Monday, August 24, 2015

My first, but not my last Anna Dress By Hand London

I had been wanting to make the Anna Dress, BY HAND London pattern for a while now. I've seen it made in a wide range of skirt variations,  mostly on DollyClackett blog ( that girl has a serious collection of dresses ). I was particulary attracted to the simplicity of the bodice, with the kimono style sleeves, which means there are no separate pattern pieces for the sleeves, just the front and back bodice piece. The pattern offers a long and short version of a panelled A-line skirt and both slash and V-neck options on the neckline. My original plan was to make this dress in a rayon stretch fabric, with a bit longer skirt ( not quite maxi, but just slightly below the knee ). But since I decided to test the pattern first, these pics will be from my first attempt using fabric that has been in my stash for over 5 years ( some kind of sateen ). I had made a panelled skirt from it and still had about 2 yards left over, but I barely had enough to make this dress in the mid skirt version. And even though this fabric has absolutely no stretch in it, I still decided I may as well use it up for a muslin.

The bodice has some basic pleats in the front & some darts in the back. The skirt is sewn up in 6 panels. I made this dress in the 16 pattern size, but I still had to take out a few stitches on both the pleating and the darts on the bodice since it was a tad tight around the bust line. The next one I make, I will most likely lengthen the bodice by about an inch, and use a fabric with a slight stretch in it, so I think the pleats & darts will fit better as they were designed.

 I also have to say that the skirt is way too short for my liking. I had enough fabric to lengthen it by 3 more inches ( which I originally did, but I accidentally cut one of the panels shorter than the other 5 & since I had no more fabric left, I had to just cut them all equally ). But this size is exactly how the pattern will look if you are cutting a size 16 and are making the Mid size skirt. For reference, I'm 5' 6.5" tall. I know it may not be too short in general, but it is for my own personal liking.  I may just wear it once this summer, but then I will have to pair it up with some black leggings and just wear it as a tunic. 

The backside calls for an invisible zipper, and I'll admit that I still have a few issues when I install invisible zippers. I use one of those "invisible zipper" foots which work great, but I have trouble toward the bottom & I always have to do some hand stitching. And if if you look closely at the top of the zipper....I have no idea why it won't zip all the way up. There are no stitches in the way that I can see, so I'm not sure what's happening there. Oh well, good thing my hair will cover that part up. 

But overall, I really do love this pattern. I will most definitely be making a few different variations. My next one I will be pairing up the Anna bodice with a different skirt pattern, a bit longer in length, pleats, side pockets, and no panels. Oh, and definitely a softer, more comfortable fabric. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Simplicity 1435...sort of

I love quick & easy patterns for my kiddo! And Simplicity 1435 seems to be my go to pattern to make a quick outfit for my 4 year old. On this particular outfit though, I did not use the ruffled skirt as suggested. Instead, I just made a simple gathered at the waist skirt to attach to the bodice. The pattern also calls for "knits" only, but I always add a zipper to the backside & it fits perfectly fine. Bias tape around the neckline & armholes & its done! 

I paired this dress with some basic burmuda style shorts, which I also sewed up using some white knit fabric, same pattern just shortened the length & made a wide hem.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Simplicity 1419

I thought I'd share another version of pattern 1419 by Simplicity, where I opted to make a straight pencil skirt bottom ( not in this particular pattern, but easy to make from another skirt pattern ). The top bodice has short sleeves and no collar, but it has a button front closure. The fabric is rayon & it was given to me by a family friend who had it stashed away for over 20 years. I like that it looks a bit vintage & is very comfortable to wear, so I will most likely be making a few more in solid colors. 

Here's a close up view of the front neckline. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Frozen's Anna Halloween Costume

My little Elsa Queen had been insisting I dress up like Anna from Frozen. Except I wasn't in the mood to wear a long dress, long cape, and winter boots, in this hot California weather.  So I decided to make a "summer version" of the Anna dress. Short length, no sleeves, and a hot pink peter pan color instead of the cape. Oh, and I opted to wear it with some black stilletos. Here's the results. 

I simply looked in my stash & found some black poly-stretch jersey fabric to make my bodice, & I made the skirt out of a soft poly-cotton blend ( almost had a suede feel to it, not exactly sure what it was ), and I used a hot pink satin for my colar. Then I just stitched a hot pink ribbon along my hem. 

I used Simplicity 1419, view B. Super easy, super comfortable to wear! I didn't even have to use a zipper since my bodice fabric had a stretch to it, although I did cut a short slit & created a loop type of opening then added a hook & eye closure.  Originally I had planned on sewing on the sleeves, but I changed my mind last minute. 

For my front bodice "Anna Art", I used Reynolds Frozen Paper  found at Walmart, to create a stencil, then cut it out using an exact blade. The frozen paper can be ironed onto fabric to hold the stencil in place, while you paint it with fabric paint. I used some tulip glittery paints from Michaels. 

I could of added a few more coats, but I guess I was a little anxious to finish. I was still happy with the results. 

Like I mentioned, I wasn't in the mood to be wearing winter boots in this hot weather, so I opted to wear my black ankle strap stilettos. 

Here we are after my tot's ABC class. We had a Frozen Fun time at her Halloween Party. 

What I loved most about making this "Anna" dress using this particular pattern, is that it's not too "costumy" in my opinion. I think I would even wear it to Disneyland on one of these days since we are annual pass holders, except I will wear it with ballet flats or even my black converse ( although some hot pink converse would be cute too ).

I will definitely be making another dress using this same pattern. Would look cute with a fitted sweater. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Simplicity 1435

I had Simplicity 1435 in my stash for a while thinking I'd use it to make some leggings for my 3 year old, but decided to make View C of the dress with some changes. 

The pattern is sized for "stretch knits only" but I used about 1 3/4 of cotton, added a zipper on the back, & made it with a pleated style skirt instead of the single or double ruffled layer the pattern called for. I was quite pleased with how it turned out!

I found the cotton print at Joann's ( in a light turquoise blue with red cherry blossoms ), very adorable. 

I get asked a lot where I bought her shoes. They are from Gymboree. Red & white polka dots with a blue face. Very darling & one of her favorite pairs. 

I made this dress in a size 3. I personally thought it was slightly big on her. But my daughter really thinks it is perfect, as she prefers long dresses. Or as she would say "super long" please!

If you have this pattern or plan to get it, you will get a lot of use out of it for sure! I will most definitely be making a few more of these, & perhaps a few shirts & leggings too. And don't be intimidated to use other blends of fabrics, even though the pattern calls for "knits only". Just make sure to add either a zipper or buttons if you're not using a knit. 

If you're a beginner you should be able to finish this within a 4 hour window, no problem. I probably took an hour and a half or so, and of course you can too once you're confident cutting and sewing. 

And the best part of sewing this up as usual is the cost! Here's the breakdown:

Fabric ( on sale ): $5.50
Pattern (on sale ) $1
Zipper ( on sale )  $1
Total: $7.50

Hope you enjoyed this review & can use this pattern yourself!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

McCall's 6982

I've been sewing up quite a few dresses for my three year old lately, and I'm excited to be sharing some of them. Here's a cute one using McCall's 6982.

Pattern Review of McCall's 6982

I made View A in a children's size 3, with a minor tweak on the sleeve. Instead of making it a long sleeve, I made it a quarter sleeve and stitched in a skinny elastic about two inches from the edge, for a cute flair.

I used about 1 3/4 of a cotton ( dark grey w/ turquoise stars ) fabric I bought on sale at Joanne's. 

There is a zipper on the back, but I only made it about 7" ( and not a 12" like the pattern called for ), and I also didn't see a need for a hook & eye. 

I'd say this pattern is easy to follow for a beginner & I think most people can finish it in a 2-4 hour window ( I made this in about 2 hours, which included pattern tracing & cutting ). 

What I loved about this pattern is the versatility of the design, as you can create a few variations on the sleeves, and make it using only one layer or two, and add different embellishments like ribbon on the skirt edges or buttons on the front. 

The only think I wasn't too crazy about was how low the collar turned out & if I were to make it again I'd most likely adjust the pattern a bit. But as you can see, it still looks cute with a necklace.

Total cost was under $6, including the pattern I bought on sale for a dollar ). & it only takes 1-1 3/4 of a yard depending on whether you're doing two skirt layers or long sleeves. 

Hope you found this review helpful & enjoy making one or a few of these for your little one too!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Long Jeans to Capri's for Girly Toddlers

Can't believe it's been a whole year since I've updated my sewing blog! Been too busy having fun with my toddler. But I have been busy sewing too & I hope to make time to share more often. I miss the cyber sewing world!

Well to start off, my daughter is a girly girl, preferring to wear dresses, dresses, and more dresses. She's wanted nothing to do with jeans.....until this morning when all of sudden she said yes to wearing jeans "like daddy" she said! Yes, like daddy darling, then she pointed to my jeggings which fit just below my knees & she proceeded to say "like mami". Which gave me the opportunity to get a little sewing time before heading out to the beach. Here's the result!

This is a fairly simple way to "girlify" those jeans for your toddler if you have a girly girl such as mine. Just measure where you want the new jeans to fit, mark them with a pencil, then cut away. I ironed about 1/2" then another inch to create the new hem, and pinned it in place. Then you could either hem it using one row of stitches or double like I did & voila you have a new pair of cute capri jeans your tot will love!