June 19, 2017

My First Shirtdress

I have never really thought about making a shirtdress for myself. Mostly because I tend toward structured skirts and separates. A shirtdress is neither. However, thanks to Instagram I have been introduced to the #sewtogetherforsummer. It's titled "2017 Is The Summer Of The Shirtdress".

Shirtdress and Jeans

The rules are easy; make a shirtdress from any pattern, in any fabric. Then share on social media by June 21st. To be official you, of course, have to follow specific accounts and use the hashtag.

Looking at my pattern stash (I've posted most of it to Pinterest) there were two that jumped out at me.


The first was NewLook 6963. I was considering the sleeveless version. The second was a top that's been on my to-do list for some time. However, it didn't fit with the theme, since I want the top view. Then I realized that I had McCall's MP345. That pattern is actually a shirtdress.

McCall's MP345 Shirtdress Pattern &
Pretty Pink, Teal, and Brown Plaid Cotton Shirting

The pattern made up very quickly. The only fidgety part was the collar and front placket and they went together like a dream. I used size 16 (my current size is generally 14) because I wanted this to be a little roomy. The only alterations that I made were that I left off the collar and I didn't attach the belt at the side seams. Also, I didn't attach any buttons, instead I just stitched the front plackets together at a point that would allow me to pull the dress over my head and be modest enough to leave open.

The sleeves are from an entirely different pattern. I was originally going to use the cap sleeve from New Look 6808 because I know that I love the shape of that one. In the end, I decided to try something new so I used the sleeve from Simplicity 2917. I had just moved that pattern from my stash to my "to be made" pile and wanted to see how the sleeve laid. I'm on the fence about it. 

Finished Shirtdress with Belt

 The dress is extremely big and has no shape. I knew that going into this project, however. The one detail that surprised me was how high the hem is on the side. Since I'm more conservative in my dress, this is not going to work for me as a dress to wear in public. I could easily use it as a night shirt but I plan on slashing the front and extending the placket to the hem. I will also have to install a fastener, probably snaps. Once I've remade it, I can use it as a long shirt and wear it open with a tank top underneath and bottoms, of course
Finished Shirtdress without Belt

I finished the seams with my favorite seam treatment, flat felling. I did use the machine for top stitching instead of sewing it by hand. I used a teal thread to try and bring out the teal in the fabric.

Top Stitching In Teal Thread

I hope your sewing goals are becoming a reality.
Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!!

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May 07, 2017

Me Made May 2017 ~ Week 1 Roundup

  Wow! That was crazy and fast. The week came and went in a blur. 

Taking pictures wasn't so bad once I gave into the idea of bathroom selfies. I don't know what I'll do for the days I wear me made skirts??? Perhaps stand on a stool???

Day 1 of Me Made May 2017. I wore a barely there silk chiffon cowl neck, backwards, as evidenced by my bathroom selfie. Lol 😂 I made this in 2013 from McCalls M6563. (blog post here) At the time I was obsessed with finding the perfect cowl neck. I'm not into them anymore. So, this top has been resting for a long while. It's nice and slouchy for hanging out at home.

Day 2 of Me Made May 2017. I made this linen top from  NewLook 6808 in 2013. (blog post here) I was afraid to try a zipper so I made it a little big and use it as a pullover. 

Day 3 of Me Made May 2017. I found a new pajama top today. I made this cowl neck, cotton top in 2014 from Simplicity 1716. (blog post here) I'm not into that neckline anymore but this knit is so comfortable, it's a keeper.

Day 4 of Me Made May 2017 - I just finished this refashion/wearable muslin of Simplicity 3750 on Tuesday (blogged here). Feeling a bit naked because I don't usually have such a low neckline. Just call me old fashioned.  I have a short list of fitting corrections for the final project.

Day 5 of Me Made May 2017. This is turning out to be a great way to clear out the pieces I can't/don't wear anymore. The striped cowl neck was a wearable muslin from McCalls M6563 (details here). The yellow silk cowl neck is my very first modern top project ever (blogged here). Both have matching sashes. Neither of them fit me.  What can I remake these into???

Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!!

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May 02, 2017

Simplicity 3750 ~ Refashion

Finished Simplicity 3750 Refashion

I decided I wanted to make this pattern but I felt the need to make a muslin first. So I went for a wearable muslin from one of my husband's old dress shirts.

Original Eddie Bauer Dress Shirt ~ with a rip in the sleeve

It was an Eddie Bauer, 100% cotton dress shirt with a rip down the sleeve. I have no idea how he managed to rip it..let me just attest to the amazing quality of this shirt. The fabric is thick, the colors are still vivid, and All the seams were re-enforced. This was a well made shirt that took forever to take apart. Lol. But I persevered. 

Laying out the pattern

In looking over the directions I wasn't excited about starting with reinforcing bits and doing fiddley work with gathering and elastic. So, I skipped that part and jumped in by stitching up the center back and attaching the yoke at the shoulders. Then I was excited because I felt like I was halfway finished.

Cotton Fabric and matching Thread

In starting on the front neckline, I was slightly disappointed. The front is turned under and after the yoke is attached, it and the back are bound. Really that's not a bad set of ideas, I just don't think the instructions implemented the techniques well. In my opinion they should have bound the edge first and then attached it to the front and folded it under. That would give a much nicer finish. 

Bathroom Selfie in My New Top

As for the fit and first try, I'm pleased. It's a very nice, comfortable pullover 

Planned Alterations:
I'll be adding a lining to the yoke and top front pieces. 

~ The bust area is too low and too short. I'll be adding at least an inch in both directions. 

~ Replace the elastic with self fabric cording. 

~ Add grommets for the cording above and below the bust. 

~ I'll be spreading out the shoulder gathers. Concentrating the gathers at the top makes the shoulders very puffy... not what I'm going for. 

Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!!

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April 21, 2017

Black Linen PJ Pants ~ Simplicity 1502

I originally wanted to make silk pajamas. The major problem that was standing in my way was the extra caution and care that goes into silk. I wanted something that I didn't have to worry about, something durable but not ordinary.

Finished Black Linen PJ Pants from Simplicity 1502

So I settled on linen. Linen is so easy to sew and a breeze to care for. It can go in the wash with little worry. The only drawback to linen is that it wrinkles terribly. 

Black Linen Pajama Pants Details: Silver Tone Eyelets,
Hand Stitched Drawstring and Paper Bag Waistline 

I was so caught up in trying to find the perfect fabric that I hadn't found the perfect pattern. I wanted something easy and quick to make up. I was looking for (almost) instant gratification. I was happy to find Simplicity 1502. I wasn't so happy that none of the stores in my area carried it. Thankfully I was able to pick it up on eBay. 

I was really surprised that there are very few reviews for the pants portion of this pattern. One review I did find mentioned that they are better suited for people with flat butts. Lol. I kept that in mind and decided to do a wearable muslin. I went with a size Large because I wanted a lot of ease. 

Tracing Simplicity 1502

I'm so glad that I did. Apparently I'm very long in the lower abdominal area. I had to add 4 inches in length above the waistband. 

Dritz  Hammer Set Eyelets

The only other alteration that I made was to replace the elastic with a drawstring that cinches a paper bag style waistband. I wanted to use eyelets but I couldn't find black ones in my stash. So, I headed to the fabric store and picked up a set. I also picked up a new setting tool because I couldn't remember if I found mine when I was looking for the eyelets. Oh my. Has that ever happened to you?

Black Hammer Set Eyelets on Black Linen

After all of that, I ended up going with silver tone eyelets because I couldn't get the black ones in without the paint chipping. I've used the brown ones before with no problem. I'm not sure what the issue was this time. Perhaps I don't have my technique down.

I'll be using a size small next time, tracing down to the size large hem and still adding the additional length above the waistband. Additionally, I'm going to stick with a normal waistband. I'm not sure that the paper bag look is good for me.

Simplicity 1502 Finished In Black Linen

I originally purchased this pattern for the pajama top. I was drawn to the lace detail at the top. Unfortunately, the lace is just an overlay and the top makes up as a tent when done in linen. I'm planning on trying again in a more draping fabric. Not sure when, as more pj sewing is not currently on my calendar. 

I hope you are having great success in your current sewing adventures. 
Until next time,
Happy Stitching!!

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