Spring is finally emerging in Portland so I immediately need to make something summery! This dress is the spring 2017 pattern from Gretchen Hirsch (Butterick 6453) and she’s currently doing a sew-a-long for it.
I bought 4 yards of Cotton + Steel 1″ Checkers gingham in aqua to make it originally. But then I decided I wanted to make it in View B first and I dug out this neat brocade type fabric I got from Joann’s ages ago.
I cut out my standard Big 4 size (18) and got to doing my flat pattern adjustments before cutting it out. It’s a pretty straightforward sew with the addition of the lapped zipper. I met Gretchen at Modern Domestic last month and she said she prefers doing lapped zippers because they are stronger than an invisible zipper and you don’t need an exact color match.
Flat Pattern adjustments to the front pieces
- 3″ FBA
- Remove 1/2″ from princess seam under bust
- 3/4″ broad back adjustment
- Raised armholes 1″ (for bra coverage)
- Added 1/4″ to strap width (to 5/8″)
- Removed 2″ from bottom before hemming
- 1″ full abdomen adjustment
- Shorten bodice by 1″
- Move rear strap extensions in toward center
I’ve had Colette Pattern’s Hazel Dress in my stash for awhile. I bought this red/blue seersucker fabric from Fabric Depot in Summer 2014 with that pattern in mind, but it never happened. So this summer when I decided I needed a sundress to wear to Pie Hard at Ecliptic Brewing, I had everything I needed.
Well…except an adjusted pattern. I knew that this bodice was not going to to work for me straight out of the envelope. So I did a 1 inch FBA to the bodice front. Then I had to adjust the length of all of the other pattern pieces. I also added one inch to the top of the front because I read that on bustier women it was a little low cut. On the side front I tapered that from 1 inch to nothing at the side seam so that the back remained the same.
Based on reading other reviews on this pattern, I also widened the straps so they would cover my bra straps. Since I had a print-at-home pattern I had decided to forgo printing the giant rectangle that is the skirt, and just cut it out with my quilting ruler. However once I sewed it, my belief that gathered skirts are not flattering on me was confirmed. But I had an idea!I really love the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress, which basically is a Hollyburn skirt with a bodice sewn on. So I grabbed my Hollyburn pattern pieces and set to making it work. I removed the pockets, because I feel like the style lines didn’t work with the angled seams of the Hazel bodice. I should go back and add side pockets, because EVERYTHING NEEDS POCKETS!
I adore the result of my frankenpatterning! In my Hazelburn dress I have a unique bodice that fits perfectly and a fun, flirty skirt. I love the way this looks. The seersucker is a great fabric for this pattern since it highlights all the bias cutting and looks cool in the half-circle skirt.
I did not have an appropriate length zipper, so I put in a way too long invisible zipper. I should go back and shorten that at some point. I have plenty of time before next summer, right? I also love this little red bobble button I used to fasten the back. I made small fabric loop for the closure and I think it’s darling. Little details are the best!
I’ve had Burda 7494 in my stash for years. I’ve always loved this pattern with the slight cap sleeve and the peter pan collar. The problem was that it only went up to a Size 20 and I was sewing a larger size at the time. Then I took the Palmer/Pletsch Fitting class at Fabric Depot and I learned that I was a Size 18 (with an FBA). Rejoice!
When my friend Alexis asked me to be the godmother to her daughter, I volunteered to sew a baptism gown (post on that soon!). So of course I also needed to make myself a new dress! I was so excited to finally use this pattern.
This pattern is offered in sizes 8-20. I used size 18.
The primary adjustment I did was a 2.5″ FBA to the princess seams in the front. I also did a 3/4″ broad back adjustment. I also added width to the skirt to match the width of the adjusted bodice. I also followed Julia Bobbines’ advice and swapped out the pleated skirt back pieces for the darted skirt lining.
I had purchased some luscious bemberg lining but since the dress fabric was stretch and the lining was not, I chose to omit it. I also chose not to use the peter pan collar. When I tried the dress on with the collar, it just looked a little too sweet for me.
FABRIC & FINISHES
I had a difficult time finding the right fabric for this dress, since I was looking for a stretch floral print. I ended up picking up this floral stretch twill from Fabric Depot. Up close the dark blue almost looks like denim. I liked using a heavier fabric because it allowed me to omit the skirt lining. I also like that it helps smooth out some lumps and bumps that you get when wearing such a fitted style.
I used bias tape to bind the neck and armholes. All seams were finished with the serger.
I think this dress is pretty versatile thanks to the fabric. With heels and jewelry it looks pretty fancy. Not quite cocktail dress but I’d definitely wear it to a daytime wedding. However with a cardigan and flats it’s also suitable for work or more casual wear. For the baptism I mixed it up a bit and wore a cardigan and heels. 🙂
WHAT I LOVE:
- The bodice is very flattering
- The slight cap sleeves
- The tapered skirt
WHAT I DON’T LOVE:
- The pleating in the front is not the most flattering. It accentuates my tummy.
- The pleating also sticks out a little which makes it look like there should be pockets there. This would actually be okay with me if there were pockets, because I love pockets!
WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?
Yes. I think this dress is super cute and I kind of want one just like the pattern photo! It’s a black dress with small white polka dots and I adore polka dots!!
I’ve been wanting to make an Archer for awhile, but I’ve realized that I really hate pdf patterns. They are a pain to put together and store. I was recently on Grainline Studio’s site and I noticed she had a preorder for a paper Archer pattern. Woohoo!
Around the same time MissCrayolaCreepy posted about the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge. So it seemed like a good time to sew a cat-shirt! There are a lot of cute/kitschy cat prints out there, but I’ve realized I rarely actually wear clothing I make with that sort of print. Then I came across the Cat Dream fabric from Lizzy House, which is still pretty cute but in my eyes a little more sophisticated and wearable.
So one of the big reasons I wanted to make a shirt is that I’ve never owned a button down shirt that didn’t gap around the bust. Now that I’m an FBA-pro I wanted to try my hand at getting a really well fitting shirt. I did all my pattern adjustments using the Palmer Pletsch method, which lead to a 1″ FBA. With the print on this fabric you can barely see the darts. But look…I can raise my arms and no button gap! Hallelujah!!
The rear view is pretty good too! I made no modifications. On big 4 sometime I do 3/4″ broad back adjustment.
The one thing I’m not too sure about is the shoulder width. Where is a shirt like this supposed to hit you? I have a feeling it might be a smidge to wide in the shoulders.
My only outstanding fitting issue is the sleeves. The upper arm fits fine, but the lower cuff is ridiculously wide. I didn’t check this until after I sewed the cuff on and at the point I wasn’t changing it. So I ended up sewing my cuff buttons almost 2″ over from the button marking! The sleeves are also about 2″ too long so I will make both the length and width adjustments on my next version.
None of my cat shirt + cat photos came out great, but I had to include at least one with a kitty! Here’s my little monkey named Magi. I also have a black cat names Cleo. I couldn’t find my camera remote, so I had 10 seconds to hit the shutter, grab a cat, and get in the shot. So apologies that we both look a little weird!