Vacation Sewing Part 2 & Finished Polka Dot Americana Dress!

As mentioned it was tons of fun to visit the local fabric stores and explore using my father in law’s sewing machine. He was the sewist in the family! Next time, I will take a few pictures of his projects!

A Fashion Mate 275

I wish I had taken even more in progress photos but overall this was my first project drafting the pattern from scratch for someone else. It is so exciting to have an opportunity to try sewing for someone else and to see how different adjustments can make the design better for each of us.

It was really exciting to see how much my mother in law liked this dress! She is very into accessorizing – and I see why – she’s fantastic at it!

See more pictures below! And thanks for being such a great muse!

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Vacation Sewing – Exploring Chicago and Vintage Machines!

We headed to Chicago to celebrate the 4th of July and while we are playing some tennis, most of the time is pretty relaxed and I have some free time for a unique project!

This all kicked off with a trip downtown for lunch with friends. We had lovely Giordano’s deep dish pizza. Here is a picture of the “D Special” – bell pepper, mushroom, and pepperoni.

From here we went over to a few streets that had fabric stores! We visited Fishman’s fabric that had an amazing clearance section and a wide array of upholstery as well as garment fabric. 

This is the garment fabric half of the store

I got a cotton for a shirt for D and some tie silk – all for $2.50 a yard!

We then visited New Rainbow fabric and Joann’s. At Joann’s I also got a simple navy polka dot cotton for my mother in law.

Her husband was the sewer in the family and they have a vintage 1970’s Singer! I decided to put my Moodu pattern making skills to the test and draft her a dress.

This is HEAVY!
Getting all the measurements right!
Ta da! Skirt block complete
Top and back bodice done too!
Using all the tools from this other helpful vintage sewing basket
Oh boy! Aren’t we all on the hunt for the perfect pattern!

Stay tuned to see the dress! Hope you all had a great Canada Day and enjoy celebrating the 4th with families in the States. To other international visitors -I hope you’re all having a nice week too!!

Useful Resources – It’s a rainy day – why not learn things on YouTube?

My pattern class friend had a really interesting question about pattern grading (how to adjust patterns for different sizes). I’ve found these videos by Nick Verreos really interesting and helpful.

He does a nice job of breaking down the steps and reasoning of each element of a particular topic.

This post about the different types of silk fabric has been incredibly helpful for navigating fabric stores too!

Also, this video shows ways to conquer a gaping neckline.

A shirt for my mom!

It’s been quite a while since my mom and I picked out this fabric at Mood but it’s finally time to make her a nice shirt! Which buttons would you choose?

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D has to wait more… pattern class 6 project!

I knew once I saw that lovely white fabric it was going to be hard to make a dress shirt for my husband.

I did make him two pairs of pants in a row recently so it’s fair right? He isn’t pressuring me, I feel like I just told the world I would do it and now I’ve put it off a little.

Either way – more about me lol. Here’s the game plan:

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Pattern Class 6: My own design & the complete Les Claypool Outfit

Ta da! Bodice and skirt together!! Thanks Mood University!

We had brunch with friends today and I knew I wanted to be able to wear this in the spring weather and to my final class. This morning I decided that the skirt wasn’t hanging right and so I tore out the seams on both sides all the way to the hip and I re-measured and took in the sides to further taper the skirt. I was listening to a podcast and I kept making one more fix…and one more fix… Suddenly our train was leaving the station in 30 min and I hadn’t showered! Thankfully I had just finished the last last adjustment and we rushed through getting ready and headed out the door. We made it to lunch and after I jumped on the train to class.

All week I had also been trying to figure out what to try to use to design in my final pattern class…

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Pattern Class 5: Terrifying (& Exciting) Pattern Modifications for the Best Fit!

So as mentioned in the last Pattern Class 5 summary, my bodice had some gapey arm holes and it had to be adjusted further!

At first I tried low risk (and ineffective) solutions by trying to take in the sides at some angles to get rid of some of the fabric. After a few tries, it was time to use the techniques we learned in class – why did I wait?

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Pattern Class 5

In class five we learned all about pattern modifications. This was great! It was so neat to have everything we learned in the previous class pull together and then build on it.

It was very interesting to…

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Pattern making Class 4: testing the bodice pattern

I’ve started to sew the bodice based on the MoodU bodice blocks. I’m using the same Carolina Hererra 2012 Mushroom Print fabric.

As I started to sew it together…

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Pattern Class 4 of 6

Today is a very special pattern class. First we are going to make the back bodice and then we’re heading to a friend’s wedding! I am lucky I get to squeeze both in!

I did not want to wear my wedding clothes to class so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take the Les Claypool skirt out for a spin! I got quite a few compliments and one salesperson at Mood recognized it. The shirt & coat are not homemade… yet. (I also need to find a way to take this type of picture and not look like a instagram obsessed person)

I have been trying to sew a new bodice at home using fabric from a store I discovered in my neighborhood! They had lots of interesting prints and good deals. I picked up some cotton I could use to test my bodice pattern block. So far, it’s coming out too big again. I think I am cutting way too big of a seam allowance. I will try to learn in class.

Post class update:

Class was fun! We actually went through different steps to make the back of the bodice compared to the front. I need to ask next time why. I am really glad that they give us all the notes because this means that I’ll get to repeat it in the future.

At the end of class I took my pattern from last weekend and laid it out ontop of the new one. They match pretty close!! Its interesting to see that the class one is slightly wider and had a much deeper shoulder angle.

Below is a picture of the new dress using my homemade back bodice pattern. This was taken in a ton so it will be great to see how this compares to the version completely made via instructions in class.

I think I may make one new dress shirt for D in the meantime… he tore an old store bought shirt the other day so it would be nice to give him a replacement.