Here’s a little summer project – dresses that take me on a journey, starting here in Florida waters! I’m using my favorite knit maxi pattern, McCalls 6559, as my canvas.
My draft is size 10. I’ve sewn this version so many times that I can pretty much cut and sew, which can be really relaxing.
The front neckline is raised a bit so that it fits more nicely on my chest.
The change I love most is to the armhole, which I extended to provide a little coverage and softness over the shoulder and upper arm.
That little extension at the bottom of the armhole facilitates a beautiful finish.
And I like to finish the neckline on simple knit dresses and tees with a self-fabric band. I attach it on the inside, then fold it over and finish on the outside to diminish irritation to my neck and shoulders. Picky!
This cute fabric is STOF France Barracuda Blue, midweight cotton/lycra jersey from Fabric.com.
Smug mug… I’ve been working on three dresses over the last couple weeks, each one a variation of the Simplicity 8640 Handkerchief Hem dress. No surprise – I changed up the hem to be more exaggerated, and I drafted a V-neck option as well!
It’s 94 degrees outside, and I’m taking full advantage of the drape and float of rayon challis. This little number is a play on the Grainline Studio Felix dress.
I apologize for the ‘bad’ photos. I was using my camera phone, had it propped on a pillow in a chair, and I just didn’t feel like getting picky. But I do love this pattern. The neckline is so flattering, comfortable, and feminine. See the zebras? This challis is from Fabric Mart’s ‘Famous Dress Designer’, snagged on sale at $4.20/yard. So cute!
I recently redrafted my Felix pattern to size 6 (my previous pattern was size 8, and it was way too big on me).
As in past versions, I did not line this dress. It’s so simple to make without a lining.
I also cut both sides of the bodice using the right bodice pattern pieces. This puts evenly-distributed fabric weight into the bodice/skirt seam. And it bypasses the tricky sewing of the band, as described in the original pattern. IMHO, that band treatment alone can be very off-putting and significantly raises the difficulty level of this dress.
A tip on the band: rather than use fusible interfacing, I underlined the band with lightweight poly/cotton broadcloth. All those bias edges are challenging enough without having a fusible shrink the fabric. Honestly, I seldom use fusible interfacing now, it’s just too likely to compromise the shape, size, and appearance of a pattern piece. Shirt and coat-makers, do not cringe. There are some lovely fusible interfacings available for those garments.
For fun, I added 4″ to the midi-length hemline, and then I added a 5″ deep ruffle. Kicky 🙂
Since this version is sleeveless, I also trimmed about 5/8″ off the entire armscye before adding self-fabric bias binding.
This is actually my second dress with this design. The first is also in rayon challis from Fabric Mart, but overwhelmed with house decisions, I just posted it on Instagram. I also wore it for 4 days running, while waiting impatiently for the zebras to arrive.
I do love to wear them on rainy days (that cozy factor) and in the evening after my shower.
These have been in the sewing loft for over a week, pending photos. I do this all the time and I need to get them into my closet 🙂
This is my second pair of these super comfortable and cute PJs (first version here). Making them – layout, cutting, construction – is a rather big project, but it’s also fun because of all the details.
I sewed a straight size 8, View B, which has the cuffs on sleeves and pant legs.
This wonderfully cool and wrinkle-free fabric is chocolate/off-white cotton/lycra poplin shirting from Fabric Mart’s NY Designer category. I looked at it for days before it went on sale for 60% off – I was really fortunate to get it.
Once again I applied bias edging details instead of piping. This time I used double-fold quilt binding, pressed open and cut to 2″ wide. It’s poly/cotton (no shrinking to speak of), and is a nice weight for an edging. It’s also available in a myriad of colors.
I like the fit of the pants so much that I’m planning a couple pairs to wear with a sleep shirt.
Something else got moved out of the loft this morning as well. This dress was on Emile for 4 weeks as part of the staging when the house was on the market!
Parting shot – my resident doves. I know they had a baby earlier this spring, because the three of them spent hours sitting together on the fence and ground-feeding once the juvenile was out of the nest. I had to take this photo from inside the house because they startle so easily. Beautiful.
More fun in the loft 🙂 Having finished my draft of the Patricia Rose dress, and having sewn a muslin, it’s time to enjoy.
My muslin went to a new home. The color is all wrong for me, and I was really annoyed by my print placement. It happens!
But I learned so much from this version. On to the next one, this time in a beautiful Ralph Lauren white/black stripe from Fabric Mart. It’s cotton/poly/elastane, described as suiting, but it’s very light, with just a bit of stretch both ways. It’s also opaque, and I have no issues with ‘see through’.
As before, I sewed the size 8, and I increased the neckline seam allowances from 1/4″ to 1/2″.
I also used my back and skirt variation, which has a fold to match the front fold (lots of info on the folds and skirt on my original post). I took these two pics outside, before our temp reached 91F. At which point I went inside!
My bananas print fabric was 46″ wide, this one is 53″ wide. I used 3 yards of both.
Playtime! I used an oversized pocket, centered on the side seam. The unfinished pocket is 11″ x 11 1/2″. After the top fold of 1 1/4″, it’s a bit wider than it is long.
Something I left out of my first post, I’m really happy with the seldom-seen armscye darts on the front bodice. I was afraid they would be pokey, but they’re perfect. Also shown, the solid white cotton/poly broadcloth facing, which prevents print shadows on the right side.
Cute! I’m not done with this pattern 🙂 It’s a wonderful palette for solids, stripes, large or abstract prints, and many substrates. I’m sewing summer now, and I cannot wear wool, but I think this would be beautiful- elegant – in a black wool woven or dupioni silk.
Or French terry – that middle ground between a woven and a knit.