This is a skirt I made before my trip but I am just now getting around to blogging it. Traveling gets in the way of a lot of things, not that I am complaining! After I saw the version of this skirt made my Mimi G, blogged here, I pretty much had no choice but to shamelessly copy and make one myself. I used a cotton twill with a turquoise chevrony- zig zaggy print. I really like his material because its nice and soft but it still has substance and shape to it. No need to line it either which is a plus in this heat!
This is in front of our newly bloomed crape myrtle tree in the front yard, I thought it looked pretty!
Anyhow, back to the skirt. I made a couple changes to it based off the other reviews I read. I added extra length onto the ties because everyone had said it was too short to tie into a bow. This worked out just fine, but now I am kind of on the fence about the bow, I think it may be a little too fussy for me. I may just end up wearing it in a knot. I also omitted the pockets because I didn’t want to add any extra bulk, it already has a lot going on. I took away some of the gathers especially in the back since a lot of the reviewers noted that it looked like they had a bubble butt. I don’t need to add anymore junk to my trunk!
Unfortunately I think the front and back are a little unbalanced, I even ended up having to take the hem up in the front because it was hanging lower than the back. The ties pull a bit at the zipper in the back but its nothing that will cause any wardrobe malfunctions… I hope.
All in all I think its a cute skirt and is comfy for running around on the weekends, like this lovely one! Happy Saturday!
The beautiful (but stinky) bradford pear trees are fully in bloom on our street this week so I couldn’t resist passing up a photo op in my new ombre dress. Hurray for spring!
This dress is Simplicity 1873 by Cynthia Rowley. I love how big and poofy the skirt is, but man oh man did it end up being short! I usually am pretty modest with my hemlines, and being as short as I am it is unusual that I don’t have to take it up 3 inches (let alone being 3 inches above my knees to begin with). I can’t imagine how short this would be on anyone of average height, yowsers! My husband did say that he liked how well it fit, and that the length was very sexy. I guess this will be a date night dress!
I know I may be a little late on the ombre trend, but after I saw this ombre dress pin on pinterest, (picture below) I was really inspired to make one of my own. The dress in the pin was actually painted on with textile paint and because I don’t have the patience for that sort of crafting I just hunted down some ombre print fabric. I found this bright blue faded to light on Etsy and was sold.
The dress itself was a rather easy sew, I chose not to line it as it is already starting to get on the hotter side here and the cotton isn’t very sheer. The skirt piece was super long before sewing in all the pleats, but I am loving the full effect. I think it ended up as short as it is from matching up the ombre on the seams, but even so there wasn’t too much to take up when it was said and done. I think next time I try this dress I’ll make sure to add a couple inches of length.
Happy Spring time y’all!
I tried out the new Cynthia Rowley pattern, 1688 and made it up in this very soft red, white and blue plaid. Very patriot y’all! This dress has a sweet heart neckline, contrast straps and and bodice detail.
It turned out ok, although I will say this one was a bit of a struggle. The bodice ended up slightly too big and billowy since I have a bit of a shallow chest. I added an extra contrast band to the back because it just didn’t look right to me with just the front band alone. This made matching up the waist seam and the contrast bands more of a challenge, and hence a lot of seam ripping and hair pulling. I think I can add an odd little dart near my armpits to fix the problem, but the straps ended up being slightly too short by accident. I am afraid taking it in on top will make the armholes really small. I can always bust out the seam ripper and make the straps longer, but for now… I rest.
The back plaid doesn’t line up on account of having the cut the side down slightly to accommodate the zipper, which also makes me a little nuts on this one. Gah!!
I used a navy blue invisible zipper to match the contrast band, but I think it s too dark for the rest of the dress.
For a first run at this dress it went ok, probably should have made a muslin. But I live on the edge y’all, Yee HAW!!
This week we have had unusually warm weather for January, yesterday was a high of 70. I know this will be short lived and I am way jumping the gun, but it has me giddy for spring and new fun dresses! I found this amazing tribal/Aztec knit on Etsy and I found myself envisioning it made up in Simplicity 2443. This has a simple silhouette with a gathered skirt and a racer back.
I’ve made this dress once before in a peacock print blogged here, and I totally forgot what a pain it was to attach the bodice to the straps. I used a solid black knit that I had in my stash to add some contrast to the straps, I had hoped I would be able to leave off the interfacing however this knit was super flimsy so there was no way around it. I think the interfacing made the straps fit a little strange, and I about lost my cool trying to get the racer back sewn in nice and even. I ended up just top stitching it on and it still is lopsided and less than great… grrrrr… I may go back and try to fix it before I wear this in warmer weather, but for now I plan to wear a sweater over the dress so I am going to give it a rest for now.
Other than the back I love ow it turned out, I am totally digging the tribal print trend right now. Its bright and fun, and this dress is super comfy. I can’t wait until spring gets here! Here’s hoping that ground hog doesn’t see his shadow in a month.
Hello friends, I am back from my sewing hiatus! Its been a busy school year and I’ve pretty much been running around like a headless chicken. However despite the madness I have finally graduated with my Masters and have some “me” sewing time over this Christmas break. Not to mention a much needed little getaway trip to Nashville the next couple of days- super excited! He also just graduated with his MBA so we are both ready for a little R and R 🙂
Aww aren’t we so cute and studious?
Anyhow, I have been working on the Cynthia Rowley skirt of the newer pattern 1783 and finally got to finish it this week. After seeing Suzy’s version in denim I became obsessed and had to shamelessly copy this great skirt. I LOVE the big front pockets and the front pleat. She had switched her pleat to the back, but I stuck with the original instructions and kept it in the front. I made mine as simplistic as possible and used a hook and eye closure only instead of a button. I also left off studs and embellishments and just used blue thread that matched the denim. I wanted this to be more of a basic piece in my wardrobe.
The construction of this skirt was very easy, and I actually found that the zip fly instructions were much simpler than the last zip fly project I made on my Thurlow jeans. This of course may be because I made two pairs and have some zip fly experience under my belt, but it seemed to be more straight forward on these. One thing that did throw me was the patterns requirement for a 7″ zipper. This is waaay too long! I already had a 7″ denim zipper that was perfect for these that I found at a flea market, so I stupidly turned a blind eye and used it. Although the skirt zips up and down perfectly fine and you can’t see any gaping holes or anything, there is about 3 inches of zipper extending on the inside of the skirt. A 4″ zipper would have been much more appropriate. Surprisingly no one else seemed to notice this problem on the other reviews I read for the pattern? Strange oversight…
The only other alteration I made was narrowing the hem of the waist line. I have such a short torso the 2-3″ hemline was way too thick and swallowed me up. Overall I am happy with my skirt, it will take me through winter and summer alike. Can’t go wrong with multi seasonal pieces!
I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and enjoy the rest of the holiday season!
It isn’t too often that I remake pieces, but I really felt like my paisley dress needed a do-over. The first one I made was cotton paisley and it turned out well, however I can honestly say I still haven’t worn it…. ever. I think this is mostly because the cotton doesn’t have much give to it so its not the most comfortable outfit to wear, especially sitting down. And the paisley print I originally chose was kind of blah. I love this pattern however, and I found this big bold paisley print in this slinky stretch knit fabric (I LOOOOVE my knits!) I think this one turned out much more fun and comfortable than the last one, and even has a 70’s twist.
This fabric was definitely a little more of a challenge to work with, it snags pretty easily so i kept having to straighten it out as I was sewing. The neckline doesn’t quite lay as nice and flat as I would like, but luckily the print is distracting and it isn’t immediatetly noticable.
Since this neckline is so defined with the yolk I thought is was perfect to try one of the decorative stitches on my new machine. I picked this curly sticth since it was mimicked in the dress, here’s a pic- sorry my camera kind of sucks
I’m pretty excited for this dress- Fall has arrived!!
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 found this paisley print by Michael Miller, called Posh Paisley. It comes in many different colors but I loved this bright pink one. I’ve had this Simplicity pattern 2584 in my to do pile for a while and this fabric was perfect for it! Its a cute, casual dress that I can wear to work, hanging out on the weekends or for dinner and drinks.
It was an easy dress to make, the most challenging part was the yolk (neckline) but I had a lot of fun putting it together. After lining the yolk section, I mtched the notched sections and dot and sewed it onto the dress. After fusing the interfacing to the lining and sewing it to the outside, I sewed two straight lines down the center, and you cut all the way down between these to create the neck opening. The lining gets inverted to the inside, and then you just iron it out and it completes the collar. It was almost like a magic trick!
The sleeves were made by sewing in an inch wide channel and pulling through elastic. After trying it on, I fit the elastic to my arm so it wasn’t too tight or too loose. By itself, Chris thought this dress looked like a night gown. This was pretty annoying but I’ll admit (especially in this pic) that without a belt and some cute heels it does kind of look like something your granny would bust out.
I really like this dress, and I would definitely make it again. The pattern came with different variations so the next one I would try would probably be the version with the puff sleeves and tie waist.
So I tried this new Cynthia Rowley pattern from the new Simplicity 2011 Summer collection thinking that I could wear it out for a Bachelorette party in May and yeah… so much for that idea. This pattern is so strange and ended up being so asymmetric, perhaps it was the crinkle gauze material I used which I have not worked with before, or maybe it was all the weird random pleats and gathering, I don’t know but it ended up being a hot mess.
In the photo on the pattern it looks a little Grecian Goddess-esque which I thought was pretty, but my finished product didn’t look like this in my opinion. The fabrics they called for ranged from linens, laundered cottons, and crinkle gauze to satins. In hindsight the satin may have been a better option for this dress as it woud have been more sturdy and clean in the pleating and gathering. The bodice came together pretty easily, the strap construction used interfacing and wasn’t too out of the norm. Then I made the Midriff waist section which somehow came out way to short. I used the same measurement on all pattern pieces but ended up having to recut this section longer, luckily I had enough fabric left to make these long pieces.
Next I made the weird skirt. It had one slit at the top of the waist (imagine a missing slice of pizza) this was to make one random dart. Umm alrightie… Then the pattern had gathering on one side near the dart, and then just folded pleats on the other side. Maybe I just messed this up somehow but the skirt ended up being so off center. If I could go back I would have skipped the gathering and just made plain and simple pleats ignoring the instructions. The hem was also strange, it had a ring of interfacing that was sewed around the bottom with facing. I guess this was to create sort of a hoola hoop effect and make the skirt flare out. Mine of course ended up being uneven in the back- hey why ruin my asymmetry theme?
Here is the full view of the dress. I am going to quote the movie Clueless and say that this dress is full of Monet, from far away it looks ok, but up close its a big mess.
In the end I could probably wear this dress out to a dark bar where people would be drinking and no one would even notice the imperfections, however for the experience and issues I had making this dress, sorry Cynthia Rowley I love you but 2178 gets a thumbs down. <PPHHHHTTTTTHH!!>
This May my best friend Jo is getting married to a wonderful guy Dave, and I am so so so excited for them! They have dated for almost 8 years (just like Chris and I) and Jo will be the first to tell you that its about doggone time! I’m really excited for their wedding which is taking place at Jo’s parent’s home in New Castle Kentucky. They have a gorgeous home and acres of land, which is perfect for an outdoor spring wedding. They decided on an orange California poppy flower theme as they have lived in California for the last couple of years and are finally moving back home. Hurray!! Since it is a more casual wedding, I wanted to make a dress that would suit both a formal and a casual setting for the event. I also wanted something light because in Kentucky it goes from winter to summer over night, and Kentucky summers are HOT! I found some light rayon material in a beuatiful green color, and decided to make the Cynthia Rowley dress from pattern 2406 (can you tell I’m a fan of the Cynthia Rowley line from Simplicity?) I love how unique the cut out sleeves are and the open back which makes it a bit more formal.
The pleating around the neckline was a new trick for me. I sewed interfacing on and flipped it inside out with facing on the inside and it worked like magic! The back was done with the same method and is enclosed at the top with a hook and eye. Here is the back view, keep in mind you’ll need a good sticky cup bra for this dress!
Here is the pattern I used too:
I can’t wait to see Jo looking gorgeous in her beautiful wedding dress, it is going to be a very special and unforgettable day!