Pleated White Skirt

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A couple of years ago I made my sister in law a pleated skirt for Christmas. 
It was inspired by this skirt. I love it because it is such a classic style and a simple to make. 

On my last trip to the LA Fabric District, I found a heavy ribbed knit in white that I knew right away would have to be used for a pleated skirt. 
All I had to do was measure my waist and create these even box pleats. I chose to make pleats that were 3 inches wide because I wanted them to be even, including the zipper addition, and my waist measurement was easy to divide by 3.

The first row of stitching to secure the pleats in just the right places
I stitched across the skirt at the waistline once the pleats were all pinned in place. After that I stitched again next to the first stitch to ensure the pleats were perfect and secure. After that, I attached the waistband to the front of the skirt. 

I took advantage of the stretch in the fabric when making the waistband. I often make waistbands that are too big, and I didn't want that to happen again, so I made sure to measure the waistband with the perfect amount of stretch. 

After attaching the zipper, I stitched in the ditch to secure the inside of the waistband down. 

I used my sewing machine's blind hem stitch and foot for the hem. It is one of my favorite tricks with sewing hems on dress pants, skirts, anything! 

I wore my new pleated skirt with the pom pom sleeve tee I made recently. I loved the white on white with a small pop of color. It is one of my favorite handmade outfits so far.

Close up of the ribbing detail in the skirt fabric

I love the way the skirt fits! I am so glad I measured the waistband a little smaller than I normally do. I made all the difference. 

Vintage Dress Refashion

Monday, March 5, 2018

When I was a senior, I took a road trip to Salt Lake City with some friends. Each trip to Salt Lake as incomplete without a stop at Decades. My friends and I loved vintage clothing and always left that store with a treasure or two. 
My goal for that shopping trip was to find a cool vintage dress to wear to prom. 
I bought this pink dress hoping to alter it a bit and clean it for prom. Unfortunately, I wore a different dress to prom. This dress sat in the back of my closet for nine years! 

It's made of a crepe-y fabric and has an accordion pleated skirt and a surplice bodice with pleated darts, cap sleeves, and a lapel (tacked under in this image)
A few months ago, it caught my attention again and I decided I would give it another shot. Although beautiful as a dress, it was a little too formal. I loved the skirt of it, though, and wanted to be able to wear it and not look over the top. 

I simply cut the dress about a half inch above the waist line. I then attached 1-inch thick bias tape to the waist band, being careful to attach it in just the right place so that, when it would be folded over, it would have a clean finish. I then attached thick elastic the seam allowance so that the waist would hold its shape and size. 
At this point I tried it on and was disappointed with the amount of bulk the seam allowance was adding to the waistline. To fix it, I top stitched around the whole waist to keep the seam allowance down. And it fixed the problem! After that, All I had to do was reinforce the zipper and add a hook and eye. 

I wore this skirt to church with a simple white shirt and turquoise earrings. I felt like a million bucks! It is obvious that this is an old dress-turned-skirt. It has a few small stains (I have yet to get it cleaned.. its next on my list!) and the color is very unique.

It is a one-of-a-kind skirt! The kind that was worth the nine year wait. 


Bell Sleeve Blouse

Friday, February 23, 2018

I was so excited to use this fabric. It is the softest rayon challis fabric that I have never worked with before. I usually stick with solids (in purchased clothing and handmade clothing) so this pattern is a little funky for me, but I love the colors and I'm excited to have something different.

I was inspired by a handmade top I saw another seamstress wearing one night out. My sister in law suggested we get the same pattern and make it for ourselves, but my wheels were already turning thinking about what the pattern would look like! 
The next day I drafted a pattern.

My pattern resulted in a bodice that was way too short. I had to improvise and add a strip at the bottom for length. Luckily, it is hardly noticeable with the business of the print. 
The hem, sleeves, and neckline all have wide facings.

If I remake this top, which I certainly will, I would add more fullness to the sleeves and add an inch or two in length to the bodice. I would probably shorten the sleeves by one or two inches as well.
Other than that, I'm so happy with the outcome! 

The shape if the sleeve is so perfect for the drape of this fabric. It flows so perfectly. Plus, the loosens makes it so comfortable and easy to move in.

Photos by hello.littlefish

Linen Apron for Tess

Thursday, January 25, 2018

So my sister's birthday was in August.
A few weeks late, I gave her a handmade apron as a gift! Now, months later, I finally have a few pictures of her sporting it. 
She, her husband, and their two boys recently moved into a new house that has a bunch of land and fruit trees and their kitchen just got remodeled. Her cooking skills are gourmet-status and her sourdough knowledge would blow anyone out of the water. More on her homestead here

I found this pattern for sale recently and I knew it would be the perfect gift for her.

This image on the pattern caught my eye. So pretty!
A beautiful, handmade linen apron that has deep pockets, that front-tie detail, and a practical, flattering silhouette seems like the perfect gift for the hardest working homemaker.

Pockets pinned, ready to be sewn
Cute pleated pocket pinned into place
It called for french seams! My favorite! 
I loved the amount of bias tape used in this project. It is so easy to work with and it has such a clean finish. 
Once I had the entire apron assembled and hemmed, I couldn't find the pattern piece for the tie at the waist. I had to improvise by cutting out the pieces for the tie without the pattern piece. I used my bias tape maker that I have never used before.

It worked great! I was easily able to turn the double-fold bias tape into the waist tie and attach it to the apron.
After the apron was finished, I found the pattern piece that I was missing. Oh well!

The apron tied in the back
The apron tied in the front 
I wish I had enough of the lighter fabric to make the whole apron out of it, or perhaps a lighter apron with dark pockets. The lighter fabric is so beautiful and much softer than the darker. Overall, I am happy with how it turned out

Pom Pom Sleeve Tee

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I have been so in love with the awesome detail of this tee lately:

The clothing pieces I gravitate towards are usually solid colored and simple, yet have a unique element in the detail or silhouette. This top is a perfect example of that. Its a simple, ivory knit t-shirt with a slightly flared sleeve and multi-colored pom pom trim. 

When I realized I might be a few months too late in noticing this top, I started to keep an eye out for the perfect pom pom trim to create my own. I found that most of the options out there are small, solid color, and cheaply made. I checked Amazon, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and couldn't find anything that I would use for this remake. 
One day as I was searching the internet, it dawned on me to check Etsy. The first trim to catch my eye was this:

Have you ever seen a more perfect match in your entire life?! I couldn't believe I had found an identical pom pom trim to use in my remake. 
So I bought myself a yard! I only wish I had bought 10+ yards for various projects like adding trim on kitchen towels. 

My sister in law Rachel brought me to a sewing night with her sewing blogger friends. Once a months a few local bloggers get together to chat about projects and patterns, eat treats, and do some project prep. While there, I made the pattern for this much anticipated top. The next morning, I cut out the fabric.
I started with assembling the sleeves because I was so excited about the pom poms.

I attached the sleeve, pom pom trim, and the flounce with the serger

Top stitched with blush pink thread
When I went to assemble the bodice, I noticed I made a huge, stupid mistake: I cut out two bodice back pieces and no front piece and didn't have enough fabric to re-cut the bodice front.
I did my best to reshape the extra back piece to closely resemble the front piece. However, the shape was not exactly as I planned and will result in a looser fit.

Once I attached the neckband, I wore the mostly finished project to a graduation party. I was too excited to wait until it was finished. The shape of the top turned out better than I expected. It was not as loose as I thought it would be. The heavy weight of the fabric helps, though. It has such beautiful drape that a loser fit still looks really nice.
Also, after 3 years of being apart, my dress form and I are finally reunited! Together, we are unstoppable.

After the party, I came home and finished the hem and topstitching.

Close up of the top stitching on the flounce at the hem
Close up of the topstitching at the neckline
Sleeve detail

Usually as I make something, I hit a point where my excitement plummets and I don't love the end result nearly as much as I had hoped. Well, that was not the case with this one! It might be my favorite top I've ever made. I've worn it twice now and I've received a few compliments already.
I will most definitely be wearing it every day for a while. 

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