Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two summer shirtdresses: M6891

I was definitely not kidding when I said I tend to sew up a pattern twice!  Since I made this two dresses just days apart, I thought I would post them together :)
The pattern is McCall's M6891.  It's a good, classic shirtdress style with a convertible collar and pockets.  I love the full skirt, waistline seam, and ungathered back (why do designers do that??). Since it's a Palmer and Pletsch pattern, there are extensive directions for tissue-fitting and adjusting the pattern. The fit I achieved on the first go-round was good enough that I didn't have to make too many changes for the second version (though the fit was slightly different...).  

So I made the checked dress first with fabric purchased at Style Maker Fabrics.  The check has "running stitches" along some of the vertical and horizontal lines, which gives the fabric a bit more personality.  Unfortunately, after washing, the stitches shrunk a little more than the rest of the fabric, which gives it an overall slightly puckered look.  I'm okay with it, but I would have been happier without the extra texture.

 I did my best to match the pattern all around, but it wasn't always successful--quel domage!
For the closures, I used navy snaps from Snap Source--they worked perfectly!

The dress is so comfortable and cool, I can't wait to wear it all summer!
I chose this amazing linen fabric (on sale right now!) from Britex for my second version.  I had purchased the fabric for another purpose, but the plan quickly changed after my first dress.  I LOVE this fabric--it's linen, and while it looks a tad "rumpled", it doesn't get the serious wrinkles that other linens can get.

I went with the sleeveless option for this version.  Normally I don't love sleeveless garments, but it seemed to fit the style of the fabric and I'm sure I'll be appreciative of the extra cooling in the dead of summer. 

Somehow, this version is a bit tighter than the other, but it's still perfectly wearable.  I'm super pleased with the back coverage and the depth of the armhole.

Again, I had to worry about pattern matching, and I made a mistake!  If you look junction of the bodice and skirt, the colors are opposite.  Oops!  

Again, I used snaps (antique brass color, again from Snap Source).  In both versions, I added hidden snaps between the visible ones around the belly area to keep the placket from gaping.  These are tiny, clear plastic ones that are just perfect for this purpose (from Dritz). 
I love these two shirtdresses and I'm certain they're going to be a staple when the weather warms up a bit!  Bring on the summer!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

STYLE '17 + 40% off admission

I was contacted recently by the organizers of STYLE '17, asking if I would be interesting in attending the show April 29-30th.  Since I didn't know anything about the event, I checked out their website to see what types of artists and vendors might be there.  There are some really exciting and diverse crafts being represented (check out this jewelry maker's biology-inspired items!).  And when I saw that the show takes place in my town at the Computer History Museum, I was completely sold (I can even bike there!).   If you are near-ish and would like to come, the organizers are kindly providing 40% off to my readers (details at the bottom)!

Here's the official info from the organizers:

STYLE '17 – Silicon Valley’s celebration of independent design presents the jewelry, textiles, accessories and home goods designs of nearly 70 locally and internationally renowned artists in an exclusive two-day show, sale and benefit. You’ll find gorgeous one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces with prices ranging from modest to luxurious. For a complete list of designers, go to

Your purchases support Art in Action, a national non-profit that provides visual arts curriculum to 75,000 students each year, including children in 185 Bay Area schools.

When:  Saturday, April 29 + 30, 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Where:  The Computer History Museum, Grand Hall, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA

Weekend General Admission: $10 - Buy tickets online and save 40% off the general admission price when you use code NICOLE40 on the last page of the checkout.

Hope to see you there!