Sunday, July 30, 2017

Kathryn Dress by Itch to Stitch

I happened across the Kathryn Dress Pattern* by Itch to Stitch while trying to find something for my very petite mother.  At the beginning of the year, she sent me this picture of a RTW dress she liked:


My mom couldn't believe that this dress had an all over floral pattern which she loved! I think all the women in our family are a little floral obsessed, actually!  She also liked how soft the fabric was, so I told her it was probably made of double brushed poly.  The problem is, the smallest size was way too big and I doubted she would find anything similar that fit her and had the style she wanted.

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I told Mom I could make her one and we set out to find the perfect pattern!  She wanted a dress that had some detail at the chest, and wasn't too form-fitting at the waist and hips.  We eventually settled on the Kathryn and she chose this lovely floral DBP from Sew Vagabond.  My mom was in town, so I was able to fit her for an XS muslin. It ended up being a size too big.  I probably should have known. My mom has the same body as me, only smaller and shorter.  Kennis's patterns fit better on me sized down.


The final dress is an XXS, graded out to to a XS at the waist (the dress has an empire waist).  I did a SBA this way after getting a refresher from Melly Sews.  This great tutorial is for SBAs and FBAs, so check it out!

Also, I *finally* learned how to do a narrow shoulder adjustment on a dolman sleeve! Christine Haynes has this genius blog post on bust adjustments with a dolman sleeve.  She demonstrates how to draw a faux armscye.  I used her method of cutting off the 'sleeve' and then I did my narrow shoulder adjustment and SBA and then I pieced the 'sleeve' back on.

I made adjustments for height because my mom is 4' 9" tall.  I forgot to mention that by this point, my mom was home, 2000 miles away so I took lots of measurements.  I knew that she wanted the dress to be 35" tall from the bottom of the neck.  


The last adjustment I made was to bring the neckline in 1/2" all the way around.


The finished dress is 1 size smaller than the original and 2 sizes smaller than the size I would have chosen based on my own measurements.  After all that work, I had to try it on.  And what do you know...it fits ME perfectly!


The only problem I have is that the neckline gapes a little bit, how do I fix that? Just take out a little at center front?  (The pic makes it looks worse than it is bc my shoulders are forward.)  It looks like my center pleats are facing the wrong way but I don't even care.


This is such a happy dress, I just love it!


I usually don't like to twin with my mom but she does have good taste in fabric.  Maybe I'll have to make an exception...?


Anyway, I hope it fits her because she's waited for it to be done for way to long!

UPDATE: The dress (no surprise) was too big for my mom so I am keeping it.  I plan to grade down the XXS one size and make the dress again. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Linen Loungers by Patterns for Pirates

I bought this Robert Kaufmann chambray a couple years ago planning to make a shirtdress.  Well, I totally botched the top - this is back when I was doing every narrow shoulder adjustment wrong - and it didn't fit at all.  It got stashed in my UFO pile and I was filled with regret every time I saw it.

When I saw the testing call for these pants I decided this would be the perfect way to get this chambray out of my UFO pile.  The Linen Loungers* by Patterns for Pirates are great in lightweight fabrics with drape.  The designer recommends linen, linen blends, rayon, chambray and crepe.


I made the bermuda length shorts with front slat pockets and I added some vintage lace trim.



I normally make an XS, graded out to a M.  I didn't know until I'd already made them, that there is no need to grade to a bigger size at the waist.  This design is already roomy in the hips and waist (it has to be so that you can get the fabric over your booty). Go by your hip size and simply cut your elastic for your waist size.

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I also wanted to mention that the ease in the hips was slimmed down slightly later in the testing process.


These shorts are super comfy! I've been wearing them around the house and to bed.  Maybe I will plan some more projects with lightweight wovens.  They are so nice to wear in the heat!


Tess Tulip Shorts ~ Bella Sunshine Designs

I tested these adorable tulip shorts by Bella Sunshine Designs this week.


I just love sewing kids' clothing because it gives me almost instant gratification.  Also, toddlers are not aware if there are fit issues and they don't have areas of their body they are trying to disguise.  Because I do, and sometimes it's exhausting!!  And toddlers are exhausting, so at least my daughter isn't complicated when it comes to clothing - YET.

But I digress...


The Tess Tulip Shorts* have a short option (think booty shorts) and an equally adorable longer version.  There is an option for pockets, if your little Peggy Sue is into that.  But the thing I love most about this pattern is how fun it looks with trim!

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I used some white piping around the edge of Cici's shorts and I love how polished it makes them look.


The shorts are nice and flat in the front and the waistband has encased elastic in the back.  You can't tell, but I used some elastic from an old pair of undies in those shorts. Ummm...Goodwill or scrap pile? Scrap pile it is.  Can't give away perfectly good notions!


Anyway...the pattern is super cute, a fast sew, and the instructions are very clear and easy to follow.