Sewing

Popular Patterns for Semi-Formal Spring Dresses

Spring is in the air! There are so many wonderful patterns available for making Spring dresses. I have a list of a patterns that I have or want to purchase. These picks are for Spring dresses that you can wear on a special occasion that calls for semi-formal attire such as a wedding, going to a fine restaurant, a special event or celebrating Easter. They also happen to be very popular patterns by Vogue and Butterick which are part of the Big 4 pattern companies (McCalls and Simplicity are the other two companies). I’ve seen so many dresses made in these patterns! I love seeing everyone’s version and finished makes. It’s so inspiring.

One popular pattern that is on the top of my list is Vogue 9253.

This pattern was THE dress to make back in 2017. Four years later and I still see it being very fashionable. Probably because it has that 70s boho vibe that never goes out of style. I’ve seen so many versions of this dress. One thing this dress is known for is it’s VERY DEEP V neck. However, if you have a more conservative style, it can be modified to raise the V neck. Here’s one tutorial by Sew-to-Fit by ADLynn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kymTM9rdH5g

I love the kimono style of this dress. I like the maxi length of this dress although there is also an option to make a midi length dress. Here are a few of my favorite sewing blogger makes of this dress:

http://www.thatblackchic.com/2017/07/bohemian-meets-royalty-in-this-diy.html

http://www.rosypena.com/striped-deep-v-dress-vogue-9253/

https://thepatternboss.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/vogue9253/

I never purchased this pattern back in 2017 and now that I’m ready to buy one, I was worried that it was no longer in print. But as I found out, it has just been re-issued under a new number. It is now Vogue 1735. So if you’re interested, there’s still a chance to grab one!

Another pattern that I am interested in purchasing is Butterick 6554:

Butterick 6554 is a fitted wrap dress. My favorite part about this dress is the shaped hemline with the flounce. There are length variations for the skirt and a sleeveless version with flounce on the hemline and bodice. So cute. I was inspired when I saw a dress made by Brittany J Jones. She also has a sew-a-long for this dress on You Tube. I have plans to purchase this pattern. I’ve actually been trying to purchase it for a while now, but I haven’t been successful yet. I usually buy patterns when they are on sale at Joann and every time I look for the pattern, they are all out. I hope one day I can get my hands on one.

One pattern I was able to get my hands on recently is Butterick 6677.

Butterick 6677 is a semi-fitted, sleeveless dress with an elasticized waist, back opening with a button and thread loop closure, side slant pockets and sash. There is an option for flounce along the sleeve area and a lower ruffle. I plan to make (View B) sometime soon. I love the flounce at the top and the maxi length with ruffles at the bottom.

I also recently purchased Butterick 6675.

I bought this pattern since I could not find Butterick 6554. It’s a wrap dress as well and although it doesn’t have the shaped hemline with the flounce that I like so much, it does have an option for a flounce at the bodice. There is an option for a flared skirt or an asymmetrical skirt as well as an elbow length sleeve or a shorter length sleeve. I plan to make View A but with the elbow length sleeves and as a maxi length dress. I’m not too interested in the asymmetrical skirt. It’s not quite my style and I can also see my puppy being tempted by that extra piece of fabric.

And that’s my semi formal Spring dress list. I don’t think I will be making all of the dresses on this list, but I can see myself making at least two of them. Looking forward to it!

Sewing

Making a Sundress- New Look 6446

I recently received a freebie fabric from L.A. Finch Fabrics. I was very grateful for it and excited to receive it. I thought it would be perfect to use to make New Look 6446. I have been wanting to make this sundress for some time now.

New Look 6446 is a pattern for a cropped jumpsuit (think “culottes”) or romper as well as a mini or maxi length dress. There is an option to make a fabric tie to tie around your waist. You can wear it alone or with a T shirt underneath. The suggested fabrics include chambray, lightweight denim and cotton types.

My freebie fabric was none of those suggested fabrics but it worked fine. I made view B which is for the mini length sundress. Of course, for me, due to my short height, it’s not a mini dress. It actually goes until a little below my knees. But that length worked perfectly for me.

The bodice is lined but I chose not to line my dress. Next time, I will go ahead and put in the lining. I think it gives a much cleaner look rather than hemming the whole top part. It also aids in the construction of the bodice. Only thing is that I’ve never done a lining before. So this will be a new technique for me to learn. That’s always exciting. I didn’t do my usual adjustment of shortening the bodice by one inch because I wanted to see how it would look. It actually turned out fine on me but for my next dress, I think I will go ahead and shorten it by one inch. Speaking of the bodice, I made a mistake and I did not cut the front bodice piece on the fold as instructed. I noticed right as I was about to cut the fabric and I could have fixed it before cutting the pieces out, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any “folds” of fabric left to cut. I only had 2 yards of fabric to work with. So I cut the pieces with a 5/8 seam allowance and sewed it together. Also, after putting the dress on, the bust area had a lot of ease. I ended up taking in one inch off each side. I’ll have to remember that next time I make this dress, so that I can adjust the pattern ahead of time, especially if I will also put in the lining.

I had a chance to practice putting in an invisible zipper again and for the first time, I succeeded! I was so happy. I used my invisible zipper foot, which I know is a big reason why I did a good job. I followed a tutorial on how to use the invisible zipper foot. When I zipped the zipper up for the first time and it worked, it felt like I did some sort of magic.

This dress has pockets! The construction of putting in the pockets was interesting. Instead of two pieces sewn together to make a pocket, it was one rectangular piece of fabric that was folded in half to make the pocket.

A few things about this dress: The top part of the dress goes high up, almost to the neck. I like it but I read on a few reviews that some sewists didn’t like that. The straps are long enough so that you can adjust it towards the back and sew it in. However, I’ve seen some sewists sew the strap on each side of the front and back and then tie it at the top. I’ve also read that some sewists didn’t like the pleat in the front of the skirt area because it gave the dress an extra pouf and made their stomach area look pouchy. (not sure if that’s a word but think “kangaroo pouch”… and oh, I just looked it up, it is a word in the dictionary, LOL). I personally like the kangaroo pouch pleat. There are also 2 waist darts in the front and 2 waist darts in the back.

I am excited to make this dress again as a Spring sundress. I will add it to my April sewing plans. I already bought the fabric. It’s a green linen fabric. My daughter helped me pick it out. She’s really into linen dresses these days. If I have enough fabric, I will consider either making the tie for the waist and maybe even making it a maxi dress instead of a “mini” dress.

I was actually considering to make the jumpsuit that looks like culottes. It’s so cute and seems to be the most popular view. But then I realized that the zipper is in the back and considering how hard a time I had zipping and unzipping it for my dress… well, that’s just not going to work. I make a lot of trips to the bathroom.

Until then, Happy Sewing!

Sewing

Lovely in Linen Dress- McCalls 8084

I made McCalls 8084 for my daughter in a red and black bubble crepe fabric for Valentine’s day. It turned out great and she loved it. She liked it so much that she asked for another one in a linen fabric.

McCalls’s 8084 is described as a semi-fitted dress with a tie front bodice and dolman sleeves. The tie front has a little keyhole opening at the bodice. There is an option for a ruffled sleeve or elastic cuff sleeve. It has an elasticized waist and length variations. There is also an option to do a hemline ruffle.

For my daughter’s Valentine’s day dress, I made the ruffled sleeve and the shorter length skirt. The recommended fabrics for this pattern are crepes, challis, stable knits and cotton blends. Linen is not a recommended fabric but I feel that it paired up pretty well.

For my daughter’s linen dress, I did not make the ruffled sleeves. I intended to but we didn’t buy enough fabric for the ruffles and when we went back to Joann to buy more, we ended up buying a slightly different shade of the fabric. Luckily, I had cut whatever fabric was left over from the dress to make slightly longer sleeves just in case the ruffles didn’t work out. I re-attached them and it turned out well. I still like the ruffled sleeves better but the regular sleeves have a more simple look.

Well, hello….

For my daughter’s valentines dress, I modified the pattern so that there would not be a keyhole opening at the bodice. For the linen dress, I went ahead and stuck to the pattern which included the keyhole opening and it looks really cute.

The Valentines day dress

Can’t wait to see how she looks in her new linen dress!

Happy Sewing!