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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

This time, its the Kobe dress!

 Here's the dress pattern I couldn't stop thinking about!  This is the Kobe Dress by Papercut Patterns.  I recently made the top and just love it so I knew the dress would be soon to follow. 

I used an embroidered chiffon by Telio.  I knew from making the top that the fabric had to be light and floaty.  This Telio fabric did the trick!  I love how unusual it is.

And here is the showstopper part of the dress...the back!

See what I mean?  That drape is unbelievable!

This is a closer view.  You can see the bias tape made from the fabric I used to finish off the front and back neckline.

You can see my bra level as well.  I raised the back neckline by about 1 inch so I wouldn't expose my bra to the world.  I was also concerned this fabric may stretch a bit out of shape so I used black SewkeysE tape.  It worked like a charm!

Here's the dress without the belt.  I will wear this belted as I believe it looks better on me belted.

I love a lot about this dress!  It's so floaty and this fabric is cool!  

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Kobe top and dress pattern.  Another winning pattern style from a fabulous indy company outside of the US called Papercut Patterns.  These are fabulous!  The drafting is excellent and the styles are fresh and CUTE!  

Check out the back of this dress: 

Related image 
How gorgeous is that?  Here is the image of the line drawing as well.  What is deceiving about this pattern is the gorgeous image above.  It looks all cinched at the waist, right?  Well that's due to the thin belt she's wearing to hold all that volume in.  

Image result for Images Kobe sewing pattern

And, this dress is made from a sheer fabric so it appears you get the cute little slip dress pattern as well.  Well you don't and Papercut doesn't say mention it in the description.  They even have a disclaimer on their site stating this.  It is so important to read the pattern description.  I knew it wouldn't be included.  

So fitting...I used Designer Joi's method and am very happy with the results.  However, this pattern doesn't have the apex marked so what do you do?  I googled it and here's a link I found: 

I thought this method worked perfectly!  

With a boxy garment such as this, it is important it doesn't look sloppy.  For me, that means it fits through the shoulders, and front/back necklines.  You may have other preferences, but that's what I like.  

I've had this fabric in my stash for a while and I believe it is a challis.  It has lovely drape and feels so awesome on your skin.  

I do believe it is a poly blend, not a pure poly and definitely not a silk or cotton. 

 I know, I use a lot of white, black, and beige, but they are so easy to work with!  

I will be making the dress.  

I added self-bias binding to the back hemline as this fabric is so floaty and I wanted to keep it in place.

What I didn't think about is that the back is so much longer than the front so naturally it will be heavier in the back.  

I am proud of the bias binding on the front and back.  Look at how nice it looks!

I used a covered button on the back overlap.  I also raised the back neckline as in my muslin, my bra showed and I don't care how cute your bra is or how nice your back-skin is, having your bra back show isn't a good look.

So I love my new top!  I think I will enjoy it with black skinny jeans as much as I like it with my white skinny jeans.

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Fall sewing with McCall's 7381

It took me a while to jump on the maxi bandwagon, but now that I'm there, I simply don't want to jump off.  Maxis are so comfortable!  While I usually make knit ones, this time I made one in this amazing peachskin fabric from Fabric Mart.  This fabric was from a famous dress designer and it sold out quickly!  I love the colors. 

See what I mean?  These colors are so lovely for cooler months!  
Actually, these colors are lovely all the time.

Here is the pattern I used: Image result for Images McCalls 7381
This pattern is designed as a pullover dress that's loose-fitting, with a lined bodice, shoulder pleats, raised front waist, front pleating, and elasticized back waist narrow hem and front snap closing.  There are length and sleeve variations.  

As you can see, I made the maxi version with the sleeves of C, and left off the front tie.  

I still need to polish the fit on this.  I did make a muslin and I have those movement lines on the side bodice that I couldn't get rid of.

I added buttons to the center front wrap portion and actually, this has enough ease that you don't need to snaps at all.  

This dress is LONG!  For reference, I am 5'7" and I took this up 2 inches instead of the recommended 5/8".  I plan on wearing heels with this.  

Another modification I made was to eliminate the bodice lining.  I created 2" wide bias bands, attached them, and then folded to the inside and topstitched down.

I plan on wearing this a lot!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Playing with Percale and fall colors!

Don't know about you, but this time of year, I like to start thinking about sewing some garments for fall.  I love the colors of fall, the browns, oranges, greens, and purples.

I found this brown, floral percale on Fabric Mart's site and wanted to try it for a garment. I knew it would have somewhat of a crisp hand and I was ready for the challenge of finding the right pattern to use.  

After opening the package, I found this fabric has a very crisp hand, and would be perfect for a pair of cropped pants.  Back in my day, these were called gauchos.  Anyone else remember that phase?  

Here is the pattern I used, if you are interested! 
Image result for Images Simplicity 8175

 I instantly fell in love with the skirt but then those cute cropped pants caught my eye...

This fabric was a great choice for this pant as it holds its shape, is crisp, and is comfortable.

I only made a few modifications, the most noticeable was to lengthen the tie.  And honestly, when I cut these out, I cut added to the seam allowances so I could pin-fit these.  I took all sorts of crazy measurements and compared them to the pattern tissue.  I was so very surprised I wouldn't need to do much to these to get them to fit.

Basically, I added belt loops for the tie belt, I added staytape to the pocket seams and adjusted the darts slightly.  That's it!  These fit that well straight from the tissue.  I cut off the extra seam allowances.

Let's talk about my bright green top for a moment.  This is some of FM's linen, this is the avocado green.  I had just enough left in my stash from a previous project to make a fun top to go with these wild, floral pants.

I modified this pattern, by leaving off the flange of the sleeve.  Here's the pattern: 
Image result for Images Simplicity 8642

I made view A with the flange and thought: ugh.  That flange in a linen didn't drape like I thought it should.  A simple fix of removing the flange saved the day!

I love how these fabrics go together!  I also love the split sleeve with the tie!  I just happened to have a necklace and shoes that I like with this.  See, I tell my hubby, compulsive shopping pays off!  ;)  

I hope you are all enjoying summer and creating some great makes!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The perfect summer dress? Vogue 9184

Oh my, I purchased this pattern as soon as it came out and it has been sitting in my stash for two years.  Two years!  What?  What was I waiting for?  Have you ever done this?  I find myself doing this too often.  

Here is the pattern.  

Image result for images Vogue 9184
The design is basic, simple, and classic all at the same time.  Don't you agree?  Sometimes I get turned off on a pattern by a super simple line drawing.  I much prefer a photograph of a real garment on a real person.  

I must say, I put a lot of effort into this simple design.  I measured just about every point on my body you can measure, compared it to the tissue, made alterations, pin fit the fabric, and stitched it up.  The results, to me at least, were well worth it.

First I must say, I started with the shoulders and worked my way down.  For some reason, the shoulder area can be difficult to fit.  So many peaks and valleys!  I've suddenly realized I need more room from shoulder point to shoulder point across the back as well as apex to apex.  I'd never thought of that until I took a fit class this summer.  So helpful!

After fitting that area, I moved to the bust, mid back, waist, hips, etc.  You get it, right?

What I love about this pattern is that it fits so well in the bust area that according to DH, "Your chest isn't the first thing to enter the room."  In fact, I think it minimizes the girls.

When I began fitting the back and waist area, I've come to the conclusion that a garment isn't going to fit me well there unless I add a horizontal waist seam.  It just helps with my hollow area at my waist.  I try swayback adjustments but I still seem to get 'fabric' there.  If there's a waist seam, I can totally take care of that mess.

Of course I made my own bias tape from the garment fabric.  If you've never done that before, do try it.  Super easy.  It only takes a few minutes longer than using purchased bias tape and it's a perfect match to your garment.  What other convincing do you need?

My invisible zip turned out lovely.  Is that okay to say?  I used bright yellowish-green, a color in my fabric.  I love a well-inserted zipper.  I see I forgot to hook the eye and fabric loop for the photo.  Forgive that error!  It does line up perfectly!

This pattern needs some attention and love people.  A nice light-weight wool under a cute little jacket would be fabulous for cooler months.

Try this pattern!  I think you'll love it!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

More summer sewing: McCall's 7432

How is summer flying by so quickly?  I knew I had several fabrics in my stash I planned on using before fall set in, so I got busy!

Here's the pattern I used: 
Image result for images Mccall's 7432
I love the simplicity of it.  It's a classic style, super easy, well drafted...need I go on?

This blue fabric is an ITY knit which works really well for this dress.  I so love the royal blue with white and I am a sucker for a paisley print.

I only had enough fabric to make this in a knee-length, which is fine.  This length is nice and cool to wear.

I love how this fabric skims your body, it doesn't cling, making it a great choice for this pattern.

I've been playing a lot with fit, and have discovered that I need to widen the shoulders at my upper back.  This is such an easy alteration to make.

Look at how well this dress hangs in this fabric!  

For my second version, I used a Stof knit that's 94/95% cotton and the rest is lycra.  This fabric feels just lovely on your body.

It doesn't glide from the shoulders like the ITY knit, but that's okay.

I really wanted to do something a bit different so I played with the sleeves.

I cut the sleeve pattern in half, added a hem allowance, and used the ties from Jalie's new tee pattern.  I would have just used Jalie's sleeves, but when I walked the pattern pieces, they were too large for this dress.  Plus, other reviewers mentioned they were difficult to get to look like the pattern photo, which shows them tied tightly.

Fitting is trickier with these cotton knits.  Everything seems to show!  I ended up making a dart at the bust, which btw, wasn't needed on the ITY knit.

I put in an inch at the hemline, as it hangs so much nicer on this cotton knit.  Also, the neckband drooped so I fixed that by opening up a stitch or two on the inside of the neckband, inserting 1/8" elastic, getting the length just right, sewing the ends of the elastic together, and stitching the neckband closed.  Sorry, no photo of that, but trust me, much better!

I worked hard to get all these skinny stripes lined up at the side seams and the effort paid off!

I am sure I will revisit this pattern when I want to make winter/cold weather dresses!

Thanks for reading!