Named Patterns

2:37 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

Did you see this post about the new pattern company Named on Rachel's blog?

The minute I saw it I went to the company's website and the patterns are adorable!

I ordered these so far:
Shane Pleated Top

Blair Batwing Shirt

Jamie Jeans

Andy Coat

You should get on this! Also, read Rachel's interview with the sister designers. I can't wait to see more from these ladies!


11:56 AM 4 Comments A+ a-

I'm working on a post about my wedding dress but in the meantime I'm obsessed this dress from Asos...
I'm a lover of maxi dresses and I think this could be a good option for fall. It looks a little dressy but I think with flats it could be casual enough for dinner with the husband or a not-too fancy party. I probably wouldn't wear it to Target or anything, but I could see it working for dinner out with friends.
Anyway, I'm wondering if I could Frankenstein it with the top of a pattern like Simplicity 1872,
and the bottom of the Anna Dress from By Hand London...

I actually have a McCalls pattern that's similar in some ways to the Asos dress but it's made for knits and sort of looks a beach cover up, so I'm thinking the structure of the Anna skirt is needed to make this look more like a dress I would wear over a real bra with underwire instead of a bikini top.

But now for the real issue. The dress from Asos is $54, which isn't cheap but also isn't a horrible price considering the amount of fabric the dress uses. I already own the Simplicity pattern but I'd have to buy the Anna pattern (about $26) and fabric (I would imagine I would need 3 to 4 yards and I don't have enough of anything appropriate in my stash). Since this is just a fun dress to wear to dinner I probably wouldn't spend tons on the fabric, but even at 4-5 dollars a yard the Asos dress is probably a better deal. I know I would have fun making it but I have a million other projects I would have fun making too so entertainment is not my top priority. Also, I know the dress I made would probably be a little better quality, but since this isn't something that I'd wear all the time (like a pair of jeans or a coat) I'm not super concerned about it lasting forever. Finally, considering the dress is not supposed to be super tight, I don't think I would have a problem with fitting if I ordered it. So all of my normal reasons for sewing (fit, quality, price) are not as relevant as they usually are.

It's funny how much of a dilemma something like this is to me now. Before I knew how to sew I would have just ordered it, no questions asked. Now I almost feel like its a moral issue! So my question is, what would you do? Do you make things when you know you could buy them cheaper and the fit and quality would probably be similar?

My buying vs. sewing rules are:
I buy things that seem boring to make and I can buy cheaply (like white v-neck tshirts) or that I couldn't replicate at home (like if they are made of some incredible fabric and I don't think I could find something similar).

What are your rules? And if someone just wants to tell me to buy and and get over my sewer's guilt, that's ok too :)


Back in the Habit

5:10 PM 3 Comments A+ a-

My dear sewing friends,

I'm not sure if anyone has missed me in my 5 month abscence. Some of you may never find me again (particularly with the demise of Google Reader), but I am officially back in the sewing habit. Or will be in a few days once my sewing room is complete! I have missed you and sewing more than I can say but getting married, buying and renovating a house and just generally living have gotten in the way recently. I've been keeping up with my favorite sewing blogs and buying most of the new independent patterns that have come out in the last few months (keep your eyes out for a Saltspring, a Hawthorn, some Lakeside PJs and a few Thread Theory pieces for the husband coming soon!) so I'm ready to go as soon as we finish installing new lights and I unpack all my sewing gear. Also, I'm starting a new blog called Summer of the Butterflies to record the progress as we renovate our house. This blog has helped so much to encourage me to sew and keep a record of what I've done, so I figure I should do the same thing with my house! I'll be back soon to share what happened with my wedding dress, since last you heard from me I was in a bit of a crisis. (Spoiler alert: It worked out!) In the meantime, here's a sneak peak of the dress! And yes, this is the same picture from my other blog. I really like that picture...

Glad to be back ladies!

SOS! I Need Your Help!

3:58 PM 5 Comments A+ a-

I'm officially putting out the SOS for help on my wedding dress.

A little over a month ago I wrote this post, which shared some of the inspiration for the dress and since then I've been MIA on the blog front. I promise I haven't forgotten about you my dears but I've been in the throws of working on the dress, moving everything in our house to replace all the carpet, moving everything back, and then finding a gorgeous new house that we're closing on in exactly one month. I'm in love. Also I'll have a huge attic sewing room. CAN'T WAIT to tell you more about that, but first I need some help...

So where we last left off I was pondering draping options for the bodice of my dress. I finally decided on a swoopy pleat thing (obviously an official term) like the dress below that I tried on last summer. I saw this tutorial on Burdastyle that seemed pretty do-able so that's the road I started down.

I first made a muslin of the Bombshell Dress from Gertie's Craftsy course with measurements to fit the crazy corset thing from the bridal shop that I'll be wearing under the dress. Below is a picture of how the muslin turned out. After I made a few fitting adjustments I remade the bodice, with underlining for structure, out of a mid weight cotton but I didn't sew the side seams together so I could drape the front and two back pieces separately.
This is the lace I'm using for the overlay, which I'm totally in love with and was cheap from JoAnns. (because I am not the girl who needs to spend a million dollars on fabric for a dress I'm wearing once) The one downside is that it's a little stiff, which might be the problem.

Once the bodice base (not sure that's the right word) was done I pinned it to my dress form and started draping. This is what it looked like when I finished. I love the way it looks on the dress form, but when I got down to actually sewing all of those pleats on to the bodice the trouble began. Because the fabric is a little stiff it doesn't hold the pleats without tacking them down every few inches. (hence all the pins on the dress form to hold them in place) I basically was doing a running stitch down every pleat with a stitch every inch or so. I got about half way through the process and I realized that I didn't like the way it was turning out. All the pleats looked really flat and smushed and not as
3-D and swoopy as they did on the dress form. I don't have a picture of how this looks because in a moment of stress and desperation I pulled the whole thing apart.

In the midst of this, the March BurdaStyle came in the mail and included this darling wedding dress which is similar in idea to what I was going for in that it's a strapless, sweetheart bodice with pleating. However, although you can't see it in the pictures, (here's a link to the line drawing so you can see it better) this bodice consists of two long panels that are cut on the bias and gathered on each side and sewn together, resulting in a seam down the middle of the bodice and no swoopy effect like my first version. The Burda dress has a different set up for the bodice underneath but I think I could make it work with the bodice I already have so I don't have to re-fit. I haven't pulled the trigger on it because I still like the way the original draping looked on the dress form and I just can't decide if the fabric will do any better with this plan. Plus, because this pattern is cut on the bias, I'll be using up a lot of the fabric I have left, which will limit my options should it not work out.

115 0313 B

So I guess the question is, is there some secret to draping that I'm missing? Is there a way to make the pleats pretty and not flat looking? Or should I give up and use the Burda bodice? I've already traced and cut out the pieces, which is the most daunting part of using BurdaStyle patterns in my opinion, so it would be pretty fast to put the bodice together.

HELP! And also, thank you in advance for your sage advice. Y'all are the best :)

Wedding Dress: The Inspiration

11:08 PM 6 Comments A+ a-

I spent the weekend before last beginning the work on my wedding dress and I'll continue to work on it this weekend, so I thought I start to show you what's going on. This post will be about my inspiration for my dress and the next few posts will show you "the plan" and the beginnings of the process.

From the beginning I knew I wanted a short dress for several reasons.

One, the style of the wedding will be pretty casual and the reception will be outdoors in hot Texas so I knew a ballgown wouldn't really work.

Two, I'm a pretty simple girl who doesn't wear a lot of jewelry or like a lot of embellishments or accessories, etc and because I was planning on making the dress myself, I didn't want to attempt something super elaborate with a bustle or detailed beading or anything that would be really complicated and not feel like me anyway.

PS The guiding principle of all my wedding planning thus far has been "does it feel like me?" Is this a slightly fancier, white version of a dress I would wear to a party? Is this the kind of food I would serve if I was having people over for dinner? Does this look similar to the style my house is decorated in? etc. It makes trimming down all the options a lot easier!

Three, the fiance and I love to dance and we would both be annoyed by tripping over a long dress.

Four, I love shoes and I bought fabulous ones for the wedding and I don't want to hide them under a huge skirt.

So it's a short dress for me, and a strapless one. (again because of the heat factor)

Here are the exact shoes I'm wearing, which are fabulous, and obviously the reason for a short dress.



The only thing I'm still slightly undecided about is the drape of the bodice. I'm planning on using a bodice pattern with a sweetheart neckline and draping lace over it (more on the lace in my next post), but I'm not sure how exactly I want it to look. Here are some ideas...


So that's the inspiration! We'll see how it works out!

All images from this pinterest board

2013 Planning

6:25 PM 6 Comments A+ a-

First of all, Happy New Year! 2012 was a big year for me and contained a lot of the major milestones in life (aka buying my first car, getting engaged, starting a new job and moving in with my fiance), but I feel like 2013 will be even bigger!

My sewing room is officially unpacked and I actually started sewing a dress Tuesday night, the first thing I had worked on in at least 2 months. I can't believe I went that long without working on a sewing project, it had been so long that I was going through serious withdrawls. Anyway, I'm back in the saddle and planning my sewing goals for this year. Without further ado, here are my 5 sewing goals for 2013.

1. Make my wedding dress.

I'm actually starting this project tomorrow! I'm really excited to make my dress and so far I really don't have any anxiety about it, although anytime I tell someone I'm making my dress they act like I've completely lost my mind. These are some inspiration pictures but I'm planning a full post to explain what look I'm going for and get everyone's advice/approval on the methods I'm planning on using.


2. Try some new independent pattern companies.

Specifically Papercut and Deer and Doe. I helped proofread the English version of one of Deer and Does patterns, so now I'm even more excited to try them! Below are the ones I want to order first.


3. Actually make the jackets/coats I was planning to in 2012.

I had grand plans of making the Lady Grey, the Anise and Gertie's Starlet Suit Jacket last fall. I even bought all the shell materials, lining, interfacings and tailoring supplies but between switching jobs, moving and general laziness I never got around to it. I'm obsessed with learning to hand tailor so I want to start these jackets right now, even though by the time I finish one jacket it will probably be so hot in Texas I'll barely want to wear anything more than a bathing suit.


4. Expand my pants wardrobe.

I've made 2 versions of the Clover pants and I have one more cut out but I'd like try out a few other pants patterns this year. First, I'm in love with Sunni's coral Burda pants! I've had that pattern for a while and I've always wanted to attempt it so her version has definitely motivated me to pull it out. Also, I'd love to make a pair of Juniper trousers in a pretty grey linen I could wear in the spring and fall.

5. Make something with leather.

I'm really excited about this goal because I just found out (thanks to my mom and dad) that the best leather store in town is just a few blocks from my house! I visited it for the first time the other day and bought 2 gorgeous skeins that I can't wait to work with. I'm thinking something simple initially, like this clutch, then hopefully I can build up my skills to something more intricate!

I've spent the last few days reading everyone else's resolutions and I must say, I think 2013 is going to be a great year for sewing!

All images from my Pinterest.