Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Do you like my hat? No I do not.. Goodbye, Goodbye

Because this year's Project Fabricland's advanced students were participating in a "Head to Hem" challenge, I needed to make a hat to wear to the fashion show too!

 And what could be better than a sewing machine hat?! The Bernina sewing machine is from a music box that was on sale at Fabricland. It was a little bit damaged so I got it for only $5!. I knocked the machine off the music box base, and started to design my hat. I happened to have the perfect size mini wooden spool, so I threaded the machine! 

For the base I covered two layers of buckram (for extra support) with the fabric I used for my Cambie dress. The bottom layer is covered with pink wool felt and the edge is finished with a bit of grosgrain ribbon. It's kinda wobbly so I attached the hat part to a headband by sewing two loops of elastic through all the layers. Then I used my high heat glue gun to glue the plastic machine to the base. 

That's it! I got a ton of looks with this accessory. Not everyone thought it was fabulous. But I know it is!


My boss Nancy and I workin' our hats, and me-made outfits!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Embroidered Cambie Dress

If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should btw) you would have seen a sneak peek of this dress probably over 2 months ago when I finished it. I was SO happy with how it turned out, the fabric is perfect, the back was matching up and the fit was pretty spot on. And then the day came when I had to wear it for a special event... And the zipper broke, while I was putting it on. I may have had a total meltdown, and put it aside for weeks until I could mentally face the zipper again.  Anytime a dress has a waistband and a gathered skirt it does the invisible zipper gives me a hard time.

Anyway, this is my second Sewaholic Cambie dress. The first version I made was out of the Kokka fabric, and I made the A-line skirt. I tweaked the fit a little for this one, raising the neckline, and making a new sweetheart shape. 

The fabric is this crazy cute. It's an magenta embroidered cotton on a black background, made in Italy that I bought at Fabricland. We only got a small amount of this beauty, so I quickly snatched up 3 yards. We sold out out of it the next day! The skirt I gathered on the crossgrain to take advantage of the edge of the embroidery. I carefully zig-zagged around the flowers on the bottom and cut away the excess black for my hem. The whole thing is lined in black Robert Kaufman savannah cotton, I love this stuff for linings, it's SO soft and not too expensive. 

I wore this dress to the Project Fabricland fashion snow, and it was a big hit! I even made a hat to match it since some of the students participated in a Head to Hem challenge. I'll show you my hat later this week! 

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Quilt Dress

When I saw the Mary Adams quilt dress (below) I knew I had to make my own. I've been obsessed with her book The Party Dress Book, she has so many different ideas for dressmaking, including an entire chapter on piecing. So I bought a fat quarter bundles on etsy, I'm in love with the April showers print from Moda. I also got a  flying geese ruler which is just a triangle with different sizes on it, to make the pieced bodice front and skirt front. 

Mary Adams apron dress using hand pieced "tumbling blocks" from client's great grandmother.. Great inspiration from all those unfinished quilt pieces found at estate and garage sales..
Inspiration from dressmaker Mary Adams

I used the smallest flying geese measurement for the bodice, It worked out that four across fit perfectly for the front piece of the princess seamed top from a Colette pattern I knew would fit me. I made the front side pieces the April shower print and the side back and back pieces in coordinating prints. The triangles are made from 9 different fabrics, and a light green seersucker background.

The skirt is made from strips of the fabrics, some from the Moda collection, some I got at Fabricland to match. The strips are cut at different widths, and sewn together and attached to the other pieced part I made. The skirt "quilted" part in the front is two sizes bigger than the bodice, 2 1/2 inches, I also made them four across, and gathered the whole thing to attach to the top.

The skirt was a little bit short so to hem it I made a facing from the leftover seersucker and sewed it at 1/4". This dress is fully lined to prevents all the pieces from unraveling. It is so fun to wear...I wore it to work and people stopped just to look at it! I might even make another one if I fall in love with another group of fat quarters. It was a lot of work to make, I spent a ton of time cutting and piecing, but I think it was worth it!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oh Deer Dress: Simplicity 1419

Oh deer, ANOTHER DRESS. This is the new simplicity lisette pattern 1419 that came out in the Spring. It's a basic dress with the cute detail of a peter pan collar and keyhole. It has an option for sleeves and includes a loose jacket in the pattern. I made this dress as a store sample for Fabricland, for the summer class camp. I made no changes to the pattern, kind of a wearable test muslin for myself. 

The fabric is an adorable quilt weight cotton from Art Gallery Fabrics. I think the deer are just so sweet! I used a lace print in yellow for a little contrast. There are a few things i would tweak about the fit if I was going to make this again. I have to remember to made the bodice longer on these patterns. It's always just slightly too high and it ends up bugging me. Another thing that bugs me is when the arms are too wide...I will have to cut them down a bit. 

This pattern is cute and useful, a great way to show off a print, I think I will make another down the line. 

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dollar Bills Dress

I made this dress like a million years ago and am finally getting around to sharing it. This is another fabric from the Amy Sedaris for Windham fabrics, I'm obsessed with her. It's also another version of Simplicity 2444; the worlds most classic pattern. I made the sleeveless version and finished the armholes with some polka dot bias tape. 
It is so quick to whip together, I can't even count how many different time I have made this pattern. Its perfect for a fabric with a strong pattern, that maybe you can't think of another use of it. 


I wear this dress ALL THE TIME. Maybe too much. It matches so many different cardigans, I can't help it. Last week I wore it to Atlantic City, but it did not give us any good luck at the Craps table. It still made me feel like a million dollars (corny corny). 

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Two Senchas

HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE! I have been in such a winter funk, I feel like I have been buried under the piles and piles of snow. It's been impossible to take pictures for the blog, even though I have been sewing tons of cute things! It's finally melting and I'm back to show you two versions of this classic Colette pattern; The Sencha Blouse. 

The first version is made from this record print quilt weight cotton. It's a little stuff, especially with the the high neckline. I'm not used to such a high neck and if I was going to make this version again I would lower it a tad. I lengthened the top by about 2 inches, I think the other versions I've made in the past are a little short. 

For my second version I used a Anna Sui heart silk print from Fabricland, (it's still there and even on sale now). I love this print, and am more comfortable in the keyhole version of the Sencha top. There are some things missing from the pattern that I added. I interfaced the button band, which the pattern does not tell you to do. I also started the first button about 1/2" from the top of the blouse so it doesn't gap and the top. From my understanding the official rule of buttons is that the first button should begin half of the distance of the button from the top.

These patterns are the perfect basic, and I love how versatile they are. I usually wear them with a cardigan, and pants to work.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Macaron

Happy Valentines Day loves! Today I wanted to share my latest make, a Valentines Day Macaron dress from Colette Patterns. It was on display at Fabricland but I finally get to wear it today. The fabrics are a quilt weight cotton from Westminster fabrics in this adorable heart and floral print. 

I had to make some changes to the pattern to make this one work for me. I increased the bodice length by 2 inches, and moved the bust dart down.The sleeves were also too tight and I adjusted that pattern. Instead of the facings I used a bias seam binding, in pink polkadots. I interfaced the waist band, which the pattern does specify, which seems strange to me. Waistbands need interfacing, HELLO.

 This dress was kind of a bitch to put together. I think I had trouble with every single seam. It was just one of those projects that did not want to go together. I don't think it was because of the changes I made, I was very careful about being exact. The pleats in the skirt were too big for the bodice. The side seams didn't match up, I had to ease one side of the invisible zipper and could only get the bottom half of the waistband to match up. grr. Despite my issues it looks cute on. I especially like the addition of the ric rac to the sweetheart bodice


Valentines day has to be postponed for me, this blizzard we had is keeping my hubby at work for a double shift. I'll be lucky to see him for a half hour before he goes back to work! 

But Valentine's Day isn't just for couples, it's about love! I am grateful to everyone that reads this blog! Thank you for all of your comments, and kind words of encouragement over the years. I love you all! Happy Valentines Day! XOXOX

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