Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Dress 2014

My little girl is getting older, so I gave her a few options for an Easter dress this year.  She vetoed all my options and pulled out this old dress from a resale store.  It is too wide and too short for her to wear without a cami underneath.  She wanted it made to fit her and in a spring color.  Really!!!  This dress is a cheap piece of polyester chiffon.  

I need the "sewing mother of the year" award for falling for this adventure.  I found a pattern, Simplicity 1702, which is similar, but ends at a size 8.  My daughter is skinny and a size 8 will fit around, but not in length.  

The dress she wanted copied.

Next step, redraft and muslin.
Line drawing for Simplicity 1702
My redraft of the bodice to add the gathers.
Muslin for her dream dress.

My daughter was delighted with the muslin.  I knew I was on the right track.  She was happy.  I cut out the dress and let the cheap polyester chiffon sit for a few weeks.  I dreaded sewing with it.  I still had images of linen or a sweet print in my head.  Last Easter I made a beautiful Vera Wang eyelet dress.  When I realized Easter was two weeks away, I panicked and started sewing.  

My daughter's dress Easter dress.

As it turns out, polyester chiffon from High Fashion Fabrics is not a bear to sew with.  My "made up" pattern went together well.  The side zipper is half machine sewn in and half hand-picked.  

Hand-picked zipper

Back view.  The dress fits well.

Candy and a movie make a happy girl.

Most importantly, my daughter LOVES this dress and wants another one like it.  I am learning to sew what she wants, not what I think is cute.  Many days, I am left wringing my hands with the desire to make what I want.  I am slow to learn.

I did manage to embroidery a cute Easter t-shirt.  Design from Embroidery Boutique.

 Happy Easter!  Jesus is ALIVE!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grown-up CC Isabella

Children's Corner Isabella

Our fashion sense is growing up quickly at our house.  So, I am trying anything to prolong the sweet outfits.  My latest success had been to use anything, BUT quilting cotton or broadcloth.  

Children's Corner Isabella, size 10
Changed the button placket on the back to a "grown-up" zipper
(This pattern fits like a dream!)

Rayon challis print from Vogue Fabrics.

To switch from buttons to zipper, I folded over the pattern piece for the back overlay until I had about a 1/2" seam from the button markings (or about a generous 1/4" from the center back.)  I then fused  1/2" interfacing to the edges and serged the raw edge.  Than, installed my invisible zipper in the two back overlay pieces.  

Then I had to carefully add the piping to the overlay, holding the bottom zipper tape out of the way.  (You must hold your mouth just right or it won't work.)  Then, sew down the overlay as the directions call for, holding the bottom of the zipper tape out of the way.  (Once again, hold your mouth just right or you will catch the zipper tape or sew crazy over the piping.)  The goal is to let the zipper tape hang freely "downward" and not get caught in the seam of the overlay and be pushed up.

Children's Corner Isabella back view

Side View

Texas Hawthorn Tree in Bloom

My DD in the tree in CC Isabella.
Back Overlay with zipper inserted.   See the zipper tape below the overlay.  

View of Zipper

I used a 1/2" seam from the button mark to add the zipper.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Most t-shirts are not simple, but this one is! Sewaholic Renfrew

Sewaholic Renfrew


Bamboo jersey (very soft)


Renfrew by Sewaholic.
These patterns are made for pear shaped women.  I found quickly that I am not pear shaped and took in from the underarm to the hip a few inches.  By the looks of the picture, I had room to remove a little more fabric.  The shoulders and bust fit very well.  A very nicely drafted pattern.  This is a great t-shirt pattern for those without a coverstitch machine.  The sleeve and waistband are done very well.  I personally prefer my coverstitch machine.  There is less bulk when I use it.

I have been noticing wrinkles under my arms in many tops including RTW.  I need to make the sloping shoulder adjustment.  Next time.........

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Turquoise Lace Shift Dress from Simplicity 1457

Turquoise Lace Shift Dress from Simplicity 1457


About a month ago, I spent a few days in the Dallas area.  Jan from BessieMary suggested a few fabric stores in the area.  I fell in love with Fabrique Fabrics in Plano (one of Jan's suggestions).  I could live in that store!  I bought these pieces of fabric, turquoise stretch lace and chiffon lining, plus a few more........

Usually these two fabric types are a little fussy to sew, but I had no problems with these.  I used my serger for all the seams.  I attached the lining to the fashion fabric and I was able to see straight through the dress.  I didn't even question my daughter on her thoughts, but called up Fabrique Fabrics and ordered another yard for a slip.


I knew in my mind what I wanted this dress to look like.  Straight with the hem of the dress and sleeves in the selvedge.  So, I dug through my pattern choices and Simplicity 1457 was the closest thing I could find.  

The pattern has a yoke, but I combined it with the dress and cut as one piece in the front and back.  The sleeves were cute cap sleeves, but I wanted my selvedge used, so I cut the sleeve using the cap from the pattern and letting the selvedge fill in at the bottom of the cap sleeve.

Since I was using a stretch fabric, I used a size 8 in width, but a size 16 in length!!!!  This is one short dress!!!!!

Can you believe I used this pattern for my lace dress?


1.  Joined the shoulder seams of the fashion fabric and then the lining.
2.  Joined the necklines of the fabric and lining.
3.  Added the sleeves to the fabric and lining.
4.  Side seam and sleeve underarm seam.
5.  Pick stitched the neckline to keep the fabric from stretching and the lining from peeking out.
6.  Cut another dress from the lining (front and back) and serged those pieces together for the slip.

Turquoise may be her color!

Back view
With the slip, you can't see through the dress.

"Hem" of the dress. (No sewing)


When I took these pictures, I realized my "little" girl is not so "little" anymore.........