Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Outfit with McCalls 6965

Hey there sewing fanatics! I've been meaning to show you this outfit since the end of LAST summer, and I finally got some decent photos to share.  I needed to make an summertime outfit that I could be cool and comfortable, and not all that fancy in. So immediately I wanted to make silk shorts.

Ok, I'm not so good at being super casual in case you hadn't noticed. I actually made this outfit to wear to a racetrack last September, and everyone else was wearing actual casual clothes, like boring khaki shorts, yuck. These pictures were taken on Island Beach State park on the Jersey shore where we planned to do a little hike with the dog but were eaten alive by bugs one minute into our walk. I'm not so sure silk shorts are hiking apparel. 

The top is semi drafted by me, I took a princess seam bodice that the fit was already altered, and drafted a bottom to make a top. It's barely a flared shape. I then went ahead and added three rows of rick rack to it, because everything need rick rack, Duh. The fabric is a quilt weight cotton, one of those reproduction 30s prints from Windham fabrics. I bought the fabrics for the top and bottom at Fabricland. 

The shorts are McCall's 6965, but if you go to the website and look for them they will be under SKIRTS. I assure you this is a shorts pattern. I had to do some lengthening in the crotch region ( I hate that word, and I hate that I have to use it so much, talking about sewing all the time), as well as making the shorts a little longer. I think they are a pretty good length now. There is a little problem when it come to wearing these shorts and riding my bike. This silk goes flying in the air and won't stay down! 
It has a zipper at the center back, I made mine invisible because I hate putting in center zips. I think I will make another pair out of chambray, but would they technically be Jorts? What do you guys wear to be summertime casual when a dress is not really practical? 

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Fruit Dress: Vintage Simplicity 2507

This dress has all my favorite things in it, rick rack, fruit prints, and spinning ability. So obviously its amazing. I needed a dress for a fashion show for the class I've been teaching since January, Project Fabricland. It's a Project Runway inspired competition for students ages 10-18. They each had to design and sew an outfit inspired by a dessert.  

My class with Sonjia Williams fro Project Runway All Stars

The dress is a vintage pattern, Simplicity 2507, but with a gathered skirt. I was afraid the fruit print was going to look weird with the paneled skirt. Plus vintage patterns are so long and I didn't feel like chopping off a million inches. I had to make the bodice bigger, and do a fba. So it was stupid to even buy the pattern I could have just copied the picture. Whatever. I seem to snatch up any vintage pattern that has an opportunity for rick rack.

The fruit print is a quilt weight cotton, as soon as it came off the UPS truck at work, I knew I had to have it. I love love love a fruit print, but I am very particular about it. I don't like it when they look lifelike, they have to look vintage kitschy. I snatched up four yards for this dress, and ended up needing more. I made the skirt SUPER gathered. Its four panels of the fabric 45" wide. It's excessive, but makes for great twirling. 

This print looks like a picnic, so the gingham rick rack was a must. I also made deep patch pockets, to fit my iphone, and because pockets are a place to put MORE rick rack. I was planning on putting rick rack on the hem, but I stopped myself. So now I have 5 extra yards of black gingham rick rack.

I bodice is a skosh too big, and about a quarter of an inch too long, but I think the skirt is heavy and pulling it down. I also made a big hem, because I love they way it looks, its about 4.5".  If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen my watermelon shoes I bought a few days before this fabric came in, making a match made in heaven! 

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Monday, June 1, 2015

McCall's 6696, Liberty Print

What is it about Liberty fabric that just screams "SHIRTDRESS!!!"  I got this gorgeous Liberty print for Christmas this year (thanks Mom!) and I have been trying to think of the perfect thing to make. The McCall's 6696 shirtdress has been going around the blogosphere and it looks amazing on everyone, I thought I would try it out. 

I had just enough fabric to make the sleeveless version of the fuller skirt. I made a muslin of the bodice, and even with the different cup sizes for this pattern I needed to do a bit of an FBA. Based on some other reviews of this dress I took 1" of gathering away from the centerback. It still poofs a little, but I'm glad it took it out. 

 I also took off some of the shoulder width. Why do sewing patterns think everyone has linebacker shoulders? It makes no sense! Does anyone else find this problem? The buttons are from Fabricland, they match the shade of green perfectly! I used a woven fusible interfacing, which I think maybe was a little bit too stiff, but the collar stands right up! This was my first pattern with a collar stand, so I was a little nervous about that but it was a piece of cake. The only downside to this pattern is all the handsewing. Oi. 

I added some secret details to the inside. Leftover bias tape to the hem, and perfectly matching printed rick rack to the waistband. I only wish there was a place for it on the outside! I took these pictures on an expecially windy day down the shore (I'm from New Jersey, yes we really say that). The Liberty tana lawn is sooooooo fine that I was flashing everybody while walking the dog, any just of the wind sends this skirt flying! Oopsie. So that is my version of the famous  M6696, have you made one too? I was thinking of making a shirt version. 

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Poppy Moneta

This is actually my fourth Colette Pattern's Moneta dress, but the first one you have actually seen! I've made two winter versions with long sleeves, and a sleeveless that's on display at work for a class I'm teaching this summer. This one is my favorite. The fabric is an Art Gallery knit, the same as I used for my Carolyn Pjs. I've made something with 4 different of their prints now, they are so easy to work with and wash really well. 

I made the size L, which works fine for me. I did have to lengthen the bodice quite a bit, I have a long torso. I got this fabric from, I saw this print and I had to have it. (Plus I got 3% back on it with Ebates!). I ordered a little bit less than what the pattern said I needed, because they only sell in half yard increments. I had so much fabric left over! I was short an 1/8th and I had 7/8th left over.  The fabric is wide enough that you can make two folds facing each other and fit the bodices. Same for the lining. I used the lining fabric for the undercollar, which also saves some fabric. 

The biggest change I made was to omit the seam from the collar. It doesn't need it and it just creates bulk at the shoulder. I did the same thing with the Colette Hawthorn, I hate bulky seams! I overlapped the pattern pieces and made a new all in one collar. 

This is my favorite Moneta yet! So easy to wear, I am tempted to make my 5th! I'm taking a trip to Italy this Summer and this dress is definitely coming with me! 
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day Myrtle

This Mother's Day my family spent a weekend down the shore. It's been the first time we have all been able to stay in our house since hurricane sandy. My Mom has been working really hard getting everything in order for the house and I wanted to make her something comfortable she could wear around the beach.  We rode our bikes to the bay beach to take these pictures of the gorgeous bay. 

I thought a knit dress would be easy, and little fitting needed since this dress was a surprise. Colette Patterns Myrtle seemed like the perfect thing. The fabric is another Art Gallery Knit, it's my FORTH time making something from these knits. I love them, they wash well, easy to sew, and the prints are very cute. This dress looks straight out of the Boden catalog, which happens to be my Mom's fave. 

I made the straight size M, and the longer skirt version. I'm not 100% happy with the fit. The top is a bit overly draped, overwhelming. And I wasn't expecting the back to be gaping too. 

The dress came together in a few hours of working on it. The only trouble I had were the directions for the waistband elastic part. The drawings were throwing me off, sometimes when directions are too thorough it throws me off.  I omitted the pockets, pockets in a knit just droop down as soon as you put your phone in it, I hate a droopy pocket. 

The biggest change I mad was cutting the back skirt piece on the fold, instead of having a seam there. I can't figure out a reason why there needs to be a seam there. It didn't save any fabric, this knit is 60' wide so maybe it makes a difference for 45". I removed 3/8" seam allowance from the edge and placed it on the fold. 

This is the end of my selfless sewing streak. It started with a shirt for the dog, my brother's shirt, and now this but it's time to get back to sewing for ME. And they better not get used to all this selflessness, lol. 

Happy Mother's day everyone!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

By Hand London: Kim Dress

After the long long winter, I needed to make something that was springy and fun for Easter. I got the Kim dress pattern by By Hand London for Christmas, and it was finally time to make it. 

The fabric is a Cotton + Steel cotton lawn from It's the fabric I bought and got cash back on with my Ebates, when I wrote about my latest obsession (I'm still obsessed). 

I made a muslin for the bodice, and the fit was fine, with the exception of the length, which I had to add about 2". I'm not entirely happy with the fit even though I made a muslin. The finished product is defiantly different. If I make it again the shoulders have to be taken up, the waist is too big and the sweetheart neckline is just a little too low for me. 

My favorite part of this pattern is the skirt. It very gathered, and I love the detail of the folds at the hem. The skirt was a little too long for me, which I discovered after I made the pleats so I took 1/2" off of the waistline seam. 
The dress went together very easily, but I'm not totally in love. Its more wearable with a cardigan over it, even buttoned up so it looks just like a skirt. I'm feeling a little off my game. I hate sewing ruts. Do you ever feel "Meh" after you finish something? Pin It Now!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Brian's Negroni

 For my brother's birthday I was in the mood to do some selfless sewing.I know shocking, right!  He is always wearing camp style shirts so a Negroni would be the perfect thing. I was hesitant to make a men's shirt because it's easy for it to look a little homemade, but he couldn't believe I really made this shirt, it looked so profesh. Actually this is my first official men's sewing project (pj's don't count).

His measurements were in the size L, and I also stole one of his shirts to compare the size too. I wanted it to still have a slim fit on him. I used the shorter size M length, because that was a smidge longer than his RTW shirt. The fabric is a cotton + steel linen/cotton blend home dec weight, with all the names of the US states.  I've been eyeing this fabric at work (Fabricland) for a while, and finally thought of the perfect project. He loves America, and this is a rather subdued print for him, I thought it was safe for my first official mens project. 

To give the collar more shape, I pinned it around my pressing ham and steamed it to give it shape. This kept it from laying flat, and looking homemade. I trimmed the undercollar about 1/8", so it won't roll over. I then decided to topstitch everything so that wasn't really necessary. 

I used the free download of the alternative pocket, which happened to match up perfectly on the sides if you notice :). The facings were very wide, I compared them to his shirt I stole, and took 1.5" off the width. I also sewed the facings down the front, so they wouldn't flap around. I tried to make the shirt as durable as possible, my brother is notorious for being rough with clothes. I just serged the seams inside, instead of doing flat felled seams, I didn't really read the directions and missed that part. OOPS.  I was too lazy to make the button loop for the top and just sewed an extra buttonhole there. I cut the yoke on the cross grain, so the states would go vertical.

The biggest difference I made was the sleeve length. I cut out, sewed, and hemmed the original short sleeve pattern in, put it on my husband just to see and OMG nerd sleeves! They were about four inches too long.  I cut off the excess and hemmed them to a less nerdy length. 

Well he loved it, and I think it fit him pretty well. Here we are looking like a happy cotton + steel family. (I will blog my dress later this week). Happy Birthday Bri! Pin It Now!