Patterns: March 2012 Archives
I coerced my friend Tracy (who I know to be a fan of "Breakfast at Tiffany's") into serving as my model for this project. She has a lovely figure, perfect for the simple, elegant lines of this gown. The original (well, one of them -- there were originally three!) was sold at auction several years ago, so there are some great photos of it online.
To start this project, I grabbed my trusty copy of Kwik Sew 3521. This pattern is great for this project, because version B of the dress has the perfect neckline along the front. The back, however, needs a little tweaking.
To begin with, I started sketching the design lines for the dress right on my pattern.
Once I got the design lines where I wanted them, I traced my pattern onto fresh paper for the actual pattern. (I'll draw on a pattern, but I won't cut it apart!) The key with this dress and its unique design lines on the back is to cut it so the back bodice is initially separated as a top section and a bottom section. I'll show you what this looks like mid-assembly in just a bit.
I used a black broadcloth to make a mock-up of the gown. Once I had Tracy try on the test version, it became apparent that I needed to take it in quite a bit.
I pinned out the excess fabric and marked everything that needed an update, then I cut apart the mock up and used it as my pattern for cutting out my sweetheart satin for the actual gown.
As I mentioned before, the bodice gets assembled with the rounded upper portion of the back bodice separate from the lower section of the bodice right up to the point where you inset your zipper. Here's what it looks like:
The skirting section is ultra basic -- it's a rectangle, cut so there's just a teeny bit of gathering to match it to the bodice waist -- you'll want to test this to make sure there's enough room for the wearer's hips to fit with some ease, but not so much that it gets balloony. I cut a lining out of the exact same fabric -- since the dress has a slit, I wanted to make sure that if someone sees the interior, it looks just like the exterior.
Fun trivia note: As I mentioned earlier, there were several copies of this gown made for the film. The fun thing is that each of them had a different slit length. One had no slit whatsoever, one was slit quite high, and one fell right in between the other two extremes. We opted for the middle-range slit.
An invisible zipper is vital for this dress -- it keeps the center back seem clean and smooth. Here's a snap of the back of the bodice with the zipper set in place. The hook and eye at the top have yet to be sewn in.
Once the hand sewing (which is minimal on this dress) was in place, I had Tracy try the whole thing on:
Tracy ended up taking this dress on vacation, and kitted herself out with ALL the right accessories!
Prom season is here -- do you have a starlet in your life who might like to borrow some vintage design style?
All the ladies should be jumping for joy this season because the trend is structured shapes and details, slimming silhouettes and feminine accents that are placed to hide or enhance the figure. I was very excited to see a heavy emphasize on 50's era style hitting the catwalk Spring 2012. The shapes are fitted but not clingy so opt for a heavier fabric or add some interfacing so your pattern will just drape your frame and not hug. I am also a huge fan of the wide, deep V-neck that was especially prevalent at Elie Saab. This shape can work on a number of figures- deemphasizing full chests when paired with a simple fabric and amping up a smaller chest when accented with added details: sequins, ruffles, or embroidery. This shape also narrows and drops the visual line of the waist and when paired with a full skirt can create hips or when worn with an A-line skirt can minimize hips. Try creating your own top using Kwik Sew's Kimono Tunic Pattern. Adjust the sleeve length to create a cocktail top like Ms. Saab's.
Structured jackets were huge Armani Prive but the structure was not limited to the drape of the fabric but also the sleeves and the cropped silhouette. These jackets were not boxy in the least but very feminine in shape despite the rigid form. Try this on a blazer style but shortened to your natural waist. Reduce the scale of all the details (like sleeve length and collar). Keep the accents and embellishment simple or minimal and choose a classic, or even a very pale color. Try making your own using Kwik Sew's jacket pattern. It is basic structured jacket ready to be modified.
Another big craze at Armani Prive was pencil skirts with movement. I know this sounds like an oxymoron but the shape of the skirt paired with a light, delicate fabric such as gossamer or silk can create if not movement then the illusion of movement. I loved the well placed pleats and the effect they gave while walking. This detail was not overpowering and was definitely had a "gotta-have-it" effect on me. Start with Collette's beignet skirt, or HotPatterns pencil skirt pattern to create your own.
Try these patterns out to expand your Spring Couture wardrobe. I selected them based on their feminine, structured 50's inspired shapes. You will love them.
I fell in love with this pattern at first sight but felt overwhelmed by the amount of cutting and interfacing called for so I put it off- for a good long while. But when Spring Break came around I knew it was time to stop procrastinating and get to sewing up what is the perfect bag for a week-long break of school, work or life in general. I'm glad I did. The Sophia Carry-All is not small but not quite medium; it falls into the happy Goldilocks category of "Just Right". I am not a big lining pocket person because the pockets are typically not integrated well but in this bag they are simple and again just right. I can see what is in there but they are just stiff enough to keep it all in. The inside is ROOMY. Much more than the outside lets on. It is the perfect size for toiletries plus hair care tools plus jewelry or knitting or it makes a great Grandma's weekend bag for the kids.
Here are my modifications since I just can't help it.
1) I did not add the fleece but upgraded the stiffness of the interfacing. It is not all full-on Peltex but I used the heavy weight sew in just like the Sophia's sister bag, The Weekender. I wanted the bag to really look like the weekender and didn't care for the puffy, pillow-like look on the pattern front.
2) I eliminated the piping. The main reason I did this is because I thought the piping used in the pattern pictures looks too big for the bag and I didn't have any smaller piping. I really like the clean look that came out. Does this pattern really need the competition?!
3) I constructed the lining, especially the top panels, just like I did the exterior. This means that when I sewed the top panels together, I sewed to the marks and then lengthened my stitch, basted to the next mark, shortened my stitch and then stitched to the end (I backed stitch at the beginning, end and at the marks). This really helped shave some time and make for a clean look. It was easier to sew in the lining and I knew my seam was straight all the way.
4) I used a regular one tab zipper instead of the 2 tab called for. I did this because I don't think I will be using this bag much for travel. I don't travel as much as I used to (My toddler is not a fan) and I have really been eyeing this as my diaper bag to real purse transition bag. It can fit all my essentials (phone, keys, headphones, wallet) plus any just potty trained paraphernalia (i.e. panties, pants, socks) plus snack and sippy with room left over for my brochure collecting habit.
5) I used the recommended interfacing on the lining pieces to make it easier to sew in later. Granted the main panels are not interfaced in the lining but the others were and sewing so many thick layers was a beast with the exterior.
Overall I am as pleased as I expected with an Amy Butler Pattern. They are superbly written and well illustrated. The Sophia bag actually went together in less time than I had budgeted and the outcome is beautiful.
In the ongoing effort to decorate our new house, I have moved up to our playroom. This room is currently invaded by our 3 yr old daughter, we plan on adding to her invading force in the future so I am leaning towards a gender neutral theme. She is just as happy with cars and trucks as she is with butterflies and unicorns so I went with the all pleasing Mickey Mouse when creating window treatments for her playroom. I love the idea of café curtains in this room to let in light while adding to the décor. These simple flat café curtains are perfect for appliqué work such as Mickey's Buttons so feel free to be inspired and go in whatever direction makes you happy. Mickey's Buttons are made of fleece for added texture. I love adding texture wherever possible so my little one can touch and explore her whole surroundings (because she will touch whether or not I want her to). Making your own is simple.
Measure the inside of your window to the width and length to find your finished curtain size. Add 6.5 in. to the length (2.5 in. for the rod pocket and 4 in. for a double turned bottom hem.) and 4 in. to the width (1 in. double turn hem on both sides). Once your curtain is all stitched up and ready, draw an oval that is 6 in. long by 3.5 in. wide. Use this as your pattern piece and cut 2 from the white fleece (you can double it if your fleece is too thin). Line the buttons up by folding the curtain in half width wise pressing and then folding again. This creates 3 creases, a center and 2 side creases. Line up each button centered on a side crease, 2 in. down from the rod pocket. Pin in the place and Zig Zag around each button. You're done; now enjoy a nice break while your little one is distracted by this new addition!
Whether you prefer to trek to the zoo/aquarium/museum with a tiny digital camera or have your smart phone handy, a cute way to tote your precious pictures is a must. I hate to be burdened with a huge purse (a slave to style has its drawbacks) while enjoying a day of culture so if this camera tote can carry my entrance ticket, some cash and a few cards all the better. I created this easy wristlet style bag to serve all of the above. The diminutive gussets allow you to easily access your camera and other goodies inside without creating a bulky heavy weight on your wrist. Let's get started!
1 fat quarter of quilting cotton for exterior
1 fat quarter of quilting cotton for lining
1 spool of
Measure the length and width of your camera or smart phone and add 1 in to both measurements (i.e. smart phone measures 5'' by ½'' than your cutting measurements are 6'' by 1.5'')
Using these measurements cut 2 from your exterior and 2 from your lining. Use Holly's Instructions here to insert your zipper centering it on the fabric if your fabric is smaller than 7 in.
Cut out a 10in. by 4 in. piece for the wristlet strap.
Prepare the strap but folding it in half lengthwise and pressing a crease. Fold raw edges toward the center crease and press. Fold in half again, leaving the raw edges tucked inside and press a final time. Pin and edge stitch down the strap lengthwise along each edge. Set aside.
After topstitching, fold the exterior pieces together, RS facing and pin together. Do the same with the lining. Pin the strap to the exterior on one short side edge, matching raw edges, ½ in. down from the zipper. I prefer to have my strap on the same side as the zipper when it is closed. Stitch around the exterior pieces using a ¼ in. seam allowance. On the lining, start stitching down one side, pivoting at the corner and stitching the long side for 1- 2, Leave a gap of 2-3 in. for turning and take up 1-2 in. from the second corner and continue back to the zipper. Add a 1 in. gusset at each corner using Holly's instructions here. Turn the wristlet right side out and press lightly. Slip stitch the turning gap closed. Enjoy your Go Camera Wristlet. It will free up your hands for hand holding, child catching or just to rest at your sides as your enjoy you day!
If you're like me (and most other people), right about now, your fitness resolutions need a kick in the pants. Since half the fun of running and exercising is wearing new clothes, I often find that when my resolve is lagging, what I really need is a new outfit for working out. It's like magic. It gets me to the track or the gym. Whatever it takes!
Kwik Sew 3455 is a pattern I have had for a while and come back to time and time again. Both the top and the leggings in this one are total winners.
First, the leggings:
I made this pair out of a black nylon jersey. The unique thing about this particular pattern is that it uses a square gusset at the crotch, whereas most leggings patterns have a sharper curve through the backside to accommodate the seat. The first time I made the gusseted leggings, it took me a little while to wrap my brain around it, but I must admit that I love it now. It really does make a difference in how the leggings feel when I'm running -- there's less pulling when I extend my legs through the widest part of my stride. These days, I use this pattern for all of my running leggings -- and my fashion leggings, too!
On to the top:
I love this top because of its design lines. The curved seaming that joins the back to the front is so cool, and extremely flattering. For this version, I used a black nylon knit for the front, and a patterned lycra for the back and sleeves. As we're nearing springtime, I opted to cut the sleeves short on the top. (I also normally run indoors, so I don't really need long sleeves very often.)
The back and side shots of the shirt show the curved detailing of the pattern, which is so on-trend for activewear. You could even color block the whole shirt, and use different colors or patterns for the front, back, sleeves and even the collar binding.
Whether your resolution needs a little help or you want to reward yourself for sticking with your routine, this is a really fun pattern to stock your fitness wardrobe with. It's also a good fit for casual daywear. Leggings remain popular under dresses and skirts, or even on their own, and everyone needs a handful of knit tops that are as comfy as tee shirts, but have a little extra flourish of style.
This house is pumped about the Lorax movie opening this month. I love Danny Devito's voice for this character and my little one loves his goofy mustache. In honor of this great book by Dr. Seuss I have created my own Lorax pattern crafted after the original storybook Lorax. I really liked the details of this Lorax as opposed to the movie's CGI version. The book Lorax also looked easier to recreate with handmade details, especially his crafty eyes. I hope you enjoy this homemade Lorax pattern crafted from felt.
Two 9x12 pieces of Rainbow Felt in yellow for Lorax Body
One 9x12 piece of Rainbow Felt in gold for arms, legs nose and eye lids
1 spool coordinating thread
Dark blue or black embroidery floss
3-5 yds of bright yellow yarn (any fiber)
Download your Lorax Pattern Here
Trace and cut out 2 body pieces from the yellow felt
Fold gold felt in half and trace 2 arms and 2 legs but do not cut out. Sew along trace line leaving the ends open. Cut out leaving 1/8 in. seams allowance. Set arms and legs aside
Embroider eyes with small "U" in floss. Cut a small sliver from gold for eye lids and using the fabric glue, glue the eyelids and then eyes and nose on to the Lorax face using the approx placement from the Lorax Pattern. Place book on face and leave until glue dries.
To create the mustache, wind the yarn around four fingers until your mustache is pretty thick (3-5 yds depending how thick you like it). Cut yarn and wind a 12 in. piece around the yarn and knot to secure it in place. You will now have a small thick loop of yarn tied in one spot. Cut your loop opposite from where it was tied. The tie is now the center of your mustache and you can use the ends from knotting to sew onto your Lorax's face, right below the nose after sewing and turning (below).
Pin your arms and legs onto the right side of the body using the placement marks on the pattern, matching edges. The arms and legs should go towards the center of the body. With right sides together and using a ¼ seam, stitch the body front to the back, leaving an opening at the top of the head for turning. Turn and finger press. Stitch on your moustache and stuff your Lorax. Whip stitch the head closed and your Lorax is ready for fun, story time and movie watching Galore!