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.

DSC_0188

 

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!

DSC_0187

 

DSC_0189

 

DSC_0190

 

DSC_0184

 

 

 

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.

DSC_0174

 

DSC_0175

 

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 ūüôā

DSC_0173

DSC_0176

 

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!

 


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.

DSC_0320

 

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)

V8870

 

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.

DSC_0319

 

DSC_0322

 

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.

DSC_0315


Color Blockin’

I am reeeally digging the color blocking trend this season, so I got pumped when I saw Vogue 8805. I wanted to make this dress because it looked like something quick that I could throw on over some leggings and boots or transition into warm weather nicely. I read a bunch of the reviews on it and it seemed easy enough to put together. I’ll say it was quick, but for some reason halfway through the process I got in my head that it was going to turn out horrible. Not sure if it was the fabric (slinky ponte knit for the top and middle color blocks- I wanted them to be more of a heavy jersey knit) or because my serger started getting all cranky on me, but I got the maybe I should throw in the towel blues on this dress. Luckily I stepped away and took a little breather before finishing it, I think it turned out cute!

DSC_0157

I cut a straight size 10 which ended up being the perfect size. This pattern had custom fit bust sizes, I am usually a C-cup however after reading the other reviews and going by the sizing on the pattern I went ahead and cut the A cup because this pattern runs pretty big apparently. I think I made the right choice.

DSC_0160

I have a ton of the red knit that I used for the bottom block, I plan to use the rest for a full dress. Not sure what just yet…. ¬†For the middle and top I ordered pone knit from fabric.com and although they both had the exact same description the ivory knit was much more light and sheer than the brown and they were both slinkier than I had anticipated. I guess that’s the nature of the beast when ordering fabric online without a swatch first ¬†:/ ¬†It worked out ok though, the brown knit is heavy and doesn’t show too many lumps and bumps.

I picked these colors because I just bought this rad metal necklace on my trip to Nashville with my hubs last month and I thought they would go nicely. The necklace needs a high neckline or else it just goes straight down my cleavage! I love it though, had to bring it home with me.

52511_10151203956397142_172028212_o

Have you ever made an outfit specifically to go with one accessory? I feel like I have done this a couple times, but I am a sucker for statement jewelry!


Vogue 1247 top, first venture down French Seams alley

This top has probably been sewn up by everyone and their mother who owns a sewing machine so I am a little behind the times on finally getting to this one. This little top ended up being a whole new experience for me though since I have never really done French seams before, this entire shirt was made with them. They really aren’t difficult at all, but man oh man were they time consuming! You have to bust out the iron after every stitch to press the seams down and you essentially sew the whole thing twice since you have enclose every stitch. Mine turned out okay with it being my first time, but I could definitely use some perfecting.

All the reviews I read said that this top has a tremendous amount of ease so I¬†cut this¬†a size down. I¬†wanted to leave a margin for error but if¬†it¬†this had come out huge I probably wouldn’t wear it.¬†¬†I think that this came out really short, I am not sure if maybe that just happened with mine by mistake.¬†I have seen other versions if this where it was tucked into pants and pencil skirts but¬†this just hangs low enough to cover my belly.¬†Perhaps I was too generous in my seam allowances…

I also had some trouble lining¬†up the front seams where the triangular sections met in the middle. I thought about¬†ripping the stitching out and redoing this, but french seams are double the work in both construction and destruction so I decided to be lazy and¬†rock it out sloppy. The flower print is so busy on this charmeuse that it isn’t too noticable (or so I hope!)¬†

Over all I dig this top, next time I will probably go for a solid and attempt to add some length to the front.


Vogue 8750…. REMIX!

After making the flared version of 8750 in red corduroy, blogged here, I really wanted to give the pencil silhouette a go. I found this zig zag stetchy corduroy with blues and purples and I thought it would look really cool with the cut and pieces of this skirt.

The skirt is easy peasy to sew up, however the first time I made this, it ended up¬†being¬†HUGE¬†and I had to take it in quite a ton. So this time I cut it smaller and¬†used generous seam allowances and I think it ended up a hair too snug for my taste. Luckily it’s stretch so its not uncomfortable or restrictive. I guess I’ll just have to¬†skip dinner¬†before I wear it out!

I think it would look really cute paired with some pattern tights and booties, and a turtleneck. The back I went for an exposed zipper look, it was hard to match up my zig zags perfectly but oh well…

Overall, I think the zig zags give the skirt a dramatic look and this will probably see a lot of friends and fun these next few months!


Vogue 8663, Blue striper in town

I have had this awesome¬†bright indigo blue wacky striped knit fabric in my stash for a while from a sale, but I’ve been holding out on using it because it needed just the right simple pattern to show case the busy stripe pattern. I’ve had the Vogue very easy 8663 pattern for a while and since it had such an easy and straight forward design I decided to go for it in the sleeve version. I reeeeeally love how it turned out! I think this may be my new favorite Fall/winter dress.

This material is very thin so immediately opted out of the zipper and just cut the back pieces on the fold of the fabric. The pleating on the neckline worked out ok but I didn’t want to use the bias tape to avoid bulkiness. I just make a self hemline, the bottom pleating fringe is visible¬† at times but it looks like a ruffle detail so no big deal.

I did add the bias tape to the armholes however, since the material was so thin I felt that I would need the extra reinforcement. Matching up the stripes on the sleeves prooved to be a bit challenging but you can only really tell when I have my hands up on my hips which luckily¬†is a signiture photo pose, not my¬†normal life stature! One cool thing aout this fabric is that although it super light and thin, it is not sheer so I didn’t have to bother lining it or wearing a slip. BIG plus!

I think I really like this dress because it reminds me of some of the knt striped dresses I wore in the 80’s as a child (but obviously much more stylish and modern) I’m lookin forward to rocking it out at the upcoming Holiday¬†parties


Vena Cava dress- Vogue 1228

I finally finished my summer session of school, so I have two whole weeks to take a break and get in some sewing projects. There are a ton of Birthdays this month including my husband’s, so I am going to be making a lot of gifts sewn with love ūüôā

Before starting all these gifts, I thought I’d be selfish and make this Vena Cava Vogue dress for myself that has been sitting in my queue for a while. I had ordered this Michael Miller print from a designer fabric sale on fabric.com and the description of the color was honeysuckle. I was expecting kind of a reddish-orange coral color but instead it ended up being straight up orange. Oh well, you win some you lose some. Its not that bad.. I don’t think!

The dress was easy to make, but I think this is mostly due to using cotton which is always a dream to work with. It called for a lot of french seams, however I don’t know how to do these, I’m sure its probably relatively easy but I was being lazy and didn’t feel like googling it and just serged my seams together. I am still on the search for my upgraded machine too, so I think it is causing me to resent my Singer. He’s the little engine that could, but I am so ready to move on!

I omitted the side zipper because this dress is so roomy it was pretty unneccessary. I can just pull it over my head. The sleeves ended up being too big and a little bit bunchy, I sides these down a bit along the shoulder seam but I guess that is just the style of the dress. There was one pleat along the neckline and one in the back.

Overall this was a very easy construction. Its a boxy style dress, so it’d be great for those days that you feel a little bloated or are going to pig out at a restaurant. Its still pretty hot here, so I think I will probably wear this more as a summer/fall transition dress, it would be great with a pair of boots!


Vogue (DKNY) 1236, summer work dress in chambray

This DKNY Vogue pattern 1236 has been in my pattern collection for a while but I have had it on the back burner in the anticipation that suitable fabric would come along that would fit the style. I finally stumbled into this chambray material that was selling for dirt cheap, about $3 a yard and it was a match made in heaven!

This dress was pretty simple to make and went quickly. The pleats at the neckline were probably the most challenging part, but that being said they were easy to construct as well. Although going back I wish I had folded the pleats a little wider, because after removing my basting they kind of start to unfold and fade into the dress. I can see that I will need to press them everytime I wash the dress which will be a pain, but hey I am no stranger to the iron so it isn’t a big deal.

The rest of the dress was easy peasy, the big pockets are my favorite part even though they make it a little puffy. The bodice was completely faced with interfacing, and the pieces were huge, it took me a while to adhere the entire thing since I had to do it in sections. My straps ended up being slightly too big (as usual) but they aren’t gaping open and I don’t feel self concious in them so I decided to be lazy and just leave them as is. There were no zippers or anything, the pattern included some snaps for lingerie straps, but I just skipped that part.

I wore this dress to work today and threw a sweater over it. Over all I am pleased, Chris really liked this one too. I would probably try this one again in a seersucker or a light cotton with a fun print. Maddie cat had fun helping me sew this one too ūüôā


Tracy Reese (Vogue) 1224, a perfect summer dress!

I love this dress! It is so comfy and it is perfect for bright crazy patterns which I adore. I used this soft rayon knit from fabric.com. I almost thought it looked a little bohemian, my husband said he thought it looked like it had monkeys on it? Um ok… it is cute regardless!

This pattern is all over pattern review, and since I have had it on my list for a while I am really thankful I had so many reviews to refer to. I heeded everyone’s advice by adding about 4 inches of length to the bottom and an inch to the width so the skirt wouldn’t be so tight like in the photo of the model. I also added about an inch to the bodice, but I could have probably left it as it was since I have a short torso. The bodice ended up being a little billowy, but I didn’t mind the effect. I had to shorten the elastic in the ties also so that the neckline would stay put. I just tied the ends off instead of buying the metal end covers¬†too.

It was a really easy dress to make, other than just making the alterations to the skirt I had no problems making this, it was a fun piece and I know it will get a lot of wear. I think this dress looks really cute with flats which makes it perfect for summer! Here I am at the St. Raphael picnic with my sister-in-law Olivia. We won a bunch of plants (we went for all the cactuses since it is hard to kill them!) and we are rocking out our matching chicken hats that we won at the Mardi Gras booth!


Vogue 8645, my giraffe print dress

I have had this really cute green giraffe print fabric that I bought super cheap for $4 a yard, but it is really sheer so I have been debating on what to do with it. I have seen good reviews on Vogue 8645 which is a fully lined dress with ties at the shoulders and a belt around the waist and figured it would be a good project!

Normally I avoid lining dresses if at all possible because for one, its such a pain in the ass. Second, I live in Louisville which has unbearably hot summers due to the city being nestled in the river valley, so any additional layers of clothing is one too many. However, since this fabric was so sheer I decided to suck it up and line the dress and wear this in the evening or to places inside. I found a light beige mesh from Joanns that matched the tan color in the giraffe print and used this for the lining.

This dress is one of those “very easy” Vogue editions, and they ain’t kidding-¬†this dress was a cinch! It had no zippers, elastic, interfacing or nothing. It was just 4 panels, two front and two back pieces that were sewn together, ties, the belt and pockets.¬†The pockets on the side were a breeze. I think pockets have become much easier to sew¬†now that I have worked with them a lot. The lining was also extremely easy, it was¬†pieced together the same as the dress, and sewn to the top with right sides together. The straps were sewn together afterwards. I love the ties on the straps, they give the dress some flare where it otherwise would have been a pretty plain dress. This dress absolutely needs the belt though, it looks like a potato sack otherwise. Depending on the fabric and pattern you use, a different waist belt would look cute with this dress too.

Personally I think this is a pretty dressy dress, especially with the added lining. (I do think that the lining could be omitted though with a thicker less sheer fabric, the arms would just need some bias tape for reinforcement.) It would be great for going to dinner, a play, or even a casual garden wedding would work. Its a great versatile piece and I would definitely sew it again.