Confession: I’ve always been intimidated by paper patterns. That is until I decided to make myself a dress for a wedding we recently attended. One thing that is seriously missing from PDF patterns, but abundant in paper patterns, is good special occasion wear.
So I decided to conquer my fear and have a go at Vogue’s V9252, a princess seamed dress with a high-low hem and of course…pockets!
I picked this pattern because it seemed simple enough and had multiple cup sizes built into the pattern which I am always a fan of.
And I’m a sucker for a high-low hem.
I made the dress with this super pretty blue floral shantung satin and lined with a matching blue satin, both from the wonderfully helpful Cali Fabrics.
Unfortunately I fell between a 14 and a 16 in sizing which meant I fell between the available pattern ranges. So I did a little hand grading and made LOTS of small adjustments and muslins but in the end I felt like I got a pretty great fit. The only other major change I made was to bring the armscye up just a bit. It was very low as drafted and I’ve seen other people who made this dress complain about the same thing.
The construction was pretty straight forward and all the pieces fit together with no problems. I ended up hand stitching the lining which, while time consuming, gave a nice finished look to the whole garment. The pockets are generously sized so I was able to keep my phone in there and not need carry a purse.
The hem was a little tricky since this amounted to a full circle skirt and the shantung frayed like crazy. I serged the hem, folded it over and stitched it in place, and then folded and stitched again to hide the serger stitches.
There are only two things I’d change if I were to do it again:
A swayback adjustment. I didn’t get good pictures of the back but thats ok, it had a bit of a ripple. Some of it was probably caused by my zipper technique that still needs work but I think a swayback adjustment would have fixed most of it.
Boning in the side. The skirt is quite heavy and pulls the bodice down more than I’d like, especially in the back. I think boning would have added some much needed support.
I’ve come a long way in my garment making and I’m really proud of how it turned out.
P.S. My husband is looking pretty good too. Love you babe!
A few weeks back I bought a bunch of strawberry pink seersucker fabric from Fabric Mart. I had no plans for it other than I really liked the idea of a seersucker dress and maybe some shorts for summer.
Then I stumbled on a pattern test for the Victoire Dress from new to me designer Laela Jeyne. Joy! It had just what I was looking for in a summer dress:
Thin straps, a fitted bodice, buttons, pockets (of course!), and a tea length option.
How lovely did this dress turn out!? I’m calling it my beach town dress. The perfect little summer dress for walking the boardwalk.
Like all woven patterns, it’s recommended that you make a muslin of at least the bodice to fine tune the fit, BUT Laela Jeyne was kind enough to release this dress with multiple cup sizes (A through E!). I love when designers do that, it really cuts down on the number of alterations that need to be done. I’ll confess, I could have done one or two more muslins to get a perfect fit, but I’m still happy with the end result.
I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with zippers lately and I feel pretty comfortable with those. When I saw the button placket on this dress I was like “oh no problem”.
Yeah…my button skills are a little rusty it turns out. It didn’t help that my button foot kept getting stuck on the fabric. However I love the look of the button down front.
I’ve been seeing pleated front pants popping up in trends, but as a child of the 80s I just couldn’t get behind it. Until now. I trust Sinclair to put out a great, well drafted pattern so I couldn’t wait to dive into the new Moon Wide Leg Pants and was not disappointed.
Now for a disclaimer: I tested a very early version of these pants so the fit is slightly different in the final pattern for sale. The final version is a bit slimmer with a lot less volume in the back and then pleats are optional. That said, the look is very much the same.
As with all Sinclair patterns, this one comes in sizes 0-22 and Petite, Regular, and Tall. Mine are size 8 – Tall. I fall right on the bottom edge of the tall sizing but I wanted them to be long so I could wear heels. This pattern can also be made in shorts and culotte length, and has an optional attached front tie.
These are a light weight chambray with a linen look that purchased from Fabric Mart a few months back.
The back of the Moon Pants uses encased elastic, so these are super comfortable as well. After I finished taking pictures I ended up just wearing these around the house the rest of the day.
My Madrona is made with a mystery fabric that I bought at a thrift store a couple years ago and has been waiting in my stash for the perfect project. I absolutely love the light, floatiness of it.
Of course, I can’t miss an opportunity for a floral or a contrast facing so I used some Liberty of London lawn that my sister got for me when she visited Liberty’s store in London over the summer (I know right!).
The pattern instructions include french seams and a different style waist band application that creates a nice, clean finish.
I fell between sizes, but decided to go down to a 10 which worked great. The waist band is simply wrapped and buttons applied in the most comfortable position so you have a lot of flexibility in sizing.
I was worried that the wrap wasn’t going to give enough coverage, but there is plenty of overlap between the two sides, so you never have to feel like you’re showing too much leg (unless you want to of course).
Ruffles are everywhere right now. Romantic, feminine, and fun; I jumped at the chance to test Designer Stitch’s latest pattern, Synthia.
Ruffles in coral pink, I couldn’t help myself. I found the polyester spandex blend at JoAnn Fabrics and knew it was the one. Which brings me to a couple a key notes on fabric choice for this top:
Drape. Lots of it. You don’t want to pick a fabric that’s got too much structure or you’re going to end up with wings instead of a lovely cascade of ruffles.
No single sided fabric. This is noted in the pattern instructions, but you want to make sure you pick a fabric that has no discernible right or wrong sides. The ruffles are going to show both sides. Like so:
Synthia has two length options and comes in cup sizes B, C, D, and DD (E). Mine is the longer length with a B cup bodice and graded from a size 3 at the bust to a 4 at the waist. It includes bust darts to help give it more fit and shape. You can wear it fitted or my loose like mine. The back has an invisible zipper which is easy to instal with the directions in the pattern.
Incidentally, just as I was about to start working on my Synthia top, I ran across this photo of the ever fashionable Kathryn Newton in my Instagram feed wearing a strikingly similar look:
Nothing beats a good structured skirt. Especially in winter. Especially made of lovely blue corduroy.
The new Santi skirt from Designer Stitch is a great exercise in structure and construction. It gives you the opportunity to play around with your top stitching skills while still being quick and painless to construct.
All the pockets.
Cell phone sized pockets.
The skirt comes with an optional belt as well that really pulls the whole thing together.
Santi is on sale from Designer Stitch for a limited time. As a bonus, if you join the pattern support group on Facebook you can get a code for an additional $1 off.
It’s getting to be the time of year where I start over thinking holiday outfits. I literally have one event to really dress up for and yet I generally plan at least three outfits.
When the tester call came out for the Lulu Dolman Sweater from Petite Stitchery my thoughts went to this gorgeous green sweater knit and….burgundy faux leather pants. Obviously. Fancy sweater for my fancy pants!
Lulu is great for this time of year because it’s designed for sweater knit, of which my hoarding has been previously documented. The hem and neck are finished with binding instead of hemming or traditional neckbands – especially handy for those super light weight knits that are prone to unraveling.
I love that the curved hem is really dramatic in the back and a little less so in the front. It gives great coverage.
Oh, and as an added bonus. Petite Stitchery is also releasing a super quick and easy free tutorial on making this blanket scarf.
Speaking of coverage… I made a second one in this oh so pretty french terry that I bought from Sincerely Rylee last spring. Just yesterday I wore it to help out in my daughters second grade classroom. If you haven’t spent a lot of time in a second grade classroom you should know it involves a lot of crouching. Shirts that are long in the back are essential.
Lulu is on sale now for $7 then it’s dropping to $6 for Black Friday then dropping AGAIN for Small Business Saturday for $5! BUT the first 50 customers can get it for and extra 10% off with the code LoveOurFans10.
It is decidedly Fall here in the Pacific Northwest, the best kind of Fall…October. So of course when I saw the Acacia Top from Sinclair Patterns I knew it had to be made in springy, bright, buttercup yellow, rayon challis.
I am nothing if not a giant ball of contradiction.
I am not great with woven fabrics and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. They require a level of precision and patience that I don’t always posses. That said, the Acacia was so much fun and easy to put together, a great beginner pattern. Every piece came together nicely, even the facings, which I have an uncanny knack for messing up.
Sinclair Patterns is one of the few PDF pattern designers out there who puts out patterns that are truly unique. Not just styling, but technique as well. I feel like I learn something new ever time I try one of their patterns.
The day I got out to take pictures was one of those wonderful sunny, warm Fall days that we get here in the PNW that make you love October. After wearing this top out in the sun I knew this would probably be one of those tops that gets tucked away for the winter but will be so perfect when the sun returns to us next spring.
**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**
Sometimes I see a girls pattern and think “I want that in my size!” and sometimes a designer comes through for me and makes that happen.
Mama Adelyn is yet another of my new fall staples and the first adult pattern put out by Petite Stitchery & Co. It’s the perfect top to wear with leggings. The pointed hem gives great front and back coverage. It also has a dress length option that I can’t wait to try.
The swing style is a personal favorite of mine. I love that it’s fitted at the bust and then just floats away from the body, so no need for me to grade out the size on the bottom.
The fabric that I used is a single brushed poly from Sly Fox Fabrics. Normally I’m all floral all the time but I wanted something different for this pattern. The boho geometric print is a little out of my comfort zone, but I love how it turned out and I get tons of complements every time I wear it.
The pattern is on sale Tuesday 10/24 – Sunday 10/29. If you like a mom and me option there’s a bundle as well. Go grab it quick!
**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**