Hawthorne on Hawthorne!

Ah yes, once I finished my new Hawthorne dress I felt compelled to pose in front of Hawthorne Ave in our neighborhood.  It was fate!

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I made my Hawthorne in a turquoise plaid chambray.  I absolutely love shirt dresses, and this is not my first so I found the construction to be very easy.  The tough part was matching up the plaid. I actually ended up having to switch sides for my buttonholes in order to match it up just right. I think the placket on the skirt looks a little stiff or off somehow but I guess I can deal with it.

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Colette Hawthorne

 

I really like the little collar on the Hawthorne, it gives it a vintagey look with the flared skirt.  I read some reviews where people didn’t like that it was in three pieces and would have preferred it in one, but this really didn’t bug me too much. It assembled nice and easy without too many adjustments.

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I used these turquoise  buttons that I bought at the flea market in a grab bag, I had to dump out my jar and find all the matching ones. Luckily there were plenty of these and they matched my colors just right. I made my dress a little loose in the bodice, mostly for comfort.  I find that overly fitted bodices in shirt dresses can pull in weird places and give you “peek-a-boos” between buttons.

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Check out my matching plaids! I’m always happy when my matching works out as planned 🙂   This is a great dress, and a good one if you are wanting to try out a shirt dress for the first time.  It is definitely less complicated than some others I have tried.  Colette is the best y’all!


The Saltspring dress

Okay yall, I think this hands down may be my favorite thing I have made this year.  This is the new Saltspring dress from Sewaholic and it is the best pattern ever! Ironically I was kind of meh about the pattern when it first came out so I was hesitant to take the plunge, but then I kept seeing so many adorable Saltspring dresses pop up on the blogosphere.  I love the tie straps and the pockets, and the elastic waistline is super comfy!

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This dress was super easy to make, I didn’t even really follow the directions too closely to be honest. This dress has a self lined bodice, with the lining being slightly shorter than the bodice fabric to create a billowing effect. I used a heavier cotton material from Hawthorne fabrics, this was actually a quilting cotton but after a run through the washer it softened up nicely and got a nice flow to it.  Since the cotton was heavier I didn’t want the top to billow out as much so I took off about an inch from the bodice piece. I also made a bigger channel for my elastic to create a more defined waistline, and I eliminated the zipper. With the extra room and stretchiness from the elastic, a zipper seemed a little too fussy and unnecessary.

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See? Just a little bit of billowiness 🙂

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And POCKETS! Nice roomy pockets. Love!!

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I wore this dress to my brother in law’s 30th birthday party and I had two requests for versions of this dress. I think it is one of those patterns that looks good on everyone, and makes you feel good. It is easy to wear and can be made in a variety of fabrics. I think I may try it out in a knit if the right one comes along.  I also wore this on the first day of school last week, I told the kids I made it and they oooh’ed and aaahh’ed. Gotta impress them early!  My new students are wonderful btw, I am super excited for the rest of the school year.

But back to the dress, I definitely suggest you try this one. I think it is a great one for all ages, and the maxi version would also be super cute in a nice light flowy material.   This one is a keeper people!!!


Mccalls 6744

My summer is quickly coming to a close with the new school year approaching in a week.  I have definitely enjoyed my time off this summer, but I am ready to get back into a work routine.  After a while one feels the need to go back to being a productive member of society!  Well I say that now,  bet I change my tune in a couple months!  But anyhow, I am now on a mission to sew projects that I can wear to school and be cute but comfortable while I work.  I keep seeing fellow bloggers whipping out Mccalls 6744, it is a super easy dress for knits.  It has an elastic waist,  I made the version which is a faux wrap. I love the gathered detailing on the shoulders and how it isn’t too fussy to wear, a lot of times wrap dresses just get annoying with all the adjusting and ties.

 

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This was soooo easy to make! The elastic casing just sews into the seam allowance , and the shoulders are gathered together with small channels of elastic.  I didn’t bother sewing the “wrap” part of the skirt because it crossed over far enough that here was no fear of flashing anyone!  I made this in a super soft rayon knit from fabric.com, I think they still have it if you are interested. It is a navy blue aztecy type print on cream. It is very opaque, so no worries on your undies showing through!

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I think it would look cute with a belt, but last night I just wore it with this bright necklace and some flip flops to a picnic/fair in town. It is so hot and muggy right now, I just didn’t feel like messing with accessories!

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I think this will make a great dress for the school year and it could even go into the fall season with a sweater and boots.  Done and done, on to the next project!


Pattern Runway Kimono dress

I have recently acquired some fabric from local yard sales around town and I got a bunch from a lady who lives in the St. Matthews area of Louisville.  She is apparently a big fan of the color blue (UK fan maybe?) so I now have several blue pieces in my stash. This fabric is some sort of silky blend, obviously synthetic. I was not particularly crazy about the little red and yellow paisley print, however it was about $1.50 for two yards so I figured why not? I have some other silky fabrics from my Paris trip that I am hoarding for the right project, and I really wanted to try the pattern runway kimono dress because I have seen so many cute ones and it looks perfect for slick material that can be a pain.  I planned to use this yard sale material to make a wearable muslin but I actually ended up liking the dress much more than I originally planned!  Somehow this dress lessens the frumpiness of the material.

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Please excuse the wrinkliness… those side seams could REEEALLY use a good press! Anyhoo this dress was as easy as they say it is, I love the big sleeves (although they do gape a bit if you are self conscience about a bra showing- just a heads up) and the blousy bodice.  It is super comfortable too, can go wrong with an elastic waist, right? I used the facings even though I usually can’t stand them. The inside of the sleeves is highly visible so I felt there was no getting around them. They ended working out just fine but I did tack them down with just a plain old straight seam, I think it looks just fine.  I didn’t follow the directions for the elastic casing, I read some reviews and many people found these confusing and unnecessarily complicated so I just used the seam allowance and it worked out as planned.

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kimono dress

 

The little button I used was a flea market find, there is a booth at the flea market that sells bins full of commercial buttons, this one came in a set of three, but I don’t think he will miss his buddies too much 😉  I didn’t want to mess with making a buttonhole on this finicky fabric so I just sewed the keyhole up and made a faux button appearance. I don’t think I will wear it open so it doesn’t matter! The necklace coincidentally is also a flea market find. Basically this whole ensemble cost under $5.00- pretty sweet! I think it looks cute belted too.

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Overall I am happy with the way my dress turned out, I made this whole dress in a straight medium. The next one I will probably sew the bodice in a small and grade up to a medium on the skirt.  I am really itching to use my black and white bird fabric from my Paris fabric shopping spree.  Maybe I need to reel myself in a bit…. gah fabric burning a hole in my pocket!!