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!

 

 


Meet Laurel!

Ah yes, I have caught the latest bug going around… Colette Laurel! I love this pattern, it is a roomy shift dress with endless possibilities. I like that it isn’t too fitted, it gives it more of a casual feel and of course comfort. Around where I live people don’t get too gussied up unless it is for a special occasion, so some of the dresses I have made are sadly sitting in my closet waiting to be taken out for a night on the town. This dress I can easily wear to work or dinner or drinks without the feeling of being super overdressed amongst the jeans and tees.

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The dress is an easy sew. It consists of just front and back panels, and sleeves if you desire. I cut a straight size 6 and still had quite a bit of ease to take in the back. I also lowered the neckline down an inch or two because it felt a little too restrictive and nun-like. Additionally, the sleeves were a little too long for my taste so I took those up a bit as well. I used bias tape around the neckline, and I was going to include it on the sleeve hem but I decided it was an overkill.

The fabric I used was a nice linen blend with a lime green, brown, and orangey-red ikat print. The linen is pretty dense, however it was still a little too sheer for my taste so I made the version with the underlining. I generally try to avoid lining with our hot summers, but it was necessary on this one.

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I am loving how it turned out. I have been seeing some really cute versions of the Laurel made with beautiful eyelet fabric and I really want to try it out. I have never worked with eyelet material, but since this dress is so simple it will make the perfect guinea pig piece.

Until then I think I’ll have fun taking Laurel out on the town!

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Colette Iris shorts for one HOT July

Happy 4th of July Yall! Man it is hot, I drove by the big time/thermometer that flashes outside our neighborhood the other day and I kid you not it read 106 degrees! That just ain’t right. Our chicken’s eggs will fry on the way out their butts! They have been broadcasting extreme heat warnings on the local stations and while I appreciate their concern I have say no sh#@ sherlock, just walk outside! Weather of these temperatures require lots of AC and smaller clothing, in which I will now present my take on the new Colette Iris shorts.

I made these in gray linene that I found at good old Joann’s, hence why they are wrinkly as a rhino’s tookus. I actually ironed them right before putting them on, but I guess that’s the name of the game. They ended up slightly baggy however I am pretty happy with them. I am not really a short coochie cutter tight shorts kind of girl, I prefer them a bit more modest and comfortable these days.

I read the reviews that people have written on these so far and many people said how quickly they came together. I didn’t  really find that to be the case with these, however I did spread them out over a few nights so my total sewing time may be skewed in my mind. The directs were easy to follow as most colette patterns have been for me so far. I am getting a lot better with invisible zipper even though I don’t have an invisible zipper foot. (I did go order one on Amazon this week though for like $12, why not?) I love the pockets and I really like the button detail, I think they would’ve been rather plain without them, however mine are in a blah gray where a bright color would pop fine without buttons. I just really wanted to go with a neutral so that I could wear them a lot.

Everything was smooth sailing until the facings came into play. I decided to forgo the interfacing and just do a self line because I didn’t want them to be all stiff. They are shorts afterall! For some reason my facing was a hair too short and I couldn’t quite get it to reach all the way to the zipper so I had to stretch it a bit- the top corner ended up getting funky. It also threw off my side seam and they don’t quite line up. I guess its not a big deal because I don’t generally tuck shirts into my shorts, the mess ups will stay hidden 😉

Instead of hand tacking the facing down (I HATE hand tacking) I just top stitched right over the seam. My thread blended in really well so you can’t even see it, and once again my shirt covers it anyhow. The leg holes were reeeeally big and I ended up taking them in about an inch at the crotch area before I hemmed them. Overall I am pretty happy with these, I wore them out to the bar with my friends and nobody asked if I made them, which to me is always a good sign that they look well made!

Maddie assisted in the construction of these, but only because I had the AC cranked up. Ain’t she sweet?