Tag Archives: dress

Charlie Caftan

Closet Case Patterns just released the Charlie Caftan and I’m excited to share my tester version!  I dig the caftan vibe but I’ve been reluctant to  make one because they are basically tents which generally don’t flatter curvy figures and tents require a gazillion yards of fabric.  So what’s awesome about Charlie Caftan is that there’s two options – modern take that I made and the slightly more traditional version that can be made in full length. The long version in the largest size only takes a max of 4 yards of fabric. Woohoo!

I have always loved the Carolyn Friedlander Euclid linen from Kaufman fabrics but never knew what to make. Then I got this pattern to test and I knew it would be perfect! It needs some more washes though, because it’s a little rough feeling and it wrinkles just from looking at it. I took photos immediately after ironing and I have no idea where those wrinkles near the hem came from!

There are a couple of changes that were made from feedback testing.

  1. Add a second arm opening an inch or so above the first for more coverage and
  2. Lower the bust panel about an inch so its not hitting at an empire height anymore.

In my version had already moved the placket down by an inch by lengthening the pattern by an inch above the placket. So my placket is in the same spot as the final version but my dress is an inch longer. I forgot to move my pocket notches up so my pockets are too low. This is easily fixable and someday (someday!) I will do that. 🙂

I’m planning on making a long version of View B with a lightweight cotton. I think it’s going to be swishy and amazing! I love that its going to look totally different from my tester dress. Two totally different looks from one pattern.

Notes: As a pattern tester I get a free copy of this pattern. All thoughts are my own.

City Lights Turner Dress

Cashmerette is out with another knit dress pattern – the Turner Dress. The Washington dress isn’t really my style so I was glad to see something I would actually wear!  I picked this up at Modern Domestic on Saturday and by Sunday Night I had a new dress.

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Altogether I think this took me under 3 hours to trace, cut, and sew.  I used a rayon/spandex blend which is not the easiest fabric so I spent extra time pinning.  The dress is just 4 pattern pieces.

Speaking of fabric, this is from the Nicole Miller collection at Joann Fabric. All Nicole Miller was 60% off so I finally bought some. This particular print is called Urban Movement. It looks almost like a kaleidoscope of abstract city lights. I had to be careful of my pattern placement with this print.

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If I had one complaint about this pattern it would be that I had to use 3 machines – sewing, serger, coverstitch.  I prefer to do knits with just my serger and coverstitch, but the v-neckline needed to be sewed and the instructions called for under stitching the neckline.

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I sewed a 18 G/H and I think the fit is good but the waist might be a little big. I think it’s a very flattering style that I could wear without my spanx as it camouflages my tummy.

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This dress is bit fancy looking so I will probably wear it to work. I might make another one out of french terry or some other cozy stretch fabric for more casual wear.

Thumbs up, Cashmerette. This one’s a keeper!

 

Jem & the Holograms Costumes

On Saturday my friend and I raced in the 19th Annual PDX Soapbox Derby in our Jem & the Holograms themed car. It was a glittery pink guitar.

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Our sponsor, Pine Crest Fabrics, let us loose on their remnant bin. We managed to find a ton of jems..I mean gems..in there! The only costume we didn’t find great fabric for was mine. There were only scraps of the sparkly stretch velvet, so I grabbed the kind pukey mauve fabric and a sparkly black mesh and figured I would, as Tim Gunn says, “make it work.”

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I was crossing my fingers that there was some nylon in there so I could dye it..and there was. Yay!

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I hacked the Cashmerette Concord tee into this dress.  First I lengthened it into a dress and cut out the front and back in my purple fabric. Then I cut the front into 1″ strips below the bottom of the neckline and spaced them out by 1″ – essentially doubling the length.

I did a wide zigzag over 1/4″ black elastic along the center front and about 3/4″ from each side seam. I basted the ruched front piece to the purple front piece and sewed it together to the back as one. Then I pulled the elastic out of the sides, but left the center elastic in. This let me adjust the gathers to where they were more flattering. I added on the purple velvet sleeves – you’ll see sparkly velvet on all of our costumes. I liked the unfinished edges so the only finishing I did was turning up the bottom hem. This ended up being way more flattering than I expected.

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For Jem’s dress I used pink sparkly velvet and the full skirted option on New Look 6301. Because the velvet was thick I sewed the neckline and sleeve finishes as bands. I made the belt from some faux leather from Joann. 

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For Aja’s costume we only had a small piece of that awesome metallic print for her skirt. So I drafted a skirt with an aqua velvet yoke/waistband to maximize it. I used Cation Design’s free Dolman Sleeve top for a starting point, but I omitted the sleeves,  removed the bottom band and shortened the length, and widened the neckline.

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Cimberly made herself an awesome Kimber costume. She found a basic white blazer at a thrift store and removed the lining and replaced the back piece with tails cut from an awesome blue sequined fabric. She also added hot pink ruffles to a tshirt and made an asymmetric skirt from royal blue sparkly velvet.IMG_5091

To unify our look, aside from that sparkly velvet accents, we all wore leggings. I made everyone’s leggings using Cake Patterns Espresso leggings. Everyone was stoked to have custom fit leggings made for them. I love that they are so quick and easy to make.

IMG_7139Cimberly and I also covered some helmets with holo glitter so we would be extra blinding in our races.  Oh…and we built our car too! Want to see how our race went? Watch our video!

It was a really fun day despite it being ridiculously hot! Everyone loved our car and tons of little girls wanted to take photos with us, which we loved as the only all women team in the derby. My only gripe is that the team who won best costumes had store bought costumes (Elvis, Spiderman, mermaid). It’s always disappointing in any sort of costume contest when the judges don’t take into consideration that some costumes are handmade.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I was on the fence about purchasing the brand new Appleton dress pattern from the new pattern designer but not new blogger. Cashmerette. I’m not really one for wearing a lot of wrap dresses, but that’s partially because of gaping issues.  However,  this pattern is supposed to solve the gaping and Jenny and I have similar body shapes being top heavy and slim hipped, so if it works for her it might work for me. Also, no FBA? Hell yes!

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I decided to order the print pattern and missed out on the first print run, but mine still came very quickly.  I traced off my size and the E/H front piece.  I searched through my stash and found this cotton jersey I had purchased at Joann last year. I thought it was 100% cotton, but the noxious smells it let of when I ironed it on the cotton setting leads me to believe it’s actually a cotton/poly blend. I was definitely short of the fabric requirements, but since I was going for the 3/4 length sleeve I figured I had some room to fudge. I pretty easily fit this on my fabric.

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Sewing this up was a breeze. The only thing in the directions that slightly confused me was whether or not I needed to reinforce belt holes on both sides. I did it on both, which was wrong but not an issue. The other thing I could have done a better job on was aligning my neckline bands to the bodice fabric. They are just slightly off and that’s Because I wasn’t totally sure how they should meet up. On the next version I will know better and so they will be perfectly aligned.

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Have I mentioned to you that I love my coverstitch machine? It’s definitely a non-essential machine, but it makes hemming knits so fast and easy! This machine easily contributed an extra 25% to the joy I have of sewing knits. I chose not to do any of the extra stitching to tack down the seam allowances around the neckline.

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After I sewed up the sleeves and side of the dress I tried it on over my yoga pants…and I was like “Whoa! This dress was looks awesome!”  I did absolutely no changes to this pattern…I even hemmed exactly at 1.5″ and it was perfect.  I will definitely be sewing this up in a nicer fabric (wool jersey?) than my crappy Joann poly blend.

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The only problem I have with this pattern is that the hem of left side of the dress (the under wrapped side) tends to hang down. I can pull it up higher on my chest to pull the hem up, but I might taper the hemline on that edge up a bit so it’s not an issue.

I wonder what pattern Cashmerette will release next?

 

True Bias Southport Dress

Summer is finally here which means it’s sundress time! When True Bias released the pattern for the Southport dress a few weeks ago I snatched it right up! I love the blouson silhouette and the tank style works so much better for me than thin straps.

I happened to have the perfect fabric for this – a geometric rayon challis I picked up from the “designer” section of Joann for $5/yd. Despite possibly inducing vertigo in observers, I had intended to make the maxi length until I realized it was only 44″ wide. Oops! I actually really like the short version so I’m not too disappointed.

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Although my bust is bigger than the pattern should make, I looked at the finished measurements and made a straight size 18. No FBA needed. The other adjustment I made was to not make the front plackets. There’s never going to be a need to unbutton this so I did a faux placket with topstitching and just sewed the buttons on. Look Ma! No button gaping! My neckline gapes slightly so next time I make it will take a wedge out of the neckline so it lays flat.
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This is a very comfortable dress to wear! It’s been in the 90’s the past few days in Portland and I’ve been keeping nice and cool.  The shape really works for me and I don’t have to worry about wearing any shapewear to smooth out my lumps and bumps.  I also love that it has pockets. Yay for pockets!

I can definitely see myself making more of these in a maxi version and maybe in a knit too!