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!)

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Bok Bok BaGok! An Egg-stra special Mother’s Day apron

This year for Mother’s Day I wanted to make something special for my wonderful Mother in Law. She is a fantastic sewer and seamstress, and makes the most beautiful drapes and window treatments, and recently started doing her own upolstery completely self taught which is amazing! She is also a good cook and she wears fun aprons in the kitchen, my favorite one is her Mrs. Clause apron at Christmas time. I decided to make her a chicken themed apron, since I know she grew up around chickens and loves a good old eggs over easy in the morning! Here she is whipping up something tasty! 🙂

I used the Simplicity 2272 pattern, and it was a really quick sew. The edges were binded in double fold bias tape which I found in a light blue to match the chicken fabric. The rest of the apron was just fabric, no interfacing or lining needed. I did sew the waist band differently then they suggested in the instructions which seemed a bit backwards to me, they had the band sewed to the apron first, then folded in half right sides together, stitched and turned inside out. I don’t really see how that is possible with the apron sewed on, so I just pressed the tie edges in and sewed the whole piece together at once. No struggling!

I decided to add some egg yolk decals to the pockets, Chris was throwing away an old white button down work shirt so I fished it out of the trash and cut out some egg whites, and used remnants from my yellow dress fabric to make the yolks.

In the end it turned out really cute and versatile,  and I would definitely make this apron again!


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.