We just got slapped with a hot spell here so it jump started me right into summer sewing. When it climbs into the 90's I grab for the loosest, softest dress I can find in my closet. I'll be adding a few Morrison dresses to my closet for these days and this is the first.
I'm sewing largely from my stash since we are in quarantine (and really I should sew this stuff up, right?) and I chose this liquidy soft cotton/rayon/spandex jersey from GirlCharlee fabrics (and yes they are shipping right now!) It's a perfect pick for this pattern since it's medium weight, has a nice drape and cute print.
I cut a size 6 top and a size 8 skirt and blended the two together at the waist. Generally, when I make a Morrison top in a stretchy knit I make a size 6 (so it doesn't look too boxy), in a woven I make an 8 and the dress I always cut a 8 skirt. I added a strip of interfacing at the pocket openings so they don't stretch out of shape but otherwise I made it just like the instructions and finished it in one sitting of about 2 hours. I got going early today because I love the days when I have something new to wear especially since I spend so much time at home. It's the little things, right?
Next, I think I'll take the Morrison top pattern and lengthen it about 12" to make a simple t-shirt dress for these scorching days. I'll share soon!
I hope you are all healthy!
A lot of unselfish going on over here, believe it or not, because I have the whole gang home. My daughter came home to work remotely during the quarantine so I have her here for fittings and inspiratiion. I've been able to make some pieces for her and also finish a pant muslin (I've yet to find fabric for those so more on that later) but today I get to share a jacket I made for when she goes back to work.
This is McCall's 7693, a pattern I've had in my stash since a former student of mine made it and it turned out so cute! This is a simple loose fitting lined jacket with a straight peplum. I made it up in this poly/rayon blend suiting with a light pinstripe. It's the perfect fabric for this pattern because it allowed me to play with the direction of the stripes, has good drape and presses well.
I cut both the collar and peplum on the bias and the rest of the jacket on the straight grain. I have an entire bolt of this fabric so I had plenty to play with while I decided the layout (you'll be seeing a few other projects in this fabric - wink, wink).
This pattern was fun to make, went together easily and, with the lining, it was really a satisfying make. The first sewing step in any project for me is staystitching and I knew since I was cutting so much of this on the bias, it was really important. But I missed one side of the peplum facing and I didn't discover it until I went to put the facing on the jacket. You can see in the first photo how much it stretched! Because it was the facing, I was comfortable just cutting it even with the front instead of recutting the entire piece. I'm happy with how it turned out. Whew!
The pattern instructions call for the majority of the lining to be hand sewn in, but I knew I'd be much happier with it if I machine sewed as much as possible. I machine stitched the entire lining together including the sleeves and peplum facing, stitched it to the jacket all the way around the neck and bottom (in a modified bagged lining technique) leaving just a small corner to hand sew (the left pic). I bagged the sleeves and and closed the sides and it was done!
I didn't have enough of one lining for the entire jacket so I cut the sleeves in something different. This is quarantine sewing so I made it work and honestly, I probably wouldn't notice and it felt really good to be using what I had. This is a great first lined jacket pattern for those who are ready for a new challenge. I highly recommend this pattern!
Although I'm happy to have my crew home. no one is happier to have everyone here than Miss Hazel.
I have more projects to share soon!
Hey Friends! In this trying time, let's pull together and help each other! So many people, businesses and families are greatly affected by the current pandemic. In an effort to support small business owners I will be using 100% of the SALES of my latest pattern, The Morrison Top and Dress PDF pattern to purchase goods and products by other indie makers! Pattern designers, small fabric stores (yes, many are still shipping!), makers, artists and more can use our talents to help each other.
How can you help support other makers? Join in by doing the same with your own sales, purchasing goods from other makers and promoting this on social media and tagging your fellow makers!
I wish you all health and wellness now and always!
I've got the Morrison Top tutorial for you today. This top is a quick and easy sew that's perfect for a beginner. Let me start with the basics...it's only 3 pieces! Yes, you heard me, you can finish this versatile wardrobe staple before you even know you've started! And even more, you can make it in as little as one yard of fabric! It's both a great stash buster and wardrobe builder at the same time. The pattern can be made in either a knit or woven and today I'm showing you how to make the top in knit fabric.
Ready to get started? You can purchase and download the pattern here, print it and tape it together (a "copy shop" version of the pattern is included in the package if you prefer having it printed) and choose your size using the size chart.
A few notes about fabric: you can use all different types of knit for this top as long as they have at least 30% stretch on the crossgrain. If you're new to knits and sewing, choose a "stable" knit which means a fabric that goes back into place after you stretch it (has good recovery), medium weight and doesn't lose it's shape. Good beginner knits are medium weight ponte and interlock and you may want to avoid anything too lightweight or drapey your first time out. I've used a medium weight ponte for the tutorial today and just love the way it came out.
So here is The Morrison Top step by step in full color....Enjoy! Don't forget to tag your makes #bluedotpatterns and #Morrisontop. We want to see what you make!
That's it! You did it!!!
Happy Sewing Friends!
I'm not certain why people sign up to test a pattern. Is it for a free pattern, to be a part of something new, social media exposure, curiosity, a new challenge or something entirely different? Whatever it is, it's the part of the process of designing a pattern that's most important for me as a designer. Using the input from the real, hands-on working of a pattern by different people can take it from good to great.
The testers for the Morrison pattern covered all sizes in both views of the pattern and different fabrics. I had returning testers, experienced testers, beginning sewists, new testers, busy working women, grandmas, nursing moms (not sure how they did it!), people pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and even my BFF! I'm humbled and amazed by the generosity of the testers and how willing they are to share their time and expertise. A heartfelt "thank you" to all of you. I couldn't do it without you! And today I want to share with you some of what the fabulous Morrison testers made during testing.
Here are just some of the Morrison Testers and their beautiful makes. Some made dresses, some tops and many of them made multiple versions of each! I included links to either their Instagram or blogs (if they have them) so be sure to check them all out!
I was fortunate to have the lovely Koe of Koetique test the Morrison Dress. She has a fantastic and helpful blog, beautiful makes and a really fun Instagram. During testing, she asked if she could not only make the dress but customize it too. One of my favorite things as a designer is watching what people do with my patterns. I do my best to design pieces that are versatile enough to use over and over and today I'm excited to show you Koe's take on the Morrison Dress.
Like so many of us, ready to wear is often the inspiration for our projects. Koe spotted this dress and found that the Morrison would be the perfect starting off point.
She added a flounce to both the sleeve and hems and she has a fantastic tutorial on her blog that shows how to not only add a flounce to the Morrison but add a flounce to any pattern.
Check out her post and her entire blog for tons of inspo!
Happy Sewing, Friends!
Yes! I have a new pattern to share with all of you! It's the Morrison Top and Dress PDF Pattern! This easy to sew sleeveless top or dress pattern has a scoop neck and pleated bodice. The dress has an elastic waist and side pockets (of course pockets!). And both can be made in either knit or woven fabric. The pattern package comes with full color, illustrated instructions, tiled pattern and copy shop file. It comes in sizes 4-18 and sells for $10!
This pattern came out of a gap I had in my own closet. I was in desperate need of tops that were as easy to wear as a t-shirt but a little more elevated. As I was designing this I realized I could add the option of making it in a woven and then would also have a versatile and comfortable shell. Then I just kept going and added the dress. I can tell you I live in these dresses especially because I work at home and want something that's comfortable but isn't sweatpants! Uh-hem! I just pull it over my head, add a necklace and I'm good to go!
If you're new to sewing this is a great pattern for you because it's easy to sew and easy to fit. Start with the top as your first project because it only has three pattern pieces then move on to the dress as your second project. And if you're a seasoned sewist you can use this pattern as a quick wardrobe builder and as a great basic to be creative with. You can add piping to the pockets (one tester did this and it's adorable!), change the bodice pleats to gathers, add a drawstring with eyelets and a tie...the options are endless. One of my goals as a designer is to create affordable AND versatile patterns that can be used over and over again!
I had some wonderful testers that helped me with the Morrison Pattern and I'll be sharing their makes soon along with some tutorials on making this your own.
I really hope you enjoy it!
I'm excited to announce my new PDF pattern, The Morrison Top and Dress will be released March 4th! It's an easy to sew and fit top and dress pattern suitable for all sewists, including beginners!
Join my newsletter for a new release coupon!!!
Can't wait to share it soon!
As the new year is upon us, I’m enjoying all of the sewing recaps on instagram and on blogs. It’s exciting to see what people can make in a year. I’ve been sewing quite a few years and wish I had kept track of all the things I’ve made, well, maybe not all things. I did make a few things in the 80’s that...well imagine handmade 80’s and you might know what I mean. But even still, I would love to be able to look at what I’ve done and how I’ve grown.
My husband is a painter and he does a great job of photographing and cataloging all of his work. Artists have retrospectives and catalogs that encompass their life’s work. And although I don’t consider myself an artist, sewing is part of my life’s work and a couple of years ago I decided I would do a better job of documenting it.
I don’t save everything I make. I just couldn’t and wouldn’t considering all the use someone else could get out of garments I no longer have a use for (plus, I absolutely love finding a handmade garment in a thrift store and hope my handmade garments make someone else happy in a thrift store too). Yes, those projects that have a really special place in my heart, my daughter’s easter dress, the first shirt I made my son and the shirts I made for my husband when we first married, among others have found a place in a memory box. But other than that, the things I made are just a memory.
I have a simple way of documenting my makes that doesn’t take up a lot of space and takes moments (because if it takes too long it simply won’t get done!)
Because fabric is the driving force in all of my sewing I save a 4” x 5” swatch of my fabric. I put all the swatches on a safety pin and all the pins on a ring. Then I keep a sewing journal and in a two line entry I write the project, pattern and fabric. That’s it! I know it’s really simple but already it’s been fun for me to look at the swatches and see what I’ve made in just the 2 years I’ve been doing this.
Documenting can be done in all sorts of ways. With cell phone cameras, a photo album might work best for you. You may want to keep an online journal (I do a handwritten one because when my mom passed away it brought me comfort to look through her cookbooks for her handwritten notes...handwriting is so personal), a binder with more details, a page in your calendar or even notecards. Whatever works for you.
I hope this new year brings you lots of sewing time and I hope you take the time to document your work, time, effort and creativity. It’s brought me so much joy and I hope it will for you too.
If you enjoy taking notes on your projects, check out my free sewing project cards. I have one for each of my patterns and a blank one you can use for anything.
2019 was a year of healing and growth for me and sewing was central to all of it. Yes, I know at it’s core, sewing is only building something with fabric but it really can be and usually is so much more. I carefully documented all of my makes this year (more about documenting makes in a future post) because I needed to see my efforts and growth consolidated in one place.
My goal last year with my sewing was to help strengthen and heal my hands without occupational therapy. As some of you know, I have nerve damage from complications of Lyme disease treatment so atrophy, numbness, pain, diminished fine motor and tremors are new challenges in my life and in my sewing. Every single one of us has challenges and I’ve had the pleasure of watching others use sewing as a way to overcome challenges and I too will tell anyone that sewing keeps me sane, but I knew it could also help me physically.
Although sewing is much more challenging than it’s ever been it is no less fulfilling and arguably even more. It’s exciting to see that every project gets a little easier and a little faster so visible progress has not only been good for my body but good for my soul. I still have the challenges but through adaptation (a few new sewing tools and techniques), practice and renewed confidence I’m not discouraged but empowered. And on top of it all I did so much more than I expected and filled my closet with some happy new clothes! So on to the recap:
Total Number of Projects: 49 (46 garments and 3 “other” projects)
Most Proud of: “Occupational Therapy Shirt” (this was the first project of the year and started it all)
Most Worn: New Look 6413 navy print dress
Most Used Pattern: Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet (I made it 6 times)
Gifts aka "unselfish sewing": 14
Most Fun to Make: Robes for my girlfriends
Fail: Workout wear (I found some great patterns but I wasn’t happy with my fabric choices)
New Patterns: 14 “new to me” patterns
Friends, it was a lot of sewing this year and I’m looking eagerly into 2020 and don’t expect to make as many projects but to make fewer things with more details. What are your plans this year? And what did you make in 2019 that was special?
And to help you with your 2020 sewing goals, get 20% off all PDF patterns in the store with code: NEWDECADE today through January 5th, 2020.
Thanks for reading!
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.