Tag Archives: silk

In-House Patterns | Chelsea Blouse and a Giveaway

30 Sep

Hi, friends! Happy Hump Day! Just a quick reminder that today is your last chance to enter my giveaway for two Butterick patterns. To enter, leave a comment on my last post here or my Facebook page and tell me your favorite fabric and pattern to work with. I will close the giveaway tonight and announce the winner in a few days.

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A little while back I shared with you my first version of the In-House Patterns Chelsea Blouse. My love for In-House Patterns is no secret on this blog. In my first version of the top, I told you the shoulders were a little wide, admittedly my fault because I added extra width to the pattern and cut a larger size than was probably needed. I knew I needed to give the pattern a second chance so here we are — take two.

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I sized down to a medium for this version and didn’t add any width to the shoulders. I think this time it is nearly perfect. I have concluded that one of my shoulders is wider than the other so I could probably alter my shirts for that, but on something this loosely fitting, I am not going to bother for now.

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I sewed this up in a Theory silk charmeuse earthtone ombre panel that I purchased from Emma One Sock. The fabric is gorgeous in person and of course feels wonderful against the skin. I cut it out in a single layer so I could place the pattern like I wanted it. My only gripe with sewing it was with the rolled hem foot (again) and you can see how the hemline is a little wavy. I find the rolled hem foot makes my bias edges stretch out some. Is this operator error or just a problem with that hemming method?

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Either way, I will still be wearing my top as we transition from hot hot to less hot here in the Deep South. It pairs well with many of my bottom pieces and I can’t wait until it is actually cool enough to pull out some boots and booties!

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Vogue 1353 in Silk Twill

7 Aug

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Howdy! I’m back today with the other half of my 2015 Outfit Along post. You can see more details on my cardigan here.

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As I mentioned to you in the first post, I decided pretty last minute to get started on this outfit, July 13 to be exact, and I didn’t start sewing the dress until the 24th. But since I had already made my chosen pattern, Vogue 1353, once before, I knew I could make it up pretty quickly.

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I chose this light purple colorway silk twill from my stash to match the cardigan. From the Emma One Sock website:

A very pretty silk twill print from a NY designer, this blouse/dress weight is opaque with a lovely drape and a pleasing soft sheen. The print is a floral collage with a 21″ repeat, in pastel tones of pale lavender, blue, yellow, pink and cream…

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I love the soft purple base with irregular white flowers and splashes of soft blue and yellow. I think it would make a great dress for Easter or a baby/bridal shower. The twill fabrication gives the silk more body than a charmeuse although it is still very “silky” feeling. It is like the fabric of a necktie without all the interfacing. The fabric makes the dress very enjoyable to wear as it swishes really well. However, I do think a sturdier fabric, like the cotton sateen in my original version, is better for everyday interpretations of this dress. I will not wear this silk dress to work — it will be reserved for church, brunch, bridal showers, etc.

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I lined the dress with white rayon Bemberg and used Siri sew in interfacing from Emma One Sock.

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I won’t belabor the alterations as those were covered in my last post. My only additional modifications were to shift the shoulder straps in by 1/2″ and to alter the lining pieces by trimming 1/8″ off the neckline and armhole edges to help the lining roll to the inside (and it did help). I had to draft separate lining pieces for the bodice back and bodice side front to do this but that was as simple as tracing the original piece then trimming the desired edges. I had enough fabric this time to cut the skirt pieces with the pleats full width so I removed the modification I had made last time but I think I may like it better with narrower pleats.

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Next time I will remember to add 1/2″ to the skirt length at center back and taper it to nothing at the side seam. Instead I had to cut 1/2″ off the front of the skirt after the fact before sewing on the hem facing.

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Like last time, I used self-fabric instead of lining to face them hem because I like this look better. I stitched the facing in place with the chainstitch on my coverstitch and let the wrong side of the stitching show on the outside of the dress.

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I used this tutorial on Pattern Scissors Cloth to fully line the dress by machine and I used this tutorial to get a precisely installed invisible zipper that doesn’t require a hook and eye. So this dress doesn’t have any handstitching in it — yay!

I don’t think there’s much else to say so I’ll sign off for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with the promised tutorial on using your sewing machine to make buttonholes in your hand-knit garments!

McCall’s 6706 | Carolina Herrera Skirt

12 Mar

Howdy, friends! I have another completed sewing project for you today! But before you get too excited, this is a project I completed sometime last year (probably Summer 2014), and just never got a chance to get good enough photos to blog.

Luckily, we finally had some pretty weather this past Sunday and there is a cute spot outside our new condo, so I took advantage and enlisted my handsome stepson to play photographer. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until after the photo shoot that there was a large smudge on the lens so you will have to excuse the blur around my feet 🙂

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This skirt started with the fabric. I found it at Promenade Fine Fabrics in New Orleans, one of my favorite fabric haunts. It was milled for Carolina Herrera and is a silk organza with blue flowers with black outlines embroidered on it. Maybe there’s a better term for the way this fabric is embellished but I don’t know it. The black outline appears to be clipped to have exposed threads, kind of reminds me of velvet, but the blue looks like embroidery. Any info on this type of fabric would be appreciated. The fabric was very pricey ($58/yd) so I knew it had to become something that didn’t require much yardage and that I could make without any errors.

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I decided on McCall’s 6706 (rendered once before in a drapey rayon challis), to create a simple, elegant, pleated knee-length skirt.

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Then I found this photo of the designer herself wearing a very similar skirt in an almost identical fabric. I never could find any garments in the exact fabric.

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I decided to underline the fashion fabric with plain silk organza so I could finish the raw edges like I did in my red Hollyburn skirt and to give it a little more opacity and body.

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I also lined the skirt with a bone colored silk crepe de chine from Promenade. At first I thought I would line it with black, but the neutral silk really made the white of the organza stand out.

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Finally, I decided to use some fabulous, authentic Petersham ribbon for the waistband. This notion also came from Promenade and Herbert says that it is some of the only truly legit Petersham that is still made. I wish you could feel it through the computer — it is so thick and luxurious. Another pricey option ($32/yd), I purchased just enough to go around my waist twice for the waistband and facing.

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Construction was pretty straightforward. As I mentioned above, I underlined the skirt panels with organza then hand basted the pleat lines and lightly pressed the pleats into place then machine basted them across the top.

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For the lining, I basted it to the skirt along the top then treated it and the outer skirt as one piece when applying the waistband. I laid the Petersham ribbon directly on the waist seam line and used my edgestitch foot to stitch just inside the outer border of the ribbon. Then I matched the other piece of ribbon (the waistband facing) up with the top and edgestitched along the top border to connect the two. The I did one final row of stitches to secure the bottom of the facing to the bottom of the waistband. Fortunately, these stitches just melt right into the ribbon and you can’t see them, otherwise I would have been doing a lot of handstitching!

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I finished the lining with a 1/4″ machine hem and the outer skirt is finished with a 1″ hand stitched hem, catching my stitches in the organza underlining.

All in all, I love this skirt even though it was not the cheapest project. It is one of a kind and I feel like it looks like a designer piece. I think I will be able to enjoy wearing it for many years so I don’t mind the little splurge to create it.

What about you, my fair readers, have you ever splurged a little bit on a project? Did you play it safe with a pattern you knew would sew up well or did you do something more daring? I would love to hear in the comments!

I hope to be back soon 🙂

Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tank | Jungle January

17 Jan

Hi, friends! I hope this post finds you well. It’s been a little more than a season since I last checked in but I hope you have had other blogs in your reader to keep you entertained. We have had a very busy few months with vacation, selling our home, moving, birth of a niece, the holidays, hospitalizations of grandparents (everyone is doing great now), husband working out of town, all that on top of the usual cold and flu season which is always hectic for a pediatrician.

But life is good and we are excited about all the changes happening. Selling our old house means we get to build a new one. We are living temporarily in a small condo but we are in the heart of our downtown so we are enjoying being close to everything and walking distance to my favorite coffee shop and BBQ joint. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of room for sewing so I have not stitched anything since before the move (pre-Thanksgiving). I am looking at purchasing a Gidget table and setting it up in my bedroom and adapting my sewing habits to be more streamlined and uncluttered.

I have also been reevaluating my wardrobe as I had gotten into a bit of a funk with dressing everyday. Since I had started sewing, I had stopped purchasing as many clothes as I used to thinking I would sew the perfect garment and that perfect garment just never materialized. Sure, I have sewn some things that I really love and am very proud of, but I have not made many daily basics that work well for my usual routines. Plus many of my clothes weren’t fitting right any more because I have been working out. So in my sewing-restricted state, I decided to do a little shopping for myself. First, I visited my favorite online spots, Nordstrom and Anthropologie, and quickly had some packages sent my way. As is usual, many things had to be returned but I ended up with some new colored skinny cords and jeans and a few basic tops and one pretty dress. Nothing that really sang to me, though.

Then, I remembered a friend telling me about Stitch Fix and I started browsing the web for more info and for similar services. Basically, they are services that take your info on size and style likes and dislikes then send you a box of garments and accessories to try on at home. You decide what to keep and what to send back. During the course of my searching, I found two other companies to be viable contenders, although different in some respects. So I signed up for a box from all three to try it out. Worst case scenario, I would only be out $20.

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All that said, today I am here to actually tell you about something I sewed (of course back when my sewing machine was still plugged in, pre Turkey Day). I will tell you in upcoming posts about my experiences with the online styling services. This top is my first-ever contribution to Jungle January. I have never been a big animal print fan but this stretch silk charmeuse was cheap at Fabric Mart and I thought it would be perfect for muslining a basic silk shell. And it was.

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Enter the Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tank. The is a perfect canvas for so many things. I was looking for a simple top that could be worn with a skirt or pants and blazer/cardi for work or paired with jeans and a necklace for a more casual look. I also wanted a pattern that would be a good base for embellishment. I started with a straight size medium and only adjusted the pattern by raising the armholes 1/2″. I knew that ultimately I would probably want to do a bust adjustment and add a side dart for a better fit but I wanted to see what the fit was like straight out of the envelope.

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This fit was not too bad. There is a little bit of dragging under the bust in the front, but this top is definitely wearable and with the silk having a little lycra in it, it helps. In my next version, I added a 3/4″ FBA and the drag was eliminated and the tank hung evenly front and back.

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So friends, to wrap this wordy, overly gushy post up, I hope I will not be such a stranger now that things are starting to settle back down in our life. I hope that you will indulge me if I talk a little bit about ready to wear fashion and a little less about sewing and cooking while we are living in a tiny two-story box. I may even talk a little about home planning and interior design as we get further into that project.

I would love to hear in the comments how your year is starting off and if you have advice on setting up in a tiny sewing space. Have a great weekend!

Butterick 6019 — A Polka Dot Bombshell Dress

21 Jul

Howdy, friends! I hope this missive finds you well. I have been doing some sewing and knitting lately and finally have something finished to show you!

 

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This is Butterick 6019, a bombshell dress by Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I have been muslining a dress like this intermittently for the past 2 years — I finally bit the bullet and finished one!

 

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I chose this pattern because it has a lot of visual interest with the fitted bodice with sash accent, sarong-style skirt, and shirring on the back bodice. I think the shirring is what attracted me the most.

 

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Alright, now for some wordy business about the process of creating this dress!

I started with the 14 D-cup pattern and made a muslin of the bodice. I ended up taking it in at the top and letting it out a smidge in the waist. I did a swayback adjustment on the bodice (but should have done one on the skirt, too). I also added about an inch to the bodice height to make the neckline more decent.

I found the cups to be waaaay too pointy for my taste so I tamed that down quite a bit also. I ended up shortening the bodice about an inch under the bust — I am accepting the fact that I am very short-waisted or my boobs are saggy…

That was all pretty straightforward stuff. The project got complicated when I decided to fully line the dress (the pattern only calls for partially lining the bodice — and for good reason I discovered) and then underline the bodice.

 

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The bodice underlining was simple enough. I just used corset mesh cut a little bigger than the shirred pieces to stabilize that area but still allow for some stretch. I used muslin for the rest of the underlining and added way more boning channels than the pattern’s prescribed two. I sewed a waist stay to a few points on the bodice. Next time I make a dress like this, I will extend the underlining layer down to my high hip to keep it from cutting into my waist.

 

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I also used bra foam for the cups instead of the batting that was called for.

 

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For the shirring, I marked lines perpendicular to the grain at 3/8″ intervals. Sewing all the shirring was one of the most tedious parts of the project but also one of the most rewarding. Look how beautiful!

 

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My dress is made from a navy and white polka dot silk cotton blend. It has a nice crisp hand but shows lint like it’s going out of style!

 

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To line the bodice, I used a luscious 4 ply silk satin remnant for the non-stretch sections and a scrap from the Gertie slip kit (not finished yet) for the areas under the shirring. I left small openings in the back bodice lining seams to allow the waist stay to pull through.

 

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Now, lining the skirt was a whole different monster. Since the skirt has a wrap front, I couldn’t just duplicate it and stick it inside. I decided to have the lining attached at the front vertical edges of both wrap panels which meant that something had to be stitched by hand — yuck! But hand stitch I did and don’t judge my really sloppy work.

 

 

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I did a machine hem on the lining and a hand stitched hem on the shell. For my skirt lining, I used a cute ivory polka dot silk charmeuse.

 

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I used my Threads #171 for inserting the lapped zipper with lining by machine, but as usual, I handpicked the overlap for greater control. Just like the method I used on my Rosy Elisalex.

 

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I guess that’s about it on this dress. It was definitely a journey as I initially planned to wear it to a wedding a few weeks ago but ran out of time to complete it so let it sit for a few weeks before getting up the gumption to finish it. But finish it I did!

 

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These photos were taken in the front yard of our eventual new house. I love our huge oak tree!

Lolita Olive — Pattern Testing

22 May

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Howdy, friends! I hope your week is going well. I’m sure many of you have seen Amity‘s newest pattern by now — the Olive blouse. I was one of the lucky pattern testers and I’ve had to work hard to keep this top a secret since then!

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This blouse pattern comes with two variations — option A with a sheer panel draped across the front and option B without. As you can see, I made version B.

 

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Lolita patterns offers a nice range of sizes for this top — 2 through 24 to be exact — and I made a 10 with a 1″ FBA. I made some alterations as I went as well and I think some of them may have resulted from an error in my FBA. I somehow ended up with a bodice that was waaaay too long so I cut it off about 1.5″. Next time I will start from scratch with my FBA to see if the bodice ends up as long.

 

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Before I shortened the bodice, I also took the sides in by 1″ per seam as I had tons of extra fabric pooling above the waistband. However, once I shortened the bodice, I think I could have left a little more ease at the waist as it is a bit tight now after lunch :)-

 

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For fabric, I went with a silk crepe de chine I picked up in NYC the first time. I used a white Bemberg for the facings. My contrast waistband is made from some unidentified scrap of fabric from Hancock’s. I used a navy satin piping from G Street Fabrics for my trim.

 

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My only modifications to the pattern, other than those for fit, were to use my serger rolled hem to finish the edges. I did this to mimic the appearance of the piping. I also added a waistband facing as I didn’t want my interfacing rubbing on my skin.

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I like the style of this top more than I thought I would based on the line drawings. I am even considering making another version that isn’t so snug in the waist :)-

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Thanks again, Amity, for inviting me to test drive your cute blouse! Make sure you pick up your copy from the Lolita Patterns shop and visit the other pattern testers on the blog tour to see some other great versions:

Leila 13th
Carolyn 14th
Maria 15th
Ping 16th and 24th
Hannah 19th
Laurie 21st
Katrina 22nd
T 23rd
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Simplicity 1810 | Paint Splattered Silk Dress

21 May

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Hi, y’all! Do you remember me showing you this dress in my Me Made May roundup? I promised to tell you more about it so here goes:

 

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The pattern is Simplicity 1810, a wardrobe pattern with pieces for a dress, top, and pants. I made the knee-length dress.

I was attracted to this pattern first of all because it looked really easy but also because of the cute yoke and pleat details at the shoulder. I also like the way the waist ties originate from the back darts, ensuring the back of the dress lays smoothly without a bunch of awkward gathers.

 

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I didn’t make a muslin of this pattern but I did do a really shoddy tissue fitting on my dressform. I cut a size medium and shortened the bodice by 1/2″, took in 1/2″ swayback adjustment, then added 3/4″ back over the hip to account for my booty. It ends up, I probably should’ve only added 1/4″ here but oh well.

 

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I followed the directions exactly as written with the addition of French seams for the side seams and topstitching on the waist ties.

 

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My fabric is a luscious silk crepe de chine with a paint splattered print. I picked it up from Sawyer Brook with a simple dress like this in mind.

 

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As I also mentioned in my MMM post, I rushed to finish this dress to wear to see the Molly Ringwalds. I thought the fabric fit the 80s music theme pretty well. There was some serious Project Runway-style stress going on in my house that evening, and we were *only* 1.5 hours late because of my dress 🙂

If you have been holding this pattern in your stash like I was, pull it out and whip up a dress or top — it only took me about 4-5 hours total.

 

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Thanks for reading and I’ll be back tomorrow with an exciting new make for you!