Monday, October 5, 2015

Sewing: My Little Denim Dress

Some of the trends returning lately have taken a minute to sink in. Jumpsuits, for instance. (I'm on board now.) Culottes took a little less time but there was still a brief pause. The Little Denim Dress however? I was there immediately. I love the look. Chic, casual and comfortable all at once.

Especially if we are talking about stretch denim, which of course we are. 

When I first saw Kelly's Lille pattern, I knew it would make the perfect LDD. While hunting for the right stretch denim (I found this at Hancock Fabrics) I made a Lille in gingham, but I couldn't wait to get to this. 

 I love it. It was nice to sew this pattern again, too, after making a few alterations for fit the first time around. You can find information about the Lille pattern at the Sew What Club. It was the women's pattern for their first month's subscription. 

I decided not to line the dress because I didn't want to interfere with the stretch denim. So I used bias tape to finish the neck and sleeves. This red, white and blue tape had been in my stash for some time. I still want to use it in a starring role but it's my little secret in this LDD.

Another not-so-secret is the fact that I left out the zipper! I thought I'd try to squeeze in the dress with the back seam basted to check the fit before installing the zipper and it went on so easily I decided to stop there. I must admit it's a bit awkward getting it off so I may install one at some point but for now I've just stitched the back closed.

It's been fun wearing this dress with gold heels, but I'm also looking forward to pulling on some boots and adding a cardigan for cooler weather. Maybe a wrap cardigan sewn in a sweater knit. There's one in the pipeline from Delia for this month's Sew What Club subscription and I can't wait.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sewing: Pink Pleather and Gold Maren Dress

When I saw the Maren dress pattern designed by Jessica (CINO) for The Sew What Club, I knew it would be perfect for Tess! It's such a classic design for a little girl. I'm a big fan of the collar and dropped waist. This is one of the Septembers children's patterns that come with a subscription.

I sewed the Maren dress for Tess in a perfect rose pink vegan leather from Girl Charlee. The dress was for her birthday party, which had the palette of pink and gold so I doubled the collar and added one in gold too. The gold fabric is performance lycra from Jo-Ann.

I found a round gold button in my stash that was the right match. The single button closure makes it easy to put on this dress. Which is a good thing because Tess has been wearing this dress to every "dress occasion" since I sewed it.

Tess's birthday was not only a pink party, it was a pink puppy party! So I thought it would be fun to sew a matching purse with the party mascot on it. Stay tuned for a puppy purse tutorial.

I'll certainly be sewing the Maren dress again! 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sewing: The Denver Dress in Black for the Unbiased Tour

I'm sure you've seen the launch of the Pattern Anthology Unbiased collection. It's the perfect thing to arrive on the heels of my "wear more dresses" summer. I'm so excited about the four different dress patterns! (Not to mention the tunics that accompany them.)

It was difficult, but I choose the Denver Dress from Blank Slate Patterns to sew first. And I am thrilled! I see myself throwing this dress on quite a lot. It's sporty, yet flattering, and my husband tells me it's also quite dressy. It would be great layered too, or with a chunky scarf.

I picked a safe fabric: some drapey ponte knit in blank from Jo-Ann. And now that I have my feet wet I plan to sew at least one other version of this dress (straight? with cowl? in a sweater knit?) before moving onto to the three other great patterns in this collection. 

Melissa did a fantastic job designing this dress. I love the angled pockets and princess seams in front and the knit cuffs to add a cozy factor. Once I had the pattern printed and the fabric cut out sewing it went a lot more quickly than I expected. (Knits are so fabulous that way!) I seriously considered whipping out another one that same evening.

I made one little adjustment to the pattern by adding two waist darts in the back piece. I found I had some extra fabric there. The pattern includes great instructions for a SBA and a LBA, should you need one for the perfect fit. 

Congratulations to the Pattern Anthology team (Kate, Shauna, Melissa and Andrea)! I can't wait to see what the rest of the their tour sews with Unbiased. Get your pattern bundle here at a huge discount for a limited time.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sewing and Giveaway: Uncommon Goods for Fall (win $75 to shop)

This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods, but all opinions and selections are mine. Uncommon Goods has provided a $75 gift credit giveaway to one of my readers! See the end of this post to enter.

We are so finicky, aren't we? Always anxious for the next season.... I was so happy to have a sunny summer but now I can't wait for the cool breezes of Fall.

So even though it's still warm outside I am getting ready! I'm looking through my stash of Fall fabrics and thinking about some handmade wardrobe items for myself and my girls. I'm looking online for fun Fall accessories. And I'm dreaming of a woodsy cabin where we can cozy up by a fire.

I sewed this maxi skirt from some crepe de chine chevron fabric I'd stashed away last Spring. I found it in a remnant bin! I wasn't quite sure what to do with such an oversized print (though I loved the colors) until I looked at the chevrons sideways and it suddenly looked right on for the tribal trend.

I didn't follow a pattern for the skirt. I cut half my waist circumference, marked the length and then drew the hem in an arc as wide as my 60" fabric allowed. It's probably a "half circle" maxi skirt.

I added a lining, which I hemmed separately, and sewed them together with 2" elastic for the waistband. It was really simple to sew, but I'd be happy to do a tutorial if you'd like.

I would love to wear this skirt with some trendy new jewelry for Fall. I picked some of my favorite things from Uncommon Goods inspired by the outdoors and natural materials.

1. A Mixed Metal Bar necklace would be a fun break from the collar/bib style, and would work nicely over a sweater:
2. Speaking of mixed metals, I'm really into gold and brass this Fall. I would wear this Chunky Gold Heart Necklace all the time:
3. These Stone Sea Glass earrings are my favorite shade of blue:
4. I could imagine putting the location of my favorite place in the woods on this Custom Map Bracelet:
5. This Trinity Wooden cuff would look fabulous with a rolled-sleeve denim shirt:\
6. I would love to dangle this handcast (from the real thing) Blue Pinecone necklace around my neck this Fall:

Do you know Uncommon Goods? Not only do they have a great selection of handmade jewelry (see here) and other unique (uncommon) products, but they are genuinely focused on sustainability. Part of their company mission (which you can read about here) is make certain they are environmentally friendly, socially responsible and an ever-more rewarding place to work. It's an approach to be admired, and one I hope becomes less and less uncommon.

You should check out their great selection of gifts for women, which is conveniently categorized here. It's never to early to get ideas for the holidays, or perhaps you want to treat yourself for getting the kids successfully back to school!

1. I've always wanted one of these Hand Embroidered State pillows to throw on the couch in my some-day cabin:
2. Next to that couch will be a side table with a clever bowl for snacks, such as this Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag (we tend to be hungrier in the colder months):
3. I wish I could put an agate wall with backlighting in my cabin bathroom but these Agate Coasters might satisfy my craving for semi-precious stone:
4. Cabin or not, this individually thrown Make Waves Yarn Bowl, is just the thing for curling up on the couch with some knitting this Fall:

Have you already spent the $75 credit in your mind? Enter the Uncommon Goods giveaway right here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sewing: Linen Midi Skirt with Patch Pockets for

Hello! Meet my new puppy, and my new midi skirt. Everyone loves puppies, right? So I thought she'd make the perfect prop for photographing this linen skirt I made for BERNINA's We All Sew blog. (I'm an ambassador for the BERNINA brand. I sew with a BERNINA 580, which I love.)

I love the midi skirt trend in all its incarnations: pencil, pleated, full, wrap.... This full gathered skirt with patch pockets gives me the chance to revisit the skirts my friends and I wore (gasp!) a couple decades ago. Linen makes it lightweight and breezy so it's really easy to wear.

The pockets make it practical. And I think a high waistband is flattering on everyone.

I've been wearing this skirt with t-shirts and flip flops too. 

I've got a complete tutorial for making this skirt to fit your measurements at We All Sew. It's really quick to sew. It's not too late to jump on the trend!

To check out the other tutorials I've created for BERNINA view my We All Sew profile.

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