Please excuse my absence as I take a break from regular sewing to sew masks for those that need them. My daughter and I are working together. She cuts the fabric and elastic pieces while I sew. She doesn’t sew, but was more than willing to help. Gosh I love her. Once I have completed my work on the masks I’ll be back with some me made garments. Until then stay safe, wash your hands, practice social distancing, workout, drink water, eat, and stay as healthy as possible that includes staying home.
Spring and Summer are my favorite times to sew. Although I did make quite a few garments during the winter months this year, Spring/Summer hold a special place in my heart. This time I am doing the Design Your Wardrobe course from Seamwork. I tried doing the course for Fall/Winter and it just didn’t happen, life was busy and I was unable to finish. This time I am treating it as if it were a required course. I am doing each lesson daily as “homework” as it comes in. So far I am enjoying it. I am learning more about what I need in a wardrobe for myself. The 3 key words that I found to fit my needs are Functional, Comfortable. and Stylish, basically I need everything to be comfortable and also to function in either season and be stylish, well it has to make me feel good and I need to be able to move it.
McCall’s 7476 – Misses’ Drop-Shoulder Vest and Cardigans
I worked on this cardigan over the weekend and completely changed the color. I found this fabulous lightweight royal blue knit fabric at Walmart, yes Walmart, for $4.00 for 4 yards and I loved the color, not realizing it was the color of the year. I picked it because of the brightness, I tend to be drawn towards bright loud colors. I just love them.
This is a versatile cardigan that can be worn Spring/Summer or Winter/Fall. I work in an office where the air is cooler during the hot months of the year, but it can be really hot outside. I like to layer in the office.
The description for the cardigan is a semi-fitted vest and cardigan.I made the cardigan in View B. I had this mustard color knit fabric that I found at Joann Fabric picked out, but then I changed to the blue. The pattern calls for moderate stretch knits, such as sweater knits double knit, sweatshirt fleece, or cotton knit.
It is a versatile wrap cardigan that can worn with a maxi dress, a skirt and tank top, jeans and sandals, you name it and it can be worn with it.
The pattern calls for medium-weight knit fabrics, like French terry, merino wool, and ribbing. Or a lightweight sweater knit or jersey type fabric. I have some rib knit, sweater knit, and lightweight knit in my fabric stash that I can use. Here are 2 samples of possible choices. I haven’t decided yet if I want to use either one of these, they both follow that Spring Floral theme. I can also see this in a solid mustard yellow or a deep vino. Love those 2 colors right now. More than likely, I will be using the mustard yellow from the cardigan up top for this one. Stay tuned.. I am forever changing my mind on fabrics once I cut the pattern.
A denim jacket. I have only sewn with denim once and it was for a tote bag, which did not require me to be measured or fitted. In order to up my skills I selected this one to make and you can never have to many denim items in your wardrobe. There is also a video on how to make this jacket on the Seamwork site. You do have to be a member in order to see the items listed on the website.
The main suggested fabric for this jacket is medium to heavyweight denim or canvas. The lining can be 1/2 yard of cotton muslin. I have a lot of cotton in my stash and more than likely will pick a fun print for the lining.
I workout at least 5 days a week. I have only made one set of workout clothes, which is wild with the amount of time I spent in active-wear clothing. I really like the top on McCall’s 7663 – out-of-print. This top can be worn with jeans and for working out.
For the top the fabric choices are Two-way Stretch Knits (50% Cross Grain), Jerseys, cotton knit, and athletic knits. I have a camo, my favorite print, that I will be using for this top. I love the tie back on this one, I think that’s what drew me to this pattern.
Simplicity 8787 – Misses’ Learn-to-Sew Knit Dress View C
This dress is close in style to what I normally wear. I have made 5 different versions of McCall’s 7531, you can checkout the blog post here for those makes. They are almost identical as they are knit body-con type dresses.
For this one I am making View C, the sleeveless version for Summer. I know I can use the one that is cut out from McCall’s 7531, but I am using the patterns I have even if I have one that is cut that is close to it. I have a goal to use as many as my patterns as possible. The fabric suggestions are stretch knits only, ITY Knit, Jersey, Single Knit, Stretch Velvet, and Velour. I will be using a Nicole Miller stretch knit that I found at Joann Fabric years ago, maybe 3 years.
It’s February, which means it’s Black History Month. In honor of Black History Month and showing support to Black owned businesses in the Sewing Industry I joined the Instagram challenge hosted by @sewnaturaldane and @onesweetsew.
My first make for February is this Lisa top from Style Sew Me Patterns. I love this top it is a quick and easy make. This is the second one I have made using this pattern and I love them both. I need to find the other make it is in a Pink Camouflage, my favorite fabric and I can’t find it.
This one is made out of a Vino Camouflage I purchased at the San Francisco Fabric Outlet. It can be found here. The Vino is no longer available online, but the same fabric can be found in brown, grey, green. purple, pink, white, and black camouflage combinations.
This is Vogue 1314, by Tracy Reece, a Black Pattern Designer for Vogue, it is now Out-of-Print (OOP). I tried sewing this dress when I started sewing 5 years ago and it did not come out as planned. I had no idea how to line a dress, do the rousing or any of that in the construction of the garment. So this year for Valentine’s Day I decided to make this again and it came out great. I have no plans for Valentine’s Day, but I love this color and the dress, so it became an honorary Valentine’s Day Dress! This fabric was purchased at Michael Levine’s in Los Angeles, about 4 years ago. Still sewing from my stash.
This fabric is from My Daily Threadz
And as much as I love this dress and the way it turned out, the bodice is too tight. I can’t move in it, the struggle was real getting out of it. LOL!!! I do know that I need to adjust the bodice moving forward when making garments out of non-stretch materials. I am so sad, because I even added pockets to the dress, who doesn’t love a dress with pockets. I am going to salvage this fabric. I don’t know how yet, but I might extend the opening down the front and have it be an open shirt dress. Not sure, but I am sure I will figure something out. This fabric is too fabulous for it to be a Mannequin dress. No ma’am.
For the month of January I completed 8 pieces. Here you will find 3 of the dresses completed using McCall’s 7531, one of my TNT’s and an absolute favorite dress to make. It can be styled with a printed or solid fabric and look absolutely different each time you make it. I went with prints for all of these. I love a good fun print, it’s kind of how I make my garments my OWN.
Yes you will see this dress again as part of my Spring/Summer collection, which I will start the first week in March. I plan to do some solid colors using View C.
This fabric is a knit border print that I purchased from Michael Levine a few years back. I say a few years because I can’t remember when I actually purchased it. Too much fabric shopping over the years. Did I really just admit that? Oh well!!!!
This green snakeskin like fabric was also purchased at Michael Levine, I think, if not there it was from Angels Textiles. I did a lot of fabric shopping during time I spent in Los Angeles and of course I can’t find my fabric album. I usually take photos of all the fabric from each trip in order to reference back when posting a blog in case someone wants to know where to purchase the fabric or something similar in print.
The last dress is out of this knit, but I am sure what kind of knit this one is. There is a good amount of stretch to it, but it has a silky feel to the fabric. I need to learn more about this fabric because I love how it feels against the skin and it was a nice and easy sew. I didn’t have any issues sewing this one. I have about 1.5 yards to make a tank top for the Spring.
These 2 dresses were made in the past using the same pattern. I guess you can see why I love it so much it.
Pattern Description: McCall’s 7531 Misses’ Knit Bodycon Dresses – Learn to Sew
Pattern Sizing: 4-14, I cut a size 12
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it looks just like the pattern envelope when I completed it.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were so easy, by the time I made it to the 2nd dress, I have made this dress 5 times, I didn’t need the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? How easy the pattern is to make and the endless possibilities you have with the sleeve variations. Also depending on the fabric used, this dress can look so different each time it is created.
Fabric Used: Green Snakeskin look is an ITY Fabric, Black white tan look is a knit, Rose and white border print look is a knit, Floral print is a double knit, and the Blue white, black look is a double knit. All this fabric is fabric that was in my stash and purchased a few years back. I am sewing down my stash. The floral and blue dresses were the first made, but I hadn’t added to the Review until now. I want to say I made them both in 2018 or 2019. The other 3 looks were just made in January of 2020.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations needed I made view B for all of these looks. For summer I plan to make View C
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes as you can tell this pattern is one of my Tried and True (TNT) patterns. It’s quick and easy. What girl doesn’t want a new dress that she can she made herself?
Conclusion: Great pattern and I can’t wait for Spring/Summer Sewing. I will more than likely start that collection first week in March. Happy Sewing!!!
This challenge was exactly what I needed to spark that SEW-JO I so needed. I love this and I may repeat this each month, a girl can never have to many Me Made Garments in her closet.
So just to recap what the Challenge consisted of, sew using the patterns and fabric from your stash. Don’t BUY any new patterns or fabric, unless you need the fabric, to finish off a garment. I thought this was genius and started using the structure of this challenge in other parts of my day to day adventures as well. Like what, you ask? For example, we buy facial products and the nice lady at the checkout counter provides you with all these samples, some are samples of the very same products you are purchasing. I am using those, as I don’t travel much and when I do, it’s usually in the car and not on an airplane. Where can you use the rules for this challenge in your life? I also blogged about the challenge here in my 2020 Sewing plans. Go check it out if you haven’t already.
So what did I make during the Stashed Gems Challenge?
Week 1 Tops
Yes you have seen this top, probably 1 million times, from me alone. LOL!!! It is a quick and easy top and it helped me with busting my stash of knits.
This baseball tee, New Look 6230, I love the fit and the white fabric is super soft. I selected the gray for the sleeves because it is a little shear and I didn’t want to line this t-shirt.
The 2 bottom tops are Simplicity 8988. I didn’t do the raw edges on the outside, as I simply forgot that was the concept of the top. Ay yi yi, I am a creature of habit. So since I didn’t do the outside seams, I made it off the shoulder without the ties. I plan on using it for lounge wear in the house. I plan on making this one, the right way, blue in a sweatshirt knit I have in my stash. The fabric selected for this one was a sweatshirt knit as well.
Week 2 Skirt and Dresses
Yep, again McCall’s 8982 in the Dress. I don’t fit skirts well, store bought or Me Made, so you won’t see skirts from me, until i truly learn how to measure myself for the perfect fit. It’s another thing I have on my learn to-do sewing list. Pants and skirts. All the fabric here is knit fabrics purchased from Michael Levine’s way back in 2016. The black, pink, red fabric is a border print, so I placed the top and the bottom on the black portion of the border in order to give it that affect of matching the top and bottom. I then placed the sleeve on the floral section, with just a tiny bit of black to have a flowing of the pattern effect. That one is my favorite.
Week 3 Pants and Jumpsuits
This week has been a real struggle, school has started back and I am spending at least 2-3 hours a night doing homework, for just one class, MATH. Not my best subject either, but hey I am going to push through. I have a pair of jeans that I want to make and I think I picked a fairly easy pattern, but something about Jeans that just makes me nervous. I guess I just need to get it done.
The pattern I have selected for my jeans is Simplicity 8701. I have a denim fabric with 5% Spandex that I think will do the job. I will start on the fitting , take my time, and see how it goes. I am thinking to do a muslin first, but this fabric was so low priced, that if they don’t fit I won’t be to upset about it. Hoping to have them completed in about 2 weeks, to allow myself time to focus on making them and not feel rushed.
So on that note stay tuned…..
Week 4 Outerwear/Sportswear
I made this cape, Simplicity A1226, using some pink and gray flannel. I think I bought this at Joann Fabrics, but it has been in my stash so long I can’t remember. The pattern is also out of print. I thought I had found one on Etsy, but when I clicked the link it stated that the page was no longer available. Oh boy look at all those scraps, under the table, I have been busy in January with my sewing. I LOVE IT!!! There are a few more days left in the Stashed Gems Challenge it ends on February 2, 2020. My plan is to continue on with busting down my stash and using the patterns I have already all year long. I am planning a trip to Los Angeles, in April, so of course I’ll be stopping by the Fashion District for some Spring/Summer pieces. In between now and April I am planning to make a list of makes, so that way I can select the fabrics needed, instead of just going hog wild, because they are all so pretty, that’s how I usually approach fabric shopping, but now I need shop smarter.
I will also be making my first make for someone else, so I heed good fabric, for that dress. I am excited for that too. Sewing for others has been on my list to do and now I have the opportunity to do it. So I am on it.
Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses. -Kobe Bryant
Addicted to sewing since the 70’s – Sewing Blogger since 2013 – Enjoying a #RTWFAST and Creator of #DESIGNINDECEMBER since 2015 – Designing Handbags and Accessories and PDF Sewing Patterns for bags and accessories at #LANYOSHANDMADE since 2018 – Lover of vegan, sustainable, repurposed and up-cycled projects – I want to try everything, learn everything and talk about it with you!