Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Simplicity 8871 ~ Number Two

I really liked the first Simplicity 8871 BUT there were a few things that I thought I could do better. Which meant I had to make it again...

I used another linen/cotton print from the batch I purchased from Fabric Mart. So a few details about this version.

I changed the following:
1. In the first one I used a 14" invisible zipper.  For this one I used a full 22" zipper so I can step into the dress.

2. I added 1/2" from the bustline down to the hemline.  I like the closer fit through the shoulders and bustline but wanted just a little more room in the rest of the body.

3. Originally I was going to close the slit up. I got an idea when I was cutting the dress out to add a small gathered ruffle to the bottom of the dress but towards the end of making the dress, I ditched the ruffle idea and left the slit in place.  

4. While I added piping to the neckline of the first one, I used purchased piping. I really loved the piping at the neckline but there wasn't any purple or lilac piping in my notions stash. 

5. So I made my own from the leftover fabric. The self fabric piping doesn't stand out like the piping does on the original dress. It does, however, finish the neckline and the armholes which is what I wanted.

6. I omitted the side seam pockets and did not add any to the front of the dress. This version is pocketless and I'm good with that.

Supply List ~
22" beige invisible zipper
4 yards of piping I made several years ago
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Making the Piping ~
In my trying to "Make Do" I decided to make my own piping for this dress. I rambled through the collection and found some remaining piping I'd made & used on another project.

I cut bias binding from the fabric scraps to cover the premade piping.

Sewed the bias binding onto the piping.

Finished the neckline and armholes off with the piping.

Since I only sewed the bias binding onto the piping it was an easy make. 

A Few Pictures ~

I know I seem to have piping and border print fever since both techniques have appeared quite a bit in my summer sewing. I really like both of these techniques. I like manipulating the border prints and I like how piping adds a finishing touch to my garments. So I'm sure they will appear again on future garments.

So I learned a few things from making the alterations to this version. One the 1/2" on each side gave me 2" of ease making the dress a lot looser fitting throught the body than I thought it would be. I almost went back in and took some of the extra ease out but realized I needed a loose-fitting woven maxidress for the next humid and hot summer day...so I left it alone. Of course the next 90+ degree days are on the horizon so I'm glad I have this one ready to wear!

Next up is another Myosotis dress. I kinda went nuts cutting out versions of this pattern. This is the second to last version and most hacked one I've made.

...as always more later!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Zooks Katie

This is my second Katie make of the summer. It is seriously one of my most comfortable summer garments. I wear this one all.the.time and everywhere! I wear it so much that I have to remind myself NOT to reach for it. So it became apparent that I needed another one like it because I love the combination of the tunic with a pair of knit capris.

The thing is that I wanted a lighter color version to wear with white capris or white jeans. Luckily I had 4 yards of this shirting cotton recently purchased from Zooks during Sew Camp.

Supply List ~
Blue & white quilting cotton from Zooks
White linen from the collection via Fabric Mart - this is stash fabric
10 5/8" white mother of pearl buttons
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Sewing Info ~
Since the fabric was only 45" wide I didn't cut the back piece on the fold because the pattern piece did not fit. This version now has a back seam as does the back facing. Although you can't tell its seamed because the print is so busy.

I imitated the black version by using white linen for the front bands, collar and under collar. My change to this top is the sleeves. It was a simple change to make.

1. The sleeve was folded in half, pressed and cut in half.
2. Both side seams were serged finished.
3. Then I sewed 4" from the cap down. 
4. The rest of the seam was pressed open and topstitched.
5. A band was cut 4" wide and 16" long from the white linen
6. The band was then sewn to the sleeve at the openings and pressed flat.
7. Next a 3/8" seam was pressed to the unsewn band side.
8. The band was pressed in half and topstitched down to the top of the seam - enclosing the band seam.
9. The entire band was topstitched, closing in the pressed 3/8" seam allowances.

There are no other changes made to this version of The Katie Dress.

A Few Pictures ~

This will be my last Katie for the summer. I still have a few other patterns I want to squeeze in and sew before the weather turns...and more garments in my cut pile that need to be completed.  So look for more garments coming to the blog soon!

...as always more later!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lemons, Lemons and More Lemons

I've wanted a garment made from lemon fabric since lemon fabric started appearing on the scene. I'd tried unsuccessfully to purchase some but it always sold out before I got my act together. A couple of months ago I was able to score a cotton sateen lemon print from StyleMaker Fabrics. I knew when I purchased it that I wanted it to be a Myosotis Maxi.

I've made this dress several times now and consider it a TNT pattern.  So I have no new construction tips that haven't already appeared in another blog post. However, I do want to talk a little about why I own this Deer & Doe Pattern when their expanded size representation is weak. First, I own this one because I fit into the largest size with a couple of small tweeks. I didn't have to redraft any of the pattern pieces to fit me and I was able to purchase it as a paper pattern.

If I did not fit into those measurements, I wouldn't have bought or used this pattern. And no, I'm not actively promoting this pattern line because they do two things that I don't like.  One, the expanded sizes are only available as PDF patterns and two, the expanded sizing measurements are smaller, not typical plus size measurements.

Honestly, I'm lucky enough to be able to fit into the higher end of a lot of indie patterns. I don't purchase many of them because of their sizing and the fact that they're only available as PDF Patterns. Team Paper Pattern all the way!

Now with all that said, I've made some amazing Myosotis dresses. The Velvet Maxi and the Black Tie Maxi being my all-time favorites. However, my most worn one is the rayon print one made last year. It's the reason why I'm adding more Myosotis Maxis to my closet this summer.

Supply List ~
3 yards of cotton sateen lemon print from StyleMaker Fabrics
Yellow & White gingham accents from Fabric Mart
12 1/2" yellow buttons from M&J Trimmings
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoller

Design Changes ~
Besides the collar that's been added to almost all of the versions I've made, I also added piping to the collar and the front. This version is sleeveless and I added the button front band to the skirt. I also used the yellow gingham to add some amazing highlights to the inside of the dress.

For the pocket bags

Bias binding to finish the armholes
and for the under collar

For the inside collar band and front facings
plus close up of yellow buttons

I love being able to put my arms through the armholes instead of having to pull this over my head. I love how the buttons look marching down the front of the dress. And I love the fact that since the fabric is 54" wide, the gathering adds beautiful folds to the back and front of the dress' skirt.

A few pictures ~

Eyes closed thanking God this turned out so well!
Okay I was actually blinking but I love the shot anyway!

Look at those folds in the back...

Of the three I've made recently, I will admit this is my favorite. I'm sure I will wear it alot this summer and early fall. I'm so happy that I got to use my lemon fabric in such a great garment. Though honestly I want more and since I'm participating in #projectfabricfast, that's just not happening.  Well not now but maybe in the future! *wink wink*

I did a lot of sewing the last two weeks.  My sewjo was on full blast and I hunkered down in the sewing cave and took full advantage of it.  So there are a couple more new garments coming to the blog shortly.

...as always more later!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A Maxi Shirtdress Myosotis

I love my Maxi Myosotis dress so much that I've made it several times. However, they've all been more formal versions of the one I made last summer.

The inspiration for this dress was from this Myosostis hack on Instagram ~

Inspiration care of @lilly_grace_cabotine

I really wanted several of these for summer.  They fit my lifestyle, are comfortable to wear and eat up large amounts of fabric ~ which I'm all about this year! *LOL* I'm annoyed that I just started to sew Myosotis dresses so late in the season because it's everything I want in a summer dress.

A Few Things ~
It was very easy to hack this version of my maxi. 
- To make a button front on the front, I halved the front piece and pressed it.
- Then I cut the front in half.
- The button band was made by folding over an inch, pressing down then folding over another inch.
- This was done on both pieces and topstitched down.

Design Changes ~
1. I add piping to this version just like my last few versions. 
2. Because I used short sleeves for this one, piping and bias binding was also added to the sleeve hem, as well as, piping to the front opening and the collar. 
3. I omitted the piping from the waistline seam. I thought it wouldn't play well with skirt's button band.
4. The skirt is a large rectange - the width of the fabric and a length of 39". 

Supply List ~
4 yards of 100% cotton purchased from Zooks Fabric Store in Lancaster, PA
4 yds of piping from the collection by way of Daytona Trimmings
12 1" plastic 4 hole orange buttons from M&J Trimmings
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

A Few Pictures ~

I really want more Myosotis bodies but with changes/hacks. I think I achieved what I wanted to with this one. It meant thinking through some of the design changes, slow sewing to add piping and careful thinking about how to make the fabric work for this design. 

In all honesty, when I tried this dress on during fitting, I wasn't sure it would work. I'm not usually a fan of small prints and haven't had much luck with them. Adding the larger buttons gave the dress front a pop which I think it needed. Oh and since this dress is made from 45" wide cotton, the gathered portion of the skirt is smaller (86" vs. 104") when I use 54" wide fabric. 

This dress screams comfortable summer wearing to me and reminds me of a good Carolina Herrara dress...which is definitely my style. I cut out three different Myostis dresses at the same time.  So another hacked version is up next!

...as always more later!


Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Sometimes I cry...

Some days the hurt just makes me want to lay down, close my eyes and stop breathing...

Some days the hurt seems too much to bear...and no member of my family has been shot, killed and/or maimed. None of my friends have had to deal with the horrific tragedy of gun violence. I'm just lucky that it hasn't happened here...YET.

Tears, tears and more tears...heartache for the smallest amongst us who haven't had the chance to taste an ice cream cone as a salve on the hottest of days, twirl in the sunshine until you can't twirl no more and fall down in exhausted pleasure, experience that sweet first kiss or the thrill of receiving your first paycheck for a job well done.

Such deep sorrow for those who come here seeking to have a better life and being told that the color of their skin makes them ineligible to live better, work hard, have a place for their family.


Deep heaving sobs for the words, the words that I thought I would never hear uttered in public so proudly again in my lifetime. The hateful vile rhetoric of a race of people who are happiest keeping their foot on the necks of humans who are just like them except for the color of their skin.

But mostly a mirror - the person who sits in the White House holds a mirror of our sins. Sins we've tried to bury.  Sins we've tried to deny.  Sins we've tried to ignore.  Sins that are now coming back to haunt us because nothing buried stays buried...the light shines into every crevice, every dark hole and exposes everything.

...and every day more gun violence...

...at an army base...at a Walmart...at a grocery store...a backyard picnic...a congresswoman's meet and greet...a movie theatre...a country music festival...a black church...a synagogue...a garlic festival...and school after school after school

voter suppression...voter intimidation...voter remorse...voter manipulation...voter misdirection

The icebergs are melting...the seas are rising...fires burn in Alaska so far north where there should only be ice and snow.  Fires burn...and burn...and burn wiping out towns...taking and destroying lives.  Floods, tornadoes and damns bursting...but no climate change?

As a Christian I ask ~ "Are these the Last Days?" Is it almost over?  Have we harmed ourselves, our planet, our world enough that you need to save us God? Or is this the beginning...or the middle...or are there so many more trials to come?

I have no words to challenge, to fight, to implore...I only wonder why? And when does it end? I wonder if no one else but me can see history repeating itself...

...and my prayer becomes..."can we not normalize hate" over and over I say it to myself in silent whispers, in tears, in pain...

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Simplicity 8871 - Maximized

In my continuing quest to add more maxi dresses to my summer wardrobe, I made up a version of Simplicity 8871.

This is a simple v-neck or u-neckline shift dress with side darts and with or without short sleeves.  The pattern envelope adds a sash to give it some waist definition. Since my waist left the building years ago, I omitted that. No need to emphasize a feature that doesn't exist, if you know what I mean!

This is a simple sew. What I was most concerned about was getting a good fit through my belly and butt since those are the areas I carry the most weight in. It's a simple A-line shaped dress with a little waistline shaping so I thought it would work for me. BUT let me stress that this is NOT a plus size pattern.  The largest size is a 20. I bought it knowing that I would use my TNT dress pattern as a base to enlarge it.

Supply List ~
3 yards of linen/cotton print from Fabric Mart 
(This was purchased in the last six months & there are still prints like this online)
1 yard of blue piping - from the collection
2 7/8" buttons - from the collection
1 white 14" invisible zipper

Pattern Alterations ~
  • I did my typical sandwich of my TNT pattern, the new pattern and a piece of tracing paper to make a new front and back pattern piece.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you've seen that process here several times.
  • I added 4" to the cut-off line between the short and longer sizes.  Then added 2" more inches to the hemline for a total of 6" inches to maximize the dress.

Design Changes & Sewing Info.~
This is a simple style and a   I knew it would need an amazing piece of fabric to make it work for me.

I added pockets to the dress front instead of using the side seam pockets from the pattern. Because I matched the pocket fabric to the dress front, they aren't obvious unless I put my hands in them.  That's why I added buttons to the front but I'm not sure that makes much difference either. 

An invisible zipper was added to the back of the dress.  While the pattern doesn't give instructions for a closure, I knew I'd never get the maxi dress on my body without a closure.

I added piping to the neckline to give it some distinction dithering over whether or not to add it to the armholes, ultimately ended up not adding it there.

Making the dress sleeveless, I omitted the facings, just turned under a 5/8" seam allowance, pressed and stitched. The hem was turned under 5/8", pressed and stitched leaving a slit on one side...and the dress was done.

A few photos ~

Honestly I was worried the dress wouldn't fit. That I hadn't added enough space to make the dress wearable for me. I wanted a semi-close fit ~ not tight and not loose ~ for this dress. I think I achieved that. 

At first I thought this would be a one and done for this pattern. Then my hand touched another one of the linen/cotton prints, so there will be more. I wore it to work on one of those hot, humid days and it was THE BEST wearing dress. It was comfortable and cool to wear. I was well put together without being overdressed. It was perfect!

So I've made another one and there are two more cut out waiting their turn to be sewn up. THIS is the dress I've been wanting all summer!  

...as always more later!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Some Thoughts and Some Totals

July was full of challenges.  I got really sick the 4th of July weekend and lost 5 days of sewing.  I got myself together along with gaining my sewjo back and started working through my summer sewing list. I made 3 garments this month and 2 are left over from Sew Camp in June.

Monthly Totals ~
I decided to participate in projectfabricfast to help curb my growing fabric collection. Not because my collection makes me feel guilty but because there are so many goodies in there that I really want to sew more of them rather than holding onto/collecting them. All of my makes this month came from the fabric collection with no new fabric purchases! 

Of course this helped reduce my in/out numbers for the month and the year. Especially if I only have fabric out and no fabric in. 31 days without a fabric purchase makes me happy. I only have 6 more weeks to meet my goal and I have faith that I'm going to hold out and get there!

Here are in my in/out totals for July:
In - zero yardage!!!
Out - 28 yards

YTD totals are:
In - 246 yards in
Out - 208.5 yards out

Dayum those are some large numbers of fabric moving in and out of my sewing cave!

I have 6-7 more weeks to sew for summer. I have a cut pile that reflects me spending quality time at my sewing machine...never mind that I also have a few social commitments for August.

A Few Thoughts ~
This spring/summer I made a to-sew list full of new sewing patterns I wanted to try.  I've realized that I like a woven dress more than I like a knit one.  So most of my Concord tee dresses have been donated. Well in truth, most of them don't fit anymore since I've gained back all the weight I lost.

I also really love sewing a pattern quite a few times.  No matter how much I try to sew it once and move on, the pattern kinda lodges in my brain and I do creative somersaults with it. It's also interesting to note that I think I'm becoming out of date/trend/season with this way of thinking/creating/sewing.

Now that the pattern companies are actively involved in social media it seems that the pressure is on to always sew the latest and greatest pattern. Even though we purchase so many of them from each pattern company, and have to fit making into our daily lives, which of course means that sometimes a pattern can sit in our stashes for several seasons or years. 

I understand that pattern companies are businesses that need to sell their new products, I just wish they celebrated the making of ALL their patterns (no matter the season or year) as much as they celebrate the shiny new ones. Especially since patterns can almost always be found on Etsy, eBay, Amazon or several internet sites that sell vintage and OOP patterns.

I've cut and sewn four new patterns this season ~ 

1. Vogue 9371
I've made 2 versions and I'm probably done with this pattern for the year.

2. Cashmerette's Holyoke Skirt
Three versions have been made of this skirt. Two have been blogged. I still have to blog the last one.

3. Simplicity 8871
Two have been made, both will be coming to the blog in August. But this pattern has me in a creative whirlwind. I have fabric set aside to make two more so the finished dresses will show up in August or September. I've worn one to work and it's everything I want in a summer dress. I'd truly love five of these, just don't have time to get them made! It's my pattern crush of this season just like Myosotis was last year.

4. McCalls 7774
Two versions of this dress are cut out and waiting to be sewn. One in a border print (another idea I've worked out this season) and one in a stripe.

Also I'm continuing my Myosotis Dress love. There are presently three versions cut out and laying on my cutting table.  All maxi length versions.  All hacked or using some type of embellishment.  All coming to the blog in August and September.  Because the Myosotis love continues!

That pretty much sums up the rest of my summer sewing. While I've made a good faith effort to use more of the new sewing patterns I've acquired, in actuality I LOVE the journey of a pattern. I love using different fabrics, embellishments and hacking it to see all the things a pattern can become. I'm really not into the shiny and new.

Last thing ~
I've also decided that I need to "Make Do" more. Participating in #projectfabricfast has allowed me to see how often I run to one of the trim stores in the garment district to purchase things. This is something that has gradually developed because I'm now working near the garment district.  When I worked uptown and couldn't make it to pick things up, I stashed ALOT of notions. I need to turn to that notions stash now and "Make it Work" instead of dreaming up new things to buy. 

With that in mind, I'm setting myself a two month goal of "Make Do." I will try my hardest to use a notion/trim/button that's already in my notions stash rather than run to Pacific or Joyce Trimmings to buy new. By not buying new, I've already challenged myself to make my own piping. The next Simplicity 8871 dress features this embellishment and will be coming to the blog soon.

That's all! (said in my best Miranda Priestly voice)  It's an all sewing weekend. My last for the month of August so I want to see how much I can get accomplished.  There is a new dress coming to the blog next!

...as always more later!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Challenge - A Border Print Katie

One of the things that was different about Carriage Corner Sew Camp this time, was that we all received three yards of fabric from Fabric Mart for a sewing challenge. Prior to Camp, Gaylen presented the attendees with three choices and we voted on which fabric we liked.

The majority of us chose this Milly border print.  It was waiting for us with our other swag items from camp. We had 30 days (end of July) to come up with a garment using the challenge fabric. Honestly, the fabric was different than what I thought it would be and initially had a creative block on how I'd use it.

However, I did know I wanted to use as much of the daisy print as possible. So after thinking about it and seeing other sewing camper's garments, I went with the Katie top. Why? Because it allowed me to use most of the daisy print.

After all of the fussy cutting I ended up with just scraps of the fabric...

Supplies ~
3 yards of Milly border print from Fabric Mart
8 clear & black 5/8" buttons from Joyce Trimmings
black 'n white plaid bias binding from Home Sew
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Some Sewing Info ~
There are no new sewing techniques in this shirt. However, I want to emphasize the binding on the pockets. It came about because I was too lazy to change the serger thread. Seriously!  So I looked for something to bind the pockets and remembered that I'd bought hanks of bias binding back in April. It was perfect to add to the pockets and gave the innards some shuzz!

The fussy cutting of the border print added to some of the elements I like in this garment. Both the front and back facings were cut beneath the hemlines of the front and back pattern pieces.  That way the facings match the outside of the fabric perfectly ~ another aspect that thrills me. Okay I actually did the joy-joy dance when this worked out.

One more sewing thing...if you know me, you know I'm anal about changing my thread colors on my serger and during construction. I was just as deliberate about alternating the white and black threads on the sleeve as well as the facing hemlines. No one will probably even notice. That's because there's no white threads glaring against the black fade or black threads running through the white background.

I also love how the black fade plays on the sides of the top highlighting the border print. Honestly, that black fade was what stymied me when I first got the fabric, so I'm thrilled to have made it work.

This fabric plus this pattern made the perfect top! This is my fifth Katie and I'm thrilled that I've revisited this top with this fabric! 

So a few pictures ~

This was a fun challenge!  It made me think and stretched me creatively to make the best use of the fabric.  I hope you will follow my sewing sistahs to see what they did with their fabric, Gaylen, LaQuana, Cennetta, Bonnie, Andrea, Marji and Barbara. Hopefully, Gaylen will share all of the photos including the sewing sisters who don't have social media accounts. There is an amazingly creativite use of the fabric amongst my sewing sisters!

...as always more later!


Related Posts with Thumbnails