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, :).

img_4521fullsizerender-1fullsizerender

Wren again

As you have probably noticed, the Wren pattern by Colette Patterns is probably one of my favorites, ;). I love that if given a full day I can start from cut to finish and complete this dress within a day or in the case of this one, 1.5 afternoons. And it’s so versatile!

This was my third Wren, second doing the version 2. This time I took off the 3″ of length I had added to the skirt but otherwise made it with all the other changes I had made to the pattern detailed here. I cut the back skirt portion on the fold like the front skirt. One less seam to stitch, ;).

The fabric is a gorgeous floral from Girl Charlee. I saw it and it was instant love and knew it would make a perfect floral wren #2, ;). And it did! I also like the just above the knee length. Super cute! And as with my other two, I pick stitched the faux wrap front sections together to prevent an accidental peep show.

Almost forgot, I made one other change, I did the pockets a little differently following the tutorial from Gertie in her book Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. Basically I used the pocket piece from this book but you can use any side seam pocket piece from any pattern. I placed mine about 1 3/4″ from the waist seam.
1st I stitched the pocket pieces right sides together to the skirt front and back at each side. I used a zig zag stitch and stitched just within the 3/8″ seam allowance. Then I pressed the pocket out (#2). After which I pinned the front skirt side to the back skirt side and around each pocket as shown in #3 before stitching them together using the full 3/8″ seam allowance (#4). After this you can leave as is or serge the seams. I discovered cutting into the corner of the top and bottom of each pocket made serving a bit better. Then you turn everything right side out, push the pocket in, and give everything a good press.


And there you have it, a pretty Wren with pockets!


Definitely the new fave!


A Dahlia for Fall

Yay! I LOVE this new dress!!! I’ve had a fall Dahlia in mind for a while now and for my birthday I ordered this lovely purple wool suiting fabric from Mood Fabrics. I accidentally pre-washed it since I was in a pre-washing fabrics mood. Oops! At least it was on delicate and in cold water so no harm. I then purchased Bemberg lining in blackberry from Jo-Ann’s. Bemberg is an amazing lining if you don’t want to spend the extra on silk. It has a nice feel and breathes nicely. The color went perfect with my Dahlia, :).

I did my usual FBA (full bust adjustment) using Colette’s tutorial through her sew-a-long. An AMAZING resource. Give a pictorial step by step process and added advice over the whole dress making process for both versions. I also added 3″ of length to the skirt pieces to make it longer for the colder weather. The only other changes I made were to take in the sleeve seams a bit to keep the shoulders from sliding down and to get the pouf out of the back. Next time I should just take this out of the pattern as I had to do that for version 2 too. I pinched out an extra 1/4″ for each front neck/sleeve seam and 1/2″ for each of the back. Perfect! Then after putting together the wool exterior I basically made a complete second dress out of the lining.

Instead of purchasing binding I decided to make my own using the wool suiting. Wool is not press friendly! I made 3/8″ double fold binding, so I started out cutting 1.5″ wide strips using this tutorial by Sew 4 Home. I just could not sort out the continuous bias tape method but this one worked great for me. To press it was a process.

  1. First I cut out and sewed the strips together
  2. Then I pinned the bias tape so it was double folding in along one big strip since I don’t have a bias tape maker
  3. Then I pressed it on high heat, then put my wood pieces over the pressed part and pushed down until the heat was gone. I did this a few times removing pins as I went until there were no pins left along the strip and I had a good crease

And look at that lovely binding!

Hand stitching it to the lining took a bit of work but it was worth every second as it looks so much better than just haphazardly slip stitching it. Colette describes how to do 5 different hand stitches here.

The stuffing of the lining and attaching it to the zipper was a little tricky but Devon explains the whole process really well in the install zipper portion of the sew a long. You can see how lovely this turned out below.

IMG_5397

And my self-made bias taped neck line!

My invisible zipper is almost perfect. I just could not get the bottom yoke pieces to line up. I gave up after 3 tries and called it good enough.

The kickpleat

I got my other yoke bands to line up perfectly!

Had to show off the lovely lining.

And my perfect hand stitching, ;).

Made with Mood tag! Working on creating my own tags. It’s a tricky process! Ordered some special color fast printer friendly fabric sheets to give it a go later this week.  

Another of my gorgeous lining that no one will ever see.

And of course some of me wearing the dress. Have I mentioned how much I love this dress?!?! The purple is gorgeous, the fabric feels wonderful, and the fit is perfect, :).

I tried to get a good view of the back.

And a fun explorer type pose. Shows there is lots of movement to the skirt!

And another fun pose, 🙂

Hooray for Birthdays!

Hey everyone, yesterday was my birthday and my boyfriend was so sweet. He got me a gift certificate to Mood Fabrics and another for Jo-Ann’s as well as a Starbucks. I love Starbucks. Their iced salted caramel mocha is my new crack.

So along with these goodies I also got some cash from the mother (thanks Mom!) and a couple awesome emails from Mood. One for 10% off and another today for FREE SHIPPING!!! So I had to order right away, especially with one of the fabrics I was eyeing being a close out.

  
So I did a lot of thinking and decided to go with this gorgeous plum wool suiting fabric to make a Fall Dahlia dress. Love Colette patterns. There was a beautiful purple plaid as well but I really like the simplicity of this solid.

 

And since I wanted that free shipping I went ahead and got some Theory Stretch Navy Denim to finally delve into making my own jeans. This has been a project on my list for awhile, so the next step will be to purchase the Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Files.
From Jo-Ann’s I’ll pick up the notions: denim zipper, Gutterman thread, denim needles, interfacings, etc.

I’ve also had it in my mind to make a pair of leather gloves.

 

I’ve had Vogue 8311 in my stash for awhile and I plan to locate some white lambskin to make them.

I also have a gazillion other things I want to make in my queue, ;).

And, I’m almost to 50 word press followers! Only 6 to go and then I’ll finally have the motivation to write up my free jogging phone arm band tutorial and a free give-a-way. So stay tuned!

Colette Clovers Take 2

I decided to take a break from bra making and make my second pair of Colette Clover pants. The first pair I made (here) were my wearable muslin. So of course I thought I had all the fitting issues resolved. Nope. Turns out that polyester spandexes are not all created equal even when they are right next to each other in the fabric store. That mix was WAY stretchier than this mix. I did not do the stretch test on either fabric when purchasing which was my error. So the first pair was WAY too big and the second pair were a bit small. Maybe a future 3rd pair will be just right like in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, haha. Overall this pair fits well after I made a few changes:

  • I took out the outside seams 1/8″, basically giving me an additional 1/4″ per leg for additional wearing ease.
  • I took the front seam/crotch in about 1/2″ at the front to get rid of some weird puckering lines and made the curve more straight. This fixed the front, yay!
  • The back is still a bit confining. Basically I needed to add about 1″ back rise. I lowered the crotch about a 3/8″ and had added a 1/4″ full butt adjustment, but it wasn’t enough.

I’ll go over the pair a bit. This is the Colette pattern step in attaching the waistband facing to the interfaced outside piece. It’s a little tricky to fully comprehend. It tells you to fold over the zipper part and stitch the top then trim the seam. This is what it looks like. I then overcast all of my edges.

 

The inside looks very pretty. I overcast every seam using my Brother cs6000i. I stitched the ditch all around the waistband per the instructions to attach the bottom portion of the waistband to the inside. MUCH easier than hand stitching it down! Also to make it easier for myself I made the pockets out of the same fabric. Helps with making them appear invisible from the front.

 

And that zipper!!! This is my 4th invisible zipper using the Colette method and it gets better every time. I also overcast the edges of the fabric and zipper together to prevent fraying. This time I stitched up the side seam until the marking of the end of the zipper. Next time I will follow the instructions of doing this last.

 

And a photo of the beautiful nearly invisible pockets! This is just one side. I didn’t do a very good job of matching up my stripes but that’s ok.

 

And they are functional pockets! I can fit my whole iPhone 5s in there, :). Unfortunately black pants don’t photograph the fine details very well.

Side view looks fantastic.

Front view looks pretty good too, :).

Another of the front with those normal wrinkle lines for movement.

It’s difficult to get good photos of details with dark fabric but this is a pretty good one of the back. Overall, really good fit. I did a small full butt adjustment of about 1/4″ but maybe should have made that more of 1/2″ plus raise the back rise about 1″.

 

Per this photo you can see a bit of the work that goes with making a full or flat butt adjustment. That yellow line is the one I should have raised about 1″ to make these pants perfect. More details on this process here through the Clover pants sew a long. An amazing resource!

 

And a fun  pic! Overall I really like these pants. They fit pretty well, are comfy, and a nice easy pattern. Colette patterns are so great to follow!