Sew Over It Meredith Wrap Dress

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I was so pleased to be invited to be a Pattern Insider for Sew Over It patterns. I’ve been in love with their designs (especially the awesome Cocoon Coat here) so I’m excited to have the opportunity to show your their new release patterns here.

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The Meredith Wrap Dress was love at first sight for me. I do love a good wrap dress and this one did not disappoint. It comes in a short and love version with sleeve length variations.

I made the longer version, probably because the weather has been so cool here lately. As summer heat rolls in though, I might be inclined to shorten this hem a bit.

IMG_6130I’m so impressed with the fit of this dress! There isn’t a gap at the front and the neckline is just right, not too low like some patterns. I cut the size my measurements indicated and it fit perfectly, without any adjustments, always a win if you ask me:). Assembling the dress is pretty straightforward. Unlike some other wrap dresses I’ve tried, this pattern has one long front facing which makes it easy to stitch this dress together quickly. The two front bodices are mirror images of each other (rather than one bodice cut wide and one narrow to make the wrap), so the wrap closure is secure and comfortable to wear. The sleeves set in beautifully.  The tie is attached to the front facings before they’re stitched together.

 

IMG_6085I made my dress out of a soft jersey that I found at Modern Domestic here in Portland (also on-line). It’s the loveliest fabric to wear and sew with – – if only I could wear this dress all the time. It has just the right amount of two way stretch for the Meredith Dress. Really, any stretchy knit will do! I could imagine this in a silky rayon knit, or in a scuba knit too.

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The Meredith gets a big thumbs up from me, and there will likely be more of these in my future. I love my print jersey version, but could see this working well in a solid color. It would make a very elegant little black dress don’t you think?  Hmmm… The Meredith was just released, and it should be up on the Sew Over It website now.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

Disclaimer: As a Sew Over It Pattern Insider, I receive a free pdf copy of the pattern in return for my review, but the opinion expressed here is mine:)

A wrap shirt from my first Japanese pattern book

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A wrap shirt…Looks tricky, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s all in how the shirt is buttoned up!  If you want to, you button it up the traditional way.

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But why would you want to, when you can do this?

A simple modification makes the wrap possible. You add a loop to one side seam, a button to the other, and viola! You have a wrap shirt.

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I admit it. I bought my first japanese sewing book because this cute shirt was on the front cover. I just had to give it a try.

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I can’t tell you why it’s taken me so long to experience the world of japanese pattern books. Perhaps, it’s because I assumed the patterns would be hard. This book, Simply Sewn, written by Michiyo Ito, shows how wrong I was. It has a variety of patterns in them, none of them especially tricky, but all of them stylish and interesting. collage

 

I’m so intrigued by both the hooded jacket and the cropped polka dot jacket. Now that I’ve tried one pattern and loved it, those are next on the list.

To be sure, when sewing with a pattern book, there are challenges to be faced. You have to trace the patterns (ugh, but I am getting better at it), and you have to select your size, in this instance, either S, M, L, or XL. The sizing is a bit different than what you’d find in a Big 4 pattern, but there’s a chart and a thoughtful explanation of how to choose your size. You also must add a seam allowance, a easy detail to deal with. The good news…unlike some others, this book includes full size pattern pieces and the pattern markings used are straightforward.

IMG_5778Based on my measurements, I chose a size small, and found it to be perfect. There isn’t alot of ‘fuss’ to the instructions, which I often find confuses me more than helps. They were complete and easy to understand. With each style, there’s a pattern layout chart, and construction steps with a few diagrams. Everything was pretty straightforward on this pattern so I didn’t find any challenges. The sleeve is finished with a cuff, the button tab is folded fabric, and the collar is simply drafted and sewn in place.

I really love this book and the styles there, so there will likely be another japanese pattern book in my future. Here are a few I’m considering….

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There are so many to choose from, a huge new world of possibilities.  I’m so glad I took the leap and gave this pattern a try! I know I’ll wear this shirt constantly this summer, both wrapped and buttoned up.

Have you tried Japanese pattern books? Do you have a favorite?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

#sewbibs: Seamwork Dani Pinafore

IMG_5472Believe it or not….this Dani Pinafore is my first make of a Seamwork pattern. What took me so long?

IMG_5553I’ve never really investigated Seamwork patterns because I assumed (wrongly)  that because Seamwork patterns were part of a online magazine/club, they were simple designs, really meant for beginners. I suppose that’s true in some instances, but certainly not in this pattern.

sw3093-dani-01-large-1d45fe69fcb7935303658eef9020e3c945df0ae16c0f1ec38a6c182a7fe42449 The design of this pinafore includes so many things I like – – interesting seam details, pockets, a deep v-neck. The pinafore is fully lined, complete with armhole and neck facings as well.

IMG_5439Fabric: I used a medium weight dark wash denim and topstitched with medium gray thread. For a bit of fun, I lined it in polka dot rayon.

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Construction Notes – – 

Size: I chose the size indicated by measurements, then did a quick muslin, and quickly reaized it was going to be a bit too big. So I sized down and think the fit is pretty good at this point. If you’re thinking about making this….you might want to do the same.

Modifications – – As designed, the skirt is pretty short. I lengthened the bodice by 1 and 1/2” . Even with that change, I was left with a very narrow hem. The neckline is lovely, but pretty low, so I raised it by an inch.

I eliminated the inseam pockets and added patch pockets. All seams are flat-felled and topstitched with a twin needle.The front bodice and front skirt darts are topstitched too.

Rather than cutting the front and back bodice on the fold, I added a flat-felled seam at the center front and back, and topstitched.

IMG_5458Denim and topstitching are two of my sewing ‘loves’ so this project ticks off all of the boxes for me. I’m so glad I found this lovely pattern, and lucky me…it was free ( I won from a the Day/Night Dress Challenge drawing)!  I know there will be other Dani’s in my future…I’m already eyeing a piece of linen in my stash for a summer version that will be perfect for hot sticky days.

IMG_5442I hope you’re enjoying the #sewbibs challenge on instagram as much as I am- – Thanks to cookin’ and craftin for organzing a challenge that inspired me to add two new pinafores to my wardrobe (here’s the other one if you missed the post). Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

 

Sew Bibs with Simplicity 8610

IMG_5150There’s nothing like a community sewing challenge to motivate me to complete a project that’s lingered too long on my to do list. This pinafore pattern has been on my wish list since I made the jumpsuit version last Spring (here). It took the #sewbibs challenge to push me to get it done! (more about the challenge here)

My pattern is Simplicity 8610.

I love the big pockets, topstitched front band, buttoned straps. But if this doesn’t grab you, there are many other pinafore patterns to explore. Here are a few that are on my wish list right now.

The York Pinafore from Helen’s closet

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The Dani from Seamwork

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I chose Simplicity 8610 for the big pockets, front gathers and the cool bodice band detail. Also, I love the size of the straps, a detail that can make or break this design for me. If they’re too narrow, they’re uncomfortable, but these are just right.

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Construction – I cut the size indicated by my measurements and there were no surprises or adjustment’s needed. (Size options are from 6-24).  The construction of the bodice is pretty easy and fast to put together. Although I made my jumpsuit version from a rayon crepe, I decided to make my pinafore from a cotton, and I’m glad I did. I think the cotton gives the pinafore a bit more structure which works well to support the gathered details and the fabulous pockets (a must on a pinafore, don’t you think?).

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One of the nice things about this style is that you can wear it with a long or short-sleeved top under it which makes it a great layering piece. It’s still cold and rainy here, so I chose a long sleeve, but come Spring, I’ll happily wear this with a short sleeve top, or maybe even alone.

IMG_5192I’m such a fan of the pinafore style. I think it’s perfect for casual wear about town, or as a travel wardrobe item that you use as a layering piece. I know there will be other pinafores in my future, and since the challenge is on until April 12…would love to finish another before then:)

There are so many inspiring bibs and pinafores on #sewbibs on Instagram right now. Do you have a favorite bib sewing pattern to recommend?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!