Today I have my last summer make to share with you and it is in the running for my favorite make of 2021. The day of our 15th wedding anniversary Chris kissed me good bye and told me to be ready at 6pm because a baby sitter was coming and we had dinner reservations. I mean, is there any better gift?!
So I did what any normal girl would do and I made myself a damn dress.
I had M8174 sitting on my ‘to make one day’ shelf along with fabric and went to work. I made this dress in one day, start to finish from prepping my fabric to hemming the final piece! This is a simple make, especially when you make the strappy version, and I liked some of the details they included with the instructions.
I made the size 14 and ended up needing to take in the bodice quite a bit and should probably take it in more. Next time I would size down to a 10 in the bodice and keep the 14 for the skirt, this should be fairly easy to do as they are all separate pieces! It would mean a little grading at the top of the skirt or bottom of the bodice just to get everything attached smoothly.
I love that the bodice is fully lined and I liked the instructions for adding elastic to the waistband. This really helps the dress keep its shape and prevents the skirt from weighing down the top.
I also liked the assembly of the skirt. Basically it’s two front pieces that overlap and I love the ruching on the side. It could be a bit tricky assembling the skirt, keeping track of left and right can be confusing, but the instructions are crystal clear. Just take you time reading them!
I am in love with how this dress turned out. I feel beautiful in it and it’s so comfortable. I paired it with gold heels for my date night but like it with more casual sandals too. I think the longer versions would be amazing for a beach trip and the knit makes it easy to pack!
Today I’m here to share my seventh piece that I’ve made for my spring capsule. Here are all my spring capsule posts if you want to catch up! I have one more top to share with you tomorrow and then we are moving on to summer.
The Capsule Piece: The capsule guide called for a blouse in one of the core colors. I knew I wanted to bring in more of this lilac color I’m loving and also that I wanted something that would easily work into summer. I wanted something easy to wear and casual enough to throw on every day, but still cute enough to dress up a bit should I get to go out on the town.
Details: I made the size small with no adjustments. This is a pretty straightforward pattern and came together very quickly. There is a little issue with the top button- which I think I can fix but wanted to leave in to show you because I noticed it later in the model photos. Just something to be aware of if you make this top.
How I plan to wear it: In these photos I’m wearing it with my high waisted, cropped jeans. I think it will look great with my white jeans and even shorts as the weather gets warmer. This is a top that I feel really comfortable and like myself in so I foresee pulling it out to wear over and over again throughout the summer. I even think this pattern would translate well into a dress just by lengthening it.
I’m here today with my monthly pattern review! Every month I send an indie sewing pattern company a list of questions my readers helped me come up with and if they agree to answer, I buy a pattern and sew it up to share the whole process with you! Check out past reviews here!
This month I’m looking at Just Patterns. This French company makes chic but wearable clothes and I first learned about them when their newest pattern, the Claudia tank, was released fairly recently. Delphine is the owner of the company and she was delightful to interact with! Here are her answers to our questions!
What is your design background? When and why did you start making your own patterns?
I started sewing when I was in my teens. I was obsessed with the idea of recreating the garments that I couldn’t afford. However, unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t have the skills or access to the resources that would have allowed me to make my dream wardrobe come true. I realized that the resources that would enable me to create the garments I was dreaming of, were not commonly available to home sewers. For the next 20 years, in parallel to studying and working at my day job, I read books, took pattern making and draping classes at fashion schools in New York and Paris, participated in the online sewing community and sewed a lot.
In 2013, I started a sewing blog (sewing tidbits) and I launched Just Patterns in 2017 during my maternity leave. It was initially launched with a friend working in the fashion industry but we split and I now continue on my own. The reason I sew and release patterns (to create my dream wardrobe) never changed, although the actual clothes have changed a lot since I was 14!
Who do you design for? Who is your Target Audience?
My sewing patterns are meant for dressmakers who are passionate about fashion, luxury ready-to-wear, and love detail-oriented sewing projects.
What level of sewer do you design for?
I design patterns for sewists who already know the basics of sewing. While it was not the case initially (and I’m still in the process of updating 2 older patterns), I now provide detailed and illustrated step-by-step instructions.
I do believe in empowering makers to up their skills and that each project is an opportunity to improve one’s skills. All patterns have a Resource Page, where I curate a list of tutorials and resources from the online sewing community. I also add specific tutorials and blog posts for inspiration and complex steps.
What is your price point and why? My price point has evolved a lot since I launched in 2017. My initial idea was releasing patterns with minimal instructions at a cheaper price than most indie patterns (between 3$ and 7$ US). But, I quickly realized that not that many people had time or interest to sew with minimal instructions and that they didn’t mind higher prices if it meant detailed instructions. My new patterns (and the older ones I updated) are translated in French and in English, they have step-by-step instructions, an improved size range, pattern testers and editors are compensated. They are currently priced between 10$ and 14$ depending on the complexity.
I write an annual report of my sales and the expenditures since year 1, so the evolution in my thinking and strategy are well documented. You can read the 2020 report here.
What is your size range? Why did you pick this range? What is the size, cupsize, and height that you design your block on?
My current size range is French 34 to 56 (bust 31 1/2 to 52 3/4 – 80cm to 134cm). The range is broken up into 2: size range 34-46 drafted for B/C cup and size range 46-56 for a DD cup. Both are drafted for a height of 5’5/1m65.
I’m French and I initially did not pay enough attention to the size range so I established 34-46 as it was the “standard”. That was a mistake and I started improving the size range in 2019. All my new patterns (3 in 2020) are published in the new size range. An older one was already updated (the Stephanie Skirt), one is completing its second round of testing (the Linda Wrap Dress) and my objective is to update the last one also in 2021.
Ideally I would like to go up to a size 60 (bust 57 1/2/ 146cm). But my development/fit size is a 50 and I do not have access to a fit model in the higher sizes, so I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to guarantee the quality of the drafting. I do grade up at the request of customers.
Do you support Black Lives Matter? What are some ways that you are anti racist and inclusive in your company on a day to day basis?
I do support Black Lives Matter. I published a diversity commitment in June 2020 and I updated it recently to include elements on racism towards Asian people and cultural appropriation. It’s visible on my website and social media. This commitment includes ongoing and future actions in issues like representation, marketing, cultural appropriation and transparency. I report on it annually as part of my income report.
Is there anything else you would like people just discovering your company to know?
I love sewing and can talk about it for hours. I actually just launched a sewing column where people can submit their questions and I have a lot of fun answering them!
But I’m also managing Just Patterns alone, doing everything from drafting, grading, photography, to updating the website and doing the accounting. In addition, I still freelance in my day job field and I raise a 4 year old. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and might not be able to respond to customers on time. Sorry!
I appreciate Delphine’s thoughts and all the time she took in letting us get to know her. I purchased two patterns from her and sewed them up as part of my Spring Capsule!
First, I wanted to try the Claudia Tank. Now I knew going in that this pattern might not be for me, I wasn’t sure about this shoulder pad trend! I made the straight size 38 out of this cotton jersey knit and the fit is great. I appreciate the finishings and details that are in such a simple pattern but I quickly learned, shoulder pads are not my thing. I already have broad shoulders and this silhouette draws a lot of attention to them! I removed them and am wearing it as a tank, but I don’t know that I would make this pattern again. I am glad I tried something a little trendier though and appreciate that it was an affordable pattern that made the risk really low and worth taking!
The second pattern I made was the Tyra Tank and I was confident that no matter what, I liked this style of oversized t-shirt. I used the same cotton jersey but in a different color and again made a straight size 38. Both of these patterns suggest ribbing for the neck band but I just used self fabric and they turned out great. I did change up the neck of the Tyra because after sewing it I wished it was a little lower. Not a big deal and I would absolutely make this again. I’ve even seen people on Instagram talking about turning it into a dress and I think that would be an easy and fantastic hack!
I really enjoyed working with these patterns. There are detailed instructions for every step, the prices are incredibly reasonable considering all the extra resources provided, and I love clothes that are simple and beautiful with wonderful extra details added in!
The Capsule Piece: I’m talking about a skirt I made today to fill the spot of a daytime to dressy skirt. I love wearing skirts when the weather gets warmer and I’ve been wanting a flowing button front skirt for awhile. I wanted to keep it a little more neutral so I could wear it with a lot of the tops I’ve pulled or am planning on making.
The pattern and fabric: This pattern is McCalls 7981 and it’s a pretty classic skirt with the waist band, gathers, and front button placket. There are two panels on the side that are kind of interesting and make for a little something different. There are pockets and I chose version B with the gathers and midi length. There are different length options as well as a tie version and a more a-line version.
This fabric is a gorgeous lightweight washed linen in the color ‘powder blue’ that I picked up from Blackbird Fabrics. I love that there is a bit of a gray undertone to the color. It is rumply and soft and I think a great weight for this skirt. It can hold the waistband shape but still is soft and drapey for those gathers.
I also ordered these Pigeon Wishes Stripe Mosaic Buttons from Stylemaker fabric and I love the detail they add to a pretty basic skirt. Sometimes I get so caught up in ordering fabric that I miss the opportunity to really think about these kinds of details, so I was proud of myself for taking the time to order these.
Details on the Make: I made the straight size medium with no alterations. I contemplated shortening the skirt but in the end decided that midi length is really what I was going for. I interfaced my waistband and button placket with self fabric and finished all my seams with a zig zag stitch.
This was a pretty simple make, straightforward from the fitting to the sewing, and I think this is a nice staple pattern to keep in my stash for awhile. If I have one nit pick it’s that I wish the waistband were a little wider.
How I plan to wear it: I’ve pulled some other pieces from my capsule to show you how I plan on wearing this skirt.
Look one is with a white t-shirt, booties, and my Evans blazer.
Look two is with a new tank you’ll see soon and my new purple flats.
And look three is with a graphic t-shirt and my olive anorak jacket (it’s still snowing here so I can’t pretend I’m not layering!) and my white sneakers.
I’m really happy to add another skirt to my closet and am loving this make!
Today I’m starting with this pin I saved earlier this year.
I’m sorry I don’t have the original source, the link just sends me to Amazon and I couldn’t find the site it started on. I saved this pin because I loved these pants! The high waist, the color, and I liked the seventies vibe with that striped sweater.
Here is what I came up with! I made the Persephone Pants in this stretch corduroy and think they are pretty good at capturing what I liked about the pinned image. I sewed the size 8 and lengthened them so they are full length (the original pattern is cropped!)
For the shirt, I found this beautiful striped rib knit at Blackbird Fabrics and loved that all the colors from my winter module were in it. I sewed up the Seamwork Orlando shirt in the size 6 and just lengthened the sleeves so they would be full length.
Seamwork patterns just don’t fit me, I would need to pinch out some of the front here to make this shirt fit perfectly, but for a simple t-shirt I think it’s ok. I like how wide the scoop is and this will be a great basic t-shirt to layer up and wear throughout the fall and spring.
I am always looking for fun pants that aren’t jeans or leggings but that fit into my stay at home lifestyle. I think these pants are cute, playful, comfortable, and will get worn quite a bit.
I love sewing in modules, I got the idea from Whitney over at TomKat Stitchery this summer and have been running with it ever since. The idea is you make 1 topper, 2 bottoms, and 3 tops and they can all play nicely together and mix in with what is already in your closet. A mini capsule wardrobe if you will.
I am seeing a lot about spring fashion, but guys, I am not falling for it. Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow and I will not get excited about spring yet to only have my heart broken for at least 2 more months! So to embrace my new home, I decided to have fun and plan myself a winter module. To give myself a bit of a challenge, I am only going to be using patterns from Fibre Mood. I recently subscribed to this magazine and decided to jump in and try a bunch of their patterns at once. My hope is that when I show my full reveal, I can also give you a comprehensive review of what their patterns are like. I’m linking to all the patterns as you can purchase them individually as PDFs off of their website!
I hope to have a post up ever Wednesday sharing pieces from this module and showing how they work with things I already own. To begin, let’s plan it out!
I’m adding in a dress with my plans because I love a cozy sweater dress. This is the Daniella dress and I like how simple it is (re: very wearable) but the details of the sleeves feel fresh. I can wear it now with thick tights or leggings but then also wear it plenty in the spring too! I have this Cotton Modal Jersey in the color Desert Rose planned for this one. A soft, drapey knit that has enough weight to be worn as a dress, I think this will be like wearing pajamas and I love the color.
This print is where I started in shopping for fabric in this collection. I knew I wanted to bring in some more blues and greens into my wardrobe and I love this color, especially mixed with the coppers and blush pinks. This is the Atelier Brunette Rayon Moonstone in the green color way. I think I’m going to make it into a Glory Top. This blouse has some feminine details that I think will be nice but also let the print on the fabric shine. I love those gathers at the yoke and the sleeve detail and the little button placket on the shoulder is a nice touch.
This washed crinkle cotton in copper is soft with some drape but enough crispness to look really nice made up as the Bonnie top. I think the simplicity of the neckline and shape of this top is really nice and I love those box pleat sleeves. The inspiration photos showed it layered over a turtleneck, which looks cool, and also tucked and untucked for completely different vibes. Basically a woven t-shirt with a few more options!
Ok, it looks like the color Dusty Jade is no longer available at Blackbird Fabrics but I’m going to link to their Bamboo French terry because it is so lovely. I’m going to turn mine into the Alice Pullover. Basically a sweatshirt, but with a v neck line that can be worn in the back and that makes it look a little more chic. I’m really loving this color right now (you might see it show up again soon in a different garment!) and like that it will be a great weight for cooler spring and summer days as well.
I keep changing my mind on which of these fabrics will go with which pattern, but here is where I’m settled right now! This Slub Texture Linen in the color Spruce is going to be a pair of Benita Trousers. These are an elasticated waist trouser but I love the fit of the leg and the option for that tie belt. These will be so comfortable to wear around the house but can look a bit more dressed up should I need to go somewhere. I’ve been wearing quite a few linen pants this winter and like the weight of them. If it’s really cold out it’s easy to layer thermals underneath!
This stretch cotton corduroy in the color teak is going to be made up into the Bea Culotte. I think the construction on these pants looks interesting (there’s no zip) and the pleats are cool. I will be lengthening these to full, wide leg trousers and I keep going back and forth between the linen for drape or the corduroys for more structure. I think both fabrics work for both patterns, I just can’t decide what looks I’m going for quite yet!
And finally, to top off this collection as well as to play along with my coat making challenge, I’m going to sew up this teddy faux fur in rose as the Frida Jacket. This looks like a classic bomber style jacket, which I do not own!, and I may be late to the teddy bear jacket trend but I’m finally going to jump on board. I think the texture will be fun and the color will be great going into spring.
Those are my plans! What do you think? Have you made anything from Fibre Mood before? Please let me know if you have any questions about sewing with patterns from a magazine, I’d be happy to answer them for you.
Are you done with winter and jumping head first into spring or are you still making/buying warmer clothes? I hope to see you back next week with my first make!