Tiny Chevron Sigma

This is the Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns. I got this pattern a little while back when they were having a sale. It’s a semi-close-fitting dress with some lovely little details like pockets and gathered skirt.

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Last month I quickly made a muslin of this dress. I cut out my size according to the size chart. I lengthened the bodice above the dart using my shoulder to bust point measurement because that’s a standard adjustment for me. Once I’d sewn it up, I realised that I forgot to add seam allowance to the shoulder to bust point measurement, so I moved down the bust darts by 1.5cm using this tutorial, but left the bodice length as-is because the waistline hit where it was supposed to. The other thing I decided to change was the length of the skirt. Not that I didn’t think the short skirt looked cute, but mainly because I couldn’t sit down in it. I have fairly large hips and thighs, so the hem was digging into my legs and riding up in an almost ‘basic instinct’ kind of way.

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I kind of thought that this dress would be a super quick project, because I cut out and sewed the muslin in a matter of hours. But muslins are not an indication of how long a project will take by any means! I sewed this dress in short bursts and took about 2 weeks in total sewing an hour at a time here and there. The insides look pretty pristine if I do say so myself. I used a combination of different seam finishes. The side seams are finished with an overlocker, the waist and hems are finished with bias binding, and the back seam is pinked. That being said, I think someone who sews more often would probably have a quicker time with this dress.

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I haven’t sewn sleeves in a dress for quite a long time. I figured it was about time I had a dress with sleeves. Looking through my closet, I saw that about 90% of my dresses are sleeveless. The other 10% are long-sleeved winter dresses. I think I only have 2 dresses with short sleeves. So setting in the sleeves were a little bit of a challenge for me. One of them is perfectly smooth, but the other has little puckers at the top. It doesn’t bother me enough to unpick it though.

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The other thing I changed was I decided to put in an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper. I’m not a big fan of installing invisible zippers. I think mostly because I don’t have a real invisible zipper foot. I have a cheap plastic universal one that sometimes does a good job and sometimes doesn’t. I used this youtube tutorial, which explains it very well, but I kind of messed it up by the zipper stop anyway. It looks ok right now, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to withstand being washed… Stephanie from Love Teach Sew also suggested the tutorial on Megan Nielsen’s blog, so if I do it again I will try this tutorial as well.

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The fabric I used is a cotton poplin with navy blue and white zig zags.  It looks kind of like a solid from far away. Up close, you can see that I didn’t take the time to match the zig zags, but I’m not torn up about it at all. I guess in that way, it helps that I chose to do an exposed zipper to break up the pattern a bit.

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While I’m very happy with how this project turned out, there are a few changes I’d make on the next one. For one, I think I’d use a shorter zipper. I tried to get a 55cm zip, but it was either 50 or 60. I think that might be why it looks a bit funky on the back (but if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments). Two, I would make the pockets deeper. They aren’t really useful for, say, an iphone. And three, I’ll have to lengthen the skirt by another 1.5cm if I want to hem it normally, not with bias binding.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Double feature: eucalypt and mabel

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Today I’m revealing a couple of separates I’m really proud of. I didn’t really intend for them to match, as I had cut them both out on separate occasions, and only decided to put them together when an indie pattern contest was announced over at the Monthly Stitch. Here are the Eucalypt top from Megan Nielsen and the Mabel skirt from Colette Patterns. I am really enthusiastic about these two pieces for a number of reasons. First, they are both incredibly easy to sew. I took my sweet time, sewing in 15-30 minute bursts and finished in a few days, but you could easily make one of these in an afternoon from start to finish. The only notion you need is thread! Second, they fit quite well. And third, they are super comfortable, yet look quite chic.

Vandaag krijgen jullie twee voor de prijs van een! Een topje en een rok. Toevallig passen ze goed bij elkaar. De top is de Eucalypt van Megan Nielsen en de rok is de Mabel van Colette Patterns. Ik ben heel enthusiast over deze kledingstukken voor een aantal redenen. Ten eerst, zijn ze allebei heel makkelijk te naaien. Ik heb rustig de tijd genomen om deze af te maken. 15-30 minuten hier en daar en toen was ik in een paar dagen klaar. Maar die kan je waarschijnlijk makkelijk in een middag maken.  Het enige fournituren die je nodig heb is draad! Ten tweede, ze passen mij heel goed. En als laatste, zijn ze SUPER comfortabel! Maar zien er chic uit.

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For the Eucalypt top, I chose a polyester crepe from my stash that’s about 12 years old. It’s a really beautiful fabric, and has a really nice feel and drape to it. I was really happy with the fit of Megan Nielsen’s briar top, so I cut out the same size (M). However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I lost a bit of weight as of late, so I probably could have gone with a size S. However, I am not unhappy with the fit. Because of the drape, it skims the body quite nicely. I made matching bias tape, which was the most horrible part of the whole process because this stuff does NOT want to press. Thankfully, it at least creases, so it wasn’t a complete disaster. I attached it from the inside and topstitched it on the outside, which is good practise for me because I haven’t sewn for a while. The rest went together practically within minutes, as there are only 5 seams (or 4 if you leave out the CF seam), and a narrow hem.

Ik heb polyester crepe gekozen voor de Eucalypt die ongeveer 12 jaar oud is. Het is heel mooi en heeft een mooi structuur. Ik was erg tevreden over de pasvorm van Megan Nielsen’s Briar topje, dus ik heb de zelfde maat uitgeknipt. Heelaas (erm, eigenlijk niet heelaas…) ben ik wat afgevallen, dus ik had waarschijnlijk voor maat S moeten kiesen. Maar het valt niet echt op en ik vind het niet zo erg. Ik heb bias tape van hetzelfde stof gemaakt, maar dat was geen pretje! Dit stof wil echt niet goed blijven gevouwen. Ik heb het van binnenstebuiten genaaid. De topstitching was een goed oefening want ik heb best wel lang niks gemaakt. Maar de rest ging heel snel! Er zijn maar 5 naden en een kleine zoom.

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As for the Mabel skirt, I had already made a (wearable) muslin and decided that I wanted to have it sit closer to my natural waist. I think I took out about 1.5cm from the center back and graded out to the backside. I also added about 3cm to the length so it would fall at the same place as the muslin. I really like the final result. It is made out of a neutral-coloured ponte knit. Ponte is a perfect match for this pattern. My only complaint is that it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. I.e.  you can see the outline of my underwear and tucked-in top. In that way, the center front seam wasn’t necessarily the best choice for this combination, as you can see the line. But it’s not enough to stop me from wearing this combo! It’s just too perfect together.

Ik had al een proef rok gemaakt voor de Mabel en ik had besloten dat ik de ceintuur hoger moest zitten. Ik heb ongeveer 1,5cm ingenomen achter. Ik heb het ook daarom 3cm langer gemaakt. Ik ben zeer tevreden met het resultaat. Deze rok is van ponte jersey gemaakt. Dit patroon is er zeer geschikt voor.  Mijn enige klacht is dat je alles kunt zien, voornamelijk  mijn onderbroek…. Wat dat betreft staat de middelste naald van Eucalypt niet zo mooi in de rok gestopt.  

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While I prefer the look tucked-in, it also looks pretty good tucked out.

(I have no idea what the translation of tucked-in and tucked-out are in Dutch, sorry)

 

A light pink linen Dahlia

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I didn’t mean to be gone so long! I think I lost a bit of momentum after making my maid of honour dress because it was such an intense project and it wasn’t something I chose to make myself. I made a few things here and there for other people, but in general I think I was battling the winter blues and loss of my sew-jo.

But Me-Made-May and the Indie pattern challenges going on over at the Monthly Stitch have inspired me again. That, and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having. It’s been rather mild and not too much rain here in Holland.

Today I’m sharing the Dahlia dress from Colette patterns with you today. It’s described as being a perfect wardrobe staple that will transition through the seasons. I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it in my inbox. I bought it right then and there! It just looked easy to make and has so many special gathered details that really seem to be flattering. I printed it out and traced it quite soon after I bought it, but I wasn’t sure what fabric to use at first.

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Then I had this trip coming up to visit my family in Canada (back in April) and I thought it was a perfect time to dive back into sewing. Yay! New dress! But when you’ve been out of it for a while, it can take a little bit to get back into it. I found that I was slow and clumsy and I wasn’t able to finish before I left. Mind you, I always seem to take on large projects when I want something new last-minute. Not that this dress is super-complicated to make, but it has quite a few pieces (11 in total) and a lot of little bits of gathering, so it just takes time.

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I love so many things about this dress, but I don’t think this is a great first try. When I traced the pattern, I traced the size I usually do with this brand. I also pre-emptively lengthened the bodice (by 2.5cm I think) so that the bottom of the waistband falls on my waist. These were two big mistakes on my part. First, because I didn’t really realise I had lost quite a bit of weight since I last measured myself. And second, I think that I shouldn’t have lengthened the bodice. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. What do you think? I hope to make it again, and I plan on cutting out a smaller size and leaving the bodice as-is. Oh, and I had to change one more thing, which was adding pleats to the shoulders. Otherwise, it would have been completely unwearable.

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Oh man was it ever hot today! It was 34 degrees in the shade in our yard. I have been drinking a LOT of iced tea. This dress is actually great for this weather. The fabric I chose was a dusty rose linen. The thing I love about linen is it’s a perfect summer fabric. It is so incredibly breathable. This is from my 10 year old stash (from when I was working at a fabric store). I originally earmarked it for a suit, but yeah, that was a long time ago.  Those who sew and wear linen know that it does have a downside – it wrinkles like crazy! I just chalk it up to the charm of the fabric.

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What I am most proud of is the invisible zipper I inserted. Can you see it? because I can’t! I also loved using my new bias tape maker, although linen is a little bit thick for making the small bias tape. The other thing I love about this dress is the sleeves! I didn’t really participate in me-made-may mainly for this reason. My closet is full of sleeveless summery dresses, but no dresses with sleeves. The weather wasn’t really warm enough to wear dresses like that. So I definitely have to add dresses with short sleeves to my list of things to sew. I’m thinking maybe a Sigma dress by Papercut patterns.

What is your next sewing project? Have you found a gap in your me-made wardrobe?

Thanks for stopping by!