Friday, August 11, 2017

A Marigold in Rayon Challis

I know that it is August and school will be starting soon. However, I still wanted to share my Easter dress! Yes, it is the middle of summer and yes, Easter was in April. I am behind in sharing this dress, but I have worn it many times since Easter! The fabric makes this a dream to wear - it is so soft and flowy!

I splurged on this fabric for myself. It is Art Gallery rayon and I loved all the colors in it. I knew it would make a great dress. It took me longer to decide on a pattern than it did to sew the dress. I finally decided on the Marigold dress because I had been wanting to make another one and I knew that it fit me well. It is a classic design and I can wear the dress often.

Since I have made this dress before, I knew how it fit. The only change I made was to lengthen the bodice by 1 inch. By doing this, it hits me where it is designed to fall and it is much more comfortable.

This rayon challis is very lightweight which makes for an excellent drape. I decided to line it in a white batiste which was perfect. It was just enough to give the bodice a little more structure and also allows me to wear it without a slip.

Our county fair is next week and I am planning on entering this dress. I can see myself wearing this into the fall season with a few added layers.

My summer has been busy and full of sewing for both myself and my family! I hope to be back soon to share some more projects.


Friday, May 12, 2017

An Easter Lady Skater Dress

Happy Friday! I'm back today to share the Easter dress I made for my sister, Miss K. She is 14 years old and starting to fit into the smallest end of women's sizes, so I made her the Lady Skater dress in size 2.

I have posted many times before (here, here, here, and here) about my love of the Lady Skater dress, and I really don't have anything new to say. It is a great dress! My Lady Skater dresses are still in heavy rotation in my wardrobe, so I thought it would be the perfect dress for my sister. She wore it for Easter, but it will be a great dress to wear throughout the summer as well.

The fabric is Liverpool knit from my favorite fabric store, Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I had never sewn with Liverpool before, but it wasn't too difficult. It is textured on the right side and smooth on the wrong side. It was a bit slippery, making the hemming a challenge, but I just needed to go slow and be patient with the fabric. :)

I am still learning about fitting all the time. It is one thing to fit patterns to yourself and another for other people. I could've shortened the bodice on this and there is some extra fabric in the sleeve area,  but overall, it's not a bad start. It will fit her for awhile at least!


Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Dress

Hello, dear blog readers! Spring is one of my favorite times of year, especially here in the Midwest when it finally starts to warm up. I think we are finally past the cold weather, although you can never be too sure. You might wear your winter and summer clothes all in one week! 

Although I have not been blogging as much, I have been sewing quite a bit. My most recent big project was to make Easter dresses for my sisters and I. First up is the Friday Dress, which I sewed for my littlest sister, Miss V. She's not so little anymore, as she likes to remind me! 

The Friday Dress is from Petit a Petit patterns and it is a very classic shirtdress design. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew it would be perfect for my little sister. The size ranges up to 12 years, so it is a pattern I can use again and again.

There are so many options too, making it perfect for a wide range of ages. For this dress, I chose the full, gathered skirt with a mandarin collar, short sleeves, pockets, and buttons all the way down the front. The dress also comes with the options of a semi-circle skirt, traditional shirt collar, rounded collar, buttons half way down, and long sleeves.

Isn't she the cutest? I made the size 4t and lengthened the skirt quite a few inches because she is tall and I want her to be able to wear this dress for awhile.

I love the collar on this dress! It is so unique and adds a feminine touch to the traditional shirt dress.

The fabric is an Art Gallery cotton, which I bought from my favorite fabric store - Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I have never worked with Art Gallery fabrics before, but this was wonderful to sew! It is a really high quality cotton and the colors are some of my favorites. After some debating with myself and asking for other opinions, I went with navy blue buttons to accent the navy blue flowers on the fabric.

The buttonholes were the most difficult for me. I use the automatic buttonhole foot on my machine, which sometimes works great and sometimes it doesn't work well at all. My first error was mine alone because I put the wrong size button in the buttonholer. I didn't realize it until sewing all of the buttonholes! My seam ripper and I became great friends that day, haha. Even after I had the right size button, some of the buttonholes were too crooked, so I redid them again! They ended up okay in the end, but buttonholes are one of my least favorite things to sew!

The pockets were just the right size for her little hands and perfect for carrying Easter eggs!

I love the little pleat on the back of the dress. I have never sewn a Petit a Petit pattern before, but the instructions are very well done and very detailed. I was impressed with the quality. Even though I have sewn shirts and shirt dress styles before, I find that there is always something new to learn. 

Miss V loves her new Easter dress! She wore it all day on Easter Sunday and has worn it quite a few times since. She is fun to sew for, especially now that she likes (most of) the clothes I make for her!

What have you been sewing? I will be back to blog about the other dresses I made for Easter. I also have been posting for Me Made May on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there if you like!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Mad for Plaid // Novelista Pattern Hack

Hello and Happy 2017!! I realize it is almost February, but I am so excited to be back blogging and share this project with you! Ever since I saw this amazing Novelista hack  from Falafel and the Bee, I knew I needed a Novelista dress in my life. To add to the fun, I decided to make it in plaid and use the skirt from the By Hand London Anna Dress, which happens to be seven gores. To say cutting it out was a headache would be an understatement!

The plaid fabric is Robert Kaufman flannel and after sewing with it, I'm not sure if I can ever use anything else. It is amazingly soft and high quality. I only had 3 yards of it too, so I was holding my breath to get all the pieces cut.

Hacking the Novelista Shirt  into a dress was pretty simple. First, I held the pattern pieces up to myself to decide where I wanted it to to end. I sewed the shortened bodice following the pattern instructions. Next, I sewed the skirt panels together and added a four inch wide band to the top of the skirt. Then I sewed the skirt and bodice together. At first the bodice was too big and I was not able to ease it in to fit the skirt. My aunt gave me the genius idea to gather the bodice slightly and I love how it looks!

You may be wondering how I got the dress on since the snaps only go half way down the bodice. Enter, the side zipper! There is a funny story behind this. I had finished my dress and there was no side zipper. I tried it on and forced the dress over my head. It fit really, really well. In fact, it fit so well that I couldn't get it off! I had a feeling that might happen, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to sew in a zipper. I ended up using my seam ripper and taking out enough of the side seam to get myself out of the dress. Seam rippers are lifesavers!

I am really happy with how well the plaid matches up where the zipper is sewn. You can hardly even see it!

The contrasting grey fabric is scraps of wool from my stash. It is almost a perfect match to the grey in the plaid. I hate the itchy feeling of wool, so I interlined the yoke and waistband with some brown linen (also from my stash). The button placket and sleeve cuffs are interlined with the flannel. The dress is soft and cozy all around!

The button placket ended up being super thick with the wool and flannel, so I decided to use snaps instead of buttonholes. The only snaps I could find at Joann's almost didn't go through all my layers of fabric, but somehow it all worked out!

I also topstitched the waistband with one of my machine's decorative stitches. It's adds a really subtle detail to the dress.

I am trying to embrace the cold, but my hands were not having it! By the time I was finished, they felt like ice. Minnesota is not the best place for blog photo shoots this time of year!

The only change I made to the skirt pieces was to lengthen the midi length by 4 inches. I also sewed a one inch hem. 

Here is a look at the inside of my dress with the brown linen interlining. All of my seams are finished with my overlock stitch on my sewing machine. It is time consuming (and uses so much thread!) but worth it to have nicely finished seams. 

Sleeve plackets are not my forte, but I'm improving! I really wanted the plaid to match here, but I ran out of fabric.

This is the first time I have successfully hacked a pattern and I love how it turned out! I think a chambray, short sleeve version with a circle skirt would be lovely for spring! 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Ila Dress

Last month, I had the opportunity to test the Ila Dress pattern from a new to me pattern company - Coffee + Thread. I have read Olga's blog in the past, but had never sewn any of her patterns, so I was excited for this opportunity!

The testing process was very thorough, and although I was only able to test the first version of the pattern there were so many other wonderful testers. All of the testers did an amazing job testing the Ila dress! It is a really sweet dress and I am looking forward to sewing another one for my little sister.

The Ila dress is an A-line dress with a shaped yoke, the option for a front panel and front hidden pockets. It comes with options for short or long sleeves. With the design of the dress, there are so many ways to add in piping, lace, other trims, and even color blocking.

The fabric I used for this dress is some type of sturdy cotton from my stash. It works well with the shape of this dress. I have some corduroy fabric in my stash that I would like to try with this pattern as well. I think corduroy would be perfect for a winter dress.

I was not intending to add any trim to this dress, but I had this beautiful navy blue lace that was a perfect match for the fabric, so I knew it had to be done! I love how it turned out. The lace really adds to the dress.

The pattern comes in sizes 18 months to 12 years. I made the size 4 for my little sister. She is tall for her age, so the only change I made was to lengthen the dress to size 5 and it fits her great!

Another great thing about this pattern, is that the pdf comes in layers, so you have the option to print only the size you need. I have only worked with layered patterns a few times before and so far I really like it! You only see the size you need rather than trying to tape together a wide range of sizes.

The back has an invisible zipper, which is my favorite type of closure for a dress. They are easy to sew even without an invisible zipper foot.

I love the simple, clean lines of this dress. I think it is perfect for little girls, especially if they are always on the move, like my sister. The pockets are also one of my favorite things about the Ila dress. They are hidden into the front seam where the skirt attaches to the bodices panels.

Miss V likes the dress too and has worn it many times since we took these pictures. 

Thank you again Olga for the opportunity to test! 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Janie Dress

I am so excited to share this new pattern with you!! It is the Janie Dress by Mouse House Creations and was just released a couple days ago. I had the opportunity to be part of the testing group for this pattern and I think it is a great pattern! It comes in sizes 6 months to 12 years with several different options. You can make a cowl neck, regular neck, peter pan collar with ballet scoop back, long sleeves, half sleeves, short sleeves, circle skirt, gathered circle skirt, and peplum. There are even pockets!

I made a size 4 with a size 5 length, since Miss V is tall for her age. The fit is perfect! I was able to use fabric from my stash - the grey and white polka dots is the french terry from my Lane Raglan and the pink is a random knit from the thrift store.

I love the cowl collar - it will be perfect once the weather finally gets colder. It has been unseasonably warm for November, here in MN.

Circle skirts are great for twirling in!

The Janie Dress is a really quick sew. I actually made 5 within the last week. I may be slightly addicted to this pattern! I made 2 versions for Miss V and I also made a 3T for my cousin's little girl. I also made two 6 month sizes for my newest baby cousin and they are so adorable! I can't wait to see her wearing them.

This is the basic neckline version. The bodice is a stretchy interlock from my stash and the skirt is a mystery knit, but it worked well for testing this pattern! 

She loves her new dresses!

You can see more tester versions of the Janie dress here

Also, check out these blog posts: Crafti Mom, A Jennuine Life, Anna's Heirloom Boutique 


Friday, November 4, 2016

Lane Raglan

I may not be blogging much lately, but I have been sewing! A few weeks ago, I made myself this Lane Raglan. I received the pattern for my birthday in July and just now got around to making it. I had seen it around the blogosphere so many times and it seemed like a great basic T-shirt pattern to add to my collection!

The Lane has so many options to choose from. I decided to go with long sleeves and a curved hem. I used contrasting mustard color fabric for the sleeves and hem bands.

The fabric is from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, one of my newest favorite places to fabric shop. The grey and white polka dot fabric is french terry and the mustard is rayon spandex. I've never sewn with french terry before, but I will be using it again! It is easy to sew with and really comfortable to wear.

The Lane was very easy to sew and the pattern is very easy to follow. However, the day I sewed this, I was making so many mistakes. The first mistake I made was cutting the front bodice opposite of the grain. I wasn't paying attention, and the fabric stretches both ways. So of course I didn't notice until it was cut. I only had 1 yard of fabric, so there wasn't much I could do.

The next mistake I made was to sew the neckband on backwards! With the raglan style, it is hard to tell the front from the back. By the time I had sewn on the neckband, finished the seam and topstitched I realized the neckband seam was in the front! I wasn't going to seam rip out all my hard work, so I just finished sewing.

The front seam really bothered me, so I decided instead of starting all over I was going to add a contrasting square over the seam. It worked really well and I think it adds to the top!

Even with all my mistakes, the Lane only took about an hour and a half to make. It's a great afternoon project! I have another one cut and ready to sew.

What have you been sewing lately?