Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Dress #1 and Stash Busting Top

 Here's the first of two Easter dresses as per the request of my Mom.  She has been asking for an Easter preview and with the help of a few whoppers malt balls I was able to capture these pictures.  Big girl is pretty sick right now so she is in no shape for a photo shoot. 
 The Pattern:
This is McCall 5964, an out of print pattern that I used for little bit's Christmas dress (here's the link to the Pattern Review).  I never blogged about her Christmas dress but it was adorable and fit great.  This is a solid little pattern and I have no idea why these simple, solid patterns get discontinued so often.
I lengthened the dress since she's taller now.  I added 1/2 inch to the bodice and 3/4 length to the skirt pieces.  Width wise it still fit her perfectly (she'll be three in June for size reference).  As far as construction, I love the way this pattern is put together, it is fully lined with the skirt lining shaped to be narrower than the skirt which allows for the tulle floofyness underneath.  The sleeves have sweet gathers that make the sleeves stand out from the dress. 

One thing about the accent around the waist, I am always trying to figure out how exactly to finish the waist accent on dresses, I've used piping, ribbon sashes, fabric sashes, etc and the thing I like about this version is it is nicely contoured to the waist and hugs it just enough.  There are no loops to worry with or bows to come undone, although I love a big bow in the back of a child's dress its nice not to have to worry about it coming untied. 
 The Fabric: 
The eyelet is some I've had in my stash bought years ago at Joann's fabrics.  I used it for big girl's Easter dress last year blogged here.  I love eyelet but I've had a difficult time finding eyelet that is good quality.  The pink fabric used for the accents and lining was thrifted and has a pretty cross weave.  The tulle is some pink sparkly stuff and I have no idea when or where I bought it or for what purpose.  The girls use it for dress up but now its a great little hidden sparkly layer to this dress. 
Will she wear it?
Indeed she will.  She loves the specialness of a new floofy dress and was so cooperative about her Christmas dress that I think this one will be a hit too.  

Now on to a stash busting top for me.
You have no idea the shenanigans that were going on while I took these pictures, bitty girl was pretending to be a ghost with a blanket over her head and in nothing but a diaper.  Hilarious.

This is the Made by Rae Ruby top I've made once before.   This time I wanted to try the Ruby pattern on a men's silk shirt refashion.  I thought this silk shirt would make a great Ruby top since the weight of the fabric is similar to rayon challis which I tried before.  I cut the back of the Ruby top on the fold of the front of the men's shirt and now the buttons are a decorative accent down the back of the Ruby. 
The back of the men's shirt is the new front of my Ruby top.  I didn't even have to hem this shirt because I used the existing hems.  The black yoke and cap sleeves are another silk from a refashioned shirt.  The piping is some homemade flat bias tape piping.  
 I love the way the fabrics feel and I have plans to make more of these when I can find the time.  The cap sleeves are not a part of the original Ruby pattern but a part of the Washi Expansion Pack from Made by Rae.  I didn't like the pointy part of the sleeve on the front of my blouse so I just tucked in the front part of the sleeve to make it rounded in the front.  The back of the sleeves, as you can see above, I left pointy. 

Again I can't wait to refashion more thrifted silks this way, the biggest challenge is finding a men's shirt large enough and without front pockets.  I might have to try some other thrifted silks in the future!  You really can't beat the price of a thrifted silk and you won't cry if your project crashes and burns!  How about you, do you have any patterns you use for men's shirt refashions? 

Linking up to "Sew it Chic in a Week" at Gray All Day

Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting things done...one contest at a time...

Lately my motivation, time and energy has just waned a bit so it seems to take a contest to get me moving.  Pattern Review is having a Travel Wardrobe Contest and I didn't think I would get everything done but amazingly I did!  Sometimes with sewing you end up doing the same kinds of things over and over with little variation, say for example, cute dresses are easier for me to motivate myself to make but really their versatility can be limited.  So its good to have a contest like this to help motivate me to think outside my usual sewing box- plus its great for stash busting my fabric.
I made five garments total for the collection, that sounds impressive but the knits I chose were straightforward and fast to sew.  I loved the idea of making a collection of clothes based on the theme of a trip, my trip is a fictional one, its called "Elizabeth's (Momma needs a vacation) Fabric Tour of the South East."  You are supposed to see how many outfits you can make with six garments.  I made nine!    

Simplicity 2054: Knit dress designed by Cynthia Rowley.  I made this from stretchy french terry that I bought with a gift certificate from Fabric Mart.  I was a little stumped by the four way stretch and have ruined four way stretch fabric in the past so I was careful about pairing pattern and fabric this time.  This dress is super comfy.  I made a size 8 and the shoulders and graded to a 10 for the rest of the dress. 
Sew U Built by Wendy book A Line Skirt pattern: This is the only pattern I've ever used from this book (I need to make the others!) but I love it, I consider it a tried and true pattern for me.  I first made it for the Pattern Review Sewing Bee the link is here. It has all the construction details for this skirt.  This is such a comfy skirt too.  The fabric was the last yard of sateen I had in this print.  I love this print (thanks Mom for showing me its potential) and made this dress out of it which I love to wear.  So it made sense that I needed to get this fabric in my clothing rotation. 
  McCall 6965: I have wanted to make palazzo pants for a while and I don't think I'll stop at this pair.  Now to be fair I'm sure this style isn't for everyone, in fact my husband (whom I consider a beacon of fashion sense har har) calls them my "Hammer Time" pants.  However, sometimes you make something because YOU like it.  I made changes to the pattern, lengthening the crotch seam (I wanted them higher waisted), taking some of the volume off of the side seam and as far as the fit, I measured for a size 14 but most certainly could've gone down one size and maybe even two.  The hips are very roomy. 
Simplicity 1468: A disclaimer on this one, this is a maternity pattern, but no I am not pregnant.  I like the designer of this pattern and knew that I would be able to alter her design to get the aesthetic I wanted in a wrap style cardigan.  I wanted a cardigan I could throw over tops for warmth, so I used sketched/drafted long triagle-ish shaped wrap ties and sewed them to the side seams.  I used a spandex blend from Hancock fabrics from my stash.  I didn't do any finishing to the raw edges but I might go back and finish the neckline a bit.  I kind of winged it with this project but really love the result.
Grainline Linden: I made this piece with sweatshirt fleece using the fuzzy side as the outside of the garment.  This is such a quick make and comfy sweatshirt.  I always love Grainline patterns and this one is no exception to the rule.  I used a size four at the shoulders, size 6 at the bust and 8 at the waist.  I probably could've made the waist a size 6 as well since it turned out a little bigger than I anticipated but I still love it.  I might have to hand wash this one simply to avoid pilling.  I made another sweater out of this same fabric using the right side out and it kind of pilling up, not terrible but enough for me to notice and start obsessively picking the pill off, not good.  The fabric is from Hancock Fabrics. 
So there's my collection for my imaginary "Elizabeth's (Momma needs a vacation) Fabric Store Tour of the South East.  In case you're interested here's a few places I'd go, Alabama Chanin in Florence Alabama,  Fabric World in Stone Mountain Georgia, Gail K fabrics in Atlanta, and Textile Fabrics in Nashville TN.   A Momma's gotta dream right?