24 November 2014

Pink Silk Jersey V1610

This silk jersey...meeeowwww! This is one of my favourite purchases from Mood Fabrics in LA from this March. The colours are so vibrant and the feel...well it's silk folks oft times you'd find me hiding in the corner slowly rubbing this fabric against my check. What I can't help it - beautiful fabrics bring the creep out of me. but meow fabric meow.
Now silk jersey isn't cheap. Nope, it is not. And this baby set me back $28/yard. So being as Cheap as possible while still purchasing enough for a dress I scooped up 2 yards. I am fairly set that if I need to I can fit any dress out of 2 yards of fabric - yay for being short and requiring only 17 inches from waist to my preferred length.
So back to the dress....this dress is mainly due to Lauren over at Lladybird.com. This pattern was found through her blog where she has created 3 beautiful versions of it. I had been looking for a fully classic wrap dress and simply couldn't find a pattern, until I saw the posts with V1610 - the most perfect simple and classic wrap dress. I needed it in my life. I scoured eBay waiting for a deal to come along....and count my lucky stars cause gosh darn I scored this baby for $9 at 3am!!! when I mean to find an eBay deal ....I'm devoted!

Now, with this silk jersey costing more than all the fabric used to make all the dresses I've made this far combined, I knew I couldn't cut in to it without testing the pattern first. I've never been able to fit wrap dresses without showing ample boobage....and I am the turtle neck queen....so you can guess how unimpressed I am by the idea of boobage on display. I had to make sure this pattern would cover up the ladies without looking frumpy. Demands demands demands. My test dress worked out wonderfully and I wear it constantly (next post). So it was time to cut cut cut cut my silk jersey and beg the sewing gods not to let me screw this up. "Do not ruin this fabric dear sewing gods. It's my precious"

Well Said sewing gods heard my whines because I think it turned out rather snazzy. It's longer than it should be but I feel very cocoony while wearing this length so I kept it; robe-esque if you will - finding my inner comfortable Greek silky goddess? I can go on....the length does up the frump factor but the wrap and the fabric help counter this.

just let me strut a few more paces for you.... work it! Work it! 
Read More »

06 October 2014

Bruyere Ships as a Dress!

And then there were two.

This pattern was a dream. After finishing my first Bruyere out of Robert Kaufman Chambray and wearing it, I knew there needed to be a second. During the same purchase as the dots I purchased this Ships chambray fabric. It is a great fabric, it's light and crisp, but it doesn't feel AS buttery as the dots chambray. But it has Ships so they are kind of equal.

The one significant difference for this Bruyere is......I made it a dress! I've never had a shirt dress. This goes back to me never fitting button up shirts. But now that I can make my own - YAY! I simply lengthened the bottom pieces by 4 inches each. Shows you how short I am eh?

This time I also sewed the side seams up at 7/8" instead of the given 5/8". Because of the length, I wanted to make sure the waist was snug to give me some definition. My other Bruyere fits very comfortably around the waist but it is loose. This one sits perfectly snug to my skin with almost no ease. The one thing I do notice with reducing the shirt to minimal ease is that I could use 1/4" length added to the top bodice pieces - it pulls up slightly if I raise my arms.

I also shaved off 5/8" from each bodice sleeve so the sleeves sit directly on my shoulders instead of hanging slightly off.

I bought these cute silver anchor buttons, but I realized I'd have to hand sew them and that just wasn't going to happen on a shirt with so many buttons. I didn't want it to look sloppy and my hand sewing certainly looks sloppy. I replaced them with these cute blue buttons with a unique swirl pattern on them. Each button is different.

I made the shirt exactly the same and yet on this dress perversion, one side of my button placket is 1 inch longer than the other. I very much wish it worked out evenly on the bottom, but this imperfection enables me to prove that this is handmade - and people believe me now!

I tried to place the ships perfectly on the collar to help showcase them. But they didn't end up centred. I also centred ships on the upper biceps of the arms. Otherwise the ships are haphazard and when I look at it, I feel like most ships are upside-down.

Had you not noticed, the colours are fairly saturated in my photos. I have a bad habit of taking photos immediately after work; the sun is up and shining brightly, so you often cannot see anything on my handmades without much alteration. So excuse that.

Love my new Ships Bruyere shirt dress! Me and Bruyere sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g......


Pattern: Bruyere shirt by Deer and Doe
Size: 14
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Nautique Chambray SRK-14276-62 Indigo 

  • Lengthened the bottom pieces by 4" to turn Bruyere in to a dress
  • Sewed side seams at 7/8" for reduced ease
  • Reduced top of arm scythe by 5/8" to have sleeves sit on my shoulders better 
Read More »

17 September 2014

Giraffe V1247

I've never been one for novelty prints. I think they are cute to look at, but would never wear them. I don't know if this is considered full blown novelty as it's pretty subtle but....GIRAFFES! I squealed with glee when I saw this fabric, my heart beat faster and my smile grew bigger. I was so happy at the look of it, then I reached out to touch it and it is a stretch denim! I knew it was meant to be.

I had this pattern in my stash from when it was first released, had it cut and ready, but it wasn't until I saw it on other bloggers that I knew I needed this skirt in my life.

Just by looking at the pattern pieces I knew this would be a mini mini no bending over skirt. And that says a lot because I'm a short person with super short legs. So I decided to lengthen the bottom pattern piece by 3". I also knew that I would be wearing this skirt high-waisted so the length was necessary to keep it wearable for me. I like to keep things modest because there is little I hate more than having to tug at my hemline all day in an attempt to keep everything covered up.

The kangaroo pouch front pockets are the cutest feature. I couldn't resist their charm. And the construction of this skirt is really great. The pattern is really easy to follow, but I did opt to simply serge all my seams instead of going through the hassle of bias binding everything. But, after completing my skirt, I can see why bias binding would make the insides so beautiful. The waist band is beautifully enclosed and I stitched in the ditch to make it that way. 

The only hand sewing I did (Bleh - I hate hand stitching) was to attach the skirt closure at the back. I didn't want to see the stitches on the outside. Next version I make I'll add the skirt clasp on prior to attaching the waist band so it will look neater and I'll feel it's more secure than my sketchy hand sewing.

I really love this skirt. I was worried I would look 6 months pregnant, but I feel it hugs where it needs to and is roomy where I need it to be. Excellent features in a skirt for me!

Here's to a happy moment when fabric and pattern join and are successful.


Pattern: Vogue 1247 a Rachel Comey top and skirt pattern
Size: 16
Fabric: Giraffe Stretch Denim
  • Lengthen the skirt by 3 inches.

Read More »

15 September 2014

Chambray Dot Bruyere

Sometimes you fall in love and you fall in love instantly. The new Bruyere pattern by Deer&Doe was love at first site. The moment I opened my inbox email and saw this new pattern I had to have it. Not only do I adore the style of this shirt but I know that the Deer&Doe patterns fit me with extremely few if any alterations. I ordered it that first say and waited anxiously for it to arrive in the mail!

The bottom half of this shirt with it's pleats and dipped hem takes a basic button up and makes it spectacular. It's casual yet looks so put together. The perfect shirt really.

I am not a button-up shirt kind of girl. I've always struggled to find one that fits comfortable across my bust without the buttons spreading and my boobs saying peek-a-boo. Takes the professional out of button up very quickly.

The construction of the placket and the collar was really ingenious. It all came together so easily and with such CLEAN finishes! No exposed edges. Pretty amazing! 

Like I said, this was my first button up. I was worried about how well I could follow the instructions. I will admit that the instructions are fine, but not exactly thorough. I had to read through them once or twice to understand what I was intended to do, but the pictures helped and I was able to successfully make everything come together. So thankful because I didn't make a muslin and trusted in my faith in the sizing and fit of Deer&Doe's patterns.

This fabric - Gorgeous right? It is Robert Kaufman's Dot Chambray from is Nautique line. I ordered it online from Fabric.com and this was my first official online fabric purchase. I bought it along with two other Robert Kaufman Chambray fabrics. I raced to the border when the arrival notification came in to pick it up. I pulled over once I crossed back in to Canada to take a look at my new prized possessions and to my absolute delight I realized that they had sent me 3 yards extra of this Chambray dot fabric! It was two separate pieces of the fabric so I think they accidentally sent another others order along with mine. But I don't mind one bit - This fabric is incredible to sew. 

Not perfect top stitching but my absolutely adorable baby Scotia distracts from those not so even lines! 

I have not been any happier with a make. I learned so much during this shirt! There were so many firsts for me: a collar, button placket, top stitching extensively. 

I always tell people that sewing in a straight line is the most difficult thing to do. I always have the urge to pull my fabric through the machine instead of trusting my feed dogs. Well, I set my machine on a slow setting to keep my speed manageable to help with all the top stitching. I used my edge foot to help with spacing but it isn't perfect - but neither am I and I'm ok with that. 

I spent an hour fiddling with my sewing machines button hole making to get every setting perfect. I finally found just the right amount for everything and went to town. I bought both these silver dot buttons and some lovely wooden buttons. In the end I felt these silver dots helps keep this shirt slightly above full casual which means I can still wear it to work!

When I make this again The only change I'll make is to shave a 1/2 inch off the shoulder as it sits off my natural shoulder. I could simply reset the sleeves but why alter something as beautiful as this shirt. I'm so happy with the result and without ANY alterations!

And no post is complete without an awkward action shot. 


Pattern: Bruyere shirt by Deer&Doe
Size: 14
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Dot Chambray
Alterations: ABSOLUTELY NONE!!
Read More »

25 August 2014

Purple Chiffon V1102

I love this PATTERN! I have officially found the pattern that I feel is me. Everything about it makes me so utterly happy: the open back, the back ties, the high neck, boat neck, empire waist, flowy skirt. I made this dress for a wedding I was attending and it is my first time sewing with a chiffon fabric. Maybe sewing on a deadline isn't a great time to pick a new-to-me fabric that is notoriously slippy and difficult to sew with? Maybe? Nahhhh....

The chiffon is 100% polyester. I didn't splurge on it. But I adored the pattern and bought it as soon as it went on sale. Since the fabric was sheer and the pattern has a full lining, I didn't want the seams to show through to the front so I decided to underline all the chiffon with a white cotton I had in my stash as well as fully line it with a light grey rayon lining.

Look at that bow - LOOK AT IT!!! I'm in love! So much in love. I left the bow unlined as I felt it would be nicer with just the chiffon.

And since the fabric had more droop to it than my last version in 100% cotton I added elastic to the waist seam to keep things more accentuated. Basically I wanted a little added boost for the ladies and to give myself some definition around the middle instead of blob shaped.

I decided to use a simple gathered skirt once again over a circle skirt but cut a high-low hem line because they are my favourite. I cut the lining to mid-thigh length to showcase the chiffon on top and its see-through qualities. Gotta show a little leg amiright ladies? In a classy way of course! (ps - look at that skirt...it has some serious flow!)

To showcase how well the bodice fits across my chest and a little of the arm scythe. So much more comfortable to wear a well fitted garment.

The fabric has a slight crepe texture to it but look at those beautiful colours! All seams are completed on the serger and this fabric is cheap cheap cheap so it frayed something fierce. Ugh. It won't last too long which is sad but it fulfilled its purpose of dancing its heart out at my friends wedding (She made her own wedding dress - it was stunning!)


Pattern: Vogue 1102
Size: 14
Fabric: Polyester Chiffon
  • Twisted a Wedge from the arm scythe into the waist darts
  • Gathered skirt with hi-low hem
  • Removed an inch from the centre back bodice for better lower back coverage
  • Added elastic to the waist seam
  • Omitted the facings and only used a full lining
  • Invisible zipper and no hook and eye (too lazy to put one in)

Read More »

22 August 2014

White&Grey Easy Summer M6955

Summer lovin - happens so fast! Too bad I'm too lazy to bust out the GOOD camera. So you're welcome to peruse these lovely iphone photos. Great quality eh? Good ol self timer app!

Fabricland had a sale on all of the cotton sateen fabrics and at $4/metre I couldn't go wrong. Lovely prints too! I bought 4 different cotton sateen's and immediately started scheming what I wanted to make. During a recent $1.99 sale on the McCall's website I ordered 10 or so patterns, one of which was M6955: a Laura Ashley Easy project. 
I adored the racer back of the dress and figured the cotton sateen would be perfect for the silhouette of the dress. The fabric would also help the dress to feel snug against my body but still provide me with lots of breathing room with the stretch content. Yay!

I made a fair few adjustments to the pattern. I cut out a size 10 because I wanted to accommodate for the stretch of the fabric and opted to finish my dress with binding instead of bias tape to reduce bulk and make my life 100% easier. This type of finish is the quickest for me while using my serger. the more projects I can complete using only my serger the better! I busted out this dress in >3 hours total from cutting to wearing. 

Back to those alterations I was talking about. After completing my Flora bodice, Belladone Bodice, and V1102 Bodice I began to notice how the flat pattern bodice needed to look for it to fit my body shape better. As soon as I cut out this flat pattern, it looked nothing like I knew it should to fit me. It would fit terribly straight from the envelope. So I starting slicing into the neckline and taking out wedges as I knew the neckline would gape - I then evened out the curve of the neckline. I did this to both the front and back necklines. I also took wedges out from the shoulder strap and turned the straps inwards to fit my narrow shoulders better (bodice shoulders always fall off my shoulders - they never will again!). Next I twisted out a dart from the arm scythe in to the waist darts. By the end my tissue pattern pieces were covered in tape missing all sorts of chunks and pieces. And finally, no dress is complete without the addition of in-seam pockets! I really should have used a lining fabric for those instead of the cotton sateen as they are quite bulky and make the circle skirt stick out across my hips.

The only changes I'll make for my next version of this would be to lengthen the bodice by 1/2" so the waist seam sits a little more comfortable when I move and lengthen the skirt by 1" and opt for 3/4 or 1/2 circle skirt instead of the full circle (which really likes to catch that breeze). Other than that, I put an invisible (or not so invisible) zipper in the centre back, finished my binding edges at the back neck above the zipper (and refused to put a hook and eye out of sheer laziness), and turned and stitched my hemline. The entire dress (besides the darts and zipper insertion) is finished on my serger - Yay for quick dresses! And YAY for easy summer cotton dresses!


Pattern: M6955
Size: 10
Fabric: Cotton Sateen
  • Removed a wedge out of the front neckline to reduce gaping
  • Removed 1" from the shoulder length
  • Took out a dart from the arm scythe and turned it into the bust darts
  • Removed a wedge out of the back neckline to reduce gaping
  • Finished the edges with binding instead of a facing to reduce thickness.
  • Added in-seam pockets to the circle skirt.
Read More »