Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987: DIY Guipure Lace, Chiffon Georgette, Embellished Ball Prom Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress
Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Hello Dear Friends,

Last night I attended the PTA ball at my daughter’s school. The dress code was black tie and I wanted to make something special to wear for the occassion. What do you think?

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

The bodice of this dress uses Vogue 8998, which I made previously here. The skirt is made using the skirt portion from McCalls 6987: the high-low hem view.

All the materials were purchased from eBay. There was absolutely no chance of me finding anything appropriate/ suitable fabric wise anywhere local to me so I ordered everything online.

I started with the guipure lace first, which I ordered 1 metre of, sight unseen. I was fairly confident with this seller and the photographs etc that I wasn’t going to be disappointed, and I wasn’t. This lace is stunning, and is also almost identical to the lace used in this Eliza J dress currently on sale for £150. Just saying. It is a gorgeous coral/ watermelon colour. Beautiful.

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress - close up of guipure lace

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress – close up of guipure lace

I then ordered samples of the lining fabrics and the crinkled georgette chiffon and made sure I was happy with them before ordering. The linings and the chiffon georgette are polyester. I can live with that.

The bodice is lined with a polyester lining and the skirt is lined with a soft polyester mix jersey fabric. The dress is fully lined (bar the sleeves which I cut to take advantage of the scalloped edges) and an invisible zip inserted. All the seams of the chiffon skirt were french seamed. I used my serger to finish edges inside where necessary. I underlined the bodice and midriff section (with silk organza) – you can read about that in the review below, and I made a rolled hem for the chiffon on my serger. I left the jersey lining unhemmed.

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress - lining

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress – lining

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress - rolled hem close up

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress – rolled hem close up

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

I have to tell you about the belt, which I felt was the perfect finishing touch to the dress, and just gave the outfit that little bit more pizazz. The belt is the Paloma Silver Crystal Rhinestone Belt made by a lovely lady called Rachel who was amazing, and after I sent her samples of my fabrics, colour matched the grosgrain ribbon for the belt. I have lightly tacked the diamante part to the midriff of the dress so that I can remove it for cleaning purposes. You can see all of Rachel’s items in her eBay shop here: lots of lovely sparkly things! If you are considering making a special occasion dress or adding something to a RTW dress I highly recommend checking her shop out and she also does custom orders for bespoke designs. I do have to say that Rachel was kind enough to offer the belt to me on a complimentary basis in exchange for me providing a review of the item on my blog.

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress - close up of diamante belt detail

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress – close up of diamante belt detail

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Lined dress has close-fitting, interfaced bodice with princess seams, inset band, skirt variations (horse hair finish on hemline) and back zipper. A: cap sleeves. A, B and C: skirt seam detail. D: collar. D, E and F: gathered skirt with princess seams, and side pockets. F: band and skirt overlays. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A, B, C, D.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

The dress I made is an amalgamation of Vogue 8998 for the bodice and McCalls 6987 for the skirt. I have made, and reviewed, Vogue 8998 previously.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I didn’t really use them, but from before, yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I have already written why I love this pattern: this second version makes me love it more. For me the bodice and midriff pattern is just great. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

A gorgeous coral coloured guipure lace for the bodice and a polyester crinkled chiffon georgette for the skirt. I used a polyester lining for the bodice and a polyester mix jersey for the skirt lining. The bodice and midriff sections were underlined with silk organza.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The dress I made is an amalgamation of Vogue 8998 for the bodice and McCalls 6987 for the skirt.

  • I pinched out 0.25 inches either side of the front neckline (removing a total of 0.5 inches) to stop the straps from sliding off my shoulders.
  • I shortened the back bodice by 1 inch, tapering to nothing at the sides
  • I raised the front armhole curve by approx. 0.5 inch
  • I did not line the sleeves but cut them to take advantage of the scalloped edges
  • I used an invisible zip. Both layers of the skirt hang free below the zip
  • The bodice is underlined with a layer of the chiffon georgette and a layer of silk organza
  • The midriff is underlined with a layer of lining and a layer of silk organza
  • I added a centre back seam to the skirt piece
  • I added 5 inches to the length of the outer skirt and about 3 inches (?) to the length of the lining

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I don’t know if I would sew this exact same look again but I would not discount using the bodice again. Yes I recommend.

Conclusion:

I felt suitably attired for the ball and it was a great night of enjoying time with friends and dancing. My head felt a bit sore this morning but it was worth it. Have a great week ahead everyone!

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

Vogue 8998 + McCalls 6987 DIY Ball Dress

McCalls 6291, McCalls 6991 and Butterick 5926: Printed Pants, Crossover Wrap Top and Ponte Blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer
McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

Hello Friends,

As I mentioned in my last post I am frantically trying to sew things for our forthcoming trip to India and I have also, finally, started to make a dress for the PTA ball I am attending in a couple of weeks time. More on that to follow. Today’s outfit was sewn because I thought it would be good to travel in: the viscose pants and top will keep me cool when we reach warmer climes but covered up at the same time, and I thought the ponte blazer again might be good to travel with on the plane (don’t know about you but I always find the a/c on planes too much). Something I have realised is, if I am sewing separates, I have to make sure I have something appropriate to wear to complete the outfit; otherwise the separate piece just doesn’t get worn!

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

As time is ticking, I decided to sew patterns I have sewn before. Minimum fit problems! So, the patterns I used were:

  • (OOP) McCalls 6291 for the printed pants. This is actually the third time I have made this pattern (a personal record for someone who doesn’t go back to a pattern all that often), and I think this time I have perfected the fit. Version 1 here; version 2 here. This time round I shaved a further 0.5 inch off each inner and outer seam, front and back i.e. 2 inches in total – this means I have now removed a total of 10 inches from each leg from version 1! I also raised the front crotch by a futher 0.5 inches from last time. This is a viscose print fabric purchased locally to me, and I have cut the fabric on the cross grain to make the pattern run lengthwise down the leg – less headache pattern matching and more flattering IMO. I also made the hem on this version slightly smaller; turning over 0.25 inch and then 5/8 inch.
McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

  • McCalls 6991 for the crossover wrap top. You can see the first version of this top here. This time I essentially made View A, but added the sleeves from View B and the tabs from View C. No other changes were made. The fabric is another viscose, purchased from Minerva Fabrics in the UK. I cannot vouch for the other colours of plain viscose in this range, but this red is amazing. Washes, drapes, sews and presses beautifully and is fabulous to wear. Plus Red. Uhuh. Wearing red makes me feel happy. I used gold buttons on the sleeve tabs to up the glam factor.
McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

  • Butterick 5926 for the ponte blazer (fabric purchased on ebay). First version of this blazer was blogged here. No changes to the fit. To be honest, when I finished this blazer I was a bit meh about it. I had been so tempted to download the new Grainline Morris blazer but I just didn’t want the extra time taken on a completely new to me garment. However, I must say I have worn this blazer already, including for a full day trip on the train to see an old friend, and it is very comfortable. I think it’s the very (intentionally) bland colour that made me feel meh, and the facings are a bit skimpy but I think I will probably end up wearing this a lot. BTW, I used Craftsy’s Modern Jacket Techniques to learn how to sew a notched collar properly and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I will definitely be making myself a woven blazer in future using this class.
McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

I am entering this entire outfit into the Plus Size Contest currently running over on PR.com. so head over if you want to see all the other entries.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6291, 6991 and Butterick 5926: printed pants, crossover wrap top and ponte blazer

McCalls 6988: DIY Little Black Dress LBD Peplum Flounce Hem

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem
McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

Hi Friends,

I don’t tend to wear that much black. I know lots of you love it. But I can see the value of having a great LBD in your wardrobe, so I thought I would try my luck with McCalls 6988. I didn’t want something too evening-ish, but I didn’t want something boring either. I am going to be honest…I am not sure about this one.

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

I think the uncertainty is partly to do with the fabric. This is a (I think) wool viscose crepe fabric which, sadly, does tend to crease quite easily (and doesn’t like to be ironed that much either). Also, I didn’t line this dress (the instructions are for an unlined dress) and so I am wearing it with a slip underneath. Further, the sleeves are cut from a piece of silk georgette I had, and I messed the hem up first time, and ended up cutting them shorter that I would have liked. Sigh.

Here’s the back view (dislike. No amount of pressing/ steam will eliminate those zipper wrinkles – also need to add a hook to the top):

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Semi-fitted dresses have self-lined yokes, princess seams, and back zipper. A and B: flounce and narrow hem. B: front overlay. B and C: below elbow sleeves. D: short sleeves. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don’t think it’s the pattern I dislike. I think the pattern is essentially ok. I dislike my fabric because it didn’t press very well and creases easily; I think I wish I had lined it, and I messed the hem up on the silk georgette sleeves so they are shorter (and possibly tighter) than I would like. Nothing to dislike about the pattern.
Fabric Used:
I think it’s a wool viscose crepe with silk georgette for the sleeves.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I removed a total of about 0.5 inches in width from the front and back necklines to get it to stay on my shoulders.

I made a narrow 5/8ths inch hem on the flounce.

I added 2 inches in length to view B.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I omitted the facings and substituted in bias strip facings.

I used an invisible zip.

I think I shortened the sleeves by about 3 inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know and yes. I think it’s the fabric and lack of lining in this particular case which have put me off this dress a little.
Conclusion:

Hmmm…well, I made this a few weeks ago and I have not had an opportunity to wear it yet. I think my quest for the perfect LBD continues….

We are going to India in a month or so for almost 5 weeks and I am frantically sewing up stuff for then. I also have a school PTA ball to attend in less than 3 weeks and have yet to make a dress for it! I don’t know how frequent the blogging will be in these parts for a while, but hopefully see you all back here soon. Until then….

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

Simplicity 1364: DIY Vintage Pattern Button Back Boat Neck Top – Simplicity’s Star Sewist Entry

Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.
Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 – vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity’s Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Hello Readers,

Hope you are all doing fine, and enjoyed the long weekend some of us have had. Well, today I wanted to share Simplicity 1364 with you. As always you can check out my full pattern review below but first I have to fill you in on the back story as to why I have made this pattern up.

Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 – vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity’s Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity UK are running a contest to find a “Star Sewist”. You can read all about it here. Basically, there are three categories; dressmaking, vintage and newcomer. To enter one of the three categories you had to request one of the three pre-selected patterns chosen by Simplicity and they then sent the pattern out to you (for free). The closing date for entries is the end of this month. Surprisingly I didn’t go for the dressmaking category. If I am being perfectly honest I wouldn’t have chosen to sew any of these three patterns up for myself, so it was a case of chosing a pattern I felt I would be comfortable wearing. So that is why, shock, I went for the vintage category. I figured it would be the pattern I could make most feel like me.

Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 – vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity’s Star Sewist Contest 2015.

I think, after much fiddling with the pattern, I did end up with something wearable, for me. (In fact it has already been worn). It is more of a tunic now, with side vents, and I think the button back adds some interest. Sorry, but this fabric (viscose) is not the easiest to photograph details on. Also, I went for pale blue buttons which are also quite hard to spot amongst the cream/ pale blue flowers.

Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 – vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity’s Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 – vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity’s Star Sewist Contest 2015. Close up of button back placket and sleeve tabs.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
1960’s vintage Jiffy top is simple to sew and has three miain pattern pieces.Top has back zipper, bateau neckline, french darts and can be sleeveless or can have below elbow length sleeves.
Pattern Sizing:
8 – 24
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, with some changes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t really follow them…
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I am being honest when I say, were it not for the contest, and being provided this pattern by Simplicity, I probably wouldn’t have sewn this pattern up. It is vintage in style (which is not really my thing) and it is relatively short. However, with the modifications that I made I do like the finished top (and have already worn it), although if I made this pattern again I would lower the front neckline a smidge, make the hips a tiny bit looser and shorten the length of the sleeve tabs. Note that most of these tweaks are my own personal taste and not a reflection of the pattern per se.
Fabric Used:
A vibrant floral printed viscose which would be beautiful for a vintage style dress (or top). I bought this fabric locally to me.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added approx. 5.5 inches to the length of this top to make it more of a tunic length.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I had to add approx. 2.5 inches to the side seams of this top at the hips to make it fit.

I shortened the french darts by 1 inch.

I added side vents.

I omitted the facings and substituted bias facing strips.

I lengthened (and widened) the sleeves and omitted the elbow darts and added sleeve tabs with buttons.

I removed 5/8ths inch from the centre back on either side and then added 2 inches to the left centre back seam (to fold over by 1 inch twice, and stitch down), and added a buttonhole placket to the right centre back seam. I added buttons/ buttonholes rather than a zip.

All insides were overlocked to finish.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I would sew again, but if I did I would tweak as mentioned above. If dressing like Audrey Hepburn is your thing then go for it.
Conclusion:

I don’t have any regrets about sewing this pattern up, although it’s a departure from my normal pattern selection and style, and it does need a little more refinement, it’s an eyecatching top with some interesting details to have in my wardrobe.

The results for this contest will be announced at the beginning of July, and are decided by the judges.

Until soon….

Simplicity 1364 - vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity's Star Sewist Contest 2015.

Simplicity 1364 – vintage button back boat neck top. Entered in Simplicity’s Star Sewist Contest 2015.

New Look 6248: DIY Pink Wool Boucle Tweed Oversized Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat
New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

Hello There My Friends,

Today I am back to share a coat that I made using New Look 6248: what can best be described as an oversized, unstructured boyfriend style coat, which I made using a very sugary pink wool mix boucle. BTW, does anyone know what the exact difference is between boucle and tweed? I have tried googling the answer and still don’t know…I would love to hear from any experts out there.

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

Anyway, here’s the deal: summer has not yet reached this corner of the world. I mean, we are barely breaking into spring. Yesterday we had thunder, lightning, hailstones, torrential rain and sunshine…in one day. So, I wanted a lightweight spring coat. Something to keep the chill away but not heavy. (BTW, you can see my spring coat from last year here – still enjoy wearing this).

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

I picked this wool mix boucle? tweed? up in Glasgow when we were there during the Easter Break (purchased from Remnant Kings). I fully interfaced all pieces of this coat. I did not block fuse, but cut each interfacing piece out separately (on grain) and fused to the corresponding piece. I picked the interfacing up from my local market. It was sold as “reinforced interfacing”, which, I was told, was perfect for fusing to unstable fabrics (such as boucle). Has anyone come across this interfacing before? I am including some close up pictures below. It is quite delicate and easy to pull apart so you have to be careful when handling it. I think it worked out ok. It made handling the boucle easier but didn’t affect the handle of the fabric. Does anyone have any better suggestions for interfacing boucle? I also pre-treated my fabric by steaming it with my iron.

Reinforced interfacing recommended for "unstable fabrics".

Reinforced interfacing recommended for “unstable fabrics”.

Reinforced interfacing recommended for "unstable fabrics".

Reinforced interfacing recommended for “unstable fabrics”.

The coat is fully lined with a viscose lining…I bagged my lining out (as I normally always do) and for once the instructions actually tell you how to do this! (Although I didn’t use them…I like Grainline’s instructions). I also included a back stay cut from some left over muslin.

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat - interfacing back piece and back stay

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat – interfacing back piece and back stay

Everything else you want to know is in my review below – the thing you have to watch out for with this pattern is that it is drafted to include eleven – that’s right- 11 inches of ease. I went down a size and I am perfectly happy with the slouchy, drop shouldered fit. Interestingly, this coat was declared far too big by Phililp (husband) and my mother, and my brother – who never comments on what I wear or make – used the M word. That’s right, he said it looked like a Maternity coat! Hmmm….it’s a good job I dress to please myself :-) The one thing I am going to change though is the covered button. I don’t like it and have got a smart matt gold button which I will swap out later.

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Misses’ coat with side pockets can have long or elbow length sleeves . For visual interest add contrast sleeve binding and hem. Coat can also have a deep stand collar and choice of one or three buttons.

I made view C, the collarless view, with the longer length sleeve.
Pattern Sizing:
10 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes – they also include instructions to bag the lining out. Although I used the method I like (from Grainline’s blog).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Well, I like the finished garment. Yes, it is oversized, drop shouldered, slouchy and unstructured, but I like it. There are 11 inches of ease in this garment so pick your size carefully. I sized down. My husband and mother think it is far too big and my brother – who never comments on what I wear or sew – said it looked like a maternity coat. I don’t think it is too big. I like the fact separate lining pieces are included. Nothing I disliked as such. I am going to change the covered button for a matt gold one – I don’t like the look of the covered button.
Fabric Used:
A wool mix boucle with a viscose lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I interfaced all pieces of this coat using reinforced interfacing to stabilise the fabric and I am pleased with the outcome.

I shortened the length by 1 inch.

I added lined patch pockets.

I added a muslin back stay.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Don’t know if I would sew it again myself. One maternity coat when one is not expecting is enough :-) Yes, I would recommend it.
Conclusion:

I like this boyfriend style and I think this pattern offers some interesting options like the contrast sleeve and hem bands etc.

So that’s it from me for now. Look forward to hearing your opinions on this one. It does feel a little like I am back wearing a lab white coat, hahaha. Seriously, I have already enjoyed wearing this coat and will continue doing so. Until soon….

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

New Look 6248 Oversized Pink Boucle Boyfriend Spring Coat

Butterick 6182 and OOP McCalls 6291: DIY cropped navy cotton top and tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants
Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Hi Friends,

Today is a different silhouette for me. I normally avoid wearing shorter length tops and like to have plenty of bum coverage. But I have been seeing lots of these printed pants everywhere and thought that a shorter length top might just balance out the looser, more relaxed fit of these bottoms. What do you think?

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

The top is made using Butterick 6182, which is a Lisette pattern. I made view A. Full review below. I will say that I am 5 foot 3 inches, and I know it depends on your torso length and personal preference etc, but I added 2 inches to the length and I wouldn’t want it any shorter. So what I am saying is, make sure you are ok with the length before comitting to cutting out your fabric.

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

The fabric I used to make this top is a cotton lawn which has a wide embroidered border, which ran down the length of one selvedge. So I cut the body of this top on the cross grain to make full use of the border, which also meant I didn’t have to hem the bottom of the top either.

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

The bottoms (or pyjama bottoms as my husband refers to them) are made from OOP McCalls 6291, which I made last summer – see here for full details and original review.

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

To make this version I removed a total of 8 inches of width from each leg – 2 inches from each of the front and back inner and outer seams. I raised the front crotch by 1 inch and the back crotch by 0.5 inch. I don’t know if I may raise the front crotch a tiny bit more next time? I also omitted the elastic cuff at the ankles, instead turning over 0.25 inch and then another 1.25 inch to hem. Very easy to make and soooo comfortable and cool. Even if they do look and feel like pyjamas. BTW the fabric is a rayon, purchased from my local market.

Pattern Review for Butterick 6182

Pattern Description:
Loose-fitting, pullover top or dress has bias neck facings, and sleeve bands. A: Narrow hem. Skirt has wide waistband, side-front pockets, front pleat and invisible back zipper. B and C: Stitched hem.

I made view A.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the finish inside with the bias neck facing and I do like the finished garment – although I don’t normally favour shorter length tops I think it balances out my looser fit trousers. I am 5 foot 3 inches, and I know it depends on your torso length and personal preference etc, but I added 2 inches to the length and I wouldn’t want it any shorter. So what I am saying is make sure you are ok with the length before comitting to cutting out your fabric. I found the cut on sleeves to be a tiny bit snug and so took a smaller seam allowance to compensate and they are fine. Could just be my arms, but something to watch out for.
Fabric Used:
A cotton lawn with a wide embroidered border, which ran down the length of one selvedge. So I cut the body of this top on the cross grain to make full use of the border, which also meant I didn’t have to hem the bottom of the top either.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added 2 inches to the length of the final top. I found that the sleeves were a tiny bit snug, so I ended up taking just a 0.25 inch seam allowance for the sleeve bands and at the armholes. Next time round I would cut these areas to be bigger.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, perhaps. Yes, I would recommend.
Conclusion:

I didn’t think I would like this shorter silhouette but I think it looks good with my new printed pants. Sometimes it’s good to step outside of our comfort zones and try something new.

Until soon.

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Butterick 6182 navy cotton cropped top and OOP McCalls 6291 tapered printed trousers pants

Vogue 1359: DIY Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress
Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Hello There Friends,

Hope you are all ok. Today’s post is about Vogue 1359, a dress I have made once before: see here. This might sound strange, but I have only worn that dress a couple of times since it was made. I think it was the fabric that I didn’t love? But there was something about the pattern which I did like (I do like things with twists/ drapes/ gathers at the waist). And then I saw this Boden dress and it was my inspiration:

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Check out my original post on this dress for the modifications I made. This version is made in a soft cotton jersey (I think? It’s been in my stash for a little while). The only changes made this time were to the lining. Last time the front bodice lining was far too short…although I discovered this may have been due to me omitting to attach the neckline facing. So for this version I added 3.5″ to the front bodice lining piece (I will only add 2″ next time), tapering to 2″ at the sides and continuing round to the back sides, then tapering away to 0, 4 inches away from the centre back seam. The body of the dress is fully lined with a soft mystery stretch fabric. EDITED: forgot to say on my first version, the shoulders felt like they were slipping too far down my arm so I did a bit of a cheats adjustment and just made the pleats at the shoulders larger (0.5″?). I also stabilised the shoulders with elastic.

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress - lining

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress – lining

I obviously shortened the sleeves as well and – for the first time ever! – interfaced the hems (with knit interfacing) before twin needling. Results…ok…probably a bit better than without the interfacing….I am a bit meh on it. Maybe try again on my next knit dress project.

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

The one thing I wish I had done differently is stay stitch the neckline. It’s annoying because it’s something I would normally do, but the instructions don’t make mention of it, and I forgot. So I think the neckline has stretched…it is trying to stand away from the body somewhat…but I think I rescued it by fusing the facing to the dress neckline using some double sided hemming tape and the weight of the lining seems to be holding the neckline in place.

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago and since then it has become cold and wet again. Blah! But I have worn this dress a couple of times and I genuinely do love it because it is so easy to wear and the lining means it is flattering too. I could see this dress being worn year round and it just pulls on. Sometimes simple is the best, right?

Until soon.

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

Vogue 1359: Twist Front Floral Jersey Dress

True Bias Patterns Sutton Blouse: DIY Upcycled Silk Kimono Sleeve Contrast Yoke Blouse

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk
True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

Good Morning Friends,

A lovely sunny, albeit little cool, morning here. Today’s post is something a little different for me. I don’t normally do upcycling/ recycling…but I had two silk pieces languishing in my wardrobe and couldn’t bear to get rid of the beautiful fabrics, so I decided to make a blouse. First let’s take a look at the original pieces, shall we?

Me circa 3.5 years ago, wearing a silk fit and flare dress purchased online from John Lewis.

Me circa 3.5 years ago, wearing a silk fit and flare dress purchased online from John Lewis.

The first silk piece came from this silk fit and flare dress that I purchased about 3.5 years ago to wear to a friends wedding. I have never worn this dress since then. Why? Truthfully the fit was never perfect, it was sleeveless (don’t like sleeveless) and have not had an occassion to wear it since then.

Me about 10 years ago wearing a silk saree.

Me about 10 years ago wearing a silk saree.

The second silk piece came from this silk saree. I know the colour in this photo looks very different to the colours of the blouse, but trust me, they are the same fabric.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

So the pattern is of course the Sutton Blouse from True Bias. I selected this pattern specifically for this project because I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the floral dress silk to make a blouse in its entirety. You can see I used the dress silk (cut from the skirt portion) to cut the main body pieces, and some of the silk saree to cut the contrasting yoke. The silk saree is probably closest to a crepe de chine. Before anyway points it out, I made the deliberate choice to cut the main body of the blouse with the flowers pointing downwards because that was the only way I could fit the pattern pieces on to the fabric. And I am fine with that.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

In terms of the pattern itself – check out my full review below. I was dubious before starting sewing what this pattern would be like but I have to give Kelli full marks for the instructions – they are brilliant. Don’t be fooled in to thinking this is a simple sew. It is a fairly simple design, yes, but Kelli’s instructions are written specifically with sewing fine fabrics in mind and the finish is wonderful. It was actually quite a challenging sew and I learned lots doing it.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk - inside finish

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk – inside finish – neckline finished with silk bias facing, yoke seams sewn with french seams and side seam neatened with overlocking.

Another thing I wanted to point out is that I pre-washed my fabrics. I don’t do dry cleaning, unless it is something I know I will only wear occassionally. I would not take a silk blouse to be dry cleaned every couple of weeks. So even though the dress was labelled as dry-clean only I pre-washed it, together with the saree using a silk specific detergent and a colour catcher sheet. I did get a little bit of bleeding but not that you would notice much. Don’t try and wash silk or wool with a detergent which contains biological enzymes – they will destroy your fabric!

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
The Sutton Blouse is a loose fitting V-neck top with kimono sleeves, a one piece yoke, and a back inverted pleat. The back is longer than the front and includes slits at both of the lower side seams.
Pattern Sizing:
0 – 18
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions are top notch. I am a fan of Big 4 patterns – anyone that reads my blog knows that – but if this were a Big 4 pattern it would not tell you how to finish the insides the way the instructions for this particular pattern do. The inside finish is beautiful. This is probably a slightly challenging sew simply because of the kind of fabrics you are likely to use to make this top, but if you follow the instructions you will end up with a beautifully finished and constructed piece.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished top – so light and comfortable and easy to wear. I didn’t like the fact that there were no finished measurements provided and also I would have liked a neck to waist measurement to be given. Kelli (the designer) tells me she is looking into adding the finished measurements to future patterns.
Fabric Used:
Upcycled silk from a silk dress and a silk saree.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Aside from adding 1 inch to the length of the pattern and maybe an inch at the hips – nothing.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Maybe and yes.

Conclusion:

Very pleased that these beautiful fabrics have found a new lease of life in a more wearable garment. Great easy to wear piece.

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

True Bias Sutton Blouse made from upcycled silk

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket: White Tree Fabrics Project

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket
Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Hi Friends,

First of all thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. At the end of that post I said I had made a jacket to go with the dress. Well, not exactly to go with the dress. But I felt a smart dress like that needed a smart jacket that I could throw over it if necessary. So, as my next White Tree Fabrics project, I decided to make a black satin tuxedo style jacket from Vogue 8958.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

I have to say that the satin is very hard to photograph without showing it as being incredibly wrinkled. I promise you, in real life it doesn’t look that bad!

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

White Tree Fabrics very generously supplied me with the pattern, this premium duchess satin and this premium viscose lining. I prewashed all the fabrics before sewing and I can testify they wash and sew beautifully and the end product looks very high quality.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – Inside Lining

The Vogue pattern itself is a great pattern to have in your stash. I think it is their take on the Le Smoking tuxedo jacket first shown by YSL in 1966. It’s just a classic pattern and I would love to make up view D sometime in a crepe. It also features 2 piece sleeves which give a great shape and are very comfortable to wear:

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket - two piece sleeve

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – two piece sleeve

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket - flap and button detail.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket – flap and button detail.

I have quite a bit to say on the pattern: see below for full details.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Fitted, lined vest or jacket has collar variations, shoulder pads, princess seams and front button closing. A: button trim. B: flaps. C and D: side front pockets. B, C and D: two-piece sleeves.

I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes – although I did some of my own things.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished fit (see notes below!), the two piece sleeves and the overall shape. Nothing to dislike as such.
Fabric Used:
Duchess Satin (not silk) outer with viscose lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
First thing to say is that I reckon there is about 3 – 4 inches of ease in this pattern. As I figured I would only be wearing this jacket to more evening type events over a thin blouse or dress I decided to size down by one size.

I think the instructions call for sew in interfacing? (Can’t actually remember now). I used iron on knit fusible interfacing. In addition to interfacing the jacket facing, flaps and under collar as per the instructions I interfaced all the hems and also fused a back stay.

I added a pleat to the lining at centre back.

I added 1/4 inch extra height to the armholes of the lining at the front, back and sleeves to allow more ease with the lining.

I shortened the sleeves by 3 inches.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I bagged out the lining. The pattern has you bagging out the body: don’t see why Vogue couldn’t have just gone one step further and instructed you how to bag out the entire jacket?
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to sew view D sometime. Yes, I recommend, although this jacket is rated as easy and I thought there was quite a bit of work involved: it did take me a while to sew up.
Conclusion:

I am severely lacking in smart jackets in my wardrobe, so I am very glad to have this one as a start. I wore it over skinny jeans and a silk top (to blog soon!) on Friday night to a local fashion show and was very pleased with how it felt and looked.

Until soon and have a great week ahead.

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8958: DIY Ladies Satin Tuxedo Jacket

Vogue 8998: DIY Floral Silk Fit and Flare Dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress
Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Dear Friends,

I have finally finished Vogue 8998! This dress was started back in October of last year, when I hoped to complete it in time for my 40th birthday. Alas, I ran out of silk (ordered from a Chinese ebayer) and had to wait a considerable length of time for more to arrive. And then we moved house, and you know, I didn’t have an occassion to finish the dress for etc. But, thanks to my overlocker being in the shop, it forced me to pick this project up and finish it. And I am so glad I did!

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

There are, I think, 25 individual pieces to sew together to form the outer part of this dress. So multiply that by two for the lining and another 12 pieces or so to cut for the underlining. My outer fabric is silk, I underlined with silk organza, and the lining is silk cotton. All fabrics were purchased from 2 Chinese eBay sellers. I did perform a flame test on the fabrics and I am fairly confident they are the real deal. Note – it is worthwhile labelling each skirt piece so you know which piece is which, and which side is the right/ wrong side!

Vogue 8998 - silk organza underlining

Vogue 8998 – silk organza underlining

Vogue 8998 - labelling skirt lining pieces

Vogue 8998 – labelling skirt lining pieces

The hem of the skirt has horsehair braid (or what I could get hold of that is supposed to  be horsehair braid), handstitched to the wrong side of the lining of the skirt. The hem of the skirt lining is then sewn to the hem of the skirt (right sides together) and the whole thing turned right side out so that the horsehair braid and all of the seams are enclosed inside the garment.

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress - horsehair braid at hem

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress – horsehair braid at hem

It does give a lovely shape to the skirt, and makes for a very swishy affair.

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

You can read about changes I made to the pattern in the review below. One thing I wish I had perhaps done differently is that, it might not be that apparent from these photographs, but I do feel the waistband looks a little wavy. I think I should have used 2 layers of silk organza to stabilise and support the waistband more, but hey, we live and learn. No way am I going to change it now…it would mean taking everything apart. Also, I do feel the sleeves are quite wide…I did try and take them in a bit…if I was making again I would try and do something about them. (Perhaps the fact I underlined the sleeves as well isn’t helping with the “wideness”).

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Lined dress has close-fitting, interfaced bodice with princess seams, inset band, skirt variations (horse hair finish on hemline) and back zipper. A: cap sleeves. A, B and C: skirt seam detail. D: collar. D, E and F: gathered skirt with princess seams, and side pockets. F: band and skirt overlays. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A, B, C, D.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I did deviate somewhat.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished shape and fit. And I love the feel and shape of the skirt with the horsehair braid in it. I think the sleeves are a little wide? I took them in by about 0.5 inch front and back, but if I was sewing again I would look at this. Maybe the fact I underlined the sleeves with silk organza is also contributing to them looking a little too wide? I think I would do something about the armholes being too cut in for my liking if making again.
Fabric Used:
Silk (maybe charmeuse? or lightweight satin?) for the outer; silk organza underlining and silk cotton lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I pinched out 0.25 inches either side of the front neckline (removing a total of 0.5 inches) to stop the straps from sliding off my shoulders.
  • I shortened the back bodice by 1 inch, tapering to nothing at the sides.
  • I shortened all the skirt pieces by 5/8ths of an inch.
  • I ended up taking a 1 inch seam allowance at the centre back seam.
  • I made the sleeves approx. 1 inch smaller in total.
  • I machined the waist band lining to the skirt lining, and didn’t hand stitch as the instructions tell you.
  • I installed an invisible zipper.
  • I underlined the sleeves.
  • I wish I had double underlined the waistband: I think the waistband looks ever so slightly wavy in places and I think it would have benefitted from more support.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I might sew this again…if I had a special occassion coming up. Yes. I recommend.
Conclusion:

This is a perfect pattern to sew for a spring or summer wedding I think. My version, at least, is so light and comfortable and makes me feel very feminine and elegant. Highly recommend.

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Vogue 8998: silk fit and flare dress

Come back in a few days and check out the satin jacket I made to go along with this dress. Until then!

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