Outfit · Sewing

Tilly and the Buttons Romy & Jessa

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Tilly and the Buttons recently released 2 new patterns! Romy– a envelope neck knit top or dress with optional back ties and different sleeve lengths. And Jessa– high waisted shorts or flared leg pants with zip fly and tab closure and pocket or pocket flap options.

First, I’ll talk about my Romy! I bought this dreamy Robert Kaufman knit from LA Finch Fabrics. (I think it’s sold out but I found some here) I love it so much I managed to squeeze this top and another garment (coming soon!) out of it. I also found it in two other color ways on other sites and I’m so tempted to get some! I made the short sleeve version and didn’t add the ties because I didn’t have enough fabric. I think it’s a really cute tee that I’ll get lots of wear out of. Something to note- that I’ve heard from lots of other people- is this pattern runs a little large so definitely keep that in mind. The design is supposed to be looser fitting but you might find your regular size is too big. I fall between sizes. I sized down and I’m happy with the fit. I definitely recommend trying it on as you go so you can sew it smaller if needed. I have fabric on the way to make the long sleeve dress with the back ties.

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I opted to make the shorts for my first attempt at the Jessa pattern. I really needed denim shorts so this was perfect timing! I used some medium weight denim I found at Joann’s. I decided to do the two patch pockets on the front for some seventies vibes. I also decided to try something different and do the fun tulip flower topstitching on the pocket. I love it so much. I’m kicking myself because my old machine had so many decorative stitches and I never used any! The shorts pattern also includes cuffs but I just hemmed mine.

As far as fit, I cut my size according to the chart but they seemed really large when I was making them. I’m so glad I tried them on before attaching the waistband. I was able to easily take them in on the sides and center back, as well as make the waistband smaller. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.

I’m hoping to try the pants version in the fall.

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Both of these garments are going to be on regular rotation this summer! Are you planning on trying either of these patterns?

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(Patterns were gifted by the TATB team)

Restyle · Sewing

Restyling Exchange Reveal!

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I’m so excited to finally share this! My friend Jess asked me to be her partner for the #restylingexchange2019. I’ve never done anything like this but I was up to the challenge. Basically, we sent each other garments from our wardrobes that we didn’t wear anymore and restyled them into something new for each other. I sent her a 3/4 sleeve Liberty print top from Jcrew that I thrifted. I loved the fabric but I wasn’t crazy about the style. She made it into tank maxi dress. I’m so blown away by it. It’s seriously a work of art. It looks like something you’d see in Anthropologie. Jess used another fabric as a bias binding on the top/ tie straps and used another fabric for the skirt. There’s an added elastic waist and a slit in the back so it’s comfy to wear. She also added beautiful ruffles along the skirt.

 

 

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She also made me this adorable bowl out of the fabric scraps!

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Here we are together! Couldn’t resist a silly photo. Below is what I made for Jess.  She sent me a beautiful blouse that she made and a knit top from Anthropologie. I felt terrible cutting into her blouse because I could tell how much work went into it. But she didn’t wear it and the hems on the pleats started to fray. I knew I wanted to reuse those pleated parts though. They were so pretty and I can only imagine how much time went into them. I trimmed them off and cleaned up the hems with some scissors and restitched them. I cut the knit top into short sleeves and added the ruffles there. I also used the sleeves of the blouse to make panels on the sides. Jess was really happy with it and I’m so glad!

 

This was such a fun experience. I would absolutely do this again.

Sewing · travel

Simply Sewing Evelyn Dress

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For the last five years, Michael and I have wanted to go to a WWII air show in Reading, PA. Every year we forget about it or have plans. We made sure to finally go this year! I knew I wanted to dress up in 40’s style clothing. Of course I totally forgot about my 1940s overalls I made and a vintage blouse I have. But that’s okay because I sewed an Evelyn dress from Simply Sewing Magazine! Originally I was going to make a romper from a vintage pattern.  It needed to be graded down but the pattern did not have any markings on it, though. I’m sure I could have figured it out but I didn’t have a lot of time and realized I had this pattern.

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I used a 1930s reproduction cotton print I bought off the clearance rack at Joann’s. I really love the colors in it. I used buttons from the Simplicity vintage line and wore an old bow belt I had. I quickly made a headband the morning of with a scrap of fabric to put in my hair. I ended up getting my hair done in victory rolls when I got there so I took the scarf off.

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This dress was fairly quick to make. I really like the elastic waist because it’s so comfy and didn’t require fitting. I would definitely make this dress again but in something with more drape. Maybe a rayon. I also would consider raising the neckline a little and using the rounded collar option for a different feel.

This is the second Simply Sewing Magazine Pattern I’ve used recently (also made the Eden Set) and I’m so happy. I have my eye on the newest dress in Issue 57. Unfortunately I let my subscription lapse so I’ll be missing out on that issue. I’ll be impatiently checking Barnes and Noble or Joann’s for it! Have you made any patterns from Simply Sewing?

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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!

Sewing

The Eden Set

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I know what I’m going to be wearing all summer! I love this dress so much. It’s the Eden Set that came with a Simply Sewing magazine last year. It’s available in their Etsy shop as a PDF if you missed out on it.  There is also a top version and a sleeve tie option with this pattern. This is an easy dress to wear and sew! There’s no darts so fitting was simple and the only closure to sew is a hook and eye at the neck. I was a little worried about getting it on without a zipper but it was totally fine.

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The fabric I used is a striped linen from Merchant and Mills. It was definitely a splurge but well worth it in my opinion. Those colors are so perfect! And it’s really comfortable to wear, especially in the heat. I had fun playing around with the direction of the stripes  and really like how it turned out. Do I even need to mention that I love the pockets? So handy for keeping my phone in.

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I was in Disneyworld last week and enjoyed wearing this around Magic Kingdom. I also made a floral set of ears to pair with it. I was so proud of myself for wearing me-mades the entire trip! I took photos of nearly every outfit. Maybe I’ll do a round up post of them all.

So happy with this dress. I definitely will be making this pattern again in the future.

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Pattern Insider · Sewing

Sew Over It Kitty Dress

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I am so happy to share that this is my first make as a Sew Over It Pattern Insider!  As a Pattern Insider, I’ll be making new Sew Over It patterns throughout the year. This one I actually tested, too! Without further ado… Introducing… the Kitty dress! It’s a perfect vintage inspired shirt dress with 4 bodice and 2 skirt options that can be mixed and matched. It has pockets and buttons down the whole front. I chose to make the short sleeve bodice with shawl collar and a gathered skirt.

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This dress truly feels vintage to me! I used a vintage blue and white cotton gingham I’ve had in my stash for a while. I had just enough for this pattern! I used some vintage lace hem tape (forgot to photograph!) and I love the finish. I’ve really enjoyed hemming garments like this recently. I sew the tape on the right side of the fabric with my machine, press the bottom up and hand stitch to the tape.  It”s time consuming but worth it in my opinion. I love that little detail when I look on the inside. I wish I could have used vintage buttons in addition to the vintage fabric and hem tape but I didn’t have enough of any in my stash! This needed 10 or 11 buttons.

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As far as fit, I’m happy with the results. My bust is smaller than the smallest size so I graded the bust down and I left the waist as is. I did this by folding the dart on the pattern and drawing a straight line about 1/4′ in from the top left to the waist. I did the same for the back bodice (except no dart there). I also made sure to remove that 1/4″ from each side of the sleeve so it would fit. I was a little nervous without making a toile for this but I’m much more of just go for it sewist. Thankfully it turned out okay! I think I could have taken in a little more or adjusted the placement of the darts but I think it’s ok. There’s always next time!

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This was not a quick sew and definitely took some time but it was so worth it in the end. I’ve made other shirt dresses before so I didn’t find this difficult. However, the method of sewing in the pockets was different than what I’m used to. I was a little confused while sewing them but I am pleased with the results.

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I’m so thrilled with this dress and am so excited to wear it this summer.