Friday, September 28, 2018

The Stevie Tunic — A Go-To Pattern for Any Fabric!

We are always looking for a simple dress pattern to sew, and the Stevie by Tilly and the Buttons perfectly fits the bill! There is an ease in only having to worry about putting on a single garment, unlike separates which can take more thought and care. You can just slip on a dress at a moment's notice and be on your way. I'm really getting into wearing dresses for work, so the Stevie will suit my lifestyle wonderfully.

Pattern Description: With no darts, zips or set-in sleeves, Stevie is a satisfyingly quick and easy make - yay! Stevie has a modern, boxy fit, with round neckline and kimono sleeves, closing at the back with pretty ties or button loop. Make as a top with cropped hemline that hits the high hip, or above-the-knee dress length, with optional turn-up cuffs and patch pocket. Throw it on with a statement necklace and you're good to go!

Suggested Fabrics: Light to medium weight woven fabrics, such as linen, double gauze, chambray, cotton lawn, viscose (rayon). If you’re a confident stitcher, try a sandwashed silk or crêpe de chine.

Version Made & Fabric Used: We chose to make the tunic length with a button closure in the back out of 100% Rayon Batik. We did not add the pocket.

How I Plan to Wear This: This is a quick dress to throw on at a moment's notice, especially for work! As the weather turns this Fall, I can throw on a sweater and wear some tights. Know that this pattern is a tunic or top length, so depending on your preference (and height), it may be a little short. We will probably make it longer next time, but I can always throw it over a pair of jeans if I feel like it's too short!

Favorite Details: We decided to change the direction of the print on the back yoke. You can see that the dashes on the fabric are horizontal on the yoke and vertical on the rest of the dress. I love simple design details like this that add interest to a subtle print!

Love and Creativity!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Loving my Reeta Dress!

The Reeta Dress


It's not often that you find a shirtwaist dress that's isn't overly fussy to sew. Most patterns are designed literally like a man's dress shirt in the bodice, complete with a collar stand, pockets etc. The Reeta by Named is part of their "Playground Collection." We like the implication that it's a casual wear pattern, and we especially like that it's pretty easy to sew.

Pattern description: Midi-length shirt dress with button closure at the front, drawstring closure at the waist. Sleeves with wide, sewn-in turn-ups, shirt collar and yoked bodice, breast pockets with box pleats and deep vents at side seams.

Suggested fabrics: Choose a light or medium weight fabric with drape. The pattern sample is made of rayon. We love the drape of rayon, so we're going to stick with what works best.

Version made & fabric used: We made the dress as is, but left off the breast pockets and drawstring at the waist. We chose a lovely floral rayon print to make this.

How I plan to wear this: 

The Reeta is a perfect work dress—soft, drapey, lots of ease and I won't get too warm while I'm running around the store. It's really an all-season dress—perfect right off the machine for spring through fall, and when the weather cools into winter, I see tights and/or boots as a fashion option.

Alterations made:

We didn't change much with the pattern itself. As I mentioned, the camp collar is an easy application. Be sure to use a lightweight interfacing for the collar and the front button-up closure, especially if you are using a rayon—you don't want it to be too stiff.  

I'm not a drawstring waist kinda girl, so Laurel just made a casing with bias tape for an elastic waist.  I LOVE belts, so this change was perfect!

 Favorite details:

I'm on a new fashion trend (for me) lately—I want to wear my dresses a little longer. The midi length of the Reeta is perfect...and who can go wrong with deep vents up the side seams. Love!!!

Oh, and BTW, the cuffed sleeves are a breeze—the sleeve is just cut extra long for a deep hem, then turned up and secured.

Final Thoughts: 

If you haven't made a shirt dress before, do consider the Reeta by Named. It's funny how Laurel usually knows what's going to be a winner as she putting it together. She will text me with photos of the garment on "Zanikan" (my dress form), and quip "you're gonna love this one, Zan." Our last Fit and Fun Day had Laurel deciding she better make one for herself. It may be a TNT (Tried and True) pattern going forward—one you remake again and again.

Love and Creativity!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Must-Have Garment Makes

How many things in your life are non-negotiable? We could all list several character items that ultimately define who we are as a person - trustworthiness, loyalty, being loved and valued, living in the moment,  making a contribution, etc. Whatever thing you might think of, we know instinctively they are important to us, as we come back to them over and over again when we are looking for friends, a partner, or even a new endeavor.

"Must-have" or  "I need it now" things are probably negotiable, in truth.  But when we see something we like, it feels non-negotiable. We are drawn to it like honey and we know in hearts that "It is Right."  Our garments reflect choices that make us feel better about ourselves and express our creativity and uniqueness. Most sewists would tell you that's why they make their own have that freedom of expression.  So "must haves" become non-negotiables - a particular hemline, a belted waistline or a certain sleeve design. Our choices revolve around those things that fulfill that image of ourselves in our brains—until the next big thing comes along.

Wardrobes constantly change, and therefore so does our list of must-haves. Maybe there are certain colors or shapes you don't usually gravitate towards, but it only takes someone saying "Dang, girl! You look amazing in that!" to inspire you to branch out.

One of the pluses (huge plus!) of my owning a fabric store is that new patterns and fabrics are a daily experience, so what used to be on my must-have list is in a constant state of flux.  I could almost have a new list of must-haves every season. So technically, all these looks below are not necessarily "non-negotiable," per se, but they are among the garments that to me are timeless and will always be a integral wardrobe staple of my wardrobe. I just change the fabric, perhaps do a small pattern hack and Voila! Something new!

So what is on my list of "Must-Haves?

1.) A good, lightweight coat...

The Pilvi by Lotta Jansdottercoat is so simple to make 
and just by changing up the color, the fabric, the length, you can make it your own.

2.) A great tee-shirt...The Scout Tee!
Who says you can't make a tee-shirt in crushed velvet?

The Scout Tee is designed for woven fabrics.

The Lark Tee by Grainline is a close fitting knit tee, in either short sleeves, 3/4, or long.
The Lark Tee

3.) A pair of "you were born for those" jeans...
Love these pockets on the Safran Jeans by Deer and Doe

The Morgan Jeans by Closet Case patterns are designed for non-stretch fabrics.

Probably the most popular ever pair of Jeans - The Ginger Jeans, by Closet Case.

4.) An ever-versatile casual dress...
Dress No.1by 100 Acts of Sewing - we've made this pattern so often in many different fabrics!
I highly recommend the E.S.P. Dress by Decades of Style in a fun fabric you have been stashing!

5.) A pair of go-to pants...
Pant's No. 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing - sew simple!!
Shown with my all time favorite Tea House Dress or Top, by Sew House Seven - just amazing, right?!
My new favorite - Lander Pants by True Bias

and 6.) Something that reflects your inner soul...
The Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated. Her patterns are amazing!

And since our wardrobes change with the seasons and with new patterns and fabrics, we can update our "Must-Have" list any time we are moved to do so. So many patterns, so little time! Of course I keep a list of Must-Have fabrics - you can pretty much see what they are the minute you walk into the store.

One of my favorites - the Cinema Dress by Leisl + Co

What are your Must-Haves in your wardrobe?  Do you change it up very often or do you stick with TNT (Tried and True) patterns and fabrics?  I have learned that my tastes have changed over the years, mostly because I am surrounded by a knock-your-socks-off staff, a whole cache of cyber-sewist friends, and a willingness to put myself out there. Whatever your particular "destiny" or life-calling, you were made to do this:  to be a wardrobe trendsetter, to let your me-makes speak your own personal truth. And by all means, keep that mental list flexible and be open to new designs and new fabrics.

All that being said, my only true "Non-negotiable" is being at peace with my surroundings - don't really care what I'm wearing...
I love you, Mother Nature!

Love always,