Sewing Maternity

October 14th, 2015 - 

I had big goals coming into my pregnancy that I would make a lot of my maternity clothes. It kind of happened? I’m definitely still wearing handmade clothes, just not as many as I’d planned for!

My projects got waylaid recently due to a necessary serger repair that took my machine out of commission for 3 weeks, but I’ve also been incredibly busy. We had guests, two baby showers, classes, house and baby room preparations, and appointments filling most of my sewing hours anyway, so it wasn’t the worst time to put sewing on hold.

Still, Halloween is coming up, as is my anniversary and a wedding, so it’s time to get back on track.

I’d just like to say: Shopping for maternity clothing is the worst. Like most mass produced clothing, the quality isn’t that great and clothing starts to shrink or look faded before it should. There are Very Few options for nice clothing or special occasions unless you’re able to shop online, and I fall into a size range that is difficult to shop for, so I’m really grateful I sew!

I’ll give an update on my dress clothes and Halloween outfit once they’re done, but here are some of the patterns that seemed to work the best for me:

 

Kwik Sew 3611

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I made this in view A and graded from a Medium at the shoulders to a Large at the waist. I also raised the neckline by a few inches for better coverage (recommended if you’ve got boobs to cover). The fabric has some stretch to it and I’ve been able to wear it comfortably throughout my pregnancy. 5 stars!

 

Vogue 8755

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I’ve made this dress before and noted it had a high waist, so I just remade it with a few adjustments. I graded the center bodice piece to get a little larger at the tummy (maybe an inch?), and I added two inches of fabric to the center seam of the front skirt piece, which just made deeper pleats and allowed more room for baby.

 

Simplicity 1419

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I made this dress before I got pregnant and made some of my usual adjustments, including raising the waist. Well, I raised it so high I always kind of thought it looked maternity anyway, and it works! The pleating in front is definitely enough for your bump and raising the waist (I think I went an inch?) means you can wear this when your belly is high, too.

I’m 33 weeks pregnant now, and I think I have enough everyday clothing to last me through the end.

Here are some special things I still plan to make:

Here are some things I made but don’t necessarily recommend:

  • I actually made a dress I love using Simplicity 2365 but it required some pattern hacking that I’m not sure I got right (and wouldn’t know how to explain) plus that pattern is out of print so it seems rude to recommend it
  • I made a coat that is just fine using McCall’s 6255. The shoulders are pretty narrow so I should have made a size up (made a Medium should have gone Large?), but the arms are also kind of short, even though I lengthened them, and the sleeves are quite narrow so layering is a challenge, not great for a transitional fall coat! So, with some edits, it’s serviceable, but not ideal
  • I made a shift dress using Simplicity 1609 that I get compliments on all the time, but I still feel like kind of a boat in it. I removed the center seam and just graded out from the center, I also cut the back to fit more closely to my shoulders/waist so it still has *some* shape

Things I would still recommend buying:

  • Maternity leggings
    • I wear these a lot now that it’s fall! I have 4 pairs and wish I had more but I’m getting by
  • Maternity jeans
    • I’m not much of a jeans person, but I bought one pair that I wear occasionally
  • Maternity athletic pants
    • Going to prenatal yoga class has been really great!
  • Maternity tank top and t-shirt
    • I got one of each for yoga, sleep, whatever. But I’m not much of a t-shirt person at all so I didn’t need much
  • Cardigans
    • I got some bigger cardigans that would transition back to “normal bod” with me

If you’re someone who wears a lot of t-shirts and casual clothing, buying for maternity is going to be easy. I just really struggled with work and special occasion clothing, which I end up wearing most of the time. Also, workout clothing if you’re planning to stay somewhat active.

The Pregnant Wedding Guest

July 28th, 2015 - 

My friends are getting married in October just a month before my due date. I expect to be very large and possibly uncomfortable at that point but I still want to look cute at a wedding, if I can.

It’s hard enough trying to find DIY maternity clothes, but finding something interesting to wear to a wedding is a real challenge.

Here’s what I’m looking at so far:

1. The Tent Dress

INSPIRATION:

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PATTERN:

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Simplicity 1105 is the only pattern I’ve found that comes close to what I’m imagining. I love the illusion neckline swing dress I found online and would like to do something like that. *Maybe* even with embroidery(!?) plus a little petticoat underneath to help keep its shape. I think this could be really amazing. A lot of work — because I’d really need to adjust this pattern (change the back, add sleeves, create the illusion neckline) — but I’ve got three months so there’s time.

I realize this is the no-no shape that pregnant women shouldn’t ever wear because it makes you look EVEN BIGGER, but I think I might be into that. Especially with a fabric that’s slightly flowy and a hemline that hits above the knee.

There’s some precedent for people wearing this shape while pregnant…

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I’m not alone!

2. The Gown

(NO INSPIRATION)

PATTERN:

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Simplicity 1102 and Burda Style 7106 are appealing because of their cut-outs around the shoulders. I like that it’s mostly covering the body, except for that one detail.

3. The Crop Top and Long Dress

INSPIRATION:

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PATTERN:

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Burda Cap Sleeve Cropped Top 02/2015 #127 +McCall’s 6608 could work for this. I might even just make this to wear to work.

4. The Kardashian

INSPIRATION:

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PATTERN:

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I am so very into this dress. I think it’s amazing. I think I could achieve something similar using McCall’s 7122 (basic shape in a stretch fabric) and Vogue 2273 (fishtail/train). Wouldn’t want to do the built-in gloves, but I just think this whole idea for a dress is stunning and amazing and I love it. It’s so out there.

Leaning towards the tent dress right now and hoping to pick up that Simplicity pattern at an upcoming sale at Hancock Fabric. Wish me luck!

Simplicity 1609 #2

December 3rd, 2013 - 

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I did it again! Simplicity 1609.

The fabric is a crinkled polyester from Vogue Fabrics bought on sale for $1.99/yard.

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As with my first purchase from Vogue, the striped pink cotton lawn, it is a little see-through, so I fully lined the dress.

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The lining fabric was purchased at Arc’s Value Village. I love looking for fabric and notions at thrift stores! I found a bunch of amazing stuff last weekend.

I used my old self-eased template from the first version. Except this time, I removed the center seam. I actually think it drapes a lot better! I will probably not make this dress again with two front pieces. I am eating my words about how much easier it is to size with a center seam. Derp.

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One thing I hate though is how long it was to begin with. I cut 4″ off the bottom hem. Sometimes the scale of things is not preserved in larger sizes, I’m finding. The envelope shows the hem falling just above the knee, and in my size, it fell a few inches below the knee.

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The cap sleeves were a nice addition this time. I used the cap sleeve option in Simplicity 1880.

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The collar called for interfacing, but my fabric was so stiff to begin with, and my main fabric so flowing, I’m not really sure the collar needed all the additional structure of interfacing. This was probably a job for organza and I just messed up. It did lead to the first time I ever edge stitched something to my lining fabric. Ooh la la.

The green buttons are a vintage find from my mom. My sole supplier of buttons. The collar fabric has been seen in the bodice of an earlier project.

Total cost: $10 fabric + $0 pattern + $2 thread + 8 hours

I thought this dress came together rather quickly, but there was some ripping out of stitches when I started to install the sleeves, and I did have to cut and sew the dress panels twice, essentially, to fully line the garment.

After this dress, I really feel like I can achieve anything. Again, I ignored instructions, and just did it out of instinct, which saves a lot of time. I sewed the shoulders, then the neckpiece, then the sleeves, then the side seams, then the back seam, then the hem. I’m really proud of the construction on this one!

Magic Kingdom Dress

November 16th, 2013 - 

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We left for our honeymoon the morning after our wedding, and spent 7 days going to theme parks in Florida.

I knew I wanted to make a few dresses for the trip, and this one was meant to be worn at the Magic Kingdom. I thought maybe it would equal the park’s optimism.

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The fabric is a cotton lawn I picked up on sale from Vogue Fabrics online. It’s my first time working with lawn, and I thought it was pretty nice! Mine was quite transparent though, so I backed it with a pink lining fabric. It showed through the fabric somewhat to make it look even pinker. I used a thrifted, vintage zipper that picked up some of the blue.

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The bodice comes from Vogue 8755 (a personal favorite, very comfortable) and the skirt is a modified version of…something vintage. I forget. Anyway, I used 5 panels for the outer skirt and 4 panels for the lining skirt. I used pre-made bias tape to finish the neck and arm holes. The lining gave me some trouble so I just used my serger to finish that edge, and I sandwiched the lining to the fashion fabric panels and serged those edges before sewing them together. Worked out pretty nicely!
magickingdom_dress_5I thought I would have to retire it after the trip, since it’s no longer warm and summery in Minnesota, but I still decided to wear it last week with a cardigan and boots.

Total Cost: $7 fabric + 6.5 hours

And how was the honeymoon? magickingdom_dress_1

Wonderful!

 

Wedding Dress Recap

November 15th, 2013 - 

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Having zero experience and moderate confidence, I believed I could sew my own wedding gown and I did.

A year ago, I had only sewn quilts and unfinished or misshapen garments. Knowing this, my then-boyfriend-now-husband still assumed I could make him a Western shirt. I like him, so I tried.

After completing the first Western shirt, I was utterly impressed by own achievement. So much so, I figured I could probably make more garments. Even a wedding dress. I was relieved by the thought.

I was already sick from looking at wedding dresses online, never finding the right one, and being totally put off by the price or quality of each one. I figured it was time to commit to making my own, cobbling together the best parts of the dresses I’d seen, and inventing something unique just for me.

I knew that this project was out of my experience level, so I approached it very gradually.

I found the “looks” I wanted in both the Burda Princess Dress 11/2012 #121 pleated skirt and the top from this Simplicity 4070 cocktail dress.

My hemline was inspired by this Embellished High-Low Gown by Oscar de la Renta:

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Oscar de la Renta can do no wrong.

The tone of our wedding was inspired by the prom scene in Back to the Future and I wanted something that fit our evening but also met my criteria:

  • Suitable for dancing all night
  • Something I wouldn’t trip over
  • A neckline I wouldn’t fall out of
  • Not white
  • Sweetheart neckline
  • Pockets
  • Tea length hemline
  • Could still be identified as a wedding dress

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I feel very happy that I have achieved most of my goals.

The bodice has boning in its underlining, for structure and support. This was a challenge for me. I spent a lot of time agonizing over how to properly insert boning. I read a ton of books about corsets and undergarment construction but never really found the “how to” guide I wanted, which would use exhaustive details and pictures to describe the process of creating a beautiful boning channel. You would be surprised how many books have words in them, guys. What I needed was photojournalism.

In the end, I realized that what’s in this dress isn’t visible — it’s not a sexy corset or anything like that, it’s just a support structure — so I cut corners. Considering I would only wear the dress once, it didn’t matter much to me if the boning was slightly distorted by the end of the night.

Therefore, I used Dritz Featherlight Twill Boning — a kind of plastic boning with a stiff cotton channel — and I didn’t bother ordering the spiral steel boning that more professional corset makers and sewers seem to use.

The invisible zipper in the back gave me some anxiety. When I started the project, I still had my old Kenmore Mini Ultra and I couldn’t figure out if there was a zipper foot available for that machine. While waiting for zippers to make sense and accessories to appear from thin air, I sewed more, grew more confident, and decided to buy a nicer machine with many presser foot options to avoid the headache of inserting a zip without the right supplies.

Buying my Janome Sewist 500 was definitely the right choice. I’ve never been happier sewing than I have been the past few months with a decent machine. To call the purchase life-changing is probably an understatement.

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I don’t mind saying that I did an incredible job inserting my first invisible zipper. I also found an innovative way of attaching the full zip down the bodice and into the skirt of the dress, hiding it in the folds of the pleated skirt. Bringing that concept together felt amazing.

The skirt had extra fabric in back, along the zipper, and the zipper extends about half-way down my rear. This allowed me to get into the dress more easily because with the flap and zipper open, I had a lot more room in the waist and bodice. Of course, that flap of fabric needed to be attached back to the skirt once I was zipped in, which I achieved through four “hidden snaps” in the bustle area.

The additional fabric also meant more fullness in the “train,” which is what I wanted. I really agonized over how to do this, but once I just bared down and pushed forward the answers luckily fell into place.

I’m so grateful that I spent time during this project to take breaks and work on other things. It improved my skill level tremendously and helped me build confidence for eventually returning to this project that was, at first, out of my ability and, at every moment, very important to me.

I did agonize and think on every little bit of this garment before making my decisions final in the cloth. I hope the end result is something, though, that looks effortless!

Elvis sang me down the aisle and married us, it was very special

I tried to build volume within the dress by lining the top pink and under magenta color with organza, but wasn’t convinced it did enough to achieve the full look I wanted in the skirt, so a few days before the wedding I bought a petticoat for more volume.

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There is horsehair in both layers of the dress hem. It was a real process involving a lot of hand-sewing and I didn’t document the process but it was pre-tty cool, guys. Pre-tty cool.

I covered a headband with my dress material so that explains the matching. My dad asked for a tie made of my dress material too, a few weeks out from our wedding day, but I was unable to deliver on the request.

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I actually sewed all of the gold table covers (20) in the weeks leading up to the wedding. I might go over this process in another post. It’s not mind-blowing, just interesting. Anyway, that project took up a lot of time at the last minute and I’m still sad I never got to make my dad’s tie.

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Not that he “needed” it. He changed into jeans as soon as he could after the ceremony. Classic Dad.

It’s good that I finished my dress early so I could accept a few additional projects like my headband and tablecloths that came up near the wedding date.

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BUT ALSO. Having our outfits ready a month ahead allowed us to get this photo stand made, which our guests clearly enjoyed at the party. Much love to Jacie of Moss Love Terrariums for taking the photograph of us that we used in the stand!

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Adam’s coworker made this Airstream cake. In lieu of gifts, we asked guests for money to help fix up our 1978 31′ Airstream Sovereign

Well, I had a lot of fun making this dress. I somehow paced the work just fine. I didn’t get too stressed or screw up anything or have to buy my gown. I did spill a lot of champagne on it that night, but I’m sure that’s just the hallmark of a good time.

Someday I would like to make another fancy dress. And I should. Because I still have 7 yards of this fabric.

Simplicity 1609 #1

November 4th, 2013 - 

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At some point I got the idea in my head that I really needed to wear Simplicity 1609 at my bachelorette party. Simply had to do it.

At the outset, I was clear on the pattern but not details of what the dress would look like.

Because the pattern is designed to be close-fitting, I really wanted a fabric with some give, so movement in the dress would be easy. I also wanted some flow to the dress, so adding in side ease was something I wanted to do as well.

Snooping at SR Harris, I found what I was looking for: a one-directional stretch knit in a fall color pallet.

I just love SR Harris. I think about not living near a discount fabric store at any point in my life and it sounds like such a downer. I never forget how lucky I am to have so many garment fabric options.

They also  have huge tubs of leather scrap, buckles, straps, and decorative cowl pieces, things I look at but don’t usually buy.

For this project though, I thought one of the cowl piece (lace applique) would be fun to use instead of making the scalloped Peter Pan collar, so I stocked up on a few possibilities and hoped one would work out.

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Very happy with my pick! I think it pairs nicely. Unfortunately, since I’d never bought one before, I learned after reading the receipt that they are $3 apiece. Probably buying 3 in one go with no plan was a mistake.

For this dress, I did make a muslin — two muslins.

I know, basically, that Simplicity is not sized like Vogue, since my earlier failed attempt at making a shirt for myself based on my commercial sizing. So, instead of cutting a size 14, which seems to be my commercial and Vogue size, I cut a size 20, going on bust measurements alone and hoping for the best. I think I will be better served next time by finding my shoulder measurement on the pattern and grading to the bust, but for now my wonky fixes seem to work.I know a lot of people hate that front seam, but I really found it useful for adjusting the fit. I took in about 2″ at the front center seam at the neck and graded it down to the bust, then let out the dress gradually from the waist to the hem for more ease. I took in the pattern from the top of the bust dart to the arm hole on both the front and back, and in back I took in the zip a little at the top and graded it out from “rear end” to hem. A lot of adjustments, but I’m very happy with the results. This could be my go-to shift dress pattern from now on.

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Photographed later in Hogsmead on my honeymoon.

I couldn’t find any “how to” guides online for applying the cowl, no matter how I looked.

Basically, I decided to approach it like lace. Which I’ve never done, but have read a lot about.I placed the detail over the dress front, pinned, sewed the shoulders with a zig-zag, and straight stitched the cowl along its U shape, closest to the neck. Then I cut away the underpart and left about 1/3″ — which I then edge serged, folded and pinned down, then straight stitched over through the cowl along its U shape farthest from the neck.

I used pre-made bias tape along the armholes beforehand, and used the same bias tape along the back of the neck hole after I applied the cowl.

At first I thought I would attach the applique with clear thread — but that was a mondo bust. It kept breaking and bunching and it’s very difficult to handle. In the end I machine sewed it to the fabric with matched Dual Duty XP Heavy thread I had in my stash. I thought it would be too visible, but it actually looks pretty nice. In the process, my machine did skip some stitches — some of which I ripped out and re-did — but what imperfections remain are a-okay with me.

Total cost: $13 fabric + $3 cowl + $2 pattern + $3 thread + $1 bias tape + $1 zipper + 14 hours

And how was the bachelorette party?

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I had a good time.

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They made me a sushi penis at Masu! AMAZEBALLZ.

I will absolutely be making this dress again, in a few different styles. I’m satisfied with this first make, but I’d like to revisit the pattern and use it to help me understand which shoulder size I should grade to in my next attempt at a Simplicity pattern.

I’d also like to make a few other shift style dresses to compare fit.

McCall’s 6747 #1

October 17th, 2013 - 

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I thought this dress could be done with a dressier fabric and buttons to make for a nice work dress, but my first attempt is a big flop.

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Adam says it looks like pajamas and now I have trouble seeing it any other way. I wore this to work once, I always try to wear my makes once, but I think it’s pretty awful.

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This fabric with the pattern seemed like a good fit. I really like the color, but it’s gross polyester with texture issues and I realize now this project just wasn’t a good match.

I think I bought the fabric at the 2013 Textile Center Garage Sale for $3.

I’ve had issues before with lining a dress, so here I decided to stack the dress fabric with its lining on the body of the dress, serge the edges, and sew those stacked pattern pieces together.

Not a bad work-around, except when the pattern is new, and still needs adjustment.

This dress started too big, so I kept skimming off the edges, and the two slippery fabrics kept moving, so some areas of the dress look extra bunchy to me.

This process has been the fatal flaw of at least three dresses so far. I think I have learned my lesson. Hand slapped. Will not do again.

A good reminder for me to make a muslin as well, since I’m not true to any size and still have a lot to learn about fit.

Total cost: $1 pattern + $3 fabric + 7 hours

I can’t actually remember how much time I put into this, 7 hours is a guess.

I did hand stitch the placket together so it wouldn’t pop open when I sit, which is a big deal for me. I hid the stitching really well and that part I’m really proud of. Doing this to all of my shirts would be a great idea.

Mash Up: Vogue 1289 + Simplicity 4070 #1

October 15th, 2013 - 

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This dress has the bodice of Simplicity 4070 and the skirt of Vogue 1289.

I’m incredibly happy with the results!

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This bodice uses boning and is a copy of what I’m using in my wedding dress. It sewed up very quickly because I didn’t have to do any fitting on the skirt or bodice since I had already sewn them before and was able to use my me-adjusted pattern pieces. (Well, the bodice I adjusted, the skirt was always just fine.)

The skirt fabric is a nice jersey that was “made in Germany” and therefore a little more expensive than fabric I usually buy at SR Harris — this was $7.50/yd when I usually buy at $4.50-6/yd — but I thought it was lovely and worth it. Adam totally hated the weird boxy print at first, but I still thought it had potential.

I used a black rigiline boning — .50/yard at SR Harris — sewed directly into the seam. I didn’t build a channel or anything. I just wanted this make to be easy-breezy.

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I still need to add a hook and eye to the top of the zipper.

The zipper I got at SR Harris for like $1 or whatever they charge, and it’s kind of unusual. It’s big, but the zipper teeth are hidden on the inside of the bodice. It’s not a perfect hidden zip though, because the teeth are still so large, so I think it’s meant to be exposed. I did just a little, but I think it’s interesting nonetheless.

The exterior of the bodice is a stretchy fabric I got as a Jo-Ann remnant years ago. The lining fabric is a silky black that I cut from a wrap I wore to a dance when I was a junior in High School. The wrap was just hanging out with my scarves, being useless. How is it I’ve been moving with a black wrap for 10+ years of my life? Why? Glad to finally do something with it.

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Here is something I might as well document: I needlessly raked part of my skirt through the knife of my serger just under the pleating on the side of the dress. So I hand stitched that together and you can barely tell. Could have been a real day ruiner, but thankfully it hides well within the print and drape.

What happened is, I sewed the skirt to the bodice before serging the edge of the jersey because I wasn’t sure the pattern pieces would fit together and I wanted to be able to stretch the jersey if necessary to fit with the bodice. Well, it actually fit pretty great, I didn’t need to stretch a thing. But now I’ve got a lot of unfinished jersey inside. I didn’t want to serge the bodice and skirt together for some reason, so I tried to serge just the skirt edge, after it was attached, despite the rigid bodice fighting against me. Anyway, in the struggle I lost focus and part of the dress caught. It’s not the worst, but if you look inside now I’ve got about 2″ of serged edges on the skirt and the rest unfinished. I’m not going to bother at this point. The jersey will likely curl, not fray. Maybe in round two.

Total Cost: $0 pattern + $15 fabric + $2 thread + 6 hours

I still can’t believe how easily and quickly this dress sewed up, and how nice it looks — probably my favorite make to date — it was a real bummer to add this imperfection, but what can you do.

Very excited to wear this on our honeymoon. Should be good in the heat!

Wiksten Tova Dress #1

September 2nd, 2013 - 

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My first Wiksten Tova dress! I love it.

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I made this in a flannel fabric we picked up at the 2013 Textile Center Garage Sale. Adam had wanted it for a Western shirt, but once I pointed out there were strawberries all over it he said I could make it mine.

I really like how flannel works with this pattern. It’s so comfortable.

I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to sew this weekend, because as you can see…

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…I have a big ol’ scar on my hand! That’s 19 stitches along my pinky finger.

If you must know: I was washing a glass when it broke around my hand. Adam was a champ getting me to the emergency room though and we had a really great physician helping us out. I work with doctors in my day job, so I know many of them think they’re funny (but usually aren’t) — this guy was a hoot though. I mean, if you have to go to the hospital, it’s nice to have someone making you smile right?

We also made it over the border this weekend to Wisconsin which means I got to buy some New Glarus. Worth the trip, if you’ve never been to Wisconsin. Also, cheese curds. Never leave Wisconsin without gaining five pounds or you’re doing it wrong.

Anyway, this dress is really great and I love it but I was disappointed at first by the neckband. It stays so stiff and big! The structure insists that your collar flop down. Don’t fight it.

I made the XL size and added some additional fabric along the sides. I added way too much at first and kept grading down though, so I have no idea how much I added at this point.

I did see that the pattern maker on her blog made one without the neckband, and just used bias tape facing and strengthened the placket with some lightweight facing. I think that’s a great idea. I’ll likely try that next time around.

Now that I’ve got the sizing down, the next make should be fairly quick. I look forward to having one a bit dressier I can wear to work.

Total Cost: $10 pattern + $4 fabric + 6 hours

McCall’s 6503 D + A #1

August 29th, 2013 - 

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This dress, more so than any other sewing project I’ve made (apart from my WIP wedding dress and the quilt I hand-stitched), has been the most time consuming thing EVER.

So much hand-sewing! Literally everything needed to be stay stitched or hand basted (waistband, placket and neckband, cuffs). Woof.

McCall’s 6503 is my first dress with a side zip though, which I think is pretty cool! This is also my first gathered skirt. I went that way instead of pleats. I did not care for the pleats.

I made a size 14 but had to grade to a larger waist. I probably should have shortened the bodice a bit.

This is probably not a great pattern for someone like me with a stomach, actually. It does a lot to accentuate the waist.

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That neckband stands up LIKE CRAZY. My ears barely sit above it. It’s like a shirt cave when I sit if I’m not super straight.

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I modified the cuffs from a different pattern which I thought would help tie the blue placket and rounded collar back into the dress. I used red buttons on the placket to draw more color from the plaid.

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My final opinion? It’s fine. It will be a cute swing dancing dress but otherwise it’s a bit too costume-y for me.

If I had to do it again, I’d make style A. Others online seem to have had more luck with that one. But I really don’t think a second round will be worth the effort.

I will continue to make McCall’s patterns because they are often on sale, but I’m really not happy about it. I have yet to find a slam dunk of a pattern by them that just really suits and fits me well.

This fabric I still think is really great though, just some lightweight cotton weave (I’m still not great at identifying fabrics). A lawn maybe?

I noticed it on my first SR Harris visit and couldn’t wait to find a project for it — $4.50 per yard after discount. I decided it could be a match for this dress, but I really struggled to figure out how the plaid should be expressed in the placket and neckband, so I decided those should be done in a different, flat color, and I rotated the plaid 90 degrees for the waistband to help break up that “BLAH” effect of having too much of the same fabric in a dress.

The light blue stretch cotton used as contrast is leftover from Adam’s first Western shirt. I accented the placket with basic red buttons — a thrift store find given to me by my mom.

Total cost: 16 hours (at least!) and $15