I’m sharing with you my latest make, a houndstooth Dover Jacket. This is the first of two Dovers I have planned this fall and couldn’t be happier. I’ve always loved houndstooth (the fabric so named because it looks like a dog’s tooth...I don’t see the connection but that’s what Google says) and think it’s a great contribution to my closet since really, it’s almost considered a neutral.
The Dover Jacket sews up quickly and friends if you’ve never made a jacket before, this is the pattern for you. The raglan sleeves are easy to sew and comfortable and it’s unlined. Since it’s so simple it lends itself to embellishments or trims. Check out the Dover inspiration board for some great ideas on making this your own. Also Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic has made some beautiful Dovers with gorgeous details.
The seams are bound in red bias (so satisfying) and I used three different antique buttons from my stash. This is a size 8 straight out of the package in a poly/rayon suiting I got at Joann. I bought 2 yards on sale so this entire project came in under $20. I don’t really sew to save money but that’s a big win!
I’m wearing this now with black but just bought a teal green knit for a fancy tee to use as a shell. Green is so popular right now and I thought it would be a great pop of color against the houndstooth.
Here's my dedicated photo staff. I'm always surprised when my son says he'll help me with blog photos. He's a saint! And Miss Hazel hasn't figured out how to look at the camera yet.
More sewing on deck so there’ll be more to share soon.
I know I’m not the only sewist out there that consistently plans to make “basics” but never gets around to it. Well pat me on the back, I made a white blouse! Which is a good thing since I didn’t have one in my closet. Here's a quick post on my new wardrobe addition.
I used my new friend Butterick 5997 View A without sleeve tabs. This is my second run of this pattern (the first is here) and I have to say I love this one just as much. It feels elegant but is as comfortable as a sweatshirt. My only challenge with this will be keeping it clean!
I used a medium weight Tencel twill from Fabricland. If you find a Tencel twill my advise is buy it now and ask questions later. The drape is beautiful, it presses well and has enough body for a blouse, dress or even pants.
The collar band is a key part of this blouse and these aren't always the easiest. I used Maris's method of construction for the band and it's gorgeous without any hand sewing. You should check it out!
For winter, I want to make a 70’s inspired dress and I’m considering using this pattern as the jump off point. By adding an elastic waist and softly gathered skirt this could be a romantic dress that’ll have me humming Fleetwood Mac. Your thoughts? Any other pattern ideas?
Thanks for reading sewing friends,
Every holiday I stand in my closet and look for something that is both dressy and comfortable and this year I’m going to have some lovelies to choose from! We usually do quite a bit of entertaining at our place this time of year and with that, quite a bit of cooking so comfort is key. But as hostess, I want to look festive and feel pretty.
You’re probably thinking "I love velvet, it’s luxurious, soft, glamorous but hard to sew, right?" Wrong. This crushed velvet is an easy first step into sewing your first velvet garment because this isn’t velvet in the formal sense, it’s stretch velour which for sewing and I would argue, wearing, is even better. I have some tips here that will have you crushing on this fabric.
Well I'm pretty excited to be a guest blogger today for Cali Fabrics and couldn't resist appeasing my velvet fix with their gorgeous collection of crushed velvets. There are several rich colors of this fabric on the Cali Fabrics website and I couldn’t choose just one so in true “fabricaholic” form I went ahead and picked two! I chose the romantic dusty light blue and elegant wine color for my holiday makes (but you can check out more colors here).
I took out my tried and true Blue Dot Patterns Georgia Top (of all my patterns I’ve made this the most and use coupon code CALIFAB and get 20% off the pattern for all of November!) to make a dusty blue luxurious (and very quick) sweatshirt. I made it straight out of the package minus the topstitching and it was quick and simple because this pattern doesn’t have any hems. I cut and sewed this in under two hours! I will probably wear this on Thanksgiving as it’s comfortable, washable (key when cooking, right?) and I’m pretty sure everyone will want to hug me.
For my next make I used the wine crushed velvet to sew up Simplicity’s fall release 8982. I bought this pattern as soon as it came out because of View C. The sleeves are divine! This top is almost as simple as the Georgia Top but adds set-in sleeves, gathers at the cuffs and a hem. Still, nothing difficult here and with the stretch velvet, the sleeves slid in like a dream and I used a twin needle for the hem. This top is just as comfortable and very easy to dress up. It looks good with black jeans but also would be great with a skirt and heels. Hopefully someone will invite me to a New Year’s party (wink,wink) because I’ll be ready with this top, black pants and sparkly earrings.
Now here are some tips that’ll help you overcome your fears and help you fill your closet with stretch velvet:
Choose the right pattern: This crushed stretch velvet has great stretch and recovery so it’ll work on a pattern for knits, but what’s most important in choosing a pattern for this fabric is the design. Simple lines and fewer pieces are a great way to insure success and since the fabric shines on it’s own anyway, there’s no use choosing something complicated. Both of the patterns I chose have 5 pieces each and require very little pressing. Which takes me to my next point...
Careful when pressing (you don’t want to crush your velvet): I try to press as little as possible when working with any velvet but when you do need to press, use the coolest iron setting that will work and press from the wrong side...always. In addition, press velvet against velvet. You could use a fancy needle board but why when you can use a scrap of velvet? Have your scrap velvet face up on your ironing board and your project face down so the pile of both are together. On curvy seams, I laid my scrap over my ham to press.
Be mindful of the nap: This fabric has a one way nap so when cutting and sewing make a quick double check to be sure everything is facing the same direction.
Roll your fabric to eliminate creasing: After cutting, I rolled my pattern pieces with my velvet to keep creases from forming.
Test your stitches: I do this on every project. Since this fabric is technically a knit, a ball point needle and a narrow zig zag stitch with a long stitch length worked well for me but use whatever works for you. The stretch stitch on my machine (it looks like a lightning bolt on the stitch guide if you have one) is too close together so if I have to take a seam out (gulp) it’s too hard to take out!
If you have a walking foot, use it: It’s not necessary but it will help.
You’re not going to believe me when I say this but use a fabric glue stick if you need to: When it came time to fold up my hem and I wasn’t able to press it in place, I sparingly used a fabric glue stick (not regular glue stick!) to keep everyone in place. Although it washes out and this fabric is washable, I didn’t want to make my project too gooey, so a dot here and there on the hem and when folding the neckbands in half really helped.
Thank you Cali Fabrics for the opportunity to sew with these lovely fabrics.
Sewing friends, enjoy 20% off the Georgia Top PDF Pattern on the Blue Dot Patterns website for the month of November! Use code: CALIFAB.
I wish you well in your holiday sewing and festivities. I know you’ll look great in your velvet!
#bluedotpatterns, #simplicity patterns, #sewover50, #holidaydressing, #holidaysewing
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.