Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Perfect Shade of Yellow

My current project is a beach reception dress for a former student. She and her new husband will be celebrating with family at a local beach, and she didn't want anything particularly formal or traditional. The party is fairly casual, so our design brainstorming session took a lot of back and forth with "How about this?" and "No, more like this..." via numerous Facebook conversations! She fell in love with this dress, but wanted it "fancied" up a little bit. She loved the chevron fabric, but was hoping for a white/cream colorway. Loved the hi/low skirt, but wanted a fitted halter top.

The only white/cream chevron fabric I found was for home dec, so her second pick was a white/pastel yellow chevron. Lots of bright yellow chevron fabric (in cotton) out there, but nothing in a pastel with more drape! Spoonflower to the rescue!!! Chevron: check! Pastel yellow: check! Silky Faille: check! Having never ordered from Spoonflower before, I was a little nervous... but, the fabric arrived faster than expected and is exactly what she wanted!
I headed to Haberman's in hopes of finding the perfect shade of yellow for the bodice. I'm marrying 2 Vogue patterns to create her look, 8470 (halter bodice) and 8870 (long hi/low skirt).

One more pattern edit... The top of the skirt pattern needs to be adjusted for a smooth seam, not gathered.  So, anyway, back to the color matching (and the reason for this post!)...
I first found a yellow taffeta, but it was a smidge too dark, too shiny, and too stiff. I carried it along through the store, anyway though. Then I found a cotton/silk voile, but it was a smidge too light and definitely too sheer.  Neither fabric was right, and those were my only options (with no time for swatches from online resources). Hmmm... what to do???
A ha! Lightbulb! Layer the fabrics, you silly seamstress! Use the taffeta as an underlining! PERFECT SHADE OF YELLOW!!!
So, I've got the bodice constructed, and it's time to edit, cut, construct, and attach the skirt. I'll probably have the finished project done to share with you in the next few days or so!  It's such an honor to be asked to make such a special dress for a special day, especially considering that I've known her since she was a 9th grader in my Student Council class!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Quick & Dirty Tank Dress

I needed a quick fix, something painless and easy, something that didn't require detail work, something that I could start and finish in the same day.

Got it.  Let me introduce you to New Look 6210!

If you'd like to read my pattern review, here it is. Basically, I had a little over a yard of this lovely knit from Joann's (bought it a year ago), and it took a few hours to assemble. I originally bought this pattern a few months ago because I wanted more racer back tanks for the gym. This pattern would be easy to trim down to hip length and make a top, so this dress was my "muslin" version to test the sizing.

I cut and stitched the 16 according to the "finished garment measurements" on the pattern paper, but when I was done, I had a decision to make.  There was some gaping in the underarms and it was fairly loose through the sides, especially in the waist. If I left it alone, this would make a great swimsuit cover-up or nightshirt. If I took it in 3/4" along both sides seams (all the way from armhole to hem), it would be fitted and make a great summer tank dress.

I took it in. I love the fit now and want to make about a dozen more. I just love racer backs!!!

So, I used 3 machines to construct it. I used my regular machine set to the slightest zig-zag for the seams, and then hopped over to the serger to clean up the seams (I know that's silly, I really only needed the serger). Then the coverstitch came into play for the hemming.
So, my appetite for construction has been fulfilled, I've got a new TNT (for both a dress and gym tank), and it was done (start to finish) in a few hours today. Love, love, love! Best sewing day I've had in a long time!