Sewaholic Saltspring!

A year after purchasing this pattern I finally got around to putting it together. Better late than never! Now that I have, I foresee many more in my near future. Simply put, this is an easy, flattering sundress that can be whipped up in an afternoon, even for a beginner sewist. Dress it up, pare it down; styling possibilities are plentiful.

For make #1 I chose View B, the maxi dress. I know some people shy away from long dresses because they feel they get eaten up by all of the fabric, but I’ve been blessed with long legs so I’ll be darned if I’m not going to take advantage!

The fabric was a score from my favorite haunt; I purchased two and a half yards of this tiedyed rayon/voile/Idnno blend, and it was juuuuust enough to eek out the dress. The bodice lining was some mint voile I had on hand – I like the combo of mint + grey. I omitted the pockets as I thought they would be too heavy for such a lightweight fabric, and I wanted it to be as breezy and flowy as possible.

I cut a 14 for the bodice/bust and graded down to a 12 for the skirt. Sewaholic Patterns are designed for a pear shape, of which I am not at all; quite the opposite, I usually end up having to cut a larger size up top and grading down substantially due to my lack of waist/hips.

Because I’m lazy I opted out of a muslin… and we all know what happens when you choose to dive right in. While I’m pretty happy with the fit, the bodice is a little baggy at the side bust/armpits. Despite measuring and choosing a pattern sized based on these measurements, yet again I’m left with too much room in the bust. I realize an FBA was also an option but (see: lazy). So, for my next dress I will cut a 12 bodice and grade to a 10 waist, and see how that goes! Speaking of lazy, I also omitted the zipper in the back, after reading several posts from people who left it out with good results. Additionally, the straps are a little too long for my liking, so they’re getting chopped down as well.

In all honesty I like summer sewing projects to be quick and instantly gratifying, so by making the few alterations above I achieved my goal; easy, breezy, and oh so comfortable to wear :)

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Mexico Recap …

Wow! I officially stink at keeping up to date with documenting my finished projects. Mexico has come and gone, almost three months ago (!!) and I’ve yet to show off all the pieces I frantically made in the last week before I hit the beach. Since I was too busy reading, swimming, celebrating and getting in as much beach volleyball as possible, I don’t have any photos of the pieces in action… but here are some highlights:

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Self drafted elastic waist shorts, faux drawstring… some type of broadcloth I snagged for $2.99. Can’t complain!

 

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Jaime Christina’s Sunny Day Dress pattern. This was made for the bride, in a gorgeous, (gorgeous!) voile, and it resulted in a lovely draped dress with the perfect amount of swing. Need to make one for myself, next!

 

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Again for the bride,  Grainline Studio’s Tiny Pocket Tank in leftover voile. Great staple/layering piece. I have a few of these cut out for myself.

 

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For me! Greenstyle’s Lacy Sloped T-shirt, in a tissue weight floral knit. Unfortunately, rookie move – forgot to wash the fabric before I stitched it up… and it will now fit someone’s 5 year old child. Ooops.

 

elise tee

The Elise tee, a free pattern from Fine Motor Skills. I have several more of these to take photos of - I love the fit of this shirt and it whips up in under an hour. I leave most hem lines raw, since using a thinner weight fabric means the hem rolls in on itself anyways.

 

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Not handmade, but equally wonderful – a Nine West floppy beach hat I received from a girlfriend for my birthday in February. It got a lot of action, and saved my face!

 

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Your suitcase isn’t complete without some handy zippy bags … right?! I had this fabric in my stash, whipped up a couple of these for the bride to give to her bridesmaids full of little goodies :)

Now I suppose I should get around to making a Bombshell before the summer is over.. and a Cambie, and a Laurel, and…

Summertime!

Or, time to start sewing for summer, rather. A hot trip only 57 days away means it’s time to get busy. I’m whipping up a few sundresses for a bride-to-be; a few weeks ago a visit to the fabric store proved very successful.

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Dress #1 is from a Big 4 pattern, McCall’s M6744. I can already tell that this pattern is going to get a lot of action – easy, quick, flattering, and cute!
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(My dress form is buried in the shed, under 6 feet of snow… hope she’s doing alright)

Now to get started on my never-ending list of Indie patterns to work up… all before March 29th!

Hi-lo, hi-lo…

I have definitely jumped on the hi-lo hemline craze this season. It’s really just a wonderful look, adds a lil’ something something and assures that you won’t accidently trip over your hemline while going up (or down) stairs. It’s got an easy, breezy look that is simple to dress up (or down). I whipped this one together for a lake wedding in early July, so I wanted something that was a little beachy but still dressy enough for a formal dinner.

Pattern is Muse (Butterick B5886) in view B. Fabric used was a super flowy coral on coral crinkle chiffon from Fabric.com… 3 yards for $12, not too shabby. I went wrong with my lining choice, and paid the price in the sticky, humid weather. Lesson learned, no polyester! I’ll do better next time.

I finished this dress well in advance (translation: day before), and even had time to whip up the turquoise/cream clutch I’m sporting, since I was fresh out of summer appropriate handbags.

All in all, love the pattern. Would like to make it again in a more stable fabric (what is it with my poor fabric choices? I’m just a sucker for a pretty print, fibre content be damned).

So what started as this:

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Ended up being this!

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And finally, the requisite full ensemble shot (excuse the squinting, the sun came out right when the photo was snapped)!

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Swimsuit Season… cringes not necessary.

This past December, I was on the hunt for either a sewing pattern for a retro one-piece, or an actual suit. I needed one to accompany me to the Dominican Republic and help me ring in 2013 in style. After indulging all month long on Christmas goodies (ooops), I wasn’t really feeling a bikini & wanted something classy and chic that didn’t scream “old lady swimwear”.

After an extensive search that resulted in zero sewing patterns, I did the unthinkable… I purchased a suit online… without having tried it on. The one I found was from Unique Vintage, purveyors of retro prom dresses, rock-a-billy wear, and swimsuits. The site had pretty specific measurements, so after taking my own I felt relatively comfortable taking the plunge (har har) and ordering.

The price? A lil on the steeper side, at $75.00 for the suit, as well as $30.00 for shipping to Canada. We won’t talk about the additional $20.00 charge I got from FedEx a month later, for customs or something – how that wasn’t included in the $30.00 S&H is a mystery to this day.

The suit I ordered is the one pictured below, in black, available here. Cute, right?

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Overall I was mostly happy with it. It held up well in the ocean, had a shelf lined bust, and the stitching was very solid and well constructed. However, the skirt portion gets pretty heavy when wet, and this bad boy takes a long time to dry. I felt comfortable wearing it, and far from dumpy. BUT! I wasn’t prepared to pay another $100+ for a second suit, so the search for the perfect sewing pattern continued…

Until yesterday when I stumbled upon this lil’ gem of a website, and the swimsuit pattern to answer all of my prayers!

Heather Lou of Closet Case Files is even hosting a sew-a-long, starting June 17th, so that you too can make your own Bombshell Swimsuit! Come on, you know you want to. Pattern is available here.

I’ve got my pieces all cut out, fabric is en route. The Fabric Fairy, of all places (mostly kid fabrics), had this fantastic geometric/chevron print in black/white/coralish salmon. CANNOT WAIT!