Bella Sunshine Designs: Sahara Top

Hey, Sewists!  I have a fun new make of a brand new pattern to share with you.  May I present the newly released Bella Sunshine Designs – Sahara Dress & Top.

I was lucky enough to be asked to test this pattern out.  I almost turned it down because of moving, but I am so glad I did not.  BSD is a new to me PDF pattern company that I learned about through sewingportfolios.com.  They learned of me through there as well.  If you are not on there yet I strongly recommend it.  I have been presented with multiple pattern testing opportunities in the short time I have been a member.

See that scooped out back neckline?  That is what sold me on testing this pattern.  Of course, the fullness of the peplum won me over, but it was the deep scoop back neckline that pushed me over the edge.  I cannot think of any other knit pattern I have that features the back neckline like the Sahara does.  This pattern features two different neckline heights, three different sleeve lengths, a sleeveless version, and three different skirt lengths.  I opted to test the peplum top version with 3/4 sleeves with the high neckline, mostly because it would fit into one of the few pieces of knit fabric I had not yet packed but had been washed.    My bodice is a size 16 in the bust with a bust adjustment grade out to an 18 in the waist.  There are also two different versions of the front bodice, one with a full bust adjustment and one without.  Can I just tell you how much I love that!  Having the FBA version saves so much time for us, the sewists.

This is the very first fitted knit pattern I have ever made that I did not have to take in to give it the fitted look it had promised.  I could not believe this once I put it on.  The sleeves were a perfect fit.  All the knit patterns I have made that are supposed to have fitted sleeves are typically too big around the sleeve hem and upper arm.  I was so beyond pleased when I tried this on and I did not have to make any adjustments. None! Zip! Nada! I think the secret to the great fit of the bodice is that it features a lining and clear elastic along the waist, shoulders, and armholes.

Fabric usage for this pattern is broken down based on each element (sleeve version, bodice version, skirt version).  This makes it easy for color blocking the garment.  For my test version, I used two yards of a stashed cotton knit from a Girl Charlee Knitfix last year.  I also used .75 yards of a cotton jersey that has been in my stash for who knows how long.  It has been long enough that it was before I started keeping track of when, where, and how much I got it for.

Based on the pulling at the bust, I probably should have made a straight size 18 with bust adjustment.  That is the only change I would make on my next version.  In fact, I am in the process of making two more versions this month, a dress length and a pattern hacked maxi length.  I am excited to be able to share those once I am finished with them.

The pattern has a full circle skirt with no seams.  Be still my heart!  I love a full circle skirt because of how it hangs and, of course, the spin factor.  Overall, I find the skirt to be very flattering on this pattern.  The waistline hits at the natural waist and the length of the skirt on the top version hits at just below the fullest part of my hips.

I am so impressed with how this pattern turned out and how BSD ran the testing of the pattern that I have signed up to be an affliate for the company.  This is not something I take lightly.  I only want to work with companies that I like and believe in.  Bella Sunshine Designs meets those requirements.  As an affliate, that does mean I earn a small commission on each sale that is made by clicking on the links in this post or the badge on my home page.

I am excited to work more with BSD in the future and to try out their other patterns including the other recent release of their Alice dress.  It is a woven dress with pockets.  We all know how I feel about dresses with pockets!  They are one of the most amazing things, ever!

Have your tried Bella Sunshine Designs yet?  What do you think?  What has bee

Show Your Stoff: Alizia Top

Hey, Sewists! I am excited to share another Zierstoff Patterns creation for the Show Your Stoff tour.  Before I talk about my new make, I have to confess that I am one of those who is completely obsessed with the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  Chip and Joanna Gaines are totally adorable, share a deep love of each other, and keep humor alive in their relationship.   Joanna’s design style has given me a newfound love of shiplap and shopping for antiques.  More than that though, I am smitten with Joanna’s personal wardrobe style.  She is down to earth and wears lots of flannel plaid and army green.  Be still my heart!  Okay, all gushing aside, she wore a navy and brown top in an episode that I loved and knew I had to make.  Hours after watching her wear this top I saw Melissa’s call out for sewing bloggers to join this tour.  I found the Alizia batwing top and knew exactly what I was going to be making.

For this top, I used all stashed fabrics! Can I tell you, I am feeling pretty confident in my stashbusting efforts so far this year. Anyways, for most of the top, I used 1.75 yards of Patriot Blue Rayon Lycra Jersey from Fabric Mart. I purchased this fabric in 2016 for $4.00 a yard. For my accent details, I used .75 yards of a tan faux suede 2-way stretch fabric. This fabric has been languishing in my stash for over 10 years! I think that it was purchased sometime between 2004 and 2005, with the intention of using it for a fairy type of renaissance festival costume. I figured that since I had not made the costume in the last 10 years that I was probably never going to make it and it was safe to use this fabric for another project. I have no idea how much I originally spent on it since it was well before started keeping track of that.

Much like the Pia Dress pattern I stitched up before, I have the same concerns for new sewists with these PDF patterns. Also like my Pia Dress, I still ended up with a great finished garment.

I did make a couple of changes to the neckband piece due to my fabric choices. Since the fabric is only a 2-way stretch I ended up cutting it two inches longer. This allowed me to be able to fit the neckline of the jersey into the neckband with l little more ease and help the neckline to lay flat without puckers. I also took a deeper seam allowance around the neck than the pattern calls for. The instructions say to use a 3/8” seam allowance, however, my neckband was not laying flat and stuck up instead. It was also a bit tight to pull on over my head. To remedy this I stitched the neckband at 5/8” This made all the world of difference. The end result was having a neckband that was just over a 1/2” wide and laid flat against the body. To help keep it laying flat, I topstitched around the neckline of the jersey. Topstitching this type of neckline is my personal preference, as I think it helps to give a cleaner look to the finished garment.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with how this top turned out.  If you have not checked out Zierstoff Patterns yet, go do it now!  Zierstoff is giving everyone 30% off your purchase.

Check out the rest of the stops on the Show Your Stoff blog tour.
Monday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Anne-Mari Sews, Inspinration, Tenille’s Thread, Sew Cucio, Embrace Everyday

Tuesday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Musings of A Seamstress, mahlicadesigns, Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B Handmade, FABulous Home Sewn

Wednesday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Thread and Scissors, Kaleidothought, Idle Sunshine, mahlicadesigns

Thursday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)

Very Blissful, Sew A Piece of Joy, Zowie Zo, Nina Makes, Lulu & Celeste, Thread and Scissors.

Friday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Tales of a Tester; Anne-Mari Sews; Bless, by Tone; Life Sew Savory; Needles to Say, and Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Saturday’s Bloggers: (direct links to Show Your Stoff posts)
Musings of A Seamstress, Anna’s Heirloom Boutique, Ronda B Handmade, Glitter in my Coffee, Anne-Mari Sews, Stitches by Laura; Tea, Dust and Stitches

Show Your Stoff Tour: Pia Dress

Hey, Sewists! I am back at it this week with Melissa of Mahlicadesigns. She is hosting the Show Your Stoff blog tour and I have jumped on board once again.  Melissa has teamed up with Zierstoff Sewing Patterns and they have graciously allowed all tour participants their choice of pattern(s) to stitch up and share. I chose the Pia Dress.  The Pia Dress is a very quick sew pattern that features bust darts, pleats in the skirt, and a flattering waistband detail.

First, let’s talk fabric.  For this dress, I used 2 yards of Strawberry and Black Medallion Print Jersey from Fabric Mart.  This was one of their pre-cut fabrics that I picked up during a sale last year.  I scored this 2 yard piece for $4.80.  Not too bad!  This fabric has a lot of stretch and drape to it, which makes it perfect for an easy summer dress.  This is a busy print that loses the fit details that I like about the pattern. I should have used a contrasting solid black jersey for the waistband, but all my knit fabrics are packed up for the move.

This was my first experience with Zierstoff Patterns and it ended well.  Zierstoff is a small German patterning company doing big things.  They have a wide range of PDF patterns for babies, children, woman, and teens.

Even for ending up with a great dress that will get lots of wear, I started out a bit concerned.  All other PDF patterns I have ever used have a border around the edges that gets cut off before assembling and markings to match the pages together.  Zierstoff patterns do not have this border or markings that print off.  They were in the file on the computer, but they do not print out. I am not a fan of this as it results in some important information missing from the pattern.  See the picture above. On the skirt piece, one of the notches for the pleat in my size (46) would have been in this unprinted area.  As an experienced seamstress and pattern maker I can figure out what is needed to make this work, but as a beginner, I can see being frustrated with this.  Like I said, in the end, I did end up with a great dress so I am very happy.

 

Construction of this dress was a breeze!  It went together very quickly.  I did not even make a single fit alteration!  Crazy, right? I didn’t even have to adjust for length.  The only change I made was to add a lining to each front and back waistband.  In my experience with similar styles, this helps to hold the shape of the bodice that would otherwise be pulled down by the weight of the skirt.

All things considered, this pattern is a real win for me.  It is similar to some of my other favorite dress patterns, but with enough differences in the details that mean, I will enjoy sewing more of them. I will also enjoy wearing it without feeling like I am wearing the same dress in different colors all summer long.

Zierstoff Patterns has been kind enough to offer a discount to all readers too! Use code MahlicaDesigns30 to save 30% through the end of April.

Cali Fabrics: Modern Denim

 

B5616 front

Hey, Sewists!  I am blogging over at Cali Fabrics today about my new waxed denim jacket!  This was my first time sewing with waxed denim and I am in love with it.  Read all about over on the Cali Fabrics blog.

Stay tuned to my blog next week.  I am still packing my sewing room and am planning a fabric sample sale.  Details will follow next week on that.

 

Breaking Ground: Sew Liberated

Hey, Sewists! How has your week been going?  Mine has been busy, which is to be expected while in the process of uprooting one’s life to another state.  I did, however, find time to stitch up another new pattern for the Breaking Ground tour Melissa is hosting. Today, I will be sharing my thoughts on the Sew Liberated – Esme Top.

I picked this pattern up at a local fabric shop in Indianapolis two years ago.  Two years it has been sitting in my pattern stash just waiting to be sewn up.  I have no good reason why it has gone un-sewn for so long, other than I get nervous about cutting into my indie patterns that I have spent way more money on.  When I buy patterns from the big four I always do it during a sale at Jo-Ann’s, so I pay less than $2 for a pattern.  When I am paying anywhere from $15-25 for a paper pattern from an indie designer I tend to be a bit more reserved with them and so they languish in my pattern stash a little bit longer than others would.  Here’s to getting over that caution and trying something new!

My initial attractions to this pattern were the yoke and the gathered sleeve with cuff.  I like unique details and that yoke fits into that category for me.  I just love that curved yoke with button detail.  One of the things the instructions say is that the buttons can either be sewn through both layers of the yoke, making it a faux closure, or you could add buttonholes to make it functional.  I choose to make functional buttonholes even though I will never unbutton them.  It is the little details, like functional buttonholes, that I am looking to include more of in my sewing this year.

Sew Liberated patterns are unique with their packaging and instructions in that they are minimal.  This is all the packaging included: a front cover, a back cover, the pattern pieces, and a single page (front and back) instruction sheet.  The instructions are the basic slimmed down version for a more experienced sewer, which is great for me.  They are easy to follow and the diagrams are helpful to clarify the written directions.  There is also a website and access code provided that lead you to a more in-depth video tutorial.  This is great for beginner sewists, as she walks you through making the top from start to finish with different tips and tricks along the way.  My only critique of the video is that it needs to be updated to look more professional.  The photography on the pattern envelope and the website are great and very professional.  The video, unfortunately, falls short of that professional expectation for me.

On the instruction sheet, it does have a size chart that is pretty standard with other pattern lines.  It does not have finished garment measurements on either the pattern pieces or the instruction sheet, which I find disappointing.  My bust measurement is 2″ bigger than the biggest size (20) on the pattern.  Normally, I would consult the finished measurements to see just how much ease is in the pattern to know whether or not I should add more width to the bust.  Because that finished measurement was not available to me and because of how roomy the top looked on the pattern cover and after a rough tissue fit, I choose to make the standard size 20 with no alterations.  I took a risk and it ended better than it could have been.  The top came out much larger in the bust than expected.  I probably could have made a size 18 and still had enough bust room.  As it is now when I wear it unbelted the side view is not pretty and I look like I am wearing a tent.  This pretty much guarantees I will always be belting this top when worn, which is fine because I have quite the collection of fashion belts to pair with it.  Below are the finished garment measurements and my personal measurements as a comparison.

Finished measurements (sz 20)

Bust:53.5″/Waist: 58″/Hip: 61.5″

My measurements

Bust: 46.5″/Waist: 42″/Hip: 48″

I ended up using 2.5 yards of a light blue denim chambray from Jo-Ann’s for a total cost of $12.50.  This fabric has been in my stash since 2014 because I had a completely different idea of what I would be using it for.  I also used six 1/2″ buttons from my button stash.  This whole project has been an all around stashbusting success!  I am going to enjoy wearing this top as it is just basic enough that I can wear it with any of my colorful jeggings and fashion belts.  The neckline also gives me plenty of options for different necklaces making the outfit possibilities virtually endless.  I would like to make it again with a stripe or plaid fabric.  The sleeve is on the bias and the yoke can be turned on the crossgrain, so I think there are some opportunities to really make those details stand out with a directional fabric choice.

Have you tried a Sew Liberated pattern?  What were your thoughts on it?

 

Check out the rest of this weeks tour participants:

Monday March 20- Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille’s Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte

Tuesday March 21- mahlicadesigns,  Kaleidothought,  Ronda B Handmade, Elizabeth Made This

Wednesday March 22- Rainy Day SewingAnne-Mari Sews, Sprouting Jube JubeSewing A La CarteTales of a Tester

Thursday March 23- mahlicadesigns, Lulu & Celeste, Very BlissfulSprouting Jube Jube, Ronda B Handmade, Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday March 24- Anne-Mari Sews, Tales of a TesterSewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Harper + Lu,  Sewing A La Carte

 

Breaking Ground: Seamwork Magazine

Hey, Sewists!  I am so excited to help kick off the Breaking Ground Tour this week.  A huge thank you to Melissa from mahlicadesigns for hosting.  I jumped at the chance to be apart of this tour.  Melissa has put together a great group of sewists, who are all talented.  This week we are all sewing patterns from pattern designers that we have not previously tried.  Our goal is to hopefully introduce some great designers and patterns to you all.

For my first round, I picked the Seamwork Magazine’s Mojave dress pattern.  I have had a subscription to Seamwork for a year and had yet to make any of the patterns I got.  Seamwork Magazine is the brainchild of Sarai, who also runs Colette Patterns.  When you subscribe to the magazine you get two credits which can be used to purchase any of the past Seamwork patterns (1 credit = 1 pattern) or the PDF version of any Colette pattern (3 credits = 1 pattern).  Seamwork patterns are quick, skill building, wardrobe filling patterns.  Each magazine issue has a theme that all the articles and patterns are centered around.  The Mojave dress pattern is from the August 2015 issued, the theme was vintage.  Mojave is a kaftan style dress that is casual with a bit of 70’s flair.  This pattern does come in sizes 0-26 (bust 33-54″).  I applaud Colette and Seamwork for offering options for plus size sewists.

For this version, I decided that I wanted it to be a top instead of a dress.  On me, I measured from my shoulder down to where I wanted the hem to hit.  I used that measurement and added a half inch to the shoulder seam and a half inch to the hem and marked the pattern pieces at that length.  That was the only pattern change that I made.  The Mojave is a well-drafted pattern.  All the marking and pieces matched up perfectly.   I made a size 18 based on the size chart and finished garment measurements and it fits great.  I did not have to make any alterations to fit once it was sewn.  This makes me excited to try more of the Seamwork patterns I have printed off.  I think most of my hesitation in trying them is because I am not a huge fan of PDF patterns.  However, these patterns are all quick and easy with minimal pattern pieces, making it a painless process.

Let’s talk fabric!  I used almost 2 yards of this gorgeous floral print chiffon.  I purchased this fabric from Zinick’s Fabrics in 2015.  It was practically a steal at $3.99 a yard!  I love the print.  I have been holding onto it for 2 years because I just wasn’t sure which pattern to use that would show off this print well.  The Mojave definitely does that.  There are not a lot of pattern pieces, which makes it great for showing off large prints.  The front has a split yoke for the center front and a gathered lower center panel.  This is great for adding a little more fullness to the waist while keeping it more fitted at the bust.  I am for sure going to be making this pattern again and again. I want to make a dress version as a swimsuit cover up and a tunic version maybe adding some buttons to the yoke.

Have you tried any of the Seamwork patterns?  What do you think of them?

Check out the other tour participants!
Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille’s Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte

 

Big Changes

Hey, Sewists! I know it has been awfully quiet around here lately, and I apologize for that.  Part of the silence was because I was working 60-70 hours a week since October.  I barely had time to sew, let alone time to blog. Those days have come to an end and I am back to doing what I enjoy.  The bigger reason for my silence is that Eric and I are making a huge change!  We are moving back to Chicago next month!! This has been a long stressful process and we are finally at the end of it.  I am so excited about this move and what it means for our future.  I have missed blogging so much and I am excited to be at a point where I can get back to it.

Hudson Pant Side

Today, I am blogging over at Cali Fabrics, though. I made some great new pieces including my first pair of True Bias – Hudson Pants.  Come check out my makes and see what the rest of the Cali Blog Squad is up to.

Hello 2017!

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 5520

Why hello and Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great holiday season!  It appears my 3 month sabbatical has come to an end and I am glad to be back.  I have some big goals for 2017 that I am excited to share.  But first, let’s talk about how I finished 2016.

My stash definitely grew this year. I brought in 261.75 yards of fabric!  Yikes!  But what is a fabric hoarder to do when a local Jo-Ann’s closes?!  I did end up using 116.25 yards of fabric though.  So, really I only added 145.5 yards of fabric to my stash.  Still that is a lot to add to the stash and brings my total stash to 836.5 yards.  EEPS!

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 8891

I made 45 garments in 2016.  They were mostly tops and dresses for myself.  I played it pretty safe in 2016 and made a lot of repeats.  My sewing year was about making quick and easy casual pieces.  The tops in these pics are some of the last garments I made in December.  All three are patterns I have previously made multiple times.  Even still I do enjoy them, but I wish I had made time to make a few more frosting pieces and a few less cake pieces. In case you are unfamiliar with the reference, cake are the basic everyday garments and frosting is the fun special one-off garments.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1062

What does this mean for 2017?  It means a whole lot more sewing needs to happen.  I have a short goal list this year.

  1.  Shop my stash instead of the store.  I have enough stash that if I sew up a hundred yards a year, it would take just over 8 years to use it all!  While I know I will give in and purchase some fabric this year I really need to focus on stashbusting.  My target number is 150 yards.  I am hosting a month for the Stashbusting Sewalong again this year, which will help out with that.  More on that at a later date.
  2. Make more frosting!  I have been planning some more in-depth pieces for 2017.  To start, I will finally be making the Grainline Studio – Cascade coat.  It has been three years since I made my last winter coat and two years since I made Eric’s wool coat.  I am due to make another now.  I also want to sew less casual knit pieces and more wovens.
  3. Participate more in the online sewing community.  I have not been as active as I would have liked to have been.  I have been watching from the sidelines but I need to jump in the game with everyone else.  This month I am participating in the 5th annual Jungle January, which is always a favorite of mine.  I will also be blogging on the Whatcha Wearin January.  There are a few other sewalongs I have signed up for too, and of course the sewing photo-hops on Instagram.

 

What are your sewing goals for 2017?

Sew Long Summer T-shirt edition

 

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackHey Sewists!  I volunteered for double duty for the Sew Long Summer tour, so I am back with another new garment.  Today, I am sharing my pattern hack version of Simplicity 1062. This is my second version of this pattern hacked top I have made this year.  I posted about my previous version and the non-hacked version here.  I never did write my how to hack post though.  Maybe next month.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hack

 

Back to this version now!  I made a few pattern tweaks from the last version and it made all the difference.  I love love love this top! The inspiration came from a top I purchased at Torrid a while back.  I has a woven front panel with a knit back  panel and neckline/armhole trim.  Not a typical combination, but it works for this top.  The front used .75 yards of Grayscale Tree Silhouettes Peach Skin Fabric from Girl Charlee purchased back in 2014 for $2.73.  The black is 1 yard of Ponte De Roma from Jo-Ann’s purchased in 2015 for $7.79 a yard. Total fabric cost: $10.52, which is less than half of what I paid for the inspiration piece.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity1062 hackThis is a great quick and easy make.  My typical fall wardrobe consists of skinny jeans, boots, and a cute top.  This top will fit into that wardrobe perfectly!  It was also a great way to use up some smaller pieces from my stash!  I am going to have to make more versions of this top. I want to make one with a bright colored Ponte De Roma instead of the black.  I promise I will write a how to hack post at some point while making other versions.

 

I have really enjoyed participating in the Sew Long Summer Tour again this year.  Check out the other tour stops while you are at it.
Sewing by Ti, Musings of a Seamstress, Tales of a Tester, Almost a hippy, At Margareta’s Haus, Sewing A La Carte, Birds Of A Kettle

 

 

 

Sew Long Summer: Shirt-dress Showdown

s8014-vs-m6891

Hey Sewists!  Sorry I have been gone so long.  I did not intend to take a nearly two month hiatus from blogging.  But, boy oh boy, have I been busy.  I have been enjoying my summer and am a little sad to see it leave. I have so many projects to share with you though.  Right now I am in the midst of costume sewing for our annual trek to the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Until then, I am excited to be a stop in the Sew Long Summer tour the Melissa is hosting.  Today I am excited to share my new shirt-dress obsession with you!  I fully intended to blog about these dresses way back in July, but summer happened.  Even still, I think shirt-dresses are the perfect seasonal transition garment for me.   This is my side by side comparison of two similar patterns, McCall’s 6891 view B and Simplicity 8014 view B.  Each finished garment was compared in four different categories: fabric used and pattern description, construction, alterations and fit, and wearability.

Fabrics and Pattern:

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

Simplicity 8014

First up, Simplicity 8014!  This pattern comes with several different collar, sleeve, length and skirt variations.  I chose to make view B with the flared skirt with mandarin collar.  For this version I used 2.5 yards of dark indigo chambray from my stash.  This fabric was purchased from Jo-Ann’s last year during their Black Friday sale for $11.25.  I also used 13 – 5/8″ copper shank buttons, also purchased from Jo-Ann’s this year.  Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of how much I paid for the buttons.  I bought them when one of the local stores was closing, so I know I got them for at least 50% off.  I really liked the idea of a mandarin collar and thought it would be a great way to give this dress a different look than it’s competitor (M6891).  This pattern features pleats at the waist of the front and back, with bust darts and a back yoke.  I absolutely love the back yoke!  That makes it feel more shirt like for me.

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

McCall’s 6891

Now the challenger, McCall’s 6891 view B.  This pattern features a notched collar with various skirt lengths and sleeve types.  The bodice features darts for at both the front and back waist as well as the bust.  For this version I used 3.25 yards of navy cotton eyelet and 4 yards of white Kona cotton solid, both  purchased from Jo-Ann’s this year. Total cost for both fabrics was $37.71.  I also used 12 – 7/8″ navy buttons.

Construction:

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

For my McCall’s version I underlined every piece, except the sleeves, since I chose an eyelet.  That doubled the fabric needed and time spent sewing.  Underlining was well worth the extra effort.  I love the effect of the contrasting white underlining peaking through the navy eyelet.  Once underlined, the pattern went together pretty quickly. I finished this dress in a weekend. I used 1/2″ horsehair braid in the hem to give it more volume and structure in its drape.  The double thickness of the fabric and the horsehair make the skirt look great!

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

For the Simplicity chambray version it also went together very quickly.  I finished this one within a couple of days as well.  I used the 1/2″ horsehair braid in the hem for the same reasons as the other version. While you cannot tell from the pictures, it did not sew as easily as it did in the eyelet.  With the chambray it has some roping in a few spots because of the curve.  Interesting fact, the button holes on the Simplicity version are meant to be sewn vertically, while the McCall’s version are horizontal.

Alterations and Fit:

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

For the Simplicity version, the most significant alteration I made was to the sleeve length. This pattern only came with a long sleeve that rolls up to 3/4 length.  I knew if I was putting in the sleeve tabs I would never wear this with the sleeves unrolled, so I chose to make a shorter length more similar to the McCall’s version.  I love what the back yoke does to draw visual interest to the back of the dress, creating a more tailored fit.  I do not think the waist pleats add anything to fit though.  From the back I think the pleats are the cause of the bagginess.  I think that if they were darts it would look much better.

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

For the McCall’s version the only alteration I made was to the size and quantity of buttons.  This was because I could not find any 5/8″ buttons, which is what the pattern calls for, that I thought looked good with this fabric.  So, the 7/8″ buttons won out.  I added 2 extra buttons, changing the spacing between each one from what the pattern guide is.   The fit of this one is spot on though!  I love the shaping the darts give.  I do not like where the button placement stops in the front for this version.  I think another two buttons could be added to make me feel more secure that it won’t fly open.  I also do not like the length of this skirt.  It is about 2″ shorter than the Simplicity version, making it just above my comfort zone.

Wearability:

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

I really enjoyed wearing the McCall’s dress.  The double layers of cotton do make it heavier and warmer to wear.  It will be great for fall for that reason, but right now it is still a bit to warm here for me to want to wear it all summer.  I am definitely going to have to add two more buttons to the skirt.  I was a bit nervous while wearing this all day of it flying open below that last button.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 8014

The Simplicity was much more comfortable to wear all day since the buttons and hem length were just right.  I can say that I am not as big of fan of this mandarin collar as I had hoped to be.  The pattern calls for button all the way up with one finishing on the collar.  It was a bit too uncomfortable for me to wear all the way closed.  I wasn’t a big fan of leaving it unbuttoned though because I think that the neckline naturally drapes a little weird when unbuttoned.  Other than that I loved wearing the chambray all day.  It is the perfect lightweight fabric to wear on warmer summer days  that will pair well with sweaters or tights for cooler fall days.

Winner:

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 6891

McCall’s 6891

When it comes down to the pattern itself, it was an easy choice to pick a winner.  The initial fit of this version is so much better than the Simplicity version.  There would be no alterations need for the fit of the bodice.  The only alterations I would have to make are to the length of the skirt and amount of buttons in front.  Those things are minor in comparison to changing the pleats of the Simplicity version.  Then there is the collar!  That mandarin collar on the Simplicity dress is just not as flattering as the notched collar of the McCall’s dress.

Have you stitched up your own version of either of these patterns?  What did you think of it?

Check out some of the other stops today on the Sew Long Summer tour and sew along with us.

mahlicadesigns, Musings of a Seamstress, Rainy Day Sewing, Sprouting Jube Jube, Sewing A La Carte, Anne-Mari Sews
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