A Lacy Staple Dress

Lacey-Staple-Dress3 The April Rhodes Staple Dress is not my most exciting make of all time, but the pattern is a great blank canvas for a fun fabric choice. In this case I used a unique lacy striped fabric I had been saving for ages. It is a sheer weave without much stretch that worked great for this shape, but does require a slip.

Lacey-Staple-Dress5 Of course I chose the hi-lo hem option. Yes, I may be over-doing this trend, but when I am sick of it I can just cut it off straight.

Lacey-Staple-Dress2I made a size small, which was plenty roomy for me. I just serged the whole thing with white thread and it worked well on this lacy fabric. Then, for added interest, I added a neckband, armband and hemband cut across the stripes. Without any stretch, the bands do droop a bit, but I still like them. I think it helps add a little something.

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Two disappointments: From the front, the hi-lo is barely visible. Also, the lacy fabric would not allow for pockets (they would show through). Pockets are one of my favorite features of this dress. Maybe I’ll make another in a fabulous large scale print and be able to enjoy the pockets. I don’t think any of the dresses I’ve made have had pockets. Pity party!

Lacey-Staple-Dress6But check out that excellent stripe matching! I’m walking sideways into every room from now on. I’d better go practice that tricky maneuver!

Just a swingin’ people tank

McCalls6751dTurns out I have a ton of the “people” fabric left over from my Suzy pants. Sometimes pants patterns call for double the length of your leg, so I bought 2.5 yards. But what I have figured out in my vast pant making experience (3 pair!) is that if the apparel fabric is 60″ wide I can always get both pant legs on one width of fabric and I will only need 1.25 – 1.5 yards (making pants very economical, no?).

McCalls6751aSo I have a bunch of this great fabric sitting around. What to do with it? It had to be something light and breezy. So I used McCall’s 6751 to make this easy tank top. It features a hi-lo hem (no, I’m not sick of the hi-lo hem yet! More to come!) and a cute little box pleat detail at the back neckline that is impossible to see on my busy people fabric, but makes the back float down and out nicely.

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Do you see the people? Look carefully!

I didn’t read the directions for this simple tank, so I can’t give a thorough review. I like the fit of the neckline and armhole very much. I might use that for other pattern modifications, actually.

McCalls6751gDuring construction I tried it on and it looked huge! I know what you are thinking – “What? A McCall’s pattern is too big? And why are you surprised, Helena?” The A-line shape was so exaggerated I looked like a tent. I thought I was going to have to do some major alterations on it, like take it in several inches on each side, and that would, of course, mess up the hemline curve, which was my favorite part of the otherwise pretty plain tank.

McCalls6751bBut instead of all that, I just chopped it off! I love the proportion so much now! I don’t know if I will wear it without a layer under it, but if the tank under it is slim it preserves the impression of a crop top without actually showing my tummy. Who knows, maybe we will have a super hot day here and I’ll wear it without something underneath…if I do, I will most certainly not take a picture and post it on the internet!

McCalls6751fI had so much extra fabric that I could make bias tape to finish my neckline and armholes. I love that finish and I wanted to make sure it stayed light and easy.  Then I just turned up the bottom hem twice.

MCalls6751hPlease note the awesome painted “H” background we found at a school in Bellevue. I wish I could do all my photos in front of my own signature monogram! Hmm… maybe I should paint one of these on the side of my house?

Dive into the Cosi Swimsuit Blog Tour!

Cosi Swimsuit3 copyI’m thrilled to be part of the Cosi Swimsuit tour for Suz of SewPony.

There are going to be 20 bloggers on this tour because this swimsuit pattern has endless possibilities! There are no less than 7 views included with this baby! That is a lot of options.

I could only make 3 views my little old self, but I am confident after seeing everyone else’s interpretations I am going to need to make more. Oh dear!Cosi Swimsuit6

My favorite part of the Cosi Swimsuit is the panel options, giving me the opportunity to mix different fabrics, which is one of my favorite things to do. Evidence here, here, here, and here. Continue reading

Oh Bomblulu! My Franken-Indie Swimsuit

FrankenIndie1Here is my Franken-Indie! I’ve been excited about this contest as soon as it was announced. I still waited until the last minute to finish it, though…

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I snapped up the Pattern Parcel this time, and it included the much admired Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit pattern. All the views are cute, and I have seen countless adorable and flattering versions all over the internet, but I was especially excited to see a bikini bottom option. I prefer 2 piece swimsuits actually.

FrankenIndie4 Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s to me! The Liebster Award

20140428-101225Thanks to Jen from My Sewing Suite, I got nominated for this little award that helps promote new blogs. That is so super nice! Then, before I could get my act together and write up this post, the sweetie over at Dressing The Role also nominated me! That means it took longer to write this post than is excusable, but I enjoyed it so much and I really appreciate the nominations! Continue reading

Suzy pants are easy pants!

SuzyPants2Oh the joy of making my own pants! No, I’m not over it yet. It still brings me such satisfaction. These are simple and comfy, but still unique and trendy.

So, I wasn’t ready to dive into another pair of labor-intensive jeans, even though my first ones were highly successful and I am wearing them (too?) often. I thought I would try something a little easier… little did I know how much work these would be. Continue reading

Hemlock beyond recognition

pinkHemlock5Now, if you are here to see how Grainline’s Hemlock Tee fits, this is not your post. I made many alterations to this pattern and I didn’t keep very good track of the how or why of it. But I finally ended up with a great T-shirt that I love wearing! This soft, drapey jersey is so lovely. It was $2 a yard in LA, and I also made my daughter a shirt from it. Continue reading