Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Dresses

Happy New Year! Before the holidays get too far away from us, I thought I better post my creations for Christmas this year. The story on these dresses is kind of funny. I was in Joann Fabrics and came across this lovely fabric. It has a black lace effect over a nude base with some gold and silver shimmer to it. I end up buying 3.5 yards, imagining I would make it into some sort of party dress for the holiday season. 

We can't take a picture together where we both look normal. I must opt for the ones I look decent in- you understand. 

I got home, washed it, and hung it up to dry. Along comes my 3 year old daughter. As soon as she lays eyes on the fabric, she gasps and exclaims "Mama, I need a dwess (spelling intended)". Being the selfish mama that I am, I hadn't exactly planned on sewing her one as well. But I couldn't disappoint. I scoured my pattern collection for a mama and daughter duo that would fit into the allotted fabric length I purchased. 

For her, I used New Look 6205. I made view A. Her dress went together very quickly. I added some black ribbon to the waistline for a little something special. She wears a 3T in RTW, I ended up going with a size 4 on the pattern- glad I did because it fits her perfectly. I think a 3 would have been too small. 




For my dress, I ended up going with my tried and true Colette Laurel pattern. I've made it twice before- my first (and favorite) rendition is here. It's a basic shift dress that doesn't require a lot of yardage- perfect for my mission to squeeze two garments out of what I got from Joann's. I didn't make any changes except for adding a couple inches of length. 

I am very happy with the way the two dresses turned out. We wore these together for Christmas Eve. We got lots of compliments. I had spent $35 on the fabric- not bad for 2 "fancy" dresses! 

Posing with big brother!

No end of the year wrap up for me. If I posted my top 5 makes, it would be my only 5 makes!! I had made more, but I have a hard time getting all my makes posted. Maybe I can work on posting more frequently this year...

~Jenny 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Color Block Dress

Happy Fall! Today I am showing off my color blocked dress I made from Simplicity 1276. This is a design from the always unique and stylish Mimi G! 



I made view A, with the flared skirt, but used the elbow length sleeves. I used ponte roma knits from Low Price Fabrics. I lined the dress with a white tricot that I believe came from Low Price Fabrics as well. I'm guessing I spent about $30 including notions. 

The dress went together easily. I made my standard one size smaller than recommended by the pattern envelope. The instructions are good. I know Mimi G did some accompanying videos that give you lots of great construction tips. I was lazy though- I just did my own thing. 

The torso came out a bit long on me- I should have shortened this by 1/2 an inch or so. The fit is otherwise decent. My one complaint is that the thick ponte knit tends to bunch up in the back of the dress, creating back fat rolls that I don't have. Perhaps this could have been solved by shortening the torso so that it lays flat. I wear this dress with a jacket though so that no one gets an eyeful of the back. I know, I know- make a muslin! I can't do it people!



Overall I am happy with this dress. It looks great with tights, boots and a jacket in the Fall! 

~ Jenny 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Best Halloween ever!! And probably the last one that I will ever make costumes for the entire family!! In reality, by the time next year rolls around, I will have forgotten the horrors of making four unique costumes in about a week's time (what can I say? I procrastinate), and will do it all over again. 

Let's start with the cute ones, shall we? 



Princess Leia was the easiest to make, hand's down. The white dress is a Little Girl's Skater Dress from Kitschy-Coo patterns. I used a white ponte knit. I lengthened the pattern by a couple of inches. It came together quickly and easily. For her belt, I used a silver metallic cotton blend and simply made a tube belt and glued some squares I made on top. Done! 

For Master Yoda, I used New Look 6170, a pajama pattern for the pants a shirt. These were made of a brown flannel. For the cape, I used Simplicity 1037. I made the cape using a linen blend fabric. I shortened the sleeves a bit. Not too bad so far. Bonus- the kid loves to wear the pajamas as pajamas!

Next, on to the adults. 


Kylo Ren, my husband! I used McCall's 7422 for this monstrosity. Actually, it really wasn't too bad to sew, but is a big fabric eater. There is a lined coat and lined surcoat. Accessories include the faux leather belt and the hood. I either was not paying well enough attention to the instructions, or the instructions were wrong in a few places. If I attached the lining as directed, I would not be able to turn inside out. I sort of did my own thing. The hood is made of linen. The coat is gabardine and lining. The surcoat is broadcloth and lining fabric. 


And finally, our heroine- Ray. I used McCall's 7421. This included a shirt, pants, tabard, gauntlets, and a belt. What the heck is a tabard or a gauntlet? This one was not difficult to sew but tedious. I found the instructions to be fine on this one. The shirt and gauntlets are made from an off-white jersey. Pants are a brown ponte. Tabard is tan gauze. Belt is faux leather. 

I cut corners where I could. If you allow yourself one week to make four costumes, you got to do what you got to do. I avoided hems where possible- particularly on my tabard- none of the edges are finished. 

And there you have it. We really did have a great Halloween this year and enjoyed showing off our group costumes. This was not the most economical proposition. In fact,we probably would have been better off in that regard buying the costumes from the store. We were close to the $200 mark for all four costumes. But mine have a little more detail and love (and anger, aggravation, annoyance, anxiety) poured in. 

~Jenny