Sewing

Matilda Dress

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A perfectly autumnal Matilda dress. This pattern came with an issue of Simply Sewing Magazine last year. It has a mock neck, drawstring waist and two sleeve options- short and long with an elasticized cuff. There is an invisible zipper in the center back bodice and a couple hook and eyes at the collar. I absolutely love the fabric I used. It’s a rayon from Joann’s. The colors are perfect and it’s so soft. I bought it last year but I still noticed a bit at my local Joann’s a few months ago!

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Leafling Bag

This dress almost didn’t happen. I started it last fall and was so frustrated that I balled it up and hid it away. I want to start off by saying that it had nothing to do with the sewing pattern. It was just a series of unfortunate mistakes. One of them was with the fabric pattern matching. I was trying to match the bodice to skirt. I cut the plaid upside down on my bodice so while the overall plaid would line up, the orange lines would not. I don’t think it’s very noticeable now that it’s sewn together but at the time I was very frustrated with myself.

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Then, while cutting out my sleeves I managed to cut a chunk out of one of the sleeve caps. I picked up a little but more of this fabric soon after but never got around to recutting. I was really excited about this dress when I started it last year so I decided to give this another shot a few months ago. When I pulled out the new piece of fabric to cut- I realized I didn’t have enough to cut a new sleeve with the plaid in the correct direction. I ended up just using the original sleeves I cut. I was able to ease them in and I couldn’t even tell you which sleeve was cut incorrectly now.

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I’m so glad I revisited this dress. It’s going to get worn so much now that it’s finished. I think sometimes we just need to step away from things for bit and come back to them when we’re ready.

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Sewing · travel

Swim Coverup Vogue 9255

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Hello! I am sharing my Vogue beach coverup today. I wanted this Vogue pattern since last year. I almost bought it at a local shop but I realized at the register I grabbed the wrong size range and it was the last one in stock. A few months ago Joann’s was having a sale on Vogue patterns and I remembered to get this one! This pattern has three pieces- shorts, halter bra and coverup. I knew I wanted to make the cover up ASAP. I don’t really have any coverups for the beach so I made sure to sew this before our trip to Cape May.

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I bought this embroidered cotton fabric with border from Joann’s. I think it’s so beautiful! I had originally planned to make a blouse with it but I realized it would work very well for this pattern. I was a little short on fabric so I took a little bit of width out of the main pieces and I believe the sleeves are a little shorter, too. I cut my two main pieces on the border. (bonus- I didn’t have to hem!)

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This was fairly quick to sew and I definitely can see myself making one again. It was so comfortable to wear in the heat and I love the fit/style. I’m curious about the shorts and halter bra, too but I’m not sure if I’ll get around to making them anytime soon. I am in fall mode right now and can’t help but plan for cooler temps. I’m starting with some pieces that can be worn in the heat but easily transitioned next season. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with one of those garments!

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)

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

Lemon Gable Dress

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I am very happy with my new Jennifer Lauren Gable dress! In fact, I made two! The other one is made in a grey Mickey Mouse fabric for my upcoming trip to Disney World that I’m sure I’ll share soon.I found this fabric at Joann’s. I apparently have a thing for lemon print fabric! It just feels so summery! I made a Rosie dress and a New Look jumpsuit in lemon print fabric last year. I found it to be a really nice quality and not too thin. This fabric also came in a yellow and white stripe that I picked up, too.

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This was a quick and pretty easy sew. Tilly and the Buttons Coco is probably my favorite pattern for a knit dress but this one is a close second! I was very disappointed with the neckline fit in my Colette Moneta dresses so I was glad to try out another knit dress pattern with a gathered waist. The only issue I have is that the neckline is a little too high. The pattern does say to try on the dress before topstitching it down to make any adjustments. Of course I did not do this so it’s my own fault! It’ll be a quick fix, though.

I definitely see more Jennifer Lauren Gables in my future! I’m sure I’ll be making the long sleeve version later this year. 8545D08C-E3EB-41FB-A420-3432A8B3B991

Sewing

Cocowawa Maple Dress

Hello! I recently pattern tested CocoWawa’s newest pattern- the Maple Dress! It’s a double breasted collared dress with three different sleeve choices, 2 lengths and optional piping/ruffles! And of course the best part- pockets! It can be sewn in many different fabrics so it can be made and worn the whole year.  

I made the 3/4 sleeve option. I was between two sizes so I sized down because I preferred it to be a little more fitted. I picked a blue and white seersucker that I found at Joann’s. I thought this would be perfect for the spring and summer time. I can picture throwing it on with some sandals and walking the boardwalk! I didn’t make the short sleeve because I thought it would be nice to be able to cover up my arms a little. I’m so pale so keeping the sun off me is important! 

I also found these heart buttons at Joann’s and didn’t hesitate to get them. I like the playful touch it gives to the dress. I do wish I had moved the button holes over though because these buttons are pretty large and don’t fit as well on the facing as they could, causing a slight pucker. 

This dress was a pretty quick sew. The collar was the trickiest part but totally do-able! Ana has made a video tutorial to help! I strongly suggest you give it a go if you are hesitant about sewing a tailored collar.

There are so many lovely versions of this dress. I definitely want to make another Maple, in a fabric with more drape and add the ruffle! The Maple dress is available as a PDF and printed pattern.