Monday, August 31, 2020

Liberty of London Top & Skirt

Where do I start to explain my love for Liberty of London fabrics? Ever Since I laid my eyes on Liberty of London fabric decades ago (I think I was in Jr. high), I have been a huge fan of their beautiful prints.  I got my first job in high school and bought my first Liberty tana lawn fabric. Even though it was a small pack of precuts, and I didn't know what I was going to make with them, I was so happy that I finally had a piece of beautiful and fine designed fabric in my possession.  Over the years I have bought from them here and there with the intent of sewing something, but cutting into gorgeous print is extremely hard for me! What if I mess it up, what if  I don't care for the clothing I made or I might find a pattern I like better?  Ugh... Welcome to the world of indecisiveness. 

If you have been reading my blog for a long time, you might know this, but I have used them for smaller projects such as; Shoes makeover, Mod podge mini tree, fabric thread on the wood spool ornament, Christmas ornament, and button bracelet

Ok, I got a little side tracked, let me go back to the fabric and this project... you might ask why I finally decided to use these precious fabrics. As usual, I was looking at my collection and thought to myself "well, my daughter is not interested in sewing, and I never know how long I am going to live. Why am I just letting that fabric sit on the shelf? What kind of "special occasion" am I waiting for?? I should totally sew something with them and enjoy it while I can!! I was going through another health issue at the time (it turned out ok, not life threatening) and made me think of organizing my life better;  both lifestyle and things I own. I took the plunge and decided to sew a wearable. Guess what? I have no regrets!

I used the patterns I drafted a few years ago, and modified them to create this look. I love how it turned out, but I would make a few changes to the skirt if I was ever going to make same skirt again. Also, I like how the back of the top turned out, but it was not planned. While I was cutting the fabric, I realized that I didn't have enough main fabric to sew the top, so I had to improvise and added the secondary fabric to the back, haha, I am looking forward to wearing this through the fall, I am thinking about where I put my favorite navy sweater...

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Bell Sleeve Top with Bubble Gauze Fabric

I shared my Bubble Gauze Dress post not so long ago. I bought this mint green bubble gauze fabric at the same time when I bought the fabric for that dress. I wanted to sew a relaxed top with a little bit of flare and I finally found a pattern that spoke to me for this particular fabric. The pattern I used was Burda style 6266. There are three version of this top, and I honestly think they are all very pretty.

I have a short torso, so I decided to shorten the pattern by a few inches, but everything else I cut out as directed. I love how the sleeves are so flowy.

Suggested fabrics were Crêpe, viscose-rayon, or cotton, but I really wanted to try this design with bubble gauze. Although I love how my top turned out, I guess it came out a little bulky... The next time I use this pattern, I am going to use something more light weight to see how that would affect the finished top. Eek! I am so excited!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Red Linen Skirt

I have been wanting a red skirt to wear for a while and I remembered that I bought some red linen fabric a long time ago. Sure enough, I found this fabric in my fabric closet, yay! One thing I have loved ever since I started my own "sew my stash challenge", is that I am more mindful of what I already have and am thinking creatively. I love clothing made out of linen, but 100% linen gets wrinkled very easily, so I usually buy linen blend fabric for easier care and it's nice drape.

I only had just over a yard, so my design options were very limited, but I was able to find an A-line skirt pattern in my old Japanese sewing book. I wanted a skirt with a simple line, so this worked out perfectly. I cut the fabric diagonally and started to sew!

I love how it turned out and wondered why I haven't sewn a skirt like this in the past. It is easy to sew, the style goes well with many tops and makes me look slimmer (bonus!). I might dig through my closet again and sew the same skirt in a different color. :)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Bubble Gauze Summer Dress

I bought this striped bubble gauze at Joann Fabric a while ago at 40% off. I knew I wanted to make a summer dress, but didn't have any specific design in mind at the time. Now I am doing my own "Sew my stash challenge" and I have been Looking at the fabric really trying to see what it could be. Then an inspiration came to me... I wanted to sew a dress you might find at a brand like Madewell. I had a french sleeve top pattern I created years ago, so I decided to modify that pattern and add the skirt part to it.

Originally, I was just simply making the top portion stripe go horizontally, and the skirt portion vertically, but I thought it would look more visually appealing to add vertical strips to the sleeves.

The bubble gauze is so airy, comfy and absorbent. Perfect fabric for summer! I know I will wear this dress again and again for the rest of the summer into the fall. I bet it would look nice to wear with a cardigan and boots too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Rifle Peper Co. Wildwood Top

I bought this fabric by Rifle Paper Co. Wildwood a while ago, but being that I am indecisive, it was forgotten in a pile. In the last few weeks, I have been going through my fabric stash and patterns and doing my own "Sew My Stash Challenge". I haven't formally announced the challenge or anything, but it feels good to make decisions and to sew with the fabrics on my shelves (or in a closet or on the floor, haha), it's about time! I used pattern Burda 6204, it has three different styles. I chose a style with ruffles on the sleeves and the bottom, but I modified the pattern a little. I brought the neckline a bit higher, narrowed the armholes and reduced the ruffles and decided not to add the ruffles on the bottom.

It is easy to sew and wear; a perfect top for summer! As I was wearing it, I noticed my teenage daughter was eyeing it and complimented it a few times. She normally doesn't care about clothing and she hates going shopping, for her to say something like "ooh, I like that" or "that is a cute top" is a big deal for me, I was giddy inside! When she wore it, it looked better on her than on me. I have a feeling that the shirt may end up in her closet for good and I don't mind at all. :) I have more projects lined up, so come back to check them out soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Tunic Dress for My Mom

I sewed this tunic dress for my mom in Japan. I was supposed to go visit my family in Japan in April, but COVID happened... My trip had to be canceled and who knows when the next time will be when I get to go visit her. In the last so many months, something terrible and devastating happened to my family and I know it will take a long time to resolve the issues. There isn't much I can do right now to help the situation, but I am thinking about them often; especially my mother.

I remembered that I bought this fabric to sew something for my mom a few months back. While I was going though my fabrics and sewing books, I found a perfect thing to sew for her! She prefers clothing that is baggy and comfy, I thought this one would be a winner.

I don't think this book has been translated to English yet, but if you know basic sewing and your way around in Japanese sewing books, you could easily utilize the patterns.

I could totally picture her wearing this by itself as a dress, or wearing it with leggings. I thought adding a simple wooden beaded necklace would be fun.

I know so well that a piece of handmade clothing won't better their situation, but I hope she will feel that I have been thinking of her when she receives the tunic. Sewing has been truly therapeutic for my soul... it's always been and it always will be. Instead of worrying so much, being upset, and wallowing around aimlessly, I sew. What are some of the ways that help you feel peace? Whatever they are, I think those of us who have found that treasure are truly blessed in life.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Versatile Summer Dress

Over the last few month I have been going though my fabric shelves and closet and reorganizing them. I felt like my problem before the pandemic was that I buy fabrics faster than I could turn them into something, but I bet I am not the only one with this problem! I decided that I need to put a stop to that and actually start sewing more. I bought a couple fabrics you see in picture above and below about 3 years ago at a local quilt store but they were lost in a pile and forgotten. I was originally planning to sew a skirt, using a bold Kaffe Fassett fabric as an accent somewhere.

After looking at them for a few days, I really wanted to turn them into a dress instead.

I am a big fan of fabrics designed by Kaffe Fassett. His design consists of bold gorgeous colors and the quilts made with his fabrics are all so stunning. I thought using such large scale fabric for a clothes might be a bit too much, but I really like the combinations and wanted to showcase the fabric rather than cutting it up small. Wearing bold prints under the Summer sun seems desirable, right?

I only had a 1/2 yard of bold print to work with for the top portion of the dress, so I knew I didn't have many options design wise. I looked though all my books and commercial patterns and didn't find any that jumped out at me. Then, I remembered that I designed a simple top several years ago, that would be perfect for this project. I made bias tape with solid fabric I had and used that to finish up around the neck.

I didn't have a solid plan of how this dress was going to look like when I first started. But for the bottom portion, I was going to use a skirt pattern (See & Sew 5840) and modify it. Then an idea popped in my head and I changed course on the design. I added fabric on the wrong side of the fabric to put a fabric string through. So, now I have the option to wear this dress as a drop waist dress, or pull the draw string to make the waist more defined.

I love how it turned out!

I love the drop waist style when I am just lounging at home, doing house chores or reading. The dress feels very comfy and flowy, perfect for a summer day. It is also fun to transform the dress with draw strings to define the waist line. I am thinking about making the same dress with solid fabric, if I use thicker fabric, it will be nice to wear during the fall with a cardigan.

Remember I said I am going to do more sewing from my stash earlier in the post? Well, I am so excited; I am working on a blouse right now with Anna Bond's fabric. I will see you at the next post.
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