60. 4 Summer Dresses to be Sewn.

60. 4 Summer Dresses to be Sewn.

My Summer Dress Sewing Goal 

The Four Dresses are:

Dresses from left to right.

  • Burda 7828
  • McCall’s M6752
  • Butterick B6054
  • McCall’s M7186: This dress has to be finished.

I picked these patterns and the fabric last summer and I’ve been too busy to finish or even start new ones but this summer I’ll dedicate the time to sew in the early mornings with coffee in hand and Janome revved up.

In preparation for sewing this summer.

  • All patterns minus (McCall’s M7186) must be brought out of their envelopes to asses the size I want through flat pattern measuring.
  • Clean and reorganize the sewing room.
  • Clean my Janome.
  • Get thread and needles.
  • Practice sewing with the fabric and find out what needles are the best.

I will be posting my progress as I go.

Question: Do you have your summer projects lined up yet?

God Bless & Sewing On









13A. The Wrap of It! Dress; Adjusting the Pattern to fit me.

The Wrap of It


Step 1:    The first order of business is to layout the pattern on the table and measure the bust, waist and hip lines. This is called flat pattern measuring. Verify my measurements and compare them to the pattern and decide on the size I’ll go with. I do this because even though on the back of pattern sleeve I’m given measurements for each size I find that I still need to compare so I have a better idea of what to do with the pattern, so it will fit me.

Things to do prior to cutting fabric:

  • Launder the fabric. I like to see how the fabric holds up to a normal washing.
  • I like to press the paper pattern on light heat no steam, this takes out the creases in the paper.
  • I’ve spent some time today reading the pattern.
  • Tomorrow I’ll spend time measuring pattern and compare my measurements to it, this will give me a good idea what size I will go with.
  • I like dress (B) but I think that I’ll make 3 1/4 length sleeves. Instead of full length sleeves. Change of mind; I’m going to go with the short sleeve (cap). I don’t want to alter the long sleeve to 3/4 inch as well widen it.
  • I like the gather at the waist and I’ll lengthen the hem a few more inches aswell.

The measurements I’ll check are bust, Waist and hip and back length. I think it’s size 10 for me. with a few adjustments with a hip curve along the way will do. Ok! Instead of adjusting the hip I’m going to add a full inch on side seams so I can play with wiggle room. I want the dress to run smoothly over my hips. So, not too tight and not too loose.

I find I don’t get over whelmed by a project if I split it up into smaller parts:

  • check size of pattern and yourself.
  • transfer pattern to paper to make any adjustment.
  • pin pattern to fabric. Usually I try pattern out with muslin but with the stretchy fabric I’ll baste side seams together.
  • Start sewing. Take time to press stitch line before you open up the seam.

Because I’m not going to do a muslin of this dress, I’m a bit hesitant about what size. In past experiences I’ve gone for the right-side but then found the garment too big, so I am going to the size that’s just a shad too small because there is a stretch. there is no ease with this dress because the stretch takes up the ease but I also don’t want it to be too tight and show all my lumps and bumps in an unflattering way!! problem. Man I am humming and hawing way too much about this, I just hate to have the size too big. This dress is to hug my curves not fall limp on me.

Size 10 is the best I believe because the bust is 1 inch smaller than me and the pattern hip is half an inch smaller than me. I’m going to give myself (1″) seam allowance on side seams this should be good for any adjustments, (usually it’s only 5/8″ S.A.). Then I will baste the side seams first. Then once I have everything the way I want it, I’ll sew a permanent seam.There is no waist measurement on the back of the pattern envelope but I’ve measured the pattern and it is good and besides the gather will pull in the waist and create the waist curve. Ok, I feel better getting that of my chest, size (10) it is. I’m just going to lengthen the hem line a couple of inches. I’m not always keen on the shorter skirt, it often emphasises the wider part of the leg instead of tapering to a smaller area of the leg. Then lead to the curve of the calf. That’s what I like. Clothing one-self is often a deception of sorts. I like to think that it is directing the eye to your best physical qualities. Oh! by the way I’m going with the cap sleeves, I think it will look nicer.

I ran into a bump while adjusting the side seam. Now, usually I only have to work with one side because the center front is on the fold,but as I was working with one side of one front panel (there are two front panels) I realised that I’d have to adjust the other side as well. I will do this for the other front panel as well, glad I was paying attention. Sewing a garment is a bit like life, always full of surprises.

P.S. A few last minute instructions to self, remember to mark each copied pattern piece for future reference. Nothing worse than coming back to a pattern and realizing you don’t know what you’re working on. I always put pattern number, brand, size, pattern piece (front, sleeve etc.) who it’s for, how many pieces to cut out and which version your sewing.

P.S.-P.S. Remember write everything down, just saying.

A few pictures: to show you.


Next Post will be cutting and basting: Wish me luck!



13. A Classic Wrap Dress that doesn’t Wrap! The traditional way.

As soon as I saw this fabric in Fabricland I knew what pattern it was going to be used for. McCall’s M7186. The fabric is a stretchy lycra/poly blend, a blue animal print. I’ve worked a bit with this type of material before, but I am still going to read up a bit before I make the first snip.

I received some great advice from a lady at fabricland who had sewn this pattern already. She advised me first to baste sides seams together. Then useing a curve ruler to merge different sizes together, also I’ll give myself a bit more seam allowance to work with. This will help me  adjust side seams to fit me. Gillian (my dress form) will come in handy when I am smoothing out the the side seams. Then of course, I’ll see how it fits on me.

Like most of us, our bodies are not as straight forward as patterns are. I’d say my bust line is smaller than my hip line; therefore, I’m going to have to draw in a new side seam after I transfer the pattern to paper and ease the two measurements together using a curve ruler.
This pattern has no zippers, so you pull it on like a snug shirt. The first wrap panel fits under from left to right then the top panel is vis versa, and this panel has a gather at the side.

I will be lining the back of the dress in a lighter but similar fabric but I have been debating whether I should line the two front panels or would this be too much? I think I would! that being said, I’m still unsure. Maybe after I read up a bit I’ll find my answer.

This week I will be adjusting the pattern sizes and checking my measurements in the next blog (step 1, of 13. A classic wrap dress). First I’ll transfer the pattern to plain paper, then I’ll show you how I adjust my measurements to the pattern. The paper I will be using, you can find at any medical store. Basically it’s the paper that Doctors use to cover that funny bed/table in their office.

If any of you have worked with this type of fabric, what can you say about it? I’ll be learning how to deal with it soon enough! Fun, always love a challenge.

That all being said! Lets get down to the business of sewing.