MAKES SEWING TUTORIALS

BODY CON MIDDI NIKKO DRESS TUTORIAL

September 28, 2018

 

The original Nikko pattern includes pattern pieces for a top (with or without sleeves) that is fitted, and a dress that is straighter through the waist and hips. I wanted to combine the two for a Nikko dress that is more body con like the top is. It’s a very easy hack so I thought I would share.

First of all you will use the top pattern pieces instead of the dress one since it has the more fitted waistline. I decided to use the sleeved version, but this would just as easily work for the sleeveless one. The only pattern pieces that you will be adjusting is the front and back. The neckband and also the sleeves or sleeve facings stay the same.

All you are going to do is lengthen the center front and center back straight down as those are cut on the fold. For the side seams you want to gradually angle it in about an inch so that it is fitted at mid calf. How long you extend it is up to you, but I would say somewhere between 20-30 inches from the original hem.

Once you have cut and sewn the Nikko according the the instructions, I find it really helpful to try the dress on inside out and mark any areas that I want to pull in a bit and make adjustments. I then hemmed it using fusible knit tape like the pattern suggests. Because the pattern calls for really stretchy knits you don’t actually need a slit at the hem, just make sure that you use a very forgiving stretch stitch to finish it.

Let’s talk a bit about fabric. I used a thick ribknit from The Fabric Store for this. I think that the thickness really is key to a body con dress so that it has more coverage. Rib knits are especially good for this. They kind of hide any lines or bumps that you may not want to draw attention to.

That’s it! Super easy hack for a fun dress. Can’t wait to wear it for date night.

TUTORIALS

RIT DYING FOR LANDERS

September 5, 2018

I’ve had a hard time finding the exact color of non stretch denim that I wanted for some Lander pants, so I decided to give fabric dying a go. I went with RIT because it was easy to find and inexpensive. Honestly I had no idea or confidence in how this was going to go, so I didn’t want to invest too much. For fabric, I went with my tried and true bull denim in natural. White would work as well, but since I knew that I wanted a darker color in the end, I figured the natural was more likely to get me there.

I did two separate dye batches. I scoured the RIT website which has a great section on color formulas and went with potter’s clay as my first batch.

I bought the three colors it asked for – tangerine, apple green, and scarlet and got to work.

Essentially I just followed the directions on the bottle and on the website. I added salt which was recommended and used this paper towel to test the color before adding my fabric. One thing that made a more successful product this time (compared to past attempts) was getting a large enough bucket so there was a lot of movement, and also stirring a lot for the first 10 minutes.

I let it soak for a few hours with occasional stirring because I knew that I wanted a deep color.

The end result is this beautiful deep rust color that I love so much. I would say that it is a little more red than the intended hue, but it is still such a gorgeous color that I can’t be upset.

Next up, I wanted a true camel brown. It’s my favorite color to wear with a simple black turtleneck in the fall so I knew I needed to make it. I looked again at the RIT color formulas and landed on caramel.

I bought the golden yellow and cocoa brown dyes and used the same natural colored bull denim.

I used the same process as before and ended up with a perfect medium camel color.

All in all a big success. The only change I might make next time is to add a small amount of black to my dye to get a darker hue.

I can’t wait to make up a couple of Lander pants with these for the fall and winter which is fast approaching.

MAKES SEWING

HARRIET BRAS FOR BRAUGUST

August 29, 2018

One of my goals for this year was to dive into sewing lingerie. It’s something I have wanted to master for awhile, but have been seriously intimidated by. I am a pretty confident sewist, but bras are one of those things that has felt like a new craft. It didn’t feel intuitive to me so the learning curve was steeper than I was use to. To get over my fears, I decided to take a class from Amy of Cloth Habit at Fancy Tiger Crafts.

It was such an amazing intensive where I was able to get over my mental hurdle and realize that bra making really isn’t that hard. In fact, start to finish, it’s just a few hours so you improve and get confident really quickly. The hardest part is fitting the bra since you really can’t check fit until you’ve sewn a whole bra. Luckily Amy gave us each a fitting during the class. The problem was that my body went through some changes right after the class and so my bra size changed. When Braugust (Bra August) was announced, I decided to use the month to really tackle the Harriet bra again.

During the month of August I made up three different versions of the Harriet bra. I made small tweaks to each one for fit, but all three are wearable. I can’t get over how pretty and delicate they look.

The light blue and black bras were my first two. The lace and findings for these bras both came from Tailormade. I love her kits. It makes it so much easier knowing that you have all of the small parts to make a bra.

The rust colored bra is probably my favorite and was the last bra I made. I had a bunch of white lace and elastics in my stash left over from other projects that I threw into a dye bath. All of the parts came out in different shades from light pink to dark orange. I am pretty obsessed with how ombre affect that this gives when you combine them all into one bra.

Now that I have a great fitting Harriet bra I want to take some of the scraps and try to make some matching undies. I am also interested in trying out a foam version of the Harriet. I see lots more lingerie sewing in my future as it seems to be the perfect palette cleansers between working on my own patterns and larger projects.

MAKES SEWING

ARIANA DRESS IN BLACK LINEN

August 22, 2018

 

I made the Ariana dress at the beginning of summer and am just now getting around to blogging it. Probably because I wore it so much. It was definitely my go to this summer and I only wish I had followed through and made at least one more before it started getting cold outside. It was one of three outfits I brought on a family trip to Japan and it also was the first thing I reached for when teaching a class or going out for dinner.

The Ariana dress pattern is from Style Arc. I found the instructions very sparse, but the drafting of the pattern to be great. So just keep that in mind. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to a true beginner. My favorite part of the dress is the back panel which is sewn up with elastic thread. This can take some practice, but it’s not as hard as it looks and it creates a dress that is super comfortable to wear.

I did need to make some fit adjustments, but the great thing about a princess seam is that full bust adjustments are pretty simple. I used my Beatrice dress form to figure out the fit adjustments to make, which was much easier than doing it on myself.

The fabric is medium weight linen from The Fabric Store with wooden buttons from my stash.

SEWALONG SEWING TUTORIALS

YARI JUMPSUIT – WIDE LEG HACK

July 3, 2018

I have been meaning to show you guys this super easy Yari Jumpsuit hack for awhile now and I am so glad that I finally did because it’s one of my fav. things in my wardrobe. I have been seeing this oversized, easy to wear, wide leg jumpsuit all over ready to wear recently so I hope you guys are excited about it as I am.

This hack can be done with the sleeved or sleeveless versions and you can of coarse you the D rings if you want, but to really get the same look that I have been seeing in stores, you want to do the sleeveless, no ring option.

I decided to go with a black linen rayon blend that I had in my stash which worked great, but I think I am going to make another one soon with lighterweight rayon or crepe for one with more movement.

To adjust the pattern pieces I am going to be adjusting all four main pattern pieces along the legs. You won’t be messing with the inner sides of the pattern pieces that are straight and create the princess seam down the front and back as these lines are already parallel to the grainline. Instead you will be adjusting the curved outer lines only, making them parallel to the grainline as well. It’s that simple. The only trick is to make sure that you adjust the front and back side pieces from the same point and the front and back inner pieces from the same point so that they match up when you are sewing them together.

Let’s start with the outer front piece. Starting at the hip, right before it starts to curve in for the tapered leg, simply draw a line straight down, parallel to the grainline. I find that right about the hip notch is perfect to start. Now continue the hem line out to meet this new outer leg line. That’s it!

 

Repeat what you just did for the side back, being sure to mimic the line you made on the outer front piece so that they match up when sewn.

 

Now you are going to do the same thing with the center front piece at the crotch. There is some wiggle room here, but essentially I start about 2 inches down from the top of the crotch and begin to gradually make the line straight and parallel to the grainline. If you want the pants a bit wider, start closer to the crotch.

 

Repeat for the center back piece, starting the line at the same place you did for the center front so that it matches up when sewn.

 

 

That’s it! Sew the pattern up according to the directions. I chose to crop these a bit by taking 2 inches off of the hem and then turning up another 2 inches for a wider looking hem, but hem length is up to you.

 

 

Let me know if you have any questions! I am pretty obsessed with this simple hack.

If you would like to purchase the Yari pattern you can do so here and here.