Breaking Ground with Designer Stitch

BG tour label 2

The Gypsy Tunic Dress from Designer Stitch was an easy choice for the Breaking Ground Tour. I loved the kimono sleeve style and the maxi length option the first time I saw it. The tester photo gallery is full of great examples and the patterns in her shop show some skillful drafting, so I knew this was a designer I needed to try.

BG tour label

I look at the Gypsy as the perfect summer dress for me. The kimono sleeve and loose fit are good for letting the body breath in warm weather, the elastic waistband gives the dress shape while still being comfortable, and the maxi length is ideal for when I want to cover my legs.

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The Gypsy also comes with a crossover front, hi-lo hem, and tunic options.

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It seems like I’m constantly learning about new indie pattern designers and it can seem overwhelming to keep track of it all. I’ve recently added an Indie Pattern List to my blog to catalogue them all. I hope this will be a helpful resource for you.

As always, thanks for joining me today. Please visit my fellow bloggers on today’s Breaking Ground blog tour:

Very Blissful, Ronda B Handmade, Adventures with Bubba and Bugmahlicadesigns

Here’s a little sneak peak.

Thursday new collage

Day & Night Dress Challenge from mahlicadesigns

Have you been enjoying all the dresses on the Day and Night Dress Challenge blog tour this week? Here’s where to look if you’ve missed anyone.

Sunday, Jan 8th: Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This, Brittany of Brittany J Jones
Monday, Jan 9th: Maria of How Good is That?, Tonya of Sew So Petite
Tuesday, Jan 10th: Je’Tua of Robertswife, Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’, Melanie of Its Melanie Darling
Wednesday, Jan 11th: Linda of Elle Gee Makes, Tee of Maggie Elaine
Thursday, Jan 12th: Bianca of Thanks I Made Them, Daniela of On the Cutting Floor
Friday, Jan 13th: Melissa of Mahlicadesigns, Rachel of Sew Redy, Renata of Runnningnstyle, Sonja of Sewing ala Carte
Saturday, Jan 14th: Doja of Elewa blog, Judith of Judith Dee’s World, Tanya of Mrs. Hughes

When initially presented with the Day & Night Dress Challenge my plan was to not only have Day and Night looks but also have dresses with uses that were day and night too. A breezy colorful dress for summer and a reserved black dress for winter. Alas sewing room failures have led in a different direction. Instead I’m showing how to make a Day look and a Night look from one pattern.

My Night look took a little consideration. I very infrequently (read: once a year) go to events that call for a dressy look. My criteria in choosing the Capitol Hill Dress from Straight Stitch Designs was that 1. it is a long sleeve dress, of which I have none 2. made from knits offering versatility of use and 3. front pleat to add detail, but not too fussy for fabrics with visual interest.

Capitol Hill Dress label 7

I choose a sequined jersey from Colorado Fabrics to give the Capitol Hill it’s evening look.

Capitol Hill Sequined 2

Capitol Hill Sequined 3

I can wear this to the annual holiday party or a date night with my husband.

Capitol Hill Dress 4

For my Day look, my plan was to make something breezy and colorful to take along to Cancun and I thought the Carkeek Dress from Straight Stitch Designs fit perfectly. Unfortunately the cotton batiste I chose just does not have the drape needed for the look. Fail, but I have a plan to save the fabric.

Capitol Hill Dress 3

So I turned to my stash to make a Capitol Hill in a day look using this space dyed jersey I purchased from Finch Fabrics. The color really warms up my monochromatic winter wardrobe.

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You can enter your Day and Night looks in the challenge here to win one of the prizes that Elizabeth has lined up.

THE 1ST PLACE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:

THE 2ND PLACE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:

The random drawing winner will receive:

Day & Night Dress Challenge is coming for you!

I have fun news to share with you!

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Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This is hosting the Day and Night Dress Challenge in January and there will be a chance for you to participate for one of three cool prizes.

I’ll be participating in the blog tour (see more here) to start things off January 8 to January 14th.

The community challenge (see more here) takes place January 8th through January 28th.

Elizabeth has lined up an impressive group of sponsors and prizes for the competition. Check them out here!

I really hope you will sew along with us in the challenge and stop by to see what the lineup of bloggers has put together to inspire you.

Marigold Dress by mahlicadesigns

After making the Marigold Blouse, I was ready to step up to making the Marigold Dress from Blank Slate Patterns in a cotton voile I purchased from IndianBeautifulDirect last year.

Marigold 2

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No fit alterations were needed, not even my usual FBA. I did make a few changes to minimize the print showing through when using layers of the very sheer fabric. I added a lining to the skirt portion, omitted the pockets, and used a piece of the lining material for the inside yoke piece on the bodice. I also made 3/4 length banded sleeves because I made a goof when cutting them out.

Marigold 3

This is not the way to make your sleeves 3/4 length, but it worked out for me because I have short, skinny arms. Since I made the Marigold blouse first, I cut the sleeve pattern apart to use the cap sleeve portion, but forgot to tape it back together before cutting the long sleeve dress version. To fix my mistake, I laid the sleeve head portion of the pattern over the top of my sleeve fabric piece and recut the top edge. I ended up with sleeves at a perfect 3/4 length but I needed to cut a wider band to fit around my forearm. I wasn’t sold on putting a traditional buttoned cuff at the 3/4 length, so I did a simple band instead.

Marigold Sleeve mess up

Marigold 1

If you’d like some more Marigold inspiration, take a look at the Pinterest boards I put together. Marigold Blouses, Marigold Dresses, Marigold Skirts

Marigold back

The Marigold Dress should take you about 5.5 hours, cut to finish. A 3/4 sleeve dress without pockets or sash in size small used 3 1/8 yards @ 45in width.

Fabric $16.95  Lining $6.41  Notions $2  Pattern: $ 4.53*  Total: $29.89

* $9.06 was the sale price I paid. I divided it by two since I made this pattern twice.

Get Fall Fabulous with the Jasper Sweater Dress

Are you excited for a chance to win the Jasper Sweater pattern from Paprika Patterns? Be sure to link up your Fabulous Fall creation for your chance to win.

Jasper Dress

I love the Jasper Sweater pattern. I’m a sucker for a cowl neck, the hoody version has an interesting asymmetry at the neckline, princess seams are for everybody, and welt pockets make you look like a sewing super star. Now, I rarely make a pattern twice and this is my third Jasper, so you know I’m a true fan.

Jasper Dress

For my dress version, I picked up this quilted knit jacquard in a royal blue from Fabric Mart. The fabric did not have as much body as I was hoping for in my fall/winter dress, so my solution was to underline the bodice with an interlock knit from my stash. The jacquard doesn’t hold a press, so I omitted the welt pockets.

Jasper Dress

The underlining worked perfectly to give me the warmth I was wanting. This Jasper dress is going to work nicely for fall’s cool days and easily worn through the winter with tights or leggings.

Japser Dress

Throwback Sew Days with Butterick 5029

Me Made May was quite a spark for me to continue evaluating my wardrobe.  I had already paired down my closet and done a little work with the Wardrobe Architect series, so taking pictures and trying to make outfits during MeMadeMay was a logical step in continuing the process. So, while digging through my closet for me made clothes to wear,  I was confronted with my decision to save anything handmade from my initial paring down session.

Frankly there’s stuff in there that doesn’t get worn much. My solution is to trot it out for all to see and ask you to chime in on it. And hence, my Throwback Sew Days posts begin.

First up for evaluation is this Butterick 5029 dress I made a few years back. It’s a cotton in an almost tribal print detail.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

My evaluation: At the time, I modified the front cross over portion of the bodice to cover a bit more. You can see I wasn’t quite successful. I have more coverage but it’s too wide where the ties cross my shoulders. I think putting in a little tuck will make it more narrow at the shoulder and may help with the gapping at the bust. The waist yoke is also a little too wide. I should have adjusted it more for my short waist. There’s no fixing it now.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

I go back and forth on if this color is flattering for me, it’s pretty close to my skin tone.

Butterick 5029 by mahlicadesigns

So what do you think? Is it a keeper or should I put it in the upcycle pile?

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