A Dress for Date Night: Lodo Dress by True Bias

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I fell in love with the Lodo Dress almost immediately after it was introduced (here) in April. I quickly purchased the pattern and ordered some fabric to make my first Lodo Dress. You can check out my first one here. I’ve gotten so much wear out of that first Lodo Dress and knew I needed another. My first dress is a bit more casual so I wanted my next one to look a bit dressier. I selected this red scuba knit from Indie Sew after seeing Allie’s blue version. The solid red was a bit of a bold choice, but I think it was the right one.

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My husband and I got the rare opportunity to go out on a date last week and I had him snap a few photos in my parents’ backyard before we left. Never thought I’d love sage brush, but I’ve started to see the beauty in it after living in Utah most of my life. The promise of a date was all the motivation needed for me to get working on my Lodo Dress. Our date was on Wednesday so naturally, I started cutting out my project on Monday. Tuesday night I sewed a few hours after bedtime and was able to complete the dress. There’s just something satisfying about finishing a project that is both quick and stylish. It never gets old and I see another Lodo or two in my future.

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This was my first time working with scuba and I was a bit nervous to use a new fabric. It was surprisingly easy. The only difficulty I had was when sewing the back slit. The fabric shifted a bit more than expected, so my stitching isn’t quite as perfect as I’d like. It is, however, such a small imperfection that I decided it was not worth the time it would take to fix it. I made one small modification to the instructions and sewed bar tacks at the top of the back slit and at the underarms. Hoping that the bar tacks will further secure the seams in areas where they’ll experience the most strain. So far, so good.

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My red scuba Lodo Dress turned out to be the perfect date night dress. It’s stylish enough for a night out, but simple enough to wear to the local dive. This dress feels like wearing a light, soft sponge. It’s also got plenty of room for indulging in the large amounts of food I  may or may not consume. What I’m trying to tell you is that it checks all boxes for an essential date night dress. Do you have anything specific you love wearing for date night? What do you require in clothing for a night out?

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Just a quick note on sizing: My dress is a size 2 graded to a 4 in the hips. I made the midi length and added just 1″ to the length.

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Named Clothing Ronja Dungarees

I’ve loved overalls for as long as I can remember. In fact, last time I was at my parents’ house, I looked through old photo albums and found two first day of school pictures in which I’m wearing overalls. I even brought my newborn son home from the hospital in a tiny pair of overalls because teeny tiny overalls will always win my heart. Every time overalls come back in style I find myself poring over photos and planning all the possible outfits. Basically, I have a love affair with overalls and will likely continue to wear them long after they’re no longer “in style.” With that said, I’d like to introduce you to my Named Clothing Ronja Dungarees (find them here). The Ronja Dungarees feature front and back pockets, button closures, a cropped ankle-length, plenty of top-stitching, and tie straps. There’s no shortage of details and I love that about this pattern.

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I added these lovely flower buttons (purchase here) from Arrow Mountain. I’ve almost exclusively used Arrow Mountain buttons since discovering them over a year ago. Good quality, stylish buttons are sometimes hard to find, but I find myself wanting to buy ALL the Arrow Mountain buttons (see more ways I’ve used them here, here, and here).

IMG_1648IMG_1676 When choosing my fabric, I was presented with the dilemma of whether to use a print or a solid. I waffled back and forth between the two until I remembered that I had some of this Euclid fabric in my stash. This is a print designed by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. It is printed on their Essex Linen which is a cotton/linen blend. The weight of the fabric is somewhere between a canvas and a quilting cotton. It doesn’t have much drape which makes it great for a bit more structured pants and skirts. As per usual, I purchased the fabric from Suppose.

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These are constructed in a way that makes it a bit difficult to test garment fit as you sew, because of this I would highly recommend sewing a muslin first. Sometimes, out of pure laziness, I ignore my own advice.  This was one of those times.  I pretty much just held my breath and hoped the overalls would fit in the end. I was expecting my Ronja Dungarees to be fun but; I did not expect that they would actually flatter my back side. This was a pleasant surprise. My husband even remarked that these overalls were “very flattering.” I’m almost certain that the words “overalls” and “flattering” are rarely used in the same sentence. I mean, I definitely don’t usually reach for overalls and think “Man, I look good in these.” These Ronjas make me feel that way and it’s a fun change from my regular momiform of loose flowy dresses.

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The challenge of sewing something a bit more advanced after many simple projects, was a great refresher for me. It’s sometimes nice to change the pace and sew something one small step at a time instead of all at once. This pattern reignited my love of overalls, and I’ve already purchased the Burnside Bibs pattern by Sew House Seven. How do you feel about overalls? Are you over them?

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I’ll leave you with a few notes on my sizing and alterations: I am close to 5’10” and sewed a size 38 with few length modifications. Named Clothing drafts for a height of 5’8″ so I decided not to add any length to the rise and add elsewhere instead. I added 1/2″ of length at the bust, 1″ of length at the thigh, and 1″ of length at the knee. I’m really happy with the length and think it will be great for late summer and transition well into early fall.

Tea House Dress by Sew House Seven

It’s not often that my husband and I can both agree that a dress is stylish AND flattering. My Tea House Dress, however, is one on which we can both agree.  My style tends to gravitate towards dresses that are cool, flowy, and functional (aka: muumuus). This pattern by Sew House Seven piqued my interest from the first time I saw it.
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A few weeks ago, I attended a dinner with bunch of sewing friends and bloggers. I need deadlines to keep me motivated; so I used the dinner as my deadline for my Tea House Dress. The dinner was to be held on a Monday evening. Naturally, this meant that I started tracing the pattern and cutting my fabric on Friday. It came together pretty quickly and I managed to finish it by sewing for a couple of hours each night of the weekend. I finished the hem and gave it a final press just hours before the dinner. That dinner was two weeks ago. I’ve already worn this dress four times since that evening.

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The Tea House Dress includes a few style details that caught my eye and inspired me to purchase the pattern. First, I love a good v-neckline. It’s low enough to be flattering, but high enough to keep from flashing innocent bystanders when I lean over. Second, The seaming of the yoke and front panels add interest and shaping to an otherwise simple slight a-line shape. Third, the wide waist ties define the waist while also allowing for occasional adjustment (i.e. ate too much ice cream). Fourth, the midi length is perfect for keeping cool in the summer without requiring me to shave up above my knees. Fifth, the pockets are the perfect size for holding my phone and keys. They’re also just a nice feature when I’m feeling awkward and don’t know what to do with my hands.

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I used a double gauze print from the Charms line designed by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka. Since this double gauze is 100% cotton it’s both breathable and comfortable. I love wearing double gauze in the summer as it tends to look a bit more casual than a rayon or lawn, but is every bit as comfortable. I had nearly a yard less fabric than the pattern recommended so I had to get a bit creative when it came to laying out and cutting each pattern piece. It was doable, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

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The pullover style of the Tea House Dress appeals to my no fuss style of getting dressed. I plan to make another one for a family member who sometimes has difficulty with fiddly closures. I’m also planning to make a second one for myself as soon as I find a few extra hours in the day.

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Just a quick note about sizing: I sewed up and straight four with the only alteration being that I added two inches of length at the hem. This is a common adjustment for me and I found no issues with the sizing.

 

Itch to Stitch Anza Jumpsuit

Last spring, I purchased a gorgeous Anna Maria fabric fully intending to make a jumpsuit. Life got busy and many of my sewing plans got pushed aside. By the time summer ended, I had given up on finding and making my perfect jumpsuit and used the fabric to make a pattern hack of another Itch to Stitch pattern. You can find that dress here. Luckily, Kennis of Itch to Stitch is not only a talented and detailed pattern designer, she is also some sort of mind-reading wizard who is releasing the perfect jumpsuit pattern just when I needed it. Today I’m thrilled to show you my tester version of the Anza Jumpsuit.

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I was browsing the selection of fabrics at my local fabric store Suppose when Kennis annouced a tester call for the Anza Jumpsuit and dress. I immediately put down the bolts I had been carrying around the store, borrowed a measuring tape, took my exact measurements, and filled out the application form. I purchased 4 yards (only ended up needing 3) of this Lizzy House Printmaking lawn and crossed my fingers that I’d be chosen. The next morning when I received an email inviting me to the tester group, I excitedly told my husband that I’d be making myself a literal birthday suit as a gift to myself (my birthday was coming up the following week). Sometimes, I think that I’m hilarious until I remember that not even my  3 year old laughs at my jokes.

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Let’s bring it back to talking about the jumpsuit and pretend like I didn’t just write several sentences detailing my own lame joke. Now we’re going to talk details and features. Itch to Stitch patterns often include well thought out details that add interest without stealing the show and overwhelming the wearer. The Anza pattern is no exception. It includes cuffed sleeves, pleated chest pockets, drawstring waistband, elastic at the ankles, and pants pockets. Basically, this is the jumpsuit I was preparing to draft for myself until I saw that Itch to Stitch had made a pattern even better than what I’d imagined in my own mind.

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Speaking of details, can we talk about these amazing Arrow Mountain buttons? These are the Minimalist buttons in Arctic Ice. I used the wooden version of the Minimalist buttons on maxi dress also made from Lizzy House lawn that you can find here. In fact, If you’d like to see more of the Arrow Mountain buttons in my handmades, check out my Itch to Stitch Bonn Shirt and Bonn Shirt Turned Maxi Dress posts found here and here. I’ve ordered from Arrow Mountain several times now and only found great quality and excellent customer service.

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A quick note on alterations:

This pattern is drafted for the height of 5’6″ and may some require some lengthening or shortening if you are not  5’6″. Since I am somewhere between 5’9″ and 5’10” I ended up adding 1.5″ to both the bodice and the rise.

One great thing about Itch to Stitch patterns is that Kennis includes pieces for cup sizes A-DD. This means less alteration time and more sewing time. Which is always a good thing. Let’s all make sure to applaud Kennis for taking the extra time and effort to make our lives easier.

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Overall, I am 100% satisified with my Anza Jumpsuit and cannot wait to wear it again and again all summer long. Now, go grab your copy here.

Farrah Top by Chalk and Notch

Today I’m looking forward to showing you my version of the newest release by Gabriela of  Chalk and Notch. The Farrah Pattern has top and dress options for two different views. I opted to make the top in View A. I sewed a straight size 4 with no alterations. This is an intermediate level pattern with sleeve ruffles, underarm gusset, and a mitered split hem. I was unsure about whether or not this style would suit me, but now I’m thrilled to say it’s my new favorite.

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Let’s talk fabric for a minute. I selected a cotton lawn by Carolyn Friedlander. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of these lawns since they were announced last fall. I bought it almost immediately once it Arrived at Suppose. Lawn has a lightweight, almost silky hand. It doesn’t have the same graceful drape as a rayon, but it is much easier to sew. Lawn presses beautifully and I love the way it exaggerates the ruffles in this design.

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The fact that this top slips over the head and has no closures, doesn’t make it any less interesting. It’s a great skill builder with the ruffles, gusset, and mitered hem. My favorite is the mitered high-low hem. I’ve only sewn a mitered hem once before this top, but I love it. It makes the finish look and feel professional. Gabriela’s clear pictures and tutorials make trying new techniques less intimidating and more satisfactory.

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The pattern releases exclusively on UpCraft Club today and will be available through Chalk and Notch later this week. Be sure to check out the #farrahpattern on Instagram for more inspiration and to see more of the fantastic tester versions.

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Make it Mine Tour: Waterfall Raglan Flutter Sleeve Hack and Tutorial

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Hello! Today I feel a bit nervous to be surrounded by so many talented makers and bloggers participating in the Make it Mine Waterfall Tour hosted by Gabriela of  Chalk and Notch. I’ve been a fan of the Waterfall Raglan pattern since the girls’ pattern was released last fall. I don’t have a daughter of my own, so I immediately commented and expressed my interest in a women’s version. To my delight, she quickly obliged and has just released the Women’s Waterfall Raglan pattern. There’s nothing I love more than a well-drafted basic pattern that can be made and hacked again and again.

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The moment I finished my first Waterfall dress, I knew that it was destined for a flutter sleeve version. I omitted the bottom ruffle as having both flutter sleeves and the ruffle seemed too girly for the desired end result. The pattern comes together so quickly that I couldn’t resist making both a dress and top version of this hack. The dress is made from Les Fleurs rayon by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel and the top is made from a cotton/spandex knit by Art Gallery Fabrics. Both fabrics were purchased from my favorite local shop Suppose.

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Both my top and dress have been worn multiple times since their completion last week. I love the loose flowy fit of the top and the bit of style it adds to a relaxed day look. I’m sure it will get regular wear once the weather warms up a bit.

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My dress, however, is a new favorite and will likely be my go-to dress this summer. A few years ago, I used to commonly wear body-hugging fitted dresses and skirts. Then I had a child. I still love a good fitted dress, they’re just much less practical for chasing my son at church or the park and end up just sitting in my closet waiting for a special occasion. Last summer I made this dress and wore it to the zoo, park, weddings, church, etc. and loved the ease of movement and effortless style it provided. I’m looking forward to this new Les Fleurs dress providing me with the same style and ease this summer.

I’ve been putting my flat pattern drafting skills to work lately by designing a bit of children’s clothing, but was still nervous to redraft the sleeve as a flutter sleeve. It’s not something I’d attempted before and turned out to be easier than expected. Are you ready to give it a try? If so, continue reading for a tutorial on how to make your own flutter sleeve Waterfall Raglan.

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Head to the end of my post for details on a couple of great giveaways. If you’re not quite ready to make your flutter sleeve dress or top, check out these other talented Make it Mine Tour ladies and their pattern hacks.unnamed

 

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Simplicity 8084: My Dream Maxi Dress

I’ve been meaning to restart my blog for a couple of years now, but kept finding excuses or other ways to fill my time. After a summer filled with fun and inspiration, I’ve decided to quit making excuses and start blogging again. I’ve got some fun posts planned and cannot wait to share them with you. Today I’m sharing my Simplicity 8084 maxi dress.

IMG_6737The photos above were taken using my self-timer so they’re a little blurry, but I love the way they show the movement of this dress.

I worked on this dress a little bit each month this summer and finishing it was the perfect way to celebrate a fantastic season. I selected this Lizzy House lawn from Suppose back in May and couldn’t wait to use it. Life got in the way so cutting the fabric wasn’t started until June. I sewed a step here and there throughout July, but really got to work in August when my wooden buttons arrived from Arrow Mountain.

imageHere is a close-up view of the fox buttons I added to the sleeve tabs. The front of the dress uses the minimalist buttons also from Arrow Mountain.

My biggest challenge with the dress was sewing the waistline casing. When looking through all my handmade clothing, I was surprised to realize that I had never actually sewn a garment with a casing like the one in this dress. It really wasn’t too difficult, I was just too lazy to mark the waistline when I first sewed the casing. This resulted in a late-night Netflix binge while seam ripping my first attempt. On my second attempt I made sure to mark the waistline and sewing the casing was a breeze.

I’ve now worn this dress three times since finishing it in early August. The pockets have made it more functional and wearable than any other maxi dress I have owned.They’re just the right size for my phone and keys so I don’t have to carry a bag every time I leave the house.

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I look forward to wearing this dress again and again. It will be a great transitional dress for fall and it’s sure to get a lot of wear. I’d love to hear about your favorite summer project. Did you make anything you absolutely adore this summer?