Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kitschy Coo Dolman Top maxi dress

Since I wear my maxi dresses at least twice a week, Myra has decided that she needs her own "gown".
She really doesn't need more clothes. But this was a nice easy project after a week away from my sewing room.
I used the Kitschy Coo Dolman top pattern as a base, and then added an ankle length skirt based on my tutorial.
I jazzed it up a little with a striped neckband cut on the bias, and some 4mm Hotfix gems accenting one of the hearts. Every girl needs a little bling.
The fabric has been in my stash a while. I think I bought it at Walmart when we lived in Texas, so it is at least 2 years old. It's a very lightweight jersey with only about 15% stretch, so it works for an unfitted style like this.
The jersey drapes really nicely, but you can see that the skirt is actually quite full. I cut as much width as I could after cutting out the bodice pieces, so it is about 1 3/4 times the bodice width. The elastic at the waist pulls it in more and gives the dress a little shape.
Myra is really thrilled to have her own gown. I wasn't sure that a maxi dress would be practical for a busy nearly 5 year old, but she's been playing and climbing hard in it without mishap. And she feels like a princess, which is one of the things I love about my maxi dresses.
Of course, her favorite part is the sparkle. I see a lot of Bedazzling in my future...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Simplicity 3503 border print maxi dress

Thanks for all the well wishes for our trip to Tennessee! We had a lovely time, and I got a chance to take some pictures of a new dress in one of the most picturesque places I've ever been.
So. Much. Green. This is the "backyard" at my parents house. They actually live in North Carolina, but close to the Tennessee border, so we got a chance to visit and admire their new home. Seriously. So beautiful.
This photo was taken where we stayed in Johnson City - the Carnegie Hotel.
But about the dress... This project started with this awesome fabric. It is a border printed ITY jersey that I got at Mood. They still have it here. Isn't it fun?
I wanted to make the most of the large motif as well as the borders, which are printed on both selveges of the fabric. In my three yard length, I had two of the large central "swirl", so I decided to place those on the upper skirt.
The pattern is Simplicity 3503, which I made before here. I wear my first version all the time, so I know it's a winner. Alas, this one is OOP, but Simplicity has kindly released 1804, which has a similar feel and fit.
The only problem with using this pattern for a border printed fabric is that the skirt isn't a rectangle. It has a small amount of shaping. I decided to keep the shaping and sacrifice a tiny bit of the border print at the side seams. You can see it in this picture, but it isn't obvious when the dress is worn.
I also used the border print to highlight the wrap bodice, both front and back, as well as on the back ties for continuity. This means that my bodice pieces are all cut on the bias. This worked fine for my knit, as it has stretch in all directions, but it may not work as well for less stretchy knits. Bias in knit fabrics can be a tricky thing.
Since this fabric is a little more weighty than the Qiana I used for my first version, the skirt is a little longer and swishier. It feels very goddess-like, and I love wearing it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

McCalls 6035 blouse and 3830 knit pencil skirt

A friend of mine was getting rid of some fabric, so naturally I was happy to adopt it! All of the pieces she gave me were lovely, but I was struck by a piece of pink embroidered eyelet, and had to make it into a blouse.
I used McCalls 6035, which I made in pink stretch linen here. I knew I wanted a simple blouse to let the fabric shine.
I got it finished and was a little dismayed. It doesn't look like much on Sandra Dee.
But isn't the lace at the hemline lovely? I'm pleased with the matching at the seams. I chose this pattern mostly for the fit, and I feared that all the panels would be tricky to match, but they were fine. I did have to straighten the curved hemline on the pattern, which was no big deal.
Some necklaces and a belt really perks it up. Carolyn suggested pairing it with white jeans, and I love that idea! Now I need to sew a pair of white jeans. I wore my old pair to death!
Since I didn't have time to sew up some white jeans, I decided to whip up a black pencil skirt. It seems I really need to sew more wardrobe basics! I used my knit pencil skirt tutorial, and made this skirt in about 30 minutes. The fabric is ponte knit from Spandex World. It feels very similar to the Sophia line of double knits that you can get at Vogue Fabrics. It's quite nice!
Both pieces are nice, much needed basics, so I'm glad I took the time to sew them. And so grateful to Catrin for the lovely pink eyelet!

On a personal note, I'm going out of town for the next week. I do have another make to show you, but I'm not taking the computer, so it will have to wait until I get back, and I won't be doing any sewing during the week, so the blog will be quiet. Hopefully, we can get some pictures of my new dress among the beautiful Smoky Mountains!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lady Skater Pattern Tour: Skater to the Max!

I'm so thrilled to be participating in the Lady Skater Pattern tour! I can't even express how much I love this pattern, both in the adult and kids size ranges. I've made 13 of them! The pattern really is the perfect blank slate. I decided to make this one into a maxi.
Hot Pink, of course. The fabric is an ITY from FabricMart. Just right for a slinky dress.
It didn't take much altering to achieve this look. In fact, pretty much all of the changes are to the skirt. The bodice is sewn exactly per the pattern, although I did omit the sleeve bands and simply hemmed the sleeve.
To make it a maxi, I lengthened the skirt so that it just brushed the floor when I'm not wearing shoes. I tend to hang around my house barefoot, and I didn't want to step on it. I also slimmed the skirt to more of a column shape, using the same method you would use to make it a peplum, except overlapping the pattern at the slashes, instead of spreading it apart.
Of course, a column skirt doesn't leave much room for walking, and I have a long stride.
So I added a center back seam, and inserted a triangular godet from the knee down. It gives the dress some back interest, as well as providing needed walking ease. I used Brooke's great tutorial to get a perfect point at the tip of my godet.
With the addition of the godet, this dress is surprisingly practical. I can do all of the things a busy mom has to do, while still feeling fab.
In fact, I think I'll make a dozen more!!

Well, what are your going to make with the Kitschy Coo Skater Dress pattern?
If you need more inspiration, make sure you are following along with these fabulous ladies!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ottobre 02/2006-11 wide-leg pants

A week or so ago, Mr. Postman delivered a package full of goodies to my door.
Awesome, right?!? Thank you, Connie!!! As you know, I am a bit of an Ottobre addict, so as soon as they arrived I traced off a pair of pants and went to work.
These are from the 02/2006 issue, model #11. It is a nice basic pant pattern with wide legs, fitted through the torso and a shaped waistband.
Here they are tucked in, so you can see the whole pant. The waistband is fairly wide and high, which I really like. It falls about 2 inches below my actual waist. 
The legs are cut straight down from the hip, so there is plenty of volume there. I really like this shape for me, as it balances my fuller bustline. They are also quite comfortable to wear.
The fabric I used is a semi sheer linen from FabricMart, so I lined the pants with Ambiance. They feel lovely on. The pocketing and facings are poly/cotton batiste.
I'm pretty pleased with the fit, although this is a more forgiving style in that regard. I decided to forgo a muslin and just compared the pattern pieces to another pant pattern that fit well. Alterations I made were to lengthen the rise 1 inch both back and front, scooped out about 1/2 inch in the back crotch and 1/4 inch in front, as well as lengthening the back crotch hook 1/4 inch. After the pants were assembled (but not lined or faced) I took an additional inch off at the CB waist. The waistband is seamed, so this was an easy fix to make.
Between the comfortable, loose fit and the soft, breathable fabric, I think these pants are going to be a wardrobe favorite, and I'll definitely be making this pattern again.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Boy stuff

I'm not sure how to start this post. I made a tent. But not really a tent. It's really a place for Logan to go to escape from a world that is too much for him. I haven't said it on the blog before, mostly because I've been working through it myself. Logan has autism. Sometimes, he just needs somewhere he can get away from all of the noise and stimulation around him. So, I made him his own place.
It started out as a table that Mitch made for the kids. The top is covered with Lego plates, so I couldn't just make a tablecloth and call it good.
This is the table before. As you can see, it gets used. A lot. And I didn't want to lose the functionality of it as a play table, but I did want to start with something that Logan saw as a safe area.
Instead of a cover, I made four panels and attached them to the sides of the table with velcro. This has the added effect of making it easy to get in and out of, since there are openings on all four corners. I attached the soft side of the velcro to the table, so that when/if we remove the panels, the table still has a soft edge.
Thomas had to check it out first, before Logan was sure about it.
It looked OK on the inside...
Yay! He likes it! Sometimes it's good to do some unselfish sewing.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A series of Skaters; dresses, that is

When I made my Lady Skater Dress, it used so little fabric that I had a huge piece left. LadyKatza mentioned her intention to make matching Skaters for herself and her daughter, and I could not get the idea out of my head.
So I made one for Myra to match mine. I can't even tell you how thrilled she was.
But I couldn't stop at just one. There was enough of the cheetah print ITY to also make one for my niece! Three yards of fabric got me three Skater Dresses - one for me, one for Myra and one for Emma! I love that pattern.
While I was making Skaters anyway, I had to sew up this one from the World of Knights fabric from Kitschy Coo's shop. This fabric -gah! Myra and I are in complete agreement in our absolute love for it. I used yellow ribbing for the bands, but there are so many colors in the print, you could go with pretty much anything.
Since the print is directional, it does take a wee bit more yardage to get things to line up properly, but oh, it is so worth the trouble! Myra loves this dress. I love that she identifies most strongly with the (slightly effeminate) Knight! Of course, the Princess is actually pretty awesome, too. Look closely and you see her saving herself from a tower and riding her own noble steed, thankyouverymuch. This is the ultimate Girl Power Princess fabric.
Of course, the slinky ITY version is the perfect ballerina dress. Can you believe that 5th position? She's a natural.
So, with these three dresses, I have now sewn an even dozen Skater Dresses in various sizes, and I have another cut out and ready to sew. After all, I need something to show you for...
The Lady Skater pattern tour!! I'm so thrilled to be participating. Seriously, this is one amazing line up. I can't wait to see what this talented group of ladies come up with. Stick around! It's gonna be awesome.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monthly Roundup: June 2013

June was a fun month. SwimAlong went well and I did some fun sewing. I got another year more experienced too, so that was good.

I sewed:
1) Kitschy Coo Skater Dress Peplum top for me
2) Kitschy Coo Skater Dress for me
3) Ottobre 03/2013-10 shorts for Logan
4) Ottobre 03/2011-30 swimsuit for Myra
5) Anne Adams 4799 dress for me
6) Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit for me
7) Sewing Cake Hummingbird Top (x2) and skirt for me
8) Ottobre "Funky Stripes" shorts for Myra
9) Ottobre 03/2013-10 board shorts for Logan
10) Ottobre 03/2006-10 board shorts for Duncan

That's a total of 12 garments, which is average-ish for me. I'm pleased that I got swimwear sewn for myself and all my kids. I sewed a total of 15.75 yards, but managed to acquire 37 yards. Whew! 20 yards positive is a lot!! So far for the year, I've sewn 121.25 yards and brought in 140.5, which pretty much tells me I was doing fine up until this month. D'oh! Sounds like a fabric fast is in order. As for patterns, I did sew a vintage pattern this month, so yay for that! I also sewed up almost all indie patterns for myself and all Ottobre for the kids. No Big 4 patterns, which is pretty unusual for me.
The biggest sewing action this month by far for me was for our SwimAlong! I had an absolute blast working and playing with Leila this last couple of months. I also learned a lot, sewed a bunch of swimwear and met a ton of awesome sewcialists who also participated. If you haven't checked out the linky party (or if you haven't linked up your swimsuit!) head on over there. The linky party will stay open all summer, so if you are still working on your suit, no worries. Come on over and link when you're ready.
In other sewing news, Myra now has her own machine and is very excited about sewing "all by herself". The machine is a great little vintage number that matches my Singer 603E Touch & Sew. It actually makes a really lovely lockstitch and is really easy to use. Myra's taking to it like a duck to water and has already made a ball gown for Princess Celestia.
I'm sure her love of sewing will wax and wane (as mine has over the years), but it's been really fun sharing my passion with her, and seeing the joy of creation in her eyes.