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!
I'm excited to say there's a new pattern coming soon and I'm looking for pattern testers! The new Blue Dot top and dress pattern is designed for beginning/intermediate sewists sizes 6-18 (see size chart below). I realize it's a very busy season for some so the test won't begin until the middle of January. The call for pattern testers will stay open until all spots are filled.
If this sounds interesting to you, here's what you'll need:
Here's what you'll do:
Here's the other stuff you may be wondering:
If this sounds good to you, email me here with the following info and I will contact you about being a tester and more details about the pattern:
Don't be shy! I am looking for all sizes and levels of sewing experience. And don't hesitate to email me with questions.
Thank you for the support!
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
It's Georgia Week this week and I wanted to share some inspo and a coupon to get you started on your fall sewing!
The Georgia Top comes with 3 views: View A with neck, waist and armbands, View B with contrast upper body and View C can be made with a woven body and knit arm and neckbands. It's a simple and versatile pattern that lends itself to your creativity.
Here are some Pinterest ideas to get you thinking for fall. Why not add some lace to your Georgia....
Or be creative with patchwork and applique...
Or keep it simple and classic in black and white.
Pick up your Georgia Top PDF pattern now through Monday for 25% off with code GEORGIAWEEK in the shop. And tag all your makes #georgiatop and #bluedotpatterns. We'd love to see what you make!
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.