Sewing Simplicity 1080

I fall victim to joann’s pattern sales every once in awhile. Case in point for the new dottie angel and sew house seven patterns they’ve released. While dottie angel as pictured on the pattern package isn’t really my taste. I do appreciate the simple lines, but not the suzy homemaker fabric or design choices. I did have some fall colored rayon challis I bought years ago that I could use. So I set to making a muslin.

I’m very glad I did toille this pattern! While it was a very simple garment, the bust pleats were WAY to high on me. I think they’re supposed to fall just under the bust, so I marked on my muslin where they would look best on me. I lowered them about two inches overall.

There were some steps that didn’t make much sense to me. The way thee sleeves are finishes and the way the waist ties are created – I go over those more in detail in the video if you’re interested in checking that out- It’s below the video.

With all the issues I seem to have had with this pattern, regardless of the outcome, I would not recommend this pattern if you’re not comfortable with basic altering.

Now that I’ve sewn it up, I think I would alter the pattern even more if I were to make it again. I would maybe add an actual sleeve shape, think the short sleeve on face tiger crafts fen dress where there’s an actual armpit curve. The way it has you finish the arm hole left me with some exposed bias tape ends on the inside of the dress. I would sew the bias tape in the round once I adjusted the sleeve shape.

Despite all my issues, I don’t think the dress turned out all that bad. It’s easy to wear, and the drape of the fabric makes it look a bit nicer than it actually is. Make sure to check out the video below. I go into detail on the construction and talk more about my issues with Simplicity 1080

York Pinafore: #teammumu

So I know I talked about my love of shapeless sack dresses before, so can I say a what the up to the York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet. I know it’s traditionally “flattering” to my shape, but honestly, I don’t give a shit about flattering at this point in my life. Anything with funtional pockets this hug pretty much a free pass from me on style. It’s also pretty much the easiest thing ever to sew. It’s a pancake pattern, two pieces, stitched on the seams, nothing fancy. The edges are finished in bias tape, and there’s two huge patch pockets slapped on the front. While I don’t think you necessarily need a pattern to make something like this… I don’t mind supporting indie patterns companies who put out modern mumus- much to my husbands dismay. 



I made up the York in a “linen-look” fabric from joanns, that looking at the pattern I’m 99% sure is also what the sample garment is made there are. I’m usually a big proponent of using natural fibers over their manmade imposters but this fabric is 55% linen and 45% Rayon. I love rayon. Even though Rayon is manmade, it’s still a natural fiber!  I made my first wearable garment out of Joann’s linen look fabric, so it’s always got a special place in my heart. I also used premade bias tape I picked up at my local independent fabric store Fiberge 

I did take the pinafore in at the waist by an inch, which isn’t something I normally need to do. If I made this again I would probably reduce the hip curve a lot. I’m very straight through the hips, so this is a personal adjustment I do a lot. Also I would bring up the hemline and put in a center back seam so I could do a swayback adjustment. It’s not terrible as it, but if it was a tiny bit more fittedpattern I feel like I could get away from the Elementary School Art Teacher lewk I’m serving hard here. 

I do have a video I’m working on about the construction of this dress. Like everything I’ve sewn recently I used french seams. Sometimes I wonder why I even bought my serger if I’m not going to use it to seam finish. I turned the hem up an addtional half inch more than the patttern directions. I feel like it’s still not quite short enough, but I probably won’t unpick it. Sometimes the “good enough” mentality is the only thing that lets a type a creative, like myself, get anything out into the world. 

Check out the gif Y’all! Really upping my blogging game, looking like an Azkaban wanted poster. I thought it might be cool to see a garment in motion. I really like the drape of this linen/rayon blend. Looking at these photos I think I would be interested to try the higher neckline as well. I feel like this neckline causes the bias tape to want to flip out a bit because it’s sitting almost under my boobs. Which I’m kind of okay with since it’s the only way you’re going to see this cute ass bias tape I felt like I was sewing for a million hours. 

Are you folks #teammumu? I feel like this will be a good layering piece once it cools down in the Ohio river valley. We’re getting a small taste cooler weather this week, but it’ll be back in the very humid nineties next week. I’m very ready for fall! 

Fancy Tiger Crafts Fen Tunic

This is my second attempt at this pattern. The first iteration of this pattern is probably my most worn handmade garment ever.  Not that you can tell from the crappy photos I took the first go around. The first dress has been worn pretty much all over the country and is still a go-to piece for me. I had purchased this Kokka double gauze cotton from my local independent sewing shop, Fiberge. It is some of the softest stuff I’ve ever laid my hands on. Does it wrinkle like a bitch, yes. Do I care? No. It’ll probably soften up over several washes in regards to it’s wrinkling. I could be wrong though. Either way it’s comfortable and I don’t mind a few well worn wrinkles. 

I had originally intended to sew a much shorter blouse version of the Fen, but found I had more fabric than I needed so I lengthened it as much as my yardage would allow. It put it at a kind of awkward tunic or mini dress length. Cute enough to wear with leggings/jeans or over a swimsuit- but I don’t think quite long enough in the front to get away with wearing it sans pants. I might try it anyway depending on how brave I am. 

I finished the neckline with self-made bias tape, in a very cute grey and blue check pattern. All the seams are french seams, except the pockets. Given how easily this frays I chose that finish over a serged seam. The pockets seams are pinked, mostly because I have cute scalloped pinking shears. The skirt and sleeves are sleeves are hand rolled hems. I think it’ll hold up pretty well. I still want to make the blouse version of this pattern- I could even do a crop top to stash bust some smaller yardage pieces of fabric I’ve been hoarding. 

I think Fen is the closest to a tried and true pattern I have. I think overall I’m just more of a soft fabric, loose silhouette kind of girl. For as much as I love the idea of a cinched, vintage style, waist – I never follow through and wearing the garments I make that have it. I’m not going to sew things I know I won’t wear any longer. I can’t tell you how many pattern testing offers I’ve had to refuse with my new slow sewing philosophy. Sew something you know you’ll love and wear, spend the money on the fabric you want, and take your time adding couture finishes to even simple garments. 

A wrap skirt and tunic into this new philosophy so far, and I’m so glad I’ve slowed down to enjoy sewing again.

Simplicity 8612: The Wrap Skirt

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Long time no sew friends! I decided to break my sewing dry spell with a garment that’s the easiest of easy, a wrap skirt. I used Simplicity 8612. This is the first Ashley Nell Tipton pattern I’ve ever sewn and overall I was pretty pleased with the way everything fits together. I really loved her collection on project runway and was excited to see that she’s been doing a pattern collection with simplicity. I used a fabric from my stash that I can’t for the life of me remember where I got it from or the fabric content. It’s very drapey and my best guess would be that it’s a rayon blend. I used about 3 yards of 58″ wide fabric.  I’m really trying to work my way through stashed fabrics before buying more. Eventually, I’d like to just buy fabric as I need it and not even have a stash- which I know the idea of is making some of my fellow sewists itchy. I’m just over the craft hoarding. If it’s not getting used what’s the point in keeping it? 

I sewed view B and made no alterations. In the photos I’m wearing it with some faux leather slides and a white Rachel Roy off the shoulder blouse. Fun fact, my husband HATES this top. Every time I ask him to explain the hate, I just get the “it’s terrible” response. I, on the other hand, love it. I don’t mind skirting the line between disgust and love fashion wise though, I’d rather invoke a feeling one way or the other visually. Also, I’ll definitely keep wearing it until I stop loving it.  The measurements on the sizes for this pattern have some measurements that include half inches. I don’t know if this a traditional plus size way to measure, but I remember seeing on a lot of my vintage plus size or petite patterns. My waist measurement which is a number that includes a half inch was right on the pattern. It was kind of cool to see my exact measurement on a size chart.  If I made it again I would probably add an inch or so to the front panel, they sit a bit short of perfectly flush when the skirt is wrapped and tied. It’s a very easy sew and the construction steps made sense to me. 

I can see myself making this again. Maybe I’ll make view B again in a neutral color? I think that would be a great wardrobe building piece. The mini skirt view looks fun too. I don’t think view A would be the most flattering as I’m not huge on tea length- but it could be fun on a longer legged lady! It felt great to sew something, I’m excited to make a bit more time this year for my hobbies. I also have some video footage of the construction of the skirt. If that interests you guys I’d be happy to post a youtube video- let me know in the comments below! 

Sew Caroline Waterfall Tank

I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to be a pattern tester for the upcoming Sew Caroline pattern, the waterfall tank! Full disclaimer I was offered the pattern for free in exchange for feedback to improve and test the pattern before final release. I was not paid to create this garment, and the supply costs came out of my own pocket. I used an older Lisette quilting cotton print, some vintage silk thread, and self made bias tape.

The pattern is simple and pretty versatile. It uses a small amount of fabric that would make it great for stash busting. You could use a different fabric for the ruffle and try to use up your fabric scraps!

The top is very floaty and blousey which makes it an awesome summer staple. I will say though to check the finished garment measurements, you may want to size down if you want something with a bit less volume. I think if I were to sew this again I would definitely size down. It’s not a matter of a pattern issue so much as personal preference. 

I did do a rolled hem on the bottom as opposed to a traditional hem. I have a very long torso and found this to be a bit short on me. Regular torsos should be fine though! Fun fact, the Colette Sorbetto basically looks like a crop top on me without modification.

Summer Sewing Plans!

So I’ve been kind of lax on sewing lately. Sometimes you’ve got the bug to stitch, other times you don’t. Summer has always been a big sewing time for me! Nothing better than stitching up sundress and floaty tops. I thought I’d share what I’m itching to stitch these next couple months. 

First up, the bombshell swimsuit, the whole reason I purchased Pattern Parcel 3. I’ve had it on my wishlist since last summer, but was always kind of intimidated because of the whole never having worked with knit. Thanks to Moneta and Mabel I’ve somewhat conquered that fear. Still I never sewn swimwear, but this pattern has great reviews so fingers crossed?

April Rhodes Staple Dress. This pattern is one I liked, but not enough to buy on it’s own. The fact that it was also in Pattern Parcel three was just an added bonus. I’ve never shirred anything before, so that should be interesting. I have a few internet friends that love this pattern a lot, and it seems really great. I’m considering using a similar bird fabric like the one I purchased in Paris for this dress.

Colette Pattern’s Chantilly Dress. I’ve had this pattern for like a million years. It was sent to me by Kollabora awhile ago, and I never got around to making it. But like could it be any prettier? The fact that I own this pattern and haven’t sewed it yet is kind of a crime. It’s probably also a sign that I might not ever need to buy a pattern again. 

Simplicity 1419! Both the dress and the jacket are way to cute to pass up. This is one the the first lisette patterns I’ve really like in awhile. They had a really good line when the first few collections came out, but I’ve been less into the brand until now. Speaking of “retro” lisette Patterns, I might need to sew up the Portfolio Dress again now that I’m not a terrible seamstress.

I’d also love to finish up my gown, and start my sew bossy project. We’ll see if I can actually stop procrastinating on those projects…

Do you have any sewing plans for this summer Readers?