Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ethereal Dress by Figgy's Patterns

With this post I'm finally through the piles of clothes that happened as a result of a sudden sewing surge I had in the end of spring. Clothes were hanging and laying everywhere in my sewing room and it feels good to have gotten it all out and into the girls' closets.

Today I'm talking about the Ethereal dress by Figgy's Patterns.
I never meant to make them matching dresses. 
Let me tell you what happened....


But first let this post be a great example to why I usually insist on photographing the clothes before they get to wear it. After the first wash the clothes just loose that crispy look that they have when they are fresh from the sewing machine. I always prewash my new fabrics before washing them and that takes a tiny bit of the crispness but not too bad. The first wash after sewing though...that's another story.
The dress to the left (above photo) has been washed and ironed again. The one to the right has not been washed yet at this point. It's quite easy to see the difference between the two dresses. Oh well, whatever. I just felt the need to point it out, ha.


So why the matching dresses and why has one already been worn?
I have sewed quite a few Figgy's Patterns lately and little sister E has been a size 4/5 in all of them. So that was of course the size I made for her when I decided to make her an Ethereal Dress. I tried it on her before hemming to determine length (which I had added) and it was WAY too big. Too big to the point where it didn't work. SO that dress moved on to big sister W (who is 7 years old and pretty average height and weight though to the long and slim side) and the dress fit her perfect...except for length which I fixed by adding the contrast double folded cut on bias piece of fabric (can you tell I'm not quite sure what the correct technical term is, haha).
Little sister E was of course not happy with loosing a dress that was originally for her so I promised to make her a new one in a smaller size. Luckily it's a fast and fun sew.
And right around that time we got a note from preschool asking us to dress the kiddos in red, white and blue for the upcoming preschool graduation and DING...the rest is history.

The graduation dress was finished last minute and there was no time for photo shoots before graduation and that's how the washing before blogging disaster happened, hehe (too dramatic? okay okay!).


SO besides being WAY too big in sizing it's a great pattern. I did found one more mistake though (by checking the paper pattern - see previous post HERE if you want to read about the advantages of doing that). To me it seems that the front asymmetrical flounce is a bit too big. In this case you have to use your measuring tape, turn it sideways and measure the sewing line (not the outer edge) on both the bodice's and the flounce's neckline. They do not have the same shape since it is the curve of the flounce's neckline that creates the flowy shape and you can't just put them on top of each other to compare.
SO I measured and I measured and then I measured again and to me it looks like the flounce is a total of 2 cm too long (from one shoulder seam to the other). Then I measured the front armscye of the bodice and the flounce (which is sewed into the left armscye only) and here it seemed like the flounce's armscye was 1 cm too long.
A very quick fix to all this was to remove 1 cm (3/8") from both of the flounce's shoulder seams. Just like if you had to remove seam allowance from the shoulder seams. 
I hope I'm making sense without photos?!
When that was done it all went together perfectly.


For some unknown reason I decided to make the back closures different. Honestly I barely remember doing it, ha. I noticed it when I took the photos.
The left one with the button and slit is the suggestion from the pattern and the right one has an invisible zipper. I guess I'm just showing you options here...or I'm loosing my mind. Take your pick, ha.


The light blue fabric is tencel chambray from Robert Kaufman and the red dot flounce is made from Nani Iro Kokka Pocho. The neon orange dot flounce is quilting cotton from Michael Miller. I googled around and I think THIS is it even though it does not look like neon on the website at all(??).

And yeah I just had to make a collage of all those faces. Little sister always has to go one step further...it's sort of in her dna I think, ha.

Get your own Ethereal Dress pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dear Prudence Dress by Sew Pony

I love clothes with fun details and the Dear Prudence Dress from Sew Pony is exactly one of those.

The shirring in the center front neckline is such a beautiful detail and a fun one to sew.
It was one of those details where I had to consult the pattern's tutorial to see how she did it and when I realized she put elastic in the very top row I sent Suz a virtual high five. Genius!


If you follow my Instagram you already know that this was W's Fourth of July dress this year. I do not normally sew patriotic dresses for them but little sister E had one that I made for her preschool graduation in May and so of course big sister felt entitled to get one too. And since I really want them to feel that it is an advantage for them that Mommy sews, I felt this was a request I wanted to fulfill. Of course with the small payment of blog photos, ahem.

The two fabrics are a stripy cotton shirt poplin. And a cream double gauze with red dots from Nani Iro Kokka Pocho. To my delight (and my credit card's horror) did I realize while writing this post that Miss Matatabi still carries it in her Easy shop HERE.



I changed a few things on the pattern. I changed the shape of the pockets from square to curved. I felt that went better with the rounded collar (and yes, I'm probably way overthinking it, haha). And then I changed the lining a bit. I basically changed it into a facing instead by shorten it. The whole upper bodice is lined and that is overall a great idea. Except if you live a place where July is burning hot like we do. Suz very cleverly uses the bottom of the back lining to create a casing for the elastic, so I had to find another solution for that feature.
Since the dress already had shirring elsewhere is was an obvious choice to add a couple of rows of shirring instead. When using shirring instead of a measured piece of elastic you loose a bit of the control regarding the width of the back. It all depends on fabric, numbers of rows of shirring, the machine's tension and techniques used. My shirring might be the reason for the front skirt to pull towards the back side like you can see on the photo above but it's not a big deal to me.


And sometimes I really wish I followed my own advice! If someone asked me if it is clever to sew rows of shirring on a back waistline in a straight line, I would have said nope. Since the waist is shaped somewhat as a cylinder you really need a curved line for it to appear horizontal/straight. What happens if you do a straight line, you may ask? Well, look at the photo above, ha.
What I should have done was to put the dress on the child and then put a few guiding pins in what appears to be a straight/horizontal line and then sewed my shirring after those pins. OH WELL...there is always next time!


The collar is perfectly drafted and drapes SO well! I will always recommend to make your inner collar a tiny bit smaller than the outer layer. I have a trick somewhere in THIS post that makes it all super easy. 
I wish the collar had notches though to help placing it on the neckline where it meet the shoulder seams and where it stops (and the shirring starts) at the front. It just makes the sewing process more smooth and it helps eliminate mistakes.


Oh boy, this dress is just so freaking cute!
There is one thing I think I will change with the next one I make and that is the width of the front bodice's waist - although I first have to look into if the problem is my back waist shirring being too gathered. But on W there was just a bit too much fabric when the dress hung freely on her. It could be easily fixed by gather the bottom of the front bodice a bit and then gather the front skirt a bit more than it already is. I'll have to experiment, ha.

I also want to add that I have a habit of checking the paper pattern before I even touch my fabric and I cannot recommend this enough for several reasons.
One reason is the obvious which is to check if the seams matches up. You can never trust seams when they are cut in fabric because they can stretch or the fabric has shifted a bit while cutting. But the paper never lies (if it is printed and taped together correctly of course, ha). 
And yes, on my list of posts-I-will-probably-never-get-done is certainly How to Check a Paper Pattern. Gah!

Another reason is that it helps you understand what you are about to sew. You can't check a paper pattern if you do not know which parts go together. So you might spend 5-10 minutes checking paper pattern pieces but you will gain that time or maybe more in sewing time because you know what goes together now. And when you get more experienced it will also help you with the order of the sewing process. I know you have the tutorial from the pattern but again, the less you have to consult that, the more time for sewing.....and maybe you will start feeling more courageous about finishes etc. Who knows where it can leads when you start checking paper patterns haha.
Lastly it will help you with your general understanding of patterns and how they go together.

I originally wrote the above because I found a small mistake in the length of the front and back side seams but it is all fixed now! Phew, for pdf patterns that you can fix, update and send out a new version.


Going cross-eyed is a new feature in this 7 year old's facial expression vocabulary so naturally we needed that in the post too.

So the conclusion is a GREAT dress which will work all year round since it comes with 3/4 length set-in sleeves too. I could totally imagine this dress in a thin lovely wool and fully lined of course. Oh my head is already spinning. I love the cap sleeves for warmer weather.

Suz has her Dear Prudence tour going on at the moment and soooo many amazing dresses are popping up over there. Check it out yourself HERE.

Get your own Dear Prudence Dress HERE.

Thank you! And ehhh happy belated Fourth of July to my American readers!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Box Pleat Tunic plus separate Ash Pants.

This top, or more precise the bow on this top, is a good example of sometimes mistakes happen for a reason. I will explain a bit further down in this post....


This top is from one of my newest purchases of Japanese sewing books (at least until those 3 news ones I have ordered arrives, ahem! Yikes, I might need an intervention, ha).

It's pattern b Box Pleat Tunic from the English translated books called Girly Style Wardrobe by Yoshiko Tsukiori. HERE is a link to the great blog Japanese Sewing Books that always makes great reviews/presentations where she goes through the book style by style.

The book is one of my favorites simply because I actually want to make a big number of the styles. Some of my books I just enjoy as inspiration and eye candy and then there is maybe one or two I want to make but this one is really worth the money.



The style is simple. A raglan style top with wide sleeves, a big center front box pleat and then the cute bow.

The printed fabric is THIS cotton poplin from Organic Cotton Plus.
The baby pink in the bow is a cotton voile and the mustard is a viscose found in my leftover bin. Actually it is a leftover from my first STYLO contribution which you can see HERE.




So let's talk about the mistake which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I had a hard time deciding which fabric to make the bow with. And I didn't have enough of the printed from the bodice so that was out of the question. In the end I decided to go with the mustard and then I made a piping with the pink. First mistake since the piping made it all too bulky! Second mistake was not to put interfacing on the mustard viscose. I had one of those discussions with myself....to interface or not to interface....and I guess the lazy gambler won....well, until I finished sewing and it just looked so bad.
 Overall the finish just looked...not very good. BUT lazy still won and I went on with it....until I had to rip up some of the very last stitches from when I closed the bow by sewing in the ditch from the front, catching the inside of the bow. Well, it had slipped a few places and when I ripped up the stitches to try again I somehow managed to cut a hole in the fabric. And THEN I finally decided that enough was enough and start all over again with a new bow, ha.

This time I swapped the colors so pink was the dominant and mustard the 'piping'. Except this is a faux piping which is part of the bow and the inside of the bow is mustard too. Together with some added interfacing this created a result that was SO much better it is almost incomparable.

The morale of the story:
Yup, cutting holes in your fabric sucks but sometimes it's just the universe trying to tell you that you should not have gone down this road in the first place.
(Okay, I made that up, hehe).



And then we have these lovely, loose and easy (in every way) pants. The pattern is the pants from the Ash Jumpsuit from Petit a Petit Patterns. The patterns comes with a separate top and pants pattern pieces too so you do not even have to make a pattern remix....it is all being served to you for the low price of $10.



I made these for spring but they ended up hanging in my sewing room for like two months before I came around photographing them. Jeez! Well, they will be perfect for fall too!
Actually W is wearing them again today since we are having a just-hot-not-scorching day which means we take advantage of the opportunity to wear someting else than shorts and t-shirts. 
Yeah, boohoo I bet you feel really sorry for us and our semi-tropical temps, haha.




These are made with tencel denim which means this is the third post in a row I'm giving you made with that material. I told you I was not quite done using it, ha.



The style is ultra simple which is exactly what you need sometimes (both to wear and sew!). An elastic waist and hem plus some side inseam pockets. Clean, simple and ultra comfortable, ahhhh!



There was something about this photo above that just screamed black & white to me...so here you go. I hope you agree?!

Thank you!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Soft Denim Overalls

It does not take a lot of browsing around to notice that denim overalls are all the rage these days. And the cool things about kids is that they (together with adult supermodels) actually looks great in them. So yeah, I'll admit it...this post is a projection of what I really want to wear myself but know not to do. Oh boy, I would look so ridiculous, especially in the loose baggy version I have made today, ha.


These overalls are from the Japanese sewing book called Boys and Girls Clothes and Goods. Or at least that is what the Etsy shop calls it...what do I know since it is all in Japanese.
I bought the book at the Etsy shop called Pomadour24. I can totally recommend that shop. Tons of different books. Unfortunately does it seem like this book has since sold out. But here is a photo of the book cover and the style that I made in case you want to start searching for it elsewhere or ask if they can get more. The service is great and friendly there!



I have to make the dress version too. So so cute!!


I did have some problems with the fit.
The biggest size in the book is 130 cm...and since W is around 123 cm that should not be a problem. But when I did the first fitting halfway through they were too short. We could choose between the pants being pulled up way too high (the style is obvious meant to be loose fitting and low hanging so that looked ridiculous since the crotch is fairly long) or we could keep the crotch loose and low hanging and then the front flap would stop somewhere mid chest...and that looked ridiculous too.


Luckily the pattern had me adding 3 cm seam allowance to both the top of the pants and the bottom of the front flap which later was suppose to create a casing for the tie band. SO I ripped that seam up again, sewed the waist seam with 1 cm (so I lengthen the pants overall with 4 cm) and then I quickly drafted and cut a separate casing to sew on afterwards. Before I finished I did another fitting which was lucky because it turned out the sides of the front flap was now too long. Gah. SO I ripped up some of that waist seam again and curved the bottom of the front flap so the center part stayed long and the sides pieces were shortened with 2 cm. and THEN things finally started looking okayish.

What's the morale of this story? Doing a midway fitting if you are sewing a new pattern is a very good idea...even if it means you won't finish the garment that day!
Yes, yes I'm patting my back for remembering it this time, hehe.


As you can see here it is a very loose style. And if I ever made another pair (if she wanted to wear them, wah) I would probably add even more length to the back so they were even more hanging in the bum area.


I decided to add an elastic too in the casing so it was not only the tie band that should gather the whole thing. I think that gives a better control of the gathering.

I love that the pattern comes with a gathered front side of the front flap and a non-gathered piece for the inside so you do not add unnecessary bulk there. Good pattern making there!

The fabric is tencel denim that I also used for my Ishi Dress. See it HERE.
Perfect for this garment.


The t-shirt is another Celestial Tee from Figgy's Patterns. You can see my previous version HERE.

And I have made it in this ultra lovely soft stripy bamboo knit from Fabric Depot's webshop.
When I grabbed the link for this post I noticed it was on sale. I might need some more. It really makes stunning garments because it is oh so soft and the drape is simply perfect!


So yeah, I might love this outfit but W's facial expression clearly shows her opinion about the pants. Ugh. I kind of knew it beforehand but hey it was worth a shot. And the t-shirt has been worn a lot already, soooo I guess that is something.

Thank you!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Ash Jumpsuit Turned Dress.

I have the ultimate summer dress for you today. Okay, actually it is a top and a skirt but worn together they certain look like a dress.


I love the Ash Jumpsuit by Petit à Petit Patterns and I have always wanted to try to remix it into a dress somehow. And here we are over a year later.

It has been done before. Check out THIS amazing version from the wonderful Inês / La Folie Sewing Booth. Love the idea with the shirring!


The original pattern can both be made as a whole jumpsuit or as separates. From the beginning I was planning on making it as a whole dress but when I did the first fitting I realized that separates looked just as good and for sure has more options in the long run, right!

HERE is a link to my original Ash Jumpsuit Pattern post by the way.


I still absolutely LOVE that elastic neckline.


The back is real pretty too. For school I would just add a neutral tank top under. No big deal.


And then we had our little garden hare join the photo shoot. Awww.


I love this fabric SO much. It is quilting cotton but soft and totally works for this style. It is Anna Maria Horner. Honor Roll, Overachiever, Burgundy. The colors are so unexpected and goes so well together. You might remember that I used it for my STYLO spread too.


The skirt is self drafted but is basically an a-line skirt which has been added a tiny bit more width (with the slash and spread method). You can read all about that method in THIS post. I used this 1 3/4" wide gold elastic from Dritz as a waistband and it really does not get more easy than that! I have promised a tutorial when I posted a sneak peek on my Instagram page and I am still planning on doing that. Just give me some more time!

I hemmed the skirt with a gold bias tape and as you can see did I take tons of photos of that detail....not.


That is it! Happy summer!

Get your own copy of the Ash Jumpsuit Pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Ishi Dress by Straightgrain Patterns

Since An from StraightGrain announced The Ishi Contest today and I actually sewed and took photos of my version of the Ishi Dress the other day, I thought it would be fitting to move this to the front of the blogging post line. And yes, I actually have a blogging post line in case you wondered, ha. I'm trying not to bore you by overposting so I'm keeping some of them back for the coming weeks.

And I have a funny story for you further down so keep reading......


I'm still obsessed with the multiple color block denim trend and I feel like I still have a few garments left to make before I get sick of it. And who cares about trends, right. If you like it, make it! And I certainly like this dress and I wish it was mine!



Both fabrics are tercel denim and oh boy that fabric is quite revealing for any little sewing mistakes.

The pockets, neckline and sleeves are hemmed with denim bias tape (from Jo-Anns) and I might have tightened it a tiny bit too much because afterwards all those seams had tiny little 'waves' above them no matter how much I pressed on them. Argh.

I thought it was acceptable though - especially since it is a loose style....so when An first saw the dress and declared that she LOVED all the gathers I added to the style I couldn't help laughing and laughing. It was just a hysterical funny situation and poor An was mortified that she might have offended me, when she learned that I had in fact not added any gathers....at least not on purpose.

OF COURSE I was not offended. She did not in any way mean to offend...in fact she thought I was a genius for those gathers, hahaha....now I'm starting laughing again. 
But maybe I should make another one with gathers...like real gathers?!


See E is laughing too. She loves this dress. I made a size 6 for my 5.5 year old and I think it is perfect. A tiny bit too big (room to grow in) but no risk for drowning.


The bias tape in the neckline is actually solely decoration. I still used the facings that the pattern provide for finishing the neckline. I didn't think I could do a nice enough finish with just the bias tape since it has a invisible zipper center back.
So I ironed out one side of the bias tape and sandwiched it between the bodice and facing's neckline seam and then stitched the other side of the bias tape to the dress.

But the pockets and sleeves are hemmed with the bias tape. I used THIS tutorial...scroll down to the 'hemming with bias tape' part. The tutorial is for homemade bias tape but of course works for store bought too!
And do I have to remind you not to pull too much in the bias tape when you sew it on!? Agree, I think this dress is enough reminder, right hehe.


Just like with my previous post I do not have a lot to say about the pattern because it is very good. Yay!
The pattern also have a buttoned back option and I will quickly admit that I did not even look at that one since I decided right away to make this clean and simple...and what is more clean and simple than an invisible zipper, right!



Now go read all about the contest and the insane prizes (click on the graphic above). I almost regret accepting the job as one of the judges because now I can't enter myself. Buuuut I probably needed to make another one for that anyway....maybe with gathers?! (Okay, I cannot get any more out of that joke now. I'll promise I'm going to stop now!).

Go get your own Ishi Dress Pattern HERE.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Antalya Dress by Kid Approved.

Okay, I'll admit it.....when I suggested we went strawberry picking for Mother's Day it was (also) because I could really see this dress go well amongst all the strawberry plants. 
Yeah, I know, yikes the woman has gone mad!
But I promise we had lots of fun and the photos were just bonus and W aaaaalmost didn't notice that I took them, ahem.


The dress I'm talking about is this stunning Antalya Dress. A pattern by my good friend Olga from Kid Approved. You HAVE to check out these two versions that she made HERE. GAH, beautiful!!


I already knew that the pattern was good (yeah, I'm psychic like that) so I went straight to my absolutely favorite piece of fabric that I have just looked at with heart emoji eyes for years and NOW was the time to actually cut into it.

So the thing is that Antalya is actually made for woven and the dotted fabric is this thin lightweight knit (printed insanely off grain, grrrrr)
BUT....it totally worked out, phew.


For the sleeves I used this very lovely and lightweight black voile from Organic Cotton Plus. It is quite see-through so I decided to cut my side/sleeve pieces double and that worked out great.


Since I made most of my bodice in knit fabric I decided to skip all the beautiful back opening options that the pattern has and simply sew a knit rib in the neck opening. Even that worked too - I feel like this dress and I are on quite good terms at this point, ha. Thanks for cooperating!


I love the lines of this dress. It's calling for some serious color blocking....am I right or am I right!?


One last change I did was adding a bit to the length. I'm not sure it was necessary though since the knit already stretched a bit. I made a size 7 for my 7 year old. But now it will definitely be long enough to use in the fall too with tights and a cardigan. 


I don't have a lot to say about the pattern because it is GOOD...very good! You are in good hands when buying and sewing this pattern.


Get your own Antalya Dress Pattern HERE.

Thank you!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...