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.

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, ;).


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.