Here is a simple project that took a little thought to finalize.  In my design process, most often I draw up a design before I sew it up, in order to help me visualize the look before I use my fabrics in the final design.  If I come across a pattern that has a basic design, it becomes my canvas for designing what I want.  But let’s be clear, the design doesn’t take shape until I’ve had time to doodle around the line drawing while giving my creative juices a chance to birth something wonderful.  When I sew with a print, the print speaks to me and directs my thoughts to a design.  In the case of a wonderful solid, I am free to do whatever, or maybe even embellish. In the case of this dress pattern…it was ripe for any design I could imagine.  And this is what I imagined….
Newlook 6482, Simplicity 3503

The moment I laid eyes on this reversible fabric,  I bought from SM Fabric.com, it was destined that I would make something which would take full advantage and display both sides of the beauty it has to offer.  I just love these two sided knits.  My Mom got the red/black and I got this one and several others.  More on those later…sorry, you will have to just wait on that blog post.  But first, I had to test my design ideas.  That way if it didn’t work out, it was me who had to wear it and not disappoint her.

I love how the inset on the side is at a slight angle giving it a slight asymmetric look at the hem. As you may already realize, this is not the original pattern. It was the diving board for this design, my design process began with this pattern.  The plain front was not what got my attention for this pattern, it was the side inset.  At first I thought the inset was mirrored on the back, both being on the right side, but this one has the inset opposite on the back, with the matching inset being on the left side of the back.

how to catch stitch,
Construction Details:
Pattern- Newlook 6482

For the Neckline, I used the Simplicity 3503 (OOP) to get the shaping of the facing, it didn’t fit the original pattern, but I was able to copy the design detail enough to do a reverse facing which put the finished facing piece to the outside for me to invisibly hand stitch it down.
The hem was hand-stiched using the “catch stitch”.  You can see the tutorial I did here.  It was the best hem for this fabric and the look I wanted to achieve.  Now, please understand, if you don’t already know me, I laugh and joke all the time about hating hand stitching.  This is true, but one thing you may not know, is that whatever finish achieves the best look is the one I use, even if it means doing the “dreaded” hand stitching.  All the finishing on this dress were hand stitched.
Sizing:  I cut a size 16 in this pattern because it seems I didn’t want any negative ease, even though I know it looks like it at the hips.  I did add a full bust adjustment, FBA for added room across the front.  I did allow the resulting dart to alter the armhole so that it would curve and create a more finished look.  The base pattern just had the side seam ending under the arm as though the fabric just lays over toga style.  I made a slim “kimono” type sleeve affect by moving the resulting dart from the FBA into the armhole. 
As for the length, there were no changes made after I measured the pattern, it was just where I wanted it to fall.   If I was thinking, I would have finished the seam allowances so the entire dress could be totally reversible.  We shall see how the next colorblocked dress turns out.

Well, this dress was such a great success!  Now when I make it for Mom, I know she is going to love it knowing she is getting the original design in her black and red fabric. Besides, it was meant for her initially, right?  For now, I have more two-sided fabric to buy, and more colorblocked dresses to design.  What’s your design process? Are you creating any colorblocked wonders?

This dress could easily be considered my favorite.  How I never gave a full blog post to it, only shows how much I sew, that I pay little attention to scheduling blog post for every item.  During the summers, I love wearing dresses and skirts much more than I do shorts.  I threw this one on for a Womens Networking Social with my model daughter.

(I didn’t make her dress…but, she has a list.)

I originally made this dress back in 2011, and totally wear it every chance I get.  I even made a romper outfit in 2014 with the bodice as a top for a vacation outing.  Shucks, I think I want another after talking about again.  Such a comfortable wear.  

I just love the “cold” shoulder affect of the sleeves.  They have a semi-flounce affect and just grazes the shoulders a bit to give a little “off-the-shoulder” action.  The waist is a midriff inset that is about 3.5″ with a zipper in the side seam.  I think if I make it again, I will leave the leaves off and make a maxi dress. 
The fabric is a linen and I lined it with a sheer broadcloth to keep it cool.  The alterations were simple in this case since the bodice already has a lot of ease room to play with.  I cut a size 14 and graded out to the size 16 at the waist and hips.  The back skirt was altered to allow for more junk in the trunk.

You may have seen this dress plenty times on my social media accounts.  I know it is really fun to see someone actually wearing out the garments they make.  In this case I just plum forgot.  
Until next post…keep on sewing.

About a month ago I agreed to be added to a pool of folks for a fabric swap and be randomly paired with a swap partner.  We were required to exchange any piece of fabric from our stash. We were to sew it up in any way we felt best represents us and our esthetic. This group thing is bringing forth some serious sewing mojo out of me.  Because, I need, absolutely need, human interaction, not just online contact.  Combined with Periscope, this group provides the interaction of an IRL sewing group.  Okay, I think I have done my fabric justice, as well as made my swap partner proud. I present to you #thegreatfabricswapsmt finished garment.

vogue 1245

To my “fabric swap” partner, Kimberly:  Thanks very much for the fabric.  

I admit, I was apprehensive about working with this chiffon, with hopes I could produce something that would give it life beyond your imagination.  I had an idea immediately when I laid eyes on it for a shirt dress.  But, as I began manipulating it and considering my options, I decided that a shirt dress would make the fabric a little too “business” and take away from my style choices of “fun and frills”.  I wanted some type of frills added in to soften the hard stripes while at the same time maintaining its true nature.  So by juxtaposing them with chevrons and ruffles throughout, I felt I was able to get that fun feminine look with an obvious “manly” print.  Something, I learned, is normally a fashion faux pas.  The fashion world is not my go too place for making decisions to fit my own since of style and taste.  There just may be too many limitations for me. So, thank you for challenging me to think outside the box.

vogue 1245
For those Pericrafter folks who were up all night with me while I sewed this dress during my “LIVE” broadcast…I say thank you!!!   These ladies took the time to vote on the design layout of the skirt.  Whether to put the chevrons in the front and center or to use the straight lines on the front.  Click this link to see the 1minute video of what we did.  
You all are wonderful.  But for me, I must apologize, because, as soon as I got off that last “sewing” and “voting” scope, I totally, sewed the skirt on inside out.  So although, the Chevron was the clear winner, I just ended up with the straight stripes because I refused to take out all the stitching I had placed in the waistline for added security.  For those who voted on what color I would wear underneath…well, I guess I just broke my own rule.  The bra won out in the end, because I did not like the red slip I made right before taking these pictures.  With this being a Polyester Chiffon and the lining adding to the layers, it is just too much for our Houston humidity!! I was sweating while trying to get these pictures taken.

vogue 1245
vogue 1245 #thegreatfabricswapsmt
I believe it was the shiny tricot/something I got at Hancock that threw off the look of this dress.  I will still search for a more suitable lining later.  The black turned out just fine.  It actually made the dress look good…yet again, the layers are just too much for this heat.  I will save this dress for the cool fall/winter months.  Just know however, that it will absolutely get a lot of wear eventually.  Just not this summer. (sad face).  

#thegreatfabricswapsmt by Sewtofit.com
OOps…forgot to hide the bra straps.

Construction Details: 
The pattern is Vogue 1245 made into a dress.  I cut a size medium and lengthened it in the bodice by 1.5 inches and about 16 inches on each flounce/peplum piece.  All seams are french, and the hems are all machine rolled.  

The neckline and the waistline are finished with a banded channel for the drawstrings, which I cut on the crossgrain to give it a contrasting affect.  I really like how that came out.  


Until next time, you can always find me hanging out at Periscope.tv/Sewtofit.  What skirt design and underlay would you have chosen?