Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sewaholic Nicola Dress, Version 2

Hello friends! I am excited to post another project. Believe it or not, I actually have 10 finished garments that I need to post; however, I haven't found the time to take pictures of them. I am hoping I can get my husband to do a weekly, or even bi-monthly photo session so I can post more often. 

Before I get into the dress, I want to vent about some shopping stress that only sewcialists can relate to. If you've read previous posts (and thank you if you have), you know that I have made some changes in my career and will be transitioning from wearing scrubs to "business casual" for the medical office setting. For several months I have been focusing my sewing efforts on my work wardrobe. However, I have also been shopping for some ready to wear items to fill in some gaps and continue to build my work wardrobe. It's been much more difficult than I thought. I've been sewing the majority of my clothes for the last few years so had been out of the department stores for quite some time. I've been very discouraged by what I've been seeing so far. Much of the clothing within my price range is just poorly made! Cheap fabric, cheap closures, ill fitting. If I shop above my price comfort zone, it is difficult for me to justify spending at least $100 for a dress that I know I could make for $30 and of equal (or better) quality. 

I made the jacket in my profile picture for about $20. It is cotton seersucker, has a partial lining, bound seam allowances and shoulder pads. I love it- need to wear it more often! I made this jacket back in 2012- however, I saw at least 3 similar jackets of equal or lesser quality for about $100 during my recent shopping expeditions. It just makes me really love sewing even more when I think about what we can do with it! Now there are two stores (one company) that I can never go wrong at: Ann Taylor and Loft. Although their price points are a bit higher, they put on some decent sales. Plus, I am willing to pay more for the quality of fabric and styles. The quality is great. I have slacks from Loft that I've had for 8 years that look just as good as when I first purchased them. 

My husband loves to cut feet off in pictures! Details that only I notice. 

Alright already, back to the dress. I've made the Sewaholic Nicola dress before. I just love the fit and the design details. I knew I had to make one for the warmer weather. 

This time I used a daisy print rayon from an Etsy seller. I bought 4 yards for $20, then buttons and elastic.

There are quite a few steps to sewing this dress but nothing that is difficult. Sewaholic offers great instructions with their patterns. 

I did not make any alterations- sewed the size recommended by my measurements. They are designed for pear shapes- yeah for my curvy hips and big booty! But if you are less curvy, you may need to adjust accordingly. I think this design is universally flattering though- with its flowy design and waist cinching.

This was another winner for me! It is easy to wear and will look great in the office- maybe with a cardigan thrown over it. 

Do you still shop ready to wear? Where do you find your favorite things? 


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Floral Lady Skater Dress

Hard to believe almost half a year has passed since my last post! I'm happy to report that I am finished with grad school to become a nurse practitioner! This endeavor has practically consumed me for the last two years. I am excited that it is over and look forward to the new opportunities waiting for me. I will begin my first NP job in a couple of months. In the mean time, I plan on catching up on some much needed sewing and will continue to focus on items that I can wear to my future office job. Check out my work inspired capsule here

As usual, I am late to the party. This is my first time making the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress that was all the rage when it first came out three years ago. Don't get me wrong, people are still making it. I'm just never one to jump on the bandwagon right away.  

I used a very pretty floral ponte that I purchased during a trip to Seattle at District Fabric. Coming from a place where we only have Joann Fabrics, District Fabric was a treat to be able to shop at. It is a small store with a huge variety of unique fabrics. I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. They do sell a few fabrics online, but it doesn't compare to going to the store in person. This is one of many fabrics I picked up there. I believe it was between $6 and $7 per yard. 

The sizing of the dress was spot on for me. I made the size as recommended by the measurement chart. I added 2 inches to the length. I wanted it to hit below the knee to make sure it was work-appropriate. 

I sewed this up in one evening, mostly on my serger. It probably took me about 3 hours. The instructions were thorough. I think this would be a great dress for a novice or someone new to sewing knits. 

I got several compliments the first time I wore this. I love that it can be casual or dressed up- perhaps with a blazer or cardigan. I'm sure I will be making this one again. 


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sewaholic Nicola Dress

Introducing one my my new favorite dresses- the Sewaholic Nicola dress! I was instantly drawn to this pattern. I just love the design. It is very feminine and has a 70's vibe. I knew it would fit perfectly in my Work-Wear Inspired Capsule

I love working with prints! I know some people struggle with them but I think I've developed a good eye for what print works with what style. I discovered this print at Joann Fabrics. It is a rayon fabric with these beautiful Fall colors. I knew in an instant that it was meant for this dress. Joann Fabrics isn't one my favorite places to shop for fabrics, but sometimes you happen to find a treasure among all the polar fleece, lol! I spent about $20 for the fabric. 

I printed this pattern as a PDF. I used to dread PDF patterns, but not so much anymore. They are instantly delivered and at a better price. I'm sure with all the paper printing and ink used, it's a wash. But I tell myself I'm doing a better thing for the environment anyway. My ritual includes putting on my favorite show, pouring a glass of wine, and taping that monster up!

The instructions and illustrations are great. I didn't have any issues sewing this up. As for fit, I sewed up the size recommended by the pattern without issue. This dress is meant to have a flow and some ease so is quite accommodating to different sizes and shapes. 

I love the end result. This will look great with heels as pictured, or paired with some boots. I don't mind the fabric belt but I can always switch this out for a different look. It's very easy to wear and will be great for long work days. I'm going to have to make the short sleeved version when the weather warms up again.

And that's probably it for 2015! I've got some other makes that I need to post but don't think they will be up before the new year. I wasn't as productive this year but I feel like everything I made was high-quality and will get tons of wear in my new position coming up this next year. And as school comes to an end this next year, I should have much more time to get back to the sewing room more often. 

Wishing everyone a fabulous and blessed 2016!