7/20/14

A Quartet of Easy Summer Dresses

I am having a generally lovely summer and  I hope all of you are, too. I haven't had much time to blog, but I'm on Instagram now (code name PoldaPop), and if you want to see what I'm up to, I post regularly there. I'm on a kick to post a photo a day under the hashtags #sewdailyphoto and #whatIsewedtoday.

A couple months back I posted about a dress that my best friend and I have been passing back and forth for at least a decade. I think I actually bought the dress new around 1996 or 1997. This past winter, I finally made a pattern of it and it's been my dress of choice for the summer. In addition to the purple one, I now have two more!

This one is a chevron rayon challis I bought with a coupon from Hancock Fabrics.


See how well it goes with my new bag and new shoes?


The second one is a Joel Dewberry print that I just love:

Same shoes and bag!


I did a bit of tweaking to the pattern to make the waist a tiny bit more fitted (took it in about 1.5" in the waist). This dress doesn't have any closures so the test is whether or not you can get the dress on past your bust. Since my bust consists primarily of foam padding, it works.

This is a perfect summer dress: it's light and airy, I can run after the kids and ride my bike in it, and I can dress is up with nice shoes or kick around with flip flops. I can make it up in 2.5 hours from cutting to finishing, so it's an easy make. And I can squeeze it out of 2 yards of fabric if I cut the back bodice piece with a center back seam (and cut the halves out separately). Win.

The third member of the quartet is one that I made for a client. This is a rayon challis from Anna Maria Horner. BTW, I am so happy that some of the big names in quilting cotton design  now have their prints in some apparel fabric like rayon challis and voile, too.



And the fourth member of the quartet was actually made by my best friend when I was back visiting her in June. I brought the pattern with me and gifted her some fabric so that she could learn to make it herself. I show that off when I get the picture from her, (HINT HINT, Malinda). Here's the fabric so that you've got something to ogle:

RAJD001 · Dahlia · Maize
Joel Dewberry Bungalow Dahlia in Honeysuckle

I may be done with this dress pattern for a while or I might try to make a version from jersey, maybe sleeveless. I can probably use my TNT Sew U Home Stretch bodice. Hmmmm, I'm off to dig through my jersey stash!

6/30/14

A PoldaPop Video!


Yes, that's right, another contest! I've been busy putting this one together over the course of the last few weeks with my friend and running buddy Jay Doyle. Lucky for me, his wife wanted sewing lessons so I was able to barter for his video editing skills.

So PoldaPop Designs made it in just under the deadline for this contest. And my business could win $25,000 and mentorship. Holy cow, would that be helpful.

This contest is mainly decided on by judges, but a component of the scoring is public vote. So if you have a spare few minutes, please go watch my video and vote for PoldaPop. Voting ends at midnight tonight!

Vacation Bag

I'm back from my annual vacation in rural PA and I feel fantastic! And, well, sore, as I did a lot of biking and trail running and my legs haven't seen a hill since about this time last year. But it's a good pain, and my eyes and heart are grateful for the views they found at the top of each hill. Living in a city, I don't often get the chance to see over things - I'm always surrounded by looming objects- and this trip always helps me feel free again.

My good friends are in them midst of a battle with a pipeline, so I had a few hours to sew one day when they were being filmed by a news crew and the girls were out playing with their adopted cousins. I purposefully brought only one item to sew for myself, which was fabric for a new bag. I've needed a new everyday bag for a while now - the old one is seasonally in the wrong (gray corduroy) as well as dingy and in need of a wash. I've been embarrassed to take it anywhere lately.

See? It even looks like it's frowning at me.
But left with personal time in my own sewing room, I'd almost always prefer to sew a dress or a top, so I needed to force myself a little.

And it turns out that a bag is the perfect for a little light vacation sewing: quick, easy, with no fitting issues. The beach novel of the sewing world.





This is the bag pattern from Burdastyle's Sewing Handbook. My only changes this time around were to add an internal zippered pocket, thermolam fleece interfacing to give the bag structure, and faux leather handles.


I bought slightly longer handles this time around (26 inches instead of the 19 inch handles I used for my last Burda bag) because I wanted to be able to wear the bag easily with a coat in the fall. They are maybe a tad too long now, but they hit about right.


I used fabric that I bought about 9 months ago from Ikea and the bag handles are from Etsy shop Merry Sewing N Fabric. The print is a little wild, but as these are all colors I regularly wear (teal/turquoise, purple, green), I figured I could pull it off. And I also don't care that much if it doesn't work - it's summer and I think the fashion police are all drinking Mai Tai's in their Hawaiian shirts.

This wasn't the only vacation sewing I did, as I brought some projects for Malinda and her girls that I'll show off for them later in the week. And I had so much fun with my own light sewing, that I made up a little clutch when I got back home which I'll post once the glue dries (my first metal frame!).

How about you? Have you done any beach sewing lately?

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