Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: Mixing Business with Pleasure


Hello…

Hope all is well!  As spring approaches, I cannot help but get excited about all of the fun dresses and looks that I want to sew.  I have already planned out a long list of “to-makes” and my hope is that I will find enough time and energy in the day (or night) to get at least 50% of my sewing “to-makes” done.  

To get started on dresses, I made a version of Simplicity 1881 and the Morris Blazer by Grainline Studios.  My initial intent was to style these two pieces together.  However, after finishing both pieces, I decided the look was not working for me.  I felt the dress could stand alone and wasn’t made to be covered, and the blazer deserved its own spotlight as well.  Therefore, my plans changed at the last minute.  I used a big scrap of the bow tie print fabric to make a skirt to wear with the blazer instead of the dress.  I made the skirt using New Look 6035.


So let me talk about the fabric!  I am excited to see that Fabric Mart is offering a lot of options for fabric made with viscose.  Many of the RTW clothing items that I love seem to have some level of viscose content.  So when I saw this black ponte knit made with viscose, nylon, and lycra, I hopped on the opportunity to get it.  Viscose can be found in several other types of fabric such as this crepe here, this jacquard here, this jersey knit here, and this suiting here.  I also picked up a few yards of this super cute yellow and black bow tie print ponte knit found here.  I wanted to make the blazer and bodice of the dress in black and make the bottom of the dress in this print. 

After seeing the final looks, I thought to myself I created a “work” look and a “fun, happy hour” look, with the same fabric for both, which made me think of the phrase “mixing business with pleasure”!



Ok, let’s first start with business.  The Morris blazer is definitely a quick and easy sew.  This pattern is designed for an unlined blazer using either stretch woven or a mid-weight knit.  Therefore, my fabric choice was perfect!  I really like the slanted blazer front and the top-stitching along the entire blazer.  



With this fabric, I found that a ball needle 80 worked so much better than a stretch needle.  I used scraps of the fabric to make capped sleeves on another project with a stretch needle and I found that the stretch needle skipped a lot of stitches.  To top-stitch, I used a small stitch width zig-zag, so that the top-stitching would have the appearance of having a straight stitch look versus a very noticeable “Z” shaped stitch.  For the seams, I zig-zagged then serged.



The skirt was very easy to sew.  The skirt front and back uses the same pattern piece and there is one pattern piece for the back and one for the front waistband.  The pattern is designed to have the zipper on the side, but I moved it to the back.  Therefore, I cut the back into two pieces and added seam allowance to insert the zipper. For the most part, I usually switch side zippers to the back, because it is easier for me to take the sides in. 


Now moving on to a little pleasure…this dress makes me feel soooo good! I love the flowy, effortless, and chic look of this dress.  


The shoulder seams poke up a bit, which I am sure can be fixed with a little more snipping of my seams on the inside and pressing.  I believe I left too much excess bulk in my seams.  It is an easy fix.  Just a matter of undo-ing a little of the top-stitching and snipping a little more seam allowance out.



I love the keyhole, gathered bust, and waist details of the bodice.  The pattern instructions advise to cut the lining for the waist in tricot, but I went ahead and lined the entire bodice with tricot instead of fabric.  In this instance, the bodice would have been too bulky using the fabric for the lining too. Besides, I was down to scrap fabric pieces anyway.  Interestingly, I re-purposed tricot that my grandmother had started making a slip out of a very long time ago.   


Now this dress has a side zipper.  As a learning lesson, I left the zipper on the side, because I was interested in learning how to construct a side zip that has lining and stops midway in the garment. Luckily, I did not need to adjust this dress at all on the side bodice, so it worked out.



Instead of using two buttons, I used one small frog closure on the back of the collar.  


Last year, I donated one of my sewing machines along with a narrow hem foot.  I could never quite grasp the hang of that foot, so I gave up on it.  However, I have a few things that I want to do where a narrow hem foot would make my projects and life so much better.  So I decided it was time to give it another try.  I picked up a new one recently, which is referred to as a rolled hem foot, and decided to try it out on this dress.  To my surprise, it worked with no issues!  One of the you-tubers that I watched pointed out that the key is keeping the fabric folded and touching a certain spot on the foot while it is rolling through it.  Sometimes little simple tips can make all the difference.  Now I can’t wait to get the narrow hemmer for chiffon, silk, and like fabrics, I have so much of that type of fabric that I can’t wait to work with!


Well off to think about what I want to do for next month’s Fabricista Fabric Mart Blog post, until then, happy sewing!

Yours truly,


Tee


Comments

  1. What a lovely combo ... FIESTA ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really love the dress! I eyed this bowtie fabric but couldn't think of what I could do with it! The skirt works really well with the blazer! Good thing you had enough fabric for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Frougie! I think you would like working with this fabric. It's so nice and flowy. Great for a spring/summer dress, beautiful color too!

      Delete
  3. Very pretty! I really like the dark bodice with the lighter skirt. And the red shoes! Great combo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ann! I just love color surprises. Color is a really fun aspect to play around with!

      Delete
  4. U look incredible in both outfits. All your hard work paid off- the quality of what u made is no doubt better than what people buy in the shops. U take such beautiful pictures. ;) x x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am practicing more and more with each project to make them look quality made and finished! So thanks for noticing!

      Delete
  5. Love both projects and how you stilled them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love these looks. The dress flows so well. Great fabrics and creative sewing. I'm impressed. The shoes add a flair that says stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle!!! I cannot wait to see your version! I know it's going to be spectacular!

      Delete
  7. I have my Morris blazer pattern all ready to cut out, love the mix business and pleasure and I love the mix of colors. -Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  8. I adore your makes, especially the maxi dress and the blazer. Whenever FM is showcasing black ponte with a lot of viscose/rayon in it, I buy it up. I think I have about 5 yards of the stuff now and I need to dig my (never-used) Morris pattern out. This so inspired me!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: College Inspired Cardigan

Happy Monday All! It has been a while since I wrote a blogpost and it feels great to be back! Today I am excited to share my daughter who hasn’t graced the blog for quite sometime. Now that my children are older, I have to always get their permission to take photos and share. It took a lot of convincing to get my daughter to rock this FAMU (Florida A & M University) inspired cardigan. I originally planned to make the Blackwood cardigan using the orange and green ponte knit for myself to represent my alma mater FAMU but then realized I cut the wrong size.  I was a bit disappointed at first that I cut a medium instead of a large but knew my daughter would rock it. Additionally, even if I wanted to squeeze in the cardigan, it just could not even pass my elbow when I tried it on. It was definitely a learning experience because I now know that you cannot add a non stretch ribbon around a fitted knit garment sleeve. It must be added to a loose sleeve as the ribbon stops the fabric from s

Made By A Fabricista: An Outfit for First Snow

We had a marvellous autumn in western Canada with warm dry days and just a couple of hints of frost. When I was perusing Fabric Mart Fabric's site in October, I was tempted to focus on pretty florals for blouses or dresses but part of me knew that ... (da dah dum ... ) winter is coming . Fortunately, Fabric Mart was stocked with a huge selection of fabrics that are perfect for winter or holiday sewing. Over the past several months I've been planning my sewing projects so I have pieces that work together. To stick with that theme, I decided to pick a print fabric for a top, and a solid for pants, using navy as the neutral. Pants For the pants, I selected Navy Poly/Nylon/Spandex Stretch Corduroy. This fine 14-wale corduroy is warm enough to wear outdoors but will be especially comfortable indoors. It also has a bit of drape which makes it nice for trousers. And who doesn't want some stretch?  I selected Vogue 9181 (Custom-Fit Bootcut Pants) because it is designed for stretch

Made By A Fabricista: Velvet for the Holidays

Are you getting ready for the holidays?  I am.  From past years, it gets so busy in my household around this time of year, so it is never too early to start my holiday sewing.  This year I decided to sew velvet, a fabric I had not sewn for many years but I think it is luxurious.   As luck would have it, FM’s poly rich black velvet flashed on my computer screen and I bought lots.  I thought it would be pretty for a one-shoulder gown, which I had never worn before but admired on others.  The following week FM’s multi-colored one showed up.  It was a poly embossed Bohemian print velvet with jade, yellowish, and crimson colors; it screamed fall and family get-togethers.   I just had to have it!  When the fabrics arrived, the deep colors did not disappoint. I chose Butterick B6557 for both dresses, View B for the knee-length printed dress and View C for the maxi dress. It was perfect for velvets; the front was one whole piece and so was the back.  I cut the fabrics with the nap going down