Vogue (DKNY) 1236, summer work dress in chambray

This DKNY Vogue pattern 1236 has been in my pattern collection for a while but I have had it on the back burner in the anticipation that suitable fabric would come along that would fit the style. I finally stumbled into this chambray material that was selling for dirt cheap, about $3 a yard and it was a match made in heaven!

This dress was pretty simple to make and went quickly. The pleats at the neckline were probably the most challenging part, but that being said they were easy to construct as well. Although going back I wish I had folded the pleats a little wider, because after removing my basting they kind of start to unfold and fade into the dress. I can see that I will need to press them everytime I wash the dress which will be a pain, but hey I am no stranger to the iron so it isn’t a big deal.

The rest of the dress was easy peasy, the big pockets are my favorite part even though they make it a little puffy. The bodice was completely faced with interfacing, and the pieces were huge, it took me a while to adhere the entire thing since I had to do it in sections. My straps ended up being slightly too big (as usual) but they aren’t gaping open and I don’t feel self concious in them so I decided to be lazy and just leave them as is. There were no zippers or anything, the pattern included some snaps for lingerie straps, but I just skipped that part.

I wore this dress to work today and threw a sweater over it. Over all I am pleased, Chris really liked this one too. I would probably try this one again in a seersucker or a light cotton with a fun print. Maddie cat had fun helping me sew this one too ūüôā

Brother Sergio is here! Just in time for Father’s Day

It’s here!! I FINALLY got a serger! I have been researching them and reading reviews to try to pick the best one and hands down the Brother 1034D¬†appears to be the best in the less expensive range (less expensive being around $200). I have been watching Craig’s List and ebay, but even the used models were on average¬†at least $100. I figured for another $100 I could get a brand new one that came with all its parts, instruction manual as well as instructional dvd’s,¬†unused, I can register it online for a warranty, and if there is anything wrong with it when I plug it in I can return it.

I had a gift card to Best Buy that I earned from the Virgin Health Miles program that I participated in while they had it at work, and I went on-line and ordered him! I named him Brother Sergio, as he brought divinity to my sewing room o:)

It came pre-threaded with color coded thread which was really convenient. I now know how to tie off the ends to change thread spools, and I can also re-thread the entire machine from scratch. This was actually not as challenging as many people have said it is, the machine has a step by step color coded guide in the inside to follow. The tricky part is getting the thread pulled through the back so that it will line up properly and chain off. Thank goodness a long pair of tweezers were included!

Since I got Sergio the week before Father’s Day I decided the perfect first project for him would be pj¬†pants for my Dad and my Father in Law Fred. I ended up just using the serger¬†for the leg seams, I still don’t quite know how to hem with Sergio yet. A lot of people mentioned in reviews that this model bounces a lot when in use, however I actuallly thought the opposite. I have an old desk in my sewing room that has a glass top and on the bottom of Sergio there are suction cups that kept him firmly planted.

It finished seams like a dream! I am in love ‚̧

Check out the final product, here is my Dad in his light house/beach inspired pj pants:

And here is Chris’s dad Fred taking a nap in his dog bone pj pants:

Happy Father’s Day to the two best Dads!!

Third place winner in the SuedeSays Rock Your Look Contest!

Yay!! I was just notified that I¬†tied third place in the SuedeSays¬†Rock Your Look Contest! I’m uber¬†excited! Suede is a former contestant on Project Runway, and he now has his own line of patterns through Simplicity called SuedeSays. He had a video contest from April-¬†May for everyone to use one of his patterns to make a design and show how you add your own spin and rock it. I debated between the romper¬†on his pattern 2222 and then decided to go with the dress version since I can get more wear out of it, I don’t think I’m much of a romper kind of gal.

This photo is a little grainy, it is a still from my video submission (please ignore our roomba¬†and the dog to the right). I found a really cute sparkly linen to use for my fabric, and it ended up looking kind of like suiting material (though much more fun). His patterns have 3 different looks to each; Edgy, Flirty and Classic. My look was more classic for sure since I could actually wear this to work with a sweater thrown over it. I replaced the buttons with some white pearl snaps. I didn’t add any studs to the look as the pattern called for, because studs just ain’t my thing either.

The pattern was easy to follow, the racer back and armhole were supported with bias tape ( not listed on the notations¬†so keep an eye out)¬† the skirt and the bodice were attached with both a drawstring and elastic in the channel. I opted for twill tape for my drawstring, but I the closest I could get to matching my fabric was just plain¬†black. It didn’t quite look right, and I think the belt pulls the look together better¬†so it just got covered up in the end.

The only complaints I had about this look was that the¬†armholes¬†were pretty big, so when I adjusted these it ended up making the bust much smaller. The linen I used had zero stretch so each adjustment I made it pulled in the front, and it was a battle to find a happy medium between not pulling on the front opening to having gaping armholes. My finished look was a smidgen too tight in the bodice. Also, the bodice piece was very long and I have a short torso. Somehow I didn’t notice this until it was too late, so the top billowed out quite a bit, but I think different fabric could’ve¬†made this effect work- the linen was very stiff. This was remedied again by my big belt, I just tucked all the extra fabric and drawstring under it and no one was any wiser.

The prizes I won included a Simplicity Autumn 2011 Catalog, and two patterns from the SuedeSays¬†Autumn collection signed by Suede himself. I feel so honored to have been chosen as one of the winners!¬†Although truth be told I am a little embarrassed of my video, I am no actress! I even wrote myself a little script so that I would cover all my bases when explaining my dress, and I wouldn’t allow my husband (who usually takes all my project photos) to tape it because he would have teased me. My very cool and nonjudgemental¬†friend Ashley AKA Miss Jackson filmed it for me- thanks Miss j! If you would like to view my video checkout this link to Simplicity http://www.simplicity.com/rock_your_look_contest_spring_2011_winners.aspx

Tracy Reese (Vogue) 1224, a perfect summer dress!

I love this dress! It is so comfy and it is perfect for bright crazy patterns which I adore. I used this soft rayon knit from fabric.com. I almost thought it looked a little bohemian, my husband said he thought it looked like it had monkeys on it? Um ok… it is cute regardless!

This pattern is all over pattern review, and since I have had it on my list for a while I am really thankful I had so many reviews to refer to. I heeded everyone’s advice by adding about 4 inches of length to the bottom and an inch to the width so the skirt wouldn’t be so tight like in the photo of the model. I also added about an inch to the bodice, but I could have probably left it as it was since I have a short torso. The bodice ended up being a little billowy, but I didn’t mind the effect. I had to shorten the elastic in the ties also so that the neckline would stay put. I just tied the ends off instead of buying the metal end covers¬†too.

It was a really easy dress to make, other than just making the alterations to the skirt I had no problems making this, it was a fun piece and I know it will get a lot of wear. I think this dress looks really cute with flats which makes it perfect for summer! Here I am at the St. Raphael picnic with my sister-in-law Olivia. We won a bunch of plants (we went for all the cactuses since it is hard to kill them!) and we are rocking out our matching chicken hats that we won at the Mardi Gras booth!

Vogue 8645, my giraffe print dress

I have had this really cute green giraffe print fabric that I bought super cheap for $4 a yard, but it is really sheer so I have been debating on what to do with it. I have seen good reviews on Vogue 8645 which is a fully lined dress with ties at the shoulders and a belt around the waist and figured it would be a good project!

Normally I avoid lining dresses if at all possible because for one, its such a pain in the ass. Second, I live in Louisville which has unbearably hot summers due to the city being nestled in the river valley, so any additional layers of clothing is one too many. However, since this fabric was so sheer I decided to suck it up and line the dress and wear this in the evening or to places inside. I found a light beige mesh from Joanns that matched the tan color in the giraffe print and used this for the lining.

This dress is one of those “very easy” Vogue editions, and they ain’t kidding-¬†this dress was a cinch! It had no zippers, elastic, interfacing or nothing. It was just 4 panels, two front and two back pieces that were sewn together, ties, the belt and pockets.¬†The pockets on the side were a breeze. I think pockets have become much easier to sew¬†now that I have worked with them a lot. The lining was also extremely easy, it was¬†pieced together the same as the dress, and sewn to the top with right sides together. The straps were sewn together afterwards. I love the ties on the straps, they give the dress some flare where it otherwise would have been a pretty plain dress. This dress absolutely needs the belt though, it looks like a potato sack otherwise. Depending on the fabric and pattern you use, a different waist belt would look cute with this dress too.

Personally I think this is a pretty dressy dress, especially with the added lining. (I do think that the lining could be omitted though with a thicker less sheer fabric, the arms would just need some bias tape for reinforcement.) It would be great for going to dinner, a play, or even a casual garden wedding would work. Its a great versatile piece and I would definitely sew it again.