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!

 

 


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!!!


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.