Thursday, June 18, 2015

Burda Style July 2015

To purchase, go to
(Sold Out)

All Styles at a Glance

Line Drawings

Cut in armholes are trending this summer. 
Dress-#121-Navy Linen
(Sold Out)

Updated Boho Chic
(Sold Out)

Sleeveless moto jacket for summer?!  Check!
Jacket-#112 Blue Denim

Pretty and Feminine
Peplum Top-#114A-Chartreuse Stretch Cotton
Skirt-#118-Chartreuse Stretch Cotton
(Sold Out)

Plus Size
Weekend Glam!
Knit Top-#127-Black/Taupe Reversible Knit
Pants-#130B-Black/White Pinstripe
(Sold Out)

Night time glam!
Evening Dress-#129B-Black Rayon Crepe (Sold Out)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shell Top and Polka Dots

Thank you Carla for sharing this recent sewing project for your daughter.  The navy and white polka dot is such a smart and versatile look for work. I know she will enjoy wearing this for years to come!

Simplicity 1692—View D 

After a couple of really busy months, I’m trying to get back into sewing!  I had purchased a couple of Retro blouse patterns that I thought my daughter would like.  I had also bought some blouse fabric from Roz at the April Fashionista’s meeting.  

I made a muslin to fit my daughter.  I knew she would not like the buttons on the shoulders nor the trim around the neck or sleeves. So, my plan was just to seam the shoulders and leave the trim off.  I chose the navy polka dot silk (sold out but other silks are here) thinking it would hang well!  When fitting the muslin, it fit in the bust but was too tight in the hips. Even though the pattern showed it tucked in, it was way too short to tuck!  So, I added width at the bottom and tapered the seam to fit at the bust.  I added 1 and ½ inches length.  One pattern review said they raised the tucks ½ inch—so I did the same thinking it would fit a little better under the bust!

Since I was working with a silk, I wasn’t sure how the invisible zipper would do in the side—especially after I made the seam more curvy by adding width at the bottom.  I thought I’d stabilize the seam before inserting the zipper.  I used an iron on light weight knit stabilizer—it’s just what I had that I thought would work!  The zipper went in fine, but I’m not sure I like the way it hangs.  I’m kind of thinking the pattern and fabric was not that great of a match. And I’m also not sure I like having an invisible zipper on the side when it’s planned to tuck in.  Too much bulk!

My next challenge was the neckline.  The pattern called for facings, but I did not think facings would do well with the silk.  I thought a bias binding would be better.  I stabilized the neckline with fusible tricot hem tape.  Then I stay stitched over the tape.  This seemed to work well!  Roz gave me some tips on the bias and I also found a great you-tube which gave me specific instructions on how wide to cut the bias for a specific width finish!  

All in all, I’m happy with my construction but have reservations on whether my daughter will like!  We’ll see!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Red, White and Blue Knit Maxi Dress

Love it when a plan comes together as lovely as this dress did! Andrea is a professional seamstress and sewing instructor in the Houston area as well as an ambassador for Bernina USA.  Thank you Andrea for sharing this summer addition to your wardrobe! You can follow all of Andrea's sewing adventures, tips and techniques at

Was I thinking of Independence Day when I made this dress, was my mind set on the Stars and Stripes of our country? No, I was being me....just sewing because I liked the look of this fun design.
McCalls 6559

I made the placket front because of an idea I got from some current Michael Kors designs. Grommets and eyelets must be the new exposed zipper.  The star was adhered after the right side seam was sewn and before the lining was inserted.  I used a spray adhesive to secure it before I used a simple zigzag appliqué to permanently secure it in place.  There was no stretching using the walking foot.

Pattern and Construction Notes: 

Listed as a "Very" close-fitting, pullover dresses. E and F: front seam detail, bias upper/middle fronts, and lower front/back (cut on crosswise grain of fabric. All have narrow hems.

Pattern Sizing: I cut a size 14 with a 1/2" FBA and graded to a 16 at hip front and added 2 inches to the "back" hip only.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  I have liked this dress since it came out. The star is what did it for me, it is such a cute whimsical addition to the simple maxi dress. I even enjoyed having the stripes being two sided. This helped keep it from being boring.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I did not follow the instructions, and its not because I sew a lot, its just an easy sew. The neckline was changed substantially.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I lengthened it above the waist by 1" and at the hem by 2"inches. I should have done more at the hem, because it does run very short.  A double placket was added to the neckline to add some pizazz!

June 2015 MWP

Tomato Bisque Brushed Cotton, Silk Charmeuse-Dark Truffle, Summer Foliage 
The long and lazy days of summer have begun but don’t let your style take a vacation!   The mini wardrobe plan (MWP) for June has cool and confident garments that will keep you looking your best. The June MWP fabrics are Tomato Bisque Brushed Cotton, Summer Foliage and Silk Charmeuse-Dark Truffle.  I’m mixing a few classic summer pieces with some trending styles to keep your look current.  All fabrics are available from Sew Much Fabric.

The Tomato Bisque Brushed Cotton is soft and comfortable with a nice drape.  It’s perfect for a chic, on-the-go look.  I’ve paired this fabric with a stylish drawstring pant (Simplicity 1467), a pair of trending culottes (Vogue 9091) and a chic crop top (Burda Style 2/2015 #127).  

I always like a touch of luxury and silk charmeuse in Dark Truffle is just that.  It’s summer so a sleeveless tank top like Simplicity 1467 will work on its own for the weekend as well as underneath a jacket for the office.  And a dress (Simplicity 6169) is always good to have for a last minute night out on the town. 

Pulling it all together is Summer Foliage a beautiful silk and cotton blend.  The fabric has slubs that run throughout adding some surface interest.  A jacket (Butterick 6169) is always good for fending off the chill of the AC.  A pair of shorts in this tropical print (McCalls 6930) is a summer must have, the skirt (Burda Style 2/2015 #109A) is great for Causal Friday and a crop top (Butterick 6183) keeps your summer look updated.  
These garments can mix and match for lots of summer activities.

Family Reunion

Date Night
Outdoor Concert

Backyard BBQ

Lunch with the Girls

Thursday, June 04, 2015

I've Started My Summer Sewing......

I've said it before and I'll say it again, having basic patterns at the ready is a must for me.  But I do like variations of a basic.  When Simplicity 1283 came out, I thought it was such a cute variation of the pencil skirt and had lots of styling possibilities.  And the color blocking is flattering to most figure types.  I actually like the other garments in the pattern and will sew them later with some changes for my age/body type. This time, I paired the skirt with McCalls 2818.  
                                      McCalls 2818

I choose the McCalls pattern because 1) its a basic pattern that I have ready to sew and 2) it could be colored blocked to mimic the skirt.  I used Kauai Cotton Stretch Sateen (sold out-this same print is available in a cotton faille brocade) for the print and Black Stretch Pique for the contrast.  White pique or White/Black Windowpane Linen would also coordinate well with the Black Stretch Pique.

Things I changed about the patterns:

  • I went up one size for the skirt because I used a stretch woven fabric (this pattern calls for knits).
  • I substituted an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper for the skirt and buttons for the top.
  • I added a lining to the top.

The top pattern has a boxy fit so I went down a size and added shaping to the side seams and front princess seams.  The skirt is a true pencil skirt with RTW ease and a tapered hem line which I love!!  You will need to check the finished garment measurements printed on the back of the pattern envelope before selecting your size. Bonus-this skirt pattern comes with a separate lining pattern.  You can use the lining pattern to make a basic pencil skirt without the color blocking.  

I'm so glad to be back at the sewing machine!