Flannel Shirt- Simplicity 8297

By now you’re probably wondering, Is that something you just sewed, or did you make it a year ago and are just getting around to posting it now? Good question. Complicated question, but good question. I started making it last winter. I sewed most of it, then got deterred by the buttonholes. All I had to do was set in the sleeves, do the buttons and buttonholes, and hem it, but it languished in a UFO bin for a year. Finally I realized that I’d done about forty buttonholes on our new machine and I should just finish the shirt.

Look at the pockets! They blend in! And the plaid matches at the front and sides! If I can toot my own horn, I’m pretty proud of that. The yoke/back seam is a French seam, but the other seams are just serged. My only deviation from the pattern was to topstitch the facing down so it wouldn’t just be flappy and loose. The one thing I’m not happy about with this shirt is that the sleeves are a bit short. I didn’t realize they weren’t full-length sleeves when I started making the shirt. I tried sewing knit cuffs onto the sleeves but that looked pretty awful, so I left it as is, and it hasn’t bothered me as much as I thought it would.

I’m glad I finally finished this, because it’s become a wardrobe staple. Also, I’ve learned that I really like plaid flannel. I have another shirt with this same pattern in the works. It’s definitely a success!

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Summer Dresses

Now that it’s January, I think it’s fitting that I tell you about these dresses I made this summer.  The pattern I used was Butterick 6318.  It’s one of their a Retro Butterick patterns, and I loved the waist ties and full skirt. You may recall from my Liesl Dress and circle skirts that when it comes to skirts, the more full the better.  Now, okay- the skirt on this dress that I made isn’t particularly full. In my defense, that’s because I didn’t have a particularly large piece of fabric to work with.  If I’d had more fabric, that skirt would’ve been super full.

So, goldfish. Or betta fish. I’m not entirely sure, but I love this fabric. It was actually a border print- the flower fabric that I used for the ties was the border of the fabric. My mom thought it would make a lovely tablecloth. 

This is my second version of this pattern. The pattern uses a facing for the high neckline, and I wasn’t crazy about the look of it. For this one I made bias binding from more of the border fabric and used it for the neckline. I also lowered the neckline a bit so it wasn’t so close to the neck, and shortened the waist of the dress so the waist seam would be better hidden by the ties.

All in all, this isn’t my favorite dress I’ve ever made, but I wore it a lot this summer and the fabric is really pretty. The ties can make the dress sort of hot around the waist, but it’s not a big deal. The ties cinch in the waist nicely. I’m sure I’ll wear this dress next spring and summer, and I love the betta (gold?) fish.

P.S. Happy New Year! I wrote this post last year and I definitely meant to publish it before now… May your new year be filled with lots of sewing and pretty clothes!

Liesl’s Dancing Dress

I am sixteen going on seventeen, so what better time to make Liesl’s Dancing Dress from Edelweiss Patterns? I’d been wanting to make this dress for a long time, so getting to finally sew it was frustrating, because of the chiffon  awesome! Despite the slipperiness of the chiffon, I had a great time making this dress. To be honest, one of my favorite things about the pattern was the fact that the pattern piece for the sleeves is enormous. It’s the size of the pattern piece for the skirt panels. There are seven skirt panels- the skirt is super full, and I love it- but the sleeves are still huge. I’m easily entertained.

The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the bodice. I used French seams wherever the instructions suggested it, and the finish the French seams is beautiful. I wore the dress for my cousin’s wedding, and I’m planning to wear it for my school’s semiformal next month. I love wearing it; as soon as I put it on it makes me want to find a telegraph boy and go and dance in a gazebo. So far I haven’t managed to find a telegraph boy to dance with me, but I’ll let you know if I do. All in all, it was a really fun pattern to sew up and I love my dress!

Self Drafted Bodysuit + Gathered Skirt

This is kind of a funny story. I decided I wanted to make a bodysuit, because they look nicer with skirts than t-shirts. My mother suggested that since she would pay for the pattern for me, I should buy a Big 4 pattern when they went on sale, which is all the time. Instead of waiting for it to go on sale like a normal person, and also because for some reason I really didn’t feel like cutting out a paper pattern, I decided to draft my own. I’m lazy that way… I used my self-drafted t-shirt pattern for the top of the bodysuit, and found a tutorial for drafting a bodysuit and used it to draft the bottom.

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Continue reading “Self Drafted Bodysuit + Gathered Skirt”

1 Year of Blogging + Ginger Jeans!

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It seems fitting that my post celebrating one year of blogging is about one of the most ambitious projects I’ve ever taken on. Making these jeans was so much fun! I used the Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Case Patterns. I don’t usually wear skinny jeans, but as of late I’ve been wanted my clothes to be more fitted, so it was a good choice.  Luckily, I didn’t have to change much on the pattern, except to take in the side seams at the waist, slim the lower leg, and let out the back seam a bit.

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Certainly the most annoying parts were the topstitching on the fly and the button. I ripped out the topstitching four times to get it right, and I had to do several practice buttons. It was worth it, though!

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My favorite part was actually sewing the fly zipper. I thought it would be difficult, but it wasn’t, and it was so satisfying!

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I was a bit concerned when it came to the front pockets. I thought I might have to get an engineering degree to figure out how they came together, but they turned out to be one of those things that you just have to follow the instructions for and it’ll come together.

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Okay, and you get aaallllllllll the pictures…

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I’ve been looking back at the past year and realizing that going forward, I really want to get into the habit of writing posts as soon as I finish projects. It’s hard to believe it’s only been one year, but at the same time it’s hard to believe that it’s already been one year! Thank you so much to everyone who’s read my blog so far! I hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

Wrap Skirt

Hello, there! Meet my new favorite skirt! New relatively speaking… I made it last month but just got around to blogging about it now. The elapsed time is rather important, though, because now I can say that after wearing it many, many times, I love this skirt!

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I made this because this year I helped with stage crew for my school’s musical, and I needed clothes that were all black. Yes, I know it has flowers on it- it’s reversible! The other side is plain black. I used the circle skirt pattern I drafted for the bottom of my semi dress, and followed this tutorial to make it a wrap skirt.

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To be honest, I would’ve made it a little longer, but by the time I realized that the waist might be higher on me than when I attached the skirt to the bodice of my dress, I had already started cutting the fabric. Oops. I wasn’t entirely sure how it tied from reading the tutorial, but it’s actually really intuitive. It does make one end of the tie end up a lot longer than the other, though. When I make this again, I might do some measuring and figure out how much tie would have to be on each side of the skirt if I want them even when tied.

This is where, if I were a responsible person and kept my receipts, or at the very least remembered what type of fabrics I used, I would tell you what they are. I believe the black side is some type of shirting, and the flower side is something much lighter. The skirt has a nice weight to it. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this skirt already, and I love wearing it! Hmm. I feel like I say that about everything I make. I guess I either really do love everything I make or I need to stop sounding so chipper about my makes that I don’t like…

On a completely unrelated topic, I’ve decided to start learning how to hand letter. I’m having a lot of fun with it so far, so if I continue to enjoy it I suppose I’ll eventually be able to blog about it! Thanks for reading!

Vogue 1542

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This is my third winter semi-formal dress. Who doesn’t need three dresses, right? I made this over Christmas break. Now, of course, I had to come up with a legitimate reason to make another dress, so I decided I would wear it to my school’s Latin Mass and Glee Club Concert. The pattern is Vogue 1542.

My favorite parts of making this pattern were pleating the sleeves and making the neckline decoration. I think that’s definitely the part of the dress that got the most attention. It was actually pretty satisfying to turn the tubes inside out and it wasn’t too hard to make the leaves and attach everything to the dress.

I love the asymetrical flounce, too! I think that, and the sleeves, give the dress enough interest that it could definitely be made without the neckline decoration for a slightly less fancy dress. As per some blog posts I read, I lengthened the lining, which worked out well.

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The dress fit fairly well in the front, but the back was much too big. I took in the princess seams a bit, and put in darts. Naturally, a better solution would’ve been to make a muslin to assess fit issues before making the real thing- and to make the seam allowance larger on the zipper- but since I didn’t make a muslin I added the darts. I know, I know- always make a muslin- but, well, I… Okay, I had no excuse. I just wanted to get started right away  on the real thing.

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Personally, as I was making the dress it reminded me of C-3PO, but that might’ve been because we watched all eight Star Wars movies over Christmas break 😉 I got lots of compliments on it and it was so much fun to wear! I seem to be attracted to flashy things for formal dresses- vivid red, sequins, gold- unlike my personality, but I love it!

Lunch Bag

This year my siblings and I decided to go with bento boxes for our school lunches. This made finding a lunch bag pattern slightly challenging- it had to be the right shape and size to fit the boxes we’d bought. Here’s the one we found.

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I knew this fabric was perfect as soon as I saw it at Joann’s! It’s a quilting cotton, and the lining was left over from other lunch bag- making adventures. I changed the pattern so that instead of having two handles, it has one handle with a buckle. That’s the way I wanted it because I can clip it around the strap of my messenger bag and carry it around, instead of having to go to my locker before lunch to get my lunch bag.

Overall, this was pretty easy to make. The trickiest part was putting the magnetic snap in… I think there are cuts in the fabric from when I first put it in wrong. Also, I put the handle too far up at first and the top wouldn’t stay shut. I had to rip it out and resew it further down.

My bento box fits:

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So far, this lunch bag has worked really well for me!