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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Hollyburn Skirt

Yay, I finally purchased the Hollyburn skirt pattern from Sewaholic patterns and it was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be, :). The pattern is listed as being for beginners and it truly was a breeze to work through. The instructions are fantastic, the photo illustrations very helpful, and the pattern lines are just perfect. I went with Version C minus the button tabs.

I decided to make a size 10 after measuring my waist at 30″. I did end up taking the waistband out about 1″ so maybe next time I will make up a size 12. Other than that and cutting the skirt front out on the fold, I made zero alterations and didn’t even make a mock up. I usually do with new patterns but I was pretty sure this would fit from my experiences with the Thurlow trousers I had made previously from this designer.

The skirt fabric I purchased from a local vendor here in Nashville named Moondance Sister. It is a 100% cotton tapestry hand dyed in India. Loved the pattern and knew it would make the perfect skirt. The Hollyburn skirt had just enough curve to make it work out perfectly. I even managed to make the slip pockets match up with the pattern pretty well, :). I also decided to cut the skirt front out on the fold rather than 2 pieces per the pattern design in order to not break up the pattern as much as possible.

I decided to line the skirt to make it easier to wear over leggings. I neglected to trace back in the side pocket cutouts on the front skirt piece though, oops! It ended up working out just fine. I attached the lining to the skirt front at the top and sides through the pockets, then stitched the sides of the lining separate from the sides of the skirt from the pockets to the hemline. I also shortened the lining about 1″ from the exterior skirt hemline.

Here is an inside view of the skirt lining and the pockets.

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The other adjustments I made were to insert an invisible zipper (good thing since I had to let out the back about 1/2″ on each side) and putting an hook and eye in the top. I plan to add belt loops later but may leave it as is.

And more pics!

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Pockets!!!!

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Back view. Back seam is almost invisible, :).

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Butterick 6143 Version C

I’ve had Butterick 6143 for awhile and finally decided what to make it with! I made my Vogue Cape a few years ago (details here) but I just never wore it. The 100% super soft amazing quality wool I had used was too good to let waste away, so I took several days to tediously unpick all of the panels, iron them, and strategically place all of my pattern pieces to make my Butterick coat!

Here is the before pic of the cloak and the after of my coat, :).

It took a bit, but I managed to eke out just enough to make the coat minus the front facings and collar, so I decided to make those with faux fur. Luckily I rarely throw scrap fabric away and still had a nice bit of the wool left uncut, :).

Overall the coat construction went smoothly and pretty easy. Made a mock up first, highly recommend! I ended up taking the shoulder seams in about an inch on both sides and down the back.

I also didn’t have quite enough fabric for the one piece sleeves so I re-drafted them into 2 piece sleeves using Thread’s tutorial on converting symmetrical sleeves. Worked out perfect! Because I interlined the entire coat with Thinsulate I only used a 1/2″ seam on the sleeve portions.

Look at those sleeve lines, so nice!

Speaking of interlining, it took forever! But worth it for the extra warmth. I sewed each piece onto the outer coat pieces though it is recommended to sew them onto the lining pieces. So I had to deal with some fuzzies. Per the instructions I put the quilted side facing the outside. Then the lining was Bemberg rayon and the faux fur is from Jo-Ann’s. I got wolf, so soft!

Next up: the faux fur… overall not too bad until I got to the button holes. I cut it very carefully to prevent fuzz flying everywhere. My machine did well until the button holes. It struggled big time even after trimming down the fur around. One worked well, the other 2 on the front facing portion not so much. Took me THREE hours of unpicking and finally breaking down and making the holes myself without my auto one step.

A pic of the one button hole that looked good that the machine worked for. You can also see some blue ribbon on the side. To tame down the fur I trimmed it down and then put a ribbon over it to look nice and be functional.


As for attaching the lining to the outer shell I followed the directions but edge stitched the entire outline as well so everything would lay nice and flat. As for sizing, I made a 16 with the D cup pieces. My measurements are 41-31-41. Usually I have to do a FBA but not for this coat. And roomy enough for a light weight sweater underneath, :).

And voila, a gorgeous fall coat! LOVE the color and faux fur accent. The gold buttons were gifted to me.



And a pic of the insides. I really need to make some tags to put in my handmade items. I used Bemberg rayon lining.