Monday, August 11, 2014

What if Designing

What if...

This is one of my favorite questions to ask when creating anything.

What if we cut it on the bias?  What if we leave the edges raw?  What if we lengthen one seam but not the other?

This dress is a What if dress!

I purchased this cotton poplin from on a clearance page for about $3/yard.  To me, that is as cheap as muslin.  Only now I have a wearable sample.  Love it when that happens : )

This dress is fairly simple from the waist up.  Front & back are plain with ½" straps.  There are also ½" side ties.

Below the waist, it is a whole lot of what if.

Here is a photo of the top part of the skirt sewn onto the bodice.  It is merely a giant square.  I cut 2 rectangular pieces, folded them in half and cut the corner (the one on the fold) so the total circumference would match the width along the bottom of the bodice.  

Then when adding the next tier of the dress,  I sewed rectangular panels to each side of the square.  If left hanging, there were a lot of handkerchief hems.  

Reminds me of Stevie Nicks.

Looks great on her.  Not really my thing.

So I sewed the short edges of those newly added rectangles together.  
They are nifty in person, and quite difficult to photograph!  You can kind of see on the right side where the fabric folds in on itself.  

The only changes I will make next time are to increase the width of the straps.  I think that would help with the proportions of the dress overall.

  What do you think?  

Do you ask "What if..." when you sew?

Happy Creating everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Don'tcha Love Leftovers?!!

Ahhh, that last little bit of fabric left after a project - too little to do something by itself, but too much to throw away.  What to do?


I designed this top after seeing something funky while retail shopping.  Creative inspiration comes from all kinds of places!

I took my basic tunic pattern and sliced it up to create this.  I was going to add pockets, but didn't like the bulk so I sewed them out.  Instead, I sewed them together into the heart pocket on the front. 

This is a pique weave linen from Fabric Mart.  The rest of the fabric can be seen in this blog post.  

Cool and comfy for hot summer days.  It's all good!

Happy Creating everyone!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Pinwheel Top

There is a famous designer in the lagenlook sphere who does a top called the Pinwheel top.  I bought one just before I started sewing again.  It was the most expensive top I'd ever purchased and the second most expensive article of clothing besides my wedding dress!  

I thought that anyone who could design something so nifty that I could not figure out right there deserved my money.   Plus, once I have it, I could study it much more closely.  

Which I did...

This is the resulting top!

Let me back up and show you the initial try.

This is a pique linen I snagged from a Fabric Mart sale.  It is a little heavier than usually linen because of the weave - almost more of a waffle weave than pique.

I bought it in 2 colors to do a color block dress.  I decided to try it in this top since it wasn't my favorite fabric and I didn't have anything to lose.  Even tried the color block idea at the same time.

It's OK.  I thought it a little short on the pinwheel portion.  

This fabric is a cotton voile that also came from Fabric Mart (I think).  I cut the pieces to take advantage of the striping.  It was striped at the edges, but as you went towards the center of the fabric, the stripes lessened.  It was a nifty piece of fabric and could have been any number of cool garments.

Anyway, here you can see the pinwheel parts held out.  They are extremely hard to describe as well as photograph.  Very neat in person!

The back has detailing with a below-the-waist inverted pleat, which you can totally NOT see because of the print.  

Overall it's a fun top, light and airy, and I usually get positive remarks when I wear it.  As it turns out, the original pinwheel top was merely a starting point.  Tweak here, tweak there and now neither of these tops is just like the original - they are all my design!  Perhaps I will make the pattern available for sale.  Someday : )

Happy Creating everyone!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Linen Lovin'

You know it's summer when you start craving cream cheese & cucumber sandwiches, iced tea, and linen.

Freshly pressed linen is so inviting!  Too bad I don't have a good photo of any to show you.

Here is the top from the front.

This is a modified Sorbetto top from Colette patterns.  It is a mid-weight linen from The edging is quilting cotton and just adds a little something.  

I made this about a month ago and have been dragging my feet with photography...anyway, I vaguely remember not having enough of the linen to do the binding.  Creativity usually enters when we hit a roadblock with our plans.  

Here's the back.  Notice the nice linen defining marks on the back?!  Wrinkles!  Yes, I had worn this for the whole day before I had a photographer available.  That's OK.  This will never make it to Pinterest, but it is very wearable, comfortable and cool.

What more does one want on a hot summer day?

Happy Creating everyone!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Designing What I Want to Wear

I have found it very easy to get caught up in the sewing world and the successes of other sewists.  I see a pattern that went very well for someone, purchase the pattern, and it sits in an every collecting pile of patterns.  Why?  Well, maybe one reason is that style just isn't for me.  That is my latest discovery in this sewing journey.

Rather than sewing up everything I have in the queue, I decided to sew what I really want to wear.  The only problem is I couldn't find a pattern to match my idea.  Soooo, I drafted it from scratch.  I didn't get hung up on whether I should (should is a terrible guilt-inducing word anyway...) start with Dolly Dressform or on the drafting table.  With little thought, I just went for it where I was most familiar - on the drafting table.  

I used my sloper and made the changes I thought would work and viola!  This red linen tunic was from scraps!  The red linen is from and is Cardinal.  So it really is kind of a working muslin in the very best of ways.  When I realized I didn't have enough fabric to do the entire tunic in the red linen, I found this polyester crepe de chine from in my stash. 

In my original thought, the side panels would have ruffles.  That idea quickly faded when I realized how much ruffling that would be.  Probably too much on a tall girl like me!  So using a pattern was a natural solution for interest on the sides.  

Then since I had some of the crepe de chine left and I hate to waste good fabric...I created pants to match.

This is the first time I've had them on and they aren't too bad!  Notice I put a round of piping just below the knee to break up the pattern.  

The almost look like pajama pants.  Not really sure I'll actually wear these two together.  Perhaps with one of the other red tunics I own.  Hmmm...

Do you ever buy dreams in the form of patterns and never use them?  

Happy Creating everyone!