Monday, September 28, 2020

Brown Linen Dress


About a week ago, I was looking through my old Japanese magazines and came across a dress a model was wearing that caught my eye. I was looking for inspiration for some design ideas and this particular one lingered in my mind. I decided to try drafting my own pattern. I wasn't sure it was going to work, but I had a pretty good idea of what each pattern piece needed to look like. I chose the brown linen that had been sitting in my closet for years. I thought this dress style and the linen would go together. 
 

The finished dress is a bit different than the dress in the magazine, but the concept and the feeling is pretty close to what I had in mind. I love how it turned out! Only thing is that 100% linen wrinkles so easily. I am looking forward to making the same dress with a more light weight fabric such as lawn, crape or voile next spring.


As I keep going with my own "sew my stash challenge", I feel like more ideas are flowing into my mind and I am more willing to take risks. Sure I might make mistakes, or my plan won't go as I hoped, but I won't improve my skills unless I try, right? Thank you for visiting to see how my projects are going and leaving comments, I appreciate them very much! I have more sewing projects lined up and I can't wait to continue to share them with you!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Olive Jumper Skirt

This is one of those projects where I have seen something like this in a magazine or at a store, but I can't find a pattern similar to this, soo... I was just going to try to see if I could make it up as I go. I originally bought this linen blend fabric to make a skirt, and I only had 2 yards of it. I had no room to make mistakes! I drew a sketch of how I wanted it to look, measured myself (twice, of course) and then drew the lines right onto the fabric.

I would have made the shoulder straps wider if I had more fabric, but I barely had any scraps; it worked out ok! I really like how the elastic part in the back turned out. I had a picture in my mind of how it was going look and had to figure out the process in my head. The elastic makes the dress fit snuggly above my chest, but not too tight. Also, I didn't have to deal with a zipper!

Lately, the area I live in is starting to get colder early morning and at night, but I can still wear this with the right layering and shoes.

A part of me still thinks that maybe I should have made a gather skirt instead, but I am glad that I tried to see if I could wing this without a pattern. Besides, with this design I could always alter it and turn it into a skirt, if I change my mind. :)

September is national sewing month, have you been sewing lately? If so, what have you sewn?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton Blouse & Skirt

I must say that my most favorite material to sew is hands down, cotton. Maybe because I am a quilter too, and I am more familiar with the material; better than any other fabrics. Also, I wear cotton dresses like this daily even when I am just staying home. Some people might think I am over dressed and being funny, but to me, I feel comfortable in them and they are all washable! I found this dark navy and blue stripe shot cotton by Kaffe Fassett at a local store and immediately fell in love with it. I was going back and forth trying to decide whether I should make a dress or separates. It looks like a dress, but it is actually a blouse and a skirt!

I just used a pattern from one of my posts Liberty of London Top & Skirt for the skirt. Revised a little to make it into an elastic waist instead of a zipper. For the top, I used Esme Top pattern from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style. I used this pattern to make a tunic a long time ago, but I really like the fit and I thought this would make a lovely top to go with the skirt. Speaking of the skirt, I even lined it! Fun thing is that I can wear this top and skirt together like a dress or separately. I know I will have fun fishing things from my closet to coordinate. :)

What is your favorite material to sew with and why? I would like to get out of my comfort zone and try new things during this sew my stash challenge, there are some sitting in my closet... I guess I will get my hands on them when I run out cotton (or maybe sooner!).

Monday, September 14, 2020

Liberty of London Wrap Dress

In my last post, I shared the wrap top I made using a pattern from the Japanese sewing book Kana's Standard II. In the book, her version is a dress. I loved my top so much so that I wanted to sew a dress. Not a dress with any fabric, I was going to sew with my precious Liberty of London fabric!
I tweaked a few things, results? I love it!! I lengthened the skirt by 4". Also, I cut the sleeves shorter, so they will be 3/4 sleeves instead of long sleeve. I did this after I was done sewing and trying the dress on. I loved the fit, but there are something bothering me and I didn't know what it was. Then, after a while I realized that with the long sleeves, long skirt and floral print, it made the dress a bit like out of Little House on the Prairie. I love it much better after I cut the sleeves shorter. I also had to make a pleat on the cuff to make the opening smaller for a better silhouette. They are not even noticeable; hooray for the printed fabric that hides mishaps well (grin)!
Speaking of printed fabric hiding things well, in the Japanese sewing book, she did a gather skirt, but I wanted to look less puffy, so I decided to do a pleated skirt. I didn't even measurements and mark the pleated lines, I just eyeballed it and pinned like crazy and sewed. It is hard to tell in the pictures, but can you see the pleats??
The last thing I did was to add a button and an elastic loop to the skirt so they stay closed. I love wrap dresses, but one thing I wouldn't want is a wardrobe malfunction when there is a strong wind and I don't think the public would appreciate a middle age women flashing everyone. hahaha Can you even find the button and elastic loop in the picture?
I feel like this pattern will be one of the go to patterns from now on for a wrap top or for a wrap dress. I can see this dress in my mind's eyes in a solid color too. Fall is around the corner, but I am going to wear this with boots and a comfy cardigan.
I am so glad that the dress turned out to be something I love and I am not regretting using the fabric, phew! My "sew my stash" challenge continues, see you at my next post. ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Long Sleeve Wrap Top / Kana's Standard 2


I don't even remember how long ago I purchased this light weight cotton fabric. I was "shopping" from my fabric closet and I knew exactly what I could turn this piece of fabric into. I remembered seeing a pretty wrap top in a Japanese sewing book Kana's Standard II. Perhaps, sewing garments so often over the past few weeks improved my senses and decision making skills? I sure hope so! :) I barely had enough to make this top and I am so glad I did! I love how it fits so perfectly to my body and I already wore this three times since I made it!
This can be easily dressed up or down and I could think of many ways to coordinate it with what I already have. I love this style so much that I know I will make more in the future with a different fabric.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Summer Dress/Pattern review



I was going to sew something else next, but when I was going through my fabrics, I found this light cotton fabric in my stash.  I just LOVE this soft color and light weight cotton and wanted to use this for the next project.  I remembered that I had a pattern that I wanted to try and thought that the fabric and the pattern would be a perfect match.  The pattern I used is McCall's 7969. 

 I changed the neckline a bit; I made it higher to my liking, but everything else is the same. I love how the dress turned out, especially the sleeves!  The dress is a bit baggier than I imagined around the waist, but I like that style too, so it works for me! :)

Did you know that September is a national sewing month?  It gives me more encouragement to keep sewing from my stash! (hehe)  I still have a bunch of fabrics lined up to sew, I am just over here trying to match the right fabrics to the right patterns.  It is one of the most exciting and difficult processes in sewing garments, in my opinion.  As I keep sewing from my stash, I am learning a lot about myself;  for example, I have a fabric buying habit where I buy without specific plans, lack of skills/knowledge, and so on and so forth. But one thing I always knew and has been confirmed with the recent sewing challenge is that I really do love to sew.  when I am thinking, planning and sewing something, it makes me happy. It gives me solace when my soul just needs the extra strength. It helps me to connect with who I am without being distracted by outside noise. I consider myself blessed to find such things in my life. Hopefully, I will keep learning and improving my sewing skills through this sew my stash challenge (not to mention all the newly sewn clothes!). 

Have you been sewing anything new lately?  what is your favorite part in the whole process? 







Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Flare Sleeve Top and Simple Skirt





My recently turned 15 year old daughter is now taller than me and has started to borrowing my clothes. I always wondered when she would even be interested in my clothes. Turns out that we have different styles, but there are some common likes that we share. I am just happy that I could share some of my clothes and jewelries (a selected few) while we have a mother-daughter talk and enjoy each other's company. I was looking in my fabric closet; two fabrics stood out to me and pretty much right away, I knew what I wanted to sew with them. 
 

I just used the same pattern I used in my previous post and modified the sleeves, so it would flare out more. For the skirt, I measured her hips and based on that I drew lines directly onto the fabric to cut out the parts I needed. No pattern, the waist is just elastic, you can't get any simpler than that. :) I thought she might say "EWW" to an olive green skirt, but surprisingly, she liked it! They fit perfectly on her and she looked a bit grown up.
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