Friday, June 28, 2013

A Dress for Sister #1 New Look 6000

I have too many clothes and my three sisters are always envious of my dresses. I said why don't I make you all some.

 We all went to Fabricville and drove poor Anthony at the cutting tables (I love that guy) crazy , but when we left we had fabric for all.

My first sister Pauline is an artist and needed a dress for an afternoon art opening. She decided on New Look 6000 after trying  on my version.Luckily, we're close to the same size so I was able to put this dress together without too much struggle.I made it to be snug on me and it fit Pauline very well.

Not much to say about this one. It's View B minus the collar. Here's a close-up of the side pleating.

I absolutely could not get the neck facing to stop peeping out regardless of careful understitching. I finally had to do ,what in my mind is a no-no, and stitch it down.

I wanted to use a photo of my sister at the art show but I forgot my camera so luckily I had taken some here before we left.She loves her dress and it fits her very well. Pauline has always been known as the pretty one in our family and I think she looks great.

Come back next week for my sister #2's dress.

More later from

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vogue 1352, A Maxi Dress for a Baby Boomer??

They say if you're old enough to have worn it once, you're too old to wear it now. I usually agree with that. But of course, there are always exceptions, right?

Tonight I'm showing you a maxi dress I made using Vogue 1352.


And I think it's so cute! Don't you just love the fabric?

The fabric is very Messoni- like . I don't remember where I got it, maybe Montreal on Rue St. Hubert or maybe Ottawa. It doesn't matter. It's just very soft, expensive looking, not too light weight and has a nice drape. Very 70's, don't you think? I don't know the fiber content but there's probably some acrylic, or rayon in there. Here's a closer look.

This was a very easy sew. The style is very simple for a Vogue Designer pattern. It took me an hour to cut out because of the need to match the linear pattern and exactly three hours to sew. I highly suggest it for  quick fix sewing project.

The neckline is gathered and then the neckband is added and hand stitched to the inside.

The top is sewn to the skirt,then the seam serves as the casing for the elastic.

I added side pockets   and am so glad I did. You automatically look for pockets to put your hand into when you wear this dress! I also added an inch to the length of the bodice so it would blouson a bit.

The sleeve  hems are done by machine and I used the pretty selvedge as the hem at the bottom of the dress..

Now about the Baby Boomer thing. I wouldn't feel at ease wearing this maxi in public. I'm really quite sensitive about age appropriate dressing, but I'll enjoy having it to wear for barbecues and get togethers this summer with friends and family. It will also be a fun at-home-dinner-date-with-my-husband outfit.

It's also a fun piece to accessorize and I have a plethora of necklaces, belts, and of course just the right shoes. Look here  if you want to see.

My husband thinks it looks like a Hippie dress!

Oh My Goodness! I have too many clothes! I have three sisters and for a while,I'm going to be sewing for them.They'll each get a dress or maybe two. I'll show them as I get each one finished.

Thank you for dropping by. Please leave a comment!!

More later from

Sunday, June 16, 2013

McCall's 6280

Thank You so much to those of you who were so kind as to leave a comment on my last post.

For the past few months, I've been carefully trying to not sew anything too faddish (is that a word,I wonder?) or too outlandish, This week, I decided to make an exception because sometimes ,you just have to go for a little fun.

I 've been wanting to try McCall's 6280 for a couple of years and this fabric has been wanting to become something for just as long.


 It's a cotton knit (no lycra) that looks like a batik print. I decided to try colour blocking. I had a bit of leftover matching stripes from the same fabric collection.. I also found a piece of very stretchy cotton denim that matched quite well.

This is what I came up with. Cute, I think

I did have to make some changes to this pattern.

I looked on Pattern Review and found one review which suggested that this was a loose dress, very roomy so I new I'd want to shape it to my body.

I made View C and ended up cutting size 10 above the chest and 12 below. I made a smaller than usual FBA.

 I didn't need any extra at the side seams . I sewed the back darts deeper and shaped the center back seam as well as the .side seams at the waist.

I raised the armholes about 3/4" and the neckline  1/2" and added and changed the facings to bands.

The length was perfect for my 5'4" height.

I do like this dress but am not in love with the odd pocket. Another time, I'd replace it with some other style of pocket and put one on each side.

I would like to try View A without the one sided shawl collar ,this one in colour blocked solid colours so I could take advantage of the opportunity to do lots of top stitching.

I hope you'll let me know what you think and that you've found time to sew this weekend!

More later from

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Lace prom Dress,1966 and a Lace Dress,2013

What woman doesn't like lace?

I thought I'd show you the only lace dress I've ever prom dress from 1966!! I've kept it all these years. It's very teeny weeny! Sigh!

I still love it and can really understand why I chose it all those years ago. From the salmon coloured taffeta underskirt/lining, the organza layer, the gorgeous white lace,  to the beautifully scalloped border of the lace running down the back, it still gives me a thrill.

I couldn't make my dress form small enough so I couldn't zip it up but closed it enough to show the lovely back.

My 1966 prom dress is not in perfect condition. It has spots and discolorations and even some wear and tear. It was worn to a couple of formals, as a bridesmaid dress, as a costume for a High School drama production at the school where I taught and even as a Hallowee'en costume by my then teenaged daughter.
But pressing it and seeing it on Antoinette has made my heart ache a little for my youth now long gone.
But enough of that.

Lace to me is very dressy and formal and I've been wanting to make a lace dress ever since it started popping up everywhere in the fashion world including the blogs we all love and follow. ( Examples include Diary of a Sewing Fanatic and Amanda's Adventures In Sewing.).

We were  attending an event  that was  perfect for a lace dress and since I had a beautiful navy stretch lace in my stash, I decided it was now or never.

My pattern choice had to be New Look 6000    because the fit was so great in the View B version I just made and showed here. This one would be View A.

I decided to use a black lining although I considered a nude lining, but I knew I'd be more comfortable as an older woman in the more conservative navy/black combo.I left the elbow length sleeves unlined however.

Here is my dress.

The true colour is more like this

My 16 year old grand-daughter thought it was beautiful so it must be OK, I guess.

I cut the dress and sleeves so the scallops, which formed both selvedges, finished the hems.

 That made it so there is more stretch going down the dress than there is across,but that didn't cause any problems. The zipper, which I of course stabilized, did buckle a little but that's in the back and if I can't see it, it must not exist,right? Lol!

I'm very happy with my lace dress ,2013. Of course it doesn't have the magic that my 1966 prom dress still has for me, but then,  at the risk of sounding really corny,my life  after all has really ended up like a fairy tale and I don't need magic anymore.

I wanted to show you a real life shot of my husband and me at the event we attended but I forgot to have a photo taken! Darn!

I hope you will let me know what you think!

More later from

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Buttereick 5645

 I couldn't wait to try View A/B of Butterick 5645.
It is one of the two current top patterns on my list for summer .


What I ended up with is a slight variation of the one pictured on the envelope. Here it.

Why did I change it?

My first problem was that I lost the instruction sheet. Normally, that wouldn't matter because like many experienced sewers, I can make a whole garment without ever looking at instructions.

 For this top, I had to guess at what to do .
The problem was that those sleeve inserts are too large and the shirring wasn't tight enough if one used the guide provided. I tried applying the zipper as in View B but it just wasn't right.

I ended up drawing up the shirring a lot more and cutting off about an inch of the length of the sleeve. That made it better.

The second problem was that the armhole is too low. I added a band under the arm which isn't great but makes the top at least wearable. It won't be noticed unless I point it out, for the most part.

After making those changes, I still didn't love it. I came up with the idea of putting the exposed zipper at the mid front neckline and then it seemed right to add the contrasting neckband . Now I love this top but I wouldn't make this one again.

Another comment about this pattern is that the size Medium was quite large. It isn't meant to be close fitting but even so, I could have cut a Small for this one. For comparison purposes, I usually wear a size 12 and sometimes have to add to the side seam.

The fabric I used is a slubbed cotton knit (no lycra in this one ) that has lots of body and is so comfortable to wear. I didn't get a chance to take a photo of me wearing it.

Hope you've found time to sew this week . More later from