I went to a local fabric shop to buy 5 yards for a summer dress (likely my last for the season), and wouldn't ya know it - there was ~6 yards left on the bolt. What's a girl to do but take it all, knowing this lightweight and cool-to-the-touch rayon would make a fantastic summer top.
Materials & Supplies
- Bloomination Watercolor Floral Rayon ($14/yd) - Elfriede's Fine Fabrics
Vogue 9328 Summer Dress
This pattern has cup sizes (which is fantastic), and I ended up sewing size 12 with the B cup. I'm happy with the fit!
Overall, I thought the instructions were reasonable to follow for someone of my skill level. I chose to do French seams, since the fabric is lightweight and prone to fraying.
I learned a tough lesson about staystitching. When I tried on the dress after finishing the neckline, I noticed this happened to the arm holes:
I fixed this by folding the side seams into a little wedge and stitching to the waist. When I finished the arm holes with bias binding, it blended in nicely and doesn't add extra bulk.
After I washed the dress, it got super wrinkly. The bottom hem especially looked weirdly twisted up. I was able to press it nicely by stretching it taut with one hand, while I ironed with the other hand.
I made the following changes to the pattern:
- Did not add sleeves. Partially because I plan to wear this with a blazer or cardigan for work, and partially because people gotta see the gun show flex
- Shortened bottom hem by 7"
- Did not add a hook and eye closure (I felt like the zipper was sufficient, and didn't want to make it difficult for me to put on)
- I interfaced the zipper since the fabric was so lightweight.
Next Time/Lessons Learned
- I should've shortened the bodice by 1". I totally spaced on the fact that I'm short-waisted and that I usually have to do that
- Making the bias tape out of the fabric I was using (rather than using pre-made) was tedious, but worth it!
- Cutting the longer pieces of the skirt with a rotary cutter was so much easier than scissors. I highly recommend it!
I relied heavily on the following resources:
- French Seaming in Seam Pockets by Kittenish Behavior (YouTube)
- Setting an Invisible Zip in a French Seam
- Finishing Edges with Bias Binding
Breeze Men's Shirt
Husband's measurements are 42.5"/41.5" (108 cm/106 cm) for chest/waist. I made size 46 initially to be safe, but it was clearly way too baggy, so I ended up going with size 42. The toile looked much better, although still a little loose (which I was fine with for the sake of comfort).
Overall, I appreciated that this pattern is geared towards early beginners, so instructions were detailed.
HOWEVER. I acknowledge that it's 100% on me for not reading the instructions in full... There are several versions of how you can construct the shirt, one of which is having the front facing on the inside vs. the outside. I wanted a slightly contrasting element so I decided to go with putting it on the outside of the shirt.
The instructions are slightly different for putting the facing on the outside, and the step where you attach the facing directs you to a separate webpage that has those steps.
Unfortunately, about 20 steps back, you were also supposed to sew the collar inside out as well, to make the outside facing work. It would've been nice to have a warning/heads up/link to that webpage at that point.
I also was not super thrilled with that separate webpage since it kept referencing the original instruction steps, so jumping back and forth was confusing. I know better than anyone that keeping up several steps of documentation is pure hell, but it would've made my life so much easier (and probably even more so for the novices that this pattern is aimed at).
The facing collar piece ended up too long (both times I sewed it), so I just trimmed it to align with the end of the neckline.
The fabric I used was only 44" wide, and I had already cut out the dress. I thought I'd be able to fit this shirt on what remained, but it was trickier than I thought, especially since the front and back are cut on a fold.
I ended up shortening the shirt by 9cm (at the 'lengthen or shorten here' line). It ended up working out great and I don't think it's too short.
Since I had to redo the collar, the neck ended up being a little weird, and not lying quite how it should.
Next Time/Lessons Learned
- Read the instructions in full before starting :)
- I really love the feel of the rayon, but I'd like to make this in slightly thicker/stiffer fabric (the pattern is aimed more towards linen or cotton)