Completed: A Peony for The Sew Weekly Reunion

Back before I was a garment sewer, I followed The Sew Weekly. Sadly the project was abandoned at the end of last year.  But then along came the chance to sew along with The Sew Weekly Reunion, and I was in.

The Reunion challenge is to sew a garment from the Pantone Fall Color Palette.  Here’s what I came up with:
Sew Weekly Reunion Peony
Sew Weekly Reunion Peony
Sew Weekly Reunion Peony

The Facts

Fabric: The main fabric is a floral print stretch cotton sateen (From my Mood Fabrics shopping trip.)   The skirt is lined with white Bemberg rayon, and the facings/armhole bias tape is made with some plain white cotton sateen.

Notions: Regular zipper, embroidery floss for garment label.

Pantone Challenge colors: Acai and Vivacious

Pattern: Peony Dress by Colette Patterns. (Modified as follows: no sleeves, converted front skirt pleats to gathers, RTW belt in place of sewn belt.)

Year: Contemporary.  

Time to complete: About a week.

First worn: I plan to wear it to work next week.

Wear again? Absolutely.

Total Cost:  ??  Honestly, I don’t really care.  Wait, that sounds bad.  I do care about what I spend on sewing, and I don’t have an unlimited budget!!  But I worried about the price when I bought the fabric.  I determined it was in budget at that time.  After the initial purchase, I let go of thinking about the cost.  Otherwise, I get worried about “ruining” the fabric and then won’t sew it up.

Pantone Peony Details

Front

Pantone Peony Details

Back. I did a handpicked centered zipper.  Also my attempt to match the pattern worked out – woot!

Pantone Peony Details

Inside Front. Only the skirt is lined.

Pantone Peony Details

Inside back.

Pantone Peony Details

Inside back zipper and facing.

Pantone Peony Details

Inside front facing and armhole.  Armhole is finished with self-made bias tape.

Pantone Peony Details

The edge of the facings are finished with bias tape I made from the lining fabric.

Pantone Peony Details

Embroidered label.

This is my second Peony. (First one is here.)  I was running short on time to get this dress made before the deadline for the Reunion, so I wanted to make something that I knew already fit.  The fabric is the same as my first one (stretch cotton sateen) but for some reason this one turned out a little looser.  You can see a little puckering below the belt, which is the excess ease at the waist getting nipped in:

Sew Weekly Reunion Peony

Oh, well.  It’s comfy and was an easy sew.  A win – win, in my book!
Sew Weekly Reunion Peony

Completed: Licorice Dress With a Wild Side

I’ve had this great animal print rayon challis sitting in my closet for a while.  I really wanted to sew it up before the summer ends.  So I reached for a familiar pattern, and made another version of the Licorice Dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook.  (Version one here and version two here.)
Licorice Dress

I really like how this one turned out.  I’m not really sure what type of animal print this is.  It kind of looks like feathers or brush strokes up close, and not spots.  But the fabric is great.  Light and dreamy.  It’s like wearing pajamas in disguise.  🙂
Licorice Dress
Licorice Dress

I tweaked the pattern a little.  I lengthened it by about 2″ and drafted cap sleeves.  The sleeves were a total experiment, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.
Wild Side of Licorice

I also moved the zipper to the side.  I did this because I didn’t want to bother with matching the print in the back.  So I folded the seam allowance away and planned to cut the back piece on the fold.  But when I was cutting out, I forgot my plan, and cut two pieces instead!  Oops.  Because I had eliminated the seam allowance, I had to sew the back seam with a tiny seam allowance, but it worked. Luckily the pattern matched up okay.
Licorice Dress

Here it is flat:
Licorice Back

Speaking of the zipper….I put in an invisible one.  Look how much better it turned out than my last one:
Licorice Invisible Zipper

Virtually invisible and not wonky!!  🙂  I think I got a nicer result because I added light interfacing to the seam allowance and really took my time sewing it.

I drafted facings to give the neck and armholes a little more stability.  The dress is also fully lined with Bemberg rayon.  Here’s the inside front:
Licorice Inside Front

And back:
Licorice Inside Back

Close up of the facing/cap sleeves:
Licorice Inside Facing

Finally, check this out … I just barely had enough thread!

Just Enough!

I almost bought two spools.  Glad I didn’t.  But that was cutting it a little close.  If I’d had to rip out any seams, I think I’d have been short.  But that’s the beauty of sewing repeats.  Most of the issues are already worked out and things usually go quicker and easier.  🙂

 

 

 

Hawthorn Sew-Along: Working out the Muslin

I’ve been wanting to make a shirt dress for a while, so I thought the Hawthorn Sew-Along is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Hawthorn Dress Sewalong

Colette’s patterns are usually a bit too big for me in the bust.  And the darts are always too high.  So I immediately lowered the bust darts and made my first muslin.  It fit okay, except I had a serious poof of fabric above the dart.

I knew I needed to do a SBA (small bust adjustment), but I was feeling lazy, so I decided to just take a horizontal tuck out along the bust line.  I also divided the one dart into two, according to Colette’s tutorial.  (2 darts were recommended if you did a full bust adjustment, but I think it also helps reduce the pointy-ness of the darts on a small bust too.)

The second muslin looked better, but not great.  I re-sewed the darts a few times, and fiddled with the side seams, but could not get rid of the excess above the darts.

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So I retraced my pattern a second time, and followed Colette’s tutorial for making a SBA.  I took out about 1/2 inch.  It seemed to be the right adjustment.   The darts on the left are looking pretty smooth.  (Ignore the ones on the right, I was messing around with those and messed them up.)
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Here’s what my altered pattern pieces look like.
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On a high note, the back fit pretty much perfectly. Normally with Colette, I have a lot of excess fabric in the upper back, but this one was fine.

For the final version, I’m going to be using a lightweight purple cotton sateen that I got at Mood. It has a bit of stretch, so I really hope that doesn’t goof up all my fit adjustments!

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Buddy “helping” me figure out the pattern layout.

Completed: Rose Truffle Dress

I was in the mood for a quick, instant gratification kind of sewing project.  So I turned to my tried and true Truffle pattern.  Since I’ve made the this pattern so many times, I thought I’d knock out in a few days.  But sometimes things don’t turn out like you plan.

Anyway, without further adieu – here’s my Rose Truffle:
Rose Truffle

On this version I raised the neckline, moved the zipper to the side, lengthened the skirt, and of course went ruffle-less.  I also fully lined the dress, and drafted neck facings.

Rose Truffle
I moved the zip to the side so I wouldn’t have to match the fabric on a center back seam.  I also just like how side zips look.
Rose Truffle
I handpicked the zipper again, which has become my go-to method.  This time I added light interfacing to the seam allowance before installing the zip and I think it gives the lap more structure, and it sits more smoothly.
Rose Dress Details
Rose Dress Details
As for the lining, I finished the edge of the facings with a hong kong finish, in a contrasting color.  This is my favorite detail of this dress.
Rose Dress Details
As usual, the Truffle pattern didn’t let me down, and I’m really happy with this version!
Rose Truffle
More details:

Rose Dress Details

Front

Rose Dress Details

Back

Rose Dress Details

Rose Dress Details

Lining. (Those are sun spots btw, and not a problem with the fabric.)

Rose Dress Details

Rose Dress Details

And in case you’re thinking I only sew Truffles, I swear, I’m working on a different dress pattern right now!  🙂

Completed: Modified Sorbetto

This was my first finished project of 2013. It’s a modified version of the Colette Sorbetto.
Blue Sorbetto
I actually finished this on January 2nd, and intended to post about it before now.  At least I got to it before January ended!  (A sick dog, busy work schedule, and cloudy days do not make for good blogging. I’m hoping February lightens up, literally.)

The fabric is a light-weight 100% cotton that I purchased from the same shop where I got the fabric for my Peony. I picked it up for the pocket linings on my Thurlow trousers. (Yes, my Thurlows are still a work in progress. I haven’t given up on them, I just keep getting side tracked.) I had just enough left over to squeeze out this top.
Blue Sorbetto
I modified the pattern by eliminating the bust darts and adding four small pleats to the neckline. It was a simple change, done through dart manipulation. (I could do a separate post on exactly what I did, if anyone is interested.) I also removed the front pleat and added about 2 inches to the length. And I made the bias tape from the fabric. This takes longer than using the store bought stuff, but in my opinion, is totally worth it.
Blue Sorbetto
I’m happy with this little top. It’s comfy and was a quick and easy make!Blue Sorbetto