I've got something really different (at least for me) today on the blog! A tiered Margo Dress! I've been so inspired by the tiered Margo hack Michelle did in her Sew News article (if you haven't picked it up at the bookstore...there's still time) I decided to give Margo a new spin myself! Lot's of new elements here and hopefully some inspo for your spring and summer sewing. Gathers, full sleeves and a southwest print from Mood Fabrics all together give a brand new feel to my dearly loved, and often used Margo pattern.
I took the Margo pattern with long sleeves, added an elastic waist and a tiered skirt and finished it off with inset pockets and embroidery floss topstitching. Here's a quick low down so you can make your own!
It really is easy (let's face it, we're really only adding rectangles for tiers) and here's how I did it step by step (wow, my brain queued up "Step by Step" by New Kids On The Block!):
And for some fun I used dusty aqua embroidery thread, using this method, at the yoke and each tier. It really separated the tiers and added to the boho feel.
I can tell you the hardest and most time consuming thing about this project was the pattern matching! The cutting took a whole lot longer than the sewing!. I bought a swatch first (in a different colorway) and liked the print but decided on this color instead. It came as quite a surprise to me when this fabric came and the scale was so much LARGER than the swatch! We need a challenge every now and again, right?
Another Margo hack is coming next. Stay tuned and grab the Margo Blouse pattern for just $7.80 in the shop!
More to come....
Some exciting news! The Margo Blouse is featured in the Spring edition of SewNews Magazine! Michelle of That Black Chic blog and the editor of Sewn Magazine, did a fun article on adding tiers to the Margo Blouse! You're gonna want to pick it up not just for the Margo Blouse but also some other nice how-to's for spring.
The Margo Blouse pattern is just $7.80 in the shop. And more summer inspiration is on it's way to the blog using the Margo Blouse. More soon!
Don't have time to tape your patterns together? Now, there's a quick option for you here in the U.S., Brooklyn Motif Patterns! You can purchase your pattern here in my store and then head over to their Blue Dot Patterns Shop (there's a link in the pattern descriptions) and they will print the pattern and ship it straight to you! That way you have both the digital version and a printed pattern!
The patterns are on sale in my shop AND Brooklyn Motif is having an introductory sale on printing through April 7th! Just in time for spring sewing!
They print on a paper that's lighter than computer paper and has something like a vellum finish. And if you know how I design patterns, I want you to use the patterns over and over and make them your own, and with this paper they will last a long time! Check out the video below.
I've been experimenting in the sewing room lately because I've been inspired by many of the details you sewists out there are putting on your clothes. I'm ready to make fewer garments with more details and embellishments. My lifestyle and the climate I live in really lend itself to simple, comfortable and easy to wear clothes. The Coffeehouse Pants are just that and are a blank slate for creativity!
These are an elastic waist, straight leg cropped pant. I've made so many of these and I wear Coffeehouse Pants at least 4 days a week. But in all of my makes, I've never embellished the pant leg. I've been experimenting with "couching" which is a technique where you take a fiber, in my case I used scraps of yarn that I had from left over crochet projects, and use the zig zag stitch or other wide stitch to anchor it down.
I used the "trial and error method" (turns out I've used this method A Lot in my sewing career... eh-hem!) with lots of different feet on my machine and found there were actually several ways to do this. I tried (from left to right) the piping foot, regular foot, clear view foot, pintuck foot and open toe foot. All but the open toe foot worked for me but my favorite is the clear view foot (that little arrow keeps me right on track and I'm able to load the yarn under the back of the foot and through the opening keeping it feeding smoothly). This foot or a foot very similar probably came with your machine so you may be able to get by without purchasing something new...although new feet are really fun!
To experiment I used worsted weight yarn, double and triple yarns and scraps of fabric. I'm not gonna lie, it was difficult for me to decide which way to go. I decided to go with the creamy colored nubby yarn (you can see how I loaded it through the foot above) but do expect to make other pairs with the same fabric and different colored embellishments. Already, I made a denim top with black and white yarn. To say I got obsessed with all of this could be accurate but I prefer to think of it the same way my friend Cari did..."Diane, you have your creative flow going." Yup, that's it, I have "flow". Everybody needs a friend like that!
I used a 4 ox. dark wash denim which really is the weight of a chambray, widened the leg slightly and added a twill drawstring with grommets. I added the yarn to the pockets and 3 rows of stitching 3/4" apart beginning 2 1/2" from the hem. They're comfortable, fun and it feels good to make something creative and unique and "in the flow"!
Here's sneak peek of the top I made with black and white twisted yarn. It's a pattern that's coming out very soon!
The Thanksgiving Sale is here so now's the time to grab the Coffeehouse Pants pattern or ANY PATTERN FOR 20% OFF, no code needed now through the 28th!
Happy Sewing Friends!
I have a brand new pattern just in time for fall and winter! The Wintertide Poncho is an easy to sew (I mean really easy!) and quick cowl neck poncho pattern with contrast bands. And as an added bonus...no need to worry about fitting!
Make it up in a beautiful wool sweater knit for a sophisticated topper or sew it in a tie-dye French Terry you can throw on instead of a hoodie.
Gift giving season is coming soon and this would be a quick and easy piece to sew up for a friend!
It's on sale for just $6 so grab it and enjoy! I'd love to see what you make so tag it #wintertide poncho!
I have a new Morrison Dress here all ready for the fall. It still stays pretty hot here until November so I like to have a couple of pieces in my closet that look like fall but are still cool enough for the weather. This fits the bill perfectly. I used this "Van Gogh" viscose twill print from PDX Sewing Studio with a liquid drape and beautiful colors for fall...teal, rust, gold and black.
The Morrison Dress is the easiest pattern to put together and my favorite part of making it is the neckband. I feel so accomplished when it's all stitched down and beautiful. The instructions call for the band to be stitched to the wrong side first and then turned to the front for topstitching from the right side. It's so much easier than the traditional method. The Morrison also has an easy sleeve hem technique too!
Happy Sewing Friends! And keep an eye out for a new fall pattern!
I had some fun in the sewing room recently and took one of my favorite hackable patterns, the Georgia Top, and made this creamy contrast stitch top that will take me from summer right into fall. I documented the whole process and I have it here for you in a video. Enjoy!
It's here! The new Andrea Wrap Dress and Top PDF pattern! And get it for 20% off with code BDPANDREA through August 4th!
This pattern has been so fun to design as it was inspired by a dress I made and loved (and wish I had saved) from the 90's. Of course I updated the look so it's modern for today but it still has the easy to wear feeling from the 90's. Is that Counting Crows I hear playing in the background?
The Andrea Wrap Dress comes in 3 lengths, a hip length top, knee length dress and midi length dress. It's easy to fit and ties just above the waist (no closures!) so it's an easy project for beginners and flattering on most body types.
Make it up in gingham for a fun summer dress, a beautiful silk crepe for an elegant event or cozy it up for fall in a flannel.,
Grab the Andrea Dress Pattern during the 20% off during the New Release Sale. Use code: BDPANDREA. I can't wait to see what you make!
A bright blue, breezy dress for a girl with a beautiful smile is the way to kick off summer sewing, right? I really enjoyed making this blue gauze dress for my daughter and I think she felt good about having something pretty to wear out after having so many months in, It's a simple and fun make and easy enough for a beginner or if you need a dress quick!
I used McCall's 8035 and this was my first time trying their PDF patterns. Now I sew with PDF patterns all the time (needless to say) and also with the Big 4 but I have to say I don't recommend using Big 4 PDF patterns. This printout was 55 pages!!! Just for the tile! I know one of the things we indie designers take lots of time on is the layout of our tiles because time and paper are precious resources. Also, there was no test square anywhere on the pattern so I printed out the skirt pieces and verified the finished measurements on the pattern to be sure my settings were right. That said, otherwise it was a good pattern.
She chose a cotton/rayon gauze for the dress I got from Stylish Fabric on Etsy. I have to say this fabric is wonderful! I don't think it was even $8 per yard and it's soft and drapes a little bit closer to the body than some gauzes. It comes in lots of colors and washes really well.
Lining cotton garments always send me into a quandary because most typical linings defeat the purpose of why we wear cotton garments. I decided to use this very lightweight white challis and it turned out to be the perfect option. I lined the bodice and half of the skirt (lots of maxi's are lined just to above the knee these days) and left the sleeves sheer.
By complete luck, I had the perfect color serger thread and these days I've been cutting projects ahead and grouping them by serger color. Don't we all hate the serger rethread?
The pic on the right shows where I was in construction for the first fitting. I basted just the bodice and skirt together (no lining) and wrapped the elastic around her to make any changes. I ended up shortening the bodice slightly and bringing in the side seam 1/4" on both sides. I also added a slit on one side.
I prewash all my fabrics before I sew them with no fabric softener. The extra stiffness in the fabric helps with accurate sewing and crisp ironing. But after I finish the garment I do wash with softener. The stitches disappeared and the texture of this fabric got so yummy after washing. I purchased several gauzes this spring to see what I liked, and I was impressed by this one partly because when I press it, it still retains the "gauzy" texture.
Mother daughter day! I'm wearing a self drafted dress I made about 6 or 7 years ago that I still love.
Lots more projects on the sewing table. I'll share soon!
The Garnet Hill catalog is often a source of inspiration for me. They have casual clothes, suitable for warm weather and most importantly work well for my lifestyle. So today, since the Morrison pattern is on sale this month, I have a Morrison t-shirt Garnet Hill style.
The Morrison Top pattern is a versatile pattern and a great base for creativity. I'm using a rayon/spandex black pontelle knit and vintage lace from my friend Lisa's grandma's collection. I've been looking for the perfect project for the lace and here it is. And I have just enough to trim the front. It's meant to be!
Aftern I cut the top out, I put it up on the dress form to see which direction to lay the lace. I liked the placement on the left side because it laid against the body best. I pinned it on and did a quick hand baste. I know hand basting is not everyone's favorite thing to do but I've found it saves me time in the end. This is delicate lace and I know it wouldn't do well if I had to take out stitches. I save bits and pieces of thread for a job like this and something in a contrast color so I can take it out easily.
I had a tiny bit of lace left, so I did a practice run to test the needle and stitches. I used a wide and long zig zag on both sides of the lace and a lightweight ball point needle. When I was happy with the result I moved on to the shirt. It turned out nice and smooth and you can't see the stitches. I'll admit, I held my breath through most of the stitching.
I put the shoulder seams in with stabilizer and then I was ready for the neckband. This knit is very drapey and whenever I have a fabric like this I shorten the neckband so it holds the shape better and doesn't sag. I ended up taking off 3/4" on both ends of the band.
I'm happy with the result and even happier than I would be if I bought it. It made me happy to use the lace Lisa shared with me. Thank you Lisa for the generous gift! I've already worn it several times (and even washed it...gentle cycle in a mesh bag) and know it'll be in heavy rotation this summer.
The Morrison Top pattern is on sale for just $8 for the month of April, no code needed.
Happy Sewing Friends,
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.