It is that time of the year for lots of beer, wine and local eateries and animals! Brew at the zoo is an annual event that my husband and all our friends attend every year at the end of August. This year it feel on myh husband’s birthday so it was even more fun! To keep the animl theme I decided to make a dress for the occasion with this awesome peacock printed knit fabric that I have been hanging onto for a while. I loved so much I was scared to cut it up make it into anything!
This Cynthia Rowley dress is all over pattern review and I liked ok it, but thought it was a little too plain Jane so I hadn’t gone out of my way to add it to my pattern collection. Hobby Lobby had a $.99 so I figured why not? Since the dress is so plain I decided the peacock fabric would be perfect since it would showcase the print well.
The bodice was a bit challenging, I tried the straps on about 50 times to make sure that it would fit perfectly since I have had trouble with this before. Simplicity tops always seem to run big. Getting the bodice top sewed to the straps with no puckering was also a little difficult, especially on the back, I had to redo this once so that it would fit into the square shape of the racer back. It ended up being a little off and stretched but I don’t think it is too noticable.
I also decided to omit the zipper since I don’t like using zippers with knit fabric. They tend to curl and mishape the dress. Its a little hard to pull on and off without the zipper, but I have my husband to help me so its all good! The fabric is really light and flowed at the bottom so I just cut it and left it unhemmed.
This dress also has pockets which I love! This turned out to me a great little dress and I got a lot of compliments on it! Here is Chris and I at the zoo, he loved that camel:
We had a blast!!
I am soooo excited, I finally got to go to Cincinnatti on Saturday and pick up my new Baby Lock Elizabeth sewing machine! She is amazing, I already feel so spoiled >:)
Right off the back I noticed how quiet she runs, she sews like butter. Chris was in the other room and didn’t even realize that I was playing around with it. Since I already played with Jo’s machine I had a good idea of how to do all the basics. The needle threader is super convenient and I don’t have to worry about licking the end of my thread ever again! One of my favorite features is the auto thread cutter, its always such a pain to have to search around for my scissors and end up finding them in the kitchen. Whoever came up with this function is a genius, thank you!
All the stitching functions are super easy and there are soooo many of them, there are three alphabets which will be great for making gifts. There are a lot of different button stiches as well, I haven’t tried any yet but I hear that this machine is known for its neat and tidy button holes. Check out all the stitches on the card, its crazy!
Here is a test run I did, I had to try out the little allligator, how cute is he?
Here is the dashboard, there is a pocket that you can save stitch patterns in, I haven’t started diving into that just yet though.
I already have my first project planned out, I’m so stoked to finally have a big girl machine!
My husband’s birthday is in a week and he is turning the big 3-0 this year! We are going on a trip to West Virginia next month for a big kayaking festival called Gauley Fest, so I wanted to make him something that he could use when on the river. It is still a little warm out for him to use the union suit I made last year, so I found Kwik Sew 2881 which is a dry top that he can wear under his dry suit. Check out the hunks on the envelope, maybe I should make him the undies next time! hee hee…
Anyhow, I found some black spandex bathing suit material at Hancocks, the pattern didn’t call for much, this top only called for about a yard. After making the union suit which was a similar pattern, I didn’t want it to come out too small so I cut it extra big so that I could size it down to fit him. I ended up cutting it quite a bit since he likes these to fit a little bit snug.
I serged all the seams and went back and serged around the neckline after sewing it to fit properly. Since this is going to get wet it needs extra reinforcement, especially for what he will be using it for. I don’t think this fabric has a tendancy to unravel, however if stretched too far I think it could tear.
The shirt ended up fitting him properly, however all the cutting and sizing down made the finished product less than professional looking. The side seams were a hair short to match up with the shirt bottom, which was ok but I am a bit of a perfectionist so it annoyed me. This showed the serged seam at the bottom too, but I guess since he is wearing this as a layer underneath his dry suit on a river so ultimately it doesn’t really matter. He said he liked it and he would wear it kayaking, so I think he likes his birthday gift!
Happy 30th Birthday to my favorite guy! I ❤ You!
One of my very best friends Miss Jackson had her 29th birthday this month, and she’s a real hip and sassy gal so I decided she needed a fun dress to rock out. I had this bright funky knit fabric that I bought on a knit sale and it looked perfect for her. She wears a lot of maxi dresses, and the Simplicity pattern 2219 view D looked like a simple and comfy dress that she would be into.
Here is Miss J’s version!
I have made clothes for people before but I have never made a dress for anyone, and the reviews I read about this one all pretty much said that this runs huge. I had wanted it to be a surprise, however the straps on this dress had to be finished with interfacing and lining. To have to go back and undo all of that would really suck- not to mention it would end up looking sloppy, so I had her come over for a fitting. I cut the dress in the biggest size on the envelope so that I could just take it and and customize it to her exact size. The straps were very easy to make, mostly just interfacing and then piecing them together. Luckily the straps ened up fitting her really well so I did not have to make too many adjustments.
The sides of the bodice were gathered at the straps, and this type of material isn’t great at gathering with a long stitch. I think it is too flowy and doesn’t hold as well as a cotton or stiffer fabric would. To gather it I ended up kind of scrunching it a I sewed the pieces together, which is a little tedious but it worked. The side seams needed to be taking in about 2 inches fter fitting her. One thing that was odd about this dress was that it called for actual lining on the inside of the bust. I suppose this made it a little mosre stable and less bulky, however since this is just a casual knit dress if I made this again I’d just self line it since his seems like it’d be more comfortable.
The rest of the dress was a breeze, just two panels for the skirt that I serged together. Instead of hemming the botto I just cut it since this fabric is so thin and doesn’t unravel. I think I may have cut it a hair short, but it still looks ok.
Here she is getting sasssy!
Snap crackle pop!
Since thisturned out so well, I decided it was worthy of adding one of my customized labels complete with an owl of course 😉
On a side note, I finally picked a new sewing machine and ordered it! I get to go on a road trip to Cincinnatti and pick it up in the next few days. I took your all’s advice and decided against getting a Brother, after talking to a Brother dealer in town, even they advised that the model I ws looking at is only sold in the mass market and isn’t one that they would recommend. Since I enjoyed Jo’s machine so much I ended up choosing a Baby Lock Elizabeth model. It has all the features I am looking for, even some that the higher end Berninas didn’t have, plus much less pricey. Here is a picture off the Baby Lock site, once she gets here I’ll add some in person photos! Uber excited!!
I finally finished my summer session of school, so I have two whole weeks to take a break and get in some sewing projects. There are a ton of Birthdays this month including my husband’s, so I am going to be making a lot of gifts sewn with love 🙂
Before starting all these gifts, I thought I’d be selfish and make this Vena Cava Vogue dress for myself that has been sitting in my queue for a while. I had ordered this Michael Miller print from a designer fabric sale on fabric.com and the description of the color was honeysuckle. I was expecting kind of a reddish-orange coral color but instead it ended up being straight up orange. Oh well, you win some you lose some. Its not that bad.. I don’t think!
The dress was easy to make, but I think this is mostly due to using cotton which is always a dream to work with. It called for a lot of french seams, however I don’t know how to do these, I’m sure its probably relatively easy but I was being lazy and didn’t feel like googling it and just serged my seams together. I am still on the search for my upgraded machine too, so I think it is causing me to resent my Singer. He’s the little engine that could, but I am so ready to move on!
I omitted the side zipper because this dress is so roomy it was pretty unneccessary. I can just pull it over my head. The sleeves ended up being too big and a little bit bunchy, I sides these down a bit along the shoulder seam but I guess that is just the style of the dress. There was one pleat along the neckline and one in the back.
Overall this was a very easy construction. Its a boxy style dress, so it’d be great for those days that you feel a little bloated or are going to pig out at a restaurant. Its still pretty hot here, so I think I will probably wear this more as a summer/fall transition dress, it would be great with a pair of boots!