Watercolor Print Shift Dress

Cover Photo Shift Dress

Hello and Happy New Year! My first post of 2016 is about a  versatile shift dress that I made. Who doesn’t love to wear shift dresses? They’re simple, easy to style and comfortable to wear.

I chose to use McCall’s Pattern M6465. The color and fabric choices on the front cover of the packet aren’t what I would choose, but you have to look past that. The construction of the dress is simple and that’s what I was looking for. I also like the fact that you can make this dress with short or long sleeves, no sleeves or flutter sleeves…so many options!

M6465

Luckily my mom was visiting me when I decided to start this project last November, so I got some great one-on-one time with her as she helped me take all my basic body measurements and showed me how to alter the pattern accordingly. It was nice to see her in her element again.

I chose to make the dress with short sleeves so that I could wear it year round. I used a rayon challis to make my dress. The fabric is soft, lightweight, and doesn’t cling. I love, love, love the print of this fabric! It’s colorful and different, but nothing too crazy or weird. It instantly caught my eye when I  found it at Joann’s. I snatched up whatever was left on the bolt.

Overall, the fit of the dress turned out great. For this dress, I had taken in the width around the bust and redrew the arm inwards a little bit. The sleeves were a snug fit. I hemmed my dress so that it hit a few inches above the knee. So here’s how it turned out!

Shift Dress 1

Wear it with stockings and cute ankle booties for fall/winter.

 

Shift Dress 2

Add a blazer or a sweater…perfect for work!

Shift Dress 3

Do up your hair and pair it with heels or sandal wedges… Perfect for a party 🙂

As you can see I had a bit of fun styling this dress a few different ways. My cat, however, could not care less as she slept through the whole photo session. So far I’ve worn this dress to the Carribbean, to work, to church, and for a nice dinner…it’s great. I love pieces that have so much versatility!

Needless to say, I’m definitely sewing with this pattern again and maybe add pockets next time!

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Hi-low Dress with Pockets

Cover Photo B6086 Dress

Hello there! In today’s post, I’m glad to finally share about the first dress I made for myself. This year we have quite a few weddings to attend. My rotation of dresses hasn’t changed much within the past couple of years. This year, I made it a goal to make at least one dress to wear to one event.

I knew I should start with a simple silhouette. Luckily, simple silhouettes are in-style. I found this Anthropologie dress that looked fun for a day wedding.

Anthro GeoJacquard Dress

I was able to find Butterick’s B6086 commercial pattern that matched this dress. The dress is lined and has pockets! I love dresses with pockets ❤ ❤ ❤

B6086 Pattern

 

I tried not to go too crazy with my fabric selection. I was able to find a this floral lace jacquard fabric at Joann’s for 60% off the regular price. What a steal! Together with the lining, thread, and zipper, the material costs for this dress came out to about $35. Compare that the Anthro Dress at its original price of $168!!

Floral Lace Jacquard

 

This fabric is great because it’s reversible! I chose to use the darker side for my dress. Since this was my first time making a dress with this pattern, I decided to make a mock dress with remnant fabric I had lying around. I wanted to see how much ease (i.e. extra wiggle room) I would need to remove from the commercial pattern size. 

Mock Dress Front

Mock Dress Side

Mock Dress Back

 

Overall, the general fit wasn’t too bad.The length of the dress was fine. The bust and waist needed the most adjustments. With the help of my mom’s careful instructions, I learned to make the necessary alterations to the bust darts and take in the sides. Once I was happy with the fit, I moved onto making the dress with the nice fabric. It was kind of nerve-wrecking, especially piecing the fabric to the lining, but it came together alright. I finished it just in the nick of time to wear to a wedding.

Cover Photo B6086 Dress

 

Here’s a photo of the hubby and I . Perfect weather for a beautiful day wedding.

B6086 Dress

 

 

I’m quite pleased how the dress turned out. It’s going to be a nice staple in my closet. 🙂

 

DIY Boxy Knit Top

I’ve been busy these past few months working on various DIY  apparel projects trying to improve my sewing skills. However, I realize that I have not shared them with you and need to catch you up to speed! In today’s post I’ll share about a Boxy Knit Top that I made. I like wearing this style top because they’re comfy yet stylish. I already own a couple of these kinds of tops in my closet, but sometimes I feel that they’re a little too short for my liking. Since I’ve started learning how to sew my own clothing, I’ve realized the beauty is that you can customize the fit of the garment to your own liking. So I wanted to try and make one for myself.

I found a simple tutorial by Cotton & Curls to help me understand how to construct the top. This time around I learned how to attach simple long sleeves. Here’s how my top turned out!

I love how versatile top is. It’s become one of my go to pieces to wear. You can dress it up with a skirt or go casual with a pair of jeans. I used a thicker jersey knit for this top, so it’s great for fall/winter and even now into early spring. With spring coming, I’m definitely going to be making more of these with lighter weight knit fabric!

DIY Sequin Sweater

Cover Sweater

I’ve been itching to do another clothing upcycle/refashion project for the past few months and I finally got around to it this past week! Today I’m excited to share my DIY Sequin Sweater. Yes, I went in to the hubby’s closet again, but to be fair, I’ve never seen him wear this particular sweater/shirt since I’ve known him.


Before Sweater

 

I’ve always stumbled across this shirt when we swap out our clothes as the seasons change. Somehow the hubby has always managed to convince me to keep it. This time I’m glad he did, because it became my guinea pig to refashion into something for myself. My inspiration for this refashion project came from this pin from here I came across on Pinterest: a short sleeve sweater layered over a dress shirt.

I tried on the sweater to see how much fabric I was dealing with. Yes, it looks like I’m swimming in it.

Before Sweater 2

But no worries, I pulled out a  J Crew sweater that I owned which I was going to base my sizing on. Now it was time to get down to measuring and cutting by doing the following:

Bodice:

  1. Lay your sweater on top of the black one, matching both sweaters by the neckline to make sure they are centered.
  2. Mark on both sides with chalk the desired width of the new sweater based on your existing one. Baste or pin both sides and try on the sweater first. For me it was too fitted for my liking the first two times around, so I re-drew my lines out a little wider. Once you’re happy with the width, sew a straight line down both sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I then finished the edges with an overcasting stitch to prevent them from fraying.
  3. Cut off the ribbing from the neckline. Fold the edge of the neckline under by 1/2″ and sew it down with a straight stitch.
  4. Cut both sleeves off. Make sure you mark each sleeve for which side it came from.
  5. Cut your arm holes. I made a template for the armholes, by tracing the armhole of my J. Crew sweater and factoring in a 1/2″ seam allowance. Using the template, I cut out the shape of the armhole.
  6. Hem your sweater to the desired length.

Sweater Cutout

Sleeves

  1. Similar to the armholes, I made a sleeve template based on my J. Crew sweater and factoring in a 1/2″ seam allowance to attach them to the bodice. Using the template, I cut out each sleeve from the existing ones. Then attach your sleeves.

Sweater Sleeves

Here’s how the sweater turned out. I was quite nervous when it came to attaching the sleeves, since this was my first time attempting it. To make thing more nerve-wrecking, I chose to make the sleeves gathered at the shoulders so they would look slightly puffed. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be because I got them both right on the first try!

Sweater After 1

I was happy with the way the sweater turned out. However, it looked too plain, like it was missing something. So I went back on Pinterest to look for more ideas. I came across this pin: sequin trim around the neckline! So I went to Joann’s to pick up a pack of gold sequins and some transparent thread.

Sweater Sequins In progress

 

Now here’s how the final product turned out! I LOVE it! The sequins definitely make this sweater stand out. This is going to be a staple in my winter wardrobe and maybe into spring!

Sweater After Final

Sweater After 2

DIY Zippered Pillow Covers

Hello there! I have finally been able to get back into the groove of working on DIY projects and they’ve kept me pretty busy. Working on them is only part of the fun, the other part is being able to share them with you!

Today I wanted to share the zippered pillow covers I made for my living room. I decided that I wanted to replace my existing envelope pillow covers. They were a good first attempt at sewing pillow covers and learning how to mix and match colors/patterns. But I was never completely satisfied. So you try again, right?

Before Pillow Covers

This time I decided to go with simpler patterns and change up the accent colors. I used this opportunity to learn and practice sewing with invisible zippers.  The zippers make the covers look more finished, durable and store-bought. And that’s exactly what I wanted. Here’s how they turned out.

After Pillow Covers

My cat decided to jump in on the photo action that was going on this morning 🙂

IMG_1612

 

 

IMG_1622

My favorite one is the mint green ‘Love’ pillow I made. I love the mixture of textures and stitching. I want to make more of these!!

IMG_1623

Have a Happy Sunday! =)

DIY Peplum-Style Dress Shirt

My husband’s dress shirts always rip at the elbow first without fail. In the past when that happened, the dress shirt became useless to him, and in the trash it went. So sad. Now that I have my sewing machine, I save them to practice my sewing. It’s free fabric for me to mess around with. If I screw up, oh well.

Lately, I had been pinning quite a bit of clothing-related sewing ideas, one of which was a tutorial to transform a men’s dress shirt to a woman’s dress shirt from Cotton&Curls. Considering I had never sewn a single article of clothing before, I thought this project was perfect to try because it only involved deconstructing the shirt, cutting the pieces down to size, and putting it back together. No pattern needed! So here’s the my husband’s dress shirt that was to be my guinea pig. You can see the tear on the left sleeve.

 

Before Picture

The tutorial was pretty easy to follow concept-wise. My lack of experience in sewing clothing is what made this project difficult. But you have to start somewhere, right? There was definitely a learning curve that I had to overcome. I studied the construction of my own dress shirts to understand how the seams were supposed to look on both the inside and outside.  I didn’t take pictures of the process this time around because I just wanted to focus on making it look right. To be honest, I went through several iterations of sewing certain portions of the shirt  at times. To add my own twist, I chose to make the shirt sleeveless since warm weather has finally arrived. I added mini ruffle sleeves as a finishing touch. Here is the finished product!

After

 

I love it, it’s simple and clean. This is a great addition to my spring/summer wardrobe!

front 2

Side

Back

Ruffles

I feel inspired now to make other clothing pieces. My husband better beware,  his shirts might start to go “missing”. =P