A bright blue, breezy dress for a girl with a beautiful smile is the way to kick off summer sewing, right? I really enjoyed making this blue gauze dress for my daughter and I think she felt good about having something pretty to wear out after having so many months in, It's a simple and fun make and easy enough for a beginner or if you need a dress quick!
I used McCall's 8035 and this was my first time trying their PDF patterns. Now I sew with PDF patterns all the time (needless to say) and also with the Big 4 but I have to say I don't recommend using Big 4 PDF patterns. This printout was 55 pages!!! Just for the tile! I know one of the things we indie designers take lots of time on is the layout of our tiles because time and paper are precious resources. Also, there was no test square anywhere on the pattern so I printed out the skirt pieces and verified the finished measurements on the pattern to be sure my settings were right. That said, otherwise it was a good pattern.
She chose a cotton/rayon gauze for the dress I got from Stylish Fabric on Etsy. I have to say this fabric is wonderful! I don't think it was even $8 per yard and it's soft and drapes a little bit closer to the body than some gauzes. It comes in lots of colors and washes really well.
Lining cotton garments always send me into a quandary because most typical linings defeat the purpose of why we wear cotton garments. I decided to use this very lightweight white challis and it turned out to be the perfect option. I lined the bodice and half of the skirt (lots of maxi's are lined just to above the knee these days) and left the sleeves sheer.
By complete luck, I had the perfect color serger thread and these days I've been cutting projects ahead and grouping them by serger color. Don't we all hate the serger rethread?
The pic on the right shows where I was in construction for the first fitting. I basted just the bodice and skirt together (no lining) and wrapped the elastic around her to make any changes. I ended up shortening the bodice slightly and bringing in the side seam 1/4" on both sides. I also added a slit on one side.
I prewash all my fabrics before I sew them with no fabric softener. The extra stiffness in the fabric helps with accurate sewing and crisp ironing. But after I finish the garment I do wash with softener. The stitches disappeared and the texture of this fabric got so yummy after washing. I purchased several gauzes this spring to see what I liked, and I was impressed by this one partly because when I press it, it still retains the "gauzy" texture.
Mother daughter day! I'm wearing a self drafted dress I made about 6 or 7 years ago that I still love.
Lots more projects on the sewing table. I'll share soon!
So really, how many times can you use a pattern? Time, money and space are all valuable to us and as sewists, using a pattern multiple times is a great way to use the resources we have. Today, I bring you a quick blog post packed with lots of photos to show how, with the "$15 Summer Pattern Bundle" that includes the Morrison Top and Dress and the Coffeehouse Pant PDF patterns, you can create loads of garments.
I start with the Morrison Top and Dress pattern which can be made up in both a knit and woven fabric. This simple pattern (the top is only 3 pieces) can be made up as a maxi-dress, an elegant silk shell, paired with the Coffeehouse Pants a faux jumpsuit, flouncy dress and a casual t-shirt.
There's more inspiration out there in ready to wear and Pinterest (check out the Morrison Board). I even have a sewing friend that made 5 beautiful pair of summer PJ's using the Morrison Top and Coffeehouse Pant patterns. I'm inspired!
The Coffeehouse Pants are also a quick sew and fun made up as a beachy pant but also nice in a plaid or striped suiting. You can add a button placket to the hem (there's a post here) or a drawstring or even a paperbag waist.
The Coffeehouse Pinterest board has more ideas including playing with stripes and adding embroidery.
These are just 2 patterns that I love but there are so many more we can use to build our wardrobes. The options for reusing a pattern are really endless!
I'm working on a project using up some remnants that I will share soon!
Have fun sewing!
Once it starts creeping into the 90's here, I begin dreaming of summer shift dresses (check out my Summer Frock Pinterest Board), The ideal dress is comfortable in the heat, versatile enough to work in (water plants, sew and run errands too) and look good enough to go out to dinner because let's face it, who wants to cook when it's this hot?! Enter the Margo Dress!
As many of you know, one of my goals as a pattern designer is to create versatile patterns that can be used over and over. It's so much easier to start with a base pattern that you know works and use it as a jumping off point for creative and unique pieces. The Margo Blouse is one such pattern.
I used 2 yards of iridescent linen from my stash and coordinating DMC embroidery floss for the contrast stitching. Here are the changes I made:
Making the dress shorter or adding tiered ruffles would also make a beautiful romantic dress for the summer. Embroidery or lace added to the yoke would make a fun, bohemian feel. So many options! I have a Margo Blouse Pinterest board for even more ideas.
Happy Sewing, Friends!
Yes! I have a new pattern to share with all of you! It's the Morrison Top and Dress PDF Pattern! This easy to sew sleeveless top or dress pattern has a scoop neck and pleated bodice. The dress has an elastic waist and side pockets (of course pockets!). And both can be made in either knit or woven fabric. The pattern package comes with full color, illustrated instructions, tiled pattern and copy shop file. It comes in sizes 4-18 and sells for $10!
This pattern came out of a gap I had in my own closet. I was in desperate need of tops that were as easy to wear as a t-shirt but a little more elevated. As I was designing this I realized I could add the option of making it in a woven and then would also have a versatile and comfortable shell. Then I just kept going and added the dress. I can tell you I live in these dresses especially because I work at home and want something that's comfortable but isn't sweatpants! Uh-hem! I just pull it over my head, add a necklace and I'm good to go!
If you're new to sewing this is a great pattern for you because it's easy to sew and easy to fit. Start with the top as your first project because it only has three pattern pieces then move on to the dress as your second project. And if you're a seasoned sewist you can use this pattern as a quick wardrobe builder and as a great basic to be creative with. You can add piping to the pockets (one tester did this and it's adorable!), change the bodice pleats to gathers, add a drawstring with eyelets and a tie...the options are endless. One of my goals as a designer is to create affordable AND versatile patterns that can be used over and over again!
I had some wonderful testers that helped me with the Morrison Pattern and I'll be sharing their makes soon along with some tutorials on making this your own.
I really hope you enjoy it!
I'm excited to announce my new PDF pattern, The Morrison Top and Dress will be released March 4th! It's an easy to sew and fit top and dress pattern suitable for all sewists, including beginners!
Join my newsletter for a new release coupon!!!
Can't wait to share it soon!
I just finished a dynamic duo to add to my summer wardrobe. Here's New Look 6413 and of course the beloved Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet in a combo that I got really lucky to find. I've had my eye on this rayon crepe print at Fabricland (my local fabric store in O.C.) and was fortunate to find a dreamy lightweight french terry in a beautiful rose that goes perfectly with the print. When this happens...you have to bring both fabrics home.
This dress is really simple and perfect for a beginner or anyone that needs a quick project. It calls for a front bodice zipper which I thought would be odd but actually looks really nice. It's completely unnecessary for the dress (it would pull over without it) but you would need to put it in for the jumpsuit view. Since I made this as a sample for the fabric store I included it so people could see the pattern as it's written.
I don't think anyone needs another Blackwood cardigan review so i won't add one here but I've made 5 now if that says anything about it. But what I like about this one is the color. It's not a color I would normally look at but it turns out it goes with so many things in my closet! I probably have at least 3 other outfits for it.
Just a quick share today as I've got more dresses in the works.
There has been so much going on over here, getting back to school, a new pattern in the works and lots of sewing. I've made loads of samples for the new pattern (I can't wait to share it!), new fall samples for my current patterns and some new transitional and fall pieces for my wardrobe. I'm still busy putting the finishing touches on the new pattern but I thought I'd take a moment to share a quick dress I made to take me from summer to fall.
This is the Olivia Dress from StyleArc patterns. Although this is my first time using a StyleArc pattern, I have a student that's been using them and has had great success. This dress couldn't be easier, 5 pieces in total including the facings which is perfect for me when I want a quick dress that's as easy to pull on as shorts but looks cute enough for dinner. I've been saving some patterns ideas for a dress like this on my Pattern Box Pinterest board and now I finally added it to my closet. The fabric is a medium weight brushed chambray with a white pinstripe from The Fabric Store in LA. This dress is cute with sandals right now but it'll also be great with a darker belt and boots as it gets cooler. For sure I'll be using this pattern again and next time I'm going to add pockets to the sides.
The Olivia dress is easy enough for a beginning sewist but keep in mind StyleArc patterns have minimal instructions with few drawings so some garment construction experience would be helpful.
I'll be sharing more makes and a new pattern soon! Be sure to follow me on Instagram as I share more about what's going on in the studio there.
Keep sewing my friends! Diane
One of my students brought this fabric into class and I immediately fell in love! Not with my student (although she's wonderful and has amazing taste) but with the fabric. I thought about sliding it into my work bag when she wasn't looking or offering to buy it from her but instead she told me she got it from Craftsy and I was giddy to discover it was still available! Yay! For those of you that haven't purchased fabric from Craftsy, all of the their fabrics either come in kits or in precut lengths. I purchased a 4 yard cut so I still have enough for a blouse or shell.
I made McCall's 7381 View A in a size 12 straight out of the envelope but ended up making quite a few changes after I wore it the first time. This is a polyester/spandex knit and although I usually sew with natural fibers, I love the way this dress looks, feels and washes (which is a good thing since I purchased another knit just like it.) The dress calls for a woven fabric and has quite a bit of ease built in, so sizing down to a 10 would've minimized the alterations I needed (and the amount of time it took to take it apart!).
Here are the changes I made:
I'm happy I took the time to make the changes even though it took me almost as long to make the changes as it took to make the dress. Every time I need to make changes that require a lot of ripping out I spend days deciding if I should do it or not. I'm always happy when I take the time. "Unsewing" can be very discouraging but I highly recommend taking the chance sometimes.
I've been sewing faster than I've been blogging so I have more to share with you. Summer sewing is in full swing and I couldn't be happier.
One word friends...pockets! What's better than a dress with pockets? And a pink dress just in time for Valentine's Day with pockets that can hold Reese's peanut butter hearts (in case you want to buy me some uh-hem!) This is Simplicity 8258 and I picked this pattern up the minute it came out. I've been looking for a good basic dress pattern and here it is with pockets as a bonus. I sewed it up in a pretty pink and white 100% cotton suiting that was easy to sew. Now I have simple, classic and comfortable dress to add to my wardrobe that lends itself to some great accessories or a cute jacket.
I've made quite a few of these Amazing Fit patterns and find they're easy to work with and since they come with cup size options and offer slim, average and curvy fit it's easier to get a good fit right out of the envelope. That said, here are the small changes I did make:
I will definitely be using this pattern again. It'd be cute in a cotton print or even a lightweight denim. So many possibilities...never enough time.
I must have pink on the brain because I just finished this denim bag with pink stitching. A happy accident!
Happy Valentine's Day! Diane
This is a brand new pattern from McCall's that I picked up at the, you guessed it, pattern sale. When I walk outta the store with a new stack of patterns in hand I feel like I just made money and that feels great! Especially when I pick up one I can use over and over like this one.
It's McCall's 7534 and although I was thinking ahead to spring when I made this it is truly a seasonless dress. A simple cardigan would make this great in the fall. The pattern in suitable for woven fabrics although I chose an ITY knit. It's not a fabric I choose very often even though there are plenty of them out there but it turned out to be a perfect choice for this dress. It's comfortable, flows nicely and washable.
The pattern is really simple and goes together quickly. The most time consuming part of putting it together was matching the graphic design before I cut it out. I added 4 inches to the length as I'm a knee length gal but other than that I made it just like the pattern.
I can certainly add this to my TNT pattern list. I'm excited to make it again. Wouldn't it be cute in one of those drapey linen/rayon blends in a pretty color?
Happy Sewing Friends!
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.