Navy Shirt Dress with Stripes – sewing slowly through tough projects

Here was the game plan! I was so excited to whip through this dress and make a really nice classic look… but… it’s only been going “sew sew” (is that a pun? It’s supposed to be)

The first challenge was that once I was home, I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked this fabric after all…

It felt very classic and sort of like a polo/golf vibe. It’s a cotton men’s shirting fabric. I thought it would be neat to have a striped shirtdress in my wardrobe, but then I started to question if I actually liked it.

At first, I gathered the skirt but it had too much volume. It was not very flattering 😦 there is no picture of this, but beleive me, it happened and wasn’t good.

I tore it off and really thought about a way to achieve a less busy look. After some time, I decided that pleats could be the answer! I hoped the pleats will be flatter yet still break up the stripes and make a nice A line silhouette. It started to get better! I used an inverted box pleat.

Last but not least! I visited F&S fabric store to pick up some unique buttons and made a sash on the bias to finish it up. I also actually hand pick stitched the collar too as inspired by my sewing friend George who showed me a jacket he was working on that used this technique!

Ta Da!

Also I think I’m going to make this a little less anonymous. I dont think it really matters…

With the pleats, it was much easier to align the stripes between the collar, bodice, and skirt! This also makes the sash pop a little bit more since those stripes go diagonally.

Overall, I feel like I achieved the look I set out to create, but I will be a little more discerning with my in-store fabric choices so that I hopefully feel more confident throughout the project.

Last but not least, I’ve learned that the two daughters of my husband’s coworker have visited the blog and are going to be taking sewing classes! Just wanted to say HI! They are about 10 and I really can’t wait to hear about if they like their class!!! They have a very cool Mom for encouraging them too!

Wedding Veil Final Look

The Veil found a home with my cousin! I am so happy for her and her husband and it was a lovely ceremony and evening with family. They had really nice friends and it’s exciting to see them doing well 🙂

Here’s what 4 months of hand beading for a cathedral veil looks like:

Her dress was so pretty it’s hard not to look at that too!

The beaded edge went all the way around with ivy accents. I really enjoyed this and if a future project arises, it will be interesting to try with the tambour needle possibly instead 🙂

Red Shorts part 2

It was time to do the fly and start the welt pockets! (With a new technique)

Click through to read more

Continue reading “Red Shorts part 2”

A Dress Two Ways for a Hot Day

My Grandma and I have matching dresses! She is very fun, active, and free spirited. I though this semi-psychedelic tropical print would be great for summer!

I made her a mumu and embroidered the edge of her neckline with a few beads on top. For myself, I took the remaining scraps and made a little tent shift 🙂

Our air conditioner is broken and we’re having a heat wave. This is the perfect outfit to wear around the house today!

Perfect for the hot weather!

Upcycling a Yellow Dress!

We’re back from Chicago and it was time to tackle some of the projects I have hanging around the house.

A few weeks ago I went through my closet and picked out some clothes that I wasn’t wearing any more and wanted to donate. In that process, I unearthed a dress that had a yellow skirt and white bodice. The bodice had become worn and a bit yellowed but the skirt was still wonderful material. It was time to make it into an official skirt!

Goodbye! I will salvage the buttons

I accidentally broke the invisible zipper when I was taking this apart so I added in a new one. I actually hand stitched this in because I dont have an invisible zipper foot and I’m a little nervous about the process still. I need to do a little more research.

I added in the little blue tab to protect myself from the metal head of the zipper. Sometimes I get pretty bad metal allergic reactions and so I’d prefer to save myself from that trouble.

Here’s the final look:

Overall this was a pretty quick project that only took me one evening!  Not sure what I’ll work on next but this project was exciting because it felt good to make something old feel new and become a highly versatile wardrobe piece!

Scarf surprise! Making an old favorite

With the presidential debates starting and a few other shows on tv (the bachelorette) – sometimes you have to find a couch project.

Working on a rolled silk hem

I still have two panels of this Anna Sui silk and I love it so much.

As I’ve started to make scarves, my ability to make narrower and narrower seams has definitely improved. I really enjoy this stitch and I’ve gotten much faster at it.

Here is my attempt to diagram this stitch (drawn while on the train to work lol) blue and grey are thread. White is the folded fabric. Yellow is the needle.

Start by folding the edge of the fabric over towards the inside of the panel. The final hem will be half the width of this initial fold. As you get better, you can make this narrower. It may change depending on the texture of your fabric too. From here, dip the needle into the panel right at the edge of the folded fabric. Pick up 3 or so threads. This is shown in grey in the diagram. Then move to the top of the folded edge and dip into the tube created by the folded edge. Pass the needle about 4 millimeters or a 3/8 of an inch in the tube before popping out. Then try to move to the same exact length of the hem on the lower side of the fabric. Dip in for a few stitches and repeat! After doing about 7 to 10 of these slowly pull the thread while holding the edge of the fabric near the first stitch. All the stitches will start to tighten and pull the top of the fabric down to the lower edge- locking the raw edge in place!! Keep going all the way around the panel and enjoy!!

My first Up-cycling project

I’m now working on my first upcycling project using a silk skirt from my grandmother. She was really skinny so I have to shorten the skirt to broaden the waistline.

I am going to try and make a ruffled gathered top out of a silk chiffon to match but for now I found this old shirt in my closet.

So far, I’ve been hand sewing the chiffon as it helps avoid pulls in the fabric. I’m making a front panel and a back panel that I’ll join at the sides and gather at the neckline.

Vacation Part 3

Today it was time to ferry back to the mainland. First we had a final brunch with the wedding guests and said goodbye to the bride, groom, and family.

We took the ferry back from Quadra and went for lunch with my grandparents.

I decided to break out my Marc Jacob’s crysathimum dress only to be topped by my nana in this yellow tunic! I think this is inspiration for a future project!

We then headed to the ferry to the mainland and we wrapped up the day at a wonderful Burmese restaurant called Amay‘s House.

Here’s the good stuff to make a Burmese Tea Leaf salad:

We almost got to buy this to make fermented tea leaf salads but the restaurant doesn’t actually sell them as they’re so hard to import and so they only give a few to family friends. Oh well, we’ll just have to come back 🙂

Vacation Clothes Part 2

The wedding day was lovely! We looked at the small crabs, clams, and hermit crabs in the tidal pools and I wore my retropom pom 50’s dress.From there we headed to the local farmer’s market and bought some local jams. It was then time to get ready for the ceremony and I decided to wear my mushroom outfit.

The ceremony was beautiful and my cousin wore the veil I had made. She looked so beautiful and it was wonderful to see her and her husband so happy together. Stay tuned for more pictures once I get access to my mom’s photos 🙂Everything about the wedding was beautiful and there was a really cool gigantic long table that looked out onto the small bay.What a fun day to celebrate with family!

Tambour Needle Experiments

For my birthday, D got me a Tambour needle!!!! I saw this technique on instagram and had to learn more. It looks like it will be tricky to start but then way faster for beading and embroidery techniques. It seems like you get more flexibility to sew any direction and place the beads so that they lay nicely on the fabric. I think once I get the hang of it I’ll be able to move with some speed – almost like knitting.

I started by trying to make a flower on some basic light green tulle fabric. I’m going to swap out the button for some loops of beads but for now this was just a test run. It still looks cute too!Look at how far I got! (Click through to page 2)

Continue reading “Tambour Needle Experiments”