Halloween is almost here! Can you believe it?
I mean, it's finally October, which is Halloween month. We start decorating around mid-September and my whole house gets transformed into a "haunted mansion". Halloween is my most favorite holiday ever!! After Thanksgiving of course, because... mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Yum!
Any-who, I want to share a fun top that you can make in a jiffy. You can wear it at home or around town, to the office, or trick or treating with your little ones. I recently made it and had to share it! It's too dang cute to keep it a secret.
Quick, grab the FREE Gone Batty top from Patterns for Pirates here. Then, click here for the sewingtutorial. It's the cutest!! Talk about a last-minute costume that's appropriate for work and/or school. You can wear it as an everyday top as well. It comes in one size fits most, so no fussy fitting issues to worry about. All the wins with this one! Yes, please!!
I've had a long history of bats through caving experiences and I've grown to love them most of all. Bats are my favorite Halloween creature. When I saw this pattern last year (why did I wait so long??) I had to have it. Umm... a shirt with bat wings, yes please! Bonus, you could even sew white topstitching thread to make it a spiderweb instead, if you wanted. Oooohhh maybe that'll be next year's project.
Wow, sewing sure seems to have made a popular comeback!
Let's debunk some common misconceptions about sewing and the people who do it. Whether you're new to sewing or a seasoned seamstress, you may have heard some of these tall tales. Let's put an end to them, now. Since more people are sewing nowadays, it'll be easier to make new sewing friends. Yay!
Let's dive into some myths and bust them up!
1. Sewing is for old ladies
A common sewing myth is that sewing is for an older generation only. I'm here to tell ya, more young people are learning how to sew. And, men sew too. My husband learned to sew when I put him to work for mask making. If you don't know where to start, you can find online classes, head to your local college and sewing shops, or even ask a friend to teach you. Sewing people are everywhere, you just gotta look.
I have taught a handful of friends and family that I don't consider "old ladies". Although, I do refer to sewing as one of my old lady hobbies. LOL. Oh and kids sew too. I have taught all 4 of my kids to sew at a young age. It's a good life skill to have and it's not being taught in school anymore. Here's an article I found online about young people sewing more and more. I'm not crazy, I swear! Sewing is for everyone.
2. Sewing is cheap
LOL! I always laugh at this one. Sewing is often more expensive. A lot more expensive.
Making something from start to finish is costly. You walk into the fabric store and buy a pattern (or online) for roughly $12. You need a minimum of 1-2 yards (for most garments) of fabric which costs roughly $20+. A spool of electric blue thread to match your new fabric, $3. You need a new pack of needles too, $5. Not to mention the price you paid for your machine and all those other glorious notions you've put hard-earned money into. The cost is $40+ just for the 4 items I mentioned. And, I didn't include the price for your time. Time is money and you know it doesn't take 10 minutes to whip up a dress for little Suzie.
You can buy a nice top or pair of shorts for $25 at a big box retail shop.
This misconception always gets me and it hurts my feelings sometimes. I love making gifts but, I've gotten looks and questions asking why I didn't buy something instead. Sigh. It takes a lot of time and energy to sew something. It ends up costing more than if you purchased the same item in the store, usually.
Let's spread the word and lay this myth to rest.
Do you have a fabric designer or pattern maker you simply adore? Maybe you have a few.
Gretchen Hirsch aka Gertie is one of my favorites.
There are quite a few fabric designers I'm obsessed with! Almost stalker-status. ;) I love almost every piece they design. And I must own it all. Insert fabric hoarding music. Haha!
As you might know, my favorite pattern designer is Gertie. She is a one-woman show and encouraged me (through her blog, tv, and books) to start sewing things for myself. GASP! Moms can sew for themselves? Yes, yes we can.
I was watching a PBS sewing show and she popped up. I can't remember what she shared on the show. But, I couldn't get past the fact that she didn't look like a typical sewing lady. She was young and had a fun style. I was instantly hooked! I found her blog, bought her books, and started a new sewing journey-sewing for myself. I still sew for my kids and shop, but I LOVE making my things more.
Gertie has her own pattern company, along with fabrics designed by her. She also has patterns with Butterick and Simplicity. Charms Patterns, Simplicity and, Butterick patterns. I love it all!
40's Style Blouse
The top I'm wearing above is from the book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. It's the 40's-Style Blouse made using the Sleeveless Blouse variation, pg 134.
The fit is great in this top! Why haven't I made more? I don't know but, I need to.
It was an easy afternoon project. I made this top a few years ago during a friendly sewing day. This was my first top with center buttons and a placket. As you can see, they should have been placed 1/2" closer to the edge.
Oh well. I still wear it all the time.
It's an easy style to wear over pants or tucked in. The darts are placed perfectly and make for a very flattering fit.
The fabric is semi sheer in black with pink bows and was purchased from Joann fabrics. It is from Gertie's fabric line.
I increased the armscye area. I don't consider myself to have large arms, but her patterns are usually tight in my armpits, so I size up with sleeveless patterns.
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.
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.
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.
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