Sewing

My finished sewing projects and plans including sewing pattern reviews.

Another McCalls 7405

I made another McCalls 7405! This one was for my aunt. She saw the dress that I made and requested that I make one for her. Here is my dress (click the link below for a review of this pattern):

McCall’s M7405 Pattern Review

And here is hers:

I must admit that it took me a couple years to make it. She picked out the fabric and I held onto it for the longest time because I took a break from sewing. This summer, I decided to get back into sewing again. I dusted off my sewing machine and this was my first project this year.

My aunt has worn her dress a few times already. We work in the same office so I got to see her in it. She looked great! She told me that she gets compliments every time she wears it. I am happy to hear that.

I am also happy that it got me back into sewing. I’ve already made a few items so far. My initial goal was to make clothes for work as well as a new outfit each time I have a new fun event coming up. I have done that but my sewing is still trial and error so that plan hasn’t really worked out. I end up not wearing the outfit. But it’s o.k. I am learning and I feel that I am getting better at my sewing skills. I take my time now and I don’t rush. I don’t cut corners and I notice it makes a difference. I’ve also purchased a serger and that makes all the difference! I love having nice, neat seams. I was actually using french seams to finish my seams. In fact, the dress that I made for my aunt has french seams. But I like the overlocked seams from the serger much more. If you don’t have a serger yet, I highly recommend getting one!

Now, back to sewing! Happy Sunday!

Lessons learned using the Butterick B5789 pattern

The Butterick B5789 is a fast and easy pattern with 5 different views for a draped vest or jacket. It can be sewn sleeveless or with long sleeves.

I used the Butterick B5789 pattern to sew a winter jacket. Because I sewed it in the winter of 2018, I had a chance to wear it a few times. I chose view D which has a draped front and long sleeves. The fabric I chose was a heavyweight stretchy cotton. Because it was a heavyweight material, it kept me quite warm. I used a brooch to pin at the top to keep it closed rather than sewing a button. Truth is, I still need to learn how to sew a button and a button hole on a sewing machine.

The lesson that I learned from this sewing pattern is to follow the directions very carefully regarding what fabric material to use. I used a heavyweight cotton that did not drape very well. The pattern called for a lightweight two way jersey material.

This jacket can also be worn open which showcases it’s draped front. Because I chose a heavyweight stretchy cotton material, it did not look very good worn open. Now I understand why this pattern calls for a two way jersey material. Even though I used a heavyweight material rather than a lightweight material, the end result was not too bad and I was still able to wear it.

Being that I am fairly new at sewing (I’ve only been sewing for 3 years now), the biggest  lesson that I learned from this sewing project is to use the correct fabric for the pattern.  Especially for a beginner, this is important. I’ve learned this lesson many, many times. I sewed many nice dresses using the wrong fabric, which is really unfortunate because I could be wearing those dresses had I chosen the right fabric for the job. I know that learning to sew is all trial and error. Those errors are welcomed because it is helping me learn and grow in sewing.

All in all, this pattern was a simple pattern to use. It was labeled fast and easy and I agree with that. Now that I have learned my lesson on choosing the right fabric, I will plan to sew the sleeveless draped vest for the summer season using a lightweight two way jersey fabric. The sleeveless vest will make a great cover up to wear with a tank top or summer dress.

New Look D0721

One of my New Year’s resolution is to sew more clothes. The new year started off right because I sewed another dress! I started this project during the winter break. It started out as a dress for my daughter, but actually ended up being a shirt.

We were in Joann’s and she saw this pattern and asked me to make her this dress:

New Look dress, so hip

She asked me to make View D (the one the model on the envelope is wearing). She picked out a black knit fabric. It had speckles of white in it. It kind of looked like splatters of white paint. It was the perfect fabric for her dress.

Sewing this pattern started a little rough since it was my first time sewing with knit fabric. I had a little bit of difficulty cutting out the pattern pieces. There was so much stretch in the fabric, I had to make sure that it didn’t stretch out too much before cutting it. I just let it sit for a little bit before pinning the fabric to the pattern and then cutting it out. Luckily, it all turned out well and I was able to start sewing. Sewing the dress together was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Mostly because I finally purchased a walking foot and what a difference it made!

The cowl neck was easy to sew. The sleeves were also easy. I was happy with how everything was turning out until I got to the gathering at the bottom of the skirt. I tried gathering it the old fashioned way but I wasn’t having any luck. I was having difficulty because of the stretchy knit material for some reason. After that, I remembered that I have a gathering foot so I set out to use that. I have used it before without a problem, but this time around, I ran into a lot of problems. For one thing, it wasn’t working properly. So I spent a lot of time trying to fix the gathering foot. Eventually I gave up and decided just to sew the bottom without gathers. That didn’t work out too well either. So I told Sabrina she would have to settle for a long sleeved cowl shirt. She liked it. I even made made her a matching scrunchy for her hair. I was able to finish this project before she left to go back to London. But I promised her that I would make her a dress, just without gathers.

I used the same material and it turned out great. I pretty much sewed View B but with the tight sleeves not the bell sleeves.

Here’s how it turned out:

I did a test run of this dress and wore it to work. I was surprised to receive a lot of compliments on it, even from strangers. My friends were surprised that I sewed it. I guess I did a good job on this homemade dress.

I hope Sabrina likes it too. I’ll just have to wear it a few times first (wink, wink).

Today I am grateful for pretty dresses, creativity, sewing, compliments from strangers in the elevator and homemade dresses that pass off as store bought dresses.