Dress

McPattern Dress

After my success with my first McPattern, how could I stop myself from making another? I wanted to make a big circle tank dress. I started off similar to my tank McPattern. It took a bit to figure out how tight I wanted the dress to my neck and how wide to make the straps. I did the same arc to figure out the curve on the bottom of the dress.


I sewed up the neck and shoulders of the dress first. Immediately I knew I was wrong. The straps were much farther from my neck and the neck scooped to low. I pulled the straps up and pinned them up to where the neckline hit my neck. I used chalk to mark a new line from the outer strap width down into the arm.

After my adjustments, I finished the neckline, arms and sides. It fit so much better! The problem I had now was the extra length I pulled up to move up the neckline made the dress short! Too short!


To remedy this issue, I picked up lace to trim the edge. That did it! It was light enough to keep the float of the rest of the fabric. I sergered the lace to the bottom and topstitched the edge for a clean finish.


This is ridiculously comfortable and surprisingly flattering. I’ve realized that anything with a lot of fabric at the bottom needs to be balanced with a more fitted top otherwise I end up looking like a potato.

BONUS:


I made another McPattern tank. This time in a knit! This was the last little bits of my $5 for 5 yds of grey fabric from Walmart. I made a maxi, dress and tank. There’s a few small pieces left that I would need to mix with something else to make anything. Talk about a deal!

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I did topstitch both sides of the straps which I didn’t on the others. I felt that if I didn’t, the strap wouldn’t stay nice and flat.

Up next, I’m back to project: #sewmystyle!

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August Project: #sewmystyle

It’s time for Project: #sewmystyle again.  August’s garment is by Megan Nielsen called Darling Ranges Dress.  Megan Nielsen was on the list earlier in the year for the Briar Tshirt.  That pattern was super easy to put together so I was hoping this dress would be the same.

I picked up a cotton shirting from Jo-Ann’s.  I could not decide on a fabric for this dress.  I shopped and shopped online but ended up going to Jo-Ann’s and deciding that I would not leave without something.  The shirting is a navy blue with swiped on white dots.  The cotton is light but still has enough body that the dress won’t fall flat. I did read over the post by Emily at Self Assembly Required.  If I would have retained it a bit better it would have helped but I’ll get to that in a bit.  She did mention that the sizing was a bit off and I agree.  I cut a size small.  I never do that… also just had a moment of déjà vu.  Have I had this sizing issue recently? I also went with version 1 that has a gathered skirt.  I think the other dress looks like a hospital gown with buttons in the front.  Maybe that’s just me.

As I mentioned I cut a size small.  The top sews up fast and I did sew it in the flat as the pattern suggests.  I really didn’t see why it was a necessary suggestion but hey, who am I? I repeatedly tried the bodice on because I was nervous about the fit of a small but my measurements fit into the finished garment sizes so I was going with it.  I attached the skirt and started to finish off the placket.  That’s when the brain became the blame.  I should have remembered from Emily that she thought the bust darts came up too high.  I tried it on after finishing my plackets and realizing how much space I was losing.  Uh oh! I fit but it was tight.  That does not work! I pulled out a majority of one placket.  I was not going to tear this whole dress apart.  I resewed it about 3-4 times before it became acceptable and I fit appropriately.  After I was sure about the one dart, I ventured to the other.  So much better.  I do want to look at those darts a bit more though before another go at this dress.  They do go too high and I think they eat up too much of the bodice.


It took me a bit to decide on the length of the sleeves.  I thought about hacking off the length and creating short sleeves. I ended up keeping the length to my elbow. I think a tulip sleeve might be a fun alternative for a future version. Do you also notice the back gives me some badonkadonk?


I chose little white buttons that would match the dots on the fabric.  They do have a bit of a pearlescent kind of sheen and I think they complement the dress so much better than plain navy or standard white buttons.


I’m not sure how much of a hem the pattern suggested.  I always hem my dresses last and at that point it’s what I want not what the pattern tells me.  I made it a bit shorter than my knee.  This tends to be the typical length I’ve been hemming my dresses at.  See Simone and Sorbetto.  All 3 are the same length.  I go with the old rule of, as long as it’s past my fingertips it’s acceptable.


I wore this dress all day at work and not one wrinkle.  Can you believe that? Especially of a 100% cotton?  I’m amazed and totally delighted! Even with the 100 degree weather, I was still comfortable.  I did add a little belt to enhance the transition from the bodice to the skirt. Is it weird that I love this picture because I have creepy dead eyes?

Very happy with this dress and pattern.  A long bust dart won’t make me dislike this pattern.  Next up is the Yona Wrap Coat by Named Clothing.  I’m looking forward to this one and dreading it all at the same time!

Sorbetto Explosion!

This will be a long post. It contains five Colette Sorbettos. YES FIVE! I’m a mad woman. Someone cue the music and the cackling shall commence.

Let’s start with the first of many. I’ve been wanting to make a Sorbetto dress for a while. I bought a rayon fabric (surprising right?) from SAS Fabrics. I thought about this dress a lot. A simple tank dress would be too simple. I wanted pockets but not in-seam pockets. I love the pockets on the Farrow dress. Diagonal and big! I decided I was going to make diagonal single welt pockets. Have I ever made single welt pockets? Nope! I’m feeling fearless people!


The pattern is for a top so lots of extending had to happen and widening. Excessive widening to accommodate the tush! I looked up several tutorials on single welts but I could not even say what one I used because I kind of winged it in the end. No pattern pieces or anything! Reckless I tell you! After I was finished with them, they looked glorious but sad.


Since rayon is so light weight they drooped. To make it work, I added little tabs and buttons. That added more weight that makes for even more sag but I was ready. I added snaps! Sag no more little pockets.
Left over fabric from my disastrous Pocket Skirt was used as bias tape and a small band on the bottom. The band was only added because the dress still felt boring I think it looks like a muumuu. It’s super comfy and I can fill the pockets with all kinds of stuff! I forgive the dress’s weirdness because of its usefulness. Is that a strange reason?

The next four were super fast. My bestie’s bday was coming up and I wanted to make her a shirt from one of my fav patterns. The stars aligned and the Sorbetto was chosen. I picked up some fabric at Jo-Ann’s. Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl fabric was a perfect find. Then Hubby spotted an excellent fabric… it was pink and covered in llamas! I bought both fabrics. One for me and one for her. Totally not the plan but I couldn’t help myself. Llamas! I freaking love llamas!
I did my typical changes to the pattern. Extend the length, curved the hem, remove the pleat and flare out the sides 1″ at the bottom creating an a-line style. By the way, this is the old Sorbetto pattern.  I’m not a fan of the new one.


The bestie has the same chest measurements so it made this so easy. Girl Super Power!
I did finish the edges a bit different than I have before. I used a strip of fabric around the neckline and topstitched. The arms and hem were folded over once and stitched. I even broke out the walking foot on Katherine. It was my first time using it! It’s so awesome! It kept the knits from stretching as I sewed.

Now you’re asking yourself where’s 4 & 5 because you can clearly count and we’ve only gotten to 3. We started out lengthening the Sorbetto so why not end this post by shortening it?


I had just enough fabric to squeeze out two crop tops. One in llamas for bestie and one in super fabric for me. But Jamie you say, you hate anything cropped. I know! But…I can wear it as workout wear or around the house or as sleepy wear. This I find acceptable.

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To figure out the proper length, I cut them as long as I could with the little fabric I had.  Then I popped them on and cut to the length needed.

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The interesting bit about these is that they are so not wide enough.  Luckily the fabric stretches and the tops ended up looking like a razor back. Great for workout wear!

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I did finish the arms and neck the same way on these. With the extra fabric and a bit of top stitching.  I did add a bit of elastic on the bottom of the llamas because it didn’t have the same snap that the super heroes fabric did.  It was flaring out weird making it so not cute.

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That’s all of them guys! 5 Sorbettos in just a few weeks. I’m not sure how many Sorbettos this brings me up to but it’s a lot.  I can’t help myself. When I can’t figure out what to do with a bit of fabric my first thought is Sorbetto.  Do you have any patterns that you obsess over?

Giant Man-Eating Flowers

Rayon, the soft, super drapey fabric that for some reason I can’t resist. I can find you blindly in the large remnant bin at Jo-Ann’s. “Oh, this fabric feels nice”. Guess what it is? Rayon. Will I buy it? Yup. Even if it has giant man-eating flowers all over it? Yup! I didn’t even like the floral pattern on this fabric but it was enough to squeeze out a shirt and I paid just over a dollar for it. That’s reason enough to buy it. Did I mention it was rayon and I might slightly have a fetish for it? One pattern I’ve been meaning to get back to was Simone by Victory Patterns. I’ve made it twice now. The first time the bust was a bit tight and the second the armholes were a bit stretchy but that was my own fault in my choice of fabric for bias tape.

The more I looked at my bit of fabric, the more I thought I could squeeze out a dress if I added a plain chunk of another fabric at the bottom for length. I rummaged through my odds and ends I have hidden in a basket. I found yellow piping.  There was quite a length of it so I thought I would give it a go and add it to my dress. The pattern gives an option of this adornment so even though it was my first time using piping I had instructions to guide me through.


I find the bib the most difficult part of this pattern. The little tab, the amount of pleats and the pivot point at the bottom are my painful spots. I started with the back pieces first. *insert big goofy grin here* I added the bit of piping on the main back piece. I used my zipper foot to attach it. The stitching was not close enough to the piping so I had to move the needle over a smidge and do it again. That was the only issue. Dude piping is easy! *new sewing technique unlocked*  If you ever compare my version of Simone to the pattern, I do make the center wider. I want to make sure my bra is covered.


I took my time doing the front. Only because last time I sewed the placket in wrong and it’s a pain to fix. Check out my lovely yellow piping!


Actually, the hardest part was sewing in the small pleats that line the bottom of the bib. Rayon is shifty. When I stitched in a few of the pleats they went at a diagonal instead of north and south. I pulled them out and judged based on its neighboring pleats how it should go back in.


When I cut the pieces, I didn’t realize the fabric wasn’t perfectly lined up so the bottom was all kinds of crazy. Trying to even it up on the floor was not easy! I think this is one of those times I wish I had a dress form. I didn’t have a lot of the black fabric left. I used it on my last Simone too. I was able to squeeze out a band of just over 3″. I wanted to use the piping again and I knew I didn’t have enough. I had to make about 8″ worth. I have yellow bias tape just a shade or two off. If I center it on the back, no one should notice. I do not have the proper cording for the guts, so I used four strands of what cording I do have and twisted it while I sewed it into the tape. The join between the two pieces doesn’t look the best up close but from a normal distance it isn’t noticeable. I can’t even find it in the pic above!


You’ll notice the bottom of the dress has a bit of volume. The black fabric is not as light and floaty as the rayon. It’s ok with me because it is symmetrical on the sides. It gives it nice movement when I swish around. On a side note, when I originally tried my dress on, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and why my arm holes were so big. I forgot to put in the bust darts. I’m a dork.

I feel the dress turned out a little mod. It’s a smidge short but not uncomfortably so. The yellow piping was a nice pop of color.

This dress helps complete one of my #2017makenine. 8 more squares to complete!

Holiday Dressing

I’m on a holiday roll here at Mac’s Crafts. First it was Hubby’s kitten shirt which has gotten mostly positive reviews from friends, family and random strangers. Also received kind words of “it fits well”. Can’t be everyone’s cup of tea right?

Last year I made myself some twirly goodness, otherwise known as a circle skirt with holiday fabric. This year I wanted a dress. I don’t plan to make this a yearly thing but I really wanted a plaid dress. The holidays was a reason to treat myself and make something that I can only wear a few times a year.

I didn’t use a dress pattern. Instead I used my peplum pattern Simplicity 1425 and figured I could add a circle skirt to the bottom of the bodice. Woo hoo got a plan. My fabric is cotton flannel from Jo-Ann’s. I went through all the plaids at the store and this one caught my eye. The flannel is soft and not heavy so I won’t sweat to death. Living in the AZ here peeps. Heavy clothing is not necessary just optional.


So here’s a shot of the bodice  nothing too exciting. It has princess seams for shape. Pretty basic and a good starting off point.


I did my best to match the plaids. Some areas are better than others. I top-stitched all my seams with red thread. I used a 20″ zip for the back closure. It’s not perfect but I’m worried if I rip it out and try to redo it, it will look worse. Zips and I only get along sometimes. We’re working on our relationship. But it does go up and down like it’s meant to. I say this is a win. By the way, I figured out how to wiggle and bend my arms just right so I can zip up by myself without adding the little tab I put on my polka dot peplum.

I made black bias tape for the arms and the neck. You can see my awesome serger’s work too on the seams. Makes for nice clean guts.


I used the flannel to make bias tape for the bottom of the circle skirt. I really forget how big the skirt is until I’m hemming the bottom. Never ending! I used two lines of stitches on the hem. One to get the folded edge nice and crisp the other to get the rest of the width tacked down. The red blends in really well so you don’t notice the two lines. I went wider with the tape on the bottom because I didn’t want the edge to flip up weird.


I made a belt for my dress too because I had a bit of leftover fabric. I followed Tilly and the Buttons instructions for a bow belt.  Totally cute right? Super easy to make. She didn’t mention a seam allowance so I used 1/4″. I bet it’s supposed to be larger because my belt looks wider than her’s. I’m really happy with it though so it doesn’t matter now but I’ll know for my next one.


I also used little snaps for the closure instead of the hook and eye. Sometimes those little buggers are fussy and snaps are easier.


One of the great things about this dress is that I get to use my petticoat from last year to give my dress some oomph. Yay for poof and twirly dresses! Here’s a good pic to show the amount of oomph I get from my petticoat. It’s not a lot but enough to give it some body.


I actually had to do a bit of repair to the petticoat because the ribbon I used on the bottom was crap. I fixed it with cotton fabric and a zig zag stitch. It feels much better and I like the brighter pop of red. 

Here’s my full holiday dress in all its glory. Bow belt and petticoat included.


I couldn’t leave you without sharing some twirly goodness!