pattern shopping

I'm feeling very motivated to sew myself some clothes these days. Might be that pesky budget thing. I can't seem to envision any of the patterns working for me though. Normally I feel I have a knack for that. Looking at something crazy and seeing the promise in it. But man I have a hard time with traditional sewing patterns. Also all the looks I like look like crap on me. All the cute shift/sack things. Not so good on. So far I've got my eyes on these.

Melissa made this one and it turned out so cute! I'd really like to try it but my store never has it.


I wonder if this would be cute. It's too young for me and very Jan Brady but maybe with the right fabric?? Oh, I just found this. Cute! Why can't they put that picture on the cover?!


17 thoughts on “pattern shopping

  1. the fabled needle (jen) says:

    the built by wendy pattern i used (the ever popular one, the shift dress with crazy high neckline [i didn’t do the neckline]) had some weird sizing but don’t most commercial patterns? if patterns actually fit me i’d have way more homemade clothes!
    i definitely think you can do the second one and not have it look too young or brady-ish. sleeveless and short(ish) would be a good bet! (and i like the example you link too – very cute!)

  2. Samantha says:

    I’ve just recently tried sewing for me AGAIN and I have had pretty good luck so far! I think the trick to it is finding a pattern you like (in my case it was the Built By Wendy Dresses book) and commit yourself to giving it a fair shot. Make it up out of cheap fabric, go back to the pattern and change what you didn’t like about the first one and then after you have made those changes make something you love ! Once you have a good basic block that fits you well you can change it up easily, it’s all about the details. Another thing I have found is that lighter weight fabrics flow over mama curves much better than regular quilters cottons.
    I was really pleased with my efforts this time! My first and second try is posted here and my last try is here
    Good luck!

  3. chelle says:

    Do you know about You can look up most patterns and see if anyone has posted a review and a photo. It’s a pretty extensive database.

  4. Gail says:

    I love what you have chosen. Please give reviews if you try them. I hate taking my valuble time to make commercial patterns only to have the sizing not match to the pattern measurements! So frustrating. I have been drafting my own patterns lately. I have had a few mishaps, but nothing terrible. The frustration level isn’t there when I make my own either :)

  5. Amy says:

    I just made view B of Simplicity 2363 last weekend. It’s a pretty straight forward pattern and only took me a day to make (that’s with 16,000 interruptions…). In my late 30s opinion, it doesn’t look too cutesy or young… I love the pockets and the slight gather on the front and back. A couple of things I don’t like about it… I chose not to include the ties on the back– BIG mistake! The ties are definitely needed to give the waist some definition, so it’s looks a bit baggy on me. Also the neckline is lined and has interfacing so it’s pretty stiff. I’m hoping that after it’s washed a couple of times, it might loosen up a bit. It’s a great casual dress that I can wear out and about without feeling like I’m totally dressed up. I say “go for it!”

  6. alison says:

    I have four blouses made from the same Built By Wendy pattern. They’re my summer T-Shirt equivalent. I have another cut out that I need to finish.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Just got a *beautiful* book in the mail from Amazon! Congrats, Hillary. It’s gorgeous and your projects are super-cute. I hope JoAnn can put down her quilts long enough to create a couple of these for the girls (and I might need one, too). :)

  8. Jenn says:

    Hey! I saw your book at Book People in Austin, TX this week – so exciting to hold it in my hands! It’s adorable – on the top of my birthday list! Congrats!!

  9. Bonnie Riffle says:

    Sewing your own clothes is definately fun! I have done it a few times here and there. Right now I have fabric and patterns and all the notions for two summer tops and a pair of summer pants….that I bought two years ago!! It’s just waiting for me in the JoAnn Fabrics bag! I think all this talk about sewing clothes is making me want to get it out and finally make it before summer is over! again!

  10. Shawna says:

    I recently made the Simplicity dress pattern you have your eye on. It turned out cute, but sewing the sides to the front was a bit tricky. The front pieces are straight and the side pieces are curved so I had to cut notches. The arm holes were also too big (a common problem for me.) Overall, it’s a great summer dress. Good luck!

  11. heather says:

    I have sewn that BBW pattern twice now and I like it a lot but the sizing is—as many have observed—waaayy off. Get that part figured out and it’s really a cute pattern, I think. See photos and read about my experience with it here and here.

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