About Me

My photo
Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

More off the shoulder looks with Simplicity 8550

My latest make...This dress, a modified version of View A.

Image result for images Simplicity 8550

I had envisioned this with cutwork embroider on that super cute collar but as I scaled the design down so it would fit, the stitch density was so tight that I simply had a big bunch of nesting.  I really don't like it when that happens!

Rather than cut another collar, I ditched that part of the design.

Simplicity patterns fit me differently than the other 'big' brands do and to accommodate a FBA, I typically have better luck grading to a large size in the bust area.  This pattern has a large dart meaning it is deep and I knew just by looking at it that I wouldn't need any additional alterations there.

What did need altering however was where the waist ties sit.  I marked them according to the pattern and the ties were sitting at my mid-hip level.  I raised them by three inches.  

I do like that the back is plain.

I do love this avocado-y colored linen from Fabric Mart.  
This dress has a nice length so I won't need leggings with it all summer but it was chilly this morning so I threw these on.  
I like how this fits, it is comfortable so I will most likely use this pattern again, perhaps though for a top.  

Thanks so much for reading!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ice Dye & Frankenpattering

Has spring finally arrived where you live? 


It has here and I am sewing with linen.  I so love linen! 

Do you try embellishing fabric?  I like to but hesitate so much.  I've done some ice-dying before and decided that linen is perfect because it is a natural fiber and I just love linen.  

So, I deviated from the instructions, slightly.  You should wet your fabric prior to the process, however since I wanted to use just one color of dye, I thought I would try putting the fabric in dry.  Had the weather been much, much warmer, this might have worked.  

Let's back up a bit.  The directions don't mention this, but honestly if you are relying on the ice melt as a means to dye your fabric, it is best to ice dye when the weather is warm outside.  I was rather ambitious and tried this at the beginning of April on a day when it was about 50 degrees.  Not ideal, but hey, it's been a very long winter in the northern plains of North America and I needed some creative mo-jo.  

Use some quality fiber reactive dyes.  I like this brand: Dharma Trading Co.  I decided early on that I was going for subtle.  I used a turquoise dye and a lot of ice with two laundry baskets in our whopping 50ish degree weather....I mean, the ice will melt in a few hours, right?  

Not really...don't laugh at my positive thinking.  I really hoped it would melt over the course of 6 or so hours in the sun.  

Well, it didn't so I did what any seamstress would do and pulled out a hair dryer, sat on my front steps and melted the ice with some hot air.  And guess what, the hot air worked!  Remember, I was going for subtly with my embellishment. 

Next, after completing the steps to set the dye, I knew I wanted something with statement sleeves.  I did a hack of two patterns from two very different companies.  The sleeves are a Simplicity pattern see it Simplicity 8415 and the body of the garment is a StyleArc pattern StyleArc .  When I finally decided to frankenpattern these two, I walked the sleeves to make sure they'd fit the armsyces of the blouse.  Lo and behold, it was a great fit with zero alterations!  

I so love this linen from FM.  I've sewn so many garments with it.  I always test drive it by washing in a gentle wash cycle with warm water and also in the dryer.  My hubby helps with laundry and does a great job.  I never want to have him feel bad if a garment shrinks so I prewash everything.  This linen for me, has always behaved beautifully and gets better and better with every wash and dry.

You can see above how I decided to finish off the inside sleeves.  I used a flat-felled foot, just for fun and what a nice edge finish I got!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you'll try some embellishing soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Simplicity 8547

The instant I saw this dress I knew I had to make it and I knew I was going to embellish part of the front bodice.  

Image result for images Simplicity mimi g dress

So, I ordered a stencil from here: ThanksImadeThem.  I purchased the 'drops' stencil.  I love it!

I was so excited to try this that I ended up just tracing the inside of each shape with a washable child marker instead of the usual painting with an airbrush.  It worked great, although I highly recommend testing your fabric prior to using the marker.  

So back to the pattern.  I used three fabrics, all from my stash.  The blue and white knit are Stof knits that are 94% cotton and 6% spandex.  Usually people use Organic cotton for Alabama Chanin handwork, but I decided to use what I had on hand.  The mesh is also from my stash.

This fabric is much, much stretchier than the pattern envelope calls for.  Because of that I eliminated the back zipper.  If you used a firmer knit, you'll want the zip.  This dress is very close fitting.  I am wearing as much shapewear as I can under this.  It will look much more flattering once I finally loose 10 pounds! 

The pattern is very well drafted.  It goes together beautifully.  I made a few alterations.
1.  I raised the V-back 5 inches.  It would hit you a little higher than the natural waist.  
2.  I had to raise the waistline by about an inch.  For reference, I am 5'7".  

That's it.  After wearing it, and seeing photos, I need to raise the front waistline an additional 1/2"-ish.  There is a ripple there that I don't like.  

My sleeves aren't nearly as snug as Mimi's.  I may need to take those in a bit as well.

Here is a peek at the hem and the stitch I use to create almost all my hems.  It is #22 on my Bernina.  
All in all, I really like this dress.  It was fun to create the reverse applique.  

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Closet Case Kalle Dress

I've admired this pattern and all the cute makes for quite some time.  The style is classic and this is a blank canvas to go wild with creativity.  

This is the Kalle shirt and shirt dress pattern by Close Case Patterns.  

Image result for Images Kalle shirt dress

I would describe this as oversized shirt dress with collar options, lengths, closures, and hemline variations.  

My fabric was sticking to the back of my leggings for some reason!  

Fabric is from my stash.  I am still working on stash-busting.  

The drafting on this is exceptional along with the details.  Sometimes with a dress/shirt like this you can see everything you've got at the armscye when you lift your arm.  Not with this one!  The way the cuff is designed and cut minimizes and practically eliminates armscye gaposis.  Nice, right?

I see more of these in my future!
I hope spring has arrived in your area.  It finally arrived here!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Simplicity 8614

How adorable is this pattern?  

Image result for images Simplicity 8614

That bow!  Those ruffles!  I immediately fell in love.  

I knew this would be adorbs on Elaina.  I had some leftover rayon fabric from I dress I made for me, and thought it was just enough for this little jumpsuit/romper.

It is really difficult to get a clear photograph of a busy little girl.  So bear with me.  

First thing you'll notice is that I left that big bow off the back.  I knew it would bug her.  And, I didn't have enough fabric for it.  It is still super cute.  Just a note on this outfit...there is no snap closure at the legs.  That means, yes, you do have to take the ENTIRE garment off to change a diaper.  WHAT???

How I wish I would have realized that prior to cutting this out as I would have immediately corrected that.  Plus, and this is minor, Simplicity baby patterns use a lot of zippers at the center back.  On a previous dress I made for Elaina, I redrafted the pattern so I could have snap/button openings at the front.  Has Simplicity not heard of the back to sleep campaign?  I used an invisible zipper as I think they are softer and more flexible, thus softer on your skin...should you need a nap.  Sleeping on a zipper or buttons doesn't sound very restful to me, just sayin!  

The bias tape at the neckline is vintage and from my stash--how else do you get vintage notions, right?  I will say that several years ago I was at an antique shop and found a treasure trove of rick-racks, bias tapes and assorted trims.  I have so enjoyed using them all!  Plus, this one was a perfect match.  

Any time I pulled out my phone to take photos, Elaina looked skeptical but also very cute.  If I ever make this pattern again I will put in snaps at the inseam to allow for easier diaper changes.  And, as cute as that bow is, unless it is for a formal event (wedding, etc.) I will leave it off.  

Elaina looks darling, as I knew she would!  

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Some spring dress sewing: Simplicity 8551

I need some new spring dresses and I am still smitten with statement sleeves.  This Simplicity pattern caught my attention!  

Image result for Simplicity 8551

Did I mention too that I love using hardware on my makes?  I choose view D.

When I took these photos, we were in the midst of a blizzard and it was COLD outside.  Those aren't good combinations for taking photos outdoors.

I used this fun shirting fabric from Fabric Mart.  This is a Tori Richard shirting fabric in 100% cotton.  If you can find this fabric, it is lovely to sew with.  

This is an uneven plaid.  It was fun playing with the placement.  As you can see, I cut the front band on the bias as well as the lower half of the sleeves.  I also cut the ties on the bias.  

Too install the grommets, I folded the placket/yoke in half and used a leather punch (set on the appropriate sized setting) to punch the holes.  That way, they were perfectly matched up on both sides.  Can you tell I like precision?  

I did work hard to make sure the center back and front seams were on a prominent part of the plaid.  I chose the intersection of the blocks.  

I found this pattern runs really large in the mid-section.  I took it in a least 4 inches at the waist.  Since that never happens, I've dubbed this a 'must-use-again' pattern.  

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Unselfish sewing Simplicity 1082

I was able to spend last week in Baton Rouge, where my daughter and her family live.  There was a day that was deemed by them, "Too cold to go anywhere and do anything," so we decided to sew up this adorable Simplicity pattern, 1082

                Image result for images Simplicity 1082

See what I mean?  It is darling!  Since we are still working on de-stashing we found these the two prints in my daughter's stash and all the other notions needed such as safety eyes, fiber fill, etc.  

If you've never sewn a three-D animal such as this I will give you some hints.

Cut and sew with precision.  All seam allowances are 1/4".  Any sloppiness will result in a finish that won't look as cute as it can.

Mark all the notches, dots, small and large circles as those are pretty integral in figuring out the design.

No matter how much fiber fill you have, you'll probably end up using more than your first estimation.  This guy takes a LOT to get him to look nice and plump and without lumps or bumps.  I probably should have used more but we didn't have any so we left her as is.

If you don't press as you sew, then don't create this guy.  Seams need pressed open flat so they look nice.  This type of attention to detail will also help you match seams easier as you are sewing.

Use a high-quality quilting cotton or fabric to make these.  I would believe a thin fabric won't hold the fiber fill as well and it will look lumpy.

Granddaughter Elaina actually gave this hippo an unsolicited kiss when we showed it to her!  I hope she cuddles with it a lot.  

This only took a few hours to make.  I enjoyed it and can't wait to make the flamingo and giraffe.

Thanks for reading!
Sue :)