Sunday, June 16, 2013

What to wear to a casual summer wedding

I think this will be just perfect. 

I used Simplicity 1610 which is a dress pattern, but I just used the skirt pieces. I love that it has nice flat pleats instead of gathers, because I don't need any extra fullness in the tummy area, thank you very much.  The pattern called for pleats in the back also, but I didn't like the way they looked and decided to go with gathers there. 

I also love the pocket detail, which is hard to see in the photo. They are nice roomy pockets and add to the casual vibe of the skirt with zero added bulk. My inspiration was this skirt by Sheridan French

Since the pattern I used was for a dress, I had to create the waist band. Sheridan's was just a little too high waisted for me, so I went with a 2 inch one that I think is just right. I'm in love with this fabric.  It's polyester from Hancock's, but has such a nice hand, and it was a pleasure to sew on. This skirt will see a ton of wear this summer with a t-shirt and flats.

The top is my own creation... I basically cut two rectangles, scooped out a little for the armholes, sewed a casing in the top, and threaded a pearl necklace through. The cream fabric was a little sheer and lightweight, so I self lined it and used french seams on the sides. My original vision was for a ribbon with a bow at the neckline, but nothing I tried seemed to look right. The pearls were my "make it work" moment.  My own are being re-strung so I had to buy a cheap fake set, but I think they are fine and just what this simple little top needed. Now I need to find some major earrings to complete the look. Here's a close up of the "collar"

All done...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Before and After

The slipcovered dining room chair I had been using for sewing left alot to be desired. It was clunky, heavy and didn't have wheels,  because dining room chairs don't typically have wheels. 

During my latest lament about that "damn sewing chair", I learned that my husband was in possession of some old office chairs (Huh?). "They're pretty gross, but you can take a look if you want..." 

Yep, that's pretty gross. There was even a little spot of bird poop on the back. But it has wheels!, and it swivels! and the seat is adjustable! and this is what it looked like less than an hour later...

LOVE HER!!! She's lightweight, comfy, she rolls and swivels, and now she is CUTE!! Swivel to the right, cutting table & mirror, swivel to the left, ironing board & dress form. And the best, best, best part is, she was totally FREE!!! The fabric is leftover cheapo home dec weight stuff from Hancocks that I bought ages ago to make little zippered cosmetic bags-finally put to good use. 

My skirt and top are making good process. Just a few more details to be worked out and I'll be ready to reveal. My new chair has made ALL the difference 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Took a  short sewing hiatus to paint & redecorate our guest room. It's a little jewel now and I can't wait for it's first guests. 

What ignites that spark? The first little ember of an idea of what a future garment (or pillow, or curtain) will look like? For me, it is almost always is an image,  usually from Pinterest or a catalog, that gets my imagination started. 

For an upcoming casual wedding at a winery, I thought a maxi skirt ala Sheridan French might be just the thing. 

Deciding on the skirt pattern was easy, since I like everything about this one. 

I found a navy & cream tropical print  challis, that-in my mind- looks smashing sewn up into this skirt. 

To offset the maxi skirt, my top needs to be a little bit bare, but not so bare that I would embarrass my  adult children.  I'm picturing a really simple halter top in cream,  with a ribbon or self fabric tie at the neck. It sounds  simple, maybe too simple because if there's a pattern for this type of top, I can't find it. So I guess Mrs. Dress Form and I are gonna take a stab at it- Project Runway style.  

Let's hope I have better success with my imagination in the sewing room than I do in the kitchen. Details to follow.