Fourth of July Moneta

Okay, so I know I am on a pattern ban but since I actually got the Colette Moneta pattern earlier in the year when it first came out it doesn’t count right? Besides, a pattern made for knits- sign me up! I made this one of fabric already in my stash so it isn’t entirely made of knits. The skirt is a navy blue heavy knit material from…. I don’t know? Probably Joanns or Hancock fabrics.  The top portion is a cotton red and white stripe cotton that was a remnant from a past Christmas project. Now since this is intended for knits, I made the top a bit bigger (so that I could pull it over the girls without a zipper) and I had to pinch out a couple of darts. Truth be told I should have just bit the bullet and put in a zipper, but this is technically a wearable muslin so oh well. It does need a belt so that it pulls in the bagginess but for a Fourth of July celebration I think it will work out nicely!

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The rest of this dress is super simple. I included the pockets because I just like having somewhere to put my hands, pockets are so fun! The dress comes in many different variations, I just made this one simple and sleeveless and I left off the collar they include. I honestly am not too crazy about the collared version, it looks very nautical to me. And though I admit I do like nautical things, i.e. anchors, navy and white, pirates, etc… this collar just looks kind of kitschy to me. The skirt is gathered and attached directly to the bodice with clear elastic to prevent stretching out.

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Please ignore my wonky hem, I need to iron this into submission… or at least try to! I am really liking this pattern, but yes it is indeed meant for knits! I a working on a second version right now that is made of all knit material and I am adding the short sleeves.  I will report back soon with Moneta round two! Until then I hope you all enjoy a day of fireworks, hotdogs, hamburgers, BBQ, and stars and stripes!  ‘MERICA!!!

From our trip to New York 🙂


I’m alive… and I made two dresses!

I am aliiiiiiiive!!! I am so sorry it has literally been about 6 months since I last posted, that is crazy! This past school year was one of the busiest and most stressful ever as I had to complete a teacher intern program (passed thank you JC!!) and had after school commitments just about everyday. Not to mention due to some crazy winter weather we were stuck in school (us teachers that is) until June 12th. I was just too exhausted to even think about sewing! How sad is that? We have also managed to squeeze in quite a bit of traveling during this time to visit my family in New York, a trip west to visit my sister in law, and an incredible traditional Hindu wedding in Nashville. The good news is I am officially on summer break and I am rocking the machine!

To start out my summer sewing, I decided that I need to focus on items that are simple and wearable so that they will be really worth my while. I find that my most comfortable and easy to wear items are the ones I gravitate towards most, and I get the most compliments on. While it is fun to try out different patterns, I want to be more smart about what I m investing my time in. I am sure you busy folks can understand! Since I made Sewaholic’s Salt Spring dress last year, I have worn the thing a bajillion times and I just love it! Clearly I needed more of these in my life. Soooo I made two of them! I decided to stop at two, but don’t judge me if more show up.

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The first Salt spring I made was with a bright Barbie pink linen blend. Yes it is PINK and I love it! I don’t have any pink in my closet and this linen material is so soft and wonderful that it had to happen. It is a bit heavy for a linen so I didn’t want the top to be too billowy or bulky so I took out a lot of the length in the bodice. This pattern has a longer bodice piece than the lining behind it in order to create that billow effect. I just made the bodice piece the same length as the lining. I also opted to made single thick straps instead of the ties because again, I thought it would add too much bulk to the material. I found that this dress definitely needs a belt to break up the monotony of the solid color.

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Of course it can use some ironing- it is linen after all. But who doesn’t need a flirty, girly, barbie outfit? C’mon! Hey girl, hey!! barbie-in-pink-dress-cutout-su1425

 

The second Salt spring I made is closer to the original version of the pattern. I used this bright floral, flowy, soft, rayon challis. I LOVE this material, it was like wearing pj’s! On this one I wanted to keep some of the billowy effect in the bodice as it agreed with the material much more, however I have a short torso and I didn’t want to be swimming in the fabric. I ended up removing about two inches of length in the bodice and it still was pretty billowy and floppy, but it works! I also opted for the tie straps on this one since the material is so light and unstructured.

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I wore this dress to a ladies dinner last night and it was a hit! I see this one getting broken out quite a bit this summer. I am loving this throw back 90’s floral trend that is huge right now, that is my decade after all!

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Before I wrap up for the day, I wanted to share my second goal- buy NO MORE PATTERNS! My mother in law recently went to an estate sale and bought two gigantic boxes full of old and new patterns and I went through all of them and took the ones that I liked, which was essentially another box of patterns in my closet. These, plus the huge hoard of patterns I already own need to be loved! So my goal is to try out the patterns that have been waiting sadly forever, and additionally to start remaking items that I love and really work on mastering these. I appreciate a TNT pattern more than anyone, and this need to be a focus! For now I am off, but I will be back soon! Much less than 6 months- whew!

 

 


Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had a great night and a festive New Years day. We decided to keep things a little more low key this year so we invited friends over to our house for champagne and snacks, and then we headed to the neighborhood watering hole to ring in 2014. It was a fun time and we had a pretty big turn out! Since our neighborhood bar the Air Devils Inn (or ADI as we affectionately call it) is not <ahem> the highest caliber of places, I decided to make a fun but not too over the top New Years dress. Bring in Vogue 1337, this is a very 1980’s style dress with a blouson bodice and fitted skirt.

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I kind of threw this together last minute so the bodice is a bit more blousy than I intended, I would probably scale the top down a size if I decide to make this again. I made this in a forest green heavy jersey knit, it was a chilly night so I wanted it to be warm! I love the pleating on the shoulders, however the pattern called for clear elastic inserted in the seam of the sleeves. This boggled me as the elastic really didn’t seem to serve any purpose, there was no elastic sizing guide for the sleeves (only the waist) and it did not indicate any sort of tension or stretching the elastic while sewing it in. I would assume the elastic would be used to give a gathered effect, however this didn’t seem to be the case so I just omitted it. For the elastic in the waist I just used some elastic I had in my stash instead of clear plastic, it works just fine!

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Unfortunately my hem wouldn’t lay flat, it just refused to be ironed into submission. Oh well! It was certainly comfy dress and I did plenty of running around and dancing to the juke box in it. I would make it again, nothing like having easy knit dresses to throw on!

In other news, check out my new sewing toys I got for Christmas from my In Laws! While yard sailing they found this amazing rolling fold out table that fits perfectly in my sewing room. No more scooting around the kitchen floor and crawling around while I cut my fabric! It has already made a world of difference in my sewing experience. In addition to the table they also found a huge cutting mat that fits exactly on my sewing table. Now I can actually use my rotary cutter! I think if I had used it on the hardwood kitchen floor Chris may have crucified me.

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But wait, I am not finished! They also found me a sleeve ironing board which is something I have been dying for! Its the little things, am I right? Oh and my sister and law and her boyfriend bought me an Ott-lite for  a high definition sewing view. How spoiled am I? Maddie decided to check it out too 🙂

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I hope that the holiday season treated you all well, and I am looking forward to seeing all of your creations and inspiration for 2014! Cheers blogosphere!

 


A reindeer dress and a Bumble hat

Hello friends! Sorry I have been so quiet the last month, the first semester has just wrapped up at school and I am officially on Christmas break. Thank you Lord! For the holiday season I really have been wanting to make a reindeer dress, and I found this reindeer knit at Girl Charlee, (also comes in red and green). It was love at first sight! This is cotton jersey, and is pretty light, but not too sheer. We are having unseasonably high temperatures right now so this is just right, I hate getting all bundled up in the winter and then sweating my ass off inside.

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There is nothing super fancy about this dress, I used the Colette Laurel pattern because this print needed something simple without too much detail breaking it up. I eliminated the darts in the front and back by folding down over the front darts and cutting the back piece smaller than my regular sizing. Since this is knit fabric it really didn’t need the darts and shaping anyhow because it is so stretchy and form fitting. I matched up the print on the sides and made it a bit shorter than I normally would cut my dresses because I wanted to wear it over leggings.

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I was so excited for this fabric that as soon as it arrived today I immediately started cutting and sewing it up so that I could wear this dress to dinner tonight with my In Law family. I finished this dress in about an hour, that might be a new record! A lot of it I just serged together which definitely saved some time. Here is my Christmas tree, I am so happy to finally get some time off and take a break!

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Oh and speaking of Christmas, I have one last share- check out the amazing Bumble hat my mom crocheted for me! I wore this fantastic piece to an ugly Christmas sweater party last night with my Bumble sweatshirt, he was quite the hit! I found a free pattern for him here in case you want to make your own. She used special yard that looks like fur flying everywhere, I am kind of obsessed with this one! (Clearly my Bumble obsession is reaching new heights)

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Have a wonderful holiday season!


Stash busting

These first few weeks of school have been crazy busy, so in effect my sewing time has dropped to only the weekends. Now with football season and yard sales and other various events going on even my weekends are pretty filled up! What’s a sewer to do to satisfy the sewing itch? Well, whip out quick and easy dresses, that’s what! This is just good old tried and true Simplicity 2059, easy and fast to make, but very functional and comfortable for daily life.  This is a great stash buster dress, which is something I really need to start doing. The growth rate of my stash is far high than my sewing rate. #Sewistproblems

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This is a super light weight and sheer feather print knit that I have had in my sash for well over a year now. Its such a cool print, I felt it was time to do SOMETHING with it. Since it is so sheer I have been holding out for the right project, but it really never came along. I decided I would just make this simple dress because it doesn’t break up the print at all. Instead of making a neck binding, I just lined the entire dress with a white knit underneath. Its a good weight now, especially for the fall transition. I wore this to school with a blue cardigan and flats this week, I can see this going well with boots and tights too.

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Next on my project list is the minoru jacket. I’m pretty excited about it, I am ready to try my hand at a hooded jacket- new territory for me! I have a black twill and a cheetah print waiting to be cut… who’s ready for the cool weather? This gal!


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!