Friday, September 23, 2011

My "London" retro dress

This is my first sampling of fall sewing, a retro peasant dress for myself.  It is full of fall colors and still cool enough to wear in a South Texas fall.

This is "The London Peasant Dress" from Lila Tueller Designs.  I made it totally according to the directions.  I first made the brown trim with a brown and green print.  It was lost in all that color.  So I took it off and replaced it with this two-tone brown.  I love the pop in the brown.

I made a Large in this pattern and it fits great.  The pattern is loose fitting, so sizing isn't a big deal.  I like the comfort of this dress, but I may try Serendipity Studios peasant dress from her book.  It has elastic on the shoulder instead of all the way around the neckline.  I think it will be more polished and not so frumpy.  If I made a weeks worth of these dresses, I would have a complete fall wardrobe.  

Happy Fall Sewing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Bella Skirt" and Kwik Sew 3869

I had purchased some great black fabric with ribbon flowers sewn on it.  Great fabric, but I had fear when thinking about cutting it.  Well, I went through my skirt patterns a dozen times looking for the perfect one.  I found it with a Serendipity Studio skirt, Bella.  This is a straight skirt with a yoke and buttons.  

The white buttons look great.  I followed the pattern, except for the hem of this skirt.  I didn't want the bulk or the ribbon showing through the bottom layer.  I used the selvedge edge (no decoration on it) and cut the curve of the skirt for the hem piece.  I sewed the hem band to the bottom, folded the top edge under, and then topstitched it down.  Great skirt!

My local heirloom store has become a Kwik Sew dealer, so I picked up Kwik Sew 3869.  It is a sleeveless, princess seam top with either a wide collar or mandarin collar.  I used a white cotton that has to have some rayon in it, since it has a great drape.  I made a Large in this pattern, but it is almost too big.  It may not look like it in the picture, but the top of this pattern is very generously sized.  This is a pattern to come back to again.  It fits fabulously and looks great on me.  This shirt pattern will go well with shorts, jeans, or skirts.

Excuse my wrinkled state in the pictures.  I have been to church, the store, and to eat (where I spilled something on me).  Thunder is rolling in the back-ground today.  RAIN!  It is an answer to prayer in south Texas!

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Feliz Party Dress" makes ME happy!

This is the project to work on after you have done a tedious or serious sewing project.  It bursts with fun for an experience seamstress.  I have made two dresses from Sewing Clothes Kids Love and the book is a total winner.  They sell it locally at Hobby Lobby and Joann's, making it easy to get at a discount with a coupon.  It is NOT for a beginner's first couple of projects.  The dresses have a wonderful assortment of contoured pieces that make the most beautiful drape on a dress.

Feliz is shown in the book without a lot of embellishments, but the internet if full of samples of this cute dress done with ruffles and ribbon.  So, I plunged right in with ruffles and ribbon.  It was a sewing room clean-out!  I used ribbon, rick-rack and scraps of fabric to make 2 dresses.

My first dress is the blue, purple, and green trio with Central Park fabric from Moda on the front pulling it together.  My ribbon box needed a clean-out and both dresses did a great job of cleaning out the extras!

The second dress has a brown daisy Anthology fabric on the front and matching layers of gingham trim on the back.  I used my embroidery machine and a flower design from Bella Marie Embroidery to add the big daisy to the front.

My daughter LOVES these dresses.  The dress has elastic in the back to pull the back to the body and the ties actually start at the front side seams and tunnel through to the back so the dress gathers on the ties and fits under the arms perfectly!  The patterns run fairly true to size for commercially made items in the US.  If you have a plus sized girl, do a test garment, because I think they fit thin girls well.  My 7 year old daughter is tall, so I traced out the 9-10 year old dress and left off the seam allowances, so that I had the longer length, but not the width.  This is a fun dress to make, it just makes you smile!

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Rose" from Ottobre and Sassy Skirt Redo

This is a quick and easy project from an old copy of Ottobre Magazine (I think 2008).  Unfortunately, it doesn't hang on my dress form well.  The skirt does hang better in person.  The fabric is a purple gingham with matching ribbon around the waist and neck.  

Normally you would not put ribbon around the neck, but the pattern shows an upturned and rigid trim, so I used the ribbon to make it match.  I made this a little too big for my daughter to last through the winter, but I am still not impressed with the fit of this dress.  I must be spoiled into believing that everything will fit well like most heirloom patterns do.  I would equate the fit to buying a Target dress when you normally shop at Macy's.  If you like the gathered waist and neck styling, I would pick a better fitting pattern and then move the pattern pieces away from the fold and then gather it.  I might make a flower pin to wear with this dress, so it doesn't look so plain.

I have been busy inside, since we are still roasting in Texas.  My daughter had outgrown a cute dress I had made from Portabellapixie.  It has a huge skirt on it and I didn't want to loose all that gathering, so I found my scraps and cut out the yoke to Sassy Skirt from Children's Corner and made the dress into a skirt.  All I had to do was cut off the bodice to the dress and attach it to the yoke of Sassy Skirt.  I also embroidered a Target t-shirt to match the skirt.  Embroidery design from Stitch on Time.

Before, as a dress.

After, as a skirt.

Pink and cute, just a girl's dream.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!  I hope it cools off here.  Houston is in the hottest summer ever recorded and I am ready to see cooler weather.