Tinier Black Dress

I had some left over fabric from the last black dress and made a Ogden dress! Didnt do too much except for lengthen and added a back seam (or the pieces would not fit) with a little room there. I love how it turned out – roomy and swingy, but hubby likes it better with a black belt. Here’s my all black outfit!

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Not too much more to say about this dress or outfit. I have been in a black mood lately…. more black stuff coming up!

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The black little dress

Ive had this amazing black fabric in my stash for over three years. It rayon and described as a sueded shangtung. I must have pre-washed it about 3-5 times because every time i thought about using it, I couldn’t bear to cut into it. And i tend to pre-wash all like colored fabric together in my stash whenever i need to prewash something, this one got into that rotation a few times. It is buttery, textured, and just have a really nice bounce.

But when i saw a few amazing versions of McCall m7381,  i knew this was the fabric for it. I usually don’t do muslins but i did it for this pattern – I wasn’t going to take any chances with this fabric. I ended up cutting a Xs even though my measurement indicates a S – mostly because they seem to grade the height proportionally to the size as well. I also shortened the bodice piece by about 1 inch and narrowed the shoulders by half an inch on each side, and the fit was perfect!

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I love the front tie design – so smartly integrated with the pleats on the shoulder. Also love the curve between top and skirt – i am starting to find those high-low curves to be very flattering for my body.

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Of course, there needs to be pockets, which i added in seam. And of course, it was sized for my iPhone.

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This dress doesn’t have a zipper, but has elastic through the seams of the back. Pretty comfortable to wear but a pain for me to pull over my head to take off.

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The dress is quite versatile – I wore it with heels to the office, and then with flip flop (in the picture) for weekends.

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I love this dress  🙂 I literally wore this dress out before it was off the machines (it needed some sergering). ITs great for the late summer and i hope to style it with some black boots for the autumn.

Feeling pretty happy about all the dresses Ive made this summer. Ive been really busy with work this summer, and most nights I take care of the kids, then go work out and then back home and work some more before i get 20, 30 mins to sew before bedtime. Luckily the girls are getting more and more independent, it is pretty easy for me to sneak in a seam here and there when we are at home.

I have used up most of the summer appropriate fabric that i am excited about in my stash. (Let’s be honest, I have a ton of summer appropriate fabric still, but… i am not super excited about them). This makes me feel like summer is really coming to an end! I am holding myself back from buying more summer fabric until next year… time to work through my winter stash!


Ogden Camis

These makes are definitely a result of joining instagram! I normally would never buy a pattern this simple, but after seeing one gorgeous version after another I just could not resist any longer.

I thought I would be bothered by the lack of darts, but the cami actually looks quite flattering, esp from the front. It also hides a big tummy well if its made from a more structured fabric. I loved my first version so much I almost immediately made another.

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65867193-b6b9-414e-be61-e4390a6b5dbce234ad59-9deb-4398-a4f0-3e039c736a55ad1338e4-5abc-4eba-9373-a535b9dd3c54fb7afdb7-1641-495a-ada6-7eadfc1280ddd648059b-2cbd-4559-a1f9-9e727ee6873eThe first version is made from a nice sturdy cotton fabric, its such a happy print that it brings a smile to my face whenever I wear it.

The second version is made from a thinner silk fabric. I have had that fabric in my stash for years,having already made another shirt out of it, there wasn’t enough for a dress. So its perfect for this project! If you look closely, it has “imprints” of different patterns, quite a special, 3 dimensional fabric!

I am getting a lot of wear out of both, its such a quick project (maybe an hour?), I suspect I will be making it again!


Kids Gingham Dress with Rope (and instructions)

A few weeks ago I made myself a gingham dress from a Rayon challis gingham fabric (India Sew), I haven’t blogged about it (I only take photos opportunistically now). But with the left over fabric I made the girls a little dress/top. Unfortunately I only had enough to make one, so I went with my own simple adjustable design that made it wearable for both of them. Sadly, K refuse to model it for me, so I can only show you how it looks on A.

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The construction of the dress is super simple. It is a rectangle cut on bias for the top (two pieces – one for lining, a bigger rectangle gathered for the skirt part, and 6 little tabs/loops on the top so you can string a rope through it (and string it however you like!). I actually had two ropes, and tied one end on each of the front loops.

The bias cut of the bodice works out really well on them – even though its a rectangle it drapes and looks like it has some curves to it. I imagine it is better with a drape-y fabric though. Along with the different ways you can rope the loops, it allows the dress look fitted on both girls for the bodice part. It just looks more like a top on K.

 

I really wish I had enough fabric to make another one for the girls so they can match at the same time, unfortunately I had bought up all the left over stock IndieSew had so there’s no more to be bought. A really enjoys matching with me, so we would match outfits when we are out with just two of us. But it feels really wrong to be matching only her (or K) with all 3 of us are together! 😂 if any of you out there have some of these rayon challis you don’t want anymore let me know! I’d love to buy some from you.

 


Flirty longer thing

Last summer I made this flirty little thing, but because I had chosen a stiffer cotton fabric and ran out of fabric, it didnt come out exactly as I had envisioned (its fluffier and shorter). While it is still cute, I had been on a look out for another small print blue floral to make what I had envisioned.

This year I found an amazing rayon crepe on fashion fabric club, and got a few yards to make this dress again.

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(In other news, I had been working out a lot lately, and comparing my back photo in this shot with last years, I look a little leaner!! Feels great to see the difference when there’s photo evidence.

I also did not realize I basically picked the same shoes and same colored bag to pair with this dress as the flirty little thing photo short- slightly amused!)

The rayon crepe is a much better choice for this dress (at least for my figure) – its drapy, and crinkle a little horizontally, which worked out great for those gatherings. I am still debating about whether to hem the dress and thus make it shorter. But maybe in the future. I was unsure how hemming would affect how the dress look and whether it would “stretch” would the crinkleness of the fabric.

I quite love this new version! It feels really great to wear, and is perfect for California hot weather! Has anyone else worked with rayon crepe? I may have found a new favorate fabric!

 

 

 


Mr Elephant Bag

Hi readers! Its been a while since my last update, I’ve made quite a few awesome things that I am excited to share with you. Today I am sharing my latest make with you – my Mr Elephant Bag!

I fell in love with Loewe’s elephant bag when I saw it online, alas, it cost over a thousand dollars for one, there’s no way I would spend that much on a bag. There are plenty knock off versions, but none of them made with real leather. So I decided to pick probably the most difficult thing to make as a first time leather project – the elephant bag!

It took a few weeks, but I am really quite pleased with the result:

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And the bag on its own:

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I decided to go with all black for edge coat, threads, zippers, hardware, because its my first time working with leather, a uniform dark color would hide mistakes well. For those of you who are curious, I’ll list out the material & tools & pattern resources I used.

First, the how to – I pretty much figured it out from this video from Loewe – thank you Loewe for sharing! Then there are snapshot of the video where the pattern was lying flat, which I enlarged and enlarged until it is good enough to be a pattern. I had to make it symmetrical, which I did by folding the pattern and cut according to one of the sides.

Then its materials:

  1. Leather from Etsy (this seller), it was real cow leather, 3-4oz thick, 2 sqft (1ftx2ft). ($16)
  2. Hardware from Ningbags, I bought way more than I needed – D-rings, swivel hood, and cone feet. But I ended up only needing the D-rings ($22, $5 if only the D-rings)
  3. my usual black Rayon Satin from fashion fabric club
  4. zipper in my stash
  5. thick, waxed black threads from my stash
  6. ready made shoulder straps  ($14) I ran out of leather at the end, and got lazy about making the straps. This one had the perfect match to the leather and hardware!

tools:

  1. Feibing’s Edge Kote ($10)
  2. Dye roller for the edge kote ($9)
  3. Leather glue ($8)
  4. hold puncher for punching holes for hand sewing bottom of the bag on. (do not recommend this – it doesnt punch a hole but a slit, not very aesthetically pleasing) ($10)
  5. wooden block, hammer
  6. needles for handsewing the bottom. (next time I might just try to machine stitch this on though, handsewing is a pain, i bent at least 2 needles)
  7. I used my regular brother sewing machine with a roller feet for any other stitching than the bottom. It went much smoother once I remembered to change the needle to a thick needle. ($7)

So not the cheapest project  – I spend about $100 total, but it makes me so happy carry Mr Elephant around!

Some thoughts for myself if I make this again:

  • I didnt quite get the chin right – I tucked it in too much and the elephant is not extending his trunk out.
  • Would want to try to machine sew the bottom on, and pleat the bodice while machine sewing. I glued the bodice and then hand sewed it on – it was a messy process.
  • I did something right by sewing the lining to the zippper before the bodice was pleated.
  • I need to make this just 1 inch longer so it can fit more iphone more easily.

You can also check my instagram feed with tag #juebejuemakeelephantbag to see some of the pictures of work in progress and close up of the bag! This was a great project that is really fun to share via instagram, it feels like I had a lot of sewing friends cheering me on in my sewing room!

Some more photos of my modeling the bag. I am wearing my me made dress from last year, its proven to be a favorite!!

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The bag is a very small one, I wanted a mini black cross body for a while and this fits the bill just right. It is just big enough to fit my Iphone (without a case ^_^) and other things I usually carry around. The iphone was challenging as its so big and flat, but the bag is more round. But I am making it work.

Anyways, hope this helps anyone out there who wants to make a repli-elephant!

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Difficulty High Sweater

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I am not sure what I was thinking when i decided to start knitting the coda sweater. It was an advanced pattern with very interesting but minimalistic designs. I was curious how i would knit a horizontal cable maybe?

Anyways, it was literally the most difficult sweater I’ve ever made!!! I even had to run some simulations on paper in order to make sure I understood the pattern correctly. I had to majorly frog some parts twice, and it took me about 1.5 years to finish.

I was so proud when i finished it – it was really quite a challenging pattern with beautiful details. But guess what, something looked off when I put it on… some parts of the simpler stockinette stitches looked different from each other…. After some queries on instagram, two fellow knitters helped me figure out what went wrong. I had been purling wrong ALL THESE TIME!!!!! I could not believe that i tackled an advanced pattern when I was purling wrong! For those two don’t knit, all knitting consist of is two motions – knit and purl. And Ive been doing one out of two wrong the entire time. And the reason I could see it very obviously on this sweater is because part of it is knit in round, which means you are making stockinette stitches by only knitting, and part of it is knit in flat, which means you are making stockinette stitches with a purl and a knit. So I could see my stitches twisted in the flat parts…

I could not believe that Ive been doing it wrong the whole time, and went back and looked at a few of my other creations. Lo and behold, those that had stockinette stitches done in flat looked different if you look closely. I just never noticed.

I swore off knitting for a few days. But I am back on another project 😂 It was hard to adjust my purl to loop from the top to the bottom so i had to frog my project a few times, but looks like the muscle memory is finally getting corrected.

Anyways, thanks for listening to me rant about this! The sweater itself is made from wool, so its a little warm to wear around these days, probably need to wait for winter! But I did wear it without undercloth for the photo and the itch was not too bad!