Saturday, March 22, 2014

All-time favorite dress pattern, in stretch denim

All winter I've been thinking about this particular dress pattern (out of print Vogue V7871).  Last summer, I made two versions (stretch denim and modern linen print) and wore them relentlessly. The pattern fits perfectly, the shape suits my figure, and it looks effortlessly put-together (because, hey, if you've got a dress on you're put-together, right?!).  So I've been thinking up new pocket configurations and looking out for fabrics for a new summers-worth of a-line dresses.
This version is made from a stretch bottomweight from Joann's.  I've seen it in the stores for a few seasons now, and I finally broke down and bought it.  This fabric is incredible.  It washes and dries without needing ironing, is slightly stretchy, and has a nice, medium weight (so I don't feel like it needs a lining).  Seriously, I wore this all day (coffee with a friend, nap with my toddler, trip to the park, etc.) and not a wrinkle in sight.  Still baffled by those that think dresses are fussy--they certainly don't have to be!
I've had this hot pink belt (J.Crew) for a while and knew it was destined to go with this dress fabric, so I went ahead and put some belt loops on the sides to hold it in place.  LOVE.
The pockets are dramatic slashes across the front (note: the original dress pattern has no pockets whatsoever).  Maybe a bit too dramatic, but they are nicely concealed by the busy fabric.  The front of the pocket is pale pink batiste.
For the inside, all edges were coverstitched (and I even was so compelled to change my serger cones to pale pink!).

Back invisible zipper, from the inside (not so invisible here!)

Does this print look like animal stripes to anyone else?  From afar it could be some kind of zebra print, but up close, whoa!  It's flowers!
It feels like such a win to make a fun, versatile dress for under $25 and 2.5 hours.  I'm trying to decide how many versions of the same pattern I can make before it gets weird :)

March Resewlution 2014, garment #3.  (Actually #4, but I'm waiting for the notions for a second version to reveal my "dress bloomers", so excited about that!). 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Spring dress in baby wale corduroy (Simplicity 2927)

It's spring!  The doors of my house have been open all day and I'm wearing shorts (these!).  The seasonal distinctions in the Bay Area are minimal, but being from upstate NY, putting away off-season clothing is a hard habit to break.  I just "discovered" my "summer" clothes, and have been raiding the stash this weekend.  I'm fairly desperate for a refreshed wardrobe and I'm fortunate enough to have a job at which I can wear almost anything, from jeans to dresses.  I love that I can pull on a casual dresses whenever I want, and much of my spring wardrobe plans involve new dresses.
This one, an out-of-print Simplicity (2927) has been in my pattern collection for years and this is the first time I've made something from it.  The dress is a good shape, with princess seams, 3/4 raglan sleeves (among other options), and pockets.  I made an 8 for bust and waist, grading up to 10 for hips. I took in the sides and back seams about 1/2 in each, so a 6 for bust may have been better.
The fabric is a springy, but is respectful of a chilly morning in baby wale corduroy (purchased at here).  The flowers remind me of California poppies.  Considering it's corduroy, it's surprisingly lightweight!
Fun, sixties-inspired contoured neckline and vintage buttons.
Love the 3/4 sleeves, so I don't have to cover up the dress with a cardigan, and the tulip-ish faced hem makes them a little more interesting.

Here are some inside photos.  The facings are steel gray Bemberg.  I chose not to line the dress (slightly out of character for me!), initially hoping to wear it with this slip, but the slip peeks out of the neckline peephole!  No matter, the lightness is lovely, and I don't plan to wear the dress with tights.
My three-year old camera helper was a little trigger happy, but this shows the dress in action!
In looking for the pattern online, I came across several other gorgeous versions--love the piping on these versions (Raindrops & Bellyflops and Star's Threads), both making me feel lazy and/or guilty for not using piping!
Resewlution 2014 garment #2 for March!  

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Renfrew in dotted viscose/lycra knit

If you arriving here from Britex, welcome to Nicole at Home!

I managed my "Resewlution 2014" goal for March (at least a single garment for myself a month) on the very first day of the month!  As a Guest Blogger for Britex, I had the opportunity to use some of their beautiful knit fabrics and a well-loved Sewaholic pattern to make this lovely cowl-neck top (and give some basic tips for sewing with knits!). Since I've made this pattern before (thick wool version and silky wool version), sizing wasn't an issue--I just cut and sewed!
I worked to match up the stripes on the sides, but didn't want them to be completely continuous across the arms, so the stripes there are positioned slightly lower. For the sleeve and hem cuffs, the pattern is also uninterrupted (you can't even tell there are cuffs there!)
This knit fabric from Britex is really lovely.  It's light- to mid-weight (viscose/lycra) so it's slinky-drapey, but has enough body not be annoying while cutting or sewing.  It truly works wonderfully for this pattern, especially for the cowl version.  Check out the other colorway!  And, for my practical side, it washes and dries perfectly!
Here's a view from the back.  The placement of the stripes on the cowl create a large dark swath, but the look from the front makes up for it.

My little boy was working the remote shutter button.

I love this style because it can be dressed up or down, and is super comfy.  I'll probably wear this to work with khakis or a skirt (maybe even this one!)  Overall, another solid top that I'll be sure to wear like crazy.  Thank you to Britex for providing the fabric and thread, and Sewaholic for the pattern!