Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Summer Dress Simplicity 2054


Yesterday I made a dress from Simplicity pattern 2054. Talk about fast & easy! I used a 2-way stretch fabric I bought @Joanns this past weekend. The fabric was already in clearance and then was reduced by 50% so the dress cost me about $5.00.
The fabric looks just a tad garish in the photo but it really is a pretty print. And the fabric feels great!
The dress is amazingly fast & easy to make. What I especially like about the dress is its ever so slight a-line cut & that it slips on over the head.  The dress looks huge in the photo but it isn't as seen on the front of the pattern envelope.
The pattern has several sleeve variations. I chose the sleeve that ends just above my elbow.
I twin-needled the hem & sleeve hems.  Initially I tortured myself by trying to use the coverstitch on my serger to do the hems.   I used the coverstitch on the hem which seemed to take me forever.   For the sleeve hems I used my sewing machine and twin-needled the hems.  I used Sandra Betzina's tip to use woolly nylon in the bobbin when twin-needling a knit.
I do plan to make this dress again in a heavier knit so I can wear the dress to work in the fall and winter.
Can you tell I highly recommend this pattern??!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Look Dress Pattern 6968 Great Dress!

Bodice Front Darts and Fabric Pin

This past weekend I finally finished a dress I started making about one month ago.  The dress was supposedly designed to replicate the dresses worn on Mad Men.
Although I absolutely love the dress and the way it fits, I dragged my feet making it simply because I had to insert an invisible zipper in a dress with a full lining.
The pattern calls for lining in just the bodice which struck me as odd.  Why not line the entire dress? Also the fabric I used is a lightweight woven which wrinkles easily.  A full lining would reduce the wrinkling and also eliminate the need for a slip (I know I sound like a dinosaur when I mention slips buy hey, I wear them.)
I read several rave reviews of New Look 6968 on   Most posters also suggested lining the dress unless a knit fabric was used.
It had been awhile since I had inserted an invisible zipper in a lined dress.  So I looked for some info online and found a great blog where the blogger posted great directions for inserting an invisible zipper into a lining dress:   The directions were great and finally the zipper was in after dawdling for about 2 weeks.
I followed a Sandra Betzina suggestion to use pretty linings in clothing and so chose a multi-color stripe shantung for the lining.  Unfortunately the colors don't show up well in the photo.
I know I broke every rule in the 'book' for hemming the lining.   I trimmed the hem and then serged it.
The outer fabric hem ends slightly above my knee.   
A very good friend suggested making a fabric flower pin for the dress which I thought was a wonderful idea.  For the pin I combined the outer and lining fabrics.  The pin is shown in the photo at the top of this page.   I used sewritzy's fabric flower tutorial to make my pin: 
I wear the dress with a very narrow black belt and black sandals.  I shamelessly admit the dress looks and feels great. The lining was well worth the effort.
So I highly recommend New Look dress pattern 6968!!
Dress Front

Dress Lining

Dress Upper Front

Vogue Dress Pattern 8724

Last summer I fell in love with Vogue dress pattern 8724.  I just love dresses and Vogue 8724 is extra special because it simply pulls on over the head!
Here's a link to the 1st dress I made from Vogue 8724:;postID=4113511317872683591
I like the pattern so much that this week I made another dress from the same pattern.
I used a 2-way stretch, lightweight knit for my dress.   I bought the fabric about 3 years ago.   But this week when I looked at the horizontal stripes I did wonder what I was thinking when I bought the fabric.   Much to my surprise and delight (I love that word) the dress actually looks pretty good on me, horizontal stripes and all.
The lines in this knit dress are very clean and very lean!  The bodice has a fairly deep crossover v-neck attached to a skirt that is softly pleated at the top.  The sleeves are cap-style.
The dress has no zipper and simply pulls over the head.
I hemmed my dress so it falls just a tad above mid-knee.  I twin-needle topstitched the skirt hem as well as the sleeve hems.  I used Sandra Betzina's tip to use woolly nylon in the bobbin when hemming with a twin needle.
Vogue 8724 is an easy, easy pattern to sew and the end result is quite an elegant looking dress.   I think it would be a great dress for a beginner sewer.