Simplicity 8051 AKA: the girly confection

I was one of the first people to sew up this pattern into my flamingo dress . I was too antsy to try out that unique triangle back cut out that I just couldn’t wait any longer for someone else to iron out the kinks and tell me the pitfalls.

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Well nearly a year later and 4 more people have reviewed it on pattern review but still no one has sewn up the View B. So once again I jumped off into untested waters.  I am mowing through sewing projects at a pretty steady clip so I decided I needed to take some action to slow down.  I selected a cotton broadcloth in buttercup yellow. Since its a solid I figured the dress could stand to have some interest.  Nows as good of time as any to learn hand embroidery!

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It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. I did both straps over the course of 2 days. I used 8 skeins of embroidery floss for this project. 3 Greens and 3 yellows in light medium and dark tones and 2 pinks in light and medium tones. I mixed the threads  so that the embroidery would have more dimension. It looks very good in person but its a little difficult to capture on film.  I used very basic stitches: the Lazy Daisy, Chain Stitch and French Knots; the latter being my favorite. Once finished I was pretty happy with it so I decided to put some flowers onto the skirt as well.

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The dress is sooooo girly and light and I just want to twirl around in it all day. Perfect for the first fledgling days of spring ahead. The sweetheart neckline with a pseudo pleated shelf bust fits my shape a lot better than the last shelf bust attempt

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One area of difficulty was the construction of the bodice.  Normally you would construct the outside and then the lining as separate pieces and then attach them at the neckline. This allows you to be able to sandwich the zipper in between the outer and inner layer for a very clean look. This pattern was a little different in that  it starts at the top and has you sew each tier of both lining and outside at the same time with one line of stitching. Makes it super stable but it means you can’t do a clean zipper. It took me a bunch of brainpower to figure out how to construct it so that the lining  would be free. I think I way over complicated it but I got there in the end so that’s all that matters.

It’s a shame that this view gets bypassed for the triangle back because I think it’s very flattering. My only alterations were to lengthen the front midriff by 1″ and to add side seam pockets….and of course the embroidery.For my first time out the gate with this artform I am pretty proud with the results and can’t wait to try it again. Perhaps on the collar points of a 40s blouse I have on the docket.

 

Simplicity 2446 Blazer with Contrast

I asked Tony what I should sew next and he picked blazer so that’s what I did! I used the same Simplicity 2446 pattern as I did for my Chocolate Wool Blazer, this time I was inspired by view B and picked up a 1/4 yard of black velvet for the contrast collar and pocket flaps.

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I felt like my last blazer was a bit too long waisted ( I did add 1.5″ to just as standard practice) so this time around I removed the extensions and went back to the original pattern length. I did however keep the arm length adjustment from before. Unfortunately this blazer was not as enjoyable to sew, both the plaid and velvet were a fraying nightmare. Mostly I just wanted to be done with it….now that it is done I love it!

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I remembered to snap a picture of the insides this time before I turned it right side out. In an effort to not make another trip to Joann’s I made my own shoulder-pads this time out of batting and some remnant material. Also in the shot is the fleece that is used as the sleeve heading which gives the shoulder a nice roll.

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Even though the velvet in the collar is interface bottom and top it not as crips as I would like. I did a line of invisible hand stitching in the seams where the collar attaches to the blazer to keep it from looking baggy.

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For the front I sewed button holes in but I don’t think I will be buttoning this so I didn’t cut them open. For the front leather buttons I used small black buttons to secure them on the back side to make it look clean and professional.

 

For as much of a struggle as this was to make i’m still pretty pleased with the results…but I have decided to put off any more jacket/coat sewing for awhile. I just want to make a satisfying girly dress next.

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Simplicity 1544 Men’s Shirt and Butterick 6339 Men’s Vest

I made this shirt months ago but it took me until now to get pictures with my reluctant model.

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It’s not a color I would have expected him to pick but its not my place to judge. He had originally wanted snaps on this but I felt like the shirt looked too  formal for that and he wanted it to wear with his suit so I convinced him to change to grey buttons instead.

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The fabric was really light weight broadcloth so the cuffs turned out well.

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Next up we have the vest that I made him for Christmas. I was a little disappointed in the fit, despite measuring his chest ahead of time the size I made for him was just a tad too small. He could button it but I thought it was too tight to be comfortable for any extended period. I did some triage since I wasn’t in the mood to unpick the whole thing apart and just moved the buttons over an inch. Now the buttons aren’t centered as they should be but he assures me no one will notice.

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I am very happy with how the notched collar turned out. I already have the wool cut out for a waistcoat for myself!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Vogue 8789 – Mauve Sari

The last few weeks have been jam packed full of work. I spent one week in LA doing market research. It was so interesting to be behind the two way mirror and watch what everyone was saying. This is truly something I never would have got to experience or be a part of if I had stayed at my old job.  As exciting as it was after 5  13 hr days in a row I was ready to come back home and see Uzzi and Tony. Then last week I spent tasting 100s of pasta and sauces that are currently on the market so I can pull all the best attributes of each for our project. I never want to see another noodle again!

Needless to say there hasn’t been much time for sewing. I did manage to squeeze one dress in, a Vogue 8789.

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I have a feeling this might be the last dress of the year. The timeline with this client is so condensed the next few weeks are going to be a whirlwind. I have another 6 more trips to take before Christmas and a few other side sewing projects that I will tell you about later. Now onto the dress.

I fell down the pintrest rabbit hole a few weeks ago and was fascinated by the use of indian saris in the 50s that were refashioned into dresses.  I’m not sure if this classifies as cultural appropriation but none the less a few hours later and 7 vintage saris were on there way to me from India.

For my first sari dress I used a mauve cotton with gold woven design. I don’t think it screams indian but maybe I’m just fooling myself.

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The bodice is cut out of the Pallu. Then the skirt is just a large gathered rectangle. I just left the salvage edge on the skirt since 1) I didn’t feel like hemming that much fabric and 2) I didn’t want to lose any of the pretty gold boarder.

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I am quite happy with how these buttons look on each shoulder. They are also fully functional incase I have a giant hairdo to fit through the top!

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The fabric was quite thin so I ended up fully lining the dress in a black batiste from my stash. For the skirt lining I cut a 1/4 circle skirt to keep some of the bulk out of the waist. I attached the facings to the bodice lining so none of the black would accidentally peak out.

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I think my favorite part of the dress is one you cant even see. That gold boarder from the hem was on both salvage edges so I made an extra ruffle and attached it to the lining to give the skirt a little extra volume. You don’t even need a petticoat with this dress now! I covered the top edge of the ruffle with some satin ribbon I had in my notions box. Now thats a detail you certainly never see in contemporary clothes.

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The dress isn’t finished just yet. Since this was my first time sewing a vogue pattern the fit isn’t exactly how I expected. I need to take it in a bit at the waist and perhaps reshape the neck opening a bit in the front so it sits a little flatter.

I’ll have to think of what to do with the rest of saris. Im just not a fan of the gathered waist on my figure. Perhaps I can do a pleated skirt next.

 

 

McCall’s 7351

I had originally earmarked this fabric for another cozy fall shirt but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to do another McCall’s 7351 since I wear my denim one so much.

I didn’t have quite enough fabric but I persevered.  I made extra sure to match the horizontal lines across the bodice unfortunately the placket doesn’t line up on the skirt. I also tried to match the vertical lines from the bodice onto the skirt in the center front and back. Considering I had less fabric then the pattern called for I consider it a success that I was able to pattern match at all! I put the pockets and the yolk on the bias to help save on fabric.


I like the style lines of this pattern and the curve of the hem. It gives a slightly different look then my other shirtwaist standby McCalls 6696. It could stand to be just a tad longer but if I wear it with tights it should be fine.

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Simplicity 8250

I had every intention of going full steam ahead on the blue taffeta dress. Then I didn’t. I couldn’t deny the draw of an easy skirt pattern and I already had the fabric for it!

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I combined the curved waistband of view B with the oversized pockets on view A. Also on the model and directions they have you sew straight to the top of the waistband but if you look closely in the original 1950s drawings you can see a line of topstitching that goes around the waistband curve and connects to the center front stitching. I decided I liked how that looked better.

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The fabric is a yard dyed cotton flannel with a grey and black herringbone pattern. I like the weight of the fabric but if I were to do it again I would chose something thinner for the waistband facing as this has way too much bulk around the center front and zipper.

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This was my first time doing a lapped zipper. I’m not sure i’m sold on it. I may rip it out and do a centered or hand picked application. Again there was way to much bulk around the waistband and it doesn’t want to lay flat.

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My favorite part is the pockets. Rather then being in the seam its a separate pieces topstitched on to the skirt.  I really love how they turned out. I took some pictures with my hands in my pockets and its not the most flattering but who cares!

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Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture until after wearing it for a few hours so its a little wrinkly. The length is longer then the dresses I have been sewing but its nice and warm for the cooler months especially with a petticoat underneath.dsc_0090

All in all this was a fairly easy project depending on how much I wear it this winter I may make a version in a cotton for warmer weather. I would also love to make the bolero that comes with this pattern but I think that would be a little less wearable so its going to have to wait.