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

May 19, 2022

All The Fancy Shirts - Finally!

 I am so blessed to have welcomed a grandson back in 2020!  Because now I can make all of my shirt making dreams come true.  I talked about wanting to make shirts with all the fancy details and contrast here:  Shirt Inspo

SewMuchKnitting's Easter Sewing Inspo

 It all started when I got a text from my daughter about 2 weeks before Easter, asking if I was making E's Easter dress that year.  Umm, I hadn't planned on it, but I could.  Thankfully, I had saved the above photo from Patty's Instagram and I knew I wanted to just basically knock these outfits off!

 So off I toddled to Zooks Fabrics with the idea of finding a beautiful floral with a coordinating gingham. Zooks had hidden way in the back this beautiful, lightweight cotton from France with coordinating gingham in several colors.  The best part?  These beauties were $8 a yard! Krystle and I choose orange. And I ended up buying every last piece of that floral.

 I reached out to Patty and asked her what pattern she had used for the boys shirt and just bought the same exact one.  She used the Patterns for Pirates Lumberjack Shirt which goes from a size 3 months to 14 years.  The only change I made was to cut the front facings and add a seam allowance so I could make them up in a different fabric (refer back to my fancy shirts post).

 For the most part, the shirt for Harris was cut from the orange gingham.  I cut the back yoke on the bias.  And then the yoke lining, placket, cuff lining, under collar, collar stand and button bands were cut from the floral.

 While the pattern instructions are very good, I did refer to David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking book for how to do the sleeve plackets.  Also - I did not add a button & buttonhole to the plackets.  Not on a 12 month size! 

 I did learn that while you can turn the accent button band to the front side, when the collar is open the inside of the shirt shows.  For future shirts, I've turned both button bands to the inside of the shirt, so that the contrast shows at the neck when the shirt is opened.

 The Easter Bunny so thoughtfully stopped by and picked up the kids Easter outfits - umm, I mailed them a box and crossed my fingers it would arrive in time ;)  Here you can see that not only did sister get a dress, she got a matching mask.

 And here's the little man on Easter, wearing his fancy new shirt.  I've since made him 2 more shirts from this pattern.  Now to just get better about taking photos because soon I won't be able to post his face.  Might be time to get a kids sized mannequin. 

 Do you sew for your kids and/or grandkids?  Would you make a shirt with this much detail for a 9 month old?  I think he wore this shirt 4 or 5 times until it didn't fit.  I do hope that my daughter passed it on to someone with a tiny baby boy. 
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