As the summer is starting to wind down I finally have some time to sew and blog. I don’t know about you but it’s been a crazy summer here. Lots of making memories, not so much with the making clothes.
Totally worth it.
I’ve been wanting to stretch my seamstress skills lately and get out of my comfort zone. My specialty is working with knit fabric; it’s quick and it’s pretty forgiving of mistakes (read: laziness), but there also isn’t a ton of variety in technique. So when Designer Stitch recently put out a testing call for the new Kristen dress I jumped at the chance.
Kristen is a dress made with woven fabrics. It includes a back zipper, darts throughout the bodice, princess seams, ruffles, and a pleated skirt. It also includes an optional belt and bell sleeve that is so elegant.
We’re coming into fall here and when I saw this mustard yellow floral print on rayon challis I knew it would be perfect for Kristen.
I have a wide shallow bust which means that I have never had a store bought dress fit me properly. I loved having the opportunity to fit a dress to my figure exactly. The Kristen does require making a muslin (or two) in order to get that perfect fit, but the bodice pieces come together so quickly that it really wasn’t a big deal.
My Kristen is a 2 graded to a 4 at the waist with a couple small modifications to get that perfect fit.
If you want to tackle the Kristen I highly recommend joining the Designer Stitch Pattern Support Facebook group where you can get some great fitting advice from some awesome seamstresses.
This is a pattern I know I’ll be coming back to. In fact one of the other testers made one in a heavy weight fabric that I am dying to try.
This time is the Bryant dolman top. Fun fact: when I first moved to Seattle I lived in a little house in the Bryant neighborhood for which this top is named.
I know, fascinating.
As with all Straight Stitch Designs patterns this one has a few unique features to make it stand out. First it is designed to be cut on the bias. Admittedly it makes this pattern a bit of fabric hog, but I love the chance to show of fabric in interesting ways. I chose this liverpool with a stripe and floral motif expressly for the chance to do something unique with it.
My favorite feature, though, is the facing, rather than binding, neckline. It’s so simple but gives such a nice clean look and I was happy to find it much easier than binding. I might start making facings for all my knit tops.
To get an idea for how the fit changed with different fabric, I made my second top with an ITY that I found at the thrift store.
The fabric is a little outside my usual style but I’m coming around because it’s just so comfortable.
Last week my family and I took our first trip to Disneyland. The minute the girls were tall enough to go on all of the rides we booked our trip.
I wasn’t planning on making us special outfits for the occasion but when I saw this princess comic fabric my nerdy little heart just exploded with joy. Unfortunately this JoAnn Fabrics fabric isn’t available in all stores. Thankfully though I have a network of fellow crafters and seamstresses who were able to get a couple yards to me. I owe them a cookie.
Most of the solid fabrics you see are are cotton lycra from the ever lovely Purpleseamstress.
I let the girls pick the colors and designs that they wanted for their shirts. My oldest picked the Cecille Top from the now sadly closed LilyGiggle. It’s a really fun top with puffy sleeve and a two layer peplum.
My youngest has a bit more sporty style so she picked the Yoho Henley from Patterns for Pirates. Her favorite color is green and luckily I had some green jersey knit laying around for the sleeves and outer hood. She also wanted thumbholes in the cuffs and since sewing thumbholes makes me feel like a superhero I was happy to oblige.
And for myself….a simple but fun and bright 3/4 length sleeve raglan. My go-to raglan pattern is the Slim Fit Raglan from Patterns for Pirates. It’s got just the right amount of ease to fit my body without being tight.
Like this style of top but don’t have time to sew? I have a few variations in the Women’s Clothing section of my Etsy store.
I recently had the pleasure of testing the new cardigan pattern from Straight Stitch Designs. Phinney Ridge is a V-neck cardigan with optional button or snap closures plus loads of other options. I especially love the elbow patch option and I’m totally planning on using it for my next one.
Mine is made with a heavy ribbed sweater knit that I came in a scrap box from Knitpop. I decided to go with the snap closure option because…well because I was out of buttons. It happens.
This fit on the sweater is spot on. I can’t remember the last time I had a cardigan that fit me perfectly in the shoulders like this one does. I’m looking forward to making more in different fabric weights, especially lighter weight rayon and cotton for spring, because it snowed today and a girl can dream can’t she?
It’s COLD here. Last week we had a foot of snow. Personally I’m over it, and dreaming of warmer days. In that spirit I made the View Ridge by Straight Stitch Designs.
This is such a sweet little top. The gathering in the bodice makes for a lovely floaty fit and the key-hole back gives it some interesting detail.
Mine is made with a gorgeous rayon challis from LDG Textiles. Challis is probably my favorite woven fabric to work with. It’s relatively easy to work with, and handles heat well so you can really go to town with your iron and get nice sharp pressed edges. My binding skills need a little work but I love the outcome nonetheless.
But you know what my favorite thing is about this top? It’s a great scrap buster. Because the shirt is composed of several small pieces I’m able to make one out of the larger (and smaller) scraps left from my other projects. In fact I have another one in the works made from some floral leftovers.
Now back to drinking tea and dreaming of warmer days…..sigh.