Category Archives: Uncategorized

Swingy Gingham Wrap Dress

I made a dress earlier in the summer – from this very soft, drapery rayon I found on IndieSew. I was on a lookout for a nice gingham for a while – but its hard to come by one made in rayon – I bought 5 yards of it!

Then I was inspired by the winning entry for Tessuti’s skyline competition. I made it up as I went – didnt turn out super close to the inspiration (lacking the off the shoulder and chunky feel of the dress). But its a very nice piece to wear to the office. The circle skirt made it very twirly and fun to move in.

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I had originally had a stripe of bias cut around the neckline, but it stretched out a lot over a few washes (because its on bias). So even though it looked really nice I had to fold it into the neckline and stitch down. You scan see it here when it was first made:

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These photos taken at a little hotel in UCBerkeley –  living in the suburbs for the last 10 years made me wish I appreciated Berkeley’s many architectural details more when I was studying there for sure!

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Yellow Wasp Dress

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After sewing for over 10 years I still had quite a lot of techniques I have not explored. Bias inset strips in the seams is one of them. Of course, I chose the dress with the most amount of seams to try out this techniques! Ever since I saw Carolyn’s dog bed dress I’ve been wanting to make one for myself. I finally got myself some yellow linen and shamelessly made a copy!

Pattern is Vogue 1316  – this is my second time making it, I learnt my lesson from last time and cut one size bigger(8). The upper body area fits perfectly this time but the bum area is still too tight. I understand though – I’ve been working on that booty! So I did the same adjustment as last time and added a extra panel (without extra trim so it bends in), in such as way that I can easily adjust the fit as my body changes in the future. It fits quite well right now!

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One thing though – I wanted to use the black rayon satin I had in my stash – I had gone crazy and bought 10 yards of it because its such an amazing winter coat lining – supple, natural (and breathable), slippery, and black. After a bit of sewing with it and casing all the seams in seam allowances, I wished I chose a thinner fabric. I also decided to go for a wider bias – to allow some room for a few mm of inaccuracy, as its my first time doing bias casing for the seams. While I definitely wouldn’t have had the patiences to unpick to get to a perfect, thinner bias trim, I do feel this dress is much louder than my original inspiration.

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Here’s a few photos of the inside – I am quite proud that every seam is cased – its so comfortable to wear. Oh and yes, i followed Carolyn’s lead and put pockets in the seam. Stealth pockets!!!

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Thanks for reading!! This was a controversial dress in my circle. Some loves it, others hate it. Little K said i look like a bee and hubby said its more like a wasp. I’ll go with wasp since they have better figure! 😆

 


Striped Midi Sweater Dress

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I bought these really awesome sweater knit from Indie Sew – probably around 5 yards of it, because I had been on a look out for a black on white stripe for years to replace the one I made 4 years ago that has been quite worn out and is on camping duty. The material is thick and soft – and the right amount of width for the black stripe part!

My first project with it was the top shown in the last post. And then I decided to make a midi length sweater dress. I love some of the fashion outfits I see with midi sweater dresses and high heels, or with a leather jacket, sneaker and scarf.

I used a raglan sleeve BurdaStyle pattern, and it came out really great!

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Yes it makes my back look great! 😀


Black Satin Pocket Skirt and matching striped top

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Ive been wanting a black skirt for work for a while – I find myself often wishing for a knee  length fitted skirt. I have made many winter skirts in the past, but only one survived the years and style change and warm California winter- my grey wool skirt with BurdaStyle 03/2009 105. I love the fit and flare shape and most importantly, that awesome pocket.

Of course, a straight black garment really isn’t my thing. I wanted to highlight the pocket with a different texture. So I chose a linen for the main skirt, and a rayon satin for the pocket. I love the subtle contrast and it feels great to stick my hands against a smooth fabric.

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After making the skirt, i found it hard to match it with any stripe top i already have – either my top is too thick and doesnt fit tucked in, or its too loose and doesnt look good. So I made a cropped stripe top with fabric from IndieSew to go with it. It’s a pretty comfy pairing!!

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I love the combo – if anyone is looking for a great skirt pattern – this one is a very quick make!! The pocket is very easy to make and so very smart.

We took a trip back to Berkeley (where we fell first in love) for our 15 year anniversary and my lovely hubby took photos of a bunch of my creations. The ground of our little hotel are just so cute and irresistable.  Its so funny to visit there as a grown couple without kids, we constantly wondered if we still can pass as  (fashionable) grad students.


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!


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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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!