Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Simplicity 8296 - Navy + White Off-The-Shoulder Blouse

Off-the-shoulder blouses are currently everywhere: in stores, magazines, and pattern catalogues. I don't always make the newest trend right away, probably because I like to see what other people make first or which patterns seem to work the best. This time, though, I happened upon the perfect fabric. This navy and white embroidered gingham is from Moodfabrics.com. It is the loveliest of weights for a blouse, and has a slight amount of stretch to it not included in the description. There's only a little bit left as of this post. I highly recommend you snap some up!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring 2017 Sew-Along: Finishing

Welcome to week 7 of the McCall's Spring 2017 Sew-Along! This week I'm discussing the finishing steps, which are short and sweet. This is the last week before the big reveal and I'm getting really excited to see your finished overalls or pants!

Lets get started:

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring 2017 Sew-Along: Bibs and Waistband

Welcome to week 6 of the McCall's Spring 2017 Sew-Along! This week I'm blogging about steps 35 through 61. That's a lot of steps, but it's very straight-forward, so this one won't take too long to get through.

Week 1 - Announcement
Week 2 - Inspiration Fabrics
Week 3 - Making a Muslin/Toile
Week 4 - Darts and Pockets
Week 5 - Seams and Zipper
Week 6 - Meg's tutorial for adding a facing instead of a waistband

I'm following the instructions to the letter, with the exception of adding a bit of topstitching to the waistband and leaving off the interfacing. Since I topstitched the crotch seam to the left on the pants, I'm also going to be pressing the bib seams to the left.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring 2017 Sew-Along: Seams and Zipper

Welcome to week 5 of the McCall's Spring 2017 Sew-Along! This week I'm covering steps 14 through 24, which is a lot of information, so grab a cuppa and lets get started.

Week 1 - Announcement
Week 2 - Inspiration Fabrics
Week 3 - Making a Muslin/Toile
Week 4 - Darts and Pockets

The first thing to note is that I'm making the overalls view with the tapered legs. I'm wanting a traditional denim look for these, so am adding topstitching to the leg sides as well as switching up the mock-fly to look less mock and more real. If you are making the pants version like my co-host Meg and only need directions for the lapped zipper, feel free to skip to the end where I'll show you those steps.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

White Lace Maxi Skirt

A few years ago I saw this lace skirt on Net-A-Porter and loved it:

It's by Alice + Olivia and was made of silk and tulle. I added it to my "Lace" Pinterest board and went searching for a fabric. Eventually I found just what I wanted at Moodfabrics.com, but it sat in my stash for several years and is completely sold out. The fabric is an ivory nylon lace, and I layered it over a lining of white tricot. I wanted this skirt to be washable and not too formal, so I went with a comfortable/stretchy fabric for the lining.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring 2017 Sew-Along: Making a Muslin/Toile

Welcome to week three of the McCall's Spring 2017 Sew-Along!

Week 1 - Announcement
Week 2 - Inspiration and Fabrics

This week is all about making a muslin to perfect fit. I usually make muslins when I'm using a pattern that's a fitted design and I don't want to waste my fabric if it doesn't turn out. It takes more effort then just jumping in but I'm always glad when I take the time to do it.

Okay, let's get started.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Marine Green Faux Suede Dress

I purchased this fabric from Moodfabrics.com a few years (!!!) ago because it was on big-time sale and I thought the color was pretty. The quality is really nice and you can NOT tell it's fake except that it comes out of the laundry looking exactly like it went in. I lamented forever about what I wanted to make it into. I really wanted a skirt but thought the color would give me trouble when having to pair up with a matching top. McCall's 7466 was recently released with the envelope drawing showing a view in suede, and I knew instantly what my fabric wanted to become!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Spring 2017 Sew-Along

I'm super excited to announce that I'm co-hosting the Spring 2017 Sew-Along with Meg Carter of the McCall's Pattern Company! I must admit I didn't really fall in love with this pattern right off the bat. After seeing this video that McCall's did on Facebook, though, I was sold. (Click the link, scroll down and click on "Show More", and it will come up for December 8.)

The full schedule is as follows:

Week of 3/3:  Announce sew-along
Week of 3/10:  Style inspiration; suitable fabrics
Week of 3/17: Making a muslin to assess fit
Week of 3/24: Pockets (steps 1-13)
Week of 3/31: Seams and zipper (steps 14-24)
Week of 4/7: Waistband and overalls bib (steps 29-61)
Week of 4/14:  Finishing (steps 62-66)
Week of 4/21: Big reveal
Meg is making the high waisted pants view with cropped flares and I am making the overall pants view with tapered legs. I think they will be perfect for spring and for my relaxed mom-on-the-go lifestyle.

Read the full announcement on the McCall's Blog here and please join us for this fun adventure!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Color-Blocked Tracy Reese Dress Revamp

I made this dress 6 weeks ago but wasn't quite happy with it. It was a well drafted pattern and the fit was exactly right, but I didn't feel like the proportions worked well with my body. Thanks to some helpful feedback from my readers, I decided to shorted the cropped overlay by an inch. That wasn't too terribly difficult, but I did have to stitch some things by hand that were previously machine stitched.

After that, though, I still wasn't happy with it, so I chopped 5 inches off the length. Now I love it! Sometimes I give up on things that seem like a ton more work because I completely hate altering, but I'm so glad I persevered this time.

More pictures after the jump and don't forget to tell me what you think!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mood Sewing Network African Wax Print Roundup + Contest

The African Wax Print challenge for the Mood Sewing Network has wrapped up and I've made a collage of all the awesome garments everyone made:

Mood decided to host a challenge on their Facebook Page. Here's what they had to say about that:

"A few of our Mood Sewing Network bloggers participated in an African print challenge last month where we asked them to create their best look using their choice of one of our prints. They're all so fabulous that we need your help choosing a favorite! We're offering the winner an extra $50 credit, plus a $50 gift card to give away to one of you! So vote now - the one with the most likes and shares on this original post by Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST will be our winner!"

Obviously, I would love to win. More fabric? Yes please!! Also I'd be able to gift one of my awesome readers a $50 gift card to Mood, which would be super fun. Click HERE to vote for me. All you have to do is like the picture of my garment. And if you must, click through to vote for one of my fellow MSN contributors. ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

African Wax Print Maxi Dress

For the month of January, the members of the Mood Sewing Network were given the opportunity to work with an African Wax Print, also know as Ankara fabric. I've never looked too closely at these fabrics. They come in such big quantities, and I've not needed 6 yards of anything for a garment, so I skipped right by them. When asked, though, I thought - why not? It might be fun to work with a new-to-me fabric. I chose the Gold and Dark Navy Waxed Cotton with Gold Metallic Foil, the one with the foil leaves. There is also the same colorway with peace signs in foil instead, if that is more your style. I did a ton of searching through google images and even created a board on my Pinterest account of garments made in this type of fabric. What I really wanted was a jacket and fitted pants combo, but I wasn't sure where I'd wear it, so decided on a maxi dress instead. I got out all my fabric hog patterns to choose from, in order to use as much of the yardage as possible.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Black Embossed Scuba Knit Dress

I have a love/hate relationship with scuba knit. On the one hand it's a really interesting fabric and the weight and slight insulation properties make it perfect for Texas winters. On the other hand it does not like to stay pressed and I like a crisp seam. Most of the time I stay away from buying it because of its challenges but this fabric was so unique that I had to have it.

The fabric is an embossed scuba knit and was purchased from Mood fabrics. It was sold out long ago so I can't link you to it. I actually made a pair of pants from the same fabric in March of 2015, but those had the annoying habit of not staying at my waist and were soon after donated. I loved the fabric, though, so I ordered another cut of it and vowed to make a dress of some sort. Inspiration struck when the new McCall's spring pattern were released in early January and I fell in love with the high neck version of 7539.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A New White Blouse From an Old Burda Magazine

I had a Burda (then Burda World of Fashion) magazine subscription for a number of years, starting in August 2008 and use to sew from it quite a bit. I know lots of you dislike tracing and hate the crowded newer pattern line sheets even more, but for me that was never an issue. I have a background in construction and was trained to read building blueprints, so the lines of the pattern sheets don't make my eyes cross. I stopped my subscription in 2012 because I was no longer inspired by the shapeless garments they were putting out, but would still buy the occasional single issue from GLP international if something on the Russia Burda sight caught my attention. Still, though, I got out of the habit of tracing and my backlot of magazines was left abandoned on the shelf. The good thing about having this collection is that when I want to sew something very specific, I can usually find it in one of my magazines. Such was the case for this blouse, which I made purposefully to wear with one of my favorite jackets. (I posted a few pictures with it and the jacket at the bottom of this post, if you want to skip all the pattern information.)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

French Seams For the Armhole/Sleeve Junction

I've been asked a number of times how I do a french seam at the armhole of my blouses, so I put together a little tutorial to demonstrate the process. It might sound difficult, but if you can sew a regular french seam you can do an armhole french seam easily.

The NUMBER ONE rule for sewing with french seams is to make sure you are using a somewhat thin fabric. I've attempted them before on fabrics like bottom weight denim and the outcome is bulky and happy-hands-at-home looking.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Plaid + Black Color-Blocked Tracy Reese Knit Dress

This dress has now been updated!

The color blocking trend is alive and well. In fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it. To me, color blocking is using two or more of the same type and weight of fabrics in the same garment. Not to be confused with mixed materials, which is two or more different types of materials used in the same garment. (Of which I also have a Pinterest board for.) This silhouette - cropped top over midi skirt - seams to be a current favorite, and is a look I wanted to try out.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Clad In Plaid! - A Wool Mini With Side Button Detail

Today I'm sharing a wool skirt I finished several weeks ago that was suppose to be a fast and easy palate cleanse, but of course it wasn't. Fast and easy NEVER work out for me. Why do I ever think they will?! I can't even blame the pattern or the fabric this time. Nope, just me being picky and wanting to get it exactly right.