Monday, September 26, 2011

V1253: A failure for me

I set out with such high hopes for V1253 when I started it a couple of weeks ago.
It is so pretty on the model, but I wish I had paid a little closer attention to the armholes before I started.  Look at the back of the dress in the picture above and notice how low the armholes are.  I don't know if that would have stopped me, but maybe it would have been a cautionary flag.  I spent two weeks making this dress.  My inspiration for it was the color blocking on this beautiful Skyscraper Dress from anthropologie.  I bought some gray rayon knit from and some black rayon knit from They are both lightweight.   I got my tricot knit lining from as well as the organza for the petticoat.  I think that the problem with this dress is that there are SO MANY gathers/ruching, which makes the dress heavy due to the amount of fabric.  The back skirt alone consists of two panels.  If I had it to do over (and I won't do it again), I would probably just use one back skirt panel.  When I got through with the dress, it fit, but there were some problems. The problem was that the armholes were too low which was made worse by the heaviness of the dress.  While I had the dress on, I could feel the heaviness of the fabric pulling at the armholes.  I used the suggested type of fabric, so I don't want to blame it on the fabric.  Also, try as I might, I could not get the armhole facing to attach appropriately.  When I got it attached, it kept flipping out, even after I topstitched it.  I attribute this to the heaviness of the dress.  Also, at this point the side of my bra was showing.  I would take a picture of the armhole issue, but I don't want to make all of you have to look at my armpit, nor do I want a pic of my bra strap showing going out over the internet.  Tee Hee!!  Other than the armhole problems, the dress fits me.  GRRRRRRR!!!!! I was depressed over this, but now I am irritated.
     I would love to know if anyone else is working on this dress and what your experience is/was.  I was so excited about it having a dress with a petticoat and color blocking, which is so popular this fall.   Is it a problem with the pattern or something I did wrong?  At least this wasn't some of my birthday fabric or I would really be mad.  Also, does anyone know of any possible way I could salvage the armholes and make them higher and prevent the facing from flipping out?  I have tried to imagine how I could attach some fabric to the armhole, but I am not coming up with anything.  I also considered taking out the seam on the shoulder straps (if you can call them that) and shortening them .  I think the pattern called them the "upper bodice".  The problem with that, though, is the overlap at the front center bodice.  That was not the easiest thing to do or to figure out from the instructions.  I thought about wearing a black t-shirt under the dress to compensate for the armhole issue, but I just don't know if that would look right.  Even with that, there is still the problem of the armhole facing flipping out.  This is all just making me want to flip out!!!  If I am not able to salvage this dress, at least I can use the skirt portion to make a knit top of some type.  There is most definitely enough fabric.

    Next up for me is a dress out of a woven fabric.  I had planned on making another of the new Vogues with the gathering/ruching, but I am a little gun shy right now.   This was the second knit dress in a row so I need something different.   I am going to use my royal blue gabardine fabric that I got for my birthday.  If I am successful with it, I will make another of the Vogues.

Friday, September 23, 2011

B5674 - first garment with Birthday fabric (anthro knockoff)

Awhile back I got some fabric for my birthday  that is just like the fabric used in the anthropologie Gathered Hemlock Dress.  It is a rayon/lycra knit from 

anthropologie Gathered Hemlock Dress

I looked at several dress patterns to try and figure out how I would make a close replica, but about that time Butterick came out with B5674.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect pattern.

The bodice is different than the original dress, but the wrap skirt is almost dead on.  The pattern is rated as "Easy", but I disagree.  There are several twists and turns in lining the bodice that I think should give it an "Average" rating.  All in all, the pattern was easy enough if you are experienced in sewing.  I cut one size smaller than I usually do, because the pattern is for "moderate knits" and my fabric is very stretchy. I was a little nervous since I did not make a muslin and I was working with more expensive fabric than I usually work with, but it turned out well.  WHEW!!!   I followed the instructions exactly without making any alterations.  I have only ever muslined a knit dress once because I am not sure how to do it other than buying double the amount of fabric I am going to use.  With a woven, I just use some cheap broadcloth or linen from my stash.  Readers, how do you muslin knit dresses?  I would love to know because I know my luck with them is going to eventually run out.  Here is the finished product.


outfit for work
Cardigan:  Old Navy
Belt:  Old Navy
Shoes:  Anthropologie (Anniversary Gift)
Necklace: JCPenney

Happy Sewing!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

S2281 - Cynthia Rowley Dress

I bought this Cynthia Rowley pattern when it first came out because I loved the cut out shoulders and the neck strap that ties in the back.  It sat for awhile in my pattern stash until I could find the right fabric.

I wasn't really sure what I even wanted to make it from until I was surfing around denverfabrics one day and came across this ikat cotton lawn.  It has teal, black, light gray, and white making up the design.   Cotton lawn is my new favorite fabric.  It is so wonderful to work with in that it is not too wrinkly and sews so easily.
    I cut my normal size, but if I had it to do over I would cut a size smaller.  I think this pattern runs big.  I did my normal folding out of fullness in the front and back bodices, but then I had to do an inch seam on the sides as opposed to the 5/8 in.  Then to correct for a little fullness in the back, I tapered in from a 5/8 in seam to a 7/8 in seam towards the bottom of the back bodice.
   Also, I was so disappointed because the instructions for the view D that  I sewed did not have the instructions included.  They only give instructions for View A/B.  I had read a review of this pattern already that had indicated these instructions were missing, so I was prepared....but still disappointed.  I basically just matched up dots and followed my nose.  It wasn't too difficult, but just aggravating.   I only lined the bodice as the instructions indicated so I just serged the seams in the skirt.  I omitted the applique at the waist.  Overall I am happy with the way it turned out.

I am trying to come up with ways to style it for Fall/Winter.    I am thinking of incorporating some coral colors into it.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kate Spade Skirt Knockoff--M5804

The first time I saw this Kate Spade "Easton" skirt, I knew I had to make a knockoff. It is just so sunny and pretty.
My quest began with finding the right fabric.  I searched and searched, but I could not find anything.  Then, when I was looking for something else completely, I found the perfect fabric on  This is how it usually happens.  It is Michael Miller "Sunshine" Stripe.  I bought it last year, but as is usually the case, it had to marinate for awhile in my stash while I worked on other things.  When I finally decided to make the skirt, I just decided to eliminate the bodice of M5804 and use the waistband and skirt portion. I could not find a close enough skirt pattern in my pattern stash, and I did not need to want to go buy a new pattern.  I need to work on sewing up what I have.  We'll see how long that lasts.  HA!
I had to tweak the waistband a little to make it curve into my waist by tapering into a deeper seam on its side seams.  I inserted a back zipper and lined the skirt. The waistband was faced and the lining attached to the facing to achieve a nice clean finish on the inside.   

I studied the bow on the Kate Spade skirt and tried to mimic it as closely as possible.  It was just a matter of sewing strips of fabric together and interfacing the "bow" portion so that it would not droop.  

I am wearing it for the first time to work today. If you notice, my stripes have a bit more of a wave to them than the original Kate Spade skirt because of the bias nature of the pattern.  I am happy I got this made before the Fall weather begins to set in.  Of course, here in south Alabama, it will be November before it gets really cool, so I am having a hard time getting into Fall sewing.  

Here is how I wore the skirt:

Top, S2633 blogged about here
Tan patent peeptoes
Bib Necklace, F21