Liberty Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

This is definitely the most feminine thing I’ve ever sewn. Something about the design of Sew Over It’s Doris Dress struck a chord with me the instant I saw it and I decided I needed to make one. The vintage-inspired style is a new one for me, but it was really fun to try out. Sometimes I like to sew outside my comfort zone as much for the new sewing experience as for the finished garment I end up with.

I made this dress back in May, so, as is the danger of blogging so far removed from sewing, the details of making this dress are a little fuzzy.

I sewed the smallest size – a size 8 – even though the measurements were 1.5″ too big in the bust. I made a muslin of the bodice, thinking it would be too big, but I actually didn’t end up making any changes. Because the bodice is meant to be loose fitting and the waist can be cinched in with the tie this is a pretty easy pattern to fit. The only alteration I made was to cut the length about halfway in-between the above knee and below knee options. I ended up shortening it by a few inches when I hemmed it though, so I think it ended up pretty close to the original above knee length – maybe an inch or two longer.

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

I used Liberty tana lawn in the classic Hesketh print, featuring snowdrops. This design was originally produced in the 1890s, and I love the art nouveau vibe it has. I bought the fabric on eBay from katsfabrics. She sells ‘seconds’ for much cheaper than the retail price, and I couldn’t find any defects in the fabric I bought.

This dress had a lot of fun, new-to-me features: bust pleats, a side zipper, a buttoned front integrated with facings, and a skirt made from seven flared panels. The skirt does use up quite a bit of fabric (especially if you have a directional print), but it’s a really nice shape.

This was my first time sewing with a Sew Over It pattern and I was impressed with the quality of the instructions: they’re very detailed and easy to follow.

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

Liberty Snowdrop Doris Dress

This was originally meant to be my birthday dress, but I was sick on the days leading up to my birthday (so I didn’t finish it) and on my birthday itself (so I didn’t go out anywhere fancy anyway). My birthday wasn’t a total bust though, because I did manage to go to the cat cafe, play pub trivia, and eat a deep dish pizza, so that’s a win in my book!

Instead I ended up wearing this dress to Nathaniel’s grad school graduation a couple weeks later. He got his Masters in Statistics en route to a PhD in Educational Psychology – I’m very proud of him!

Liberty Doris Dress

I don’t think vintage-inspired will be my usual thing, but it was definitely a fun style to try, and I love the way the dress turned out. Do you have a favorite Sew Over It pattern? After my success with this one I’d love to give another one a try!

<3 Lindsay

Scalloped Hem Shorts & Chambray Granville Shirt

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

It’s now well and truly hot in Texas (the heat index is 109 as I write this) and my wardrobe is in desperate need of more warm weather clothes, specifically separates.

Luckily, these makes are helping to fill that gap: on top is a sleeveless Granville Shirt in chambray, and on the bottom are high-waisted scalloped hem shorts.

First, the shorts. After making a few versions of Grainline’s Maritime Shorts I was ready to try out a new pattern: enter the Scalloped Hem Shorts from Pattern Runway. They have a lot of nice details, including the namesake scalloped hem, center front seams, slash pockets in the front, and welt pockets in the back. I remember being smitten with Sophie’s polka dot version of these shorts ages ago, but I’ve just now gotten around to trying out this pattern.

I used a lightweight black twill and planned on these being a wearable muslin. I made an XS at the waist graded to between an XS and XXS at the hip and shorted the legs by 1/2″. They were too big when I tried them on during construction (as I’d read in other reviews) so I took in the side seams by 3/8″ as well as taking a 3/4″ wedge out of the center back at the top of the shorts and the waistband.

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Overall I’m pretty happy with these shorts. The fit’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for a wearable muslin. The welt pockets didn’t turn out too well, but luckily they’re not very visible in black. My favorite feature is definitely the scalloped hem – I love the way it looks. These are quite high-waisted on me (a bit more than I was expecting) but they’re still comfortable.

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

And now the shirt! I was pretty happy with the fit on my last Granville, but I knew there was room for improvement. The main problem was the drag lines from shoulder to bust. Karen commented on my post that I may need a square shoulder adjustment. It had never occurred to me before that I had square shoulders, but she was absolutely right – thanks, Karen! I found a picture online that showed the problem, and it looked exactly like my drag lines. So I added 3/8″ to the outer edge of the shoulder line and the drag lines have all but disappeared – success!

I also thought the bust and armhole area was a bit too tight on my last shirt, so I undid some of my SBA (ending up with a 1/4″ SBA from the original) and lowered the armhole 1/2″. This definitely made it less restrictive, and I feel like I’m getting pretty close to the perfect fit.

I used the leftover fabric from Nathaniel’s birthday shirt from last year. I’d bought a bit extra with the plan of making something for myself too (very little truly unselfish sewing goes on around here). It’s a Kaufman chambray with woven dobbies and the quality is really nice.

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

Scalloped Hem Shorts and Chambray Granville

I’ve done a lot of work fitting this pattern, but I know that it’ll be worth it as sleeveless button-ups are one of my favorite things to wear in the summer. I’m planning on this being a TNT pattern for me, and I already have a couple more versions planned – one in silk charmeuse, and another in the classic strawberry thief print from Liberty.

<3 Lindsay

Retro Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

My love affair with Named Patterns continues… This time I made the Leini Dress from their Summer 2014 collection.

The fabric is a cotton jersey from Mood (sold out, but there’s another colorway available here). It’s not my usual style, but for some reason I was really drawn to this bold floral print. I think it has to do with the colors – navy, mustard, and olive green are some of my favorites to wear, so I think they made the print seem more approachable. And I’m really glad I decided to buy it, because I’ve grown to love this fabric (and dress) a lot!

I thought the print would work best with a fairly simple design, so I decided on the Leini Dress from Named. The elastic waist makes it easy to wear, but the bodice pleats and clean finish around the neckline and armholes make it a bit more interesting and polished.

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

This fabric is just a touch see-through, so I had trouble deciding on how to line the bodice. I was going to use self fabric, but the outlines of the flowers were visible from the right side. I also didn’t have any white jersey in my stash, and any other color would have cast a tint. Finally I hit upon using some light beige mesh I have in my stash for bra-making. It’s nice and lightweight, and it allowed me to get the clean finish I wanted.

The pattern says it works with either knits or wovens, although all the other Leinis I’ve seen seem to be wovens. I think it worked really well in jersey, although I’d also like to make one in something like rayon challis. I used a combination of serging, zig-zag stitching, and straight stitching, based on whatever seemed appropriate at each step.

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

I made my usual size 34 and the only adjustment I made was to shorten the skirt by a few inches. I think the fit is meant to be a bit loose through the bodice, so you could probably size down if you wanted to, especially if you’re using knit fabric. The only change I’d make next time is to raise the armhole just a bit – maybe 3/8″. Overall, I think this is a great basic pattern and would work well for anything from a casual day dress to a fancier silk number.

What’s your favorite summer dress pattern?

<3 Lindsay

Red Chambray for Summer

Red ChambrayThis is just a quick post to share the last shirt I made for my husband. I used the same BurdaStyle pattern (the one from the book Sewing Vintage Modern) that I’ve used many, many times before, so I don’t have much to add. On this one I left off the collar, did short sleeves, and added a pocket with rounded corners.

The fabric is a mid-weight Kaufman linen/cotton blend. It sews up nicely and wears really well. I made Nathaniel a shirt in the green colorway a couple years ago and it’s still going strong!

Red Chambray

 

Red Chambray

Red Chambray

I recently bought Thread Theory’s new button-up pattern, so I’ll be using that one for his next shirt. It’ll be nice to change things up a bit!

How many times do you usually sew up a pattern? Looking back I’ve probably used about half my patterns only once, many of them two or three times, and then there’s a handful (like this one) that get used over and over again.

<3 Lindsay

Lauha Vent Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtMeet my new favorite skirt! Ever since I made this dress last year (and realized I both could wear and enjoyed wearing maxi-length clothing) I’ve been wanting to try out a maxi skirt. It’s a silhouette I’ve never worn before, but I definitely love it.

I found the perfect skirt pattern, the Lauha Vent Skirt, in one of Named’s older collections. It has a gorgeous deep vent at the front and multiple small pleats at the front and back waistlines.

The fabric is a really fun parrot print rayon from Blackbird Fabrics (sadly sold out). It’s perfectly swishy for this pattern!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtDemonstrating the width… they kind of look like palazzo pants in this pic!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I made my usual Named pattern size of 34 and the fit is perfect! I shortened the skirt by a few inches (I forgot to write down the exact amount – oops!) before I cut it out which allowed me to just barely squeeze it out of 1.5 meters of fabric.

Construction is super straight-forward. The most challenging bit was probably cutting out those long pattern pieces while making sure the fabric stayed on grain. After that it came together really quickly!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I’m totally in love with this skirt! It was one of those cases where the stars aligned and the fabric and pattern were just perfect for each other.

Do you have a favorite maxi skirt or dress pattern? I’d definitely like to explore this silhouette some more!

<3 Lindsay