Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The OOP Oliver + S Bubble Dress Reissued!

I have always loved the O+S Bubble Dress...

But it went out of print before I had my daughter and so it was out of reach for me, until now!  The great folks at O+S have reissued this pattern in digital form.  I snapped it up the day it was announced on their blog and immediatly set to work making my daughter one of each view of the dress. 

View A is complete.  This dress has the scalloped side detail and was made with fabric from the Little Lissette line available at Joann's.   So pretty and whimsical...

I used a second print from Little Lissette to line the skirt and just plain white cotton to line the bodice:

I bought this pattern for the adorable bubble silhouette of the skirt but it turns out that I'm most enamored by the bodice.  The curve that creates the little cap sleeve is perfect.  I really loved the way that gentle curve at the shoulder turned out such a cute sleeve.  And the armhole was really fun to sew - like driving a fast car down a curvy road! 

I'm still finishing up View B, with the straight side seams.  I'm making this version with cotton voile prints from Anna Maria Horner.  That floral print is one of my favorites and I've had it stashed forever.  I can't wait to see it come to life as my daughter traipses around in her new dress!

I'm really pleased with the pattern.  Just so simple and beautiful. 

And now, a word on my works in progress.  I have 2 Sorbetto tanks in the works - one is cut and the other just needs the binding at the neckline and armholes.  I have added a back placket to one of the tanks and I photographed that process so I'm planning a tutorial in the coming weeks on how to add a placket to that popular, and free pattern.  I'm very excited to put that out there on the interwebs actually.

I have also become really, very, obsessed with the new book from Alabama Chanin and I have been working on a hand sewing project that is taking up a ton of my sewing time.  It is a hand stenciled, embroidered, reverse appliqued dress.  I am really excited about it and while I don't have a ton to show you at the moment I will give you this little peek of the dress's center back panel. 

And finally, I am very excited to say that I am going to be teaching my first ever sewing class  this June!  I have signed up to be a instructor for the Hope Refugee Sewing Project and you can bet that I will be posting about that experience and hopefully showing some pictures from the class. 

Ok, enough!  I'm going to stop typing now.  ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Simplicty 1879: Shorts Finished!

After the work I did on my muslin was complete these shorts came together really quickly!  As I mentioned in my last post I almost never sew pants for myself so I wasn't sure what to expect but...

I really like them!  The curved waist band is great.  The side zip makes for a nice clean front.  The pleat detail is just enough to make them fun without adding bulk to the tummy. 

I cut the inside piece for the waist band from some left over pink plaid from my daughters skirt.  This is one of the great perks of sewing for yourself in my opinion - besides getting a custom fit you get to add secret prints just you will see. 

Cute and comfy!  I think I will make these again for sure once we start to see some warmer weather here.  I would love a pair in a soft, washed denim or olive drab, even a print in the right scale (similar to the garment on the pattern envelope).  If you are looking to build some summer staples into your wardrobe in the next couple of months Simplicity 1879 is a good one to try.  As for me, I think my next project is going to be some tanks using the famous, free Sorbetto pattern from Colette Patterns.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Simplicity 1879: Muslin for Cuffed Shorts with Side Zip

As I was making up my daughter's latest Music Class Skirt I realized that I have a TON of the navy cord in my stash (at least 3 yards remaining).  I started trying to think of ways to use some of it up.  I thought about maybe a skirt for me and then I remembered that I just stashed this pattern, Simplicity 1879:

This is one of the womens' wear patterns that Liesel Gibson has designed for Simplicity.  I was drawn to the shorts pattern immediately because I can never find comfortable, flattering shorts for myself in stores.  So, even though I am usually not inspired to sew pants and shorts for myself I decided to give these a try.  Because I'm not that practiced at fitting pants and shorts for myself I decided to do a muslin using the size 14 pattern pieces.  My muslin fit great in back:

But look at the front!  Unfortunate.

Wierd crotch wrinkles is not a good look for anyone.  I had to do some research to figure out what to do about those "smile" wrinkles that were radiating from the crotch.  I found a great resource for pants fitting on Coletterie.  If you are looking to fit pants start with the Coletterie Pant Fitting Cheatsheet.  I was able to diagnose the problem and then see diagrams about how to alter to fix it!  The diagrams were developed with the Collette Clover pants pattern in mind but I think they would be very helpful to anyone sewing pants or shorts - they certainly helped me!  

First I let out the side seams 3/8" on each side from the waist and tapering to nothing at the hip.  That alteration really helped but didn't entirely eliminate the problem.  Instead of "smile" lines that pulled upward I had a fold of fabric that fell straight across the shorts at the crotch.  I was able to pinch it out using pins. I folded about 1.5" at the crotch and then tapered the fold to nothing at the side seam.  Here the result (note, I'm wearing them inside out here so the pleats look a little strange):

Much better - I think that will do it.  I pulled the muslin apart and used it to make a new front pattern piece.  Here is a photo showing the original pattern (top) and my altered pattern (bottom).  The difference looks huge to me! 

The curve in the side seam and the waist is much more exagerated and the length between the crotch and waist is much shorter.   I must be a true, blue sewing geek because I find that picture fascinating!

Now what I should do next is make another muslin with my new pattern but guess what?  I'm not going to - I'm just going to throw caution to the wind and slice into my fashion fabric using the new pattern.  I'm feeling really brave since my fashion fabric was purchased on sale over a year ago and I have tons and tons of it.  Stay tuned for my finished shorts and wish me luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Music Class Blouse and Skirt Revisited

I seem come back to my Oliver + S patterns time and time again, season after season, making them up in various fabrics and ever larger sizes as my children grow.  Case in point is the Music Class Blouse and Skirt which I blogged about last August here.  My daughter has just about outgrown her old music class separates so I went back to my pattern, traced off the next size up (my baby needs a 3T already!) and got down to business.

I made 2 tops.  The first is from a white on white dot print that I have had in my stash forever.  I have always planned to make this fabric into a Music Class blouse with black buttons and I finally, finally got to it.  Won't this be cute with black Mary Janes?

I really like the classic look of the white dot print with the shiny black buttons...

And let me just tell you I was thanking my lucky stars that I had just had my machine professionally cleaned while I sewed that white top.
The second top is made from one of the "Aunt Edna" prints by Denyse Schmidt that are out at Joann Fabrics right now.  Of course I needed to pink this up a little bit with the buttons since my daughter loves her some pink. 

I made a music class skirt to go with the blue print top in navy blue pinwhale cord with pleated inset in a coordinating cotton print. 

I can't say enough how terrific this skirt pattern is.  This skirt has pockets and the cute pleated inset panel and it is so genius in my opinion because you get all these cute details out of just 4 pattern pieces.  Waist band, side panel and center panel plus a simple rectangle for the pleated insert.  Love, love. 

Next up I'm going to attempt a pair of shorts for myself using a Simplicity 1879 and some more of that navy pinwhale cord.  There will be a muslin people!   How about you?  Any spring-time sewing going on?