Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sidekick Tote, part 2

Although I really like my original sidekick tote it's too big for most of my outings and I don't like always having to wear it across my chest.  So here is my second attempt at this pattern.  Well, actually my second and third attempt because I made one the same for my mom.  

The main fabric might look familiar -- I was inspired to use essex linen after seeing this onethis one and of course this one.   For the pocket, I used some of the Stamped fabric that I won in a giveaway over at the Long Thread awhile ago.  I love it, it's so cheerful!  (Ellen has a new line coming out soon -- it's called Garden and it looks equally fabulous).  

My mom said she would never carry it messenger-style, so I just used a 21" strap for hers.  For mine, I figured out how to use the adjustable hardware (not difficult but I just couldn't wrap my head around it the first time around).  I used scraps of quilting batting to pad the straps instead of interfacing and I love the way it turned out, so much nicer to carry.  

I love having an outside pocket for my keys and this time I used a magnetic snap instead of velcro. I added a water bottle pocket inside again because it's worked really well in my other one.  I used duck cloth for the interior just for it's durability and this time made sure to match the top of the lining to the outside.  It's a great pattern and gives a really professional looking bag. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sally Dress Pattern Testing

Way back in July I was lucky enough to be chosen to by Shannon of luvinthemommyhood to test her newest pattern -- the Sally Dress.

It's a great pattern: cute, beginner friendly and a quick sew.  I particularly love the square neckline and the shape of the straps on the shoulder.  K. particularly loves the huge pockets :).  I used some voile that I had been hoarding saving for just the right project -- little folks honey berry for the outside free spirit froth (I think) for the lining of the bodice and the pockets.

Shannon adjusted the pattern slightly since I made this version so I think some of the fit issues I had have been resolved.  I initially made a size 4 bodice but it was too tight so I ripped it out and made a size 5, which proved to be too big.  The second time around, I added a placket and buttons to the back to make it easier for K. to get on and off but that was totally unnecessary.  The neckline on the size 5 gaped a bit and the straps fell off her shoulders so I added a few pintucks to the front to bring it in.  I plan to try the final version (this time with sleeves!) but with vacations and the start of school, I haven't had time yet.

You can buy a pdf of the pattern here or here.

I love the square neckline.

And, just for fun, a couple of pictures showing her true personality :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Lisette Attache Dress - Simplicity 1666

Before starting this dress, I stewed about it for a ridiculous amount of time.  Like thinking-about-it-in-the-middle-of-the-night ridiculous!  I worried about whether the style would suit me and, once I decided it might, about the best fabric choice and then how to get it to fit.  There aren't many versions online so I asked for some advice about what size to cut from the very helpful ladies on the Lisette forum.

And then I made a muslin with a zipper even (!).  But I wasn't brave enough to cut the size I should have from my real fabric (silly me!).  I cut size 16 at the shoulders, graduating to 18 at the chest with an extra inch at the bust then a 20 at the waist.  I ended up taking it in a lot at the waist and, after wearing it, I think I could have taken it in more.  I don't know why I worried about fitting this, though.  The princess seams make it really easy to take in a bit here or add a bit there.

Worrying aside, it was a quick sew.  And it fit the bill for what I wanted: a casual dress that I would be comfortable wearing.  I wore it twice on our recent holiday -- with a pearl necklace to an evening performance of Anne of Green Gables and then again when we went out for a lobster supper.  I felt slightly more dressed up than most people on those two occasions but still comfortable and not out of place.

Excuse the wrinkles, apparently I didn't do a very good job ironing it after getting it out of the suitcase and then this is after wearing it for awhile :).

Pattern: Simplicity 1666, bought at Fabricland $8.76
Fabric: Kaufman Cotton/Linen Chambray Shirting bought from, used 71 inches $35.50
Notions: zipper $2.08

Total: $46.34