Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hey, is Anybody There?

Nope this page isn’t defunct though you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that.  I can’t believe it’s been over eight months since I posted!  It certainly didn’t feel like that long but my home page doesn’t lie. Time sure got away from me!  Fall is always a crazy time for work and this year I had a lot more travel.  I did sew a few things this summer but lost the motivation to go through the hassle of photographing myself (I still dread that part).

However, every time I think about making a pattern I scour the internet to see what I can learn from other’s reviews. I feel like when I’ve finished something I should share my thoughts too.  I know I appreciate those posts that are honest and real. I also refer back to my own posts when making a garment again – they remind me of any sizing or construction issues and I like having a visual record of what I make.

So this is going to be a catch-up post.  I completed several garments over the summer and want to share them even if I did take the all the photos on my dressform.  Here are the cliff notes reviews:

New Look 6303 / S0599

IMG_4855_edited-1red IMG_4853_edited-1red

This is probably my favorite garment from this summer and fall.  It looks the most like a ready to wear garment I would buy.  In fact, after I cut the fabric, I realized I had bought almost the exact blouse from Nordstrom a few months earlier. No wonder I liked it!  You can’t see it here but I sewed the version with the draped front and longer shirt tail hem in the back. 

  • The blouse is more drapey and not as blocky looking as it looks above.  The dress form was at a strange angle.
  • Very easy to make. 
  • Even though tacked, the front can flap open so needs a camisole underneath.
  • It’s wearable but just a bit too short so when I cut a second version (still not sewn), I added length to the front and back.

Sewaholic Saltspring

IMG_4865_edited-1red IMG_4816_edited-1red

I guess I did take a photo of my blue Saltspring back in July! Some notes:

  • Size 8 throughout.  Measurements indicate size 10 in bodice and 8 in skirt.
  • Blue version is a linen.  This fabric is good and bad: it’s opaque enough to not require lining but can be thick through the gathers. I also left off the pockets to reduce bulk.
  • The print version is a rayon challis and is fantastic.  It’s so much more light and airy.  I lined the bodice in ambiance rayon.  I chose not to line the skirt but will need a slip.  Adding a lining as per the Sewaholic sew-along would result in two layers with gathers adding thickness around the waist.
  • Left off the zipper.  There are a couple steps needed if you want to eliminate the zipper.  As far as I could figure out, between steps 8 and 9, sew the back seam of the bodice lining then sew the back seam of the bodice outer fabric before attaching it to the skirt. Between steps 13 and 14, leave a 2” hole when topstitching to feed the elastic through the casing.

Sewaholic Belcarra

IMG_4850_edited-1redIMG_4851_edited-1red  IMG_4848_edited-1red

This is a great basic blouse.  I made these to wear under blazers or cardigans for work.  Not much to say – I made the most basic version and didn’t even add the pocket.  I made a straight size 8.  Easy to make and very wearable.

Foxglove Tank

IMG_4862_edited-1redIMG_4863_edited-1red  IMG_4860_edited-1redIMG_4861_edited-1red 

I’ve been trying to find a pattern similar to ready-to-wear tanks I’ve bought.   This is a good basic tank with a high-low shape. It’s fitted through the chest and loose below.  I ended up making a ton of changes and at least three versions before I found one that worked well.

  • I love how Lauren set it up so you can select and print just the size you want.
  • Great instructions.
  • Definitely use a drapey fabric.  You can see the difference above.  The navy floral is linen (or a linen/rayon blend, I forget) and the chocolate and white dots is rayon challis.
  • Size eight as a base.  I cut both pieces on the fold.
  • I didn’t like the drastic difference between the front and back length for versions I’d wear with shorts.  I added 1.5 inches to front, shortened the back by 2 inches. I may add an inch back to the back, particularly if worn with jeans.
  • Scooped out the armhole to get more room.  It was a bit snug all throughout the back and chest and tight under the arms.  I didn’t want to mess with the racer back so I made the armhole bigger and added a 1/4 inch under each arm.  Maybe I could have gone up a size but there was no way I was reprinting and retaping another size.
  • Reduced the width at the bottom (I think 2 inches total – can’t remember). Probably not needed if your fabric has a lot of drape.
  • Even though I used the exact same pattern, the blue version has plenty of room in the arms, the brown version is tight through the arm/chest.  I think it’s because I used ready made bias binding for the brown and it doesn’t stretch much.  The blue version has self made linen bias tape which I believed stretched as I sewed it on.  It makes it hard to know whether I need to give myself more room next time around.
  • Once you have the pattern how you want, it’s a super fast make and a great pattern for fun prints!

New Look 6283


This swimsuit cover-up is probably the least exciting but definitely got the most wear this summer.  It looks a bit tired in the photo above since I wore it every weekend and for hours every day on vacation.  It’s the perfect cover-up.  Loose but not a shapeless sack, full coverage but still cool and airy.  I’ll definitely make at least one more version since this gets washed so often.  I’ll probably add 2-3 inches next time since it seems to shrink over time even with pre-washing the fabric.  I’d definitely recommend this quick, easy pattern.

Hot Patterns Medina mini-kaftan


It’s a free pattern from which is fantastic.  This had so much potential but ended up as a fail.  Luckily I made it out of $3/yd fabric so no great loss.  It was voile I bought online and was disappointed to see how thin it was when it arrived. It worked for a cover-up, not for anything else. Couple notes:

  • Don’t accidentally chop off 6 inches instead of 3 like I did.  D’oh! No idea how I did that.  It’s so short, it’s un-wearable.  Well, assuming I want my rear covered… Anyone 5’3” or below want a cover-up?
  • The directions don’t walk you through every step or hand-hold.  You definitely need some experience before trying the pattern though the actual construction is not difficult at all.
  • The V section needs to be a opaque fabric or use thick interfacing.  Otherwise you’ll see the edges from underneath.  They have you fold down the edges of the contrast V, place it on the blouse and topstitch on.
  • Waistline is low – I’d raise it next time if I make it again.
  • It’s a cute, flattering style.

Well, I’m all caught up.  I really hope I get more opportunity to sew in the new year.  Maybe I’ll even post more often than every 8 months! 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!