Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Checking In

Simplicity 3774 is almost done. I still need to hem it, press that annoying crease out of the center front of the skirt, and tack the zipper tape down and add a hook and eye. Just the little finishing details.
Yes, (sigh) it's tight. But I really don't feel like blogging it right now, so I'll share more pics and all the sordid details in another post.

To make myself feel better this past weekend, I made a couple of new muslins. The first is Simplicity 2363.

This is one of those day/evening dresses that Simplicity does. I have to laugh- evening dress??? Yeah, right. If by evening, you mean "I'm going to curl up on the couch and watch TV before bedtime." That long dress in the photo is Ugly.

Normally I don't go for dresses like this. It looks kinda "hippie chick" to me. But something about that pink dress in the photo grabbed me. And I've learned that when a pattern or fabric speaks, I should listen.

Anyway, the dress just looked cute, cool, and comfortable- perfect to make out of a pretty cotton print (which my stash is brimming with.)

So here is the muslin:

The dress has a significant amount of ease. The finished bust measurement of the size 14 is 41 inches. So I decided to start with a straight 14. This is how it turned out.

I actually tried this on late Sunday night and was rather disappointed. I tried it on again today, though, and things aren't looking so bad. But I'm relying on you, tasteful readers, to be honest with me about this. The dress does tread very close to the dreaded maternity look. That's kind of to be expected with this raised waist, blousy style. Honestly the front doesn't really bother me- it was the back that made me want to cry Sunday night.

Please excuse the tacky hot pink ribbon tie. I am totally too lazy to make a fabric tie for a muslin!

I don't know why, but the back is not looking as awkward today as it did Sunday night. This is a pretty stiff cotton, though. I think I definitely need to use a fabric with a little bit more drape. I was thinking seersucker originally, but I might need something softer.

I really like the bodice. I love the way the side front and side back panels attach to the bodice pieces. The seam allowances on the muslin are turned under on the outside shoulder pieces and along the front opening, but not around the neck. Finishing that would open up the neckline a little bit more.

The bust circumference is perfect. I do plan to add about 1/2" of length to it with a princess seam adjustment. I also think I need to go up one size, maybe two in the skirt. I've got a little bit of room in the 14, but it doesn't look right. I need a bit more ease to get the look of the dress in the photo.

This dress is super easy. There is no zipper or buttons- it slips right over your head and you snug it up (if you want to) with the optional ties. The ribbon was just for the muslin. The pattern actually has a piece for a narrow self fabric tie with optional beads on the ends. I think a slightly wider tie (maybe 1" wide) might work better for me. I also would probably add maybe an inch of length. As it is there is barely enough fabric to turn up a hem- I'm thinking mid knee.

So there you have it. Should I go ahead and make it for real? For what it's worth, when I put it on and went outside to take pics it was incredibly comfortable. The cut of the bodice allows for good air circulation and it felt great. I guess if nothing else, it would make a great house dress.
That's it for now. Stay tuned for a post on the pink and green dress and a report on the other muslin I made this weekend- a 60's retro pattern! Have a great week!

Monday, June 21, 2010


There was sewing over the weekend. I didn't finish anything, so the only pics I have to share are "in progress" shots. You may recognise the pretty floral print and the lime green contrast fabric.
It was slower going than usual because I had to make piping. (I almost never use the store bought, pre-packaged piping. It's never available in just the right color, and why not use what I already have on hand anyway?)

Oh, and by the way, I'm making this. Simplicity 3774, view D, the wrap bodice with cap sleeves and the slim skirt shown in pink on the envelope. My fabric even looks similar to the fabric on the model! Except I'll have piping!

Stay tuned. I hope to have a dress to show later this week.
I hope your weekend was productive!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Morning Inspiration

There hasn't been any sewing going on this week- things have been kind of hectic around here- but I have been looking around for inspiration. I found a little at ModCloth.

Check out the Maven of Majorca Dress:
All you vintage/retro lovers out there, is this dress not awesome? The 1940's called... And it's red! The price tag is a little high for me, and I have a phobia about shopping for clothes online (those pesky fit issues) otherwise, I'd order this baby. LOVE it!

Then there's this one, the Rosie the Riveting Dress:

It's a little "young" for me (code word for too short), but I love the sweet floral print on navy blue, and is that neckline not the absolute cutest? Piping and tiny pink buttons! That little cut-out is sublime!

This one is called Brocade for You dress:

I just like it- the dark shimmery colors, the full pleated skirt, and that round yoke that up close looks like it's gathered/shirred. Modcloth even suggests pairing this one with a motorcycle jacket- I'm squealing with delight!
And then there's the Coral Line Dress:

Once again, too short, but how glorious is that woven yoke? I'd try to knock it off, but I don't know that I have the patience!
And lastly, something for the kiddies. Dancing Dragonflies from Orient Expressed.

I wish this came in my daughter's size. Unfortunately, it does not. It doesn't look too hard to replicate, though. I even have a plastic tub full of seersucker, and a whole library of smocking plates. I'm pretty sure I even have dragonflies...

Well enough window shopping for me. I'm off to sew. I cut out a dress last weekend and it's been sitting on my ironing board all week waiting for me to put it together. Hopefully I'll have something to show later this weekend. Then again, it's absolutely gorgeous outside today and I could use a little exercise and some sun. (I could really use the sun!)

Happy sewing, all!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coming Soon...

There's not much sewing to report right now, but I have several things "in the works." Check out the fabrics in the photo. Pink, orange, and yellow is one of my favorite color combos. Throw in a little lime green for contrast and I'm hooked! You'll be seeing these made up soon. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Still More Instant Gratification Sewing

I am on a roll making easy little dresses!

This is McCalls 5358, View B, the one pictured in yellow on the envelope.
I made a size 8, with size 12 length. It' a little loose- I could maybe go down to a 7 next time. But it's okay- the Princess loves it!

I used a turquoise blue print with a white grid and cherries scattered across it. I LOVE this fabric- it's so cute! I got it at Hancocks several years ago planning to make a BSY with a smocked insert. I finally decided that was never going to happen and it was time to go ahead and use it.

What goes perfectly with red cherries on blue fabric? Why, red rick rack, of course!

The contrast straps and midriff band are made out of red cotton with tiny white dots. I purchased it seperately, but it goes with the cherry fabric perfectly. I used a red zipper and you can just see the little red heart shaped button on the back.

The pattern was easy to put together and well drafted. My only complaint is the zipper insertion instructions. They have you baste the raw edges together at CB and then just press the seam allowances back and stitch the zip on. I did it their way because I was in a hurry and, well, kind of lazy. It would look 100 times better to stitch the zip to the outer bodice and then use the lining to cover the tape on the inside. Totally do-able, but I didn't feel like dealing with the midriff band seams so I just did it the easy way. No one is ever going to look at the inside and none of you are going to tell, right?

The dress turned out great, and like I said, the Princess loves it. I might make it again. Heaven knows I have plenty of girlie cotton prints stashed away! I like the other views, too. The Princess likes halter style tops, so I might give View C or View D a go.

I hope your weekend was nice. Stay tuned for another (grown-up) muslin update this week!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Instant Gratification Sewing

Here are a couple more summer sundresses made from M5797. The first is made from a super lightweight daisy print twill. (Don't look too close. Somehow, I cut this sucker out shamefully off-grain. I'm amazed that the dress hangs decently!)
I love this print. I used a pink on pink dot print for the contrast band and the tie.

And the contrast is set off with lime green rick rack. Sweet!

I particularly love this little version. This fabric is left over from a S3900 I made a few years back. I love this fabric. I bought it at Hancock's a few years ago. It's an Asian print plisse- so crisp and cool and the colors and print are so cute. I wish I had stashed more away. They had several prints, but I thought I was being good and only bought these two. Sigh...

I used a plain white grosgrain ribbon to set off the contrast on this one. Aren't these fabrics adorable?

This pattern is so much fun. And simple, too. I kind of have a formula for it now: 1 main fabric, 1 contrast fabric, 1 coordinating trim. The possibilities are endless. I'd like to try spiffing up the top of the dress with a fabric flower or something... Maybe next time.
I'm going to give this one a rest for a little while now. I still need to finish the Burda sheath, and, dare I admit it... I started a new muslin last night. Stay tuned...