New knit dress – M5752

Yesterday was a good day sewing, hosted by Sharon (thanks Sharon).

Our weather is still warm but not humid anymore, and it’s autumn. This knit dress is a Palmer/Pletsch classic fit that has some really good reviews on Pattern Review, so I used this blue printed knit bought at Lincraft (50% off) in February ($6).

I didn’t try to match the print because this is a toile dress. As you can see below, I used a dark blue fabric as the midriff stay. The midriff gathers requires two layers over the midriff stay, so i only used one layers of gathers.

Now that I’m getting more practice at adjusting patterns, I will keep ploughing through the new patterns I bought last year. The great feaure in this pattern is there is a whole section dedicated to adjusting this pattern. Bonus for anyone who is making this up without any help or reference material.
Lots of the previous reviews mentioned the fact that as some points, you are sewing through more than six layers of fabric. The reason for this is that the front piece doubles onto itself, so the picture above shows where I’m cutting the pattern back, so there’s less bulk in the front bodice.
The midriff gathers also requires two layers over the midriff stay, so I only used one layers of gathers.

So this dress has:
– sway back adjustment

– dropped the back skirt hem to cover my rear
– full bust adjustment – c cup
– roll shoulder (2 cm)

– waist adjustment to fit the size 12 for my waist.

I’ve also made the short sleeve version in a zebra knit now.

Black wrap top – butterick 5328

Here’s one of my tops for my dark swap.

The fabric is from Pitt Trading and for a cotton it’s quiet fragile.

The embroidery border is only placed on the front panel and I’ve matched it on both left and right panels. I’ve used black buttons instead of ties to keep the shirt on, rather than have it slip off.

I’ve also added detail on the sleeve hem to keep focus towards my face instead of at my hips. The sleeve gathers were also added to create the illusion of a waistline – ha.

I took out the excess fullness in the back by adding in another dart, rather than take the vent any further. The top does have a swap back adjustment, rolled shoulder adjectment, full bust adjustment and additional fiddling with the front gathers to have them where the fullness is needed.

Butterick 5328 – 3/4 sleeves


This has been such a comfortable shirt to wear, I decided to make it for between seasons by using a longer sleeve length. After wearing this shirt to work, I discovered a couple of design faults:

  • the side tie kept loosen on me throughout the day
  • neckline fitted well but felt like it would fall open if I bent over too far.

I decided to add a buttonhole where the front side ties up and placed a hook at the bust point.

We’re in autum and last week I’ve had a head cold so my aim is to make some nice tops that will keep me warm yet chic, instead of dowdy.

This is one of two quilting fabrics that I bought in Bowral three years ago and I was taken by the blue cherry print, so I bought it for a potential top. My work wardrobe has navy clothing so this fabric fits into the navy theme but also lends itself to green. I know this top will work with jeans too.

The two piece collar sits really well and I interfaced both sides because I love collars that sit well. I’ve kept my original adjustments – shortened hemline, sway back adjustment, back darts removed and roll shoulder adjustment. This shirt has a button where it ties at the front and a hook at the bust point. There is still some room to wear a contrasting top underneath the shirt so it’s a step towards having a colourful, co-ordinated autum wardrobe.

When I started making this shirt, the challenge was to sew this while I had a head cold. This shirt has taken me two weeks to complete – the head cold won, and now it’s gone.

Butterick 5328 complete

Here’s what I discovered when I made the gathers on the bust, as suggested by the pattern. When I tried it on, I felt stupid to have such a lot of gathers on my bust. Then I decided to use a trim to deflect the gathers at the bust.
After sleeping on the idea over the weekend, I extended the bust gathers and voila, it felt more comfortable and it overcame the neckline gaps that appear, when you least expect it.

After adjusting the hem, prior to cutting out the fabric, there was no additional hemming required. This is also one of those patterns that allows you to keep creating, without stopping ie for zippers, buttons etc.
I have a couple of quilting fabrics that I’m thinking of using for the next version of this shirt/top.

Butterick 5328 – pattern testing

Here’s what I’m working on (the top, not the attitude) but with a normal collar.

Here’s the extent of my adjustments for this pattern. The front hem has been raised to cater for my height (he he).

The back has been adjusted for my height, sway back and hip room to move. The fabric has no give (woven) so I’ve plan built in the comfort.
More to come…

Kwik Sew 3617 – so simple

Gathers are not my favourite technique. I prefer pleats because they ‘do as they’re told’. Gathers have a way of moving while I sew them. I don’t own a gathering foot on my Janome.

The fabric is a poly jersey, one-way stretch with good memory. I bought this from The Fabric Store, Surry Hills for $10 (2m). This is a new pattern that I hesitated tackling due to the neckline, but the neckline drew my attention to this pattern. Wendy Gager also used this at her fabric showing late last year.

The neckline has gathers on the side attached to the front bodice. The gathers on the neck edge is created with 6mm elastic encased in the gathered ‘collar’. Depending on how comfortable you feel, you can add more elastic, or less to emphasis the v-neck shape.

Once I forced myself to complete the neckline in 60 minutes, the rest was a breeze. Yesterday was Formula 1 Sunday, so I either sewed or watched noisy cars for a couple of hours.

So then I wondered, how does this look using a pattern fabric?


I raised the neckline by 3cm, used a bit less elastic in the collar casing and enjoyed wearing it today.
I think using a contrasting collar pattern or using piping along the neck edge would emphasis the collar better.
This fabric was from Pitt Trading http://www.pitt-trading.com.au/, one of my favourite fabric havens.