February 25, 2012

Knit Mini Dress

I have had this pattern for about a year... or maybe several years.  I originally bought it to convert into a maternity shirt (can't remember for which kid) but never got around to it.

I found this soft burgundy jersey knit in my stash and decided to make "D" (the one in yellow).  Turns out I didn't have as much as I thought because I ran out for the belt.  I had my heart set on a contrasting grey but could NOT find it anywhere!  So I had to settle with dark blue which turned out awesome because for the buttons I wanted to use these glass buttons that my mom made for me and I found a set of three that were burgundy and dark blue!  I added some blue to the bottom as a trim mainly because it's a pain in the butt to hem jersey but I think it actually adds a lot to the dress.

 A couple of things I didn't like about this pattern:  One of the fabric options was jersey which tends to be very stretchy, thin and snags easily.  This pattern in particular called for buttons and I didn't think anything of it until I realized that the belt is actually separate from the dress and is held on by the buttons.  Not a problem except that the pattern didn't call for and I didn't think to add fusible interfacing where the buttons go to add stability.  The belt pulls on the buttons especially when I move around so I'm pretty sure they're going to pop off within a few wears and take the buttons with them.  A friend of mine suggested that I actually hand stitch the belt to the dress so that it takes some of the pressure off the buttons and I think I'll do that.  I'll probably still have to hand-wash it but it should give me a few more wears.
Can you believe my mom made these buttons?!  She actually made the glass part and everything!
I'm also not a fan of the sleeves--especially with jersey.  It's a fold under, iron and sew down hem on the armhole instead of some sort of trim or sleeve.  I don't care for it because it's harder to do and doesn't look as clean in my opinion (at least when I do it).  But I did it and it turned out fine.

One thing I had never done before was a thread loop which I found out is the little thread you see on dresses that have belts.  It's meant to hold the belt in place but is less visible than an actual belt loop.  I totally cheated on this one and just took 3 strands of embroidery thread and made a braided cord.  I think it looks nice but I still don't know how to make a thread loop.
 I'm not sure I'll make this pattern again.  I don't care for the others in the envelope and I'm not a fan of the elastic inverted V without the belt to cover it.  The man is a fan of it--probably because it's so short--and I think it turned out cute so we'll see, I might.  In the meantime I'm headed to Old Navy for my first pair of skinny jeans to go with it!

February 24, 2012

Pleated Skirt

Awhile. back I made the pleated skirt from Butterick B5613 that I had thought about for the sewing class.  I decided against it for the sewing class for a number of reasons but I'm happy with the way mine turned out and it's super comfortable.  I've already worn it a few times and even walked aroudn my race expo in it (I had just come from a bridal shower and didn't want to change).

I used a "suiting" fabric that I got in the Red Tag section of Joann Fabrics for an additional 50% off then 20% off that so I think I paid around $2/yd.  It turned out a bit more "poofy" than I expected but still cute.

I wasn't going to line it but I hate when you can see the silhouette of my legs so...
 I used some fabric from Ikea that used to be a couch cover back when we lived in Arrowhead.  Yay for upcycling!  I'm so glad I lined it because I had to add a couple inches to accommodate my, ahem, belly so I also had to add a couple of pleats which made the skirt very twirly.  Not a bad thing except that I have a Merilyn Monroe moment any time there is the slightest breeze (not exaggerating).  I added the lining after finishing the rest of the skirt though so it doesn't lie quite right where it meets the waistband but oh well.

I wasn't sure what to do with the bottom.  The pattern called for a blind hem but either I'm not that good at it or it doesn't work with this fabric because it left little dents across the bottom.  It's not very ironable fabric and I didn't want a line of stitches along the bottom anyway because I didn't have exact matching thread.  So I serged the bottom and left it that way.  Not too bad--I think it helps pull away from the office look of the fabric a bit.

 I decided against this pattern for the class for a couple of reasons:  I thought a zipper was a little too advanced for some of the people in the class and the pattern really required a lot of marks and I didn't want to try to teach about transfer paper and lining up dots and stuff when there is so much else to cover in the first class.

Anyway, fun skirt.  I'll be making the gathered one of it soon and I'm really excited about that one--I even ordered fabric for it specifically rather than use something I've got!  Happy Sewing!

February 07, 2012

Romper conversion?

I bought this romper online (it was on clearance), and it definitely doesn't look good on me. Sort of like a curtain. I don't know how this model looks so cute in it, but I guess I just can't pull it off. To return it would have cost about the same as the romper cost, about $10, so that was out of the question. Now I'm just wondering if there's something I can do with it to make it work.

I wouldn't mind making it into a long shirt or a dress (albeit would probably be too short, unless I added some sort of dark gray fabric around the ribs, which might work), but I have no idea where to start. I was also considering a dar gray fabric from the waist down, but the top may look too busy. What do you think? Any suggestions?

One thing to keep in mind is that the bottom is sewn together in the middle to separate the "shorts." So that might make a smaller adjustment more difficult... looks-wise at least. Anyway, I've not really made adjustments to clothes before, so I'd love input before I cut it up! ;)

February 01, 2012

Burda Tempts Me

My first pattern ever was a Burda--a maternity shirt with an empire waist, a crossover neckline and a tie in the back. It was my first pattern and my first pregnancy so I didn't exactly know what I was doing. I used the wrong kind of fabric and tried to make it for the size I might be instead of the size I was. Suffice it to say, it didn't turn out well. Burda patterns intrigue and intimidate me as much as Vogue patterns. While other brands primarily offer simple, classic, basic and often cookie-cutter patterns, Vogue and Burda have unique shapes and unusual details. I find myself both intimidated to make and to wear them if they did turn out well.

For this one, however, I think I might overcome my fear and at least give it a go.

My goodness it's such a fun design! I love the wide, angled draping at the waist and the slit in the neckline is so sexy. And it's all in jersey so it would be super comfy. I don't know about the matching pants or skirt. The skirt is way too long for my height but could easily be made shorter. The pants look sort of like pjs but maybe in shorts? I've considered the whole jumpsuit thing. Anyway, I really like this pattern. Burda goes on sale very rarely but I think I might pick this one up when it does. In the meantime I certainly have plenty to keep me occupied.