The Dog Dress (Colette Lily/Colette 1020)

The Dog Dress (Colette Lily/Colette 1020)

Pockets mean no awkward hand gestures.
Pockets mean no awkward hand gestures.

Before I launch into anything about the sewing, I need to talk about my love for Colette. Originally, I ordered this pattern because it was on sale, and it was called the Lily, just like my main bitch, Lily Rose. Now, as many of you don’t at all know, I am bit old school and set in my ways. I prefer books to ebooks (down with ebooks!), and paper patterns to PDF. Yeah, I know PDF patterns are better and yada yada yada, I get it. But…I love a physical copy in all it’s beautiful packaging glory. Colette has the best, prettiest paper patterns. Period. Ever. The instructions are bound like a book (instead of an unwieldy giant sheet), there’s a section for notes, and the actual pattern just slips into a little section in the back. It’s like they were designed just for me! Did you also know that Colette donates part of their proceeds to animal rescue? BECAUSE THEY TOTALLY DO! If you’re not following me on Instagram, you may not realize I foster doggies. Anyone who helps dogs is automatically a winner in my book. Also, Colette posted something of their Instagram about leadership as an introvert. I THINK MY SOUL MATE IS A PATTERN COMPANY!

Miss Lily Rose.
Miss Lily Rose.

Okay, love fest over. This is the Lily dress, which I had intended to finish last month, as it was the pattern of the month. But…best intentions of mice and men…

I know, I'm the best at posing.
I know, I’m the best at posing.

I really liked this pattern (obviously), the instructions were very easy to follow, and the construction was straight forward. I was a little unsure of myself when it came to sewing the bodice facing around the invisible zip. But I just read the instructions through a few times, it came together just fine. There’s also a tutorial online of how to install an invisible zip, if you’ve not done it before πŸ˜‰ I made this in polyester satin, with the cherry pieces actually being bits of a polyester scarf. I’ve really been trying to sew through my stash, so I’ve been just kind of making materials work with any given project. The recommended materials are a bit sturdier than what I used, so I added extra interfacing in the straps, pockets, and bodice flap thing, just to make sure it wasn’t too floppy. I cut a straight 14, but after fitting, I took the bodice in 1 & 1/4 inches, because I like a snug bodice fit. I probably could have done the same for the skirt, but I didn’t mind the extra room there. The hem is finished with self made cherry bias binding. Although I like the way the dress is to be hemmed according to the pattern, I don’t think a machine stitched hem looks great in satin. I fucking hate hand stitching, so bias binding it is. The extra cherry accent seems to work, so it’s a win!

Half my pictures are of me trying to show the hem.
Half my pictures are of me trying to show the hem.
And again!
And again!

I really dig the vintage feel of this dress. I had a lot of fun sewing it, and I truly think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it. Have you sewn the Lily? Did you love it too?

Happy sewing!  :)
Happy sewing! πŸ™‚
McCall’s 7119, Part Two

McCall’s 7119, Part Two

Hello all!!! Β I’m putting the finishing touches on my birthday dress, it looks like I’ll make the deadline! Β In the meantime, I wanted to share the second dress I made for maxi dress sew along. Β It is basically the same version ofΒ  McCall’s 7119 that I made for myself, with some minor changes.

Oh hey Amanda!
Oh hey Amanda!

My friend Amanda lives in Maryland, so there was no opportunity for fitting before I made this. Since it’s a wrap dress, the fit is pretty forgiving, but I do wish I could fix the way it sticks out near her shoulder. For her version, I added about 6 inches to length, because she is an Amazon, that lucky girl! I also used a knit for this dress, instead of the woven that the pattern calls for. Having made this pattern before, I wasn’t too worried about any problems there, though it is probably causing the bodice issue.

Teeny waist!
Teeny waist!

To finish the hem, I just did a rolled hem with my serger. It’s a casual dress and I just like the girl touch it gives it. Plus…I fucking hate doing hems. I did try somewhat to match the stripes, but I didn’t agonize over it. Overall, I’m happy with it. Bring it with you next time you come in, Amanda, I’ll fix your bodice! Happy sewing πŸ™‚

The Tulip Dress (McCall’s 6956)

The Tulip Dress (McCall’s 6956)

Oh hey, more awkward posing.
Oh hey, more awkward posing.

Have you ever had a dress that looks great in the mirror, but in pictures, makes you look like a lumpy ham? That is this dress for me. I swear, I thought it was flattering. Whatever, I’m still going to wear the hell out of it anyway!!

Pretending to be interested in grass.
Pretending to be interested in grass.

The pattern is McCall’s 6956, and the fabric is some random Robert Kaufman tulip quilting cotton I’ve had for ages. I opted for version B of the pattern, with the a/b cup sizing. I love a good strapless dress, but I hate pulling up my dress all night. Since this dress has tons of boning, you actually DON’T have to do that, it kinda stays up on it’s own. I added cups, just for extra stability, and I also added some ruching to the bodice, just to help adjust the fitting a bit. Other than that, it pretty much fit straight out of the package.

Close up bodice detailing, kinda.
Close up bodice detailing, kinda.

Top is fully lined, while the skirt is unlined. With that, boning, and the heavier weight cotton, the dress still felt cool and comfortable, even in yesterday’s heat. The boning gave me a bit of grief, but that could have just been me misinterpreting the instructions. As I understood them, the boning was to extend past the pleating, which was a headache. I decided to just end it at the pleating, and from there it was smooth sailing. I left off the bottom band on the skirt, only because it made no sense with my fabric pattern.

This is where I almost fell down.  Smooth.
This is where I almost fell down. Smooth.

Honestly, I love a well fitted dress and I think I’ll wear this one quite a bit, even if it has reminded me to lose 20 pounds πŸ˜‰ It’s such a fun party dress! I hope all your summer sewing is going well, happy sewing πŸ™‚

The Maxi Sewalong Dress (McCall’s 7119)

The Maxi Sewalong Dress (McCall’s 7119)

I can't explain all the weird faces in this post.
I can’t explain all the weird faces in this post.

I hope everyone had a fabulous July fourth!!! I got to enjoy mine with a few friends and some beers. And my maxi dress challenge wrap dress! The pattern is McCall’s 7119 and it was an absolute breeze to sew.

Oh look, more weird hand stuff.
Oh look, more weird hand stuff.

Since I was out with friends and enjoying some adult beverages, my picture quality is a little lacking, for that I apologize. I’m not sure what happened to my hair, either, because I swear I started out the day with cute, curly hair.

Cute hair selfies from earlier in the day.
Cute hair selfies from earlier in the day.

Back to the dress. I used a mystery fabric from a Joann clearance sale. I think based on the way it wrinkles and a burn test, it’s a cotton or cotton blend? No stretch at all, though I did make a knit version for my friend Amanda, which is coming to the blog soon! I sized the pattern down and cut a 10, and the fit is pretty perfect. I added Saltspring pockets, because always pockets. Turns out, Lladybird uses the same trick, glad I’m not the only one who is pro-additional pockets. I also added two inches to the length, which works out great with wedges. This is a true wrap dress, so…beware of strong breezes and make sure you wear full underwear, if you want to avoid a wardrobe malfunction!

Photobombs!
Photobombs!

I really, really love the way this bodice fits. The cut is absolutely perfect, and once tied properly, it fits well and stays in place. The pattern instructions were clear and simple, I actually followed them, for once. Though it is a full length dress, it’s comfortable and cool, even on a hot summer day. It’s also a pretty quick sew, which I clearly love. If I had time, I would for sure sew the shorter version of this, but I have 283749387 planned to sew currently πŸ™ If you haven’t selected a maxi dress pattern yet, I’d recommend this one. It really lives up to it’s “easy” label.

I have one last picture for you, which I present to you without comment…as there are no words for what my friends are wearing. Sometimes, it’s just fun to let loose and be ridiculous πŸ˜‰ Happy sewing! πŸ™‚

IMG_3517

Tbt: The Philadelphia Dress (Sewaholic Saltspring)

Tbt: The Philadelphia Dress (Sewaholic Saltspring)

This post has terrible photography.  I'm sorry.
This post has terrible photography. I’m sorry.

Let me tell you a short tale of a girl and a concert. Last year, I saw on Instagram that two of my favorite bands (Jimmy Eat World and The Gaslight Anthem) would be doing a limited amount of shows together. Noticing that one of these shows was in Philadelphia, I immediately purchased two tickets. Here’s a fun fact: Philadelphia is not 4 hours away from Cincinnati (that would be Pittsburgh), it is NINE FUCKING HOURS AWAY! That’s fun to find out after making a commitment πŸ˜• However, my friend Kendra is a trooper and agreed to make this voyage with me.

Thanks Kendra!
Thanks Kendra!

Since I knew I’d be walking around/driving a lot on this trip, I wanted something comfortable. Enter the Sewaholic Saltspring. I had sewn this up with Amy shortly before that, I think in one day. I always find Sewaholic patterns easy to sew, the instructions are great. I opted for the shorter version, but the longer version would be great too (especially if you were doing a maxi dress challenge hint hint wink wink nudge nudge). The fabric was from the Joann “silky prints” sale, even though it’s clearly not silky at all! My best guess is that it’s a crepe de chine?

Scandalous statues!
Scandalous statues!

I added a belt to the dress, because I just like a more accented waist. I still wear this dress all the time, so I think it’s definitely work a make. Also…driving nine hours for a concert is definitely worth it, do it!!!

Unrelated, but I’m finally getting this Bloglovin thing together, so follow my blog with Bloglovin Happy sewing πŸ™‚

The Circus Dress (McCall’s 6952)

The Circus Dress (McCall’s 6952)

This post is just all angry faces.
This post is just all angry faces.

I’ve really been making an effort to sew from my stash. I bought this fabric last year when Joann had a sale on their “silky prints”. While I do love polka dots and red is one of the few colors are wear…I had almost immediate regret after buying this fabric. It’s just too shiny, too red. It looks like clown costume material! I thought about doing a solid black something with the clown polka dot skirt, but I just imagined that as worse…

Hidden bitch face.
Hidden bitch face.

Enter McCall’s 6952. Originally, I had envisioned this in view C, for my maxi dress sew-along but I really just think the print would overwhelming. Instead I went with view A, I love the back detail! Also I’ve been looking for some light weight, flowy dresses for the humid Ohio Summer.

I swear I have eyeballs.
I swear I have eyeballs.

All and all, it was a pretty quick sew. I opted to skip the elastic band, using some ribbon as a belt instead. I also added pockets, because I just really like pockets. I cut a straight 12, but I really think I could have done a 10, even without a zipper. Being entirely honest, I don’t think I’ll be wearing this dress as often as some other garments, but I still do like it. If you’re looking for a quick summer dress, this could be sewn in a day, though I’d suggest sizing down and maybe not using such a blindingly shiny fabric πŸ˜‰

As for the maxi dress sew-along, I wanted to give you all a peek at what I’m sewing! I’ll be using McCall’s 7119!!!

There will absolutely be pockets on this, too.
There will absolutely be pockets on this, too.

I know I’m all about McCall’s lately, I swear I have other patterns on deck! I’m really excited to sew my first maxi dress, and I can’t wait to see what my fellows sewists come up with! Happy sewing πŸ™‚

My Very First Sew-along!!

My Very First Sew-along!!

Summer sewing is upon us!!! I’ve always been a huge fan of maxi dresses, but have never really been able to find one that’s quite long enough πŸ™ So this summer, I’ve teamed up with Amy from That’s Sew Amy for this maxi dress sew-along! This is our very first time hosting a sew-along, so please join and help us make it a success!

What is it? Group sew-along. All participants make a maxi dress during the allotted time frame.

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

Examples: Here are a few examples:

image from vastkid.com
image from vastkid.com

Who can participate? Anyone! There is no need to have a blog!

Where do I join? Just leave a comment below that you would like to join us. You can also join our Facebook group to discuss the sew-along, post progress pictures and make new friends! Join the private here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/maxidresssewalong/ (note: you do not have to join the Facebook group in order to participate in the sew-along)

Time frame: Start sewing now and the deadline will be July 31, 2015. We are giving over a month because of vacations and other commitments.

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 #maxisewalong on social media to see what everyone else is up to. Post pictures of your inspiration and progress for all to see. (You can also post your progress in the Facebook group.)

Prizes: There are no prizes, sorry. We are having this sew-along without prizes because it’s just for fun and no pressure. The whole point of a maxi dress is to be lazy and comfortable, no sweat and pressure – so the sew-along will be the same.

If you have a blog you can post this:

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Final:
– Make sure to email me at sewnbyashley [at] gmail [dot] com on or before July 31, 2015 with your finished garment photos.
– Be sure to let me know what name to credit your photos with.
– If you have a website be sure to include the link.

After everyone submits their dress we will need a few days to setup a showcase post. Have fun and enjoy! Any questions just post them below or email me.