Last weekend started out as a busy weekend and turned into a challenging week, but let me show you what I did!
I am still working on my sister’s dress – part of my “Sister’s Sewing Project”. She would like this dress, in this 100% cotton border print and I am using this pattern, Butterick B6089 (sorry for the flash glare).
It started off bad. I wanted a dress like my mom and aunt. I wanted it out of this fabric (100% Rayon, which I love) and I thought I could alter this pattern to what I wanted. That’s when my problems started. If you missed it, you can read about it here.
So forget about the dress! I managed to salvage as much of the fabric as I could and I made a top instead. Continue reading
and I’m not quite finished yet!
Let me tell you what’s up …
I have been searching for a pattern and fabric to make a “replica” of my mother’s and aunt’s dresses in this photo. My Aunt was a seamstress back in Europe and she not only sewed for clients but also for herself and my mother. She used no patterns and could make anything! I thought I had the magical combination for this dress with this 100% Rayon Denim Challis I had in my stash – a favourite fabric of mine!
I still think this pattern, Vogue 1395, might work but it doesn’t have the rounded neckline that I want. Being lazy, I thought I might just make two bodice backs and use those to make the bodice instead.
And I’m certainly not one to waste recycled denim! So let’s make another bag. This one is not quite big enough to hold my iPad, not like the last one I made. This one seemed to go together quicker too! Perhaps it wasn’t as “fancy” or perhaps I’m actually getting used to throwing them together?!?
Again, I started by sewing my strips together, pressing them, ironing on the fusible interfacing, and trimming the two outer bag walls to the right size.
Back again! To recap last week’s post … I wanted to make myself a 100% recycled denim bag, using denim strips like those bags I saw on Pinterest. Last week I cut up my denim jeans, pieced and sewed the strips together and fused on the interfacing for my outer bag walls. I sewed the pockets and the zipper pocket on my bag lining. I sewed the bag strap. I did my topstitching – I love topstitching and Amber, my Singer 421G was a work horse!
This week, I continued on. I prepped the opening zipper, cutting it to the right length and topstitching the zipper tabs on the ends. I switched from the brown zipper to this blue one as it fit around my iPad just right.
I was trying to think of an eye-catching, mysterious title for my blog post. I couldn’t. I have too been immersed in bag making lately – sewing creatively, instead of blogging creatively!
The only other handbags I’ve made I posted about here and here. I made one of them for my sister – she’s seems to be happy with it. I made her’s by copying something she already had.
This time I wanted to make a handbag for myself out of 100% recycled materials, specifically denim. I have been collecting a few images on my Pinterest and I’m quite inspired by this recycled denim Chobe Bag with the denim strips sewn together.
A while ago, I detailed how I organize my Pattern Stash, here. Over the years, I have probably collected, and received from others, over 200 patterns. I still use the same method I blogged about back then, but now I also have a photo of each of my patterns on my iPad. Always at my fingertips!
I put the envelopes in plastic pages into binders with all the dresses together, jackets, etc.
I put the instructions and pattern pieces into one plastic zip bag and store the bags numerically in banker boxes.
I find this way I can easily browse through all my pattern drawings and the information on the back. After I have made a decision on which pattern I want to use I move to my banker box and pull the pattern instructions and pieces out.
My fabric stash is long overdue for some sort of organizing. Continue reading
Last week I made a lovely dress out of my Tower print fabric, here. I purchased enough for a dress and a top so I was determined to get a dress and a top out of it, even if I made an error cutting out the directional print on one of the skirt pieces last week!
This is one of my favourite patterns for piecing tops together. I also have had success with the “By Hand London – Polly Top” and the “Teach Me Fashion – Two Tone Singlet“.
Seriously, it’s been a HOT summer. No rainfall the whole month of July, not a shower or drizzle. The temperatures are supposed to get up to 33 C (91.4 F) this week! It’s a good thing I took the opportunity to run outside today and take my blog photos – I think I will be hiding inside with the fan or an air conditioner the rest of the week!
Let me tell you about my “Tower Dress”. I love that name. I’ve named my dress after one of my favourite prints – called a “Tower” print, 92% polyester, 8% spandex. I love how the odd white leaf POPS out at you.
For my Tower Dress I used this McCall’s pattern, M6503, view B. It has fold back facings for a collar and a wrap bodice. I can’t wait to try some of the other bodice versions. The only pattern changes I made were to omit the side zipper (mine’s made from a knit fabric), lower the waistband about an inch (I’m not fond of high waisted garments), sew shut the wrap bodice (I find them to be a bother), and add piping (my new fetish!). I think this type of dress is available from lots of pattern makers, including the Indie pattern producers.
I started this dress last week (read the prequel right here). I love this pattern. It’s a remake of a classic dress pattern, Butterick B5920 “Retro ’51”. Comfortable and easy to make. The fabric is lightweight and soft, an Ellena Rayon Twill Print, 100% Rayon. I even found the perfect buttons for my fabric.
Now I did make some changes – no heart shaped pockets on the chest, no waspish waist, no corset, no crinoline.
One important change for anyone wanting to try this pattern for themselves – I made the sleeve-less version but the shoulders seemed too long at the top seam. I actually cut the armholes to a gradual inch shorter at the top shoulder point. If I am making a sleeve-less top – it’s going to show all of my arms! Continue reading