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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy the long weekend if you have one, otherwise enjoy your week.
No, I am not entering a Chris Evans look-alike contest (British reference there). Today’s post features fabric kindly sent to me by Spoonflower. I am sure many of you have already heard of the eco-friendly custom printing firm. About 1.5 years ago they opened a second factory in Berlin, and to celebrate they asked a few British bloggers to be part of a Blog Tour, and make items using Spoonflower fabric. You can see the list of bloggers here on the Spoonflower Blog. The fabric I have used in this post was sent to me for no charge by Spoonflower, but all opinions are my own.
I have never ordered fabric from Spoonflower before. The choice of already uploaded designs on the Spoonflower website is vast (of course the option is also there to upload your own design), and somewhat overwhelming. I searched using key words of prints I have a passion for (like dark florals), and elected to go for Jungle Passion Floral Navy by Joan McLemore, printed on to the lightweight cotton twill (58″ width).
Because of my own indecision, Spoonflower ended up sending me this fabric in two separate lengths but I was not able to detect any differences in the colours between the two lengths. I think the colours are a pretty good match to what was shown on screen when I was making my selection. I also liked the fact that, at least for the design I selected, previews were provided of the fabric made up into a cushion and a dress, so I could guage the scale of the print.
I did run the fabrics through a hot (60 degree) pre-wash before cutting out and did not notice any running, bleeding or fading. This particular fabric was easy to cut, sew and press. It’s a good weight without being too heavy and bulky. Full disclosure: will I ever wear these two pieces together? Probably not, but as separates in my wardrobe I love them and how individual and quirky they are. I already have lots of things which these items will go with.
The trousers were made using Butterick 6331. This is actually my third iteration of these pants (I haven’t shown you version two yet), but you can see my first version here. For this version I took on board what some of you said in the comments and scooped out the back crotch by 0.25 inches and added 0.5 inches to the upper back thigh. I know it’s hard to see in this busy print but overall I think it’s better. Other changes for this version:
- I fully interfaced the waistband.
- I had to let the side seams out a touch from the waist down to the bottom of the pockets.
- I hemmed the bottoms by hand.
- These are trousers but with some jeans details like additional topstitching, jeans button and bar tacks.
The blazer was made using Simplicity 2446, which I first made in wool ponte. I do love my first version, and since going back to work, have worn it a few times. But the shoulders are too big (although I did go back and alter them to be smaller). So for this version I made sure to do a small shoulder adjustment.
- I did a 5/8ths inch small shoulder adjustment.
- I shaved 0.25 inches off all the shoulder princess seams above the bust.
- I added a centre back seam for shaping.
- I shortened the pocket bag length by 1.5 inches.
- I added small ready made shoulder pads but omitted sleeve heads and chest reinforcement.
- You can see a picture of the internal interfacing here on Instagram if you want.
My previous two blazers have taken me approx. 3 weeks each to make: I slaved over this blazer to get it done in a week! Gosh it was tough but overall I am pretty happy with the finished result.
Like I say, being honest, I don’t think I would be brave enough to go full on head to toe pattern, but as individual pieces I think these are going to get worn lots. I am also very proud of how far I have come on with my sewing techniques tackling things like the welt pockets and sleeve vents and even the trouser fitting and sewing.
Happy sewing everyone!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.
I actually still have 2 unblogged items that I completed this year but I am not going to rush into blogging those before the year end. Instead, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the items I have made this year and also share some items that those of you who are not on Instagram might have missed (because I felt they were not worthy of a blog post of their own).
It’s been another great year of sewing for me. I feel like my skills are improving and I am getting more practised at refining the fit of garments – that’s not to say I always get it right – because I don’t! I think I am also more confident in my own sense of style and picking patterns that I think might work on my body shape etc. So all in all, 2016 was a successful year for me.
Here is the complete breakdown (not including the two unblogged items) with some pictures of things that have appeared on the blog before, as well as some pictures of items I shared on my Instagram account.
- 4 coats – including one for Kezia. These are probably my most favourite items of all the things I have sewn. I have to wear a coat of some kind most days for at least 9 – 10 months of the year and reaching for these items makes me happy. I really enjoy coat making.
- 2 blazers – both huge learning curves for me. One was a hand tailored wool blazer and one was a wool ponte blazer constructed using fusible interfacings.
- 2 jackets – one made from Linton tweed and fully lined (that was worn lots when travelling on planes in America) and one unlined kimono style.
- 3 pairs of pull on jeans made using the Jalie Elenore pattern (my red pair got worn loads – see below for picture. My black pair are in the donate pile – fabric didn’t have enough stretch to make them comfortable).
- 3 pairs of pants made using Simplicity 1167 – this pattern has become my go to pants pattern – for now. So proud of myself for making pants that fit ME!
- 2 pairs of culotte style trousers.
- 2 skirts, both made using Simplicity 8019. I made a version in suede leather and then this (unblogged) denim version, which has gotten a fair amount of wear.
- 1 pair of workout leggings
- 5 shirts – including one made for Philip’s big birthday and a floral Grainline Archer made for myself from some soft cotton voile type fabric I purchased a few years ago in Paris that I LOVE wearing.
- 11 further tops/ blouses/ workout top, including this modified McCalls 6886 breton style top. Sadly this has also just gone into the donate pile on account of the fabric not washing very well. It’s a shame as I LOVE the first breton top I made using this pattern and it still gets regularly worn (in a black and white stripe). Need to find the perfect fabric to make more!
- 2 cardigans
- 4 shirt dresses
- 6 further dresses – one of which was a wadder. The wadder was my attempt at turning the True Bias Sutton blouse into a dress with an elasticated waist. I made the top part way too blousey and I ended up chopping the dress apart before giving up on it completely.
- A gymnastics outfit for Kezia
- 2 pairs of cotton pyjamas – made using Simplicity 2317. These have been washed and worn and washed and worn. I hope to make more (and more luxurious) versions next year.
- 2 refashions: a blouse of mine which I no longer wanted refashioned into a top for Kezia and a denim peplum jacket made from 2 pairs of old jeans.
- 1 baby dress and pantaloons
Phew! Quite the list. I am proud and happy of all I have achieved this year 🙂
What does 2017 hold? I am not one to tie myself down with challenges/ resolutions or even firm plans. I like to run wild and free, haha. But….
- More coats: a waterproof Kelly anorak, a trench coat of some kind and another blazer (still need to find my perfect one in terms of fit and style!)
- Workout tops in the supplex I purchased in America this year
- More pants! Maybe another pattern?
- Feel like I need some new tops to freshen my wardrobe up.
Not going to think beyond that. I like to draw up a more specific list up about 3 or 4 times a year and edit as I go along.
So all that remains is for me to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my followers and to all of you who read my blog and comment. It’s great to be part of this community and also it was great to meet some of you in real life and make new friends. Actually, that’s something I hope I get more chance to do next year. I wish all of you health, happiness, peace and prosperity for the new year. Happy and fruitful sewing!
Hello There Friends,
Happy new year!
I wanted to take a quick look back over this past sewing year, as well as look forward to 2015.
2014 has been a (even if I do say so myself), phenomenal year for me in terms of sewing. Not only in terms of output, but also in terms of variety of garments and fabric types sewn, as well as the increase in my technical abilities. Here are some brief stats:
I think these are correct….
- 45 items sewn in total (that have been blogged about; I have also sewn one pair of curtains so far for the new house, and am carrying one UFO forward into the new year – my birthday dress. I don’t do UFOs, so this will have to be finished….but now I don’t have a big occasion coming up that I need the dress for, I am dragging my heels slightly).
- 17 dresses (including one not mentioned above that has not yet been blogged).
- 9 tops
- 8 jackets/ coats/ cardigans/ sweatshirts
- 4 items for Kezia
- 1 shirt for Philip
- 3 bottoms
- 1 knitted item
- 1 underwired bra
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 patchwork teddy!
These items are definitely the ones that got worn the most:
So suffice to say, I realise that I need to make more tops in the new year!
I also wanted to give a “special mention” to these garments, which I genuinely love each and every time I put them on:
Now on to the garments which I didn’t love:
The bodice length was too short on this peplum top and I really didn’t know what to wear it with. It has been donated to charity.
The puckered seams on this dress made it a fail for me. I wore it once and then realised how embarrassed I was of it…it went to the charity shop.
Ah yes, the beautiful silk crossover top. Don’t worry, this is still in my wardrobe…but it has only been worn once. I am thinking what to do with it.
This last one may (or may not!) surprise you. I love wearing this sweatshirt, and I would like to make another (maybe sized down slightly). The issue is with the fabric. It is extremely delicate and snags (and tears) very easily. I have actually acquired more quilted fabric from another source which seems more durable…so expect to see some quilted dresses appearing.
Plans for 2015? I don’t like to restrain myself with resolutions or plans. I like to go with the flow 🙂 But I would like to make more tops, more every day wearable pieces, still try and do the tailoring thing, and sew some classic tailored pieces like a beautiful blazer and a tailored coat.
All that remains is for me to say thank YOU, readers, sincerely, for following along this year. For leaving comments, answering my questions, offering opinions and entering my giveaways. Peoples, it’s been emotional….until soon and happy new year.