Wrangling in this child for this photoshoot/pattern review, was not as easy as I thought.   Since I was sewing a dress for her, I thought she would show up ready and willing to fit and take pictures whenever I wanted.  OOOOOhhh….but no!!  Going “live” on the internet for review and scrutinizing of her clothes isn’t something your average person wants.  Everything has to be perfect, her hair, face, nails, mood, weight, and everything else you can think of when presented with the idea of being put on a quasi-chopping block.   This model-child doesn’t have a problem walking a runway for designers.  Neither does she have a problem with self-esteem.  However, presented with a “sewing” blog and still shots that are there to be reviewed and analyzed is a game changer for sure.  I present to you my review of the Bootstrap Fashions Jersey Dress for Jennifer…..please be considerate and remember this is a HUMAN Child you are dealing with!!!

This dress was easy to sew up and took less time than ordering a pizza from dominoes.  However, the time was spent deciding on the placement of the birds in this print.  Yes, those are birds, not houndstooth. Jennifer loves this dress. So let’s just bask in that for a quick second. You see, usually she would have to settle for a dress riding up the back and too tight on the arms. Along with those issues of the shoulders being too big at the neck and the front opening showing all her décolleté.

Nothing beats the feeling of a garment that actually fits just you.  Being plus-size and sexy-curvy does not mean it is easy to find clothes that are perfect, even when they say the garment or even the pattern is made for the plus-size woman.  That is a mis-norma.   My child is “fine as all get out!” and is NOT the average plus-sized woman.  She is “CURVY!!” but still proportioned based on the “normal” pattern making standards and “grading” rules that have cropped up for “plus-sized” folks. Truth be told, she and I are built pretty much the same.  We both have “cinched” waist and well rounded butts.  I do say right now….she already has a long list for me to sew for her.  I’m glad she is back to being interested in me sewing for her own style.

bootstrap fashions

Look at that skirt tail…I lengthened the back by 2″ inches to make sure it didn’t ride up as she walked.  I did take in the center back seam more than normal, but using a strip like this continues to skew the lines a little more than I wanted in order to get around these awesome curves.  The shoulder could have been taken up a tad in order for the “horizontal” balance line above the shoulder blades to stay “horizontal”….but!!  I would have needed to adjust the sleeve. Which is something this person here, didn’t want me to waste time doing.  She wanted this dress NOW!!  It is way better than anything she has ever bought in the store!

Construction and Pattern Details:

  • The dress is based off of a custom fitted block/sloper I got off of BootStrap Fashions as a tester they provided me in the form of a store credit worth $6.95.  Normally, I create slopers from my Cameo Pattern Design software, which I have owned and used for about 7 years.
  • Disclaimer here:  NO Flat pattern will give you 100% fit, no matter if you draft it yourself or have a computer aided draft done…you will still need to “do some fabric draping” to get the perfect fit whether on a body or a dressform.
  • To create this I made it pretty close to the base design in order to test the fit of their patterns.  (I did not made a muslin because I was confident with my measurements going into the project.  
  • In the photo here, you can see that we have wings, although, the “block” was listed as “no ease” or negative ease in the bust, waist, and hips, it still was 4 inches too big.  Look at those wings.  I don’t understand how that happened.  I measured the pattern after I taped it together and still this is what I ended up with.. so you see…85-90% on fit.  Now that is awesome still, especially when you are short on time.

     

  • The picture below show the pattern layout on the PDF with drawings showing you the changes that I needed to make…. Red is my changes to get the fit you see on the first go-round.  Since, this doesn’t have darts, I can tell where the shaping was automatically moved to in order to make this fit…ie- The under arms are huge and baggy.  I have seen that on a lot of “so called” plus-size patterns when they have been graded up over the average of size 16, although, this is “custom”, the darts had to be “put” somewhere.

  • I still may go back and pinch out some on the shoulder points in order to get those birds to fly straight across her back.  For now, she really didn’t want me to do anything else.  She took the dress and wore it right out.  
  • The pattern didn’t include any facings, neckbands, or instructions, rightly so, since this is a “base/block” pattern used for patternmaking.  I drafted the neckband using my own formula for determine the stretch factor and length of the neckline opening.  
  • Basically I would say this is a success.  The pattern is only delivered to you as ONE chance.  Which means, if you make a mistake in measurements, you will need to pay an additional fee (60cents or so) in order to have a new pattern emailed to you.  You can also buy the pattern as a digital download in any format for use on another pattern drafting software that you can use for manipulation.  Something, I like most..since, what’s the use of a “base block” if you can’t manipulate it any way you see fit.  I like patternmaking, but, I don’t like tracing and retracing patterns when designing. 

Often times I have to get out of my box of simple style and symmetrical silhouettes.  It seems that when a garment is not even or symmetrical on both sides for me, I have a hard time feeling comfortable.  Another, fashion trend that is new for me is to use large print graphics.  However, after reading my regular blog roll, I was so inspired by the top Cennetta over at Mahogany Stylist shared with us.  Graphic prints!  Ok, I might be able to do this.

 Graphic Tee- sewtofit.com

I found what I was looking for when I came upon the stash that Natasha at Sew Crafty Chemist shared.  This top was a true inspiration item, brought on as I continued to scour the net looking for ideas for a garment I would be comfortable with, and a graphic print fabric which I could get excited about and actually be able to wear considering my tendency towards humdrum prints and solids.

Sew Crafty shared this print she had gotten via mail order.  I wanted that print, but I hate mail order fabrics, I like to “touch” the fabrics I purchase.  Is anyone else like that?  However, SMFabrics Online store is here in Houston, so when I have the urge to touch, I can set an appointment to visit the warehouse.  The best of both worlds.

I found this particular fabric at Fabric Depot, while on a trip in July.  I couldn’t wait to get back home to sew up something, anything!  But, I had to lay this fabric out and admire its graphic, and allow it to “speak” to me and tell me what it wanted to become.

It just seemed right, to use McCalls 6797, like a match made in fabric heaven.   My fabrics speak to me all the time, however, sometimes I just don’t listen and end up with duds. Wouldn’t you say your fabrics talk to you?

Pattern Details/Review:

M6797

Line Art
Not much to it.  Pullover tops (loose-fitting through bust) have neck band, front/back extending into right sleeve forming drape, shaped hemline and narrow hem. A: armhole band.

Let’s talk about the sleeve and armhole- The sleeveless side is GREAT!  I love the way it hugs the body and curves right in under the arm.  Now the other side, not so much.  It just showed too much when the arm is raised. So here, I sewed up the edge about 6″inches, thus, creating a type of pocket under the arm.  Problem solved. 

No alterations were made, although a 1″ FBA would have been useful in order to avoid crawling of the front towards the sleeved side.  I should have also widened the bottom opening a little so it would drape more freely over my hips.  I cut a straight Medium.

I tried it with the sleeve as well, but I wasn’t happy.

The final verdict…I will definitely make another.  Just have to wait for another “wow” fabric.

Sew, until next time….
Andrea

Jumpsuits seem to be as easy to wear as a dress. Basically the top and bottom are already matched. Just throw it on and you are good to go.  With the exception of the occasional visit by “nature,” rompers, the short version of the jumpsuit gives you just as much versatility as a dress.  Wear it as a short set with flats or wedges or pair it with heels for a date.  You can even pair it with a jacket and change the look altogether.

Romper

I find it hard sometimes to pair tops to bottoms, which might explain why I tend to enjoy dresses much more readily than any other ensemble.  To remedy this conundrum I decided to make myself a “romper” from my days of youth.  I chose McCalls 6760 jumpsuit view and shortened it to get the romper.  There was an option to make it as a dress as well.  

Wearing heels with shorts is not something I normally feel comfortable doing, but for some reason this romper actually “feels” like a dress, and thus, it just naturally goes better with heels for me this time.  Maybe, its the dressy style of the bodice that does the trick.  

The waist yoke is very comfortable and makes it feel as though I have on a belt.  Because of the slim fit, the pattern has the 14″ back zipper all the way up to and through the yoke.  Now I would not normally place a zipper in the “back” of a jumpsuit, however, in this case the opening is low enough to reach around for use when the need arises.

The shoulder ties are functional, and are run through a channel which was created by sewing running stitches 3/8″ on either side of the should seam.  They needed to be knotted tightly in order to keep them secure.  The fit of the bodice has to be the correct length to keep the shoulders in place, otherwise, they would slip off rather easily.  So be certain you measure accurately before the final attachment to the yoke portion of the jumpsuit, because that is the only place to adjust the bodice length after the shoulder seams are complete.

There is no underarm side seam because the front and back bodice pieces overlap to create the side closure.  This area is really low if you don’t check the placement of the overlap.  After making sure it was set correctly for my level of comfort, I then hand tacked it in place to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions.  For the more risky dresser, you go right ahead and leave that bad boy open.  It makes for a really sexy glimpse of the future. (Wink, wink)  Not for me though.

I also paired this with a blazer for when I wanted to be a little more casual, and wear it during the day to take some of the “sexiness” away.  Looks awesome!

Other details:  Lined dress or wide-legged jumpsuit has drawstring on shoulders, semi-fitted, gathered bodice overlapping slightly to side back (no side seams), midriff, side pockets, invisible back zipper and narrow hem.

Alterations: 

  • Made the inseam 3.5″
  • 1.5″ FBA
  • Left off the pockets
  • Tacked down the front and side overlaps
All-in-all this is a great pattern for me, because it has some shaping to it that I like at the waist, and still has the option to make it any length as a jumpsuit, romper or dress. 
Enjoy…

There is that one dress that I would wear for any event, and maybe just to feel good. I have now moved it to the front of my wardrobe.  I wore it for my 50th birthday party,  a masquerade bash my daughter and sister master-minded while I was out of town on a Palmer-Pletsch Training in Portland, Oregon (more on that in another post).

The two of them called me to inform me that I needed a dress just a few days later for a “special engagement party and dinner” for my son who is getting married.  It was known by me that the engagement party was fast approaching, however, I had no knowledge of the whereabouts and details of the dinner.  So, when they continued to ask for names for invites and such, I didn’t put two and two together, since my birthday had already passed the week prior.  I had already resolved that I wouldn’t be having a birthday party because of my traveling schedule and all else which was going on in my life.  You see, right before I left town, some jerks robbed my house!!!!  So, partying was the last thing on my mind.  But I abliged and set out to get a dress made while out of town.
Since, I was at a fitting workshop, it just seemed right to use this pattern for my fit lessons.  Just so you know, after the first day of lessons using the required McCalls/Palmer-Pletsch patterns, we were free to use “any” fashion pattern of our choosing.  In my case it was this Pamella Roland design for Vogue #1265.



The description says:  Loose-Fitting, partially interfaced, lined, pullover dress (fitted through bust) has collar, collar band, side front, side back seams, front hemline slit, flared, pleated lower back, invisible side zipper and cap sleeves with bias armhole binding.  “Whew!!!”  That’s a lot of details!!!!
Let me just go over some of these beautiful details the pattern has to offer, and offered up exquisitely, might I add.  All the details made for a lovely dress indeed!!

V1265

Loose-Fitting- I would say so for the bottom half of the dress.  It offered up just enough room to dance, and move, yet still gave that beautiful sheath look from the front, and just skimmed over the waistline to look fitted, yet room enough to breath.

Partially interfaced- The entire front is interfaced with fusible.  I used the Palmer-Pletsch brand “PerfectFuse Light” which is for underlining fabric or fusing to textured fabrics. It worked like a dream.  It comes in 3 yard packs for right at $7.50 per yard of 60” width. (It is on sale right now for $19.00)
Fabric and lining- The fabric is the nicest linen, cotton, rayon.  It has raised dots with a fine thread of gold going through it.  I wouldn’t call it a pique because of the underside being flat.  For the lining, I used a luxurious 100% Bemberg rayon lining from Fabric Depot in Portland, as part of their “ambiance collection”.  Feels so beautiful on the skin.  Becky of Beccabeck Stuff, recommended it highly.  So, when I got to Portland, that was the first thing I looked for.

Pullover fitted through bust-  Yes, Yes and Yessss!!! The fit through the bust is awesome.  I was worried about the neckline, so I sewed it up two inches for modesty.  I don’t know your definition of modesty, but mine was tested to its limit in this dress.  However, when I got to moving around during the night, I never dealt with any wardrobe malfunctions or peek-a-boo bust. 

Alterations I made:  For this size 14:  I did a 1 3/4” full bust adjustment, 1/2” broad back, cut off 2 inches from the hem, gave myself 1/2” on the sleeve width (should have done 1.5”).   Did a 3/8” sway back adjustment, and made the center back seam curve in to my back by 1” at the waist.

 Collar, collar band- are wonderful details.  The collar stand is actually a wedge shape that causes the collar to lift at the back, giving it that 1980s stand-up feel.  I love how it doesn’t just lie flat at the back.

Side front, side back seams and “FRENCH Dart”-  Love, Love, love and love this feature.  Because of the drastic transition to from my waist to bust, these details made for easy fitting.  I curved the dart at the bust as suggested by Marta Alto, with Palmer-Pletsch.  It is recommended for full bust to curve the dart “around” just a tad when approaching the prominent part of the bust.  I curved mine slightly further for visual affect.  It turned out great.

Front hemline slit- At first I was going to leave that closed, however, after looking at it, it just did not look good, and it cause the dress to pull forward.  I didn’t think it would matter since the flounce in the back had the walking room needed.  But the skirt is very straight, so it still needed a little slit.


Flared, pleated lower back-  Can I just say, this is the best feature of all.  I felt like a princess with my almost double full circle inset hanging of the back.  It didn’t weigh the dress down or cause it to drag.  The length is longer than the front just enough to make it almost feel like I have a tea-length dress on, yet the front feels like I have a sheath dress.  The flounce has 4 very large double pleats to give it the volume it needs yet still fit into the back curved seam right under the buttocks.

Invisible side zipper, cap sleeve with bias binding- The zipper up the side is my favorite detail in any dress.  It just makes since.  I thought about putting the zipper up the front, but choose to stick to the beautiful planned detailing of the pattern.  It seems the dress had enough going already.  The cap sleeve is just that, a cap, and it doesn’t leave much room for above shoulder arm movement.  So, get your hair and face taken care of before you put it on.  The lining is sewn unfinished up to the sleeve and then the binding finishes it all off.

This dress would be great in anyone’s wardrobe arsenal. One thing that would make it right for absolutely any occasion, is to just redo the roll line on the collar so that it will close higher in the front.  Other than that, this is an absolute terrific dress.

And I would be remiss not to share this parting shot.

THE END.
Until next time.  Enjoy.

In September of last year I took Mini-Me to an ASG (American Sewing Guild) meeting with me while I taught on bodice fitting.  Mini-Me is totally in tuned to these types of conversations, however, during this meeting she was into the “iPad” games she was playing.  As the meeting came to an end, I was engaged in a conversation with another member about a “mermaid” costume she had made for her granddaughter.  OOOH boy!!!  Mini-Me’s ears peeled up and before I knew it she was standing beside me looking at the digital pics, exclaiming that “we” must make one for her.  Needless to say, she was not happy to hear me tell her to wait until next year, a concept not known by your average child…”next year!!” really Mimi?  “Yes dear, I will get it done for your birthday.” I exclaimed. 

Fast forward nine months and Mimi has come through on her promise…whew!  It was a close call.  Although I got some input from my fellow ASG member and the fin pattern she made, I still wanted the ensemble to be convertible and easy to take off for swimming.  Thus, the three piece was designed. 
 

Someone was really happy!!!  And so was I.  It was a big hit at the birthday party.  She was able to jump into the pool a couple of times before removing the overskirt and swimming in the suit alone. 

The details:
Pattern Description:  McCall’s 3566(OOP)  Two-piece bathing suit and cover-up skirt. There are several variations for the tube/bandeaux/tank top, and one bikini top. The bottoms are for shorts or bikini bottoms.

McCalls 3566 Swimsuit/Mermaid costume www.sewtofit.com

Pattern Sizing: She may have fit into a pattern size 4 with alterations, but since I only had a size 10-14, I pretty much re-drafted the pattern or you can say “severely” graded it down since it was a straight grade across sizes. Compared to the RTW grading system I learned in school, this is a straight grade.  That just means there is a set measurement between sizes no matter how large are small the sizes range. I explained this in a little more detail in “Making the Grade.”

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  I made a few modifications to get the mermaid look, by adding a sequin trim to the front of the tank top and adding the shirring to the waist of the tank.  For the bottoms, I added a 2inch band to make sure it went high under the tank top. (for some reason, I did not write down her bodice length) 

Skirt:  I made the skirt using the basic pencil skirt drafting technique. I measured 4 places- waist, hip and knees and ankles with the measurement for each point in order to determine the the cut.  Then I just slit the back up the middle and inserted the modified “godet” fins with ruffle trim insert.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I did not follow any instructions. The insertion of the elastic was done on my Bernina 234 serger first, and then I folded over the elastic to the inside and finished the hem with a regular zigzag on my Bernina 640 . I stretched the elastic slightly under the rear-end to get it to “cup” under. For the straps, I included elastic inside to keep them taut when wearing. I learned this in my knits class in school, and it seems to work very well for all my swimwear. All elastic used on this suit was 3/8″ swimsuit elastic. I buy this stuff in bulk!!! because everybody likes me to make their swimwear.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love everything about this pattern. I have been using it for a long time. It’s a great versatile base pattern to own.

Fabric Used:
This is swimwear Lycra from Hancock.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As I have found for me when using McCall’s, the pants crotch is “always” too short, and this was the same for even my GD.

Tank top: I added a sheered band around the bottom to match the skirt as part of the whole ensemble. I could have left that part off, but without the skirt, it would not have still looked “mermaid-ee”

Skirt- was just a pencil skirt made from her measurements and the “fins” inserted as a “godet” inset in a slit up the back.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I have sewn this pattern multiple times over the years, either as panties, or swimwear. Mostly though as a bandeaux and panties (view G with modifications) A really all-around pattern for the entire family. 

These are my entry for the Pattern Review “Fitted Pant Contest” that ends on June 9th.  I have been wanting a pair of crop pants for quite sometime now, so this was a perfect time to force me to make a pair.  Entering a contest is not something I normally do, however, after meeting so many fantastic ladies at the PR Weekend in Austin at the start of May, I couldn’t resist participating. 

Sewtofit- Butterick 5895

I used the Butterick 5895 pattern.
Pattern Description:

Fitted cotton crop pants with high waist and tapered to hem.  Has optional roll-up hem. Back zipper, side front pockets and hook closure.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a size 16 and graded the waist to a 14. 
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes, actually it did.

Sewtofit- Butterick 5895

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Extremely easy.  I only checked the instructions to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I chose not to topstitch the crotch seam.  I hemmed 1 inch instead of 5/8. 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?The front rise is extremely “High.”  I know I usually have to lower mine on all patterns, but I think since this one is considered high waist, then it was over 2.5″ too much for me.  My front crotch is 8.5″ navel to crotch curve.

Sewtofit- Butterick 5895

Fabric Used: Cotton, with 15% stretch only, I think that is too generous.  When I tested the stretch factor is stretched 1″ pass the 4″ test length.  Thus, I am not considering this a stretch woven.

These alterations were completed on Butterick 5895


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I kept the design pretty much the same.  However, these are my changes:
Front Crotch- lowered by 2.5″
Back crotch- did not have to increase like normal, the back was already pretty high for my build.
Back waist: lowered it by 1/2″
Front/back thigh: increased the front over the upper thigh by 1″ to straighten the side seam, thereby, removing said amount from the back pattern piece.
Pocket opening: trimmed 1/4″ from the front pocket top in order to shorten it so that it wouldn’t fold out.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will be making another pair in a solid color.
Conclusion:
I don’t know why they called these jeans on the pattern description, they are not jeans.  Other than that, this would make a great basic pattern from which to create any type of crop pants.

Did I ever mention how much I enjoy teaching sewing to my grand-daughter?  Have I ever mentioned the amount of intense satisfaction I receive from watching her complete each step of the construction process?  I am not sure if I shared that with you all yet….so I will begin again.
I present to you my grand-daughter…better known as “Mini-Me.”

 To all the ladies who met my granddaughter at PR Weekend inAustin, TX….”Mini-Me” was elated to be around so many people that sew!!!! My goodness she was so excited and just booming with excitement meeting all of you. This little girl here could have hung and chatted with every level of seamstress there…!!! She would not have missed a beat understanding “every concept and detail of construction that was discussed.

Pattern Description: Simplicity 1510This dress is listed as special occasion in three lengths with a bolero. She chose to make dress C, w/o the bolero.
Fabric Used: She chose a cotton quilting fabric from our local Its-A-Stitch. I tried a “quilting” fabric from JoAnn’s when she was younger for a dress I made…and needless to say, “Never again.” With all the work I personally put into that dress to have it fade, I decided to buy the best quilting cotton, quilters use. From now on I want the dress last through multiple childhood washings.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? This is a really nice rendition of the picture on the pattern, yet, much more casual. I like our version better.. It seems if you use a dressy fabric for her age, then it would not be a “sundress” or play dress and just might be age appropriate.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Of course the reading of the instructions were done by me, she can read some, but these instructions are for Greek majors.. Thus, I circled the easy stuff for her, and she was able to complete “ALL” the straight stitches and even used my Bernina 640 to make the buttonholes on the straps. (One touch buttonholes—“a wonderful invention”) She also cut out the entire dress. I only went back and checked to make sure the cutting was “O.K.” to achieve success and not deter her with being too nit-picky.

She also sewed her hem, the straight sides of the zipper (after I setup the machine and placed the needle) She was able to help mark all the pleats and learned about the importance of marking and pressing.

She was so very proud of her work and so was I. Before we have only used the “Kids Can Sew” program which I used to teach some years ago. This is why she has her own garment labels to adhere to her creations.

Pattern Sizing on envelope: The sizes are listed for children up to a size 16 (34″chest) on the pattern…and are sold in plus sizes as well up to 16 1/2 (36″chest) That is a very generous size range for one pattern, considering the big four usually only give just a few sizes. We cut a size 14. Afterwards, I realized that they are fitted the same as for adults and thus I should have gone down a size and cut the size 12, because it was just too roomy, and showed too much for it to be a sundress… I guess if it was closed up on the shoulders and sleeves then a larger roomier size would work. I had to then remove the excess from the side seam.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: My granddaughter is quite the designer, however, since this was her first time out using a “big girl” pattern, we did not make any changes.

I did make sure to shorten the straps substantially for coverage.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The dress is really nice. I love it. I feel it is about time we get so many nice “girls” patterns for the in-between kids.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would recommend this wholeheartedly and without hesitation we will sew it again. Best way to learn for her is to do another one just the same.

Conclusion: I love teaching my Granddaughter to sew. I think every child should learn to sew, it helps with following instructions, math and reading a ruler…which she knows from sewing.

Sewing for me, is extremely fun.  Patterns and patternmaking is intriguing and challenging at the same time.  I do it because I like to challenge myself, and because there is “always” something new to learn.  However, every time I think about making a pair of pants, I want instant success.  I usually avoid making pants because I don’t want to redraft or go through endless pattern alterations.  Thus, as with anything else I would rather have two, or three, or even four if it means less stress.  Shucks the way I am, I may start wearing a “personal style uniform” as discussed  here (uniform dressing)

This is why I think it important to have that one pattern for every style of clothing, that you wouldn’t mind using over and over again.

After loosing weight you would think that all the pattern alterations would have to begin anew if using the same pattern. Well that is not the case with these pants from burda..at least for me. I have found that we usually gain and loose weight over a basic body composition. Meaning that if I gain weight I gain it proportionately. (1″ at the waist, then 1″ at the hip.). The things that changes on me are always proportionate, so when I lost weight I decided to make these pants again using a smaller pattern size.





Pattern Description:
Wide leg pants that are close fitting through the hips.
Pattern Sizing:
34-44, us- 8-18. See my blog entry– “Making the Grade” a matter of size. for the size differences with the Burda Patterns compared to the “big four” pattern companies.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

They do tend to flare out at the hem, I know it’s because this time I used a stiffer linen fabric…the original was a linen blend.


Pattern Review for first pair.

I am really short in the front and the panel tends to crumple down…As it is designed it is two interfaced pieces, sewn together like a pocket and turn right side out through the bottom, then edge stitched. Afterwards, the buttonholes are sewed on before applying to the pants front by sewing only on the bottom and buttoned up the sides. The buttons and holes are still loose.


Were the instructions easy to follow?
Since I have made these before, I did not use the instructions, however, I still reiterate if you are a beginner it does take some getting used to to follow Burdas style of instruction. Just take it slow, read all before starting.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The crotch curve is absolutely magnificent! I only did a 1″ rise increase in the back, I was able to leave the curve alone. Normally, I have to extend it to go under the rump roast I carry in the back. They hang wonderfully. I don’t have any dislikes for this pattern. I like the fact that the lap zipper is on the side. (finally, a side zip) I like that the panel can be removed from the front and just show the buttons. There is no functioning zipper opening behind the front panel, so its really just a design detail.
  

Fabric Used:
I used a Linen. I knew it would have some wrinkling but I was ok with that….I choose not to line the pants as a result. The pattern doesn’t require lining, but I know some people like to line linen to help with wrinkling.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As I said earlier, I increased the back crotch rise by 1″. I lowered the front by 1 1/2″, this adjustments makes the pattern look really malformed, but it is my body. The gradual decline starts at the side seam, you can’t even tell when they are on the body, the waist actually appears normal….do your adjust and ignore how the pattern “looks”.



I left the hem the same from the original pattern, so that they would work better without heels. The regular length would be just fine for the average 5’5″ person such as myself.
Everytime I think about making pants, I want instant success.  I don’t usually make them because I don’t want to redraft or go through endless pattern alterations.  Thus, as with anything else I would rather have two, or three, or even four if it means less stress.  Shucks the way I am, I may start wearing a “personal style uniform” as discussed  here (uniform dressing)


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would definitely sew these again. This pattern has a lapped zipper on the side, I will make with with an invisible zipper next time.

Conclusion: for those who have seen my ordinal post, I encourage to check it out, there is a cute video that will give you a great laugh.Original review

When I was in need of a classy dress to wear to my sister’s birthday dinner. I wanted something that would still allow me to eat unhindered by waistbands, belts or stays. This dress has a waist seem with elastic inside, thereby, giving you a very comfortable forgiving fit. The front self lined bodice is cut on the bias, with gathered shoulders and a tucked left side, self-lined pleated drape, and stitched hems. (Although, for my bodice, I used a lightweight rayon knit as my lining throughout the entire dress.)

I found this gorgeous Pucci jersey at Elliot Berman fabrics during my New York trip in April 2013.

The sizes range from size 8-16 in one envelope, totally unusual, a plus for grading. I cut a 14 up top and a 16 down low graded to 14 at waist.

The version of the dress I made is exactly as pictured on the design. Of course if I wanted to ride my bike, I would have made the more flared version.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?You need to cut the bodice lining slightly smaller since this is a knit. I like the dress a lot, however I would suggest hanging if OVER the clothes hanger. Every since it sent it to the cleaners, and it hung from the shoulders it has grown a bit much. The weight of the side flounce panel creates a bunch of weight on such a narrow waist seam. I would recommend increasing the waist seam to 1 inch in order to allow for the elastic to run through all the multi layers of fabric at the side where the flounce hangers from.


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Because this was a two sided border print I really had to take time to arrange the pieces.
1. I cut single layers. I held the flounce for last in case I ran out of border, which I did. So since the border is self lined, I ended up actually piecing it together. (Very inconspicuous).
2. I did a 1.5″ FBA
3. I raised the armhole by 1/2″ for coverage. Something I usually must do on MCalls patterns. The armhole cut should not be the same for sleeveless, and sleeved garments.
4. Lowed the back hem gradually from the sides by 1.5″ to allow for my rear curvature so the dress would hike up.
5. Sway back adjustment of 3/4″

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I would highly recommend with modifications to the neckline by adding support to limit stretching due to the skirt weight and to increase the waist seam to one inch.

Conclusion: this is a lovey sexy dress when cut straight. If you donot like tight dresses, then the flared version is a great everyday dress. The next time I make it will be the flared version and I will raise the neckline.

I would highly recommend this dress as a staple with modifications to the neckline by adding support to limit stretching due to the skirt weight and to increase the inner waist seam to one inch.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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 Last year I took a trip to Antigua, Barbuda during their “Carnival” season.  Was I ever surprised at how much fun I would have.  I am such a prude when loud music and dancing is involved.  So, needless to say, before leaving for vacation I was all over the internet researching what to expect on this trip.  I was looking for dressing ideas, and what the meaning of “carnival” was all about.

Of course it is all fun watching the pin boards of all those cute ladies wearing those cute knit crop top that look like a second skin on them.  I wanted that too, but I wanted the fabrics to match.

I made the pants to wear during my first trip. However, the picture I had in my mind for the top never came to fruition, so I ended up just wearing a simple white tank.  When Simplicity came out with the pattern this month, I moved at breakneck speed to find this pattern. I had attempted other crop tops, but this one was the ONE!!!!

As for the fitting of the basic pattern straight out of the packet, I made View b up in a muslin size 16 to check the fit, and make sure I got a clear map of where I needed to go with the pattern alterations. All-in-all, though, I really can’t complain much about this one here, as it seams to have been quite generous.  So I just went ahead and marked my changes as needed to get the fit I was working towards.

  • Initially, I had already known that I planned to widen the lower band considerably.  I knew I wanted it to hit “that level” just above my navel.  So this was my first order of business, I widened the band by 2 inches.  
  • Next, of course was to add additional “top” coverage, thus, I did the simple pivot-slide method of adjusting the pattern to give more coverage over the top of 3/4 inch and a little at the bottom.  However, next time I won’t put the whole 3/4 inch on the lower half, it was not needed.  
  • I increased the coverage of the back piece by the same amount at the upper edge.  I wanted the coverage more substantial under my arms and around my back, to give it more of a crop top feel and not a “bra” feeling.  There was a slight curve in the pattern coming from the back to the front that I trimmed off in order to give the top a more gradual transition under the arms, otherwise the fabric was collapsing on itself there.  
  • In the center front, I took out a dart wedge at the lower and upper center front seams in order to cause the cups to curve in at the center.  
  • The pattern requires the center front seams be gathered to 3inches before sewing them together, yet because I was aiming for fuller coverage, I only gathered to 4 inches, considering I had already added an additional 1.5inches to the cup at the top and bottom.  
  • As for the straps, I added the length to them initially, but removed that same length when finalizing the fit.  Better to have too much than not enough, right? 

This is a really cool top!!! I have so many ideas for this here pattern.  What took simplicity so darn long to bring this one back!!!