Monday, July 28, 2014

Tropicana Dress

Hello readers!!! I am currently enjoying a week in Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California. Beaches, lake, mountains, boulders, waterfalls... it's FREAKIN' GORGEOUS! A beautiful spot for photos of this long-coming dress post.

This dress was started over two years ago, and completed back in April, and now I'm finally getting around to blogging it. To be honest, my main motivation was the sewcialist theme of July Oonapalooza!, inspired by the fun and colorful Oona herself. Not only did this dress scream "Oona", but when I posted this photo on Instagram, she commented that she has this exact same print in her stash - winning! :)

Pattern: McCall's 6113 (out of print)

I wasn't too sure about this dress style on me, but hey, that's what Oona is all about - trying new styles and silhouettes! It is a "handkerchief" dress, where the skirt is basically a giant rectangle. It has a sweetheart neckline and straps that crisscross in the back (different from original pattern).

Fabric: Tropical Rayon Challis - Joann's

This fabric is great to wear and sew with - very soft and flowy, and also very opaque. The downside is that it is kind of heavy! This dress uses a lot of fabric, so it makes sense, but I had to change the straps to halter / criss cross thicker straps instead of the tiny halter straps included in the pattern. The bodice is lined with some green crepe that was in my scrap pile :)

So, this is a really fun, colorful awesome dress. A little out of my comfort zone, due to the silhouette, but I still enjoy wearing it, especially on the beach! (P.S. My swimsuit hides under it perfectly!) Check out all the awesome Oonapalooza garments in the Sewcialists' Flickr pool! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pineapple Tank Top

Such an awesome accidental photo - it's like a pineapple vortex!
HI FRIENDS!!! This is a tank top with pineapples on it! I made it in an afternoon of hanging out with the Awesome Ashley of Craft Sanctuary. We have sewing dates every couple weeks, and I highly recommend them! The boys ask... "So you just sit there and sew... and talk?" YEAH! And sing sometimes too... what could be better? :)

THE FABRIC: Tossed Pineapples on White from Girl Charlee

I love the fun prints offered by Girl Charlee, but the quality of the fabric can be frustrating. I have found, however, that the prints on white tend to be better, as the color is printed on, so less color means less ink means less stiffness. Since I love my Coral Triangles Plantain so much, I purchased a couple more fabrics with fun prints on a white background, and I am quite happy with them!

THE PATTERN: Jamie Christina's Mission Maxi Dress as Tank Top

I cut out this pattern last summer, but never got around to making it. Sadly, my sizing has changed since then (6 to 10 at the bust) so I had to fudge it. Add this to the minimal stretch of the fabric and you get a really snug fit. It is especially noticeable across the back, and at the armholes, but not enough to bother me. I used a wider binding than it called for, and top-stitched around the edges. Ooh ooh! And this is the first time I have done a neck and arm binding flat on a knit - I rather enjoyed it! :) I also added 3" in length below the "cut here for tank top" line.

Well thanks for stopping by! I am always overwhelmed by the amount of view and comments I receive for my blog posts, even if I don't get a chance to respond to every single one - you guys are the best! OH and if you are a SUMMER STASHBUSTER be sure to link up any posts/pics of things you've made by tomorrow (Monday, June 21st) for a chance to be included in the first round-up! Look for that post later this week :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Sewing Swap & Anchor Top

Hello there readers! This just may be THE TOP of the summer - it's got everything... white knit, blue anchors, full peplum, tiny sleeves, back cut out, tie bow, lining... yep, this will be hard to beat in Sally's closet. The fabric was swapped to my by the awesome Sue from Sewin' Steady as part of  the Spring Sewing Swap hosted by Kestrel Makes. Basically, you are paired with a sewing buddy and send each other a package of sewing goodies! Check out this awesome package!

It includes the adorable new Tap Shorts pattern by Katy and Laney, an awesome card and button from the V&A, two amazing fabrics, and some vintage notions! The white and blue knit anchor fabric immediately inspired me to sew something up for our Independence Day (USA) on July 4th! Paired with a red cardigan, it was quite patriotic looking ;) Here is what I created...

The Pattern: Butterick See and Sew 5837, modified to peplum top

If you've been around awhile, you may remember this striped dress from early last summer. Still a favorite, I decided to replicate it as a peplum top version. Here was my process:

- Lengthen bodice (and lining) by 3", continuing seam line as drawn so it nips in more at the waist
- Sewed top as instructed, except finishing the lining shoulder seams... slipstitch a knit?? Weird. Instead I "stitched in the ditch" along the existing shoulder seam, catching the lining seam underneath - works for me!
- Instead of creating elastic casing / gathered skirt, I drafted a circle peplum using some math and a dinner plate, and attached it at the waist line - easy peasy lemon squeezy

There is one thing I'm not super happy about. In my original version, I kind of slapped together the lining and main fabric how I figured it out, and looking back, that way seemed to work better than the actual instructions. In this version, there is a lot of pulling, and the sleeve "caps" are kind of stiff and bulky. It doesn't have quite the same drape as the dress, even though I'm pretty sure the main fabric is the same (from Girl Charlee). I may unpick the bodice and lining at the sleeves, trim back the lining to more of a tank top shape, and re-hem them separately, then also stitch in the ditch to attach the side seams of the bodice and lining.

Lining fabric was white interlock knit from Joann's - it is soft, but does not have great recovery. 

Go ahead and check out that print matching on the center back seam... :)
Could it be more of a gorgeous day?!? Love the summer! And ducks!
And that's pretty much all there is to it!!! Thanks again, Sue, for the awesome fabric! I hope you liked your package! I'm working on those tap shorts next! ;)

Have YOU ever made a garment where the instructions didn't work out as well as what was in your own head? Haha, or have you done a sewing swap? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

An Easy Weekend Cardigan - StyleArc Nina

Hello there! Today I've got some photos of one of the easiest things I have made ever! Haha :) It is a waterfall style front drape cardigan made in a very lightweight knit. Ever since the last thread was snipped, I have been wearing it around (we've had a little cool wave here) and it has taken the esteemed place of "favorite cardi in the closet"

The Pattern: StyleArc Nina Cardigan

I've had this pattern sitting around for almost a year, and I can't believe I haven't sewn it up until just now. Style Arc patterns only come in a single size, and for this I ordered a size 8. After a year, and some body changes, I could probably go with a 10 instead, but thankfully a style like this isn't super size specific :)

It was a very easy sew, no bindings or bands to fuss with, and everything is sewn flat. I did add a sleeve cuff for some extra length, and just because I like how it looks. I also left the neck edges and hem raw because it's a knit and you can do that! And I wanted to wear it, like, NOW!

The Fabric: Navy and Black Striped Modal Jersey from Mood Fabrics

I first saw this amazing knit as a Hemlock on Nettie (SownBrooklyn) and knew I had to have some! I'm a sucker for blue and black combos, and I love this tiny stripe (which you don't have to worry about matching, btw!). An added bonus is that it is 72" wide, so I got this cardigan out of just one yard, with some fabric left over - winning! It is super soft and easy to sew, and lightweight enough to be a great summer cardigan. Perfect especially for eating watermelon...

OH and just a side note, I have been working on an "inspiration wall" in the sewing room, using pages from catalogs (mostly anthropologie) and memoirs and such. I really like how it is looking so far! :) It's like a real life pinterest board - haha :) Do you have anything like this???