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8/19/2014

New Patterns, new projects and a Moneta dress

When Colette Patterns announced their sale on some older patterns I immediately ordered two. The Parfait and the Ceylon dress. Two patterns for the price of one, woohoo!



I just finished my first Moneta dress.






Pattern Description:
Made with knit fabric, this dress can be created in a matter of hours. All three styles of Moneta dresses have a gently curved, wide neckline, a fitted bodice, and a shirred skirt with in-seam pockets. Version 1 is a sleeveless dress with a lined bodice and narrow round collar that laps at the center back. Version 2 has an unlined bodice and short sleeves, while version 3 has an unlined bodice and 3/4-length sleeves. (from their website)

Pattern Sizing:
XS - 3XL
According to my measurements I am a size XS. The fit is snug. Would make a size S instead.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy instructions and a sew-along on their website.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It is a very easy knit dress, great for sewing with knits for the first time. I like the different neckline options.

I don't like the gathered skirt. It just doesn't look good on me. This is only a matter of taste and preference in style!

Fabric Used:
I believe it is a lightweight Cotton Lycra Knit. I got it at the sale section at Denver Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
My measurements put me in a size XS, but I ended up sewing the bodice side seams with a 1/4 SA instead of 1/3.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will not sew it again for myself, since I don't like the gathered skirt on me. Regardless of that I do recommend it, especially for people who just start to sew with knits.

Conclusion: 
Sadly this dress didn't work for me with the skirt. I will use the bodice though and alter it with another kind of skirt and/or as a shirt. 


 After my disappointment with the Moneta Dress I am off to new projects! 

Colette Licorice Dress with Sea Horses
Lady Skater Dress with Doodles
Shorts in Linen and Chambray



And here for some good music!


8/10/2014

Licorice Dress by Colette Patterns and more fabric

Long time no posting! 

Sorry about my absence here on the blog. I had a friend from Germany visiting for four weeks. We went on a road trip to Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. The time went by way too fast! Now I am back in full swing sewing gifts for my niece and nephews, and trying to catch up on my never ending list of projects.

I also got some new fabric in the meantime:

Far Far Away II FQB by Heather Ross


 Indelible FQB by Katarina Roccella


 Indelible knit on the left, the other two are from Girl Charlee


 Peach Skin from Girl Charlee


 Pretty Potent FQB by Anna Maria Horner



But now for the dress review. I made this dress over a year ago and for some reason never got around writing about it. It's the Licorice dress from Colette Patterns. It is one of five patterns from their book The Colette Sewing Handbook



Pattern Description:
The full sleeves gathered with elastic at the cuffs are so pretty and flattering. I don’t know why, but their proportions just seem to make your waist look smaller somehow. The lack of waist seam makes this particularly forgiving for those of us without tiny waists (ahem). The collar is tucked at the shoulders, so that it pinches into a sort of draped effect, almost like a cowl. (from their website)
 
Pattern Sizing:
Bust 33" - 46", I made 34" (Size 2)
 
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, just without the collar and sleeves
 
Were the instructions easy to follow?
As always with Colette patterns well written and easy to follow instructions
 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I am not too fond of the collar and the puffy sleeves.
 
Fabric Used:
Main fabric: Silk Crepe
Lining fabric: Silk/Cotton blend
 
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I omitted the sleeves and collar
 
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes! I made already two more
 
Conclusion: 
I absolutely love this dress. Very easy shift dress that doesn't require a lot of fabric.

7/02/2014

Table runner a la Alabama Chanin

I can finally blog about this project. It was the birthday present for my moms 6oth birthday. 
A table runner Alabama Chanin style. They offer a complete kit on their website, but I opted on making it completely myself. Which also meant cutting out the stencil.

First I had to settle on a color combination. I chose nature as top layer and navy for the second layer. I forgot where I ordered the fabric. The stencil color is Createx Pearl Silver. It's done in reverse applique.

I used pennant felt from Alabama Chanin to cut out the stencil. I tried to find other sources who sell this kind of felt, but couldn't find anyone else carrying it in the size I needed. This is the Paisley stencil. They offer all their stencils as free downloads.

Pennant felt is a very sturdy material, which is good for a hopefully long life of the finished stencil, but a real pain to cut. I used a X-Acto knife. Make sure to also buy a big pack of blades! I used a lot for this stencil since they don't last very long on this kind of material, and one needs sharp blades to get the stencil cut as accurately as possible for clean edges. Considering how much work this is I want a very good outcome and not some sloppy cut stencil.



I applied the color with a sponge, since I don't have an airbrush set. The stencil fits twice on the table runner. I used too much color for the first application of the stencil, which resulted in the color running under the edges of the stencil. The second time was much better. I got really nice clean edges.




The embroidery is done with Coats & Clark Button Craft Thread in Slate 
It took a couple of evenings in front of the TV to finish all the stitching.


 

I wasn't sure if I should add a navy binding all around. In the end I settled to leave the edges raw, just like the original inspiration.


6/08/2014

Burda Dress #119 and #120

I have a hate/ love relationship with Burda patterns. There are so many wonderful Burda patterns that I don't know where to start sometimes. Yet it drives me nuts that the seam allowances aren't included. Really, it can't be that hard to include it. I have one year of Burda Magazine laying around and only tried two patterns so far. One was a total failure. I bought so many different tools for adding seam allowances, I stopped counting. 

These patterns aren't even in any of my magazines, instead I bought them from the website. I am so in love with these dresses. Even though they both were a total pain to make. The instructions are not for beginners!

The first one is the short version #119







The fabric I used is a satin stretch from Fabric.com

The bodice fits very good, the skirt could have been smaller. It's not too bad, and I don't thing others even notice. 








The second version is the long dress #120

The fabric is the same as for the short version, just another color. I would like to make another long version out of this Silk Crepe in Crushed Berry



This is my second go on the pattern, and since the bodice fit was very good I thought I would just make the skirt part one size smaller. I thought myself very smart by instead of tracing it again in a size smaller to just leave out the seam allowances. I should know that these "genius" ideas of mine always end up in total disaster. 

My mind set I went ahead and cut out the whole dress without adding seam allowances. So wrong!
It ended up being too small, of course, and I had to use a 1/4 seam allowance to make it work. That didn't gave me enough to work with to finish the SA in a nice way. So no shots from the inside of the dress. In this version I omitted the sleeves all together and opted for bias finished armholes.

One thing I don't like about this pattern is how they have the mock wrap dress band attached. It's all sewn on by hand on top of the finished dress.





Pattern Description:
This wrap effect dress with empire waist line is super flattering on the bustline. The cap sleeves and knee-length hemline makes this dress perfect for a cocktail party!

This long wrap dress emphasizes your waistline to create a flattering silhouette. It has a wrap style and 3/4 length sleeves with a lovely bow.
Pattern Sizing:
38 - 46 (European sizes)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very sparse and confusing at times. Some steps are explained with only one sentence, but understitching the seam allowance to the facing is a whole paragraph, instead of just writing "understitch the seam allowance"
I would not recommend the dress due to the instructions to beginners. One should have constructed a couple of garments before. Also because of the fabrics recommended.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don't like that Burda doesn't include the seam allowances in their patterns. In general their instructions are poorly written. The mock wrap band is attached completely by hand sewing it on the finished dress.
Fabric Used:
Stretch Satin (polyester) from Fabric.com
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The long version has bias finished arm holes instead of sleeves.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to sew it again in silk
Conclusion: 
I love the two dresses, but it is not an easy make. Nevertheless I will make it again in silk.



5/26/2014

Hawthorn Dress in Chambray

My second attempt with the Hawthorn Dress by Colette Patterns. I blogged about my first version here.

The fabric is Chambray in Eggplant by Andover Fabrics.



I finished the facing with rayon seam binding. The waist and side seams are serged. The hem is a hand stitched blind hem.



A close up of the neckline. As with the first version I didn't use interfacing in the collar. The buttons are from JoAnn's.