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jen

pattern reviews, spring

september dress in double gauze pattern review

Oh my goodness, I have recently fallen in love with yet another amazing fabric… Double Gauze!! I am sure some of you may be able to relate to what I am about to say, and for those of you who cannot relate to this, just promise me you won’t judge 🙂

I have a moderate fabric stash, but I recently put myself on a mini-fabric buying freeze in an attempt to focus on sewing items from my fabric stash. You see, I tend to buy fabric on impulse either because it is a great price or because the design is so amazing that I cannot pass it up. However, it seems I can buy fabric much faster than I can sew it.

The other day while tending to my fabric stash I came across this amazing navy, polka-dot double gauze that I had gotten Imagine Gnats Fabric a few years ago. I had never sewn with double gauze and I was a little intimidated. However, in an attempt to sew my stash, I decided to it was time to take the plunge and cut into the fabric.

I only had 1 yard of the fabric, so I decided to make a dress for my 4 year old’s upcoming preschool graduation.

I dug deep into my pattern library and decided to try the September Dress by Too Sweets Pattern. I bought this pattern in 2013 when it was released and I had yet to sew it. I did have to get a little creative when cutting out the pattern since I only had 1 yard of fabric and the pattern calls for 1.5 yards. I ended up cutting the skirt in 3 pieces and shortened the arm ruffles. But it worked 🙂

For the most part the pattern went together smoothly, and I am absolutely in love with the end result. I think the back button placket is my favorite detail.

Next time I sew the September Dress I will adjust the back placket construction, but that is a personal preference. However, I do want to say that this is a great beginner pattern. The steps are very straightforward and I think it would be very easy for a beginner sewist to construct. The dolman sleeves and the simple button placket make for a great beginner level pattern.

Now its time to talk about the fabric!

Like I mentioned earlier, this was my first experience working with Double Gauze and I loved it. The fabric was quite soft and airy. It made for the perfect summer dress.

I would also like to add that I made the dress just a few hours before my daughter’s preschool graduation. It went straight from my machine, to her body. She wore this dress for over 6 hours before I took these pictures. Although you will see that there are some wrinkles, I am still very happy with how it looks after a full day of wear. Combine that with the light airiness of the fabric, I think I may have found my new favorite woven fabric for my kids’ summer dresses. Double Gauze all summer long!

spring, summer

a new relaxed, everyday skirt

I am so excited to share my latest make with everyone! First, let me just start by saying that I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area and our summers are HOT! I am constantly looking for new casual skirt and dress patterns. Skirts and dresses are just so much easier to wear on those hot days.

This past year I seen a lot of those relaxed, everyday skirts, typically made with french terry fabric. These skirts that I am seeing remind me of a pair of joggers turned into a skirt. Here are just a few examples from my Pinterest Board.

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I was looking for a relaxed fit that skims the hips and goes straight down, just past the knee. I hadn’t had any luck finding a pattern, but I had the thought to hack the Mini Hudson Pant pattern by True Bias to make the skirt I had envisioned.

I had it all mapped out in my mind, but before I started executing my plans I decided to do a quick google search to see if there was a tutorial already out there and guess what, there was a tutorial already 🙂 Kelli with True Bias had a wonderful tutorial already written. The Hudson Skirt Hack, was exactly what I was looking to make and the tutorial was perfect.

Following the tutorial, I made a size 10 using the pattern for the Mini Hudson Pants. For the length, I cut the fabric one inch longer than the cut line for the capri length pants. As for fabric, I used a rayon, spandex french terry form my fabric stash.

I am really happy with the end result. I did choose not to include the drawstring, per my daughter’s request, but otherwise I think it looks quite similar to the inspiration picture.

Even though I did not include the drawstring, I did still stitch the waistband per the instructions in the pattern. I like the look of the stitched waistband, plus is keeps the elastic from rolling and twisting in the wash.

This was a very quick and gratifying project. I see myself making several more this summer for all of my girls. I might even make some for myself 🙂

spring

sewing for easter: boys’ edition

There are less than 2 weeks until Easter, which makes for the perfect excuse to do some fancy sewing. As a mom of 4 girls and 1 boy, my Easter sewing usually revolves around my girls; however, this time I decided to direct more attention on my son. He is 8 and really loves wearing a suit to church every week.

About 6 months ago, right before his 8th birthday, I attempted to sew him a suit for the first time. I spent a long time looking for a pattern and was unable to come up with many options. I decided on the Basic Blazer and the Clean Slate Pants, both by Blank Slate Patterns.

I was really happy with the results! I admit, I was dreading this project, but once I got started I didn’t want to stop. Additionally, I decided to make his tie by using the Everyday Necktie pattern by Made Everyday. I had used this pattern before for men and loved it, so I knew it would go great with the suit!

He wore the suit every week for about 6 months straight; however, just like with every growing boy, the suit began to get a little small. Plus, he really wanted a jacket that looked a little more like his dad’s. 🙂 Specifically, he liked the back vent feature and he wanted it to fit better when it was buttoned.

The pattern search started once again. I really could not find a lot of options other than the Burda Boys Suit Jacket pattern. This suit jacket looked exactly like what he wanted. It had a back vent and the shaping was better. The only problem was that it was a Burda pattern, which made me terrified! Not only did I have to add my own seam allowances, but all of the reviews stated the instructions were not very good. I decided to take a risk and give it a shot anyway…I mean, how bad could it be? 🙂

According to the measurement chart he should have been a size 7, but unfortunately the jacket pattern only included sizes 8 – 12. Therefore, I decided an 8 would work and it turned out to be the perfect amount of ease (sizing runs small).

As I mentioned, this is my first experience with a Burda pattern. I did need to add my own seam allowance (“SA”), which fortunately ended up being rather easy. I decided to use a 3/8″ SA, although I believe 5/8″ SA is what the pattern recommends. However, a tip to easily add 3/8″ SA is to tape 2 pencils together, creating a 3/8″ space between the 2 points (see picture below). You will want to measure this for yourself, but this method has worked for me in the past. First, I traced the pattern on my paper and then went around each pattern piece to add the SA.

I did sew up a quick muslin before actually cutting into my real fabric. I was impressed with how well the pieces came together. The only adjustment I made from the muslin was to add 1 inch of length onto the bottom.

I used a classic suiting fabric and lining from JoAnn Fabrics. I also used a woven interfacing as the pattern directed. When I made the first suit, I had a difficult time finding information about what pattern pieces to interface, so I snapped a quick picture of the pieces after I interfaced them, as shown below.

I interfaced the 2 front pieces, the facings, and both collar pieces. I also interfaced the back pieces in 3 spots: the neckline, the arm seam, and the back vent.

The pattern only came with a couple of paragraphs explaining the construction, and they really were not very helpful at all. For the most part, I followed the instructions for the Blank Slate Pattern’s Basic Blazer and just made it work. I also used the welt pocket pattern pieces from the Basic Blazer.

In addition to the 2 welt pockets on the front of the suit jacket, I made a secret pock on the inside (which is his favorite part).

And let’s not forget about the back vent that he wanted so badly!

As for the pants, I used the Clean Slate Pants Pattern by Blank Slate Patterns. The pants came together very smoothly, and I even did the zip fly option, which always makes me feel like a rock star!

For the tie, I used my tried and true necktie pattern, the Everyday Tie Pattern.

So, all in all, I absolutely love the final result! It was not the easiest project, but was incredibly gratifying. I will definitely use both patterns again, especially the suit jacket. However, before I make another attempt, I would like to take the online “Learn to Sew a Classic Blazer” class by Closet Case Patterns. I think I might have a slight suit sewing obsession now. 🙂 I mean, he looks pretty dapper, right?

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