Tuesday, February 26, 2019

There Are No Scraps of Hedge Rose In My Sewing Studio!

There are some fabrics I buy, hold onto, and treasure for years without cutting into them. I may fear ruining them, cannot decide how to use them, or want to enjoy the dreamy limbo and promise of indecision.  

When I saw Hedge Rose by Kelly Panacci I knew I would be propelled in the opposite direction. The direction of wanting to immediately wrap my entire body in the fabric as soon as possible!

I absolutely love the roses against the rich navy in this floral design. The background texture really adds a depth to the print that I just love.

I knew I wanted to make a garment that took advantage of every available fiber!

I chose to make a maxi dress using Simplicity 8635. I thought the roses were a lovely compliment to the sweetheart neckline and shoulder straps.

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The pattern is very straight-forward to sew with no surprises

Laser-cut pattern weights available in my Etsy Store.
I had concerns about coverage and the strength of the straps for the bodice. I made no adjustments to the pattern and it has me well-covered. 

I got dressed and took these photos alone. There is slight pooling of fabric above the waistline because I tied the dress myself. This resulted in my pulling the bodice down. When hubby helped me before, it fit perfectly without the issue.

I like how the loops and tie secure the back above the invisible zipper.

If I am going to make a lined dress in fabric I love, the only thing that makes it supreme is, pockets!  

I love this fabric! I love this dress! Hubby has plans for seeing it as is, on date night. I also have plans for pairing it with a leather or denim jacket for a girls night out!

This fabric was released this month and should be at quilt stores if not now, soon. When you get ready to buy, be sure to get a bit more than you think you will need; you will not regret it!

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hand-Sewn Accents On An Early Spring Color-block Jersey Dress

I have confession, I felt a bit guilty about sharing this early Spring make.  I see my friends blanketed in snow, making Blackwood Cardigans and Toaster sweaters with no promise of the weather changing for the better. I wondered if it is impolite or bragging even, to bask in the sun with 60 degree temps? I considered waiting to share this until the national forecast improves.

Then my brain kicked in. None of these friends were complaining about the weather! They were not sulking in their cozy beautifully made clothes! They are not policing whether (hahaha!) I, or anyone, is making seasonally appropriate clothes! I totally projected my miserable Midwestern winters onto people! I would resent happy sunshiny clothes if I were freezing, but I can be petty when I am miserable. I am trusting that you reader, are more adult than I and will enjoy this dress regardless of your temperatures. 

I bought the Mccalls 7894  pattern as soon as it was released! I fell in love with the seam lines and saw the potential for color-blocking and hand-sewing in organic cotton jersey.   
I love the wide assortment of colors of jersey available at Nature's Fabric. I am working my way toward using all of them in time. Figuring out the combination of colors to use with this dress was the hardest part.

Laser-cut pattern weights available in my Etsy Store

In the end, I chose Coral (1 yard), Mustard (1.5 yard), Sea Blue (1.5 yards) and Off White (.5 yard).

The pattern is designed for woven fabrics and with a side invisible zipper. I wanted the style of A with the length of B. I made a few simple modifications to adjust it for sewing this jersey fabric.  I sized down to account for the stretch of the fabric and body skimming, but not clinging, ease. In the interest of time, I used my serger for the internal seams reserving hand-sewing for the visible seams. 

Here are the changes I made:
  1. Sew the bodice darts on lining back
  2. Stitch bodice lining front to back at shoulders, press seams open
  3. Using a wide zig-zag stitch, sew clear elastic to the wrong side of fabric along the length of front and back neckline  
  4. Stitch sides together from seam top to bottom ignoring zipper opening  
  5. Repeat steps 1,2 and 4 on bodice front 
  6. Continue construction for view A from step 5 to 22
  7. Sew skirt panels together, ignoring the zipper opening
  8. Using a wide zig-zag stitch, sew clear elastic to the wrong side of fabric along the waistline top 
  9. Continue sewing per pattern instructions
I love the look of hand-sewn stitches and with this color-blocking I could not resist adding them here. I folded the seams to one side and with button and craft thread and a hand-sewing needle, stitched them down. I used a double strand of button and craft thread because of its strength and weight.  I did not apply these stitches to the waistline or neckline because it would reduce the stretch.

Brace yourself, I am giving you a close booty shot next. Not a normal angle for me, but the lines of the blocking work really well in the back.

Because the jersey does not fray, I left it raw to curl in time.  

This turned out exactly as I expected. I am on the fence about how I feel about the sleeves, however. I have a baby face and I am often mistaken for much younger than I am. The gathered sleeve cap and elastic casing with these crayon colors feels a bit "sweet" to me. I may remove the casing  and let them flow loosely. What do you think?

This dress is very comfortable to wear, it is like wearing my favorite t-shirt with a twist. I am thrilled with this final color combination and see the potential for another, maybe in maxi length, on the horizon.

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

'Sup? From My "Sweet Baby Boy"

A couple of weeks ago, my Little Man had a free dress day at school. He could ignore the dress code and wear whatever he wanted. Without hesitation, of all the clothes in his closet, me-made or ready to wear, he chose a pinstripe blazer! It was the most natural looking thing for my suave guy.

The new "Sweet Baby Boy" fabric line by Riley Blake Designs is so adorable and made me nostalgic for the years gone. When I showed the designs to him and asked which he wanted, I expected the most playful designs for his staple of pajamas.  

He surprised me by choosing the most "grown-up" options with the stars motif to be made into a "man outfit." I offered to make a vest, set of suspenders and pants. He thought I was overdoing it and instead decided he wanted 

a bow-tie (Simplicity 1506)

that used both fabrics

 Pants with pockets for keeping important things (Mccalls 6222)

 with a bit of contrast fun inside

And some fancy pants with turned-up cuffs  

He is dressed for success in his new clothes and fully-equipped for making moves. 

My Little Man is the funniest person I know. He is one of the few people in the world who can genuinely surprise me. He is decisive, driven and smart as a whip. I am so grateful I to get to make clothes that he thinks will help him change the world. Any changes he makes will be for the better.

Happy Sewing,