Dressing my man

I almost forgot to post this week! I started my new job, which has been stressful. Im such basket of anxiety when it comes to change. I hope things will work themselves out. I just have to make it over this hump.  To make things more stressful for me Tony was on a business trip this week so Uzzi and I had to face the first day alone.

In honor of his trip I made him a new shirt.



This was really just intended to be my practice shirt so I could work out some fitting issues but he ended up liking it enough to wear it. I wish I had gotten better thread that matched instead of just using what was in my stash.

The biggest change I made was to make the arms slimmer. This draft represents a 2″ reduction but he thinks the next shirt should have 3″ taken out. Other changes I would like to make grading in the shoulders and the waist just a tad.

The hardest part was the cuffs. The chimney placket gave me a fit so I ended up just folding it down . Turns out it didn’t matter because he rolled up his sleeves almost as soon as the shirt went on.


One new technique that I did was to do Flat Felled seams around the arm holes and down the sides. I really like how they turned out. It seems very strong and feels nice against the skin.



I am stoked at how the collar turned out. This is my fifth collar since I started sewing and my cleanest one to date!



He told me he wore this shirt in New York with Khakis, Pink socks, and a blue blazer. Now that he has one shirt he is finally ready to pick some fabric out  for a truly custom experience.


The fit game, level 2

This dress may seem very similar to all my other dresses but its special to me because I really stepped up my fitting. I started with Butterick 5813 ( the full skirt version, as if you even needed to ask) and some cheerful cotton.


I noticed on a few of my last dresses that the extra length I have been adding to the bodice seems to be fitting in the front but causing some pooling in the back. I asked around on the sewing forum and several people suggested a sway back adjustment.  I had a unique situation in that I still needed some length in the back just not as much as I needed in the front. I took some measurements and decided the front needed 1″ added and the back needed 3/8″. I added the length to the front bodice just like I normally would. When I got to the back I added 1″ on the side seam ( so that it would still match up to the front) and the then graded the extension down to 3/8″ on the center back seam. I sort of had the make this up as I went along because I couldn’t find any tutorials for sway back adjustments that also included a lengthening at the same time. The results are prefect.



In addition to the fit alterations I also used a different sleeve. I just thought this fabric looked to summery for a longer sleeve. I used the pattern piece for McCalls 6966 dress But it was a little big for the armhole so I made the executive decision to add a gathered detail on the top.

My favorite part about this pattern are the style lines in the bodice front. The midriff front has 6 pieces. Unfortunately the polka dots hide these details. Don’t worry I am already planning another rendition of this dress in a solid color and the original sleeves for fall/ winter that will hopefully show off the bodice details a little better.

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In an effort to save fabric and $$$ I only lined the bodice instead of the whole dress. It has some sewn in facing on the collar so that it gives the appearance the the inside is all fashion fabric when the collar turns out.

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On a whim I used some hem lace because I liked how it looked with the polka dots.



Now that I have gotten so much better at fitting myself. Its time to try my luck at fitting someone else. Thats right,  next week will be my own “made to measure” challenge.



Third times a charm

I decided to give knits one last try. My fist two attempts were so atrociaus that they ended up in the trash without even so much as a picture. This time around I selected McCalls 7313 which promised to be easy enough for a knit novice.


I picked a a grape colored rayon jersey. It has an incredible soft hand . It may have been a little more difficult to work with but I got there in the end. I wouldn’t say this was as easy as the pattern made it out to be but it is the first time I was able to successfully finish a knit item so there is something to be said for that.

For all the joining seems I used a long straight basting stitch before running on the serger and then pulled out the basting threads. The neck, arms, and hem took some trial and error. On the neck line I tried using a double needle. It was a bear to work with and kept tangling up and skipping stitches.

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On the arms I used a stretch sticth and went around twice to help it look similar to the neck.

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I wasn’t too worried about popping seams around the hem since its so loose so just did a straight stitch while stretching the fabric a bit.

The waist has a hidden elastic in the seam allowance so its super easy to pull on and off but I think it benefits by the use of a belt.  I’m thinking a tan belt would also look nice with it. Overall I am pleased with the results. Its VERY comfortable and looks a lot more put together then lounge pants!






Today’s dress is mash-up of two 1940s reproductions : Simplicity 1587 and 3688


I had some batik rayon in my stash from my birthday. While I normally like 50s styled patterns rayon just screamed 40s. I used the bodice from 1587. If you look at the drawing of the red dress on that envelop you can see that the skirt has a drop waist yolk detail. I tend to not like a dropped waists so instead I used the six panel skirt pattern from Simplicity 3688. I figured since both were 1940s it wouldn’t be too much of an anachronism.

This pattern has a lot of little interesting details that make it fun to sew. The sleeves have a stretched piece of elastic that create a soft gather.


It has a side zip but a little key hole opening in the back with a button and rouleau loop closure.

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The front has a gathered yolk with a floppy little bow. In this picture you can see one of the other changes I made. I did an inverted pleat at the waist instead of the gathers and lined them up with the seams on the skirt.

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True to 40s style this dress is unlined. Just a small facing around the back and the rest of the insides are just finished with a serger.

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I think that it needs some shoulder pads to really sell the silhouette. Tony says it looks like i’m going to church.

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