The thing about losing that much weight, is that nothing at all fits anymore. I went from a decent me-made wardrobe to nothing. But the thing about that is that you get to start over. I was feeling kind of stuck in a wardrobe that didn’t really fit me, both literally and figuratively. I didn’t really want to dress like a mum anymore, and I don’t have the kind of job that requires the corporate wardrobe stuffed in the back of my closet which suddenly fit again.
So when I made this dress I decided to choose something way more fun than I normally buy. Roses and skulls. I feel a bit more badass than normal, so I figure I’m doing it right.
This pattern is perfect. It is super easy to make and the fit is great! The only problem I ran into was of course the infamous Awkward Skull Placement™. There was a 1/2 inch of skull on the bodice front that I thought would be fine but then I decided it would irritate me constantly. I had to shorten the bodice by just a sliver. If I hadn’t, the length of the bodice would be perfect, but what’s a girl to do!
Pattern: Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo available in sizes 1-8 (using their own pattern sizing system). I chose the short-sleeved view. There is also a long sleeve version.
Fabric: Red Goth digital jersey: 92% cotton, 8% spandex, and 200 g/m2 with black tubular ribbing. From l’Oiseau Fabrics.
It’s been a really, really busy summer. I haven’t had much time to sew and even less to blog. And yet, I still managed to have a blogging backlog.
This is the Sugar n’ Spice Romper and Dress by Heidi & Finn, which I made earlier this summer. I wanted a nice quick project that would get my daughter something fun and comfortable to wear in hot weather, and this definitely fit the bill.
I used ITY (Interlock twist yarn), a synthetic knit for the dress. The bright print was something I had left over for a dress for myself, and the pink was a remnant that just happened to match perfectly. Both are from one of the local chain stores.
The pattern was really quick and easy to sew. My only complaint has to do with the fabric I chose. The ITY doesn’t have a lot of structure, so in the bodice it tends to curl a little. Next time, I’d use a fabric with a bit more structure (even cotton jersey) for the bodice, or make a bit more effort to make the outer layer of the crossover bodice a bit more snug.
The dress has been a big hit and gets lots of wear. So I will count this one as a belatedly blogged success.
Pattern:Sugar n’ Spice Romper and Dress by Heidi & Finn available in sizes 12m-12y. Fabric: ITY. Size: 7. Cost: Pattern: $11. Fabric: About $10. Sewing Level: Beginner. Modifications: none. Results: Good, but next time I will make the outer layer of the crossover bodice a bit more snug, or use fabric with a bit more structure.
I had been looking at the Skater Dress pattern for a while, but didn’t really have the right fabric. Ideally this would be made in jersey, but I thought the French terry be a little cozier. The dress ends up being great for our current cold weather, but still fun to wear and very comfortable. This French terry has a lot of stretch, which makes the dress very wearable, especially for kids. It’s like your favourite sweatshirt, but it’s a dress.
Unfortunately, it’s been too cold for outdoor photo sessions and the light hasn’t been great lately generally, so you’ll have to settle for less than ideal photos this time around.
I let the kids choose the colour of the contrast cuffs from my scrap bin. The cuffs are so bright, but they do really make the dress. With solid colours for the main part of the dress, they might be a bit plain, without that crazy pop of colour.
The pattern is sized to fit over two years. They fit a bit large. My kids are both at the lower ends of their ranges, but definitely too big to go down a size. I double checked the measurements, and tried the size 5/6 on my normally size 7 kid to check. Next time I might take the dress in a little through the bodice for my skinny girls, especially if I use a heavier fabric again. In jersey, it would probably be fine.
This pattern is a really quick sew. I finished both dresses in an afternoon. The instructions were great and everything came together without any problems. I also have the women’s version of the skater dress, so I’m pretty excited to get to that soon.
Pattern Review:Little Girls’ Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo, available in sizes 18m-8Y (in 4 different sizes). Fabric: French terry, with jersey cuffs. Sizes: 5/6 and 7/8. Cost: Pattern: About 14$. Fabric: $5 per dress. Project Sewing Level: Beginner. Modifications: none. Results: Great. The kids love wearing these.
I think I’ve had this pattern (Simplicity 2063 from the Little Lisette collection by Liesl Gibson) in my stash for ages, but I was looking for just the right fabric.
Then I found this cute corduroy online. It’s super soft. The fabric is light-weight but it feels almost like velour. Perfect for little ones.
The pattern is quite simple. It’s an a-line, panel dress with flat piping to set off the panels. It wasn’t difficult. The instructions were good. The bodice is finished with bias tape at the arms, but I think I might prefer a lined bodice next time.
I didn’t make any changes to the pattern. I just followed the pattern instructions.
My youngest is growing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. I made the smallest size, size 3, and hoped it wouldn’t be too big, but it seems just right. Good thing I didn’t try to grade it down a size.
There always seem to be so many events to attend over the holidays, so a new dress is always handy for the kids, especially when it is as cute and comfortable as this one.
Pattern Review:Simplicity 2063 from the Little Lisette collection by Liesl Gibson, available in sizes 3-8, and now out of print. Fabric:
Corduroy, in blue.
Kona solid for the flat piping.
Size: 3. Cost: Pattern: $1. Fabric: About $18. Sewing Level: Adventurous beginner. Modifications: None. Results: Really cute and very soft.
So I was very excited to be a pattern tester for the newest version of the pattern, which now includes a sweater, a short-sleeved version, and an expanded size range from 12m to 12Y.
And is it ever easy to sew! I finished about one project per nap. I love one-nap projects!
In the end, I made this pattern six times: three tops and three dresses, in three different sizes.
This project calls for knit fabric, and obviously a sweater knit would be ideal, but sadly the choices were limited at my local fabric shops and I had no time to order online.
The smallest kids chose the fabric for the tops (ack! so cute to watch them choose fabrics) – a slinky rayon jersey. In that fabric, the tops have a retro 70s vibe.
The pattern changed slightly during testing, and now has a banded waist, but these tops were made before the change.
For the dresses, I chose a ponte de roma that has a bit of a soft, sweater-knit texture. This fabric gave better results than the jersey. It’s a stable knit that is still very stretchy and has great recovery.
I only made two changes. First, I shortened the sleeves by 1-2″, depending on the fabric and dress size. Second, I attached the cowl neck first, before starting the sleeves. I find it easier to work this way, but it’s just my preference. See a discussion on sewing flat versus in the round, here.
I didn’t use a serger – I don’t have one. I just used my regular machine, which has a faux overlock stitch and I hemmed everything using a double needle. This worked very well.
The results were great. These tops and dresses are cute, cute, cute and the kids love wearing them. Yay!
Dakota stretch rayon jersey knit Hearts in navy, pink and teal (medium-weight knit, 95% Rayon/5% Lycra, 4-way stretch, 25% vertical stretch and 50% stretch across the grain).
Ponte de roma in grey, (medium- to heavy-weight knit, 80% Polyester/15% Rayon/5% Lycra, 30% stretch across the grain), magenta, and dark teal – not shown – (medium-weight knit, 50% Polyester/45% Rayon/5% Lycra).
Sizes: 2T, 5T and 7Y. Cost: Pattern: 0$. Fabric: About $12 per top and about $16 per dress. Sewing Level: Confident beginner. Modifications: I shortened the sleeves, by 1-2″, depending on the fabric and dress size. Results: Great. This was fast, and I love the trendy look.
Disclaimer: The pattern was generously provided by Heidi & Finn, in return for testing the pattern. As always, my opinions are my own.
Fabric: Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman. FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics. The lining is white cotton batiste. The piping is made with Kona solids.
This time around, I made the dress with the view B faux cap sleeves, but with a gathered skirt. I made two changes. I added red piping at the waist, and I added in-seam pockets.
This dress was made for Kid No 3, and is a huge hit. She loves ladybugs and the colour red, and recently asked me why she doesn’t have “a dress that twirls”. The pockets are hidden in the gathers of the skirt, and she loves the “secret pockets” too.
This was a lot of fun to sew. The pattern makes a really pretty dress that’s lined and nicely finished on the inside. But the sewing was quick and problem-free.
Warp & Weft Sewing Society
This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.
I have recently seen so many gorgeous knit maxi dresses on the web, that I thought it was time I made one too. I was especially impressed by a number of dresses made by some curvier ladies, that looked amazing. So after some mulling over, I decided to use the Moneta dress pattern by Colette Patterns.
The instructions are great, and the pattern is simple and quick. If you’re new to knits, this shouldn’t give you much trouble and there is a Moneta sew along, just starting. It’s also very quick to assemble.
I used a lovely, springy bamboo jersey by Telio that I bought locally. It’s amazing, and I will definitely use it again, in all the colours possible.
I sewed the XL, based on my measurements, but it was huge. I ended up taking in the sleeves by two inches and the sides of the bodice by an inch on each side. I could have taken a bit more in the sleeves, and a tiny bit more at the waist. I probably should have cut the medium with a fake FBA (to the size large).
I’ve seen at least one review that recommended using the sleeve in a size smaller than the dress, and I agree, this would be a good idea. I thought the bodice looked short, but with the weight of the skirt, the length was perfect (I’m a bit long waisted too). I extended the skirt by 12 inches, to make a maxi dress, but I didn’t keep the angle, as others have, keeping the same dress width at the bottom.
The instructions have you gather the skirt using clear elastic. I’ve seen at least one review that noted this was difficult. I had no trouble. But I had to recut the skirt a bit (more on that later), and I was out of clear elastic, so I used lingerie elastic. This is much, much easier as it doesn’t slide around. I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams though, which wasn’t in the instructions.
After taking the dress in, I had two main problems: the first was the neckline. Did it look like the pattern photo and technical diagram? Absolutely! And was it flattering? Absolutely not. It’s just the neckline to show off my bad curves, and hide my good ones. In the end I recut the neckline into more of a scoop neckline and lowered it by 2.5 inches. I could have lowered it more. I also used a band to hem the neckline (like in the Renfrew top by Sewaholic) – tutorial here. My double needle broke, which is why I did this, but I prefer the look, in any case.
My second problem was with the stripes in the skirt. The skirt panels are not rectangles, but curved at the top and bottom. I think this might be to have a prettier hemline with a shorter skirt. However, with stripes, it means that the stripes near the waist will appear to curve down at the sides of the dress. You can see it in the pattern photos on the Colette website, if you look carefully. You would only notice this with stripes. It also means that if your fabric panels are cut the slightest bit off, or if the gathering is uneven, the skirt will appear crooked. In the end, I recut the skirt to be straight on both the top and bottom, because the curved stripes really bothered me.
And in the end? Even with the fitting modifications (and the fit is good), I don’t think the dress is especially flattering – on me. I’ve seen lots of versions of this dress, on a lot of different figures, and they look lovely. On me, though, the gathered shirt emphasizes exactly where I need to loose a little weight (sigh). A better silhouette for me would have shorter cap sleeves, or 3/4 sleeves, a lower scoop neckline, and less gathering at the waist, and I think I’ll stick with a solid next time. It is, however, the most comfortable dress I have ever owned. So overall, a great pattern, but not ideal for my figure.
I’m a bit discouraged, to be honest. I was hoping this would be a great, easy (it is easy!), go-to summer dress. But I think I have to keep looking. I’ve just cut out Vogue 8825 in black , which I think might look better on me. And I’ve bought the Lady Skater by Kitchy Coo, as well. Hopefully I’ll have more luck with one of those. Wish me luck!
Modifications: I took in the sleeves by 2 inches and the sides of the bodice by 1 inch per side. I lowered the neckline by 2.5 inches and made it a bit more scooped. I used a fabric band on the neckline. I reshaped the skirt so that the stripes would be straight at the top of the skirt and I lengthened the dress by 12 inches. I used lingerie elastic at the waist, and clear elastic at the shoulders.
Results: Great pattern, but not ideal for my figure.