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Instant Gratification- McCalls 7979

I have a treat for you today- I've found a pattern that I really, really love, and it is EASY!!  I mean, you cannot go wrong with this one, it is just that good- no fitting prowess required, about as easy to sew as you could ask for, and amazingly, it works as a dress, just as well as a top.  And I can prove it because I made it three times, with wildly different fabrics, and I think (IMHO) that they all look pretty darn good!

The pattern is McCalls 7979.  It is a Palmer Pletsch design.

I recently found this purple floral cotton interlock remnant at a thrift shop, and just had about 1 yard of it.  It was so, so nice!  But 1 yard isn't enough for a sleeved top in my size, so I decided to mix it up with another fabric.  I had a black sweater knit that I thought would be a nice contrast for it.   I added the kangaroo pocket- that wasn't part of the pattern, although it's certainly not hard to draft your own.  You could also insert side seam pockets in the longer version easily.

I was originally going to make a top, but when I tried it on, the black sweater knit had enough weight to pull it almost to my knees, so I thought- "Hmmm, it wouldn't take much to make this into a dress!"  I had enough of my purple knit to make a 4" wide hem band, and voila, I present to you a dress!    Here you can see the actual shape of the design- if you count the neck as a side, it would be an octagon with sleeves. 

 Here's a little closer photo so you can see this pretty purple cotton interlock.  I find it really hard to find nice cotton interlock prints anymore.  They've all been replaced with ITY or other poly knits.  So, I grab them when I can, if I see them at a thrift shop.

This wasn't my first rodeo with this pattern.  The first was actually a muslin using an ITY panel print.  I had two panels, and used the darker part of the panel at the bottom.  My panel was about 4" shorter than the pattern, but it was plenty long enough for a top.  I didn't have enough fabric to make the cowl version, so I used the neckband piece instead. 

And my last version was a wintry version using a heather gray velour.  Again, I added the kangaroo pocket to this one, and this is the actual length of the pattern. 

Completely ignore the finished garment measurements that they included on the pattern tissue- they don't make any sense.   For example, it said that the bust on the finished size 16 was 36-1/2".   You can see from the photo below that this is way more than 36-1/2"!   Just go with whatever size you would normally make.  

So far, the purple/black dress version is my favorite.  I will probably be making quite a few more versions in the future!

So, if you just need some instant gratification, I highly recommend picking up this pattern at the next pattern sale. Maybe use up some of those knit remnants that you've been saving.   And have a blast sewing up your own versions!

Happy Sewing!


Burda Wave Dress and Kimono Jacket

I've been a Burda magazine subscriber for over a dozen years now.  If you're not familiar with Burda, it's a sewing pattern magazine published in Germany.  Sometimes their designs seem a little wacky at first (and I'm the queen of wearing wacky things, so I can say that).  But, after a few years they start to grow on you, and before you know it, you wonder why you waited so long to make some of them! 

That's the case with this dress from the May 2012 issue of Burda magazine, design #107.  It was so memorable, that it was always in the back of my mind for when I found the right fabric.

Here is their version:

And here is mine:

 I used two colors of 100% linen from Fabric Mart.   I didn't originally intend to mix them, but when I got my package, I thought that the colors looked really good together!  This was a technically challenging dress because I had to do a full bust adjustment, which with that wacky front was a real headscratcher.  I had to do two muslins to get it right, and then sewing those curves- aaaacckk!  But I do think it turned out pretty cool.  Yes, it is wrinkly.  Linen is just that way.  I don't mind it because it is just so comfortable!  I love wearing linen so much that I can live with the wrinkles.  Ponte would be a great choice for those who hate wrinkles but want to try color blocking.

Summer's Last Hurrah

It's the last day of September, but we're supposed to reach record breaking temps for the next 3 days.  And we're not alone, I heard that up to 50 cities are supposed to break records today.  Then the bottom drops out and our temps will drop 30 degrees.  So, I'm going to enjoy wearing some sleeveless dresses while I can.

This is made from Butterick 6050.  I made it from an interesting cotton/lycra jersey with the print on the diagonal. I wanted a pattern that wouldn't have many seams to match that diagonal print.  While the front is rather basic, turn around, and the back is pretty cool with an open area and a twist!  Yes, the twist is supposed to be there.  When taking the photograph, my husband said- I think there's something wrong back there- it's twisted.  LOL!  That's the point!