Monday, June 24, 2013

Hawthorn Dress

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew it had to be MINE. It's the brand new pattern from Colette patterns, Hawthorn. It's the perfect dress, so easy to wear, I can see this one lasting for years.I was so excited for this pattern to arrive, I had the fabric all picked out, a chambray embroidered eyelet, from Fabricland of course, and pre washed, waiting for the pattern to arrive on in the store Wednesday. I made a straight size 10, and the fit is pretty perfect. 

For the interfacing I used a solid chambray of almost the same exact color, because any other interfacing would have shown through the holes in the eyelet. The fabric is so soft and dreamy, and I picked some red buttons for a fun accent. I think I will send away for a matching belt from Pat's Custom Buttons and Belts. 

This dress is so comfortable, before taking these pictures I had already worn it the whole day teaching sewing classes. The skirt has the perfect amount of swing, have I mentioned it's perfect?! The only sad thing is that I have to give it up for a while, it's going on display at Fabricland. I can't wait to make the blouse version, and the long sleeve version for fall.

The only problem I ran into, was the collar. It comes in three pieces and all the layers get rather thick all together. Next time I will make the undercollar in three pieces and cut the upper collar in one solid piece. Also when you staystich make sure you do it a 1/4" at the neckline pieces, the facing gets sewn on 1/4" so anything else will show.

Will you be making Hawthorn? Can you ever have enough perfect summer dresses? 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tiki Dress or Sweetheart Sundress #2

This is my second sweetheart sundress from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. I loved the tiki variation so much I had to make my own version. This fabric is a Marc Jacobs remnant, which I blogged about here, has been in my stash for a while resting until I came up with the perfect project to use it. I only had about 1.5 yards of it, it came from Fabric Mart, not sure why I didn't get more! To make it work I mixed it with a lipstick color linen, that matches it perfectly. 

I shirred the back in this dress, in the solid linen, used the pencil skirt pattern from Gertie's book as the skirt and even had enough left over add a skirt drape. That's my favorite part of the dress, my boss Nancy helped me drape it with the leftover fabric I had, she has magic fingers! We even worked it out so I have a pocket! I attached the drape piece to the front of the pencil skirt with the side seams and the top seam, and hemmed it with the narrow hemmer foot a few inches shorter than the rest of the skirt. 

So now I have the perfect tiki dress, and someone needs to invite me to a luau! 

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Umbrella Sundress

I've been eyeing up this fun beach umbrella fabric ever since Fabricland got it in. It's a quilting cotton, which I am usually hesitant to use, but this one is just so well suited to a summer dress. I was originally thinking about a romper perhaps, but this sweetheart sundress from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing will get so much use this Summer. 

The book only has the pattern pieces for the bodice, the skirt you draft yourself. It's just a drindl skirt, 2 rectangles sewn together and gathered.  I also shirred the back, a technique from the book and I absolutely love it. Shirring is sewing rows and rows and rows of elastic thread to the back bodice pieces. It's kind of tedious, but watching it shrink up under the steam of the iron is SEW FUN.  It gives the bodice such a snug fit. I'm totally addicted now. The straps and front accent are a red and white polka dot voile cotton fabric. I also added my favorite thing RICK RACK, to the hem, 2 rows of it of course. It's not just any Rick Rack it's a white and navy stripe, so adorable. 

One of the things I love about Gertie's book and patterns, is that somehow they just magically fit me, with no alterations. It makes sewing her dresses like 100% faster. I'm already working on 2 more versions! All three have different skirts. Remember the Marc Jacobs fabric I had in my stash? I'm going to make a tiki dress with it. And remember this disaster of a dress?! I'm making this bodice to go with the circle skirt! So get ready to see a lot of this bodice. 

The pictures were taken on the bay side of the Jersey Shore, (hence some of the rubble on the beach) This part of the island seemed beautiful and untouched, while only a short walk away houses are knocked off their foundation or burnt to the ground. It is still very sad to see, not the usually busy weekend with everyone outside, on the beach or riding bikes. 

My Mom and I took a ride down this past Saturday to see what we may have left in the shore house, and managed to take these pretty pictures. My family's house unfortunately has to come down so hopefully I will be wearing this dress next year at the restored shore! I am picturing myself lounging on the deck with  a drink...ahhhh. 

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yellow Lily Dress

Woohoo! It totally feels like summer time here on the east coast. I'm relaxing on my newly furnished Florida room, having a cocktail in my new Colette Patterns Lily Dress. Don't my shoes match the room and my dress perfectly?! This is very important in life. 

Lily is a fitted sundress, with princess seams at the bodice and a very fitted skirt. I used this sunny yellow linen from Fabricland, it was a pleasure to work with. Being linen it was a little bit sheer so I lined the whole thing in a yellow cotton voile, which is perfect for a summer dress. I love using voile as lining. I also used  a white linen as the contrast. 

I love the way this pattern fits, although I did have to make some alterations to it. When I made up the muslin the bodice was sitting quite low, it was rather scandalous, but only in the front pieces. I added about 2 inches on a slant (because this has princess seams) to match the side seams. 

I love that this dress has such great pockets, something every Colette pattern has (isn't that wonderful). The white accents really add something different to such a basic dress. The only thing I got a little hung up on was the kick pleat. It's like not a real slit, it remains closed and doesn't look right to me. It's bugging me and I might go back and change it. Also my hem was doing something weird and bubbling and I have since fixed it. I was being lazy and serged the dress hem and the lining hem together. Sometimes I have to remind myself: NO SHORTCUTS, they never seem to work out for me. 

That's all for now! I'm off and working on 2 more summer dresses. 

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