A couple of weeks ago I came home to a surprise package from Latvia in my mailbox with this bundle of three wonderful fabrics inside!
As it turned out, these fabrics are gift from lovely Iveta of Wonderosa. She wrote to me last month to offer me a present, any kind of fabric from her etsy shop, Scandinavian Textiles. Thank you so much dear Iveta!
I’ve fallen in love with one particular fabric. It is medium weight cotton fabric by Svanefors Textil, a Swedish company who makes home decor fabric in wonderful design. However, I don’t want to make a pillow case or curtain with my Svanefors, I want a summer dress! You can see that I’m so rebellious.
The pattern was already set the moment I saw the fabric, it is Butterick 5601. From the pattern envelope: “Close-fitting, straight, above mid-knee dresses A, B have lined yoke, bodice and back zipper. A: back self-fabric loop and button at neck. B: back straps worn twisted and buttoned on inside of yoke. Topstitch trim.”
I made view A in size 6 on bust tapered to 8 on waist and hip. Didn’t bother to make a muslin, my alteration was only swayback adjustment on the bodice back and skirt back. The pattern already has petite lines for height adjustment so I just followed them and it came out perfectly. I hope that more pattern has petite adjustments.
Later in the fitting session, I shortened the straps about 2 cm. The pattern instruction only suggested to line the bodice but I lined the whole dress as it is more comfortable for me. The seam allowances on the waist of the dress is tacked to the waist seam allowances of the lining. I also moved the button placement in the back deeper to prevent gaping.
Other little details that I added are a couple of bra straps holder and thread chains connecting the skirt to the lining at the side seams. The bra straps holder will prevent my bra straps from peeking out and the thread chains will prevent the skirt lining from twisting inside. These are just tiny details that will make your life more comfortable.
The dress was quite enjoyable to sew and I finished it in one afternoon. Too bad it is not summer yet!
Pattern is Butterick 5601, size 6 on bust tapered to 8 on waist and hip.
My first pair of jeans! Actually not the first pair that I made, as I’ve made jeans several times for my husband and Sidra, but this would be the first time for myself. I finished them more than a week ago and have been wearing them so much ever since. That definitely is a sign of a successful project.
The fabric is dark denim and the pattern is Butterick 5682. From the pattern envelope: “At waist, fitted jeans (A,B,C,D) and semi fitted trouser (E), have contoured waistband and fly zipper. A: Slim leg, ankle length. B: Straight leg. C: Boot cut. D: Flared leg. E: Straight leg, hook and eye closure.” I made view A.
After checking the finished measurements, I realized that this pattern has a lot of ease. Like, a lot. My waist and hip measurements are closer to size 8, but I decided to make size 6 instead. Later I found out that I still had to slim down the sides.
- back and front: shortened the rise 1 cm
- back pattern: swayback adjustment 1 cm
- The supposedly ankle length was way longer than my whole leg, I chopped it off accordingly.
- After fitting: slimmed down the sides about 1.5 cm on each side and reshaped the legs
The pocket linings are leftover from my green Pastille dress. I also used the same fabric for waistband lining since the denim was not enough. Construction-wise I didn’t find much difficulties, except for the one time I accidentally hammered my finger when installing the rivets (ouch!). My sewing machine also refused to make buttonhole on those thick layers, so I cheated and sewed a pair of hook and eye, the jeans button is for decorative purpose only.
I’m quite satisfied with the result! It is hard for someone my size to find slim, ankle-length pattern in the right size and shape. The legs were always too long, and when shortened, the shape and proportion were disturbed. Good to know that I can make them myself!
Now that I would need a top to wear with my new jeans, I whipped up this little peplum top with stretch velvet in neon yellow. This kind of top is a trend that I’ve always interested in but wasn’t sure that they’re gonna work for my body.
The pattern is Vogue 8815, from the pattern envelope: “Fitted top has raised waist/hemline variations and narrow hem. A and B: back zipper. C: pullover, wrong side shows (back hemline), back neck slit with hook/eye closing. B and C: stitched hems on sleeves. Purchase bias tape to finish necklines and armholes A.” I made view B.
- The smallest size for this pattern is 8, I graded it down to size 6.
- Bodice: shortened 2.5 cm
- Bodice back: Swayback adjustment 1 cm
- Back peplum: swayback adjustment 0.5 cm
- Peplum: shortened 5 cm
- Sleeves: shortened 2 cm
- After fitting: lowered front neckline 1.5 cm, lengthened back darts 2.5 cm
This pattern is marked as ‘very easy’, and it is indeed easy with only 5 pattern pieces (4 for the sleeveless one). I didn’t look at the instructions at all. As my fabric is stretchy, I skipped the back zipper. In retrospect, I should’ve cut the back peplum on fold.
I didn’t use bias bindings for the neckline and finished it like a T-shirt neckline. A strip of fabric is folded and then attached to the neckline using overlocker. The key is stretching the strips of fabric while sewing it so the neckline wouldn’t stretch out and gape. Later I used coverstitch function on my overlocker to topstitch the neckline. The sleeves and hem were also finished with coverstitch.
I find the shape quite flattering and it is so easy to wear. This top is basically a fitted T-shirt!
Jeans pattern is Butterick 5682 size 6, altered to fit.
Peplum top pattern is Vogue 8815, graded down to size 6.
Side pleats dress (Butterick 5672)
I found this pretty double-knit wool while I was supposed to buy something else in Okadaya. It happens a lot, doesn’t it? Anyway, I bought a meter of it without knowing what to made of the fabric.
I browsed through my pattern stash and found this Butterick 5672. From the pattern envelope: “Close fitting, lined dress has left side invisible zipper, left dart and left pleats from drape effect.” Looks perfect!
The instructions are very clear-written. The pattern itself is simple with only four outer pieces. In my initial sketch of this dress on my croquis, I drew the dress with sleeves. But after laying down the pattern pieces, I realized that the fabric is not enough so I chose view A, the sleeveless dress.
There are several alteration that I made to the pattern pieces. As usual, the bodice pieces are shortened, and the skirt hem was shortened a lot due to fabric limitation. I also added a center back seam for zipper instead of left side zipper because I wanted to make a swayback adjustment. The pictures of the alteration that I made on the bodice pattern can be seen in here and here .
As the whole dress is cut on bias, I ironed a strip of fusible interfacing to the center back seam as a reinforcement for sewing the zipper. The dress is fully lined in tricot, the lining is also used to finish the neckline and armscyes.
I ended up pinching about 1 cm on each side from underarm to waist. The neckline was gaping a bit, this happens to me a lot so next time I should add this alteration to my usual adjustments.
As for the finishing, the double knit was very stable and doesn’t fray a bit so I just left the edge raw. The hem was finished with vintage seam binding and catch-stitched to the inside. The hem of the lining was simply zigzagged. The lining was peeking a bit around the armscyes, but these can be easily fixed as they are slip-stitched by hand (if I’m not too lazy to do it though).
Recently I took The Couture Dress online course by Susan Khalje at Craftsy and had fun learning a lot of things. One of them was adding a couple of bra strap carriers on the inside of the shoulder using thread chains and small snaps. This is very useful especially for dress with wide neckline like this. I also made these thread chains to connect the skirt and the skirt lining.
One thing that I kinda regretted from this dress was the color. I really like the color but I just made a coat in similar color! If I wear this dress with the coat, it will be too… green. But aside from all those little things, I love love love the result! It fits wonderfully and the fabric feels fabulous. It is still too cold to wear the dress outside like this so it would be definitely worn with layers. But spring is coming!
Pattern is Butterick 5672 view A, size 8 on bust and 10 on waist and hip.
PS: Thank you for all the sweet comments on my wedding anniversary post! ♥♥♥