Happy mad March!! And, I say mad because it's nutty out there. Hope you are staying safe and healthy and have enough toilet paper! Ha! Whew, what a world we live in right now, huh? This month has not gone as planned for anyone, I'm sure. We were supposed to leave for a family cruise, but that was cancelled along with school, life, and everything else.
When life gives you lemons....
I'm enjoying the time with my kids instead of having to drop off and pickup from school. We even have enough TP, we luckily bought ours before the crazy hit the fan. LOL
I worked on this Butterick top all week and after trial and error, I finally got the sizing correct and finished it. For the cruise. That was cancelled. Ha!
I wanted to spend more time on the boning portion of this pattern for you guys. Do you search for tutorials before you make something new? It's nice to get a feel for things before getting your head in the game, right? I didn't see any in depth tutorials on how to insert boning. I wanted to spend time on the boning portion with this post. The pattern is pretty easy and straight forward otherwise.
According to the pattern envelope, I needed a size 14. I also made an FBA (full bust adjustment) after my first muslin seemed snug. Well, it ended up being huuuge. No, I couldn't just take in a little at the side seams. This was big enough to fit the movie snacks, popcorn, sodas and my kids!! Face-palm!
But at this point, I accepted the challenge. Game on!
"It's not sewing unless you use your seam ripper."
I unpicked the bodice, lining, and boning casings. I then re-cut to a size 14 minus the FBA. Sewed it up and it was still big. I could fit the snacks only, this time.
So, I unpicked it again and cut a size 12, no FBA. Size 12 fit good enough. I might try a size 10 next time.
After you decide which size you're going with, trace your pattern off. Grade between sizes if needed.
Transfer all the markings onto your pieces, especially the lining pieces. You'll need accurate placement lines to position your boning.
Sew your darts on all the pieces.
Pattern instructions always have you make one thing at a time, but I sew all the darts on the outers and linings at the same time. It makes more sense in my head to do it this way, but you do whatever feels comfortable for you.
After the darts are sewn, place the 2 front pieces together, RST (right sides together) matching notches and dart seams. Sew from the waist up.
Then, grab the front band pieces. Sew together and fold in half, if you haven't already.
You're going to attach this piece to the bodice you just sewed.
Insert your separating zipper. WOW! This was my first time using a separated zipper and boy was it easy. You're making a lapped zip, so be sure to press one seam 1/2" and the other 5/8". The left side laps over the right side, hiding the zipper in true vintage fashion. Follow the pattern directions for the insertion.
Sew the side pieces onto the bodice, matching notches. Sew from the waist up. Easy peasy.
Your top should look the photo below.
Are you ready for Spring? I've been playing (cleaning) in the yard lately. We planted 5 new rose bushes, hydrangeas, and various berry bushes. Ahh, it feels so good to be outdoors after the long winter we've had. The daytime temps in my corner of Southern California are rising and the weather got me thinking about all the outfits and bags I plan to make for summer.
Cue the Laundry day tee dress by Love Notions. The dress comes in a great size range XS-5X. Yay! I snatched up the pattern for $5. What a steal!! I had never heard of this pattern company until I went to the Arizona Sewcial. Boy, I was excited when I went to their website. Give me all the knit patterns. I bought the Sabrina Slims pants pattern as well. Stay tuned for that review.
This post isn't a sewing tutorial so much as it's more of a pattern review. So, here ya go.
This pattern can be made in many variations. I loved the dress version most. I have a few lightweight dresses I constantly reach for during summer. Flouncy and bouncy without zippers or waistbands to contend with. They keep me happy and comfy during the humid months. So, I knew I wanted to make an easy knit dress for Summer.
The pattern lets you choose from long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, or a tank style. You can make a top or dress, long, short, tunic length-whichever you fancy. Oh, and it has an optional cowl neckline too. Whew! So many options.
I chose the dress length, short sleeves, and the V neckline.
The pattern calls for stretch knit fabric and was a quick project on the serger. Cut to finish took 2 hours, minus the V-neck insertion of doom.
In choosing the V neck, I was surprised as to how confusing that whole ordeal was. I've made a handful of V-neck tops and they've been easy as pie. This one was not. Maybe it was a combo of the fabric and my sewing brain, but I won't follow that insertion again. I had to make it twice and it still isn't centered into the V. Ugh
I printed and cut the full bust front piece. I usually do an FBA on all my dresses and tops, so I thought this was a neat option. However, in trying the dress on, it looked frumpy. Maternity-like if you will. My husband and 2 older kids said it looked frumpy too and I didn't like how I looked in the dress. Frumpy is a four-letter word to me. Ha!
So, I added a cinch belt, cute sweater, matching flats, and jewelry to turn the dress into a casual pinup look. Yay! Almost similar to the Popover dress I made.
I want to print out the regular front piece and see how that fits. I think it might fit a tad better. And, I want to size down next time as well.
Frumpiness aside, it's comfortable and easy to throw on. I see a few of these becoming Summer wardrobe staples. Heck, I might make a nightgown too.
This pattern is perfect for beginners.
Print, cut and tape the PDF pieces together. It has 2 main pieces-a front and back, a neckline piece, and sleeves or armband facings if you choose the tank version. Oh and that cowl piece too.
Sew the shoulder seams, making sure to use clear elastic to support those seams.
Attach the sleeves, easy enough making sure to match the notches.
2 notches for the back, 1 notch for the front of the armscye.
Attach the neckline, hem the sleeves and bottom hem and you're done. So easy!!
So what do you think? Have you ever wanted to make a T-shirt dress?
As always, thanks for hanging out. Please share this post and blog with your friends and family and follow me on Instagram.
Leave a comment below if you plan on making this pattern or have already made it, please.
Spring is in the air and this lady is ready for some porch time. I love waking up, going outside, and enjoying my coffee on the back porch with the birds.
I'm a simple person. Ha!
Babies and weddings usually go hand in hand with Spring. Don't you agree? I've been to a few baby showers lately and thought I'd share some easy handmade gift ideas for you to make and take to your next shower.
As sewists, we always have extra fabric that we're dying to use up. This gives you an opportunity to use it up or go shopping for new fabric. Win-win!
Let's get making, we've got a shower to attend!
To make this baby gift set, you'll need:
Yay!! I finally made Gretchen Hersch's Popover dress from her book, Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses.
Let me first start by telling you NOT to use a one-directional fabric. Holy moly, I learned that lesson the hard way. The book says you'll need 3 1/3 yards of fabric. I bought 3 1/2 yards to have extra to make a matching hair bow, purse, or accent on a bag, etc. As I cut into the fabric I thought, oh shoot, I'm going to need much more! A big face-palm moment there. Ugh!
I ran back to the store and bought another 1 1/2 yards- totaling 5 yards of fabric. OMG!! Thank the fabric gods I had a 50% off coupon to use for both shopping trips. Lesson learned! Next time and there will be a next time, I will buy a multi-directional, busy print fabric. Jebus! (If you get my Simpson's reference, I love you).
Aside from my fabric choice mistake, the dress pattern was crazy easy to transfer. It basically has 1 piece. I always use freezer paper when I trace patterns. It's a good-sized roll and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
The pattern has the main dress, an armhole facing, shoulder bow and ginormous pocket pieces to trace. Easy peasy! I opted out from using the pockets and shoulder bows for this particular dress, but I transferred the pattern pieces for future use.
After you wash, dry and iron your fabric, you'll cut it out. I usually like to trace the pattern while the fabric washes one day, and sew it the next day. But, this dress was so simple and quick, you could trace and sew it in an afternoon. It took me around 2 hours to sew- including making tea and a snack for myself and the kids. #momlife
I didn't let the dress hang for 24 hrs before sewing up the hem- I know, I apologize. But, it was going so smoothly I wanted to just get it done so I could try on the essential tent. And boy, is it a tent. Ha!
I stuck an elastic waist belt on and WOW! Transformation doesn't even describe it. When I put on my crinoline, it was a Wowsa moment! I was a 50's housewife goddess. Exactly what Gertie promised. Yep, I love the dress!!
I am planning on making a few of these dresses for the summer. Hawaiian print, polka dots, gingham, gimme all the carefree and flowy fabrics. I did buy 2 belts from Amazon- one black and one white. I figured they'd go with most everything because you do need an elastic cinch belt with this dress. She has an option in the book to make a shirred waist and I plan on trying that eventually.
Disclaimer: Many, many years ago I tried shirring a shirt and it was a huge disaster. Hoping to get the courage to try it again with the Popover dress.
I can see myself sewing up a few of these batch style in a day. So easy, so comfy and pretty darn cute too! Thanks for another great pattern, Gertie! You are amazing.
So, what do you think? Are you game for making the super simple Popover dress? What other dresses do you plan on making in her book? Let me know in the comments below.
Before I share all the fun I recently had, I want to give you a little back story.
Around 6 or 7 years ago a group of friends and I would get together to sew. We'd meet once a month and head to one hostess' house. Sometimes there would be 3, 4 or even 5 of us. We'd eat, snack, and sew for a few hours while chatting about our lives. You learn a lot about someone if you sew together, because all you do is talk.
Those days and nights were cherished. I would take a pattern I had cut out so I could do some actual sewing. Or, I'd take a pattern to lay on the floor for cutting/ tracing. Ahh, those were the days. Well, over time, one of the friends moved and those sewing nights ended. No reason in particular, but life shifted as it does from time to time.
Fast forward a couple of years.
Another friend of mine who sews, but lives one state over found a group of sewists. She told me about this sewing social she attended last year. She met wonderful people, discovered new pattern companies and fabric shops that were local to her. It sounded like an overall great time and I knew I wanted to go to the next one!
I patiently waited for the year to go by and once she shared the event info, I bought my ticket.
It was go time! Or, sew time! ;)
For the sewcial you can bring 1-2 unused patterns and a cut of fabric that measures 1/2 yard or more. I had a pattern and fabric and set them aside for the swap. Such a fun idea!!
I even sewed up a new dress (blog post coming soon) to wear for the evening. I packed my bag and everything I needed for a quick mini vacation. No kids. No husband. Just me.
I enjoyed the drive and listened to my own music and podcasts. It was glorious!!
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.