Maxi Sewalong Showcase and Winner!

Maxi Sewalong Showcase and Winner!

The 2nd annual Maxi Sew-Along with That’s Sew Amy has officially come to an end. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated and to 5 Out Of 4 Patterns for being our sponsor. I had a lot of fun this time around and hope you did too! Below, in no particular order, is a showcase of all of our great participants – thank you so much! (If we left anyone out or credited you incorrectly, please e-mail me!)

Reveal:

Michelle from Little Heart Threads made Patterns For Pirates – Essential Tank in maxi length:
LittleHeartThreads

Caroline from Church Sexy made 2 Lille’s from Greenstyle Creations dresses:
CarolineOng
CarolineOng2

Melissa from Mahlica Designs made McCall’s 6559.
MahlicaDesigns

Carmen from See Carmen Sew made a  FABULOUS vintage Vogue 8974:
SeeCarmenSew

Lindsay from Doodle Number 5 made Sis Boom’s Jenny bodice mashed with Love Notion’s Bluezette skirt in a killer print:
DoodleNumber5

Andie from Sew Pretty In Pink made the Upton Dress from Cashmerette:
SewPrettyInPink

Sarah Jane made a lovely tropical Anna Dress from By Hand London:
SarahJaneLocke

Amy from Sew Luxy made McCall’s 7161, and it’s just stunning:
SewLuxy

I made vintage Simplicity 7484:
SewnByAshley

And Amy of That’s Sew Amy made the most kickass 5 Out Of 4 Patterns Journey Dress:
ThatsSewAmy

Honorable mention to Catherine for participating but she wasn’t able to fully finish it. I wanted to add her here because that stripe matching had to be a headache! She did great though

CatherineLiang

Everyone did such an amazing job! I love seeing which patterns everyone picked and the final garment – congratulations on amazing work

A winner has been choose at random. Amy wrote down all the participants names and put them in a hat and picked one:

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And the winner is….

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CONGRATULATIONS Amy from Sew Luxy!! You’ve won a FREE pattern of your choice from 5 Out Of 4 Patterns! Amy will be getting in contact with you shortly 🙂

Thank you so much to everyone and we will do this all over again next summer!

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along-My Dress (Simplicity 7484)

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along-My Dress (Simplicity 7484)

I'm still trying to figure out photos, hush.
I’m still trying to figure out photos, hush.

How are your maxis coming? I wrapped mine up yesterday, and I have to say, I fucking love this dress. I’d say it’s up there in my top 5 favorite makes. I was really unsure about a vintage pattern, as I’ve never sewn one, but I’m really very happy with the results. It feels a bit Mistress of the Dark glam, you know? Right up my alley!

And who doesn't love a backless dress?
And who doesn’t love a backless dress?

The fabric is a black linen (possibly a linen blend, I can’t remember which one I grabbed) from Joann’s, and the pattern is Simplicity 7484, circa 1976. When I was sewing it up, I was worried that the linen would be too heavy, a maxi length wrap skirt does use a lot of fabric, but I think it came out well. It’s not fluttery, but I love the structure it gives. The pattern includes pockets, which is always a win in my book. The pattern also includes a ruffle at the hem, which I omitted. I’m just not a ruffle girl. To compensate, I did add 6 inches to the bottom of the skirt.

This is why I don't smile in pictures, folks.
This is why I don’t smile in pictures, folks.

It was a bit strange, sewing up a backless dress. It twisted my brain up a bit, but I just went slow and worked through it, I think it came out fine. The pattern calls for elastic along the side back of the bodice, which I totally thought was the front. Derp. Makes more sense along the back, right? There’s only one princess seam on the bodice, and I do think I could stand to take that in just a bit. Wrapping tight does help, but nevertheless, it needs fixing.

Blurry yet sassy pose. The humidity struggle is real, kids. The foggy lens are a problem.
Blurry yet sassy pose. The humidity struggle is real, kids. Foggy lens are a problem.

Speaking of wrapping, I had some problems there. This is the fourth wrap dress I’ve made, the others being here, here, and here. So far, all of them have featured a small slit in on side seam, to slide the tie band through. With this pattern, that slit is located on the waistband. I don’t know if I did something wrong here or if it was the pattern, but this slit was WAY too narrow. It took some widening on my part to get the tie band through. It’s a minor thing, but frustrating and worth mentioning anyway. Overall, though, it’s a great pattern. You should make this dress. As far as vintage patterns go, it’s pretty affordable and easy to find. No excuses!

Can you tell this is my favorite angle?
Can you tell this is my favorite angle?

Have you finished your #maxisewalong2016 dress yet? The deadline is fast approaching! I can’t wait to see all your makes. To enter, make sure you either: join the Maxi Sew-Along Group, send me or Amy an email, or tag your photos on social media using the #maxisewalong2016 hashtag. Happy sewing! 🙂

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along-My Pattern

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along-My Pattern

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How’s the sewa-along going for you guys? I’ve already seen a few completed makes, so cute! We’ve got a little over a week left before the end date, August 17th. Seemed like it’s about time for me to announce my pattern choice, right? I must admit, I’ve had a hard time selecting a pattern this year. I told you guys in last week’s post that I’d originally planned to do the Sewaholic Lonsdale, and I still intend to make the maxi version, but I decided to go the vintage route for this…

Picture is from clarysage
Picture is from clarysage

Big surprise, another wrap dress! My love of cleavage is no secret, and there’s no better way to get that than with a wrap dress. I really did try to avoid it, though! But then Gertie posted an insanely awesome backless vintage pattern dress. Vogue 7375, don’t look for it, you can’t find it. After going deep into the wormhole searching for that pattern, I started stumbling upon vintage backless maxi dress patterns.

How cute are these vintage instructions?
How cute are these vintage instructions?

This will be the first vintage pattern I’ve actually made, so cross your fingers for me! My pattern arrived precut, so no debating the tracing/cutting of the pattern. So far, I’m really enjoying the vintage details. The pattern calls for elastic, which I was unsure of originally. But then I realized the elastic goes on the bust edges, to help hold you in. I love that, and there’s no way in hell I would have thought of that myself.

Pardon the terrible photography.
Pardon the terrible photography.

I also love that the seam/cut lines are so clearly marked. Not that I have problems figuring out seam allowances, but it’s still a cute touch. I’ll be sewing this up in a lovely, breezy black linen, without the ruffle. I know black isn’t usually considered a summer color, but I am what I am. Has anyone else decided to go vintage? All the makes I’ve seen so far have been absolutely lovely, can’t wait to see yours! Happy sewing 🙂

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along-Pattern Ideas

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along-Pattern Ideas

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The #maxisewalong2016 is in full swing!! How’s everyone doing? Stumped on which pattern to choose? Never fear! Amy and I have scoured the internet for some pattern possibilities, in both knits and wovens. We’ll start with wovens here, because they’re my personal favorite…

Sewaholic Patterns
Sewaholic Patterns

I’ve made both of these patterns before, though not the maxi dress versions. In honesty, the Lonsdale was my original pattern choice for this sewalong, until I decide to go vintage. Both patterns are a breeze to sew!

By Hand London
By Hand London

Off the shoulder peasant dresses seem to be in fashion this year, and my favorite pattern maker, By Hand London has a great DIY pattern tutorial. Their Anna dress is always a favorite, and I am in love with this sheer version. Hubba hubba.

McCall's Patterns
McCall’s Patterns

McCall’s also came out with some great beginner maxi dress patterns in their summer collection. M7405 and M7404, I’m talkin’ about you. I am such a sucker for a sheer overlay! Let’s not forget about Amy’s favorite, knits…

5 Out Of 4 Patterns
5 Out Of 4 Patterns

This one is from our sponsor, 5 Out Of 4 Patterns. For pregnant mommas and nursing mommas, this pattern comes with nursing and maternity options included! Sounds like a win/win situation to me, ladies. And don’t forget, this year, one random participant will win a free pattern from 5 Out Of 4 Patterns!

Patterns for Pirates
Patterns for Pirates

Patterns for Pirates is a favorite pattern maker of Amy’s and they have several knit maxi options! Above is the sunshine dress, but they also have the boundless dress. Definitely worth checking out!

Closet Case Files
Closet Case Files

Closet Case Files also has a very breezy looking jumpsuit/maxi dress pattern, I can’t hate a pattern with pockets already drafted!

maxidress2016

What are Amy and I sewing? We’re keeping that under wraps at the moment, but you’ll see soon enough, promise 😉 I hope we gave you some inspiration, I can’t wait to see what all of you make!! Don’t forget to post in the Maxi Sew-Along Group, and to use #Maxisewalong2016 on social media! We don’t want miss anyone! Happy sewing 🙂

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along Is Back! #Maxisewalong2016

The Maxi Dress Sew-Along Is Back! #Maxisewalong2016

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I know it might be a little late in the summer, but anytime is a great time for a maxi dress! Who doesn’t love a good, comfortable maxi dress? Last year we had a lot of fun sewing up our dresses and chatting in the a Maxi Sew-Along Group. Make sure to join the group if you plan on participating in the sew along. Once again I’ve teamed up with Amy from That’s Sew Amy and we’ve got a sponsor. The sew along starts now and ends August 17, 2016 EST. I’ll post the showcase on August 19, 2016. And there is a BONUS! This year a random participant will receive a FREE pattern of your choice from 5 Out Of 4 Patterns! You can also use coupon code maxisewalong2016 at checkout on their website to receive 20% off your pattern order, good through Tuesday, July 27 (EST). They currently have one maxi dress pattern: Journey Tank and Dress, but they have a few others that are screaming to be hacked into a maxi. Check out all the details below. (Note: you do not have to use one of their patterns to win the free pattern or participate in the sew along)

Various images from Google Images
Various images from Google Images

What is a sew-along? Where a group of people get together and sew the same pattern or garment style together. In this case it would be a garment style: maxi dress.

What is considered a maxi dress? A dress that falls to the ankles.

Who can participate? Everyone and everyone! No need for a blog, you just have to be able to send in a picture to be posted to the showcase and entered to win the free pattern.

Will there be a winner? There isn’t a winner, just a group of sewists having fun. After everyone has submitted their dress picture(s) (either by e-mail or post in the Facebook group), I will draw a random name for the free pattern.

Time frame: Start sewing now and be sure to send in your picture by August 17, 2016 (EST) by either e-mail or post in the Facebook group.

Why? Sew-alongs help motivate and push you to try new things. Also, you get to make new friends and have fun at the same time! Win/win!

Rules: Dress can be for you or someone else, any age. It has to be made within the time frame above. You can use any pattern you wish or draft your own. Adding embellishments to a current maxi dress will not count. The dress can be as formal or casual as you want. You have to submit pictures of your finished dress. You don’t have to be wearing the dress in the photos – but it makes it more fun!

Social Media: Use hashtag #maxisewalong2016 on social media to see what everyone else is up to. Post inspiration and progress photos for everyone to see. You can use the below photo on any social media.

maxidress2016

If you want a smaller icon to post on your blog:

maxidress2016-icon

Final:
-Make sure to e-mail or post in the Facebook group on or before August 17, 2016 (EST) with your finished garment photos.
-Be sure to let me know what name/website to credit your photos with.

 

 

Creative Sewing Challenge-a Refashion (The Margo Blouse)

Creative Sewing Challenge-a Refashion (The Margo Blouse)

Uncomfortable in front of the camera? Play with your hem.
Uncomfortable in front of the camera? Play with your hem.

When Melissa from Mahlica Designs contacted me about participating in Blue Dot Patterns creative sewing challenge, I immediately knew I wanted to do the Margo Blouse, but I had no idea what I would do with it. And then I won a free giant tshirt from my favorite local business.

A very large, very wrinkly shirt.
A very large, very wrinkly shirt.

I love the Drink Tavern. It’s like my Cheers. The owners, Doug and Mary, are two of the best people you’ll ever meet. The regular patrons there are like family to me. When I first moved here, these were the people who befriended me. It’s like home. Seriously. It rocks.

I made Doug pose with me at Friendsgiving.
I made Doug pose with me at Friendsgiving.

I knew I wanted to use my Drink Tavern shirt, but the Margo pattern is for wovens, not knits. Also the pattern is already a bit more “flowy” than I’d normally wear (what can I say, I like tight clothes), so I sized all the way down to an extra small (according the pattern chart, I should have cut a medium). I also skipped the facings, due to lack of fabric. Given the opportunity, I would have used the facings. For the neckline, I turned and stitched the hem. For the sleeves, I just used the existing sleeve hems. I did a wavy hem on the bottom, because I liked it and it’s easy! I took about an inch out of the shoulders, which is pretty common for me and my stumpy shoulders. You may not have to. I also only used two buttons instead of three, since mine were huge. Looking at it, I could have crammed three.

Doug gets a little sassy.
Doug gets a little sassy.

I just serged the whole thing together, from cutting the fabric to sewing the buttons, the whole project took maybe two hours. Diane’s pattern instructions were very easy to follow, I had no problems assembling the pdf or following the pattern.

I blame the cold for this disgruntled face.
I blame the cold for this disgruntled face.

I really can’t think of anything else, this is such a simple and easy pattern! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Now comes the part where I share some extra photos, as I’m out of commentary. Be sure to check out my fellow sewalong participants listed below, and happy sewing! 🙂

Mahlica Designs-check out those cutouts!
That’s Sew Amy-my sewing buddy and blog photographer
Life by Ky-now that’s a tripod
Shanni Loves-that pintuck, though
Bobbins on my mind-looking forward to this one!
Cindy Parrett-not our first sewalong together
Musings of a Seamstress-Sara is so adorable
That Black Chick-I don’t even have words, Michelle NAILED it. Wow. Stunning.

Boring side view.
Boring side view.
Better view of the back.
Better view of the back.
Fabulous Fall (McCall’s 6754)

Fabulous Fall (McCall’s 6754)

I really can't make any more posing excusing.
I really can’t make any more posing excusing.

McCall’s 6754 is my go to pattern. I think I’ve made it at least 7 times. This is a knit pattern, but I’ve made it in everything from quilting cotton to some weird poly-crepe type fabric. I’ve made it sleeveless and raglan. I’ve added pockets, zippers. I added horsehair braid once. It’s such an easy pattern, and who doesn’t love a good circle skirt!?!

So many dresses.
So many dresses.

I purchased this fabric last year (yay for destashing!), and have been struggling on what to do with it. I love that it’s reversible, but couldn’t think of a way to showcase that. Finally, I decided fuck it. The fabric is soft and cozy and perfect for a fall dress. Wearing this dress feels like being wrapped in the softest blanket, it takes “secret pajamas” to another level.

I like that dress, but it would look better on my floor.
I like that dress, but it would look better on my floor.

The very best part of this dress is that it was sewn up after work on Tuesday. Fabric cutting included, it took about 3 hours. It’s crazy fast and easy. I do, however, wonder about darts on the raglan sleeves. It’s a knit, why have a dart on the sleeve? Any ideas? Other than the darts and finishing, I did all the sewing on my serger. Originally, I had intended to do bands at the sleeves and hem, in the stripes also, but I ran out of energy. The pattern doesn’t call for bands, just fold and stitch, but I really like the look and stability of it. I would suggest sizing down. This fabric tends to “grow” as you wear it, so I think could have even gone down one more size! It is very easy to edit along the way, so if you cut it a bit too large, no worries. I’ve sewn this so many times, I disregarded the instructions. I believe it calls for elastic at the waist in all versions, though. I don’t add it. I don’t think it needs it and I just don’t like the look. But if you do, go for it! It’s an easy add.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm dizzy.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’m dizzy.

This is my last make for the Sew Long Summer Sew Along!! I hope you’ve all enjoyed it. Happy sewing 🙂

Holidaze (Colette Crepe/Colette 1013)

Holidaze (Colette Crepe/Colette 1013)

Stop doing that with your chin, self.

So here’s the thing…I really need to cut my bangs. I thought I would grow them out, but I won’t. Please look past the bangs. Also, I was very fidgety for these photos, so excuse the blur, okay? I’m tryin’ here, photos are not my favorite.

I know I know, kinda blurry

This is the Colette Crepe, and my Holidaze post for the Sew Long Summer Sew Along. I know the fabric is floral, but to me it looks like fireworks. Labor Day holiday + firework print=Holidaze, yes? This fabric was purchased at Joann’s 283238473 years ago, from the clearance section. It’s cotton, but lighter and more sheer than cotton lawn. Mystery fabric.

I can't deal with my own face right now.
I can’t deal with my own face right now.

While the pattern calls for facings, I opted to fully line it instead. I fucking hate facings. Facings are the worst. Plus, this fabric is practically translucent, so a full lining was really the only option. While this definitely makes for a better dress, it does take a lot of fabric. I’m guessing between 7-8 yards, maybe. I ran out. The filler pieces on the lining are black quilting cotton.

I’ve got a very Amelia Pond-esque crack in my wall.

To line it, I just cut double the amount of each piece, except the tie straps, obviously. The shoulders and sides of the bodice and lining were sewn together. I stitched lining and bodice together at the back and neckline, with the straps sandwiched between the two. For the arms, i just serged and folded the seams under. I sandwiched (word of the day?) the bodice inbetween the skirt and skirt lining, to get a nice clean finish at the waist. Make sense? Probably not, that’s a terrible explanation. I hope you get the idea! Other than the lining, I followed the instructions.

For me, basically a turtleneck.
For me, basically a turtleneck.

I cut a size 8 of version two, because I love a fancy neckline. I have to say, the neckline is a little high for me, I am not exactly known for dressing conservatively. I liked the fit, and of course a wrap dress gives you some wiggle room. I will probably end up cutting some length off, it’s just not flattering on someone of my height and proportions. I think slightly above the knee would be more flattering. This was so easy to sew!! If you know anyone who’s interested in learning to sew, this would be a fantastic starter pattern. I’m even going to attempt to make another version, in a Doctor Who print, in one evening. Wish me luck! Happy sewing 🙂

Never Ending Summer (McCall’s 6696)

Never Ending Summer (McCall’s 6696)

This post features extra bad posing
This post features extra bad posing

We’re in week two! I’ve changed my mind a few times on some of my projects for this sewalong, but this week was always going to be the McCall’s shirtdress. I’ve read about it on so many blogs, so many people are in love with it…and I just feel “enh” about it.

I’m trying to copy that shrugging guy people are always typing.

I had always intended to make this dress in this fabric. I love this print, but the colors just aren’t really me. But hey, shirt dress, seems appropriate, yes? That bit turned out well, at least. I should have given more thought to doing stripe matching with pleats on the bottom and darts on the top. Whoops. On the cutting table, I realized that I’d have to do view C, the more fitted skirt. Not my favorite look, but the darts (and print) lined up perfectly. Worth it. When it comes to the back…stripe matching with pleats and gathers, not so much. And that yoke…I don’t know what happened there. But…rtw clothes have terrible print matching, right? It’s totally not even that noticeable?? Right? RIGHT!?!?

I know I know, stop slouching.
I know I know, stop slouching.

While we’re talking about gathers…I feel like this dress needs more. In hindsight, I do remember another sewing blogger saying that she added more to her version. Look, I know what you’re thinking here. “But Ashley, didn’t you make a muslin??” No, no I did not. This fabric was purchased about two years ago (yay for de-stashing), for about $4 a yard. With fashion fabric that cheap, this basically is the wearable muslin.

Way too poofy.
Way too poofy.

Another fun thing was when I managed to lose my buttonhole foot before making a shirt dress. Real smooth. Luckily enough, I had just purchased some crazy cheap pearl snaps. Being honest…the first few snaps didn’t come out so great. After a few and some wine, I’m pretty proud of my work. The neighbors probably didn’t enjoy the 9pm hammering, though.

Ohhhhhh shiny snaps!
Ohhhhhh shiny snaps!

For the collar, I followed Grainline’s collar sewing method. Easy peasy. With the yoke, I used the burrito method, my favorite yoke sewing method. I’m tellin ya, you’ve never seen a more beautifully finished yoke. Burrito method, almost impossible to fuck up but looks so professional. The rest of the sewing is fairly straightforward. I cut a 10, but really should have done a 12. It’s a bit too snug for my liking, but I’d also like to lose this 10 pounds I found somewhere, so…yeah. I used self made bias tape on the arms, and also did a small dart on each, to get them to lay a bit flatter.

Self made bias 4eva

I also somehow lost the pocket pattern pieces, so mine are self drafted. I totally intended to get pictures of said pockets and details, up close. I forgot, again. I am the worst at details and I apologize. I promise to improve, eventually. All and all, I like this pattern. I will for sure be making an improved version of this soon. Happy sewing! 🙂

Summer Crush (Sewaholic Lonsdale/Sewaholic 1102)

Summer Crush (Sewaholic Lonsdale/Sewaholic 1102)

A sewcialist in her natural habitat.
A sewcialist in her natural habitat.

I hope you’re all enjoying the Sew Long Summer sewalong!! I know I’ve been having a blast with it. All summer long, I’ve been crushing on and dreaming about this Cotton & Steel fabric. Originally, I had intended to sew up a Burda sunsuit with it, but I’m just not convinced I’ll ever wear it. Enter the Sewaholic Lonsdale dress, which just kinda screamed summer to me.

Do I need seersucker? Probably.
Do I need seersucker? Probably.

If you’ve never sewn an indie pattern, I highly suggest you do. The instructions are so much clearer, and fitting issues are minimal. Tasia also has a VERY easy to follow step by step sewalong posted online, so if the instructions ever do trip you up, shes got your back! You can’t go wrong, I’m tellin’ ya.

Pockets!
Pockets!

For this dress, I cut a straight 12, and it’s a pretty good fit. I could stand to take the bodice in a bit, but I fear that would make it too tight. The fabric is a cotton lawn, so there’s absolutely no stretch here. I will warn you, the Lonsdale is a fabric hog. I used a full 4 yards on this one, and that’s with some creative pattern placement. Those cute tie straps connect to the bodice, and they are LONG. Also, the bodice is fully lined, so you need 4 of those suckers. It’s part of what makes the dress so lovely, just make sure you plan for it! A non-sewing related qualm, it’s either a strapless bra or no bra for this one. I hate a strapless bra with a passion usually reserved for telemarketers, so…I felt you deserved a warning.

To sing Tasia’s praises one more time, she understands not wanting to hand stitch. Hand stitching is the worst. It takes forever. My man-sized hands are not made for it. DOWN WITH HAND STITCHING. For the waistband, you have the option of hand sewing it to the skirt, or stitching it “in the ditch”. I, of course, opted to stitch in the ditch, and it looks just fine. It’s also worth noting, this entire dress was sewn with grey thread. The base of this fabric is kind of an odd green color, and I just didn’t have a color to match. Grey thread is a bit magical, it just somehow manages to blend in with everything. It’s a beautiful thing.

Holy mosquito bites.
Holy mosquito bites.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’re all making!! Happy sewing 🙂