Monday, August 1, 2016

Second shirt dress

So, I mentioned before I was doing a sew along on McCalls Facebook page. I decided to use pattern 6696 and previously posted about the first draft of it  then. I liked the design except I did not like the extra fabric in the back. To much excess. So this time I took out some of the extra to reduce the poof. I laid the bottom portion of the back down and folded in on either side until it matched the top placket. It ended up being about 1 1/2 inches on each side. 

Once I had that accomplished I moved on to laying out my pieces on the fabric I had chosen.

This is from the Gertie line at Joann Fabrics. It's a beautiful cotton sateen and is just scrumptious! I also chose the clear faceted buttons so it had a little improvised sparkle when finished.

Here are the pieces laid out prior to cutting. I used my living room floor for extra space since I don't have a sewing room. I'm going to have to boot one of the kids out before I get that. They seem to be hanging around, so it may be awhile.

After I had it all cut out and was ready to sew tragedy struck. My youngest daughter let her friend use my favorite machine to stitch an Indian Princess dress...... And she broke it! The threading cassette wouldn't go in and the threader itself was bent. I was heartbroken! Dang kids! Think I'll have to cut her out of the will.

Thankfully, I have a back up machine, which is also a Brother, and I was able to get back to work. It took several weeks to get it together because we had our foundation repaired, flooring ripped up, new furniture delivered, and multiple lake trips that kept me from my machine. But, with a weekend finally available I decided to jump in. While starting to pin it I realized I wanted a little extra on this one. So I bought some rick rack for trim to bring out a pop of the pink. I think it worked. I trimmed the sleeves, collar, skirt bottom, and either side of the button placket. I really like the finished effect. 

I finished it today and I was worried it wouldn't fit because the waist looked really small during assembly. I was pleasantly surprised when I put it on and it buttoned right up. To finish the look I purchased a belt off of Amazon the matched the rick rack. I love the over all look and I'm glad I did the sew along.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I have a great fondness for flamingos. My kids might accuse me of being crazy about them. I have been looking at flamingo fabric for over a year now and trying to come up with a project to make with some. I found this fabulous flamingo border print at Joann's and knew I had to have it! 

Once I had my hot little hands on it I needed to decide what to make. What better thing to make than a skirt? It was a perfect idea for showing off this border print, especially since the top of the fabric has that cute striped border which is perfect for a waistband. I found a tutorial at Gertie's blog for better sewing here:
I loved the fullness and the easiness of creating the pattern (just some rectangles). 

I washed my fabric before starting because I wanted to make sure there would not be any shrinking after construction. I then made my pattern from brown packing paper because it was what I had on hand. I wouldn't recommend it because it was pretty stiff and kept trying to curl up from being on the roll. But, it worked out ok for me. 

After cutting out my super easy rectangles, I serged all my edges to finish them.

 Then I gathered the upper edge before I was going to attach the waistband. I applied fusing interfacing to one waistband piece and attached the two pieces at the top. Then I attached the fused side to the gathered edge of my skirt.

After attaching there, I hand stitched the other side down to conceal the gathered edge. Don't try to cheat here. The hand stitching is vital for a finished look to the skirt.

After finishing the waistband I inserted the invisible zipper. I am not a fan of invisible zippers. I'm still trying to find a method I like. So far, no luck. I just muddle through until I figure it's good enough. 

The final part was the hem. I decided to use the blind stitch setting on my machine. I wanted to make sure my hem stitching would not detract from my border print. So, it's all done and I am really happy with how it turned out. I can't wait to wear it with the cute flamingo scarf I bought a few weeks ago! I hope you like it as well!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sew-a-long Shirt dress practice

I joined a sew along from the McCall Blog a few weeks ago. The idea was to make a shirt dress using a McCalls, Butterick, or Vogue pattern. I have been wanting to make one for some time now and this was a perfect excuse. I chose McCall 6696 doing view B. 

Looks easy enough, right? 

I started out with the plan to do a sloper/muslin/practice dress out of a cute print my Mom picked up for me. (Thanks Mom)

I love how summery this fabric looks!

After washing and ironing the fabric, I was ready to start cutting. My space can be limited sometimes and so is my family time when teenagers actually want to be around, so my cutting location was not ideal (my living room floor), but it got the job done and I got to talk to the kiddos while doing it. 

After cutting out the pieces and marking all my circles, squares, etc. I used my dressform to fit the pieces and make sure it was going to work out. 
I pinned darts in place according to markings. Then I pinned pleats in place and attached skirt to bodice.

According to my pinning, I was good to go. So I set to putting my fabric under my needle and making magic. I followed the pattern instructions and started with the bodice. It came together pretty easily, even with the faced back on the upper bodice back. (Think of the upper back of a mans dress shirt and how it's two layers of fabric.)

Not a lot of gathering needed for the sleeves, which I like. However, there is gathering on the back. Once I had the dress all together I decided the gathering is too much, so on the next one I will decrease the width of that panel so as to decrease the gathered material.

Another problem I ran into was the amount of material going through my serger in the gathered areas. My serger is not a heavy duty one and kept getting jammed, resulting in three broken needles. After the third I gave up and switched back to my regular Brother machine and then used pinking shears to finish the edges after sewing. This is a quick way to finish edges when serging is not an option.

The skirt does have pleating which gives you a nice full skirt bottom, but be careful when you pin and press. Make sure you are lining up according to the pattern markings and be sure to baste it. Basting may seem like a waste of time, but it is definitely worth it!

After basting the pleats in place and sewing the pockets in place I finished assembling the skirt. This pattern calls for you to hem the skirt before attaching to the bodice. This definitely makes it easier I think. 

Here is the finished dress. I think it turned out well. I added yellow buttons and a yellow ribbon for a belt. On the next one I will lengthen the back length a bit because I felt it hit too high on my waist. But that may be just me. 

My next post will be after finishing the final dress for the sew along. Happy Sewing!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekend project----FINALLY!!!

It seems like it has been forever since I was able to take the time to sew. Maybe because it has been. Finally, this weekend I was able to get around to making an outfit that has been waiting to be constructed since September. It felt good to get the creative juices flowing again. 

My outfit started when I found a pretty brown tweed at Hancock Fabric that was  on sale. Once I had the fabric in mind I decided it would make a really cute skirt. That meant I needed to make a blouse to go with it. So, I found a nice earth tone paisley that looks great with the tweed. 

I already had two patterns at home that would work great for my imagined outfit. I used McCall M6035  view B for the blouse and Simplicity 5914 view B for the skirt. They worked out great! Both are fairly easy patterns to follow, and the blouse is customizable according to your cup size. Perfect! 

It took me all day today (2:00pm - 12:30am), but it was worth it. That includes breaks for food, chats with friends, and checking Facebook, LOL.

So, without further ado, here are pictures of my weekend project.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Draped cardigan McCall M7055

So, I saw this pattern and immediately fell in love with it. I bought it last year and have just been waiting to find the right material. I finally found a dark teal knit that I decided would be great.

Today, as I waited LDS General Conference and later football, I started sewing it. I was really excited to get it done since we are finally getting some cooler weather. It came together very quickly and easily. The most time consuming part was just pressing and pinning the hem line.

After completing I tried it on. Something just didn't seem right. So I had my daughter try it on just in case it was just me. She felt the same way. I think the shoulder placement and the overall body drape is awkward. This is not a cardigan you can wrap up in. It just doesn't drape properly for that. I am a little disappointed by that.

While I think this is a cute pattern, you may want to try going up a size or two if you are looking for a wrappable cardigan. I will still enjoy it, and the fabric was inexpensive since I took advantage of a sale and coupons. However, overall I can't give a fabulous review as I was hoping to. If you make this cardigan and find a trick to fixing the fit, please let me know. I'd love to have one in a pretty plum. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Passing down the skills

My daughter wanted one of those cute jumpsuits everyone is wearing right now. Unfortunately, the shorts are always too short. It's like they think our girls need to wear shorty shorts everywhere they go. So, of course, being the sewing Mamma I am, I suggested she make one that we can tailor to her needs. She liked that idea, so she chose a pattern at Hancock Fabrics during one of their pattern sales. (Pattern sales are pretty much the only time I buy patterns, unless absolutely necessary.) 

After choosing her pattern, she chose a beautiful coral crepe material.

She loves the Project Runway patterns. This one is 1158, from Simplicity. She likes these because they come with a design page in the pattern.

She can choose which sleeve, which bodice, and which pant she wants. It also makes it super easy to customize the pattern to get exactly what she wants.

So, after laundering the material she set out to get her pattern pieces ready. Once that was done it was time to cut. She had a little trouble understanding the cutting lay out and the importance of fabric grain. So I explained it. Following the grain of the material ensures the drape, ease, and stretch of the fabric match up and helps make sure everything hangs or drapes properly. It also helps in avoiding puckering when sewing.

Here she is after her fabric grain and cutting layout lesson. She got the idea and decided I might know a little bit about sewing. So, she decided to follow my advice and it turned out OK.

We took advantage of the borrowed dressform and pieced the bodice on there as we went along.

Other than a few broken needles and an instance of seam ripping, she did well. I did step in a few times to help when she got a needle stuck and when the waistband wouldn't cooperate, but she did it herself.

When she was finished it all came out beautifully! The color and design look great on her, and we were able to lengthen the shorts to allow for a more modest design.

She received plenty of compliments at school, as well as surprise that she made it herself. I am one proud Mamma!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer dress and first time

So, I wanted to make a cute summer dress for my missionary daughter who is currently serving in Virginia. Since she is in Virginia fitting the dress to her was going to be a challenge. This means I need to have my first time.....using a dressform. I consulted my friends and found one with a small dressform she was willing to let me use. (Thanks Amy!)

So, with pattern, fabric, measurements, and now dressform ready, I started in on the dress. When I say fitting my daughter would be a challenge, I mean lots of alterations are usually needed. She has a very tiny waist, but has been blessed in, ummm, other areas. We will say she is curvy, thin, and short. 

I decided on using a McCall pattern I have had for a long time. Very simple to pull together and very versatile depending on what you decide to make it out of. 

Once I decided on the pattern I found a cute, summery, but not floral fabric.

Once I had everything cut out I started adjustments on the dressform. Putting the hips and waist on the smallest setting, and adjusting the bust accordingly I saw I would need to adjust all the darts by about 1 inch more to bring the waist in so the dress would not hang like a sack. Once I had alterations marked I started assembling. And this dress comes together so fast! By fast I mean, I got it put together with the exception of sleeves and hem in 2 hours. Yes, I am an experienced sewer, but I believe even a novice could do this dress in a day.

Here is the dress before sleeves and hem.

As you can see, I had a bright pink piping to the collar.

I finished up the following day by adding in the sleeves, hemming, and putting in the hook and eye.

I added piping to sleeves as well for a finished look. All in all I love the way this dress came out, and I can't wait for pictures of my sweet missionary in it.

***pattern McCall 2401, fabric from Joann's