Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lonsdale Dress


 Hello there, sewing friends! I finally made my first Sewaholic Lonsdale dress. Its such a fun summer dress, perfect for days spent drinking sangria.

I used Art Gallery's voile, which is so soft and fun to work with. I had been eyeing it up at working trying to think of the perfect use for it, and Lonsdale seems to be it. I had to make some changes to the bust pattern in order for it to work. I did a fba, and added a bust dart. I also shirred the back bodice pieces. I love wearing the sweetheart dresses that I have shirred all summer and thought it would be a cute addition.

Its not the most perfect fit, the waistband is a little tight, but whatever. If i was going to make it again i would make the shirring into panels in the back, not shir the whole back. It makes it kinda hard to zip up, and the zipper is more exposed than I would like. It's getting harder to overlook imperfections when sewing. Things don't always turn out perfect and I can't beat myself up about it. Does anyone else have that problem?

Well I'm off to enjoy one of the last weekends of the summer! Hope you are too!





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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Polka Dots and Stripes Hazel Dress



Woohoo! Another Colette Hazel Dress for me! This time I made some major improvements. I had to add a lot of length to the upper bodice. I made it before and it gave absolutely no coverage, making the bodice pieces about 2" longer fixed this problem. 

For this dress I used this Marc Jacobs lightweight cotton. It is red, white & blue, polka dot, and striped. SERIOUSLY, what could be better?! I've been wearing a very patriotic wardrobe this year, and it all goes with my new Sven Clogs that I'm in love with. So comfy, I wear them to work where I'm standing for hours. 

Everything is from Fabricland, this dress was a display sample for a class back in Spring. (I think there is even some more of this fabric in stock!) The stripes are the best thing to use for this unusual bodice shape. If I made this again I would probably make the skirt a little fuller. I think this is a dirndl, but it seems to come in a bit at the bottom.

My favorite detail is the piping I used on the top of the bodice and the double row of piping on the hem. Fabricland has sparkle piping by the yard. I stitched the piping together and then to the hem of the skirt. The belt it just a ribbon tied in a bow. This is the perfect dress to throw on on a hot summer day, and look cute. 



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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Simplicity 2176: Summer Sewing Camp

 Sorry for the long absence folks...this summer has been super busy. If you follow me on Instagram (erikamadeit) you have seen my new puppy, Rockford. He is an adorable time suck that keeps me from blogging. I've also been teaching everyday at Fabricland's Summer Sewing Camp. 

Last week we made Simplicity 2176. Its one of those Project Runway sewing patterns which are frustrating to use. They separate each of the styling designs on the back of the envelope so you never know how much fabric you really need. I made the version with the band, wide straps, and the border on the skirt. I used a contrasting floral and stripe to make a fun, summery frock. Both fabrics are a quilt weight cotton, which works fine for this dress.

The dresses in the class came out beautifully, we had four afternoons to make them.I had to do some alterations to make them fit such a wide range of girls, one was way smaller than the smallest size, but they look great. The most challenging part was folding over and sewing the band on the bottom. We had to hem the skirt a lot for the girls, and then shorten the band to match. The bias started the stretch and we had to try a couple times to get it right.  But they did really well and we had a lot of fun. 
                         




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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Do you like my hat? No I do not.. Goodbye, Goodbye



Because this year's Project Fabricland's advanced students were participating in a "Head to Hem" challenge, I needed to make a hat to wear to the fashion show too!




 And what could be better than a sewing machine hat?! The Bernina sewing machine is from a music box that was on sale at Fabricland. It was a little bit damaged so I got it for only $5!. I knocked the machine off the music box base, and started to design my hat. I happened to have the perfect size mini wooden spool, so I threaded the machine! 

For the base I covered two layers of buckram (for extra support) with the fabric I used for my Cambie dress. The bottom layer is covered with pink wool felt and the edge is finished with a bit of grosgrain ribbon. It's kinda wobbly so I attached the hat part to a headband by sewing two loops of elastic through all the layers. Then I used my high heat glue gun to glue the plastic machine to the base. 

That's it! I got a ton of looks with this accessory. Not everyone thought it was fabulous. But I know it is!

                
                




My boss Nancy and I workin' our hats, and me-made outfits!



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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Embroidered Cambie Dress


If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should btw) you would have seen a sneak peek of this dress probably over 2 months ago when I finished it. I was SO happy with how it turned out, the fabric is perfect, the back was matching up and the fit was pretty spot on. And then the day came when I had to wear it for a special event... And the zipper broke, while I was putting it on. I may have had a total meltdown, and put it aside for weeks until I could mentally face the zipper again.  Anytime a dress has a waistband and a gathered skirt it does the invisible zipper gives me a hard time.




Anyway, this is my second Sewaholic Cambie dress. The first version I made was out of the Kokka fabric, and I made the A-line skirt. I tweaked the fit a little for this one, raising the neckline, and making a new sweetheart shape. 

The fabric is this crazy cute. It's an magenta embroidered cotton on a black background, made in Italy that I bought at Fabricland. We only got a small amount of this beauty, so I quickly snatched up 3 yards. We sold out out of it the next day! The skirt I gathered on the crossgrain to take advantage of the edge of the embroidery. I carefully zig-zagged around the flowers on the bottom and cut away the excess black for my hem. The whole thing is lined in black Robert Kaufman savannah cotton, I love this stuff for linings, it's SO soft and not too expensive. 

I wore this dress to the Project Fabricland fashion snow, and it was a big hit! I even made a hat to match it since some of the students participated in a Head to Hem challenge. I'll show you my hat later this week! 







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Monday, May 5, 2014

Quilt Dress


When I saw the Mary Adams quilt dress (below) I knew I had to make my own. I've been obsessed with her book The Party Dress Book, she has so many different ideas for dressmaking, including an entire chapter on piecing. So I bought a fat quarter bundles on etsy, I'm in love with the April showers print from Moda. I also got a  flying geese ruler which is just a triangle with different sizes on it, to make the pieced bodice front and skirt front. 


Mary Adams apron dress using hand pieced "tumbling blocks" from client's great grandmother.. Great inspiration from all those unfinished quilt pieces found at estate and garage sales..
Inspiration from dressmaker Mary Adams
                           


I used the smallest flying geese measurement for the bodice, It worked out that four across fit perfectly for the front piece of the princess seamed top from a Colette pattern I knew would fit me. I made the front side pieces the April shower print and the side back and back pieces in coordinating prints. The triangles are made from 9 different fabrics, and a light green seersucker background.

The skirt is made from strips of the fabrics, some from the Moda collection, some I got at Fabricland to match. The strips are cut at different widths, and sewn together and attached to the other pieced part I made. The skirt "quilted" part in the front is two sizes bigger than the bodice, 2 1/2 inches, I also made them four across, and gathered the whole thing to attach to the top.

The skirt was a little bit short so to hem it I made a facing from the leftover seersucker and sewed it at 1/4". This dress is fully lined to prevents all the pieces from unraveling. It is so fun to wear...I wore it to work and people stopped just to look at it! I might even make another one if I fall in love with another group of fat quarters. It was a lot of work to make, I spent a ton of time cutting and piecing, but I think it was worth it!






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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oh Deer Dress: Simplicity 1419


Oh deer, ANOTHER DRESS. This is the new simplicity lisette pattern 1419 that came out in the Spring. It's a basic dress with the cute detail of a peter pan collar and keyhole. It has an option for sleeves and includes a loose jacket in the pattern. I made this dress as a store sample for Fabricland, for the summer class camp. I made no changes to the pattern, kind of a wearable test muslin for myself. 

The fabric is an adorable quilt weight cotton from Art Gallery Fabrics. I think the deer are just so sweet! I used a lace print in yellow for a little contrast. There are a few things i would tweak about the fit if I was going to make this again. I have to remember to made the bodice longer on these patterns. It's always just slightly too high and it ends up bugging me. Another thing that bugs me is when the arms are too wide...I will have to cut them down a bit. 

This pattern is cute and useful, a great way to show off a print, I think I will make another down the line. 




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