Almost Fall Easy Summer Dress

Remember when I said I had an idea for taking my copy of the summer RTW dress and making it with jersey? A couple of weeks ago I pulled it off, and I love how it turned out!

This is me, attempting an Oona-esque shot.
I used the skirt from the Easy Summer Dress, and then adapted my Wendy Mullin Sew U Home Stretch bodice by turning it into a deep V-neck. With the right bra, this neckline is a bit dangerous (mrow).

That's right, I'm dangerous. Watch out.
 The fabric is from GorgeousFabrics.com, but it is sadly out of stock. It's a thick, slightly sweatery jersey and I fell for the colors (more magenta, please). I hope it can be a good transition dress as it's starting to cool off here in the Midwest. As I was cutting it out, I got really excited about the stripey action in the selvedge. I wanted to use it somehow (hem? neck? create some kind of cording?) and finally decided to use it to bind the sleeves and neck. I wasn't sure how this would work as it had ZERO stretch, but I like the way it turned out.

Button is covering the joint.
So not much more to say about this one, except that my Sew U Home Stretch book has certainly turned into a good investment. It's my go-to whenever I want to create something new with knit/jersey. What about you? What are starting to sew for fall?

I'll leave you with my figurehead shot. I'm a ship!


Bi-Annual Sewing for Girls

As I've confessed before, I don't do much sewing for my girls. They have a ton of clothes already - a benefit of being one of the last of my age group to have kids, plus having a MIL who loves to shop. I don't even do much buying of clothes for my kids. I can remember purchasing a winter jacket (one season the hand-me-down goddesses let us down) and a summer jumpsuit (just cause I liked it). That's it. But I do make a birthday dress for each girl in time for her party, and the non-birthday girl gets a skirt from the leftover fabric.

The usual process is that The Birthday Girl looks through my pattern or my fabric stash and comes up with a design, and they've become pretty good at spelling it out ("I want the sleeves from this pattern, the top part just like this dress, and a swooshy skirt like your summer dress.") This year I drew a little sketch for Belly so that she could see the fabrics together, but of course said sketch is now buried somewhere in the house, and likely won't be unearthed until sometime next spring.

Belly turned 7 in August so it was her turn to design and command. She picked out her fabric in an Outlet store we happened upon when we visited friends in PA early in the summer. I will admit that my first (internal) reaction to this fabric was to cringe and shudder. I made some small effort at encouraging her in a different direction, but then thought, "Hey, it's her birthday, deal with it control-freak."

I did hold out some hope that she might forget about it or become enamored with something else, but Alas, this was THE ONE.

Pattern: Bodice/sleeves from Simplicity 1435, skirt a self-drafted circle skirt 'cause a girl's gotta have twirl.

Fabric: Neon pink sequined highly synthetic monstrosity from a fabric outlet store in rural PA (not sure how they ended up with this stuff, as most everything else looked bound for an Amish household), knit tricot lining I think from GorgeousFabrics.com, AND some gorgeous RPL that definitely came from GorgeousFabrics.com and had previously been earmarked for a fall dress for myself (sorry, Ann!). Luckily I didn't need to use much for the bodice so I should hopefully have enough left for that dress.

Belt: 1.5" elastic from RuffleFabric.com. They have some lovely decorative elastics - I bought this one to use on a knit skirt for myself. I also made a plain white one that you might see in some of the pictures.

Construction notes: I attached the sleeves in the flat and hemmed (with coverstitch) the sleeves before sewing the side seams (I know, bad form, but it would have been difficult to get the wee sleeve in my serger to coverstitch after the fact). Attached necking binding as per pattern instructions. Added casing to the waist seam and 1/4" elastic. Hemmed with a serged rolled hem as there was no way those plastic sequins would fold. I didn't bother to hem the lining. For the belts, I folded down the ends and sewed with a zig zag stitch. I used velcro on the white belt and trouser hooks and eyes on the decorative belt.

And Happy Birthday to my oldest baby! (What follows is a round of gratuitous proud mama birthday shots. Indulge me, please.)

I have no idea where she learned this move.
Happy with new bike.

Birthday dinner choice? Sloppy joes made by Dad.
You can see some of Mooper's skirt in this shot - a circle skirt with elastic waistband.

The birthday girl also gets to choose their cupcake. These are ring pop cupcakes.
Somebody loves their bling.


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!


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