I liked the neckline and side gathers. In order to keep the front from sagging I overlapped the crossover more than recommended by the instructions. I basted the front pieces in place and then basted the sides. I continued  to do this until I was sure the front would drape in a flattering way rather then droop and create unflattering folds.


The pattern offers a sleeveless version as well as long or short sleeves. I shortened the sleeve by 2″ BUT added a 1″ solid black band. I also shortened the dress by 1.25″.

While reviewing the pictures of this dress I couldn’t help but think that it looks somewhat like a referee uniform. Maybe I should buy a whistle to wear as a necklace.


McCall’s 6571 – Wishing You Fair Winds and Calm Seas


I had this pattern in mind when I purchased this striped knit last summer.This is the second time I’ve made this top. For this version I added a couple of buttons on each shoulder seam. Besides how easy this is to sew I like the bateau neckline and the way the facing is sewn in with the sleeves. This keeps the facings neatly in place.


The vertical striped band on the bottom is what is known as a “design feature”. The hem has a slight curve to it. I normally straighten this out when sewing a striped fabric. I like a full stripe on the bottom rather than a partial stripe created by the curved hem. I forgot to compensate while cutting the front and back. I tried to straighten the bottom out once it was cut but one wrong scissor clip and that was the end of that. The top was now going to be too short to wear with any of my low rise jeans. I added the band for length. At first I didn’t like it but it grew on me.


Here’s a picture on the sailboat. There was very little wind but we still had a great time on our sunset sail.




Burda Style 02-2012-117B – Color Blocked Dress


I’ve had this pattern in my sewing queue since I first saw it in 2012. I was held up looking for the separating zipper in the correct length for the back. I never found one but the more I thought about it the less I wanted an exposed zipper on this dress.

Burda Style 02-2012-117b line drawing

I’m glad I omitted the zipper because I love the lines of the back on this dress and a zipper would have been a distraction. My fabric has enough stretch so that a zipper is not required. Besides leaving out the zipper the only other change I made was to cut the facing on the fold as a single piece. On the subject of cutting, it would have been easy to get the right/wrong sides mixed up with my fabric. The front pieces are all cut on a single layer.  I put pieces of tape in the corners on the right side of the fabric and wrote the corresponding seam number on the tape. I normally don’t do this with Burda Style but once the pattern pieces were cut they looked like a bunch of triangles and it would have been easy to get things turned around.



I had the black and off-white knit in my stash but needed the brown. I headed to Britex in San Francisco and found this stretch woven in the suiting section. It is the exact shade of brown I was looking for and has an incredible amount of stretch for a woven.


The directions were pretty clear for Burda. The dress came together without any issues. If you are not one to do a muslin I recommend basting the side seams to make sure the dress fits well before sewing the sides. The front pieces all have center front markings. These are very important for aligning the top front properly.

My expectations were met with this dress. I was looking forward to the project and now that it is done I’m very happy with the result. I wore this dress to dinner on Saturday and felt great in it. As my husband and I walked to the restaurant I caught a glimpse of myself in a store-front window and thought “I love sewing my clothes”.