Friday, December 30, 2016

Fabric Store Finds

A quick visit to the fabric store this morning - disappointment that McCalls 7549 is not available yet. So I picked up three other patterns, all McCalls.

McCalls 7248, a tunic top with sleeve variations and choice of two necklines, one deeper than the other but both the overlapping front band.

McCalls 7390, another pullover top with some very interesting angled seams. It looks great in striped fabric, but could also be done in two or three coordinating fabrics. The line drawing shows much more potential than the photo above.


And McCalls 7470, a pattern from Palmer/Pletsch for a shirt and shirt-dress with Pati's excellent fitting advice. Her patterns are like getting a sewing lesson included with the pattern. I have always liked those patterns from McCalls. I may use this one for the princess-seam shirt that I want to make into a TNT pattern. It looks like a great pattern, with plenty of fitting insurance built into those princess seams, and the option of a dress either with or without sleeves.

Then I just wandered through the store, checking out new arrivals. Lots of coating fabrics in stock, it surprises me that so many people are sewing coats, because I don't see them on my friends. Who is buying this fabric? The saleslady said much is being bought to sew into capes, as they are simple and don't require fitting.

A table of lovely pinwale corduroy but I resisted. I haven't sewn up the last bunch I bought. 
Then a table of some gorgeous shirtings, 100% cotton and very fine. Perfect in my opinion. Many stripes and checks, so I opted for 2 metres of this 60 inch wide fabric to be used once I get the shirt pattern to my liking. This one will require precise matching, so I will save it until the pattern is absolutely perfect. 

I also found at the back of the store, which is where they put last season's bolts, a  bunch of pure linen fabrics. Oh so hard to resist, one was a lovely navy handkerchief-weight linen, that would make the great summer shirt. Some others in a dress-weight linen, in soft yellow, brighter yellow, coral and turquoise. They weren't cheap though and, even at 50% off, they would still cost around $18 per metre. I couldn't justify buying any of those, as I know they wouldn't be sewn for quite some time. If they had been cheaper, I wouldn't have hesitated, but common sense told me to restrain myself. 

I am looking forward to the New Year and some new to sew. No pressure, just sewing for the pure joy of it. 

In the meantime, I have been doing a fair bit of knitting. A sweater for Hannah keeps the hands occupied while watching movies during the holidays. I no longer sew in the evening, but keep my husband company and we often watch a mystery on Netflix. I can't just sit there but have to do something with my hands so there are things coming off the needles.

This is a cardigan knit in one piece from the neck down. The colour is a true purple, but appears more blue in this photo. The pattern is Granny's Favorite by Georgie Hallam, downloaded from Ravelry. I am knitting it in  Cascade SuperWash wool and in the largest size since Hannah is 13.


And then I ordered some Cascade 220 wool to knit this sweater in the fall Interweave magazine. The pattern is the Harvey Pullover by Hannah Baker and this one is knit in one piece from the bottom up. The front is done in a Brioche stitch and the back in stocking stitch. There should be enough variation to keep this from getting boring and I haven't knit a pullover in ages. Perhaps with all the shirts I plan on making, a pullover might be a good idea. I love a sweater with a crisp collar peeking out over the neckline. This wool is a turquoise heather so it will have a marled appearance and I bought the shirting above thinking they would work together. Of course, the shirt will be finished long before the sweater.

The pattern is available on Ravelry at this link.

Monday, December 26, 2016

New Year Sewing Plans

                                               McCalls 7549

I made a quilted bomber jacket years ago and wore it so much. It was time to toss it out, the lining was disintegrating. I had used unbleached muslin, quilted it to flannelette and then lined it with a black and gold polyester lining. It went in and out of the wash many times, and was a go-to jacket for many occasions.

Time to make another one and this McCalls pattern looks like it's just up my alley.
I love the different areas of quilting and this is the style of jacket that I feel most comfortable in.
This version doesn't seem to have any closure but it would be easy enough to add an exposed zip.

I also bought the Ginger jeans pattern, the boyfriend version and the Kelly Anorak from Closet Case patterns. I have seen so many favourable reviews of the jeans, but the skinny legs is not for me. Also I am not a big fan of denim with lycra, I find that the waistband grows and the pants are constantly slipping down. The boyfriend pattern calls for regular denim, which I always enjoy sewing.

                                               Morgan Boyfriend Jeans pattern // by Closet Case Files

The sew-along files look like a great help in this. Although I have sewed jeans and jean skirts a number of times before, it is always good to remind oneself of the steps and new designers will have new ideas on how to make the process better. This is the kind of sewing that I most enjoy, all those details like the double top-stitching; this is what puts some folks off, but for me it is the technical side that I enjoy most. I would probably have enjoyed working in a factory making the perfect welt pockets in tailored jackets.

And the Kelly Anorak is a great pattern, Carolyn has made several wonderful versions of this pattern.

Carolyn's blog is one that I just love; she is a beautiful seamstress and just has a fashion sense that is uniquely her, but never takes herself too seriously.

I also want to make a really good shirt, with princess seaming. I have so many fabrics in the stash that would make great shirts and I want to get a pattern that I use over and over just like Lauren at does. Her favourite pattern is Butterick 5526 and there are a number of patterns with the requisite features. I am going to work on Simplicity 2447, first in a plain cotton and then in a plaid shirting that I bought from Blackbird Fabrics.

                                              Simplicity 2447 Sewing pattern for ladies tops, shirts, blouses.  Easy to sew

Some plans for the new year, I feel a sewing blitz coming on.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Burda 6633

                                 Tunic Top, Fastening Bands
This is a nice tunic pattern that I saw in the Burda catalogue. I was looking for a tunic with an overlapped neckline like this one. The pattern is well-drafted, but I have to say it is very sparse with instructions.

Inserting the circular neckline facing could have been better illustrated and things like stay-stitching the edge and clipping it before attaching the facing  (you are attaching a converse curve to a concave one) are omitted. I guess Burda assumes that you should know these things, but if you haven't done it in a while, you charge ahead as I did and then you get puckers!

Oh well, I am getting used to the fact that I have to make something twice before I get it right. So this version was made up quickly in a black embroidered cotton, and I have a second version cut out in a red cotton. 

Making something twice, especially if you make them back to back, helps you to iron out any glitches, both fitting and sewing glitches and I hope my second version is smooth and pucker-free now that I know what to watch for.

I made no alterations to the pattern, and every time I sew up a Burda, I ask myself why I don't sew exclusively with Burda patterns. They are drafted for a C cup so there is no bust alteration to make, and little things like the shoulder seam and the armscye are just drafted slightly different yielding a better result. 

The shoulder seam has a curve in it, rather than just being straight across. The armscye is quite different than other pattern brands, the back armhole is shorter and the front armhole almost has an L shape to it. I think this shaping fits me better and I have seen this before on some Burda dresses that I have made. 

In my second version, I did reduce the length of the shoulder seam 1/2". I think this top would also work well if done sleeveless, in which case I would raise the underarm seam about 3/4" and taper that seam in closer to the body to eliminate any gaping. I would also cut in the shoulder seam deeper as suggested by Sunny Gal on her blog. In fact, it was her success with this style that made me go out and look for a similar pattern.

Friday, December 16, 2016

For the love of dogs

This morning, I clicked on a blogger's link and wept as I read that her dog had died. I have been crying on and off all morning since reading about this.
She kept me company, that was the thing. Keeping me company.

We lost our beloved dog Teddy last January, he had just turned 15 a month before. A long life for a dog, especially a medium-sized dog. Life expectancy is around 12 for his type. We had him from 8 weeks old, just three days after having to put down a fear-biting Border Collie. In a pet store, the last of his litter. He ran over to us, tail wagging, big head bobbing. And within half an hour, he was safely in the car going home with us.

I have always had a dog, except for perhaps 2 periods of my life when I lived in apartments. As a child, we had a dog, a runt Pekinese called Sammy. He often sat beside me, as I lay on a lawn bed. I had a childhood ailment which rendered me unable to walk for 3 years and for the first year of that period, I was bound in a body cast from chest to hips in order to keep the bones aligned as my hip joints began to repair themselves. So I spent a lot of time alone, watching the kids play, wishing I could join them, but I had Sammy with me.

There were multiple dogs after Sammy, Sammy #2 a mean-spirited Pekinese quite unlike his namesake, then Paddy the black Lab who alerted me in a park when a man began to chase me. I owe that dog my escape. After Paddy, there was Duffy, a mutt that my brother had picked up on the docks in Fort Erie. A beautiful Gordon setter with a disposition so lovely. But my parents separated and the house went up for sale and the neighbours across the street took Duffy to be their family dog.

I recall going over to visit my dad, who was still in the house, and when I left, Duffy saw me and chased after the car as I drove away. I looked in the mirror and saw him standing in the middle of the road, a symbol of everything that was being left behind.

You see, dogs have always been my companions. My kids joke that I am slightly autistic, in that I don't give or receive affection easily. But I can with dogs. Perhaps that is why I love them, I can be my emotional self with them.

Now Teddy became my constant companion for 15 years. During those 15 years, all of our daughters left home to go to school or to start a new life elsewhere. A friend of mine told me that it takes five years to get used to a child leaving home. One by one, the three girls left but Teddy remained. He was there as the house got emptier and emptier, always ready to go for a walk, always ready for some horse-play, always happy to see me. When either my husband or I were out, he would lie across the back of the couch with his head on the windowsill so that he could watch the street. He would get off once the person who was away returned, and he would contentedly go up to his bed in our bedroom.

Stay-at-home moms can be very lonely people. Your life centers so much around your kids and then, one day, they feel the ability to face life without you. And you let them go. They have your blessing but it is still lonely when they leave. So you cry into your dog's furry neck and hold them close, because they don't leave for a new life. They stay with you until the end.

I have slept curled up in a double bed, right on the edge, because Nick was on the other side and Teddy had decided that he needed to be up there too. Once he got up, he was pretty much of a dead weight and so I learned to sleep in the smallest positions in order to let him stay. I could make room for him.

The house feels so empty now without a dog. No pitter patter of nails on the wood floor, no crashing down the stairs to come and get a drink, no going to the back door and looking back at me to say 'let me out'.

Keeping me company. Carolyn, you are so right. Keeping us company.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Knitted Hat for Hannah

Grand-daughter Hannah, she likes her new hat!  yeah.  This was a toque that caught my fancy in a Knit Simple magazine. It is knit with all-over cables, then you embroider French knots in the centre of each cable. Add a pom-pom and voila!

I am thrilled to hear that she is wearing it all the time. There is something so cute about girls wearing slouchy hats, I love it. What a beauty she is, but I guess I am prejudiced.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Sewing

Since this blog is meant more for myself, to keep a summary of what I have sewn, here is a very blah photo of a simple tee-shirt. I used a very old Burda pattern that I have had for over ten years. It even uses a front and back neck facing rather than simply binding the neckline with self-fabric.
Would I make this pattern again?  I don't think so.
There are much better tee patterns out there.
The knit is an aqua bamboo knit found in the stash.

But here is a photo of what I have been sewing for the past week: pyjamas for the grandkids. 
I didn't make a pair for the youngest, who just turned one last month. She has numerous sleepers with feet attached, which are much better for little ones to keep their toes warm.

The pyjamas from left to right, top to bottom include a plaid pair for Jacob, then another plaid set for Hannah, plaid pyjama bottoms with a red sweatshirt knit top for Ben.  Second row is a pale blue top with plaid bottoms for Joe, then red top and plaid bottoms for Isaac and last, turquoise top with plaid bottoms for Sarah.

All of these, with the exception of Jacob and Hannah, were made from the stash. I had to purchase new flannel for the oldest kids, as I didn't have enough yardage for them. Now that they are 13, they are into adult sizes and a pair of pyjamas takes 3 metres of 60" wide fabric. They have joined the adult world!  With Sarah and Isaac's, I didn't have enough knit for the tops, so the sleeves are made from the same flannel as the bottoms, they kind of look cute that way.

Very satisfying make to use up all that fabric for clothes that I know will be worn until they are threadbare.

Yardage purchased:  8 metres plaid flannel
2 metres corduroy (for a pair of pants for myself)

Yardage Sewn Up:  19 metres for a total of 66.6 metres in 2016
Yardage Purchased:  53.1 metres

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Butterick 6288

This photo is the dressy version of this blouse. I made the version with the gathered back, but that pleated back version is very appealing. I saw someone in a knit sweater with the back pleated like that and it was very attractive. I could also see this made up in a stretch lace, wouldn't that be pretty?



My version is sewn in a rayon challis that I bought last spring from Black Bird Fabrics. I doubt that I would buy this (actually I am sure I wouldn't) in person, but online purchases are often surprises. The quality of the fabric is good and the drape is lovely, but I had no idea that this would look like 'camouflage'.  One of my grandsons, who loves all things military, might really like to see his grandmother in this.

The pattern has a hidden button placket. I think I would eliminate this on any further versions, it takes time and isn't really called for. In a gorgeous silk fabric, it would be worth the time to make this feature but on an everyday blouse, not.

It is hard to see the gathers on the back but they are substantial.

A view of the split hem, the back is about 4 inches longer than the front.

A bad shot taken with the self-timer. Can't stay out too long, the temperature has dropped significantly since yesterday.

I haven't worn this yet, so time will tell. I am not completely sold on the two-level hem on me. And the collar is set back so it is quite open, I wasn't expecting that either. In a summer blouse, it would be very nice and I think the sleeveless version is worth repeating in warmer weather.

I think, if I make this again, I will cut the back hemline with the curve as in figure C above. And I will save that pleated version for a very special fabric. I love garments that have back interest to them.

Since this is a lovely rayon, I will not throw this in the regular wash, but will handwash it with Eucalan. I have a rayon batik shirt that I still own (it's in the ironing pile) and it must be 7 or 8 years old. It has never gone through the washing machine, but has always been laundered with Eucalan. A great product, you just soak the garment, then gently wring out and hang to dry, no rinsing necessary. And this cuts wrinkles down to a minimum, something you want with rayon.

Fabric Sewn in 2016  -  47.6 metres

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Kwik Sew 2801

An old pattern from the stash. I have come to realise that, despite my love of making jackets, I really do not wear tailored suit-type jackets, but love the lines and casualness of a jean jacket style. So when I was looking through the pattern cabinet, this pattern caught my eye. The lines are similar to a jean jacket, but it offers a longer version; also the collar appealed to me.

I have had pretty good success with Kwik Sew patterns. And this one was simple to alter. A length alteration in the bodice of 1 inch, would bring that waist inset to the right place on me. Two inches off the sleeve, one above the elbow and one below made the sleeve absolutely correct. Cut a medium shoulder, grading out to the Large size at the underarm and side seam. I often straighten out curved side seams as I have no curve there and, if you don't have hips that go out at the side, the garment just sticks out awkwardly. Since I have no waist shaping, I don't need any in the pattern either.

I did add a pocket to the jacket. The front extension piece could simply be duplicated and it would give you a pocket. So I cut that piece again, lined it and applied it on top of the front before sewing the side front to the center front. It is hardly visible but gives you that much-needed pocket that we all love in jackets. Once the jacket was to the point to try on, I decided the shoulder seam was too long on me and inserted the sleeves half an inch further in.
                                              Image result for kwik sew 2801

My fabric was also from the stash; I think it is a linen/rayon blend. It creases like linen, but has some drape to it; and the threads along the selvage have a sheen to them which makes me think there is a good percentage of rayon in it. I opted for sew-in interfacing; my latest experiences with fusible have not been happy; I have had interfacing bubble and, in one dress, it has actually separated from the fabric after a few washes. Does interfacing lose its ability to adhere if it is a few years old? I didn't have this problem before, and it is the same interfacing, so I am wondering if age does something to the glue.

I even had the lining in the stash, Bemberg of course. So, for this jacket, my only purchase was interfacing, thread and buttons. The pattern doesn't call for a lining, but they sew up so quickly compared to the garment itself and then all the inner guts are covered up. Plus the jacket slips on and off so nicely and looks good over a chair when you take it off. I took a cue from Beth of and inserted the lining completely by hand stitching rather than by machine. This assures flexibility in those seams so that nothing pulls or puckers and it doesn't take that long. Kind of relaxing to spread the jacket out on a table and slip stitch the lining in place. Just put on a video on YouTube and my hand sewing was done within an hour.

The colour is very versatile. It will go with the navy linen dress I completed a few weeks ago, and I also have a black wool challis dress that will work well with it. I was wanting an outfit in the closet that would work for dress-up occasions without being too dressy. A dark dress with a cream jacket seems to be just right.

While working on this jacket, I kept thinking that it would be great in a rich cotton velvet, also in a mini-check (like a Sherlock Holmes jacket) and in all-purpose denim. It would also be a great casual jacket made up in medium wale corduroy, to be worn over a turtle neck for those cool fall days. The top-stitching invites such fabrics and I think I will be re-visiting this pattern later this year.

Fabric Sewn  2 metres navy linen for dress
                    2.5 metres ivory linen blend for jacket

Total Yardage Sewn in 2016  -  45.6 metres

I have also been sorting through my fabric stash since I cannot move all of this stuff a thousand miles next summer. I have a whole pile ready to bring to the guild next week for a fabric sale/exchange and I have donated several bags to GoodWill. I think I have pared down my stash by about one-third; there are still several containers to go through and say my goodbyes to yardage once lovingly stashed.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Peggy Sue Cardigan

I have also been knitting these past few months. I had completed this sweater in June before we went away for six weeks, and just had the buttons to sew on to finish it.

I blocked the sweater but am not sure that it is done sufficiently. It is easier to block a sweater that is knit in pieces than to block one that is knit on circular needles with no seams. Harder to pin it out and get the flat look that you get with individual pieces. Ah well, I reckon this will get worn and take on its own shape that way.

I have knit a couple of sweaters top down but this is the first really successful one. I have two that are to be 'given away', not happy with them at all. You really have to choose the right yarn for your project and I have to admit that synthetic yarns don't make me happy with the results.

This sweater, Ravelry link is
is Peggy Sue designed by Linda Wilgus. It is a cute sweater, what caught my attention was the ribbing. There are a lot of cropped sweaters out there and I lengthened my version by a few inches. I didn't do quite as much ribbing as the pattern recommends, probably only half the length stated, and I am pleased with the result. The sleeves could have been made smaller, so I sewed them in tighter at the bottom edge.

I used Cascade Yarns, 220 Superwash Sport in a sky blue shade. I love Cascade Yarns. I have knit a number of sweaters with Cascade 220 which is a pure wool that you must handwash. The Superwash yarn is a little lighter in weight, you don't have that wooly feel to the yarn (which I love actually).  For this pattern, the Superwash was a perfect choice.

I will try to get a photo of this on me soon. I have difficulty getting self photos and hubby is not cooperative in this regard.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Burda 8998

From this Burda pattern, that I have had for years, I made a long-sleeved tee from a lovely striped knit purchased from Blackbird Fabrics. I can't remember the content now, but I think it might be a cotton and bamboo blend. Certainly it is very soft and drapey.

                                 Burda Style Pattern 8998 T-Shirt

I altered the pattern with a full bust alteration, but I think I could have got away without doing this. And also spent a fair amount of time getting the neck binding correct. I wanted the black stripe to be in the band, I messed this up the first time around and had to unpick the binding ....  grrr ..... but it was worth it in the end. I also traced the pattern out so that I could have full patterns for the back and front in order to match the stripes. I don't know how I managed to get it wrong but I have one extra stripe in the back area between neck and armhole, so I just eased it in and figured who is going to notice. The side seams match perfectly and that was more important to me.

Keeping track:

   Sewn up  -  41.1 metres
   Purchased - 43.1 metres

I have also made up a navy linen dress and am working on a cream linen jacket to go with it. Not that I am ever current with the seasons. At least this will be ready for next spring.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

McCalls 7360

Another make of McCalls 7360. Sad to say, my first version was done in 100% linen and it shrunk in the wash. I should have pre-washed the linen three times, as all the books on fabric tell you, but silly me - I didn't. And the shirt is wearable, but it feels too short.

The second version is in rayon tencel.

I added one inch to the length of this just in case of shrinkage on this fabric. Due to the drapey nature of rayon, the hem hung unevenly. I left it for two days to just hang before hemming. And I had to trim it quite differently due to the uneven drape of the fabric.

Hard to see the details on a black fabric. But definitely a very nice pattern. To be put in the tried and true file. I just gave away about 30 patterns as well, clearing out the filing cabinet. I am trying to be realistic here:  what will I actually sew?  certainly not that designer Vogue wedding gown.

Fabric used:  2 metres
Fabric purchased:  6.5 metres from Stedman's in Barry's Bay - they have a small quilting section in the store and I couldn't resist two prints that I spied there. 

39.6 metres sewn so far this year
43.1 metres purchased

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another shirt to pack

I finished this shirt this afternoon. It is from the pattern McCalls 7351 with the sides straightened and cut to shirt length. The fabric is a fine cotton plaid that I bought in Texas in February and the gingham is a piece I bought to go with something else but then changed my mind. 

One change I did make was to trim off 3/8 inch from the top of the collar band and I also trimmed off 1/4 inch from the outer edge of the collar. I wanted the collar to be somewhat smaller so that it wouldn't come up too high on my neck. The shirt is meant for those hot summer days in Ontario which we will be getting next week.

I made the buttonholes with green thread and used seven half inch green buttons for the front closure. I bought a bag of buttons at Michael's the other day, and already I have used them for two garments. A real bargain, about 100 buttons for less than $4.

I matched the side seams at the hem until I got close to the bust dart. I cut all pieces out single layer to match the plaid. And cut the outer yoke on the bias, the inside yoke is cut from the pink gingham.

The armholes fit really well without any gaping and they are finished with bias binding cut from the pink gingham. And with that, I have closed up my sewing room as we will be away for a month. It will be knitting needles for the next four weeks. 

Unfortunately the wool I ordered will not get here in time, so I will have to find something in the stash to knit while we are away.

Lots of fun, we are having a family reunion in Ontario. At some point, there will be 20 adults and 15 children. People are coming and going at different points, but some will be around for a week and there will be a lot of chatting, a lot of wine drunk, and a lot of laughter I am sure.

I was rushing to get this shirt made before going, and then I decided to count my summer shirts. I have 10 that I have made in the past year, so I think I am ready for this vacation. 

Fabric purchased:  0 metres
Fabric sewn:  2 metres green cotton plaid and pink gingham

Running total for the year: 36.6 metres purchased and 37.6 metres sewn up

Summer Sewing

A dress for daughter Elena. Butterick 6208. One version was made for her daughter Hannah and mom hinted that she would like one in the same colour as the pattern photo. I found a pretty shade of orange at our local Fabricville store; it may be too light to be a dress, and I will wait until she tries it on before we make a decision whether or not to cut it off as a tunic. 

Personally, I wouldn't want to have to wear a slip under a summer dress, it kind of defeats the purpose of being cool. And this dress is too see-through to wear alone. It is 100% cotton lawn, beautiful fabric but perhaps better suited to a blouse or tunic.

I did buy some white rayon fabric and made her a slip, but I don't see this being worn under the above dress. However, one can always use a slip. This is from McCalls 6696, a pattern for a classic shirt-dress. It also includes a pattern for a bias slip with spaghetti straps and it is really pretty. The rayon has a silky feel and drapes beautifully and even more so when cut on the bias.

This will have to wait until a try-on before I can hem it. I enjoyed the tiny edge finishes on this; it reminded me of a sheer shirt that I made some years ago and used the edge finish methods of Tom and Linda Platt that were written up in an old Threads magazine. It really is much better than serging and turning under; you sew on the seam line, then press that under, trim the seam allowance to a scant 1/4 inch, then turn that under again and stitch again. So every edge has two lines of stitching, it takes time but gives a wonderful finish that won't pull out or fray as a serged finish might do over time. For the side seams, I made French seams, they seemed in keeping with the pattern and the fabric.

I added some elastic lace trim to the front and back necklines just to make it a little prettier.

The slip is a nice bonus to get in a pattern that is already great.

Fabric purchased:  1.5 metres white rayon for slip
Fabric sewn:  2.5 metres coral cotton lawn
                    1.5 metres white rayon

Running total for 2016:  36.6 metres purchased and 35.6 metres sewn
Closing the gap!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shirt-dress success - McCalls 6885


This shirt-dress was posted on the Britex website.  And I thought I have a fabric very similar to this, a dotted denim shirting that I bought last summer at Fabricville. I had intended to make a shirt-dress with it, but didn't get around to it. Kind of glad that I didn't cut it then because I think it will be perfect for McCalls 6885 that I just made up in seersucker above.

The seersucker is very light fabric and I think that might be why it works better as a tunic than as a dress. But this denim-y fabric is a little heavier and should have just the right weight for the pattern.

I will make it with short sleeves and will cut the hem straight with side slits.

I was spurred on to make this version after seeing the pattern on this site.

I will also eliminate the little pleat at the front at the bottom of the placket, I don't see any reason for this pleat and I will simply fold it out all the way down to the hem before cutting out, then cut straight down the sides for a straight hem and will sew the sides leaving slits at the bottom.

I have often thought that making the same pattern two or three times is a good idea. After all, ready-to-wear is made after numerous samples are sewn to work out the kinks, to work out what fabric works best, etc. And yet we sew-ists hope to achieve success on our very first try. Often we do, but many times there is that little something that bothers us about the finished garment. Rather than just remain frustrated about it, why not make the pattern again and fix those problems?  The second version will sew up much quicker, it will probably fit better, and you may just hit that sweet spot. Success depends so much upon hitting that sweet spot where the finished garment meets or exceeds our expectations.

June 21, progress made and dress is finished.

Front of dress with placket opening; these get better each time I make them.

Side view, hem has been straightened and short slits left in the side seams.

Back yoke with added pleat at centre back. The pattern didn't have a yoke piece, so I just cut one from another pattern and shifted the back over from the fold to allow for a pleat. I think it adds some interest to the back of a garment and the self-lined yoke sits better on the shoulders than a single layer of fabric.

The back of the dress. 

My favourite part of this pattern - the collar and collar band. This pattern comes together so well that I may just use this collar and band pattern piece for other shirts.
I used the method that Louise Cutting uses for collars, sew the bands on the neckline, then sew the rounded front edges, leaving the top of the bands open to insert the collar.

Then sew the finished collar onto the inside collar band, and tuck in the raw edges of the outer band over the encased collar and top-stitch all around the band. This produces such a nice edge on the band. I used to use the technique of Margaret Islander, which is slightly different than this method. I have found that I have more control with this method and get good results every time.
Not one hand stitch on the collar, everything done with the machine for a professional finish.

I am so pleased with this dress and with this pattern. I have plans to make another version, perhaps the colour-blocked one. I saw a woman at church with a beige dress and a black border, and immediately thought it would work in this pattern!  She wore it with a black cardigan, black shoes, and a black chunky necklace and did it ever look sharp.

Next up: a dress for my daughter Elena.

Fabric Purchased:  0
Fabric Sewn:  2.5 metres cotton print