Tropical Appleton Dress

Edit: I won a prize with the Dresses competition for the Monthly Stitch! Thank you to everyone who voted!

I’ve been wanting to make the Cashmerette Appleton for quite a while now and seeing Gillian’s lovely maxi version made me want to make it a maxi dress. I love Cashmerette patterns. As a curvy plus sized person, having cup options is a freaking miracle! I also really wanted to make a maxi dress. After making my first one using the Upton dress last year, I knew that I would definitely be using another Cashmerette dress. Back in December, the Toronto Sewcialists had a holiday party (hosted by the lovely Hil) and we did a fabric exchange in which I procured 4 yards of this beautiful tropical fabric:

Next up a maxi length #appletondress for the #maxisewalong2017 #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I fell in love. All I was waiting for to make my Appleton maxi was the perfect fabric. I’m not sure of the content or type of fabric this is. It’s a 4 way stretch and has a lovely drape. It feels to me like crepe jersey or viscose.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The Appleton pattern is really lovely to make. The instructions are easy to follow and everything goes together really quick. I added about 9.5 inches to the length of the dress. There are lengthen/shorten lines in the pattern so it was a really simple alteration.

I usually make a 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the waist for Cashmerette patterns. My measurements are 51-46-56. However, for more ease in the hips and more bust coverage, I chose to make a 24 G/H graded to 28 at the hips. It fits perfectly and the extra ease in the hips works really beautifully with the drape of the fabric. The only addition I made to the pattern was to add sleeve bands since I hate hemming sleeves. I serged the skirt hem since I may have been better adding a couple more inches to the hem and to get the maxi length the hem couldn’t lose any length. Works for my lazy seamstress ways! ūüėČ

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The entire dress was made using my serger except for the hem of the skirt fronts and finishing the tie opening at the side.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The verdict is that I adore the dress! It fits me so well and is such a great shape on me. I am not sure why I hesitated so long on making this dress! It just really needed the perfect fabric and I definitely found it. Now I need to go on a tropical cruise!

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The dress fits perfectly into two different challenges:

Maxi dress sewalong

Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month Dresses week

Although dresses week is ending today, there is still tons more fun with many more weekly challenges at Monthly Stitch for Indie Pattern Month. Next week, it’s new to me!

And good news, the maxi dress sewalong runs until July 27th! So you have 20 days to make and post your maxi dresses. ūüôā

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Cashmerette Appleton Dress
  • Pros:¬†I love everything and the size range and cup sizes are perfect.
  • Cons:¬†That I don’t have more fabric to make another right now! ūüė¶
  • Make again?:¬†Just need to find the fabric. ūüėÄ
  • Rating:¬†pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Cashmerette’s Concord T-Shirt

Disclaimer: I am a pattern tester for Cashmerette and received this pattern for free. All my opinions are my own. I’m also under no obligation as a tester to post a review to my blog.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’ve been on the hunt for tops patterns that work well for me. I’m kind of picky about tops, it’s true. I want something loose-fitting at the hips, long enough to go over my booty so I don’t have to worry about pulling the shirt down at any point in the day, nicely fitted with negative ease over my bust, and¬†not wonky at the armsyce.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that my hunt was over when I tested the Concord t-shirt¬†a few¬†months ago. I did keep to my plan of making the StyleArc tops and I do really love the Cate’s cousin top. My Eva top is growing on me… I wanted to say last time that for my next¬†Cate’s Cousin top¬†I will be using the curved hem from the Concord t-shirt, because I adore it. And for the Eva top, I wanted to say I had a much better v-neck top to make with the Concord. But I am a good pattern tester, because I was quiet and kept it a secret. *pats self on back* After I get back from the trip, I will probably sew a few more of the Concord t-shirts. It’s a great pattern for a quick project.

For the fuller figure, there is actually not a lot of options for t-shirts, especially when you enter my size range. I certainly haven’t found one that has cup sizing.

When Jenny sent off the information for the Concord t-shirt, I was pretty excited. The great thing about the Concord is all the options: hem length can be cropped, mid, or long curved, sleeve length can be short, 3/4 length, or long (plus the short or 3/4 length can have sleeve tabs and all lengths can either be hemmed or have sleeve bands), and, finally, the neckline can be high, scoop, or v-neck. You get one pattern with a ton of options in it and that is my dream t-shirt.

Another¬†amazing thing about the Concord t-shirt is that it includes cup sizes C/D, E/F, G/H and can fit women from 40 inch bust / 32 inch waist / 42 inch hip to 58 inch bust / 48 inch waist / 58 inch hip. It’s meant to have negative ease across the bust and skim the hips with a bit of positive ease (an inch or less).

My measurements are 51 inch bust / 46 inch waist / 56 inch hips. I chose to make a size 22 C/D graded to a size 26 at the hips for my tester version and then for my others I used the G/H cup size due to some wrinkles at the arm above the bust at the armsyce. I could have just graded to a 24 or left it at a 22, but I like it pretty loose around the hips for my booty.

For my two tester versions, I used the scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves. One version was mid-length and the other the long curved hem.

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I love my test versions. I even made my mom a Concord t-shirt for her birthday in March using the tester pattern:

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I made her a straight size 16 C/D with a scopped neck and a longer short sleeve since she likes to have her upper arms covered. I made it in her favourite colour. Like mother, like daughter! I wish I had saved some of this gorgeous pink fabric¬†for myself, but I’m sure I will be able to get some more from Fabricland. I did make my Eva top with it. I just wish I had made a Concord t-shirt with it. ūüėČ

Once Jenny sent me the final version, I knew I was going to make up several more tops. I had a bunch of fabric set aside for them. I chose to make the larger G/H cup size to get an even better fit and still grade up at the hips.

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I made two with the long curved hem and a v-neck. On the left, is the 3/4 length sleeve with tabs. On the right is a long sleeve with a band. Of note, the printed fabric is a mid-weight rayon jersey and is quite weighed down. It was difficult to sew with and resulted in some waviness in the hem as well as a lower hem than the shirt on the right. I might resew the hem using stay tape at a future date, but for now I am leaving it. My sewing machine seems to hate mid-weight rayon jersey for some reason. To be honest, I think I am probably going to be needing a new sewing machine in the next year, because the problems keep multiplying with it… The rest of the fabric I used is a lightweight poly rayon spandex jersey and is my preferred material for tops. It’s a dream to sew with and presses so nicely.

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For these two versions, I made short sleeves with bands. The blue one has sleeve tabs and the neckline is high. On the back, I made a scoop neck for fun and like it, but it does pull the shoulder forward a bit unfortunately. The blue shirt is a cropped length but hits me just above my full hip. I am 5’4″ and short-waisted. I can certainly shorten it to make it cropped but am okay with this length. The black has a long curved hem, no sleeve tabs, and the neckline is scooped. You probably guessed by now that is my favourite hem style in this shirt considering 4 out of 6 of mine have the curved hem. It’s long enough to fit over the bum and never have to worry about it riding up.

Construction was easy. The curved hem is done before the sleeves and side seams. The neckline is actually the second thing you do after the shoulder seams. It makes it a lot easier doing it in that order without all the rest of the bulk of the sleeves in the way. The sleeve tabs are sewn on to the sleeves before the sleeve is attached in the flat. Final steps are to sew a button through all the layers to permanently attach the tab. You could add a buttonhole to the sleeve tab, if you want.

Instructions are very easy to follow. The pattern is labeled as beginner and I think that fits. I mostly used my serger for constructing all the shirts, except for top stitching the curved hem or sewing the hems for sleeves or the bottom. The tabs are sewn on with a regular sewing machine and the v-neck is started with a regular sewing machine. I also topstitch all my neckbands down with a zig zag stitch, because I truly hate twin needles and so does my ornery machine. You can construct it entirely on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger.

I love the fit of the shirt. I could maybe use a narrow shoulder adjustment like with any pattern, but I don’t mind where the shoulders sit on this top.

The pattern is already a TNT for me with six versions for myself. I absolutely adore it¬†and have been waiting for a basic t-shirt with all of these options for a while in my size range. The size range is great and the cup sizing is a dream. You can see how the change in the cup sizes made the fit a lot better for me removing the wrinkling at the¬†armsyce¬†above the bust. A lot of people don’t want to bother with an FBA in a knit garment and, with the cup sizes, you are less likely to have to do one. I really love all the options in this t-shirt and think it offers a lot in a small package.

Concord t-shirts have been popping up a few places so far. Check out Tanya’s, Meg’s, and gMarie’s versions! Now I need a striped one, an orange one, and a fun patterned one. All the Concords!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt
  • Pros: Cup sizing, many options, goes up to a 58 inch hip. So much to love.
  • Cons: Um…. smaller sized people miss out? In other words, I can’t think of a con…
  • Make again?:¬†Absolutely. It’s the t-shirt pattern I’ve always wanted.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Barrie Briefs

I know, I know….All I am sewing lately is lingerie. I swear I will get back to other kinds of sewing soon, but Lingerie Month at the Curvy Sewing Collective is consuming my life!

Shameless Plug: Check out my Cloning a bra post and my Bra Materials post.

Just an FYI, I hate the word “panties.” I have no idea why, but it makes me cringe like crazy. I feel like the mother in Dead Like Me with the word “moist.”¬†I guess in Canada we say underwear or underpants or even just pants. I don’t hear many people saying panties… Feel free to tease me endlessly in the comments with the word panties! Hhahaha. I’m sure several of my friends will do this in person after they read this post. I love my friends.

I say knickers like I am British. Point of fact, my father was born in Leeds. I am half British. Therefore, I say  knickers.

I’ve made some knickers before in a few different ways:

  1. Cloned a pair of RTW knickers
  2. Sewed the So, Zo free knickers pattern
  3. Sewed the Cloth Habit free Rosy Ladyshorts

For whatever reason, none of these options worked well for me. Crotch length too short, crotch length too long, butt not big enough, knickers fell down, elastic wore out too fast, and fabric didn’t have good recovery. Those last two are more about fabric/notion choices than anything. Both the free patterns were great, but just didn’t work for me.

Things I learned from several failed knickers:

  1. I hate elastic on my knickers. It cut in. It was irritating. It got stretched out. I do, however, like stretch lace and find that to be comfortable and have good recovery.
  2. I needed a low rise front to accommodate my belly, but with a fuller bum. I knew I would have to make a full bum adjustment.
  3. I needed to choose better fabric.

Enter the Barrie Briefs. The positive part of this pattern is the bands on the legs and the top. The top band could easily be replaced by a band of lace. But the leg bands…. to die for. I knew they would be a winner! They are so comfortable.

I heard the pattern ran large. It is made for a 20% stretch knit. My knit was 100%. Some magic mushroom¬†told me that I should cut a size 3 to start….. Um….. wtf, Andie?! Obviously too small.

I cut a size 8 next with a full bum adjustment and an inch on the front sides added and they fit perfectly.

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They took 30 min to make including cutting them out.

Edit: The fabric is a lightweight poly spandex stretch with a cotton jersey crotch inset.

Not much else to say except that I am happy to finally have a pattern to work from. Now comes making all the knickers in all the colours!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Kitchy Koo’s Barrie Briefs
  • Pros:¬†Bands for the legs and waist with the option to use lace.
  • Cons:¬†Made for 20% stretch fabric, which is kind of odd and causes some complaints about the pattern running too large. Size way down if you are using a stretchier material.
  • Make again?:¬†YES! ALL THE KNICKERS!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Waiting for my Hogwarts letter: Muse Patterns Sophi cardi and Tahi skirt

A while ago, I had plans of making a Muse Patterns outfit. Then Kat posted the Muse Loves Merino contest and I had to create an outfit for that! Check out the contest. There is still time to create something for it since it closes on November 30.

Eventually, my outfit evolved into a Gryffindor uniform. As soon as I picked the colours of the Sophi cardi, it was set: gold and red. I ordered my Gryffindor iron on patch from YourPatchStore on etsy and I decided to make a grey wool Tahi skirt to be reminiscent of a school uniform.

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I should do the disclaimer: Both of these patterns I received for free from Muse Patterns, but all the opinions and geekery are my own.

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I also had the perfect gold buttons in my stash for the cardigan.

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Both the skirt and the cardigan were extremely easy to make. The pdf pattern was a breeze to put together. I love that Kat added a feature to the pdfs where you can print just your size. The pdf is layered and you can choose what layers to print. It makes for a really clean pattern once it’s all put together. I never grade between sizes with Kat’s patterns. I’m pretty firmly at the top end of her sizing.

Both skirt and cardigan were easy to sew. The only issues I ran into were on the skirt with the paneling. My grey wool was very lightweight and prone to shifting around a little during construction. I had to sew one of the panels again to get it right. I loved the zipper construction for the skirt. It was so easy to follow and probably my best lapped zipper insertion yet! Of course I forgot to take a picture of it! I usually handpick my zippers, but I did this completely on the machine. Same with the waistband: I usually hand sew, but was able to do it on the machine really nicely. I always find I have a lot more control and a neater finish with hand sewing, but the instructions for the skirt really guide you and make sure the finish is great with the machine.

My only critique of the cardigan is that the neckband in the v-neck version could use shortening. It doesn’t seem to provide enough negative ease to make sure it doesn’t get loose at the neck and flip up. It might have been my mistake, though, as my fabric piece wasn’t big enough to make it all one piece and I have a seam at the center of the neckband.

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I’m a huge fan of Muse Patterns and often test for Kat. It didn’t work out to test for either of these patterns. One was released just before my wedding this summer and the other while my cat was ill. I am so glad I got to make them both, especially in such a nerdy way!

Here’s my photoshoot! Excuse the wrinkly skirt. I ironed it and sat down once to put my shoes on and well…. I decided not to iron again.

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In terms of fit, I think the skirt is slightly long for me, but I decided not to shorten it and lose the panel flares. I like the shape of the skirt, but I definitely prefer a circle skirt or a dirndl skirt shape to the a-line; I love fuller skirts and find they flatter my shape a lot more. I think the basic A-line would work really nicely in a suede with a shorter length, since suede holds it’s shape nicely. I might try this in the future since I have some suede. I love the cardigan. Although, I do think it would look better with pants instead of the high-waisted skirts or dresses that I normally wear. I also wear cardigans open more than closed like this so that tends to be a little better.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Tahi Skirt
  • Pros:¬†Lovely construction and instructions for the zipper, panels, and waistband. Went together beautifully.
  • Cons:¬†Nothing against the pattern, but if you are making in a slippery fabric use something like spray starch to stabilize the fabric for those corners in the panels.
  • Make again?:¬†Absolutely. I think that suede one needs to happen!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars
  • Pattern: Sophi Cardi
  • Pros:¬†I love the pockets. A cardigan with pockets is a hug bonus. The raglan sleeves went together really nicely and fit well unlike a lot of other patterns I have used with raglan sleeves.
  • Cons:¬†The neckband was perhaps too long. I’m not 100% on whether this was my mistake or the pattern’s. I will make it again and decide whether I will give the half star back for that.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. My bestie commented on the picture on Instagram and went crazy. I will be making her one for her birthday this year.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

Star Trek Uniforms: Tahoe Tee pattern

This past week was a wild ride. Other than our regular monthly show, Holodeck Follies, on Wednesday, we also performed at FanExpo on Thursday night, the opening night of the convention.

My husband wrote a wonderful entry that recaps the whole affair. So this entry is about sewing, since that is the theme of my blog.

I sewed up four uniform shirts in four days using the Tahoe Tee pattern from Peekaboo.

Because of the time constraints, I didn’t have time to take detail shots. I have quite a few other shirts to make for the rest of the crew. I pushed through to get the shirts done for our FanExpo performers.

Dale and I already had uniforms. Although, I will also be making new ones for us to match the rest of the crew. I have about 7 more shirts to make before the October 7th show! I will be so tired of making Star Trek tops by then.

With some cast members, I was able to take measurements in person. With a couple, I was only able to go by their shirt size or get measurements from their wife. It turned out pretty well, though. The fit is reasonable on all the shirts. They are meant to be a looser fit than the original uniforms to give the cast some breathing room for human pyramids.

Each t-shirt got individual treatment. I traced out every size. I hate tracing patterns. This was seriously a labour of love. Some of the cast members are the same size so I will be able to re-use those patterns.

For Tracy, our blue shirted Bajoran lady on the left of the photo below, I did a small FBA to allow for a bit more room in the bust without making the shoulders ridiculous. I will have to shorten her sleeves before the next show, but overall the length and fit work for her. Tracy was fine with me using a men’s shirt pattern.

The fit was less complicated for the guys. For all shirts, except Chris’s, who is behind me in the below photo, I simply slashed the pattern to get the colourblocking and added in seam allowances in various areas. I sewed them all on my serger, except for the hems and sewing the topstitching on the neckband, and did a simple neckband in black. On Dale’s uniform and my dress, I did a Mandarin collar, but found that process to be difficult with a knit fabric. Because our show is a parody, it’s doesn’t require 100% accuracy. Leaving off that infernal collar saved my¬†sanity…what’s left of my sanity.

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Photo credit for group shot: Quentin Twaites

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Chris (pictured above with my ire directed toward him) plays Weasley Pincher, our resident Wesley Crusher parody. I got to say, “Shut up, Weasley!” at one point during the show! I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a while.

I made a basic grey t and added in the stripes in the three colours just below the armscye. Just don’t look closely at the stripe matching. It was the last one I made and I was exhausted. Bloody exhausted. Stripe matching that basically blew my mind. I couldn’t even…

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The Tahoe Tee is a pdf pattern and goes together really well. It even conserves paper by having smaller pattern pieces on a corner of the other pattern pieces. I liked that part. The only issue I have with the pattern is that there is a cutting guide rather than a pattern piece for the neckbands. I totally get this is personal preference, but I really hate cutting a square of fabric. I’d much rather use a pattern piece. I’m a princess. What can I say?

There are fit issues here and there. Without getting a ton of time to test the garments out or get accurate measurements for each cast member, I think they turned out really well!

Nothing else to say about the pattern. It’s a great base for a Star Trek uniform shirt!

Here are some choice actions shots. All taken by AltoVenue, like the picture above.

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Tahoe Tee
  • Pros:¬†Super fast, basic t-shirt¬†for men.
  • Cons:¬†Runs large. Check the pattern pieces for finished measurements. I found they were off from what was printed.
  • Make again?:¬†I HAVE TO! Lol. But honestly, if Dale wants a t-shirt, I’d make him one using this pattern in a heartbeat. It’s a nice basic t and comes with long, short, and no sleeves! Totally worth the 9 bucks.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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Comfy Womfy: Butterick 6210

Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry¬†by ooh shiny! That’s the quote¬†right?

Directly after I made my plans for the remainder of the summer, I started making a muslin of M6754. It’s okay. It has an issue with the raglan sleeve so there are a few more adjustments to do. Frustrating for an easy knit dress, but par for the course with my chest. I’ve never done raglan sleeve adjustments before, though, so I haven’t tackled the issue, but I did get tons of advice from fellow sewcialists.

I decided I just wanted to make something and not really worry about fit. Purely comfort. Enter B6210:

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The dress has a loose fitting blousey top with elastic waist and straight skirt. There’s also a faux drawstring on it. I’m really not pleased that thing is a faux drawstring. I guess I didn’t read the pattern description right to see it was just attached on the front. I want a real drawstring dammit! Next time I make this, I will figure out how to add that. Shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s just a matter of making two buttonholes and a long string and putting it in when I do the elastic. This time, though, I decided not to add work.

Fabric requirements are challis, jersey, and rayon for this. Basically fabrics with a nice drape. I chose a  rayon knit fabric I got during my adventures in Hamilton. Gillian pointed the fabric out and said she made something for her sister with it. The minute I touched the fabric, I knew I had to have it for secret pajamas. This fabric is so soft. I just want to wrap myself in it and cocoon.

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I used the top from view D and the bottom from view C for this dress. Or, at least, the bottom started as view C. It ended up being really really long. I cut out a size 28W and the old plus sized means giant amazon rule of patterns and fashion came into play. It was supposed to be knee length, but ended up mid-calf length. I guess I am short…

I chopped off several inches from the bottom to make it a little bit above the knee and then I serged the hem instead of bothering folding it under. It did end up a little bit shorter than I wanted, but it’s good for leggings.

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Because I was using a knit fabric, I chose to make knit binding for the sleeves and the neckline rather than use bias tape. I used the same method for both sleeves and neckline and serged the binding on and then top stitched with my machine.

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I am surprised with this pattern that the armholes aren’t horribly oversized. They are big, but not hilariously so as is my experience when I choose my “size” based on my full bust measurement instead of high bust and then do a full bust adjustment. I was prepared to wear a camisole underneath this and have it show, but I don’t need to worry about that. The armholes provide enough coverage for me.

I didn’t have an issue with my serger loving this fabric. Rochester did his part in no time, but Jane Eyre, my sewing machine, freaked the hell out with the fabric. The elastic waistband is incredibly messy inside. It’s messy outside, too, but hidden by the fabric gathering. Although, the messiness and some rolling of the elastic makes that gathering a little odd looking. If I could have figured out how to do this entirely on my serger I would have. It doesn’t so coverstitch so I had no clue what to do. If I ever work with fabric like this again, I will try out the walking foot to hopefully keep Jane from eating¬†the fabric.

I also will be getting better elastic next time. I used some stuff from my stash and it rolls like crazy. It works fine for pj pants, but for some reason really doesn’t work for this dress. Maybe a bad package… I need to get the good stuff for the boxer shorts I am making for my husband, too. I don’t want them to roll on him and be uncomfortable.

Because of the drapiness of the fabric, the pockets also drape a little oddly. I decided not to both caring about this for a comfy dress. I didn’t spend a lot of time at all thinking about the fit, which was nice for a comfy dress. It’s honestly just lovely to wear. So comfy and soft.

That’s about all to say for the dress. Here’s the photoshoot:

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In other news, I am slowing getting set up in my new sewing space. Once the space is all done, I will take you on a tour of it and show you how I organized things and made the smaller space work for me. ūüôā I’m excited to see the result.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: B6210
  • Pros:¬†It’s a fast & easy pattern just like the envelop claims. Armholes are actually not oversized like most Butterick patterns for me.
  • Cons:¬†In the plus sizes, this is a very tall pattern and will require major shortening. If you are tall, this is not a con!
  • Make again?:¬†Absolutely! I would love to find a nice woven rayon fabric for the next one and the striped duvet fabric in my plans would also work well as it has a nice drape. I want a real drawstring next time, though!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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Spring for Cotton: Simplicity 1459

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I started becoming obsessed with Simplicity 1459 when Tanya posted her two versions. The striped version got into my head and I basically just wanted to recreate that, but I restrained myself from buying a navy and white striped cotton and decided to sew from my stash like the good stashbuster I am (trying to be). I did, however, immediately find an etsy seller with the pattern and add it to my pattern hoard like a good little hoarding dragon.

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Replace Smaug with me and gold with patterns and this is a good depiction of my life

I got it around Christmas and planned out what I wanted to do: create a navy and white gingham sleeveless version with solid white collar and buttons. THAT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM WHITE AND NAVY STRIPES EVERYONE! TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

Okay, so I am copy cat. One of my middle names is appropriately Katherine….so I am a Kat by name. ūüėČ

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But the point is that I didn’t buuuuy fabric for this project, right? Right.

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Enough of that. I am going to talk about my dress now.

I did my usual fit adjustments for the flat pattern. I use my high bust measurement to determine the size I use and then adjust the bust with a full bust adjustment based on how much extra I need plus ease. I also did a small narrow shoulder adjustment and then just cut into my fabric, because that’s how I roll.

Technically, this is a wearable muslin. The fit isn’t perfect. The bust dart needs some tweaking as there are drag lines under the bust dart, possibly as a result of it being too high. I also need to do more of a narrow shoulder adjustment, because there is blousing above the bust, but also redraw the armhole a little larger.

I got the fabric at the thrift store, both the white cotton and the gingham, months ago on separate occasions. I managed to get *just* enough of the gingham to make it. I didn’t attempt to do any pattern matching on the skirt for two reasons: 1) lack of fabric and 2) the amount of gathers in the fabric make the pattern matching a little pointless. I did, however, do okay at pattern matching on the bodice. Not perfect, but good enough.

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Full disclosure: I actually really am not great at installing zippers in garments. So, please be kind at this detail of the zipper. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s getting there. I got better at skirt zippers with my dirndl skirts and better at jacket zippers with all the jackets I’ve been making lately, but dress zippers are a whole different thing and I don’t have a lot of practice at them. I hand-basted this one in place, which made a world of difference. But it was still difficult as there is so much fabric in this dress. I hope that by the time the summer ends I can be more of an expert in dress zippers. I have upped my skills in so many ways this year. Every time I see a gap in what I can do, I always want to get rid of it.

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I used my pinking shears for the first time with this project! My mom got them for me for Christmas along with a tailor’s ham. I requested both and she sent me her old iron, which I use constantly now. I love the pinking edges as a pretty inside finish. It really adds to the vintage feel of the dress for me.

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The pattern calls for facings on the collar, button, and on the sleeves. I found that the collar facing doesn’t sit very well at the back. I might need to make tweaks to the collar for future versions, because it sits awkwardly on me and not flat. Possibly as a result of the narrow shoulder adjustment? I am not sure. Any suggestions¬†to fix that issue?

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The collar is also not perfectly sewn, but it’s good enough for me…this time…

I left the facings off the sleeve, because of the issue with the collar. I decided to make bias tape and finish the arms that way. I prefer that look.

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Here is my photoshoot:

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My next version is in this gorgeous fabric:

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Navy polkadot on white cotton fabric. It’s a silky soft medium weight cotton¬†that I picked up in my favourite higher end fabric store a couple of years ago and have been hoarding along with two light weight rayons from the same store.

I wish you could feel this¬†fabric! It’s so lovely to touch.

In other news, I am obsessed with this dress from Unique Vintage after seeing it on Migg Mag, one of my fav plus size fashion blogs:

She’s so fricken adorable.

I can see a mint cambie in my future! Come to me, my pretty.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Simplicity 1459
  • Pros:¬†Vintage style, large gathered skirt, beautiful collar
  • Cons:¬†Not a fan of the collar facing and find it flips up in the back. Took out the sleeve facing because I was worried about the flipping around there, as well.
  • Make again?:¬†Absolutely! I plan on making it¬†with a navy polkadot on white fabric, because I can’t get enough of the navy/white combo.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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