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.

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

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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?

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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

 

 

 

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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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TNT Stashbusting

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Hey Stashbusters!  How are you doing on your dress sewing this month? I meant to post about this dress two weeks ago, but Eric and I were celebrating our anniversary by going to Canada!  It was a blast! I may have bought one piece of fabric as a souvenir.  We’ll pretend like I didn’t do that for now though.

This week I am back with another version of my TNT knit dress, McCall’s 6073.  I have made this dress so many times I can’t even tell you what version number this one is.  I think maybe I should give this pattern a rest for a bit.  For this version, I used my redrafted bodice pieces to create a scoop neckline instead of the cross over V-neck.  I also did a quick and easy rolled hem.  That is my new preferred hem finish for knit dresses.  It is easier and looks better than a turned and stitched hem, in my opinion.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

For my fabrics I picked up two yards of this awesome Aztec coral and purple cotton jersey blend from Girl Charlee way back in February.  I had intended to use it for this dress and picked up a royal purple cotton spandex to go with it.  On the Girl Charlee site they looked like they would match perfectly together.  Unfortunately,  in person that was not the case.  The purple in the print was just too dark to match the royal purple solid.  Now, I have one yard of royal purple cotton spandex in my stash.  Bah!

Musings of a Seamstress - M6073

Luckily, I still had a little bit of navy ponte de roma from a few years ago when I did the Adoption Dress Project.  The navy looked great with the coral print, so it won!  In the end I used, 1.5 yards of purple/coral Aztec print for $9.38, and .75 yards of navy ponte de roma for $5.84.  The total fabric cost for this dress is $15.22.  I don’t think that is too bad for just the materials cost.  If you were to factor in an hourly rate of minimum wage for two hours, this is about what you would pay for a knit dress at Target.  I will take that!

Oh oh and before I go, I have to tell you some exciting news!  If you follow me on Facebook you probably already saw this last month, so I am sorry for being repetitive. But……I am one of the new bloggers for Cali & Co Fabrics! I am pretty excited about this opportunity!  Awhile back they posted a call out for bloggers on their blog and I applied.  I was surprised that I actually got picked.  The list of other bloggers is full of quite a few well known sewing bloggers.  I finished my first garment this past weekend and it should go live on their blog sometime soon.  Make sure to follow their blog to see all the awesome things my co-bloggers are making!

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Battle of the Cotton Knits

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Hey Stashbusters!  Today we are talking about knit fabrics!  Inspired by Melissa at Mahlica Designs and her fantastic Versus series, I thought I would write up my own version of this.  I wanted to compare how the exact same pattern would sew up in two different knits.  Cotton Spandex Knit and Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit to be exact.

Let’s start with a little background on the pattern first.  The pattern I picked is M6559 in view D.  This is a pretty basic pattern as it only has two pieces.  It is a quick make, which is good for me.  These are the 3rd and 4th versions I have made using this pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I am really blogging about this pattern.  I kind of reviewed it here but not very much. For both versions I made a size 22 with no fitting alterations.  For both versions I did add a contrasting trim to the neckline and armholes and a simple rolled hem finish.  I love the contrasting trim I added as a different way to finish my openings.  I haven’t posted it yet, but I do have a pattern hack tutorial written for a different pattern that includes how to add this trim, so I am not going to post it here.  I really do love this pattern for its simplicity.  It makes a great summer dress for me that I am going to make over and over again.

Let’s get down to the main event though.  I compared each fabric in the following areas: sewing experience, all day wearability, first laundry cycle.

THE FABRICS:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit

 

First up is a Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee.  I used 1.75 yards of this fabric that I purchased back in 2014 during their Black Friday sale.  The total cost of this one is $4.38.  I also used scraps of an Orange Rayon Spandex.  It wasn’t enough to count for anything though.  This is a very soft drapey knit, that clings in all the right places. It is typically used for sleep wear, making this kinda like secret pajamas.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

Cotton Spandex Knit

 

The second fabric is Pink and Black Ethnic Cotton Spandex Knit.  This one also came from Girl Charlee and was in the August 2015 Knitfix I purchased last year. I used 2 yards which was a cost of $11.50.  For the contrast I used some scraps of Black Ponte De Roma that I had laying around. For this version I added 3″ to the bottom hem since I did not pre-wash the fabric because I wanted to do a laundry test.  This fabric is a little thicker than the other, but it feels more like a comfy t-shirt.

SEWING EXPERIENCE:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559  The Rayon Spandex print can go either direction, so I had no problems being able to match up the print at the side seams.  It is darn near perfect! Rayon Spandex does present it’s own set of sewing challenges though.  This fabric has a lot of stretch to it, so it was very important that I not stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Having a pattern to match at the side seams helped immensely with that. For all knits I make sure I use bulky nylon as my bobbin thread on my straight stitch machine and looper threads on serger.  I also make sure I use a jersey needle.

 

The cotton spandex, Musings of a Seamstress - M6559unfortunately, is a one way print.  With only having two yards the front and back panels go different directions, so there was no way I was able to match prints at the side seam.  This one has a good amount of stretch to it, but not as much as the rayon spandex,  making it a bit easier to sew with.  It would be a great knit to sew if you are new to knits.  The only downside to sewing this fabric was hemming.  The cotton spandex tends to curl up and my rolled hem is not visible now and I have a narrow band of the underside of the fabric showing.

ALL DAY WEARABILITY:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Musings of a Seamstress - M6559I love wearing this rayon spandex dress.  I said earlier that it is like secret pajamas, making it a super comfortable fabric to wear.  The stretch and drape in this fabric makes it flattering in that it shows off my curves!  The fabric does tend to stretch out during the course of the day, but after letting it sit over night it recovered pretty darn well.

 

 

 

 

 

Since the cotton spandex doesn’t have the drape as the rayon spandex, it does show off my curves as well.  It is a little baggier looking in the waist creating more of a column look from the chest down. On the plus side, this one does stretch out a bit while wearing, but does not recover as well as the rayon spandex did. Since I didn’t wash it before wearing, the extra inches I added were slightly problematic.  Good thing that isn’t going to be permanent.

 

 

 

 

FIRST LAUNDRY CYCLE:

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Part of the reason I wanted to wait to wash them until after wearing them was I knew how the rayon spandex would turn out and it performed as expected.  This is the biggest let down of rayon spandex for me.  In the picture the fabric on the left is unwashed and the one on the right is the finished garment.  You can see that the finished garment has white fuzzies all over it, causing it to have a faded look.  This is because of the rayon fibers.  I hate that this dress now looks super worn after only one wash.  Musings of a Seamstress - M6559The cotton spandex, by contrast, washed up wonderfully!  If you can see the dividing line down the center, the one on the left is the unwashed fabric and the one on the right is the washed garment.  They are identical in look!  No fading at all!  The fabric did become a bit softer though, which is a plus.  It did shrink up a bit in the hem, but not as much as I added to the hem, so I will re-hem this one.

THE RESULTS:

So, which fabric does it come down to as being the winner…

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

The cotton spandex knit!  I think the washability of the fabric was the deal breaker for the cotton rayon spandex knit.  I want my garments to be of great quality and how they wash and wear is a huge part of that.  The downsides of this cotton spandex can be looked passed because this fabric still looks great after washing and I expect it will hold up for quite a some time.  I do have another cotton rayon spandex knit that is mostly white and navy that I am curious to sew up and see if it washes the same as this mostly black version.

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Have you sewn up either of these fabrics before?  What are your thoughts on them?

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