Black Maxi/Midi Dress

 

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One of my #2018makenine is this black maxi dress I’ve been eyeing for years. I was going to use this most luxurious rayon non-challis kind of fabric, but realize that is too heavy for a maxi, so i switched over to a very light weight black cotton eyelet.

I am very glad I did! This fabric picks up wind wonderfully. I did the math a little wrong and ended up using up every last bit of the fabric when the dress had hit right at my ankle – not my usual preferred length. I was about to add another inch or two of gathered black rayon fabric on the bottom when hubby caught sight of me trying the dress and declared the dress done, forbidding me from making any changes. I am glad he did! I end up quite liking this length. And the shorter length allowed me to move around without worrying much about it hitting the ground.

Pattern is a modified  burdastyle 07/2016 #101, i changed it from a wrap to a side zipper, curved the neckline in instead of out. Instead of a flounce I added two stripes of rectangle gathered.

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Here is wearing it without a bra underneath. It is a little risky of a cut. So for chasing around the kids I do wear a black bralette with it.

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I left the hem raw. But slightly tempted to go in and cut out the little half circles and leave it as a scalloped hem.

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BTW – the last three posts were all shot in Hawaii! in anticipation of my Hawaii trip I decided to start sewing summer dresses earlier. I was also quite busy at work the prior one month, I feel like Ive been a mad woman trying to get all the clothing done! (Plus a unblogged pair of pants which are really quite nice but unremarkable). Though it probably took less time to make all 6 garments than a coat!

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Red polka dots

Hubby requested that I make a wrap dress with some kind of red fabric. So… i bought some rayon fabric and made myself a red wrap.

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The pattern is basically Burdastyle 10/2011 #123 with a flounce added on the bottom. I also cut the neckline a little lower.

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2210BA6A-7836-44DF-ACDA-F01B7E4C33D2I love how it looks in a twirl! I also made two little dresses for the girls:

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I used Tadah tea party dress – this time with a little cap sleeve and lower cut arm holes, and no closure at all. The neck hole is just big enough to slip their head through!

We wore the dresses plenty on a trip to Hawaii, though after day 1 we never seen to wear them at the same time. I guess not too much matching will happen in the future!!

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I love the dresses and I was extremely proud that I had just enough fabric to finish all three dresses. However, a few days later I discovered i already had exactly the same fabric in my stash and i didnt need to buy any!!!! Ugh. I really need to get my stash to a smaller state so I can remember all the fabric I have, or at least easier to dig through. #firstworldproblems 😂 Anyways, thank you for reading!!


Grey Swiss Dot Ralph Pink Dress

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I discovered Ralph Pink pattern when I was really into corset making two years ago. At some point I booked marked the Phaedra Drape to make, and I finally got around to making it!!

I decided to start with a cheaper, cotton Swiss dot fabic – its a little more structured, but given this is my first time using his patterns, I didnt want to put in my precious silks.

I loved the pattern! It is very well drafted and fits perfectly. Even though its a A shaped flowy dress, it feels like it still has a good, flattering shaping to it. Some tips on the pattern:

  • When I was making it, I wanted to have no seam between the pocket and the side panel, but the pattern pocket was marked on the wrong side for one of them
  • similar to  Emily’s tip on the pattern, I did my usual “stitch the neckline & armholes and just put one of the tubes in the other thing”.
  • The dress on the picture had extra panels in the front comparing to the line drawing. Some extra (easy) hack would be needed to do the two-fabric version

Other than that, this is an amazing pattern, and very simple to make up. I do find the opening for the legs a little restrictive when i am sitting around in weird positions (having an overly active 3 year old will put you in some weird positions!), and may make the entire bottom open next time when I make this up with similar stiff-ish fabric (which would change the shape drastically). Though as is i love the little thick interfacing on the bottom of the skirt! I also really like this neckline and racer back shaping – its nice to have a satisfying shape without having to fiddle with it.

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I cant wait to make my next version!  Thank you for reading!


Pale Pink Coat

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I was never a girly girl. I didnt quite own any pink in my wardrobe as of a year ago. I put pink in my engineering presentation as an intern because I thought it was funny. Yet lately I’ve been very drawn to pale pink. I am not sure if its because I have two girly girls who loves pink – all of sudden I got pink flats and pink purses. So of course, I felt the need for a pink coat!

As usual I decided to use BurdaStyle Talea pattern and just alter it for the look I want. (I was going to make it with the Gerard pattern in my #2018makenine plans but chickened out last minute because I wasn’t sure if I can really pull off the oversized shoulder… there’s just no way to try it on without a large investment of time! #sewingproblems)  I put in a kick pleat, which I am really getting a hang of – I only had to watch the tutorials about 3 times before I remembered how to do it.

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I made it double breasted and a slightly exaggerated lapel. I also used a simple stripe of rectangle as the collar. (And the decision on how the collar should be was quite a democratic instagram exercise!) I am quite pleased with how the collar turned out! It is quite different than any designs Ive seen, and I have been patting myself on the collar for coming up with it as i went.

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I used two different fabric for lining – silk chaemeuse remnant for the sleeves because its slipper and I didnt have a lot, and a poly-rayon mix left over from my last coat project. Of course, white embroidery of my logo for a personal touch.

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On the down side – I was on the last stretch of this not-so-fusing fusible interface from walmart, and it stopped sticking to the fabric half way through the project :\ it creates a not so sharp look for the front pieces and makes me regret buying fusible from Walmart. Lesson learnt – do not cheap out on interface!

The buttons are something I didnt cheap out on – they are amazing vintage buttons I found on etsy. I searched for navy buttons (to match with jeans easily) and this is a double navy! There was only 12 so I had a lot of thought exercise about whether I had the budget to put buttons int he back and on the sleeves and on the shoulders… in the end I decided I wanted them to be all visible from the front. I am glad – it looks very nicely this way! It was very hard to get the buttons symmetrical for me though!

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I love my new coat! I am actually in great needs for lighter color coats as I am starting to gravitate towards more fun colors – I really only have my blue one in that category so this expanded my wardrobe choices quite a bit. It makes me want to make more neutral but colored pieces!

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Thank you for reading along!! I have been really thankful for all of you (even the ones I don’t know about) for reading about my obsessions with my sewing projects – it truly makes me happy to share it with you all!


Mini Me cat dress

Little A’s very first solo photo shoot!! I fiiiinally made a dress for little A. She saw me with the cat dress over the summer and would tell me “mama can you make that dress for meeeeee?” in the cutest little begging voice. Of course!! I made the dress per her request and she loves it! The only thing i wish I added was some pockets.

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This is the very first fully lined dresss Ive made for the girls. The result is a very sturdy feeling, almost vest-ish warm dress – I love it! It’s great for her in spring/autumn/winter. Also love the exposed zipper! I used the Tadah Tea party dress pattern as usual.

I had thought about making one for little K so we can all match, but she doesn’t seem to have the affinity for the fabric like little A does. still got some more of this delicious fabric in my stash!

 

 


2017 Sewing Review!

Hello! Another year has done by! This year marked my 10th year of starting to sew clothing for myself, so its fun to look at what I have done!

You cant tell from the blog, but I’ve been using instagram as a quick record of what I have sewn. If I count up everything, I have made 30 items total this year, but actually lots of them are small toys….

  • Blanket: 3
  • Toys: 6
  • Kids clothing: 7
  • Women dress: 7
  • Women top: 1
  • Women coats: 4
  • Women’s pants: 2

So If i just think about clothing, I’ve made only 21 items… If I count only clothing for myself – 14 items! This is all much higher productivity than last year though. Seeing that I am getting slightly less selfish with my sewing, I’ll add another metrics:

Selfish sewing : non-selfishsewing (clothing only!) –  14:7; plus 9 non-clothing non-selfish sewing!

Sewn:kept:worn often (excluding toys & blankets): 21:20:17

On the selfish sewing side – what I have done this year is to just spend my precious sewing time on items that I enjoy sewing and is tough to buy for in RTW stores. This means dresses and coats. For pants/tops/sweaters there are often decent-fitting, good fabric, and cheap options in the stores. However, it is much harder to find dresses & almost impossible to find coats that fits. I do enjoy sewing dresses and coats so much more – and I’ve allowed myself to buy more clothing from the stores. It’s a bit of a departure from the usual RTW-fast/sewing-the-basics on the sewing scene, but with a full time job and two young kids that is just not possible.

Item sewn but not kept: I made this black pair of high waist, pleated pants that immediately went into recycles without a picture. It’s hard to make “relaxed” pants that also look good with my bum, esp if the fabric has no stretch. I ended up just buying a pair from gap >_<

Items kept but not worn often:

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I didnt blog about this because I didnt wear this much. I was somehow in love with the idea of making more non-stretch jeans (See a theme here?). Well I made this, and i can tell you, non-stretch materials works well/okay for flared jeans, but NOT a good idea for skinny jeans – the knee area becomes baggy quickly unless you intend to never sit down. And I ended up not wearing it much (it does well for my booties so I might cut it off for jean shorts though).

I didnt blog about this, but had plenty of picture up in instagram. It’s a reversible fur coat! It was a good marriage of two very unique fabric that otherwise I had no idea what to do with. And for how crazy it is (fur coat seems to be all the rage this season though, I feel ahead of the curve!), I liked how it turned out. The fur is soft and nice so I like wearing it with fur inside, but it is also a very heavy coat (~ 7 lbs?), so I don’t feel all that comfortable wearing it. So I don’t wear it often.

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The nature of making a dress for an event that celebrates things 100 years ago – I cant find too many other occasion to wear this to!

Items worn often:

Sleep pajamas for the girls – they like them!

Rayon pants for the girls – they LOVE them! (I had to hide them for the winter because they keep picking those and rayon is too light weight for winter).

The “party” dresses for the girls at their request. They are very loved and most importantly, they make them feel extraordinary. I need to blog about the black and the cat dress! Oh – all the dresses for the girls are made from Tadah Pattern’s tea party dress pattern!

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This robe I never blogged about. It’s made from a wonderful rayon velvet, lovelist thing to wrap around on a not-so-chill day. Because its pink and covers a lot, Ive provably worn it more often than hubby would have liked.

 

My dresses – I love all of them and worn them often. I really need to blog about the red one sometimes though!

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The only top I made – but loved!! Work very often in the fall.

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Of course, most importantly and my true love in sewing – da coats!! I’ve worn all those very often and couldn’t image how I managed the wardrobe without them before! (Jk, kind of!!) I have been working the neutrals the last two years though – so I am looking forward to making more fun colored coats next!

That’s all!! I’ve had a productive year and surprisingly – most of the stuff had been blogged despite that I try to not pester my hubby too often for photo sessions.

This year I’ve also picked up a few more hobbies – fashion drawing, standup paddle boarding, and dance classes. Ive enjoyed them and didnt mind less sewing time especially for the more physical hobbies. I’ve realize I need to keep in shape in order to keep wearing my creations! (ESP the coats as they last for years!).

For 2018 – I am planning to sew from my stash, do some more instagram sewing related challenges (#2018makenine, #burdachallenge2018), and make some more coats, dresses, and kids clothing! Thank you lovely readers for reading and commenting – I’ve enjoyed you accompanying me on my 10th year of sewing!


Girls Matching Purple sweater dress

Happy new year everyone!!! Thank you for the very nice comments in my previous post 🙂 what a great way to start a new year!

Also, for some reason I see a huge jump of traffic and a few new subscribers when I logged in to post this today – where do you all come from? The referral doesn’t seem to be any blogs I can click on… I am curious! 🙂

Now to the meat of this post! I just recovered from a two week colds/flu, and didnt do much sewing during that time. But I finally felt better last two days, and what is better than a quick project to get my sewing mojo back on? I had this pretty, soft purple sweatshirt-ish material from a friend, and had the perfect amount to make some cute purple sweater dress for the girls.

I used burda style 03/2009 #137 For little A and burda style 06/2009 #144 For little K. Little A’s came out perfect. Little K’s came out pretty fitted and I had to make a long cuff to make it long enough. Then I added a skirt and white eyelet trim on the bottom, hand embroidered their initials so that they don’t get it mixed up, Tada! It really didnt take too long!

First a picure from my iPhone. Hubby took some really cute pictures of the girls in it and between all the cuteness and my overaries exploding I forgot to make sure there’s one with them standing:

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Now some insanely cute photos (sorry, can I be such about my own daughters?):

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I just love the dresses on them! Hoping this would give them another pretty, but warm option in their winter wardrobe!