Outfit · Sewing

By Hand London Jenna Dress

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By Hand London recently released a new pattern- the Jenna dress! I was instantly drawn to the 90’s vibes of this dress. Jenna has two versions- a square neck and short sleeves with sleeve ties like what I made or a higher neck with a peterpan collar and bracelet length sleeves. They both feature a lined bodice and bias cut skirt (two different length options) , and of course can be mixed and matched for a variety of combinations. This was my first time making one of their patterns. I have the Sarah top but haven’t gotten to it yet!

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I found a textured cotton at Joanns. I couldn’t resist the peachy pink color or the daisy print! I wasn’t sure what to make with it at first but the next day a lightbulb went off and I realized it needed to become a Jenna! Luckily I had bought just enough. I used a white cotton I had on hand to line the bodice. Unfortunately this fabric stretched a little while sewing because of the texture. I wasn’t expecting any issues so I wasn’t prepared! I switched out to my walking foot after several seams and it helped.

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I really wanted to bring this on my vacation so I stitched it up pretty quickly. I should know better than to rush, though. I didn’t let the skirt hang for 24 hours and since it’s cut on the bias, the zipper ended up pulling weird after the skirt set. I definitely have plans to resew the bottom half of the zipper and possibly shorten the zipper a little, too.

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As far as fit goes, I have to say the bodice is a little large but definitely wearable. Next time I make this, I will definitely grade down the bust and maybe take it in a little at the top of the center back. Despite it’s flaws, I really do love this dress and definitely hope to make another. I think the peter pan collar version would be so wonderful in the fall. Maybe since I am going to fix the zipper, I will try to alter the fit of the bodice while I’m at it.

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And I have to mention the peonies! We took these photos in a local peony garden. I went early in the season last year but this year we happened to catch them at full bloom and it was beautiful!

Outfit · Sewing

Butterick B6318

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B6318 is part of Butterick’s vintage collection. It’s from 1961 and has a gathered skirt, high neckline, dolman sleeves and waist ties. I’ve had this pattern for a while now. I bought it during one of Joann’s pattern sales but never had any real plans to make it. I recently saw a few versions pop up on Instagram and I finally felt inspired to give it a go! I got this Rifle Paper Co fabric last year when they released their English Garden collection. It’s such a beautiful fabric with so many great details in the print. I kept changing my mind on what to make with it! I think I bought 3 yards so I wanted a pattern that wouldn’t leave me with a lot left over.

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As far as fit goes, I’m happy. I graded from a 6 in the bust to an 8 in the waist. I don’t think I’d change a thing. I like the style of this dress and I think this pattern is a winner. I try not make dresses like this anymore though because I can’t wear them too often. I don’t know if I’ll be making this dress again anytime soon. Or if I did, maybe a shorter length would be more wearable.If I made this again, I’d also use a dyed fabric instead of a printed fabric because you can easily see the wrong side of the waistband fabric when it’s tied. I thought about backing it but I didn’t have enough fabric and I was worried it would be too bulky. 

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TULIPS. Obviously the show stopper here. About an hour from where I live has a farm that planted a million tulips. Literally. It’s called Holland Ridge Farms if anyone reading is from the New Jersey area. I wanted to go last year but I found out about it at the very end of the season. I made sure to keep an eye on their page this year so I didn’t miss out. It was so gorgeous. I didn’t want to leave! These are easily my favorite photos I’ve taken for the blog. 

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Outfit · Sewing

Lisa Comfort Lottie Dress

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I purchased Issue 3 of Lisa Comfort magazine when it came out last year because I knew I wanted to make the Lottie dress that came with it! I finally got around to it! It’s a simple button front dress with a  bias bound top/ straps. I used a cotton Rifle Paper Co fabric I’ve had in my stash and I’ve been wanting to use. I also used some buttons I picked up on my recent trip to the garment district in New York.

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This would have been a pretty quick make but I had some fit issues. I graded the pattern down a size but when I tried it on after sewing on the bias tape, it was so large at the top in the front. It was completely unwearable. The easiest thing to do was to undo the bias tape on the front pieces and to add more gathers. It worked!

There’s an optional tie sash included in the pattern. I didn’t make it because I really liked how this vintage belt looks with the dress but I have plenty of fabric left over if I decide I want to make it in the future.

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I haven’t decided if I’d make this pattern again. I like the style and I like how few pattern pieces there are/ how this can be a pretty quick make. It’s not the most comfortable dress for me because the straps are set a little wide for my shoulders. I think if I were to make it again, I would have to figure out how to make them more comfortable and set in more so they don’t feel like they are going to fall down.

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Overall, I like how this dress turned out and I am excited to wear it on vacation next month!

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Outfit · Sewing

Seamwork Audrey Denim Jacket

 

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Here’s my Seamwork Audrey denim jacket! I wasn’t sure about making this pattern at first because I already have a RTW denim jacket. I really loved this gold Cone Mills denim, though so I thought that would be a fun addition to my wardrobe. Here I’m wearing it with a Seamwork Hazel dress I made last year.

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This is a good pattern but I have to say I hated the instructions. They bounced around so much! For example, in one of the first steps I’m making the sleeve cuffs but it doesn’t say to attach them to the sleeves until one of the final steps! I definitely would suggest reading the instructions all the way through and maybe rearranging them. I also found it easier to stitch several seams before switching out to top stitching thread and doing a bunch of top stitching at once. The instructions have you constantly switching it out after each step and that’s not necessary. I think it sped up my process significantly.

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And those welt pockets! It was my first time sewing them. I seriously considered just leaving them out after reading the instructions. I started to just go for it and I figured it out. Or I think I did, anyway! They look less than perfect but they are functional pockets so I’m happy. I definitely need some practice with those.

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As far as fit, I think it’s good. I removed about an inch from the sleeve length so I think that’s perfect.  I also removed maybe 1/2” or an inch from the length but if I were to make this again I’d probably make it a little more cropped.

I’m very excited to wear this jacket this spring. It will add such a fun pop of color to my outfits. I also kind of can’t believe I made this! I’m really pleased with the end result.

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Outfit · Sewing

Sew Over It Pussybow Blouse

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Hello! First, I just wanted to let you know I finally upgraded to have my own website domain! It’s poeticmemorysewing.blog  and I updated my Instagram username to poeticmemorysewing. I’ve felt like I needed a change for a while now but wasn’t ready to let go of Poetic Memory after using it for 7 years! Anyway- back to the sewing!

How amazing is this fabric?! I was at Mood in New York earlier this month. We didn’t have much time so I ran down a few aisles and happened to see this Italian made chiffon! It has foxes all over it which you know is right up my alley. I bought a yard and half figuring I would make a top out of it. I had this blouse in mind but when I looked up the pattern later, I realized I didn’t buy enough of it and was so disappointed. I love the sewing community online because I was told it doesn’t require as much fabric as stated. I managed to cut out the size 8 and still have some left- possibly for a scarf?!

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This pattern is great for sheer fabric because there’s no neck facing and the seams can be enclosed. I was nervous sewing with chiffon because it’s delicate and frays. Normally I would serge the edges of a frayed fabric but I didn’t want the bulk in the seams. I cut it out with a rotary cutter, put it in a bag until I was ready to work it. I tried to handle it as little as possible. There’s a few seams I wanted to fix but it wasn’t worth it! Overall I’m really happy with it. I paired it with my Seamwork Leonora  with my scalloped hem hack and I love this outfit. I also wore it with jeans! It’s definitely a versatile top that I’ll get a lot of wear out of.

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As I mentioned earlier I cut out a size 8 and am pretty happy with the fit except the sleeves are a little too long. If I make another (which I’m pretty sure I will!) I’ll shorten them probably by a 1/2 inch to an inch.

I’m heading back to Mood in a few weeks and can’t wait to see what I find!

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Outfit · Sewing

Tilly and the Buttons Francoise Dress

The Francoise dress is a perfect sixties style mini dress. It has a 3/4 sleeve or sleeveless version with raglan seams and an optional collar or button tab. My friend Jess gifted me this pattern at least a year ago. I wanted to make it sooner but I couldn’t decide on what fabric to use for some reason! I was going through my fabric stash and remembered I had this blue wool blend I picked up when a local fabric store was having a moving sale. I planned on making some pants with it but it finally clicked that I needed to make a Francoise with it! A light wool is one of the fabric recommendations for the sleeveless version. I faced the neckline and bound the arms in a grayish blue polka dot cotton. I love when a garment has a little bit of personality inside.

I was able to make this dress in one day. I had no issues with the construction and I found it pretty easy to make. Tilly’s instructions are also easy to follow, as usual. As far as sizing, my measurements are between a size 1 and size 2. I thought about grading it but I decided to just cut the size 2. I’m actually pretty happy with the fit, especially since I’m planning on always wearing a layer underneath. I paired this dress with a pussybow blouse I’ve had for nearly ten years. I’ll probably wear this dress over turtlenecks and button down blouses, too!

I definitely plan on making more Francoise dresses. Hopefully I find the perfect fabric to make a 3/4 sleeve version this year!

Outfit · Sewing

Tilly and the Buttons Arielle Skirt

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My final project of 2018! This was a bit of a spontaneous make. Ive been holding on to a vintage skirt my friends mother had given me with a bunch of other clothes. She told me I could do whatever I wanted with them. The skirt was a pleated midi. It wasn’t really my style and it was too big. I absolutely loved the green velvet fabric though and realized there was enough fabric to make something new out of it! I was eyeing the Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt and thought it would be a great pattern for this. I bought the pdf and printed it Saturday night and made the skirt on Sunday. This pattern is great. Everything came together beautifully. Since this was a spontaneous make and I didn’t have any lining fabric on hand, I went for the unlined version. As I said in my last post, I want to slow down with my sewing. Normally I would have just serged my raw edges but I found some bias tape in my stash and took the time to sew it in. My stitching is less than perfect (the bias tape was a little thin for this fabric) but I still am really pleased with how it looks. To finish it off, I covered some buttons with the fabric. The only thing I might change is moving the placement of the buttons out a little bit. I marked the wrong edge when I tried the skirt on.

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Happy New Year! Thank you for following along on my sewing journey.