Category Archives: Clothes

Date Night Blouse

Hello everyone!  I needed a top to wear for a summer wedding, and what could be more perfect than transforming the beautiful date night dress pattern by April Rhodes into a blouse?

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This worked perfectly with a bright pink pencil skirt I made, but I also love it with jeans.   The transformation was simple, as I just cut the pattern straight down from the armpits to my desired length.  I finagled little hemmed slits on the sides going up about two inches for a bit of muffin top wiggle room.

tsuru2  I adore these flirty sleeves and the french seams are a delight.  And can we talk about the fabric?  I’ve been wanting to drape myself in this 1000 cranes fabric from the Tsuru collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale.  Now was the time.

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Are you addicted to jeans?  Or are you mostly in dresses?  I tell you what, I am FEELING the fall breeze we’re getting here in Michigan.

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Pattern Walkthrough – Backless Dress

I needed a nice summery dress for a good friend’s wedding this past July.  She was doing a lot of adorable vintage-y touches to her decor, so I thought I’d finally put this yardage of gentle “grandma” floral to use and make an outfit!

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I used this pattern but made my share of alterations.  It’s vintage (is 90s vintage? I think this is from the 1990s) Simplicity 9494 “Design Your Own Dress” pattern.

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This pattern utilizes facing for the neck and armholes, but I decided to do a full bodice lining so that I could sew on some bra cups.  I also added some bust darts that I self-drafted (imperfectly) on my “muslin” of Dinosaur Train fabric.

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For the all-in-one lining, I made two copies of each bodice pattern piece, put the darts in both the front pieces, and attached the front pieces to the back pieces at the shoulders.  Laying the bodice’s right-sides-together, I then stitched along the red lines indicated below:

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And then to attach the sides I did this method, just as in the Jorna pattern!

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The pattern for the basic backless sheath dress has a big. ass. bow on the rump, which I wasn’t feeling 100%. The purpose of the bow was to cover the scrunchy-esque elastic band that joins the gap.  Rather than all of the above, I decided to make a flap that would latch with hook and eyes.  For the exposed skirt in the gap, I finished the top edge and used elastic shirring to gather the fabric.

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I hand sewed the cups into place.  They are left-over inserts from a sports bra.  I only attached about 75% of the cup to the lining, leaving the tops of the cups unsewn because i didn’t want to distort the shape of the cup or the lining and I was having problems.  This worked fine. 

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I also hemmed the dress considerably shorter than the pattern indicates to add to the sexy sex appeal of my grandma floral dress.


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With the exception of the misplaced bust darts, this dress is a success!  Add some fun braided bun mess accented with fake flowers in your hair, and you have a complete look : )

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Kids Clothes Week Wrap-Up

It’s been a while!  My family has been hustlin’ and bustlin’ across the Midwest almost every weekend.  Thankfully, Kids Clothes Week launched their summer session last week and I took the opportunity to plant myself back in front of my machine.

If you joined the KCW community, you can see my profile here!

My favorite project was this Jorna Jr. made from a stretch woven blue polka-dot knit.   You can buy your own Jorna Jr. pattern here!

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I refashioned an old sweater dress I had into this little A-line Jorna Jr.:

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This one now belongs to my niece.  And I also made her these shorts from the Parsley Pants pattern:

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And I made my 3-week old nephew these baby knit pants.  They are only a fraction as cute as my actual nephew, but I think these will be super comfy.   I used this pattern.

 

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Have you done any garment sewing recently?  Which are your favorite patterns?

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Jorna Jr. – a toddler’s dress pattern

Just three weeks after the launch of my Jorna pattern, I am so happy to announce the Jorna Jr!  Same silhouette but made to fit 2T – 5T young ladies.

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Includes two length options. This is a comfortable knit outfit, perfect for those hot summer days. The tank looks adorable with leggings or pants. The dress begs to be twirled! Great for everyday wear or use as a stylish swimsuit cover!

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At just $6 for the pattern, and utilizing just 1 to 1 1/2 yards of jersey knit, this is a cost-savvy way to dress your dearest in comfort and style!

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AND since it’s so much fun to matchy match, why not look into my MOMMY-DAUGHTER option?!  For just $12 (a $3 discount) you can get BOTH the Jorna and the Jorna Jr. pattern downloaded ASAP.

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Thanks for reading, and happy sewing!

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Maxi Skirt

A little late, yet again, but here’s my week three project for the Summer of No Pants series! 

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So comfortable and easy, but it adds a bit of style and a nice alternative to jeans!  I love items you can throw on effortlessly and still carry a sense of fashion.

I used this tutorial! 

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Pants to Skirt and Blind-Hem Tutorial

Do you have a whole bunch of ill-fitting clothes still taking up space in your closet?  Once again I found myself reluctant to give away a pair of pants: they were from The Limited, bought in 2007, 2 sizes too small, but in great shape and buttery soft.

And, as I mentioned in my last shorts-to-skirt tutorial, I really need the warm-weather bottoms! I decided to use more of that stretch sparkle denim for my side panels.  But this time I used the reverse side of the fabric which is a bit more gold than blue.  Saucy!

SONP-2I followed the same procedure as last time for making this skirt.  The only difference was that this time I did a blind-hem stitch on my machine!

I think I tried to do a blind-hem on my machine once before, but I decided to take this opportunity to really learn this skill. If you’re new to the process as well, here’s a tutorial on how to sew a blind hem by machine!  Read on…

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Jorna Hack – Stretch Lace Jorna

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So now that everyone has their Jorna pattern (right???) here’s a simple modification you can make to get a beautiful Jorna out of any transparent fabric with stretch.


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I have this stretch lace and I LOVE IT.  But obviously I couldn’t do the normal lining that is called for in the Jorna pattern, what with the see-through-ocity of the lace.

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My secret to pretty finished edges when using lace or similar fabric?: WONDER TAPE.  Hallelujah sing the praises. This is a skinny double-sided tape that disintegrates in the wash (or whenever it’s exposed to water).

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So to make the dress (or tank – whichever length), first sew together the shoulders as instructed, but then skip ahead to sewing the sides together from hem to armpit.  For this type of fabric, I will finish these seams on the inside with an overlock stitch and trim off any excess.  A serger would be handy here.  Or you could do French seams!  Ohh la la!

Now you just need to finish the armholes, neckhole, and bottom hem.  Start by sticking a long strip of Wondertape along the neck-line’s raw edge, onto the wrong side of the garment.  Remove the backing of the tape, and fold it down!  It sticks! And now you can sew over the tape (on the right-side of the garment) with a narrow stretch stitch.  It’s easy peasy sewing through the tape – no gunky needles in my experience.  Repeat the process for the armholes and the hem.   You could fold the edge over twice to encapsulate the raw edge completely.  You could.  I don’t.

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Where there’s yellow – you must WONDERTAPE

I actually use WonderTape when hemming the Jorna in this YOUTUBE VIDEO of me sewing a Jorna in less than 40 minutes (fastforwarded through genius editing technology so the video is just 4 minutes long).

Okay – and for the slip (because otherwise this would actually make for some fierce lingerie, but I need to be able to wear it on the streets) I made a black tube out of jersey, added straps, and called it good enough.

I’m linking up to the No Pants Summer 2013 party!


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Jorna – a tank/jumper/dress pattern

I am so thrilled to announce the launch of my first ever garment pattern THE JORNA (that’s a hard “J” folks).

button3Without further ado, you can buy the pattern through Craftsy and Etsy!  It costs $9, includes sizes XS-XL, three different lengths (tank, jumper, and dress), and full color instructions.  Both stores are set-up with automatic downloads upon purchase.

Can I take a sec to tell you about Jorna?  The focus on the design was to combine comfort and a flattering silhouette.   All three of the lengths offer the same benefit of a semi-fitted bodice, and a relaxed flare below the waist.  The tank is long enough to fully cover your trunk.  No worries about pulling down your top to cover up stomach skin!  The flare sits on the hips loosely, accentuating the waist and smoothing over any hip-area lumps and bumps.

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This pattern is just four pieces.  A front, a back, and a front and back lining piece.  All-in-one lining provides beautifully finished neck and armhole edges without any binding or bias tape!  No zippers, no darts.  Let the knit fabric of your choice do the work accentuating your bodice with relaxed, but form-fitting style.

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Running in sizes XS-XL, this will fit a wide variety of womanly shapes and will work for grown-up gals of any age!  Wear the jumper length as a swim-suit cover!  Find some flashy poly-rayon and make the perfect dress for that summer wedding!  The tank paired with jeans is a fabulously comfortable go-to outfit.

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Are you afraid of sewing knits? DON’T BE!  You can do this pattern – with just four pieces and no tricky binding, this is a fine first-timer project.  Get yourself a stretch-needle and get sewing!

dorie2If you make one, won’t you please tag it #JornaPattern if you Instagram, or add it to this group if you flickr?

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Shorts to Skirt Tutorial

shortsbuttonI’ve done this before, but here we go again!  Here’s a tutorial on how to turn those too-tight shorts into a skirt!  We can easily make a nice pencil skirt out of shorts, and even give it a bit of an A-Line with the help of some side-panels.

I’ve gained my share of inches around the hips in the past 5 years.  I blame babies, beer, and the general annoyance of aging.  So I’ve got lots of shorts laying around, but not enough that fit.  Now that is officially the temperature of molten lava, time to increase my warm-weather wardrobe!

Read on for a full tutorial…

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Ugly Skirt

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They said, “What are you thinking??”  They said, “What’s this from – a muumuu?” and I said, “I know- this fabric is ugly… but I love it.”

Like the suiting fabric from my Peplum Dress, this material was found in my husband’s grandfather’s attic.  I think it’s like FROM the 70s.  It’s a cotton, as far as I can tell.  And man – it’s brilliant.  The gold leafing actually has a bit of shine to it… amazing.

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I used this tutorial from The Big Oak Tree as a launching point (I ended up cutting the rectangular pieces into A-line shapes, and I didn’t make a bow).

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