Cashmerette Turner Dress for the Holidays

The Turner dress was the last garment I made in 2016 and the first refashion I did in 2017! Haha. I’ll get to why I refashioned it later in the post. All of the pictures in this post are mirror selfies fyi, because it’s cold outside and I am in hibernation mode so the fact that I am taking pictures at all is a huge thing. I never promised professional photography here people!

I tested the Turner dress in March¬†before leaving for my honeymoon in April. I brought the tester version with me a wore it a bunch while in Holland and around Scandinavia. I don’t even have a picture of me in the dress there except covered by a coat, because I was too worried about accidentally posting it on instagram before the release.

Cashmerette Turner Dress

Cashmerette Turner Dress

Ignore the wool socks with flipflops. These pictures were taken in March last year and it was cold! The fabric I used for my tester version was a navy ponte with enough stretch for the pattern. I picked it up at the thrift store. I love finding good scores there.

I made size 22 E/F graded to a 24 at the waist. My friend’s version is the same size.

The pattern goes together really quickly. There’s clear elastic at the waist to stabilize it. Debbie of Stitches and Seams, however, didn’t use elastic at all and has a stable seam. I think with the right fabric you could definitely follow her method. I’m allergic to the clear elastic so I just used regular latex free elastic. Likely this ponte fabric as well as the ponte fabric I made my friend’s dress out of are totally fine without elastic.

Turner Dress

Both of these are lined bodices. I added pockets to my friend’s dress, because pockets are amazing.

The week before Christmas, I went to Fabricland at Honest Ed’s. It was having a closing sale so I picked up this pretty rayon poly knit:

I figured it was perfect for a Christmas dress that would look good beyond Christmas.

Sadly, there are no more Fabriclands within a good distance from me. The most accessible one for me, I believe, would be at Dupont and Dufferin, but that is an hour from my place by transit. I am still really close to Toronto’s Fashion District, but it is often difficult to find sales or even printed knit fabric that isn’t completely polyester. Hopefully a Fabricland will appear again in a more accessible location sometime soon.

It wasn’t until Christmas day that I was certain that I would be making this dress. I was sick most of the holidays and it’s irritated my breathing issues and made them worse again. So it wasn’t until around 1pm on Christmas Day that I decided to start making it when we were leaving for dinner at my husband’s sister’s house at 3pm. I got it done at 2pm! Before your jaw drops off, I already had it cut out. ūüėČ I also did a modified neckline and used the scoopneck from my concord t shirt pattern and the band. I also cut out a 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the waist since my size had changed slightly since the last time I made it.

Turner Dress

It worked out really well and we were out the door in time. But as the night went on, the dress stretched and stretched….. and the knit fabric had zero recovery… so it looked a bit like an off the shoulder dress after a while… I wore it one more time to work and then tossed it in a corner to be fixed.

Turner Dress with sad fabric recovery fail

Inspired by Gillian’s recent series Lazy tip for fixing knits, I had to make it work! The best way to fix it in my mind was to do two things: stabilize the shoulders with some elastic (probably should have done that in the first place!¬†HAHA) and replace the neckband with a cowl to cover up an modesty issues that may arise with the recovery issue. I didn’t take off the neckband when I put the cowl on because I was worried about it stretching out further, but I did serge it off.

Turner dress with cowl neckline

Turner Dress

Turner Dress

I definitely like the refashion and might actually do this again for another Turner dress with a slightly different shape for the cowl. I love cowl necklines so I call this a win.

The cowl is also long enough that I can hide in it. I think this will be useful for the winter hibernation.

Turner Dress Cowl Peekaboo

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Cashmerette Turner Dress
  • Pros:¬†Super fast pattern. Great shape and style. Really good for large busts with the cup sizes.
  • Cons:¬†The pattern itself doesn’t come with pockets, but it’s easy enough to add.¬†Like most Cashmerette patterns, the neckline and shoulder are wide, but that is an easy fix.
  • Make again?:¬†Definitely.¬†It’s a great dress and a great base for some fun pattern hacks. ūüôā
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

Introducing Blank Slate Pattern’s Auberley dress

Disclaimer: I received the Auberley dress pattern in exchange for testing. All my opinions and cheese are my own. Stay away from my cheese.

I do pattern testing already for Muse Patterns and Cashmerette Patterns. Both are run by sewing friends who I adore. I was pretty sure for a while that I wouldn’t do any more testing. Recently, before the Rue Pattern was released, Colette Patterns put out a call for pattern testers. I almost filled out the form. I’m so glad I didn’t, because I don’t think the pattern would work for me (or possibly anyone…) and I am not certain that “testers” were used for much beyond promotional purposes.

When I test a pattern, I expect my feedback to be taken into consideration and help make the pattern better. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled with two wonderful companies that really respect the testing process and take time to make changes to the pattern before the pattern is released. I can confirm that Cashmerette and Muse do this and both really appreciate their testers. It never feels like work. Instead, it is an exciting process and I get patterns I love out of it. See examples of all my Muse Patterns and Cashmerette patterns garments for proof of how much I love testing for these two companies.

Recently, Susan from Blank Slate put up a call for testers in the Curvy Sewing Collective facebook group. They specifically needed testers at the higher range of their sizes. Susan described it as “babydoll dress/tunic pattern with a square neckline, princess seams, and bell sleeves” and my heart went “I fucking want that right fucking now.” My heart swears a lot…and so does my mouth…

The turn around time was pretty tight. The post was up on September 17th and then I provided my feedback by September 25th. Originally, the feedback was due by the 21st, but a pattern change happened right in the middle of testing along with a change in the neckline and it got us all a sweet extension.

Pattern testing with Blank Slate was pretty different from anything I’ve experienced before. It was actually such a great process and testers got to see results as we were testing in the pattern. I used up a lot more muslin (thrifted bed sheets) than I ever have during a testing process, but it was a great learning process. It prompted me to finally print off my Marigold dress/top/skirt pattern for a sweet flowy peplum top. I will need to make some adjustments, but I am pretty confident in the pattern drafting and that it will work out. I’ve already been in love with Michelle’s dress version for a while.

All of this is to say that I’m really pleased with the process and, as long as timing is right, I hope to do more testing with Blank Slate in the future.

Testing the pattern also came during a major slump in my sewing. I haven’t posted in a while and well…. I have so little to show for all the sewing I have done and I’ve done so much sewing…. I have four or five (lost count) unfinished objects (UFOs) and several pieces cut out. I have two pairs of shorts and one pair of cropped pants on the go that will likely not be worn out of the house until the summer and still nothing finished. I’m dying here. Some of it is fit issues, others are sewing issues (like my serger decided to drop stitches and I need to resew because all the stitches are popping but I have to change my thread back to the other colour first to finish it…), and others are cutting the god damn wrong size of waistband for three damn skirts when I have no more of the damn fabric left to cut it out again…. SMH! It’s just been a series of unfortunate events and Count Olaf is off laughing in a corner somewhere.

Testing this pattern has revitalized me thankfully. My final fit isn’t perfect, but I love the dress and really love the style so I can go forward with confidence now and finish¬†those UFOs.

The construction of the Auberley dress is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t have any zippers and simply pulls over your head. For the tester version, I was asked to sew it up as is. Susan did ask if that was okay given my shoulder issues and I figured I could go back and add a zipper if I absolutely needed it. I have found pulling the tester over my head isn’t too difficult, but I will be putting a side zipper in my next versions. The bodice has princess seams and is lined giving the notched neckline a lovely finish. The skirt is an empire waisted gathered skirt and there are ties at the back. The sleeves have two options: long bell sleeves, which I used for my tester version, and elbow length straight sleeves. In the hack pack, there are two additional necklines: v-neck and scoop neck; and three sleeves: cold shoulder sleeve, and long or 3/4 length bishop sleeves with ties. Lots and lots of options there.¬†Also pockets!

With my version, I did two muslins before sewing up this final version. I’m not 100% happy with the fit since there are some lines along the centre panel of the dress, which I think are a result of two things: 1) the front panel needs to be widened slightly so the princess seam is actually going through my apex and 2) the front panel needs to be shortened. I’m sure I will get many other helpful suggestions on how to fix the wrinkles, though.

Look at me play with the wrinkles:

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

What an hilarious outtake! My husband took these pictures before we went to the new Second City show Come What Mayhem. Great show btw! Definitely a must see if you are in Toronto!

I also need to widen the sleeve a little bit since the upper arm is a bit tight and shorten it (although, my hands are in a fist in some of these¬†pictures… I was cold). I used a size 26 sleeve. For reference, my upper bicep is 21 inches. In addition, I will widen the front skirt to match the gathering on the back skirt.

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

I started with a size 20 to match my upper bust and did a 5 inch FBA. I also added 2 inches to the side seams in order to make it easier to get over my head as well as have the size 26 sleeve fit. I used the size 26 skirt and ties, as well.

The fabric I used is a hunter green poly crepe that I got at the thrift store. It was a dream to sew. I have a navy blue poly crepe that might also become a Auberley dress, but I have a million ideas in my head right now so that might change!

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

Blank Slate Patterns Auberley dress

I will reserve a full review for when I actually use the final pattern and try out the hack pack. I don’t assign a star rating to the test versions of patterns. I’m excited for more versions. One of the testers used a black lace in the front panel and sleeves and I really want to try something similar. I’d also like to lengthen the waist ties, too, so they wrap around the front. I see so many possibilities with the dress once the fit is completely tweaked. It will be a great winter dress to wear with some lovely leggings or knee high socks. I think I’m going to get some double guaze and some chambray and try out some fabrics I’ve never used before. Should be fun! I also am in love with the bishop sleeves so those are definitely going to be used like crazy.

 

 

Apples to apples: M6887

This dress took me a year to finish.

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Last year, I was shopping with two friends for fabric and splurged on a lovely apple fabric. It was a super soft stretch sateen. I’m not sure of the fiber content, but I would guess cotton. What I adored about the fabric was that the apples were all super bright colours on a white background and included a turquoise apple along with the red and yellow varieties you might see in nature. My plan was to use M6887, which was part of last year’s Outfit Along organized by Andi Satterlund and Lauren from Lladybird. I was also going to knit a mint green wrap cardigan, which was also never made due to fitting issues. I think I will make a different cardigan with that yarn, though.¬†Originally that light blue acetate in the picture above was going to be used to line the dress, but I hate lined dresses and cut the lining off after trying it on.

I started off simply enough with a size 22 and then did a FBA of 1.5 inches giving 3 inches extra in the bust area. I decided not to make the version with the back cutout, but instead used the deeper curve for the back on the full back version. I also changed it from a back zipper to a side zipper, because my mobility issues make it very difficult to close a back zipper. Nothing like dislocating your shoulder to make you never want to have a centre back zipper again

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I also made front pockets and put piping in the princess seams on the back, the waist, and on the diagonal front of the pockets. Then I tried it on…and hated it. I unfortunately have no pictures of that. The main issue was no waist definition and that the skirt was hanging weirdly. I think it was due to the stretch in the material and may have been fine in any other material. Or it may not have been. I tossed the dress aside until I could figure out what needed to be done. And there it sat for a year…

When I returned from our honeymoon in May, I cleaned up my stash and resolved to do a few things:

  1. Join the Stashbusting sewalong and pledge to not add to my stash except when buying thrifted fabric (which really is a grab it when you can or you’ll never have another opportunity) or fabric for a specific project that I will immediately use (like the swimsuit fabric I need or other things).
  2. Not buy new patterns unless I know I need it and will actually sew it up. I recently got the prefontaine shorts to fill a need for weekend summer wear. I also got the Siren swim top and sailor bottoms for swim suits.
  3. Finish all my UFOs. My floral linen M6696 was part of that. I still have three Cake Pavlova skirts and a shirt for my husband in my UFO basket.

The whole idea behind doing this is to sew with what I have first and use up the patterns I have had for years first. I’m excited to get some of that done. ūüėÄ So that I can buy¬†new patterns and buy new fabrics! ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

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We do things to justify the weirdest things in life like eating a salad for lunch to have a cupcake for dinner or walking 6km to a burger joint or for ice cream. I joined the stashbusting sewalong to justify buying more stash eventually. Ha!

I procrastinated on this dress¬†for a while because of the fit issues.¬†Since my smallest part is under my bust, dresses without waistbands tend to hang oddly and they either ride up or just look odd. I need to define that area and give me shape. Waistbands aren’t going to work for everyone. Some find them to be problematic and make the wearer look shortwaisted. Perhaps I do, but I have a short waist anyway so idgaf. I think they work well on me by emphasizing my smallest area and keep the waistline in place as well as make the skirt flow properly.

I had recently done two muslins for the Upton dress (final version still pending…as in not cut out yet…lol) and knew that the waistband for that in size 26 fit me perfectly. So I used that. It was an almost perfect fit for the M6887! I just had to reduce the size of the gores on the skirt back a bit to make it fit. The front was perfect. I attached the waistband on the front and then the back and then sewed up the side seams and then attached the waistband lining. Originally, I forgot to put on interfacing. SMH! But I snuck it in there before finishing up the waistband lining by hand.

Then I had to do the zipper. It took me three hours to put that thing in! My machine would just stop feeding in the middle of it. Not because of bulk or threads jamming, but it would just stop feeding for no reason. I still need to clean it out and wish for the best. I plan on saving up money for a new one in the new year. I then tried handpicking the zipper¬†and had the worst time getting things right. It was like I couldn’t make my hands work so I went back to the machine and then had to unpick a bunch of stuff after to hide all my mistakes. The zipper is far from perfect, but it got in after three hours.

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Ugh. I’m not a fan of zippers anyway. I very much prefer buttons or a dress that you can put over your head. In terms of sewing, zippers are a huge weakness in my skill set. I need more practice for sure, but, of course, I keep choosing patterns without zippers to avoid it entirely. I can sew up a bra, but a zipper gets me sweating. It’s probably not helping that I need side zippers and prefer lapped zippers…. I’m just making it harder on myself. I know it will get better, but man zippers!

Anyway, I had zipper success and then let my dress hang up for about a week to let the skirt settle. Of course, I could have just left it for a few days or even 48 hours and gone back to it, but I was procrastinating again…

I needed to fix some excess fabric in the princess seam and trim off the armholes and shoulders. I’d already made the length from the bust to the shoulder shorter, but it needed some better shape to it. I fixed the shoulder/armhole shaping first:

What a fix. Then I let it sit for a few more days before I unpicked the princess seams. To be fair, I was really busy last week with the Fringe Festival and my improv show’s fundraiser to get to Winnipeg for C4 and performing for William Shatner! (What!) I also just did not want to sew. I have not wanted to sew all summer. Maybe it’s my recent diagnosis. Maybe it’s my pain levels. It was for sure the horrible allergies I have right now. Nothing like stopping sewing to sneeze ten times in a row. It may have been the heat in Toronto. I think, though, it was that the dress had sucked my soul out and I didn’t want to touch it again for fear of losing my soul completely. HA!

But I returned to it on Friday and finished it on Saturday before another Fringe show and wore it out that night. I got a lot of lovely compliments. Although I was so doped up from allergy medication that I barely responded.

Now that I am done this UFO, I adore the dress, as I knew I would. I mean, come on, that fabric is adorable! Behind all the cuteness of it, is the harrowing story of a seamstressing out.

The pattern itself is actually quite good. It was easy to alter for an FBA and, once I transfer all my changes while sewing it up to paper, should become a favourite of mine. I think it looks incredible on me and I love the changes I made with the front pockets and then lower back, as well as the side zipper.¬†The instructions for the pattern are typical of McCall’s. You need some sewing experience to tackle a pattern like this, but you can also search for tutorials. I tend not to look over sewing instructions anymore unless I am testing the pattern or there is a technique I am unfamiliar with and then I tend to also google tutorials. Thank goodness for google.

I didn’t line the dress as the pattern calls for. Even self-lining drives me nuts when I wear it. I prefer unlined dresses and then I finish the seams. Of course, I didn’t finish the seams in this dress… I would normally serge the edges or using pink sheers. I pinked¬†the front princess seams and the pocket seams, but nowhere else. The neckline and armholes are finished with mint bias tape using the same colour fabric as the pockets. The pocket fabric in the front is a bit sheer for my liking and would have benefited from a double layer or from being underlined in white cotton. It doesn’t really bother me though. There is a bit of an issue with bust pulling due to the differences in the stretch cotton versus the non-stretch cotton and bulk from the piping. Those issues as well as some pulling the armhole would disappear with a more stable fabric. The pains of using a fabric because it’s pretty!

My only annoyance with the dress now is that the hem flips up in the wash and I actually have to *gasp* iron it! I hate ironing. I will press like crazy when I making something but after….ugh. Ironing is so annoying when it isn’t related to sewing. Related, I did not iron this before taking pictures. I wore it at work and was sweaty from hot summer weather!

M6887 Apple dress

M6887 Apple dress

M6887 Apple dress

M6887 Apple dress

M6887 Apple dress

M6887 Apple dress

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†M6887
  • Pros:¬†Lovely fit and flare design. Eat to fit princess seams.
  • Cons:¬†Like with most plus sized patterns in 90% of the patterns out there, the shoulders are ridiculously huge and wide. I know there are people out there with wide shoulders, but I am not one of them and I don’t really know anyone with that wide of shoulders. Somewhere in between would be nice…
  • Make again?:¬†Yes.¬†I would make it again exactly as it without any further alterations. It’s really a gorgeous dress and flatters me quite a bit. I don’t think I will ever try the version with the back cutout as much as I like it.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md4/5 stars

 

That feeling when…

…you are just ready to hibernate and it’s not even winter yet…

So far June has not been good to me!

I began gardening the back patio planter and then came out the day after I got the soil perfect on one side of the planter to this destruction on that very same side:

Planter destroyed!

That hole is through to my neighbor’s patio and all the soil and rocks for drainage is now under HER patio. Great fun. She is having her patio redone and the people doing it ripped it out and destroyed that portion of our fence/ planter. So bye bye newly rejuvenated soil and a bunch of rocks for drainage!

As I was doing that side, there were a ton of roots that I dug out. Turns out a tree is growing off the patio into the property behind us, which is a store. You can’t see a lot through the fence so it just looked like a tree on the other side, but it’s coming out of our planter and is making a nice big hole in it. Fun times.

Bad things come in three… The faucet for the hose in the back needs a part replaced as well before I can use it. For now, I am carting water back and forth from the kitchen. When my landlady replaces that and the hose is on, I can also wash the deck.

I scrapped my idea of having a nice garden in the planter this summer and will focus on it next year. The fence will be fixed and the soil replaced by the builders next door. They promised me and my landlady and best follow through… Then my landlady will have to negotiate the tree removal with the store behind us to get it removed. By-laws in Toronto are pretty strict about a tree crossing property lines. I figure it will take a while to get it out and get the roots removed. Then the faucet will be fixed.

Gardening

I put all the plants into pots and used the soil from the planter since I will need to remove it anyway to get the root system out. I posted a photo and Megan had some great tips on adding interest with levels since all her plants are in pots around her house. For now the recycling bin and other plant pots are temporary. I’m going to keep an eye out for pallets and cinder blocks and curb side tables for better looking things to put the pots on. I already found two steal plant pots. I also thought up some other great ideas and hope to eventually have¬†lots of flowering plants, herbs,¬†and ivy, etc. I will put everything in pots this summer and then maybe next summer I can refocus on the planter. That deck area may also need to be replaced next summer, too. Such a bummer.

I am not a fan of the back patio, but am really determined to make it into something lovely where I want to hang out back there. It may be a place that we rent, but it’s our¬†home and I love every other part of it. Our landlady treats us like family, as well, and I really can’t imagine living anywhere else in Toronto. I got the patio furniture all cleaned up and ready for sangria back there. It’s slowly coming together. The plus side of planting so late is that you can get a ton of discounted plants right now! They will be a little worse for the wear in some cases, but can come back without too much trouble.

Patio furniture

Other than the patio nightmares, I’ve had horrible health! The weather went¬†from 30 degrees to 15 degrees and then back up to 20/22 degrees celcius. I got a week of migraines last week as a result and my allergies are nuts right now. My shoulder is still bothering me and my lower back is now too.

I sound like doom and gloom right now. I’m planning on taking some mental and physical health time and treating myself to quiet nights at home. I also decided not to participate in Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. I love it. Last year, I wasn’t able to participate because it was the month before my wedding and I had planned out several things for it this year. But it wasn’t to be. My serger broke and that cost a mint meaning I couldn’t buy the fabric I needed for the swimsuit I had planned in conjunction with CSC’s swimsuit sewing month. All plans out the window!

I was in the middle of working on a Cashmerette Concord Tank top when my serger broke. I did manage to get it done on my sewing machine, though. I made two Concord Tank tops:

Concord Tank top!

Concord Tank top!

Nothing much to say about what I did here. I didn’t add sleeves. Made bands for the armhole instead. The pineapple top was cut a bit more narrow in front to get it to fit on the fabric and I think it worked out a bit better for the cotton lycra. The cherry top was a bit wider and didn’t need to be narrowed, but I think the fabric actually needs a size down due to stretch. I still love both tops. Used the same size as before and serged the raw hem.

While my serger was being repaired by Sewing World (took all of 48 hours btw. And incredible customer service so I recommend them as a repair shop. They are also a Janome dealer so they might be the place I go when I am ready to buy a new sewing machine), I reorganized my fabric stash and managed to fit it all into my cupboard again!

Yeay all of my fabric stash fits in here again. #sewing #sewcialists #fabricaddict

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The sewing craze before our honeymoon really helped my stash go down. I worked a bit on a muslin for an Upton dress. My size is all over the map right now so two muslins later and still no good fit. It’s all my error with choosing a size, though.

I went through my UFOs since the reorganization meant they weren’t covered in fabric and found a vintage floral linen M6696 from last year that got tossed aside during the wedding and post-wedding blahs.

 

I finished the vintage floral linen M6696, though! I’ve made the pattern several times before.

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

Look at those lovely vintage buttons! And look at it on me!

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

I remember doing an extra inch FBA on this bodice last year and I need another one this year. The waistband was also increased by an inch. I just put in the collar stand and not the collar. I like the look. I made shoulder tabs, too, but neglected to take a picture of them. They are orange and have green flower buttons on them. Pretty cute. The sewing on the tabs isn’t the best, though.

I also found my failed apple print M6887 dress and plan on tackling that again, too. It’s so pretty, but just didn’t look good on me. I’ve taken apart and plan on adding a mint waistband. The apple material is slightly stretchy so using a stable non-stretch cotton will help it look better at the waist. I’m also trying to figure out how to add more volume to the skirt, but I will first bast it on the waistband and see if that improved the look on me. I have only a metre left of the fabric. Luckily, the bodice fits quite well. No alterations there.

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After the apple print M6887 dress is done, I think I might revisit M7084, which was the pattern I used for my wedding dress. I plan on going with the same length from my wedding dress and sleeveless, but I think I will add a waistband since it really cinches me in at my underbust and I find the look flatters me. I will also be tackling my Upton dress again and making a muslin for the Decades of Style ESP dress since I have some lovely Wonder Woman fabric from Tanya that I need to sew now! I also have some awesome nerdy Hello Kitty fabric from Alicia that might also become an ESP dress.

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It’s a summer of dresses! I have many other plans, but for now all I can focus on is making all the dresses.

Who else feels like making all the dresses?

 

And now back to our regular programming… Striped Simplicity 1459

Now that the wedding is over, I can write about sewing again and get back to reviewing patterns, sewing favourites, and musing on sewing in general without the focus of the wedding for every project.

Of course without any time constraints, I haven’t been sewing! I’ve been hanging out with my husband. ūüėÄ

I have some deadlines coming up for some challenges. The Outfit Along ends at the end of the month. I haven’t even muslined the dress and I am only five inches into my Embrace knit wrap. Along with this, I could be taking part in the Bra-a-Week challenge¬†(I have some bra fabrics on the way!) or the Sundress sew-a-long¬†(I haven’t even settled on a pattern for this one)…or sewing up the three projects I have already cut out… (two Jenna cardis and another M6696). Nope. Hanging out with my husband and cuddling him like crazy.

Lucky for you, I have a project kicking around from the end of May to blog about! Phew!

I got the fabric for my dress back in May during a thrift store visit and basically made the dress in the same week. The fabric is actually an Ikea duvet cover and had the stripes on both sides, which means double the fabric. There were two colourways and I kick myself for not picking up the blue/green colourway as well. I¬†call that thrift store regret. I often leave things behind and then dream about them later for weeks. I usually go back the next day in these circumstances, but the thrift stores get cleaned out of the good stuff pretty often. I never got the blue/green colourway, sadly. ūüė¶

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I’ve always wanted a horizontal striped dress, but I wanted multicoloured crazy stripes like the duvet. I love all stripes, but really love the multicoloured stripes. I also want more orange and yellow in my life. They are colours that just make me happy, but I know they don’t look right next to my face so the other colours worked well to keep the yellow/orange¬†away from my face.

Really this dress was all about the stripe location and I spent about two hours deciding on where to place things before cutting it out. I held it up to my body. I looked in the mirror. I wrapped it about like a toga. I twirled in it. I cocooned myself in the fabric and thought long and hard. Okay, I spent more time playing than anything else. ūüėõ Do you ever just play with fabric? I can’t be the only one?!

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I made the dress using Simplicity 1459¬†for the bodice. I left the collar off the dress and simply sewed the facing to the wrong side of the bodice and turned and pressed. In order to not have the facing issue that I had with my gingham version, I used fusible webbing to prevent the facing from turning up at the back. I also used it in a couple of locations at the front to ensure the facing laid flat. It also really helps maintain the shape of the neckline since the fabric is super soft.¬†For the skirt, I cut out a rectangle and just gathered the skirt for a basic skirt. I made fabric-covered buttons using the orange and pink stripes so they were consistent in all the buttons. I didn’t want to worry about the buttons turning about and the stripes not matching up correctly. I stripe-matched on the side seams and the front bodice. I think I did an okay job. It’s off by a millimeter here or there, but overall pretty good. Like the gingham version, I finished the armholes with self-made bias tape. I also put in a short side zipper, which I installed by handpicking, and side-seam pockets.

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I also made a matching band for a new hat I got:

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Hahha, such a nerd.

I chose to have the white stripes go across my chest and the orange stripes across my waist. This worked perfectly and gives the dress a wicked shape for my body. I’ve been wearing this dress constantly since I made it. It’s extremely comfortable due to the lack of a waist band.The fabric is so soft, too. It’s 100% cotton, but the cotton feels brushed and lovely. It’s like wearing around a comfy duvet cover all day…wait… it’s literally that. ūüėČ

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I wore the dress for Me-Made-May, our Stag and Doe, and for our minimoon in Niagara Falls. A T-rex invaded my personal space to tell me she liked my dress.

The only issue with the dress is that the neckline doesn’t quite sit flat at my cleavage line when I am sitting forward. It’s a little baggy there and the v-neck sometimes gaps. It doesn’t bother me, though, since it still provides enough coverage that I don’t need to worry about flashing people. Just means I need to stop slouching!

Here is my much-delayed photoshoot:

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Spring Sewing Round up + Summer Sewing Plans

It’s a week before the weddddding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yeay!

I also recently got this lovely bundle in the mail from Jenny at Cashmerette!

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She had a giveaway on her blog and I won it. ūüėÄ

I think the panel of fabric is screaming to become a cute mini-quilt for a wall hanging.

Okay, excitement is high here, but I do have some Summer sewing plans for after the wedding and wanted to post a roundup of my Spring sewing.

Spring Sewing Roundup

1. Outerwear:

I made two M7100 bomber jackets as planned (click the pictures for links to the entries):

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And spent most of the Spring wearing them every day. We have had a strange Spring here. Usually by this time in Toronto, we have weather that is over 20 degrees and less rain. This Spring is weather anywhere between 10 degrees and 30 degrees and tons of rain. It’s crazy. I never know how to dress so having these jackets is perfect.

2. Men’s clothes:

I want to formally apologize to my husband-to-be for neglecting him yet again in this area.

3. Dresses:

I made a few dresses:

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I haven’t blogged about the striped dress yet. I keep spilling coffee on myself before I get pictures taken! At this point, too, it’s definitely going to be a post-wedding entry…

I never made anything for Indie Pattern Month, sadly. Oh well, I’ll be able to participate next year. Not the million dress I planned, but enough.

I also made my wedding dress, but you have to wait until July to see that.

I made a flower girl dress. So cute! Not my size, though. ūüėČ Darn.

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4. Tops:

I didn’t make the top I planned (M7094) but I did make two JVL Bronte tops:

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5. Lingerie

I made two bras from my cloned Elomi bra pattern!! Neither of these are blogged about, but I will be doing that before the wedding.

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Summer Sewing Plans

1. Outerwear:

I did not get to the raincoat with the Spring sewing, but I¬†will get that raincoat made this summer. I didn’t get to it, because of a minor alteration on the sleeves and basically just wanted to sew up projects I knew would be easy. As a reminder, these are the fabrics and the pattern I plan to use:

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M6517:

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I decided to sketch it out for fun!

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I’m using my Curvy Sketchbook from Cashmerette.

2. Men’s clothes:

I swear I will get this done. I already have the first version cut out in a black cotton. It will be Simplicity 1544:

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View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.

Other than that, I am making him some boxer shorts, but I will not be¬†posting them here. I can post my underwear without issue, but¬†not other people’s.

3. Lingerie:

On the heels of two more successful bras, I want to make all the bras! I have enough of the fuchsia duoplex to make another bra and this time I will be using pink and purple elastics/findings. I will also be making two in turquoise fabric. One is planning with white lace and blue elastics/findings. I have yet to find a lace for the second version, but I am leaning toward hot pink or something else crazy and loud with black elastics/findings. Black powernet for both. Although, I might “harvest” my first bra for white powernet for the turquoise bra, but I haven’t decided yet. I may also just get some white powernet since I need more underwires anyway.

Here are some of my fabrics:

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I also have plans for some funky strapping across the front of the fuchsia one, like this bra:

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The straps would replace the stretch lace in the upper cup… We’ll see if that ends up being something I make… Or even something that will work…

4. Dresses:

Now that it is summer. I want to make all the dresses ever. I have started sketching a couple with my Curvy Sketchbook.

a)¬†B6210¬†in the same stripe fabric as I’ve used before:

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b) For the Outfit Along, I am planning to make the Embrace wrap cardigan in a mint green wool/acrylic blend from Ice Yarn and M6887 in a lovely apple fabric with a light blue lining and mint green bias tape accents:

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The knit wrap cardigan is the Embrace pattern. It’s available for free on Ravelry.

c) Decades of Style ESP Dress in Wonder Woman fabric:

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d) Muse Patterns’¬†Melissa dress in a mint green floral print with forest green accents on the front v pockets and the sleeves, and an ivory lace insert on the back V:

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e) I currently have another M6696 all cut out and ready to be sewn using these fabrics and buttons:

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The plan for this is to have sleeves that turn up with a cuff and button tabs with the green flower buttons. We’ll see if that works out! ūüôā

5. Shorts:

I don’t really know whether this will happen or not. To be honest, I almost didn’t put it on the list, but if I try this and fail, I still want to write about what happened. I’m not a fan of shorts or pants. You see me wear leggings with dresses and I get by okay all year round. The thickness of the leggings just change based on the weather.

I’m not sure of the pattern. I know I want them to be bermuda length (knee-length), though, anything shorter and I won’t feel comfortable wearing them. I have Green Style Taylor Shorts¬†and Ginger Jeans in my pdf patterns.¬†I also have M5894,¬†a jeans pattern, in my paper pattern stash and that one is the closet in terms of sizing for me. I just discovered a new pattern that is yet to be released from Itch to Stitch called the Angelia Shorts. I saw a version over on the Monthly Stitch and really loved them. They aren’t really in my size range, though. I like the idea of adapting M5894 into a bermuda length with a draw string and making them in a lightweight pant material. We’ll see what happens here. If anyone knows of a pattern like the Itch to Stitch that is in a 24W or higher (there are tons with an elastic waist, but that isn’t what I am looking for at all), please let me know!

I have no sketches of this yet as I am just mulling it over…

6. Swimming:

This venture really depends on whether I can find a good swimsuit fabric that I like. I haven’t found any¬†yet; although, I can make the first version in cheap fabric to check fit and figure the bra issue. I will be making B5795¬†in view B for the top and view F for the bottoms:

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The bottoms will be made in a solid colour, because I want to make a few and have them interchangeable for the tops. I would also like a few bottoms in boy shorts, too. The tops are going to be prints with the princess seams on the front in solid colours. There will also be a foam bra insert using my bra pattern so I will be changing the back a little bit so it dips lower and has an elastic band and a swim clasp.

I’ve sketched out the concept here:

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The bottoms have drawstring ties in the picture. Not sure if I want to do that yet.

Along with swimsuits, I also have plans for a swim cover up, using the free Medina mini-kaftan pattern from Hot Patterns on fabric.com¬†I’d like it in the white island breeze gauze on fabric.com for the main fabric and a fluorescent cotton¬†for the contrast. A store near me sells a few fluorescent cottons that I want¬†to snag for this. I’m thinking hot pink for the neckline and orange or yellow for the sleeves/bottom. I love colour blocking like that, because I know the orange/yellow won’t work near my face in terms of my complexion, but it will be fine on the sleeves or bottom of the cover up.

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I plan on going to the aquatic centre near my home for a drop-in class of aquafit or for the non-lane swim times. My post-wedding plans are to increase my fitness in low-impact ways. So that means yoga, swimming, light stretching at home, and some strength training at home, too. With my fibromyalgia, I can’t really do anything that leads to a flare up so that means I do smaller things and get fit in different ways.

I find it funny that most people try to lose weight for a wedding. How can anyone handle that with all the other stress? I plan on focusing on getting fit after the wedding. ūüôā I’m not purely focused on losing weight, but more on making sure I am getting my body to a better place in fitness. Not being in pain all the time will hopefully be a result of this.

I could write out more that I want to sew, but I’m trying to limit my planning a bit more. I tend to be pretty ambitious. I also want to focus on slower projects and make interesting details for them.

What are your summer sewing plans?

Winter Round-up and Spring Sewing plans

Winter Round Up

Well, the rest of winter went by super fast and I wasn’t in the sewing mood for most of it. Let’s see how I achieved my objectives for the sewing categories I set out in my Winter Sewing Plans:

1. Underwear:

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I managed to clone my Elomi bra. I also this weekend tried Seamwork’s¬†Florence¬†lounge bra pattern. I will talk about it in a separate post. I also made another pair of underwear from my self-drafted pattern. I compared it to Seamwork’s Geneva knickers pattern, but found that the pattern ran very large for me and decided to go with my own pattern instead.

2. Outerwear:

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I made Golden Rippy’s Omega Angel Jacket and M6614, my Hello Kitty hoodie.

I did not get to making my raincoat M6517.

3. Skirts:

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I made my Tenterhook Patterns’ Snapdragon skirt in pink denim.

I haven’t blogged about them yet, but I made 2¬†dirndl skirts and have 2 more cut out and ready to go. I’m planning on blogging all four together to talk about the techniques I used for them and to not bore you with several posts of the same skirts. I’m hoping to get them done this week, though.

I did not get around to making a Sewaholic Hollyburn or a Bluegingerdoll Betsy skirt.

4. Men’s Clothes:

My poor understanding fiance. I have neglected this category completely.

5. Dresses:

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I made a Bluegingerdoll Violet Dress in snake print jersey with red accents.

I did not get to the Burdastyle tunic.

6. Tops:

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I made one white Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte top.

No Sewaholic Oakridge blouse, no M6649, and no M7094.

All in all, I did something in almost every category, but not everything. It was my goal to hopefully make something in every category, but not my goal to achieve everything. Planning posts are meant to direct me a little and inspire my sewing.

That being said, I am going for less ambitious plans for Spring sewing this time. We’re in full wedding planning mode and my desire to cuddle my fiance in the evening is stronger than my desire to sew right now.

Spring Sewing Plans:

1. Outerwear:

I swear I will get that raincoat made sometime this year. As a reminder, these are the fabrics I plan to use:

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Pattern M6517:

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I also want to make M7100:

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I have a major lack of Spring coats for weather that is in between. I plan on making this jacket twice in two fabrics with black rib knit and metal zippers:

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I bought the black/white fabric at the thrift store and the floral denim was from Joann fabrics. The black/white is actually a very small houndstooth with a loose weave and feels like cotton. I am pretty sure it will fray like crazy so I need to figure out how to line the jacket.

2. Men’s clothes:

I swear I will get this done. I plan on cutting out the first one this weekend. I have narrowed down the pattern to Simplicity 1544:

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View A with just the collar stay and not the full collar in black cotton from a local store.

3. Dresses:

Well, number one here would be my wedding dress, which I plan on posting in a few stages: planning, construction, and then the reveal, which won’t be until July…. Sorry! Want my dress to be somewhat of a surprise for my family. ūüôā

Other than that, I am shifting my Winter plans of sew all the skirts into Spring plans of sewing all the dresses. I don’t plan on making any more skirts until after the wedding, but I love Spring for wearing bright colours and gorgeous dresses.

Surprise! I want more M6696 shirtdresses. You’ve seen my other versions:

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Well, now I want to create a Spring version using these complementary purple prints:

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I have a few printed fabrics, including an amazing Wonder Woman fabric that Tanya sent me:

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I want to make them into simple dresses that don’t hide the prints: darted bodice and gathered skirt. I tried to find a simple darted bodice in my stash, but sadly wasn’t able to find one that I liked. The plan is to create a muslin with the bodice of Lekala’s free dress pattern #8000¬†and then add a gathered skirt to it. Instead of the back zipper, I will be making a side zipper and in-seam pockets. I’ve done this twice with my dirndl skirts. I like the look of the Lekala bodice, but it will be needing some fitting tweaks to work for me. Luckily, it’s just the bodice that I will need to fit. I will probably need to lengthen the bodice as I don’t feel like Lekala really accounts for the extra fabric needed to get around huge boobs.

I still want to make the Burda tunic dress:

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I also want to make Simplicity 1459:

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I really love Tanya’s versions of this and have been wanting to make this for a while. I have two fabrics for two versions; a lovely white and navy gingham cotton and white and blue polka dot cotton:

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Finally, I’d like to make another Muse Pattern’s Melissa dress using the final version of the pattern, but I don’t have any appropriate fabrics for it yet. I’m hoping for a sweet thrift store score sometime for that.

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4. Top:

Only one top planned. The same M7094 from the Winter plans:

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With this fabric:

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I managed to pick up this drapey hunter green polyester crepe at the thrift store and there is more than enough to make view B with the button tabs, but with the tunic length/shaped hem from view D.

5. Lingerie

I plan on making another cloned Elomi bra with the changes I noticed from wearing the previous version. Here are my fabrics:

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I am also planning out more underwear to finally write up the post on that. I have some more tweaks and learning from the version I made this weekend. My fabrics are all scraps for that from previous projects or clothes that I am deconstructing so I am not going to post them. You’ll just have to wait for the finished versions.

Those are my plans from now until June 21st. Less ambitious from my Winter plans or more depending on your view…? What are your plans?