liberty of london v9251

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Helloooo! It’s been a super hot summer in Philly, but I’ve been over here surviving – you can find me sewing on the weekends in my undies + AC. Please note we took these photos after watering some plants, which is why the ground is half wet. COOL! Nothin’ but professional photography over here, guys.

A few weeks ago I picked up Vogue 9251, even though I pretty recently made a different woven wrap dress pattern (McCalls 7351, blogged here). It was hard for me to resist the simple bodice that came with v9251 and I especially liked the lack of pleats. Though comparing the two patterns now, they’re definitely extremeeeely similar… oops.

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I was finally inspired by this fabric that’s been sitting in my stash for a while now. About a year ago Hayden and I stopped by PS Fabrics on our lunch break and somehow we stumbled upon rolls and rolls of Liberty fabric for $10/yd. It wasn’t the best selection, but I did get a few yards of this classic blue print. It works pretty well with this pattern, but I think I prefer a drapey rayon for something like this.

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As far as construction, I made some changes! The pattern provides shorter ties that attach at the side, but  I really loved the way the ties wrap around the body and through the right side seam in m7246, so I borrowed that for this dress too. I also added about an inch to the width of the sleeves and cut off a bunch of the skirt so it hemmed just above my knees. I wanted to make sure I had more arm mobility, so I raised the armhole 1/4″ and then slightly flattened the sleeve cap – I think it helped.

The way the wraps’ edges are finished is my favorite method so far – it’s just bias binding, but it’s so much neater than facings and there’s no chance of it flippin’ out. Definitely going to do this from now on.

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I love this pattern – it’s the perfect, basic woven wrap dress pattern. I’m planning to make another version with this mustard/grey rayon, but I’m glad I finally used this fabric!

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chambray kalle shirtdress

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Like many sewing peeps, I was super excited when Closet Case Files released her newest pattern, the Kalle Shirtdress. I have a ton of button-ups in my closet (mostly Archers and also a few sleeveless McCall’s 7351), but I’m definitely missing that oversized, drop-shoulder shirt that feels so effortless. I bought the pattern specifically for a dark-wash chambray tencel I have that’s destined for the dress option, but I wanted to test the fit with an easy shirt first!

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I need to start with how much I freakin’ love this chambray. It’s the 4.5oz light indigo chambray from Robert Kaufman, and it’s seriously perfect for a crisp button-up. I actually bought this a few years ago for an Archer for my mom, and I bought a few more yards last month! So easy to cut, so fun to topstitch.

Here’s a lil close up of the collar. AH!

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I can never resist using a fun print for the inner yoke. I’ve had these flamingos, an oldie from my Dear Stella days, for a loooong time – and it felt really good to finally use them. The pink/white/blue combo is perfect for summer.

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I’m not a huge fan of the cropped Kalle on my frame, and the tunic option felt too long. I cut 3″ above the tunic length, and then ended up removing another 4 1/4″ from the back. For my next shirt I think I’ll go another 2-ish” shorter… for ~variety~.

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This shirt is a little longer than my other button-ups, but I think it’s a good match for the oversized look. I love that I can wear it over a pair of leggings (these are the Virginia Leggings made with a black ponte), or tie it at the waist with jeans or a skirt.

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Other than length I didn’t make any adjustments or changes – this was a very straightforward sew. All of the seams are beautifully enclosed – between the yoke, sleeve cuffs, bias tape hem, and the flat-felled seams I used at the sides. GAH! So lovely. I made an 8, my normal size in Closet Case Files patterns, and the fit is great. I maaay do a small square shoulder adjustment next time, but at this point I’m just getting a little nit-picky.

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This shirt is SO DANG COMFORTABLE, I can’t wait to wear it this summer! Next up is the dress version with a popover placket, and then I think another shirt with some Nani Iro I got last year at QuiltCon. eee!

rifle paper co // mccall’s 7246

m7246_1As is usually the case for me, I’ve been ruminating on a specific woven wrap dress pattern for at least a year – McCall’s 7246 by Melissa Watson – mostly because I wanted to make an iteration of this dress from Reformation. M7246 never seemed quite right, and it took me a while to parse out exactly what I loved about the inspiration dress and the changes I’d have to make to my pattern.

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I did make a muslin last weekend, using a ton of mismatched scraps from past projects, and I sort of wish I took a photo of the dress because it looked like a straight up clown costume. It definitely helped me figure out my game-plan though, and I learned that my usual McCall’s size (10) fit perfectly. The main changes I decided on were adding a ruffle, removing length, and adding some swoosh (technical term) to the skirt; narrowing and lengthening the waist ties; and adding some fullness to the sleeves.

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After making my muslin, I made adjustments to my pattern pieces and then cut into the Wonderland rayon by Rifle Paper Co! Holy hecccckkk, I love this dress.

These are the changes I made to the pattern:

  • scooped out about 1/2″ from each side of the V-neck (and copied this change to the facings)
  • removed 6″ of length from the skirt pieces and redrew the side seams, adding some extra fullness
  • cut two strips, 6″ x WOF, to be used for the ruffle at the bottom
  • sewed the strips together, pressed the ruffle in half (wrong sides together) and then gathered the long strip, fitting it to the same width as the skirt bottom
  • sleeve: removed 4 1/4″ in length, and slashed/spread to add 1/2″ to the bottom width
  • made the waist ties extra narrow

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Here I am being instructed to show off the ruffles:

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I’m really happy with how this dress fits and looks! I think the length is perfect, and all of the details are finished off super neatly. I might experiment with a different way to finish the center front neckline in the future – the facing worked fine, but I had to topstitch them down so they didn’t flip/peek out. Would just serging and turning the edge under 5/8″ be sufficient? I feel like it should be, I’ll probably give it a try next time.

You can kiiiind of tell, but the waist tie goes through a hole in the right side seam before wrapping around your bod. I’ve seen this detail in other patterns, but I’m glad it was included here too.

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And this is what happens when I’m embarrassed and tired of taking photos on the street outside my house!

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Whew! Okay I think that’s it. Let me know if you’ve tried this pattern, or if you have any other woven wrap dresses that you want to try! I gotta go cut out a pair of shorteralls now, bye!

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rifle paper co // butterick 6052

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I’m so happy that I finally used the last of the Rifle Paper Co yardage I bought last summer! (Nevermind that I recently got some more in the mail…dang.)

I was saving this blue rayon for a dress I wanted to wear to a wedding in Hawaii last month. It was hard to motivate myself to sew a strappy, summery dress in the dead of winter, so I ended up waiting until the week before we left for our trip to finally get going. DUH. Self-imposed deadlines right before a trip – story of my life.

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The pattern is one of my favorites – Butterick 6052. I used it for the first time last summer (you can check that out heeere) but I made a couple of adjustments to this version. I removed more length from the straps, an extra 1/2″ bringing it to 1″ total, and used an easy gathered skirt  + pockets on the bottom half.

I think at this point people must be sick of the cold shoulder trend, but I will never not love these sleeves.

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This fabric really is so lovely to sew. It’s a little bit more substantial than other rayon I’ve worked with, but that only makes it even more fluid and drapey. I used a light cotton lawn that I had in my stash for the lining, and it worked perfectly.

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Here are a few photos from the wedding in Hawaii! We were celebrating our friends Aaron and Emily – it was so beautiful and so much fun. There was a passing rain shower during the ceremony (which is why we’re all wet), but it was perfectly sweet and goofy.

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Some of my best friends and a handmade dress! Nothing better than that.

ginger jeans + lark tee

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I’ve got two very-recent projects to share today! I made a lot of time to sew after work over the last two weeks, and it felt so good. Making time for myself to sew for an hour here and there is so essential to my mental health, it’s ridiculous. I can truly feel my body and brain buzzing when I don’t have that chance to sit down at my machine. I’m so grateful to have the space and tools to make things.

ANYWAYS. Last year I made my first pair of Ginger Jeans – and while I wear them all the time aaand love them, I’ve always wanted to make another pair that had a higher rise. Heather at Closet Case Patterns recently released the Mid-Rise Gingers as a standalone PDF, and instead of drafting it myself I lazily picked up the new pattern instead. I’m not even mad that the marketing ploy worked on me because they are the PERFECT rise and I didn’t have to use my brain.

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I made the same size as my first pair, size 8, which is exactly right for my bod. I removed 1″ of length at the knees, though I think I could do a bit more next time (maybe 1.5″?). And I left these a little longer than last time, so I could cuff the bottom if I wanted. Other than that, I didn’t make any real modifications. Though I did get a ~little~ fancy and stitched flat felled seams along the in-seam – I feel like that makes them “real” jeans now.

Just a quick note, this a black denim from Threadbare Fabrics and it’s lovely.

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My regular machine does a great job sewing through denim, but remembering how the topstitching thread did not work super well last year, I decided to try out this green beaut. Holy HECK using this lil’ guy was SO MUCH FUN. An added benefit was also not having to switch out the thread every few minutes to topstitch (instead, just switching machines), which felt luxurious. I found this Singer at the Resource Exchange, an amazing store right by my office, a few months ago and couldn’t just leave it there!

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Here’s a look at some of the topstitching! I prefer non-contrast thread for jeans, so it’s not super obvious, but man. Love.

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I’m going to share some photos of my booty now because it’s probably my favorite part of these jeans. I raised the pocket pieces 3/4″ higher than the pattern suggests, and they’re perfect (I think? at least).

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Here I am contemplating my crotch curve… I’m just not sure about it. I know there are always going to be some wrinkles, but I’m wondering if I need to draw in a shallower curve? I don’t think the crotch length is too long or too short, which leads me to the “flat pubis adjustment” from Heather’s blog post about fitting adjustments. I do love this pair, but I’m thinking about for next time. Feel freeeee to let me know if you have any input!

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I also made my first Lark Tee! The pattern is by Grainline Studio, and I didn’t really feel like I needed it until recently. I love my Lou Box Top shirts (see here for one, though I’ve made about 4 or 5), but I needed a true t-shirt in my wardrobe. I sized up so it would be a bit looser, and I’m feelin’ this fit. Instead of hemming the sleeves, I rolled them up and tacked them into place.

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I used a Dear Stella knit, which is a great match for this pattern, and it’s so fun seeing this Scallop Dot print in a new substrate. The color is spot on, too. Such a great everyday outfit, wahoooo!

Okay bye!

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m7351 shirtdress

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There’s something about shirtdresses that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. I’ve made the Alder Shirtdress and McCall’s 6696 in the past, but neither of them were quite what I was envisioning. I’ve seen so many good versions out in the wild, but nothing I made fit me the way the way I wanted.

(This is an inspiration dress from Anthro that I pinned SO LONG AGO. Maybe three years ago, even.)

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Last year, McCall’s released m7351 and I used it for a bunch of sleeveless button ups (see here, and here). The fit through the bust is ace and I love the size of the collar. I’m not a fan of every variation offered in the pattern, but the bodice and sleeves looked like a good match for my inspo image above.

One weekend in the fall I found a length of a loosely-woven plaid  in my stash (from my old local shop, PS Fabrics) and the timing felt right…

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Besides using my own gathered skirt and doing a 1/2″ square shoulder adjustment, I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern. At this point I’ve made so many button ups that plaid matching shouldn’t be so exciting, but dang I’m pleased with how this turned out. Figuring out cutting the placket is such a satisfying puzzle.

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I don’t actually love the contrast inner collar, but it’s not super noticeable. And the buttons I picked up from Fleishman’s! They were supposed to be for Dan’s chambray shirt (which is still in a pile in my sewing room, oops) but I ‘borrowed’ them. It felt right!

Here’s a lil’ side view.

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I’m not sure I pull this off as well as the Anthro model does, but I do really like this! I think next I need to find the perfect loose-fitting shirtdress pattern. Maybe with a dropped shoulder sleeve.  I’m deciding between that, or another pair of woven Hudson pants, for the Euclid linen I’m holding onto…

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hudson pants + hemlock tee

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I’ve been dreaming about Dear Stella knits for a loooong time (in case you’re new here, I worked at DS for five years (!) but this past August I moved to Philly). Their first run of knits is releasing next month, and I’m so excited for everyone to start sewing with them!

One of my favorites from the selection of knits is definitely Wee Gallery’s Grid print. I knew the first thing I’d make would be a pair of Hudson Pants (pattern by True Bias) in the black colorway.

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I love these. I have a pair in black ponte (which are also the best) but it’s nice to have a pair that are not quite as heavy. The fabric is stretchy and soft, keeps its shape and doesn’t bag out. I wouldn’t use these knits for anything super drapey, but they’re great for most other thingz. I have more plans for a dress, leggings, a Linden sweatshirt, a long sleeve shirt… As always, my eyes are bigger than my stomach (that’s a saying, right?) and my to-sew list is admittedly out of control.

Anyways, I sewed these up with no modifications other than skipping the drawstring. I could probably stand to take some length out at the knee (maybe 1/2″?) but otherwise these have a great fit. I love the pockets and the ankle cuffs! Please note: these pants are extremely comfortable.

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On top is a well-worn Archer Button Up (pattern by Grainline Studio). I’ve semi-recently learned that I need to make a forward shoulder adjustment to my button ups, so you can see there’s a little bit of pulling since that adjustment hasn’t been done here. I think I made this a little over a year ago, using a Robert Kaufman chambray, and it’s definitely a staple in my closet.

I alsoooo made a Hemlock Tee (free pattern by Grainline Studio when you sign up for their newsletter) in the white colorway.

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I narrowed the sleeves by 1″ and added cuffs. I think I also removed about an inch from the side seams. Not much else to report, besides that I think this print is just really lovely. And I’m wearing my Ginger Jeans here, which still get a lot of wear! I’m planning a new pair too – I got some stretch black denim in the mail a little bit ago…

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Whoo! That’s it for tonight. I’m really excited about these knits and can’t wait to see what everyone else makes with them! You can check out the other prints here, here and here. Byeeeeee.

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