Friday, October 28, 2011

End of Summer Shirt, V8495

I made this quick shirt at the end of summer, but it was so hot, I couldn't stand to model it with a pair of jeans.  The weather is starting to cool off a little, so my end of summer shirt:

My trendy shirt is View A from the pattern.  I did not make any changes to the pattern and didn't make a muslin.  So, if I had to make it again, I would take up a little in the front neck-line and use less fabric in the front fold.   There is so much fabric in the front fold, that the shirt borders on a maternity top from the bust-line downward.  I do like the back view with the slight curves in the shirt.

This would be a cute top to downsize and use knit fabric.  The View B shirt with the ruffles might be quit the flouncy shirt.  You can see how much my sleeves stick out without the ruffles.  

Back view
Front view

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sew Serendipity Dress - Lovin' It

I just love it when a pattern and the fabric I have chosen both turn into winners!

This peasant-styled dress is from the book "Sew Serendipity" by, Kay Whitt.  I have been wanting to sew up this cute dress since I got the book.  This is my second casual peasant dress of the fall, so I could compare patterns.

What I love about this dress:
1.  Even though it is a peasant-style, it is still fairly fitted and doesn't make you feel frumpy.
2.  There is elastic over the shoulder (not all around the neckline), which gives a good fit, but also is very comfortable.
3.  It has a side zipper which allows it to look very professional and dressy.
4.  The dress has great embellishment opportunities.
5.  This is a polished dress for many occasions.

Since I have made a few other items by Kay Whitt, I know that I wear a size L with a FBA on the front bodice.  (See below)

The fabric I used was "Oz" from Moda.  The fabric came out last year and I had been holding it for the right project.  I'm sure glad I waited for this dress.  It is a perfect match.

So, after making this dress by Sew Serendipity and "London" by Lila Tueller Designs, which do I pick?  

I thought I would see a clear winner in the two styles, but I do like things about both.

Sew Serendipity: great fit and comfy with a great dressy style
London: easy to fit and comfy, but will never be overly dressy

Let me know if you make one of these dresses!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Elsa" by Maja's Heirlooms and Sew Beautiful #124

"Elsa" was featured in a cute article called "Gypsy Rose" in Sew Beautiful #124.  It was a cute dress and looked like an easy smock and sew.  The last few weeks have been a trial of seeing how difficult I can make something simple into something very time consuming.  

First, the smocking is great and easy.  I was able to quickly smock the bodice in between delivering kids to sports events.  

Next, I had these cute prints from Michael Miller fabrics that just sung together.  I have pulled them out dozens of times to use and could never get the right look.  I thought I had it with the solid brown smocked panel and the whirl of bright colors.  What I had was a CLASH of brown and bright colors.  The top skirt panel was a brown stripe with all the matching colors.  It clashed so badly, that I had to remove it.  The other colors just fought one another.  I just didn't want to trash it, so what could I do to save this dress.  

I added brown bias strips between the skirt layers to break up the print and make it bearable to the eyes. 

Now, let's talk about helping the next soul that decides to make this dress.  I made my daughter a size 8.  It swallows her around the chest and the armholes are large enough to almost see through the dress.  Since this is pull-on dress, you can't take it in too much and I don't want to fiddle with it anymore.  So, my daughter will wear a t-shirt/turtle neck under it.  Sew Beautiful doesn't give directions to alter the straight skirt to a layer skirt, so I added 1.5x of width on each panel.  It is not my favorite dress, but it is passable to wear in public now.

My daughter thinks it is beautiful, so I guess it is a winner!   

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Vintage Jane" for the Fall

We are looking for fall at our house.  The temperatures are not feeling fallish, so we have to use those fall colors in our clothes.  The bright prints from this peasant dress are from Patty Young's Andalucia line that is now out of print.  The dress pattern is "Vintage Jane" from Pink Fig Patterns.

I bought "Vintage Jane" for my daughter because she loves the peasant dresses I have made her.  They are easy to wear and look great.  But I wanted a subtle change from the peasant dress patterns from Pink Fig and Portabellopixie that I already own.  This dress has a cute design element with the side draw string on the top skirt.  The dress went together well.  It was quick, but with 4 ruffles sewn into it, some gathering is done.  I felt the sleeve ruffle was too gathered and next time I will not use such a long strip.  I have plans to make a few more of these and I may leave off the extra skirt layer.  

 This is a perfect fall dress!

I whipped up a few knit dresses using "Penny" by ModKid Patterns.  The brown knit I washed about 5 times before I cut and serged together.  I have had some issues with Michael Miller knits shrinking in the past.  My new cover-stitch machine made these two dresses go together in about 30 minutes.  I had a small sample of fold-over elastic in pink and used it on the pink swirl dress.  I may have been sold on fold-over elastic.  It is awesome, especially when I can use the singe needle cover-stitch to attach it.  I love the "Penny" pattern and I think these add up to about 5 dresses from it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Simplicity 2638 even if it kills me!

This is a "So Easy" dress from Simplicity.  So I made it "So Difficult" by overcompensating for a FBA and then trying to take the seams back in some.  It would have been easy to just cut another bodice, but I was out of fabric and I bought the last on the bolt at Helen Enox in Oklahoma City.  I was also determined to work this out since the print was gorgeous and it was going to look great.

My changes started with lengthening the bodice so the center section was fitted above my waist and horizontal.  Then I widened the bodice a little so that the front was not too tight.  Somewhere in that process the front neckline became too long and there was my problem.  So, I slowly inched the front V up until it fit "good enough."  

This is a little closer view to see the fabric.  It was a black and white border print in rayon.  It was great fabric to work with and hangs so well.  This dress pattern was the perfect match for the fabric.  The skirt on the dress is gathered in the center front and across the back, which makes a flattering hang to the dress.

I also entered a few of my daughters dresses in our county fair.  I won a rosette and "Best of Show."

It is hard to see the dress due to officials laying the dresses flat in cases.  This is the dress.

Hope you have fun at your county fair!