Saturday, December 13, 2014

PR Winter Street Dress (and Jalie Leotards)

Round 3 of the PatternReview Sewing Bee was to take the Winter Street Dress and pimp it. We were able to download the pattern and make it our own. I had never really noticed this pattern before then, but it’s cute. Like really cute. I can see this becoming a stable in my winter dress wardrobe. Since I had already gotten out all the kinks and it was still in my sewing room, I decided to make another one. I got this fabric from Fabric Mart (my new FAVORITE fabric website) on Black Friday. I did all my Black Friday shopping from home this year and snagged a bunch of doubleknit fabric. This one is Blue/Chile/Multi Floral Medallions Puckered Double Knit (they are NOT a sponsor, so click away!) and I really like it. Sometimes I think it might be too “Grandma’s curtains", but then I look again and really like it. It needs a belt to break up all the pattern, but maybe not this silver glitter belt. A red or dark blue belt would be perfect, I think. 



I didn’t really do a proper review of this dress when I used it for the Sewing Bee, I was too focused on my alterations. It’s a very simple, but cute, pattern. Knit, long-sleeved bodice with narrow skirt. I added the big turtleneck for the winter. It has two box pleats in the front sides and two in the back for shaping the skirt.



I think I need to add just a smidge to the bottom of the bodice, it’s still riding just a tiny bit too high (you can barely see the seam above the belt in the picture below). I originally added about 3” to the front of the bodice tapering to about 2” at CB. I have a long torso, but usually only have to add about an inch to bodices.



The fabric is fun and perfect for winter! I really like this dress. It’s the first thing I’ve made since the Sewing Bee. Well, I lie. It’s the first ME item I’ve made.



These two leotards are actually the first two things I made after the Sewing Bee. Our little cousin gymnast is growing and needing more leotards. She is really good at it and in a more advanced class that meets a few times a week now. She needs variety! I texted her the fabric/patterns I had, and she picked the pattern and the fabrics. I think she has great taste!


I love Jalie’s way of applying the binding on this pattern.


This one is so shiny, it’s hard to photograph.





Because there is really no snow here (2 inches?), we have been doing a bit of hiking. The kids love it, and the scenery is beautiful. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for snow, SKIING!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holy COW! I won the Sewing Bee!!!!

I can't believe it, but I won. I WON!!!! I really, truly can't believe it with all of those really amazing entries. Wow. Do they not care that my butt-plaid doesn't match up? I'm really excited and humbled by this.

Lookie who is going to be living with me soon?

For anyone interested, here are my four entries:
Round 1 - A-line Skirt -- Blog Post -- Review
Round 2 - Men's Shirt Re-purposing -- Blog Post -- Review
Round 3 - Winter Street Dress -- Blog Post -- Review
Round 4 - Non-stretch Pants -- Blog Post -- Review 

You should also check out the entries on

The Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee - Round #4

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Burda 01-2014-111–Jodhpur Pants and Sewing Bee Final Round

I made it into the final round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. I think there were 11 of us for this last and final round. Our challenge was to make a pair of pants out of non-stretch material. Of course, I decide that it would be a great idea. to try to make a pair of very fitted jodhpur pants. Because those need no stretch, right? Yea, well, they didn’t turn out as badly as they could have. Here’s the line drawing. They are in the petite sizing. Usually a size 17 (the petite version of a 34) works really well for me, but since this was going to be out of non-stretch fabric, I went up to the 18.


All in all, I think they turned out pretty well. They are much different than my normal style so that takes some getting used to. I think these would rock with black ponte doubleknit on the back leg sections and in a smaller size.


I do love the inside black inner legs. I think those are a really good accent. I think in order for these pants to really work though, they need to be much tighter. Like real riding pants.


Arg. I love the back seaming which you can’t see very well here. What I hate is that the back doesn’t chevron. I had the great idea of cutting them so they would be mirror image and then couldn’t do it because the plaid is uneven. Someone mentioned on PR that I could have turned the pattern piece around and it would have been the mirror image. That is a head slapping moment right there. Arg.


I think they fit well although that little hip wrinkle popped up in the photos and I hadn’t really noticed it before.


This is the first time I had sewn an in-seam pocket like this before. They are super easy to do and really cute.


I inserted invisible zippers in each leg at then ankle.


The seaming is awesome and could have been AMAZING with butt-chevron!


I’m embarrassed to show you the inside of my pants after seeing the inside of everyone else’s pants. Theirs were fully lined, or all the seams were bound, or whatever. Mine are just serged and pinked. Eeeek. Okay, people, I work full-time and have four kids. I tried. I did. 


My fly front turned out really well. I haven’t made pants in a long time. I should make more. I enjoy them. 



I really only had to make one adjustment. I have a prominent swayback so I took a wedge from the back to suck it in a little bit.


I took a corresponding amount out of the waistband.


Overall, I like the pants, but they aren’t my best work. I’m glad to have made it to the final round, and I’m in awe of the other ladies. They are amazing and I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to be among them for the finals. If you go to the 14th page of this discussion, you can see all the finalists and their garments they made. The winner is based on all the things we made for this contest, not just the pants. I have zero chances of winning. Really, that’s not me being humble, I’m a realist. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, they are really amazing sewists!

On a side note, I cleaned my sewing room tonight. It was like a hurricane hit it. I can’t image doing a Sewing Bee for more than four weeks!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ottobre 01-2013 #25 Knit Dress 2.0


I made one of these dressed not too long ago. I made another one and changed it up a little bit. This version is a big hit too!


For this version, I folded out a half inch from the CF and CB of the bodice pieces. I left the skirt width the same and just did a few more gathers. I added about 1.5” to the sleeves to make them wrist length. I added a knit binding to the neck.


Let’s just say this was a challenging “photo shoot”. Someone was not cooperating all that much, but she’s cute. I used a merino wool knit for the bodice and arms and a quilting cotton for the skirt. Yes, I know none of it matches, but I kind of like it like that. I added embroidery to the front, which you can’t see. I also added “silk” flowers to the front and sewed them on to the neckline and the embroidery.


Yes, super helpful posing.


This is the “I’m not talking to you anymore” pose.


I did manage to get a couple decent shots, just not of the dress.


Everyone was super helpful tonight. Siggggghhhhh.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pattern Review Winter Dress

I was one of about 25 to make it to the 3rd round of the Sewing Bee. Our task this time was to create a dress using the Winter Street Dress that Deepika created for Pattern Review. We had to use two different knit fabrics together to make this dress. The judges were looking at fit and creativity. The dress is based on a knit. It is a simple, straightforward dress, really. It has box pleats from and back, either long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves with flounces, and a jewel neck. We were supposed to put our own spin on it.


I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at the beginning of this, so I started sketching. I knew I wanted to work with my merino wool knit fabric because that is very “winter” to me. Personally, I wanted to change the dress enough that I loved it, but not so much that it was not recognizable.  I loved the idea of adding color blocking to the shoulders. I texted Kristine with my ideas and she suggested that instead of just color blocking, why not use a lacy knit?


These were my new ideas after thinking about Kristine’s ideas. I finally settled on this drawing on the middle left. I decided the back would also be a lace cut-out. Coming up with a design was the hardest part of this. The rest was pretty easy.


Here’s how I modified it. I knew from really in the previous reviews that the bodice might be short. I did a quick tissue fit and added 1.5” to the bodice front and back. With that modification, I made a quick muslin of the sleeves with the bodice. I saw that I needed to add a little bit more length to the front and decreasing at CB. I cut the bodice apart and made the lace cutout pieces. I made sure to add seam allowances, because sometimes I forget to do that.


Here’s how the front bodice turned out.


And the back vee.


I live in Alaska and out sun is setting at 4pm right now. I had to get home, change clothes, set up the camera, and take pictures in dim, twilighty light. The main color is a much richer brown like the photos above. This looks more gray than anything else. I added a big squishy turtleneck to it too. I love this neckline.


The back is my favorite part.


Here you can see the back and neck really well.






I really like how it turned out!


We find out if we move onto the next round on Saturday (maybe Sunday?) and I ‘m wondering if I’ll make the cut. There are some pretty amazing dresses people made!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sewing Bee Round 2 - Burda 02-2011 #116

Our challenge was to use Men’s button-down shirts to create a garment. Lining could be made out of non-men’s-shirt materials. We could use up to five men’s shirts.


I used these three men’s button-down shirts . . .


plus this pattern to make  . . .


my second entry for the Sewing Bee. (First let’s talk about the difference in natural light and inside light. Wow. The real color is definitely between this grape-y purple and the pinky-pink.)


I was lucky enough to find some coordinating men’s shirts at my local Value Village. The print shirt was only a medium, but I loved the print. The other two shirts were XXLs. After washing them all, I cut all the pieces and parts apart. This left me with two large pieces of the solid purple and several small pieces of the print. I’m really only going to talk about those two shirts, because I barely used the third one. The print fabric obviously went for the yokes and the hem band. The second shirt makes up the main front and back of the dress. I liked the pocket placement so I left it. It originally had black buttons which really clashed with my brass grommets.


I really like how it ended up.


I think the pleats at the shoulder are a cute detail.


Wow, this color difference is just amazing. I had to utilize inside lights for the detail pictures because the sun is going down at 4:26pm, people. That’s barely enough time to get home, change, set up the camera, and go! Here you can see the third fabric I used for the inside yoke lining, it’s a brighter pink.


One of my favorite tools. A snap setter that also does grommets.


Close-up of the buttons and grommets. I had exactly seven buttons in my stash and it’s exactly what I needed. It was meant to be!


Here’s that third pink fabric again. I used a non-fray knit for the inside drawstring casing. You can also see I used a thick hem facing for the hem. It was going to be really short if I just turned up the hem the regular way.


I’m hoping to make it to Round 3, but we shall see. They will let us know on Tuesday the 18th. Eek!