For the second wedding I went to in as many months- I made my second Sewaholic Cambie dress. (I made the first one last September to wear to yet another wedding). I loved the sewability and the silhouette of the Cambie so much that I had to make another. Honestly I probably wont ever quit making this pattern. (I’m trying to figure out how to make a more casual version and/or make a knit version so I can rock this awesome dress without getting dressed to the nines.)
Some random lightweight pink cotton from JoAnne’s (SIGH I wish I could make my own fabric cuts there….I’d get out of that line so much faster)
I’m trying to think of what to share about this dress- honestly I love the Cambie pattern so much more than I was expecting. I thought it was a cute pattern when I bought it- but it is just so nice and fun to sew up. And the enclosed lining makes it look so dreamy and professional when it’s done. I’ve never had an inside of a dress look as nice as my Cambies do.
Since I never blogged Cambie Round 1- I will share that I got so into making the gathers look nice that I definitely forgot to make sure that I was lining up the right seams… so it may have a pocket smack in the middle of the front of the dress. I made sure that I paid attention to what I was doing with Round 2.
My lining in Round 2 looks way way better than Round 1- which as someone who never really pays mind to garment insides- I didn’t think that would be a big source of pride for me. But I could probably wear this dress inside out and it would look just as good – I’m only bragging a little bit.
However the zipper on Round 2 looks like garbage in my opinion. I swear it doesn’t matter how much my sewing skills improve- zippers always have been and always will be giant assholes. It’s something that I wish I had taken the time to take out and redo at a stage where that was still possible – but I was in a time crunch to finish the dress- so unfortunately I’ll just have to cringe at the thing. Maybe Round 3 zipper will be perfect.
Will I make it again? Duh. Already did. You should probably make one too. But beware if you make it and wear it to a wedding – you will be on the dance floor with the equivalent of two dresses on. Sweat city. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Bonus: My wedding present for those friends of mine:
Another bonus: Pogo being the cutest little weirdo around
Helloooo. It’s been a minute. It’s been an incredibly busy April and May- to the point where I felt like I was going a little bit insane for awhile. My planner was packed with plans down to the minute. But I’ve been making sure that I haven’t been making plans for June- so maybe more sewing and reading and relaxing can happen. Fingers crossed. Who am I kidding- I’ll probably fill up all that space starting tomorrow…
I know technically I didn’t write a post here in April- BUT I refuse to say I failed my 2016 goal of a blog post a month. Because I wrote a blog post for Spoonflower’s Blog- which can be found here.
This spring some of my best ladies from college have been getting married- and because I’m a crazy person I decided to make the dresses to wear to their weddings and hand make their wedding presents. In April I decided to tackle The Walkaway Dress – and almost went into it blind… (that’s what I get for trusting a pattern from the big 4). Thankfully the lovely Bianca from Vintage on Tap warned me of its problems and stopped me from making an ugly/ill-fitting dress- I bow down to you beautiful lady! I found an old sew-a-long that explained how to make it fit properly – and make it more like the original vintage dress and significantly less apron-esque. Seriously if you ever want to make this dress- use the fitting tips from that sew-a-long they were incredible.
Oh and yes- I did make a dress that matched their wedding colors….
Both from Spoonflower. Printed on the recently retired Cotton Lawn (I am going to be sad about that loss for a really really long time. Farewell favorite fabric- you were under appreciated. sigh.)
My dressform was wearing a bra- and I was laughing about it the whole time.
Also- those victory rolls took about 2 hours to put in my hair and I felt fucking glam- so let’s admire them for a minute.
Overall- would I make this dress again?
I like how it turned out- but for a supposedly easy pattern- I put a lot of work into it. But even with a lot of fitting changes- it wasn’t exactly what I hoped it would be. And maybe a failure for proper closures on my part- but those 3 snaps in the front… well they definitely popped open while we were dancing at the reception. Thankfully it’s a wrap dress and I didn’t show everything to the whole wedding. Also- maybe my crinoline was too long… but the inside part of the dress kept riding up and showing off a solid 3-4 inches of tulle. Not something I’m really into.
There was a corgi at the reception and I LOST MY MIND over it. Might have snatched her out of her owner’s arms.
So thankful that Galizes Photography got great photos of the whole wedding. But particularly these two of dancing with my babes.
My wedding present for the bride and groom. I’m pretty excited with how it turned out- I think I did about every kind of outline stitch there is on it.
Oh man – I really messed up by not writing this post as soon as I got off of my plane when I got home. Two weeks have passed and this trip has already pushed itself into nostalgia land. But my gosh I wish I were still there and still spending 8 hours a day sewing something awesome for myself.
I heard of Workroom Social last year and thought it was a pretty neat idea. A “man if only I lived in New York” “all cool things happen in big cities” kind of thing. But then when I saw that Lauren of Lladybird was going to be teaching a pants making course – I changed my tune immediately. I had to go! I knew I would leave the weekend with some sweet pants and some serious skills. After hemming (pun not intended) and hawing over costs and logistics and lots of phone calls with MommaBear (“Paula you’ve called me 4 days in a row- clearly you want to go to this class”) I signed up.
The weekend itself was awesome – that doesn’t even really cover it though. It was probably the best weekend I had in a really long time. A group of people met up on Friday and we walked around the garment district – and I had to do my best to not buy everything I saw. (Knowing that you have to carry your bag from Brooklyn back to the airport is a really good preventative to buying lots of fabric).
I will spare a play-by-play of the weekend. I can only say that I learned SOOO MUCH and this scary entity that is pants making- seems so much more doable now. The main thing being a fly front zipper- which- now that I’ve done one? So much easier than I ever expected. Oh my gosh. I even learned little tips and tricks like a better way of sewing darts. Yes please.
As for the actual pants pattern that we made in the class- McCall’s 6901:
Pros: They were easy to sew- they were a great first pant to make. No crazy frills or extras- but enough to practice essentials. And Lauren pin-fit everyone and showed us how to fix all the strange things that pants patterns can do. Like diaper butt and saggy knees.
Cons: Not my style. They were too high waisted (and that comes from a fan of high waisted things) and they were straight cut. They are a nice pair of trousers- I just don’t really get a chance to rock trousers that often. I will keep them and be proud of them- but I probably wont wear them too much.
Workroom Social Weekend Dressmaking Intensive – Sewing classes in Brooklyn, NY
Workroom Social Weekend Dressmaking Intensive – Sewing classes in Brooklyn, NY
Extra awesome opportunity of the class: I got to try a muslin of Ginger Jeans on and they fit perfectly- no alterations required. You can ask Jennifer- I was about to walk out of the studio wearing them and hope she didn’t catch me. So now I can bump that pattern higher up on my to-sew list. And get over my fear of working with Denim – with if it’s anything like my fear of pants making in general was- it is totally conquerable!
If you ever find yourself on the fence of whether you should go to a Workroom Social Class. Do it. I know it is expensive. And you may have to fly and find an airbnb which are additional costs. But I promise you it’s worth it. You’ll leave the weekend feeling incredibly accomplished and full of new skills. Jennifer is an amazing host of the studio and goes out of her way to make sure everyone is having the best experience they can. For the case of my specific class: Lauren was a trooper – she was battling a cold but she did her best to not let it knock her down. She was a patient and friendly teacher who dealt with 10 people asking her the same question over and over. They were both so wonderful to meet and work with! I’m already trying to find a way and an opportunity to go back.
This past weekend I finally got around to making a Lane Raglan that has been sitting on my kitchen island for months. (Seriously- I’ve been prepping my food around the cut out pieces in an attempt to guilt myself into making it. But I couldn’t make it until I finished all my belated Christmas presents. So really… I was guilting myself into finishing people’s presents. Sorry Dad…(his is still not done. Oops)).
I created the pattern using Sprout Patterns. Sprout Patterns is so freaking great- if you haven’t tried it- you really should give it a shot. (And I swear it’s not just because I’m a huge fan girl of the incredibly talented coworkers around me and the awesome idea that I got to see brainstormed and then turned into a product)- but Sprout Patterns takes all the boring laying out the pattern pieces and tracing out of the equation. It’s cut and sew using Spoonflower designs so you get to create whatever you want. It’s great. This shirt took me 3 months and 1 hour to sew. And that’s only because as mentioned above- I’m a lazy twerp.
With Sprout you get to see what your finished product should look like as you are picking it all out. It then prints all the pattern pieces directly onto the fabric of your choice.
I forgot to take a photo of the Lane Raglan before I cut it out… but here’s a photo of my next Sprout project- a Grainline Studio Archer button up. Maybe there will be a blog post about it in 3 or 4 months…
…can we talk about how I figured out how to gif these photo bursts my camera takes. The power is dangerous….
Sewing up the shirt itself was pretty straight forward. I did things a little bit out of order than what the instructions said to suit my own taste. And I ditched the pocket (because after pinning it on and off and being meh either way- I decided the pocket wasn’t for this shirt). The only problem I had with the construction of the shirt was user error/late night stupid sewing mistakes where I put the waistband in backwards… After I was done serging and was so excited to flip my brand new shirt inside out… Boom exposed seam line. After a few curse words and a ten minute break- it was an easy fix.
Next time I make it- I’ll probably take the sides and the sleeves in a little bit. I’m more of a close fit kind of person. But the length was perfect- and as someone with a fairly long torso that was awesome to discover. I wore this shirt all day yesterday and I’m excited to make more and experiment with making a short sleeve version now that spring is on its way.
Can you go on hiatus when you only had three posts to begin with? Probably not… But I’m back and hopefully it’s for good. I made it one of my sewing goals of 2016 to update this thing at least once a month. And by golly I’ll do it!
I disappeared because last year I got really busy buying and settling and nesting into a house. And man those things just take away a lot of your sewing time. And once I was settled- I had gotten out of the habit of thinking about this little blog.
So even though it’s the end of January and maybe too late for round-ups…here’s a few of my favorite projects of last year (but certainly not everything that I made… I made lots of tshirts…) :
My BeeBall dress! Oh hey- one of the three blog posts I made last year…
And then another M6887 dress- this time I made it out of a knit fabric- which means I don’t have to break my shoulders to get out of it. And it immediately became my first Tried N True pattern. I’m going to have a thousand of these dresses. Why yes that is Harry Potter Fabric. So glad you noticed.
Oh and is this a third M6887 dress in one year? Yes yes it is. And I got two Halloween costumes out of it.
And last but certainly not least- A Sewaholic Cambie dress that I wore to some friends’ wedding. And I love love love how this dress turned out. Even though I was frantically sewing it up a few days before their wedding (because apparently I have to give myself the threat of going to a wedding naked to get me to actually hit deadlines…) And I really feel like it has a professional look and finish- which is a big level up for me last year. Heck yes.
So far I haven’t had too much of a chance to sew in 2016. I’ve made a few little projects. Some project goals and things on this list for 2016:
-Grainline Archer button-up
-Finish my Tula Pink Quilt (which was a 2014 sewing project eek!)
-Sewaholic Dunbar Sports Bra and Pacific leggings out of Sport Lycra (uh matching junk food workout clothes yes kthnx)
-A pants making sewing class in Brooklyn in March!
-The Stalk costume for DragonCon
-More tshirts! More TnT dresses! More undies! More sewing in general! More updating this darn blog!
There is an awesome group in Raleigh called The Beehive Collective (http://www.thebeehivecollective.org) that is a giving circle dedicated to improving Raleigh – living locally, improving it’s overall infrastructure, building a strong community, etc etc. Every year they have a ball to announce the theme of the years grant (This year’s theme is immigration rights).
I knew I was going to go way back when they first announced the event. Decided to make a dress 2 weeks before. Because I’m a crazy person. And because Spoonflower coincidentally had a bee themed contest…
The fabric: Cotton lawn!! (More on that in a moment…)
The pattern: McCall’s M6887 – view A with view B sleeves added. Cut a straight 6 with no adjustments made.
Cotton. Lawn. Ughhhhh. I lovvvveeeee itttttt. I have been waiting for this fabric to launch. Around the office it has the nickname silky butter because it is such a soft beautiful dream. We had employees chomping at the bit waiting for the okay to order it.
It’s amazingly wash fast (that top photo- it’s been prewashed. I kid you not.)
It didn’t actually get as wrinkled as I expected
Sewed like a dream- only problem was I might need a finer needle next time. Any stitching you may have to take out from a regular needle will leave little puncture holes.
I am planning so many projects with this fabric. Flouncy skirts, button up summer tops, more dresses.
Mmmm silky butter
The actual project:
There was a time when I thought I was going to be wearing just a bodice to the ball… But with two hours to spare! I got it done.
This project was actually a few firsts for me:
First time doing a bias binding. Verdict: why have I never done that before?
FIRST TIME FEELING COMFORTABLE THROWING THE PATTERN INSTUCTIONS AWAY. I read the instructions and thought “I mean these are kind of dumb but I guess they know what they are talking about…” After a few steps that changed to “oh my gosh- I know a better way to do this. I know a better way to do this… I don’t need you instructions” it was seriously a great feeling. I kept them around to make sure I was matching the right pieces together and then just did whatever the hell I wanted to. Take that McCalls.
First time adding my own embellishment to a pattern. Added pockets because why do dresses not automatically come with pockets?!
Things to improve upon:
Those sleeves. Ew. Somehow turned into princess sleeves- waaaay too much ease in the pattern- but I have no idea what part to alter to make them nice and flat. I’ve never really done woven sleeves before – so I’m at a loss…
A better way to do the back. Those buttons are pure decoration. They were supposed to be functional but a single lady just cannot physically button the middle of her back. Which means I basically have to hop around and hope that I can get my shoulders out of this thing. Elegant it is not.
The verdict: I am super happy with how this turned out. And that it got done. I think I will try the pattern again – but maybe in pique or modern jersey… The pattern is intended for a woven- but I like the idea of not dislocating my shoulders to get out of a dress.
During April I decided to participate in my first sew-a-long/sewing challenge. The Spring for Cotton sewing challenge hosted by Lucky Lucille. The premise was to make a vintage/retro inspired pattern using only cotton (or as much cotton possible). It went hand in hand with another creative challenge I was part of hosted by a group I’m in called the Creative Collaborative. The Creative Collaborative’s challenge was to spend time every day in April working on a creative project or idea you’ve been putting off. The C.C challenge was what got me to finally launch this blog that’s been floating around in my mind for the past few months. And the Spring for Cotton Challenge got me to finally use some fabric that I’ve been hoarding for years…
I decided to do a variation on the shift dress in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book that I got for Christmas. And I used Sew Vintage by Minimiel on Kona Cotton from Spoonflower.This pattern changes the shift top to a more fitted bodice and adds a flared skirt.
Things I had never done before that I got to try:
-Peter Pan collar
-Following a pattern variation (and trying to keep track of which pattern instruction is in what part of the book)
Here’s a few progress shots:
And the completed dress!
Bonus of me playing on a swing set. Heads up: skirts will fly up in your face if you are swinging really high. And your friend will laugh at you and keep snapping photos while you look like a goof.
-The Peter Pan collar! I am super happy with how it turned out! It’s a little bigger than I was expecting – so if I make this dress again I will probably size it down a bit…
-The fabric. There is a reason that I’ve been hoarding this fabric for years. It’s one of my absolute favorite designs and I wanted to treat it right. I had originally planned on making a wrap dress out of it – but was a yard short on those requirements…
-Took the time to read instructions and read them again and then read them a third time to make sure I got a good lookin dress. I tend to be the kind of seamstress that looks at the pattern… goes “meh” and just sews. I’m trying so hard to actually teach myself and get a better understanding of how garments are constructed.
-The bodice is still a little weird? I took it in twice and then still had to add a gather to make it fit to the skirt. But the whole time I was working on it I was scared it was going to get too small. I guess this is where I should have done a muslin- but I’m still wrapping my head around those guys.
-The length without a crinoline is a little frumpy.. It hits right below the knees which is not really my style for everyday wear. I would love to wear this dress a bunch – but not every occasion calls for giant poofy tulle everywhere. Next dress is gonna bring up that hemline.
-I’m really pleased with how this little dress turned out and that I got it done in time! Only some minor changes for this pattern if I use it again. And I was super happy to participate in a challenge that got me motivated to get this blog going and to destash a bit. Now for a May challenge to keep the momentum going…hmmm