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Simplicity 8014 - Black Shirtdress

I do love a nice collared shirt, so the shirtdress seems like a natural extension of that. There are so many good shirtdress patterns available right now, it was a little difficult to choose. The one I used here is Simplicity 8014 , View D. I really liked the denim version on the envelope, but I wanted the option of wearing this to work, so no denim for me. I had considered trying this in silk, but shortly before I went fabric shopping I messed up this silk top with some sort of oil stain. My attempts at treating it only seemed to make it worse. Only low-maintenance laundry items for me, I guess. This fabric is polyester. I wouldn't say it was a joy to work with, but it wasn't bad. After making a muslin, I was pretty pleased with the fit. I removed 1.5" in width from the back - only the dress piece, not the yoke. I also added 2" in length to the skirt. The pattern has gathers at CB, but I changed that to a pleat. I also omitted the pockets. In the final
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Vogue 9091 - Black Culottes

Every once in awhile I feel like I want something "different" in my closet. Generally I'm not super trendy, but from time to time an odd trend appeals to me. This time it was culottes. I had a piece of black wool in my stash that was too lightweight for pants. Using it for a skirt was an option, but that would have left a good sized remnant that would be too big to toss and too small to do much else with. Since it was lightweight and had some good drape, I thought it could work for culottes. Plus, stash fabric seems "free" to me, so if it was a total bust not much was lost. There are quite a few patterns for culottes available now. The one I chose was  Vogue 9091 . I prefer a yoke to a regular waistband. Views A and B are considered culottes and View C is considered pants. I chose to make View C, but shortened it by five inches. I also added a lining, but those are the only real changes. This is not a complicated pattern. The pleats are deep and gett

Rollie Pollie

We celebrated my younger daughter's 8th birthday in January. Eight! Sometimes in my mind she still looks like this . One of the things she wanted for her birthday was a bean bag chair. Her brother got one for his birthday last year and she likes to use it whenever he isn't. I used Dana's Rollie Pollie pattern to make a bean bag chair that was a bit more interesting than one I could purchase. This was not my first time using this pattern. I initially purchased it last spring and used it to make a bean bag chair for a school auction. We used fabric paint and put the students' hand prints on the cut pieces and then assembled it after they were dry. It was a good project and brought in more money than I was expecting. The pattern and instructions are both good. I'd suggest reading through all of the instructions before starting - some things seem a little out of order to me, but it's all there. The only real change I made was to put a zipper in the insert an

Sweater Love

I was quite taken with Joji Locatelli's Lemongrass when I first saw it. I liked the split sides, the simple cable down the front and the turtleneck. The heavier gauge appealed to me also - faster to knit and a warm, cozy sweater in the end. I went with one of the yarns recommended in the pattern; Malabrigo Yarn Twist in black. I loved this yarn and would like to knit another sweater with it. It is soft and squishy and not at all itchy. Sometimes even soft wool yarns in a scarf or turtleneck start to really bother my neck by the end of the day, but this one doesn't bother me at all. So good. The only modifications I made to the pattern were very simple ones. Length was added to the front and back, but not equally - the back is longer than the front. Since I think loose sleeves on a sweater easily look sloppy, I went down a needle size for the sleeves. I like a substantial turtleneck and I have a long neck, so I added a whole lot to the neck, knitting the first half o

Winter Finery for the Younger One

A week or so before I made my dress, I worked on these two pieces for my younger daughter. My older daughter had an idea of what she'd like for new Christmas clothes and I found something similar enough on sale, so we nabbed that. If she had needed me to make hers as well, I'm pretty sure mine would not have happened. Both the vest and the dress are based on Ottobre patterns, but they're so significantly modified and mashed up that I'm not even going to name the specific patterns. The vest was very easy to construct, but the fake fur fabric was quite a nuisance. I'm pretty sure I spent more time cleaning up the fur fuzz than I did actually making the vest. It's fully lined and only has one hook and eye closure at the base of the collar. The dress is also quite simple. The main fabric is a semi-sheer polyester woven with sheer polka dots. It isn't as sheer as chiffon, but sheer enough to require a lining. I handled the dress and lining as one piece

Butterick 6244 - Graphic print dress

It's been a few years since I made myself a new "Christmas" dress. This one qualifies with even a couple of hours to spare. This is Butterick 6244. Most of the people that have used/reviewed this pattern have made the coat. I really liked the dress even though it is hard to see any details in the pattern photo. (I wish there was a way to just scroll through tech drawings on pattern sites). I liked the high neck, princess seams, and gentle A-line of the skirt. The fabric is a black/ivory ponte knit that I bought online more than a year ago. I was a little disappointed that the ivory part wasn't brighter, but thought I could make it work for winter rather than summer. The print is a bit bolder than I usually wear (okay, any print at all is more print than I usually wear). The pattern calls for woven fabrics, so I sized down for the muslin and then took it in a bit more all around before cutting the real thing. I also raised the bottom of the armholes. They

McCall's 7094 - Green Rayon Blouse

I don't like the word "blouse." I don't like the way it sounds or looks. The word doesn't have very attractive connotations in my mind. I don't know why. Anyway, I think what I have here is a blouse. Or maybe it's a blouse-y tunic. Whatever it is, I'm not sure it's a keeper. This is McCall's 7094 . I made it once before in silk, seen here . I thought it would look better as a tunic worn over slim pants rather than tucked into trouser-style pants. I loved the green color of this rayon challis (more emerald than it looks in the photos) and thought it would be a good match. I had removed much of the fullness of the back with the first version and I think that came out well. But, the front is still just too full and ...blouse-y. A side view photo would be helpful here, but we didn't get one of those. I want to like this style, but this pattern isn't what I wanted it to be. I retired it after this project. A few more pattern note