Thursday, April 21, 2022

All Well Box Top

A few weeks ago I came across the All Well Box Top pattern, and I have become obsessed with it.

For some reason, I couldn't stop thinking about it and HAD to have it.  It is a very simple pattern, but something about it made me keep thinking about it and wanting to make it when I was working on other projects.  So, yesterday I finally made it.

This is just a basic quilting cotton that I used to see how I like it.  According to the size chart, I need a size medium going to a large at the hip.  I think if I make the dress or tunic length, I would need to taper to the large.  I did in this one, but didn't need to.  I did not add darts or any kind of FBA to this.  What I did do though, was to make a 1/2" seam down the back to take out 1" extra fullness.  I have a narrow back and often have to do this - especially in boxy or loose fitting garments.  As you can see in this photo, the neckline is not in place as it should be.  I should probably cut the small in the neck and then taper out to the medium at the bust. 
Another thing I had to do was to cheat on fabric.  I did not have what was required, so I could not cut out both of my pattern pieces.  I even tried a single layout, and that didn't work either.  I ended up making a horizontal seam across the upper back to make a yoke.  Doing this allowed me to cut out everything in one direction , even though I was not using a one way print.

The cool thing about this pattern is that it comes with a hacking guide that gives you even more options than those of the original pattern.  I think this will be a fun one to fool around with.

I bought some terra cotta colored flannel that I plan to use next for a long sleeved version.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Daisy Dress

 Lately I have really been getting back into sewing.  I am the kind of person who has to immerse herself into something in order to motivate myself do it.  I have been watching a lot of You Tube channels on sewing to get motivated.  One of my new favorites is Rosery Apparel.  After watching a number of her videos, I decided to buy the Rosa Dress and Daisy Dress.  This is the finished Daisy Dress. @Roseryapparel

I did a few adjustments, such as a FBA and Forward neck adjustment.  It is also shorter than the intended length.

Also, this fabric is my new favorite.  I happened to be in Paso Robles a few weeks ago and found Birch Street Fabrics.  They have a great selection of organic cotton and Rayon.  They have a few other fabrics as well.  The ladies that work there were very helpful and friendly.  I was surprised to find out that this is the same business as  I love the feel of this cotton.  It is a poplin, and although a little heavier than lawn, it has the same finish.  It has enough body that you could make a more structured garment (shirt, dress, shorts) but enough drape that it handles gathers.  

Our local JoAnns has a terrible supply of buttons right now, so I've started haunting Etsy and other websites looking for unique buttons.  These are simple, but beautiful wooden buttons that I found on Etsy.  I am very pleased with them and I think they work perfectly with this dress.

I did do a FBA on this dress, but using the smaller size as a starting point made the armholes too tight.  Next time I will cut the armholes in a little bit and lower them.  In fact, I am seriously considering taking the sleeves off and re-cutting the armholes.

One thing I love about this dress is that it has Pockets!

I did not have enough fabric to make this dress.  The pattern calls for 4-3/8 of 45" fabric and I only had 3 yards.  I Made it work by shortening the skirt about 8", cutting the sleeve about 1" less full, and cutting the front facing out of another fabric.  

The daisy dress has 3 sleeve options.  An elastic bottom puff sleeve, a shirred puffed sleeve, and sleeveless.  I decided to try the shirred option.  My sewing machine does not work well with shirring, so I have an OLD Pfaff that I use.  I have an extra bobbin casing that I have adjusted to work with shirring. ( i marked that case with fingernail polish so that I won't accidentally try to use it for regular sewing.). The shirring still didn't look like I gathered it up enough, but once you put some heat and steam on it, it shrink s right up.

All in all, I love this dress.  I am hoping to make the sleeveless version soon. 

Friday, October 01, 2021

We're almost on fire!

 I haven't been posting much because I've been consumed by all of the fires.  We have had to leave our home twice because of AQI scale!  If you're not familiar with the scale, that's extremely hazardous.  I won't get into all the details of the fire except to say that it is VERY close to our town and touching it in at least 3 areas.  The fire is over 51,000 acres now and 20% contained.

On the clothing front, I've been wearing my dress every day.  You can follow my daily updates on instagram under Nancyonedress100days.  Here are some highlights of how I have styled the dress since my last post.  

Working in the garden with my little Emma.

Sunny days mean hats!

This is a shirt I made that has turned out to be one of my favorites!  it is the London shirt by The Sewing Workshop.  The fabric is double gauze from Blackbird Fabrics.
I'm loving this little silky scarf that I picked up at one of. my favorite boutiques over at the coast.

The hubs and me at church.  This is a silk blouse that I made years ago.  I think it was the Plain and Simple by Louise cutting

I love this picture!  My youngest Granddaughter Avery and me at her house.  I'm wearing a Tina Givens pattern in rayon challis over the dress.

This was on labor day.  The girls were getting ready to do the "Murph challenge."  My challenge was to run after Avery and keep her out of the garage! 

More next time!

Saturday, September 04, 2021

100 Day Dress Challenge Day 8

 I have dutifully been wearing my dress for 8 days now.  To be honest, I'm perfectly happy just wearing it plain with no adornment and just as is.  But part of the challenge (at least to myself) is to try to change it up.  So this is what I have been doing the last week.

This is my Kitty Spice.  Her sister is Sugar.  Amazingly enough, their names totally fit their personalities, even though I named them when I first got them.  Neither one of them like to be held, so I'm surprised that Spice is letting me hold her!

This was my first attempt at canning mustard.  Unfortunately, it tastes terrible. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I'm definitely going to give it another shot.

Girls day out.  My friend Kathy and I went down the hill for hair cuts, lunch, pedicures, and some shopping.  It was a long day, but a good one.  

This is my sweet granddaughter Emma.  We have always been close.  She will be 10 next month.  She's a stubborn little thing - I can't imagine where she gets it 😁

Well, I'm finally washing the dress after 8 days of wear.  It actually wouldn't need it, but I got a haircut yesterday and the little hairs always get in my clothes and poke me.  Time for a quick wash.  I sure hope it's dry in time for church tomorrow!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Dress Challenge Day 2

 Today is the second day I have worn this dress.  The fabric is a wool french terry.  Couldn't I have made this dress?  Well, most certainly - IF I could find the fabric, IF I had the time - If I made a muslin first to make sure I liked it before spending the time and money to make it.  Wool knit fabric is EXPENSIVE, so I probably would not have saved much by making it myself.  Another thing, this dress has matching ribbing on the neck and arms.  I haven't seen this anywhere for sale.  In California it is hard to find anything made of wool because we just don't get that much cold weather.  There are some online sources, but of course, we all know the ups an downs of ordering fabric online (although I must admit that I buy almost all of my fabric online). There is a wonderful store in Beverly Hills called International Silks and Woolens.  They might have a good selection there, but that is at least 4 hours from where I live.  Anyway, I'm glad I bought the dress.

My dress is currently hanging outside to air out before I bring it in tonight.  It is inside out, so I thought I could go over some of the features of the  Sierra Tank Dress:

The dress is well made and has a "facing" in the back.  No tags!

The Pockets are inset in the sides and stitched down.  I really like this because they don't flap around or bunch up.

There is a nice binding on the armholes and neckline that lies flat and does not gather up the dress fabric.  

Today I wore my dress to church and got several complements.  I always take a wrap with me whenever I go somewhere where there is (or might be) air conditioning.  Our weather is still really hot here, but I still get chilled if there is air blowing on me.  

Today I styled me dress with black wedges, a black necklace, and black wrap.  I was super comfortable all day, even after I spent about 45 minutes watering my garden in the heat.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Challenge Accepted!

 Do you ever get in a style rut?  Or do you look in your closet, and to anyone else, it seems full, but to you there is nothing to wear?  I have had a love hate relationship with my clothes for the past year.  Since we have been in lockdown, had limited options for going out, and the consequent change of lifestyle, my sewing machine is getting dusty and I have resorted to shorts and Tee shirts everyday (that I am home, that is).  Something is going to change!

Several years ago I read about a woman who wore the same dress for a year.  She actually had two identical dresses so that she could wear one while the other was washing.  She blogged about her experience every day.  It was fascinating to me and I've never forgotten it.  I've tried to find her blog again, but have not been successful.  She wore a brown denim sleeveless (I think) dress that buttoned down the front.  I believe it had a collar.  Anyway, fast forward to today.

Wool & issued a challenge a couple of years ago and a few women were lucky enough to receive a dress for free if they promised to wear it every day for 100 days.  That particular challenge is over, but they have a new challenge that is almost as good.  Purchase a dress, wear it for 100 days, and get $100 off your next purchase.  $100 is a great incentive, but for me, it is more a question of "How many ways can I style this dress so that I don't get sick of it?"  There are a lot of other social, economical, and sustainability reasons to consider this challenge, and I've considered a lot of them.  I have some other wool tops that I love from another company called WoolX and I have worn them many times.  They can be worn multiple times without laundering, which is great for travel.  

The dress I chose is the Sierra Tank dress.  I would love to have gotten the redwood color, but they are not available at this time.  I love some of the longer sleeve dresses, but the reality is, we are still in 100+ degree weather here - so no long sleeves!  This color of green goes with almost every other thing in my wardrobe, so let's see how I do!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Rainy Days are Great Sewing Days

It seems like today is the first day I've had this year where I didn't have a laundry list of things I had to do.  In fact, I marked it off as a "Sewing Day" in my bullet journal.  I have a couple of patterns I've been wanting to make for a while, so I worked on them today.

First of all, the Sewing Workshop Flatiron Coat pattern.  I got this pattern as part of the Sew Confident for 2018.  I really do like TSW patterns, but I don't think I'll rejoin the Sew Confident this year.  I figure I can spend that money for a subscription to Burda and have extra left over for fabric!  Actually, my pattern stash is overflowing, so I'm going to try to make up some of what I have first.  The Flatiron coat will be perfect for some wool I have to make the actual coat, but I wanted to check out the fit and how I like the style, so I decided to make the jacket first.

Flatiron jacket pocket

 I happened across this fleece at JoAnns not too long ago and fell in love with it.  I bought what I needed to make the jacket.  I have enough left over to make a scarf.

The second thing I cut out was the Esme top from the Lotta Jansdotter book Everyday Style.  I really like this book.  Last year I made a pair of shorts from the book, but was really unhappy with the crotch curve (or lack of curve I should say)  I traced the pattern and made adjustments to it last year, so I guess its time I actually sew it up!
Image result for esme top pattern lotta jansdotter

Lotta Jansdotter fabric
I was fortunate enough to run across this Lotta Jansdotter print at Joanns last year, so I grabbed it up while I could.  I'm glad I did because I haven't seen it there since.

There are a lot of things I like about this book.  First of all, it has a basic set of patterns (included) and the book shows multiple variations of each pattern.  For example, the esme top is shown as a cap sleeve top, 3/4 sleeve top, tunic, and Kaftan.  Also, the book is divided into seasons, so it will show the same patterns in different fabrics or combinations to fit each season.  I love the relaxed style and simplicity of the patterns.  The photography in the book is inspiring as well.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Lazy Girl Becca Bags

A couple of weeks ago, I saw that Deepika had posted about the Becca Bag on Pattern Review.  I decided to order the pattern just because I wanted to learn the zipper technique!  I'm glad I did and it was worth the $10 for the pattern.  It was f un to make the bag, so I decided to make them for the ladies in my bible study and a couple of other friends.  I've made quite a few so far and I think I'll be making more.

My first thought when seeing this type of bag is "cosmetics" or travel items.  Well, This little bag stands up all on her own, so that makes it perfect for the sewing room too.  I think I need to make one for my crochet bag to keep scissors, stitch markers, ruler, etc.  I can see lots of uses for these bags.

The outside of this bag on the left is made of linen, and the lining is left over quilting cotton from a dress I made a couple of summers ago.

The instructions were very good and I got the zipper technique right on the first try.  The biggest problem I had with these bags is that I kept forgetting to sew in the tab before sewing the side seams. I think I did that on at least 3 of the bags!  Then I had to rip out the side seam, insert the tab, and re-sew and overcast the seam.  Even with my mistakes, it only took me 3 days to make all of these bags.

Becca Bags by Lazy Girl Designs

The Becca Bag is not a pattern per say.  It is a clearly written set of instructions with pictures for each step.  The instructions are given for 2 different sizes.  The larger bag uses a 22" zipper and the smaller bag uses a 14" zipper.  You only use 1/2 of the zipper plus a small piece of the other half.
This set is for my friend Sylvia who loves all things Americana

Becca bag

This music bag, I made for my voice teacher.  She is in her eighties and definitely the "old Hollywood" type.  She has also been an and agent for some famous peeps.  Anyway, I lined hers with a coat lining and it makes it a little more "luxurious".
Becca bag

As you can see, this pattern is easy to create in different fabrics to fit different personalities

Becca bag
Becca bag
I have made a few other Lazy Girl designs and they're always fun with different techniques.  I definitely see more of these in my future!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Let the Sewing Begin

If you read my last post, you know I am making a wedding dress for my daughter.  I finally got her measurements and decided to start with a size 6.  I know it will be too small, but as it is, it may be too big in the shoulders.  We will have the first fitting this weekend.

I'm so thankful that I took Kenneth King's busier class on Pattern Review and Gertie's craftsy class (sadly, no longer available) on Craftsy.  I know what I need to do even if it is not stated in the pattern.  This pattern does not call for boning, but I may add it anyway.  I will probably use rigeline boning.

The first thing I did was to trace all the pattern pieces onto muslin with tracing paper.  A couple of years ago I purchased several large sheets from Richard the Thread.  I love this stuff.  I cut the pieces apart, leaving extra wide seam allowances.  Of course, the only lines on the pattern are cutting lines, so I drew in the seam lines on the pattern pieces.

The next step is to thread trace the pattern pieces.  Yes, its a little time consuming, but it is relaxing sewing and easy.  It also makes putting the pattern pieces together much easier and much more accurate.  
So I did all of that yesterday.  Today, I assembled the bodice.  First you assemble the center front to side front, side back, and center back pieces.  That's 7 pieces right there!  Then there is the yoke piece that goes from the front to the back.  I don't have a picture of that one yet.  There is also a neck band, but I will not be using that at this stage.  All I want to do right now is get the fit of the shoulders, bust and waist.  I also need to make sure the BW length is right.  We won't have a fitting until Saturday, so I'm really tempted to do some selfish sewing in between.  However, I am also making the flower girl dress, so I guess that will be my next muslin.

All in all, I don't think this dress will be difficult, although the neckband instructions were not making sense to me.  Probably one of those things that when you are doing it, it actually becomes clear!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Wedding Bells - and Dresses!

Now that Christmas is over and things have settled down, it is time to get back on my blog.  I haven't been sewing much lately because a lot has been going on - which I won't get into now.  The good news is that my daughter is getting married!  We are thrilled and love her fiance.  The wedding is in March and we've decided that I am going to make the wedding dress.  I will be logging my progress here as I go along.  I also will be making the flower girl dress as well.

Believe it or not, we were able to find all the fabrics she wanted at JoAnns!  I would have rather used silk, but she liked what we found and that's all that matters.  The even better news is that all of the casa collection fabrics were 40% off, and I also had several 50% off coupons, so even though I still have to buy lace, zippers, and buttons, I think we will be able to do the whole dress for under $200.  (actually, both dresses)  So, I can't complain about that!

I think my daughter is actually a little worried about me making the dress.  She is afraid she will not like it, it won't fit right, I will get too stressed out, she will get too stressed out, I won't get finished in time, etc.!

Here is what we are planning.  We are doing the bodice from Simplicity 8289 and the skirt from McCalls 6893.

I just love the back of this dress.  We are making the bodice out of matte satin with the lace over it.  The lace for the upper back and upper front are lined with silk organza.  The waist band will be satin and the skirt will be a drapey stretch matte satin with a chiffon overlay.

Today I got all of her measurements, so I can start cutting out the muslin tomorrow..

My granddaughters flower girl dress will basically be the same thing using Butterick 6445.
The dress in the picture is short, but hers will be long and use the same fabrics as her mother's.  DD is planning a bohemian style wedding, which is perfect for her own style.