Saturday, May 20, 2017

I Love Fabric!

I make no apologies for loving fabric as much as I do. To me, fabric is like paint to a painter.  How do you create a masterpiece or a basic without resources? Now I know there are multiple ways to acquire "the raw material" or fabric. I also know that some of us obviously don't need as much variety to create with and to them I say brava.  However, I need more choice plain & simple AND I like having that choice.

It's also been brought to my attention that when I used the word "orgasmic" to describe my feelings about my fabric collection, some thought that I used the word incorrectly. Not to lecture but I like words as much as I like fabric...and I like the various definitions of a word.

Here is how google/dictionary.com describes "orgasmic":
informal - very enjoyable or exciting. Intense or unrestrained excitement.
e.g. "the album is an orgasmic whirl of techno soundscapes"

To me this definitely describes the feeling that fabric ~ the buying of, adding to my collection, and even the using of, gives me which finally brings me to the purpose of this post.

I've been attempting to decrease the amount of fabric I purchase, being fully aware of just how much I have. I'm also aware of how much storage space I have to store it in and that my collection is approaching the limit of my storage capabilities. So my purchases are definitely more well-thought out now and there are less of them. With those thoughts in mind, here are some new additions to the collection:



One of the fabrics that I don't own much of is denim. I didn't really need it in my previous life so I had only a few pieces in the collection. Those pieces were quickly sewn up once my lifestyle changed. Therefore, lately most of my purchases tend to be denim related.

It's easy and quick to collect the basic denim colors - shades of blue, black and lighter hues and I have quite a bit of that. However, I also like the prints, stripes and patchwork pieces of denim, too. So here's what I recently added to the collection.


I bought 4 yards of this and it's on sale this weekend - 60% off!
It's a stunning piece - IMHO!



This was from the StyleMaker Fabric's Selvage Yard Section
It's a 1 yard piece of a Corded Floral Lace Denim - that I want to use for accent pieces 

I've linked to the pieces that are still available for you to purchase. I mean if you're interested in adding a little more denim fabric to your collection. *LOL* However, I'm thinking I need to rearrange a shelf in the fabric wall so that I can display all of the denim fabric I've bought lately and make it easier to find.

I'm finishing up one more button down using my TNT shirt pattern and made from a ltwt. cotton floral fabric recently purchased from Fabric Mart's brick 'n mortar store...I just got distracted by the amazingly Julyish weather we had here in the Tri-State area this week!


...then I'm using this denim combination to make another Lenox Shirtdress.
The white selvage denim with the floral denim 

That's what's been added to my fabric collection and what's on my sewing table. What's on yours?

P.S. ~ Don't forget to leave a comment on the Lenox Shirtdress post, if you want to be entered in the give-away for either a printed or pdf pattern!


...as always more later!






Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cashmerette's Lenox Shirtdress

I really like this dress especially since I've been on the hunt for a summer shirtdress pattern. This is The Lenox Shirtdress by Cashmerette Patterns.


Cashmerette Patterns addresses all of my needs for a shirtdress in a pattern without a million and one pattern alterations. Believe me, I know I'm lucky that I pretty much fit them out of the envelope, but dayum it feels good to type that sentence.


One administrative detail, I pattern tested this for Jenny, and this is my pattern test version. A few subtle changes have been made to the pattern that's being offered now. 

So a few things first ~
Fabrics used:
- Ltwt printed denim that I bought from Emmaonesock but you can also find here on fabric.com for the dress body
- Denim from Stylemaker Fabrics for the collar, sleeves, waistline and buttonhole placket

Notions:
9 silver buttons from the collection instead of the 12 recommended. My buttons are a little larger so I spaced them differently.

Construction ~
As I stated before, I made no alterations to the pattern during the construction of the dress. I sewed a size 24 right out of the envelope. If you've been reading here for awhile you know that I really don't like waisted dresses with wide skirts on me. But I really like this one! Probably because I chose the pleated version and not the gathered skirt version.

I did do two things differently than the pattern tells you to. One, my sleeves don't have a cuff on them because I wanted the coverage for my bodacious biceps. Two, I omitted the pockets on this version. Although I reserve the right to use them in future versions.

Other than that, I cut this out and sewed this up in one day. Seriously, one day. So I have no construction pics to share because I just sewed.

Here are a few photos of the dress ~





I will make more of these. Also after seeing the finished dress in pictures, I will probably lower the hem by about two inches. I'm eyeing a yellow striped shirting fabric from the collection that will be perfect for those hot & humid summer days! I highly recommend that you get a copy of this pattern and make one yourself. 

To help you along, Jenny has graciously given me two copies to give away. One is a printed copy that will be sent anywhere in the US and Canada. Another is a pdf copy for anyone outside of the US & Canada. So drop me a line in the comments section of this blog post ONLY (comments left on bloglovin' will not be considered for the drawing) by Monday, May 22nd at 11:59pm EST. I will pick two winners and announce them on Tuesday, May 23rd

Hopefully you will be a lucky winner! 

...as always more later!




Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Blog Photography Update

I wrote a post about photography and me in December 2013. After someone mentioned the post at Carriage Corner Sew Camp, then someone left a comment about it in the comments on my Saldana Dress, so I've been gathering my thoughts to post here.

First, I've had to up my photography game. No matter how much I complained about it in the original post, I had to get better. Okay I guess I didn't really have to but I wanted to. Admittedly my photos aren't on the same level as some other bloggers but they have gotten better.

I've learned to use my camera. I understand more of the functions and can manipulate it now knowing which settings will get me what look. I'm definitely not a pro and wouldn't be able to give lessons but I can get a decent photo out of my camera. It also doesn't hurt that I bought a better DSL and stop using the point and shoot.  

I bought a tripod and a remote so that I could try taking my own photos. I've gotten comfortable with these items and use them inconjunction with my camera in my living room, no problem. I'm just getting up enough courage to take the camera and tripod onto my deck to take photos.

The most important change though is my own. When sewing a dress or when it's done, I think of how I want to frame the shot. This was the creative sense that needed the most developing. When shooting inside, I stick to the fireplace backdrop because it's white with some interesting dimension and works with the lighting. To get that lighting, I only shoot during the day, either early morning or late afternoon and all the windows in my living room are open so that light floods the room.

When shooting outside, I've now taken enough pics on my balcony that I know what looks best. In the Saldana picture, I knew the tree was blooming and that the purple on the tree would work with the purplish hues in my dress. So I shot there.
  

When my daughter takes the pictures, we use the greenest areas in the complex to get interesting shots.  Sometimes, we venture to the playground but I hate shooting there when a lot of kids are present. For the McCalls 7542 dress, she picked a square and wouldn't let me move from there because she liked the flowering tree in the background.


Finally I take a lot of pictures.  You wouldn't believe how miniscule movements can ruin a shot - okay maybe you can! *LOL* I take about 100 photos. My camera is automatically set to shoot anywhere between 2-5 pictures at once. My daughter takes 100s. She picks up the camera and starts shooting from the time I move out of the house, catching some very interesting aspects of the garment and me.


I also find that I don't like the posed pictures as much as the sponteous ones...easier with my daughter than myself.  However, allowing the camera to shoot several times, gives me the opportunity to get more sponteous pictures. It takes a while though to wade through all those pictures cause I'm vain and I delete ALOT of pictures.


Although a lot of sewists use PhotoShop, I still haven't taken the time to learn it. I use the photo software that is included with my desktop to crop and change exposure on pictures. Again the pictures taken by my daughter aren't cropped as much as the ones I take inside. But that's because I'm trying to exclude everything else but me and the backdrop. It also depends on how I feel on whether you see more of the garment or more closeups of my face. Many times I want to emphasize the garment and not me so I will use longer range photos.


My newest learning curve is taking pictures with the timer on my iPad. This is becoming quite an adventure! But no daughter means that I need not only photos for my blog posts but one or two for Instagram also. Using the timer on my iPad means that I can take them without assistance now.


This is my photography update. I can definitely see the difference in the blog pictures in the last three years. I hope you can too.

Next on the blog is my latest garment - another button down shirt which is not on my sewing list. I went a bit rogue. I'm presently working on a garment that is from the list, a newly issued pattern with more fabric from the collection.

...as always more later!





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The New Sew Sew Def Magazine

Let me state up front that I have no part in the publishing or marketing of this magazine. I was not offered a free copy. I paid for it myself because I was intrigued by the concept and frankly because I'm nosey and wanted to see what was going on. Also, two of my sewing friends were featured in the first issue, so I wanted to support them.



A few basics - this is a digital/online magazine. The cost per issue is $9.99 and $119.99 for the year. The magazine has a very diversified editorship and is geared to women and men sewists. It also tries to encompass ALL sewists. By that I mean, not only are young and thin women highlighted, but plus size women, men who sew, sewists of color and sewists who make children's clothing.

Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow asked what I thought of the magazine in the comments section of my Saldana Maxidress post. I thought it was a great idea but wanted to wait until the second issue came out before I posted a review.



Here are my thoughts ~

Pros:
1. It is a well photographed magazine. I love the tie in to YouTube, so that you can see more in-depth interviews. That was a great step beyond and a wonderful use of the digital platform.

2. I like that there are at least two free patterns included with the issues. Two that are available for download in the first issue. The second issue has three and one that you can download from Thread Theory, so four in total. 

3. The menswear patterns are amazing and like nothing that's currently available in the Big 4 catalogue. Also the emphasis on mens sewing is awesome. Again like nothing that's presently being shown in any of the other magazines or online right now. If I was a male sewist, I would be purchasing this magazine!

4. There is an interesting mix of articles that highlight all areas of apparel sewing - menswear, women (plus and regular sizes) and children's wear. Trends (fabric and patterns), indie patterns and patternmakers and sewing suppliers are all featured in-depth.

5. I don't have to dispose of this. Weird comment right? But I have to recycle every piece of paper in my house, so I've cut back on the number of paper magazines I purchase/subscribe to. I also find that I like having digital magazines because I can access them anywhere on my iPad.  So it's very convenient.

Cons:
I have less cons than I have pros.

1. The first is the cost. This is an expensive magazine. However, I understand the cost. There is a high quality look to the magazine, there are the filming costs for the YouTube tie-ins and then you do get two free pdf pattern downloads. 

Now I've already read some criticism online about the price of the magazine and honestly with the first issue I wondered about that too. However, after I made the Saldana maxidress, I realized that the cost of the pdf pattern, plus the magazine was worth the investment...well at least to me.

2. I thought there would be more in-depth construction articles, or how-tos, I mean it's MimiG and this woman can sew! The first issue has a lot of interviews in them. Now while these are very interesting interviews, we are sewists and you know we like to see how things are made! 

The second issue definitely has more how-tos in it for both men and women. Although since Mimi is a master of the YouTube video, I think tying some of the techniques to YouTube videos would be very helpful. Maybe something for future issues. So I guess that's not really a con is it?! *LOL*

Conclusion ~
So I was okay with the first issue of the magazine and wasn't quite sure I would continue with it. But then I wore my dress, got several compliments on it and decided that I would hold judgement until issue two. Hey I'm honest! *LOL*

If Mimi continues to offer the opportunity to purchase single issues, I would go that route. Picking the ones I like by the patterns offered (cause the swimsuits for men and women offered in the last issue aren't my thing) and the articles would determine which issues I buy.

However fellow sewists, before passing judgement, I would buy at least one issue. Why? Well it's supporting a fellow sewist for one thing cause our dollars are the only dollars keeping this industry alive. Two, let's face it digital is the future of sewing. As much as I hate pdf patterns, they are only becoming more popular not less.  

As an aside, I was in the grocery store in the middle of the day last week and I noticed it was mostly older people shopping. We all used the check out with the cashiers, there was hardly anyone at self serve. But when I go to the grocery store after work with shoppers my daughters ages, the self serve check-outs are busy and there are only 1 or 2 cashiers. There is a segment of the population now that is very comfortable with computers and have no problem dealing with them on a day-to-day basis.

So no matter how much I like paper patterns, pdf patterns are the future, just as digital magazines are becoming the norm. I honestly read my Threads and Vogue Pattern Magazine on my iPad and only refer to my hard copy versions when I need them for sewing. I'm sure with time, I will start to use my digital versions more when sewing too.

So give the magazine a try!  My only other suggestion would be if Mimi could develop an app that I could download so my issues could go in my Newstand folder on my iPad. It would make it easier to find my issues, rather than rooting around in my email for a link.

I hope you give the magazine a try because I'm sure more sewing magazines will be going the digital route in the future!

...as always more later!



Sunday, May 07, 2017

Another Border Print Turner Dress

This fabric begged me to turn it into a Turner Dress - begged people really!
So I was obliged to do so! *LOL*


Construction Information ~
On my own I seem incapable of following the Turner Dress instructions. I really wanted a maxidress so I used up all of my extra fabric lengthening the skirt pattern. Fabric which should have been used for the bodice lining. 

I thought I would be able to make the lining from the leftover scraps but when I sewed the outside to the inside, it pulled funny.  Probably because I cut one front & back piece on the lengthwise grain and one front & back piece on the straight grain. You would think that it wouldn't matter with a knit but it did...so I unpicked ALL of the BLACK stitching and topstitching.

At first I thought I would add black foldover elastic to the neckline because it's a great finish and it worked for my Turner Tunic which has the same neckline. However, after sleeping on it, I decided to stabilize the neckline with a bias iron on tape and fold, press and stitch. A cheater neckline and not at all what Jenny designed but hey when do I follow pattern instructions?!

For the dress skirt, I added 5" to the lengthen and shorten line and another inch at the hemline. I really wanted a maxidress but I only had three yards and the skirt width takes up a large amount of fabric. 

After trying it on I removed about 1.5" from the center front where the pattern dips. The ITY knit was causing it to hang funny so it had to go. Originally I used 3/4 length sleeves but after adding the sweater it didn't work. I removed a couple of inches from the sleeve so the dress would work better with the sweater. 

Fabric Used ~
I used 3 yards of an ITY knit that I bought at Fabric Mart during Carriage Corner Sew Camp. It was a find because it was only a dollar a yard. It's interesting that I bought this since I'm not a huge fan of ITY knits. I love the way the fabric takes color and the amazing prints that are available. I even like the stretch but sewing it...even wearing it because it's such a thin knit...not a big fan at all.

Several pictures of the dress ~




Conclusion ~
After constructing and putting it on, I wasn't that thrilled with the dress. I thought the print would pop more. It's nice and I will wear it especially since it cost me about $5 to make but I don't love it.

This is how I will actually wear it ~

RTW short sleeve cardigan, dress and slip on sneakers


Finally, this is a simple sew and an easy to wear dress so there will probably be more versions sewn in the future, just in a heavier weight knit. I really want to make a maxidress version. But if not, then definitely this fall, it will look great in a ponte with tights and shoe booties.

A Photography Note ~
I took these myself. My daughter had some other plans this weekend and since the grandbabies are getting older and have more activities, her weekends are pretty busy. Even though I love taking pictures outside, I'm a lot more comfortable inside with the camera. I will wait for my daughter on really special makes because I love the greenery in my complex and how they frame my summer makes. 

Next on the cutting table is another button down. It's going to be March kinda spring not May kinda spring for the next two weeks so summer dresses aren't appealing to me right not. So I thought I would work on another button down. That's what's I'm sewing now.

...as always more later!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

McCalls 7542 as a Dress

I always saw the sleeves from this pattern on a dress. The top on the pattern is too short for my comfort level but those sleeve variations are what drew me to it and finally made me buy the pattern. Which is probably why it's one of the most bought and sewn patterns in the sewing community now!

I chose the sleeves from View B because I loved the drama of them. Also, I loved them on the top that Candice from Sew-My-Time made.

After purchasing and checking out the finished measurements on the pattern pieces, I knew that I would have to do extensive alterations to make it fit me. Honestly, if I was a fit master or enjoyed fitting puzzles, I would have started from scratch.

Materials ~
3 yards of embroidered cotton from Fabric Mart
3.5 yards of Bemberg Rayon from Elegance Fabric in NYC

Notions ~
22" invisible zipper 

Pattern Alterations ~
Since I knew I wanted a dress, I used my TNT dress pattern as the basis of my pattern sandwich to make the following alterations to the neckline, shoulder and sleeves.


They were:
1. On the front piece, I shortened the shoulder seam.

2. Even though this pattern has bust cup sized pattern fronts, the D cup size made my dart too low for my bustline. So I used the bust dart from my TNT dress pattern instead.

3. The shoulder seam on the back piece has a back dart so I widened the back dart so that the shoulder seam would match the dress front shoulder.

4. The changes to the sleeve are in the prior post, however, I did use the sleeve cap from my TNT pattern and NOT the higher sleeve cap on the pattern.

5. Otherwise the only other change was to lengthen the pattern pieces.

I've read several reviews by sewists I admire who have worked on the pattern. Sewists whose bodies don't fit the pattern right out of the envelope also so I would know some of the challenges that were in store for me. Even armed with that knowledge I ran into some setbacks.

Construction ~
First, I've gained back 10 lbs since the last time I made my TNT dress...*sigh* so of course it's a little tighter than I want it to be. I got it basted together and realized that I needed to do something about this cause it was tight in my abdomen area...and I hate the belly hug. I hung the dress up and walked away from it for a minute. After a few horrific train rides to work with loads of times to work out the fitting puzzle, I decided to add a side gusset to the dress.

I'm sure you're thinking ~ WHAT?  And why didn't she just make a muslin before she cut out her fashion fabric? My first response is you know me right? You know I hate making muslins. My second response is there is almost always a way to fix something, I just needed to come up with a solution...and my final response is I honestly didn't think about the extra 10 when I laid the pattern out.

Side Gussets for the Win:
To add the side gusset, I cut a strip of fabric 2" wide and 36" long. I inserted it into the dress' side seam using 1/2" seam allowance for the body of the dress and 7/8" seam allowances at the underarm seam.

A picture of the gusset in the dress ~

Unless you're looking for that gusset, you wouldn't even know it was there!

I'd always planned on lining my dress. One reason was because the fashion fabric is cotton and will cling to my Spanx. Yes, I wear Spanx in the summer because I need something on my thighs to keep them from rubbing together ~ "Fat Girl Problems." 

A lining will allow the dress to slide over my Spanx. I also hate facings and a lining let's me omit them. Finally, I'm hoping the lining will help the cotton fabric from creasing too much

I also added an invisible zipper because I hate those little button & loop closures. They never feel secure enough to me and since it's a dress, a zipper.

The Sleeves ~
This was the drawing point for me. I love the drama of that sleeve. However, the pattern calls for the wrong side of the fabric to show on the finished sleeve. Since I'm using an embroidered fabric where the wrong side is just not as pretty as the front, I decided to line my sleeves.  Can we say more challenges!
  • To accomplish adding the lining, I cut the sleeve pattern from the lining fabric and stitched it to the fashion fabric, turned and pressed.
  • Then basted the two pieces together near the cut out line for inserting them to the main sleeve. 
  • This cut edge was then serge finished and attached to the sleeve hem.
  • Of course the first one went in with no problems. I had to put the second one in three times before it was correct...and to get it in correctly, my daughter had to pin it in for me.
  • The seam between the lower sleeve and the short sleeve was pressed towards the sleeve and then topstitched down. This prevented the seam from showing when I raised my arms.
  • And a tip, make all changes and sew all seams while the sleeves aren't in the dress - cause it's a lot of dress & fabric to move through your sewing maching - ask me how I know! *LOL*


But it was worth it because the sleeves are everything I thought they would be!

A few pictures of the dress in action ~





Conclusion ~
I'm glad that I took this sewing journey because I love the resulting dress and "The Sleeve Swag". Although after attaching the first sleeve, I did wonder if it was too much of the embroidered blue fabric. Then the second sleeve was inserted and I saw how the light blue lining fabric added some dimension to the fashion fabric, so I was good.

As I stated before, I will never make the top because it's too short for me. I may revisit this as a tunic. However, expect to see several of the sleeve variations from the pattern on future garments, because I already have a few ideas percolating. 

One final thing, we photographed this dress like I will wear it to church even though I originally planned to wear it to work. Even with sneakers it's a little too fancy for work.

BTW, I have another dress on the cutting table because it's finally getting warmer outside and spring/summer means dresses!

...as always more later!




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

McCalls 7542 - The Sleeves

I'm working with McCalls 7542.  Since we all know that patterns don't fit us right out of the envelope, I needed to make several changes to the pattern to make elements of it work for me. For me the sleeve is where I needed to make the most changes, especially since its the sleeve that's the focus of this pattern and my garment.


Normally I share all pattern information in the post containing the finished garment and write a separate post about the technique later. This time though if I couldn't get the sleeves to work, there would be no outfit. So I did something I don't normally do or rarely do. I made a sample.

See I always alter my sleeves for my bodacious biceps. Unless I'm using a Cashmerette Pattern, I need to make this pattern alteration EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I've developed various techniques to deal with this depending on the type of sleeve I'm using. Since this is a short sleeve with the ruffle added to the bottom of it, I made a pattern sandwich using my TNT short sleeve, the McCalls sleeve pattern and tracing paper to make a new sleeve.

After I had a sleeve that worked for my biceps, my next concern was making sure the hole in the pattern would fit the hemline of my new sleeve. I measured the cutting line and it was too small. Then I measured the stitching line and it was too small. So I added 1/4" all the way around the stitching line seam and used that for my new cutting line.



I made a sample from a cotton shirting that I had on hand using the sleeve from View B.


...and it worked! I can't believe that it worked...or that I took the pictures with the timer on my iPad! *LOL*



Yeah that's how I look when I'm working in the sewing cave! And yes, I took the time to serge finish the upper and lower sleeve parts. Hey I might want to put it into a shirt or a tunic some day!

Anyway that's how I made my sleeve sample work using McCalls 7542 for the next garment up on the blog!

...as always more later!



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saldana Dress from Sew Sew Def Magazine

I'm always looking for a new maxidress style because I love them. They are a staple of my spring/summer wardrobe. So I was intrigued by the Saldana Dress in the inaugral issue of the digital sewing magazine Sew Sew Def.


Let's start out by stating that this is a digital/online magazine and the pattern is included as a pdf. Now y'all know I had to really want this maxidress to print out a pdf pattern for it!  I am a card-carrying, full-fledged member of the "No PDF Patterns" club, but as in most cases exceptions can be made.



Printing out and taping the pattern together ~
The printing for this pdf was pretty painless. The instructions provide excellent details on how to set your printer and print the test page. I was seriously impressed with these instructions because they didn't assume that you know "how" to change the settings on your printer. I always feel like I'm guessing when printing out a pdf pattern test page ~ another reason they don't really appeal to me. It seems more like luck when it works then skill. These instructions gave me a clear understanding of what to do.



My next challenge with pdf patterns is cutting the pages out and taping them together.  Now while there were some terrific tips making the process easy, I still am not a fan of this part of the process. As I spend an entire afternoon cutting and taping, I'm always aware that in the time spent I would have already alterated pattern. That's before I even get to the third step of the tracing the pdf pattern to make alterations to it. However, this is my challenge and no fault of the designer.

The Instructions ~
Honestly I was really impressed with the instruction sheet/package. I love it's appearance, it's easy to read and has a wonderful table of contents. Every piece of information you need to successfully complete this dress is in the package. The sewing instructions are clear with large easily understandable graphics. May I say again how impressed I was with the presentation!

Materials ~
- I used a lightweight borderprint scuba knit purchased from Chic Fabrics.
- White ITY knit from the collection
- Stay Tape to stabilize the shoulder seams

Pattern Alterations ~
This pattern goes up to a size 2X and while the hip circumference is wide enough for my hips I wanted a little more ease for my personal comfort. So I did a pivot and slide technique from the waist down to add 4 more inches to my hip area.



The other pattern alteration I made was to the sleeves because I have bodacious biceps and even though I'm using a knit, I needed more space. So after the sleeves were traced, I cut the sleeve from hem to the sleeve cap (leaving an inch) and then spread the sleeve. This gave me the additional space I needed. Then I traced off a new longer sleeve pattern.

Construction ~
I made this a considerably more challenging task by picking a borderprint scuba knit with a minimal amount of stretch...and with stripes to match.

The construction of the maxi is easy and the instructions are really good so I just followed the instructions. Although, I did end up taking a little of the width out of the skirt bottom because it wasn't hanging well.

Design Changes ~

This is where my version deviates from the pattern. One I used a scuba knit instead of an ITY knit or a knit that has the stretch recommended by the pattern. I have challenges wearing tightly fitted clothing and will always default to closely fitted.

The binding for my neckline is made from some white ITY knit from the collection. The scuba knit didn't have enough stretch so I used a fabric that did. 

I felt like I needed some of the color from the border in the top of the dress. All of that stripe manipulation was great but I needed something to tie the top and bottom of the dress together. That's why I added part of the border print to each of the sleeve hems and to fill in the v-neckline. The neckline was just a little too low for me, although to be fair, the pattern does state that it has a low cut v-neckline. 

My side slits are also sewn shut. I added enough fullness to the skirt that I can walk easily in the dress without them. Actually when I was thinking of sewing this, I never saw the side slits in my mind. These are the "design" changes I made to my version.

Pictures of the finished dress ~ 



Conclusion ~
Since the dress is supposed to be made from a knit fabric with a certain amount of stretch (which is clearly marked on both the pattern pieces and the pattern instructions) it can be constructed on your serger.  I did a combination of sewing machine and serger sewing. My initial stitching was on my sewing machine using the 1/4" setting because ALL of the seams are sewn with a 1/4" seam allowance. Another thing that's clearly marked everywhere, but I was grateful for the setting on my sewing machine and the sewing foot so I didn't have to remember. A wonderful feature of my machine since it's a quilters sewing machine!

If you bought this issue or subscribed to the magazine, the pattern is included. I do recommend that you download the pattern and make your own version. If you're on Instagram you can see more versions of the dress using the hashtag #saldana, #saldanamaxi, #thesaldana. 

I really like my maxidress but I probably won't use this pattern again. I have a couple more maxidress patterns I want to try this summer and a couple I want to revisit from last summer.

One last thing, I'm kinda proud of these pictures because I took them myself - even the ones outside on the deck! Next on my cutting table is a version of McCalls 7542 - that's what's up next!

...as always more later!





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