Flowy parachute shirt

 
I wanted to make something really simple after making that coat so why not try this parachute type of shirt?  I don’t think I’ll be making this again since I’m not really a fan of how the shirt dips lower than the front and there were just so many pieces.  I bet it would look a lot better if I colour blocked it…  I just found there was an unnecessary amount of seam matching… the front part is actually four parts.  I’m happy with the seam matching but man–I could’ve done it with just one single front bodice piece and single front back piece and it would look just the same!  I also am not really a fan of the bias binding finishing around the neckline but that’s ok–I had to use up some of it anyway.  Not a bad blouse!

Pattern: Simplicity 1107 (View B)

Supplies:

  • Light pink thread
  • Bias binding
  • 2 yards of floral fabric

Modifications:

  • Took 2″ off the length of the back bodice, sides and bottom front piece
  • Adjusted the shoulder seam so that it is forward by 3/8″ but it didn’t seem to be enough (hmmm)
  • Adjusted for sloping shoulders by 1/4″

What I Found Helpful:

  • Lining up seams is a bit of a pain but if you butt up the seams together, then poke a pin so the pin pokes through one seam and comes out through the other seam, you’ll know they line up (most of the time).  Take your time — there is a lot of seam matching. 😉

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • Lining up seams!

Red coat (muslin)

 
I absolutely cannot resist a good red coat.  It all started when I found this bright tomato red coat at a thrift store when I was in high school.  The fit was impeccable (besides the too short sleeves) and I always got so many compliments on it!  It was made by a vintage brand called Nicolette and it was just my absolute favourite coat.  It was very heavy, with 100% wool and a deep red silk lining.  It seemed like a luxury coat for a little girl.  It’s currently in a pretty shabby state, but I held onto it in the hope that I could one day recreate it with the finest wool and silk I could find.  Well, I’m not at the point where I can start making coats from other coats I have, so I thought I’d give a really simple pattern a try.  I also didn’t know how this one would turn out so I gave it a try in a red felt and some leftover lining I had.  I think it turned out okay (and wished I made it in the real thing) but I think I’ll wait to put the effort into making what I really want–a recreation of my magical red coat!

Pattern: Simplicity 1197

Supplies:

  • Red felt
  • Red polyester thread
  • Interfacing
  • Leftover acetate lining

Modifications:

  • Took 6″ off the length
  • Moved the welt pockets up 2″ since I am short waisted
  • Took off 1/2″ off the center back and center front seams (though I don’t think this was all that necessary)

What I Found Helpful:

  • You’ll want to check out a video on making welt pockets since I found the instructions a bit confusing.  I used this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzryycrhTYY.
  • I made my own custom buttons using this tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmTCGoUgB4k.

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • First coat (forget that it’s a muslin — I sometimes wear this at night to walk my pup!)
  • Buttonhole practice!
  • Button practice!
  • Welt pockets!

Wrap dress

I have been following quite a few Youtubers and almost all of them love their wrap dresses… gotta say, while I’ve never actually worn a wrap dress and never had an interest in buying a wrap dress (much less buy ing a wrap dress pattern), I was quite charmed by their ultra feminine wrap dresses, so I just had to give it a try!  It felt vaguely bath robe-like, maybe because the hem rests along my knees and the sleeves were quite billowy.  But I decided to reduce the sleeve circumference and I’m so much happier with it.  I can’t do very much to the length of the dress without ripping out a ton of seams (I had already hemmed and sewed the front overlay).  This surprisingly required a lot of changes… maybe it’s because I thought it was going to be a real wrap dress where I could just wrap it tighter around me and let the belt tie do the work.  Nope, it’s gotta fit just right at the waist.  I also didn’t enjoy how the waist casing just sort-of flops around and isn’t anchored to the garment fabric.  It definitely looks neater this way (to not have the stitching shown through on the garment), but I can see how the waist seam allowance might rest upwards in some spots and then downwards in others.  Either way, it’s a lovely dress.  I’m not sure if I’ll make it again, but I learned a few things!

Pattern: Simplicity 8608 (View B)

Supplies:

  • Polyester fabric
  • Black Gutermann thread
  • 1/4″ elastic

Modifications:

  • Forward rotating shoulder adjustment (moved the shoulder seam 1/2″ forward)
  • High waist adjustment (took 2″ off the two bodice pieces)
  • Narrow shoulder adjustment (took 1/2″ off back bodice and eyeballed the front bodice)
  • Sloping shoulder adjustment by 1/2″
  • Reduced the very wide sleeves by 2″

What I Found Helpful:

  • I’d just recommend trying it on at every stage.  The pattern adds quite a lot of ease, so the next time I make this, I will reduce the waist and hip a little bit.
  • Make sure to check the length of the skirt before finishing the hem of the front overlay.  Otherwise you’ll need to redo the hem finish on the front overlay and unstitch a part of the waist seam
  • Watch a Youtube video on making a thread belt loop (since the instructions don’t mention this, which I found to be quite odd)
  • Try a rolled hem foot if your fabric is lightweight!

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • First wrap dress!
  • Made a thread belt loop

Music:

I sewed this dress up while listening to some Sufjan Stevens, particularly this beautiful song he performed at the Oscars Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of Love.  Such a lovely song.  One of the other things I love besides sewing is listening to music.  I’ll just drop whatever it is for a coupe of hours to listen to music and do nothing else. Thankfully, sewing is something that pairs wonderfully with music… so I can just be in my little happy place with the two things I love–music + sewing. 🙂

That 70’s shirt


I decided to make a 70’s-esque shirt in this extremely bright expressive fabric.  I really wanted to give bell sleeves a try.  I wore this shirt to work the other day and got a few compliments.  Yay 🙂

Pattern: Simplicity

Supplies:

  • Floral rayon fabric
  • Pink thread (finished a spool towards the end of the project which was very satisfying)

Modifications:

  • High waist adjustment (2″ off the bodice)

What I Found Helpful:

  • Used a pin to graze over the gathers to even them out
  • Used a rolled hem foot for hemming your lightweight fabric

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • I got some compliments on this shirt!
  • Bell sleeves for the first time

Music:

I made this shirt while listening to the Black Panther soundtrack.  I’m in love!  I loved the plot, the characters, the imagery and most importantly–the gorgeous costumes!  I am also blown away by the production of this music video for the ending credits song Kendrick Lamar, Sza – All the Stars. The whole video is pure gold.  From the beginning scene with the sea of hands to the cool camera angles of Sza dancing amidst those scattered stars to Kendrick Lamar walking in a pack of black panthers through a forest to the scene with the gold outfits and gold decals suspended in the air and to that last regal scene with those four fierce queens.  LOVE!

Strapless dress with rosettes

I don’t know what prompted me to pick up this rosette fabric? I just saw it and I think I was so inspired by the lavender in France, that I was just like–I must make a gown!  It could also be all these Marchesa fashion shows I’ve been watching.  I also started watching some couture techniques on Craftsy Unlimited so I decided to add a waist stay made out of Petersham ribbon (better than Grosgrain ribbon for especially heavy skirts) and I couldn’t be more pleased with how secure I feel in this strapless dress.  This is coming from a person who doesn’t have an ample bosom and is constantly adjusting her strapless bodice…  I will be making waist stays for alll of my floor length dresses from now on!  I was going to wait a little while to buy some Petersham ribbon online, but I miraculously found some at my local fabric store for 40 cents / yard!  Niice!  I unfortunately could only find chocolate brown, so that’s exactly what I used…  good thing you can’t see it beneath the lining. 🙂 .

Pattern: Draft of my own strapless bodice / Vogue V9053 (waistband and skirt)

Supplies:

  • Chiffon rosette fabric
  • Taffeta
  • Acetate lining
  • Seams Great
  • Petersham Ribbon
  • Sew-in bra cups

Modifications:

  • Tons

What I Found Helpful:

  • Make sure to end the stitching of the waist stay to the last seam closest to the center back seam.  It will look really bad if you don’t (speaking from experience).
  • Sewed twill tape along the top of the strapless bodice to make sure it rests against my skin

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • Waist stay!

Summer-y Jumpsuit

I had this floral fabric sitting around forever, so I decided not to buy more fabric and instead–use what I have!  Annnd, I decided to make a fun jumpsuit!

Pattern: New Look 6373 View A/B (B for the straps, A for everything else)

Supplies:

  • Floral polyester fabric

Modifications:

  • General: I cut out a size 8 bust and a size 12 waist/hip.  I am what you call pear-shaped. 🙂
  • Bust/Shoulders: The smallest bust size is 31.5 inches, which is 2 inches too big for me.  It really is a bummer when I need to do a small bust adjustment because the smallest size doesn’t fit me.  However, since this isn’t a fully fitted garment, I decided to play with things a bit…  since I normally have to adjust the shoulders (as I have narrow shoulders), I took off 1/2″ off the center and back seams.  I have no idea if this will work, but I’m willing to give it a try, especially on this leftover fabric.  This means I had to take 1/2″ off the front/back bodice pieces, flounce pieces and facing pieces.
  • Bodice length: As per usual, I took off 2″ off the length of the bodice.  Thankfully the pattern indicated where to adjust the length.  Since the pattern called for a 16.25 inch back and my measurement sits at around 14 inches, I just took off 2 inches.
  • Pant length: I’m not confident about my leg measurements, so I’ve decided to simply cut out the pattern without modifications and then later hem to the appropriate length.

Skirt

I had no idea what to do with this stretch twill fabric.  It’s considered a “bottomweight” fabric and it’s most suitable for things that “cover your bottom.”  I decided to go with this simple skirt.

Pattern: McCall’s M7022 (View C with slight modifications)

Supplies:

  • Stretch twill (97% cotton, 3% spandex)

Modifications:

  • I cut a size between 10 and 12, but I found that with this stretchier fabric, I could get away with cutting a size 8
  • I also tapered the skirt a little bit because it was such a stiff fabric, it looked a bit silly to have it as a full A-line skirt

What I Found Helpful:

  • Skirts are really hard to fit me because I’m high waisted and the skirts tend to come up whenever I sit down.  I made sure to try it on at every step.  In fact, I had to redo the side seams because it was a little loose.
  • Edgejoining feet are useful for understitching

Mini Sewing Victory:

  • I’ve made plenty of dresses before but I finally made a skirt!
  • I used up old fabric
  • I used up a 7″ zipper I had lying around
  • I sewed a yoke for the first time!