A Colorful Charleston Dress


As soon as I saw the Charleston dress pattern I knew I had to make it. It took me some time to decide on which fabric pattern to use, but eventually I went with this gorgeous print called Solstice from Spoonflower in their cotton spandex jersey. The pattern says to cut patterns with the grainline going the direction of greatest stretch but with my particular print this caused some white lines to appear when stretched out so I went with the other direction which stretched better with the pattern of the fabric.

I’ll start my review by stating, this designer writes the most comprehensive and amazing instructions with great photos. Even though at this point I am a seasoned sewist, I learned a few new skills.

I made a few adjustments to the pattern. The biggest one was an FBA (full bust adjustment). My first attempt at trying to make the adjustment off of the Vogue princess seam tutorial I usually use did not work well for this pattern. It made the center panel much too wide. Instead, I used the tutorial recommended by Hey June patterns at Craftsy. It’s called How to Make an FBA on Princess Seams. Per their advice because I was making these adjustments on a knit fabric, instead of my usual 4″ I only did 2″. This was perfect.

Pic of my adjusted pattern pieces.


Once I had made my bodice muslin and was happy with the fit I cut out my pretty fabric. The other adjustment I made was to take out the center back seam allowance on the pattern piece and also cut the back piece on the fold. I would have done this for the back skirt panels but I didn’t have quite enough fabric to make it work, still looks good, ;).

My front pockets did get stretched out a little bit in sewing them together but overall I am so happy with how this dress turned out! Love the fabric and the shape and the pockets! Pockets are always amazing.

I took my time on this project so from cut to finish it took me about 2 days (maybe 10 hours) but in doing another it would go much quicker. Part of the slowness was sewing each seam and then serging instead of just serging them to the first time. Part of this was for fitting reasons but also per pattern instructional recommendation.

And the other fun feature: fun colored serged seams! I know no one will see them but I like that the seam thread colors match the exterior dress colors, :). I love the construction and fit of this dress so much. I definitely see more in my future!

My seam thread colors match the dress, :).

Pockets!

The back turned out great, :). Sometimes I get weird fabric excess around the neckline but not this time!

The shape of this dress is perfect, :).


Side view.

Close up of all the seam lines for the front bodice and pockets.

Ginger Bootcut Jeans

About a day before I took my short little vacation to San Francisco I finally made the second pair of jeans I had planned last year after I made my first pair. But you know how life gets, busy!

The pattern I used was Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Case patterns. My first pair turned out pretty awesome but a little short and a little too big. I also used cheaper denim. This time I used Cone Mills denim purchased from Threadbare Fabrics. Amazing! I cut out a size smaller this time since I’ve lost some weight. I went with a size 10 waist graded to a size 12 hip. I basted the pieces together after installing the front pockets to try them on before doing all the top stitching. So glad I took the time to repeat this step. I ended up using the 5/8″ inseam for the waist but then only 1/4″ inseam for the rest. My thighs are big from all my running. Perfect fit!

I took off 2.5″ of the inseam at the knee of the pattern and then used a 1.5″ hem. The cuffs sit just off the floor, perfect for wearing with my running shoes. I only added a 1/2″ full butt adjustment this time, didn’t change the rise at all, and interfaced the waistband. The other change I made was to decrease the bell of the flares by 5″ each so they were only 19.5″ wide for more of a boot cut. Love the look. Very happy with the fit! Next time I will have a go at the high waist skinny jeans.

As always, very impressed with Closet Case patterns instructions. My fly turned out much better this second time around. And this Cone Mills denim is the bomb! They feel wonderful and barely bag out at all. I swear I wore these 4 days straight after I made them, ;).

Front View


Side View


Back view


Pretty proud of my back pockets, :). Used some free templates provided by Closet Case. Someone mentioned they look like Wonder Woman symbols so these are now my Wonder Woman jeans.

Anna Dress Take 2

I haven’t been blogging very much since I started teaching and taking graduate courses at the same time, but with graduate classes done for the semester and the school year winding down I finally have some free time again!

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I made the Anna dress from By Hand London last year and loved it, but I was never 100% happy with the fit of the bodice. Now that I have lost some weight (about 15 pounds!) I decided to tackle this pattern again. Of course I didn’t read my previous post and started with the By Hand London FBA tutorial and quickly realized why this didn’t work for me the first time I had tried it. I can see how this particular version would be great for people who only need to make 1-2″ of adjustment but I needed a 3″ adjustment. So I went back and followed the FBA tutorial by Another Little Crafty Creation with a few differences this time. First, I started with tracing out the size 10 bodice pieces. Previously I had added 1″ of length to my Anna dress bodice but went with only 1/2″ this time, and instead of adding a 3rd pleat per the tutorial, I added the extra width to the current 2 pleats and rotated the dart out, but just cut off the extra length at the waist seam. This worked out wonderfully for me. You can also see in be below pick a slashed line from the middle, the front had ended up a little long and this fixed it perfectly.


As you can see, the bodice is nearly a perfect fit! I don’t believe anything will ever be “perfect”, but I am happy with the current adjustments and feel the only other change I need to make is to cut out a little more from the front waist (maybe 1/2″) and change the lines of the skirt portion pieces to match up with the new seam line.


The fabric I used was this gorgeous polyester stretch chiffon available here. I saw it and instantly knew I needed to make a dress out of this gorgeous fabric. I was considering the Chantilly pattern from Colette but then when I was looking through my stash I came across from Anna dress pattern and thought, this would make a perfect midi-length version. And it did!

The other changes I made were to cut off about 1″ from each side of the back center grading out to cutting off 1/2″ near the waist to get rid of the gaping I had in my first version. I also took out 1/4″ from the shoulder seam as they were slightly too wide for me. So basically, a lot of changes! Haha, ;). But they were all worth it! Below is a pic of the back bodice pattern piece.


I totally see a v-neck version in the future… I didn’t make any changes to the skirt pieces, these were a straight size 10. I am also not a fan of facings, so I cut off about 1/2″ from the seam allowance around the neckline and made 1/2″ wise single-fold bias tape from the dress fabric to finish off the neckline. I used Colette’s tutorial to make the bias tape and Lladybird’s tutorial to finish off the neckline using bias tape instead of facings. I hand stitched it down in place so as to not have any stitching lines on the bodice.

Instead of making French seams, I just used my serger this time. Definitely easier and faster!

And of course some pics of me wearing my new dress to the symphony last night, :).

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Rock ‘n Roll Running Skirt

Been awhile since I posted. Been super busy! I’m making bridesmaids dresses for a friend’s wedding (coming up in 2 weeks!), teaching, and working on my master’s…and training for a half-marathon.

Of course, I needed to make a new running skirt for the half-marathon, ;). 1) I’ve lost about 15 pounds, 2) Because I can, ;).

I went with my Jalie 2796 pattern. Had to go back down to a size V. I didn’t have time for the fancy pleated version I made the first 2 times but I feel the original pattern shows off the guitars better. The fabric is the performance knit from Spoonflower. Love it! I used a contrasting teal color from a local store.

Other changes I made: lowered the waistband about 3″ so it hits right below my belly button; adding non slip elastic to the shorts leg openings; adding elastic to the waistband; and added 2 waistband pockets! This last bit was a little tricky. Used the basic construction pattern of the Sloan leggings with adjustments.


So I cut out 4 pieces of about 2 1/2″ by 4″  out of swimsuit lining so I could make 2 pockets. I made them just big enough for a gel each. First I stitched each pocket to one side of the waistband (exterior and interior waistband pieces) at the top. Then I pinned the pieces together and stitched along the top going around the pockets as I went so they didn’t get sewn shut. You can see the teal stitching along the black in the photo below. The line of stitching below the black pockets on the teal is from attaching each side separately, not stitching the two teal pieces together. Need those open at the top!


Then turned the waistband right side out and pressed the top seam well on a low heat setting.


And here you can see how the pockets looks on the inside.


And this is the pocket view from the top side.


They each fit a Gu perfectly!


I basted the bottom part of the waistband closed as per the instructions but not before I put in my elastic. I didn’t have the 2″ wide I usually use, but the 1 1-2″ I bought worked just fine. I like the extra secure fit it gives and it also helps the top waistband lay down flatter.

The rest of the skirt was constructed as usual with no issues. Now I have a new skirt for the Nashville Rock ‘n Roll half coming up this Saturday! It snuck up on me, but I feel pretty ready. Just hope the weather cooperates!



Never enough pockets! When attached the waistband I made sure the side with the elastic was against my body and the pocket pouch was facing towards the outside waistband, if that makes sense.




Pic of me wearing it of course, ;). This was taken during a 5k I did a couple weeks ago, had to give it a few test runs first of course.

Dahlia in Polka Dots

This is my 3rd make of the Colette Patterns Dahlia dress, love this pattern, :). I used version 1 again, my my other make is posted here. This time I chose not to line it and used a pretty navy blue with white polka dot polyester silky fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I also added pockets! Used the in seam pocket piece and instructions from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.

I used the size 10 pattern pieces with a  3″ FBA, more details on my original post with link above. Other than adding the pockets, nothing new to add. You can read about using Gertie’s pocket pattern and instructions more when I added them to my Wren dress here. I made my own bias tape again which was a little trickier with this fabric but I still managed to make it work, :). I wanted to use my bias tape maker but it was not designed to work with this particular type of fabric. So I just sewed it on using a 1/4″ seam allowance and folded it over the seam. A little trickier but not too time consuming.

The other major change I made was to add pockets! Every dress possible should have pockets, :). I kind of forgot about the side invisible zipper though… It turned out fine though, even if is a bit more difficult to get over my chest, I manage just fine. I had to cut off about 3 inches of the invisible zipper. But, the pockets work and are functional!

And of course, the photos, :).

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Seamwork Ida Dress with Optional Cut-Out


As I mention every time I post a pic and review of a Seamwork Magazine pattern, I subscribe to their monthly magazine/patterns. I just can’t sing their praises enough and think everyone should take a look. Basically, for $6 per month, you get 2 credits to use towards any of their Seamwork patterns (1 credit = 1 pattern), or, they started allowing you to use the accumulated credits to use towards Colette patterns! With Colette’s patterns, you can use 3 Seamwork credits to purchase a PDF version of any of Colette’s patterns. The magazine articles are available to peruse for free, the $6 gets you 2 of their awesome patterns. I can never state enough how amazing I think this is. They come out with 2 new patters with every issue, but you can use the credits for ANY of their patterns. If you use my code, we both win, :). I get a free month and you get half off of your first month with the option to cancel at any time and still keep all of your patterns, not that I am canceling anytime soon, ;). Just click here! The 2 patterns this month are a basic t-shirt and pencil skirt. Last month was the Ida and Willie.

And now they offer so many awesome additions like a visual fit guide so you can better visualize which changes or adjustments you may need to make.

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This review is over the Ida using the bonus pattern pieces for the back cut out. LOVE it!!! This dress came together super quick. The only changes I made were to skip adding the side slit, grading from a medium to a large at the hip line, and  I added a 1.5″ full bust adjustment using Jennifer Lauren’s tutorial.

I had no problem getting all of these pieces cut out of my 2 yards of 60″ wide scuba knit from Jo-Ann’s. This Nicole Miller fabric was just too perfect to pass up.

Other than the two adjustments mentioned (FBA, sizing, and no side slit), I made zero other changes, I didn’t even nip or tuck anything when I put the dress together. This is why I love Seamwork patterns so much, they are fairly quick and easy to put together and still look really great. I get so many compliments on all of my Seamwork pattern projects. With my new super busy schedule, it’s nice being able to still make a few things throughout the month.

And the photos of course! It was super freezing cold today, 18 degrees!!! But I got my kind boyfriend to quickly take a couple out on our deck to I could finally write this post up, :). The things I do for fashion, ;).


Seamwork Neenah dress

As soon as Seamwork mag released the Neenah dress I knew I had to make it. It really is the perfect fall staple. I was just waiting to come across the perfect print, and that’s when I eyed this beauty from fabric.com. And for my little plug: I am a subscriber to Seamwork mag which is an amazing deal for only $6 per month! You get 2 patterns (every issue comes out with 2 new patterns). It’s not difficult at all to praise this online sewing magazine. And now you can use the 2 credits per month towards Colette’s patterns! More good news for new subscribers? If you use my code you get half off your first month, :). Just click here. I have been a subscriber for about a year now and do not plan to cancel anytime soon. Colette and Seamwork are some of my favorite patterns, :).

Since I started teaching and going to graduate school 2/3 time I haven’t had much time to sit down and sew but I finally had some free time this weekend. I think it took longer to print and put together the pattern PDF than the actual dress, ;0. But now that I have all of the pattern pieces traced and cut out all future Neenahs will take much less time, :).

I wasn’t sure if I would have enough fabric for the cowl neck version of Neenah since I had only purchased 2 yards and the pattern recommends 3 yards for the medium but I did! My fabric was 62″ wide which made it work.

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The actual construction was fairly easy and straight forward. I used my serger to put all the seams together, love my serger, :). For once I didn’t have to make a single adjustment, this as straight out of the pattern. I found another winner! I think I’ll try a tunic length one next time.

And of course I have pics of me wearing this beauty, so many complements already! So easy to love this dress, :). I think the cowl neck is just perfect.

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