That Dress Revisited Part 1

My hubby and I are part of a dinner group that meets once a month. We’ve been meeting for the better part of 10 years, and have a lot of fun. We’ve tried recipes from all over the globe. Sometimes we get dressed up, sometimes not. There was one PJ night; we all brought our favorite comfort food. Conversely, there was an Academy Award Night. Everyone wore black tie, and one couple arrived in a helicopter! Another special night you might remember was our Valentine Dinner almost two years ago.

 That Dress

My dress-shopping-friend is part of our dinner group, and after trying on all those gorgeous dresses, I suggested we dress up for our Christmas dinner. She was hosting, and said no. She had too much work to do to get everything ready. I understood.

I found out I wasn’t the only one who wanted to dress up. One of the husbands in our group requested we dress up too. My friend decided since a few of us wanted to dress up, we’d dress up.

I was hoping to make the McCall’s 7684, but by time this was announced, I had less than a week to make it! I still tried.

The Pattern

I’ve already shared a bit about how closely this pattern matches the dress I saw and loved.  Here they are side-by-side. That’s the same skirt, same tie, same pockets, same zip in the back. The top is a little different, but that’s it. What a wonderful pattern!

My Materials

 I got the pattern. I bought some gorgeous materials too. I bought a lovely stretch velour for the top, which is closer to the original dress’ design which is a knit top. I also bought a gorgeous rich black and red brocade for the skirt.

 Pattern Hack

The first thing I had to deal with is the pattern has a dart in it and I know I’m going to need a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA). That’s fine. I’ve done FBAs before, but never on a waist dart. I think I drew it out four or five times, and still wasn’t sure. I didn’t have time to make a muslin either. By time I was ready to cut, it was three days until the party.

I decided to change the pattern. I pulled out my hallå Agnes pattern and traced off the top. I’ve used it to make a few tops. It’s designed for a knit, and my material is knit. I’d decided it would work.

First Attempts

Well, it was a sad, stressful day of sewing. The first top I cut out of the stretch velour was a bit tighter than I wanted. The stretch velour didn’t have the same amount of stretch as the cotton Lycra I’d used in the summer, and in my rush, I didn’t even check how much stretch the velour had.

I added a little more seam allowance to the pattern and cut out a second top from the remainder of my fabric. This second one was just fine.

Then, I messed up the neckband.

I didn’t think about the direction of stretch when I cut the band. I only had a little bit of material left, and I was rushing and feeling stressed. There was only one direction I could cut the bands for the neck and arms, and it was the wrong direction.

I only realized it was the wrong direction after trying to serge it to the neckline.

My Hubby

I called my hubby and told him I’d messed up the top. Twice. By this time I only had one day left to make the whole dress. Not one to give up, I ask him, ‘Should I go buy more material for the top?’

He didn’t think I should – at least not to try to make the dress for the party. He suggested I buy more material and make a muslin, and in the meantime we go dress shopping. What a sweet hubby!

Guess what I found on sale? My dress! The dress I loved from first look, and made me feel beautiful when wearing it.

I think you know what I wore to my Christmas dinner. Next week I’ll share all about our dinner.


I am not giving up on sewing myself the McCall’s dress though. I have some new material for the top, and it’s one of my projects I have planned for this year.

Happy creating!

Oh That Dress!

Recently, a friend asked me to go ‘Black Tie’ dress shopping with her. That sounded fun, so we made plans.

She had a shop in mind, so we went through all the dresses there to see what was appropriate for a black tie event.

  Gorgeous Dresses

 My friend tried on a number of dresses, but only two were lovely enough to really consider.

This adorable cocktail dress looked great on her, but wasn’t suitable for a black tie event. It just looked too good on her not to be included in her final list. This is the evening gown she bought for the event. It’s gorgeous and it really flattered her figure.  

Having Fun

 After helping my friend pick out so many lovely dresses, and seeing her try them on, I couldn’t resist trying on a dress or two.

This was the first gown I tried on. I loved this, but it did not love me back. I should know this styling is not flattering to my shape as I’ve been curvy all my life – even when I was a size 5. You can see on my croquis below, it isn’t flattering. It looked worse in real life.

No, that was not the right style for me. It was very easy to pass it up no matter how nice it looked on the hanger.

The next dress was a lot harder to pass up.  

While my friend was debating her dresses, I tried this one on.

I had to snap a photo of me in the dress too. When you try something on and feel pretty… it stands out.

Here’s the dress from the back:  

Ooh, it’s so lovely.

 I came home and looked for a pattern that was similar. I didn’t have to look far.

McCall’s 7684

McCall’s 7684 view C looks almost exactly the same. Same skirt, belt, zip up the back, pockets. The top is different.

I phoned the fabric store to see if patterns were on sale and they were! I was off to pick it up right away.Here are the dresses side by side:Here’s just view C:
 I’m so happy I went dress shopping with my friend. We really did have fun! I’m even happier I found this pattern.

That’s enough dreaming for me. It’s time to get back to work on all those Christmas gifts I said I’d sew.

Happy creating!

Two More Agnes Dresses

Last summer I bought some gorgeous floral material to make my favorite Flirt Skirt to wear this summer. I still haven’t done that. I have, however, made two  more dresses from the hallå agnes swing top & dress pattern.

This first material has the design as the red top I made, but in blues and I made it as a dress. Here’s the front: 

This dress comes together really quickly with serged seams, and serging used to attach the neckline and armbands.

I had thought I’d change how I attached these bands, but decided to make another change I’ll tell you about below.

Here’s the side view: 

 Here’s the red top just as a reminder to see the print on it.

I know my hubby loves blue on me, so I think this blue dress will be his favorite.

This forth agnes is a dress too, in black, white, with little bits of yellow. 

The yellow isn’t very visible in the photo, so here’s a close up:

I think four agneses is a good place to stop for now. I really do love this pattern, and am living in this dress this summer.

One Change

Although, I’m loving all my hallå agnes dresses and top, but there’s one little element I wasn’t loving. The seams are all serged on these dresses and the top. That’s great. The seams all looks nice and neat this way.

However,  once these were washed, I found the seams at the neckband and arms were flipping or folding in half. It wasn’t visible from the outside when I was wearing it, but I could see it when I was putting the garment on. I didn’t like it.

Here you can see how the seam has folded up:

My fix for this was to use my coverstitch machine. It worked beautifully too. I’ve finished all my dresses this way now, and no more flipping or folding seams.

One of the things I did to help line up the stitching was to use the markings on the presser foot. That first grove was my guideline. It worked out really well.

Drafting Again

My new wires are here and it’s time to start drafting again! I’ve done a few drafts now, and that’s led to a couple of questions. I’m one or two answers away from drafting, what I hope is, my perfect bra pattern.

Happy creating!

Another Agnes Dress

I have a few sewing projects on my list of things to sew. Three of them are gifts for my son’s birthday this month. His girlfriend wants me to sew her a bralette. And let’s not forget I want to get back to bra drafting.

In the midst of all that, I’m planning to sew some new clothes for summer.

Thankfully, with all these projects, one project I’m planning for me is really quick and I know turns out well. It’s the  hallå patterns’ agnes swing top & dress.  It’s quick to cut out and quick to sew.

My last one turned out pretty much perfectly with no adjustments. The armhole was a touch big, so I trimmed a 1/4″ off the shoulder to bring that up and am leaving the rest of this as is. I was thinking I’d make another dress, and a couple of tops.

As it turns out, I cut out three dresses and one top. Here are the fabrics I’m using.

The blue and red floral is a dress, and so is the blue splotchy one. The red splotchy one is an agnes swing top. All of these fabrics were Fabricland finds from my trip to Ontario last year, and they’re all gorgeous cotton Lycras.

I also cut this fabric out as a dress.

For this dress, I have some black cotton Lycra in my stash left over from panty-making. I think I’ll use that for the neck and arm bindings. It will give it a nice color block feel, and a pop of contrasting color. This fabric was another one of my Fabricland finds, but this time at 70% off here at home. I love a great deal like this.

Birthday sewing had to come first though, so although I’ve cut these dresses out, only the top got sewn up so far.

Here’s my first agnes swing top. I’ve been wearing it and it’s so very flattering. I love it.

I did have some fun while finishing this off. I’m using my CoverPro machine. I really do love how neatly it finishes the hems.

Oh, that’s a pretty hem.

I’ll have to do a fashion show with all my dresses and tops in an upcoming post. My husband/photographer is out of town today, so a photo of me in my new top will have to wait. I can say, I’m loving this top!

Happy creating!