My friend Katie (hey girl!), from my hometown, just got her first sewing machine. YAY!!!! I love hearing about other people getting into this hobby, that I find so rewarding. She sent me a message on Facebook asking me for advice, because she found sewing in a straight line to be harder than she thought.
This post is for you Katie, and all the beginner stitchers out there. I don’t remember where I got this idea, but it was very helpful to me when I was just starting.
Lay a piece of masking tape along the 5/8″ line (or whatever seam allowance you are sewing with) and extend it . This gives you a much easier to see point of reference, to keep your seams even and your stitching straight.
I made another version of Simplicity 1873. This time I made version A. One thing I’ve learned from my other version is that I’m not short-waisted like I thought I was. My other version hits into my ribs. This time I added 3/4″ to the bodice and it’s more comfortable. I also made this a little bit larger and now after looking at these photos I think I might want to go back in and take it in a wee bit.
Originally I drafted a peter-pan collar that I hand-beaded (here’s a photo from Instagram). I decided after it was on that I didn’t like it. I felt that it looked a little homemade (because I couldn’t get the curve smooth) so I decided to remove it. I have two vintage beaded collars, so I can have the look when I want it or not. The bow at the waist is detachable also. I used my hot glue gun to attach it to a pin back.
The sleeves on this pattern are so cute. They feature 5 darts to create the puff shape. I fully lined this dress with some black rayon voile. I finished with an invisible zipper and a machined blind hem.
This is a great pattern if you love the classic “fit and flare” silhouette
I’m taking my time with my next dress, but I thought I’d post
a few instagram spoilers in the meantime
I picked up 2 yards of this southwestern print rayon in the remnant annex at Mill End. The selvedge says that it’s from 1996. I think it’s totes rad. I used the waistband that I drafted for my circle skirt, I added another inch and it’s much more comfortable.
I made a simple dirndl with a very full skirt. I used the entire 2 yards, so this is about 90″ wide minus the seam allowance. This skirt actually sat as a UFO for about 3 weeks because it was so hard to gather.
Originally I tried to make pleats, but there was just way to much volume. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I wanted all of the pleats to be perfectly symmetrical. That was not going to happen so I set it aside. Then I tried to gather this huge amount of fabric. Basting stitches weren’t sufficient. Even gathering with dental floss didn’t work. It kept getting stuck on the slippery rayon and breaking. I was about to throw this in the corner and move on, when I accidentally stumbled on a new way (to me) to gather fabric.
The tension on my machine was a little wonky, and I started to mess with it. I turned the tension all the way up and it started to gather this fabric tightly all on its own. Holla!!!!! Just another tool in my arsenal, I love learning new things.
The zipper is sort of lapped. I decided to make it lapped as an after thought, so it doesn’t quite cover the top of the zipper pull. I also added side seam pockets. Easy peasy after I figured the gathering out. Smell ya later.
Yeah, the title says it all. What are you going to be for Halloween? I really wish Suzanne made me a Twilight Sparkle costume as well. Hers is rad.
This dress is pretty slapdash. I completed it in 2 sewing binges and barely finished in time for the event I went to. For some reason, at the last minute, I decided to add cotton batting to the breast cups and boning. That turned this into a lot more trouble than something that is only destined to be worn a few times. However, I feel like a learned a lot and will hopefully make an amazing bombshell dress when I get around to it.
I used McCall’s 6331 for the bodice, which Neeno has made a million times. You should check out some of her versions. This is a “perfect fit” pattern and has different pattern pieces for different bra sizes. This came out a little big, but I think that is because of the fabric I used. The quick muslin I did fit perfectly. I made this with the rest of the cotton sateen I made my peplum top with. This dress has the same issue of being too big. I think it’s because there is some stretch to the fabric, but not good recovery. It just grows the more you handle it. o_O
I added white piping to all of the seams in the bodicefor contrast. I also made a little bow out of the piping and placed that center front. I got the furry boots and horn at a sex shop of all places. They’ve got lots of Halloween costumes right now, random.
For the skirt I used the circle skirt pattern I’ve drafted. So much fun for dancing in. I felt like a dizzy swirl of colors.
I got an email today that said that I won the Bernette 25 from Craftstylish. I’m so excited and grateful for your votes. I walked to Modern Domestic after work and bought myself a walking foot to celebrate!
As far as sewing projects I’ve got a few things in the pipeline. I finished McCalls 6331 for my Halloween costume. If you follow me on instagram (cynbular) you’ve already seen it. I’m a magic rainbow unicorn princess fwiw. I’m going to try to get some photos taken this weekend. I am also nearly done with a southwest print skirt
EHRRRRMAGAWD guys!!!! I’m one of the final five contestants to win a new Bernette by Bernina sewing machine from Craftstylish. I entered my Bow dress (which has been my most popular make by far) into this contest. You were supposed to enter an item of clothing you’ve made that shows off your personal style.
Please vote for me, I’d be eternally grateful!!!! I can’t put enough exclamation points into this post!!!!! All links and photos lead to this contest if you click on them in my post. To vote, scroll to the bottom of the page, highlight the circle next to my photo, then vote. Then do it 20 more times!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr. DapperDuds (isn’t he cute!!!) was very patient and got rewarded with a bespoke t-shirt. After accompanying me to the flea market WAY FAR AWAY, we drove past Fabric Depot on the way home. I looked at him with puppy dog eyes and asked if we could, “pretty-please-stop-I-haven’t-checked-out-the-outdoor-sale-all-summer-long-because-it’s-so-far-out-and-it’s-almost-over-and-I-won’t-be-too-long-blah-blah-blah.” He reluctantly agreed, made a U-turn and we found ourselves there.
There wasn’t much left in the sale, but this turquoise (his favorite color) and grey striped knit caught his eye. He asked if he could have t-shirt made out of it, so I said “Absolutely!” He asks for things so infrequently, it was fun to make something new for him. Even though I have no men’s t-shirt patterns and super limited experience sewing with knit fabric, I felt confident.
I’m super proud of this because it’s one of the first things I’ve made all on my own. My only beef with it is that the fabric is of the tissue thin variety (super soft though) so I don’t think this will be very long lasting. I traced around an old Greenpeace T-shirt he likes the fit of, evened out the lines, and then added seam allowance to make my own pattern. I had to cut this out as a single layer in order to match the stripes. Sewing this together was a breeze. I’ve started working 3 days a week in production for a luxury knitwear company, so I’ve got the order of construction for garments pretty firmly in my head. I matched the stripes along the side seam and invested in a twin needle. That made hemming and applying the neck band a much better looking process. American Apparel ain’t got shit on me
Look how excited he is!
I’m slowly working my way through my fall sewing plans. Here are two versatile separates Today, I’m sharing with you the free dolman sleeve top from Cindy, and also Meringue from the Colette Sewing Handbook.
This top was made from a tube of sweatshirt knit, and a thick red knit that were both free. For some reason, I thought I had a huge amount of the sweatshirt knit, but in reality I had *just* enough to cut the front and back (maybe 3/4 of a yard). That’s why it has the contrast bands. With the bands I thought it looked a little bit like a boys ringer T-shirt, so I put a bow on it (because they’re cute duhhhhhh). I tried to add a kangaroo pouch like you get with a hoody, but my machine kept hating on me and it looked like shit. I have since bought a twin needle (it makes such a difference).
I really like this pattern, it was quick and easy. The only thing I had to change was to make the arm band longer. She must have tiny T-rex arms. I added an inch and they are still a wee bit tight. The neckline is wide, as Cindy mentions over on her blog. For any future makes I plan to add a few inches to the sleeve length. As you can see, they reach just above my elbows and I’m not terribly long limbed (I’m 5’5″ fwiw). I have worn this a ton since I made it. Comfortable, cozy, and cute. Winning!!! Thank you Cindy, you’re a doll
The skirt was made with some stretch denim from JoAnn’s. I’ve actually had this cut out for a a few months o_O. It just took me a while to get to it for some reason. I feel kind of meh about this skirt (maybe that’s why I was so slow to make it). I love the scalloped hem but the fit is a little weird around the waist.I inserted an invisible zipper into the side seam and invisibly stitched the hem facing into place. I need to do the same for the waist facing because it rolls out the top even with understitching. Naturally it was easy to sew, and came together perfectly.
This top has got me on a knit kick. I’ve been concentrating so much on woven fabric because it’s more challenging, but knits are what I generally live in.
Forgive me if this tutorial seems to be too basic. My 1950′s playsuit pattern had instructions on how to insert the waistband in a way that required no hand sewing. All of the modern patterns and books I’ve used have you stitch half of the waistband down then slipstitch it in the inside. I find that to be tedious. I don’t mind catch-stitching a hem invisible or tacking down a facing. But when there is no real benefit to all that hand sewing I don’t see the point.
First thing you need to do is press your waistband in half and then press the seam allowance up on one side of it (this will be the front).
Next, flip it inside out and stitch on both ends of your waistband from the fold in the middle up to the fold of the seam allowance . Turn your waistband right side out. Line the unfolded edge up with the inside of your skirt or pant. Stitch, trim the seam allowance, and press up towards the waistband.
Now simply top-stitch the part of the waistband you folded in place and you are done! I think I would only do the slipstitch routine on only the most formal of skirts. Otherwise this is neat, tidy, and fast.