I had a bit of spare time this weekend so I was able to finish a dress for the Monthly Stitch Frocktober Challenge. I used The Date Night Dress pattern from April Rhodes. This was the first time I had used an April Rhodes pattern and won’t be my last. Her pattern was billed as a beginner and certainly delivers. April has color photos and clear instructions to guide you through each step. My favorite part was the flutter sleeves which I think are super flattering. Many patterns require modification due to my larger upper arms and this one didn’t.
The fabric is Amy Butler’s Twilight Peony Rayon in Saffron from Hawthorne Threads. I found the colors to be a vibrant mix of lighter fall hues that should work well by themselves or with a cropped cardigan. The skirt has a high-low hem and I added shirring to the back for a small amount of waist definition. I may also wear a belt and tights when the weather gets colder. This is definitely a pattern I will use again!
Sorry for being gone so long but I promise I was up to something worthwhile…mostly watching lots of high school and college football but I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sewing and knitting. First up is my third version of the Roza blouse. This time I embroidered a South Carolina Gamecock and used college specific fabric. I made the same modifications as my previous two by omitting the band around the sleeve but other than that it was straight from the pattern.
I even managed to wear it over a long sleeve black tee to the USC vs Kentucky game a few weeks back and cheered my team to victory!
This month has also brought a ton of knitting. I finished my Patterns and Notions Swap jacket for the The Monthly Stitch Vintage Pattern Challenge a few days late but was able to wear it once already and can tell it will get a lot of rotation in my wardrobe. The Charlotte Yarn Crawl was from September 27-October 6 and I was able to visit 11 of the 13 participating shops. Of course I couldn’t visit without getting some yarn so I’m now set for about a year! I have almost finished one sweater and cast on for a circle vest. Since it is starting to get chilly here in South Carolina, I am motivated to complete these projects quickly!
I’m going to the Stitch Craft Create Live convention here in Charlotte this weekend with some friends so I fully expect to blow both October and November’s fabric budget before Sunday. I also need to finish my dress for the Monthly Stitch Frocktober Challenge so my next few weeks are certainly filling up with stuff to create!
Since school started my days have been a blur of non-sewing activity. The youngest is playing both JV and Varsity football and my college alma mater is also in full swing which has not left me much time to post or sew! After a couple of weeks away from my machines I’m starting to have withdrawals so even though I won’t have a chance to sew much until the weekend, I have spent the last several lunch hours plotting my fall sewing.
First up is the Fall for Cotton challenge being hosted by Rochelle and Tasha. Both ladies are geniuses at taking quilting cottons or novelty fabrics and turning them into wardrobes of art! While I aspire to someday reach that pinnacle, this month I am more interested in using the fabric I bought initially for the Sew Weekly Reunion before the By Hand London Anna pattern swept me off my feet. The pattern was one I received during the Patterns and Notions Swap from Amanda and fits my style perfectly. The pattern Amanda sent me also included a knitted jacket that I have almost completed. I have about 20 rows and then this jacket will be off the needles!
Green/Black Cotton 2013
Mail Order 9387 Size 22.5
Though I have already completed my first Anna, the gals at By Hand London are hosting a sewalong so I plan to stitch up another during the next few weeks. The pattern is pretty straightforward but I can always use a few tips on the finer art of finishing so I plan to take advantage of the tutorials being offered. This time I may use a more structured fabric similar to Lauren’s seersucker version using some blue geometric Ralph Lauren fabric I picked up in Harrisonburg, VA during our trip to Gettysburg this spring.
Blue Geometric 2013
Last but certainly not least is Sarah’s Fall Essentials Sew Along 2013. I plan to utilize the corduroy and suiting material in my stash to add some basics to my wardrobe.
Blue Corduroy 2013
Rose Suiting 2013
There are several new patterns coming out in the next two weeks and many are definitely going to be on my must sew list for the fall. My current pattern wish list includes:
Are you taking part in any of this month’s challenges and if so what patterns are you planning to use?
Fabric: Silky 100% polyester something or other from the clearance bin at Hancock’s $8
Pantone Challenge colors: Acai, Carafe, Linden Green, Deep Lichen Green, & Turbulence
Pattern: By Hand London Anna $23
Time to complete: 4 hours (including unpicking the zipper twice!)
First worn: For these photos
Wear again? Absolutely
Total Cost: $31
This is my submission for the Sew Weekly Reunion Pantone Challenge. When the theme was announced I realized I didn’t have anything in my stash that would suit so I decided to check out Hancock’s clearance sale to see if I could come up with something. I immediately snatched up this fabric for $2.47 a yard! Sew Busy Lizzy posted several versions of the By Hand London Anna dress so I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the pattern from We Sew Retro to cut down on shipping costs.
The Anna dress is deceptively easy to sew. I had to grade up the pieces to fit my hips and make the arm openings about an inch longer but other than that the pattern went together well. Anna does call for an invisible zip but after a couple of tries I wasn’t happy with how it looked (more sewer than pattern!) so I simply stitched up the back and called it a day. I think the main reason my dress didn’t require a zip is because I am extremely pear shaped so it was very easy to get over my head.
Though the fabric colors fit perfectly with the challenge, I don’t usually work with such slippery fabric and it was a P-A-I-N to sew. The fabric also raveled like crazy so I had to serge everything just to get the dress together. I am not completely satisfied with the seams along the waistband so next time I will try my hand at french seaming to see if the look is more streamlined.
Overall though I think the dress is very flattering and I especially love the bodice. The pleats work perfectly to accentuate a smaller waist while giving you enough room in the bust. I already have the fabric for two more Anna dresses and may even try the maxi length with the thigh high split like Heather Lou’s fabulous version! Have you tried this pattern yet? If so, how did you like it? If not, what are you waiting for???
Fabric: 1 yard houndstooth wool & 1 yard raspberry lining both from Joann
Notions: 6 yards black satin ribbon from Joann and 2 vintage buttons from my stash
Pattern: Drafted from In Honor of Design Audrey Cape instructions
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: For these photos
Wear again? Yes when the weather gets cold!
Total Cost: $30
This was my submission for the August challenge over at the Monthly Stitch. Though I can’t wear my cape for some months because it is still summer here in South Carolina, it was a lot of fun taking part in the challenge and I definitely will take part in future challenges. In fact September’s challenge is to make a dress using vintages patterns which will be a perfect time to use one of the patterns I got in the Patterns and Notions swap on the Sew Weekly Reunion site so as soon as I finish my Anna dress for the Sew Weekly Reunion challenge, I am going to start my vintage dress! Are you taking part in either of these challenges? I would love to see your makes!
I am usually a pretty organized crafter who tries to complete one project before starting the next but after losing my sewjo for a couple of weeks I am on fire! My projects took over the dining room this weekend and instead of home cooked meals on the table, we have this…
First up is my ALMOST completed cape for the Monthly Stitch August challenge. Forget that it is hotter than blue blazes at the moment, I must have a cape to parade about town this winter. More details to come on my cape next week.
Next up is a totally random project I started Saturday. While I was organizing my sewing cabinet (otherwise known as trying to find a way to jam even more stuff in without the door flying open!) I found a kit for a quilted Christmas apron that I picked up at a local craft fair nearly two years ago. Never mind that I don’t know how to quilt, it is over four months before Christmas and I have tons of other more pressing items in my sewing queue. Even so, I actually enjoyed stitching the blocks together and will definitely use it once I finish. Next I will have to consult you tube for visual aids to quilt and bind the apron. If anyone has suggestions for good quilting instruction sites, let me know.
Also on my table is another Roza blouse (my 3rd!). Football season starts next week and I am a huge South Carolina Gamecocks fan. The University of SC is my alma mater and only an hour from my house. We often go to the games or watch them on television with friends so I decided to create a one of a kind blouse to wear. I did the embroidery of the USC mascot while watching TV last week and plan to stitch up the blouse this weekend. This version also uses up some of my stash so I get brownie points for stashbusting!
And if that wasn’t enough I also have two items in process for the Sew Weekly Reunion. One is my first version of the By Hand London Anna dress for the Pantone Color Challenge. I am almost finished and hope to have a proper pattern review written next week but if you haven’t tried this pattern, you must get it to the top of your sewing queue stat!
The other is for the Patterns and Notions Swap Challenge. If you recall from a previous post, my partner Amanda sent me two vintage patterns along with a cool set of buttons and a vintage tape measure. One of the sewing patterns included a knitted jacket pattern so I am feverishly knitting in the hopes of finishing it before September 1st. I would love to win the huge set of buttons offered as the prize.
With all this positive creative energy flowing, what could be better than a gift in the mail? I recently won the Annette Tierette’s blogaversary giveaway and Anneke sent me a beautiful length of wax cotton fabric and lovely note all the way from Belgium. If you haven’t ever checked out her blog you definitely should. She makes cute clothing and always photographs her makes in cool industrial kinds of places which make her posts exceedingly more interesting!
That’s what I’ve been up to this past week. Would love to hear about what you have on your sewing table!
First of all thanks to everyone who provided suggestions on tackling my UFO pile. Many of your suggestions have already been incorporated and I hope to show some completed UFOs soon. Over the last several days many bloggers are also addressing the UFO issue so I am glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem! Lauren’s post yesterday about her sewing process kicked off some lively discussions regarding UFOs that you should definitely check out. Lauren also posted some good tips about the sewing process in general which I definitely plan to try. Emily and Cindy’s August stashbusting challenge requires UFO completion so if you have a pile like me and you aren’t already part of their challenge, now is the month to get on board!
Now back to the winner of the pattern giveaway…
Congratulations to Nessa! Her suggestion to unpick the garments in short stretches then reward myself by doing something else already seems to be working. I have unpicked the In House Blossom blouse and Colette Ginger skirt and plan to get these completed in time to post them for the August Stashbusting Challenge. Nessa, please email me your shipping address along with your pattern choice and I will send to you right away.