Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Slapdash Heart Dress for Valentine's Day ❤


Sometimes I get crazy and attempt to sew a dress the night before a special occasion.
Last night was one of those nights.


 This blue and pink heart print fabric has been in my stash FOR-EV-ER!
It is a super comfortable rayon lycra blend jersey knit fabric from Mood Fabrics.
And OMG I just realized they still carry it! Lucky you ;) Here is the link:




As much as I loved this fabric, I just couldn't cut into it without the perfect design.  Then I saw the Galena Midi Dress at Anthropologie (where all good sewing dreams are made ;) It had everything:

Mock wrap neckline, gathered / ruched waistband, shoulder detail, gathered skirt, in a KNIT fabric

I searched for hours for a pattern that would work. Then it hit me - I had a very similar pattern in my stash from a couple years ago for a woven (see that dress blogged here) and perhaps it could be tweaked to a knit dress! Knits are great for these make-it-up-as-you-go-along type sewing projects :)

Left: Anthropologie Galena Midi Dress - Inspiration   //   Right: Line Drawings of Simplicity 1801


So here is what I did to change Simplicity 1801 to the knit dress of my heart's desire ;)

- Cut a size 12 (same as for woven)
- Doubled length (up and down) of waistbands, then gathered to original length at side seams
- Cut front bodice as mock wrap neckline - instead of stopping at center, I continued the line until it tapered off to lower edge. Magically, these corners lined up perfectly at the side seams
- Omitted facings and finished neckline with a good old turn and stitch
- Added a second waistband on inside front, which was interfaced, to hold up the heavy skirt and keep it's shape, allowing outer waistband to have pleats/gathers.
- Randomly added the sleeves from the Papercut Rise Turtleneck, because it was laying on the floor and I needed a fitted sleeve pattern piece. Again, magically seemed to fit perfectly...
- The back was a bit of a hot mess - the gathers above the waistband did not work in this drapey knit fabric, so I added a center seam to the back bodice piece to get rid of the excess fabric. Also, I added a piece of thick elastic to the back lower waistband edge to help hold up the skirt. I couldn't interface it like the front piece and still pull it on over my head. It doesn't have the gathers across the waistband like I wanted, but it fits so yeah!

Left: The back of the dress   //   Right: How I feel about the back of the dress
It took a lot of puzzle piecing to make this dress work from the original pattern. Every stitch I made was a "will it, won't it" moment and surprisingly most of them worked! I am so thankful for the few year's of sewing experience that made this a success. I feel like as a beginner seamstress, I was way more prone to jumping into these last-minute type projects, but with less than stellar results. I think the longer I've sewn, the more cautious I've become to making something that wasn't "perfect". This holds me back a lot, especially in starting projects, and so I'm glad to have just gone for it with this one!

How do you feel about starting last minute sewing projects? Do you think this changes the longer you sew? Have you ever made a pattern for wovens in a knit fabric? Let me know in the comments below! And thanks for reading!

❤ Sally


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Yellow Bridges Dress (Emery + Simplicity 1419)


Helloooooo sewing friends! Meet the Yellow Bridges Dress. It is a mashup of the Emery bodice and Simplicity 1419 skirt. I started sewing this dress in September... or August. So long ago it has faded from memory... I blame the abominable state of the sewing room for sucking all my sew-jo away. I haven't sewn anything for months! Thank goodness for Christmas Break. And family that is willing to travel to you. Which forces you to clean the sewing room. And now it looks pretty, you want to sit and stay awhile. Oh, this old thing? Unfinished dress. Let's see... Zip / Press / Hem - done! That wasn't too bad, was it? :)




Pattern: Emery Dress (bodice) and Simplicity 1419 (skirt)


Fit / Alterations:

Bodice: Spent an afternoon working out the bodice fit with Ashley of Craft Sanctuary - you can see a few of her finished Emery's herehere, and here (which I tried on of course - why can't we always have finished garments in the exact size we need to try on before cutting in to our fabric?)

- Cut size 4 bodice (what?!) - my measurements put me at an 8, but we wanted a more fitted look. 
- Changed darts to hit at the size 8 apex, but placed where the size 4 was. 
- Vertical bodice/waist darts are curved
- Some roominess across the top (I am short from bust to shoulder), but everywhere else fits like a dream!
- I am sure there are other changes, but I have two different traced pattern pieces with scribbly notes and it was so long ago that I started this, I can't remember exactly what I did - ugh. Guess I will just have to make it again to be sure ;)

Skirt: Decided I wanted a pleated skirt to match the sharp lines of the bridges

- Cut a size 12 and adjusted pleats to match skirt to waistline of bodice



Fabric: Michael Miller Waterfront Park Bridgetown in Starfruit (Yellow) - also available in more colors!

Purchased at Bungalow Quilting and Yarn, an adorable shop outside Milwaukee, WI. In addition to a fabulous fabric collection, they have a bathtub of yarn. And the bathroom is wallpapered with old pattern pieces. 


Verdict: I didn't believe it until I zipped the finished dress up - it actually fit! And well! If you look at the product photos of the Emery, the fit is much looser. Thanks to Ashley, this one fits more like a glove ;)
The fabric is cotton, so a dream to sew. And this yellow color is so fun - I cannot wait to wear it to school!

Also, let's hope the newly revived sewing room will be inspiring for more sewing projects in the near future. I am focused on working through my existing stash. No new fabric. No new patterns. In fact, after my big sewing room clean and purge, I may need to get rid of some fabrics and patterns soon. Winter sewing destash, anyone?  

Hope you had a fantastic 2015, and here's to a New Year full of good things! Thanks for reading!  ❤ Sally

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bettine Dress in French Stripes








Pattern: Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Navy and white striped viscose from Anna Ka Bazaar (available online here)

* Purchased this fabric on my summer 2015 trip to Paris! We visited the fabric shops in Montmartre, which was wonderful. My favorite shop had to be Tissus Reine - such beautiful fabric selections! You can see my Paris fabric haul in this instagram pic. It was such a fun experience! The entire photo album of the trip can be viewed here, if you're interested :)

Fit / Alterations: Used size 4 pattern pieces all around

- Moved skirt pieces 1" from "cut on fold" line, adding a total of 2" to the front and back (4" all over) due to complicated hip curve and pocket - I needed more room for the junk in the trunk but didn't want to ruin the drafting by grading so far out. Gathered skirt slightly before attaching to bodice at waist
- Straightened skirt side seams (doesn't curve back in - goes straight down)
- No topstitching for facing - just tacked at shoulder seams
- For next time: sway back adjustment or something? There seems to be too much fabric in the back above the waistline

Verdict: This is maybe the most chic and versatile dress I have ever owned! Love the style, the colors, the stripes, the pockets, and especially the feel of the fabric. It has been my go to outfit ever since completion :)