Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sporty Sweater-knit Mesa Dress







I just can't get enough of this Mesa Dress pattern! It's so simple to sew and cozy to wear. Immediately after finishing my first Mesa, I was itching to make another one. I found this slightly-sporty lightweight sweater-knit at Joannes on sale, and it was ON! I decided to use some leftover black textured fabric for my sleeves. It's the same fabric I used on my first Mesa and on my Midnight Myrtle.






After already putting the pattern together once, I sewed this up really quick. It still took me a few days - I like to work on projects for a little, then put them aside, and then work on them again. My proudest moment for this project, was getting my stripes to line up! I didn't even try it on purpose (because I was lazy & didn't think I had enough fabric). Somehow when I was pinning - I noticed that I could match them up if  I just stretched the fabric a little - et voila! Lovely stripe matching  :)


Matching side seams!!! Yay!




I've already started cutting fabric for a swimsuit - hopefully I'll have it done for Labor Day weekend!



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Velvet Pencil Skirt

Self-drafted pencil skirt & my Seamwork Astoria sweater






The day has finally come my friends - I finally finished my first self-drafted pattern!!! A lovely and versatile pencil skirt! As some of you know, I took a pattern drafting class this past winter where we used our personal measurements to make a sloper. From the sloper, we created basic pattern blocks (fitted to our own bodies) that can be altered to make tops, dresses, skirts, & more! I didn't have to make too many alterations to my front and back skirt blocks for my pencil skirt, I just took the sides in (for a more fitted look) and narrowed the skirt as it got closer to my knees - to give me an hourglass shape.






Invisible zipper in back

Overall, I'm very happy with how the skirt turned out! It's hard to go wrong when you find stunning velvet like this! I picked this up at a fabric store in Charlottesville, VA. They sell a mixture of vintage and new fabric - I always find something I want. This lovely velvet wasn't on a bolt, so I'm thinking it's a vintage treasure  :)  I knew right away that I wanted to use it for a skirt. It ended up being a really close call getting it all cut out - there was no extra yardage whatsoever! I had to pull out some magic maneuvering for the pattern pieces to fit!


Found a friend on our photo walk!



I kept the skirt really simple, so the fabric could really stand out. I lined the skirt with some plain navy blue lining fabric. I had fun styling out a couple different looks with my new skirt  :)  I love how the rich velvet looks paired with my boucle-knit Astoria sweater! The mix-matched patterns and textures work so well together. It will be such a pretty outfit for fall. 






Next on my sewing table:

I'm cutting fabric for another Mesa dress! I was so thrilled with my first outcome, that I immediately wanted to start another one  :) Stay tuned for yet another color-blocked Mesa!



Monday, August 17, 2015

Color Blocked Mesa Dress

Seamwork Mesa Dress


Seamwork Mesa Dress




Hello friends, it's been too long! I set aside my sewing for a few weeks this summer, and replaced it with bike rides, weekend trips, and soaking-up the sun  :)  I've had a great summer exploring the east coast. Weekend trips included checking out the Blue Ridge Mountains, Washington DC, Rhode Island, Rehoboth Beach, and camping on the Potomac in Virginia!

This past weekend my friend Jessica visited and we sewed the Seamwork Mesa dress. We were both really happy with how our dresses turned out. They are simple and stylish, and they will be great for layering when colder weather comes.


Seamwork Mesa Dress
Jessica & Melissa: Sewing Sensations!


We went to a print shop and printed the large format version, it's such a hassle taping all the 8.5"x11" pages together. The dress was really easy to sew - we cut, pinned, and sewed it together while watching the Wuthering Heights mini series with Tom Hardy. The pattern says it will take 1 hour to sew, but those estimates never seem to match up for us - haha, it took us several hours (including cutting and pinning). The only change I made to the pattern, was lengthening it. I like to wear my dresses closer to the knee, so I cut the pattern about an 1 1/2" longer.


pinning the neckband


Seamwork Mesa Dress


Seamwork Mesa Dress


Seamwork Magazine Mesa Dress


I used some black textured knit leftover from my Midnight Myrtle dress, and a mid-weight grey knit with tiny pinstripes. Jessica helped me decide which fabric to put where for my color blocking. I love, love, love the color blocking! Now I need to buy more knit fabric, so I can make another Mesa!




Seamwork Magazine Mesa Dress



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lovely Astoria

Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Seamwork Astoria Sweater


I'm loving my new Astoria sweater!! It might be one of my favorite things I've made. The fabric is just lovely (I used a pretty cotton novelty knit from Mood), and although the cut is very simple the cropped aspect makes it really special. I cut the waistband fabric in the opposite direction, for a fun touch! 

This time I made it a size and a half larger than my first version and it fits great! For my practice version, I traced the XS for the top and graded up to a S in the waist. This version I didn't grade up for the waist, I just traced in between the S and M sizes for all the pieces.





Seamwork Astoria Sweater



Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Lately I've been dreaming about getting a serger, it would be sooo much more convenient when finishing the seams on all these knits. For my practice version I didn't really finish my seams, but this cotton fabric had a lot of cottony pieces that kept flaking off the unfinished seams, so I decided to bind my seams with stretchy lace. I definitely recommend binding your seams, if you don't have a serger to finish them. It works especially well for the neckline and waistline seams. As you can see below, I finished my seams before sewing the neckline/waistline to the bodice. It works perfectly, because when you sew the seam allowance down it covers up the unfinished seam (the seam from the bodice pieces). The bound seams are also going to make this sweater last longer!


Binding my seams

Seamwork Astoria Sweater


So all in all, I'm lovin' my new Astoria. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this gal  :)


Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Practice Astoria Sweater

Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Seamwork Astoria Sweater
Seamwork Astoria Sweater


Seamwork Astoria Sweater


I've been wanting to make the Seamwork Astoria sweater ever since it first came out! I love the simple but vintage look, and that it can pair well with so many outfits. The fact that it's a simple pattern to put together, makes it all the more awesome!! 


sewing the shoulder seam

Seamwork Astoria Sweater



This is my practice version, from a fabric I've had in my stash for years. I love the texture of this fabric, it has ridges of stripes mixed with a pretty floral pattern. The only problem with the fabric, is that it doesn't have very much stretch - it only stretches in one direction. I'm glad I made this practice version, because I made a little mistake picking my size. I accidentally made the sweater a little too small, and that mixed with the lack of stretch - makes this practice version a pretty tight! For my next version, I'm going up a size and a half.


Seamwork Astoria Sweater



Seamwork Astoria Sweater


I'm loving these short and sweet Seamwork projects. They come together so smoothly and you could easily put them together in a day. This pattern was super simple to sew. I'm definitely going to make a bunch of these. I already have my fabric cut for my second Astoria  :)  It's going to be in that lovely white and blue nubby fabric, I showed in my Madrid Tote post.

Josh and I checked out Fredericksburg, VA for the first time this weekend, and that's where these next photos were taken.




Seamwork Astoria Sweater



Fredericksburg is an adorable town, with sooo much history. I've never seen so many antique stores in one area....  can you say heaven on earth!!! We had a lot of fun walking around, and found some real treasures! I got an awesome pattern making book from the 70s! Can't wait to try some amazing 70s patterns  :)





Monday, June 22, 2015

Beautiful Boucle Skinny Tie

DIY skinny tie
A skinny tie for my Papa





I made my dad a skinny tie for Father's Day out of some wool boucle from Mood and some silky floral fabric that I've been hoarding since I started sewing 5 years ago! It is a BEAUTIFUL tie - the color combo and the texture just meld together in such a lovely way. I was very happy with the finished result, Josh wanted to keep it for himself but settled with modeling it for me  :)


Cutting fabric

Adding the interfacing

Just like the first skinny tie I made, I used Cheryl's instructions from Joe & Cheryl. The wool was a lot easier to sew with, than the silk I used for Josh's tie. The picture above shows the thick cotton interlining, which gives the tie it's shape and strength. It was an enjoyable little project, and I'm sure there will be more ties in my future - I know Josh wants one just like this!


I love the texture on the tie!