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!

 

 


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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Simplicity 2647- my summer maxi dress

I have had this fun bright floral print fabric for a while and I finally decided it would be perfect for a maxi dress. I really don’t wear long dresses very often because I am so short, but I figured at least I could make this one the perfect length so I won’t trip over it like a fool. It took me a while to find a pattern I really liked, some maxi dresses look so frumpy! This simplicity pattern 2647 is one of those day to evening editions, and I loved the long drawn version with the gathering on the bodice.

I’m not sure why they didn’t include a photo of this one, its always nice to see the finished product even if on a model. The construction of the dress wasn’t that easy, I cannot lie. The bodice was pretty easy to sew together, the rayon knit I used didn’t gether well with a long machine stitch so I ended up doing most of the gathering by scrunching it as I sewed. I’m sure there is probably a better method out there to do this, but for this dress it got the job done! Once the bodice construction was finished, the pattern called for the elast to be sewn into the facing. I don’t know if maybe my bodice somehow ended up being to short, but I don’t really see how putting an inch wide ring of elastic would have fit. It would have caused the bodice to shift down too far and not give me enough coverage on top. So instead, I opted to sew the elastic into the top of the skirt first before attaching the two pieces together. Since I knew I would need to shorten the dress in the end I wasn’t worried about the extra inch of length being taken from the shirt. The effect was that the elastic ended up looking like a waist band.

The effect isn’t bad though it isn’t how the pattern intended. I considered completely omitting the elastic, however I think the dress would’ve been to heavy for the straps and would have weighed down too much. By creating this waist band it also completely covered the elastic so there was fabric between the elastic and my skin. This made it much more comfy! Even after usining about an inch and a half to create the band, I still had to take up the bottom about an inch, I pretty much just plan to wear flats with this to avoid accidents 🙂

I am looking forward to wearing it in the hot upcoming months, and maybe for a weekend getaway (if I am lucky!)