Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Blue Lace Sheath

I was invited to a Summer evening wedding by a friend and wanted a new dress to wear to the occasion. I've always like the classic sheath dress and settled on New Look 6540 for the pattern. 

I opted for the sleeveless version with the lace overlay. I got this beautiful blue cottony lace from Joann Fabrics. Instead of constructing this with the lace as an overlay, I underlined with a blue broadcloth and treated the two fabrics as one. My lace did not have a border scallop, so hemmed the two fabrics as one. 

I cut one size smaller than recommended by the pattern. I graded out by 1/4 inch on each side along my abdomen and hips which is where I carry my extra weight. 

This was a breeze to make. I had no issues with construction. 

I 'm happy with the finished dress. I felt a little like Violet Beauregarde turning into a blueberry at first, but was reassured that it wasn't over the top. Lol!


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wide Legged Pants and a Scout Tee

I've been loving the wide leg pant look that has been all over Instagram lately. My wardrobe has been in need of new slacks for work and I knew I wanted to add some wide legs to my repertoire. 

There are many patterns out there. I went with Simplicity 8605. The pattern features the wide leg pants or capris with an optional tie belt. I used a rayon/poly/lycra fabric from Joann's. I spent about $15 on fabric. 

These were extremely easy to make. My favorite pant length is ankle. Because I am petite, I went with the cropped length, knowing that they would end up at the right spot. Other than that, I made no changes. 

I wore them for the first time today as pictured to work. I felt a little out of my element because they are so wide but they were well received and I had several compliments. And they are hella comfortable! Seriously, I never want to take them off! I've got another version planned in a tropical linen print, and am considering a pair made out of gray suiting.

Next up is the Grainline Studios Scout Tee pattern. OMG peeps, why have I waited so long? I think this was their first pattern out, what, like 6 years ago?!?! What can I say? I was waiting for the 90th review on PR to come out to convince me to make it already. 

I won't bore you with all the nitty gritty as you can go read for yourself. All I will say is that I made the size according to the pattern recommendations. I did make a slight large bicep adjustment. Apparently that's the PC way to say fat upper arms. It sewed up quickly. I've made 2 so far. This one is pictured in a rayon print from Joann's. Spent about $10-15 on this one. The heat in Phoenix right now is brutal. It is nice to have a breathable, breezy top that floats away from the body. Will definitely be making more. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Kielo Wrap Dress

This dress made me ponder my creativity. When people learn that I sew, I always hear the proverbial "you are so creative"! I don't think I am that creative and this is why sewing works for me. I am very logical, analytical, and work in a career where I use those skills. I'm not one who can come up with a design or concept from scratch. I'm not good with crafty things unless there are directions to follow. I'm great at cooking, because I know how to follow the directions of a recipe. This is what sewing is to me. It's a puzzle of pieces that go together when you follow the directions. The most creative part for me is picking the right fabric, which after 25 years of sewing, is still a challenge sometimes. Sure, it's a creative outlet for me, of sorts, but I'm certainly not coming up with the designs. 

Take the Named Kielo Wrap Dress as a perfect example. I loved the lines of this pattern when it came out. And although there are fabric recommendations for the pattern, I could never picture it made in anything other than this semi-sheer knit the model is wearing. I knew this was not the look for me and never gave the pattern another thought. Fortunately, many lovely sewists had more fabric hutzpah than me and made the dress up in lovely, opaque jersey fabrics. Go Google images for the dress or just go to Instagram and you will be in awe of all of the great versions out there. 

Once I could picture this dress made up in something other than sheer fabric, I knew I needed it in my life. I chose a green cotton spandex  from Girl Charlee fabric. I spent about $7 a yard, and needed about 2.5 yards. 

I made the size recommended by the pattern without adjustments. The maxi-length is not for me. I shortened the dress to hit me at the knee and left off the walking vent. I serged the majority of the seams, did what I needed to on my straight-stitch. 

I love the darts. Although this is a knit pattern, which tends to conform to your shape, the darts gives it a little more tailoring. 

The end result is fabulous. I have worn this every which way. Tied in the front, tied in the back. Out to the grocery store, business casual for work. It travels well. It is "flattering"- don't get me started on that word. I've actually come to despise it because it sends the message that our bodies need to be concealed in order to wear certain things. But if you've got a belly pooch like me or a little extra junk in the trunk, this really does look good! 

What about you? Do you consider yourself to be creative or a direction follower? Are you a bit of both? 


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Off The Shoulder Dress Pattern Review

The off the shoulder look is everywhere you look this season. From tops, dresses, even swimsuits. I was drawn to McCall's 7543. I love the sleeve variations included in the pattern and it's one that can work for both tops and dresses. 

When I came upon this Ikat-ish woven fabric at Joann's, I instantly thought of the off the shoulder dress. This is a cotton/poly chambray with a woven white print. I spent $23 in yardage. 

I made a size Large (16-18).  I added about an inch to the length. I like my dresses and skirts to hit just below my knees nowadays. Other than this, I didn't make further adjustments. 

This went together easily, no hiccups with construction. I would say a confident beginner could hammer this one out. 

I love the way this turned out. I like that the entire width of the top and shoulders have elastic. I don't feel like I'm going to have a wardrobe malfunction. I can't stand strapless bras and feel quite comfortable sans a bra on this one.  I love the casual, yet special look. It wouldn't look out of place to go to the grocery store, yet still dressy enough for date night! I've already picked out a cute print to make a top version.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Lemon Print Dress

I have coveted this lemon print fabric after seeing it all over the online sewing community! I got mine from Emma One Sock. It is a cotton sateen with a bit of stretch. 

I used New Look 6341. This pattern has princess seams, a pleated skirt and a scooped back. The bodice is lined. I made one size smaller than recommended by the pattern envelope. This went together quickly and I didn't change anything. This cost me about $30. 

I love how this turned out! It is fun to wear and I have received many compliments when wearing it!


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Split Sleeve Gingham Blouse

I love that gingham is back! It screams Spring and Summer. It can work as a neutral to pair up with other prints or can stand alone on its own. Cotton gingham is very easy to work with in sewing. 

For this top, I used Simplicity 8602. I like the loose and easy shape and all the sleeve variations. It even comes with a cold shoulder option which is very on trend. For this, I made the split sleeve version and the longer length. 

I used a blue and white Kaufman cotton gingham fabric I had picked up at a shop in San Francisco while on vacation. 

This went together fast and easy, instructions were just fine. I think this would be great for a beginner and it's an instant gratification project for someone more advanced. 

I didn't make any adjustments for this top. It does come with different bust sizes, up to DD. 

I wore this to the office with black slacks, received lots of compliments. I think this would be super cute with a printed skirt or with shorts. 

I have a lovely, polyester crepe that drapes softly that I am picturing made up in the cold shoulder version. 


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Boucle Blazer

I love a blazer for work. It's a great way to add some oomph to basic slacks and a blouse.

I used Simplicity 4698. It's OOP, but you can grab one on Etsy or Ebay. It's a great pattern for a fitted jacket with several variations. I made my first version in 2012. 6 years ago?!?!? I can't believe it's been that long. Yet this is a timeless, classic style and I won't be donating this pattern anytime soon. 

For this version, I used a polyester boucle I picked up at an independent fabric store while I was on a trip to San Francisco. It wasn't pricey. I love the colors integrated into the fabric: cream, green, blue. 

I wanted a quick and easy project and didn't fiddle with any design details. No collar, buttons, closures, pockets on this one. This is just a throw on-and-go piece. 

I made my standard, one size smaller than the pattern recommends based on my measurements, other than that, no changes to fit. 

For this version, I added shoulder pads, which I hadn't on my previous one. I think it gives the jacket a more professional, structured look. 

I need to be better about taking photos of the innards, but this jacket has a unique, partial lining. This keeps it lightweight but still lined in all the right places. 

I got several compliments in the office when I first worse this. I love the 3/4 length sleeve for transitioning to warmer weather. I will definitely be making more of these. Who knows? Maybe in another 6 years!


Monday, April 2, 2018

Pattern Review: Tie Neck Blouse

I have always loved the look of scarf necklines and pussy bow blouses but have yet to make one until now. I used Vogue 9204 for this blouse.

 The fabric is a light weight polyester crepe that I found on Etsy from Felinus Fabrics. The pattern is a "Very Easy Vogue" and I would agree. It went together quickly and easily. I did not make any changes to fit or construction

wore this to the office and received several compliments. I would love to make a few more of these! Solid colors would look great for layering pieces.