Sunday, July 31, 2016

Simplicity 8014 - Denim shirtdress w/ white topstitching

When this pattern came out last year I knew that I wanted the EXACT same dress as the example on the envelope. I chose a nice weighty denim from my stash which I have no idea where I bought it from nor what project it was purchased for. It has a good bit of stretch which I thought would be great for a somewhat fitted casual dress.

I cut a size 10 through the bust, tapering out to a 12 at the hips and through the shoulders. I also added 2 inches to the hemline. Probably I could have gotten away without the extra length since the top offers so much coverage.

I left off the in-seam pockets and folded the back into an inverted pleat instead of having gathers per the instructions. In this thick of a fabric I was worried the gathers might look funny and not lay flat.

I decided to add an elastic casing to the waist to give the dress even gathering distribution.

Dressform pictures:

I topstitched with white thread. The sleeve treatment is really interesting. That's a topstitched tuck instead of a bottom sleeve band, and the way it's sewn together there's no need to finish the edge or sew an invisible hem. 

The elastic waist casing was stitched with navy thread so that it disappears under the fabric belt. The buttons I purchased at JoAnn's.

Back inverted pleat:

Because my denim was so thick, I decided to use a contrasting fabric in various areas to cut down on bulk. I made a dress out of this fabric years ago and saved the remnant because I thought it was so cute.

Here you can see the contrast fabric at the inside yoke, waist casing and hem facing.

It's too hot to wear this dress currently - it's more of a fall outfit. I'm not sure why I decided to make it in the middle of July, but now I have a fun new outfit for when the weather turns slightly cooler.

Here's a photo bomb by my baby girl. She's nearly 6 years old and will start kindergarten in three weeks. Time is flying by with these kiddos!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Burda 6771 - Wrap shorts in kitty border print

I try to steer clear of juvenile fabrics since I'm in my *cough* late 30's and don't want to appear like I'm desperately hanging on to my youth, but this fabric just begged me to buy it. It's a purple and red cat print bamboo twill from, and is still available as of this morning. Mood labeled it as being a "Famous Designer" fabric but I'll just spill the beans and tell you it's from Anna Sui. It's long and thin with a border of maroon and red stripes and I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Inspiration hit while perusing the Burdastyle pattern book and I settled on a wrap shorts style, 6771.

I ended up needing all three of the panels I bought. These are a few inches shorter then the original design due to the narrowness of the print. I cut a size 38/12 and made no adjustments for fit. I finished the edges and pre-washed my fabric so that I could wear these guilt free during the hot Texas summer. This bamboo twill is thin and mostly opaque. I'm living dangerously and will have to avoid getting my picture taken with bright flashes but I really didn't want to add a lining or underlining. Time will tell if I regret my decision.

I had to carefully line up the cats at the center front and back seams, but there are no side seams to worry about so that was nice. These kitties do like to change their direction from time to time.

I used an invisible zipper at the back and cut my facings from a remnant of lavender lining. All exposed edges were finished with the overlocking stitch on my sewing machine. The hems are all narrow and topstitched carefully.

Mood has a yellow color way of this exact print that I was tempted to get instead (as I love all things yellow) but I am trying to branch out and add other colors to my closet. I'm proud of myself for finding a way to use this unusual fabric, but I can't tell you how many interesting border prints I have in my stash that I'm still scratching my head about how to use. I have a hard time passing up unique fabrics.

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Burda 6906 - Green + ivory rose print palazzo pants

This project started from my desire to add a pair of wide leg palazzo pants to my wardrobe. I wanted something fitted at the waist that was still flowy and comfortable, and settled on Burda 6906. I really liked the yoke of this design - somewhat unusual on a pair of pants - and the piping on the top and bottom. I'm always on the lookout for those little something extras. The pattern suggested viscose or rayon crepe, so I went cruising through Mood Fabric's selection of rayon crepes. I knew I wanted a print for these pants, and chose this green and ivory artistic rose stretch rayon crepe, now sadly sold out.

The care for this fabric was hand wash in cold water and line dry or dry clean. I do dry clean on occasion but not typically for casual clothing, which these pants were intended to be. However, after putting the fabric through my machine's delicate cycle and hanging up to drip dry, the black dye started to run into the ivory and it looked terrible. I figured it wouldn't be useable to me that way and I had very little to lose by drying it in the dryer, so that's what I did (after washing on delicate again.) It came out exactly like it went in, and if I lost any of my original 2.5 yards to shrinking, it wasn't evident when I was cutting out the pattern pieces.

The fit of these pants is just perfect right out of the envelope. I flat measured the waist since that measurement was not included the pattern paper and went with the 10 instead of my typical woven size 12. I wasn't much worried about the hip measurement as this fabric has a good amount of stretch and they are pretty roomy through the hips as drafted.

I did try to match the roses on the print as best as I could, particularly at the center front and center back. The sides look okay - maybe not as perfect as I would like (especially on the right side) but really who is going to notice on these busy pants? I am always my own worse critic. Who was it that said a little imperfection keeps things interesting? That needs to be my new mantra.

The pattern directions only instruct you to put piping along the bottom of the yoke, but that didn't make much sense to me, so I stitched it to the top and bottom as per the envelope example.

I used knit interfacing on the yoke and yoke facing to give the pants some stability but still allow them to be stretchy and comfortable. The piping along the top acts like a waist stay and prevents that seam from stretching out. The back is closed with an invisible zipper.

This was a really fun project. I got the exact look I was going for, had no fit issues to speak of, enjoyed working with the fabric and my zipper went in perfectly the very first time (which pretty much never happens to me.) Definitely expect to see this pattern again soon, maybe the shorts view in a stretch denim chambray.

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Simplicity 2187 - Red & white geometric print jumpsuit

I'm trying something different with my newest project - a jumpsuit. (I was calling it a romper but that sounds like something a toddler would wear.) This pattern has capri-length pant legs which I cut off to shorts before cutting into my fabric.

The fabric is viscose jersey from Mood fabrics and has been used by quite a few of my fellow MSN bloggers. I waited forever to purchase it and was only able to get a yard. There was also a black color way but unfortunately they've both sold out. This was my first time using viscose jersey and I really enjoyed working with it. I laundered it before cut out and it came out of the dryer looking exactly like it did when it went in the washer.

Others who've used this pattern have complained that there was too much fabric in the upper part of the shorts, resulting in a saggy rear end. I decided to cut my typical knit size of 10 as drafted, with the knowledge that I could always cut fabric off the top of the shorts if that was the case with mine. After basting the shorts and top together and trying it on, I could see that I didn't need to remove any fabric after all. I do have a long torso; someone with a normal length torso might find it too long.

The center fronts are suppose to be finished with facings and the back neckline with bias tape. It's been awhile since I worked with bias tape, though, and I guess I forgot how to do it effectively. In an effort to try to save the project from the trashcan I decided to try fold over elastic in a contrasting color. This is the first time I've worked with it and I wasn't sure what to expect. I had to play around with how much to stretch it and did end up restitching things a few times, but I love the effect!

The fronts don't exactly meet at a modest point, hence the camisole.

I used some black ponte from my stash to edge the belt with. I had to do a lot of stitching in the ditch by hand all along the black edges. The belt took just as long to make as the jumpsuit did but I love the way it turned out.

I used 3/4" elastic for the waist instead of the called for 1/4" and topstitched it down from the outside. The bottom of the shorts were hemmed with a wide twin needle.

I finished all the interior seams with the overlocking stitch on my sewing machine. Knits don't ravel but I like the finished look of it on the inside.

It remains to be seen how much wear I get out of this jumpsuit. I love the way it turned out and think it looks well made but it's just not the type of thing I see anyone else around here wearing. Maybe I'll save it for date night..

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Butterick 6175 - Boxy floral top w/ scalloped hem

This fabric is a longtime stash resident. I think I got it from Gorgeous Fabrics years ago and only bought one yard for some reason. At 45" in width, it really wasn't big enough to do much with, so I decided on a boxy cropped top.

This was a really easy pattern to stitch up. I cut the size 10 and made no adjustments to the pattern for fit.

The directions for the scallops are not very helpful IMO. All they instruct you to do is trim the fabric close to the stitching and clip up to the V of each scallop completion. That will result in some choppy half circles. Instead you need to grade the seams and notch the curves aggressively. I did a tutorial on this years ago. Check it out if you're interested.

I sewed three buttons on the back instead of the called for one. I found these shell buttons in my loose button container. I like how their iridescent colors match the colors of the print.

Next time I use this pattern I will cut the neckline down in the front as it's a tiny bit too high for my choke phobia.

Dressform pictures:

All edges of this design are finished off with facings, which I had to cut in a white stretch cotton from my stash due to fabric shortage. I tacked the facings to the outer fabric with a running whip stitch. If using a thinner fabric then cotton sateen, I would suggest finishing off the armholes and neckline with bias bindings.

All fabric edges were finished with the overlocking stitch on my regular sewing machine.

I just ordered some high-waisted white shorts from Gap to wear with this top. If I don't like the way those look I'll probably make Butterick 6178 (view D) to complete the outfit.

Monday, May 2, 2016

McCall's 7351 - Sleeveless shirtdress in white, green and black floral

Shirt dresses seem to be everywhere right now and this particular pattern is getting a lot of online love. I actually bought this pattern for the pointed hemline view, but decided to give it a go with a longtime stash fabric that I believe I bought locally a number of years ago.

This is a great pattern with lots of nice details - front button band, collar with collar stand, bias bound armholes, pockets, shirttail hemline - but what I love most about it is the way it skims the body but is still loose and comfortable. I've seen this dress belted by a number of others but I plan to wear mine just as you see it here. I cut my typical size 12 and made zero changes for fit. The length was a bit long for my preference so I did cut off 2" before hemming.

This fabric was not fun to sew with. It's 100% polyester and really resisted ironing. I love the print, though, and the fabric has a gridline texture that can be seen in the below close-up. Even though I hated working with it, the dress does not wrinkle in the least when it's worn. It will be great to throw into a suitcase and take on trips.

I love patterns that have pleated center backs instead of gathering. They lay nice and flat against the skin.

Of course I love all the topstitching on this dress and chose to do mine in black. Originally I sewed on black square buttons, but they completely disappeared on the dress so I replaced them with some simple white ones. I will always opt for pockets on the bodice of garments to give my bustline a little oomph.

When I make this pattern again I plan to raise the armholes about 1/2" as they're a little low. My undergarments don't show but I have low-set armpits (if that even is a thing) so keep that in mind if you're planning to make this dress.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Jalie 2921 - Sleeveless scarf-collar top in white striped metallic knit

I've used this pattern twice before, once with 3/4 sleeves and once with short sleeves. The short sleeve version was purged awhile back because the ties were really long and didn't look very good tied into a bow, but the silk jersey version is a nice basic that gets worn to church from time to time.

I used Mood Fabric's oyster/brown gray metallic striped cotton jersey knit. It's a thinner knit perfect for a top and has a matching larger stripe. Putting the two together in a simple garment would be a really fun look. I'll have to comb through my patterns to see if I can come up with something for fall.

Since I wanted more of a casual look and didn't want to tie the scarf into a bow, I cut the scarf shorter and on the fold. I cut a size T and made fabric facings for the armholes. A twin needle was used to hem the armholes and bottom hem.

This fabric has a subtle metallic sheen to it. I'm kind of a Magpie when it comes to fabric selection. If it's shiny or brightly colored my brain says, "Oooh, pretty! Come to Mama!"

This top match a ton of stuff in my closet and acts like a neutral. The skirt I'm wearing was made pre-blog, but I posted it way back in 2008. I recently lopped off 2 inches so I could wear it with flats in a casual setting. I'm all about the flats these days.

Here are some dressform pictures:

This was a fun and simple top to whip up. I have several other things to photograph and blog, provided I can get my photographer to cooperate. ;)

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.