Light autumn dress

In summer of 2020 I sewed a lot. It was not until late August that I finally realized that this summer would soon be over, and all the nice summery garments might not be worn until next year. Then I regrouped and started thinking of what my autumn wardrobe might look like this year. September was sunny, warm and truly beautiful. That is probably why I set off for light neutral colors and flowy designs. The first autumn dress that I made this year was this beautifully luminous viscose piece.

I used the main building blocks of McCall’s pattern M7994. Instead of ruffled sleeves I decided to make my own sleeve pattern to feature gathered hem. I also chose to line the skirt as well as the bodice, while the instructions only asked for the bodice to be lined. This fabric is somewhat sheer, that is why adding a proper lining to the skirt was absolutely necessary. Eventually I made a narrow belt which was not part of the instructions either.

Few alterations had to be made. As per usual I had to merge size 8 for the shoulders with size 12 for the waist. In addition to that, I chose to lengthen the bodice. At first I added 3 cm, however in the process I realized that this had perhaps been too much and ended up shortening the bodice a little bit. Entire alterations part ended up being quite challenging. Sewing the dress was also not too easy – viscose fabric was difficult to handle while cutting and then while sewing.

Installing an invisible zipper at the back with the lining being involved was quite a feat. It was my first lined dress zipper and it took me a long while to complete the task.

This was far more complex project than it first appeared. Mostly because of difficult fabric, but also due to the lining coming into the picture. However, after all I love this dress! Have worn it few times to work, it is a pity that November came so fast, and for the late autumn this color is probably a little bit too optimistic!

I used key building blocks of McCall’s pattern M7994, drafted the sleeves and the belt myself. I needed 2.25 meters of the viscose fabric and viscose lining for this dress, bought both of these fabrics at my local fabric store. Other notions were thread, invisible zipper, a buckle for the belt and few eyelets. This dress cost me 42 EUR. It was made in September 2020.

Let’s all stay healthy! 🀍

~Giedre~

The story of too much fabric

When I started with this entire sewing business, at first I took really small steps. Bought rather random fabric – the one that was cheap rather than the one that I truly liked. The idea was to have something to start working with and not being worried about probably ruining it. Back then I also had little understanding about how much fabric I might need for one or another kind of garment. From my first modest fabric haul I had this very bright and vibrant polyester fabric. It also has some sheen to it – now I am not even sure why I had decided to go for such an extravagant print or this color scheme. Anyway, it was there, looking at me, so something had to be done with it.

For my very first dress attempt I chose seemingly simple pattern from Burda 2019/05 magazine. All sorts of mistakes were made! At that time I had not yet figured out that while redrawing the pattern onto the sheet paper it is worthwhile adding seam allowances at once. Instead, I was adding them while cutting the fabric, which caused multiple inaccuracies later on when the sewing started. Then, I had a challenge with the neck band and later on – with pockets. Learnt quite a few things with this dress. The fabric was also not helping me as it was slippery and unruly. Anyway, after completing the dress, I realized that I was left with a decent piece of the fabric, which went back onto the shelf.

It was not until late summer that I got obsessed with zero-waste concept, also in sewing. So instead of starting up with new fabrics, which by then I had gotten plenty, I decided to use up all leftovers. That day I think I cut four or five tops of different kinds, thus using up every last bit of leftover fabric that I had collected by then. For this yellow-green situation I chose McCall’s pattern M7899 and made myself a very nice top that works very well with a jacket or blazer. Have worn it many times to work and probably love it even more than the initial dress.

Things turned out unexpectedly here, and I now have two garments instead of one and no waste whatsoever. The dress is from Burda 2019/05 magazine, pattern #105, I cut it in size 36. The top is view A of McCall’s pattern M7899, I cut it in size 6. This McCall’s pattern provides few nice options with the sleeves, might actually try other views of this pattern as well.

Let’s all stay healthy! 🀍

~Giedre~

Raspberry jumpsuit

This vibrant jumpsuit was not in my sewing plans. First I bought the entire rainbow of colors from The Fabric Store online, and only then started thinking so what I will do with all of that. Among all those different colors, this bright and vibrant raspberry fabric sort of invited to do something with it. Initially I was thinking about pants. Actually, I was probably planning pants in the first place, whilst ordering this fabric, and that is why I bought only 2 meters of it. But then, after being inspired by my successful summer jumpsuit project, I decided to look for another jumpsuit pattern. Found McCall’s pattern M8119, which I ended up buying as a pdf pattern.

The jumpsuit features pockets, rolled sleeves and an invisible zipper at the back. Had to concentrate quite a bit on the latter part – at the time I had not yet tried to install an invisible zipper.

While cutting the pattern I had to make few alterations. At first, as per usual, I merged few sizes – smaller for the shoulders and 10-12 for the waist. Also, I decided to lengthen the bodice, and actually ended up adding full 4 cm of length. This was probably a mistake – from the picture it is apparent that the waist lies a little bit too low. Learnt from that and moved on.

If I ever make this pattern again, I should also do something about the shoulders – current shape is probably too sloping, I would make them a little bit more straight.

It was rather straightforward make – few key pattern pieces and then – pockets and a zipper. Made this jumpsuit in one day, excluding pattern cutting.

For this jumpsuit I used McCall’s pattern M8119 and chose to make view C. The fabric was beautifully vibrant textured poly-cotton from The Fabric Store online. I used 2 meters of the fabric for this garment. Other notions were thread, an invisible zipper and two small snaps for the sleeves. It cost me 33 EUR. The jumpsuit was made in August, 2020.

I actually have not worn this jumpsuit yet. Sort of had a hard time finding an occasion for it. Few times was about to put it on to go to work, but eventually opted out – wearing red for the business meetings has been proved to be not that great an idea! Well, I am determined to wear it some time – maybe to a concert or dinner at a restaurant. Am sure that I will be pleased with this nice make!

Let’s all stay healthy! 🀍

~Giedre~

Polka dot wrap dress

Initially I had not planned to write about this dress – it was only the third dress that I had made at a time, and there were many better makes afterwards. However, have just thought, that in fact this dress was quite important – having completed it I finally started to believe that I was capable of making neat and tidy garments – it was in a way my breakthrough.

Interestingly enough, the fabric for this dress was sitting in my drawer for few years. It sat there from the time, when I initially had contemplated starting sewing, however at that time this did not quite materialize. I had bought few cheap fabrics in my local fabric store, however did not quite harness enough courage to actually start. Naturally, for my first proper dress I chose simple and cheap fabric – in case I would end up ruining it after all. No ruining happened, instead, I learnt quite a few important techniques with this make and ended up having a proper dress!

The pattern I used was McCall’s M7892. For the first time ever I had bought a pdf pattern – it was the very apogee of the quarantine, online shopping was difficult, waiting times long, so buying pdf pattern seemed like a good idea. It took quite a bit of time to assemble the sheet and make actual pattern pieces. After that, I have been using pdf patterns occasionally, but do not enjoy using them all that much – I prefer opening traditional pattern envelope and just cutting what I find there.

With this dress I very quickly understood that it is not that great an idea to apply medium weight interfacing to light weight fabric. The waist part of this dress ended up being rather sturdy due to the interfacing I chose. Making the belt and the waist part was rather tricky – had to unpick some of the seems and try once again. After all I managed to achieve a tidy and neat look and was pleased with the result!

The only alteration I made was installing elastic into the hem of the sleeves – open style as designated in the pattern did not quite appeal to me. The skirt of this dress is full circle skirt. On windy days I have to hold it somewhat in order not to reveal too much.

This was McCall’s pattern M7892 and I chose to make view D. The fabric is 100% cotton in beautiful medium sized polka dots, I bought it from my local fabric store. It took 3 meters of the fabric to make this dress, mostly because of full circle skirt. Other notions were thread, one fastener and elastic. The dress cost me 15 EUR. It was made in April, 2020.

I really like this dress. It is certainly not the best of all that I’ve made. But it was the best of all at the time of completion. The fabric is really nice and feels soft while wearing it. In a way I should probably be proud of this dress as it launched me into the world of more complex, more interesting and high quality sewing!

Let’s all stay healthy! 🀍

~Giedre~

Cotton chambray shirt dress

I bought this gorgeous blue cotton chambray from The Fabric Store online without yet having decided on the pattern for it. For some inexplicable reason I had only 1.5 meters of the fabric, that is why, if I wanted to make a dress, my choices were rather limited. Eventually, after a bit of contemplating and planning I set off for this neat and flattering shirt dress pattern from Simplicity.

Sewing this dress was a real pleasure. I love cotton chambray very much, would buy it in every color! Had a bit of fuss with the narrow collar, ended up nailing it, the end result looks really neat and nice. Curved hem presented another challenge. At first I made a narrow hem using my 6 mm rolled hem foot, however ended up rolling it once again and sewed once more for a neat and stable finish.

I had to cut size 6 for the upper part of the dress and then merged into size 10 for the waist. And also I lengthened the dress by 4 or 5 cm. It was a clever decision after all, as otherwise the dress would have probably been too short.

The pattern used was Simplicity S8546, I chose to make view E. The fabric is cotton chambray (Heathered blue) from The Fabric Store online, I managed to make this dress of only 1.5 meters of the fabric. Other notions were thread and 10 buttons. The dress cost me 22 EUR. It was made in July, 2020.

Absolutely love this dress! Love gathered sleeves and curved hem. Have worn the dress multiple times – to work and on vacation. Would certainly make this pattern again.

Let’s all stay healthy! 🀍

~Giedre~

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