Monday, May 15, 2017

Racerback Dresses

Last week I realized that we needed some basic knit dresses for Baby for the summer, so I sorted through my knit fabric stash. Because Baby wears a small size, I was able to use up some of the smaller pieces I've saved from previous projects. I ended up cutting out 4 dresses on Friday night, one for Miss H and 3 for Baby.

I'd seen a few Hey June Racerback Dresses around Instagram and Pinterest lately, and I knew it was a (free!) pattern I wanted to try. I traced a size 6 for Miss H with 2" additional length, and a size 2 for Baby M which I cut 2" off the hem.

The pattern is well written, and the pieces went together pretty quickly! I had noticed that many of the other dresses I had seen made with this pattern looked either too big or were made from fabric that didn't lend itself to the dress style. I couldn't exactly pinpoint what would make a fabric work well, so I just picked some from my knit bin and went to work. The blue floral fabric has a funny story. It originally had a white background, but when I pre-washed it with another solid blue/green fabric, it took on a lot of dye! It frustrated me for about a year, but ended up looking ok for this project.

I sewed all the the skirt hems with my serger, which made the dresses take shape speedily. I did learn that because the back shoulder section is so narrow, I need to pull the binding sewn first out of the way for the second piece. Each dress has one wonky side and one nicer side because of this!

Miss H is thrilled with the dress because it is so soft, and has requested another. I was worried it wouldn't fit her well because she is so slender, but it fits very well! Baby's is a little big, as I expected, but that is ok because she is growing so fast.

Pattern: Hey June Racerback Dress (it's free!)
Fabric: main - Swifting Flora from Fleet and Flourish by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabric, contrast - Organic Little Forest Knit from Mona Luna Fabrics
Size: 2 and 6
Changes: shortened size 2 by 2", lengthened size 6 by 2"

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sewing for Me: Style Arc Adeline

I didn't realize it had been so long since my last post! I have done quite a bit of sewing since Christmas, but it's been less sharable, like crib sheets, changing pad covers, and quilt top piecing. I'll share some of them once they are finished. I have not sewn clothes for the girls since their Christmas dresses, which were sadly so Christmasy that they have been packed up for a few months. I'm working on new springy dresses for both of them for Easter.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of Instagram accounts of gals who sew clothing for themselves. My favorite to follow is Meg from the Cookin' & Craftin' blog. She recently sewed a couple different versions of the Style Arc Adeline dress for herself and a friend, and they looked so good! I had never sewn with a Style Arc pattern before, but I've been eyeing them for the past year. Meg shared that Amazon has a few of the patterns in printed form, which helped me decide to give them a try! (I still hate printing, trimming, and taping 20 pages of printer paper together and hoping the scale is correct.) I ordered the Adeline and the Olivia patterns to start with.

I began with Adeline, and made a muslin in the size my measurements fit closest with. I knew I needed the hips to fit, and that the bust is the most important measurement to match. After several self-sewing projects that I greatly disliked and spent days on last year, this one fit surprisingly well without any modifications to the muslin! Thank goodness there were no darts.

My husband helped me get my serger re-threaded and working appropriately, and I read a little about its tension and practiced on some scraps. I made the hard decision to use some beautifully soft double gauze that has a denim look that I've been hoarding for at least three years. I originally bought it in Ballard, before Dry Good Design moved, to make a dress that I could never see myself wearing.

This dress was so quick and fun to sew! I used the serger for the side and shoulder seams, and my sewing machine for the facings and topstitching. I did end up shortening the length and the lengthen line by an inch and a half, which I'm glad I did. I also cut about half the sleeve length off because I didn't like the way they made the dress look when they were super baggy.

Although it has very minimal directions, the pattern went together exactly as indicated. I'm thankful I've sewn so much with Oliver + S patterns for kids because it helped me know where to use skills not included in these instructions (finishing the edges of the facings, tracing topstitching lines on top of the dress). Once I can decide on the fabric, I'm certain I will make another one.

Pattern: Style Arc Adeline
Fabric: Organic Cotton Double Gauze 56" - I think this is it, and it is fantastic!
Size: 14 (I may be able to get away with a 12, but this is a cocoon dress, which means the hem is smaller around than the hips!)
Changes: I reduced the length by 1.5" and shortened the sleeves by about half the length.

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