Flounces in Floral

I usually don’t identify myself as being overly girly or feminine, but I’m finding myself drawn to flounces, ruffles, florals and other “girly” details in fashion lately. So, I figured, why not succumb to my femininity and make myself something floral, flouncy and flirty! (Yes, I am a total dork if you were wondering.)

Last summer, I came across this floral stretch denim fabric at Joann’s and really liked it, so I purchased a couple of yards of it, with the intention of making a little dress out of it:

Floral Stretch Denim

We were planning a trip to Las Vegas in August 2017 and I thought this would be a great opportunity to sew a little strappy fitted dress for the trip, but then the trip was cancelled so this particular dress project was also cancelled, at least for the time being.

Fast forward to early Spring 2018. McCall’s Pattern Company released some really great patterns and for a couple of dollars, I picked up this one, and a few others, during one of Joann Fabrics pattern sales:

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I’m not all that crazy about the ginormous sleeves on view B and C on this pattern, but I really like the little jacket shape and flounces of view A:

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I thought I could make up a cute little spring jacket like this one I spotted on Pinterest:

Flounce Sleeve Jacket

This pattern, although trendy, could easily be made up in solid colors, prints, or with more of a classic look by just leaving off the flounces that are constructed separately and sewn to the outside along a marked stitching line.

One thing that I thought could improve the quality of the jacket in terms of construction and wear was a facing. Without a facing on the inside of this jacket, the lining would come all the way to the edges of the jacket and possibly show or peek out from the inside of the jacket. Upon doing some research of other sewists that have made this jacket, some of them had added a facing and were much happier with the result. So, I decided to take the time to do the same to mine.

I pulled up my online Craftsy sewing class Mastering Construction: Linings and Facings with instructor Sara Alm for a refresher on how to make facings and got to work adjusting my pattern.

Commercial break: I absolutely LOVE Craftsy and have learned so much from these great online classes! The classes offered are an invaluable tools for learning for creative-minded people.

I traced a 3″ facing from the jacket front and back pattern pieces, then also traced the lining (minus the facing area) from the same pattern pieces to create facings and a new lining pattern (adding seam allowances to each):

 

I then decided to add a little fun pop of color to this jacket that is ultimately just shades of grey and chalk white. I used packaged piping in bright fuchsia pink to sew between the lining and the facing. I see this type of detail in some ready-to-wear garments and knew it would be a relatively easy detail to add to the interior (I also learned how to do this by watching another one of my favorite Craftsy classes, Sew Like a Designer: Fashion Details):

 

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Oh, and I also decided that I would like to have a pocket in this jacket, so I just traced off a rectangle (using a notebook that was handy and my clear grid ruler) and cut out two of these from the lining material, sewed them together leaving an opening to turn, turned it inside out, gave it a good press, then top stitched it to one of the front sides of the lining. I thought of doing a nice welt pocket here, but wasn’t in the mood to take the time to do that. Maybe next time!

It was exciting to see my jacket was really starting to come together! I love how the entire jacket is lined, including the underside of the sleeve and peplum flounces. Here is one sleeve getting pressed on my handy sleeve board after the flounce was gathered slightly and sewed to the outside of the sleeve:

 

The final touch of slip stitching by hand the sleeve lining to the sleeve at the hem:

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All in all, this jacket was a fairly easy sewing project and only took a few evenings after work and Saturday morning to complete. I am so happy with it and glad that I chose to make this up, especially in a floral print.

I got a kick out of showing off the lining, piping and little pocket that I added to the construction of this little gem:

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And, of course, my Love, Stephanie label too:

Label in Floral Flounce Jacket

I enjoyed wearing this out to a local fashion event, along with a silk camisole and black wide leg trousers, also items that I have sewn. I even received a couple of compliments on my jacket! Good times!

 

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Happy Spring!

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Romance In Color

Chartreuse Silk Wedding GownAhh, sweet, sweet love!

I was SO honored and excited to have been asked by a friendly acquaintance of mine to custom make his fiance’s wedding gown. We are friends on Facebook and had seen and admired some of the garments that I sew and post on my Love, Stephanie page.

I gleefully met up with the bride-to-be Terri and we started to plan the project right away as we only had three months until the wedding.

She wanted a vintage style look, and had an original idea of 1935’s-era inspired separates of a gown, an over-blouse and a long-line jacket all in silk. It was a beautiful and wonderful look that she showed me, an actual Vogue Pattern that I happened to also have in my pattern library-how about that!

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After mulling over this idea for a few days, we decided that this pattern would be a lot of pieces for me to make, take up quite a lot of fabric, and that we really didn’t have enough time to make it all work.

Idea # 2 was the perfect vision! It combined a vintage look, simplicity, and I knew it was absolutely do-able in the time that we had. I just love this look!

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Plus, when she said she wanted a solid color, I rejoiced because those chevron stripes meeting perfectly down the center front of this dress in insanely slippery silk charmeuse-yikes!!!

I got started researching a decent sewing pattern to base her dress off of in order to make the whole process a little easier and not have to make a pattern from scratch. I found this Simplicity pattern which is a vintage one, but from 1972:

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The dress had the V-Neckline with the center front seam and angled seams under the bust and a floor length semi-flared skirt. I would lower the neckline, turn the bust darts into gathers, and make a new sleeve to resemble design lines of the inspiration gown as closely as I could.

She wanted the dress to be in a beautiful color, one that was vibrant, memorable and looked great on her warm brown skin tone. She ordered this gorgeous and lustrous silk charmeuse in a color called Citronelle from NY Designer Fabrics:

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Of course, I took a few minutes to sketch out the vision of the dress, adding to it over the time and finishing it off with the look that she executed for her wedding day:

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Meanwhile, I got started modifying the pattern and creating a muslin. I chose to make the first muslin out if an inexpensive polyester satin to mimic the silk, but I really should have made the first mock-up out of actual muslin and saved the satin for mockup # 2, but oh well, they both served their purposes:

Fitting #1: we worked out a good deal of fitting and design adjustments to the gown.

I added to the sides where she need more room, lowered the neckline, and checked to see if she liked the sleeve.

Then back to flat pattern adjustments and cutting muslin #2:

She was actively loosing weight, so now the dress was TOO big! But, that’s just fine, better to have more to work with than a too-tight fit. We wanted drop the under-bust seam a little more and obviously take in more fabric in the back.  Overall, the 2nd fitting went really well, I knew what I needed to do next and it was looking good and she was starting to really get excited about her gown!

We had two more fittings before the final delivery. The next was in the dress sewn up most of the way in the actual silk fabric with the changes from the last fitting, but before the zipper was put in, before the hem was cut and sewn, and with generous seam allowances on the sides and back just in case we needed more room. The last fitting, the dress was done, but she wanted to take in the sides a tad more, and there were a few seam tweakings to perfect the dress.

I added finishing touches to the dress using a beige silk lining for the bodice and sleeves:

As an added little luxe touch, I sewed in satin ribbon hanging loops at the top of the sleeves so that the dress did not just slip off the hanger when stored:

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A little satin ribbon sewn into the seam makes a great hanging loop that just falls into the dress invisibly when worn.

I made a tiny narrow hem to finish off the dress:

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Making the narrow hem, almost done!

Here is the dress, all complete, steamed and ready to roll, hanging in my sewing room (not the best hanger-appeal on this dress: it really needs a body and boobs to fill it out to perfection in my opinion):

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The wedding day was upon us! I was nervous about the dress and hoped and prayed that she was happy and loved her gown. It turned out to be really lovely and it looked so beautiful on her! The silk was just SO lustrous and flowed beautifully as she walked and danced with her new husband.

Success!!

I had the idea to make him a little matching pocket square out of scraps of her dress fabric which she was delighted to give to him during the ceremony. So cute!

I am so in love with their love and simply honored to have such a big part of their wedding ceremony. Thank you Terri and David! Congratulations!!!!

Kiss

Kiss your beautiful bride!