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. 


Monday, October 17, 2016

Classic Button-downs

Hi all! I've got some catching up to do! This will catch us up on four more garments, one pattern. I've found my Holy Grail for a button-down shirt! Vogue 8772 is the perfect pattern for me! It is a classic button-down shirt with front and back darts that give it a feminine shape. Long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and sleeveless versions are all included and you can even add a tie bow. These aren't earth shattering but they work really great in my new work wardrobe. Check out the collection I'm working on here

I made one size smaller than the envelope recommends based on my measurements. I have not made any adjustments to any of the versions. Lucky for me, it fits great right out of the envelope! Instructions are great and this sews up fairly quickly. 

This is made from a blue and white textured cotton I picked up at Joann Fabrics. It's light-weight and great for the warmer weather. 

This one is made from a blue cotton shirting. 

This is made from a cotton lawn from Mood Fabrics


This one isn't the greatest pic to show off the fabric and what's up with that wonky collar? Sheesh. This is a white cotton shirting with black polka-dots from Joann Fabrics.

I know I will be making more of these in the future. You can't go wrong with this classic style. I'm currently working on my little family of four's Halloween costumes. Let's just say they are from a galaxy far, far, away... 


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.