Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fabricmart Fabricista - Frankenpattern Dress

Although the mention of Frankenstein conjures up scary images of Igor and bad posture, Franken-patterns are quite different.  Sewists have coined the term to describe combining more than one sewing pattern until a new look materializes.  Ahhh, the joy of creating something new and unique. “It’s Alive!”

It’s time for a winter dress and I’ve been drooling over this fabric for quite some time, both because I love the print and because a double crepe can be difficult to find.  It has a pebble like texture, beautiful drape and “mechanical” stretch, meaning that although it is a woven fabric without lycra, it still has a slight crosswise give.  The stretch makes this fabric easy to sew and even more comfortable to wear.

The print is sophisticated but still really fun and lends itself to a simple style. The skater dress silhouette is quite popular right now and I thought a modified version would be perfect.  There are plenty of skater dress patterns out there but I couldn’t find one suitable for a woven fabric, therefore, I decided a Franken-pattern was in order.  

For the bodice, I used New Look 6144 View B.  I’ve used this pattern before and love the fit.  I cut the pattern 1" above the waistline so the skirt would sit just above the waist and made pleats at the neckline instead of the darts the pattern called for.  

For the skirt, I wanted to dirndl style skirt, not too full, not many seams, so I could make the best use of the print.  I used Simplicity 1354 for the skirt, omitted the pockets and left everything else the same.

What’s a cute dress without a bag to go with it?  Simplicity pattern 1387 was the basis for the shape of the bag, but I changed the handles, closure, hardware and lining to get the bag that I wanted.

The top of the bag is lightbeige twill and black wool suiting makes up the bottom and handle.  To round out the menswear feel of the twill and wool, I lined it in a classic striped shirting and trimmed it with “pleather”.  The pattern doesn’t have any pockets in the lining, so I added a zip pocket on one side and sectioned pockets with bias trim on the other.


I’m so happy with my Franken-pattern dress and my coordinating bag makes me feel like I really have it together.  Thanks Dr. Frankenstein.  And thank you Fabricmart!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Sewing

Lots of Christmas sewing going on around here.  Make up bags, journal covers, lanyards, sweatshirts and even a cape for a sweet little girl I know is on the way.

I made this set for my son's (very favorite) teacher:

And I made these for my girlfriends:

More Christmas goods are on the way....

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"I'm Not a Geek Anymore" Lanyards

Let's face it, lanyards over the years have taken their fair share of verbal abuse enduring "nerd", "dweeb" and "geek" monikers.  There's no need for all this name calling when really all a lanyard is trying to do is help.  Recently, my daughter went away to college and now, along with her classmates, she wears a lanyard most of the day.  I decided it was time to make a handful of cute lanyards, send them to her and her friends and free them from shame.  They are a really simple gift to make and you can use up all of your scraps (notice I use some Anna Maria Horner fabric leftovers, yum)!  So here are the instructions for "I'm Not A Geek Anymore" lanyards:


Swivel clasp lanyard hook (3/4" opening)
3" x 37" piece of fabric
3/4" x 37" piece of fusible interfacing
Thread to match

Fold fabric in half in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.  Press.

Open out fabric, fold raw edges in to crease, wrong sides together.  Press.

Fold strip along original fold line forming 3/4" strap.  Press.

Place interfacing inside strap along fold line. Press in place.

Push strap through swivel hook.  Open out strap, align short ends of strap with place right sides together.  Stitch, using 1/2" seam allowance.

Close strap along fold lines and pin in place.

Stitch strap closed 1/8" from folded edge.  Repeat stitching on other side.

With zipper foot, stitch across strap close to swivel hook.  

Done!  Yay!  You are now free from "Geekdom"!