Wearable Muslins

Yes! It’s time for more chevron action!  Before I post the images let me say that I am painfully aware of the fact that the only place the stripes match up is at the center front seam….I am pretty much OK with that. I am doing away with the sewing perfectionist inside and I am OK with all the miss-matched stripes!

Sorry in advance if this post hurts your eyeballs. I am a lover of Bridget Riley and Opp-Art stuff so crazy dresses are fine by me! Click images to enlarge them

Now lets get on with it 🙂

Simplicity-1803-01 Simplicity-1803-02 Simplicity-1803-03 Simplicity-1803-04

I am not really loving the fit…

Gone are the days when I want my dresses to fit like a second skin but I have taken it a step further and decided to stop bothering with muslins, because, you know…I have HUNDREDS of patterns and lots fabric I want to use!

I used to feel fabulous in fit-and-flare dresses, but recently my figure (and hair) has changed. I find myself gravitating more towards skirts, jeans with tees and simple shift dresses.

I don’t know if I want to fuss with as many fitted dresses anymore, so perhaps some skirts and looser styles are on the sewing horizon!

Material notes:

I choose simplicity 1803 because I have a good history with project runway patterns fitting well. I loved the neckline and the cap sleeves. The style of dress struck me as something my mum would have worn in her early 20s (with short beehive hair). My mum is my hero and style icon 😉

I got the fabric at lincraft when they had 40% off everything, so it worked out to be around $5 a meter. I have to confess my love for this kind of poly/cotton blend… It washes so well and it SO easy to work with!

I am digging stripes right now. Let it be known that black and white is my favorite combination!

$1 invisible zip from my favorite place: The Remnant Warehouse!

Construction notes:

I left out the weird front-of-the-crotch pockets that the skirt had! I also stuck the front and side front pattern pieces together before cutting and treated them as one piece.

I forgot how annoying it is to ease in sleeves! I could have done a better job, but I am already thinking of the next thing I am going to make, and it will most likely have raglan sleeves 😉

I made a size 8 but sewed the side seams an extra 5mm in (2cm seam allowance) but I think it should have been taken in at the center back and panel lines too. I have no patience for multiple fittings anymore…

Note to self: over-lock EVERYTHING before sewing together with the exception of neckline, inner facings and princess seams.



I finally finished the dress I made using simplicity 1609. I have wanted a dress made from this sewing pattern and I was never going to be able to resist a 1960s reproduction pattern!

I’m going to say upfront that I am not so happy with the fit of this dress, but that’s OK because I did not attempt to alter the fit at all (this is how the pattern fit out of the envelope). These days I don’t seem to bother modifying the fit of a new pattern, I just make it in some less than special fabric, to see what the fit of the pattern is like. Is it worth fussing with the fit and making another? I’m not too sure. Perhaps it’s OK that its looser at the waist.

I kind of like not worrying about fit so much, because I have a lifetime supply of fabric and patterns to try anyway. When I worked at a fabric shop I would always buy up big when fabric was twice reduced in price, so I often managed to score fabric that was $5 a meter or less.

I love the 60s silhouette. The bagginess at the waist of my version is not so great (could have taken it in at the curved darts). Admiring other versions of this dress (made by other sewing bloggers) I noticed that often they made the dress either very fitted or a much looser shape. Perhaps I should trying increasing the seam allowances or removing the center front seam on my next version!

I was happy when I thought of using this fabric to create a chevron effect, because I love that kind of thing, and the fabric was pretty boring on its own.

The back of the dress is a puckering horrendous mess, but for the sake of being honest I am showing it to you. Perhaps the tension was off (on my machine), or perhaps it has to do with the fit. All I know is I just wanted this dress finished. I am a grown woman and I rush and swear at my sewing projects, it’s rather silly!

Done is better than perfect my friends!

After sewing so many dresses with lining I realized how much I hate sewing facings. Anyone got any tips about sewing facings, that don’t involve hand sewing?




Here’s something I discovered today I wanted to share (in case it could help someone else)… I have a new theory on why tops and dresses tend to gape on me at the neckline.  Allow me to demonstrate with a picture…


Yes it makes sense now! Most peoples shoulders slope more than mine, I have quite square shoulders so by taking excess out from the shoulder seam it fits better.

Note: The diagram is exaggerated and inaccurate but you get the idea! Perhaps it counter-intuitive to remove fabric near the neck if you have boxy shoulders, but for some reason it worked for this pattern. I did remove a lot less, and it what I did take out was less slanted than what I drew in mu crude drawing.

Simplicity 1693 was the pattern used. I am not exactly over the moon with the results…


Anyway this is the top before the alteration…

gapey shirt

And after…



So it is an improvement, but I don’t know if I like the loose fit on me but I do love the fabric!

I had a dress in the same colour and print when I was a little girl and it was my favorite dress. I have plenty more of this fabric left, so I am sure I will make something much cuter with it.

I am happy I tested out this pattern in a fabric I had plenty of, because I dont know if it is worth making again. If I do make it again, I want to do the bias binding before I sew up the site seams, and it will probably make it 100 times easier!

I did cut out and sew a peter pan collar, for this top, but I left it off, because I felt like the girly fabic and combined with a collar in the same colour would be too sickly sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look a bit twee, but I am supposed to be a bit more grown up at this point in my life…


Perhaps I can use it on something else. I just discovered a quick way to get the collar to look good:


Tip: Its worth investing in some good quality pinking sheers. I used my new ones to grade the seams on my peter pan collar and it worked a treat! Just grade the seams with the pinking sheers and go over the seam line with a point turner and press. Super quick!

I left of the interfacing, to see how that would change the look of it.

Anyway thats the end of my story.

I have something much more exciting for the next post, it just may be my favorite dress ever.

Heres a teaser (from when it was a W.I.P)…


I have enjoyed reading everyones 2013 recaps. All of the sewing blogs I read are full of sewing inspiration but its reassuring to read that everyone has sewing fails from time to time.

Sometimes it’s impossible to predict which projects will be the highlights and which ones will go unworn, but no matter how the projects turn out its good to know we are always learning more and advancing our sewing skills!

Hope everyone is having a good 2014!