Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch To Stitch; Core Wardrobe Building

Lindy Petal Skirt by mahlicadesigns

Lindy Skirt by mahlicadesigns

A lot of times I hem and haw when deciding on a pattern and then spend even more time on fabric. As you may know, I’m slowly working on building my Core Wardrobe. One of the items on my list is a summer weight skirt in charcoal gray. I associate charcoal gray with the winter season, so it’s been a challenge to find a pattern and fabric inspiration for this piece.

Lindy Petal skirt by mahlicadesigns

The Lindy Petal Skirt pattern was released a couple weeks ago and gave me that ah-ha moment I needed. The Lindy is a knit skirt, which I hadn’t thought of doing, and I had just enough of this rayon terry left over from one of my Jaspers to use. The length, silhouette, and wrap look of the petals all said spring/summer to me.

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If you’re looking for a quick and easy sew that ends with a great look the Lindy has what you need. The pattern is free from Itch To Stitch and it looks like she takes care to make quality patterns.

I used a medium weight terry knit, I think using a lighter weight knit like a jersey with a little stretch would be ideal so you don’t get some of the lumpiness at the side seams like mine.

So what do you think? Did I get a spring/summer success? I feel pretty good about it.

Oh, and yeah I got a hair cut between photos.

The Lindy Petal Skirt should take you about 1.5  hours.

Fabric $8  Total Cost: $8  Yea, more stash busting.

 

 

Bonnell Dress by mahlicadesigns

Bonnell dress by mahlicadesigns

What to say about this super cute dress pattern? Oh, I know. Go get it.

100_3983Here’s what to like about the Bonnell Dress:

Triangle cut outs at the sides balanced by a higher neckline so you’re not showing too much skin. A slight V-shaped back to keep things interesting from the rear too.

100_3933I made a size 6 in a quilting cotton with metallic dots from Joanns as a pattern tester for Dixie DIY. (The final pattern may be different)

Bonnell dress by mahlicadesignsMy thoughts:

The dress looks complicated with those cut outs, but it really goes together pretty easily. Dixie’s instructions and illustrations are clear and easy to follow.

Bonnell Dress by mahlicadesignsThe toughest part is making sure you mark and sewing accurately on the triangle parts and sticking it out through all those darts. Twelve darts in all, geesh that’s a time eater, but well worth the great fit of the bodice.

100_3928I made a small adjustment to the shoulder seam which is common for me, dropping the seam by 3/8in at the outer edge to take care of some gaping around the arm hole.

Next time I would reposition the pockets lower so my arms can rest in more of a natural position for me. If I were to make it again in a quilting cotton, I would make the skirt portion smaller with a little less gathering. My sewing friends at the Denver Sewing Collective meetup recommended  I also add about 1/4in width to the bust dart to take care of the extra fabric you see at the sides of my waist. Isn’t fitting fun?

So, are you ready to give it a try? The Bonnell Dress Pattern goes on sale soon.

The Bonnell should take you about six hours.

Fabric $10.75 Lining $2 Zipper $2.25  Total Cost: $15

Handmade wardrobe $ Priceless

Me-Made-May ’15 Wrap Up #1

Peasant blouse

My Me-Made pledge is to wear three handmade items per week. My goal in participating is to use these pictures to help with my Core Wardrobe work.

Week One I wore:Peasant Blouse & bootcut jeans; Jasper Sweater & bootcut jeans; Cobalt shorts and embroidered tee; Orange Zip Skirt & Teal Tee.

My observations: Wear cobalt shorts with that tee tucked in and a belt.

Week Two I wore: Rose Tee & straight leg trousers; Bonnell Dress; Simplicity 4420 skirt (unblogged) & tee.

My observations: Rose tee looks a bit matronly, maybe this will be an around the house tee.

Please feel free to chime in with your feedback. Do you think these outfits work? Are they the right shape and color for me? Any suggestions on how to do it better?

Me-Made-May 2015 pledge

As a participant of Me-Made-May ’15, I’m endevouring to wear three outfits weekly containing a handmade garment for the duration of May 2015.

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My hopes in participating in MeMadeMay 2015 are to help with my Core Wardrobe efforts. By focusing on creating outfits and photographing them; I hope to further pare down my closet,  get a better idea of what looks good on me, identify wardrobe gaps, and generally break out of my mommy uniform of jeans/shorts and tshirt.

My plan is to take photos along the way and do a wrap up post every other week. Any input you want to give at that time will be appreciated.

 
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Cobalt Shorts Simplicity 1430 Core Wardrobe part 7

Cobalt Shorts

I took a small jump into making pants by starting with a pair of shorts. I got really lucky that these ended up needing very little alteration, and a good thing too, since I have no idea what I’m doing on that score. I hope my next try later this year will go so well.

100_3910These shorts are Simplicity 1430. I saw Erica B work up a pair that looked really cute and took a chance. That was last September.

Things were going pretty well, I had just enough of this cobalt cotton sateen to eek out the pieces, I used this cotton batik from my stash for the pocket lining and it turned out cute,

100_3745fit was looking good as I tried them on frequently, I think I almost nailed the fly zipper,

100_3919then… I attached the waistband and everything got shot to, well you know.

Eek
Yikes

Sorry, should have given you warning about that pic.

I altered the width of the inseam seam allowance by grading it from 5/8 at the crotch out to 1in at the hem line. I don’t have skinny thighs, the pattern was just bulky there for me. I resewed that back seam many times trying to get a better fit on the bottom and just could not make it work. So my solution was to park the shorts in my UFO pile.

Now that spring is upon us, I decided just to finish them off and hope I lose a couple of pounds so they will fit better.

100_3916I don’t know why they fit better now, I don’t feel thinner (I don’t weigh myself), they just do. Lucky for me. Bonus, these are in a color I’m leaning toward for my core wardrobe.

100_3915A few details:

Simplicity 1430 view D. I thinned the leg width at the inseam and added 1in of length. This was my first try at a fly zipper and other than the zipper peeking out a bit at the top I think I did a pretty good job for a first time. I used a blind hem stitch and it was the right call with the cotton sateen.

I’d make this pattern again for shorts, but I think I’d have to thin out the legs too much for the pants version. I have another pattern I’m going to try for my first leap into pant making.

Simplicity 1430 view D should take you about 6 hours.

Orange Zip Skirt Simplicity 2451

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I came across this vintage zipper from my grandmother in my stash and thought I’d use it as an exposed zipper in a project. I was drifting off to sleep, often when inspiration hits me, when I thought about pairing it with this cotton sateen I saw at Joann fabrics.

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I was hoping this knit red top would be a natural outfit, but meh, I’m liking it much better with this blue blouse.

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I’ve sewn up Simplicity 2451 view B in the past and really like how it fits me, so I chose view D feeling confident on a good fit. I had to lengthen the back darts an additional 3/8in for a better fit, but nothing else needed alteration.

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A couple new techniques for me on this skirt. I sewed the exposed zipper using this tutorial from Pattern Runway as a guide, next time I might try to figure out how to encase the end of the zipper tape for a nicer interior finish. I also used a stretch lace hem tape for the first time. I wanted to avoid the bulk of a double folded hem and keep as much length as I could. The tape worked perfectly.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with my Orange Zip skirt. The fit at the waistline and hips is spot on. On the down side, the cotton sateen is a bit stiff at the front pleats and poofs out a bit more than I’d like, but that’s not going to stop me from wearing it.

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Awkward arm posing

Here’s to more stash busting. I used a pattern, zipper, and hem tape from my stash.

SewYourPatternStashSq213

Simplicity 2451 View D should take you about 2.75 hours to complete.

Peasant Blouse from MellySews, Core Wardrobe part 6

Peasant Blouse

Peasant blouse by mahlicadesignsAhhh, spring wardrobe sewing is so glorious. Color and breezy materials are what I’ve been missing. I am very ready to say goodbye to thick fabrics, layers, and wearing socks to bed.

I happened upon this polyester charmuese at Denver Fabrics a few months ago and thankfully got enough yardage to make the Peasant Blouse from Melly Sews. I’m thinking a red like this will be one of the main colors for my Core Wardrobe.

100_3862I was a bit nervous about working with this kind of fabric for the first time. My strategy: keep it sharp and pin the stuffing out of it. I made sure my rotary blade was sharpened, used a brand new Microtex needle, and pulled out my “good” sharp pins.

I took the sewing pretty slowly to keep those slippery edges neat and to make sure my machine didn’t eat the fabric. I also spent a lot of extra time making French Seams to containing the fraying edges. The neckline is finished with bias binding that also is the casing for elastic. The sleeves and bodice are finished with a fold over hem.

100_3863The Peasant Blouse is a free pattern from Melly Sews blog and her post gives some really good tips on how to style a peasant blouse, just the kind of hand holding I need. The instructions are streamlined since they are given in a blog post as a tutorial, so some sewing experience is assumed. I had no problem with the instructions, but did have a little wonkiness along the neckline where the sleeves met the bodice front and back. The pieces just did not match up to make a smooth neckline. Operator error? Beats me. I just smoothed out the line a bit when I attached the bias binding.

100_3853The instructions recommend 23-26in elastic length around the neckline; 23in made a pretty high neckline and pulled the sleeves a little snug at the underarm. 28in of elastic for the neckline worked best for me and gave a little more room at the underarm.

I used elastic thread for the first time on this project. I hand wound the elastic thread on my bobbin, used the longest stitch length on my machine, did a test, and added one row of shirring 1/2in from the sleeve hem.

This project took 3.75 hours to complete. I’m guessing half that time was making the french seams. Working with a fabric that does not require the french seams would cut down your time.