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It’s been a busy and fun month of sewing and I’m loving it!! As we approach spring, (I’m in California – it seems like we’re jumping right into summer) it’s time to break out our floral fabrics and spring dress patterns. So, I’m so excited to share my most recent make, the Be Graceful Maxi Dress by Ellie and Mac Sewing Patterns Click here (affiliate link). I was gifted the Be Graceful Maxi Dress Pattern as I’m part of the “Get Ready for Spring Blog Tour” hosted by Lo from Seams Sew Lo. Ellie and Mac, thanks for the awesome pattern!
Since there is a 35 % sale going on right now, on Valentine’s Day I bought a few more patterns (there was an extra 15% off that day) and it was Wacky Wednesday, so I really saved a lot of money and I stocked up on patterns. I even bought little girls patterns and I don’t even have girls! I do have nieces so I’ll be sewing a lot for them! Don’t forget to stick around to the end of the post so you can get inspired by the other makers on this blog tour and enter to win a prize.
This pattern has the “layers printing feature”, which means that you can select to print only your size. I suggest you definitely do that if you’re printing in black and white because otherwise you will get confused by all the lines when cutting. I think what I will do in the future is print the size below me and one above, just in case! This is a large pattern so make sure you do the 1 ” test before printing all the pages.
Typically what I do is I begin to assemble my pattern pieces and as the front bodice or back bodice are assembled, I cut them out and begin with the rest, which was the skirt in this case. This makes it easier to manage the large plot of paper in case you don’t have a large table like me (or your kid runs over it if you have it on the floor 🙁 ) What I like about this pattern, that I didn’t realize until afterwards is that it gives you the skirt pattern piece so you can assemble it and use it to cut your fabrics and it also gives you the dimensions for your skirt size if you want to save on printing. I think I prefer having the pattern piece for the skirt (even though you use a lot of paper) because it is easier for me to cut my fabric instead of me measuring out the size of the skirt (I’m lazy). I measured to a size XXL, but I think for the next dress I will use a size XL as the original finished garment was way too big. This was the first time I used my serger so I had no idea how to undo my work (nor did I want to figure it out) so after figuring out how much I needed to take out from each side, I laid my dress on the floor and cut about 2″ from each side from the side of the bodice (just around the chest area) down to the bottom of the skirt.
Speaking of serger, I think I used a 4 thread overlock stitch…I’m not sure to be honest (it used the 2 needles and 2 loopers). I just used whatever setting was on my serger. I’ve had my serger since Christmas and I hadn’t used it because I wanted to read the manual and be comfortable using it but as time went by I didn’t have the time to read the manuals. So, I decided to go for it and just use it. I think I need to use a 3 thread overlock narrow as I listen to several podcasts and Sewing Out Loud has been very helpful and this is there suggestions for knits. I think the only way to learn (for me) is to just test it out and learn as I go (this is how I learned how to drive). If you have any serger tips, let me know below. The dress didn’t fall apart nor did I have any major problems so I decided to go with it. I ran out of thread in the middle of my project so I did have to rethread and I was dreading it but it wasn’t that bad. This tutorial helped me a great deal.
So back to the pattern, the instructions are written very well and the steps are clear and one step per page with photos. At the beginning of the pattern there are also defined sewing terms so if you are a newbie like myself, you can have all the information on the pattern. There are also tips such as hemming knits, gathering and other techniques that you will use on the pattern. What I like is that it has tips for a sewing machine and a serger as well. The only part I had trouble with understanding was how to attach the neckband piece. This is because I’m a visual learner so I needed confirmation that I understood what to do so I went to YouTube and found this tutorial on how to sew a neckband very useful. The neckband size was perfect and as long as you press and follow the instructions, you won’t have any issues. I only had an issue when top stitching the neckband after attaching it, so I decided to skip that step for now as I didn’t want to ruin the beautiful neckband. I also have yet to hem the skirt and sleeves, but that should be something simple right? anyone else do this? I was just so excited to take pictures that I didn’t have time to finish these last steps.
I bought this beautiful fabric from BoHo Fabrics. It is a double brushed poly in navy with hints of pink and peach flowers. I had been saving this for a couple of months and when I got the Be Graceful Maxi Dress, I knew this fabric would be perfect for that pattern. As always, I washed my fabric as soon as I got it in the mail and had no problems sewing with it. I really don’t have much to say except this fabric is beautiful. I bought this fabric with an Etsy gift card and had some questions about shipping and the owner got back to me and answered my questions! She even offered to give me the difference since the fabric was on sale on her main site.
As I mentioned earlier, on my next dress I will use a smaller size (XL) and I will also cut off 1-2″ off the bodice (bottom). The reason being is that I would prefer the bodice to sit a bit higher than it currently stands. The sleeves are also a bit long, even though this is the style I don’t mind the length even after hemming the sleeves so I’ll keep them as is. If you are a beginner, give this pattern a try. You will learn new things as I have. For example, I learned how to gather a skirt using elastic and this is my first time attaching a bodice to a skirt to make a dress. I absolutely love the outcome and I hop you will too if you get this pattern. You have the option of making this dress your own by shortening the length, choosing short or long sleeves and of course, choosing your fabric. Thank you for stopping by 🙂
Please visit all the stops on the Get Ready for Spring Blog Tour featuring Ellie and Mac spring sewing patterns (35% of right now), hosted by Seams Sew Lo. Do no forget to enter the giveaway below too!
- February 3rd: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
- February 4th: Seams Sew Lo
- February 5th: Violets and Jewels
- February 6th: Threadistry
- February 7th: Mama Can Make it
- February 8th: My Crazy Crafty Beautiful Life
- February 9th: Aurora Designs
- February 10th: Flaxfield Sewing
- February 11th: Floral and Flannel
- February 12th: FABulous Home Sewn
- February 13th: Minns Things
- February 14th: Our Play Place
- February 15th: Tenille’s Thread
- February 16th: Seams Like Style
- February 17th: Hutsepruts
- February 18th: Candi Couture Designs
- February 19th: My Sewing Roots
- February 20th: Manning the Machine
- February 21st: Stitched by Jennie
- February 22nd: Kathy’s Kwilts and More
- February 23rd: Sewjourns
- February 24th: Mermaid Mama Designs
- February 25th: Fee Bricolo
- February 26th: Oak Blue Designs
- February 27th: Big Fly Notions
- February 28th: Sewing Blue