Dress

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!

You Dirty Rat

Have you ever worked on a project that has crushed you? You’ve cursed it or has it cursed you? I’ve worked on projects that have pushed me to what I thought was my sewing breaking point. All those past moments pale in comparison to this month’s project.

A pattern that has been on my to-do list for over a year has been Vogue 9001. I’ve been in love with the maxi dress. Big, flowy, girlie and I really can’t resist that comfort that maxi dresses bring. One of the main reasons I’ve been putting this off has been the amount of fabric this guy takes. 6 1/2 yards! To put that in perspective to make a long sleeve button down takes 1 7/8 yds and 3 1/4 yds for a pair of trousers . This dress is massive! I can tell you after cutting it, it’s easy to see all that fabric is hid in the skirt. There’s a pleat in the front and back of the skirt where it dwells until you move and it’s unleashed in a swirl of fabric.


Everything sounds pretty pleasant besides the amount of fabric right? I cut out the pieces for the skirt first and put those together. It was quick and it gets the biggest part of the dress out of the way. I decided that since the bodice is so fitted and it has some unwanted seams (more on that in a moment) I would make a muslin. I very rarely make muslins. I don’t like the additional time and fabric it takes. I used cotton fabric I had no plans for. The bodice was a super large size because according to my measurements I needed to 14. I usually do an 8. The only finished garment measurements were the length of the dress. Pretty disappointed in that.


Here’s the first go. The seam I hate is the one right across the boobs. Why would I want a seam connecting my nipples? The straps have a double strap kind of look and the inner piece that curves into the low neck is quite fiddly but I figure it’ll be okay. I made another muslin of the two front pieces that make the boobie border into one. I drew with chalk on my fabric the big piece and then lined up the lower piece below that taking in consideration the 5/8″ seam allowance.


This is my new piece. Instead of having two pieces, there’s a bust dart to bring to fabric around and accommodate boobage. I was really happy and excited about this easy solution. I cut out the bodice pieces and my replacement pieces. The bodice has a lining and I had some leftover black lining that I cut out too. Things are going well so I sewed up both bodices. Now the moment of truth, sewing them together.

Everything went wrong. The fiddly bit of the strap that goes down into the neckline wouldn’t lay flat no matter what I did. I decided to connect the strap down before trying to sew it to the lining. I cut out the bodice pieces again and sewed the lining to the outter fabric. It was laying a bit more flat. I just needed to trim the excess around the turn from the strap to the neck. As if this bodice couldn’t be making me anymore mad from all the ripping, cutting and fussiness, I cut through the seam! My trimming now became a maiming. I cut an inch hole straight down from the neckline into the bodice. I have enough fabric for one more go. This has to be right or the dress was going to become a skirt rather quickly.


If one dart worked well, why not two? I drafted another new piece. This one incorporates 4 of the original pieces down to 1 and rids me of the fiddly bits. I went very slow and thought out every move as I sewed. I had to take the straps in a bit here and there, cut the arm holes lower and take 1 1/2 – 2″ out of the sides. For something that looks decently easy on paper, became the biggest dirty rat in life.

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The dress called for 2″ horsehair braid along the bottom. Unfortunately Jo-Ann’s only carries 1″. The pattern calls for 5 1/2 yds. I bought 5 3/4 yds. I ended up being 2-3″ short. No one will ever notice it the 6 yds of skirt swirling around.

The finished product turned out great. My immediate feeling was “meh”. After all that trouble and work I feel that it should have glowed and felt glorious. I think I was more relieved it was finished.  Such an underwhelming feeling.  I started this bodice on May 6 and didn’t finish the dress until May 30. Dirty rat.

Dress Fail Salvaged

Okay so I didn’t really mean to share two fails in a row but this one has a happy ending. Onward to the fail!

When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree I really wanted to make a dress for my graduation. One thing I learned with sewing is that deadlines are the devil. I end up rushing things and then end up ripping everything apart. Eventually it goes back together the right way but that was not the case here.

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I decided to make McCall’s M6741 version A. I picked a multi colored rayon. This was my first go with rayon. I also decided to pattern match the fabric since it has a destinctive design. The pattern matching was a pain in my butt and somehow I ended up cutting the dress entirely too short. Like “hello butt cheeks” short. After a trip to the fabric store, I had a green knit to add on the bottom. Which was fine, because that’s on the illustration so if it’s on there then it has to work! Crisis averted.

The pockets on this pattern are placed on the front of the dress in the princess seams. I didn’t realize how stupid that was until I already had them in. If you put anything in them, it’s gonna bounce off your crotch as you walk. Nice mental picture right?

I hate that the zip is on the side. It goes from the hip into my armpit below the sleeve. I think it’s awkward. Don’t tell me to put zips in weird places because I don’t know any better and follow instructions!

The neckline is the most epic part of the fail. It doesn’t lay flat. I didn’t like the way it originally look so I added a “v” to it. MISTAKE. I still wore the dress but I was thankful my gown covered it.

It’s been almost two years ago that I made that dress. I couldn’t stand looking at in the closet anymore so I decided to do something about it. I chopped it. I cut it at the point it would fit my waist because this bad boy is going to be a skirt.

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I folded down the top a couple times and sewed it down.

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The most amusing part of the new little skirt is the little zip. Hehe check him out! It doesn’t zip down enough for me to step into the skirt and pull it up to my waist. I have to pull it down over my head. The little zip does secure it in place and I added a hook and eye for that extra security.

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I think it’s fun, flirty and like a good rayon it has a nice swish and flick.