Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Made by A Fabricista: Sewing Up Leftovers!

HI Fashionistas!

This month I sewed up something with leftover fabric that has been sitting in my stash for two years! Fabric Mart was gracious enough to send me some extra fabric a few years ago!

I used Simplicity 8383 to sew up this gorgeous tent dress.



I cut view A in a size 6 and it was just right. Although the pattern calls for a softer knit, I chose a scuba knit. Even though it's not as drapey, it falls beautifully.



Another reason I love a scuba knit, it doesn't need any finishing on the hem. 


Here is the back view. The dress pattern was shorter. I lengthened the hem by a few inches. 


Love the cut outs. This is officially my 1st cold shoulder make. I replaced the neck binding with a triple cover stitch. 






That's all for my DIY dress! Next, I am working on a seersucker top. It's going to be a hot summer here, so I can't wait to slip into my next creation!

Oh! Before I go, I wanted to share with you the original dresses I made with this fabric. You can see them below and here.


I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer. See you soon!

XOXO

Monday, July 17, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: Soft Cotton Voile Open Back Sundress!


Hey, all!  I love summer, and I love sundresses.  Many of you have "known" me for a few years, and this will come as no surprise to you.  LOL.  When asked what I wanted to do for July, I knew EXACTLY what I desired to make, this Burda dress (August 2014, style 116) with this gloriously soft Amy Butler yellow/green/blue peacock feather printed cotton voile.  I envisioned walking in a field of wildflowers with a slight wind blowing my wide skirt.  Now, in reality, I'll likely just wear it out to dinner or to a party here in town, but if I ever do get a chance to walk in a field of wildflowers with the wind gently blowing, I absolutely will wear this dress.

The dress pattern features a lovely open back, but because of the elastic (it also features a tie, but I omitted that for a cleaner finish), it is still fairly conservative, as the elastic cinches it up to a demure sized hole.  I may increase the length of elastic by an inch for my next make of this since it is a perfect fit as is, but it pulls a bit on the front skirt.  Nothing really noticeable, but enough for me to wish for a bit more ease next time.  I do really adore this back fit since it is rare for things I make to fit exactly right at the small of my back (with my short back length and swayback, things I make always wrinkle at that spot).  If you need to wear a bra, this open back is created for you.  The silhouette itself is also very well thought out, with a longer back hem where all the skin is peeking out, and the front hemline is a bit shorter, to contrast the more conservative styling of the front bodice and skirt.

The original dresses in the Burda magazine were made with silk and other floaty fabrics, but I really do love it with this voile, and think it would be just glorious with a pretty Liberty lawn, as well.  If you want to try this pattern out, the Russian Burda site has some beautiful examples of this dress being made in a whole host of fabrics.  It was also made by Kathy, one of the Fabric Mart Fabricistas, a few years ago.  I love her take on it with the Rayon challis.


A few things I want to point out about construction are photographed above.

Above left, you'll see how I ended up having to apply the 1/4" elastic to the waistband.  It is meant to be enclosed by the seamline of the waist, but because I made pockets (they are pulled from a Butterick skirt pattern), the seam was too bulky through that portion of the waist seam to pull the 1/4" elastic through.  I was frustrated, but just attached it over the casing using the stretch, pull, and zigzag stitch over the elastic.

Below left, you'll see how much nicer the back facing casing looks in contrast.  I even was able to use a thicker elastic through there (3/8") and it really does look very neat and tidy.

A note on the lining...I thought the lining extended the whole amount of the pattern, but the reality is that it is only needed in the bodice.  It was very easy to line the top, and I left the shoulder seams open so I could have a nice clean finish on the neckline and armscye.  I then folded the back seamline in on the shoulder seams, and gently placed the front shoulder seamlines into the back portion and topstitched the seams closed there.  Since I absolutely loathe hemming armscye hems when they are this tank/kimono style sleeves, I think I will try this type of lining more often in the future.

The lining, btw, is a tan voile from Fabric Mart.  It is perfection for lining summer garments, and is as equally soft as the Amy Butler voile.  Yum!  The one I used is sold out, but this grey is a good option for a neutral that can be used to line garments.

The upper right and lower right show how I understitched the lining (both at the neckline and the armscye) in order to fully hide the lining from the right side of the fabric.  I can't stand when facings or linings "pop" out when clothing is worn, so the fact this one is so well-finished is making me super happy!  :-)


Two more views for you all.  I chose to make the 38 throughout, though I am definitely not a 38 at my hips.  (I usually wear a size 42 in my pants/skirts in Burda.)  Because of the very very full skirt, I figured I could wear the 38 with no issues, and I was right, it fits great, and there is plenty of room at my hips and thighs for comfort.

If you don't like the hi-lo hemline, I would suggest increasing the front length by a couple of inches and decreasing the back by a couple as well.  You will have to straighten the hem out since it does have a curve to make the hi-lo happen, but that shouldn't be too difficult.


I'll end with this shot, though it is a bit goofy.  It's an unintentional action shot and it shows how nicely the fabric and dress pattern moved together when I was walking.  This is the rare dress I'd rather have people see me from the back before they see me from the front.

Have any of you tried this pattern?  How about the beautiful voile from Amy Butler?

I hope you all are having a wonderful July, and I'll see you back here in August!

Dina, My Superfluities.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: Casual Summer Shorts and Tops



I hope that you are having a great summer!  Here in the northern hemisphere, our summers can get really hot and humid, so everyday clothing that is lightweight and loose fitting is ideal.  I really needed some new tops and shorts that I could wear while doing housework, running errands, and just day to day stuff.  After picking out fabrics from Fabric Mart's awesome cotton selection, the first thing I did was to search for the perfect shorts pattern.  For me, pockets are a dealbreaker-  they have to be big enough to hold my cellphone without worrying that it will fall out! I decided to go with Butterick 5504, a Connie Crawford pattern.  It's no longer available from Butterick, but you can get it directly from Connie's website.  Here's the line drawing:


I made mine about 4" shorter.  This pair was made with a cotton/tencel denim which was heavenly soft after washing.  The pattern only calls for drawstrings, but I found that I needed elastic as well to keep them in place.  So, these shorts all have both 1/4" wide elastic and a drawstring at the waist.


Here you can see just how deep the pockets are from the inside view- they are very generous- I could fit a small paperback book in them!


I wanted the drawstrings to be different colors, so I cut white cotton cording to the length that I wanted, and started playing with my Rit dyes.


If you've never tried dyeing, you are in for a treat.  It is so simple and much like dyeing Easter eggs.  For something small like the drawstring, just put a splash of the dye in some very hot water in an old ice cream bucket, and stir it around for a few minutes.  If you want the color to be lighter, take it out early.  The longer you leave it, the darker it gets. Then, rinse, rinse, and rinse some more until no dye comes out in the water.


I decided to do a bunch and be ready for future drawstring needs as well!  Here they are drying on my patio.


I also dyed a piece of pale peach linen into a deeper shade of coral, along with the drawstring, and that's what became my coral pink shorts.  I knew that I wanted to make "camp" shirts, and for my first one, I used this poplin shirting print and Butterick 6070.  I took extra care with this shirt to match the design, and flat felled all of the seams.



It seemed to be fitting perfectly during the sewing process, but once I sewed the sleeves on, it was too snug.   As soon as I raise my arms, it pulls across the bust.  I think that the armholes are more suited to a sleeveless top, so I might cut off the sleeves and see if I like it better.  The fabric is wonderful, so I hope that I can make it work.

For my second shirt, I went looking for a more 80's style camp shirt with lots of room, and found this old Stretch and Sew pattern that had just the type of fit I was looking for.  Interestingly enough, this pattern comes with a separate template for a sleeveless armhole, which is exactly the shape of the armhole on my first shirt, solidifying my belief that if I cut off the sleeves, it might work! 


This pattern is for a dress, but I cut it at 26" long, instead of dress length to make it into a shirt.  I used a beautiful cherry blossom cotton poplin for the shirt, and the shorts are from a double gauze.  (Both are now sold out).  I love this print, it is so pretty.  The double gauze is a stripe on one side, and solid blue on the other.  These shorts feature the striped side.  This is my first time using double gauze, and it's very soft.  Maybe too soft for shorts!  It probably is better suited to shirting, but I will see how they hold up.


This shirt has a lot more ease, and I can raise my arms freely!  I'm very happy with this one- it's just the epitomy of a camp shirt in my mind.


For my last top, I went with a printed cotton gauze and Butterick 6455.   This fabric is a single gauze and was surprisingly very easy to work with.  Even though the arms are covered, the fabric is so lightweight that you don't feel too hot. I like the cinnamon color in this one- I think that it will transition into fall well, which is great because we still have lots of hot days all the way through September.



So, I'm all set for this summer for my casual shorts and top needs!  I love making all types of clothes, but there is something extra satisfying about sewing things that you know you can wear everyday.   Do you agree?

Happy Sewing!
Ann