Tag Archive | curvy sewing

OOP Vogue 8887 – DIY fixed wrap pleated front oxblood wool crepe skirt

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe – worn with silk crepe de chine sew over it pussy bow blouse

Hi Friends,

I have got a few projects that I have finished and want to blog about before the year end so this is the first of those. Expect some brief reviews 🙂

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

Long term readers of this blog will know that I went back to work about 6 months ago and whilst I was fine for clothes through the summer period, now it has become cold I am finding I would like more choice in my winter work wear. This wool crepe (I think) has been sitting in my stash since the early part of the year. I bought it from the remnants section of (local to me) Linton Tweed, as two 1 metre skirt lengths. It is a much deeper, richer oxblood colour than shown in these photographs. I prewashed the fabric so I can launder it at home myself.

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

 

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

The pattern is OOP Vogue 8887, view D. Full review below. Two things of note about this skirt:

  1. It is cut entirely on the bias. I don’t know if that has caused my back seam to stretch slightly (?) but the seam is not fully smooth over my bottom. I did interface the area before inserting my (invisible) zip.
  2. The waist is finished using grosgrain ribbon – treating the ribbon rather like a bias facing. Sorry, I have not taken a photograph. This is first time I have used this kind of treatment to finish a waist. I have already worn this skirt for two full days and it is very comfortable and doesn’t twist or move at all.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Mock wrap skirt has pleated overlay and concealed slit. Narrow hem. Slightly below waist, back zipper. Purchased grosgrain finishes waist. Semi-fitted, bias.

I made view D.

Pattern Sizing:

4 – 20

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

Yep. I think so. One thing to watch out for: the waist is finished using a grosgrain ribbon, rather like a bias facing. Don’t get me wrong, I have worn this skirt for two full days since I made it  and it has been supremely comfortable and secure, and didn’t twist or move. But I do feel the reason the front overlay looks longer is because the ribbon, despite being tacked down inside as instructed, can’t seem to fully take the weight of the front, hence it hangs a bit lower. The pattern envelope picture shows the same. It doesn’t bother me too much but I might go back and have another look at it.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished skirt. It’s very cute. I love the princess seams in the back: great fitting opportunity! The whole skirt is cut on the bias, and that, together with the waist treatment, makes this skirt very comfortable and wearable. However, I am not 100% happy with my slightly lumpy centre back seam: I don’t know if it’s due to the seam stretching out there, inspite my interfacing the area. Nothing to dislike about the pattern.

Fabric Used:

Wool crepe purchased from Linton Tweeds remnants section in store.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I made all the vertical seams up to 1 inch for extra fit insurance. I used some of this extra allowance to sew the skirt up, but took the waist in to fit me.
  • I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment

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

Don’t know if I need another of these skirts in my wardrobe. I recommend.

Conclusion: 

Cute, comfortable and smart. I am pleased to have this skirt in my wardrobe.

Back soon with more reviews 🙂

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Vogue 8887 fixed wrap pleated front skirt in wool crepe

 

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OOP Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179: DIY Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

Hi Everyone,

Trying to play catch up on blogging stuff I haven’t shared yet. I still like to blog and have a proper record of things I have made, but like everyone else, it’s so easy to just go with the flow on Instagram and get behind on blogging. Anyway, here’s an outfit I made in August to attend my cousin’s wedding in New Jersey at the beginning of September. It was a meeting of cultures (you may remember I made Simplicity 8292 to wear to the church ceremony), with my cousin marrying a Canadian. The dress code for the evening was Indian attire.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

So, the fabrics were all ordered online. The blue and gold viscose/ silk brocade and the plain navy blue dupioni silk were ordered from one particular ebay seller who shipped the silks to me from India using DHL. I couldn’t fault the seller on their shipping time, but actually, when I realised I needed more of the brocade (for pattern matching purposes), the seller didn’t respond. In fact, they now seem to have come off ebay, and appear to have set up a website, which you can see here. So, whilst I have no experience of buying through that website, certainly through ebay it was a smooth enough transaction.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

Details on other materials used:

  • The sheer fabric at the top of the bodice is silk chiffon
  • The whole gown is lined using a navy cotton lawn purchased from Minerva crafts
  • The silk dupioni bodice is underlined using silk organza (from my stash)
  • I used Hemline Featherlite cotton covering boning for the bodice. It was very easy to cut, sew and work with
  • I cut all of the (8?) brocade panels in a single layer in order to preserve the pattern flow and get some pattern matching (at the centre fronts and backs). It turned out I didn’t have enough to cut all the panels that way, full length. So I ended up ordering some gold lame and created a 11 inch deep border at the bottom of the skirt. The lame came from Midland Textiles on ebay
  • The dupatta (the long scarf thing) that I have draped over my arms was part of a set I already had. I didn’t really want to have a dupatta, but it’s pretty much a standard part of most Indian outfits. In the end the colour was a good match with the border fabric
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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

To create this gown I used a combination of (OOP) Vogue 8849 for the bodice and Butterick 6179 for the skirt. I recommend both patterns. Really, I did minimal alterations to achieve my look, and I have never felt so comfortable in an Indian outfit. There was no pulling or yanking or tugging all night long 🙂 The Vogue pattern in particular is great because it is a multi-cup size pattern, so no FBA required.

Pattern notes:

  • I used Vogue 8849 for the bodice (view E), and cut a size 18 through the bust and shoulders, C cup, grading out one size at the waist.
  • I lowered the bust fullness by 1 inch (Tip: remember to do any fitting with the bra you intend to wear with the outfit. For me, that was a strapless bra).
  • I ended up removing 0.25 inch from each of the front princess seams at the top of the bust, and taking a corresponding tuck out of the upper front pattern piece.
  • The pattern instructions don’t seem to mention adding boning to view E, but I chose to add some for extra support.
  • I did a 6/8ths inch sway back adjustment on the bodice.
  • I used french seams to sew the sheer silk chiffon upper bodice, and did narrow baby hems 0.5 inches from the cut edge.
  • I did a 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • I used Butterick 6179 for the skirt (view B).
  • I added an 11 inch deep border to the bottom of the skirt, cut on the cross grain, from lame.
  • I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment and adjusted the skirt seams to ensure they matched with the bodice seams where necessary.
  • I added a 5 inch deep interfaced hem.

All in all, yes, this gown was a fair bit of work. Using well drafted solid patterns really helped me to achieve my vision. I loved how this gown fitted me, and the fact it was constructed from all natural fabrics (with the exception of the border). It felt light, but supportive, and fits me better than any RTW Indian outfit I have bought in the past. The day of the wedding I noticed there was a small tear where the sheer bodice had joined the silk dupioni bodice,  in the front. I ended up patching it together, and it held fast. I will have to go back and check it some time. The dress, and the wedding, were a grand success. Here’s wishing the married couple enjoy many years of happy married life ahead.

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Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

 

 

Butterick 6384: DIY Red Mohair Wool Robe Wrap Belted Coat

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share my most recent make with you: Butterick 6384, made in the most delicious heavy, warm, luxurious all wool/ mohair coating purchased from Fabworks. I just love how warm and cosy this coat is. Actually, I purchased this fabric using some money I was gifted with for my birthday last year, so I am extra pleased to have got this sewn up before our winter really sets in (and before my birthday in a couple of weeks).

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

The lining is an acetate satin lining, purchased from The Lining Company. Never used them before, but I recommend. Fast delivery and good quality lining.

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

In case you’re wondering what the coat looks like without a belt, here you go. I think I might wear it either way…I like both looks.

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

Here it is unfastened…

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

The next few photographs were just taken on my iphone, but I am including them because I think they show the texture of the wool and the seaming detail better, and there are some in progress internal structure shots. BTW, no filters have been used for any of these photographs. This is not a colour for the feint hearted!

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar – shoulder reinforcement cut from hair canvas

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar – back stay and shoulder pads

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar – shoulder reinforcement and shoulder pads

I am entering this coat in the Pattern Review Wool Coat Contest – there is some pretty stiff competition so head over to check out all the entries.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: 

Lined, loose-fitting coat has front extending into shawl collar and two-piece sleeve. A, B: Purchased fringe. B: Snap closure. C: Self-belt and contrast bands. D: Purchased binding.

I essentially made view C, but without the contrast bands.

Pattern Sizing:

Size 4 – 26

For reference, with Big 4 patterns, I would normally cut a size 18 through the shoulders, arms and bust and grade out a size or even two over the waist/ hips as needed. With this particular coat I cut straight size L (16-18) with minor additions to some seam allowances (see below for more details).

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

Kind of. Yes. Mine doesn’t have the contrast bands or fringing.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Hmmm, I didn’t really follow them as I have my own particular methods I like to use when tailoring a coat. At quick glance they seemed “ok”.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Well, I just love the finished coat. It’s something completely different for me, and a style (and colour) I don’t have in my (coat) wardrobe. I love the fact it looks good belted or unbelted, and I love the dramatic statement collar. There are only 6 pieces to cut for the outer of this coat, which makes it less daunting for newbies. I like the shaping in the back.

The one thing I was a little disappointed in was that, surprisingly, finished garment measurements did not seem to be provided for the main body of the coat (although they were for the sleeves). Having the finished measurements would have been useful in selecting the most appropriate size. Also, watch out for the lower pocket markings – they seemed a little off to me.

Fabric Used:

The outer fabric is an all wool/ mohair coating. It is described on the Fabworks website as a knitted coating. I found it stable and very easy to work with.

The inner lining is an acetate satin.

I used a fusible knit interfacing to interface the entire body of the coat, and the hems and cap/ armscye of the sleeves.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

My changes were largely to do with extra tailoring steps that I chose to incorporate:

  • As mentioned above I cut a straight size L (16 – 18) but added 3/8ths inch to the side seams at the waist and hips and ended up letting the side back princess seams out from the waist downwards by 3/8ths inch.
  • With hindsight I perhaps should have perhaps made a 0.5 inch small shoulder adjustment?
  • I adjusted for turn of cloth at the collar, and removed 0.25 inch from the undercollar and down to the bottom of the roll line.
  • I added a backstay cut from muslin.
  • I added shoulder reinforcement cut from hair canvas.
  • I added a pleat to the back lining.
  • I made my own custom shoulder pads.
  • I interfaced the entire body of the coat, and the hems and caps and armscyes of the sleeves.
  • I added belt loops.
  • I bagged the lining out by machine.

Tip: I followed a “with nap” layout when I cut this fabric out. This fabric has a kind of pile, so I cut all my pieces so that they felt smooth when I brushed them downwards.

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

I don’t know if I would sew again, simply because it’s such a distinctive style. Saying that, I think a sleeveless version might be cute…? Yes, I highly recommend.

Conclusion: 

I think we are all guilty of declaring our latest completed sewing project as our all time favourite. But seriously, I am in love with the colour of this coat, the feel of the wool (so luxurious and warm!) and I just love the drama this coat brings. Every year my daughter’s christmas carol service is held in the school chapel which is cold and draughty. All the mums rock up in their best outerwear, and this year, I will be secretly snug, smug and full of festive cheer. Ho ho ho 🙂

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Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

Photo credit: Kezia – thanks for doing a brilliant job for mummy.

 

Kwik Sew 4015: DIY Floral Print Shower Curtain Hooded Rain Jacket Anorak

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

Hi Friends,

I think its been more than a month since my last blog post…life has been (and continues to be) busy! Kezia and I have been to the USA to attend my cousin’s wedding, and there is a post to come on the Indian outfit I made for that, but today I wanted to share a hooded anorak I made using Kwik Sew 4015 and two floral printed shower curtains, purchased from Marks and Spencers (now sold out but lots of others to choose from). Why shower curtains? I just couldn’t find anything in a shower proof fabric that had a print on it that I liked. You all know me: I like a floral print.

First up, I need to thank Ange from Blacklabel blog for kindly sending this pattern to me. Sewing friends are the best! I probably wouldn’t have bought this pattern myself, but, with some modifications, it turned out to be a corker.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

What I didn’t realise when I bought the shower curtains, was, that actually the design ran centrally down the length of the curtain, so I needed to be careful with my cutting out to balance the design across the jacket. There was a fair bit of waste. I did spend quite a bit of time cutting this jacket out using a single layer layout, and using cut pieces to get matching mirror image pieces. I think it worked out ok in the end.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

As designed, this jacket is intended to be lined edge to edge, with the lining providing a pop of contrast against the outer jacket fabric. I decided I didn’t want that kind of look, so I drafted a facing for the front as well as the hood. I also added elasticated cuffs and extra eyelets under the arms for ventilation.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – front facings and lining

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – lining

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – underarm eyelets

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – elasticated cuff

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain – hood eyelet detail

One thing I would say to watch out for, is sewing the side slits: I found it hard to get the slits even on either side. I used a walking foot and french seams for most of the construction, just because I thought that would make the jacket a bit more water resistant. This is not a jacket that I would wear in heavy downpours, but light summer showers, and I think it serves that purpose well enough. It is a true shower curtain shower proof jacket 🙂

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Jackets have long sleeves. A: Stand-up collar, button closures and purchased bias binding. B: High-low hem, lined with contrast fabric, has patch pockets, hood with drawstring in casing and snap closures.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

XS – XL

I made a straight size XL – I could perhaps have done a FBA but I think I have just about got away without one.

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

Yes,  but with some minor modifications.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This really is one of those patterns where you need to look beyond the envelope styling and check out the line drawings and use your imagination! I am very happy with the finished garment. I could see me making this again maybe in a solid waxed cotton? It is a cute, casual jacket. Love the hood too. Where I live, with the amount of rain we get,  hooded jackets are a must. There does seem to be a slight discrepancy in the length of the front and back shoulder seams, and also the dots for the side slits don’t seem to match.

Fabric Used:

Two floral shower curtains for the outer, with a polyester lining. I was worried it might feel too hot and sticky, but really, it doesn’t.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch sway back adjustment, with the removed length added back to the hem.
  • Drafted facings for the front and hood.
  • French seam construction.
  • I did use an iron with iron-in interfacing and a silk organza press cloth throughout.
  • Added elastic cuffs.
  • Added extra eyelets under the arms for ventilation.
  • TIP: I avoided using pins and used pattern weights to cut out and quilting clips to hold pieces together.

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

Yes, I might sew again. Yes. I recommend.

Conclusion: 

Who says rainwear has to be boring? I love my summery fun jacket that brightens up even the dullest of days.

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Kwik Sew 4015 floral hooded anorak made using a shower curtain

Hopefully it won’t be so long before the next post. I am now all about sewing for autumn…it is definitely autumn weather here. Until soon.

 

 

 

 

Pauline Alice Faura Top and Vogue 1411: DIY white crepe tunic top and black faux leather leggings

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

*Edit: Pauline Alice kindly sent me the Faura pattern as a gift to review, but as ever, all opinions are my own.

Hi Everyone,

Today I am back with a new me-made outfit which was super speedy to sew. Let’s start with the top.

The top is the Faura Top, which is the latest offering from Pauline Alice, and comes with the option to also make it as a dress. This top features an oval (ish) neckline in the front, an opening in the back, front and back princess seams, no side seams, an A-line shape and a waist tab to provide some shaping which is fastened using D-rings. The facings are topstitched in place. As ever with Pauline’s pattern, despite this being a simple top, the details are well thought out.

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

I made mine in a viscose crepe. I rarely seem to make things in white but I am trying to make neutral basics which make getting dressed for work in the morning easy, and so that’s probably what influenced my colour choice. Not a huge amount to say about this top which I don’t cover in my pattern review below. It’s a good wardrobe basic to have and I think there are so many different looks you could achieve with this pattern depending on fabric selection.

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

Now about the leggings: these are made using Vogue 1411, a Sandra Betzina pattern and I chose to make mine from faux stretch leather. Possibly not the best fabric choice to start with on a pattern which I hadn’t tested before. Overall, I am ok with the fit and they are definitely wearable (not to work though!) The thing I am least happy with in terms of the fit is the lines I have at the backs of my knees. I am wondering if I need to do a full calf adjustment? I think I will try that if I make this again. That might also alleviate some of the lines in the front too? There is lots of interesting seaming on these leggings, which unfortunately you can’t see much of on my black fabric. Here’s the line drawing (I made view B).

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Vogue 1411 line drawing

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

They are definitely very comfortable, even if they do seem to make a somewhat alarming squeaking noise 🙂 I think these will get worn lots but I would like the chance to refine the fit somewhat.

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

Faura Top Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Top or dress which features an oval (ish) neckline in the front, an opening in the back, front and back princess seams, no side seams, an A-line shape and a waist tab to provide some shaping which is fastened using D-rings. The facings are topstitched in place.

Pattern Sizing:

Sizes 34 – 48

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 simple design with the princess seams which make doing an FBA relatively easy (you will have to add in a side seam to do the FBA but tape it back up once you have finished if you want to keep the seamless side piece). I like the waist tabs with the D-ring feature and the fit. I think it looks very contemporary. Personally speaking, I think maybe I might add in a side seam for next time: I think I would prefer something to break up the fabric there, but maybe if I had used a pattern fabric I might feel differently about that?

Fabric Used:

Viscose crepe

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 1 inch FBA
  • Added about 1 inch to the side back seams from the high hip down to the hem
  • Lengthened top by 3.5 inches
  • 1.25 inch full arm adjustment
  • Added interfacing to the facings and staystiched the necklines (not mentioned in instructions)
  • Made a bias rouleux loop and added a button for the fastening

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

Yes, I might sew again and yes I do recommend.

Conclusion:

Contemporary, comfortable and some interesting features make this top a winner.

 

Vogue 1411 Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Close-fitting pants elasticized waistband, front guide, seam detail, edgestitching and stitched hems. A: Straight leg. B: Tapered.

For moderate stretch knits only.
I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

A – J.

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

Yes. Ish.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep. Very thorough

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I know I will wear these and the only reason I am not fully happy with them is not to do with the pattern but the fit: I think I need to do a full calf adjustment to eliminate the lines at the back of the knees? But that is the risk you take when you don’t muslin. I love the interesting seaming detail. Also, its great that a seamless pant AND legging front is included in the pattern to cut a muslin or use to make plain front pants or leggings. Great value for money. Fitting pointers are included with the instructions.

Fabric Used:

Faux stretch leather.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I was advised on Instagram that this pattern ran a bit small so I sized up. The fit through the waist, bum and hips is good but I ended up narrowing the lower legs quite a bit
  • Added 3 inches to lower leg length, but ended up removing 2.75 inches of this.
  • FOR NEXT TIME, I would try the full calf adjustment and also a slight full bum adjustment of maybe 1 inch to raise the height of the back.

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

I would like to try these again. I do recommend.

Conclusion:

A great pattern to have in the stash: very comfortable and not your boring basic legging.

Next up for me is more wedding sewing!

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Pauline Alice Faura Tunic Top and Vogue 1411 Faux Leather Leggings

 

 

Simplicity 8292: DIY Flutter Sleeve Fuschia Pink Crepe Sheath Dress

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

Hi everyone,

I am going on a flying visit to the States at the end of September for my cousin’s wedding and I made this dress thinking I would wear this to the daytime/ church ceremony. Now I am having second thoughts as to whether it will be too warm (New Jersey at the end of September – Carolyn or anyone else, any thoughts?). Anyway, the pattern is Simplicity 8292. The main thing to note about my version is that I have moved the under bust/ empire line seam down to create a waist seam, which I personally find more comfortable and flattering. More details on that in the review below.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

The fabric is this triple crepe in fuschia pink, purchased from Minerva crafts. I have worked with this triple crepe before and it is quite weighty. I was worried it might fray like mad, but it wasn’t too bad. I put it through a hot 60 degree prewash and it cut and sewed very well. I did use a medium heat for pressing with steam and my clapper to get a crisper finish on my pressing.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

Can I just say I am thrilled with the fit through the back of the skirt? I would never be able to get a sheath dress like this to fit me RTW and I love the princess seams on this pattern for the fit opportunities. I did do a full bum adjustment and it worked very well.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

The main attraction of this pattern of course is the statement flutter sleeves. They do make this dress very of the moment, but other sleeve options are included in the pattern (including a cold sleeve option as well as a plain short sleeve option), so I would consider making this dress again for work in a neutral colour with the short sleeve option – now I have got the dress to fit me so well. One thing to watch out for: I wish I had chosen another seam finishing technique to finish the sleeve seam instead of overlocking. I mean, you can’t see it in these pictures when I have the dress on, but personally I think it looks a little ugly, and if I was making this dress again with the flutter sleeves I would reconsider this aspect.

I chose to fully line my dress. I used this tutorial to fully machine the lining around the armholes which I think worked well. Inside shots:

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe – machine finish lining attachment around armhole

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe – full lining

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe – machine finish lining attachment around armhole

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

This Misses’/Miss Petite dress features three different sleeve options, princess seams, invisible back zipper, lined bodice and your choice of either long flare or pencil cut each in two lengths.

I made view C with some alterations.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 22

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

Yes, although the most noticeable difference between the pattern and my version is that I moved the under bust/ empire line seam down to hit at my waist.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes. I kind of did my own thing when it came to the lining.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished dress: the fit and the statement flutter sleeves. Love the princess seams which give lots of fitting opportunities. I wish I had chosen another seam finishing technique to finish the sleeve seam instead of overlocking. I mean, you can’t see it in these pictures when I have the dress on, but personally I think it looks a little ugly, and if I was making this dress again with the flutter sleeves I would reconsider this aspect.

Fabric Used:

Triple crepe outer and polyester lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I cut my usual size 18 through the shoulders and bust and graded out over the waist and hips.
  • I cut the skirt pattern off at the marked waistline and taped the pieces I cut off  onto the bottom of the corresponding bodice pieces, overlapping the seam allowances, and re-adding new seam allowances at the bottom edges and at the new top edges of the skirt pattern pieces. I did this in order to move the under bust/ empire line down to waist level, which I personally find more comfortable and flattering.
  • 1 inch FBA
  • Added about an inch to the side seams but probably removed most of that when fitting the dress. Used a slightly larger seam allowance than suggested to insert the zipper in the centre back seam
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment on bodice
  • Added a full lining
  • Used the princess seams to fit: let them out approx. 0.25 inch in the tummy and bottom area
  • Did 1 inch full bum adjustment largely to add length to the back of the skirt to account for my full bottom
  • After making the FBA etc some of the seams didn’t match so had to make some adjustments to make the bodice and skirt seams match
  • Interfaced the skirt hems, vent area and zipper opening
  • Hand stitched hems

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

Initially I thought my answer to this would be no. But the fact that a plain short sleeve is included means I could see me making this dress again in a neutral colour for work. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion:

I love the fit, the colour and the statement sleeves. Remains to be seen whether I actually wear this to the wedding at the end of September in New Jersey or if it will be too hot.

Over on Instagram, Diane and Helen are currently running #sleevefest2017 – the deadline for which is on 31st August, so I think I am just in time.

Enjoy the long weekend if you have one, otherwise enjoy your week.

Until soon.

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Simplicity 8292 flutter sleeve sheath dress in fuschia pink triple crepe

 

 

 

Kwik Sew K4111 and Burdastyle 06/2016 #140: DIY Green Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress and Girls Tie Front Blouse

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Friends!

This dress was born out of Instagram: I saw the fabric on Fabricgodmother’s feed, and I couldnt resist the super saturated colour (hard to capture the true colour in these photographs) or the floral print, so I ordered 3 metres a couple of weeks back. This was one of those rare occassions when, as soon as the fabric arrived, I was determined to sew something from it. I had Kwik Sew K4111 in my stash and I thought the crepe paired with the tulip skirt and feminine bodice would work well together. Also, I am no horticultural expert, but aren’t they tulips on the fabric? Seemed like a match made in heaven to me.

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

I am super pleased with the fit I got on this dress, which I tissue fitted. I love the tulip skirt. It is very secure, with the underlap being sewn into the side seam, so even if the front were to inadvertently blow up, you won’t be showing anything you shouldn’t. Also, I LOVE the facings and the instructions which showed you how to get a completely clean, machine finish all around the armholes. Magic! Be bored with several pictures just of the inside:

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – back facing (don’t ask me why I bought a purple zipper! It’s a good thing I am pretty good at sewing a concealed zipper in, because you can’t tell from the outside)

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – front facing

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress – clean finish armhole

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

I just love the finished dress, even if I am sad that the summer seems all but over for us and so I don’t know how much opportunity I will have to wear this until next year.

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Dresses have bodice with partial gathers at waist seam, scoop neckline, back zipper, overlapping front tulip skirts with pleats, back darts and stitched hems. Neckline and armholes are finished with facings. Self-fabric belt. A: Sleeveless with neckline notch and topstitching at armhole. B: Self-faced cap sleeves.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:<

XS – XL

I cut a size L through the shoulders and  bust and graded out over the waist and hips.

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 particularly love the facings and the clean (machine) finish you achieve around the armholes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished dress. I love the tulip skirt – very feminine – and also very secure, with the underlap portion sewn into the side seam of the dress. As mentioned above, love the finish inside with the facings. Love the overall drafting. Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:

Polyester crepe.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Graded out slightly (total 3 inches) over the hips.
  • 1 inch FBA, rotating the formed dart into the waist for extra gathers there.
  • 5/8ths inch full bottom adjustment on the back skirt piece.
  • Lengthened skirt 1.5/8ths inch.
  • Used an invisible zipper.
  • Staystitched neckline – no mention of this in the instructions.
  • I think I did a sway back adjustment of approx. 1 inch?

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

I might sew again, maybe? I highly recommend.

Conclusion:

I think this dress is super cute and feminine. Sometimes that’s nice 🙂

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Kwik Sew K4111 Floral Crepe Tulip Skirt Dress

Now, there was a little bit of fabric left over so I thought, seeing as I had the machine threaded up etc, why not whizz up a little top for Kezia?

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

I used Burdastyle 06/2016#140 and there isn’t a great deal to say about it. It’s a simple, boxy top with cut on sleeves and incorporates a tie front. Of course the instructions were confusing and I think they intended for you to finish those front ties using a facing, but I could not be bothered to figure it out so I just did a narrow hem around the ties. It’s not my finest sewing but it works, and it will probably survive more washes than the time Kezia will fit into this top, the rate at which she is growing! Just for reference, this top was cut at the 140 cm height size.

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

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Burda Style 06/2016 #140 girls tie front blouse

Have a great week everyone!

Until soon.

 

 

 

Simplicity 8295 and Closet Case Patterns Ginger Skinny Jeans: DIY Linen Lace Up Eyelet Tunic and Skinny Jeans

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Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Hey Friends,

Hope you are all doing well. Today I am sharing a me-made outfit that has already had lots of wears. Neutral coloured pieces in great (breathable) fabric that can be mixed and matched with other pieces in my wardrobe are winners in my book.

Let’s start with the top: Simplicity 8295. This is a great pattern with some lovely details/ options. The only thing I would be wary of is, IMO, it is cut quite straight through the hips, so whilst its fine as a top, if I was making this again as a dress I would have to widen the hips.

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Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

The fabric is a linen/ cotton mix purchased from Fabworks. Unfortunately it looks like this particular fabric is sold out but they have lots of other linens at very reasonable prices. I just love the fabric!

Here’s a close up of the eyelet/ lacing detail. I used eyelets I already had in my stash. I couldn’t find any twill tape in a colour I was happy with so I ended up making my own lacing in self fabric. I find that in order to get eyelets that are really robust and not going to fall out you really need to experiment with your particular fabric to find out how many layers you need to support the weight of the eyelet. I interfaced scraps of the linen so it would be the same thickness as the placket and then experimented adding further layers of linen behind the eyelet to get an appropriate thickness. So behind every eyelet, inside the placket, there are extra squares of linen to take the weight of each eyelet. My other tip would be don’t make the size of the hole for the eyelet too big: better it is slightly smaller to hold the eyelet in place.

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Simplicity 8295 Linen Tunic – eyelets and lacing detail

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Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

You can see my first pair of Ginger jeans here. They were the first pair of jeans I made and they looked great when I was standing up….but my gosh they were so uncomfortable when I was sitting down, and I think that was largely down to the pocket stays that I had included (cut from a firm woven cotton). As a result, I think I have worn those jeans about twice. This time around I eliminated the pocket stays and gosh, what a difference! These jeans have already been worn so much. The light colour is great for summer, they are smart enough to wear to work without looking like they’re jeans and, whilst I will probably only ever wear them with longer length tops, they are just so much more comfortable. The fit still needs some tweaking (see my notes below), but these are a huge (wearable) improvement for me. The fabric for these jeans was purchased locally to me.

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Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

Pattern Review Simplicity 8295

Pattern Description:

This tunic or dress Inspired by Project Runway features optional lace up or trim at the neckline. Make the tunic length to wear over skinny jeans or dress length for a casual event.

I made view C with the collar from 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, although I used my own techniques for a neater finish.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Love the finished garment. Love the eyelet/ lace up detail. Nothing to dislike as such, although I would say this pattern is fairly straight cut so if you are making the dress length I would say you might need to widen somewhat at the hips if you carry weight there like me 🙂

Fabric Used:

Cotton/ linen blend.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I did a 0.5 inch FBA
  • I shortened the bust dart by about 2 inches
  • Next time around I might lower the bust dart just a smidge
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment, adding removed length back to hems
  • Shortened sleeve length by 1.5 inches. I don’t think I will ever wear the sleeves unrolled, but if I wanted to on future versions I might add some length back again: the cuffs are actually quite narrow
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment
  • Cut 2 back yokes and used the burrito method for a clean finish inside
  • Took 3/8ths inch seam allowance at hips
  • Increased length of side slits by about 2.5 inches (making them 8 inches in total)
  • Flat felled the sleeve seams so it would look neat when the sleeves are rolled up
  • Took 1.25 inches for the hems

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

It’s quite a distinctive look: don’t know if I need another one right now, but never say never. Yes, I recommend.

Conclusion:

Love the detail on this top, which elevates it somewhat. Great summer piece.

Notes on Ginger Jeans:

  • Added 0.25 inches at front and back sides and 0.5 inches to waistband
  • Removed pocket stays
  • Scooped out front and back crotch by 0.25 inches
  • Removed 3 inches from length
  • Let side seams out fractionally at knees
  • Next time around I need to remove some length above the knees
  • Still not happy with some of the wrinkling in the inner leg: need to play around with this
  • For next time I am going to raise the back pocket position up by 1 inch
  • I have already made a 0.5 inch full calf adjustment on the pattern for next time, tapering back to the original width at the ankle

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Happy sewing!

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Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

 

Vogue 1496: DIY Sandwash Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Hi Friends,

We just got back yesterday from a weeks holiday in Cornwall. It was great. Warm weather, beautiful beaches and fresh seafood. I am dashing off first thing tomorrow morning for a 3 day business trip to Barcelona, where temperatures are currently soaring. I made this dress a couple of weeks ago with Barcelona in mind, and we snapped a few pictures of it on the beach in Cornwall. This is Vogue 1496 by Sandra Betzina. I have made my version in a delicious charcoal grey sandwashed rayon challis, kindly sent to me by Stylish Fabrics. This fabric is beautifully soft, drapey and perfect to wear in hot weather conditions.

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Not a tremendous amount to say about this pattern that I haven’t said in my review below. I do like it a lot, and it will be perfect for hot weather dressing, and you can easily dress it up or down. The only thing I dislike about it is that the facing is flapping around a bit and I am going to topstitch it into place I think. Other than that, this is a really interesting shape and the way it comes together is fascinating. It’s made from just two pieces (front and back), plus pockets and facings. You might just be able to make out in the rear view picture a (flat felled) seam which joins the front to the back and creates the armholes. There are no shoulder seams in this dress.

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Very loose-fitting, tapered, pullover dress has V-neckline, optional pockets (stitched in place), front extending into yoke back, no shoulder seams, back armhole openings with narrow hem, and stitched hem. A: Optional neckline inset.

I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

Sizes A – J.

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?

They are easy to follow but 1. as other reviewers have mentioned, the instructions have you use Steam-a-seam on virtually every seam. I didn’t bother. 2. There is no mention of finishing any seams (apart from the facing) and for that I chose to use my own preferred method of obtaining a clean finish on the facing, sewing the interfacing to the facing right sides together, then turning and fusing in place, rather than just overlocking. Instructions are given on how to raise the (very low) neckline and also how to pick your correct size.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really like the finished garment. The ease of wearing and interesting shape. Don’t like the way the facing wants to flap around. I am going to topstitch in place.

Fabric Used:

Sandwashed rayon challis.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Based on my measurements, I should have cut a size E through the bust but, based on the finished pattern measurements which are given for bust, waist and hips, I cut a size D through the bust and waist and graded out over the hips.

I raised the front neckline by 3 inches.

I am 5’3″. I actually cut the view A length and added 1.5 inches at the hems.

I finished my side seams before sewing the flat fell seam that connects the front to the back piece.

The pattern and instructions don’t seem to indicate how high to make the side slits. I made mine 3 inches high.

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

Don’t know if I need another one of these in my wardrobe, but I do recommend.

Conclusion:

Breezy, stylish and something a little different. The husband didn’t say anything negative so I guess it has a little allure 🙂

Great week everyone!

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Vogue 1496 Sandwashed Rayon Challis Cocoon Style Dress

Simplicity 8341: DIY Pineapple Print Cold Shoulder Ruffle Front Button Up Shirt

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar (worn with Butterick 6331 white denim boyfriend style jeans)

Hey Everyone,

Today I am excited to share my review of this Simplicity 8341 pattern by Mimi G. We have had a spell of wonderful hot weather and this shirt has already been worn lots. It’s made from a fine, soft viscose voile and it’s been perfect for keeping cool but with an element of coverage.

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

This was not a fast make: there are a lot of narrow, rolled hems to sew on both the upper and lower front ruffles, as well as on the sleeves. My fabric was quite challenging to work with but it worked out ok in the end. Less confident sewists might want to try a more stable cotton shirting. It’s important to take the time to ensure the front plackets and the points where the sleeves join the yokes match. Speaking of which, I think that possibly larger size sewists may find that their sleeves don’t match the yoke points. The only reason mine match in the front is because I pinched out a 0.5 inch dart at the armhole (and transferred the dart volume to the side bust dart), but in the back the sleeves are about 1 inch lower than the yoke. (See also this picture on my Instagram account which shows a definite pattern discrepancy). I decided to just live with the discrepancy in the back on this version, but if I make this up again I would have to do something to address that. FYI I cut a size 18 through the shoulders and bust and graded out through the waist and over the hips.

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

My overall conclusion is that I love the finished blouse. It’s an absorbing sew which keeps you on your toes and very on trend. Check out my full review below for full details of adjustments made – note that I deepened my ruffles!

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Mimi G Style shirt dress and top pair perfectly with high waist leggings. The button-down top and dress have a collar and feature cold shoulder with ruffle on the sleeve and across the bodice.

I made view C.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 24

I cut a size 18 through the shoulders and bust and graded out over the waist and hips.

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 especially like the way the hem is formed. Neat. Also, I think the collar instructions match those given on the Four Square Walls blog, which is my preferred way to sew a collar. The armholes are finished with bias tape.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love the finished garment, especially in the fun pineapple print viscose voile I chose. It’s so light and breezy and this style is very on trend.

I think that possibly larger size sewists may find that their sleeves don’t match the yoke points. The only reason mine match in the front is because I pinched out a 0.5 inch dart at the armhole (and transferred the dart volume to the side bust dart), but in the back the sleeves are about 1 inch lower than the yoke. (See also this picture on my Instagram account which shows a definite pattern discrepancy). I decided to just live with the discrepancy in the back on this version, but if I make this up again I would have to do something to address that.

Fabric Used:

Pineapple print viscose voile.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Deepened upper and lower ruffles by 1 inch to account for my larger bust. I thought the proportions would look better, and I think they do.
  • Lengthened sleeves by 1 inch to match ruffles.
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment, with removed length added back to hem.
  • Shortened bust dart by 1.5 inch and moved bust dart down by 1.25 inches.
  • Pinched out 0.5 dart at the armhole and transferred the dart volume to the side bust dart.
  • Changed direction of grainlines on neckband, sleeve band and collar to preserve direction of print.
  • Instructions don’t seem to mention interfacing the sleeve band, although it’s shown in the cutting layout.
  • Added interfacing to the button placket area.
  • Note that only single yokes are cut but I don’t think it would be too difficult to cut double yokes and use the burrito method to clean finish the insides. I overlocked my sew allowances.

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

I might sew again. Like I say, it’s not a particularly fast sew. I do recommend, although maybe to more confident sewists.

Conclusion:

Love the finished top. It’s an absorbing sew which keeps you on your toes and very on trend. Make it fast before the trend disappears!

This top is being packed to take with us for our holiday next week in Cornwall. Here’s hoping for warm weather. Have a great week ahead everyone.

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Simplicity 8341 pineapple print ruffle cold shoulder button up shirt with collar

 

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