Sunday, September 9, 2012

New Look 6648, Simplicity 3503 and a whole bunch of other stuff I've sewn this summer

I will be going back to work soon. That statement, as simple as it is, has some huge implications for myself, and for my family, as you can imagine. My job is a seasonal one - I work roughly the same months as a school year - and I held this position last year as well. But this year, I will be working nearly twice the hours as last time.  I honestly am not sure if there are enough hours in the day for that to be possible given the laws of physics, but I will give it a try.

One result of this pending employment is that I decided to close my store, a painful decision, I assure you. But I needed to free up as many hours as I could and something had to go. I know my sewing and scrapbooking will already be on the chopping block, and the only thing left was the store. So, I had a big Labor Day sale, cleared out a bunch of inventory, and closed up shop. So many people have contacted me since closing to see if they could help me get rid of my remaining inventory, but the truth is, what little I have left I will be keeping for myself! Like I said, my job is seasonal, so come next summer, I will be sewing like a fiend again.

Which brings me to my next point. I've been trying to sew up as many things as I can before I have to say goodbye to my machines for 7 months. With three young kids at home, I didn't sew nearly as much as I wanted to this summer, but I was able to make a few things - mostly for myself! Is that selfish??

As it has been way too long since my last blog post, I've got a lot of ground to cover here. My long-suffering husband took all of these pictures in one day, right in the middle of a Michigan game no less, so he earned major husband points. With so many pictures, I'm going to keep my narrative to a minimum here; I'll write up more thorough descriptions of these pattern on

First up is one of my favorites. I adore this New Look pattern - it is just so quick and easy to put together. It is also such a great look right now, and this fabric is perfect - fluid and drapey. Love it.

Pattern: New Look 6648   
This next pattern was less successful. I desperately wanted to love this dress. I wanted it to become my favorite dress of fall, perhaps my most beloved dress ever. Instead, we have something less than that. I do love the style and the colors, but the fit of this dress is terrible for me. The bust area is just way. too. big. I suppose some sort of SBA could be done, but I've never done one and really don't know what is involved, and probably could not do such a thing on a finished dress anyway. Sigh. All that beautiful teal bamboo jersey....well, I have to do something with it, as I cannot let all that fabric go to waste!

Pattern: Abacadabra/It's a Fits 1005
 I am in love with this next one. Simplicity 3503 really is one of those *must have* patterns that everyone should have in their stash. It is very simple, fits well and is incredibly versatile. I've made just about every view included in the pattern, but don't feel that I have the same dress hanging in my closet over and over. I'm also very happy with my fabric choice: a poly/rayon/spandex that I sold in the store. It gives the dress a feel of ...romantic sophistication, if that makes any sense at all!

Pattern: Simplicity 3503

Here is another top I'm tremendously pleased with. This is the first time I've done a Style Arc pattern, and I love the results. Style Arc has some fantastic patterns - very much on trend and not too fussy. I just wish they had more than one pattern size included, especially as they are very expensive. 
Pattern: Style Arc Island Ali Top

Next up is a Hot Patterns top that I made from some fantastically soft supima cotton knit that I used to carry. Love the colors on this one! The top came together quite easily, and I love the cowl neck. But, as with many Hot Patterns....uh, patterns, it runs pretty big. I made the smallest size, and if I make a sudden move the top will slip off my shoulders! My husband is greatly amused by this, but me, not so much. Oh well, I still like it - I just have to be very careful when I wear it!
Pattern: Hot Patterns 104 Butterfly Top (OOP, I believe)
Let's see....what next? Ah yes, I made myself a Kwik Sew hoodie out of some fabulous teal paisley sweatshirt fleece. I used to carry this in red too, and stupidly did not save myself any before it sold out completely. I only had a tiny bit of the teal, and very wisely kept it for myself rather than list it. This pattern is incredibly simple and really a no-brainer. No bells and whistles, so it is excellent for beginners, or when you want to let the fabric do the talking.
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3155 (Also OOP, I think)
Here we have McCall's 6203. I'm not 100% in love with this one, but close enough. It doesn't have much shape, so I took off a couple of inches at the side seams, which did help. I also tried belting this, but I really do not have much luck with belts. I'm not sure if it is my belts or my body, but whenever I try belting something, I end up looking like a sausage with a rubber band around its middle. Not a terribly attractive look. So, no belt, but I think it's OK. I used a really cool fabric I found in SF ages ago; it's hard to see but the stripes are kind of puckered, giving it an unusual ruched look. Love it.

Pattern: McCall's 6203
This next top is not terribly exciting, but I do like it as it is light and airy, perfect for summer! Plus, I used some of the popular birds on a vine knit that I used to carry - such a fun print! This is Simplicity 3536, which I keep turning to over and over again, as the views are so varied, giving you terrific versatility. Looks like this one is also OOP - goodness, you really do have to stock up on these patterns when you have the chance!
Pattern: Simplicity 3536 - OOP
Still with me? Good! We're getting there, I promise. Just think of my poor husband who had to take all these pictures while he was trying to watch a football game.

This dress is one of the easiest, fastest knit dress patterns of all time, and I love it for that reason. I think it would be impossible to screw up! I used a chevron ITY print for this one, and think the overall effect is fairly dramatic. Can't wait to wear this one in the fall.
Pattern: New Look 6722

OK, final one, I promise! I saved the best for last. I am so, so thrilled with how this dress turned out, particularly as I was using the last of this space dye hemp jersey that was in extremely limited supply. The manufacturer sold out of this in the blink of an eye, and it won't be made again. Talk about pressure as I was sewing this up! 

Lots of people on Pattern Review have experienced difficulty with this pattern, Butterick 5246, which kind of surprised me. I've made it before and love it, although I do admit it has a few quirks. The sleeves are pretty narrow. Don't try to do the overlay - trust me on this one, just don't even try it. Waste of time. Otherwise, I think the style of this dress is really beautiful and elegant.

Lots of pictures because I love it!
Pattern: Butterick 5246 (you guessed it - OOP!)

And that is that. Next time, I'll concentrate on the kid sewing I did this summer, which was not nearly as much as the sewing I did for myself. Hmmm.... I do feel rather guilty about this. Winter is right around the corner and the only kid who has clothes for that kind of weather is my youngest, who can wear his brother's hand me downs. I guess I better get started.....RIGHT NOW!


  1. As always so much wonderful sewing! I have not been sewing at all, so I had no idea you were closing your shop. I am sad I missed the sale, but even more sad your store is gone! I hope you still find a little bit of time to sew.

    1. Thanks Erica! I hope I find some time to sew too!

  2. Hi Carolyn, just found your blog from your review of B5246. I love that dress on you, and the rest of your beautifully made garments. Enjoy wearing them!

  3. Your sewing talent shines through with each pattern you've showcased! The dresses made from New Look 6648 and Simplicity 3503 look absolutely fabulous on you. It's incredible how "pattern makers" provide us with the tools to bring our sewing visions to life!