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Category Archives: Sewalong

OAL 2015

I joined this year’s Outfit-along and unlike last year, actually completed both my sweater and dress! For those not familiar, Andi Satterlund from Untangling Knots and Lauren Taylor from Lladybird host a challenge each summer with the goal of knitting both a sweater and sewing a dress to make a complete outfit. The challenge runs from June 1st to July 31st and all participants who complete both garments and post their finished makes on Ravelry are eligible for prizes.

My dress is a modified version of Sis Boom’s Angie pattern. This was my first attempt at the pattern and though I found it easy to stitch up, the ease was way too much. I ended up narrowing the hip area by several inches and I still think the dress is a bit bulky.

Oal Dress Front

I also made back waist ties instead of using elastic for the back. I used a lovely rayon bought from Kati at Kate and Rose Patterns during a sale she had a while back. I think $15 for 3 yards was a steal! The drape of rayon also makes the dress more flowy which is perfect for our hot South Carolina summers.

OAL Dress Back v2

Please also check out my new garment labels. I ordered these from the etsy shop Remember Wynn and love the soft ultrasuede!

OAL Dress Tag and Bias

The sweater I knit for the OAL is from designer Erin Kate Archer. I saw the pattern on Ravelry and immediately fell in love. The sweater, Cancun Boxy Lace Top, is an assortment of stitches and ended up being a great learning garment as I had not encountered some of the stitches before.

OAL Sweater Front

I modified the original pattern by adding waist shaping and ribbing but other wise knit directly from the pattern. This was a super quick knit and only took a couple of weeks to complete.

OAL Dress and Sweater Back

Overall pretty happy with both the dress and sweater. I did start another outfit and hope to squeeze it in under the Friday deadline!

Outfit Along with Lladybird and Untangling Knots

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The daring duo of Andi and Lauren have cooked up a fun group activity for us knitters and sewers called the Outfit Along. Starting this weekend, we will be knitting Andi’s newest sweater pattern, Myrna, and making a coordinating dress. Lauren suggests Simplicity 1803 but does allow for other patterns so long as they work with the sweater to create a complete outfit.

OALBadge3

 

I love Andi’s designs so immediately determined the sweater was a perfect match for my style. I will be using Cascade 220 in a bright yellow from my Yarn Crawl 2013 stash.

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Instead of Simplicity 1803, I’m going to use the Christine Hayne’s Emery pattern which has been in my stash since it came out last year. There are so many wonderful examples of this dress pattern and one of my favorite bloggers, Roisin, used this pattern many times and the finished garments are always lovely!

emery-drawing-1_grande

I am enamored with royal blue and bright yellow color combos, so I’m finally going to be brave enough to cut into my Liberty of London blue rose lawn. After seeing Jane’s gorgeous shirt dress in the same fabric, I knew I wanted a similar dress. Hopefully my sewing efforts will do this wonderful pattern and fabric justice! Anyone else planning to join the Outfit Along?

Liberty Lawn

Fall Sewing Plans

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

Green/Black Cotton 2013

Mail Order 9387 Size 22.5

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

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

Blue Corduroy 2013

Rose Suiting 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?

The “Pantone Anna” Dress

Pantone Anna 3

The Facts

Fabric: Silky 100% polyester something or other from the clearance bin at Hancock’s $8

Notions: None!

Pantone Challenge colors: Acai, Carafe, Linden Green, Deep Lichen Green, & Turbulence

Pattern: By Hand London Anna $23

Year: 2013

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???

Pantone Anna 4

 

The Sew Weekly Reunion

The Sew Weekly Reunion

Mena Trott’s The Sew Weekly site was the first blog I found when I started sewing in 2011. The premise was simple…sew each week and document the finished garment. Mena’s site quickly expanded to include 4 other sewists then in 2012 The Sew Weekly had over one hundred contributors posting their garments. Unfortunately Mena did not continue the challenges in 2013 which left many sewists, myself included, without ongoing inspiration.

Luckily the original 4 ladies that sewed along with Mena in 2011 have decided to host a reunion. Instead of having a challenge every week, there will be yearly reunion where everyone can join along and sew a similar challenge for one month. The Sew Weekly Reunion 2013 challenge theme requires the Pantone Fall 2013 colors to be the inspiration for the garment. Everyone has until the end of August to submit their makes and the winner receives some beautiful silk chiffon fabric.

pantonecolorsfall20131

Along with the reunion challenge is an optional pattern and notions swap. Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes is hosting and participants received an email with the person’s interests, blog site, and address. As an added bonus, there will be a prize for using your swap items during the Pantone challenge. I sent a package to Z from Gladys and Viv. She recently posted her goodies and I am so glad she liked them. I can’t wait to see what she makes!

swap goodies

I received a package from Amanda and I absolutely love it. Not only did she include patterns very close to my size (which is rare to find in vintage patterns) but one even included a pattern for a knitted jacket meant to coordinate with the dress pattern. Even though it is running about 90 degrees every day this week, I couldn’t help myself and have already cast on. I hope to finish both the dress and knitted jacket in time to submit before the end of the month.

100_1375

Are you taking part in the challenge?

Bombshell Swimsuit Pattern Review

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I finally finished my bombshell swimsuit and must say I am truly happy with the result. Heather Lou of Closet Case Files not only designed a sexy suit, but also made it modest enough to wear around family. Heather Lou hosted a sewalong which certainly helped as I am a visual learner and some of the techniques were new for me.

Bombshell Front View

The pattern is only offered as a .pdf  but the assembly was quick and relatively painless. The pattern has three variations: halter, maillot and high waist bikini. I made the halter version but will definitely try the maillot next.

Bombshell Side View

Things I liked about this pattern:

  1. Sexy look without having too much skin showing
  2. Flattering fit through the waist and booty
  3. Sewalong  provided tons of visual instructions

Things I would have preferred about this pattern:

  1. Larger sizes (though Heather Lou was kind enough to provide personal instructions for grading up to my size)
  2. Paper pattern option (though I understand the .pdf kept the cost down)

New Techniques I learned:

  1. Installing Lining (can you believe this was the first time I had lined anything????)
  2. Ruching
  3. Sewing with Lycra/Spandex materialBombshell Back View

Final thoughts on this pattern…if you have never tried to sew a swimsuit you should definitely start with the Bombshell. Not only was it remarkably easier to sew than I would have imagined, the suit is comfortable and flattering!

Hummingbird Sewalong Wrap Up and Pattern Review

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The Sewing Cake Hummingbird Sewalong ends tonight so I finally got around to taking photos of my completed skirts. The Hummingbird was the first time I used a Sewing Cake pattern and I really liked it.  Steph’s patterns are not traditional but I really like her approach to garment sewing. The pattern is printed on thick waxy paper and intended to be traced instead of cut out. This method allows multiple sizes to be sewn over time without damaging the pattern.

Denim Hbird Front

 

I made one skirt in 7oz denim and another in red cotton twill. Both were part of the sewalong, so I cut and stitched them at the same time. The pattern allows for a high level of customization while tracing and cutting the pattern which was super helpful. Since there is a nearly 12 inch differential between my waist and hips, skirts usually require a ton of fitting which always bogs down my sewing mojo and leads to many half finished garments. This was not the case with the Hummingbird pattern. There is a “mid-construction” fit check to allow for some tweaking but I found that other than deeper waist darts in the back, there were no modifications required.

Red Hbird Front

 

Things I need to work on from a sewing/experience perspective for the next time are:

  1. Back dart apex on the red skirt does NOT lay flat. Steph had a good tutorial on the sewing cake website that I used for the denim skirt with no issuesRed Hbird Back
  2. Peg the side seams so they are not as “flowy” at the bottom. Since my booty protrudes, I think the skirt would look better a bit tighter at the kneeDenim Hbird Back
  3. Do a better job lining up the waistbands. I didn’t take a photo of this but had to realign the waistband at the zipper multiple times to get it right!

Now it’s time to finish my Bombshell Swimsuit designed by Heather Lou before July 4th!

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