OK, I love the 1960′s/Mad Men era as much as the next girl, but some times you just need to spice it up a little. So when I grab Simplicity’s New Look pattern 6799, I knew exactly which fabric I was going to use. My Aunt Carole gave me this amazing thick woven linen fabric with a black and white triangle/tribal-ish print. It is gorgeous and eye catching. I thought it would be the perfect balance for the super classic silhouette. I really didn’t make any changes to this pattern. The only thing I did was use a couple different sizes so that it would better fit my shape.
Our Pattern Review Category
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not that big into labels. I don’t really care who made it as long as it looks good….Well that’s true with one exception. I love Calvin Klein. I can only afford to buy the dresses that come through Marshall’s or TJMaxx, but to be perfectly honest, I own a bunch. They fit perfect, they have super clean lines and they always look classy. What’s not to love? So when Vlad’s mom brought me back some amazing linen fabric from Africa (yes, I’m spoiled), I knew I wanted to do a dress inspired by their summer collection. They have this great shirt dress that I just love:
To go about making this, I opted to combine two patterns that I have: The skirt from Simplicity 6799 and the top from McCalls M5801 (currently out of print). Before I go on, let me make one comment about M5801. The packaging doesn’t do it justice. It makes the pattern look way cheesier than it is with that terrible fabric choice. I actually really liked the pattern because it took into account cup sizes, which I thought was great.
I added an invisible zipper all the way down the front instead of snaps or buttons. I hate the way normal shirt dresses gape in between buttons so I wanted to avoid it. This may be one of the best fitted dresses I’ve made (that’s not stretch). I really love it. They only thing I wish I would have done differently is pay attention where the seams are. The seams on the front don’t exactly match since it was from 2 different patters. If I were to make this again, I’d probably adjust the skirt to match up. Also, this is the first time I’ve worked with linen and I found that I need way more pins than normal because it slides more. The front (where the zipper is) ended up shifting quite a bit, so that doesn’t look great. Otherwise I love this dress, it works great with browns or with black. Definitely a great add to the wardrobe.
Hooray!! The fabulous orange African fabric is back!!! I really do love this print. This time I paired it with a tan fabric (actually a cotton sheet set). I altered patter 6677 because I wanted more of a traditional tunic neckline. So instead of following their directions, I simply added a 2″ band around the neck. I also opted to make this a short sleeve top. You know those lines on the patterns that you use to lengthen you patterns? Yea, I cut it there. It ended up making a really good length for the sleeve. I added a band of orange to this part too.
One other alteration I did was I didn’t add the band on the bottom. Instead I extended the tan portion 2″ to make up for the difference in length. I must say, I’m in love with this top. It’s loose and comfy, but in no way frumpy. It’s perfect.
There is one thing I would change for next time. Because the pattern was meant to have a crisscross section in the front instead of a cut out, the final product ended up a little low cut. I’d probably add about .5″ to 1″ to make it a little less flashy.
I give in. Patterns are way faster than draping. I always felt like I would be considered less talented if I used patterns since the piece wouldn’t be 100% my creation; like using patterns is considered cheating or something. But I’ve come to grips with the fact that not everything has to be from scratch, and that’s OK. So I’ve given in to making somethings with patterns. I’ll still be draping from time-to-time, but using the aid of patterns is here to stay.
So on with it. I got this pattern for $1 on sale at Joann’s. It’s super cute, but I did have to make some adjustments. I added about 2″ to the bust, I made the straps twice as thick, and I used an invisible zipper vice a normal one. I have to say if I were to make this one again, I probably wouldn’t put the tie on it. It’s really bulky and kinda unnecessary. But all and all, it turned out way cute. I used fabric Vlad’s mom had brought me make from Ghana. It’s just such a happy print, it always makes me smile. I also used a Living Social Deal to get $50 worth of stuff from G Street Fabrics for $25. In this I bought the invisible zipper, so it really ended up costing me about $1.50. So as a grand total, including the pattern, I spent $2.50 on this dress. Now that is a good deal.
And on a side note: I will never make that jacket thing…not cute…
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