Dress

Yikes, Stripes

Do you ever sit down to write a blog post (if you have a blog) and everything sounds horrible? Why would I start out with this? That’s not exciting or enough to capture someone’s attention. I’m having that moment right now. I’m going to keep typing and we’ll see if we find ourselves in the end.

I had leftover fabric (again) from another project I made. That other project was baby clothes. No, I’m not pregnant. (yuck!) The clothes were for a friend of mine. She’s a fellow cat lady and this is her second kiddo. It’s a girl and who wouldn’t like to make a mini sized dress? Mini stuff is so cool. Expect mini humans… yuck…

I guess we could talk about the baby clothes first. I mean, why not? I seem to be meandering through this post anyways. Let’s get sidetracked!

I found a few free patterns for baby stuff. I’m a little wary about free patterns because sometimes they are just a hot mess. I know nothing about babies so if it comes out the complete wrong size, I’m not going to know any better. Having said that, these patterns come from Brindille & Twig . I chose the Ringer Tee and the Bummies. Which I don’t like that name “bummies”. What does that even mean? I called them scootie pants. I’m not even sure if that’s any better… So my thought was to take the ringer tee and expand it to look more like a dress. Pretty much like making an a-line skirt.

The shirt was easy.  I extended and expanded like I planned. I even cut a little strip to add at the bottom for a ruffle.  Also, quick planning on my part. If this kid comes out a boy, that’s okay because we’ll just chop off the bottom.  None the wiser, ya know?

The scootie pants, I made as is. You need something to cover the diaper right? I don’t know… I just assume you wouldn’t want to see that. Wait I lied. I didn’t make them “as is” because there’s a little drawstring.  I didn’t add that. These are so small that I can’t imagine needing to strangle the baby’s mid-section with a drawstring.  I know I don’t like that tight, chubby feeling.  I’m sure it’s the same for babies.

Okay, now onto the real reason I was writing this post. I made a shirt for me. The fabric I bought for the baby stuff was so cute that I couldn’t pass up making myself something from it too. Let me tell you, that I really squeaked this one out. Btw, fabric came for Joann Fabrics and yes, I had a coupon.

The pattern is the Briar Tee from Megan Nielsen Patterns. The thing I do not like about this pattern is the super low scoop neck. I feel that it flops all over the place and it pisses me off. I bend over and lookie! There’s my bra. No, just no. Needless to say, I always change the neckline of this pattern when I use it.

I think I was still vibing off the baby ringer dress that I ended up making myself a ringer-tee too. I do love ringers though so it’s not super big surprise that’s where my brain went. I made the bands for the arms a little smaller than the width of the fabric and it gave it a little bit of poof. Not intended, but I’m not mad at it.

There really isn’t much more to say than KITTIES!!!

To finish off a post about kitties, here’s one of mine: Freckles aka Fluffy Tail.

2018 Blog Review

Okay guys, I’ve been super sucky about keeping up with my blog this year. 14 posts 😦 I’ve been sewing like crazy and have not taken the time to take pics. I have posts started but not finished. I feel that it’s best to just start fresh come January so any blog posts that I started are going to be trashed!

That being said, I should at least catch you up on the few items that didn’t get their time in the spotlight here on my blog.

Bridgetown Dress by Sew House Seven. I scored this fabric for free at the AZ Sewcial back in October. If you ever have a chance to meet up with other sewists, do it! It was the best high I could have asked for!

Front and back shot. I did change up the back. The back is the front piece. I did not want the low back on this one so easy change!


Next up is a vintage pattern. It’s supposed to be a dress but I cropped it into a tank top. I changed up the back on this one too. It should be criss cross straps. Totally didn’t realize it when I was first looking at the pattern.

If you’ve been following me for a while, I really don’t pay as much attention to patterns or how much fabric I have. I start something and just get somewhere in the end. Simplicity 1101 was no different. I copied the front piece for the back piece of this one too! I lined the top bit but the rest is see through. Scandalous! This fabric came from FabScrap. It was part of their “cool yard pack”.

Simplicity 1278 Vintage reprint pattern. I had some leftover fabric and thought it would make for a great work shirt. The stretch would make it comfortable but it would look classy with the pretty pattern. Had to blow out the pic a bit to even try to see any detail. Black is always so hard to photograph! It has a gathered, off-center neckline. It was a very strange detail to sew. I didn’t get it perfect but would like to have another go at it some time.

Tie-dye/Cloud Skirt. Not sure what to call this one but the fabric is a great spandex in a pretty color way of blue, pink and purple. I made large pleats around the waist and a large waistband. It also has pockets. Great to swish around in but secret pajamas too.

Super quick and easy project next. While at the AZ Sewcial the beautiful and talented Lauren from @rosegardenln, showed us how to do a Shibori dye. Amazing! One of the girls gave me a scrap of her fabric, which was a mid-heavy weight canvas. I knew it had to be a bag. I wanted the inside to be bright and I had leftover poly fabric from a shirt project. This baby was free to make. How awesome is that?


Never have I given myself a deadline for a project. I gave myself 2 weeks to get a semi-formal dress together for Hubby’s Xmas party. I purchased a purple rayon challis from Fabric Wholesale Direct. The fabric came sooner than expected so I could knock this out. The pattern is Simplicity 8013 and the only real change I made was to the front bodice. The crossover pieces should be pleated towards the waist. I didn’t need more bulk in that area. I put a long dart from the bust diagonally to the crossing point. Pardon my glaring white legs. I’m a pale baby people!

First cat project! Yes, there are two. I bought this fabulous cat fabric from Michael Levine in LA over the summer. I knew I needed a retro dress and it kind of built itself. The straps and pleated front are from the same purple fabric. I covered buttons to match the kitty fabric and lastly, threw some organza below to give a bit of body. It hangs a little low for a bit of detail.


Second cat project! This one was for Hubby. He’s a lucky dude. I saw this fabric also at Michael Levine. It’s kind of a kitty twilight zone. He loves Twilight Zone btw. Simplicity 8180 is the pattern. It’s the same one I used for his holiday kitty shirt.


Last up, are my super duper, girlie curtains for my sewing room. I bought the curtains from HomeGoods. They were long panels with sparkle, diamonds. I wanted to make them different. I cut them apart in long strips, ruffled them and hemmed it. I put a blackout fabric behind the whole thing because the sunlight coming through them kind of ruined the effect. I also made a big giant bow to pull them back too. Could it be any prettier?

Now let’s do a round up!
Over the course of 2018 I made:

  • 12 Tops
  • 12 Dresses
  • 3 Embroidery Projects
  • 1 Bottom
  • 9 Random items (bags, whatnots)

That doesn’t even include the woodworking projects I did! I made a 3 tier shelf, bathroom vanity and an iphone charging station.

My least productive months were February, May, and November; only completing 1 project those months. Best months were: March, July, and August with 5 items each. Not sure what that’s about but it was interesting when I mapped everything out.

Big plans for this year are:

  • Keep up with my blog 🙂
  • Complete “makenine2019”. I did this back in 2017 and I think it helps to keep me focused throughout the year.

I hope everyone has a great New Year! Lots of love and happy times to everyone!

Star Warrior

What happens when you “accidentally” buy too much fabric for a friends gift? You take the rest of that shit and make yourself an awesome dress of course! I bought this awesome grey and black knit Star Wars fabric from Jo Ann’s. If you didn’t look too closely no one even notices it’s Star Wars. It’s like secret nerd fabric.

I honestly thought I overbought enough for me to make a shirt, not an entire dress. My friend made me a super flattering dress last year so I wanted to model this dress after it. The dress bodice has princess seams and a deep front scoop. I knew I didn’t have enough for the full skirt so I was going to need a solution for that.

To copy the dress pieces from the original dress, I laid my new fabric over the dress. With chalk pen in hand, I found the seams with my fingers and made lines 1/4″ wider to create a seam allowance. I wasn’t too concerned about it being perfect since its knit, it’ll totally be forgiving. I did this process for the entire bodice. The sleeves I made from a random sleeve piece I pulled from another pattern. Again, since it’s knit, it didn’t have to be too exact.

I have a serious love for ringer tees. It’s those shirts that’s have banding on the neckline and sleeve hems that differ from the shirt itself. I wanted to make this just like that. The rib knit I had came from Jo Ann’s too. I cut strips 3″ wide so I could fold them in half and attach.

Moving down to the skirt I sat for the longest time trying to figure out how to get the most out of what I had left. I finally cut 4 trapezoid shapes. To add inseam pockets, I split the two side trapezoids in half. The pocket pattern I love the most is the Darling Ranges Dress from Megan Nielsen. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough fabric for them! I had to cut them so much smaller. My hands fit but that’s about it.

The skirt would have been totally too short if I attached it to the bodice as is. At these moments, I always hear Tim Gunn. “Make it work!” I had leftover rib knit. I cut another 3″ strip for the waist. It helped to break up the print but also gave me 2 1/2″ extra inches of length.

To make a nice, small hem, I serged the bottom. Then fold it over twice and stitch it down.

I’m so happy that I overbought! I wear this dress so often. I always receive compliments on it. It’s so soft and comfortable. I wish I would have made a pattern for the bodice. I imagine I’ll want to make this again.

Patches

I mentioned Fab Scrap in a previous post and I’m mentioning them here again! I love what they are doing. Taking fabric that would normally end up in the landfill and providing it for me and you for purchase.

I bought a cool yard pack awhile ago and there was an awesome striped fabric in there. I’ve been seeing a bib dress all over Pinterest and that striped fabric would be perfect. When I unfolded the fabric to see how much was there, I realized the fabric wasn’t just striped. It was more of a patchwork kind of pattern. Oops! Never make plans until you thoroughly check your fabric! I was still adamant about doing the bib dress. There was plenty of large squares of design that I could work with.

I cut the squares of fabric apart and started laying them out to try to figure out what could be the bib, skirt, sleeves and where I was missing fabric. I had navy yardage also from Fab Scrap that would match well with the patchwork. I used it to fill in any holes.

Pretty much the dress equates to three rectangles; two for each sleeve and one for the body. From this pic, you can see the one for the sleeve. You can also spy where I added in the navy fabric.

The back bib is made from two pieces that had diagonal lines that I so carefully matched together. This mirrored the front piece and I was so chuffed at how well I got it to line up.

You can see the dress is not fitted. It’s loose and so comfortable. I did add elastic on the sides to take in a bit of the girth. The elastic is only in the area where the pattern is. It was an easy way to ensure I got the same gathering on both sides.

So the dress didn’t turn out like my original plan, but I think we got to a happy place. I end up wearing it, if not once a week, every other week. I think it’ll look awesome with boots!

Sunny Muumuu

Recently I went to visit my bestie in LA. I was not only super excited to see her but also to do some fabric shopping! The first fabric I laid eyes on was a super light, navy blue cotton covered in spring flowers. Bestie and I agreed that it totally needed to be a massive sun dress with pockets, of course.

No pattern was necessary for this one. I knew I was going to make the top bit similar to my swing tops but with a v-neck and scoop back. So really I only used my McPattern Swing Top piece to make a general look for the front and back. From there, I added the v shape and sewed my the bust darts. The sides of the Dress was a diagonal line from the bust to the length I needed and wide as the fabric. When I say massive, I mean it!

I added pockets to the dress. I’m obsessed with the pocket pattern for Darling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen. They’re huge and I love them so much that I use them on everything.

The v-neck is finished on the inside with a small facing. I crossed my stitches under the v not only to mimic the back but to help hold the facing down. To help it a bit more, I stitched it to the side seams.

I made some simple spaghetti straps extra long to take from the bust, criss-cross in the back and land at the sides of the scoop. I think I made strips about 1 1/2″ wide. I folded that in half long wise and folded the sides in once more to the middle. Top-stitched on the left and right sides. Pretty little straps done.

It took me a few times to get the hem right on this dress. I wanted it to skim the ground. I pinned, tried on, pinned, tried on and eventually got it dead-on.

The dress is super comfortable but there’s a few things stopping me from loving it 100%. The bust darts are too high. I think I made the straps too short and it pulls the front too high. The little facing is so short that it keeps getting caught on top of my bra pushing the facing up a bit. If I lengthen the straps a bit, it would solve these issues. But the length of the dress is so perfect. I’m thinking of shorting the facing a bit more in the front to keep it from catching and just ignore my bad bust darts.

What do you think?