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One Week One Pattern Round Up

Jeri OWOP

This was my first year participating in the One Week One Pattern challenge and I must say it was nice to wear some clothes that are not in my normal rotation. I chose to wear my Roza tops from Kate and Rose Patterns. I ended up wearing four blouses on five separate days.

Roza OWOP Day 4

Day 1 (Saturday 9/6) & Day 7 (Friday 9/12): I wore my University of South Carolina Roza. It is football season after all!

Day 2 (Monday 9/8): No Roza 😦

Roza OWOP Day 1

Day 3 (Monday 9/8): I wore my Gingham Embroidery Roza

Roza OWOP Day 2

Day 4 (Tuesday 9/9): I wore my Birthday Roza.

Day 5 (Wednesday 9/10): No Roza 😦

Roza OWOP Day 3

Day 6: (Thursday 9/11): I wore my Monogram Roza

This pattern is such a great starting point for all kinds of creativity. I recently developed an interest in smocking so I think my next Roza may incorporate that technique. Thanks Jane for coordinating the challenge. Can’t wait until next year!

Pattern Review: Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress

As with the previous two Colette pattern releases, the Myrtle dress is designed for knits and ranges from XS to 3XL. I am so happy to finally be able to simply stitch up a pattern without having to do a significant amount of mind bending math and grading.

The pattern has a few lovely design features. Most notable is the wide draped neckline and shoulder tabs. My version was made with a lovely floral knit fabric I snagged from Girl Charlee during their 40% off sale over the July 4th holiday.

Myrtle Full

Things I liked about the pattern:

  • It comes in my size range!
  • The bodice draping was interesting. The front bodice piece is very long and actually drapes onto itself to become self lined.
  • Button tab shoulders

Myrtle Button

Things I struggled with and modified:

  • The waistband just did not work for me. The instructions state to fold down part of the bodice to create a casing but the result was NOT pretty. I ended up taking that out then simply zigzag stitching a piece of elastic to the seam where the bodice and skirt came together. The result was not perfect but looked better than my first attempt.
  • The bodice ended up being a bit short. Next time I will add 2 inches to the bodice length so the dress sits closer to my natural waist. I must note that I am pretty short waisted so for others the bodice may need to be lengthened even more.
  • Overall length of the skirt. I added about 4 inches which is a common modification for me on Colette patterns. I’m almost 5’8″ and don’t typically wear dresses above my knees. This is my personal preference and I want to be able to wear them to work.
  • I started with the pockets but thought they added to much bulk at the hips so later took them out and simply stitched up the sides.

Myrtle without sweater

Overall I really like how the dress came out. It is comfortable and can easily be dressed up or down depending upon what shoes and cardi I wear. There is definitely another Myrtle in my future!

Pattern Review: Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte Top

After my success with the Afternoon Blouse, I was excited to see another vintage inspired top from Jen and I knew this one would be perfect for my upcoming July 4th parties.

Unlike the Afternoon Blouse, the Bronte Top pattern is intended for knit fabrics. As a relative newcomer to sewing with knits, my first attempt is by no means perfect but has already seen heavy rotation in the three weeks since I sewed it up. I have another version planned soon!
Bronte

Things I liked:
1) Tiling of the pattern allows you to print specific pieces
2) Long sleeve and short sleeve versions
3) Very clear instructions!
4) Button details at the collar can really showcase unique buttons. I used vintage buttons I got for 50 cents at a quilt show a few years ago and I love them.
Bronte Close Up

Things I had issues with:
1) The sleeves were a bit short for me so I had to lengthen the fold over part. Heather had the similar sleeve length problems which she provided a super helpful tutorial here.
2) Keeping the front neckline from stretching out was a big issue. I think next time I will make the neckline binding an inch shorter so the neckline lies more flat.
3) Easing the sleeves was hard for me and I didn’t get it quite right. The very top of the sleeve pokes up a bit but not so much that I won’t wear the top.
Bronte Shoulder

 

 

 

 

Dolly Clackett Mini Me? Yeah Baby!!!

Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones decided to host a Dolly Clackett Sewing contest in honor of Nic and Roisin’s upcoming wedding. Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen all the lovely dresses Roisin wannabes have been posting lately.

The rules were simple and only required you to sew a dress similar to something Roisin would wear. The contest ends today so without further ado, please check out my “Dolly Clacket Mini Me” dress!

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Roisin is probably best known for her cheerful printed fabric and gathered skirt dresses. She is going to Paris for her honeymoon so has been whipping up Eiffel Tower dresses like mad. In honor of her traveling spirit and my upcoming trip to Italy, I decided my Mini Me dress would require an Italian print fabric. I found the perfect choice at Hawthorne Threads. The fabric is from the Dear Stella Va Bene collection and includes many famous attractions from around Italy. Isn’t it wonderful?

dear_stella_house_designer_va_bene_italian_buildings_in_white

The dress pattern is an upcoming release from Kate and Rose I was lucky enough to pattern test. I will do a proper review once Kati releases the pattern but can tell you now this is already a TNT pattern for me and will see heavy rotation in the coming months!

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Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2013

Top 5

Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow had a great idea about posting top five hits, misses, reflections, inspirations and goals of 2013. Since I think that is a great way to sum up my crafting activity, here goes…

Hits: I discovered a new (to me) indie pattern company, Kate and Rose, early in 2013 and went on to make three tops using the Roza pattern. This pattern brought my love of embroidery together with garment sewing and resulted in three of my top five hits for 2013!

monogram rozaRoza version 2100_1567

Also making the top 5 hit list was my Sewing Cake Cabarita top. This was the first time I had sewed anything from Steph’s company but would definitely not be the last. Her original take on sizing is refreshing and significantly reduces the amount of modifications required.

Cabarita Chevron

I also took part in Colette Patterns Laurel contest and ended up wearing this version all summer! This was my most fun challenge all year and resulted in many cool versions of this rather simple pattern.Summer Version Colette Laurel

Misses:  There weren’t many but unfortunately I have to put my Pantone Anna Dress from By Hand London in the “miss” category. I have never worn it and it is a shame. I think the biggest issue was my fabric choice. The bodice flops out a bit which makes the cleavage a bit too pronounced. I haven’t given up on giving this pattern another go since I do think the overall shape is super flattering!

Pantone Anna 3

Another FO making the “miss” list is my Monthly Stitch It’s Elementary My Dear Watson cape. There is nothing “wrong” with it but living in South Carolina doesn’t lend itself to wearing capes often. Perhaps I need to start a new trend…

Sherlock Holmes

Probably my worst fail of the year was the Maria Mexican Folk Dress. I had such high hopes for this dress. I wanted to marry my love of embroidery with sewing but it was NOT to be. Better luck next year!

Maria Mexican Folk DressTomorrow I will continue the list with reflections and inspirations from 2013!

 

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

 

Sewcial Bee & Miz Mozelle Pattern Review

I ignored my UFO pile this weekend but decided to participate in the Sewcial Bee monthly challenge. Kat posted a helpful list of current challenges so I checked out Gillian’s post regarding the Sewcial Bee challenges. I missed the one last month but was definitely all over it this time around. The challenge was posted on Saturday morning and the intent is to sew something over the weekend that meets the challenge requirements then post your make to flickr. This month’s challenge was determined by GidaStudio and had to be inspired by food. My make was actually inspired by the link to HeatherB’s blog where Heather made a cake that inspired her dress. I happened to have some black and red floral fabric in my stash and the Miz Mozelle pattern on my “to sew” list so I went for it. As you can see, I not only made a similar dress, but also a similar cake. Thanks Heather for the floral icing tip!

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Now onto the pattern review…

This was the first time sewing a Jamie Christina pattern so I am a bit late to the party. Most of her offerings are not my style but the Miz Mozelle dress seemed like the perfect pattern to pair with my fabric. The fabric is some sort of rayon blend I bought at Hancock’s awhile back. I think I originally planned to use it for my Mad Men Challenge dress but opted for a vintage cotton sateen in psychedelic colors instead. The pattern had to be graded up quite a bit but the fit of the dress is relatively forgiving so it wasn’t much of a problem.

The instructions were well written and clear. The only issue I ran into was sewing the keyhole. I must have stretched the fabric and bias tape too much when stitching because I could not ever get the bottom part of the loop to lay flat. I finally ended up stitching the bottom closed so that it formed more of a “V” instead of an oval.

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The waist is not fitted but instead utilizes a casing and elastic. The pattern called for 1/4″ braided elastic but I opted for 3/4″ non-roll elastic instead. This did cause the casing to be much more obvious but distributes the gathers better in my opinion. I also did not make the sash but plan to use a black elastic belt I already had. I tried it both with and without the belt and like it either way. I will definitely be making this dress again but perhaps in a solid color.

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