Vogue 9312 – Knit Summer Dress

Vogue 9312 is my most recent Minerva Makers project. For a while I’ve been on the lookout for a black and white print with which to make this dress. I chose a buttery soft jersey from Minerva that worked very well for this style of dress.

It’s not obvious in my pictures but there is a keyhole opening that gets created when you tie the front ties. The keyhole is not as large in my pictures because I cinched up the ties to raise the neckline. Loosening the ties lowers the neckline and broadens the keyhole. The pattern pictures show the keyhole more clearly.

I sewed View B and added 3 inches to the length. For reference, I’m 5 feet 7 inches. Adding the length was the only change I made to this pattern.

I like the depth of the neckline in the back. I sewed this dress with warm summer days in mind so the lower neckline will be appreciated. There is 3/8″ elastic encased in the empire seam. I often don’t find the elastic necessary in knit dresses but in this case I think it helps with the fit without looking like it’s gathered by elastic.

Fall is officially here but I’m still sewing for summer. I have a couple of simple pieces that I want to get done before embarking on my fall sewing. I have my first fall piece in queue waiting its turn. The weather here on the Central Coast of California will be warm enough to wear my summer wardrobe for a few more weeks so it’s still inspiring to sew for summer.

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Burda Style 02-2017-106A – Silk Flounce Top

I found this green silk in my stash while organizing my fabric a couple of months ago. I don’t know where or when I bought it but it was too beautiful to go back in the pile. I was determined to sew it this summer.

While going through my Burda Style magazines for inspiration, I came across this pattern and thought it would be perfect for the drape of the silk.

Fortunately this pattern was part of the “Sewing Course” section of the magazine. This section provides detailed illustrations and construction of the featured pattern. The top was not difficult to sew but I don’t know if I could have figured out how to attach the flounces without the step-by-step instructions.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for raising the back opening by a couple of inches. Now that the top is finished I realize the opening in the back would not have been necessary. The top would easily slip over my head without it.

I like how the flounces turn this into a fancy tank top that can be dressed up or down. It’s a great addition to my summer wardrobe AND I sewed up another piece of fabric from my stash. Woo hoo!!!

Fall is shaping up to be pretty much like spring and summer and it looks like we’ll be hanging around the house some more. Though I’ve started thinking of sewing for fall, I’m still inspired by my summer fabrics and patterns so I’m going to keep sewing for summer for a while longer.

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Burda Style 07-2020-114 – Boxy Knit Top

This is the first year that I don’t have a sewing plan. I normally have patterns and fabrics lined up and ready to sew. I like having a plan as I look forward to seasonal clothing needs, events, and travel plans. Though I have sewn a few items as if we were going to be attending an annual event, I’m mostly sewing whatever inspires me at the time.

When I saw this knit top in the July 2020 Burda Style magazine, I thought it had some interesting details. I’m still working from home so knit tops have pretty much become my work uniform these days.

BS 07-2020-114

I like the asymmetrical neckline and pleats. The sleeves are also interesting. They have a separate pattern piece sewn to create a cuff that you can make with or without contrasting fabric.


This top was made entirely with leftover fabric from previous projects. The body is ponte and the contrast sleeve bands are lace underlined with satin. I organized my fabric earlier this summer and found quite a few pieces that can be used for smaller projects.


We still have a couple of months of warm weather coming up here on the Central Coast of California so I’m going to keep looking at my summer patterns and fabrics to come up with my next projects.

In the meantime I hope this finds you safe and well.


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Vogue 1625 – Floral Crepe Summer Dress

This dress is my most recent Minerva Maker project. When I saw this beautiful polyester crepe print on Minerva’s website I pictured it as a floaty summer dress. I purchased Vogue 1625 last year but had never found the right fabric until now.

Every year my husband and I attend a fundraiser where local restaurants and wineries serve up delectable dishes and wonderful wine. Even though the event is cancelled this year due to the pandemic, I thought it would be fun to make a dress that I would have worn to the fundraiser.

Sometimes polyester crepes can be challenging to sew or press but that was not the case for this crepe. The fabric behaved itself very well. The pattern was also a pleasure to sew as I found it well drafted with clear instructions. I did not make any alterations except to omit the exposed zipper in the back. I inserted an invisible zipper instead.

I wasn’t sure about the ties at the waist. I sometimes think that ties on the back of a dress can look like apron ties. I’m glad I didn’t remove them because I think the ties go well with the style of the dress.

I like the high-low length hem on this dress very much. The length of the dress worked out well for me. I’m 5’7″ in case you were wondering.

My husband captured the picture below as I was trying to show how the flounce had great movement.The weight of this fabric was exactly what I had envisioned for this dress.

Without any event to attend at this time, I’ll have to content myself with tasting and sipping the afternoon away on our patio.

I hope you this finds you and your families safe and well.

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Closet Core Patterns – Pietra Pants & Shorts

While on my shorts making journey, I came across the Pietra shorts from Closet Core Patterns. I feel like I’m late to the party on this one. There are so many beautiful Pietra pants and shorts on Instagram. I’m glad I bumped this pattern to the top of my project list. The pattern offers shorts, wide leg pants as well as slim tapered leg pants. I originally bought the pattern for the shorts but after being so happy with the how the shorts turned out, I couldn’t help but sew the pants. I had been wanting to make some wide leg linen pants for a couple of years, so here was my opportunity.

The high waist and flat front are what attracted me to this pattern. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the elastic back waist but I like it very much. The gathers are nicely distributed by sewing 2 two rows of topstitching along the 2 inch wide elastic.

I have plans for more pants from this pattern. Next up, I would like to make a pair with the tapered leg.

I made the shorts before the pants but I’m in love with the pants so I wanted to show them to you first.

I’m continuing to add shorts to my summer wardrobe. I’ve sewn more shorts in the last couple of months than I have in the last 10 years. That is not saying very much because I think I’ve only sewn 2 pairs of shorts in the last 10 years.

The pattern measurements put me at a size 4 but my muslin was a little big on me. I came down a size and was happy with the fit. These shorts have a nice shape and are very comfortable to wear. The instructions for the pattern are detailed and easy to follow.There is even a tutorial on the company’s website for sewing the pockets. I didn’t need the tutorial but a novice sewist might find it helpful.

I still have one more shorts pattern to try before summer is over. Stay tuned for the Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts. In the meantime, stay safe and well.

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McCall’s 7967 – Knit Dress

I took a break from sewing shorts to make this simple knit dress. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to work from home since the middle of March. Though my work wardrobe consists mostly of jeans and casual tops, I’m enjoying sewing garments that I’ll wear more frequently once we’re all out and about again. The anticipation of wearing something to get together with friends or spend a day in San Francisco makes me happy and hopeful.

The gathered sleeves and neckline variations are what attracted me to this pattern when it was introduced.

The dress has a similar fit to McCall’s 6886 which I have sewn multiple times. I lined the dress with swimsuit lining. The fabric is a mid-weight scuba knit but I like a lined dress even when wearing knits.

The pattern has you finish the neckline by turning in 5/8 inch before stitching. I would normally make my own binding to finish the neckline. I prefer a bound neckline finish, but the dress fabric combined with the lining was on the heavier side. I chose to follow the directions to turn the seam allowance and stitch the neckline with my coverstitch machine.

The only other change I made was to interface the sleeve band.

Once I was finished with the dress, I thought the pattern would make a cute top. Solid knit tops are something I’m realizing I need more of in my closet.

I hope this finds you safe and well.

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Simplicity 1464 – Shorts and a Skirt

Spending so much time at home for the last few months has me wanting to add shorts to my wardrobe. When the weather heats up I usually turn to simple knit dresses but I’m realizing that shorts and a top would also be good casual wear for warmer days.

I bought Simplicity 1464 with plans to make the skirt a few years ago. I never paid attention to the shorts until I was going through my patterns looking for shorts. I had decided I would try different styles of shorts and make muslins (hopefully wearable) until I found a couple of patterns that could become my go-to patterns.

I made view E. I added one inch to the length.

The fabric has been sitting in my stash for quite a few years. I still have enough to make a sleeveless shirtdress, which is what I had planned on making when I bought the fabric.

I like that the pleats are repeated in the back.

Below is a picture of the waistband. The shorts have a side zipper.

While I had the pattern out, I decided to make the skirt I had planned on making when I bought the pattern.

Just like the shorts, the skirt also has pleats in the back and a side zipper.

I made view B and added 4 inches to the length. Adding length was the only change I made to both the shorts and skirt.

Prior to making the shorts pictured above, I made a pair of shorts from Simplicity 1887. I bought this pattern to make these shorts a few years ago and never got around to it. I figured this was a good place to start my shorts sewing journey. I like the way they turned out. There’s not much to say about them. They were easy to sew and I didn’t do any modifications to the pattern.

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Jalie 3906 Tania – Linen Jacket

The weather is heating up around here and I’m not going any place where I would need a linen jacket. But as most sewists know, when the mood strikes you to sew a particular piece, you go for it.

While sorting my fabric last month I came across some linen that I’ve had for years. The fabric is high quality. I was never sure what to make with it and for some reason kept thinking that whatever I was considering was never good enough for it. I don’t know why I thought that saving it for the “perfect” pattern (whatever that is) was better than making something I would enjoy wearing. I was determined to sew the linen and this pattern came to mind.

The jacket is unlined and a pleasure to sew. The pattern gives you the option to make a more relaxed jacket by using the full bust measurement to determine your size, or you can use your upper bust measurement to have the jacket be more fitted in the shoulders. I chose to make a relaxed version because I wanted my jacket to be casual.

I like the diagonal pockets and the way the diagonal seaming is repeated in the back.

Now that I’ve sewn this jacket, I can see myself making this pattern more often than I had planned. This is a versatile piece to have in your closet.

Stay safe everyone!

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Vogue 8379 – Knit Wrap Dress

I love to sew. I’ve been sewing for years but discovering the online sewing community was a game changer for me. I appreciate the many talented sewists who share their creations and inspire me to improve my skills. In the last few weeks a group of sewists have inspired me in other ways than sewing. I’m talking about black sewists. I was at a loss for what to say or do after the murder of George Floyd. I paused and took time to read, listen and reflect on what I can do to become an ally and a voice for change. I turned to black makers within the sewing community who were sharing their thoughts and personal stories. Once again, I was being inspired by sewists to improve myself. I’m learning what it takes to help bring on the change that needs to happen. If you are on Instagram, I recommend checking out @blkmakersmatter. They are a coalition of black makers united to bring about and implement cultural transformation in the sewing and crafting industry. Their voices are making sure that Black Lives Matter is not just a passing phase but continues to be discussed and receives the attention it deserves.

I started this post by stating that I love to sew. I turn to sewing both in stressful and happy times. I find the creative process brings me clarity of mind.

For the last 3 months I’ve been sewing from my stash. This leftover piece of jersey has been waiting for its turn at the machine for about 9 years. I made a maxi dress with this fabric 9 years ago and had enough for another project. I chose to sew my favorite wrap dress, Vogue 8379.

This is the fourth time I’ve sewn this pattern. For this version I did not include the sleeves. I’ve made the following changes every time I’ve sewn this dress.

  • Added 1 inch to bodice length
  • Cut back skirt on fold.

This pattern has been available for a few years and there are many beautiful versions out there. Below are my 3 previous versions:

Remember to be kind to yourselves during these uncertain times. Stay safe and healthy!

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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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