Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quick and comfy dress

This blackish/grayish lightweight linen has been languishing in my fabric stash for over a year. It was meant to be any number of things, but met its destiny in Vogue 8786.

I'm a little distrustful of patterns that only include sketches on the envelope. Kind of like learning after buying a Paula Deen cookbook that she was so rushed to get it finished  she just made up some of the recipes without ever testing them. Why would you admit that?

This pattern looked so simple, and the fabric was so old that I considered it free, so it didn't feel like too much of a risk. 

Because the fit was super un-structured and the fabric was so plain, it needed some kind of detail.  The shoulder seams extended into cap sleeves, which is a design element I don't necessarily love. I chose to finish the edges with self-bias, round the corners and add decorative shell buttons. I extended the bias into a little loop at the back for a closure. Here are closeups of the shoulder and back detail.

I made some fit adjustments at the side seams to give it a little bit of shape, and top stitched all the seams except for the sides with a double needle. It is a very subtle detail but it really adds a nice level of finishing to the dress. 

This little dress is perfect for work but could just as easily go to the beach. I love it. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A very girly dress

I came across some bright (loud)  floral linen fabric in Joann's a few weeks ago. I have a hard time resisting linen, and thought it would make a cute top to go with white pants.  

Then I came across this dress pattern at the $1.99 pattern sale. Since I'm in need of a summer dress for a wedding brunch, and a floral linen dress seems brunchy, and I had 2 yards of floral linen in my closet, there was little need for debate.

I don't usually go for frills, or big florals, so this is way out of my comfort zone, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.
The neckline flounce is a big bias circle with a rolled hem edge. This is also out of my comfort zone, but I looked up a few tutorials online, attached the rolled hem foot, said a prayer and went for it. Here is a close up of the rolled hem.

 I adjusted the pattern for my narrow back, and took out about 1/2 in on each front neckline edge to keep it from gapping. I probably won't make this pattern again, but if I did, I would add a little length to the bodice pieces as it seems short. This is unusual for me since I need to adjust most patterns the other way. 

There was SO much going on in the top that the skirt felt like it needed a little punctuation. I decided on a band of grosgrain ribbon , which looks neon in these pictures, but is really almost exactly the same as the darkest orange in the fabric. 

I got the belt recently at Talbots and think it finishes the dress much better than the pattern's self belt, and it helps to hide the slightly too short waistband. I don't think this dress needs much accessorizing, but I do have a perfect pair of enamel flower earrings and a gold bracelet that will be just enough.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hello Beautiful!

After a VERY long and happy life, my old Singer went into sudden cardiac arrest and passed away in the middle of sewing a shower gift. Gahhhh. Panic. Fortunately my father frequents the Goodwill and it turns out that he had not one but two sewing machines in his "inventory." Yay!! But then, not, because unfortunately neither turned out to be any good. I dusted and oiled and sweated over the one that held the most promise, but in the end, it wasn't meant to be. Ummm, Amazon???  I took the recommendation of 79 reviewers, signed up for a free 30 day Prime membership, and less than 48 hours later this guy was on my porch.
                                                                The Janome HD-1000 

I was looking for the strong, silent type. Since I mostly just sew forward and backward, with the occasional zig-zag, he really just needed to be dependable. After many years of sewing, I know that for me, a $300 machine will get the job done as well as a $1000 one. So far, so good. He's attractive, quiet and not too fancy. I'm looking forward to getting to know him better. 

His first job was finishing this apron so I can get it in the mail...

Friday, May 10, 2013