Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Uptown Downtown Dress


I've been in the sewing mood lately, and I decided I needed wanted a new dress! I've had this navy blue and white polka dot French Terry from my favorite fabric company for a long time intending to make a dress and I'm glad I finally made it happen!


I usually never skip pockets in dresses, and this dress was going to have pockets. However, when it was finished, the pockets weren't laying flat so I removed them. I think a thinner, more flowy fabric would be better suited for pockets. 


This is the Uptown Downtown Dress by Stay + Stitch Patterns. The company recently updated the women's pattern, which I only realized after I had cut and sewn my dress. The sizes and variations were updated. The version I have comes with knee length or maxi length options. I wanted a dress past my knees so I added length where the pattern indicated at the waist. However, next time I would probably add length at the hem. 


The only change I had to make to the pattern was having to cut the back in two pieces instead of on the fold. I didn't have quite enough fabric to cut the back on the fold, but it still worked out!


This is my first time making a dress for myself in French Terry fabric. It is so comfortable and cozy to wear! Perfect for these not quite yet spring weather days. It may look like spring in these photos, but the wind was so cold!


I'm also wearing my own HANDMADE shoes! I used a kit from A Happy Stitch to make my own Espadrilles. I made them almost a year ago and they are the perfect shoes for spring and summer. They are comfortable too and it is so fun to say that I made my shoes!  


The pattern has instructions for a knit binding around the neckline, but I prefer a neckband. It was an easy change to make! I just measure the neckline and multiplied by 0.8 to get my neckband length and it worked out great. 


Knit dresses are one of my favorite things to wear because you can look so put together with minimal effort! It's like secret pajamas! 

 ~Elizabeth


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Closet Case Pouf Pattern



Today I have a new project to share! This is the free floor pouf pattern from Closet Case Patterns. I have been wanting to make it ever since it came out because it is the perfect scrap busting project. Not only can you use scraps for the pouf itself, but the pouf is stuffed with scraps! I have been saving bags of unusable scraps for at least the past few years. 



The denim fabric is left over from jeans I made for my brother. The cottons are all fabric I won from being on Project Run and Play a few years ago. Now I will have memories of that time in my living room! The tutorial recommends using piping around the top and bottom. I didn't have any in my stash, so I made a sort of faux piping, or binding. I only did the top and I like how it turned out. 



The pouf was a quick sew once I had all the pieces cut out! The most fun part was stuffing it full of scraps!


The bottom is two half circles with an invisible zipper. I made a drawstring bag to hold all the scraps. That way the outside is washable if needed. 


The pouf is perfect for putting my feet up after a long day, or sitting on (as I am doing right now)!


How many scraps are in my pouf? I don't know, but it was ten plastic bags worth that I have saved over the last three or four years. It's surprising how much you can stuff in there!


An in progress photo of stuffing the pouf. 


Some of the bags of scraps that went into my pouf. There were ten bags of those sizes total!


Getting the layout perfected. 


Layout part two. 


Isn't the pouf a great addition to my living room?

 ~Elizabeth

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year // 2020

Happy New Year! I cannot believe it is the start of a new decade! I am so excited for the year to come! If anyone is still reading my blog, I am happy you are still here. I took a long and much needed break from blogging (but not from sewing). I decided I would come back and write a post highlighting some things from the last ten years.

2010 

I was at the end of my high school career. I became a big sister to my youngest brother. I started running due to sibling competition when my "little" brother challenged me to run our town's summer fun run. I liked it so much I joined the local high school cross country team my Senior year.


2011 

This was a great year! I graduated high school and started my Freshman year of college as a nursing major.



2012 

Sophomore year of college. Traveled to New York City for a mission trip over spring break. My youngest (and second) sister was born! I sewed my very first dress!




2013 

Officially started the nursing program! Spent the summer working at a German immersion camp in the health center. Kept sewing in my free time!





2014 

Second summer working as a health assistant at the same German immersion camp. More nursing school. Lots of caffeine. More sewing.


2015 

Senior year of college!!! Ran my first half marathon with a wonderful group of college friends! Lived with the best girls! Graduation!! Passed my RN license test! Started working as a nurse! Lots of family time! This was an amazing year!




2016 

Met my penpal of 15 years for the first time in real life! Started a new job at the hospital working 12 hour night shifts. Moved into my own apartment.


2017 

Took a road trip with my brother to St. Joseph, MO to see the eclipse! Road trip with my sister to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead in De Smet, SD. Trained for and finished my first full marathon!



2018 

Road trip and five day camping trip in Nebraska with my sister. Road trip with my friend from Minnesota to Texas! Ran a trail half marathon. Met my boyfriend at a barn dance.



2019 

Traveled by plane for the first time. Signed up for a trip to Italy and traveled there over my 26th birthday! Took many road trips to Kansas to visit my boyfriend. Got engaged to him on December 21st!!!





I had so much fun looking back over the last decade. I hope you enjoyed reading too! Even through the ups and downs these have been some pretty amazing years of my life. I have to say that 2019 was the best one so far and I'm excited to see what 2020 brings. Happy New Year!!

 ~Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Raven Dress // Sofiona Designs


I am so excited to be back blogging today and introduce you to the new company, Sofiona Designs! The company was just opened and it is run by two Canadian friends, Sherri Herrera and Trisha Yanke. They have four patterns so far, and I love all of them, but as soon as I saw the Raven Dress, I knew I had to try it first!

One reason I am super excited for this new company is because Sherri and I were on Project Run and Play together last year. The competition was the starting point of her starting this company and I am so happy for her. I can't wait to see where they go with this new adventure.


The Raven can be made as a dress or a shirt. It has a dropped shoulder and scoop back with a few different options for he back. I chose the raised scoop back for this version. The ruffle can be long or short or omitted. The dress has an elastic waist and comes with three different sleeve lengths. It was designed for woven fabrics, but knits can be used for the dress. 


I just love the back view and the ruffle! I wasn't sure about these two fabrics together, but I love the final result. If I had to do it again, I would find a different fabric for the ruffle because the one I used is a bit too heavy weight for gathering. I made it work though!

The apple fabric is a corduroy and both fabrics are from my stash. This is technically my muslin version. I typically don't make muslins, but I'm glad I did! I made a size five, since that is where my six year old sister's measurements put her in the size chart. I did lengthen the dress by four inches because she is tall. I did not think to lengthen the sleeves and as you can see they are much too short! I told her she has gorilla arms, and she just laughed! It's still cute and she will wear it, but next time I would lengthen the sleeve by a few inches. 





I just love this dress pattern and can't wait to make more for my sister! I'm planning on using a knit and making her Christmas dress with the Raven. 

I'm also excited about the other patterns in the shop and I can't wait to make the Artic Fox Housecoat.

If you are interested, you can join the Facebook group and follow Sofiona Designs on Instagram. They are running giveaways on both Facebook and Instagram. This post is not sponsored in any way and I bought the pattern myself. I'm just super excited about the company and wanted to share! All patterns are marked down 30% off through November 25th as well. 

Now for some outtakes! It is more difficult than one would imagine to take pictures of a six year old! Hope you enjoy these silly pictures! 


In this one, she was shaking her hands, saying "my hands are cold!"


I think this one is my favorite!


"Are we done yet?"


Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

 ~Elizabeth 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Chai Dress // Itch to Stitch Designs


I am back to blogging with my new favorite dress! This is the Chai Shirt and Dress pattern from Itch to Stitch Designs. I made a wearable muslin of the shirt version at the beginning of the summer, but I've been wanting to make the shirt version ever since I first found the pattern last year!



This dress has been in my mind for three years. I was fortunate enough to win a gift certificate to the Cloth Pocket three years ago and used it to buy this beautiful chambray fabric. I knew I wanted to make a shirt dress with it, but it took me until last year to find the perfect pattern. I've been wanting to make the Chai pattern all summer but kept putting it off with other projects and procrastination. 

I finally cut out my pattern pieces at the beginning of this month and sewed it a few days ago! The cutting part took me the longest (as it always does) and it only took me three days to sew it. So, after three years, I finally have my chambray shirt dress! 


I made a few changes to this pattern before cutting it out. My measurements put me in a size 4 for bust, a size 6 for waist, and a size 8 for hips. Based on the finished measurements, I decided I needed to grade out for the hips, but I decided to use the size 4 for my waist. It is a perfect fit and I am happy with my changes! 
I also lengthened the skirt by 6 inches because I am taller than the pattern is drafted for and I like my skirts to hit below the knee. 

The dress is definitely more fitted than other shirt dresses I have made, but I love the style. I think it would look great with a circle skirt too!



The Chai has gathers at the bust instead of darts and I love the detail it adds! The dress also has huge inseam pockets, which I love! I rarely make a skirt or dress without pockets anymore!


I can see this dress being perfect almost year round. It will be perfect for spring and summer as is and I can layer it as we head into fall. It was a chilly morning when I took these pictures, but with tights and boots I was comfortable! If it was colder, I would add a cardigan as well. 



The only changes I made during construction were to interface both the upper collar and the under collar. The pattern only calls to interface the under collar and the collar stands, but I wanted to interface the upper collar too. I think it makes it more crisp and helps it stand up more. 


The buttonholes are never my favorite part to sew, but my machine was cooperating with me and I didn't have to seam rip any of my buttonholes! They are not perfect, but I am happy with how they turned out. 


~Elizabeth