Friday, March 24, 2017

A Boho Chic Easter Dress

I knew I'd sew along to at least one of the Project Run and Play themes, but the question is, would Elena model for me? And that'll be a big fat NO. It was an almost - she had everything on and then in the 2 minutes it took me to run upstairs for different shoes, she ripped everything off and was done. I'd like to call her names, but that wouldn't be nice. So my feelings are hurt, but the good news is that the dress looks so completely adorable on her. I couldn't be happier about that part of it.

I used the Heidi & Finn Modern Color Block Dress Pattern and made only one modification - I added side seam pockets. Since I was using all one fabric, I didn't really need to cut the pieces separately but I did anyway to make it easy to add the lace in a nice straight line. I love this pattern because it is a nice simple shape, it's easy to sew, and it's fully lined. Elena loves this pattern because of the simple shape - meaning no ruffles or frills. Little girl is going tomboy on me - which is cool except for Easter. Sorry kiddo, you're wearing a dress.

The crochet lace was given to me by my mother and I have no idea how it came to her. She probably picked it off of a tablecloth or something if I know her. The fabrics were a prize I won ages ago - so long ago that I don't know how or from whom. I kept the selvege, but now I can't find it. (Such a bad blogger.) I remember that it said they were printed in Japan. I did an image search and I'm sorry to say, it can't find it anywhere.  Here's the inside, nice and clean (but a little wrinkled- oops).

I didn't put the lace on the upper back because I felt like it would be uncomfortable and would make it difficult to sew the opening which happens to be the trickiest part of this pattern by the way. I taped those 2 pattern pieces together and cut it as one piece. I chose a nice wooden button from my stash.

I thought Elena might faint at the sight of the headband I made up from some FOE and 3 store-bought flowers, but she actually likes it and put it on immediately. So maybe she will be a tomboy with floral headbands this summer. It looks especially good worn low, hippie style. 

Hopefully on Easter I'll be able to sneak a couple pictures of her in it and post them on Instagram. 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Girlier Lane Raglan

If you look at this picture... might think I made a Lane Raglan. No big deal. Right? We've all made a bazillion Lanes by now. But there are a few things I want to show you about this particular Lane Raglan.

The first is the that I followed some advice I'd never heard before and cut my neckband on the bias. This comes from Melissa at Melly Sews and I think it turned out great. This fabric doesn't have a ton of stretch so I think it was key in getting a nice flat neckband. Check out her post here.

The second thing is the change to the sleeve.

I copied the proportions of a knit top I bought at Kohl's this winter. I cut the sleeves at 6 inches and added 6 inch bells or ruffles or whatever you want to call them, for 3/4 length sleeves overall. There is only 4" of extra width gathered in so they aren't too full.

The third thing is the stitching.

I'm still on the decorative stitching instead of double needle stitching kick. It's just so easy and adds a nice touch. This is stitch #40 on my Singer Quantum Stylus. You know how long that would take me by hand? I do enjoy hand embroidery, but this is so much quicker. Just be sure you have enough thread on both your top thread and bobbin before you start each area because running out in the middle of a line is not attractive. I used this to hem the sleeves and bottom as well and also to topstitch the neckband down.

The last thing I want to talk about is the fit. It's a bit tight in the chest. I'm sure you noticed but were too nice to say anything. So here's my excuse. This top fought me every step of the way. I started out using a completely different pattern for a draped front raglan that I've made in the past. BUT, I just didn't like how it looked in this fabric AND I accidentally attached the front piece inside out! I had serged and lightening bolt stitched so there was no chance of unpicking the whole thing. So I cut it apart and was able to re-cut the front and back pieces and cut entirely new sleeves using the Lane pattern, but the sleeves had to be shorter and I had to use the tiniest seam allowances possible.

So it is a bit snug, but I'm not worried because I gave up dairy for Lent and should be able to drop my winter weight pretty quickly while I suffer through Mexican food sans cheese and no homemade yogurt with homemade granola for breakfast, etc. My chest is one of the first places I lose weight, so that's kind of good news for this top.

What I really like about this top is that it's basically a t-shirt and suits my casual everyday style, but I feel like it can be dressed up a bit too. The fabric is a wool jersey that was nice to work with and feels good - not like wool in other words.

This top makes me feel ready for spring, but I really need some new jeans and pants in general. I think I'll wait and see how much the lower half of me loses though before I shop or sew much more for me.