Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Made By A Fabricista: Black Summer Maxi Dress

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are having a lovely summer and staying cool. It is getting pretty warm here.  School is out and I am staying busy with summer camp pickups and dropoffs for my older kid. I recently started noticing that a lot of pre-school moms were wearing black lightweight maxi dresses at drop off and they looked so effortless and comfortable. I decided to make my very own easy to sew version up in a lightweight black knit.


I made the dress without a pattern. It was made in under two hours. To cut the bodice of the dress, I used a tank top as a guideline, and to make the skirt, I simply made very small pleats on my sewing machine (freehanded) to mimic the look of gathers. The bodice is self-lined, as the fabric is thin. The skirt is not lined. Its light and airy. I wore this dress to fathers day dinner. Matter of fact, I am wearing it now with a floral scarf for a pop of color. 



What I love about this dress is that it's so easy to wear.  You really don't have to worry about styling a dress like this. It will go with whatever shoes you are wearing and whatever purse you are wearing! 


I am pretty obsessed with these owl earrings lately. Since I don't have a lot of time to spend on myself right now, these statement earrings so a long way.  Connor is four months now and this dress is also nursing friendly. 

Here is a back and side view:


I left the bottom hem raw for two reasons: The hem on maxi dresses always gets so worn, so I can simply trim it by 1/2 inch when that happens and continue using the dress. I also plan on attaching a ruffle on the hem for a different look when I chop some of the hem off- to add back some length,  Then I would wear it with some shoes that have a slight heel. For now, I needed something that I can wear with flat shoes. The fabric does not fray, so skipping the hem worked for me. 



I have not been on vacation since 2016 but this hat definitely put me in Vacay mode. I wore it to the pool and to Fathers Day dinner on Sunday.




Let me know if you have been getting some summer sewing in. I want to make a few more knit pieces for the summer. I'll see you next time. Happy sewing until then!

XOXO
-Vatsla from Fashion Behind The Seams

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Knit - Summer Hit and Miss!

Happy Saturday Loves! I am officially on summer break and truly enjoyed the first week just relaxing at home and working out at the gym.  I have not done any sewing this week but plan to start on my summer sewing plans next week.
 As an advanced beginner, I truly started my sewing journey 4 years ago working mostly with Ankara wax cotton, rayon, polyester and ponte knit and the only type of knit I was comfortable sewing with were scuba and ponte.  In my stash, I have other knits including lycra and mid-weight jersey but really never had the desire to make basic pieces that I can buy for less than the cost of the fabric. I came across 2 beautiful knit prints back in April and knew it was perfect for summer.
 I am in love with this top, made using Liverpool knit fabric. It is a beautiful midweight knit fabric for summer and is actually sold out but Fabric Mart has other selections including this beautiful flower print here.

This McCall pattern (M7686) has been on my to sew list for a while so I created view D bodice and view F sleeves shortened for the warm summer weather.
This summer, my main sewing goal is to create essential wardrobe pieces that will not be just for a few pictures to share on a blog, but pieces that I can wear daily.  I have created a few summer tops which I love and have worn them several times already.  The minute I saw the fabric, I knew I wanted to create a fitted off the shoulder to wear on a lunch date with a friend.
Unfortunately, my jersey knit fabric (also SOLD OUT :-) was a miss as it did NOT work out as planned.  I wanted to create Beaute Jadore's most recent gathered tunic top here and the weight of the fabric would not work as it was too light-weight and sheer for my personal taste to wear as a top or a skirt. I needed to use a solid crepe fabric and this jersey was NOT for the shape and style.  Honestly, I really knew that I should have ordered a PONTE knit version for structure but wanted to try something different.  I surely recovered the fabric and created a beach cover-up dress for my day at the beach.


Learning and understanding fabric weight, type and color based on a pattern design are essential before starting any sewing project.  Large stripes and prints are tricky and bold colors may not always work for a curvy figure. I know for sure that I will always check the suggested fabric and NOT assume that a particular fabric will work for a look.  I am not a fan of fabric that is too lightweight with minimal structure so the next project will definitely be from Julie's PICK or a fabric that I am familiar with.

Thank you so much for stopping by and stay tuned for a few everyday work garments that I plan to make over the next few weeks. Have a wonderful summer and don't forget to stop by the blog to check out my latest makes!
                                                    Marica - Overdriveafter30

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Plaid Patrones Dress #27 and Striped Bridget Top!

Patrones no 382 Dress #27 in Ralph Lauren plaid shirting

Hi everybody, it's Virginie from Jazz Couture.

Warmer weather has finally arrived here in eastern Canada, and so for my June post I made two summery garments which I'm happy to share with you: a dress from the sewing magazine Patrones, and the Bridget Top from Designer Stitch Patterns!

First, let's start with the dress...

Dress #27 from Patrones Magazine 382


I find myself lucky to get the spanish magazine Patrones translated in french ('Couture Actuelle' in its french version) each month at my bookstore nearby. Dress #27 from Patrones no 382 caught my eye for its simplicity and ease of wear - which sums up my idea of summer dressing!




My fabric:

I chose for this dress a wonderful plaid cotton shirting from Ralph Lauren that FM had recently (it sold out quickly!).  I just love the colours (aren't they a bit vintage?) and the slightly crinkled texture (that you might see if you enlarge the pictures). It also sewed and pressed like a dream, and even made the plaid matching easy peasy! That fabric is not available anymore, but any 100% cotton shirting would be perfect for a dress like that. I'd recommend this one if you'd like to achieve a similar look, and also this one.

The pattern:

Dress #27 is presented in sizes 38-42-46 (spanish sizing), and I made a size 38 which is the closest to my measurements - the dress is not fitted anyway. I has a front and back bodice piece, and a slightly A line skirt piece which is the same for the front and the back. It also has pockets inserted in the side seams but I didn't use them.

A quick muslin revealed some differences from the dress picture. First it wasn't mini but more knee length, the front neckline was excessively high, the waist ties were wider, and the sleeve ruffles didn't hang in the same way! Also, the back bodice piece was 1/4'' narrower than the front at the side seams, which is odd... usually it's the front that is smaller than the back. I corrected that to make it the same size as the front.

The pattern is very simple, so it was easy to make adjustments and customize my version:

1- I omitted the sleeve ruffles which looked odd on me
2- I lowered the front neckline by 1 3/8'' and finished the neckline with a bias binding
3- Finished the interior of the sleeves with a bias binding for a nice touch
4- Cut the skirt ruffle on the bias for visual interest, and shortened it by 2 1/2'' as I liked the effect, and finished the edge with a narrow rolled hem on the serger
5- Chopped off some length from the waist ties as they were too long




Back view


 My second make was the Bridget Top from Designer Stitch.


Bridget Top from Designer Stitch Patterns

I've been wanting to make this top for a while... first I think Designer Stitch has some interesting patterns and solid drafting, and second the Bridget Top is packed with options: round or V neckline, ruffled short sleeve, sleeve with cufflet, gathered cufflet, elbow sleeve with diagonal ruffle... And if you buy the long sleeve version add on, you get more wonderful sleeve options! What's not to love?


Bridget Top short sleeve version / round neckline and sleeve with cufflet

Bridget Top technical drawing


My fabric:

The fabric selected to make this top is another Ralph Lauren cotton shirting (also sold out quickly!).  A blue stripe on a white background screams summer to me, and I wasn't disappointed when I received this fabric, it's a yarn dyed 100% cotton and the quality is just beautiful! As the previous one, it is unfortunately not available anymore, but I'd recommend this fabric if you'd like to make the Bridget Top in striped cotton. This striped silk/cotton is also fantastic - grab it while it's still there! Of course, any fine shirting is a good choice for the Bridget Top. But don't choose anything stiff or heavy for this pattern.

The pattern:

First, the Bridget Top is semi-fitted, not fitted as it appears in the technical drawing above.  It features 4 front darts and 4 back darts (shoulder, back), round or V neckline finished with a facing, back closing with invisible zipper, 2 hem lengths and a ton of sleeve options. I went for the view on the left, the round neckline and the sleeve with cufflet. The pattern has many bust cup options; I made size 2 / B cup.

That pattern wasn't a free ride for me, it is drafted for a silhouette with broader shoulders and a broader back than me. Also the sleeve wasn't nearly as narrow as in the illustration. I made many small fit adjustments:

1- Adjusted the shoulder seam by .5 cm (I think the shoulder point is too backwards)
2- Narrowed the top of the armhole by 1 cm (I've noticed the wide shoulders in many versions on the internet)
3- I made a small gaping armhole adjustment (1/2'')
4- Reduced the sleeve circumference accordingly (1/2'') to make it fit the new armhole, and reduced the cufflet circumference accordingly
5- Flattened the sleeve head (1 cm) - I think it has too much ease
6- I had a lot of fabric pooling at CB above the waistline, so I decreased the width of the back darts at the waistline and took in at CB seam from the top to the bottom
7- Chose a hem length in between the short and the long version, and made the front more straight for personal preference

I'm crossing my arms to show off those cufflets!




I cut the sleeve cufflet on the bias to add some visual interest, and finished the hem with a narrow hem and fine cotton thread by Mettler (Mettler silk finish in size 60).


Sleeve cufflets cut on the bias, and finished with a narrow hem


Bridget top - back view showing closing with invisible zipper

I'm glad I made this top - it goes with pretty much any pair of jeans in my wardrobe! It was my first time working with Designer Stitch, and those patterns are professionally drafted - they have different seam allowances for different seams, everything lines up perfectly, important markings such as bust point and modifications lines are indicated, and you have a ton of options such as cup sizes and design options. Highly recommended!



Sewing summer clothes is so much fun - I had a blast sewing those 2 patterns in those gorgeous designer fabrics from FM! I hope you are enjoying summer sewing too, and see you for my next post 2nd Wednesday of July!


Virginie

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Polka dots for summer!

How much do you love wearing cotton in the summer?  As much as I do?  When I spotted this periwinkle polka dot fabric, which by the way, is a sateen, it was love at first sight!  And for one of the first times in my life I knew exactly what pattern to use to make this fabric perfect for summer heat!


This fabric washed and dried like a dream!  It needed so little pressing when it came out of the dryer.  It also behaved beautifully when sewn!  As I am typing this up, it appears this fabric is sold out, however there are some really nice options you can see here: Sateen



If you are interested, here is the pattern I used: McCall's 7242
This is an uncomplicated and relatively easy sew.


I partially tissue fit this in the bodice.  Using flat pattern measurements, I knew the skirt would fit.  


I used a tiny narrow hem for the skirt.  Since the fabric hangs so nicely and moves so nicely, I didn't see any reason to make a wider or fuller hem.   What do you think was that a good choice?


I did make an FBA for this pattern and honestly, I believe that is my only alteration.  


I love how this fits!  It will be perfect for summer--which finally arrived last week with a vengeance!  The day I sewed this up it was 100 degrees outside!  The week prior, I had my heater in on my sewing room.

Thanks for reading and I hope you are making some fun summer garments as well!

Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Waterfall Chiffon Cardigan and a No-Sew Knit Cover Up



Summer is here!  Well, not officially until June 21st, but tell that to the thermometer!  I've been sewing up a few things for summer and I wanted to share with you a couple of ideas for cover ups to keep you warm in air conditioned offices and stores, or on chilly summer evenings, when you just need a little something over your shoulders and arms.  One is a dramatic, dressy waterfall cardigan made from chiffon, and the other is a very casual no-sew knit cover-up.  So, depending on your mood or the occasion, you might like both!

I made this waterfall design cardigan using a polyester chiffon stripe from Fabric Mart's chiffon section, and McCalls 7029 as my pattern.  Fabric Mart always has a fantastic selection of chiffon!



If you've never worked with chiffon before, I would recommend starting with something that doesn't have a lot of seams.  A kimono type pattern with no set in sleeves would be a great project for a first time chiffon project.



I chose this pattern because I really liked the drama of the extra long drapes on the side.



It was a windy day when we were taking pictures, so you can get a glimpse of how chiffon moves in the wind.  This pattern does have a center back seam, so be careful how you lay it out, if you are using a striped design like I did.  I chose to make my stripes go vertically, but you could easily have them go horizontally instead.



This design takes a lot of fabric, about 3 yards. Luckily, polyester chiffon is usually very reasonably priced, so you need not spend a lot to make it.  The side seams ended up at a diagonal, and even though mine aren't matched, I like the chevron effect there.



The pink top is also from McCalls 7029 and I made it from a watermelon handkerchief weight linen.  I loved the color of it!  But, I have to say that I'm not too thrilled with how it makes a significant crease right where my belly button is.  Grrr.   I am going to try just letting the whole thing crumple in the dryer and see if that makes the crease less significantly obvious.  I may also make some vents at the side seams, so that it doesn't pull so much when I sit.  I am open for suggestions if you have any ideas!


I made the wide legged crop pants from Simplicity 8056 using a cross-hatch cotton/lycra twill from the Italian Designer section.  This fabric is divine!  Everything that I've ever gotten from the Italian section has been such top quality, so although it is pretty empty right now, don't forget to check it out now and again!  And I do like the wide legged crop style of these pants.




I also wanted to share this no-sew knit wrap that I thought was quite ingenious.  I made it from a linen knit that I bought last year.  I got the idea from watching Peggy Sagers on Silhouette patterns' You Tube videos, which are really entertaining and informative.


 To make it, you fold a 1-1/2 yard piece of knit fabric first in half widthwise, and then fold one more time lengthwise so that you have 4 layers.


Measure six inches away from the double fold layers and make a six inch slash in your fabric through all layers.  These slashes will become your armholes.  Then, mark and cut a 1/4 of a circle on the unfolded edges through all layers.  You can make this any size that you want- I cut mine at 24". Unfold and you have a circle shape with two slits for your arms.


And that's all there is to it! You can leave it unfinished like I did, or serge finish your edges.
.

It's nice to wear either as a vest or like a shawl, and rolls up to a nice compact size if you want to carry it in a bag with you in case you find yourself in a freezing grocery store and need a little warmth.


I hope that you have a great summer, and maybe sew up a cover up or two.  I had a lot of fun making both of these!

Happy Sewing!

Ann



Saturday, June 2, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Liesl + Co Tropical Terrace Dress


 All of the sudden it.is.hot in the south eastern U.S. and I am ready to wear breezy, easy dresses like this one all summer.  I am over the moon with this dress, it was the perfect marriage of fabric choice and pattern....and that definitely doesn't always happen for me!

I snapped up this cotton shirting from Fabric Mart putting my request in as soon as I saw it listed.  I loved the color scheme, I am a huge fan of royal blue and black.  Also, I think its safe to say that I have a thing for palm tree dresses based on my October project last year.
So here I am again, wearing palm trees and loving it!

The shirting is all sold out but I think that its safe to say that any large scale novelty print or solid would work best for this dress.  I tried making it up in a small scale plaid and I'm not as pleased with the out come as I was in this case.  So I chose a few of Fabric Marts fabrics as suggestions...this challis is tropical and beautiful, this cotton poplin would be adorable with the border at the hem, and any of the solid color linens would look fantastic. 

For summer, its ideal to have a light/medium weight breathable fabric that isn't sheer.  It gets so balmy and sweaty here that its a must that I have dresses like this one that breath and move and allow flow of air around a body.  And cotton shirting and linens are great choices. 



The Liesl + Co Terrace dress is a pretty easy make, there are no zippers, no buttons, no closures of any kind and its cinched and given shape by the included obi belt.  I love the shape, I'm an A-line fan and the slight stiffness of this shirting helps the dress hold its A-line skirt shape.  The pockets are great of course and the instructions very well laid out.  The only change I made to the pattern with my second version was to lower the bust dart roughly an inch. 




I've already worn this dress to a party barn picnic, a birthday party and a kindergarten graduation, a fantastic dress can take you all the way through a bucket of events and keep going.  This is definitely such a dress!

Thanks for reading!
Happy Sewing!
Elizabeth