Simplicity 1158 Border Print Romper

Simplicity Sure, maybe it took me a year to finish this guy, but it was worth the wait. My first romper! I feel very sassy wearing it, and I love saying the word romper and the whole concept of rompers. I am really into wearing shorts right now, so this is a solid move into the zone of wearable but trendy for me. Simplicity 1158 got lost in the move, but it has been found and finished!

Simplicity 1158 crossover backWho is excited about border prints right now? This was one of the first I bought (maybe close to 2 years ago now?) but since then I have been acquiring them like mad. There are so many cute ones out there, and they can give such a custom look to garments. In this case, I used the dark border on the bottom of the shorts, then flipped it over and used the dark up at the neckline to emphasize the halter style. It turned out really cute!Simplicity 1158 jumpsuit

The crossover back is such a clever design detail to make the romper easy to get in and out of. The ties that extend from the neckband thread into casings at the top of the back and you can tie them in a bow. In retrospect, it would have been cuter to have shorter ties so that the crossover detail isn’t hidden, but for you guys I did get a picture while the wind swept the bow to the side.

Simplicity 1158 romperSince completing this romper, I’ve also made another pattern up and I see that a big question with the romper is how to get in and out. The whole thing has to come down over the widest part of your body, so that neckline opening must accommodate it. The crossover plus the threaded casings really allow you open that top part up, so this is definitely a pattern I’d recommend for someone with a wider hip measurement. And the sexy emphasis on the shoulders is great, too!

The neckline has lovely pleats and a beautiful finish that lies really nicely. This fabric is the lightest, floatiest, slipperiest poly something and it was very difficult to work with, but the neckline turned out fantastic. The back diagonal seam facings are supposed to be reinforced with interfacing, but in my floaty fabric that was too much weight. I put it in, saw how it hung, then cut almost all of it out.

Simplicity 1158 necklineI also realized, rather late in the game, that it would be wise to line the shorts. Since I started these while I lived in Washington, a much cooler climate, the floaty fabric might have worked, since I never perspired. But, now that I live in California, my bum and back thighs stick to any and all chairs as soon as I sit in them. I have found myself in the uncomfortable position of peeling my unlined dresses off my backside after sitting down for any length of time. Super classy. So, after the shorts were assembled it occured to me how urgerntly I needed to line the bottom half. I cut another pair of the shorts out of nude rayon lining fabric, sewed them up, and dropped them into the outer ones, wrong sides together, and joined them at the waist seam. All fixed at the last minute and no more sticky buns.

S1158 liningMy biggest piece of advice with rompers is to try them on again and again to make sure the proportion is correct. Specifically the length of the bodice + the length of the shorts rise = perfect. Depending on a longer or shorter bodice, you must consider how it will all hang together, in addition to shorts length. I am tall, so I always add length. To a romper I add to both the bodice and the rise so I have plenty to work with. Then I have to experiment, and this can take some time. It just does, I’m afraid, but I know that was time well spent. Everything here hangs well, with the top blousing gracefully and the shorts smooth, not bunchy.

Simplicity 1158 border print romperGear up to gaze upon my rompers and jumpsuits, my friends, because I’m on a roll now! There is more to come. In the meantime, go ahead and listen to our 4th episode of Clothes Making Mavens where I get to interview one of the most talented (and nicest) people in our sewing community – Lori from Girls in the Garden! And answer our burning question “What was your proudest sewing moment?” by either calling, writing us a message, or leaving me a comment here!

Ep4 Lori V

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Sew It Chic August 2016

Sew it Chic first saturdays

What beautiful items were linked up in July! I love summer, don’t you? Summer weather and summer clothes. The dresses this month were phenomenal, but I know that not everyone is deep in summer. Jillian from SewUnravelled made a masterpiece of a coat, too. Beautiful work!

Clothes Making Mavens just published our 3rd episode, a chat about fabric and an introduction to sewing teacher Maris Olsen from SewMaris.com. In related news, we submitted the podcast to all the major podcast apps, so we do hope that will make it easier to find us if you are so inclined. You can subscribe in iTunes now, or you can also subscribe to new posts on our website. I won’t always make announcements here on the GrayAllDay blog when we upload a new episode, so if you are interested in staying informed, go ahead and try your favorite podcast app!


Link on up to the August party here:

Women’s garments only
Made or blogged in the past month only – to avoid reposts.
The party is open about a month, until the last day of that month.
You don’t have to blog to join in! Link up your Pattern Review, your Kollabora project or even an Instagram pic. I know there are so many lovely things made that we never see because not everyone blogs. I have one person who emails me the pictures so I can get them up here.
Optional additional ideas:

If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to http://www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I love blog comments so much!. They are encouraging and build community.
[inlinkz_linkup id=654184 mode=1]

Textured transition from Summer to Fall with Stylish Fabrics

McCall's 7385 blouse

What a great concept for a blog tour, right? I really loved the challenge of creating a garment using Stylish Fabrics that I can wear now, in the heat of summer, and keep on wearing throughout the fall. This was perfect, since there are really only those 2 seasons in my part of the world.  In my case, I’m making an all season garment that is super practical.

IMG_2854i chose a lightweight gauze in my favorite color – blush. At first, the fabric was a bit rough, but after pre-washing, it softened and the texture became more pronounced. It was the perfect floaty fabric to make a swishy sleeved McCall’s 7385. Except I didn’t quite order enough yardage (I hadn’t totally decided on a pattern when agreed to take it on).

MCCalls 7385 topI thought I was doing good, but in reality I forgot to cut out the back peplum piece. I was just so focused on cutting out those awesome, nearly full circle sleeves! Luckily I saw that I had forgotten that back piece before it was totally cut out and I was able to add just a couple inches to the front peplum. That peplum is supposed to be gathered, but due to my inattention it turned out much more fitted, and I am so glad! I dodged a bullet, really. I mean, look at those sleeves! I can’t wear sleeves like that AND a gathered peplum.

IMG_2862So I decided to leave the peplum back open, like my Kanerva blouse, and change my closure to buttons instead of a zipper. It was a forced design change that I ended up really liking (after my initial frustration subsided). The bodice is now much more fitted to balance the sleeves, and I had to bring the hem up quite a bit, so I’m not swallowed by the blouse.

IMG_2858But adding the crochet trim feels like it tipped the project over to really special. Those colors together! Then I used my serger for the rolled hem in gray, because I also love blush and gray. I love every color paired with gray, if I’m being honest with you. And I need to be honest about this.

I made no adjustments to the size besides my usual 1 inch in bodice length and a forward shoulder adjustment. This fabric has a springy quality that makes the fit shaped but forgiving.

IMG_2877For summer, it is perfect to wear with my ever-present jean shorts made from an old pair of my husband’s jeans. Real upcycling here! And my favorite blush sandals (I told you I love the color blush). But for fall, I’ll just add my light cords and ankle boots. It will be great, when/if temperatures ever dip below 90 degrees. Here’s hoping!

Stylish fabricsThis fabric was provided to me free of charge by Stylish Fabrics. That was super fun for me! Here is the fun part for you – the tour has organized an amazing giveaway with lots of prizes, including patterns, fabric and even a sewing machine! Go here and enter right now.

Sew Ready for Fall Logo


Here is the rest of the first week on the Sew Ready for Fall Tour

August 1st
Sewing By Ti and Rebel and Malice
August 3rd
Wild and Wanderful and The Sara Project
August 4th
Doodle Number 5 and Sweet Red Poppy
August 5th
Paisley Roots and Dos Natural Sistas and My Crafty Little Self