To say I am in love with this pattern would be an understatement. What is more comfortable than a knit dress with an elasticized waistband and flowy skirt? Anything? No- I didn’t think so. Being able to sew one up in less than a few hours and feel beautiful wearing it= major bonus. Unfortunately I am on the fence about my fabric choice for this one. On the one hand I feel like I am wearing a retro floral cocktail dress…on the other hand I feel like a 1980’s Laura Ashley comforter. The verdict is still out on this one! Anyways, It feels really good, was easy to make, is comfortable and fits perfectly.
I chose to use a ponte de roma fabric for this version- it is a nice medium weight jersey with great stretch and is completely opaque so no fear of anything showing through! I purchased my fabric from girlcharlee.com- and while I love most of what I have purchased from them this already looks a little fuzzy to me- so I am not sure how it will wear in time. I made the unlined 3/4 sleeve version with no collar. I think this will be worn pretty frequently with a pair of pumps or boots to work. If I can get over the feeling of being wrapped in an old floral comforter!
As much fun as I have been having sewing dresses these days I figured I’d better diversify my me-made wardrobe and make a few separates. I first attempted to make Colette’s Sorbetto top. Actually I made three of them- none of which got blogged because they were either too tight, or ill shapen or just really unflattering…I don’t know why I kept going. Something about that pattern just didn’t work for me!
Looking online for images of the Sorbetto top on curvy women like me I stumbled upon an image of the Polly top by By Hand London. Another FREE pattern, but somehow I never saw it before and certainly never came across it on any of the sewing blogs I follow. How is this possible? Anyone else do this- search google images and pinterest for inspiration? I always do and especially look for images of women with a similar body type who have tackled the pattern first- not an easy task. Although the images I found for the Polly top were all quite small I ventured ahead and sewed up a top anyway. I sewed up the largest size and good news- it fit! No alterations necessary- woo hoo.
The few sites I could find that reviewed this pattern mentioned the difficulty in piecing the two front pieces together but I found this rather simple. It did take a bit more time to be sure the pieces fit together around the curves but they went together really well and once put together the rest of the top went quickly. I chose to do a hidden bias trim neckline and armholes instead of a visible one since I was lazy and used a store bought bias trim that didn’t match! The print fabric on the front and back is Anna Maria Horner Coreopsis Voile and the blue front trim piece is from a vintage sheet that resembles chambray. I love how the top looks with the pattern fabric used on the back as well. I was not a fan of the tops using an accent fabric just for the panel in front- plus I had a yard of this voile and wanted to use as much of it as I could. Using this blue fabric actually spoils the top for me- I don’t like how it hangs or how the neckline lays. Oh well, this is what happens when you try to be cheap and use what you have laying around right?
I will be making more of these for sure. I really love how they look and fit and the cleverly placed front accent piece eliminates the need to sew bust darts or other shaping (even for a large chest!). Pretty cool. I can picture a number of great fabric combinations and think that this top will work great all year under my closet full of cardigans!
Disclaimer: These pics were taken at a nighttime outdoor concert with the threat of rain- not the best but I was wearing a handmade top to be blogged so it is what it is!
Well, since I promised another blog post on the Staple dress (and I was wearing it today!) here goes…
This is actually the second staple dress I made, my first was a midweight denim fabric I scored at a yard sale for $5. In other words; fabric I wouldn’t be upset about wasting on a muslin. I may or may not ever wear it- but it worked for testing out the pattern and size before cutting in the fabric I really wanted to use…this beautiful Amy Butler voile (Josephine’s Bouquet in Ink). I had been eyeing this fabric online for over a year and finally gave in and ordered it from fabric.com when it went on sale. Sadly they don’t seem to have it anymore. I only had 2 yards but since it is a generous 54inches wide I was able to squeak out a Staple Dress out of it. Or maybe a Staple tunic if you consider it is way too short to wear without pants. Or my choice: leggings. My all time favorite staple in my wardrobe! The leggings I mean…and I guess this Staple dress now as well! I have worn this at least once a week since I made it last month. Love it!
These pics were taken outside the girls swim lessons today, not the most flattering angle being taken from the height of a seven year old…but it was all I could accomplish today and I am still pretty impressed by her photography skills! Please ignore the wrinkles, sitting outside in the grass watching kids swim isn’t a very glamorous affair therefore I did not iron it. Not that I ever do. Ever. Hmm…maybe keeping my hands in the pockets will hide it. I love these pockets and don’t know how I never sewed in seams pockets until I bought this pattern and gave it a try. Funny that both this and my other new pattern for the the Moneta dress both have these same pockets. Love, love.
I am excited that given this shorter length I will be able to wear this into fall and winter with skinny jeans, boots and a cardigan. I actually think that the shorter lenght works better for my (apple) body shape- showing a little leg is much more flattering for me. Maybe the cheapness on my part in only buying two yards worked in my favor and will help redeem this pattern for me after all!
Ok, so I picked up a print pattern copy of the Staple Dress by April Rhodes on a recent trip to Toronto…from The Workroom (love that store!) I had been thinking about this pattern for a long time after seeing so many versions of it in the blogosphere since it was released. So even though I may be late on the bandwagon I finally gave in and picked up a copy.
I really prefer purchasing print patterns rather than downloading the pdf but given the lack of any real great independent fabric shop in the Buffalo area I usually have to download- unless I visit a major city- boo. Anyways, the pattern was purchased and since then I have made 4 versions- yikes. Each time I attempted a different fabric choice to see what works best for me. I kept wanting to try again to make me love it- but not sure if I still do. I guess I will see once the weather changes and I can style them with boots and cardigans. I am sure they will be great when I go back to work in the fall, just not sure if they are the greatest silhouette for my body as is.
So, here is actually my fourth version…but my first to blog about. Using less than 2 yards of leftover Blue Denim Heather Jersey from Girlcharlee.com I sewed this up last night. I used a light blue store bought bias tape, and made the pockets out of a scrap of mustard/cream fabric. I have never used a woven bias tape on a knit fabric before but I think it worked out great and provided some stability to the neckline and armholes. Unfortunately I did not adjust for the stretch of the jersey and should have sized down a size in the pattern for this fabric. This is particularly a problem for the armholes- I apologize for the glimpses of my bra in some of these pictures- the armholes are HUGE! Not sure I will be wearing this much until I can throw on a cardigan. Or just don’t raise up my arms. That’s practical right? I am thinking I might do a post in a few months on how I style all of these summer dresses when the season changes- I am already excited about it!
I love how this is paired with a wide belt, the ruching on the waist doesn’t really provide enough structure or definition for me but it is super comfy. I chose to make the drop hem version, and simply serged the hemline. This is my favorite finish on a light jersey like this, plus I really hate hemming knits so it is a win-win. Easy and fast as long as you have a matching thread color!
I really want to love this pattern, it fits well, is super comfortable and easy but not the best for flattering my shape. I’ve tried it in a heavier denim fabric, a lighweight printed linen/cotton, a voile and now a jersey. My favorite version by far is the shortened voile version I made…I’ll try to blog it soon!