Archive for the ‘simplicity pattern’ Category

Our son dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At the time we were deciding on our costumes, his game character was wearing Zora armor, so he specifically requested to wear that gear as his costume. We brought up his character in-game and took photos for reference!

I made the blue shirt and stealth leggings by hacking Simplicity 1030. It’s a Captain America costume pattern in which the lower half of the shirt is pieced stripes. (Side note: I am really impressed with the design of this pattern. Often costume patterns are badly drafted and ill-fitting, but this is not the case for Simplicity 1030! The style lines and construction are well-done!). The upper part of the shirt has some nice style lines that were perfect for Link’s blue shirt, so I combined the side panel pieces to extend as one piece from the underarm to the hem and lengthened the upper torso pattern pieces to the hem. The result was a very sharp-looking athletic shirt, and I’m contemplating making it again with another fabric!

I added the side accents by layering some scraps I cut into the proper shapes and attaching them to the shirt with basting stitches. The blue fabric I used for the shirt and pants was an interesting athletic knit I found in the clearance section of G Street Fabrics, but it was difficult to stitch, so I thought it would be better for those side panels to be temporary. We will likely repurpose the shirt and leggings as winter pajamas!

I found a free jacket pattern (in my son’s size!) that was the perfect starting point for the scale jacket, and I hacked it beyond recognition, haha! I used a sueded fabric that was handed down to me in a bin of fabrics–it was the perfect color. After I cut the outer layer pieces, I hand-cut all the scales and sewed them in rows before stitching the pieces together.

My final contribution to the Link outfit was the beaded bandolier. I used Sculpey (polymer clay) to mold the moon medallion and the long beads (in retrospect, perhaps dry ziti would have been a lighter weight and easier solution for the long beads!). I strung them with some plastic faceted beads, and my husband spray painted them all with chrome paint. I used a scrap of vinyl to create the “leather” strap that goes over his shoulder, and the beaded strand is attached to key rings I stitched to the ends!

Now, on to the showstopper parts of the costume: the armor!

Husband sketched out the armor pieces on paper after studying the reference photos we took of all angles of Link, cutting out the paper templates to test sizing on our son. When he was satisfied with the design, he traced the pieces on to layers of craft foam and cut them out by hand. After constructing the pauldrons, bracers, and faulds (hip guards), he spray painted them with chrome paint. If we make foam armor in the future, Husband notes that he will apply some sort of sealant to the foam before spray painting to prevent the metallic paint from soaking into the foam and give a shinier end result.

The pauldrons are pinned to the shoulders of the scale jacket.

The faulds are threaded onto the belt with elastic loops that are adhered on the back.

The bracers have elastic straps for our son to wear them on his forearms.

The greaves (shin guards) are also constructed from craft foam, which Husband hand-painted with brown and metallic gold craft paint.

We had a lot of fun taking action photos of our soon acting as Link during our photoshoot at the pumpkin patch…

(No healthy pumpkins were harmed in the making of this trick shot!)

This last photo is a little teaser: Husband created Sheikah slates for our Zelda and Link! Stay tuned for a guest post from him about how he made them!

Summary of patterns:
shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

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My children talk almost nonstop about their progress playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild! Since they love the game so much, it was the perfect source for costume inspiration. Without further ado, I present Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild!

Our son specifically requested to wear Link’s Zora armor, which is what his character in the game was wearing at the time we decided on our costumes.

The costumes were a collaboration between Husband and me: he made all the foam accessories (Link’s armor pieces and brooch, Zelda’s belt and Triforce medallion, and the Sheikah slates), while I focused on the fabric pieces (and I made Link’s beaded bandolier).

During our photo shoot at a nearby pumpkin patch, they had a really great time getting into character and acting out scenes for the camera.

I’m thrilled with the costumes, and I think our children are, too!

I will do separate posts (Zelda, Link) with details for each costume and one for the Sheikah slates, but until then, here is a list of the patterns I used:

blouse: Blank Slate Bookworm Button Up* (hacked)
jacket layer: Blank Slate Rivage Raglan* (hacked)
corset: made from scratch
leggings, boots: ready-to-wear

shirt: Simplicity 1030 (hacked)
scale jacket: Shwin and Shwin Mr. Postman (hacked)
pants: Simplicity 1030 (lengthened)
belt, shoes: ready-to-wear

*affiliate link

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I just had a “big” birthday, and I decided to celebrate in part by making myself a dress!

I’ve had this cherry-printed blue poplin in my fabric collection for a while– I’d purchased it for another project that didn’t quite work out, and so I was saving it for the perfect dress. After making and wearing the Simplicity 8051 dresses for my #epicdressproject, I knew I wanted to use this fabric for another one! I decided that even though the construction process is not my favorite, I liked view B better enough to make it again. I used the same modifications and revised bodice construction as I detailed in my Minnie Mouse ‘bound blog post.

The decision to make the dress was quick and a bit last-minute! It’s been a busy year, so even though I really wanted to make and wear this dress, I was having a hard time getting motivated, even though I’d only given myself about two weeks to complete the project. I decided to document my progress in my Instagram stories and if you’d like to see a series of timelapses and progress photos, you can check out my saved “Bdaydress2021” instagram highlight!

Husband surprised me with a trip to Philadelphia on the weekend of my birthday, and I was so pleased that the weather was perfect for me to wear my dress! We enjoyed walking through the city and spent most of Saturday in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It had been decades since I’d been there last!

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On our last park day, we went to Magic Kingdom again, and I wore this dress made from a sweet Peter Pan cotton print by Michael Miller Fabrics. Peter Pan has had a special place in my heart ever since Husband read the book aloud to our kids and they dressed up as Peter Pan and Wendy for Halloween that year.

We caught a bus from the Riviera Resort bus stop, and on our way there, we stopped to see (again) the absolutely gorgeous mosaic murals at the Riviera– and it turned out to be such a great photo spot!

This was the very first fabric I bought; I purchased it back in January 2019. I hadn’t even figured out my patterns for this project yet, and I was in Hobby Lobby doing some shopping. I spotted the bolt in the clearance rack, and I totally fell in love with it. I almost didn’t buy it, because I was afraid that pale mint wouldn’t be the best color on me… but I loved it so much, and it was only $4/yd… so I bought some to make a dress. I guessed on the yardage based on patterns I’d been considering for the project, and I’m so glad it worked out!

in line for the Jungle Jingle Cruise– such pretty views in Adventureland!

The pattern I used for this dress is Simplicity 8096, view B. Wow, did this pattern require significant alterations to fit me!  Part of the issue was that the size range for this pattern was just above my measurements, but since I loved the silhouette, I decided to try it anyway. As I mentioned in my #epicdressproject: patterns post, I made a muslin following the pattern exactly for the smallest size, and it definitely needed SO much work. I really appreciated the detailed fitting instructions; this is from the “Amazing Fit” line, and I learned a lot about the best way to make the alterations. Husband is an absolute gem, and he patiently helped me pin and take tucks enough to see that it was worth putting in the work. I ended up shortening the bodice pieces by TWO INCHES in order for the horizontal bodice seam to end up in the correct place. Shortening the bodice also went a long way toward correcting some of the other issues, and because of all the adjustments I made, I didn’t end up needing the elastic in the back of the bodice (and I am very glad for that).

A cute Tinker Bell Magic Shot!

Of course, I made a matching mask with my scrap fabric, and I was careful about the placement so that I could highlight some of the cute scenes in the print.

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Red polka dot is such a fun print for a dress–especially a retro-inspired one!–and so I couldn’t resist doing a Minnie Mouse ‘bound!  I wore this dress for our second day in Hollywood Studios (our 5th park day). 

I felt really glamorous in this dress! I think it fit in especially well with all the classic and glittery retro decorations around the main areas of the park.  I again wore my petticoat from Amazon (affiliate link) to add fullness, and reveled in every swish and swoosh!  I was also pleased with how comfortable the crossed straps were– I often have trouble with halter and cross-back necklines because they tend to pull on my neck, but I didn’t have any problems with this dress!

this is literally the only photo I have of the back of my dress!

All of these photos were taken by various PhotoPass photographers– somehow we completely forgot to take any of our own!  (We took plenty of candid photos, of course–so many!–just not posed ones of my dress.)  

I found the perfect scale of red polka dot in the fabric section of my local Walmart. This cotton woven is a really great weight for structure while still being light enough to drape well. The pattern is Simplicity 8051, view B, and as I’m finding to be typical with this brand on my body, I shortened the midriff pieces after grading out one size at the waist.  I also made a lot of changes to the bodice construction, and I’ve detailed them below.  

I decided to use the main fabric as the lining as well, so that, especially in the front bodice, the lining would “blend in” if it happened to peek out.

I really strongly dislike the as-written construction order of the bodice, specifically because it would make for a zipper installation that would be through several layers of thickness and leave raw edges exposed.  Bleh.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could have done it differently, and the best that I could come up with was this (be warned, it’s still clumsy, but it results in a bodice that attaches at the waist in a way that has a lining to stitch over the waist seam and zipper tape):

  • After constructing the surplice section and front band/straps (including hand-stitching the curved edge on the inside, attach the midriff front main and lining pieces by sandwiching them over the overlapped upper bodice pieces, then press with seam allowances pointing down.
  • Complete step 10 as written.
  • Attach the midriff back pieces to the bodice back pieces along the horizontal seams,  pressing seam allowances open or down.
  • Attach back sections at side seams as in steps 11 and 12, matching horizontal seams carefully.  Sew seam through all layers as far down as the notch on midriff pieces.
    2020-04-18 15.18.27
  • From this point to the bottom, sew the front midriff seams and the lining midriff seams separately.
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  • Press side seams toward back.

I took the photo below in an attempt to show how the bodice will look; now the outer bodice can be sewn to the skirt with the lining loose.  It also allows for the straps to be adjusted AFTER the zipper is inserted!  I don’t know how you’d fit it properly otherwise!!

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The invisible zipper can be inserted on the outer bodice and skirt; then the lining can be hand stitched over it for a tidy finish on the inside.

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On our fourth day in WDW, we went to Magic Kingdom. In our original plans for this trip, this day fell on my exact birthday, and my Belle ‘bound was going to be my birthday dress.

Although our trip ended up being shifted by about seven months, we treated this new day as my honorary birthday! Husband’s planning was wonderful, and we ended our day with dinner at Be Our Guest, which was magical– and absolutely delicious. That meal was probably my favorite of our entire trip.

Wearing this dress around the parks was the most fun I’d had so far. The bright color and full skirt drew lots of second glances and some compliments, and I even noticed a few little girls remarking to their grown-ups about it, which was so fun! This definitely would have been a dream dress for me as a kid! Cast members outdid themselves wishing me and my daughter “happy birthday” (not only was this my “honorary” birthday, but our trip was so close to my daughter’s birthday that we celebrated hers there, too). My daughter wore a ruffly yellow dress (store-bought) and so we ‘bounded Belle together that day.

One Cast Member, David, made our day particularly fun. He saw us in the pathway as we walked between Peter Pan and Small World and cheerfully wished us happy birthdays. We ended up turning back and passed by him again, and he wished us happy birthdays again, making a (fun) big deal that it was again. Later that afternoon, we rode Small World, and he was in the booth above the waterway as we boarded our boat! He recognized us and called down happy birthday yet again! It was so funny, and when we got off the ride, I made a point of turning around and waving goodbye to him.

So, how about some details about the dress? It’s view A of Simplicity 8051, and I shortened the midriff pieces by 1″ after grading it out at the waist.

The fabric is a lightweight cotton batik that I found at G Street Fabrics. The batik has a subtle yellow-on-white rose pattern, which I thought was perfect for a Belle ‘bound!

The fabric is lovely but also fairly sheer, and so I decided to add a lining to the bodice. This is not part of the original pattern, so I recorded my steps below for future reference:

  • cut out bodice front and back pieces from lining fabric
  • cut down bodice back lining to add main fabric facing along angled edge (see pattern piece for line.  3/8″ seam allowance)
  • construct bodice lining in the same way as main bodice (including basting stitches for later gathering
  • apply armhole facing INTERFACING to lining
  • stitch main bodice to lining at armholes (as facing); understitch; trim seam allowances if necessary (I needed to do so with the yellow dress because the rose batik was so lightweight
  • stitch lining+facing to main at back
  • gather lining front and main bodice front; treat as one and attach yoke as instructed

Because of the open-back design, wearing a regular bra wouldn’t work, so I opted to hand-stitch some bra cups to the lining layer, as well.

I did not line the skirt, because I knew I would be wearing a petticoat to add fullness. I bought THIS one from Amazon (affiliate link), and it was just what I needed, and a good price for what it is. I wore another slip that I already owned under the petticoat so that it wouldn’t be quite so scratchy against my legs.

At the back neck, I added two red rose buttons– I think they’re the perfect touch for this Belle dress!

I haven’t really mentioned the face masks that I made to go with each of my outfits– mostly because they are simply made from scrap fabric from the outfits, or other coordinating fabric I had on hand. For this dress, though, I found a digital embroidery design of a rose that I had stored on my computer and stitched it onto my fabric with metallic gold thread before constructing the mask. Because of the light weight of the fabric, I added fusable interfacing in addition to the tear-away stabilizer, and this made the mask stiffer than my other ones!

One last note: some of these photos of me were taken by Husband, but a good portion of them were taken by various PhotoPass photographers around Magic Kingdom. They were so gracious to take some really fun poses to show off my handmade dress!

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For my own records, and also in case anyone is interested, I wanted to give an update on my #epicdressproject!

As I mentioned in my first post about this project, the goal is to make up to seven Disney-bounding outfits (mostly retro-inspired dresses) for our upcoming trip to Disney World.

From November through the very beginning of March, I was sewing up a storm and cutting into old sheets like it was my job… trying out a number of potential patterns and getting them fitted to myself.  This post will be about all the patterns I tried, and will end with my “final cut” of the patterns.

  • The very first dress I attempted to make was a surplice bodice + 3/4 circle skirt from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.  Unfortunately, even though I muslined it from a sheet, my attempt to make a wearable practice version from a rayon-like fabric failed miserably.  First, I had a very bad experience inserting the lapped zipper (I suspect that I stretched the fabric as I was working with it…
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    And once I fixed the zipper (I spent at least a couple hours with that darn zipper), the dress fit terribly.  The bodice gapes and sags unflatteringly, and I just don’t have the skills that I need to adjust the pattern, especially in the time crunch I have for this project.

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    my “wearable muslin” attempt (fail). It may look ok here, but there are definitely problems with it. 

The first round of dress patterns I bought was from Simplicity.

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  • I love both views of Simplicity 8051; I graded the midriff pieces between two sizes and shortened them by 1″ for a better fit.


    Simplicity 8051A muslins: before and after

  • I made a muslin of the bodice of Simplicity 8439 (view B), but I was unhappy with the way it was fitting in my shoulders, so I’ve decided to put that one off indefinitely.
  • The first muslin of Simplicity 8096 (view B) needed SO much work.  Husband is an absolute gem, and he patiently helped me pin and take tucks enough to see that it was worth putting in the work.  I ended up shortening the bodice pieces by TWO INCHES in order for the horizontal bodice seam to end up in the correct place.  Shortening the bodice also went a long way toward correcting some of the other issues, so I feel confident that this dress will work out in the final version.


    Simplicity 8096B muslins: before and after

  • I decided that I didn’t like the silhouette of 8592 enough to attempt it, so I returned it unopened (I had other patterns that I liked more).

The next round of dress patterns was from Butterick:

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  • Currently, I’ve only tested Butterick 5209 (view B) from this set.  Again, I needed to grade the midriff pieces between two sizes and shorten them by 1″ for a good fit.


    Butterick 5209 muslins: before and after

  • I’m keeping Butterick 6018 because it is a fantastic silhouette, and I’d like to make it, but at this point, I’m going to work on the outfits for which I’ve purchased fabric before starting to fit another pattern.
  • If I have time and/or need more dresses for my wardrobe, I’m keeping 6556 and 6094 (a new copy) to hand for now (I’ve made 6094 twice before: comic book and mint-chocolate style!), but it is likely that I will end up returning these unopened.

I’ve also successfully fitted two patterns from from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch (<– Amazon affiliate link), the Delphine skirt (see my denim one HERE), and the Mimi blouse.  

Finally, I’m also going to be making the fantastic Abrazo tee from Blank Slate Patterns (<– affiliate link) to go with one of those skirts.  You can see my past Abrazo tees HERE and HERE

So after all that, here’s the summary of outfits I hope to make:

  • Simplicity 8051, view A
  • Simplicity 5209, view B
  • Simplicity 8096, view B
  • Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo tee + Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt
  • Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse + Delphine skirt
  • Simplicity 8051, view B

I already have much of the fabric that I’ll be using, so stay tuned for a post about that!



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I’ve made several sets of matching PJs for my son and Husband, but up until this point, V and I didn’t have any matching PJs!  Well, when I made my lavender pajama pants for VBS this year, I had excess fabric– enough to make a pair of pants with V!


Of course, I used my tried-and-true favorite kids’ PJ pants pattern from Blank Slate Patterns, and V sat on my lap to help me sew as I put these together.  I’d found a perfectly coordinating lavender tank top on clearance for $1, and so her outfit was complete in less than an afternoon.


I thought it would be especially fun to have these matching PJs finished in time for our family vacation this year, but I realized that I didn’t have a great top to wear… until I remembered that I’d also found a $2-on-clearance 3XL men’s T-shirt in the exact same lavender, intending to turn it into a Blank Slate Texana Tank for next year’s VBS.  It was the day before we left, but this is another TNT pattern, so I was able to whip it up in about 2 hours from start to finish!


My PJ pants are a modified version of Simplicity 1504, but I adjusted them slightly again for this version.  I’m still not completely happy with the pattern, so I’m still on the lookout for a better women’s pajama pants pattern.


One last little detail– for VBS, we’re supposed to wear our team bandana every night so that we can be easily identified, so I’d used my lavender bandana as a faux piping/trim at the cuffs of my PJs. I managed to eke out enough from my bandana scraps to add the same trim to V’s!


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After I had so much fun with family Christmas pajamas last year, I decided to go for them again this year!  I decided to continue the “tradition” (if it’s only 2 years, is it a tradition yet??) of choosing a fabric that has images to relate to something our family has enjoyed in that year.  When I was browsing flannels, I found this great camel print, which of course made me think of the Slugs and Bugs’ Camel Song! Our whole family loves this song, and even though we’ve been listening to this album on repeat at Christmas for years now, the camel song makes me laugh every time.  So, I bought the camel flannel (which is also fun to say five times fast…).


The pajama pants for Husband and I were made from Simplicity 1504 (lengthened for him, modified for me), and I brought out my beloved Blank Slate Patterns Snuggle PJs pattern for the kids’ pants and shirts.  I bought (at a very good price) 3 matching long-sleeved T-shirts from Old Navy, and after putting one aside intact for Husband to wear, I cut up the other two to make matching shirts for the kids.  I wanted to use a fourth to make a Texana Tank for myself, but I completely ran out of time!  Thankfully, I had a RTW royal blue t-shirt on hand that coordinated!

Merry Christmas from our family!


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The part of Wendy was played by our 6 (almost 7!)-year old daughter.   (Find the group photos HERE)


For V’s costume, we referenced the Wendy from Disney’s animated movie.

The pattern that I used for this dress was Simplicity 1507, this time in the girls’ sizes.  This is a tried-and-true old friend of a pattern.  Remember the princess dresses in the past?  Sofia and Elena were both adapted from the little girl/toddler size range of this pattern, and my mom made V a couple dresses from this pattern, too!


I widened the neckline to make it more of a boatneck look, and I also modified the skirt.  The pattern’s original skirt was a wide rectangle, gathered quite a bit at the waistline.  I decreased the width of the waist seam so that the gathering was more of a 1:1.5 ratio, and I swept out the hem so that it was fuller (the resulting piece looks more triangular).



I used costume satin to sew the dress, and since it was so very shiny, I decided to use it wrong-side-out for the main dress.  I used the shiny side to bind the sleeves and to make the sash and hairbow.


V was very excited to have her hair curled for this costume, and on Halloween morning, we even got up extra early before school so that I could curl it again for costume day at school.


our sweet Wendy Darling



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