Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: Two Knit Dresses

My original plan for this month's post was to make a knit dress with a knit cardigan, but as soon as our weather began to give even the smallest hint of warmth I abandoned all thoughts of cardigans and immediately turned my attention to knit dresses. 

I think I found two dresses to live in this summer and the good news is that they are both made from knits- meaning it won't take forever to make them!  

The first dress was made from a beautiful ponte that is a mix of rayon, nylon and spandex- maybe you were one of the lucky ducks who recently snatched up some of this ponte when it was on sale for $2.99.  If you were one of those lucky people you will love working with this rayon.  I had hoped to purchase more of it when it was on sale but so many of you are faster shoppers than I, and it was quickly sold out!   Please Fabric Mart, bring us more of this ponte! 




The dress was made using a modified version of McCalls 7348.  The two modifications I made were minor, the first was to shorten the neckband used to finish the neck.  I shortened it by 2/3 and inch.  The second modification was to remove some of the fullness from the skirt since I wanted to be able to cut the dress from 2 yards of fabric.  I simply folded in the pattern fullness from the side hem of the skirt portion until the pattern fit the fabric.  

You can see in the picture below the fullness folded from the skirt portion beginning just under the waist down.  I folded it in by  a total of 7 inches at the hemline. 


 
 

In keeping with making this dress as easy as possible I skipped hemming the sleeves and skirt.  You cannot tell in the least.  The fabric is so gorgeous and I really prefer it since it doesn't have any polyester content and therefore should be cool enough for warmer weather.  I now know what I will be living in this summer, dresses just like this! 

The second dress  was made using a rayon/spandex jersey knit that can still be found here in pink.  For this dress I used the famous McCalls 6886, I am sure if you travel sewing circles you've seen some version of this dress before.  Recently while searching for this dress online I found a great blogger who has altered it to get numerous fun looks from it- fun!

   
It is extremely simple to sew and fit.  I graded mine out (as usual) from a 10 at the bust, 12 at the waist and 14 at the hip and then to get an even better fit I tried it on inside out and pinned the spots that needed taking in around the high hip.  There is no neckline finishing pattern piece so you are somewhat on your own there.  There are tutorials for finishing a knit neckline out there but I winged it by attaching, then ripping out and readjusting- not the best methodA few tutorials that could be helpful are found here, here and here.


    
The most time consuming part of this project was the stripe matching.  It takes some patience and I usually end up laying the fabric on the floor and pinning each stripe down every couple of inches.  Even with all my careful stripe matching I some how managed to get the sleeves stripes off but the busyness of the fabric covers it up well enough for me.  

    
While making the photos for this post I marveled at so many of you who are able to take pictures without the above shenanigansThere were so.many.pictures with faces and arms coming out around meThese gals keep me smiling and laughing!  And they are also such sweet support often saying of anything I make "Mom that is so pretty!" and "You look beautiful."  Warm's a Mommy's heart!     


Thanks for reading!
Elizabeth 
 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Made by a Fabricista: A Casual Jumpsuit



Have you seen all of the new jumpsuit patterns that are coming out lately?  There are so many!  I've been anxious to try a jumpsuit, but hadn't worked up the courage until I saw Sandra Betzina's version with Vogue 1483.
I always enjoy Sandra's patterns, so I decided to give this one a try.  You can see from the line drawing that it has pockets (YAY!), a zip front and raglan sleeves.


It reminded me of this one that I had seen by Stella McCartney, which I liked, but would cost $1700 at Barneys!



I really struggled with what to make it out of.  I wanted something drapey, but not too thin. The pattern suggests ponte knit, challis, or crepe, so I went to Fabric Mart's ponte selection.  I was afraid that a solid would look too industrial, so I decided on this print.

Here's a close-up of the details and the print.  I have to admit that this was out of my comfort zone in the print- but sometimes it's good to try new things.  I knew that it was a good fabric composition- ponte knits that have rayon as the largest component are very soft and have a great hand to them.  They are very easy to sew with, and the fact that it could stretch was important just in case I made the rise too short!



So, now that the decision was made on the fabric and the pattern, then came the decisions about adjustments.  Being tall, I could never, EVER wear a ready to wear jumpsuit- they are way too short. I added 3" total- 1-1/2" at the bottom of the bodice, and 1-1/2" at the hem, and I think it turned out to be pretty good for my 5'9" frame.  If I were to make this from a woven fabric, I would add another 1-1/2" at the top of the pant portion.


There are a few considerations to take into account when wearing a jumpsuit, and the first that most people think of is -how do I get out of this thing?  Well- this one is easy.  The zipper front is just like putting on a pair of onesie pajamas.


In fact, that is probably my main issue with it- how to not have it look like pajamas!  I've noticed since making this that most of the jumpsuit patterns are sleeveless, which would cut down on that pajama look.  I thought about chopping off the sleeves, but it's still pretty chilly here, and I need sleeves!


So, I decided to wear a vest, belt and necklace with it instead.  My daughter said that it looked like I was going hunting in my pajamas.  Haha.   I do see her point- while the print is not a camo, it does have that vibe!  But, I've worn this a couple of times already and I have gotten quite a few compliments.  In fact, my husband really likes it!  He rarely comments on anything, but he thinks this one is fun. But more importantly, I really like wearing it!

How about you?  Any jumpsuits that you would like to make?  Have you stepped out of your comfort zone to try something different?

Happy Sewing!

Ann for SewBaby News


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pinterest Bundle Contest and Guest Pinner Opportunity

Do you love Pinterest as much as I do? I use it to plan my meals for the week and to get inspired for my sewing projects, home improvement projects and all other things creative! 

We're looking to spruce up our Pinterest page, so we're having a contest to find 1-2 guest pinners that will have dedicated boards to post inspiration and creations to. 


Between March 1-15, we asked our customers to purchase a mystery fabric bundle. Then from the time you get the bundle, till April 1st, make items with everything in your bundle. Submit photos of your creations to info.fabricmart@gmail.com by April 1 and we will be judging for our favorites. Judging will be by popular vote and a panel of Fabric Mart employees, including myself (Julie).

So if you purchased a bundle between March 1-15, get sewing and submit your photos! All the fabric must be used, but you don't have to use it all in the same garment. You can make as many garments as it takes to use each piece from your bundle. The winner will be announced on April 7th.


And guess what? Just for participating, you will receive a $15 gift certificate! You must submit photos of your finished garments and have proof that you purchased a mystery bundle from us during the time period listed above. See details on our website. If you have any questions, email info.fabricmart@gmail.com.

We've done similar mystery bundle challenges during the Fabricista Fashion Challenge. In the first challenge I asked them to create a two-piece garment using the fabric bundle they received. Pretty challenging, but they did a great job! Here's Peggy's finished products: 



I had them do the same challenge during the second season of the Fashion Challenge. Here is what Nakisha came up with:





Not interested in the contest but still love Pinterest? Share your creations directly with us on our "Made from Our Fabric" Board. This board has dozens of customer creations using our fabric. To add your creation to this board, send us an email at info.fabricmart@gmail.com and we will add you to our group board. 

Inspired yet? I hope you will be joining in the fun!