Remember that velvet christmas dress? I said I had plans for that pattern again, and here it is! I chose this fabric because it exaggerates the interesting piece-work construction. The pattern is Vogue 8814. It’s fascinating to me how the same pattern can create dramatically different dresses. Summery and bright and floaty, versus dark and smooth and luxurious.
The fabric is by Domesticate of Spoonflower, printed on kona cotton.
This was also an excuse to play with some hand embroidery. It is a braided chain stitch. I love the tutorials on Sarah’s Hand Embroidery’s website, the pictures are clear and beautiful and helpful.
Blue corduroy skirt: success in absentminded failures.
This is one of those examples of times when I make a horrible mistake that turns out perfectly. For you see, I’d forgotten that corduroy not only has a very obvious grain line, but that light hits it differently in one direction of that grain than the other. And yet I paid no attention to which way the top of my pieces were pointing when I cut them out.
You can see the offending pieces right there to the side of the center panel, yes, the ones that perfectly accentuate your hips in a skirt like this. I feel like the vertical lines create a slimming effect, an also exaggerate the curves in the interesting piecework of this pattern. I love that I wasn’t paying attention and it worked out so wonderfully. Sometimes luck happens.
The pattern itself is Vogue 8750. I chose it because it has that interesting bit of flare and twirl, and I love the construction. It was very easy and simple pattern to put together, for all its apparent complexity. I went to a little effort to make it actually look professional and did some topstitching along the seam lines.
All in all, I’m excessively pleased with this skirt.
Science Girl Goes To Space
The local museum wished to celebrate the flight of Yuri Gargarin, the first man in space, and of course Space Girl had to go along.
The pattern was a simple one I actually used previously on this octopus dress, when I first joined spoonflower (and completely unrelated, started sewing more frequently). McCall’s M6027.
The fabric is one of Spoonflower’s most popular galaxy prints. But, it wasn’t quite evocative of a true midnight sky… It needed something more.
I used the excellent bedazzling skills I learned at halloween to give the dress a little extra sparkle.
The dress was a big hit, everyone loved it. There was even a place where you could pose with real space-gear in front of the moon mural. Science Girl couldn’t fit the helmet on her head, so she chose the boot instead.
Remember when I used to post pictures of PIES?
This was a lemon-creamcheese-icebox-raspberry-cream-pie. I can’t remember the actual name of it. It was too delicious. It has a graham cracker crust. Super delicious, cold and creamy, sweet and rich. An all over win. Plus an amazing pie dish.
Its time for the Spoonflower Staff Challenge => VOTE HERE!
Faithful readers may remember my previous posts about the spoonflower staff challenge.
On a weekly basis, spoonflower holds a fabric design contest which is open to anyone as long as their design fits the “theme” of the week. But once a year, the contest is closed to outsiders and spoonflower employees are given the chance to design fabric and submit it to the public for voting.
Previous years have had a “project” component where we designed fabric and then actually crafted an object out of that fabric. It was super involved and took a lot of time and inspiration and ended up taking weeks of preparation.
This year, they decided to do something a little different. Instead, it was more of an Iron Chef style challenge where everyone who wanted to participate signed up for a 1hour time slot.
We were told in advance that we would have to craft a design out of mystery materials and that we wouldn’t be able to use any image altering software other than the crop tool and the spoonflower color-changing tool.
We weren’t allowed to bring any materials with us. When we arrived we were shown a table full of various craft supplied. Some were in a category of “You can use any of these” and some were in a category “You have to use three of these.” When we had 10 min left we were told to scan our design in, and upload it to spoonflower. That was it.
It was very fun and very silly. Above you can see my design (set in its repeat, and a close up so you can see the textures). I used brown craft paper, and cut up paint chips, and green twist-ties, and string, and fake floor laminate, and small metal washers. It all ended up okay in the end, but about three quarters of the way through I was a bit worried.
if you’d like to vote in the contest, go here!
If you’d like to see my fabric on spoonflower, go here!
Science Girl Eats Again
This is the dress I made for Science of Eats 2014. I’ve been super busy lately, but I still wanted to do a new Science Girl outfit, so I made up this dress pattern in about 10 seconds. And by made it up, I mean I decided to attach a simple circle skirt to the waist of these deer-and-doe tshirts. I chose mushrooms because it was part of the theme of this year’s event to seed your own mushroom log.
This dress is made of Spoonflower’s new Modern Jersey. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this fabric, and the more I sew with it the more I love it. The fabric is designed by Nadja Petremande.
Also a cool trick for all those lazy seamstresses out there like me: If you have a serger that can do a rolled hem (and most can!) you can get that curly hem effect by simply stretching the fabric out as far as you can while sewing a rolled hem. Just choose a thread color that compliments or contrasts your fabric, and you get a fantastic effect with almost no effort.
Librarian Apron Dress
I was planning this dress out nearly a year ago (for this post). I never actually got around to finishing it until we got crazy snowed in this week.
The pattern is the Retro Butterick 4790 dress. It has an interesting structure, its all one piece that goes over your head and connects in the back and the front. I’ve been meaning to try it out for awhile, just for that uniqueness.
I found the sizing a little odd, which is not unusual for retro patterns. Luckily, it has a very casual fit, so it works out. The waist was very tiny and the bodice was a little large. I used ties in the front instead of buttons, which also made the fit easier. It has that great classic ’50s silhouette, and the full skirt swings around your knees. I can just imagine a crazy librarian wandering around and climbing up ladders and dusting shelves in this dress. It makes me happy.
The fabric is Spoonflower’s organic cotton sateen. The quotes fabric is by me, you can see it here. I used quotes from many of my favorite books and authors: Neil Gaiman, Dorothy Sayers, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jasper Fforde, JRR Tolkein. The book spines fabric is a lovely design bypeacoquettedesigns.
I love this dress. I love its fabric. I loved making it. I loved wearing.
I really really hate my photographs of this dress. This is one of those times when I acknowledge that I really need a real camera. And maybe some practice, or some skill. And probably a better spot than my dining room or back porch to take photographs. This dress is amazing. My pictures of it are absolute crap.
Other than that, I’m really proud of this project.
I made this dress for a Christmas/Birthday party we threw at our house for a roommate. I wanted something visually simple but that felt wonderful and moved with me.
I chose a very nice dark green velvet for this dress because I wanted that tactile experience. I also have never sewed with velvet before, and I wanted that experience. Photographing that velvet was a serious challenge with a crappy phone camera. It is a very dark rich green color, and when the low lights hit it at the christmas party, it glowed. It was beautiful. I lined it in silver satin-y lining which felt soft on the inside and showed when I twirled.
This pattern is Vogue 8814. It turned out great, and I already have more plans to use it again. It was very simple and easy, but joining those pieces cut on the bias gives it a very elegant look. I included a picture of the cover of the pattern. Because of my inability to photograph the velvet well you can’t see the very interesting structure of the dress. It is comfortable to wear, and twirls fantastically.
I altered the back of it pretty dramatically. The pattern had two choices, with a fully closed back all the way up to the neck and a zipper, or crossed straps. I used the pieces for the full back, but then cut out a diamond shape where the zipper would be and had it simply close at the back of the neck. I attached a filigree bead and a swarovski crystal to add an awesome sparkle and bring interest to what is normally the most boring part of a dress.
I made this dress for a wedding I attended last summer. You may recognize the pattern, I used it for the Science Girl Eats dress, and (with heavy modifications) the Fifties Alice dress, and this border print contra dance dress, and this first instance of the returning dress. And even, actually, when I made a bride’s maid dress for a friend’s wedding last june.
This dress is silk, and I took more care with it than I usually do with sewing. I even used horse-hair braid in the hem and I cut the hem unevenly (intentionally this time, I promise!) because I wanted the hem to curl and twirl with every move. It worked perfectly.
This is the Retro Butterick 5603 pattern.
I love this pattern because it is easy to sew, it is super flattering, it is easily adaptable to whatever I need to use it for. The dress can be casual and fun or formal and yet still comfortable to wear.
Hey readers, its sharing time! Do you have a pattern that you return to time and time again? Do you have a pattern that is perfect nearly every time you use it? Do you have a pattern that you’ve had to buy multiple times because you keep wearing out the tissue paper (or maybe you don’t even need the pattern anymore because you can draw it with your eyes closed)?