Monday, July 29, 2013

Royal Blue Wedding Guest Dress

Pattern: Simplicity 1801 (Cynthia Rowley)
Fabric: Royal Blue Peachskin from Joann Fabric's

Greetings, friends! I am so enjoying this summer! An abundance of friends and family time coupled with the beautiful weather we've had really makes for a great time.  This is my most recent sewing project - a dress to wear to a friend's wedding. This seems to be on the docket of many sewists this time of year - check out Andrea of four square wall's recent make and spot-on description of why we feel compelled to sew for these occasions. Took the words right out of my mouth, she did.

And speaking of Andrea, this dress has been in the wings for a couple years now, since I saw her beautiful royal blue burda dress. This was right around the time when I wised up and actually started thinking about what I would do with a fabric before I bought it (still working on this, actually...). After I saw this Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity pattern, I knew that I had to make a knee length version of the royal blue sketch on the envelope. And so it has been waiting for just this occasion :)

Here are the details:

Pattern: Simplicity 1801 - Cynthia Rowley Dresses and Tunic

Size: 12

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Peachskin

Size Alterations: None!

Design Changes:  

- Made View C, with the knee-length of A
- No pockets :(

Construction Notes: 

- Neckline is finished with facings - lay very nicely
- Armholes finished by serging and turning under (not as written)
- All inside edges finished with serger

In conclusion, this was a very easy dress to sew - the gathering adds a nice touch.  This would be very cute with the yoke and waist band color blocked somehow. This fit exceptionally well right out of the envelope and has a great amount of room for the hips :)

Also, I just have to show you my favorite new accessory of the summer:

I'm not usually one for bracelets, but I could not resist this adorable leather bow bracelet (it buttons closed on the back) and have been wearing it with almost everything! I wore it with a pearl necklace and ivory/leather shoes to the wedding.  This wedding was so eclectic and chic - I absolutely loved it!

1. Backdrop for the ceremony - barn wall with variety of mirrors
2. Wooden sign pointed guests to the location
3. Flowers and hay bales added to the rustic feel
And here am I and my dapper gentleman on the big day:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summery IKAT Dress

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity Pattern 8701 View 3 c.1978
Fabric: Rayon Challis Ikat Diamonds Blue from


Do you like my new hat? I do! I got it from a cute little boutique by Lake Geneva last week on a girls-mini-vacay and it has been perfect for this weather! Not only does it have spf 50, but it is completely crushable (like, stuff it in your suitcase and it springs right back). And how perfectly does it go with this dress? Oh yeah, I made a dress!

I was inspired to get this vintage (c.1978) pattern when I saw the amazing maxi dress Michelle made earlier this year (I still wish I could find that exact fabric - LOVE!). I knew it had to be made with something light and drapey for the summer and I ordered this blue and white ikat print rayon challis from I ordered 3 yards, as the pattern called for to make the maxi version. However, due to a shortage of fabric in stock, I ended up with two pieces - 1 yd and 1.5 yds. An adjustment had to be made, but I couldn't part with the idea of the maxi, so I decided on a hi-lo hem to save fabric on the front skirt. It just fit perfectly!

Here are some details:

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity Pattern 8701 View 3 c.1978

Size: 12 (34 bust - fit perfectly)

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso
Fabric: Rayon Challis Ikat Diamonds Blue from

Size Alterations: None! The bodice fit amazingly well around the bust and the waist is just gathered. The full skirt is plenty roomy for my larger bum :)

Design Changes:

- Added hi-lo hem
- Instead of slip stitching back opening closed, I left it open since it was already finished so nicely and topped it off with a cute nautical button

Construction Notes:

- Serged inside seams for a clean finish
- Top is finished with facings - I tacked them down at the side seams as the slippery fabric kept wanting to show some of the facings (especially once the shoulder straps were attached to the front - I tacked these down as well)

A few detail shots:

I am so happy with how this turned out, and how simple it was to put together. I would say for someone who is a quick sewer (not me!) it would be a easy one day project. I will definitely be making another one (maybe an actual maxi :) in the near future!!!

Oh, and I almost forgot... my Color Blocked Scout Tee was one of the WINNERS of the Scout Tee Sewalong over at Kollabora!!! It totally has made my week and I have been prancing like a peacock all over the house (the hubs can attest to this ridiculousness). Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments, and if you haven't checked out the other amazing Scouts (including the winner, Laglov's Tulip Scout), or the awesomeness that is Kollabora, make sure you do! Thanks to Wanette for the sweet sewalong, and Jen for a great pattern (have you seen the new Lakeside pajamas?)! YAY SEWING COMMUNITY!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Gettin' Busy!

Hi friends! I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the blogging world, but it seems that I am not the only one having a busy summer! I have really enjoyed keeping up with everyone's posts and I have been doing a little sewing, but no great finished projects yet. On my sewing table right now:

View 3 Dress with Hi-Lo Hem in Blue/White Ikat Print
View C - High Waist Bikini Bottom (hopefully won't fall off while wake-boarding :)
Briar Tee - Love this pattern!
I have also branched out into a new realm of sewing with a Hand Embroidery class at the Needle Shop in Chicago - it was a blast and I have been trying my new skills on a tote bag -

My own design - so I can practice a different stitch on each letter!

Stem stitch, Blanket stitch in a round, and Chain stitch
This week will be a little crazy as I am a guest lecturer at VanderCook College of Music (my alma-mater) to graduate students - that's right. I just graduated last summer with my Master's - needless to say, I am feeling a bit under qualified and overwhelmed but definitely proud to be teaching alongside some amazing veterans of music education - and I bet none of them sewed the outfit in which they will be lecturing ;)

Hopefully once that is done I will have time to get some pictures of my recent makes at the beautiful family lake house - here is one favorite from our last trip!

Da hubs invaded my photo shoot - and yes, he is shorter than me :)
Until then, happy sewing! And happy summer!!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Striped Knit Scout Tee

Pattern: Grainline Studios Scout Tee
Fabric: Navy and White Striped Knit

Hello readers, and happy belated Fourth of July / Independence Day for all you USA residents :)

I am so excited about today's post, as this top has already climbed to first place on the "most worn me-mades" list (and yes, in case you are wondering... that means I have worn it almost every day since I made it - hahaha)


This is another variation of the ever-popular Scout Tee, that has prompted so many great looks over at Kollabora with Wanette's Scout Tee Sew-Along. There are still three days left, if you want to get in on the action!

I was inspired by the knit scouts recently made by Jen and Wanette and couldn't wait to get started on my own with this great fabric swapped to me from Meg :)  I made a few changes, including vertically striped side panels which added some visual interest and allowed more room at the hip. I also added a large bow at the neckline, fastened with one of the nautical buttons included in the swap. I had a heck of a time trying to decide how to use the buttons, but I couldn't be happier with the result.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Grainline Studios Scout Woven Tee

Size: 4

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Navy/White Striped Knit

Fit Alterations: None

Design Changes:

- Added two side panels with vertical stripes
- Added bow to neckline

Construction Notes:

- Used neck binding method instead of bias tape (see Renfrew or Briar instructions)
- Did not hem lower edge

All I have left to say is that I must make another knit Scout, stat! I can't stop wearing this one :)