August 14, 2022

E Gets a New Dress

 Several years ago, I made a couple versions of McCalls 6559 for vacation. Although, I apparently only blogged one.  And at this point, my daughter has most of those dresses.  Recently, I saw her wearing one and asked if she needed a few new versions.

 Last month, while I was at FabricMart with SewCamp, I bought 1 piece of daughter approved fabric and one I knew she would like.  The nice thing about this pattern, is that if you're fabric is wide enough, there's a lot left over.  


 Not one to waste huge pieces of fabric, I went looking for a similar pattern to make Eleanor some summer dresses with.  I asked the Fine Sewing Folks in my Instagram stories.  Ultimately, I chose the Hey June Handmade Racerback Dress.  And then, operating with a deadline as I do most of the time, I set out to make 5 dresses and a tee in a day.

 I got this 1 dress for Eleanor finished.  She, of course, put it right on over her swim suit and loved it!  Because she's a little peanut, I traced the size 5 width with the size 8 length.  It's perfect for this summer, but if she grows any around, it won't fit for long!  And honestly, the length is perfect.  We just happened to be at Sesame Place, so I know at 5 years old she's 46" tall.

 I started with the single blue dress for Krystle that has been cut out for years!  Since 2018 the fabric was left over from a piece that Marjie bought during Fall 2018 Sew Camp. Back in the old days (pre-#lifeofaninnkeeper and being old) I would have stayed up and finished all 6 of the projects and delivered them the next day.  But I got 2 of the 3 fabrics sown and I'm okay with that.  The mustard dots will get made sooner rather than later.

 Do you sew for anyone other than yourself?  I never really used to, but Little Miss E is so excited every time she gets a new dress I can't help myself.

June 20, 2022

Backing Fabric Myosotis

 Sometimes I wish I had Roisin's knack for naming a dress, because mostly mine are called what they are:  they type of fabric combined with the pattern name and there you have it!  And this is no different.

  Earlier this year, I had Bird-in-Hand Fabrics quilt a quilt top that I had made years and years ago.  Why is this important?  Because I fell in love with the backing fabric that I picked out.

Blush Amelia by P&B Textiles


 I could see it as a long, button front myosotis dress!  Only this time, I wanted just a few things different. 

 I started with the bodice from the myosotis take 3 but added a collar and collar stand and ties from the front darts.  I will say, this was a little challenging to make, mostly because I was flying by the seat of my pants.  Since I had cut the neckline slightly deeper in the back and lower in the front, I ended up making the collar twice so that it actually fit.  And now, thinking about it 2 weeks after I made it, I cannot remember which collar fit.  Oh well, I kept all the correct pattern pieces (I hope).


 Also, at some point during construction, I freaked out and thought I was going to have to buy more fabric.  Not really sure why.  Oh, wait, because I thought I would use one width for the back of the skirt and one for the front.  Umm, the fabric is 108" wide - there was plenty!  

  I knew from measuring my blue floral dress that I needed 40" of finished length on the skirt.  I wanted this dress to have a deep hem, so I cut the fabric for the skirt portion at 44" and then I cut 1/4 of the width from each selvedge, so that there was one large piece 52" wide for the back of the skirt.  Selvedges to the center front and I added my favorite side seam pockets to the skirt front pieces.
   

 Once the skirt was constructed, I pressed up for the hem, but did that last.  Then I made the two ties.  They were cut from 'scraps of fabric' 3" wide and folded in half, turned, pressed and then topstitched.  I then carefully tucked the ties into the front waist darts before sewing them up.  


  I also sewed the collar and topstitched it before adding the collar stand.  And because I used all the facing pieces, I literally just sandwiched the collar between the bodice and the facing.  Is it the right way to do it?  Maybe no.  Did it work?  Absolutely!  Would I do it this way again? In a heartbeat! 

 When I gather the skirt onto the bodice, I try to the leave the center front flat.  So, for this pattern that means the gathers don't start until the front waist dart and then gather around to the other waist dart.  It seems to work for me. 

 And that added waist tie?  It's just tied loosely in the back.  Not really pulling anything in, just adding a little something extra!

  This extra wide backing fabric is so soft and so pretty - I can't wait to wear this dress all the time.  And buy some more fabric from this line.  I bought 2 1/2 yards and could have gotten away with 2.  I have only tiny scraps left over. 









June 13, 2022

Kersoe Hack

We recently went on vacation.  Like the good dressmaker that I am, that sent me into a frantic "I have nothing to wear!"  Seems like the only time I prioritize sewing for myself lately is pre-vacation.

Also, I got a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas and I wanted to try and make some fun family tees for vacation.  That's a post for another day, but important to this story.  See, I stopped into Old Navy to purchase some plain tee shirts.  While I was there, I noticed All.The.Gingham they had in stock.  Darling dress and flirty tops.


This boring beige gingham dress totally caught my eye.  I think I was planning how to make it myself before I was really even out of the store.  I sent Carolyn photos from the car and then started thinking about where I would start.

I tested the Kersoe top for Jenny way back when.  yep - it's in blogging back-log and on the side of my closet with clothes that still need photos.  But when I got home, I tried that puppy on again, just to make sure it fit like I thought it did.

It did!  And the wide straps would be so much better for being in the kitchen in the morning cooking.  The lining felt like the right place to cut for adding a gathered skirt.


So, this is what I did:
  • Retraced the Kersoe top a size smaller than what I had originally tested; 
  • Took an additional 3/4" out of the back for a swayback adjustment;
  • Forgot to take a smidge out of the center front;
  • Cut both the front and the back on the fold;
  • Shortened the bodice pieces another inch and half at the sides, curving to an inch at the center front (will add that half back at center front, if I do this again);
  • Remembered to add my label to the back lining;
  • Sewed the bodice and lining together at the neckline;
  • basted the armholes together, trimmed away the seam allowance and then added bias binding;
  • left the bias binding visible on the public side of the dress.


 After adding pockets to the skirt front, I then gathered two widths of the fabric to the bodice, hemmed it and then went on vacation.


While on vacation, the dress was gushed over because it has pockets


And then on the very last day of vacation, even though I tried a few times before then, I made my daughter take the camera when we went to Mukilteo for lunch before coming home. 


This dress made from orange gingham from the fabric closet might be a little too sheer with the sun behind me. But that's not going to stop me from wearing it!


What I will do next time is:
  • narrow the center front just a smidge - like 1/4" just to keep the straps from wanting to slip off my shoulders
  • Use 3 or more widths of fabric for the skirt.  While there is plenty of room, this dress doesn't feel as floating as some of the others I have made where the skirt is just 2 widths of fabric.




So, how did I do?  I think my dress is better than the Old Navy inspiration dress for a couple reasons: 
  • those spaghetti straps wouldn't be good
  • the color would make me look nekkid
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