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PATTERNMAKING

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

SUNDRESSING BOOK TOUR + GIVEAWAY

June 17, 2016

Melissa Mora of Melly Sews just released a book all about sewing up easy sundresses for hotter weather and it’s called Sundressing. The idea for the book is that once you have a well fitting bodice (the book includes basic slopers to work with), you can make subtle changes to create many different dresses from that one simple pattern. You can find more out about her book through her blog here.

There are many tutorials to choose from, for both women and girls, but I immediately knew that I was going to sew up the Sutton Dress (a fun off the shoulder dress) as a trendy outfit for an upcoming beach vacation.

The directions were easy to follow and I was able to cut out my pattern in about 20 minutes. It really is such a forgiving style with all of the ease in the ruffles that I wasn’t worried and didn’t do a muslin, although the fit came out pretty perfect anyway.

I did make a couple of changes. First of all I lengthened the ruffle by a couple of inches. Just a personal preference. I also wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the length. The dress is supposed to be mid calf, but at first I lengthened it to maxi to see what it looked like. It totally overwhelmed me. So I decided to hem it in a nice wide 4″ hem right above the knee. With all of the gathering it just seemed to look a bit better on me to have a bit less fabric.

The fabric is the perfectly lightweight tencil chambray that I bought from Colorado Fabrics recently. Because of the abundance of ruffles and gathering, I was afraid it would end up too sweet looking on me in a print, if that makes sense. I was tempted to make it in black gauze (because I like everything in black) but I think this is a good compromise. The chambray dresses it down a bit so I can wear it with flats and not feel too dressed up for daywear. I have a beach trip coming up and you better believe this is getting worn. If I were going to make any changes to it next time, I might just raise the back of the bodice by an inch or so. As is, the bodice cuts straight across the back at the underarm. It still covers my strapless bra so it’s fine as is, but I think it would be nice to have it a bit higher where the ruffle attaches in the back so it doesn’t pull down at all. Otherwise, the fit and style are spot on for me.

I’ve said it once and I will say it again, this is such a great look for those of us who want to cover up some areas, but still want to be on trend. It’s romantic and sexy and still flatterning on a range of body types. I think everyone needs one of these in their wardrobe this summer, even if it’s just a beach coverup.

I have one copy of the Sundressing book by Melissa Mora to giveaway to one of you. To enter, simply leave a comment below. Commenting will close on Sunday, June 26th and then I will contact the winner. (US entries only, sorry.)

Congrats Melissa on your new book! I’m so excited for you.

Sundress2016Logo

PATTERNMAKING SEWING SEWING FOR KIDS

INTRODUCING THE MINI COLFAX DRESS PATTERN

April 28, 2016

The Mini Colfax Dress is now for sale and is the perfect little version of the adult sized pattern recently released. It has a flattering A-line silhouette with a front yoke and visible binding around the neckline and armholes.

The dress comes in 2 versions. View A is streamlined with one fabric for the whole dress. View B has patch pockets and a visible hem facing that is sewn up a in contrasting fabric along with the yoke and bindings. You can of coarse mix and match the two views for even more options.

For fabrics I recommend easy to work with quilting cottons, lawns, double gauze and linens. All of these fabrics will press well and give beautiful crisp corners for the yoke and other details.

The Mini Colfax is a really versatile pattern. If you sew it up in a simple quilting cotton it makes a perfect everyday dress for warm weather. It can also be sewn up in a more precious fabric for a special occasion outing.

You can use the code LAUNCHWEEK for 25% off the Mini Colfax Pattern from now until midnight Saturday April 30th.

Please let me know if you have any questions or head on over here for more information such as fabric requirements and sizing.

DIY PATTERNMAKING SEWING

ROSCOE – OFF THE SHOULDER HACK

April 27, 2016

With all of the off the shoulder love everywhere in ready to wear right now, I realized that the Roscoe Blouse and Dress is the perfect pattern the easily hack for this look. With just a few changes you get an easy to wear boho / beachy dress or blouse and it takes just a couple of hours to sew up.

Can I just say how much I love this new trend? It’s pretty friendly to those of us who want to hide some problem areas like the tummy or hips. And yet it’s still super sexy and natural. I’m a big fan. So much easier to pull off than the crop top trend of the last couple of years. I really think that almost anyone can pull this look off.

Materials:

  • Roscoe pattern pieces 1, 2, and 3
  •  1 ” elastic
  • fabric (I’m using rayon challis)
  • matching thread
  • safety pin

 

First you will need to print off pattern pieces front, back and sleeve (you won’t need any of the the others unless you want to add a ruffle or bind up the bottom of the armhole). I printed off the dress length, but you can also trim at the line for blouse length if that is what you are making.

Next, take your front piece and make a mark about 4 inches down at Center Front. Go lower or higher depending on your preferences, but remember that there will be a 1 ” elastic casing above this marking.

Make another marking about 1″ above this one, but on the armhole. Make the marking perpindicular to the armhole curve.

Connect this marking to the CF marking, curving naturally between the two. This will be your cutting line for the front of your dress or blouse.

Put your sleeve pattern piece on top of your dress front pattern piece, lining up the armhole notches. Transfer the point where your cutting line on the front piece hits the armhole, to your sleeve pattern piece at the same point.

Draw the line out, perpindicular to the armhole, for about an inch. Curve the line naturally until you can go straight across (perpindicular to the grainline) until you are close to the back armhole of the sleeve and then curve up a bit so it is perpindicular to the back armhole curve. It should look something like this. It will be the cutting line for your sleeves.

Put the sleeve pattern piece on top of your back dress pattern piece. Line the back armhole of the sleeve up with the back armhole of the back dress (matching notches) and transfer the marking of the line you just made to the armhole of the back dress.

Draw the cutting line of the back dress to CB like you did the others. (Draw out for about an inch perpindicular to the armhole and then straight across to Center Back.)

Now, cut all of the tops off of your pattern pieces along the cutting lines you just drew.

Draw a stitching line 1/2″ below the cutting line on all pieces.

Measure all stitching lines and add them up. Multiply this number by 2 and then subtract  3″ for seam allowances. (Mine was about 58″.)

Take this number and cut a piece of fabric that is that width and 3 1/4″ tall.

Cut out your dress front, dress back, and sleeves as well.

Sew your dress up much like the regular roscoe by first sewing each sleeve armhole to the matching front or back armhole. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner.

Now sew up sides of the sleeves and dress (or blouse) starting at each sleeve end and ending at the bottom of the dress or blouse. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner.

Sew the two small ends of your long skinny pieces together, right sides touching. So it makes a long loop.

Press the loop in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together.

Pin the raw edges of your loop to top of your dress, right sides touching. Stitch at 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a 2 inch section unstitched at center back (to insert the elastic).

Wrap your elastic around your shoulders to get an idea of how long your want it. Add some extra length and cut. Using a safety pin, insert the elastic into the loop and all around so that it enters and exits at the opening at CB. Pin the ends together and try on. Adjust the length of the elastic until it’s snug enough to stay up, but still comfy. My experience is that you want it on the looser side. Your arms and chest will keep it up. If it’s tight it will inch up all day which can be annoying.

Sew the two ends together of your elastic, insert it back into the casing, and stitch the opening at CB closed. Finish the seam allowances of your elastic casing in your desired manner.

Check the length of your dress or blouse and also the length of your sleeves. I ended up cutting a few inches off of the length of the sleeves to hit at my elbow for a different look. Trim as necessary and finish in your favorite way.  I am going to simply serge the edges and fold it up at 1″ and then stitch.

You may want to Stitch through all layers of the elastic and elastic casing at CB and maybe a couple of other places to keep the elastic from flipping around with wear.

Give the whole thing a final press and you are done!

Let me know if you guys have any questions. I can’t wait to wear this out and about.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

NEW PATTERN : THE COLFAX DRESS

March 28, 2016

I am so excited to be introducing my newest sewing pattern to you today, the Colfax Dress. When designing the Colfax I wanted a dress that was not only easy to sew, but also easy to wear in the warmer months. This dress does just that. Whether you sew it up in a lightweight gauzy cotton for a beach coverup, or a silk crepe for date night, either option is easy to throw on and comfy to wear.

The dress comes in two versions. View A is the simpler of the two (and my personal favorite) using one fabric for the whole dress. It omits the pockets for a faster sew and also a slightly more flattering silhouette around the hips. Like the other version, it has a yoke and visible hem and armhole bindings. Because it is all sewn up in the same fabric these bindings become subtle details that create a streamlined and very chic look.

View B uses contrasting fabrics for the yoke, neck and arm bindings, and hem facing that is visual on the outside of the dress. There are so many possibilities for mixing fabrics for different views. You could subtly combine two fabrics from the same collection, or go for completely opposite fabrics for a really bold and fun look. Either way it’s fun to think of all of the possible dresses you could make.

One thing that I love about the Colfax Dress is that it really does lend itself  to fabrics that are easy to work with. It is perfect for a medium weight linen or chambray for a more structured A line silhouette. But then its equally appropriate to use a lighter weight crepe or challis if you want more movement and for it to fall softer on your curves. Choose fabrics that are easy to press and you will have no problem with the crisp corners and yoke details. The pattern is labeled advanced beginner and I am confident that most sewers could handle the pattern. It does take some patience to get the yoke and bindings sewn, but as long as you are willing to go slowly (and with the added help of the sewalong next week) I am sure anyone could take it on. There are no zippers or buttons that scare a lot of sewers away.

In addition to the release of the Colfax, there will also be a sewalong in a couple of weeks, as well as a contest ending on April 28th. My Fabric Designs is sponsoring the sewalong and contest and has offered some great prizes. More details on how that is going to work in tomorrow’s post. If you would like to purchase the pattern or want more information go  here. Use the code COLFAXCONTEST to receive 25% off your pattern now through April 29th.

PATTERNMAKING SEWING

INTRODUCING THE ROSCOE BLOUSE / DRESS

October 5, 2015

I am so excited to introduce my newest women’s pattern, the Roscoe Blouse and Dress! This pattern came from the fact that I am currently obsessed with all things boho and 70’s inspired. With it’s billowy sleeves, gathered neckline, and large ruffled hems, this pattern is filling that void in my fall wardrobe.

 

View A 

View A is the blouse version of this pattern. Like the other two views, it has raglan sleeves and a gathered neckline. There is a slit at the neck’s center front, creating a flattering v shape along with neckties that you can either leave open or tie into a bow. The sleeves hit a couple of inches above the wrist and the hem of the blouse is finished off in a simple narrow hem.

I love the loose, comfortable ease of this top. I am currently pairing it with skinny jeans and boots, although I am on the hunt for the perfect pair of flare jeans to wear with it for a truly 70s inspired outfit.

 

View B

I think that View B is the most versatile of the three options. The length allows it to be worn as either a mini dress or a tunic depending on your preference. The top portion of the dress is identical to the blouse, but the bottom of the dress has an added ruffle.

I can see this paired with thick tights and boots for a fall / winter ensemble or made up in a gauzy lace for the warmer months. Either way I love wearing this dress. It is so easy to throw on for days when I want to feel feminine and put together, but with all the ease and comfort I could want.

 

View C

View C is the most dramatic of the views with it’s mid-calf hem and wide ruffle. I prefer to wear it with a belt, but I think it would be beautiful and quite the statement piece without it.

The pattern calls for lightweight woven fabrics with movement. This could include anything from silk crepe de chine and rayon challis, to cotton gauze and voile. Stiffer fabrics will create more structure while the ones with more drape will hug your curves.

View A was sewn up in a rose colored silk crepe de chine from Chic fabrics, View B was also made in a silk crepe de chine, this time from ebay, and View C is sewn with rayon challis from Imagine Gnats.

The difficulty of the pattern is marked as advanced beginner. Techniques that you will use during construction include gathering, bias binding, and sewing a front facing. There will be a sewalong for the Roscoe Blouse / Dress the week of October 19th for anyone who wants more detailed help. More info. on the schedule for that coming tomorrow.

You can buy the Roscoe Blouse / Dress pdf sewing pattern for 20% off now through this Sunday, October 11th at midnight EST with the code LAUNCHWEEK at checkout. You can buy this pattern by clicking here or through the link in the dropdown menu at the top of this page.