Pattern Challenge: Simplicity 2599

Simplicity 2599 is a near perfect pattern.  I just love the way this shirt turned out, it fits and looks almost exactly how I hoped it would.

Pattern Description:
Misses Tops with 6 different variations. I made view E, but skipped the bow.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it?
Yes, it does.  The only difference I can notice is that the top fits me a bit looser than the photo on the pattern shows.  But, I am fine with this since I can just wear a belt to cinch it in.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were.  The most confusing part was figuring out how to cut out the pattern pieces since this is a multi-size pattern with multiple front pieces for different bust sizes.  I ended up making a muslin of the front and back pieces so I could get the fit right before cutting into my fabric.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved that it came with different front pieces to account for bust size.  I love that there are so many variations available to the top.  It seems like the perfect basic top pattern, which can be infinitely adapted.  I can’t really think of anything at all I didn’t like!

Fabric Used:
White eyelet (very lightweight) purchased at the LA Fashion District.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added about 2 inches of length along the hem, skipped the bow detail, lowered the neckline by about an inch and cut the ruffle detail thinner than the pattern suggested.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes!  I am definitely going to use this pattern again.  I’m already planning on making this into a shift dress, inspired by this J Crew dress (thanks to my Aunt Carol for point it out to me!).

Next time I make it I will probably skip the button closure on the back.  I think it looks adorable, but I can get the top over my head without unbuttoning it, so it’s just not necessary (this is only because I made the neckline lower).

I highly recommend this pattern as a great wardrobe builder and an all around fun pattern to sew.


For those of you wondering about my great turquoise necklace, it came from Designs By Tahra.  Check out this beauty:

And isn’t this lovely?

Lucky me, I won these in a giveaway sponsored by Gussy, but go check out Designs By Tahra, she is wonderful!!

Pattern Challenge: Simplicity 2443

This is Part II in my Pattern Challenge series.  If you have not already, please consider joining me in a challenge to sew your way to a new wardrobe! 

Well…this one was significantly harder than I thought it would be!!!  I loved the look of the jersey dress on this Simplicity pattern by Cynthia Rowley.  Or wait…did I love the dress or just think it would make me look like the adorable model on the cover?  I think that may have been my first problem!! 

A quick word on sewing with jersey.  This stuff is tricky, really tricky.  But, it’s not impossible.  I would not have attempted this dress without having a machine that has a stretch stitch.  What is a stretch stitch?  Mine looks sort of like a zig zag that’s set on an angle (first picture below).  But, I’ve also seen it look like any of the following:

A stretch stitch is essentially what allows the fabric to stretch with the seam, so you don’t end up with puckered seams and a major headache! 

Here is what I ended up with…I know, MUCH different!!

Everything went perfectly with the dress, until it came time to attach the straps (the front and back straps and upper bodice are all one piece) to the bodice top.  I had the strap pieces constructed beautifully, but when I tried it on before attaching it to the bodice, the fit was terrible.  It was causing the back of the dress to sag horribly, while the front of the dress stayed pretty much in the right spot (coincidentally, the exact same problem I read lizziwhiz had with this dress).  I realized that the back racer back was WAY too long for my torso.  It had the waist part ending right about at my buttline…not flattering at all!  So, it was time for some major adjustments.  I decided to scrap the top strap part entirely and cut off the weird sagging racerback and adjust the front to be a soft strapless sweetheart cut.  I created a facing for the entire top front and back bodice and sewed that to the bodice, turned it to the back and topstitched it down. 

Luckily (yet with much tailoring needed) this dress fits very tight, tight enough that the strapless top stays up on its own.  Although it’s made of stretchy jersey, it still needed an invisible zipper on the side.  This proved to be somewhat challenging since the dress also has pockets right at the same line as the zipper, but I followed the pattern instructions and this went fine.  Pockets are fun, but I don’t suggest adding them when you will also have a side zipper, just another added frustration!!

All and all I am pretty darn happy with the dress.  I’m thinking about making some removable straps for practicality’s sake.

Here’s a closeup, which you can click to make even bigger, for those who are interested in the details:

I’ve posted links to the lovely participants of the Pattern Challenge in my sidebar now, so go check them out!  You can also see our Flickr page here.  If you decide to join, be sure to let me know so I can post a link to your blog!!


The winner of the giveaway is…..

Kari from Handmade Mommy who would love to pick out some Wall Art from All Modern.

Congrats, Kari!  Looks like you’ll be able to get that wall art for your home!  Kari has a super cute blog, so go check it out now while you writhe in jealousy!

Kari, I’ll send you an email in a moment so you can choose your prize up to $50.  Can’t wait to see what you get!

A quick update on the Pattern Challenge.  We now have 19 official members, so this will be fun!  I finished the Jersey Dress (#2 on my Pattern Challenge) and will post about it tomorrow.  WOW, this thing was a nightmare!  You’ll also get to see how the finished product looks nothing like the pattern!  I made a ton of modifications…but it turned out cute!

Join Me?

EDIT:  I’m giving away a $50.00 shopping spree to to kick off this challenge!  Enter here!

Join me in the Pattern Challenge!!!

Alternative Name

I’d love to have anyone who is interested in stretching their skills with apparel construction to join me in these efforts!  It’s simple:

1.  Choose your goals  (ex. To sew 4 garments before your next vacation, or to sew 1 swimsuit before summer, etc.)

-Make your goal(s) attainable and realistic for your personal life.
-Not interested in sewing clothes for yourself?  That’s OK!  Make your goal to sew clothes for your children, or your husband, anything goes!

2.  Put it in writing!

-Blog about your goals, or if you don’t have a blog, get it in writing.  You’re more likely to challenge yourself if you have someone to keep you accountable.

3.  Grab the “Pattern Challenge” button and Join our Flickr group.

-Post on your blog’s sidebar to get the word out!  Post about this on Facebook!  Tell your friends!
Send me an email if you are participating, and I will add a link to your blog to my sidebar of participants.

Copy the following code:

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>
<img src=”” alt=”Alternative Name” /></a>

4.  Blog about your finished garments and categorize/tag them as “Pattern Challenge” .  In addition to this, you can post them to our Flickr group.  Be sure to add a note to your picture with a link to the blog post that describes the garment, if there is one.

-Title your blog post according to the sewing pattern name, and include “Pattern Challenge.”  For example, my first pattern was Burda 7550, so I’ve titled my first post, “Pattern Challenge:  Burda 7550.”  This will help when others are searching for pattern reviews.
-How awesome would it be if someday we had a whole pattern library from these posts?  My mind is spinning!  Please, feel free to offer suggestions!

My vision for this project is that in just a short amount of time we will have a virtual pattern library full of our reviews and photos of finished garments. We will also stretch ourselves to learn more about garment construction and we will have a way to share in the joys (and sometimes terrors!) of sewing clothes!

Please consider joining with me if you have any inkling of a desire to sew more clothes!

Pattern Challenge: Burda 7550

I’m on a major apparels kick, and I bought 4 new patterns on Friday.  I’m challenging myself to sew each of the new patterns in the next couple of months (leading up to my trip to Europe!).  I’ll blog about them here, which will hopefully keep me accountable.

Update:  CONSIDER JOINING ME!!!  See this post for details:

Here are the 4 patterns I’m working with:

  1. Burda shorts (finished as of this weekend, see below!!) 
  2. Cute jersey dress (complete, see this post!!)
  3. Super fancy and chic skirt
  4. Simple shirt (recommended highly by Amy Karol).

(on the off-chance that I finish all of these before my Europe trip, I also want to try this one)

The first of my finished patterns was Burda 7550:

I’ve never made anything this tailored/structured before, and it was so much fun to work through.  The pattern was a really good intro to making pants.  Also, the next time I try this pattern (I’m already thinking about making another pair out of a nice cotton/linen blend) I will add some pockets.  I like that added barrier of fabric to separate the world from my backside :).  What else….the zipper part was super scary.  I was SO confused when looking at the pattern about how this was going to work out, but it turned out beautifully!  The fabric perfectly covers the zipper and it stays put when zipped up.  My main advice to those trying this pattern:  don’t over think it.  The instructions seem way simpler than they should be, but it really is simple!

You’ll notice that I haven’t made the button-hole or added to button closure yet.  That’s because of two reasons:  I hate making buttonholes.  I suck at making buttonholes.  Anyone else share my pain?  The second reason is because I need to get some of these jeans snaps.  I’m hoping Joann’s carries them so I don’t have to order a million….I highly doubt I’ll be making 12 pairs of denim shorts/jeans….but, who knows?!

Stick with me to see my progress and to find out if my European wardrobe turns out exactly how I imagine!

Quick question:  Would it interest you to see how these actually fit/look on a human?  Or are you just more interested in seeing how the finished garments turn out?  Let me know in the comments!