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 🙂

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!

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Paisley dress

I found this paisley print by Michael Miller, called Posh Paisley. It comes in many different colors but I loved this bright pink one. I’ve had this Simplicity pattern 2584 in my to do pile for a while and this fabric was perfect for it! Its a cute, casual dress that I can wear to work, hanging out on the weekends or for dinner and drinks.

It was an easy dress to make, the most challenging part was the yolk (neckline) but I had a lot of fun putting it together. After lining the yolk section, I mtched the notched sections and dot and sewed it onto the dress. After fusing the interfacing to the lining and sewing it to the outside, I sewed two straight lines down the center, and you cut all the way down between these to create the neck opening. The lining gets inverted to the inside, and then you just iron it out and it completes the collar. It was almost like a magic trick!

The sleeves were made by sewing in an inch wide channel and pulling through elastic. After trying it on, I fit the elastic to my arm so it wasn’t too tight or too loose. By itself, Chris thought this dress looked like a night gown. This was pretty annoying but I’ll admit (especially in this pic) that without a belt and some cute heels it does kind of look like something your granny would bust out.

I really like this dress, and I would definitely make it again. The pattern came with different variations so the next one I would try would probably be the version with the puff sleeves and tie waist.


Crazy about Stripes!

I think that stripes are so much fun, they can be casual or dressed up and they can also make you look thinner (or fatter 🙂  Simplicity released their new patterns for summer 2011 and I absolutely loved this new pattern 2177 with the striped view. I didn’t care too much for the photo view, the girl looks like she is in a getup Holly Hobbs would wear and the little jacket looks a bit cheesy to me, but hey to each their own.

This dress was very easy to make and I actually used Michael Miller’s Clown Striped knit fabric in black and white. The back of the envelope suggested cottons, gauze, linen type blends but the knit worked out just fine. This pattern does run pretty big though, I actually ended up having to cut out about two inches from my perfectly finished straps so that it wouldn’t be hanging on me. The finished product didn’t look terrible, but I knew it would bug me so I used some left over material to ring around the striped and simulate gathering. I think it gave it a sailor type look which looks pretty cute! Although its hard to see them in these pictures, my hair covers them.

This dress has pleats at the top where the skirt met the bodice which I love because they are great for hiding any tummy issues 🙂

This dress makes me excited for the summer! Since I didn’t end up using nearly as much fabric as the pattern called for, I had enough left over to make this striped skirt from Kwiksew pattern 3003. I think this pattern has been around for quite a while given the illustrations on the front, the 90’s called and they want their rooster ponytail back! This is a very casual skirt with elastic at the waist so you can be liberal with sizing up and down.

One thing about this pattern to watch out for is matching the stripes. Since its virtually the same pattern for each skirt, the second view just has an extra cut down the center. This means you have to match up the stripes to the opposite side that what would have been pieced together with just two pieces as opposed to four. This means that the length will be a bit off when you do your hemming. I am only 5’2″ so I usually end up hemming quite a bit of length anyhow so it wasn’t an issue for me, but if you are tall you may want to compensate on the length when you cut your fabric. FYI please excuse my nasty thumb burn in this photo, be careful with those irons kids!

Here is one that I made for my friend Jo as part of her Bridal shower gift. My Mom crocheted the orange flowers that I added to the hem.

I would definitely recommend both these patterns- very easy to use and versatile, they are great for stripes but not limited to them.