Today we’re going to try out a summer dress hack with a tried and true pattern – the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt which we are sewing up for the Sewalicious blog! If you haven’t sewn up this shirt before you can access it for free on the Deer and Doe website.
Plantain one of my favorite everyday shirts – the cut is really flattering and I love the neckline so why not hack it into a dress?
Well I did just that with this drapey Carnival Viscose Jersey from Sewalicious! This is a bold print but I think is perfect for summertime – it’s fun, festive and bright!
Here’s what you need to do:
Get your free copy of the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt. Measure yourself based on their directions to find the right fit. Once you have cut out your pattern take out your tracing paper (I used medical paper), your drafting rulers, pencil/marker and your measuring tape.
Lay the finished front side of the pattern against you in the same position it would be worn. Take note of where the hem lies on the centerfront of your body. Set the pattern aside and using your measuring tape, measure from the hemline point on the centerfront of your body to the length you would like the dress to be – keep the hem allowance in mind as well (you can add 1” to 2” for this depending on your preference). Record this measurement.
Next, cut two pieces of tracing paper a little longer than the skirt portion of your dress. Tape the paper to the back of the pattern. Starting with the front piece- from the centerfront hemline of the front pattern measure down in a straight line the measurement you just recorded then measure across at the hem past the side seam of the original pattern. Use your curve form ruler to match the original hip line with the new hemline at the side seam. You can make this as wide as you would like. Repeat for the back pattern then cut out your new pattern.
The end result should look like this:
All that is left is to cut out your fabric, sew, and wear!!
For more on the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt click HERE!
***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***
I have been looking forward to sewing up Valentine and Stitch’s Cassandra Pattern for quite some time now but I couldn’t decide on what fabric to go with. Did I want to do a solid as I usually do, maybe stripes or maybe a print? Well the decision became much easier when Helen of Valentine and Stitch announced that their patterns were going to be carried by Girl Charlee. Super exciting right?! I knew of Girl Charlee but I had never ordered from them before and living in Los Angeles, I can find so many deals in our very own fabric district that I don’t typically order fabric online. Well this case was different- so I thought in celebration of the lovely Helen and Rich being carried by Girl Charlee I will order a printed knit fabric from their shop!
I don’t usually do prints or florals. Not that I don’t like them. I actually love them! I just feel like I might get tired of the look as I have in the past when I have purchased RTW with bold prints or florals. Due to this I scoured through the Girl Charlee site looking for something, beautiful yet modern that still felt like me and I think I found it:
I went with the Plum Blue Feather Palm on Blush Double Brushed Jersey Spandex Blend Knit and I absolutely love it! The colors in this print are so amazing – pinks, blues, reds, purples mixed in these gigantic palm leaves and feathers! It’s feminine but not too sweet so I don’t feel like a child. This blush color is one of my favorites as well – see my Valentine and Stitch Angelina dress. I feel really good in this color and it has become one of my favorite colors to seek out when buying fabric. I think this is going to be my go-to spring dress and I’m so glad I’m ready (not that I really need to wait for spring in LA).
Sewing up Cassandra was a breeze. Just like the Valentine and Stitch web site says “Easy to sew, easy to wear”. This is absolutely true. One thing I love about their patterns are the neckbands. If you have sewn a few of their patterns you will see how much effort the put into making sure you have a clean neckline. This pattern is no different. It calls for interfacing which is a technique I had not done on knit before so I was pleased to find that it works great and stabilized the neckline of this dress well for a more formal finish.
Cassandra offers two necklines (round and scoop), two hemlines (standard and asymmetrical), and two sleeve lengths (elbow and long). You can also purchase the Cassandra extension pack which allows you to sew up a cute cardigan or top with the same neckline, hemline and sleeve options as the dress. I have both and I intend on sewing the top to add some great staples to my wardrobe. I’m still tinkering around with what type of fabric I would like to use for the cardigan as I would love to add this to my closet as well.
I also love how their patterns hug my body in all the right places and Cassandra is no different. I’m a petite tittering on average height gal but I’m not very broad either so it’s nice to be able to sew up a pattern and not have to make any adjustments especially for the armscye which pops out on me for other patterns but not this one.
Back to the sewing, I was able to sew this up over a weekend. It would have been completed more quickly had my sewing machines – yes I said machines… not gone on strike. They refused to work properly until I cleaned them so I finally did. If you look closely on the neckline of my dress, there are a couple skipped stitches that I didn’t notice until after I finished. I debated on ripping out the seam but it already looked so nice that I decided against it. I may later on though.
As for recommendations, this dress looks so cute with a belt!! I didn’t have an intention of adding a belt when I first sewed it up but as I was swinging around in it I thought “Let’s try a belt with it!” and I loved the outcome. I also love this dress with my mauve Hi Sk8 Vans. The color matches perfectly and I adore those shoes… can’t help myself.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while some of you are thinking about the big date night or maybe dreaming about chocolates or flowers, we are thinking about sewing over here! Specifically hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top pattern into a night gown. 😉
Well for today’s guest post on the Sewalicious blog, I will be hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top aka a camisole pattern into a delicate and romantic nightie/nightgown. I will be using Burgundy Peachskin fabric from Sewalicious– rich color, soft texture and beautiful drape! Absolutely perfect for this project.
The Just Patterns Bias Top calls for a lining but I opted out and cut the pattern without it leaving one front piece and one back piece.I then decided how much length I wanted to add to the camisole to make it into a nightie. I added a little extra just in case things go wrong.(As we all know in sewing we can’t always be certain when hacking!). I decided on adding 14 1/2 inches to the hem of the camisole.This would give me option of have a short sexy nightie or a longer romantic gown.Moving forward, I took out my trusty medical paper and taped my pattern down then measured out 14 1/2 inches down for the new hemline.I used my curved pattern ruler to give some subtle shape to the skirt.
Sewing Up Your Night Gown
Once cut out, I overlocked the edges then sewed up the side seams with a straight stitch.I wanted a slit on both sides of the gown so I left 6 inches of the side seam open at the bottom.I pressed the seams open making sure to press the slits open as if I had sewn them.
Add Some Lace
I measured around the circumference of the top of the night gown to determine how much lace I would need. Then, I repeated this for the bottom including the slit areas.
Using a wide zigzag stitch I carefully attached the lace to the outside edges of the night gown being mindful of covering the overlocked edges.I repeated this for the hem and slits as well.
I tried on my night gown to determine how long I would need to make the straps and what position I would like them to be in the back.(I advise having someone help you with this if possible).Once determined, I cut out my straps, lined them up where they needed to go and zigzag stitched them in place.
Easy as that! 🙂 I think I’m ready for Valentine’s Day now… are you?
It’s pinning time! Got a Pinterest account and maybe a sewing board? Pin this!
Happy Sewing! 🙂
If you want to try this hack you can find the Just Patterns Bias Top Pattern HERE.
Happy New Year!! Wishing everyone all the BEST in 2018! 🙂
Have you ever used the hashtag – seamworkmag on Instagram? Well, if you do you could potentially be chosen as a Seamwork favorite for the month and win a prize!
Surprisingly, I was chosen as one of the three finalists for the month of November for my Aires Leggings. I posted about my leggings for #bpsewvember and although I didn’t win the big prize, I won my choice of 2 yards for jersey knit fabric from their new fabric shop.
They had three colors available Dusty White, Pale Blue, and Terracotta. I never sew anything up in white so I thought to myself this is a great time to step out of my comfort zone and go for the Dusty White fabric shown in the Seamwork image below:
What did I sew up with my Seamwork prize? A Seamwork pattern of course! I looked through the Seamwork pattern selection and at their suggestions on the fabric’s description page and decided to go with their knit tent dress aka Piedra.
Seemed to me to be a nice classic dress that I could add to my work wardrobe. Although wearing a white dress to work isn’t always ideal it is a nice change of pace from my normal dark colors.
The Low Down
Piedra is knit tent style dress that was designed with the changing seasons in mind. It is a perfect mild winter dress especially for warmer climates where our winters are not terribly cold but there is still a chill in the air. It pairs perfectly on its own or with tights. I paired my Piedra dress with a long necklace and my wearable toile of the Seamwork Jill Coatigan.
I started sewing up my Piedra dress about a week before Christmas. I was really hoping to wear it for the holidays but it didn’t work out that way. I decided to use a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine but found that the feed dogs were stretching out the fabric. At first I thought maybe a good press could take care of it but I was completely wrong.
So… no Christmas dress for me! Oh well… the other issue was that although I cut Piedra out in an XS it was much too big and I needed to refine the size. But what was going to be the point of cutting this fabric to fit me properly if I didn’t have a machine to sew it up with properly??
There is always room for a Christmas miracle right? Well, Christmas morning I received a Brother Lock 1034D from my very sweet husband. Problem solved! 🙂
In order to fix the stretched seams which at the time was the back seam, the sleeve caps and one side seam I just cut the seams away. I evened out the side that I never sewed by cutting to match the other side then I sewed this dress using my new overlock machine! I adjusted the feed dogs as I felt this fabric was a bit on the stretchy side and by the end of Christmas I had my new dress!
(Side Note: I wish I had some “process” photos but unfortunately I haven’t been able to sew with natural light with the time change unless I do all my sewing on the weekends so no “process” photos for this post!)
Besides stretching my seams, I messed up on the neckband a bit. The directions tell you to sew the neckband seam to match with the right shoulder seam. I didn’t like how this laid on my shoulder so I ended up cutting the neckband out with a rotary cutter and moving the neckband seam to match with the center back seam. I think it looks a lot cleaner this way but that is just my preference.
Another thing that didn’t work out so well is the back of the sleeve cap pops out a bit too far. I needed to narrow this area on the pattern before I cut into the fabric as it is just too big for my frame. Luckily, it isn’t noticeably in the front and if I pair this with a cute cardigan or jacket it covers it up just fine.
Seamwork’s sizes run a little big so if you are on the petite side I would recommend making a toile or doubling checking your measurements against their chart.
If your fabric is on the stretchy side use an overlock machine if you have one. I absolutely LOVE the Brother machine my husband bought me for Christmas! I wish it was in my life sooner! Lol!
Sew the neckband seam to match the center back seam.
Hey All! I had the opportunity to share a post on how to sew underwear by copying a pair of RTW undies and using leftover fabric in your stash for Sewalicious.co.uk. I’m sharing the post here on my blog but don’t hesitate to head over to their site and check it out! 🙂
How to Sew Underwear Using Your Fabric Stash
I’m very excited to share my first guest post for the Sewalicious blog!We are going to do things a little differently and blog about a really fun idea to downsize holiday fabric waste.
As sewist you all know what it’s like to have several pieces of fabric leftover that just aren’t big enough to do anything with.Well this won’t work for every piece of fabric but it might for those stretchy knit fabrics.
Today I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to sew underwear using your RTW knickers as a copy all while tackling your fabric stash. (You can use one of the many underwear patterns available online as well – many are free!).
Find yourself some stretchy knit fabric and if you have some picot elastic even better!Mine is from Tailor Made Shop.
Dig through your drawers for your favorite pair of undies (of course not just favorite – make sure you still like how they fit!)Try to use fabric that has similar stretch to these for a good fit.
Take out your tracing paper and a pencil.I use a roll of medical paper and sometimes kraft paper but any paper will suffice.Place your knickers down with pattern weights of your liking and trace your underwear.Make sure to trace the front, back and lining.Be sure to trace the front and back piece by separating them at the seam.My seam is in the back so that will be where I draw a horizontal line to match both sides of the back pattern piece. My front pattern and lining pattern are one piece but I will draw a line on the pattern piece to indicate where the lining begins so I can also use the lining area as my guide to cut out a lining piece of fabric.
Once completed remove your undies from the tracing paper and smooth out your traced lines with a marker or pen then add seam allowance. 1/4”-3/8” should suffice on all sides – remember you’re adding elastic to the waistband and leg openings so your seam allowance depends on the width of your elastic.I’m using 3/8” wide picot elastic.
Cut out your new pattern and lay out your fabric.Place your pattern pieces on the fabric following the direction of most stretch (I’m cutting on the bias) then cut.
Measure the length of the waistband and leg openings to determine how much elastic you need for both then cut. You will have three strips of elastic.
Time to sew! Using an overcast stitch sew the raw edge of the narrow side of the lining.Take the front piece, the back piece and the lining and sandwich the front piece between the two with the wrong side of the front piece facing the wrong side of the lining piece.Sew the three pieces together using a zigzag stitch then overcast stitch the edge.Press the seam toward the back piece then using a zigzag stitch, sew the seam allowance to the back piece.
Flip the front piece and lining piece so that the wrong sides are facing each other then baste the lining edge to the front edges.Using a zigzag stitch, with the right sides of the front and back pieces facing each other sew the side seams.
Sew your elastic to the leg openings and waistband.For picot elastic, line up the straight edge of the elastic with the right side edge of the leg opening.Make sure the smooth side of the elastic is facing the fabric and the soft side is facing you.Sew using a zigzag stitch.Flip the elastic inside so just the picot edge is showing and sew in place using a zigzag stitch.Repeat for the other leg opening and the waistband.
Flip your knickers right side out, press and enjoy!
Viola!Now you have a pair of holiday knickers! ☺
If you like this idea head over to my Pinterest page and “Pin It” to your favorite “Sewing” Board!
While in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to visit two great fabric stores, Ribes and Casals and Nunoya. Both stores are in walking distance from each other in the L’Eixample district.
Ribes and Casals is a sewist’s dream… You walk into roll after roll of beautiful fabric from floor to ceiling. I was drooling. The place was super busy with so many people buying materials for projects that I can’t even begin to imagine. There is basement level as well with all sorts of notions and findings. This is a bustling store but the service was wonderful and I was able to find some great fabrics for summer sewing.
About Ribes and Casals: Founded in 1933, by Joan Ribes Daura and Joan Casals Alabau. Ribes and Casals has 5 stores across Spain including Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga. They carry a large collection of fabrics which they categorize as fashion, home apparel, carnival, dance costumes, flamenco, crafts, and children’s fabrics.
Carrer de Roger de Lluria, 7
08010 Barcelona, Spain
Nunoya, seriously what an awesome store! I wanted everything in there! Absolutely everything. It was just so cool. This store is much smaller than Ribes and Casals but the quality and beauty of the fabric is top notch. They were also just very kind and helpful!
Nunoya is a Japanese, European, and American fabric store with high quality fabric in a variety of prints. Now that may sound silly that I’m visiting a Japanese fabric store while visiting Spain but this store cannot be missed. Check out the picture below and the fabrics I ended up taking home with me.
Fabrics: Echino Bee Geometric Silver Metallic and Nani Iro Fuccra Rakuen – St. Moritz (Double Guaze)