Saturday, October 1, 2016

Still summer in Texas with a Delphi Layered Maxi Dress

Delphi Maxi dress by Named with Girl Charlee fabric

Delphi Layered Maxi Dress by Named
Shrug from the book Just for You

Ikat print jersey knit from Girl Charlee 
Coral is a bamboo rayon knit jersey

This is a great pattern, so I only made a few minor changes. 
1.  Knit stay tape in the hems of the top and bottom.  I also used the stay tape in the straps to keep them from stretching out.
2.  I like to use clear elastic in the waist of a knit dress.  To make this nice and clean I will use a basting stitch to stitch the clear elastic to the wrong side of the skirt.  In this case, I layered the clear elastic, wrong side of the skirt and the right side of the top.  The clear elastic was cut to the length of my daughters waist.  I will also pin the elastic in quarter sections so that I don't end with uneven gathers in the elastic.  Then I serge over the seam.  
3.  I sewed the straps onto the back and then folded them to the front and topstitched.  

My daughter is growing in height, but is still slim.  I used an extra small size and adjusted the shoulder straps and waist to fit her.  She loves this dress.  She wore it to school the other day and is planning to wear it to church.  

Back of Delphi Maxi dress and shrug

Cute top to the maxi dress.

She loves the back!

Friday, September 23, 2016

I'm back from a whirlwind summer with my own pattern for a tunic

My RTW copy of a new favorite tunic.

Wow!  The weeks have been flying by!  I had no intention of breaking up my regular posting, but my summer was full!  Full of new fun and adventures.  

Self drafted from a tunic I bought and loved to wear.  
I laid it out and traced off my pattern.  The back has an key hole cut out.  After tracing off the pattern, I added my wonky shoulder adjustment.    This pattern fits so well that I am adopting it as my bodice  knit sloper.   The back keyhole needs a narrower band than I used.  Guess I'll have to make a dozen more to try out that idea.  It takes about 90 minutes to cut and sew this top.  Neck and armholes are finished with a 1/2" band.  The hem is coverstitched.

Gray with purple floral ITY fabric
I will show you my summer sewing travel pictures below.  But my fabric was from Stretch Text in Montreal.  Brand new for fall.  And $3.50/meter.

Back pattern pieces.  Notice the difference in shoulders.
Pattern front. 

Back view
Yes, I love this tunic
Next time I will use a smaller trim to do the finish of the loop.
It fits like a dream.

 Over the summer we traveled to New York City, Montreal, and Quebec City.  

In New York City we hit the Garment District and all the fun fabric stores.  My daughter was my partner in crime that day.  (Or at least she carried one bag.)

After all the retail fabric in New York City, I decided that my three hour fabric shopping time limit would be spent in the warehouse district in Montreal.  Thanks to two Canadians who wrote up detailed directions, I ventured out on an adventure.  (refer to and
So I left my hotel with three hours to hit the Chabanal District.  Armed with a map and a taxi driver, I made it my destination in 30 minutes.  Since both references talked about Globe-Tex, I headed there first.  The place was great.  The people were great.  The prices were great.  The fabric was great.  I burned two hours here and filled a suitcase.  They were kind enough to hold my large purchase while I ran downstairs to Stretch Text. That is where I bought this fabric for my tunic.  All the latest fall ITY fabrics for $3.50/meter.  The lady at Globe-Tex was so kind, she called me a taxi to get me and my fabric back to the hotel before we were scheduled to join the Montreal circus.  My fabric cutting guy carried my fabric purchase from the fourth floor down to the taxi.  Great customer service for this Texan.  If you happen to find yourself in Montreal, TAKE AN EXTRA SUITCASE and GO TO GLOBE TEX.  Enjoy my trip in pictures.

Iconic statue at the beginning of the Garment District.

Spandex House

My daughter was amazed at all the fabric in Spandex House.

We tried to figure out how to fit this in the suitcase.

Zippers, zippers, and more zippers

Shelves of white for dress shirts. Did you know there were that many whites?

My daughter loves the dress forms.  This was at Mood.

My partner in crime at Mood.

She wore out at B&J Fabrics.

Joining the circus in Montreal.

Warehouse fabric shopping at Globe Tex in Montreal.

How do you fit that in a suitcase?
The fabric in my tunic was from the back wall of Stretch Text.

Rock Climbing near Quebec City.
Rock climbing at Victoria Canyon near Quebec City.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer's Hot, but Cotton Sateen is not

It is steamy hot in South Texas.  My hair dropped its curl within feet of the back door.  My son snapped a few photos and said they had better work because it is TOO hot out.  Glad they almost turned out perfect.

Simplicity 2248
This pattern, fabric, and piping was becoming a shelf staple in my sewing room.  I can't tell you how many summers I have just moved it and made something else.  I am SOOOO glad I didn't give up and I am SOOOO much better at fitting these days.

Cotton Sateen from Oliver+S sold years ago at Joann's.
Royal blue Bemberg lining
White petite piping

Construction and Fitting:

Sewist beware!  I started reading the pattern and immediately knew their directions would not work.  They wanted piping added and then pieces sewed together.  I know that "just doesn't work."  So, I rearranged the order of construction to allow sections to be sewn together and then the piping added. 

It is totally lined the dress.  Even part of the sash is lined with Bemberg because this dress is a fabric hog.  I had less than a fat quarter left of fabric.  I'm glad the sashes criss-cross because they hide the mismatches of fabric.

I was drawn to this pattern the year it came out and was featured on the front of the Simplicity pattern book.  I love piping and fell in love with the details.  When I looked on Pattern Review, the sashes looked skimpy.  I had already cut mine out and it made me worried about covering the bust area completely.  I used 1/4" seams on the sash to give me all the fabric I could get.  I am pleased with the result.

Pattern changes for fitting:
1.  Shoulder slope correction
2.  Swayback adjustment
3.  FBA to the princess line
4.  Added fabric to the underarm seam (AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!)
5.  Raised the front neckline

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm Back and Ready to Share B6164

I didn't mean to take a month off from my blog, but graduating a high school senior and all the festivities involved with it took over my life.  

I am happy to say that our house has returned to its normal busy state.

Even though I made this dress in April, I didn't get around to sharing it.  It was a special dress made to wear for graduation.  My son's graduation gown was royal blue.  I didn't want to compete with it, but to compliment it for great pictures.  

B6164 Fabric from Fashion Fabrics

Butterick B6164, View A

Rayon Challis from Fashion Fabrics

Pattern Adjustments:

I first added 1/2" to raise the armhole.  I also took out a bunch from the shoulder.  After sewing it up partially and then trying it on, I could see my whole bra strap under my arm.  I took another bunch off the top of the shoulder and was happy with the results.  See my pictures below.

I did take a small swayback adjustment as I was sewing the dress together.  This left the hemline with a big wave in it.  My dear husband sat on the floor and pinned and repinned the hem for me.  I think it was his first and last hem pinning session.  

I decided to line the dress with a rayon lining all the way to the hem.  The pattern directions line only the bodice.  I made up my own construction order and used what I call the "Children's Corner Louise" method of adding the lining to the open armhole. Many cool techniques for my clothing I learned by sewing my daughter's dresses.  The techniques in Children's Corner patterns are very valuable to all sewing.  

I am extremely happy with the way this dress looks and fits.  It looks wonderful and I hope it shows through in the pictures.  For those of you who want to make one, please watch the armhole length.