New sewing plans for the new year

After traveling or 4 weeks straight for work i’ve let my sewing fall to the back burner. I did manage to make a few X-mas presents before I started the marathon cross country journey but unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of many of them. One that I did remember was a pillow for my dad. I used the most manly scraps I could find from my stash to make a pillow fit for his oversized brown leather lazyboy.


Tony seems very happy with his vest and has promised that I can have some worn pictures soon.

Another unfortunate side effect of all this traveling is that my  eating and diet regime was significantly impacted…lets just say 14 days of pasta was not kind to my waistline. I do have several dressed that I am chomping at the bit to start but I want to get my measurements back down to normal before spending the time to make custom fit clothing.  Speaking of custom fit Tony’s x-mas present to me was “perfect”!


Since all this traveling obviously means I will be having some income I felt a little easier about buying fabrics. Add to that some amazing deals at Jo-anns and I went a little crazy. On the flip side it means I have lots of material to make plans for 2017 sewing.

2017 Winter Sewing Plans

After the sucess of Tony’s vest I would like to sew a waistcoat to match my brown wool blazer. I don’t have a pattern but some quick perusal of the web lead me to several tutorials on how to copy a RTW garment so I plan on making a doup from a New York an Co vest thats wallowing in the back of my closet. I should have enough of the wool left over for the front and 2 welted pockets and I picked up a bit more of the red lining so that it will match the coat.


I also plan on making another blazer from this same pattern in this small grey check plaid. I purchased some black leather buttons and cream lining. I would love to do a contrasting pocket flap and upper collar in black leather/ suede but i’m not sure how much that would cost so I may try black velvet instead. I sat next to a gentleman on a plane that had a  grey boxy trench coat with black velvet contrast on the collar and I though it looked really cool.


I know my style leans towards the more full skirt dresses but I thought It might be fun to make a 50s wiggle dress for something different. I picked up a few yards of his cotton sateen in the color “blackberry”. The color doesn’t show up to well in pictures but its the most gorgeous deep aubergine color in person with just a hint of a sheen and 3% spandex to make the tight fitting dress a little more comfortable to wear. I also picked up some matching concord bemburg lining….this lining is addictive!

for this wiggle dress I wanted it to channel Joan from Mad Men. I found the perfect pattern, don’t you think?

The next dress I want to make is for a little warmer weather, though I think I could layer it with my tie next blouse underneath for the cooler months. This dress will be inspired by the Luck Be A Lady dress on Modcloth.


I fell in love with the look of this dress instantly but I am sure it would be much much too short for me to ever feel comfortable in it so I pinned it for a while until I found the perfect pattern.

You can see from the line drawing the similarities to the inspiration dress with the folds in the collar and pleated skirt. The pattern has directional pleats but it should be easy enough to turn those into box pleats. I purchased a linen/rayon blend in a sort of washed look navy for this dress along with Ivory linen for the hem.


In the same color-way  I picked up a navy knit with an ivory windowpane design. I have plans to turn this into a long pencil skirt with a high waist.  I would love to make a complete outfit with this pattern Im thinking scuba knit black skirt, heather charcoal jersey croptop, teal coat with black leather accents in the front…. first I want to see how the skirt sews up and if I like the silhouette before I commit to the whole outfit. Lets be honest I need to add more to the sewing list like I need a hole in the head.

I thought my sewing shouldn’t be all about me so I picked up a blue and grey buffalo check flannel to make another shirt for Tony….this one will have snaps per his request.


Plaidatudes collection was 60% off so I went wee bit crazy. I bought 3 yards of this Black Watch Plaid.


It can’t decide yet if it wants to be a blazer or a skirt.

If it does get made into a blazer then I have another plaid that I think would make and equally cute skirt.

And just in case that wasn’t enough…I bought a few more plaids for good measure.



Simplicity 8086 as seperates

I didn’t think I was going to have any more time for sewing this year but I did manage to eke out one more dress on Tuesday before my clients came to Denver for the “Ingredients Gala” . The Gala was the kick-off event for what will be my all consuming job for the next 6 weeks.

I used the last of my fabric from the Denver Sewing Guild sale to make Simplicity 8086


I made quite a few changes to the pattern to suit my needs. When I first picked this pattern up I assumed like most people it was separates ( a dress and and and over shirt). Well a quick perusal of the directions reveled that the over shirt is in fact attached along the neck and armholes. So the first modification was to break them apart.  I had 4yds of fabric and I was able to do the over-shirt, entire bodice and bodice lining in fashion fabric as well as the longer skirt from View A.  I love the rich tones of this fabric and I think the style lines of the dress work well with fabric pattern.


I thought I would share a little mini tutorial on the order of assembly on the dress in case anyone wanted to make them separates like I did. When doing this a sewed some on Monday night and then I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking spatially how to solve the problem and then when I woke up on Tuesday and ripped most of it apart and tried it this way.

  1. Sew the front bodice to the midriff (repeat for lining).
  2. Attach the upper back pieces at the shoulder seam (repeat for lining)
  3. Lay the out side and lining with right sides together and sew along the neck and armholes. Turn and press
  4. Sandwich the upper back between the lower back outside and lining with the outsides right sides together and the linings right side together.Press down
  5. Finally, open out the bodice and stitch to attach the side seams in one continuous line.


Now the bodice should be complete with all the seams hidden accept the center back where the zipper will go and along the bottom where the skirt is attached.

When I got the bodice to this point I tried it on the dress form. There was a lot of excess fabric in the arm hole and it stuck out weirdly. My guess is because it only had 1 dart coming from the waist and nothing in the side seam. To solve this I cheated a dart coming from the armpit to the bust apex to help it lay a bit better.


For the overlay I didn’t quite have enough fabric to line it so I pulled out some teal linen for it. For extra credit I made it reversible as well!



My favorite part of this dress is the back. I think the shape is unique and I like how it is wide set so when you have the overlay on it looks as if there are no straps at all.


There is not much to say about the insides. I had stitched the lining over the waist seem for a very clean look. Also I accidentally bought a 22″ zipper instead of a 16″ so the zipper goes way further down then it should.


I am quite happy that I decided to make this into separates because it gives me so many more options when wearing it.  On Thursday I paired it with a fortuitous Goodwill find  deep teal cashmere cardigan that looks like it was made for this dress. It helped me keep a little warmer and totally changes the look of the silhouette.


My only complaint is that I wished I had lengthened the midriff another inch or so. It sits a little high on me and I think it would look better if more was showing under the overlay.