Printed Silk Palazzo Pants

I’m in love with these pants! I made them in a wonderful, silk charmeuse with a big, bold swirly floral print I purchased at Mill End Store in Milwaukie, Oregon a few years ago. I originally bought this fabric to make a maxi dress, but decided that they would make great flowy pants instead.

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I made these using New Look 6271 pattern:

6271These were fast and easy to make. Using my serger to make the side, inseam and crotch seams made it go pretty fast.

I added 3″ to the leg of the pant and another 2″ to the hem. I wanted these to be long and flowy and to have a deep enough hem to weigh down the drape. I think I ended up with 2″ for a hem.

I let the pants hang for a day or two before I hemmed them so that they had time to relax and “grow” if they wanted to.

Pants hanging before hemming

Pants hanging before hemming

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I also made a couple of quick sketches just to practice and to get ideas of tops I could wear with these pants:

Sketch 1

Yup, that's me!

Yup, that’s me!

I love these pants and they are SO comfortable! It has to be a “skinny” day to wear these as they can really make the thighs, butt and waist look just as wide as the pants if you are not careful, or make sure to wear something form fitting on top to balance out the fullness of the pant.

I was going for a summery, beachy look such as these images:

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I will definitely be making more of these pants. Maybe out of linen, a soft cotton, rayon or silk again. I love them!

Adios Amigos!

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Denim Sheath Dress

Denim dress Vogue 8995

This dress was completed just in time to wear to the Pattern Review weekend retreat in Los Angeles back in April 2015. Here is a photo of me and Deepika Prakesh (who is amazing and hysterical!), the founder of PatternReview.com, at the group dinner that weekend.

With Deepika at PatternReview weekend in LA

With Deepika at PatternReview weekend in LA

I met so many wonderful sewers and connected with them in a special way. Here is my new buddy Kristin that I also met on this weekend retreat:

With Kristen G.

With Kristen G. at PatternReview weekend in LA

I used Vogue 8995 pattern to make this fitted sheath dress with interesting seams:

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I’m always looking out to expand my creativity with commercial patterns. I really consider this denim dress sort of another muslin version, a draft, to see if I like the dress and want to “move forward” with it, creating other dresses from this as standard. So fun! And good sewing practice too!

I really enjoyed making this dress. It took some time and planning, as I originally wanted to add metal studs to the shoulder yoke part of this dress, but then decided that would make it too limiting. I may go back and add the studs though and give it a bit of an edgy look. I did use a metal-look plastic exposed zipper for this dress to give it a little back interest. The dress looks actually kind of flat and the seams are not apparent in this dark fabric. perhaps some top stitching would have been a good idea for this to really help the cool seam lines “pop”. Next time….

Seam detail of denim sheath dress

Seam detail of denim sheath dress

I made up a muslin and asked my good friend and fashion designer Rachael to help fit it for me. She was great! I definitely will be using her fitting help again in the future!

The dress is made up of a dark wash stretch denim and a stretch silk lining. I serged the fabric edges of each cut out piece of the pattern for both the outer shell of the dress as well as the lining. I use my awesome Baby Lock Imagine serger to overlock and stitch seams as often as I can. It’s a beautiful machine!

I will like to make up this pattern again, but making changes to the neckline, carving it out a bit so that it is not quite so high. Also, I will taper the skirt to more of a pencil skirt.

The opportunity came up to have a photo shoot done at The Nines Hotel, a really lovely, luxury hotel in Portland, Oregon, and I grabbed it! An acquaintance of mine, Gina, has a photography business Afar Photography and wants to expand her portfolio, so asked me if I would like to have some of the clothes that I have made in the shoot. Heck YEA!!!!

Here are some of the great shots she got of me in this dress:

At The Nines Hotel in denim dress

At The Nines Hotel in denim dress

Denim dress on bench

Denim close up against wall

Back exposed zip of denim dress

Exposed zip of denim dress

Of course, I have a little bit of fashion inspiration for this sewing project:

LBD sheath influenced by Audrey Hepburn

LBD sheath influenced by Audrey Hepburn

Red fitted sheath dress

Red fitted sheath dress

Versace sheath dress

Versace sheath dress

I love my new dress and thank my friends for helping me make this a great one!

Denim dress in doorway

Denim dress in doorway

Geometric Print Silk Blouson Dress

So easy to just slip on with some cute shoes and jewelry.

So easy to just slip on with some cute shoes and jewelry.

I finished this dress just in time to wear to a local fashion show tonight. I love how easy and chic it is, and was a snap to make.

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I used Vogue 8915 pattern to make this dress. This is the third time I have made this pattern, and most likely not the last time.

I used this lovely silk charmeuse in a geometric print that I had in my fabric stash from about 4 years ago, purchased at Josephine’s Dry Goods in Portland, OR. I love this print because it is different and artsy without being too crazy. I originally bought it for another Vogue pattern, but decided to not make that one as it is a little dated.

It was a fast and easy pattern to cut out, just a front and back cut on the fold, the sash, and the pockets (I did not do pockets this time).

Back view, Vogue 8915 pattern

Back view, Vogue 8915 pattern

This is my pattern layout:

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I, of course, have pinned some inspiration dresses on Pinterest for dresses like this:

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I am excited to slip in this dress and wear it out, hopefully get some good photos of me in it, and maybe a client or two out of it (a sewing client, mind you!).

Cheers!

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Silk Crepe De Chine Tunic Blouse

I just finished this lovely silk crepe de chine tunic blouse in a beautiful shade of blue:

Crepe de chine tunic blouse in colbalt blue

Crepe de chine tunic blouse in colbalt blue

This was not the fastest thing I have sewn, as I took my time making couture seams and hand sewn finishes, even self-fabric covered buttons. This fabric is so lovely to wear, but quite finicky, delicate and slippery to manage and to sew, that I had to take my time for each section of the construction process.

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features center back pleat detail

features center back pleat detail

I used New Look 6374 pattern, view A to make this top:

Pattern cover for New Look 6374

Pattern cover for New Look 6374

I have seen this style of top all over the place in stores, in magazines, on people, so I have gathered up a few images of the look I was going for with this top:

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I look forward to wearing this new silk top, and most likely, I will be making it up again in other colors soon. Exciting!

The Joy of a Black Jersey Jumpsuit

Black jersey jumpsuit from McCalls 7135

I finished this jumpsuit just in time to cram into my luggage to bring to the Pattern Review Weekend in LA this past weekend and it was perfect for the occasion! I met with some wonderful fellow sewing enthusiasts and we talked about and shared all things sewing related all weekend. It was amazing!

Speaking of amazing, this jumpsuit was a joy to wear and SO comfortable! I got many compliments on it and it was fun to wear!

I used McCalls pattern 7135 from Khaliah Ali view C.

Khaliah Ali in her jumpsuit and drape cardigan

McCalls 7135 Jumpsuit view C

I have been wanting to make and wear a jumpsuit for some time now, but didn’t think it would look good on me and might pull and tug in all the wrong places. I decided to go for it and tried out this pattern.

I added 5 inches to the pant leg at the “lengthen/shorten here” line, added 1 inch at the bodice front and back, and cut the back with a seam allowance instead of on the fold as the pattern instructed in order to add an exposed zipper here for fashion interest and for ease in removing the garment.

Next time I make this pattern, I would add another inch to the leg so that I can actually make a hem, and take out some vertical length I added to the back so that it doesn’t bag out (I added too much here) for a better fit.

I used a strip of fusible knit interfacing to insert the exposed zipper and it turned out great:

Back of jumpsuit with zipper

 

So, I think that with experimentation, adjusting for fit, and the right fabric (a.k.a trial and error), plus bumping up the exercise and carefully watching what I eat, jumpsuits are a possibility for me and I will try this pattern, and/or other jumpsuit patterns, in the near future. Why not! If Diane von Furstenberg can do it, and sell out of it, why can’t I!

(Cue: Fashion Inspiration):

Jersey jumpsuit by DVF

Piper Gore knit jumpsuit with pockets

I am overjoyed with my newly sewn jumpsuit, and am glad I tried it out!

Jumpsuit McCalls 7135

With my new sewing buddy Kristin (a.k.a LeftCoast) at PatternReview weekend in Los Angeles.

With my new sewing buddy Kristin (a.k.a LeftCoast) at PatternReview weekend in Los Angeles.

Plaid Shawl Transformation into Throw Pillows

My friend purchased this lovely plaid fringed shawl (no, it is NOT Burberry!) and asked my to make some throw pillows out of it:

 

Plaid Shawl with fringe

Plaid Shawl with fringe

 

The pillows were pretty easy to make, however it did take some extra time to plan out the cutting in order to keep the fringe border intact and on the outside of the pillow edges and to get the invisible zippers installed correctly.

 

Normally making a pillow with fringe or a piped edge, you can just sew right sides together with the fringe or piping sandwiched between the two layers and facing to the inside, then it is turned right side out. However, this fringe was already part of the edge, so I opted to first sew the long sides, with the invisible zipper prestitched on, right sides together, but the fringed edges I top stitched them closed on the outside, close to the fringe:

Top stitching the fringed edge

Top stitching the fringed edge

Unfortunately, I was not able to match the plaid on the front of the pillows to the backsides which is a little disappointing. I would have needed more fabric to do this (probably another entire shawl!) or cut off the fringe from the shawl and reattach it as trim.

These pillows took about three hours to make, including the strategic cutting of the shawl and sewing.

Taa Daa!

Pillows with fringe

Overall, they came out really nice and make great accent pillows for a couch or a bed. I hope my friend enjoys them for years to come!

Plaid pillows with fringe

Plaid pillows with fringe made from a shawl

 

Colorful Print BurdaStyle Tube Dress: Possible Contest Winner!

BurdaStyle.com was taking entries for making the Gathered Tube Dress pattern and the winner would be featured as the pattern model in place of the illustration:

BurdaStyle Gathered Tube Dress 04/2010 #165

I decided that this was an easy enough pattern, and I could make it up quickly with some nice fabric. It definitely was a fast and easy sewing pattern, with only a front and a back pattern piece, a measured and fabric strip for the waist elastic casing. The entire dress took only about 3 hours to make it. Downloading it from the BurdaStyle website and taping the pattern pieces together took the most time actually!

Silk Charmeuse Print Strapless Dress

I ran out to Mill End Store in Beaverton, OR and grabbed up this lovely printed silk as I felt this would be great fabric for this dress. I did need more fabric than the dress calls for because I wanted to try to match the colors of the pattern at the side seams. The lovely ladies at the fabric store helped me to decide on this fabric as they felt it was artistic and colorful and would stand out in photos.

Also, thanks to two of my super cool girlfriends, they help pick a great spot as a backdrop to take photos and snapped away! Thanks Girlfriends!

Printed silk strapless dress

Gathered Tube Dress #165

I am happy with my dress, although I should have taken a few extra minutes and measured the pattern pieces again, as I feel that the fit around my hips is a bit too tight, and I fiddled with that the whole time I was wearing it. The annoying, ill-fitting half-slip I was wearing under this didn’t help either.

I was informed today that I am actually one of the four finalist in the contest! So if I win, you might be seeing me in my dress as the model for this sewing pattern on BurdaStyle.com. Pretty cool!

Member Model? Maybe so!