Friday, March 24, 2017

Dulcie dress, free pattern release

We are celebrating today, Sewpony has officially dropped the "vintage" part of her name and on this road to simplicity she is releasing a lovely easy sew dress, the Dulcie, and the best part about it, it is free! This pattern, designed for wovens has two necklines, two ways to finish the sleeves, and optional collar and pockets. Visit the Sewpony website to find out how to get this lovely free pattern.

During testing I sewed two dresses and I showing them in reverse order. I sewed the second dress with the final version of the pattern and I actually followed the instructions, so I did a fully lined bodice with blind zipper. I sewed the square front neckline and added pockets. The bodice fabric is a Cotton and Steel remnant from the Cas and Nina remnant package that I told you about yesterday. The skirt is the same fabric as this dress and now that I fell back in love with it, the fabric is almost gone. I used a blue fabric for the lining and that gives a nice pop, even though I did not used the folded sleeves.

The first dress that I sewed is this grey dress. I actually used a jersey bodice on this one and did not line the bodice, but worked with a square facing (inspired by the neckline). The jersey is a very interesting double quilted version from Lillestoff. It is also from the remnants box and it was only 30 centimeter high. The height turned out to be perfect to cut the bodice from. I did forget to take away the zipper seam allowance on the back, so I made an extra, off centre seam (I did not want to cut in the print), the seam is almost invisible though, and might even add to the design.

Originally the dress also has a square back neckline, but that created the a bit of a shoulder dropping hazard, so that neckline was taken out of the pattern. Due to the fact that I used knit, shoulder dropping hazard was amplified. I first solved that with a small upcycled strap on the back neckline, but then she suggested to use multiple lines. I took some mustard yellow jersey, and it turned out great. I always love when a fix makes you more creative.

The skirt part of this dress is again See you at Six rayon and also from the remnants box. To create the back skirt, I had to puzzle four pieces together, but it worked, nothing was left or else I would have made de back straps with the rayon. I love that with this rayon well ironed seams are really invisible. As you can see, my daughter got glasses, and she loves them. She chose a beautiful pink pair, that I feel suits her very well.

I am not celebrating alone, and if you want to see more Dulcie dresses, you can visit these girls. Like I said at the beginning, visit the Sewpony site to find out how to get the pattern for free.The coming weeks more fun things will happen on Friday's over at Sewpony, so be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Angie hack-a-ton tour

I love pattern hacking, so when I saw a hacker call for the Angie dress from SisBoom, I was immediately interested. The Angie pattern would have been my second choice for the SisBoom tour in January, so I was extra excited. After sewing this woven dress, I wanted to try more, so this time I did not use my knitification skills. The hack I did was redrafting the dart into a princess seam and adding visible contrasting pockets.

The Angie is a sleeveless summer dress without zipper or buttons. It goes over your head, and due to the elastic in the back, the dress is still fitted. My choice of hack was clearly inspired by the dresses that I have sewn for my girls, like this one and this one. I secretly was jealous of them, and I wanted my own color block and pockets this summer.

The Angie pattern has three neckline heights, normal and low. I felt adventurous and cut the low neckline. After the first fit I decided to add a visible binding to keep all the height that was left. The neckline is perfect like this, but it should not have been a centimeter lower. During the first fit I also took the dress in a bit just under my arms. I just stitched an extra wide seam and then the fit was perfect.

I again used See you at Six rayon, I just love the drape. I do not like having a small piece of fabric left (because I have a hard time throwing scraps away and they keep piling up), so I decided to have a bit fuller skirt. Seeing the pocket part is not gathered, adding extra width in the skirt was a little bit overdoing it. I even would advice to have a little bit less wide skirt with this hack than the pattern usually prescribes.

I used 1.5 meter of the See you at six fabric. One meter was bought at the Stoffenmadam and the other half meter I bought as a remnant from Cas en Nina. In bought a big pile of remnants (over 6 meter in total) and golden fabric that I used a s contrast was also part of the package. I receive the package two weeks ago but already used three other remnants a, so I will mention the package more often the coming time.

The tutorial that I wrote kind a assumes you have already sewn these kind of pockets, so I do not go into detail on how to fold your fabrics there. I am also not supplying exact pieces for pocket, you will have to be brave a bit and just try, but you will be so proud of your self after drafting these pieces. If you have an questions, you can always ask.

Step 1: Take the original front bodice part of the Aggie pattern
Step 2: Draw a straight line from the point of the dart to somewhere on the shoulder. My straight line hits the shoulder approximately on 1/3.
Step 3: Slightly redraft the corner around the dart point into a curve and cut the original bodice part in three pieces. You can throw away the triangle dart piece, you will not need it any more.

Step 4: Take the side front bodice piece and put it above a piece of pattern paper. Now draft a pocket like I did in the picture. The exact shape is up to you. Just put you hand on it (keeping you hand hand like it would be in a pocket) to check the size. The main pocket (the outside lines) should be a bit wider than the bottom width of the bodice part. Now draft the inner line of the pocket piece. This will be the visible contrasting line, this part should be just as wide and the bodices bottom.
Step 5: Copy the entire pocket on another piece of paper and then separate the inner piece from one of the first pocket pattern piece that you created. You now have three pocket pieces. One for the contrasting fabric (the biggest piece), one for the lining (this one will not be visible, this is the one in the middle) and one that you will use to cut a piece from the skirt (the smallest piece on top).
Step 6: Now you add seam allowances to all these pieces, check my picture to see where it is needed. For the bodice you only have to add it to the line you cut. Two of the pocket pieces need seam allowance on the outside (except for the side). The easiest way to add such seam allowance is to just redraw the pattern piece on a new paper. For the smallest piece you will have to cut the seam allowance away from the exciting piece, so the smaller piece will actually become smaller.

Step 7: You will use the smallest pocket piece to cut the pocket from the skirt. Cut from both front corners a piece exactly the size of the small pocket piece (of which you cut the seam allowance already. You will not need the pattern piece or the cut outs from the skirt in a later stage, these are waste.
Step 8 and 9: Use the new adjusted pattern pieces to cut you fabric for the bodice (the middle should be cut on the fold) and the pockets. Put the middle part of the front bodice with the right side up on the table. Put a side piece on aligned at the top and pin the princess seam from top to bottom and sew. Do the same thing on the other side. I did not pin and made my pictures with that in mind, but while writing the tutorial I realized that normal people just pin their fabric. If you live dangerously like me, you start sewing on the top and while sewing you adjust the pieces such that you nicely sew the curve. Clip the middle point just to the stitching and finish the seam. Press the princess seam toward the side (I also did it, not skipping pressing darts etc any more).

Step 10: Put the skirt on the table with the ride side up and put the pocket lining on it with the right side down (so good sides facing each other). The curves should be aligned exactly. Sew the inner curve. Clip the seam, than turn it such that the right side of the fabric is visible, press and optionally understitch.
Step 11: Put the skirt on the table with the wrong side up, put the big pocket piece on top with the wrong side up. Pin the outside curves on each other and sew the outside curve of the pocket. Do not sew through the skirt, but lift the pocket pieces such that you only sew the lining and the main piece together. Finish the seam. Sew the sides of the skirt pieces together and gather the skirt as described in the original instructions. Do not gather the visible part of the pockets.
Step 12: Now the most tricky part to explain (and to sew). For the nicest effect, you want the princess seam to perfectly blend into your pocket. Pinning and possibly even adding some basting stitching is crucial. Put the skirt on the table with the right side up, put the bodice on top of it, with the right side down (so right sides facing each other) and while pinning, check if the seams line up. Sew the bodice to the skirt. Continue with adding the elastic and finishing the armholes and neckline according to the instructions.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Amuse in silk

One Thimble is a digital sewing magazine (you probably know it)  that is released four times a year and every edition contains several pdf patterns plus all kinds of sewing related articles and tutorials. I have already told you about One Thimble a few times before because I have showed you several patterns that I tested for contributing designers, like this and this one. Now that I have become part of the new One Thimble promotion team, I can show you even more of the awesome pattern database they have build up over their current 14 issues!

Today, I am showing you my second sew from the most recent issue, the Amuse*. The pattern is designed by Winter Wear Designs and it immediately grabbed my attention when it was released. I have been planning to sew myself more woven patterns (I blame her for this urge), and this one immediately entered the top 10 of my wish list upon release, I mean just look at that lovely detail on the front!. The Amuse can be sewn either as a dress, shirt or tunic. I went for the dress length, I just love not having to style/combine my garments with anything else.

The fabric has been waiting for selfish sewing for long. I bought it years ago, and I once cut into my large piece to make this blouse for my daughter, but I still had a good amount of fabric left. The silk is so delicate that I lined the bodice part instead of having a facing. I am wearing an under dress on these pictures to counter the possible seethroughness of the skirt part. I had to sew scraps together to be able to make the lining and the length of the lining was determined by the available fabric, now all is gone.

The silk is fraying a lot, so I had to carefully finish the seams. I was considering French seams, but even normal stitching is hard on this fabric (even with a new needle and the straight stitch sewing plate that I own). Recently I discovered my rolled hem foot (due to the instructions of this pattern). and I sewed most of the seams as rolled hems. The side seams, the raglan sleeves for example were all sewn and finished in one go through this. It made sewing this delicate fabric almost as comfortable as sewing jersey with a serger. I thought it  was a pretty smart move.

Although the weather was not that bad this week, it was  windy and there was no way that I could get nice pictures outside, so it was the white background again. I really am trying to increase my own modelling style and this time I tried accessories. My mother and me laughed our ass of on how I should "naturally" hold a plant on a picture, but I was not dissatisfied with the end result.

The Amuse is available as a stand alone pattern here*, or as part as One Thimble issue 14*.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Antje and Lina, a matching set

Näh Connection has released new translated patterns, the Lina and Antje, a cute skirt and top. They are separate patterns, by two different designers, but I made a matching set out of them. I am not a matching set type. I actually try to avoid them as much as possible. This one is probably the only one that I made, and they were actually made not be worn together. This Lina and Antje set is super cute though and both pieces will easily match with other pieces from her wardrobe.

The Antje skirt is a quick and satisfying sew. The skirt has box pleats and a yoga waistband (without elastic inside). I love the suggested crosses to keep the box pleats in place, I used them as a cute detail and sewed them with gold colored thread (I used the same for a pretty hem). The pattern gives the crosses as an example, but you can be as creative as you like of course. I sewed a slightly higher waistband (the height of two sizes bigger) due to my daughter's toddler belly. This way there is a bigger likelihood it stays covered up.

The Lina skirt is a faux layered shirt. It gives the illusion of a tank top on a shirt and gives you the possibility to color block or add additional trims. I went with a rather plain version, but I did use the puff sleeves (two types are included). Both patterns do NOT have included seam allowances, which made it super easy to slightly adjust the pattern to have a regular bottom hem instead of a waistband. I thought the outfit's look would be better like than, than with two waistbands on each other. This way there is the illusion of wearing a tank on a dress.

All of these fabrics were bought at Joyfits, but they are a gathered collection from multiple orders. The brown dots were bought at least three years ago and I used it here (on the back). The fabric with the deers was from last fall and I used it in this dress. I recently ordered several ribbing fabrics.

Both patterns are now on introduction sale until Sunday. The Antje skirt is also available for women. Here you can find all my sews as a Näh Connection ambassador

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Marlow dresses

You might think that I am participating in the 40 days of blogging movement, because I am again showing you a new release. Today, Jilly Atlanta's new Marlow is the in spot light. During testing I sewed two versions, a simple version and an all-in version with ruffles and sequins! My daughter likes both, but of course the shinny one really stole her heart.

The Marlow pattern has two dress lengths, vintage and knee length. I went twice for knee length, because this way I get more live out of the dress. She will keep wearing these until it becomes vintage length (or shorter) for sure. The dress is designed for playability and comfort so it has a wide waist. This way it is also easy to get on and off you daughter. You can sew short or long sleeves and there s a possible sleeve ruffle for the short sleeves.

Both dresses were made with fabrics that I took from the "free pop-up shop" that we had on our sewing weekend. The brown orange one is from Hanne and the white with trees is from Katrien. Neither one of the original projects were blogged, so I can not tell you more about these fabrics, besides the fact that the pink tree one a Michael Miller one is. The sequins were a left over from when I upcycled this dress. The strip was too narrow for the front, so I sewed the front and back pieces together (by hand). The ruffles were a left over from when I made this dress. The V can be sewn with the included ruffles, but you can also use piping or just go for a color block.

The pocket on the basic version is a lovely detail. It is such a smart idea! I really love the fact that it is reversible and therefore easily gives a different look to the dress. The instructions will have you sew two button loops and attach the pocket on two buttons. I went a different way and actually used one side of snaps to attach the pocket. In my version the pocket can not be removed, but this is not a problem for me, this way it can not get lost neither. I added side seam pockets to the sequin dress. These are not included in the pattern.

The Jilly Atlanta patterns have a beautiful finish. With the sequin version the sequins are totally encased on the inside of the dress within the V. No itchy seams there. I did have to cut away several sequins after sewing them, to be able to fold the seams. The effect of the sequins is great, but unpicking them is really horrible. The pattern includes the instructions to make French seams (not for the armholes) and the neckline has bias finish on the inside. I chose to sew some french seams, but not all.

For just a few more hours the pattern is available for just 5 dollars (excluding VAT).