Monday, March 28, 2016

Cool for the summer

It's getting hot, y'all.

We had really, really pleasant weather this winter (sorry, northerners).  But it looks like it's over.  All of a sudden we're back in the 80s, and I assume the humidity is not far behind.  So it's time for me to focus on summer clothes.  And like I mentioned on the post about my last Alder, it is the perfect pattern for hot summers.
I bought this fabric at my favorite fabric store last summer.  It's seersucker in a pretty navy with a lovely print of little apples.  Although fruit prints are totally in right now, this is actually a vintage fabric.  They only had about 1 3/4 yards of this left, and I snapped it up.

Because of fabric limitations, I knew I was looking at a sleeveless or short sleeved blouse.  But I wanted something with a little interest.  This fabric deserves it!  So I decided to shorten the Alder dress into a top.  I also made it a v-neck as I didn't have enough fabric for a collar and stand.  I didn't even have enough for pockets!  I ended up having to piece the inside yoke together from two pieces and used another fabric for the armhole binding too.  This was some serious pattern puzzling.
I wanted to exaggerate the high-low hem on the Alder a bit.  It turned out that I exaggerated it a little TOO much, as I ended up chopping about 4-5 inches off the back once I tried it on.  It's still a big difference, but the before was almost costumey.

I.  Love.  This.  Shirt.  This is my favorite thing I've made in a while.  Alder is such a fun pattern to sew.  I love doing the back yoke, I love turning the corner on the gathered section, I love the button bands.  It's just an all around great pattern.  I finished this one up on Friday afternoon, and I've worn it 3 times in the last 4 days.  So I'd say it's a success!

Project:  Apple Seersucker Alder Blouse
Pattern:  Grainline Alder
Fabric:  vintage seersucker print

Friday, March 25, 2016

Foxy Lady Dress

In general, I gravitate toward fit and flare dresses. I just think they suit my lumpy triangular body shape the most. But as soon as I saw the Cashmerette Appleton pattern, I knew I wanted to give it a try. A pattern drafted specifically for plus sizes, with different cup size options? Yes please!

I was already thinking about purchasing it, and then I saw the kits available on the website. I really loved the one with the black sheer polka dot sleeves. But the fox print seemed more me, and like something I would wear more often. 

Overall, this pattern was simple to sew. I think the only change I made was blending between sizes and using an extra long tie. I just like longer toes so I can make nice bows!

I did all the construction on my serger and then used a twin needle for around the neckband and hems. I used wonder tape for the first time with this dress and I'm hooked. It makes hemming knits a breeze!

I was very pleasantly surprised at how good I looked in this silhouette. I think the low cut is really flattering and brings the focus to my face. 

I've since used this pattern to make a Christmas gift for my cousin who is having a baby in a couple of months! It's perfect for a growing belly.

The only issue I have with this dress is the fabric. When it stretches (and this pattern is designed to stretch over your chest), you can see the white substrate. Not what I want on my boobs. 

I have lost a bit of weight since making this, so it's not as much of an issue. But I would size up if you're using a fabric with similar issues. 

Project: foxy lady dress
Pattern: Cashmerette Appleton
Fabric: fox jersey, bought as a kit

And here's the last and best picture. I hit the button too soon!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cat Lady Dress

Some sewers are the type that see a pattern, love it, and look for fabric that will work. I am the opposite. I see fabric, buy it, hoard it, and the search for a pattern that will work. 

I saw this fabric online and it just called to me. It didn't hurt that it's called Cat Lady (although there are no actual cats involved. Bummer). Within minutes I had a cut of it purchased and on its way to me. 

What I loved was the black and white with pops of cobalt. It felt like a very sophisticated take on a floral. It's a rayon, with a great hand, but not terrible to work with. It does fray like a bitch though. 

I paired it with Vogue 1395. This is a new favorite for me. It is a big fabric hog though! I had 3.5 yards of the fabric and it was barely enough. So what takes such a huge amount of fabric?
It has WINGS!

Well, it has a back overlay with wing like things that come around to the front and tie. One thing to keep in mind is that the wrong side of the fabric will show when you tie it. So you can either use a fabric that's similar on both sides, or do what I did. 

I just cut a piece that mirrored the tie, going back far enough that it wouldn't be visible, sewed them right sides together, turned it out, and top stitched. Easy peasy. 

For technique, I used French seams everywhere, added a lot of top stitching, and did a rolled hem on the skirt. The instructions called for double stitching at all the seams for some reason. I figured French seams were a better option. I did like the bias binding and the front bodice construction. 
I also loved this little gathered detail on the back bodice. Overall this is a great dress with some fun details. I can see myself making it again and again. I'm going to see if I can figure out a way to make it with a single layer back so it doesn't take quite so much fabric. 

I lined the skirt with some black China silk. It feels very luxurious. 

My only complaint is the length. I'll add an inch or two next time I make it. But I do love a dress that shows off my tattoos. 

And I'll leave you with this last and best picture. The true Cat Lady picture. 

Project: Cat Lady Dress
Pattern: Vogue 1395
Fabric: Cat Lady Rayon

Sunday, March 6, 2016


I feel like all families have a nickname for pajamas. Jammie's, PJs, hammers. But I've fallen into using P-Jams. It's like a rap name for pajamas.

I made these last spring sometime. Finally a post about them. 

The top is a modified Archer. This was a mistake, because a stand collar isn't the best design for sleeping. It is adorable though. The shorts are a copy of some old navy shorts that were falling apart. They're not the most flattering, but they're insanely comfy. 

My cat was probably doing something funny. 

I didn't want to do horizontal stripes on the yoke here, but the pleat was perfectly placed to let me still match the stripes. 

This fabric was from mood, and originally intended to be a dress. But it wrinkles like crazy (as you can see), and it is so soft and cool that I just wanted to sleep in it. 

Project: stripe shortie pajamas
Fabric: stripe cotton from mood
Pattern: Grainline Archer/ruboff
Notions: just buttons and elastic

I have plans for a LOT more pajamas coming up. Mostly tank styles probably, but I might return to this style and try to find a good pattern for a classic pajama top.




Favorite Favorite

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm a double gauze addict. 

It is just the perfect fabric for our hot Louisiana summers. And what do you get when you combine a favorite fabric with a favorite pattern? A favorite dress. 

This is a modified Grainline Alder dress, with the vee neck and no pockets.  It's an easy modification thanks to the great tutorial on the website. 

Now, I know that this simple shape without a collar and very little detail can remind you of those pictures of people living in the Dust Bowl. It's utilitarian. But combined with his bright polka dot I think it works. The simple, easy shape is what makes it perfect for summer. 

This dress is simple, but I adore it. Now that I sew, I feel like the enjoyment I had in making someone affects how I feel about it. I really put effort into the finishes on this one, and the pride I have in the finished product just feels great when I wear it. 

 I have some newly purchased double gauze from the Nani Iro spring line, and I'm considering making another one of these. Why mess with perfection, right?

One last picture because it cracks me up. 
Project: polka dot dress
Fabric: Nani Iro double gauze
Pattern: Grainline Alder
Notions: I used bias tape to finish the neckline and encase some seams. Not a requirement. You'll need buttons and bread of course. 
Skills: some fun shirt making techniques, buttonholes



hello there

Has it really been over a year since I last posted? That seems crazy, but it looks like it's true. So, what happened? I bought a house, moved, got a new job that takes up way more time and effort than my old one...I also live in a much cooler city now and I tend to leave my house on the weekends!

But I've been sewing. A lot actually! One of my recent purchases was a teeny tripod and a Bluetooth remote for my phone. So I've decided that when I make a new item and take photos, I'm going to take pictures of a few old ones so I can post about them. 

I'll probably never be a regular blogger, but I do like sharing my stuff. And I'd like to start doing that again. So, here goes! Let's blog.