Simplicity 2176 in Polka dots

I cannot tolerate heat and humidity.  When we went to Florida in August of 2012, I couldn’t be outside without my Simplicity 2176 dress.


I no longer have it.  This is the only picture I have of it, in a grocery store parking lot, after going to the beach.  That one, I modified to have an elasticized back.  I shirred the back.  I hadn’t done a lot of fitting and didn’t want to bother with a muslin.  I needed something to fit fast.  Plus, I was still breastfeeding, so, I really didn’t want to bother.

Anyway, I really loved the look of it, so I decided to revisit it.  This time with a proper fitting.  Now I usually use the lining of the bodice to check my fit, adjust my pattern, then cut out my real fabric.

I, again, had to modify the pattern.  I use the skirt part of this pattern for pretty much every dress, so I wanted to use a different skirt pattern this time.  I used Mccall’s 5804, an old pattern that was way too big, but the skirt wasn’t.  It fit the Simplicity pattern pretty well.  It also saved me from having to draft it from scratch.  I was about to.

I purchased a clearance fabric from Hancocks.  It turned out to be a heavy quilting cotton that fades pretty quickly, oh well.  Anyway, I did add my deep roomy pockets, because a dress is unwearable without pockets, or is it just me?

The dress went together like a dream, even though I did a full bust adjustment, narrowed the above chest area a bit and lengthened the bodice.  It’s such a dream to sew when things line up.  Anyway, It’s cute and airy.  It certainly helps keep me cool.

I will make a few more of these dresses.  They are great for summer.  I’ll likely mix up the skirts a bit more and maybe try one with the other bodice options.

Simplicity 2176 front
Simplicity 2176 back

Looking at the back, it seems I left the right side a little lower, oops.  Oh well.


Simplicity 2176 – Stripes gone wild

I saw this inspirational pintrest picture from an etsy store.  (

I had to make it.   I actually purchased it intending to copy Closet Case Files After Dinner Mint dress.  Have you seen it?  It’s so pretty, but I chickened out.  Instead I saved it for just the right dress.  Well, this was it.

I started out with the bodice of Simplicity 2176.  I used the width and length of the bodice bands, but not the actual pattern, since the originals were curved and I wanted straight lines at the center front.  I added stay tape also, and gathered slightly at the center front, to hopefully not have gaping.

I had a limited amount of fabric.   I think I purchased 3 yards, maybe 4, probably 4.  I did some measuring, but it was late at night and I did things wrong, oh so wrong.  Long story short, I ended up short on fabric, so I had to use tiny pieces of fabric and join them together.

Picture these joins on too many parts of the dress.  Thankfully, the skirt is so big, and there are so many distracting lines going everywhere, that you don’t notice too much… unless you sew and stare and the slightly crooked lines are like little knives that slowly cut at you.

So.. many.. things.. went wrong though.  The fabric was not printed on grain.  I started tearing and the stripes were off.  I decided to go in the direction of the stripes.  Maybe that’s why this dress is so shifty.  I forgot to add pockets.  Must have pockets, unpicked serged seams and reserged.  Serged and cut the skirt…. eek.  Went back and attempted to fix it.  At this point I was all blah, whatever, you lines here, will not match.  I refuse to let you beat me skirt.  I would have had to unpick the skirt and re gather it.  Anyway, the lines don’t match.  I guess the skirt wins. Ugh.

The bodice somehow ended up a little large.  I would love to make this again, but lower the waist a little more and add some boning, and a waist stay.  It tends to shift around a bit, especially since I left a bit too much ease.  Oh well.  I’m still pretty proud.

If you notice, the hem on the picture below, you can see I used a muslin hem facing.  I wanted to keep the length and in my late night wackiness, I forgot to add a hem allowance.  It worked out though.  It’s not a big deal.


Simplicity 2176 Front, improvised skirt, of course.
Simplicity 2176 back.
That’s a whole lotta skirt.  Don’t try to find all the tiny pieces.


With a full petticoat underneath.


Literally, my scraps!!!!

So, I didn’t have enough for the bow.  Sure, I could have used a part of the skirt for the bow, since there is so much of it.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have a gigantic dramatic skirt.






Starry Dress

I have always wanted a dress with little stars on it.  I had seen a few dresses with stars and wished I had one.  Now I do.  I used my severely altered Elizabeth dress pattern from Burdastyle.  I also took the sleeve pattern from a Mccall’s pattern (5971).  I really love the sleeves.  I’ve been trying to perfect the fit of the pattern.  Every time I make it I notice something else that is off.  This is my latest make of same pattern different fabric.  It is my favorite dress.  The fit is pretty good and it is very comfortable.  A dress would be useless if it didn’t have pockets.  These pockets are huge, which is exactly what I wanted.

I lined the bodice and the sleeves.  I didn’t have any dark fabric, or fabric leftovers of the starry fabric, so I used white muslin, eep.  It’s ok, I think.  I does show a little on the underside of the sleeves, and, of course, my “hidden” pockets, aren’t very hidden. Oh well, whatevs.  I seriously miss Hancock’s.  That is where I would buy all of my lining from.  Boo hoo.

I always wear it with my petticoat.  I made the petticoat from cotton muslin.  Since it is cotton, it is nice and comfortable, and clings to the dress fabric.  This means, on windy days my skirt doesn’t fly up as much.  You can see it peeking in the front in the picture.  My husband took the picture at Balboa park in San Diego.  It’s so pretty there.

I want a few more starry dresses.  I see a constellation and hopefully a glow in the dark on my fabric wish list.

I do wish I had selected a different pattern.  After I made it, I had visions of something more interesting.  I’ll just have to hunt for more fabric like this.

This dress has the best fit so far.  Now I might concentrate on another Cambie wannabe, some princess seams, sun dresses or maybe I’ll keep making this pattern over and over.

I have already worn this dress for a while.  I live in these last four dresses I’ve sewn.


Pokemon Dress

I loved pokemon when it came out.  Or at least when we got it.  I must admit I was no longer a “kid” or even a “teen”.  I still loved it and played it a lot.  Anyway, I would see the pokemon fabric at Joann’s and always looked at it wanting to buy it and make a dress, but a little afraid of teasing.  Why oh why am I still afraid of that?  Well, I said who cares? Because I like pokemon and I like the fabric.  I decided to get it.  Unfortunately, they no longer had the red one I liked better, not even online.  I loved using charmander when I originally played and remembered being a little upset that he ended up evolving.  I was very happy that this fabric had a nice shade of blue to it and it had my little charmander.

I’m still trying to get the pattern right.  I have a little wrinkly mess going on at the shoulders that I think I have fixed.  We will see.  First I want to get this pattern down right, then I can start sewing through my stash, or maybe making patterns again.  I am getting a little tired of the high necklines.  I still used my modified Burda Elizabeth dress for this. I’m still not sure why I keep trying to use that one when the Colette patterns fit me so much better out of the envelope.  I’ll probably go back to them next year.

I was quite upset.  When I finished the dress and was pressing the skirt, I found a fairly large defect.  It took a while to make the dress.  I stabilize the neckline, line it, interface the waistband and add pockets.  Each of these steps takes a little bit more time and I was so angry that I did not check the fabric.  It’s Joann’s not SAS.  I pay a premium so that I don’t have to do that, right? Anyway, after checking the skirt, I saw additional little bits of defects on the bodice.  I only purchased two yards and both were defective.  Bummer.  I still love the dress though.  I obviously can’t return it anymore, ha ha. I do plan on adding some hand stitching to hopefully, fix it or at least have it last a little longer.

I never do any pattern matching, since I try to budget my fabric.  In my head, the print is so busy, you don’t notice, unless you’re staring at my back.


Another Flowery Spring Dress

This is the dress that encouraged me to continue my quest for the perfect fit on a dress.  It is very comfortable.  This is the Elizabeth dress with the sleeves from Mccall’s 5971.  I think I made this in 2016. The fit is a little loose around the bust and above it. I fixed that in the next two dresses.

I didn’t sew as much in 2016.  I had goals, but, I did not achieve them.

The fabric on this one I find very pretty.  I purchased it from Hancock fabrics.  I still get a little teary eyed as I pass by the empty space in my neighborhood.   I loved that place.  It was always a happy place and people were always so friendly.  I could get really inexpensive basics there.  I miss it so much.


Flowery Spring Dress

I made this dress around Thanksgiving of 2016.  I love the fabric.  It is 100% cotton and very wrinkle resistant.  I had some issues around the shoulders.  I’m not sure what I did with the waistband.  It’s a bit weird and it sticks out.

I drafted tulip sleeves, but I failed.  They are all sorts of wrong.  Maybe next time.

I tried a lower back and a high front.  I think I should have made the back a little lower.

I’ll have to fix the shoulders.




GIR Hoodies

This year I asked Isaac what he wanted to be for Halloween.  I told him he could be anything.  I made suggestions, including Minecraft, Thor, Batman, and other stuff he is interested in.  At first he said Minecraft, but he was three at the time and I figured he would change his mind.  Well, he did.  One day he just said “I want to wear a Gir jacket for Halloween and you too.” Ok, my son wants to dress alike.  Done.  I still thought he might change his mind, so I waited until the last possible moment.  Yes.

A bit of history…. I had first seen a Gir jacket back in 2005 I think, online.  I thought it was so cute.  It was home sewn and I envied the girl that sewed it.  Oh how I wish I could sew.  I started looking at sewing blogs.  The next year I bought my first sewing machine.  Woo hoo! I don’t know why I waited 10! eek, years to sew it.  Well, maybe it’s because I might look silly in it.  I’m not a teenager anymore, but you know what, it makes me happy.  It won’t be an every day item I wear, but, it will be worn.  Maybe not this one, as much. I consider this is my wearable muslin.

I used Ottobre 2011-05 for mine.  I think I used an Ottobre magazine for his too, but I don’t remember which one.  I had labeled it “minion jacket”.  He was really into minions last year.  I made his jacket a bit big, on purpose.  He wore the last GIR hoodie I made him so much, it now fits him like a cropped jacket, a bolero.  This will replace the old one.

I used a 44 for the front and a 38 for the back.  I should have done a straight 44.  I compared the arm holes to the tonic tee and they were practically identical.  I didn’t really need to make any adjustments.  I did make the hood a little bit bigger so I could wear my hair clip with it.  I think on the next make I will add a cord to the hood. The zipper got a little ripply, oh well, next time.

I also made my pants, no big deal, just some stretchy twill.  I need to make the waistband smaller.  I made his pants too.  They aren’t in the picture.  Four items, four days.  Yikes.  They didn’t take long to make, thank goodness.