Thursday, March 26, 2015

Floral Belladone Dress

Fabric: Mystery Cotton from Colorado Fabrics
Pattern: Deer & Doe Belladone

Let me start by saying that I have so much regret...regret that I waited so long to make this pattern because it is fabulous. This is the first pattern I've made from Deer & Doe, a pattern company based in France, and this pattern has basically sold me on them as a whole. I had originally planned to make this pattern way back in the fall when I picked up this fall floral themed fabric. I don't know why I twiddled my thumbs for so long. Sadly now that it's nearly spring it probably won't get a lot of wear until August/September, but believe me when I say I'm going to wear it to death until winter's truly over. It snowed just a tiny bit yesterday so I have a little bit of time.

 Check out that diamond keyhole back! (definitely the technical term)

The pattern instructions come printed in both French and English and while they didn't hold your hand through the process they were still easy to understand and interpret. Based on the measurements I sewed a 40 through the bodice and waist and graded out to a 44 through the skirt. I think I could probably get a way with a 42 through the skirt just because it flares out naturally, but depending on the fabric the bigger size could make for a fuller skirt. The bodice fits pretty well but it's the slightest bit loose. I don't think it's loose enough that I could go down a size. Next time I'd probably take a half inch off each side around the back zipper.

Every dress should have pockets!

I'm pretty sure this is going to become a tried and true pattern for me. I'm already envisioning making a ton of different versions. I think you could really play around with contrast at the waistband and around the back and neckline where you stabilize with bias tape.

Even though it did snow the other day I've got spring on the brain. There are a ton of other fall/winter patterns I wanted to sew this past season but it just didn't happen. I'm putting those aside for now and focusing on the upcoming season. I've been pinning all of the patterns I want to make over on my Spring 2015 pinterest board while trying not to go to overboard. Do you guys plan what patterns you're going to make seasonally?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Upholstery: Completed Wingback Chair

I finally finished the wingback chair! If you haven't been following along you can read about phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 by clicking the respective links. Get ready for a lot of pictures in this post - I might have gone a little overboard but it's because I'm so happy with how this turned out and I'm really sad that it's finished. If you just want to see the finished pictures scroll down to the very bottom.

I'm going to start with a ton of pictures from the most recent update so you can see the whole process through to the finished chair.

The completed deck

Starting the inside arms and wings

Maurice being ever so helpful

Getting started on the inner back - tying the springs and padding

Prepping the outside arms, wings, and back

All in all this wasn't that hard just time consuming. I think the hardest part or part that took the longest time was stripping the chair. Other than that everything was rather straightforward. You repeat the same steps for each part of the chair it's just important to do things in the right order. Release cuts were hard for me at first but I got the hang of it by the end. Putting the tacks along the perimeter of the chair was also really hard at first and I couldn't manage to keep the spacing or the tacks in line. As I went I got the hang of it but I'm glad I started on the back first so I had time to learn. I learned so much about upholstery in general on this project and I really loved every moment of it. It was satisfying to see things slowly come together and it was nice to step away from the sewing machine for a bit. I also learned that I love the smell of the jute webbing that you use to stabilize parts of the chair. It smells so good I can't even explain it just trust me. So what do you guys think? Would you try an upholstery project? I have a ton of extra fabric and I think I'm going to make some pillows and maybe a little matching footstool. As always thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

By Hand London - Textured Sabrina Dress

I was trying to catch the light so you could see dress and the fabric texture

Fabric: textured ponte like knit - Colorado Fabrics
Pattern:  Sabrina Dress - By Hand London

How's it going everyone? I feel like it's that part of the winter where I'm anxious for spring but we're really no where close - do you guys ever feel like that? That all being said I figured making a dress would perk me up even though it hasn't really been dress weather here. Oh well...This is a pattern I've made twice before to make dresses as Christmas presents for my two roommates. I never posted about those dresses because I hadn't taken any pictures but the pattern is pretty easy to follow and sew up.

Both times prior to making this version I had used a non-stretch fabric which gives the dress a much more crisp appearance. This is a pretty sturdy knit and I actually like the drape and weight of how this turned out. Not to mention that because it's a cozy knit fabric this dress is super comfortable. The pattern calls for an invisible zipper up the back. I left that out due to the ease of the knit and it was a good decision because I didn't need it at all. I actually might need to take in the dress a bit on the sides but I'm going to wait until after I wash it just in case it shrinks a little bit.

I flat-felled all of the seams in order to get a nice clean finish on the inside but I kind of wish I hadn't. The reason for that is that the texture and weight of the fabric makes the seams look a little bulky at least to me. I feel like if I had just left the seams unfinished the inside of the dress might be a little ugly but the outside would look more smooth. This dress can definitely be dressed up or down depending on what I wear it with and all in all I think it's a great addition to my wardrobe. I love the texture of the fabric - I actually think it might be the same fabric Erin from sewbon used in her magena fringe jumper. Textured fabrics really stand out to me as different and they just add that extra detail that you don't see in a lot of clothes. That being said it was super hard to photograph but I tried my best.

It felt great to make a dress and I'm already planning my next one. Hopefully I'll have some chair updates to share with you all by the end of the week...i'll just say, it's looking great!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lingerie: Cloth Habit's Watson Bra & Bikini and Rosy Ladyshorts Patterns

 I still can't believe these turned out so great!
Pattern: Watson Bra & Bikini , Rosy Ladyshorts - Cloth Habit
Fabric/Notions: Blackbird Lingerie Kit 

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you these pictures might look familiar. I just couldn't wait to share my latest creations with the world because I'm so excited and proud of how they turned out. This is my first venture into underwear/lingerie sewing and I can see why so many bloggers have been making their own undergarments nonstop over the last couple of months. It's addicting, easy, and a really quick project. I wanted to take a break from the wing back chair project (updates on that here & here) and sew something that I could finish quickly and feel accomplished.

Enter the Watson Bra & Bikini Pattern by Cloth Habit, this pattern was just released a few months ago and people were giving it really good reviews. It's a nice entry into bra sewing as it doesn't involve underwire and it's only $15. The bra can be made in either the long line form pictured above or a shorter typical style bra. Over Christmas I ordered a lingerie kit from Blackbird Fabrics which was great. It included enough fabric to make the bra and two sets of underwear, it included all the notions, and it was only $35. The only problem I had is that shipping was kind of expensive since it was coming from Canada. Next time I would probably source my own notions and fabric, but as an alternative Grey's Fabric based out of Boston also has lingerie kits and a lot of theirs are very lacy & hard to resist.

The pattern was really easy to understand and the diagrams were clear. Some of my elastic stitching was a little uneven and I could probably do a better job of stretching the elastic next time. I think that's just something you get a feel for over time.

                                Watson Bikini                                                                 Rosy Ladyshorts

I made the bikini bottoms that were included in the Watson pattern and those were really straightforward and simple. Probably only took me about an hour to sew up completely. I had quite a bit of fabric left and so I decided to make another matching pair of underwear and so I downloaded the Rosy Ladyshorts Pattern which is a free pattern from Cloth Habit. I actually didn't have enough of the main pink fabric to cut out the pattern pieces completely so I hacked the pattern a bit in order to include a mesh panel using the leftover fabric from the bra band.

I actually think these are much cuter than the basic bikini underwear, but those could always be jazzed up with fancier elastic lace. I actually used a hem stretch lace for these which was a bad idea because it doesn't have nearly as much stretch as a stretch lace does. They fit fine, but they do dig in a little bit and I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the case if the lace was different.

All in all I'm really pleased and I know I will be coming back to this pattern again. The fit of the bra is quite nice and comfortable and it provides really good support considering there is no underwire. I'm on a bit of a buying ban however so it may be awhile before I do purchase new supplies. Until then I'm lucky enough to have a stash of other fabrics and projects (like the wing back chair!) to keep me busy.