Tuesday, April 8, 2014

completed - Anna Dress

My indoor photos are so bad!
 I'm so looking forward to taking photos in the yard again hopefully very soon.

MOST of our SNOW has melted by now, so I really feel like spring is around the corner. This time of year I really feel like making summer dresses! 

I made the version with the v-neck, maxi length with slit.

I read all the raves about this pattern, the Anna Dress from By Hand London and I have to say I agree! This pattern is easy to make and flattering too.  I love feeling dressed up, but in comfy clothes. I'm sure I will be wearing this all summer!

The facts:
pattern: Anna Dress
fabric: brown floral cotton from Fashion Fabrics Club (almost 4 yards)
notions: invisible zip
cost: $16 fabric, $3 zipper=$19
time to complete: 3 days
recommend: Yes! I want to make more, like now.
ok for kid wrangling? yes.

I'm sewing along with these ladies in honor of Roisin's upcoming wedding! I only wish my shoe collection could live up to the challenge. 

Check out the Dolly Clackett Blog for some amazing sewing inspiration.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

finally - Plaid Colette Macaron

This dress has been in my head for a long time! It's funny how it only took a few days to turn it into reality. I'm looking forward to experimenting more with the pattern using different fabric combos.

 Pattern: Colette Macaron

 Fabric used: Olive Plaid Sateen from Fashion Fabrics Club
This fabric was medium weight and worked well to hold the structure of the pleats.

Fitting: This dress fit well out of the envelope. I made a size 10. With the side zipper it can be a little tricky to get over your head! Once it's on, it's comfortable though. I wore this dress to Busch Gardens and rode a bunch of roller coasters in it!

I like the casual but unique design of the dress. I will definitely sew it again!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mad Men Dress Challenge

I am happy to announce I have finally managed to sew along with the annual Mad Men Dress Challenge over at Julia Bobbin!  The past two years the due date for submitting dresses has passed me by, so I am so happy she is hosting it again!

And of course I had to go a with Joan Holloway inspired dress...

Like everyone else, I positively love Joan's style. There are so many of her outfits I'd like to own.  

The pattern I used is from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing.  I've had the book since the week it came out and my plan from the beginning was to make the cover dress. I'm so glad I finally took the plunge. I made a muslin first to work out any fitting issues, but the fit was perfect. I took a little out of the hip area at the end.  My only problem with making this dress was inserting the gussets! Man was that hard! I broke a sweat each time I inserted one in the underarm seam, and went very very slowly. When I had them inserted properly I felt like I needed a shot of whiskey or something (not really since I almost never drink anymore!), but it was worth the trouble. I like the close fitting kimono sleeves on this dress very much.

My fabric is some kind of stretch "bottom weight" from JoAnn. It has some weight to it, so it's good for winter. I may end up wearing this dress for Easter since I feel like winter will never end this year! I usually buy fabric online these days but once in awhile I find the perfect thing at JoAnn's.

  I added the pleated detail to the sleeve on a whim, I like it!

Here is one of the back:

I'm super excited for the sew-along to end so I can see what everyone else made!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I can't believe I built stuff!

Hello readers!  I't been forever since I posted here on the blog.  
I'm still around and still sewing.  Only now I have another obsession hobby, building! This sort of became my middle-of-summer sewing replacement, since my sewing room is in an attic, and it's very hot up there.

Last Christmas I bought myself Ana White's book, the Handbuilt Home, which has had me dying to try building.  This summer we cleaned out the garage and bought the needed tools.  My first project was this headboard.  I had been looking for a basic black wood headboard for quite awhile, now my quest is at an end.  I was shocked how easy and fun it was!! 

Building seems just like sewing to me. Cut raw materials up, fasten back together following directions. I like how clear Ana's plans are, very easy to follow.

So with that under my belt, I took a huge leap and went for the project in the book that I loved best.  Since the time my teens were toddlers I've been salivating over the Pottery Barn Bedford Project Table. The price was outrageous though. So now for the price of the shipping alone ($150), I have my own project table. 

I love all the storage built in here. Two people can sit across from each other.  It's perfect for drawing or crafting together.  

Now that the weather's getting cold, I'm back in my sewing room. Hopefully next summer I can build a new dining room table, like this one.  Check out Ana's site for all kinds of gorgeous, free furniture plans.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Finished Gertie's Bombshell Dress!

Here is a project that's been on my list for a year.  The Sew Retro Bombshell Dress, which is a class on Craftsy taught by the amazing Gretchen Hirsch.  

I had purchased the class as soon as I saw it, then the materials, some of which I had to order by mail, like spiral steel boning.  I finally felt ready to tackle this project this summer.  I knew it would be a challenge for me with all the hand sewing and new techniques.  I had to make sure I had plenty of patience ready, before tackling this one!

It went very smoothly though, while watching the detailed videos.  I knew it wouldn't be a quick project and that was okay.

I chose this cotton fabric because the pattern calls for something heavy enough to support the boning and cups, but not too heavy to drape at the front.  I also liked the vintage feed sack look of this print.

I like the detachable strap!

I've already worn this out on a date with my husband, and I love the way the dress stays up so well.  No tugging or worrying.  Thanks, Gretchen,  for showing me these new techniques for a perfectly engineered dress.  It's my favorite dress I've made!

Now that I'm on a roll for challenging projects, next up my first swimsuit!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finished Colette Taffy

Hello again!  I'm getting really far behind in posting my finished projects, really because I hate taking photos of myself!!  

Yesterday I was on my way to my yearly IEP meeting at the school, and I always try to look smart for that, so I had James snap a few photos in the driveway.

Here is my version of the Colette Taffy Blouse.  The pattern for this is included in the Colette Sewing Handbook.  This is my second make from the book in recent weeks.  I also made the Meringue Skirt, which of course I need to photograph.

This blouse was fun to make and definitely fun to wear.  The sleeves are ginormous circles.  I made this in some type of light polyester that has a nice silky feel.  I got it when I ordered "navy voile" from Fashion Fabrics Club.  Usually I have overwhelming success shopping there, but once in awhile I get a fabric I wasn't expecting.  This one worked out perfectly for the Taffy though.

The sleeves are kind of crazy, I like them.

I highly recommend The Colette Sewing Handbook. It has so many patterns, techniques and beautiful full color photos.  I only have one gripe to mention.  I really wish the patterns were printed on real paper instead of tissue, so they would be easier to trace and keep.  I wasn't able to trace my meringue skirt pattern, and had to use the original tissue pieces because the ink on the tissue paper was too light to see through the tracing paper without losing my mind.  Luckily my skirt fit perfectly in the size I cut and I won't need a larger size.  

Speaking of skirts, I am honored to be a judge again for Crafterhours Skirt Week!!
Check out all of the amazing skirt tutorials to jump start your summer wardrobe.  
Then make sure to vote for your favorite skirts in the reader's choice poll coming up!


I'll leave you with this photo of my ninja and me:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunny Day Laurel Dress

Well the sun has finally come to New Hampshire.  

Yesterday I had a fire going, it was raw and rainy, 40 degrees.  I used that time wisely and finished another Laurel Dress.  Today it was in the 70's and I got to wear it!  Hooray!!  

So I have to stand in the mud to have my photo taken, I'm not complaining!!

This version is in Voile by Anna Maria Horner, bought (on sale) at Pink Chalk Fabrics.
This time I used my self-drafted collar from my previous version.  I also used the keyhole opening idea from the Laurel Extras download (love that!!).  

This time instead of using pleats to shape the waist I drafted in two front darts.

I also used the underlining as suggested in the pattern, it worked very well.  I used a soft cotton and it compliments the voile very well.  This is going to get tons of wear this summer, it's very comfortable!

I got this second one done just in time to enter the Colette Laurel ContestThe Flickr group is full of great ideas for customizing this versatile pattern.

I'm having so much fun sewing for myself, I kind of flaked out on Kids Clothes Week.  Oops!!  I hear now they're actually having it four times a year though, so that's great news, and they have a new blog up and running!