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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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!!

 

 

 

 

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Simplicity 1612, back to my knits!

It has been a wile since I have made a knit dress, which is unfortunate because I have so many of them in my stash in a lot of fun prints! I used to make a LOT of knit dresses, and now I remember why! They are so soft, comfy and forgiving, but still really cute! They can be dressed up or down, and with the right style you can even wear one to a wedding if you want. I know people are deathly afraid of knits, however there are endless tutorials online to help you deal with troublesome details like neck bindings (luckily this dress didn’t need one!

This dress is Simplicity 1612, one of the new patterns for knits that Simplicity released this year. It has such a cut keyhole around the neck line, and the back is also really pretty with a cut out and necktie. I used a super soft knit that has an ikat print in charcoal and cream. I love that this dress can be worn both casually and a little more dressed up since it has the neckline details. My mom just turned 65 so I wore this out for her birthday dinner. Happy birthday Ma!

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I followed the directions on this one exactly as they were listed. It wasn’t difficult putting the bodice together, however there were a few instructions that they sort of clumped together. So just be careful to read everything thoroughly and use the picture diagrams. I cut the dress in a 12 and it just happened to work out and fit perfectly. That never happens!! I was stoked, other than just taking in the sides a bit I had virtually no adjustments to make.

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The keyhole is a little big, so beware if you are a little more busty. I have never really been shy about showing off some cleave but if you are then I would take it uo a little bit and add a little more length to the bodice. I guess I am just a little hussy!

I did my best t match up the print, but there were a couple places that it was slightly off. This seems to be an eternal problem of mine, matching up prints! Bah!!

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Isn’t the back so cute? The main issue I read about in other reviews of this pattern was the facings and how they just kind of hang inside the dress. I would classify these more so as self liners than facings, the bodice facing is the same pieces made up as the right side, and the back was a rectangle that encases the straps and elastic on the back. I ended up tacking both of these down at the side which worked out great. The back peeps out a little with movement, but it isn’t anything major.  Another version that I love is blogger Nikki’s dress, I love the print she used- it looks like yarn knitted together. Super cute!

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Speaking of cute, harper wanted to get in on the blogging action. She’s so stylish! I don’t know anyone else who pulls off wearing white better than her 🙂


The Parisian Lonsdale

This weekend I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer and I had to make up a dress with my new fabric from Paris. I decided that the purple/white geometric cotton fabric would work well with the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress so I went nuts and started cutting. This pattern looks like it would be complicated with all the ties and halter action with loops in the back and whatnot but I found this to be a pretty straight forward dress to assemble. The directions on the pattern were great, more so the picture diagrams. I barely read any of the directions because the pictures explained it all, well done Ms. Tasia!

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I m pleased with the fit overall, however there is a good bit of gaping in the bodice area. I definitely will need to go back and tweak it a bit. Sucks having to go back at this point and put in a dart or possible just pinch it in a little but it is what it is. I think it could possibly be from having a fuller bust and these patterns are adapted to pear shapes, or I may have just cut the bodice a size too big, or maybe both? Lesson learned for my next one though.

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Somehow when I was cutting I missed the little rectangle pieces for the loops so I created my own, I think they may be a tad long but they are functional and not too shallow so they work. Chris tied my bow for me, isn’t he sweet?

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I really love the skirt on the dress, the pocket are super cute, and I love how it flares. I think it could be cute as a skirt in its own right.


Zig zags and paint

Last night I attended my friend Tina’s surprise birthday/painting party, and it was a total blast! She loves dressing up so everyone was to show up in cocktail attire for the occasion. This of course made me excited because I just finished my chevron “zig zag” dress, and I was itching for a reason to wear it. I found this retro inspired polyester material at our local Hancocks and I couldn’t leave the store without it, even though I generally avoid working with this type of fabric. I decided to make McCalls 6115 which is about as an easy of a dress to make especially with this finicky fabric. Its pretty much two panels with a channel to run the straps through. I did my darndest to match up the stripes, however this dress is a pretty big sack when its all said and done so I had to take it in quite a bit. Matching up the stripes became less of a necessity and more of an impossibility. I ended up belting the dress anyhow so I don’t mind it too much.

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I really love how it turned out, I think this dress may be coming with me on my trip to Europe. Bonjour!

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While at the party, we all had to cover our sophisticated outfits with aprons to avoid getting splattered with paint. It was well worth covering my dress, I forgot how much I enjoy painting. I used to do quite a bit of oil painting, but when I started school a couple years ago I just didn’t have the time for it anymore. It can be a very time consuming hobby! However, now that I will have the summer off and I finished graduate school I plan to get in at least a little painting time! The theme for the painting party was the Louisville skyline with bubbles floating about in the sky. I decided to deviate my theme because I wanted to hang it in my sewing room, so instead of bubbles I painted spools of thread.

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It turned out kind of meh, we had to finish within a limited time frame as it was a painting party and it ended up a little sloppy and kindergartenish as a result. I may go back and try to fix it up later on, although this was done with acrylic paint. Here are all the other painters’ finished masterpieces, they all turned out great and we had so much fun!

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I really enjoy painting natural scenery and using a lot of texture when I paint. Here are a couple of paintings I have done that are hanging up in my house:

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All this art is really getting my creative juices flowing, I’m really getting excited to start creating this summer! Oh and on a completely unrelated side note, check out who I met at a local art fair recently- Gunnar from project runway! He was so friendly and kind, he didn’t even mind me asking for a creeper fan pic 😉

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Love local celebrities!


Blue eyelet Laurel

As soon as I finished my first Laurel  I knew that I wanted to try my next one in an eyelet fabric. I have never used eyelet fabric before and this dress is so simple and perfect for it. No way to screw it up! I had this vision of bright turquoise eyelet material and I finally found this, the las on the bolt in just enough to make this dress. It was fate!

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Now there really isn’t much to say about this dress, it is very plain and simple but that is what I was going for with this one. I plan to wear it to work (last 7 days of school count down has begun!) with just a jean jacket thrown over and some flats. The less fussy my wardrobe is the better, I am dealing with 6th graders! I wanted it to fit more like a tank dress, so I didn’t add the sleeves… although they would’ve been really cute, maybe later on eyelet Laurel 2.0. I also lowered the neckline on this one.

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The blue fabric that I lined the dress with is slightly lighter than the blue in  the eyelet fabric but I like how it highlights the pattern. I have some Marc Jacobs plum floral eyelet from Mood which I think is calling Laurel’s name. It may or may not be too grandma though. But grandma is totally in right now, right??


Vogue 8870

I found this pattern while perusing a local Vogue pattern sale, and I loved view B with the spaghetti straps minus the mullet hem. I don’t know what it is but I just hate the high low hem trend right now, especially on dresses. I had bought this slippery polyestery type fabric in the clearance bin for super cheap so I decided to try it out for this dress. It turned out ok, but with the elastic waist I think the top ended up a little blousy. I took it in a bit but ultimately that is the style of the dress.

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I think my dress is pretty dead on except I definitely evened my hem out. IMO, the only way these mullet dresses can work is if your fabric is printed the same on both sides, and other than some home spun fabric and plaids in my stash there is nothing that would fit the bill. Even in the hand drawn picture her fabric doesn’t look like a double print, wtf? It looks tacky. (If you love these mullet dresses I apologize for my rant, we are all entitled to an opinion)

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The dress was easy enough to make, however the double straps were a little tricky. I get irritated easily if my straps keep falling down and with these I had 4 times the likeliness of dealing with fallen straps. I ended up discreetly attaching them together to keep the look of a double strap without the annoyance. I think I would also take off an inch of length to the bodice to eliminate some of the billowing.

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Although the suggested fabrics for this dress are Voile, Georgette, Crepe de Chine, and Faille, I think it could work with the weight of a knit.  I may try this in the near future… we shall see.

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This is for the birds!

I just finished making this dress, Simplicity 1878. It was a pattern that I picked up in a $0.99 sale, and I just now decided to try it out. It is a simple shift dress style, but has an open neck style. I made this with this Michael Miller bird print, it seemed cute and whimsical to me at first, but now I’m thinking it may be a little juvenile. Oh well, it will be an easy running around town dress… no judgement at the grocery store!

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This was a very easy dress to put together. I like that the style is straight up and down so it is easy to throw on and wear. I opted to omit the interfacing around the neckline, because good Lord I hate interfacing… However, if I make this again I do think it needs it, the neck is open but it really needs a bit of stability to stand up. Mine kind of flops over a bit, boooo.

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Overall not a bad pattern, I would make this again with some minor changes. It kind of has a bit of a 70’s feel, like something Twiggy would wear.