Vogue 9201 – Bow Tie Dress

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I originally purchased this polyester crepe georgette with the intention of making a blouse. The fabric was wider than I thought and I realized I had enough fabric to make a dress. While looking through magazines for inspiration I came across a few dresses with bow ties. I had not made a dress with a bow tie for myself since the 80’s. I was due for one.

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The pattern has you press the skirt pleats but I chose to leave them “open”. Besides being difficult to get a “hard press” in polyester georgette, I thought that leaving the pleats unpressed would add to the fluidity of the skirt.

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The back has soft gathers creating a blouson effect at the waist. The front has princess seams which line up with the pleats in the skirt. I think it all comes together to create a very flattering look. I like that the dress has a side zipper so as to not “break up” the back. I need to remember this when I’m making dresses with a zipper in the back where I would prefer a smoother look. It’s easy to move the zipper to the side if I plan for it during the cutting phase. So often I’m blindly following directions and not thinking ahead.

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This style of dress is classic and a great addition to my wardrobe.

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Butterick 5672 – Knit Dress for Fall

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It’s starting to feel like fall here on the Central Coast of California. It is still warm during the day but nights are cooling down. I have not switched over to sewing “warm” clothes because I still want some new work clothes for this time of the year.

I’ve had Butterick 5672 in my pattern stash for a few years. I would take it out every once in a while and try to find fabric that would inspire me to sew it up. I purchased this rayon-Lycra at Tissus mode de l’Orme in Granby, QC last Spring.  While planning my fall wardrobe I was finally inspired to make this dress when I came across this fabric. It was originally going to be a top but I’m glad I decided on a dress.

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The dress is lined which I like to do even when a pattern doesn’t call for it. It was a bonus that this pattern included the pattern pieces for the lining. I used swimsuit lining to line the dress.

I omitted the side zipper. My fabric had enough stretch to slip on and off without the zipper. I also added 1″ to the length.

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I think that the pleats create a flattering drape and add some interest to this simple design. I’m glad I finally made this pattern.

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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 to 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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