some selfish sewing

I’ve been really focused on making dresses for me lately.  I hadn’t planned on focusing solely on myself; I have many projects planned for Sophia that need to be completed before she starts school.  Here’s a glimpse at the projects – not all worked out, but it’s been fun and a learning experience.

I should note that whenever I make a dress, I always add pockets.  Dress patterns should include pockets.  Period.

let's start with the failed dress first - Butterick

I used some inexpensive fabric from JoAnn’s.  I was debating between two sizes when I realized my pattern only had one of them – so I just went with it.  I made two modifications – no zipper (I like pull-on dresses) and a v-neck back instead of the high back. My only problem with this dress was that the bodice was just too revealing – too low cut.

way too low cut!

See what I mean?  I thought if I changed the pleats on the bodice I might get another inch or two, would would be better…but no.  Changing the pleats made the bodice not lie flat and made the bodice even more low cut than before.  I did add the lower portion of the dress (the skirt) to see what the finished produce could have looked like…but left it unfinished.  I plan on using the dress for parts or eventually trying to redo the bodice, perhaps by drafting a new bodice pattern.

The next dress is a Simplicity 3532.  I used some purple chambray fabric from SAS – nice light-weight fabric for summer. I’ve noticed I had troubling getting the dresses I sew to fit well – most are too big.  This dress is no exception.

While I like the result, except for that front pleat, which adds the illusion of “more” where “more” doesn’t need to be… But this dress is not a favorite.  It’s kinda dowdy. Nice neckline, just too roomy.  Maybe I’ll try to sew another one of these dresses, using a smaller size and NO pleat.  We’ll see.

This pattern is New Look 6886.  I like to call it my 1950’s dress.  I really tried hard to determine the right measurements for the best fit of this dress.  I used some lovely Sugar Pop by Liz Scott for Moda fabric – I just love the colors and the simple lines of this dress.  I made the style picture on the model.

This was such a simple dress to sew! Only eight pieces to cut out and the directions were a breeze.  The only modification I made was to not include a zipper.  It’s not that I hate to sew zippers, rather I just want simple, pull-on dresses that I don’t have to contort myself to zip them up.

To get the fit right, I had to take the sides in a bit (I need to take them in a bit more after wearing it).   Otherwise the underarm area was a giant gaping opening…

The strap placement is also a bit off, especially on one side.  I specifically didn’t sew the lining to the bodice so that I could see what additional modification this dress required – something I find to be a good idea.  It’s not that I don’t like my good friend the seam ripper.  It’s just that I don’t like to have him busy all the time.

I also made another dress from the New Look 6937 shirt pattern.  I finally have the neckline pattern down perfectly, using a smaller pattern size.  I cut an inch off the neckline were the curves meet the dress and an inch off the center of the dress so there would be no pleats.  Now I just need to use a smaller dress size (it’s too large still – although I will take the side seam in just a bit from the armhole to the pockets).  The printed fabric is a lawn-style of Lisette fabric found 40% off at Jo-Ann’s (a steal!).  I used red bias tape fore the armholes.

It is a super comfy dress.  I will be making another to try to get the sizing just right.  I know you’re probably thinking, how mnay of the this dress does one person need, but it is a light-weight, comfy, good-looking dress. Here in Tucson, any gal will tell you she’ll have several of those just to make it through the week. You can dress it up or down. It’s nearly the perfect summer dress in my opinion.

While I plan on making one more dress for me, I’m  working on some projects for Sophia now.  A quilt, a memory card game, some Oliver & S dresses, and maybe a backpack for school.  Let’s see what we can create!


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