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,
I have some great sewing news to share with you just in time for spring sewing. Andra from AndraMakes has a step by step tutorial for the No-Zip Skirt on her YouTube channel! She walks you through every part and has some great tips for all of your sewing. And if you've ever been afraid to put in a snap, she shows it all and takes the fear out of it (and you can see how quick and easy it is!)
If you're a beginner, this video is perfect for you!
And as a bonus, Andra has a coupon code for 25% off the No-Zip Skirt PDF pattern. Just $7.50 and good through April 16th!
Subscribe to her Youtube channel so you can see all of her tutorials, projects and pattern reviews.
Happy Sewing Friends! And stay tuned to the blog. Lots of fun stuff happening in April!
The No-Zip Skirt is here! I'm so excited to share with you the latest pattern in the Blue Dot Collection. And yes, you heard it right...a fitted waist with NO ZIPPER! "Does it come with a magic wand?" you ask. No need! You can use the super secret pocket opening...shhh don't tell.
It's suitable for beginners, very easy to fit and sews up quick. It comes in three lengths and is a pattern you can make all year long. Wear the short version in wool and with tights in the winter and make the midi length in a beautiful silk print for the summer. My hope is this pattern, as with all my patterns, will be something you can make over and over and truly make yours.
The No-Zip Skirt is 20% off now through March 8th so grab it quick. I'd love to see what you make so be sure to tag your skirts #nozipskirt and #bluedotpatterns.
Happy Sewing Friends!
March 1st is the day! I will be releasing a new skirt pattern that I'm really excited about! The pattern will be 20% off the first week but for a super special discount, join our newsletter or Facebook group. More coming soon!
This fall I released the updated Margo Blouse and had some fun making new versions for my closet. Ruffles made their debut on the yoke of the Margo Blouse and to add to the fun I made the New Dover Jacket in pink! Although I've made both of these patterns many times, these pieces both have something special something that makes them new.
Adding ruffles to the Margo has been on my list for quite a while. My inspiration board is full of photos with inspiration for adding ruffles without adding too much frill. After lots of experimentation I landed on adding ruffles around the entire yoke, both front and back.
Here's how I did it:
For a 5/8" finished ruffle, I cut 2 strips of fabric 2 1/4" wide by the width of my fabric, pieced them together, folded and pressed the strip in half lengthwise.
Ran 2 rows of basting stitches, and pulled on the bobbin threads and gathered the entire strip.
Constructed the yoke and facing and basted them together around the perimeter.
Basted gathered ruffle to outer edge of yokes.
Continued constructing blouse.
It got a little bit bulky at the corner so I did lots of grading, trimming and pressing to get everybody to lay flat. I used a poly crepe which isn't typically responsive to the iron, but I persisted and used the iron in combination with my wood clapper (if you're unfamiliar you can check one out here) and I'm happy with the finished product.
Let's face it, I can't pass up corduroy let alone wide wale pink cord. This is dreamy soft with a bit of a distressed texture and I would imagine it's just going to get softer with wear. I made the long version of the Dover Jacket and added large vintage buttons. I've worn this with the ruffle Margo blouse and also a simple t-shirt and scarf. I think it will get lots of wear this spring on crisp days. The roomy pockets are one of my favorite features on this jacket as they hold everything I need for a quick jaunt out. I didn't topstitch this version because I wanted to live with it first, but now I think I will go back and add some about 2" in around the neck and front.
Happy Sewing my friends and may this year bring you all the good things!
It's time for a new year and time to start planning some new projects! Now through January 3rd all patterns are $7.50 to help you get a jump start on your 2021 wardrobe. No code needed!
Happy New Year Friends!
I fell in love with this fabric when I saw it on Mood Fabric's website and it's in a color I've never worn before. Butterscotch! I can't pass up butterscotch pudding, candies or my mom's butterscotch chip cookies (she was magical in the kitchen...and everywhere else for that matter) so it's only logical for me to grab this fabric too.
I made view B of the Margo Blouse in this rayon crepe that has a texture something like a bark cloth. It's drapes like crepe which makes it perfect for the Margo and because it has some texture it was easy to work with since it didn't slide around too much.
It was perfect for Thanksgiving and fall but it will also work well in the spring with a creamy sweater or denim jacket. This will get lots of wear!
Keep sewing my friends!
I didn't think it was ever going to cool down here but finally we're having a few cool days and with that comes inspiration to sew some winter pieces. And just in time, the Georgia Top now has a "Cowl Neck Expansion Pack" available as a free download in the shop. This gray sweater is one of two cowls I've made so far and I was able to make it in under an hour!
The fabric is a ribbed sweater knit from Mood Fabrics that has great stretch and recovery, so if you're new to sweater knits this is a great first choice. As prep before I sew, I cut everything out and changed my serger thread (my least favorite part of sewing) and did some test stitching on my machine. I used a combo of my sewing machine and serger (which is typical for me) but this top can be made completely on the serger. Since this is a knit, I used a ball point needle. And on a side note, I mark my sewing machine needles with nail polish colors that coordinate with the case so I don't get them mixed up. There is no way I'll ever be able to read the imprint on the needles.
This is a quick project because the construction is broken down to minimize trips to the iron and gives longer stints at the machine. All the bands and cowl are stitched and pressed to start and after that, there's really only the front and back to work with.
We've all had shoulder seams on knit tops grow on us, so to keep that from happening, I added "Seams Great" in the stitching of the shoulder seam. You can also use a lightweight fusible knit interfacing. The classic choice for this is clear elastic (but I typically don't have it) but it irritates my skin.
Here's my quick and pretty sweater ready for cozy winter days. The Georgia Top along with the Coffeehouse Pants PDF patterns are included in the "Work From Home Pattern Bundle" available now in the store for just $15!
Happy Sewing Friends!
The Georgia Top now has a Cowl Neck Expansion Pack available FREE! If you've already purchased the Georgia Top, you can download the expansion free here. If you haven't purchased the Georgia Top, the listings now include the expansion pack and the full pattern package is available here.
Enjoy some new warm sweaters this year!
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.