Monday, October 28, 2013

Fabricista Sewing Challenge #6

Here's challenge #6 in the FabricMart Fabricista Challenge:

Fabric of OUR Choice
A box of beautiful fabric just showed up at your door and you need to make something to wear this weekend! For this challenge, you should have received two panels of poly chiffon in the mail. You will need those for this challenge!

You will have one week to complete this challenge.
Challenge: Using the fabric we have selected for you, challenge yourself by making a unique garment and working with a material you may not have used before to create one well-made garment. You can use a pattern of you choice to construct your garment. 
You will be judged on creativity, functionality, craftsmanship, and fit. 

Here's the fabric panel:

Here's my submission:

Well….when I opened the envelope and found this fabric, I didn't know what to think.  I love the colors and the stripes look like maypole ribbons, but it's a large print with a busy border and it's not yardage but two scarf panels.

It can be challenging to make a large print flattering and even more challenging trying to make a border print work so deciding on the design was definitely the hardest part.   I started thinking about what Stacy and Clinton would say (from "What Not To Wear") and knew they'd say large prints are good in a simple design and…. keep the stripes vertical.  So that's what I did.  I loosely based the pattern on a top I love that my mom gave me a few years ago (thanks mom!) and put the border print at the hem so the stripes would be vertical.

 I rolled the hem on the sleeve and hem and added a wide smocked bottom which added shape to flatter but kept the blouse flowy. I added pleats and bias binding to the neckline and finished the neck with hand-rolled bias tubing.  All of the seams are french seams for a clean look through the sheer fabric. I love this blouse and hope Stacy and Clinton approve.  I'm hoping to wear it to a nice dinner very soon….hint, hint. 

Head over to the FabricMart blog and check out all of the entries.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Challenge #5 - I Won!

I won!  Thank you for all of your support in this challenge!

I'm off to work on Challenge #6.....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fabricista Sewing Challenge #5 - Timeless Classics

So here it is..... project #5 in the Fabric Mart Fabricista Challenge. Here's the challenge:

Challenge: Sewing a garment from a vintage pattern is challenging. The pintucks, pleats, and precise fit can be difficult to master. Choose a vintage pattern and modernize the piece. You can modernize your piece with styling, embellishment, or fabric. 
You will be judged on difficulty, craftsmanship, how fashion forward your look is, and FIT!
Take your time, you will have two weeks to make it perfect!

We were given two weeks to complete this challenge and I needed it.  I pulled this rayon blend brocade out of my stash and thought it was the perfect (and thankfully softer and drapier) homage to the brocades of the sixties. 

Since time is of the essence in these challenges, I immediately hit the internet for a vintage pattern and found a beautiful one at Retromonkey on Etsy and they shipped it quick (same day.....thank you so much!).  One of my favorite parts of this challenge was opening the pattern.  All of the pieces were there and had been meticulously cut and marked by the previous seamstress.  I know it's nerdy but it made me happy to use a pattern that someone else had taken such care with.  Sewing is an amazing tradition.   

Fit is one of the criteria for judging so I took my time making sure it was just right.  I lowered the neckline, widened the collar and made a slight aline skirt with darts instead of pleats (much more flattering on my body.)  I put in a side seam invisible zipper and shortened the sleeve from the original pattern. 

For detail I added a front placket with peau de soie piping and covered buttons.  I matched the fabric on the fronts and placket so the entire bodice is one continuous design.  Although I made all of these changes I still feel that I stayed true to the "wiggle dress" feeling of the pattern while making the dress wearable for me.  I'm not a sewer to sew something for sewing's sake....I wanna wear it.

 My constant sewing companion, Jack.  He loves retro dresses!

Please take a look at all of the other submissions from some very talented ladies at the Fabric Mart Blog.  Voting starts Tuesday.

I can't thank all of you enough for your kind comments and encouragement.  It's been a great experience!  By the way, editing all of these photos of myself has been quite painful.  It's been difficult to crop out saggy elbow skin (why didn't you tell me?) and frizzy hair.   To my dear friends:  I want to both thank you for not telling me how bad it is and reprimand you for not being real friends and nominating me for a makeover or at least a deep hair conditioning.  

All my best,


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fabricista Sewing Challenge Week #4 - Breakfast at the Beach

I made it to round #4 in the Fabric Mart Fabricista Challenge. Yay! Head on over to their blog to look at all of the submissions and vote beginning Tuesday.

Here's the new challenge:

Challenge: For this challenge, be creative and make a little black dress for your perfect night out. 
Create a story for us. Are you going out with your husband on a romantic date or a fun night out with the girls? Where will you be going? What will you be doing? Your dress should be able to tell your story. 
You will be judged on creativity, craftsmanship, how the dress tells your story, and fit.

And here's my submission:

A Little Black Dress for Breakfast at the Beach

My dream date is some time out with my husband and since he only puts a tie on for weddings and funerals, a formal black dress just wouldn't work. dream date is breakfast at the beach!

We love to go out to breakfast and on any given day you'll find us at the local bagel store. Since the beach restores my soul, what could be better than making the 20 minute drive on a beautiful morning to the beach?


I made a black handkerchief linen wrap dress and trimmed it with cream bias tape.  I embroidered a floral design on the waistband and lined the top in the same black linen.  I decided not to line the skirt because it would be too heavy and lose it's "swish" which is very important in a pretty sundress! 

 The beach was really windy and my son was trying to make my hair stay down while my daughter took the picture.  I love this photo!