Simplicity Shirtdress 8014 – construction notes

I’m sharing some construction notes for my Simplicity 8014 dress that might be useful for anyone considering making it.

_20160804_185509

 

Pattern Sizing –

For my measurements 33-28-38, (b cup). I cut a 10 in the bodice which I graded out to a 12 in the hips. (I don’t normally add to patterns at the hips) Yet this gave just the right amount of wearing ease for me.

If you are pear-shaped, or normally need to add to patterns at the hips, then carefully measure the pattern pieces as you may need to go up more than one size at the hips.

Construction –

I made this with french seams on the sleeve and side seams – they could also be overlocked or bound.

I found this tutorial very useful for seaming the sides with in-seam pockets : In-seam pockets with french seams.

IMG_20160810_23625

french seamed pockets

 

Hemming

The sleeve hems feature a neat tuck, which traps the raw edge of the hem inside the tuck.

The pattern instructions didn’t make sense to me at first – I couldn’t picture the outcome, but I followed along with the pattern steps and they worked out fine.

IMG_20160810_23213

Sleeve hems with tuck detail

IMG_20160810_23846

Sleeve hem interior

The dress hem is curved at the sides, and is finished with a shaped facing. The instructions were mostly fine, but I changed how the facing attaches at the centre fronts. The pattern step included some hand sewing.

The way I did the facing was to turn the button band toward the dress fronts,then sit the facing on top of the button band and dress hem, sew the bottom seam and turn through. The facing then gets caught with the later top-stitching.

 

_20160805_112054

Button band folded towards front and hem facing pinned over button band and dress hem.

 

IMG_20160810_24386

Hem finish

 

 

Button Placement

I didn’t follow the pattern for button placement, as I wanted to wear a belt without it catching on a button every time I sat down. So I marked the button placement with pins, while I was wearing the belt.

IMG_20160804_29428

Using pins to mark button placement

 

I also didn’t have enough buttons to get as close to the hem as I would have liked, instead I top-stitched just below the last button, to keep the hem from flying open in a breeze!

(You might notice that the last button doesn’t have a buttonhole – it’s just stitched on through all the layers – that’s because I found that button under my sewing machine when I was tidying up after myself!)

IMG_20160810_24114

topstitched for safety!

 

And that’s as much as I remember, hope it was useful! I’m on the lookout for more fabric to make this again, I could see it becoming my winter uniform – layered up with boots and tights 🙂

Shirt success – Simplicity 8014

This shirt-dress is one of those makes that as soon as you finish, you start planning the next version.  I made it in fits and bursts over the last two weeks, and wore for the day on Sunday. It was really comfortable, but felt and looked like I’d made a bit of an effort!

img_2475

 

 

To start with – here’s a picture of it worn with a belt and accessorised with  a cat….

_20160804_185509

 

The pattern is Simplicity 8014 – I made very few changes – just adding my usual 1cm to the shoulder at the armhole edge to straighten the slope. I didn’t move the armhole up, and it doesn’t affect the fit – it probably made inserting the sleeve easier as there wasn’t much need for easing in the sleeve cap.

 

_20160805_005106

View D

 

It’s made from a soft cotton with a pale vertical stripe – not as obvious in the pictures as in real life.  I cut a size 10 in the bodice which I tapered out to a size 12 at the hips – which I always think is pretty useless information, unless you know what size body it was made to fit !!! So, in the hope of it being useful to someone else – my body measurements are approx 33 -28 -38!. The fit has just the right amount of wearing ease – not too much extra fabric around the waist, so it sits nicely with a belt.

 

_20160804_190313

sideview ….with bonus cat-

 

 

I cut out the self fabric belt and didn’t sew it at first, but after seeing the pictures, decided it’d be good to have the option of the matching belt, and then I managed to find a leftover piece of fabric big enough to make a pocket, and attached that as well.

 

IMG_20160808_0131

The sun has washed my skin out so much that it looks like I’m about to blend into the wall!

 

I did try wearing it without the belt – I liked the loose fit (and really love those pockets!) – but my daughter thought the combination of the pale blue colour and shape, made it look like a night-shirt!

_20160804_184012

wandering around in a nightie…as you do…:)

It was great to get such a wearable result without the effort of a muslin – I’m honestly too impatient to make one, unless the pattern pieces are very complicated – it’s just easier to measure the paper pieces and compare the shape to patterns that I’ve already made.

I had also planned to get some pictures of my finally finished burda dress while the weather was so nice, but I ran out of chocolate to bribe the little photographer -” ah no, do I really have to take more pictures?” (… said with an eyebrow in the air and a look of misery!) … they were getting more crooked and out of focus with every minute that passed , so I quit while we were ahead 🙂

Vogue 1316 – A dress made from jeans

So here it is …. Vogue 1316 – the dress I made from old jeans.  It has been worn twice already and,thanks to the small amount of stretch in the denim, it’s very comfortable.

_20151205_230244

Vogue 1316 – Made from old jeans!

I really enjoyed making this, despite the large amount of pattern pieces.  I don’t buy many patterns any more – after more than a few years sewing, I’ve got a pretty big collection of Burda Magazines, and a few boxes worth of paper patterns. After a while you start to see that the pattern companies rarely offer something new.  Added to that is the fact that Vogue patterns are not the cheapest around… but this one was worth every penny for the complexity of the design.

The panels were a great opportunity to use scraps and oddly shaped pieces of fabric cut from jeans.  The bands at the underbust wrap around to the back panels in a very interesting shape.  (Although my panel matching could be better here!)

Vogue dress side view

Side view

 

I hadn’t intended to line it, but in the end it was the quickest solution, as it saved me having to bind or face the edges.  The lining makes it more comfortable and less likely to cling to tights in the winter too!

I had to alter the panel at the upper back – there was a bit of gaping. It was the only part that I found difficult as I had to get help with pinning, so it held up finishing the dress for a while.

_20151208_200949

I took a little from the upper centre back and some from the back yoke panels, and it now sits nicely on my upper back. (Although the only photo of the back is obscured by my hair, so you’ll need to take my word for it!)

 I used a regular centred zipper, because I didn’t have an invisible one and I really wanted to get it finished in time for a meetup with some friends!

_20151205_230337

Vogue 1316

Making a dress from jeans – V1316

When I started teaching myself to sew as a teenager,I didn’t have easy access to fabric. I mostly altered shop-bought clothes to fit my shape. I also cut apart old clothing to use the fabric. Things haven’t changed much and I still have a bundle of clothes waiting for a second chance….

Like these jeans for example –

image

The key to reusing fabric is to find a pattern that has alot of panels or smaller sections. This makes it easier to cut pattern pieces according to the correct grain, while also avoiding the original seams on the old clothing.

image

The pattern I’m using is V1316.

image

Which I bought after seeing this beautiful version on Handmade by Carolyn.

I’m using 3 pairs of blue jeans and a pair of light grey. They all have a small amount of lycra, which should make this comfortable to wear.

I made a cutting plan by grouping the pattern pieces into light,medium and dark.
image

I cut a size eight after comparing my measurements (approx 34-28-37) to the finished measurements printed on the pattern pieces. I added an extra 2cm onto the centre back seam allowances as a safety measure! I also added some extra fabric at the shoulder seams as I usually change the shoulder slope on patterns (for straight shoulders).

I am using both the outside and inside of the denim depending on which shade looks better, or has less signs of wear-and-tear! The wrong side is marked with a chalk.

image

I didn’t muslin this dress as I mostly prefer to make fitting changes by trying on as I sew. (Another bonus with using free fabric is that it’s not a big deal if things don’t work out)…. Plus not sure I want the headache of adjusting the paper pattern..too many pieces!

image

The instructions are clear to follow. The pattern allows for a lining (a simpler shape without all the little pattern pieces!). But I have been overlocking seams as I go, as I’ll most likely leave this unlined.

I played around with the right/wrong side of the denims before stitching:

image

Dark center panel

image

Light center panel

Here’s how it looks as I was attaching the shoulder yoke-

image

I have tacked the zip and tried it on. The back is gaping a little at the neck, so I’ll need help adjusting the seam, and pinning the shoulders.

Ps…. If you’ve never read Carolyn’s blog before, then I suggest making a big cup of tea….. There’s alot of good stuff there!

B6168 Dress – pictures & final details

This is the Butterick 6168 dress by Lisette that I made at the start of the summer……little did I know it was also the middle and end of the summer! Ah well it was nice to see the sun for a short while!!

image

I cut the skirt a size smaller than the bodice to reduce the fullness of the gathered front.

image

The sleeves could do with being a little looser, and I hand tacked the front wrap to stop it gaping and help it to sit flat.
Otherwise, very few changes.

image

Colour is a little off! Red is so hard to photograph!

I added lining to my version. The bodice and sleeves are flatined.

image

The skirt lining is caught with the dress at the centre back seam and the waist.

The zipper is invisible and the seam is bound with a strip of the dress fabric.

image

image

So all said, it’s a nice summer dress that looks good with flats or heels. I’m just hoping that the sun comes back out so that I can wear it again soon!