Colette Chantilly

I decided to finally attend the Big Yellow Bird Bash this weekend, which of course you are expected to wear yellow. I never buy or make anything yellow. So I looked through my patterns and looked for fabric and decided to finally make the Chantilly by Colette. Love it!

I found a gorgeous yellow floral on white chiffon from Stylish Fabrics via Etsy. I’m not a big fan of wearing yellow, so I decided to get a floral instead of something solid yellow. The lining is white Bemberg rayon. Honestly, this fabric just makes you feel like a happy, sunny day.

I went ahead and did my usual FBA. I started with a 2″ on the bodice and realized it wouldn’t lengthen it as much as I wanted, so I did a 3″. Was perfect on my first try! Glad I used the lining, ;).

The rest of the pattern wasn’t adjusted for size, but I did kind of meld Versions 1 and 2. I wanted pockets (version 2), but I also wanted to use a chiffon (version 1). Basically I underlined the chiffon with the lining up through the pocket, then constructed the lining and shell separately. Took some time and was a bit of a struggle, but so worth it!

Love it when the insides are so beautiful, :).

I cut out my usual size 10. Due to my underlining technique the zipper didn’t go in quite as smoothly, but I made it work. Now the hem was a bit of work, but I made hemming the narrow hem of the shell so much easier. I serged the hemline, then I just rolled up the hem twice using the less than 1/4″ line of serging as my guide.

It’s perfect for spring! Now time to make my boyfriend’s yellow vest.

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Lacey Spring Dress

I’ve had this mint green lace in my stash for awhile and finally decided what to make with it. Another Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book dress!

I used her wedding dress as my starting point. I used the sweetheart neckline strapless bodice top in nude lining under a lace overlay in the boatneck style for which I salvaged the lace and attached it to the neckline. Then I used the cap sleeves in lace only before attaching it all to a self-drafted half-circle skirt with pockets! And I salvaged more lace to hem the skirt bottom. So yeah, a lot of hours went into this dress but I love it!

I made it in a size 10 with 3″ FBA, but that’s about the only adjustments I made. It is fully lined and the lace skirt portion is underlined. I was a good seamstress and let the skirt hang for a few days before evening out the skirt and hemming. I was having trouble underlining it when flat pinning the underlining and lace together, so I did that part while hanging it on my dress form. Worth the time.

I used spiral steel boning because it’s the best. I’ve used Rigilene and the plastic stuff, but spiral steel boning is amazing! I then make my own boning channels using Petersham ribbon. I plan to add a waist stay at some point.

As for other techniques, I used a lapped zipper. I might add horsehair braid in the future.

Overall, love it!

Seamwork Sonya

I made this awhile ago, but I never got around to blogging about it. I’m a monthly Seamwork member and love the patterns. If you use my link, you can get your first month half off: click here. :).

This is the Seamwork Sonya. I made a few adjustments: 2″ FBA, took in the waist a little (mainly due to FBA), and changed the pocket size. I loved the look of the lines going every which way in the photos on the pattern. It took some time and planning, but I got it to work out, :). The fabric is a gorgeous cotton from Fabric.com.

I decided to reduce the size of the pockets. At full size they bagged out a bit too much for me. They looked like saddle bags unfortunately, so I made them both about 1/4 of the original sized.

Overall, I really love how she turned out and I get loads of compliments, :).

I made version 1 in a size 10. The instructions are very detailed every step of the way making this a great project for different levels of seamstresses.

Butterick 6143 Take 2


I won some fabric awhile back, I think for making the first version of this coat actually, ;). I wanted to make the long version of Butterick 6143. The exterior fabric is from Sawyer Brooks Fabrics. The name was Deep Sea which was quite fitting for this gorgeous teal color. The fabric is a wool, silk, and cotton blend with a chenille texture in a tweed pattern.

I used the same top pieces from Take 1, so there were no fitting issues to resolve. Only change was I had to trace out and cut out new pattern pieces for the longer length. Other than the requirement to cut out 4 pieces of nearly everything, the construction was fairly straight forward. I had the exterior fabric and lining, I then also interlined the coat with Thinsulate for additional warmth plus the interfacing for portions of the coat for structure.

I decided to nix the shoulder pads this time. I liked the lace accents on the sleeves but I didn’t have any of the reccommended width of 5″, but I think the 2 5/8″ wide lace I used looks perfect. I then also added a lace accent around the waist. This made making the button hole there a little tricky but not too bad.

More notes on my Sewing Pattern Review.

I LOVE the floral lining and lace accents, gives my fancy new coat such a vintage vibe, :).





Seamwork Savannah in Silk

Yay! I’ve finally made a camisole that is almost perfect, ;). I’ve had this Seamwork Savannah on my to-make list for awhile. For anyone not currently a subscriber, you can use my referral link for half off your first month (usually $6/month, so only $3 for 2 patterns!). I love Seamwork’s patterns. Overall fairly easy and simple quick projects that look great! I have quite a few on my list but was really excited to finally get this one made ever since I had some leftover silk from previous projects.

My first attempt at making a 3″ dartless FBA failed so I decided to try again using a 4″ FBA and adding bust darts. The 3″ wasn’t enough room but the 4″ fits much better! And the darts help with the shaping. I used this tutorial. The only thing I need to change for the next one is to move the darts up about an inch and start about 1″ further to the side, but could just be partially the bra I was wearing as the fit was much better over another.

I had to take in the sides a little bit (pinched out 3/4″ darts) before finishing up my french seams. Definitely a must on a silk camisole. French seams take a little extra time but result in such a nice finish. I also used my fancy new narrow hem foot to hem the neckline and bottom before sewing everything together. On this version I opted to not use the recommended lace trim.

Then I ran into the fact that the scoop of the back was much too low for my personal tastes, so following a similar design feature on the Aurora tank on the back on my camisole and it worked out really well and I think it looks pretty great. Not sure why my skin tone is so crazy!

Overall, I am pretty happy with how my fancy new silk camisole turned out. So shiny! Love silk charmeuse.

Floral Strapless Spinny Dress


I think the title says it all, ;). I saw this gorgeous white roses on blue background cotton fabric at my local fabric store and knew I had to make a dress out of it. Plus 50% off!

The pattern was a mash-up of different patterns. I used the full circle skirt from my Butterick 6019 instead of drafting my own and the rest from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. I used the strapless bodice with sweetheart neckline, side seam pockets, and used the strap piece from her faux sarong dress pattern to make 2. After tacking them on they ended up falling off my shoulders but I liked the look.

I used my size 8 strapless bodice pieces with a 3″ FBA (full bust adjustment). Then spiral steel boning along the seam lines with an additional diagonal piece as recommended by Gertie. Placed 9 pieces in all. Love my spiral steel boning cutters! I also added a waist stay to make zipping up the back easier.

Here is a photo of the insides, you can see the outlines of several pieces of spiral steel boning.

Here is a pic I took before attaching the lining so you can see all my steel boning placement lines. I’ve used plastic, rigilene, and spiral steel. I can’t go back to the others after using spiral steel. So much more comfortable!


Then instead of the lapped zipper I put in my preferred invisible zipper but soon regretted this change. So hard to zip up the bodice! It gets a little stuck over the waist seams for which the waist stay definitely helps. It also struggles zipping up the back (pliers were very helpful!). I thought the hook and eye would be more helpful with this step than it is. Lesson learned. Invisible zipper worked fine with silk, not as great with multiple layers of cotton. Looks really nice though.


It’s a little tight but fits me perfectly. It looks fabulous! Last step was the hemming. Took several hours but looks great. I ironed the hem up 1/4″ and then another 1/2″ for just over the recommended 5/8″ and I had lengthened the skirt down another 2″. I didn’t use anything extra in the hem but may need to add pennies later. Definitely some Marylyn Monroe moments when it’s windy!



And had to test the spin/swirl factor. It passed, ;).



Then wore it out right away for a local event because one must always wear a new make right away.

This is why I create and make my own dresses: fits like a glove, :).

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.