We recently went to a wedding and I wanted a new dress for the rehearsal dinner. It had been a while since I had to wear “real clothes” and this Carolina Herrera fabric from Mood seemed like just the right thing.
I used the Style Arc panel dress pattern to make this shift dress and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. My brother in law was nice enough to take some photos while I was in Chicago too!
I had a nice matching blue fabric scrap that I could use for bias tape to finish the sleeves and neckline too.
Alright it’s week two of MeMadeMay and here’s a roundup!
First, I recently made this rayon knit peony dress with fabric from Britex (a San Francisco store I used to visit in person) This is a dress pattern from StyleArc
Next I used some chambray from a local Jersey City fabric store to make this StyleArc Panel dress. To are the fabric a little more interesting I embroidered it with intersecting lines – inspired by the Japanese Sashiko embroidery technique.
From here I had made this top last year. When we originally went to Chicago for the start of the pandemic we only brought winter clothes. We ended up staying with family for so long I made some summer clothes and this was from fabric I ordered from Spoonflower. I like the print but I honestly don’t like the cotton very much -it is not very soft. The skirt used to be a dress but the top got old so I cut it off and made a skirt.
Next is this ruffle top that I traced from the style of a jcrew shirt. This is also a 2020 pandemic project. Fabric is cotton from Joanns
Next is the rayon panel dress from MoodFabrics that I recently competed. This is a StyleArc pattern.
On Saturday I wore a Liberty of London cotton voile dress that has a gathered neckline (self drafted technically, also basically a bag). Also a homemade mask from Joanns. This is me getting my second covid vaccine! Yay! I am lucky and thankful.
This brings us to today – I did not feel that great today so I technically broke my memade streak and only wore old store bought pajamas and a Blackdome t-shirt from my grandpa. I did finish these curtains that I had been working on to add a little privacy to our den.
This was a hard project!! I ordered a brocade from MoodFarbics and I really like the way they turned out. That said – I’ve never made something THIS BIG before. It was a lot of fabric and the execution had to be pretty spot on so they would hang okay. I ended up sewing the bottom and tops by hand so that I could control the fabric. When I tried with my machine, the fabric was pulled around and they became uneven. This also involved a lot of precise measuring. That said, I am happy with how they turned out and now I am going to make even BIGGER ones for our bedroom window.
Well, my life has changed a little bit lately and so it’s been much harder to sew with the dedicated amounts of time I had earlier.
I have also had some more unusual seasonal events which have mixed up some of my work compared to my standard project cycle.
For November, I have almost lived in San Fransisco so I’ve been far away from my machine. I was not there for approximately only 5 working days. I have had my hand sewing project with me, but I also finished reading all of the One Punch Man internet comic so my down time has not been as dedicated. I’ve also really focused on meeting friends and coworkers for dinner. I think being a little more soc-ial vs sew-cial is worth it – a healthy balance is always good.
Either way! I have been buying some fabric over these trips and it’s time to do a quick check in on my plans of items I want to work through.
Ironically, this is all being written in the plane to Chicago for Thanksgiving!
Here’s my game plan:
– I have a green cotton fabric I planned to turn into a pencil skirt. I would like to do that unless I can think of a cooler project.
– I want to finish my muslin jacket and move on to the official Chanel fabric. I will need to buy a cool trim for the jacket too. That part is still TBD. Question though: Should I try to incorporate some feathers? I think I will not…. but I kind of want to.
– Flapper dress: this has started with a silk charmuse black slip that I’ll drape under a sheer black silk georgette. I will sew the fringe onto the georgette in sweeping diagonal drapes so that it hangs nicely from the hip. Then if I turn around or spin, there will be the sheer outer layer with fringe and then a dark thinner inner dress. I think it will be cool.
– I then have a few summer fabrics in the collection that need to be converted. A pink linen flamingo dress, and red striped and white striped dress shirts.
– I also have a fabric I bought for my dad but I haven’t made yet. This is getting old! I need his measurements.
– Then! Something new! A pair of grey wool slacks for D! These will be interesting. A new fabric and moving into a more intense tailoring and menswear space. I am excited and I will go slow.
– I also want to upcycle an old lace skirt my Nana gave to me. She was SO Skinny (hi Nana haha) I will shorten it so that my waist can fit where her hip bones & bum used to be.
– Finally, a staff memeber at Britex gave me a great idea for my leftover chanel scraps – I could turn them into a little purse. Thinking on this more, this seems like a great way to work through some of my cooler and small scraps. I can also make some pencil cases or whatever. I have enjoyed making purses in the past and so I think this could be a really fun next step. I think I may do this with the extra fabric from my Nana’s skirt too.
Alright! Flight update! This is a bit of a bumpy one! I am glad science works such that differences in air pressure lift up airplane wings. Is that how it works? I dont remember what the slower air over the upper curve of the wing actually does. Right now I can mostly just focus on hitting the right buttons with my thumbs as we move side to side lol. My mom will not like reading this. I will schedule it to publish once she is already in the air. Haha.
Also! Since we’re on the subject: my favorite tip for riding out turbulance – take a moment to think about if you’re actually in physical pain during the bumps. Not really right? The jostling is weird and unexpected – but it’s not the same as stubbing your toe or even hitting your funny bone in your elbow. That always helps me focus in and push away some of my concerns.
Anyway! Lots of sewing fun and an amazing surprise coming in the future!!! I won’t talk about that yet -that will happen in December or the new year 🙂
I am super appreciative of all of you reading this and all the comments and encouragement!!! I am really looking forward to working through these projects and picking out something even harder when they’re complete!
I had so many things for myself planned, I wanted to mix in one thing for D before it started to get too cold to wear a few of the summer fabrics we bought in Chicago.
It was time to try and make a short sleeve Liesl + co shirt! This is a really nice feeling cotton/linen and if I remember right it was only $3 a yard on clearance at Fisherman’s Fabrics!
It all came together quite nicely!
I took one picture… here was the inside of the collar about to be flipped right side out and have the pointy part of the collar attached.
I think the back lines up pretty well too!
Last but not least I used bias tape to finish the sleeves and bottom. This really made the shirt hang nicely. You can see the detail on the sleeve (a few of the stripes appear diagonal aka “on the bias”)! This sleeve is rolled up here to show this detail.
Next time I made one of these, I am going to start playing around with making the inner placket and underside of the collar different colors. I see a lot of that on the train and I want to give it a shot. I also ran into my mood-train-friend George the other day and we were talking about techniques to make things fancier. He is working on an awesome reversible grey shawl collar jacket. One day I’ll be like him!
I made this over the weekend and didn’t take any in-process pictures. Oops… this is another version of the Vancouver Dress (although I acquired the Simplicity pattern in Chicago).
This is one of the lates fabrics I got at Mood. I wanted to make a dress with a slightly more businesslike print.
It’s hard to tell but I also beaded the collar and edge of the bow with little white seed beads. (Continuing to slowly use the remainder of my wedding veil supplies)
Since I didn’t take any action pictures, let’s do another quick vocab session. At least in my understanding of sewing so far, the design on a piece of fabric is called the print. The guided paper shapes that you trace to cut the fabric is called the pattern.
Within a print, there is something called the repeat and this is how often the design on the fabric copies itself across the whole piece. These can be direct copies or they can be put on slightly staggered placements to make it harder to tell the shapes are repeating. Another neat type of fabric which I use for scarves all the time is a panel. This is a single square or rectangle in which all the elements of the print design are tucked inside and it usually has a clear border. You have to be more careful with pattern placement.
It’s all fun stuff!
I made this dress so quickly, I am thinking I want to try and add some challenging pattern modifications to my next outfit. I want to keep improving my techniques.
I have been listening to the Love to Sew podcasts for a few weeks now and I continue to really enjoy them. One thing they reference a lot are our fabric stashes or aka fabric collections. These are all of the fabric we’ve bought ahead of time with something planned, but haven’t planned yet.
I try really hard to keep my collection of fabrics reasonably small and manageable but right now I do feel like I have a few more things than usual. I am planning to work through these with a few quick wins and then I’ll hopefully be ready to move on to some exciting fall projects (and new fabric!) Some may also get moved out towards the summer of 2020.
First, I am going to finish a wrap dress for my mom by taking in the arm holes. I fit this with when I was in Vancouver and it was too big. Stay tuned for a dedicated post!
Then I have these random PJ pants planned in fleece for D. I think this will be really easy because I’ll make a gathered waist with a pull string.
Then I have a sewing team project! This is totally TBD but my neighbor and I are going to make colorful culottes! Stay tuned. I may use this striped cotton.
Then I have other pending items
Red shorts for D in a nice cotton
Small circle dress shirt
A shirt for my dad without- I need his measurements though so this has been on hold.
Possible ruined white fabric for dress shirt (photo not included – I may dye this with Avocado pits or tumeric!)
New Chicago plaid short sleeve dress shirt & silk for something…
Then I have my remaining Tokyo cottons which as still TBD for a project
And last but not least I have this linen from Vancouver!