Saturday, March 31, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: One Dress for Mama, one for a Little Lady

Howdy! Jess here again.  Today I'm sharing a versatile make for myself, and a sweet little set for my daughter, who we're still waiting to meet.  Let's start with my look!


This is Deer & Doe's Aubepine, or as I discovered via Google Translator translates to Hawthorn.  Also very important:  IT HAS POCKETS!




I'm usually a 40-42 in Deer & Doe, but with 40+ extra pounds of baby, etc. opted for a 44, plus added a 1/2" full bust adjustment on each side (so, 1" total extra bust room) and am quite happy with the fit!  I also found the empire waist to cut me a little short, and the dart was also a bit too high, so I lengthened the bodice 1" above the dart and it hits in a great spot now.



The thing that really drew me to this pattern was the easy, breezy style.  I'd actually had it prepped and ready to make during my last pregnancy but had never gotten around to it.  Glad I did this time!  Besides the FBA, I made no other alterations to account for The Belly!  Yes, these photos were taken at 38 1/2 weeks and there were no adjustments made to account for all of that baby up front.  Of course it is a tad short, due to said belly, but as a enormously pregnant person I'm not going to worry about it, because my shape will be changing again very soon.  Also, it's still pretty chilly here, so:  yay leggings!



Also, these sweet little tucks are pretty fun.


While this dress works perfectly as designed for my needs now, I'm at the point in pregnancy where my garments really need to have a dual purpose.  I added a 1" center front buttoned placket for nursing access once the wee gal is born, and used 3/4" buttons both for this garment and for baby's (I also used the same navy grosgrain ribbon for both).  I considered a few options for nursing access, including invisible zippers or a pull up option, but ultimately decided this was the easiest and most predictable solution to my predicament.


The only thing I am not that jazzed about with this pattern is the sleeves.  Curiously, the instructions called for setting in these woven sleeves without any sleeve cap easing.  I tried to do so, but wasn't getting a good result, so did end up very slightly gathering the sleeve cap to fit it in.


Once the dress was done, I was disappointed with the initial try on (the sleeves were the one thing I hadn't muslined) because the sleeves were strangely restrictive up top and just felt...wrong.  I do not believe there is enough length or ease in the cap for the designer's intended fabrics.  However, when I put this dress on again to take photos later it didn't bother me as much, so your mileage may vary.


I used a lovely blue cotton batik for both my dress and baby's.  While technically a quilting fabric, it definitely has a more smooth, crisp and refined feel than most.  I heartily approve it for garment use.  It just seems to have sold out, but you can find alternatives here.



 For baby's pinafore, I used this navy plain woven cotton.  It's definitely a bit coarser than the batik, but still nice for garments.


And now onto the Little Lady's ensemble!


The dress is Violette Field Threads Georgia, and the sweet pinafore (which also has a dress option) is Violette Field Threads Pearl.  They're sold separately or as a bundle; I loved the combined look on their site, so I opted for the latter.


These were both pretty straightforward to put together, but reminded me heartily of a musing I had when I found out my first child was a boy:  at least I don't have to deal with sewing ruffles.  Do I love the look of ruffles?  YES!  Do I like sewing and distributing all of those dang gathering stitches?  Noooo.


I realize there are gathering feet (some of which I own) that can help me with this, but they're only good if you're gathering a random piece of fabric onto another; if you want to gather an exact amount of fabric onto another piece you definitely still need to put in the work and do the annoying long basting stitches and tedious spreading of gathered fullness.


But heck, these did turn out pretty cute.


I made a size 6-12 months because I feel like super frilly dresses look odd on babies that aren't even able to sit up.  Maybe a weird notion, but I figure it's so much easier for babies to live in onesies and sleep n plays until around 6 months old.


Georgia was pretty much all smooth sailing.  It came with an option for a plain gathered skirt and another option for a 3 tiered gathered skirt.  I wanted a bit more hem fullness but didn't want to gather 3 tiers, so I ended up shortening the plain option and adding the third tier to the bottom.  I used my rolled hem foot to finish the bottom edge.  I'm a fan of the result.


Pearl was also pretty easy, except for the sleeve ruffle.  The pattern calls for completely sewing the shoulder seam shut, ruffle enclosed burrito-style, but there was just way too much bulk to turn the ruffle and back bodice through to the front.  In lieu of a more appropriate term, I basically had to do an episiotomy on the shoulder seam to get everything through, which I hand stitched closed after.  For this reason, I'd recommend a cotton lawn or voile if you plan to make this pinafore with the sleeve ruffles:  anything heavier will just cause a headache.


And...that's all she wrote!  I'll be taking a few months off of the blog to convalesce and adjust to life with two littles, but hope to see you all again in the Autumn or so.

Until our next sewing adventure...


Jess

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Vintage Linen Wrap Dress

Recently, a friend's mother passed away and after a few months of grieving, that friend kindly invited me over to dig through her mother's fabric and patterns. I spent nearly four hours going through all of the old sewing treasures. There were so many great things in her sewing room. I walked away with a gallon size bag full of vintage buttons, a couple of sewing books, and this one wrap dress pattern!

This is a vintage pattern of Very Easy Vogue 9276.



Last month I placed an order at Fabric Mart for three yards of this cobalt blue linen fabric. At the time I wasn't sure what pattern I was going to use with this fabric, but I knew I wanted to sew a dress. Three yards is my go to amount to purchase when I am sewing a dress. (This linen fabric is no longer available, but look around at all of the other linens at fabric mart, there's a great selection.)

When I found this pattern, I knew the fabric, pattern combo would be perfect! Linen is so timeless and so are wrap dresses!

I sewed a size 12 in the pattern, which is the smallest size my pattern envelope came with. I definitely want to make this dress again, but I need to make a few changes for my next sew.


The bodice of this dress is designed to be very form fitted, and as you can see from the photos, mine blouses out a bit. I added a small hidden snap where the wrap of the bodice crosses (for modesty), but if I had taken the time to make a muslin, I doubt a snap would be necessary.


The pattern calls for external buttons at the waist to hold the wrap together. Instead I added the buttons to the inside of the dress to keep this dress looking a bit dressier. I love the casual look of the buttons on the waistline so I will definitely do that on my next version!



I love my new linen wrap dress! I wore it this past weekend to a wedding, and I'm looking forward to wearing it this coming weekend for Easter!  What spring sewing plans do you have in store?

Thank you Fabric Mart for this great linen fabric!  Teresa from Dandelion Drift

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Made By a Fabricista: Jumping into Spring



It's the first week of spring! Though it is quite chilly in the southeast (hence my indoor photos) and the northeast has snow. Still, I'm excited because I can't wait to say goodbye to winter. I dislike cold weather (by the way anything under 59 degrees is cold - lol). I'm starting to sew for warmer temps in the hopes that 60s and 70s are in my weather forecast.  But since that doesn't seem imminent I'm starting my spring sewing with this jumpsuit. Jumpsuits can be a great transitional pieces, paired with a cardigan or blazer they can carry you from a chilly morning to a warm afternoon.

What comes first the fabric or the pattern? For me it can be either, but this time I was moved by the fabric. As soon as I saw this Green Aztec Print ITY I knew it had to be a jumpsuit or a maxi dress. Obviously, I opted for a jumpsuit, Butterick 6630 to be exact. Mostly because I've had this pattern for a while and I haven't used it. I also love that it has pockets!


The pattern sewed up easy, nothing tricky here. The majority of the sewing was done on my serger, although I did reinforce my crotch seam with my sewing machine and finish my pants hem with my coverstitch.

I made my first thread chain loop.

The only alteration I made was shortening the hem of the pants by 2 inches (and I still used a 1" hem double folded hem) and I'm 5'5". I'd always rather pants be drafted too long than too short, so that wasn't really an issue.


I had enough fabric left to make Miss Socialite (my stepdaughter) a jumpsuit too! She's pretty into the cold shoulder trend so I figured she'd like this off-the-shoulder look. She also really likes joggers soI knew the harem pant hem would be a hit. I used a tween pattern from New Look, NL6444, that also includes a romper and two dress views.


I didn't love the instructions for adding the elastic to the ruffle so I just winged it. I won't share what I did because its a mess. As fast as she's growing I don't care to fix it, but I'll figure out a better approach if I sew it again. I also dislike that most kid and tween patterns do no include pockets, well at least not functional ones. So I added side seam pockets because the more she can carry the less I have to!



I think I will also sew the maxi dress from the Butterick 6330, since I already now that the bodice fits well. I'm already eyeing this Precut Mod Orange and Yellow ITY or this Precut Diagonal Striped ITY. Wouldn't these be fun?


I am looking forward to sewing more spring and summer projects. How about you?

Tiffany



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Made by A Fabricista: Jazz in the Gardens

Oh how I look forward to SPRING in Miami as I truly enjoy the amazing weather and the entertainment events during the month of March.  My favorite of them all is the "Jazz in the Gardens" music fest that occurs annually to kick off Spring (happening today and tomorrow) that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture. I look forward to a weekend of relaxation and music without the kids each year and the musical artists (both old and new school) that graces the stage.  I was so excited to select berry fuchsia linen fabric (here) as my March blog post to wear to the event.

Styled with a TANK top and flats.
When I came across a few linen looks on PINTEREST, I knew I wanted to create another palazzo pants for my March post just in time for Spring break vacation and the Jazz event.  After grabbing some great deal from the PRE-CUT section back in January of this yummy marmalade linen and how amazing the palazzo pants turned out, I knew that I would use linen to create a few looks this Spring.

             
     
After creating my first linen pants above using Simplicity 8389, I browsed Pinterest for other inspiration and I stumbled across the the perfect high waisted linen wool pants on Moda Operandi Madison and after seeing the price, I was floored.

I knew for a fact that I would NEVER spend $1,745 on a pants that I can create for 3% of the price tag.

MY VERSION MODIFIED
I am in love with my version as it is perfect for my height (5 feet 10 inches) and curves. I did NOT want to create a look that was more fitted at the thighs and hip based on my body type. I knew this Simplicity paper bag waist pattern (8605) has room yet drapes perfect and could be used to achieve a similar look.  I opted to add a 2-inch knife pleat 5 inches from the front center seam and used a flat waist band with interface instead of the paper bag elastic style. I also gathered the back slightly as I did NOT want to change the pattern and include back darts.

 I definitely had a few sewing aha moments and will make a few changes for the next pants or shorts that I create using the waistband method.

The modifications for this style that I will definitely make next time around are:
 1. Add darts in the back.
 2. Add 5 inches to the length if I plan to wear with heels.
 3. Add pockets and remove the side zipper.
 4. Include a back center seam invisible zipper all the way to the waistband.
 5. Use medium weight facing instead of light featherweight for more stability.


For this version, I wanted to wear it with FLATS so I only added 3 inches instead of my normal 5 inches to the length of the pattern.  Unfortunately, I had only an extra 1/2 inch for the hem.

I am totally in love with linen as it is classic and comes in a variety of colors. The feel is amazing as the fiber is absorbent which makes it cool and comfy. Despite the fact that it crunches easily, it is perfect for Spring or Summer and the beautiful selection here at Fabric Mart  are all great options for loose pants, shorts, culottes, jackets and shirt dresses.  I can't wait to share my more Spring/Summer makes on my blog and here next month.


Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out my latest post at Overdrive After 30.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: A Trio of Closet Case patterns


Have you tried any of the fabrics in the Pre-Cut and Kit buyout sections?  I have been enjoying these for quite some time now, and have been amazed at the quality of the fabrics and the prices!  I wanted to make a black and white mini-capsule using some of the white and black pre-cut and kit fabrics that I've purchased, and was looking for some styles that were modern and easy to sew, when I came across Closet Case patterns.  I'd heard of them before, mainly of their Ginger Jeans pattern, but since I'm not a jeans person, I hadn't looked any further. But, they also have some very cute tops and dresses, so I decided to give them a whirl!


My first Closet Case pattern was the Ebony- this is a swingy knit top and dress pattern. The fabric is a solid black rayon lycra jersey that came in a kit, and is very drapey.


I liked it so much that I made a second out of a black and white printed rayon jersey.  Really a super simple raglan sleeved design, that should look good on everyone! The hemline on all of the versions is a shorter in the front, and I made the difference a little less extreme in my top versions, as I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it. 


So, then I decided to try making the dress length version, in a white and black rayon jersey stripe from a kit.  This is a completely different draft from the top because it has set in sleeves.  Well, what can I say, it was not flattering, in the least.  That's one nice thing about doing these blog posts, is that I can see pretty clearly in the photos when something isn't working.  So, what to do?  I thought about cutting it off to top length, but decided that part of the problem was the color.  I threw it in a navy blue dye bath, and voila!  Instantly loved it.  I really enjoy dyeing fabrics.  It's a great tool to have up your sleeve when projects aren't up to your expectations, so give it a try if you haven't yet!  One thing to note here- all purpose polyester thread will not dye, unless you are using a dye specifically for synthetics.  I had used all black topstitching thread, so it worked to dye the garment after construction, as the black was still appropriate with my color.  But, if you have used a thread color for topstitching that doesn't coordinate with your dye color, this may not be the best idea!


I don't think that the dress in this pattern is going to be everyone's cup of tea.  I like it much better with the vest breaking up the large expanse of fabric.  Plus, I need pockets, and sadly, this dress has none.  Of course, that is an easy remedy, and I could easily add some side seam pockets if I make it again.  As far as the fit goes, I made the size 14, which I would take in ready to wear clothes, and I thought the fit in the bust, neck, sleeve and shoulder area was great.



I also had ordered the Kalle pattern.  Kalle is a shirt and shirtdress made for woven fabrics.



I decided to make the tunic length, View B, with a little extra length, out of a black cotton voile pre-cut with a tiny bird print.   The instructions for the front placket are very clever, and in all of my years of sewing, I don't think that I've done one quite like it.   I think that this one turned out really nice!


And here it is from the back.   I again made the 14 with no alterations, except for length because of my height, and I'm not sure that I even needed that- it's pretty long!  But, the designer says that her patterns are designed for a height of  5 feet 6 inches, and I'm 3 inches above that, so I added 1-1/2".  I always forget how much time woven shirts take to make.  I think that I made ALL of the Ebonys in less time than it took to make one Kalle!  But I did enjoy the process, and sometimes it's good to make yourself slow down and focus.


And last, but not least, I tried the Charlie Caftan.   This one has two lengths and two versions of the lower front.   I decided to make View B, with the pleated front.




My fabric was a black geometric rayon challis from a kit.  It was actually described as a cotton, and it had some sizing on it that made it feel more like cotton, but when I washed the sizing away,  I could tell that it was definitely a rayon challis.


This is a super comfortable dress, and I again, made no alterations to the pattern except for length.
I can definitely see making this one again, as it is pretty simple and I like the modern vibe.

I had enough scraps from the knit Ebonys to make one more top! The Ebony has one short top version, that is in the line drawings, view B.


Even though I had already added a couple of inches to the length of View B, it was still much too short for me. So in a "make it work" moment, I flipped the direction of the stripes from another scrap piece, and made a little addition at the hem.  I like this one a lot, and even though it's from the same white and black striped fabric that I ended up dyeing in the dress form, I think it works better here because there is the contrast neckband and sleeves to add in a little more color.


So, I'm really impressed with the Closet Case patterns that I tried!  They worked for me without as many alterations as I usually have to make for the more commercially available patterns, and that's a big plus in their favor.  But even more than that, I like the wearability and modern feel that the styles have.  I'm sure that I'll be using these patterns again!


Happy Sewing!
Ann for SewBaby News