Easter Dress 2018 | Ottobre Design Woman 02/2015 no. 4 Sheath Dress

Do you ever want to cry, as a project you've envisioned comes to 'life' in a perfectly perfect way for you?  And you only realize it when it is complete?  That's exactly how I felt when I finished this dress.  I simply wanted to cry!  With joy!
This year I wanted to sew more 'fitted' garments.....  and more 'quality-made' garments....
..... and after falling in love with this beautiful floral watercolor print, made of humble calico, 100% cotton, (basically quilting cotton)..... I knew immediately it must be made using the Ottobre Design Woman 02/2015 no. 4 Sheath Dress pattern.  My notes show it was traced February 2016, so it's a pattern I've clearly been wanting to make for a while.  I traced a size 38 and this dress was made with no modifications.  Fabric purchased at Hobby Lobby, as was the satin/crepe lining fabric.  It is fully lined.
Fully lined, the lining gives the dress structure and affords a luxurious wear with a streamlined skimming of the body.  Words cannot express how comfortable this dress is.  During the construction process, the dress lay completely different on my body to such a degree I was worried that I'd made a huge mistake in choosing this pattern and had messed up somewhere on the side seams.  Forging on..... believing the lining would smooth everything out (literally and figuratively!).... am so glad I did because it was oh-so-worth it and I am greatly pleased.  Again, used Lucky Sew and Sew's fantastic tutorial 'Lining a Sleeveless Sheath Dress by Machine'.
May I say I am ever so proud of not only how the front seams line up, but also the back!  Top of invisible zip meets evenly.... and no puckers at the bottom of the zip!
Back view showing invisible zip line in the middle and how the bodice princess seams match up perfectly with the adjoining skirt princess(?) seams.  This is where quilting comes in handy to feeling comfortable matching seams.
A big Thank You to Diane at Dream.Cut.Sew, who so generously shares many great tips at her blog, who also recently showed how to offset the invisible zip seamlines ever so slighty where they 'meet', to not pucker.   This is my first dress I've put an invisible zip in that did not pucker and that I did not have to un-pick and re-do multiple times.  I apologize I could not find Diane's direct post with her great photo, but hope mine will do, below.  I first sewed the invisible zip..... then changing to a regular zip foot, pinned this 'meeting place' very carefully, and beginning at the bottom..... stitched up and ended here, slightly offsetting.  EDITED TO ADD:  the link to take you directly to Diane's awesome  tutorial complete with lots of photos.
Thought it'd add a whimsical touch to cover the serged hemline, with yellow gingham bias binding left over from the Pilvi Jacket last year, before machine stitching a blind hem.  Super love the way this turned out.  I'd made yards and yards of the stuff, (think quilt binding quantity!) not fully realizing how little a garment actually uses..... so yes!... more will be popping up in my posts as I sew through the pile.  Good thing it's cute!  ;)   The last hemming stitch was stitched late Saturday afternoon for my new dress to be worn to church Easter Sunday, all to find my daughter did not feel well Sunday morning, so we all stayed home to be with her.  And that was the right thing to do.  Also in the photo below, is part of the lining hem.  This was simply serged, rolled twice into a 'narrow hem' and top-stitched in place  Experience is showing with how even the 'rolling' is, coupled with the even stitching.  Nice to be becoming 'experienced'.... finally!!!
Still feel like such a newbie sometimes though.  For instance..... in Ottobre's instructions, she has you serging or zigzagging all edges of garment pieces before starting to construct the garment.  This gave me such pause, because the front bodice princess seams have a pretty severe curvature and I was concerned about how to snip and/or grade those seams to lay well.  But no worries, again, blindly forging ahead and giving in to the process (i.e. instructions), all seams lay well with no grading or snipping and are pressed to the center front and center back respectively.  Treated the lining fabric the very same.
And finally!  I can tell sweet, ever patient, ever supportive Sarah Liz, that my March Make a Garment a Month plans were made and COMPLETED in March!  Yes!!  :)
Looking forward to wearing my new dress as a 'sporty look'.....
..... as well as a more 'formal look'.
Paired with the BurdaStyle 01/2016 #120 Reversible Jacket
Happy Sewing All!   :)


Matchy-Matchy | Ottobre Design Woman 05/2016 no. 9 Classic Leggings

How could this lycra/spandex fabric be resisted when it held the colors of my shoes, top and favorite hoodie?!  And just like that, a new pair of leggings was made.
I've made the Ottobre Design Woman 05/2016 no. 9 Classic Leggings so many times now, it's nice to sort of sew on 'automatic'.  One pattern piece for both legs that wraps around with only one inner leg seam.   Sometimes I want to cut this pattern in two, for an outer as well as inner leg seam.... but so far I've not gone to the trouble.   You can see some of the others I've made here and here.  Btw, want to add, that right now I am not purchasing anymore Ottobre Design Woman pattern magazines.   Every.single.time I placed an order, either through her Etsy shop or through her Website, even using PayPal, for some reason my credit card company classified it as a fraudulent charge and froze my account.  It was one great big pain to unfreeze the card and I do not want to go through all that hassle again and I cannot purchase these magazines locally or even within my country, to my knowledge.  It's also interesting that a few folks on PatternReview.com have also spoken of their credit card companies doing the same to them.  So I'm sewing from the older issues I have and enjoying these.
Anyway another lycra/spandex picked up at the local textile outlet warehouse All About Fabrics that is only open once a month.  These sort of knits make the best leggings with their 4-way stretch, luxurious feel and great recovery.
Of course sweet Suzi always coordinates well in her classic black.  :)
Happy Sewing All!   :)

Top:  Simplicity 4192

Hoodie:  Burda 01/2017 #103


Quick and Easy Twisty Top | Burda 02/2018 no. 107 Offset Jersey Top

Do you want a super quick and easy make?  Do you want a quirky, fun, unusual top to wear that is oddly quite flattering?  Then Burda 02/2018 no 107 Offset Jersey Top is the one for you!  Only I call it the 'Twisty Top'.
Burda shows both their versions paired with slim fitting pants, but I found that mine also works well with the Ottobre miniskirt.  This is what I wore to Ladies Bible Study this morning and what fun to show the ladies my quirky twisty top!  I'm the only one who sews among the group, so it's really quite a joy when they ask about the clothes I'm wearing.  This top got lots of attention this morning!  And..... a little off topic here.... but if you look carefully at the Tulip Poplar behind me, you can see the beginning of new green leaves.  Spring!!!  Yay!!!  :)
I do have to say, that it takes me a full 5-10 minutes to get used to the top's 'feel' when it's first put on, as the twist is in both the front and the back with the arms sort of draping as the neck sort of 'cowls'.  At least this is how I am wearing it.
Burda's line drawing is definitely attention grabbing!  And let me say that what you think is some sort of funky shoulder seam, is really a raglan sort of seam.  I had such a hard time getting started but thanks to Allison's instagram feed showing how to begin the first 2 seams, it was then easy to figure out.  By the way, she also has a fabulous blog showcasing her beautiful makes.  :)
Photo Credit:  BurdaStyle.com
I had a little over a yard of lycra-spandex recently purchased at All About Fabrics, the local textile outlet only open once a month, and it was enough.  I think I may have shortened the sleeves a bit, but not much.  Be sure to follow Burda's instruction on placing the pattern pieces on one layer of fabric, right side up this way.  The aqua sticky notes are holding the sleeve pieces onto the bodice pieces as I don't like to use tape as I'm afraid I'll iron it by accident if I want to use the pattern in the future.  After a pattern like this is made and I'm through with it for now, it gets folded up in a labeled white manila envelope for storage.  And speaking of the fabric, my poor Bernina did not like this stretchy, lycra-spandex fabric at first, but a stretch needle, coupled with the walking foot pleased her to provide nice, even stitches.  Seams were serged after stitching the seams on the Bernina.  Double-needled stitched the sleeve hem and bottom hems and did not serge them first..... and they came out fine with no channeling.
It was fun to post this photo below on Instagram and ask what pattern I was working on!  Everyone knew at once!!  This top was made FAST!  Fabric chosen, pattern traced and all cut out in one afternoon.  Thus I added seam allowances to the fabric when cutting out, instead of adding to the paper before cutting out.  I may do this more often as it was really fast.  My only concern was that I wasn't sure my eyeballing the seam allowances were that accurate..... but realized in this funky top it probably wouldn't really matter.  Anyway, sewed up in an hour or so the following afternoon.  I cut a size 36 knowing that my fabric had a nice 4-way stretch and would be forgiving around the hips.  I'm usually a 38 in the hips when making a Burda pattern.
Thought it might be nice to share my visual of how to begin this top.....  Step 1.....  line up the number 1 and sew to pattern marks that line up.
..... Step 2.....   line up the number '2's then sew to end of seam.... and you're off and running!!!  Be sure to mark the back as once it's made, it's almost impossible to figure out!
What is so interesting is that as you look at the front of the top, there is a seam on my left, but not on my right.....
.....and from the back there is a seam on my right, but not on my left.  Cool!   Love all the twistiness!
 Below I'm wearing it with the Ottobre leggings and I do like this look too.
And I have decided to join in with Hila, who blogs over at Saturday Night Stitch, in her 2018 Burda Challenge invitation.    I've been subscribing to Burda for 2 years now, always having good intentions of sewing at least one thing from each issue, but my good intentions never seem to realize.  So this seems to be a good motivator and it's been great to see all the Burda makes coming through my IG feed, that that in and of itself is inspiring.  Instagram now allows you to subscribe to hashtags, so the #burdachallenge2018 is what folks are using.
My personal Burda Challenge for 2018 will be to complete at least 1 pattern from each month's Burda magazine giving myself permission to use my older issues at will.  This is my March make for the Burda Challenge.  Not going to worry about missing January and February.   ;)
We've had a couple of Red-Shouldered Hawks hanging around our property lately and found this beauty near the chicken coop.  We've been keeping the ladies cooped up in their coop because of the hawks so no worries (hopefully!) there.  Thrilled my camera captured such a glorious picture!  And if you want to see more South Carolina nature photos, or just more photos of some of the outfits I am wearing, I've recently revived my old Lisa's Carolina Photo Journal and am posting a little more frequently there.  No pressure on myself, just a place to post extra photos I take.  You can also subscribe through Bloglovin for the feed if you are interested.
Happy Sewing All!  :)


Fitted Turtleneck x2 | Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck

As part of my Fall/Winter plans, I knew I wanted a form-fitting turtleneck that could layer well without adding bulk.  I know Spring is right around the corner, but am determined to complete some of my earlier wardrobe plans and am super happy with this one.  :)
It took a bit of searching to find a simple turtleneck with a figure hugging design... finally settling on the Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck.  Sue wore her Hepburn Turtleneck on her glorious travels to Hong Kong where you can see her turtleneck near the bottom of her post.  She writes that it's easy to layer, but also looks okay on its own.  That's how I feel too.
The Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck pattern in .pdf download costs $10.00 that is truly a bargain considering it is such a well-designed, basic piece that will probably be made in multiples to re-fresh each Fall/Winter season's wardrobe.  A keeper!  Anyway, to be honest with you it was hard to tell exactly how form-fitting this pattern was designed to be.....
.... until one sort of studies the line drawings.  Itch to Stitch also has the 'layer' feature on her .pdf patterns, so you can only print the sizes you need.  This is nice as it makes cutting/tracing/grading so much easier on the eyes.  Seam allowances are included, which is also really nice.  I cut a size 2 at bust and waist, grading to a size 4 at the hips.  Perfect!
This is the second version I've made and the only modification was to shorten the turtleneck height by 1".  I don't like to turn the turtleneck down, preferring to leave the neck open with a sort of slouchy look.
A few weeks ago I finished the white Hepburn Turtleneck, my first version, and have been wearing it under a rtw cardi, under the Lotta Jansdotter Pilvi Jacket with the Ottobre Design Woman black miniskirt, black tights and short boots.  Nothing feels bulky.  You can see in the photo below more how I wear the turtleneck neck 'up', and how high this comes on my neck worn this way.  Also, this cotton was a slubby, thinnish, oh-so-soft knit that once it was all made and ready to be worn, I realized it was quite see-through.  At first I felt sort of disappointed, but soon realized it makes a perfect undergarment.
Mine fits almost like a bodysuit type of figure-hugging feel.
This is exactly what I was looking for.  It should also be noted this is a super quick make.  I used my serger on everything except the hems.  Oh, and I did follow her instructions and serged invisible elastic to each shoulder seam to stabilize those.  I am so tired of my knit pieces stretching out and am curious to see how that holds up.
This beautiful, abstract, 4-way stretch soft rayon spandex knit came from Joann Fabric and looks like it is still available.  It was purchased Fall 2017 as I was planning my Fall/Winter wardrobe around all these luscious colors.
And today our temps were hitting 80*F (26*C)!  Certainly an early Spring day for South Carolina!  Our weather changes so frequently this time of year between Winter and Spring that I'm sure it will get lots of wear this season and still be in good shape for next Fall/Winter 2018.  Guess you could say I'm either so far behind.... or so far ahead?!  :)
It was also fun to wear the Yoshiko Tsukiori Happy Homemade Sew Chic jacket again as a nice color contrast against the turtleneck.  And this skirt is a highly modified Megan Nielsen Axel skirt that I've still not blogged about.  It's super comfortable and exactly the type of skirt I find comfortable to wear.
Got a couple of microsuede pieces in the works, so am sort of hoping we will have more of a 'cold' Spring this year.  Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)
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