McCall’s 7991 – Knit Dress

I’m always on the lookout for simple knit dress patterns. They are not only great for showcasing interesting prints but they are easy to slip on and go. I feel like I’m ready for nearly anything summer throws my way when I have an assortment of knit dresses in my closet. I have no plans to go anywhere in the near future but I’ve decided to sew as if I do.

This pattern caught my attention because of the wide band along the front AND the skirt. I didn’t have any knit dress that had a skirt with this much volume. I used an ITY knit for this dress and it worked out great.

I added a 1/2 inch to the length of the top. I usually have to add anywhere from a 1/2 inch to 1 inch to the top. I didn’t add any length to the band because I like to cut the band a little shorter than the pattern and stretch it slightly as I attach it to the top. I find this helps the front lay flat.

I added 3 inches to the length of the skirt. This would have been a shorty without the extra length. I like to line my knit dresses with swimsuit lining. I didn’t have enough to line the entire dress so I chose to only line the skirt.

These pictures were taken about 6 weeks ago. It was before my hair started showing its true color. I purchased a good pair of hair cutting scissors so I could at least keep my hair out of my eyes. I sent an email to my hairdresser letting her know that she doesn’t have to worry about losing a customer. I would rather cut the flimsiest/slipperiest fabric than my own hair.

I hope this finds you all doing well.

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McCall’s 7975 – Twist Front Top

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How are you all doing? I’ve been working from home since the middle of March. My work attire has pretty much been knit tops and jeans on a daily basis instead of the usual dresses I wear during the week when I go to the office.

I bought this knit top pattern a while ago after seeing some cute versions online. It is different from anything I have in my closet. The rayon jersey has been in my fabric stash for a couple of years. I thought it would work well with this pattern because it has a nice drape to it.

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I added 1 inch to the length of the top because I wanted the twist to sit at the waistband of my jeans and not above it. Adding an inch is a usual alteration for me.  I sewed a 3/4 length sleeve. It is the length of the sleeve without the ruffle (View C).

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This knit top is a great addition to my assortment of knit tops. I’m not sure when I’ll be headed back to the office but in the meantime this top will be on heavy rotation.

Here’s hoping this finds you safe and healthy.

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McCall’s 7999 – Knit Dress

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I like sewing simple knit dresses. I find them versatile pieces to have in my closet. When I saw McCall’s 7999, I thought it was just different enough from the other knit dress patterns I had that I needed to add it to my pattern inventory.

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The pattern is described as close-fitting. I compared it to a couple of other knit dress patterns that I like in order to determine if the fit needed to be adjusted. I added 1/4″ to the seams starting at the bust all the way to the hem.  It was just enough to give me a little wiggle room.  The other change I made was to cut the collar in half. As drafted the collar is folded in two.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a folded collar. This dress is part of my spring transition wardrobe so I wanted the dress to be comfortable for warmer days and I thought the folded collar might feel too warm.

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The fabric is a textured knit with great recovery. This dress was a quick project and is perfect for this time of year with its cooler mornings. Even though I’m working from home and mostly wearing casual knit tops, I find it comforting during these times to plan my wardrobe around my “normal” routine. Besides, this dress is so easy to wear that I’ll probably wear it to work from home one day.

I hope you and your families are safe and healthy.

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Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench Coat

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This  trench coat was on my to-sew list ever since my sewing neighbor Kathy brought the pattern to my attention. When I was about 11 years old, my sister had a midi-length purple denim trench coat. I’ve often thought of that coat over the years and knew I would make a denim trench coat at some point. This black denim has been in my stash for quite a few years. While thinking of what fabric I was going to use for the coat, I remembered the black denim and decided it was time to make my denim trench coat.

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I headed to Britex in San Francisco for the buttons and D-rings. Britex is my go-to store when I need buttons that are a out of the ordinary. The selection and customer service are wonderful.M_L03926

This pattern is well drafted and the instructions are very good. I sewed a size 38 based on my measurements and it worked out well. I added 1 inch to the length of the front and back above the waist. I also added 1 inch to the sleeve length. These are normal adjustments for me.  Besides following the directions for interfacing certain pieces, I chose to add interfacing to the lower front facings the pocket bands.

The coat is unlined. The inside seams are finished by binding them with bias tape. I chose to make my own bias tape using leopard print cotton.

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I probably won’t be wearing my coat anytime soon but I’m glad I’ve added it to my wardrobe. I highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for this style coat.

I hope this finds you all doing well during these uncertain times.

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Burda Style 06-2019-110A – Spring Tunic

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This tunic is my most recent Minerva Maker project. I chose this beautiful John Kaldor polyester crepe because I thought the print would look lovely in this simple tunic and these colors were wonderful for spring.

You would never know by looking at the front of this tunic that the back has a deep V. I like a garment with a little surprise in the back.

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You can see in the line drawings below that the tunic has straight sleeve. This fabric has such a lovely drape that I chose to widen the sleeves and gather them into a band at the wrist.

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The top is quite long. I removed 1 inch from the front and back. My shortened version is plenty long for my 5 feet 7 inches. Another change I made was to widen the band holding the back V in place. The finished width of my band is 5/8 inches.

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This pattern is perfect for showcasing an interesting print. The tunic was easy to sew. I didn’t refer to the instructions but if I had, they were very detailed by Burda Style standards. The pattern is featured in the “Sewing Lesson” section of the magazine and features step-by-step illustrations and instructions.

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For now I’m content to leave this tunic hanging in my closet until I’m able to wear it out somewhere with my fashion photographer.

I hope this finds you all safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves during these challenging times.

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Burda Style 09-2019-108A – Wide Cuff Knit Top

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I normally just dive into reviewing my most recent project. These are crazy times and it seems wrong not to check-in with you all. How are you all doing out there? I hope this finds you and your family doing well and staying healthy. We were told to shelter-in-place on Monday. I packed up my work stuff and have been working from home as of Tuesday. I’m set up on the dining room table while my husband is in our office. Why? Because our office is also my sewing room and I don’t have the kind of will power it takes to have a half-finished sewing project going and stay focused on work. I simply don’t! I enjoy my job but I enjoy sewing even more.

Pictured here is my most recent Minerva Maker project. For this top I chose this medium-weight cotton Spandex jersey. The color is called rose but it is a little more on the lavender side to me. I thought it would be a great transition piece for spring.

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The cuffs are what attracted me to this pattern instantly. The magazine has this to say about the top “… fine like a blouse but comfortable like a t-shirt”. I think that describes this top very well.

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This top was simple to sew and the instructions were fine. I chose to interface the collar facing pieces. I’m glad I did. I think it helps the collar stand up and keep its shape. I like the drop shoulder. The back has a 9 inch invisible zipper. I could not find an invisible zipper to match so I purchased a light pink zipper and painted the zipper pull with nail polish that matched the fabric.

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At a time like this I’m glad I have a hobby that can easily be done by myself indoors. I have more sewing plans that I’ll ever be able to sew. A little extra sewing time is welcome. I’m doing what I can to keep my family and my community healthy AND I get uninterrupted sewing. That’s definitely making lemonade out of lemons.

Stay healthy everyone! Feel free to share with me what you are doing for yourself during these challenging times.

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Butterick 6676 – Two Fabrics Are Better Than One

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When I saw this fabric on Minerva’s website I had to have it for my Minerva Maker project. I had never seen anything like it. The fabric has two layers of fabric with the exact same print. The top layer is a voile and the bottom is a mid-weight dress fabric. Together they create something that has a drape similar to taffeta. Below is a picture of my hand between the two fabrics. The fabric is secured every 4 inches or so. The Minerva website has a video with the fabric description that is very helpful in getting a feel for the fabric.

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I made View B without the slit at the neckline. I added 5/8 inches to the length of the bodice and 1 inch to the skirt. The pattern calls for lining the bodice but I chose to line the skirt as well.

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I was not sure what color buttons to choose for this dress. Any color I chose blended in with the fabric. The woman at Britex (my favorite store to buy buttons) recommended gold as soon as she saw the fabric and she was right. Matte gold buttons looked the best with the fabric.

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I like the fit of this dress very much. The pattern envelope never caught my eye, but I bought the pattern after seeing some cute versions of this dress from fellow sewists. My plans were to make it in a solid linen. I might still do that.

The print looks blurry in the pictures but it’s more of a 3-D effect in person. It’s very interesting to see.

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This dress was not in my sewing plans. It seems that has been happening a lot lately. I like having a plan for what I’m going to sew in a season but when a fabric inspires me as much as this one did, I need to run with it.

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