Monday, February 28, 2011

The "Nothing But Blue Skies" Dress

As I said in my Colette post, I was sick this past weekend and all I felt like doing was sewing.  Sewing relaxes me and let's me focus on something else (rather than, "Where did I get this cold? Do we have enough tissues to last the week?"). 

I had cut out the below pattern six months ago and had actually begun working on it then... 


I stopped pretty quickly when I saw the insanity that was going on with the phalanges:


 

Having to sew these crazy looking things intimidated me so badly that I just stopped working on it altogether.  This past Sunday, I decided to just power on through.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that the dress version did not even call for these little additions!  Since they had held me up for so long and appeared in my mind as a wall, I tackled them and put them on the dress anyway.

Since the dress did not have a very flattering silhouette when finished, my boyfriend suggested I add a fabric belt.  I whipped one up using the belt part of the Colette Crepe pattern and voila!  My blue dress out of a lovely silk jersey...



I would definitely try this pattern again, but probably the bolero or the shorts.  I think this is the only pattern I have that offers those options.  I love that the zipper came out so well and that the phalanges really help make the dress an interesting piece! 


Has any part of a pattern completely intimidated you??

Sew Weekly Challenge: Crepe Dress from Colette Patterns!

This week's challenge involved creating a dress from Colette Patterns....
and I chose the Crepe dress, because who could resist Version 2 with its sweetheart neckline and contrasting sash?


I was crazy sick this weekend, so I hunkered down on Saturday in front of my machine and churned this dress out.  From cutting to finishing, it took me about six hours.  This pattern was FABULOUS.  Friends, I cannot tell you enough how thorough the directions and images were - I will definitely be making this dress again.

For the time being though, I had some fun flowery fabric that had been in my stash and begging for use...

I am seriously in love with this neckline.


and the back turned out much better than expected!  When you hear about a dress wrapping in the back, you may be skeptical like me, but it is wonderful!


I like how the row of flowers form a V.  I cannot say I consciously did that because I was under the influence of medicine, but I am so glad it turned out the way it did.


Extreme close up of the fabric...orange is my signature color.


 A final pose - I felt like I needed a cup of tea and a curtsy to complete the look.  The cup of tea was nearby as I am not the most graceful person.


Have any of you sewn anything from the Colette Patterns collection??

Friday, February 25, 2011

The "Grass is Always Greener" Skirt

Here is yet another project I cut out in 2007...only between now and then, I lost all but two of the pattern pieces, as well as the pattern directions.  I was flying blind on this one, but I really really wanted to see if I could do it....


The final product has six gores and six panels and a waistband I took from Butterick 5285.  I flat lined the fabric with white cotton because it was extremely see through (!!) and it made all the difference.


I happened to have a 9 in green zipper on hand, which finished the project nicely.  I couldn't be happier!


Fabric close up - I love green!


Have you ever lost pattern pieces and pattern instructions and completed the project anyway?? Let me know in the comments!

A Roman Holiday!

This week, I went on a Roman Holiday and made an outfit like the lovely Audrey Hepburn's...

Oh no!  I don't know how to drive my vespa!


Using the pattern below, Butterick 5285,


I made a pleated skirt out of an old sheet I had lying around.  It's a lovely eggplant color, so I wasn't about to get rid of it even though I no longer had a bed that it would fit.


The skirt is crazy comfortable, as is the blouse, which I made from my boyfriend's cast off shirt.  I took off the pocket with embroidered initials and altered the sleeves to be more feminine...


I added some ribbon detailing around the cuff of the sleeve, just for fun...or just to cover up some really wonky stitching...


What movies are you inspired by, friends?  Let me know in the comments - I'd love to hear!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Next week's challenge: And The Award Goes To....

Friends, when Sew Weekly announced next week's challenge of doing award winning costume designers, it was like a match made in heaven.

Instantly, I knew what movie I was doing....


I would love to make a blouse and skirt that I could run around Rome in!  I could tie my scarf around my neck and ride my vespa....Ciao, Bella!


and I would look fashionable with my new friends! 


I cannot wait to start sewing this weekend! 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Seeing Red Challenge at the Sew Weekly!

This week's "Seeing Red" Challenge was one I have been thinking about for quite some time.  I have had the pattern below in my stash for several years now, and there was some delightful red fabric just waiting to become a tunic...
 So I cut out the fabric and made the tunic (finally!)....and here are the results....


A lovely red tunic with gold and silver embroidery....


Close up of the fabric...


Close up of the neckline, which I am quite proud of :)


I also decided to tackle a refashion for this challenge since the tunic was not difficult at all.  My mother had given me a wonderful red plaid skirt that she had loved for many years.  Unfortunately, the elastic was finally breaking down after 20 years and the skirt was not hanging quite like it used to...so it was time to go.

(Before picture to come soon...)

Mom handed it off to me and I gave it a new life this past Sunday.  Using the yoke portion of the Simplicity Amazing Fit pattern, I cut off the bottom portion of the skirt, while leaving the pockets and waistband fabric (about 6 inches by 50 inches - love gathered material!) to be used for the new waistband.  I cut out the pieces I needed and voila!  Something to wear to the office later this week...

 
The back view...


Close up of the waistband.  I gathered the skirt portion and love the flat waistband with the puffy skirt.


A side view.  I happened to have a red zipper hanging about (yay!) and I feel I am becoming much more confident when it comes to inserting zippers into my projects.  I still need to add a hook and eye and then the skirt will be complete.


I hope you are enjoying Valentine's Day where you are!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Dress Four Years in the Making - Stash Busting Challenge!

 In 2007, I cut out this pattern with some fabulous orange fabric...
 And I FINALLY put it together this past weekend!  I said, "Ok, dress, it's you or me.  And I want to wear you like whoa." 


I also wanted to make something that I didn't have to wait til summer to wear.  I have this lovely sweater which I never wear because I got bleach on the sleeve....


And I just got this pattern and had enough butterscotch colored fabric to eek out a skirt...

 Voila!  A new outfit that I love.


The skirt pattern was amazingly easy to put together and adjust - I love the pleats in the back.  It makes me feel like there is a party happening when I walk.


Overall, I am extremely pleased with my efforts this week!  I am just itching for the weather to get warmer so I can break out some of these dresses.  Stay warm where you are, friends!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imitating L.L.Bean is the sincerest form of winter flattery...

I began with this coat and mixed in a little inspiration from LL Bean...
 
 

and here is the end result:


I gathered the tops and lengthened the sleeves, shortened the coat and took out the nasty lining - I quite like the result!  I like it so much that I took it for a test run outside in our post-blizzard conditions...




Hope you are staying warm where you are!!!