Fall is in the air

I stopped by Jo-anns to pick up some new patterns while they were on sale 3 /$5. Of course I wavered and ended up looking at fabric as well. For fall the had a huge selection of plaids in and I just couldn’t resist. At first I picked up 5 bolts but I was able to narrow it down to 2. The fist is a blue and black tartan plaid in brushed cotton. I intended to take a picture but it’s currently in the wash.  The second is a rayon plaid, its description says orange and grey but I think its more tomato red.

I just fell in love with the hand of this fabric. It is so soft and flowy which is a delight to wear. Unfortunately that means its a nightmare to sew. My biggest issue was that the fabric just seemed to grow and stretch and shift. I took my time and i’m pretty pleased with the result. I did add some interfacing to the pocket because I just couldn’t get it to sit still otherwise. Its a little stiff as a result but I think a few washes should remedy that. Since I was tired of making shirts I decided to add  an extra front yolk detail on the bias to change things up.

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Did you notice? I cut my hair…also I was so eager to start wearing it that I still haven’t gotten around to putting buttons on it yet. whoops. Unfortunately the grey buttons that I just put on Tony’s shirt would have been perfect for this one so its back to the store for buttons before this could really be called completed.



Third times a charm

I decided to give knits one last try. My fist two attempts were so atrociaus that they ended up in the trash without even so much as a picture. This time around I selected McCalls 7313 which promised to be easy enough for a knit novice.


I picked a a grape colored rayon jersey. It has an incredible soft hand . It may have been a little more difficult to work with but I got there in the end. I wouldn’t say this was as easy as the pattern made it out to be but it is the first time I was able to successfully finish a knit item so there is something to be said for that.

For all the joining seems I used a long straight basting stitch before running on the serger and then pulled out the basting threads. The neck, arms, and hem took some trial and error. On the neck line I tried using a double needle. It was a bear to work with and kept tangling up and skipping stitches.

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On the arms I used a stretch sticth and went around twice to help it look similar to the neck.

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I wasn’t too worried about popping seams around the hem since its so loose so just did a straight stitch while stretching the fabric a bit.

The waist has a hidden elastic in the seam allowance so its super easy to pull on and off but I think it benefits by the use of a belt.  I’m thinking a tan belt would also look nice with it. Overall I am pleased with the results. Its VERY comfortable and looks a lot more put together then lounge pants!






Today’s dress is mash-up of two 1940s reproductions : Simplicity 1587 and 3688


I had some batik rayon in my stash from my birthday. While I normally like 50s styled patterns rayon just screamed 40s. I used the bodice from 1587. If you look at the drawing of the red dress on that envelop you can see that the skirt has a drop waist yolk detail. I tend to not like a dropped waists so instead I used the six panel skirt pattern from Simplicity 3688. I figured since both were 1940s it wouldn’t be too much of an anachronism.

This pattern has a lot of little interesting details that make it fun to sew. The sleeves have a stretched piece of elastic that create a soft gather.


It has a side zip but a little key hole opening in the back with a button and rouleau loop closure.

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The front has a gathered yolk with a floppy little bow. In this picture you can see one of the other changes I made. I did an inverted pleat at the waist instead of the gathers and lined them up with the seams on the skirt.

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True to 40s style this dress is unlined. Just a small facing around the back and the rest of the insides are just finished with a serger.

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I think that it needs some shoulder pads to really sell the silhouette. Tony says it looks like i’m going to church.

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The Anna Dress

I used the bodice of the Anna dress to refashion a cotton dress. Now it was time to use the Anna how it was always meant to be. A floor-length flowy dress with a daring slit. Anna1_1024x1024

Since this is a London based company the shipping rates to get the pattern were astronomical. Luckily they also have a PDF option. So I purchased the PDF, and printed out 67 sheets of paper and spent the night taping them all together. Next step was to get Swedish tracing paper. This stuff is very cool. Its transparent enough that you can see through it for fabric placement, but sturdy enough that you can sew it or drape it.  Its sort of reminds me of sew-in interfacing. Any who. Spent another night tracing the pattern and making my standard 1.5″ length adjustment to the bodice. I found the whole process a little tedious so I don’t know if this is something I will tackle again in the near future, but its always fun to try something new.

Finally it was fabric time. There was the rayon challis that I have been eyeing at Joann’s for quite some time and I thought this would be the perfect dress for it. It was a boarder print but it was 60″ wide so I bought 3 yards instead of the 5 yards that were recommend for this dress. I was originally thinking about just having the boarder around the bottom of the skirt, but fate had it that I would also need to have to boarder around the top as well. It turns out I like this look better anyway.


The rayon was very difficult to work with, It slipped so much so the lines no longer mach up 😦  On the pattern review board people seemed to think that this was OK since most RTW dresses wouldn’t match up either. Since the fabric was so lightweight I decided to do french seams. The inside of the dress feels so comfortable and soft as a result.




In fact my only complaint about this pattern is the facing. I hate them. Even with under stitching it keeps flipping to the outside, and the bulk of them is visible under such a drapy fabric.  This pattern also comes with a midi length version as well which I was thinking of doing in a Silk Noil   which I can dye. If I do, you better believe the facings will be replaced by a full bodice lining!



Another first for this dress is and Invisible zipper. I received an invisible zipper foot from my mom for Christmas and I was excited to give it a try. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. Invisible zippers are way easier then the traditional ones!


This dress is begging for some warm weather, of which I have none. Come summer time I know it will get a lot of wear.