Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pattern Review Winter Dress

I was one of about 25 to make it to the 3rd round of the PatternReview.com 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?
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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.
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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.
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Here’s how the front bodice turned out.
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And the back vee.
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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.
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The back is my favorite part.
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Here you can see the back and neck really well.
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I really like how it turned out!
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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 . . .
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plus this pattern to make  . . .
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my second entry for the Patternreview.com 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.)
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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.
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I really like how it ended up.
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I think the pleats at the shoulder are a cute detail.
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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.
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One of my favorite tools. A snap setter that also does grommets.
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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!
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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.
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I’m hoping to make it to Round 3, but we shall see. They will let us know on Tuesday the 18th. Eek!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ottobre 01-2014 #23 Ruched Leggings + Sewing Bee Update

With all the nervous energy of the Sewing Bee, I’ve been sewing up a storm. I finished off my a-line skirt, submitted it, and got the news today from PatternReview.com. I made the cut!!! I think 80-something people were cut and only 50-something continued on to Round 2. Phew! My fear is the next round will be a fitted blouse. I’ve never actually made one that fir well. Eek.


Anyway, I have been sewing, just not for me. When I got that Ottobre the other day, they had the cutest little leggings pattern. I’ve made three pairs now and the girlies are screaming for MORE, MORE, MORE. I’ve been making them out of my brightly colored remnants. Here’s the line drawing. You can see the ruching starts at about the knee and goes down a bit.
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Here is pair #1. I made this pair with a width of 116 and a length of 122. You can see there is still plenty of room in the width.
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The butt and front are really loose. I love how the print gets busier below the knee and then the medallion print meets at the butt.
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Pair #2. These have less stretch than the blue/orange pair. They seem to fit really well. These girlies are skinny minnies.
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Here is pair #3 on the 5-year-old. These are a straight 116. You can see the ruching on this pair really well. These same pants fit the skinny 8-year-olds just fine except for the length. All three pairs of leggings are a big hit. I just need to teach them to not wear crazy pants with crazy tops. Ahem.
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I have one more Ottobre pattern to show you. The next Sewing Bee Challenge starts tomorrow (I’m hoping for a lined sheath dress or something easy, NOT a fitted blouse)!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ottobre 01-2014 #25 Knit Dress


I told you I’ve been sewing! I had all this nervous mojo energy from the Sewing Bee and had to do something with it. A while back, I realized I didn’t really have any kid patterns and for some weird reason, I had this urge to sew for my kids. I almost never sew for them, and when I do, it’s pajamas. Well, anyway, I got this urge you see. I realized that all my kids are skinny like rails and that pants may have to be made by me. They are long and lean. To get something to fit their height, I have to buy their normal size. To get something that fits their width, um, well, they are skinny-minnies. I have to buy something that is 2-3 times smaller. Anyway, I have a ton of Jalie patterns, but I’m so bad at embellishing things and making things that look kid-ish. Anyway, I saw this Ottobre magazine somehow and decided that I needed it. I’ve already sew about four things from it (only two patterns) and I love it so far. Here is the first thing I sewed out of this magazine. (For those who are unfamiliar, Ottobre is a Finnish magazine like Burda. They sell a kid version and an adult version. You trace the patterns off of sheets with many, many lines. You add seam allowances, but not hem allowances. Here are all the tech drawing for this month’s magazine.)

 

This pattern is knit on the bodice section and can be a knit or woven down below. I chose to use a beefy cotton knit on the top and a thin ITY on the bottom. It would be fun with a bright woven on the bottom too. I made the width a size 116 (girls size 6) and the length a size 122 (girls size 7-8). This is very loose on her, but that is how the pattern is drafted too. I maybe should have made it even smaller for width.
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Here it is flat. I love the two prints together.
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And here is Princess. It is supposed to be a drop shoulder and I think it’s fitting her correctly although that neck looks wide doesn’t it?. I think I love how she has this styled. And she picked out those glasses as her “accessory.”
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You can see here how big it is in the torso.
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She wanted to do all these modeling poses, the little diva.
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Do you love it? Is it too sloppy? I love it. Absolutely. Love. It. I can’t tell if I love it because of the fabrics, because she loves it, or if I just like this new silhouette. What do you think? The bodice is larger at the waist then at the chest. It is meant to be wide like this, I swear.
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I use my coverstitcher to do the sleeve hems and the neck edge. I also used it to topstitch the seam that connects the skirt to the bodice. I bought this cotton knit at JoAnn’s and I really like it. I would buy more if I found it.
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I also like it with the belt. The only thing that bothers me a smidge is that the sleeves seem to be a bit wide where they end at her wrists. Like the sleeves need to be two inches shorter, an inch longer, or narrower at the wrists.
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Overall, I really like it. She’s in love so it’s a win!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee - Round #1


I told you guys a while ago that I would be joining the Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee. The first challenge was to create an a-line skirt. There was much debate about what exactly made an a-line skirt and whether a waistband and yoke were the same thing. I opted to just make a classic a-line skirt, because I felt there would be no doubt that mine was really an a-line skirt. I'm a rule follower if nothing else. I decided on Burda 10-2011 because I loved the topstitching and pockets.

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My name is Dawn, and I have the Crazy Eye. Yes, this is my skirt. I made it from a woven wool in my stash. It had a similar drape as wool crepe. I'm not sure what kind of weave it is. I really like how it turned out even though I was on the fence about making an a-line skirt. I usually wear more pencil skirts.
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Yes, we still have snow. Yes, these are wool tights.

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Yes, I still love these boots.
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Duck lips cuz I'm, sexy like that.
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Here is the lining. I used a silky fabric from JoAnn's. I like how it's calm and subtle on the outside and par-tay on the inside. 
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I also used a sparkle knit fabric to finish the raw edge of the waistband facing.
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Here is a close-up of the topstitching. I used a thick Gutterman topstitching thread in dark purple. You can see that I chnaged the pockets. I didn't like how angular the pockets were on the original, so I changed them to be a curved pocket. I think it goes better with the shape of the a-line silhouette.
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I'm curious baout how the contest committe is going to "cull the herd" as it were. It sounds like a percentage of the participants will move on and some will move forward to the next challenge. It will be interesting to see how this contest evolves. This is the first time PatternReview.com has done something like this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be moving to the next round! Until they tell us, I have this nervous energy so I have been sewing, just not for me. I'll take pictures this weekend so you guys can see!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Burda 10-2014 #105 Cowl-neck Dress

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I made this dress again and love it! This time it fits great. The last time it was made out of a merino wool knit and there was not enough stretch. This is an ITY knit and there is plenty of stretch. I made zero fit adjustments.
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See? No obvious bra lines. How much do you love this print? It’s like a sunset. I bought this in San Diego.
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I didn’t even attempt to match the side seams. I don’t even think you could do it with this fabric.
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I love the drape of the cowl in this fabric.
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Obviously, we’ve had a sighting of “the white stuff”. This might be here to stay!
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Next up? I’m going to try to knock out my November Burda so that I can be ready for the Pattern Review contest!!!