Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Purple Printemps Dress

I finished the purple dress that I wrote about on my last what I'm working on Wednesday post. The pattern is McCall's M6507. It features a cowl neckline with the front cut on the bias, low back with a horizontal bar across the upper back, and tucks on a front skirt overlay. I made the dress from a thrifted sheet, bought with this pattern in mind.

Making this dress was a great learning experience. I tried out a number of new techniques.  One was making my own bias tape, which was used to enclose the zipper tape on the inside and the armcycles. Making bias tape is actually super easy.  It does eat up a lot of fabric, though, as it is cut on the bias. 

I also used French seams for the first time and did my first tiny hem. I'm excited to be able to apply these new techniques on my future makes. 

One great thing about the back of this dress is that the zipper ends low enough that I can easily take it on and off by myself.  Speaking of zippers, I used my invisible zipper foot for the first time on this dress, which resulted in a nice invisible finish.  Sorry, no pictures of that. This was also my first time enclosing the edges of the zipper tape with bias tape.  It looks super clean on the inside. 

Overall, I like this dress, but if I make it again it will need some tweaks. The top of the bodice is pretty right, especially around the shoulders. It would be much more comfortable if I could move my arms more easily. It's also not the most versatile dress.  It's a pretty distinctive style, that's only really appropriate for spring (printemps en Francais) and summer.

I'll leave you with a picture of me wearing this dress in real life.  Here is a picture from Easter Sunday with my brothers and my brother's girlfriend Becky. 

Pattern: McCall's M6507
Fabric: Purple and white patterned thrifted sheet
Cost: $6 fabric + $2 zipper = $8
Time: 20 hours?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Plantain #3

Today I have another Plantain. I've made this pattern three times now. That's tied for my most-made pattern. My other Plantains, here and here, both have 3/4 length sleeves. This version has blue and white stripes and short sleeves.  It's made from a knit fabric from Joann's. 

Now that I've had some more practice with knits, and this pattern in particular, I can pull a shirt together in just a few hours. 

I've gotten better at the neckband, too. It lays nice and flat on this version. I can see myself wearing this shirt all summer.  Light and breezy.  

Fabric: Blue and white striped knit blend
Cost: 1.5 yards x $6.99/yard = $10.49
Time: 3 hours.  I'm getting faster!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Me Made May 2014


Me Made May is an annual challenge for sewers.  Across the world, sewers challenge themselves to wear their handmade makes  Each individual can create their own challenge, whether it's as simple as wearing one me-made item a week or as intense as wearing only handmade items for the month.

Last year I really enjoyed watching other people's experiences with Me Made May.  I love reading the blog posts about how the challenge forces people to be more creative with their wardrobes.  This year, I'm going to participate myself, and will blog about my experience.

Here's my pledge:

I, Renee, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavor to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2014.

I plan on taking pictures of my daily outfits and posting round-ups each week.  Check this space in May!  Don't worry, I'll post other new projects in the meantime.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Coral Cambie

This is Sewaholic's very popular Cambie dress.  After admiring other renditions for months (years?), I decided to make one of my own.  It features pockets, a sweet-heart neckline and gathers where the cap sleeves meet the bodice.  I chose to make the version with the straight skirt.

The fabric is a printed cotton of some sort from Etsy. It turns out that the shop that I bought from is in the same neighborhood as my office, so I was able to pick up the fabric in person and meet the nice sellers.

This is the first dress that I made with a full lining. I used a champagne-colored Bemberg rayon fabric. The lining fabric didn't come from Etsy.  I'm not quite sure where I picked it up. Here you can see the back, including the zipper.  The zipper is supposed to be invisible, and is in fact an invisible zipper, but I was not completely successful at installing it invisibly.  My little brother got me an invisible zipper foot, though, so hopefully my next attempt at an invisible zipper is more successful.

This dress seems a little too formal for my office, so I haven't worn it in real life yet. I think it would be great for a wedding or a garden party.  I'm hoping for some garden party invites in my near future. For now, here are pictures in a garden. 

Fabric: Coral cotton print from Fabrics and Trimmings on Etsy (appears to no longer be available)
Materials: 2 yards of outer fabric, 2 yards of lining, and one invisible zipper
Time: One long weekend

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday April 9

For the past week or so i've been working on a flirty purple spring dress. The pattern is McCall's M6507.  This is my first time making it.  The bodice has a cowl neck and low cut back with a horizontal strap, and is paired with a flared out skirt. Here's the line drawing from the pattern.

No one else will have a dress like this. The fabric I'm using used to be a sheet.  I bought it for $6 at Goodwill, specifically for this dress.  I love the lilac color and petal stripes. The dress also features tucks on the skirt, as you can see in the picture below.

So far I've prepped all of the pieces, including stitching the tucks and hem.  Next I need to put it all together.  I hope to finish up this weekend, so that I'll have a new spring dress to wear in the 80 degree weather next week!