Hot Patterns Plaid & Simple Woven T-Shirt Dress Badge

hot patterns plain & simple woven t dress sew-along: bodice preparation

Hot Patterns Plaid & Simple Woven T-Shirt Dress Badge

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Hello stitchers!

Wow – December is already here! I hope, if you celebrate the holiday, that you are finding peace and serenity during what can be a very intense time of year! I know it can be difficult to sew for yourself this time of year. If you are joining me here to make yourself a holiday dress, a daywear dress, or just something special – good for you!

If you are here to make the dress as a gift – good for you, too! The sample dress I’m showing here, is going to be pressed and off to a friend just before Hanukkah. I hope she likes it!

So – who’s pumped to get started?

Yeah!

Vesper Fox!

vesper fox!

Vesper Fox!

I am in love with the bamboo stretch french terry from Nature’s Fabrics. Just – in love. So far I’ve made my family several hoodies, I’ve made hoodies for clients, and today I debut a little toddler fox outfit (from the fabulous Max & Meena MEGAMAX raglan in 2T/3T, and the Alex & Anna PJs in 3T) – along with a hand-crotcheted beanie.

Vesper Fox!
I was sewing ears into hoodies before it was trendy, and I’ll keep doing it even if other people get tired of it!

Vesper Fox!

All the threads are color-coordinated to look good both on the outside of the garment…

Vesper Fox!

… and the inside! Shown below – the waistband (elastic enclosed) at left – the hood lining at right:

Vesper Fox!
Pretty sure this outfit is ready for action!

Vesper Fox!

Who knows how much holiday sewing I’ll be doing – for clients, for friends, for family. Life has been incredibly busy lately – supporting my daughter in her first 15 credit quarter at school, taking on more web design, and taking care of a full household!

I hope you are staying warm, safe, healthy and happy.

 

Super-Friendly Rainbow Puffer Vest

super-friendly rainbow puffer vest

For the winter!
Super-Friendly Rainbow Puffer Vest
This project was a teensy bit challenging – but when has that stopped me? My friend wanted a princess-seamed vest in outerwear fabrics – not too shiny, with rainbow motifs and a vintage feel. For the shell I chose a water-resistant nylon packcloth from the lovely RockyWoods, and underlined with two layers – a polyfleece, and a high-loft winter underlining medium.

Super-Friendly Rainbow Puffer Vest

The collar has only a one underlining fabric in fleece, to keep bulk down. Facings around hem, neckline, and front placket.

Super-Friendly Rainbow Puffer Vest
Snaps! Size 24, metal. And you get a tiny peek at the very cool corduroy-style Malden Mills fleece lining. I chose it for the “vintage” effect of a wale fabric.

Super-Friendly Rainbow Puffer Vest

The rainbow section of the vest was first carefully pressed (pressing a nylon fabric isn’t super fun), then crackstitched to a muslin underlay, before applying to the rest of the garment. If I hadn’t put this underlay in, you’d be able to see some of the seam allowances too starkly.

Super-Friendly Rainbow Puffer Vest
I’m a big fan of an underlap. You can make it from something cute if you like – a contrast fabric or even a pieced rainbow placket. Whatever you like. Here, I chose the burgundy for underlap, inner collar, hem facings, and placket facings.

Holiday Robe Sew-Along Badge

holiday robe sew-along: cutting & marking

Join the Holiday Robe Sew-Along!

 Holiday Robe Sew-Along Badge

It is hard to believe it, but the sew-along is here. This is a simple project – perhaps the easiest in my year-long roster – but due to the large swatches of yardage, it still needs a little TLC. To that end – and given we’re using a somewhat intermediate pattern style – if you have any questions please contact me through comments, through email, or on Facebook!

So there’s no time like the present, to get started! Am I right?

Settle Down!

Holiday Robe Sew-Along Badge

holiday robe sew-along: supplies

Join the Holiday Robe Sew-Along!

 Holiday Robe Sew-Along Badge

 

As promised, here is a bit of a supplies post for the Holiday Robe Sew-Along, starting on the 10th of this month.

So first, I absolutely love this robe. I generally throw it on after showering, putting my hair up, and donning my undergarments. The jersey is so cool, and the drape and volume give a very elegant but modest effect so I don’t mind, say, answering the door if someone knocks.

Holiday Robe Sew-Along

For this sew-along we only need our pattern, our fabrics (if sewing a floor-length for an adult, I wouldn’t order fewer than five yards), and optional interfacing for the belt (you’ll want a knit or tricot interfacing; I favor Fashion Sewing Supply‘s products).

Holiday Robe Sew-Along
And before I talk fabrics, I am well-aware that sew-along peeps usually bend the rules. 🙂

The pattern I am using for the robe SAL is a pattern suited for knits or wovens, and carries a lot of ease. A lighter-weight fabric is the best choice, due to the sheer volume of the robe – especially if you’re going floor-length. My fabric choices below will highlight lightweight knits in either cotton, modal, or rayon (or a combination) – with or without lycra. You want to make sure your fabric is not sheer (unless sheer is the look you want). But remember, you can make this robe out of a variety of fabrics so if you want to try something else, post in the comments and I will give you my advice.

Obvious choices for this robe are solids, yarn-dyed stripes, and florals.

Green Jersey Fabric

Stripe Jersey Fabric

Floral Jersey Fabric
In alphabetical order, a few shops I’ve used in the last year that I’ve enjoyed working with.

Cali Fabrics is a great, quick source for inexpensive, good knits. You can search their knits by colorway. Imagine a glamorous Christmas-evening robe in this gold-on-navy sparkle knit; a playful daytime robe in this wonderful apricot jersey; something dramatic like this rose-print black and red. (You may notice the robe I demonstrate for this sew-along was made from the floral-on-sage rayon knit in this shop.)

Fabric.com is one of my staple sites. Not fast shipping, but free shipping. And they have a huge catalog of knit fabrics. I often search with highest price first, because you can find quality yardage at good prices that way.

FashionFabricsClub is rumored to be in cahoots with Fabric.com (let me know if you know better than I). They have a real hit-and-miss reputation, but the last time I purchased from them their customer service was fabulous. You can do a search on jersey knit or rayon knit to get started.

Similar to Cali Fabrics in quality and price, Girl Charlee carries great knits, and they are fast and inexpensive. Start at their knit section and work from there; cotton jersey and cotton lycra are both great choices, with lycra sporting a springier feel.

If you are interested in a cotton solid, imagine gnats is a great shop and Rachel is a wonderful person to order from! Her knit collection holds several laguna solids, which are great (and gorgeous) all-purpose solids (note: prices are per half yard).

Mood Fabrics has some of the most gorgeous fabrics around. Start in their knit/jersey section and go from there (look at this eggplant with metallic stars!). Fast shipping, too! Their customer service “Chat” function is very disappointing. But otherwise, I’ve been very happy with Mood.

There’s always Nature’s Fabrics – one of my favorite shops, hands-down. They have a lovely selection of cotton jersey prints and stripes. Many of their fabrics are knits, so searching a few other fibers yields wonderful results (like this rayon slub).

So there you have it! More than enough to get you started. Remember, you can email me or comment here if you want any guidance!

See you on the 10th!

Halloween 2016

ooky & a bit spooky

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016
The night before Halloween, my husband and a friend traveled south, went to a concert, and upon heading back north the car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Six hours and a $600 tow later (middle of the night Sunday), they were home safely and I was entirely wrung out like a flannel.

Worse than the hardship was my anger. The car hasn’t been right; it’s not reliable. That morning I’d asked, “Do you think it’s a good idea to go down there tonight?” He did. He was wrong.

It sucks. It doesn’t bear dwelling on. My mortgage payment is gone. For now. I’ll figure something out. Or something will come. I have come to rely on this.

Halloween itself, then, commenced a little off-kilter. Ralph slept during the day a bit. In the later part of the day I was up and roasting tomatoes and de-hulling chickpeas for a small gathering at our house. Despite a tightness in my chest, and a headache in my temples, the day soon began to ease for me. My son’s friend A. came in, intrigued by my cooking, by my costume. I asked for him to put out our luminaries, a series of jars festooned in colored tissue paper decoupage. More willing than my own children to help, his eager-to-please sweetness gave me something to focus on. His presence soothed my spirit.

Ralph came back home as I finished the bisque, and set out little pickles and olives and the like. We grabbed a few photos in the gloaming, a misty rain baptizing us. Autumn has always been a very special time of year for me, and no less so this year. There is an intimacy between the children and I that I have come to find so incredibly comforting.

As darkness fell Ralph and our friends, and all the children, went off through the neighborhood and as is my custom, I manned the door. Children knocked and I greeted them, a huge bowl of candy in my arms. “A queen!” a young boy beamed, delighted by my golden crown.

Next year we’ll need a well-lit walkway; I fear it was too dark for some of the Trick or Treat’ers to brave.

This year, I am happy to have spent it in festivities with my loved ones.

Halloween 2016