Pattern Review: Simplicity 8878- A Boatneck Chambray Blouse

I have been putting this pattern on hold until I could find the perfect fabric. The only thing is that I promised myself that I would use all the fabric I already have before buying new fabric. Mostly because I am running out of space in my magic basket (also known as the “time out” basket, where I put all my new fabric as well as my sewing makes that didn’t turn out right and need a time out). In my magic basket, I had 2 yards of chambray fabric in dusty rose. I bought it in 2016 and have been holding onto it since. What a fabric hoarder. I finally found it’s perfect match, Simplicity 8878.

Why hello, you look comfy…

Simplicity 8878 is a pattern for a simple shift dress. It can also be used to make a blouse. There are 2 types of sleeves, long or short. There are 2 necklines offered, boatneck or with a tie. The dress comes with pockets. Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets? You will need interfacing for the neckline if you chose to sew view C or D. Fabrics that are recommended for this pattern are challis, chambray, crepe, and shirtings. Cotton, silk or linen types can also be used.

I chose view D, which is a long sleeve, boatneck blouse. I chose a dusty rose chambray fabric. It only required 1 3/8 yards of fabric for a size medium blouse. If I wanted to make the dress (view C), it would only require 1 3/4 yards of fabric. I like that you will need less than 2 yards!

What I like the most about this blouse is the neckline finishing. The neckline is finished with a bias strip which is folded in half lengthwise. It is stitched around the neckline and then folded inside and topstitched. It looks very neat and clean. It was a new technique for me and I think it would have been easy to do except for the fact that my dog literally ate one of the neckline pattern pieces. I had to re-construct a new pattern piece and I’m not sure that I did a good job with that reconstruction. My first try was not a success but was also fixable. I had to re-do it and it turned out well. I also like the sleeves. There is no facing for the sleeves, but they looked cuff if folded.

The instructions were very easy to follow. It was an easy and quick sewing project. I think that this pattern is great for an advanced beginner.

It’s a very comfortable blouse. I wore it with jeans and sneakers recently. This shift dress and blouse is perfect for the summer months. Since I live in California, it’s also perfect for the Fall.

Happy Fall sewing!


McCall’s M7405 Pattern Review

This is a late pattern review for me because I made this dress last summer. Now that we are nearing this summer, I’ve had a chance to wear this dress a few times. So now that I think about it, that makes it an even better review! So let me start by saying that this is a very nice summer dress. It is however, shapeless. So it is best paired with a denim jacket or a floppy hat or a really cute pair of sandals or heels. The best part about this dress is the neckline gathers. It also has a back neck slit.

So on to my pattern review. I sewed the McCall’s pattern M7405. I picked this pattern because it is designed for the beginner. The instructions are easy to follow. There is no zipper since it is a loose fitting pullover dress. You can learn how to make a casing with a drawstring, which is the gathered neckline.

I picked view A which is a dress with a straight skirt above the knee. There are other hemline variations such as long, long with a slit and a shaped hemline. This pattern suggests medium weight woven and knit fabrics such as challis, cotton knit, crepe and gauze. I chose a crepe fabric.

I have one issue with this dress which can be easily resolved. The armholes are too long. The opening is too far down. I think I probably could have sewed a size smaller especially since it is a loose fitting dress. That might have resolved the too long armhole issue. But since I didn’t figure this out until after the dress was finished, I can just do some quick alterations by fixing the armholes to fit.

Can’t wait to wear this dress again this summer! This time with armholes that fit…


B5955 Butterick pattern review

My latest sewing project was a blouse using the Butterick pattern B5955. The description of the blouse states that it is a very loose-fitting pullover that has a V-neck top and a back yoke with slightly forward shoulder seams extending into dolman sleeves.

Butterick patterns have 5 types of fit. These are fitted, close fitting, loose fitting, semi fitted and very loose fitting. You can find these terms in the garment descriptions on the Butterick pattern envelopes. These 5 terms will tell you what to anticipate when it comes to the fitting of the item. Each term indicates an amount of wearing ease that is built into the pattern. Ease is the extra inches built into a pattern for wearing room.

That being said, in reviewing this pattern, this finished blouse ended up being extremely large for me the first time I sewed it. I had to adjust it to fit afterwards and sew it to fit again. This could have been prevented had I taken notice of the wearing ease of this pattern. As described on the envelope, this is a very loose fitting blouse. According to the Butterick ease chart, very loose fitting will have an ease of over 8 inches. That’s alot!

After sewing the blouse to fit me again, I took a picture of the blouse that actually fit me compared to the sewing pattern. What a big difference!

In addition and most importantly, I should have also taken notice of the pattern’s finished garment measurements. Had I done this, I probably would have sewn a blouse that fit me the first time based on my measurements regardless of ease.

You can find the finished garment measurements by looking on the tissue and finding the symbol that looks like a circle with a cross through it.

On a side note, I have noticed that most sewing patterns have so much wearing ease in the patterns that in most cases, you can get away with wearing one size smaller than the pattern companies tell you that you do based on your measurements.

So onto my finished product. This pattern calls for crepe de chine, lawn, or charmeuse fabric. I used a navy cotton lawn. I changed up the pattern a little bit by folding the end of the sleeves and sewing it in place.

I will definitely sew this blouse again, except next time, I will use a crepe de chine with a pattern on the fabric. I felt that using the navy colored cotton lawn made me look like I was wearing scrubs.

Here is my finished product: