Green Square Dress with Bias Detail – Finished!

Here’s my next dress for fall:

After the navy dress, I felt a little hesitation starting this dress. I wanted to make a style that would be unique and push my design skills a little.

I had also been inspired by some of the Dries van Noten dresses which had panels which hung down past the hem. As I made the dress, I also decided to do it without sleeves so I can layer it over a turtle neck.

It was fun to put this together and the fabric is SO SOFT!

I also made sure I used the direction of the stripe threads to make the fabric face the same way throughout the outfit.

First I made a normal dress with a standard back zipper. From there, I played around with the plaacement of the front panel. To add flexibility to the fabric and give it a looser drape, I cut it on the bias (diagonal)

Ta Da!

D is becoming a very good sewing-photo-husband

Last but not least, a great friend was in town from Saskatchewan and we got lunch! Afterward the Equine Immersion Program was having an even called Trail to Zero with NYC police officers and veterans to raise awareness and help prevent veteran suicides. They were riding 20 miles through the city because every day approximately 20 veterans across the country die by suicide. It was very neat to see them have such a unique event and it was great to talk to the people involved.

Also featured – the Tokyo purse
There were probably 30 horses total!

It was a great day! Now it’s time to kick off the process for a few new back to school dress shirts. Stay tuned!

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!

The Chicago Shirt

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.

Ta da!

I am quite proud of the alignment of the stripes across the front and onto the sleeves.

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!

How many poodles can you fit into one outfit? Finished top & surprise finished skirt!

My loud scrap busting sewing continues with the poodle top!

This was the leftovers of the blue squares blouse that was too loud… and I think I’ve transformed it into something else that is also… kind of loud

Here’s where we left off. I was finalizing the fit and it was SO MANY poodles!

This peplum used only a forward facing pleat and not a box pleat. That made it have a little less volume as a box pleat includes two pleats that face in toward each other.

From here, I sewed on the peplum and decided to drop the neckline into a v-neck. I think this makes the outfit a little less busy.

This also inspired me (who are we kidding? D totally said I should just make this) to make a basic black pencil skirt. I used the skirt block we developed at Mood U. That pattern is the ULTIMATE pencil skirt and I’m so happy with it.

I think these go well together. 🙂

Look who tried sewing! The poodle peplum

I am so proud of D! One night we were talking and I asked if he would ever want to try to see how it worked and he agreed that it could be cool.

With that in mind, last night I started to make the poodle peplum to expand further my Carolina Herrera print wardrobe. At first I was working on all the bodice seams for the front and back panels. It then became time to attach them at the shoulder and when I looked at the very straight seam it occurred to me that D could do it!

I grabbed him from the other room and picked up a scrap of I folded in half.   From there I showed him how the presser foot went down and then how to hand crack a few stitches forward. I also briefly lifted up the fabric to show how the shuttle circled around to pick up the thread. From there, it was pedal time! He did a great job going forward and then we backstitch a little!

It was time to try again on the final pass on the french seam! I had already sewn the inner seam and so we flipped it inside out and d sewed it down!! I’m so proud of him! See below for more bodice pictures.

Continue reading “Look who tried sewing! The poodle peplum”

New Shirt Flounce Blouse

After I made this first white blouse from Joannn’s by tracing a shirt from JCrew, I really liked it but when I made it I forgot to account for seam allowances. It was a little tight when it was done.

One day in Chicago it was so hot and humid and I started to go crazy. My sister in law let me borrow a tank top and when my shoulders were free I almost wanted to start buying all my clothes again (omg stretch fabrics are so comfy and I dont sew with them that often)

Something had to change with that white top. I still wear it all the time so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to make a second. I found a white cotton in the eyelet section of mood -it basically has little puffs of threads kind of in a polka dot pattern.

It was time to try and make a new – slightly bigger – shirt!

It turned out great!

New Dress for My Mom & Finishing the Knit Class

I saw this fabric at Joanns and new she would like it!

It was time to test out the skills I learned in my knits class at MoodU

Continue reading “New Dress for My Mom & Finishing the Knit Class”

The Vancouver Dress – Finished Project!

While I am also working on this Simplicity dress with my friend, I wanted to understand the fit of this pattern better before we completed the project. I hope that this will let her have the most positive experience and not be discouraged by any type of fit issue.

With that in mind! It seemed like a great pattern to use for the linen I picked up in Vancouver at Atex Fabrics.

I cut this fabric perpendicular to the graneline so that I could take advantage of the floral ombre effect.

From here – it was sewing time! This pattern is actually quite nice and pretty easy. I had never sewn with linen before and the weave of this fabric was definitely looser. This meant there was some chances to get wavy seams and cutting straight lines was a bit odd a challenge too. Through lots of pinning and pressing I managed to still make it through pretty quickly.

Mmmm side gather…

Next time, I may make this dress in an even lighter silk or a wintery fabric! Or crop it into a top! I liked this first version.

Here was a process picture pretty far in where I was double checking the fit ahead of finishing the french seams.

I think the ombre makes this looks really nice!

There was one other REVOLUTIONARY element of this project. I finally cut my bias tape for finishing the arms… on the bias. This has always seemed so wasteful to not use straight strips of fabric bit I realized I was starting to get wobbly necklines because the bias tape didn’t have enough give and stretch… I know it’s so obvious… this turns out to be one sewing corner you should not cut. The more you know!

Ta da! The Vancouver dress!

With pockets!

Sewing with Friends!

Recently my downstairs neighbor visited and brought her sewing machine! She has a heavy duty singer and it will be exciting to work through this project together. She made a t shirt quilt in the past but now it seems like she’s really interested in starting to be able to make tops for herself that will fit better than store bought. I am so excited to help support this!!!

Today we picked out a simplicity pattern and took our measurements. We are going to make this dress (one each)

From there we cut out the pattern and copied it because I’m a slightly bigger size. Copying took a while!!!! Oh man. This is always the slow part but she hung in like a trooper.

We will work on it a little next weekend and chip away bit by bit. Stay tuned!

I really enjoyed this because this was one of the first times I’ve been able to think about everything I know and try to explain some of my decision making based on things I learned in the past. It was really fun! We may try knitting in the future too. So much fun!

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!