Friday, December 25, 2015

Sewing for the Holidays

Last month, I had the best intentions. I had several fabrics from my stash lined up for sewing. They were already paired with their patterns and they consisted of some sweater tops, blouses, dresses and even a coat. I only got as far as the dress which I blogged about last month. I'm midway through my coat but once December arrived, I had to put everything aside to sew some dresses for the holidays.

Burdastyle Pleated Designer Dress No. 166

This downloadable pattern is a simple sheath dress consisting of a bodice and skirt with pleats. Although the construction was simple enough, the lack of details and illustrations in the instructions doesn't make it the ideal beginner pattern. It requires some knowledge of sewing pleats and darts, neck facing and invisible zipper. 

The pattern works best with fabrics with some body like jacquard, brocade or linen. For the yellow dress, I used a J. Crew cotton blend brocade purchased three years ago from Emma One Sock. It has been in my storage box for so long that I wasn't able to iron out some of the fold lines. There was also some puckering that wouldn't come out as seen in the bodice below.

Focus on the bodice center and you'll see the puckering I was talking about.

Here are some views on the dress form.

I love the raglan style sleeves. Here is a view from the back.

Although nicely finished on the wrong side, I wish there was a provision for adding lining to the entire dress. Drafting one for the skirt portion would have been simple enough but I wasn't sure about the bodice with the raglan sleeves. 

This red version was sewn using a polyester blend jacquard fabric purchased from Jo-ann's during the Black Friday sale. Originally priced at $16.99/yard, I was able to score at $6.99 per yard. It is gorgeous in real life and it's one of those yearly finds I seem to stumble upon at Jo-ann's during the holiday season. 

I'm not sure which is my favorite. I like both versions. One thing for sure. This won't be the last time I will be sewing with this pattern. It will definitely  be stored in my TNT stash.
Although this pattern was released in 2014, it is still available as a download at
For a complete pattern review, please visit Pattern

New Look Workroom 6071 Project Runway

I love sewing for my daughter. However she has been away for college and I haven't had the chance to sew much for her. But during the last Black Friday sales, this sparkly sequined knit caught my eye. I immediately thought of my daughter and what a perfect holiday dress that would make. Without a pattern in mind, I purchased two yards which I hoped was enough. 

After searching through my pattern stash, I decided on the Jalie Bella dress. However, after trying on countless ways to lay out the pattern, I just couldn't make two yards of fabric work for a pattern that required three! So I settled for this New Look pattern and I'm glad I did. It was so easy to make and the results were very flattering. See for yourself.

Since the fabric had sequins I had to use a smooth velour fabric from my stash for the armhole and neck facing. The crossover feature on the bodice is so flattering especially to small-busted women. 
The center of the crossover had several layers of fabric to it but I had no trouble sewing it through my Juki F600. 

I highly recommend this pattern. Although no longer available at, I was able to get my copy through Amazon. One thing though about sizing. I find New Look to have too much ease built into its patterns. For this project, I went two sizes down. Although that was an accident as I cut the wrong size, it turned out it was the perfect size.

For a complete review please visit Pattern