I’ve been doing a bit of sewing and experimenting with rayon fabrics. Rayon is a cool/breathable summer fabric. That said due to the pandemic, I’ve had to order everything online which makes picking out fabric feel like russian roulette. I don’t have nearly enough knowledge to really understand what I’m getting before it shows up and I can actually touch it.
With that in mind – this rayon fabric was a bit of a surprise. It was way more drapey than I expected. I decided to turn it into a cute loose summer dress.
This fabric has a repeating print with a distinct edge and you call this a panel. I tried my best to position the peices nicely and cut them so that it would be symmetrical. In order to achieve this, I cut the fabric “flat” instead of “on the fold”. Normally you can lay out the fabric and fold it in half to get two of each piece -but by laying the fabric flat and cutting individually you can have more control of lining up each piece.
For this dress, I used the StyleArc Pixie Dress pattern. I really like StyleArc patterns, I think they fit well and have accurate sizing. That said -the directions are pretty hard core. They usually only include one or two pages of mostly text and very few pictures so you really have to have an idea of what you’re doing already. I don’t think I could have used them immediately as a beginner but now I do love only needing to look at one page of instructions the whole time.
I bought a really nice cotton Liberty of London print for my mom from Britex in San Francisco. She wanted some pajamas and I thought it would be a fun project!
I have started using some online patterns and so I decided to try the Closet Core Caroline Pajama pattern. These had a few options and I kind of did a hybrid of their pants with piping but then I cut the pieces to be shorts and short sleeves.
Another thing I finally started to do was add interfacing when the directions call for it. Interfacing is a second fabric layer that can be ironed on or sewn to your outer fabric and it adds a level of sturdiness and structure to the outfit. In this picture below you can see the white fabric getting iron on.
I realized I didn’t take any in progress shots. Well… this was actually a pretty complicated pattern so I was definitely focusing!
The shirt and shorts both have a golden bias tape that I used as piping. This was really interesting because you basically tuck the piping into the area where you’d normally sew a seam such that when you flip it out it appears from within the seam. This was pretty technically challenging and in hindsight using a metallic fabric was also pretty unforgiving since it catches the light. I am still very happy with how these turned out!
Here are the shorts -they have a fake fly, pockets, and elastic waistband.
Here is the shirt! This was a very interesting collar. The shoulders are finished with a flat-felled seam and other seams are french seams. Buttons are from Britex too.
Here’s the inside so you can see the interfacing and inner seams:
This was a fun project that arrived safely through the mail!
I had some leftover fabric from some old projects and I decided to make a new casual blazer.
This pattern is from a cool Canadian brand called Helen’s Closet.
This was fun! I used a series of sewing techniques to complete this. The sleeves are finished with a blind hem, the collar is prick stitched, and I hand finished the back hem. The inside is mostly serged.
I purchased a neat navy stretch fabric from moodfabrics.com and combined it with a very stretchy jersey from our local FS Fabrics to make another tennis dress.
This time, I put the pocket on the left side and it was much easier to hold the racquet in my dominant hand and then pull balls in and out with my left hand. This took a little more time to plan and double check while sewing but it was worth it to figure it out.
I dont know a great way to show off pockets yet but I’ll get there.
Some friends across the country have received their masks too!
Well I pinned and pinned and hand sewed away and then before I knew it all the fringe was in place and one of my best friends was willing to join me to party it up!
I finished the bottom hem of the dress with a hand rolled stitch. Overall this dress included: machine sewing french seams on the sides, machine sewing bias trim finished neckline and arm holes, hand stitched fringe, and hand rolled hem!
I think this is the first evening dress I’ve ever made and it is possibly my best work yet.
I got a bunch of compliments at the party and it was so fun! To make the night even better my plus one was my best friend from third grade!!
The party was super fun and you can really tell because almost none of these are official sewing pictures. I actually put my outfit on in the morning to try and get a few pictures that show the details better. Those are the ones where my hair is not combed lol
Here is a morning video:
Also my jewelry for the night – an old juicy couture pearl and chain necklace and an alexis bittar fox pendant!
Happy holidays! Now it’s time to start working on my chanel jacket again.
Did I post this already? Not sure what is going on. Either way… here’s an update on my 1920s outfit!
I flew back from San Francisco on a red eye and got in on Saturday – I had to do something to stay awake all day, so why not go fabric shopping to start my 1920’s dress? The weather was horrible on Sunday too so Saturday was a perfect time to go to the city and explore a bit!
D came with me and first we got lunch at Cafe China. It was pretty good and cute. We got Dan Dan noodles, wontons, and cumin lamb. Next time we may order a few things we saw other people order lol – there was a really good looking lobster, pepper chicken, and beef shortribs. yummm
Back to sewing! After lunch we went to Mood! It is always fun and we got to say hi to George. We then went to the wool section and got a theory fabric which will become a nice pair of pants one day.
I also picked up a black silk charmuse and a black silk georgette with a 4 inch fringe trim! I studied a bunch of dresses online and decided to make a flapper shift dress.
Here’s the plan:
I will make this with french seams.
Update: I forgot to post this… so here’s how the rest of the project went!
I made the slip! And then I tried to make the sheer outer layer to hang wider over it… but it didn’t look that good. I decided to sew the fringe onto the charmuse and call it a day.
Turns out -this is hard to do!
The fringe is really static-y and heavy and so it started to be very challenging to keep in place. I finally started pinning it everywhere!! And this started to work.
I’ve decided to take this project seriously* so I am going to make a muslin – a test garment out of un-dyed cotton – to test out the fit of the pattern before I cut and sew it in the official fabric.
I visited my local F+S Fabrics to pick up 3 yards of the un-dyed cotton and I laid out my pieces to cut them out. I also labeled each of them because I’m going to bring them all with me to my next stint in San Francisco. I am going to hand stitch the final jacket, so this first muslin will be a great practice. Traveling with a needle and spool of thread is also way easier than traveling with an entire machine! I will be able to work on this bit by bit at night to pass the time (after eating ramen etc don’t worry).
*I am still going to only have tons of fun no matter if the final project is unwearable or whatever. This is all just fun for me pretty much no matter the sewing result.