Summer Stripes!

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with LA Finch Fabrics and was thrilled to do so because I am a huge fan of their amazing and affordable fabrics. I admittedly stalk their website frequently, drooling at their new arrivals. I received from them 2 1/2 yards of this beautiful Rayon Stripe print that I had been eyeing on their website and was so excited to work with it.

 I decided to make another Tilly And The Buttons Agnes top hack dress knowing that it would do a great job of showing off the beautiful mint stripe detail of the fabric.


I cut the bodice out by going an inch and a half below the waist indicator line on the pattern. The length of the waist is completely up to personal preference but I find that this lengh suits my frame the best.

I wanted to make sure that the stripes matched up on my bodice seams so I hand basted the front and back pieces together inside the seam allowance to ensure that my fabric did not shift at all during sewing. My basting stitches are not perfect but they do not have to be because they are temporary and simply allow me to line up and hold together my stripes while sewing my permanent stitches. I used a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to sew the bodice together.

I really wanted to do a vertical striped neckline so I cut the neckline parallel to the selvage to create a beautiful contrasting stripe and finished the band off with a double needle stitch.



I don’t own a serger primarily because I can’t afford one right now. But I want you all to know that working with knits can be so easy if you use a stretch stitch and a double needle for top stitching. Of course a serger would be more than nice to have around; however, I have to work with what I’ve got and I am very happy with the results that I am able to achieve by solely using my Janome 5812 sewing machine.

The Agnes pattern has beautiful ruched sleeves that are right up my alley and I love the playful look that it gives the top.


The skirt can be made by either using a self drafted rectangular piece to gather or by using another skirt pattern from your stash. I chose to cut out 2 rectangles measuring where I wanted the skirt to end and measuring a width of 2 times my waist measurement.  I then gathered the skirt using 1/4 inch elastic and attached the skirt to the bodice.


I’m all about these beautiful stripes and this fabric that is SO soft and easy to work with!

Thank you LA Finch Fabrics and thank everyone for reading. Please leave me a comment below or if you have any questions, write me a note.

Have a beautiful day!

Striped Mint Rayon From LA Finch Fabrics

Tilly And The Buttons Agnes Pattern

French Navy Orla For The Win

Have you ever purchased fabric that is so delightfully beautiful that you hesitate cutting into it because you have this deeply embedded fear that you will ruin it by making a garment that will not do it justice?

I definitely felt that way about this delicious Cotton and Steel and Rifle Paper Company collaboration rayon that I bought from my local fabric store a couple of months back. I spent time pondering what I would make out of it and seesawed between visions of circle skirts and wrap dresses. The main problem that I was running into was that I had only bought 2 yards of this fabric because it was a bit pricier than what I would usually purchase. Having only 2 yards limited me in my options of dresses. This fabric is so precious and I did not want it to end up collecting dust in my stash, so I finally decided after much over thinking, to make from it the Orla Dress by French Navy Patterns.


I had come across this pattern many times on Instagram and it was mentioned more than once by Rachel from Maker Style podcast. I was attracted to the easy and comfy silhouette of this dress and thought it would also show off the gorgeous signature floral of this fabric. I went to the French Navy website to purchase this pattern and was overly delighted and surprised that it was a free download. This was a no-brainer!

The pattern was very easy to assemble and has 6 main pieces as well as the neck binding piece that you measure out based on the size of the neckline.

I decided to cut a size small based on the measurement table included with the pattern. I did not make a muslin prior because I was not overly concerned with the fit of this dress bodice knowing that it fits a bit roomy anyway.

The instructions are simple and straight forward; however, I do recommend to any beginning sewists who have no experience easing a sleeve into an armscye or inserting an invisible zipper, to practice these skills prior to trying this pattern because there are no diagrams or instructions included on completing these tasks.



There is a seam allowance included in this pattern of 1cm, so please keep this in mind while sewing the Orla because I know that most of us (including me) are used to 1.5cm being the standard.

The pattern does not include pockets; however, I did add pockets to this dress by using a self drafted pocket pattern and stitching on either side of the skirt pieces.



Overall this is a quick and easy pattern that took me just over 2 hours to complete!



Sometimes you find patterns that make you feel beautiful while still allowing you to be comfortable. This is one of those patterns.

If you guys are in search of an easy and comfy dress that is still flattering, then please go download the Orla pattern. You will not regret it!

Have a beautiful day!

French Navy Orla Dress Pattern

Cotton And Steel and Rifle Paper Co Fabrics

 

Three of My Favorite Pattern Hacks

Modifications or hacks are to me the epitome of creativity when it comes to sewing garments. I love that we can take any part of a pattern and add or remove elements that are not necessarily displayed on the cover of the pattern or in the line drawings on the back. This can result in endless possibilities of personalized touches that make the finished garment feel even more like our own creation. When I first started sewing I simply viewed patterns as concrete and unevolving blueprints that could only be completed one way and one way only. I no longer feel this way.

I thought I would highlight 3 examples of some of the different ways that I have modified or hacked garments from various patterns to make them my own. This is simply a starting point because there are SO MANY modifications and hacks that can be created from any pattern. I hope this will give you a bit of inspiration in creating your own personalizations from the patterns that you already have in your stash.

1. Sew DIY Lou Box Top Dress With Gathered Skirt.

That’s a long title for such a simple and comfortable dress! I took the pattern for the Lou Box Top by Sew DIY which is a great shirt pattern for woven and knit fabrics. I’ve used this pattern once before and I love the ease and comfort of this shirt. I wanted to make a dress out of it because it is not a secret that dresses are my favorite item of clothing to wear.

I wanted a curved back hem so I took the curved front hem add on piece from the pattern and placed it about 9/12 inches below the hem of the back piece. I cut out the front the same way but without the curved hem at the bottom and measured about 19 inches from the hem of the front piece to create the front of my skirt. The length of the skirt is completely up to you and your tastes as well as how much fabric you have available. This plaid fabric that I used was thrifted and it was only a little over 2 yards.


After I cut out my front and back I cut both pieces at the waist line so that I had a regular Lou Box top as well as the skirt front and back pieces. I then made my top according to the directions of the pattern. I pleated the skirt by using 1/4 inch elastic and attached the skirt to the “bodice” (Lou Box Top).

This dress is so comfortable and easy and I love the curved hem at the back!

2. Puffy Sleeves on the Moneta or Any Dress or Top! 

If you read my blog regularly you know that I love puffy sleeves and added them to my Colette Sorbetto for my contest entry. You can read about how I make puffy sleeve here; however, I wanted to highlight this in my hacks because it’s my favorite hack and I love the romantic feel that it gives to any dress or top.

This sleeve can be done with just a bit more time taken to increase the width of any regular sleeve pattern as well as the time it takes to gather and create the arm band. The extra time spent is so worth it!

3. Tilly and the Buttons Agnes and Colette Moneta Skirt Dress

This dress is so adorable and it took me just over two hours to complete! I made the Agnes top and cut it off at the waist indicator line on the pattern piece for the front and back bodice. I made the gathered sleeve version (is this any surprise to you?) I used a blue and pink flowered print jersey from Fabric.com.


I decided to use the skirt pattern from the Colette Moneta to complete the dress because I’m very familiar with this pattern and I thought the gathered skirt would blend perfectly with the bodice of the Agnes. I used a double needle to finish the neckband and the hem.

Guys, this dress is so cute and lovely!


Do you have any favorite pattern hacks?

Let me know yours in the comments!

Have a beautiful day!

Sew DIY Lou Box Top Pattern

Tilly And The Buttons Agnes Pattern

Colette Patterns Moneta Pattern

Fabric.com

 

Self Drafted Sundresses are Essential in Florida!

I recently decided to make a sundress which became a rather obsessive and delicious rant of drafting, tucking and adjusting my dress block. I have never made a spaghetti strapped sundress before and have been recently inspired by some of the looks coming from my Instagram feed and the fashion that I see everyday living in the warm climate of Central Florida.

The shape of this beautiful gingham dress by The Pretty Dress Company was what I was looking for with a fitted bodice and full skirt.


The heat down here is intense and the need for light and effortless clothing is ongoing. I didn’t have a pattern similar to this dress and I truthfuly didn’t want to purchase one because I feel like I already have enough patterns that I have not yet used. I did feel as though I could possibly create a stasfactory one from the bodice block that I use for practically all of my woven dresses.

I ended up trimming my bodice block quite a bit to match the shape that I wanted and this required me to remove the two side darts that are in my basic bodice and deepening the two in the front.

I honestly looked at these new darts with fear that they were too wide! They were huge but I decided to go for it because I really wanted only two darts in the front of my bodice raising up to my mid bust.

I ended up making 2 muslins for the bodice and I am so glad that I did because the fit of this bodice was the highest of importance to me in this project. I did most of my adjustments in the two darts in the front and also took quite a bit of inches off around the arms before deciding to go with the adjustments I had made and make the real bodice that I was willing to wear in public!


I created spaghetti straps by sewing strips of fabric 2 inches wide with a 5/8 seam allowance, grading the seam allowance and turning with a safety pin.

I knew that I wanted a full skirt with box pleats. I love the look of box pleats and I honestly enjoy the process of creating pleats the old fashioned way by pressing and pinning them at the ironing board . (I know I’m crazy).

I added deep 2 1/2 inch box pleats in the front and the back, a 17 inch invisible zipper in the back seam and then I had my dress!!



I am happy with the fit and love the print that I got months back from Jo-Ann Fabrics. I know I will wear this dress many times and can dress it up or down with casual sandals or heels and a cardigan.

Have a beautiful day!

 

My Prizes from The Colette Sorbetto Contest

I recently made this Colette Sorbetto which I entered in a contest that Colette Patterns was holding on Instagram. I tagged the photo of my sorbetto with the hashtag #Colettesorbetto and I was entered into the contest. The contest involved the team at Colette picking the top three out of all the submissions and the public picking the winner out of the top three.

At the end of the contest I was fortunate enough to come in tied at first place with dgomagpie and her fabulous Sorbetto! I have never won anything in my life except for those disposable toys from Chuck-E-Cheese, so I was thrilled and could not thank Colette and everyone who voted enough!

I have a blog post about the making of this sorbetto which you can read here. This is a great pattern for a chic blouse that can be dressed up or down and does not take a tremendous amount of time to make. As of now, the pattern is free to download from Colette’s website which makes creating this blouse for yourself a no-brainer.

After a few days passed  I received my prizes in the mail which are highlighted here.

Part of these amazing prizes is a 50 dollar gift certificate to Colette patterns which I plan on using to purchase a few of the patterns that are on my wishlist. I look forward to writing about my future purchases on this blog and what I decide to venture upon in Colette’s impressive catalog of patterns.

I also received Colette’s Sewing Planner which I think is the perfect companion for any sewist who desires to keep all of their plans, ideas and inspiration in one lovely little book.


The planner has sections for each season which allows you to properly organize and jot down ideas about current and future projects.
I have used my first project page on my current project which is the Agnes by Tilly and The Buttons. The project pages allow you to include a fabric swatch, supplies needed for the project, customizations etc.


I know that I will use this planner frequently because one of my many goals is to organize my sewing plans and to have them all in one tangible space.

I also received a pair of beautiful Gingher Knife Edge Spring Action Dressmaker’s Shears that are unlike any shears I have ever had. I already own the 8 inch Gingher Dress Making shears, and they are exquisite (and gold), however they do not have a spring and can be difficult sometimes to use due to the blades hesitating to open while cutting fabric. These new shears open freely because of the spring which allows less effort while cutting. I am so blessed to have two durable pairs of dressmaking shears now and am sure that both will last me forever.


And this Pin! this pin is everything!

Since I began to sew again at the beginning of the year I have been overwhelmed by the love and support from the online sewing community and this experience was no different. Thank you again to all who voted and I will use my new prizes to create things that I hope will inspire others to sew too.

Have a beautiful day!

Coletete Sorbetto Pattern

Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers or Skinny Jeans for me

Hello everyone!

I recently made a pair of jeans using Sew Over It’s Ultimate Trouser pattern. I have never made pants of any kind so this was something that I went in with a bit of trepidation but I want to try new things and I am trying to challenge myself a bit more with my sewing so that I can grow in my skills. Although making dresses is my passion, I still wear jeans and shorts and I live in Orlando so I am fortunate to be able to have freedom when it comes to what I wear because of our warm climate.

When I thought about making trousers I knew that I wanted to make them with stretch denim because I need more casual pants and I had in mind some retro, slim fitting, denim stretch cigarette pants that fit well.

I ultimately want to make Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns, however I am scared of trying this amazing pattern and I am not afraid to admit this. And eventhough I am SO inspired by all of the amazing Ginger Jeans that I see on Instagram, the thought of doing top stitching on the back pockets makes my palms sweat and I have accepted the fact that I am not yet ready for this step in my life.

I picked the Ultimate Trouser pattern because I am comfortable with Sew Over It patterns and this pattern does not call for a front zipper but rather a side invisible zipper. I bought my fabric from Fabric.com and decided on a stretch indigo denim.

The pattern is very simple and straight forward and although I realized early on that to get the fitted look that I was going for I had to put in negative ease in the pattern resulting in my taking this pattern in a great deal.

I don’t own a serger yet but I was wishing that I did with this project because the denim frayed so easily and quickly! I felt that they were slowly disintegrating as I was stitching them up and trying them on for size.

I ended up using my overlocking foot on the raw edges so that I would not lose my pants completely. HAHA!

I am happy with the pattern and the results. I think I would like to make a lighter denim version next. If anyone knows any good places to purchase light blue denim please let me know in the comments.



Thank you and have a beautiful day!

Sew Over It Ultimate Trouser Pattern

Stretch Denim from Fabric.com

 

Bed Sheet Easter Dress

I ventured out with my family this weekend to our local Goodwill thrift store. I was specifically looking for materials to use for future projects and ended up spending most of my time in the linen aisle where they had various bed sheets and curtains displayed.  Everything was around $1.50 or so with the most expensive item being a duvet cover for $7.00. I picked out a queen size flat bed sheet with a beautiful floral detail. I was specifically excited about the amount of fabric that I could use from this item as well as the unusually beautiful print which was a mix of white, silver, blue as well as pops of yellow throughout. I brought it home, threw it in the washer and after drying it ended up with around 5 yards of fabric to use for my Easter dress.


I have a bodice block that I drafted after a great deal of tweaks to multiple test bodices that I started at the end of January of this year. I use this block because I know that it fits and I will need to do minimal adjusting to my frame depending on the type of fabric that I use with each dress.

I immediately started on my bodice using my block and my new bed sheet. I also cut out a duplicate bodice using some bleached muslin that I had in my stash for a lining.


I sewed my bodice to my lining and snipped my neckline and armscyes.


I was happy with the look of the bodice and the fit. I did not lower the neckline in the back of my dress block because I wanted a high back to show off as much of the gorgeous floral on the bed sheet as possible.


For the skirt I definitely wanted a full circle one partly because I had so much fabric to work with and also because it doesn’t get much girlier than a full circle skirt to twirl in!

For the skirt I used the skirt pattern from Butterick 5748. I have made this vintage dress before and although I did not like the bodice included in this pattern (It runs WAY too big) I was very happy with the fullness of the beautiful circle skirt included with the pattern.


The circle skirt pattern includes a full piece for the front and 2 half pieces in the back with the seam down the middle for the zipper.



I sewed up the skirt and attached it to my bodice. I then had to go to Joanne’s because I realized that I did not have a zipper long enough for the high back on my bodice. I ended up purchasing a 22 inch invisible zipper and then became distracted by all the lusciously pretty fabrics. Does anyone else have this problem?


I was very disciplined and ended up buying only the zipper and 2 yards of muslin for future projects. Haha!

After attaching my zipper, I then finished my raw edges with my overlocking foot. (I don’t have an serger so this is a good alternative to finishing up my raw edges.


I am going to wait a full 48 hours before I hem the skirt because it was cut on the bias and I want it to drop as much as possible before I hem.

This is the dress though, unhemmed but lovely. I have to say that I am very proud of this dress because if I add up the price of the bed sheet which was $1.50 and the zipper which was $2.50, the total cost of this dress was a whopping $4.00!


It also feels quite nice that I was able to upcycle this beautiful bed sheet that was most likely donated by someone who no longer saw any beauty and function in it, opting for something new and improved. I was fortunately able to make something beautiful out of something discarded and perhaps forgotten.
Anyways, I think it is lovely.



Have you ever upcycled a used item from the thrift store? I would love to hear about it! 

Leave me a comment below and have a beautiful day!