Wildcats!

DSC03458Hey everybody, it’s been a while ūüôā sorryi’mnotsorry. The gorgeous summer has left us and I’m feeling a little blue about the next 9 months of rain. Oregon weather is such a tease (9 months of shit in exchange for the most beautiful/perfect summers you’ve ever seen). Enough talking about the weather, let’s talk about my latest dress.

This is version one billion of Dixie DIY’s Ballet Dress Pattern. It is such a good versatile basic. The fabric is a cozy leopard print sweater knit I picked up at Joann’s recently. I bought the last of the bolt so I only 1.35 yards to work with. It wasn’t a challenge to fit this in with the limited yardage. I cut the fronts and backs on the fold, and then had to lay it out as a single layer to fit in the sleeves. This fabric went from flat yardage to a completed dress in 2 and a half hours. Is there a sewing equivalent to fast fashion? That’s about as close to instant gratification as a trip to Target.

I modified the bodice by keeping the 3 inches in length that I added last time. The sleeves were narrowed about 2 inches to be a closer fit than the pattern is drafted. I think I will narrow the shoulder seam the next time I make this dress. I’ve sewn a few things since I last posted. I made a blouse for my sister a cute lacy pair of the Iris shorts by Colette, some more funny underpants, and a wool cap. For the most part I’ve felt underwhelmed. I’m going to try to make something a little more challenging to pique my interest in sewing again.

xx, Cynthia

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Ballet Dress Redux

DSC03296This is my second version of Dixie DIY’s Ballet Dress Pattern¬†(here¬†is my first). I used some really luxe feeling fabric I found in the jersey table in the flat fold annex (ie the cheap stuff) at Mill End. Usually the jersey they have is of the not very stretchy, tissue thin, pilly variety. This jersey feels quite spongy to the touch and is very soft and stretchy. I think this must be some sort of rayon/ lycra blend.

DSC03273I added 3 inches to the bodice length. This now fits me at my natural waist and doesn’t have an empire waist look to it. I also cut a small instead of a medium and it fits just right now. On a side note Dixie, changed her pattern recently to be 2 inches longer in the waist. I made this one sleeveless (summer summer summertime, yo), and my favorite modification is the lace neckline.

DSC03271This lace came from a *very* loved t-shirt I bought at Urban Outfitter about 4 or 5 years ago. It had definitely seen better days. It had yellow underarms and holesРthe works. It was time to say goodbye. I carefully cut it off of that grody old t-shirt and edge stitched it on using a normal straight stitch. Then I used my small embroidery scissors to cut the  jersey away from the lace on the wrong side. There is a little bit of skin peak-a-boo through the lace. This would be a very easy way to fancy up any simple tee or dress.

DSC03290I constructed the entire dress (except for the lace) on my serger. This was the first time I was able to do that. Man was that fast and easy! ¬†The tension was never right and it would pull apart, so I only used it to finish seams before. I took it to Modern Domestic¬†to be serviced and she purrs like a kitten now. I highly recommend them, they even let you use their fancy pants machines in their studio while yours is being serviced. Since this was my first time using my serger to construct I went a little too fast and my waist seams don’t quite match. I decided to make a long sash/ belt to tie around my waist to hide it. Design flaw or design feature?

DSC03287My stripes match in the bodice, but I didn’t have enough fabric to make them match in the skirt as well. I was able to match the first group of stripe in the skirt, but that was it. Whatevs, NBD… amirite?!?!?

DSC03297Byeeeeeeeeeeee!!! xx, Cynthia

 

Dixie DIY: Ballet Dress

DSC03112Wow guys… two makes in one weekend. I think that’s a record for me. I’ve been so busy having fun every weekend that I really wanted to chill out and spend some QT with my sewing machine. I made this sweet little knit dress using the Dixie DIY Ballet Dress Pattern. I really love this dress. It’s comfortable, skims the body enough to show you’re a lady, and easy to make.

I was going to add a skirt to my Maria Denmark t-shirt pattern, but then felt lazy. Dixie already did the work for me, it’s only $4, and (this is really why I didn’t buy this pattern sooner) Etsy now allows *instant* PDF downloads. Also I wanted to help a sistah out.

DSC03115I cut a size medium, but ended up taking the side seams quite a bit. Next time (and there will be a next time), I’m going to start with a size small and go from there. I didn’t make an changes to the pattern, other than shortening the sleeves. I really wanted to see how this was going to fit and wear before I started going crazy with the one billion hacks and variations I’ve got swimming in my brain.

I need to add about one inch to the front bodice piece. It pulls up on account of my bosom. It almost feels like an empire waist dress. Marie¬†had the same issue when she made the dress, so I’m going to assume this would be a needed adjustment for somebody with a full C-D cup bra size. Also the sleeves are pretty loosey goosey. When I make ¬†a long sleeved ¬†version I’m going to slim them down quite a bit.

DSC03121I love the drape of the skirt. It flares out in the most flattering way and moves and swishes with you as you walk. This photo isn’t the greatest but it shows how it skims, but doesn’t cling to my figure problem area, known¬†affectionately¬†in my house as my pizza pouch. I eat the shit out of pizzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaa.

DSC03123I changed the order of construction, because I like to work flat with knits as much as possible. I work in a production studio for a knitwear line so I can do this in my sleep. If you’re interested here is my usual order of construction:

(1) Sew shoulder seams, apply twill tape for stability. (2) Sew sleeves to shoulders. (3) Attach elastic to the top edge of the skirt pieces on the wrong side. Be careful to not stretch out the elastic. I used my walking foot. (4) Sew skirt pieces to both the bodice front and back (5) Sew the side seam in one long continuous seam, matching the underarms and waist. I like to start at the sleeve hems because I get to the match points sooner. (6) Apply the neck band (7) Hem, I used my twin needle for this.

xx, Cynthia

 

 

Aztec T-Shirt Mini Dress

DSC03072This was a super quick and easy T-shirt dress made with a funky aztec/ ikat jersey found in the remnant pile at my local fabric store. Do you find that you want to make something easier after a more involved project? I used the *free* ( holla!)¬†T-shirt mini dress¬†pattern by the adorable Dixie as the basis of this make. This is so comfy it feels like pajamas, in fact *cough cough* I’ve already slept in this.

DSC03063I wear the heck out of a hoodie dress I bought from American Apparel a couple of years ago and I was looking for a summertime alternative. With the addition of tights and my grandpa’s old Levi’s jacket, this dress can take me through three seasons.

DSC03046I made the size small, and finished the hem and sleeves with bands. I feel they give me  a neater finish. You can hardly tell though, because this pattern is so busy. I drafted a kangaroo pouch based off of the pocket on my original hoodie.

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Hahahaha… this last photo is what spring really looks like in Portland. #allergies

xx, Cynthia