Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bed sheet dress - Simplicity 2497

When I was a little girl my mother made me a floral dress out of a bed sheet and I loved it. I was reminded last year about using sheets to make dresses when The Slapdash Sewist made a dress using a sheet. I went to Walmart and bought a sheet in a pretty teal blue to make the same Butterick dress she made. The sheet is 60% cotton/40% polyester. But, you know how a fabric and pattern stash can build up--there is always so much to sew and so little time. The sheet just sort of sat in my stash as I was distracted by more fabric and patterns.

When this Cynthia Rowley S2497 pattern came out awhile back I knew I had to have it. I just love the neckline ruffles. I knew I wanted to wear this dress to work and, therefore, could not make it too dressy. I do not want to look like I am wearing a formal dress to work. I deliberated over what fabric to use, and then it came to me to use the bed sheet.

I made this dress about 3 weeks ago, but today is the first time I have worn it to get photographs. I always make a size 12 with no alterations, so I did the same thing this time. However, it was too big in the chest. I took in another 5/8" seam allowance to fix it. If you are small chested, I would advise dropping down one size in the bodice. My invisible zipper went in perfectly (not normal for me). This dress was really easy to make.

I am wearing it with a necklace/bracelet/earring set my sister gave me and some silver sandals from Go Jane. For those of you shoe-aholics like me, Go Jane has some cute, inexpensive shoes. Some are wild, but there are alot of cute ones.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Check out this Rowenta Iron Giveway

Check out this Rowenta Iron Giveway. I entered it. I need a new iron. I am back from Disney World. It was so much fun!!! Now I am going to get back to sewing. I have decided to let my anthro-inspired dress sit for awhile. I am considering maybe doing the bodice in something other than pink that is less little girlish. I don't know. I am going to start remaking my stained dress disaster. A wonderful poster over at Stitchers Guild sent me some of the ivory colored Vera Wang dress fabric..for FREE!!! Isn't the sewing community great!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thanks ...and an update

Thanks everyone for your suggestions on what type of zipper to use for my anthropologie-inspired dress I posted about in my last post. I had not thought of using a pick stitched zipper, so that is what I did. When I got it done I looked at the dress in its (almost) entirety just looked....homemade. I still had the collar ruffle and sleeves to do, but when I looked at the scalloped waist area, I could see the seam through the bodice where the skirt attached to the waist. It did not look good. I had initially stitched the scallops down with a straight stitch, but because of the thinness of the silk batiste, it just didn't attach well to the linen. Then I sewed over it with a zigzag. It looked better, but it still bothered me. I could not figure out what was wrong until I realized that I had intended to order "satin" batiste...not silk batiste. I use to sew children's clothing and I didn't remember satin batiste being as papery-feeling and papery-looking. I guess it had been so long since I had sewn baby clothes and little girl's smocked dresses, that I forgot which fabric was which. I live in a small podunk town and I have to order virtually all my fabric. I do have one local fabric shop, and there is some good fabric there, but not what I needed for this dress.

The bodice of this dress is so sheer that you can see every seam. I had considered binding the seams where the scalloping is done with bias tape, like Amanda does, but the more I looked at the zigzag stitch, the more I hated it. I had already ripped a small hole when I took out my unsuccessful invisible zipper so I knew I wasn't about to rip out all that zigzagging. I decided I didn't want to put all that time into binding and still not be happy with the outside stitching. There were a couple of places where it wasn't exactly right, and it really showed with the pink stitches being right next to the black skirt.

I decided there was no way to save this dress as it is. It was really disappointing and I pouted for awhile. Do you ever pout over your sewing mistakes? I decided that the whole problem is the sheer, flimsy, papery silk batiste. I need something more substantial for the bodice. When I tried the dress on, it went to my ankles (tea length). I want it at my knees, so what I did was to cut the bodice off the top of the skirt (yes I resorted to scissors) and used the same fabric to recut the skirt in a shorter length. I am still trying to decide what to use for the bodice. Any ideas? I need something that is not sheer. I am still thinking satin batiste, but now I am worried that I don't remember much about its nature either. If I recall, it isn't sheer, is it?

Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to wear this dress to the wedding I was making it for. I think the time stress may have been a contributing factor. I can't sew well under stress and should have remembered that. I will just have to wear my standby wedding dress. Meh... Part of me wants to just chunk this dress. I keep telling myself that maybe it is too little girlish for me...I will be 40 in August, but I hate that I spent all that money. It is not what I would have spent if I had bought the actual anthropologie dress, but it is more than I usually spend on a sewing project. Well, if it ends up wasted it is not the first wasted money I have spent on a sewing project, and I am quite positive it won't be the last.

It is going to be a week before can work on this dress again because I am leaving for Disney World in Orlando tomorrow. I am going to see Tinkerbell, my favorite Disney character. Maybe I will get refreshed and rested and be able to defeat this dress. Readers, thanks for your suggestions and help.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exposed Zipper...or no?

I am currently sewing a knock off of this gorgeous Swinging Sweetheart Dress that was available recently at anthropologie. Even at the sale price I could not stomach it, so I decided to sew a knockoff. I am using a vintage pattern that is very similar to this dress. The bodice is silk batiste (never again) and the skirt is a linen/rayon blend. I stabilized the back seam using fusible interfacing and attempted to insert an invisible zipper. The last time I inserted an invisible zipper, it went perfectly, so I should have known it would be a disaster this time.
I tried about three times to get things to line up, but they would not. When I ripped a tiny hole in my fabric, I knew it was time to stop. The hole was close enough to the seam allowance that I could take an ever so slightly deeper one to cover it up.
Now I am on to plan B--what I am thinking is that I might try something I have been intrigued with for awhile--an exposed zipper in black. I found a wonderful tutorial on how to insert one. This dress is so feminine and ethereal looking, that I am wondering if it might add a little edge to the garment...or would it just look out of place?
I had also thought of just doing button holes and running buttons up the back, but I don't have time. I am truly on a deadline to get this dress done. I am also thinking about just buying a regular pink zipper to match the bodice and doing a centered application.
Readers. what do you think?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kate Spade Knockoff - S 2724

I saw this Kate Spade Cloey dress several months ago online and fell in love with it. If there is one thing I love me, it is some ruffles, bows, and flounces. I don't watch Glee, but I do keep up with Emma Pillsbury's fashion, and she recently was spotted wearing it in a different colorway. Isn't her cardigan just cute with it? It is already hot in South Alabama, so when it get cooler again, I will have to get me a cardigan for my dress.

Kate Spade's dresses unfortunately run over $400, way out of my budget for a dress, but it didn't look too difficult to make. I had purchased a gorgeous tweed-ish fabric from my local fabric retailer a few months before that I knew would be perfect for the skirt portion. I purchased some 100% polyester poplin from for the bodice and set to work. I started with S 2724. I used the bodice for the dress with the ruffle down the front. However, since I was going to do a bow and a flounce, I drafted a different facing for the neckline.

Then I morphed the flounce from B 5284 View B onto the front of the bodice. It did not fit exactly, but it was within the seam allowance, so it worked. To make the bow , I just sewed two rectangles of white poplin together, leaving an opening to turn them inside out. The I wrapped a piece of fabric around the center. It is held onto the front of the dress with two snaps. I chose to do a straight skirt instead of an a-line like the original Kate Spade dress and attached an orange grosgrain ribbon at the waist.

Here is a closeup of the skirt fabric:

Here is my dress:

Here is a closeup of the bodice. I originally had turned under a narrow hem on the edge of the flounce, but it looked ugly, so I just did a rolled hem with my serger. My bow and flounce are a little less dramatic than the Kate Spade version, but I am very happy with it.