Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Dreamy Collection

I am so happy to celebrate the release of the Riley Blake's Dream by Kristy Lea. 



Her fabrics are full of bright colors and happy rainbows. 


I love the dress I made with her debut collection, Create. I had hoped to make something similar this year, but  demand was high for the advance yardage on my top picks. I had  to adjust my plans, but with all the the great choices available, I was good.


I chose an assortment from the collection and thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to practice my beginner quilting skills. I decided to use my Quilt Cadets Moonbeam Pillow pattern by the amazing Latifah Saafir Studios and Little Pincushion Studio. 

This pattern is really fun to make and it helped me build my confidence with the walking foot.


To continue along the Dream theme, I decided to make some pajama shorts and a coordinating t-shirt for myself. 


I used the free drawstring pant pattern from the free Sew Quick + Easy Beginner pattern collection that I edited for Sew News. For the first pair, I used  Dream Drift Green and accented it with rainbow ricrac for a scalloped hem on the shorts and on the pocket trim. 


On the second pair, I used Dream Drift Melon with an added a ricrac rainbow racing stripe.




I will be running away this weekend with some girlfriends and will be packing my pillow, pjs and sleep masks. I plan to have a fun-filled, wild time. I will have busy days, but when I stop at night, I will rest, sleep and dream.

Happy Sewing,
Bianca 









Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Adrienne Blouses for Me and My Mini

 


For years, I have coordinated outfits for myself and my kids. Up until now, most of the outfits I have coordinated with Little Miss have been my idea. I would suggest something I thought we would both like. If she agreed; I would make them. Over the course of the last year, she has been in virtual school and has had a very casual attitude about what she wears. She has sourced my stash on multiple occasions to make lounge pants and shirts using my vinyl cutting machine. Basically, as a preteen during a pandemic, she has been doing her own thing and we have let her.

The Adrianne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company is very popular pattern and I love seeing people make it up and share on Instagram. 



I am not a fan of printing, taping and cutting PDF patterns so I almost passed on this one out of an irrational extra work spite. I have often complained about PDF's or the delay in ordering AO printing. My hubby shared it does not bother him and has volunteered to do them for me! He is amazing and I love him so! The world of PDF pattern has opened to me and I  decided to stop sleeping in this pattern.

 

I love the Bullet Knits offered by Nature's Fabric. (If you are unfamiliar with this awesome fabric, you can read all about them here.) When 
Little Miss saw the  Dreamy Skies  print , she decided it was time to retire pandemic wear and requested that I make her a blouse as well! I welcomed the change and agreed without a hesitation.


For her version, I made the size small based on her measurements.


There were no real fit issues with it, but she preferred I shorten the elastic at the shoulders so the sleeves stay up. Given this tweak, the XS with this fabric, would have fit her just fine, but she likes a looser fit and ease of the size small.


She does not like the feel of elasticized sleeves, so I omitted them giving her the billowy Summer top of her dreams.


For my version, I used Glitter Stripe Bullet Knit. It sold out fast, but there are a lot of others for you to choose from.



I made the size medium extended to the 4x length, the longest length of the pattern. I don't mind the elastic of the sleeves so I kept them.


I love the volume and drama of the sleeve of this simple blouse. 


I also love the off-the-shoulder adjustment to the sleeve..


It is interesting to note, there are three pattern pieces to this blouse each cut twice. The sleeve and body pieces look similar. I saw someone accidentally confused the two in construction and it still resulted in a wearable blouse.  


I love this blouse. I love it so much I have plans for many more including another in this  Geometric Bullet Knit. With the way Little Miss is eyeing it, I may be making two again.
 

Hope you are well. 

Happy Sewing,
Bianca

Monday, March 22, 2021

Searching for the Rainbow Connection

 


So much ugh! With this pandemic, the recent Texas freeze, and vaccine delays I am so ready for a change and a new season. I am very happy to welcome Spring and a wardrobe shift. I briefly saw a fun, multicolored dress on a commercial. I loved the irregular pattern of the bold colors and the tiered maxi style. It was fun, colorful and I was inspired to make one.  

The dress reminded me of one of my favorite maxi dress patterns, Butterick 5637. I am always looking for a reason to make this one.

After an extensive failed internet search for an irregular design rainbow fabric, I decided to make my own. I ordered 10, 1/2 yard cuts of bright colors of interlock knit fabric from Nature's Fabrics. 


The plan was pretty simple, I maintained the lengths of the 1/2 yard cuts and cut them to various widths. I pinned and serged them together along the long edges with variegated threads. 


After seeing the finished edge, I contemplated constructing the dress with the seams exposed. In the end, I decided it might be too busy with the color-blocking of this dress. I am storing that idea for another project down the road though.
                  

I continued sewing until I had my yardage all sewn together.


Then, I cut the pattern out with my rotary cutter and my Strong Women pattern weights.

Strong Women Pattern Weights

I made a few changes to original design. I cut my usual size medium, but I could have sized the bodice down to a small. The pattern is designed for woven fabrics and with the switch to a knit, I had to remove excess fabric from the side seams. 

    

I omitted the gathers at the neckline in favor of a block design. The tight bunching was in conflict with the lines of the skirt. 


Because of the stretch of the fabric, I omitted the back zipper. Taking it off and on is not an issue so it was unnecessary. 


This dress was labor-intensive with my making the fabric and gathering 3 tiers of skirting. It was not difficult, but was a perfect temporary distraction from reality. I am pleased with the results of my work and the bit of brightness added to my wardrobe. 


Happy Sewing,
Bianca

Friday, January 15, 2021

Making Lemonade with Liberty Emporium


Have you had a project that does not go right from the beginning? I've been sewing for quite a while. I don't very often have sewing mishaps with commercial patterns. I know what size to cut and any adjustments I need to make it right before I sew. When I saw the Liberty Emporium fabric collection by Riley Blake Designs, I immediately had a plan in mind for the two fabrics I chose. I was planned to make a mixed print tiered dress. 


I loved the dress I previously made with Liberty cottons and had planned to make a new version with a different pattern. When the fabrics arrived, side by side, I didn't think they would work like wanted. I was slightly disappointed and decided to change my plan. I switched it to make a pattern that has been in my stash waiting for the perfect fabric match.


I absolutely love the sleeves of view A of this dress! I immediately planned to use the Melton Rose F print to make it. I thought the quilting cotton weight would define the sleeves very well giving some drama to the fairly simple dress.


I made it up in my usual size and was surprised to find it was a complete disaster! The bodice was too big and where it met the skirt, stood away for my body in a very unflattering way. I showed my honest, supportive family and they unanimously decided it was an epic fail. They determined that and I looked like a pregnant mushroom! I was disappointed, but knew they were correct. 
I wanted it to work and I did not want to waste this fabric. I put the dress in timeout for a moment and decided to make a dress with the Merchant's Tree print. 


After reading 
Pattern Review opinions of the Cynthia Rowley, Simplicity 8264 mini dress, I thought I would have success with this fun minidress. 



I love the ruffled neckline and details on the sleeves.



My knee surgeries of the last year have finally healed. I no longer need to wear support braces that require the camouflage of maxi dresses and long skirts. My recent makes have been a celebration of that fact.


I made this dress straight from the package with the only adjustment being adding some back darts to pull in the fullness as one reviewer recommended.


I love this fun and flighty dress. The time away from the failed dress was just what I needed to rethink that garment. The sleeves are the best feature of that pattern and I wanted to preserve them. I reworked the upper bodice and took away some of the fullness of the skirt. When that still failed to satisfy as a dress, I cut the front open, finished the seams, and added some buttons to close it. These few changes allowed me to convert the abysmal dress into a coordinating topper for the dress. 



I got to salvage the sleeves I loved and make something wearable. 


I would not have conceived this combination from the beginning of this project. Now they are paired together, I like it a lot.


The work and success of the sleeve construction made it worthwhile for me to attempt to save this dress. I am glad I decided to not call it quits with this seemingly failed project. 


When you have an apparent sewing fail, what helps you decide if you will keep going or throw in the towel?

Bianca