Spring time is one of my favorite times of year. Everything is fresh and new. Full of potential. Perfect time to dive into new adventures! One adventure I always love tackling is a new pattern!
The Rebecca Page Sofia Shirt Dress has been on my wishlist since first catching a glimpse of it! The classic styling is just my thing, plus cool woven fabrics are so lovely for springtime! Then I saw this stunning crinkle chiffon windowpane plaid at Fabric Mart Fabrics for one freaking dollar per yard and I bought all I could!! With 8 yards to work with, I KNEW I could get whatever option I wanted out of this gorgeous stuff. Now to pick options…
This pattern goes with a few different lengths and I am slightly obsessed with the maxi length. But, I have to admit, maxi length just doesn’t get worn as much as I always think I will, so I went with knee length (obvs). Then all the sleeve choices! I obviously went for sleeveless, because it is cool and versatile for me all summer, then wearable all winter with a cardigan. But there are other sleeve options and the long sleeve is amazing. I love it. And need one (well two) in my life.
But I LOVE this dress. It is exactly what I’ve been wanting and I’m pretty disappointed I don’t have anywhere to wear it anytime soon. I’ll probably wear it for some work meetings just for some happy.
Talking about a happy. Rebecca Page has been generous enough to let me give away a copy of the Sofia Shirt Dress to one of my readers!! So comment below and let me know what options you want to sew up, or what fabrics you want, or just what you like about mine, and I’ll pick one comment as a winner sometime on Saturday after all the lovely bloggers shared their beautiful Spring Fling makes!!!
Y’all know I’ve been just loving t-shirt dresses. They are so damn easy to wear and convenient and comfortable and really just a never ending list of positive things. I’m really excited that this love might be rubbing off on Virginia! When we were choosing something to make with this gorgeous Sly Fox Fabrics double brushed poly, I assumed she would choose a v-neck top or a maxi skirt to show off the print.
Then she saw Sheila and said, oh, what about a dress. Y’all, my mind was BLOWN! And I was just so dang excited to make her first one from a pattern I knew would fit well and look lovely on her! Plus, I always appreciate when she picks patterns that are so quick to sew!!!
She has worn this one so many times since it was finished. I think I’ve seen her in this more than anything else since it warmed up here and we have the windows open. Pretty sure she’ll be rocking it as a swim cover-up. She has definitely already asked for more!
Since this one comes with the option of the built in full bust adjustment, it saves me time in giving Virginia a fit she is more comfortable with! Plus, this one comes with top or dress length, and a variety of sleeve lengths, no calculations or guesswork needed!
Everyone loves a hoodie. They are cozy and cute AF. What’s not to love? There are so many options they can come with! Banded and curved hems. Oversized hoods, v-neck hoods, crossover hoods. Tops and tunics. And y’all know I’ve been loving the crops lately. Basically, a person can find a hoodie no matter what their style!
The 5oo4 Josephine came up for testing and I IMMEDIATELY loved it! It is the perfect not too tight, not slouchy fit. I adore a crossover hood. What more do I need? Apparently a crop hoodie. Peeps – I had NO IDEA I needed this. I sewed up a muslin and left the bottom band off and it was complete love. (Pic of this one included here because I love it! It is just a quick shot and I hadn’t pressed it yet. Also, this isn’t an actual option in the pattern. Also, if you like it, just hem instead of banding the crop length. It is like a secret extra option they didn’t plan to include in the pattern.)
Side note here, grommets are something I had never braved before. It was one of those things that seemed scary and weird. But I’ve been exploring different hardware and ways to add fun accents. NOTE – I used to just sew an eyelet on my machine to add holes for drawstrings. This was also awesome and super easy. Add what you want/can. Seriously. These are SO easy though! I grabbed a multi-metal kit from Amazon and went to town. I am ready to add grommets to EVERYTHING!!! I might go a little nuts. Someone restrain me.
After finishing my muslin (test garment), I was ready to not only dive into another one (or ten), but to cut into some very coveted fabric! I grabbed this heavy ponte in Natural Ash on pre-order from Sly Fox Fabrics and have been hoarding it for a while. But this was the PERFECT project to break it out. I added a pop of color with the cording for my ties and have worn this more times than I care to admit since it was finished. Which reminds me, I need to do some laundry so I can wear it again!
There are many ways to style a cropped hoodie, if you haven’t worn one. My favorite is clearly over a t-shirt dress. This was the perfect opportunity to make another Pamela, this time in dress length. I used triblend from Sly Fox Fabrics and, oh boy, do I love it! If you didn’t grab Pamela during release, what are you waiting for?!
Since the crop turned out to be a hella fast sew, Virginia wanted in on the hoodie action. She isn’t as adventurous as I am, so she picked top length and another Sly Fox Fabrics pre-order from our stash! This one a GORGEOUS Hunter Green French Terry. (I used this same color, from a different order, in one of my Work It posts and she fell in love. So we grabbed her some next time it was available. It is sold out right now, but you never know when they’ll bring it back!) I used wonder tape to sew her pocket and it is so much easier to do it this way! I use it for making sure my turns and topstitches are the right width and more stable so they don’t get wavy and for holding the pocket in place so nothing gets distorted with pins. A couple more grommets and a scrap of cording and Virginia has a fabulous new hoodie!
This one is fun, quick, and super comfy. Grab yours while it is on sale!
I love a knit dress. They are comfy, easy to wear, and so much easier to fit than woven. A good woven dress is worth the time to fit, but we don’t all always have that extra time.
The new Meg Dress from 5 Out of 4 Patterns is a wonderful balance between the ease of knit and the fit of woven! Meg can be made out of so many different types of knits, which will give different looks and fits. Virginia was looking for something a little more structured, we chose a ponte knit in this gorgeous teal color! (We picked this up locally at Fine Fabrics.)
The darts on this thing are the real killer. Even with how well endowed she is, I only made small changes to the darts between our muslin and final dresses. I shortened her front waist darts slightly. I think the next one I’ll shorten another cm or so.
For her bust darts, I moved them down slightly and shortened them. But I also sewed them slightly curved rather than straight. This gives just a little more room where we found she needed it.
Those are all the changes! Zipper installation was straightforward and the beautiful metal zip gives it such a polished look. Add some statement jewelry and her favorite heels and she is ready to tackle grad school interviews or a boardroom!
There are some super cute sleeve options included too! Virginia just wanted to keep it simple. Grab your copy of Meg while the pattern is on sale and share how beautiful you feel in this pattern!
When I heard Frocktails was coming to Atlanta, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to meet some local sewing people! Bought my ticket, gave a little thought to what I had in my closet that would be cute. Just let that sit in the back of my mind and start to get excited. Then, I got an update email from them that there would be a straight up red carpet and professional photographers. What?! This obviously means I need a sparkly dress. I don’t know why, but that’s what my brain tells me.
Now I’m on the lookout for a fancy dress that isn’t too fancy, so I can wear it again if I want. Something that won’t take too long to make, but is not something I already have in my closet. I polled a few friends and got suggestions on styles they’d put me in and ended up in a style I’ve worn on a few locations. Definitely didn’t step outside my comfort zone here, as suggested, but I am just a sucker for classic, vintage vibes!!
Off to Fine Fabrics to find something inexpensive but fabulous! A few more annoying texts sent to friends to help me decide. Turns out they have so many pretty, sparkly fabrics to choose from!! And I rarely explore the fancy fabrics aisles. (That’s the official name.)
Home again to start hacking the pattern! I started with the vintage, gorgeous, ridiculously fabulous Patsy Party Dress from Rebecca Page Sewing. This has been on my “wish I had a reason to wear it” list since I saw the first line drawing. NOW I DO!!! I used the free version, but the add-on pack is amazing. Seriously gives you every fancy look you could need for a strapless dress.
This pattern also includes all the info to give structure and support so if you want to go braless and still feel supported, you can. There is info on interlining and how to add boning. There’s a blog post on adding a waist stay for even more support. (Peeps! I wrote this one! You should check it out.) In my desire to just sew quickly, I wanted to totally skipped most of this. I did interline the entire thing only because the sparkles are a little sheer. I would have added the waist stay, but ran out of time. More on that later.
Now, I love the vintage strapless look of the Patsy, but I needed to add straps. I wanted sparkly, cagey, strappy delight and I wanted that to start from more of the sweetheart neckline. I also needed to do a full bust adjustment (the free princess seam FBA download is super easy to follow and worked PERFECTLY!) A quick muslin of the bodice to check the FBA is the perfect opportunity to start this hack.
I pinned the muslin to my bra (the one I’m wearing under the dress, so everything sits in the same place) and marked how low I want the sweetheart to sit. I didn’t want to lose the vintage feel, so I didn’t go cleavage low. I took off the muslin and used my french curve to ease that point into the side of the center front piece. I didn’t want to lose any bra coverage on the side either, so just drew a nice, smooth curve. Cut off this bit and pinned it back on. It was exactly what I needed!! So a quick transfer to the pattern piece and I’m good to go!! (Keep in mind seam allowance when you do this!! You’ll lose 1/2″ from the top edge.)
The only other change I made was adding the strappy goodness. I wanted straps on straps on straps! Straps for days! Interwoven and heading in unexpected directions. Just straps. I wanted them narrow, but not so narrow that I’d throw them across the room while trying to turn them right sides out. I cut strips 1 1/4″ wide and sewed with a 3/8″ seam allowance. The fabric is super lightweight and it was really easy to turn them. Eight straps later and I’m ready to ask Virginia for help in figuring out where to place them.
This process was…fun. I clipped them to the front where I thought I wanted them. Then asked Virginia to pin me into it (that back is hard to pin myself!). Small tweaks and another check, and they are basted on; then I’m ready to figure out back placement. I tried something I thought I’d like and hated it. Virginia to the rescue! She moved straps around and clipped them where she liked them, with many photos shown to me so she could adjust and tweak. After triple checking that they were interwoven correctly (pro tip, they’re not…don’t look too close), I sewed them in between my main fabric and lining. A really good press and deciding not to understitch, and my bodice is ready to be sewn to the skirt.
Why didn’t I understitch? Well, I find those straps make it difficult to get a smooth line across the entire front of the bodice. My machine tends to bump a bit when I get to that extra thickness, and I don’t want to be sad every time I see it, or take it slow and responsible to get it right. But I still don’t want my lining sneaking out. So what the hell choice is that?! Bad sewist!! I just cheated the lining to the wrong side. When I pressed, I pulled it down a scant quarter inch lower than it is supposed to be. Really, really good press here and pinned the lining lower than the bodice all the way down, and across the bottom. Why? You might ask. Because I’m cheating on the next step too.
The pattern has stunning finishes, inside and out. But, I’m looking for quick and dirty and this is just for me. So, I’m not doing the lining how it is suggested. I’m treating the entire bodice as one at this point. Sewed my skirt on, then attached my zipper, after adjusting the back to take out extra width since my fabric stretched out a bit during construction (this step is included in the pattern and is one of the most important ones to get the right fit. It is worth the extra time. Promise!). Usually the zipper would be sandwiched in between the outer and lining, so there is no way it sneaks out and is seen. But, I’ve got straps RIGHT THERE. They give me some coverage for a little seam allowance sticking up. I can serge the back edge, make sure to get that zipper tape fully secured, then, if needed (and only if needed), it can be tacked to the lining with just a few hand stitches. Then I won’t even need those straps as a just in case. Yeah, I’m lazy. But I just saved myself from hand sewing the bodice lining all the way around the waist. Calling it a win!
That’s it. The dress just needed a hem and it was good to go! I left it hanging to let it stretch out fully. Hemmed it and decided if it needed a waist stay. (Why not? It doesn’t take long.) It turns out I ran out of time for hemming though. The outer fabric needed to be hemmed by hand. It was just the prettiest option and it. Took. Forever. So my lining is currently unhemmed and I didn’t have time to add a waist stay. I finished the outer hem an hour before I needed to leave. Whoops! Still had to pick some shoes, and a hairstyle. Thankfully, I played with some lippie options and watched youtube videos to learn how to put stuff on my face earlier in the week. A little help from the sister and I’m off to Frocktails.
This event was really fun. It was cool to be in a place where everyone had this crazy, common interest. I met some awesome new people. Some from just around the corner, some a bit further away. Some brand new, but oh so impressive, sewists, and some ridiculously experiences sewists!
I did finally get to meet Jessica, from 5 Out of 4 Patterns! She lives not too, too far from me and we’ve never met! That was cool as hell! And the superstar Aaronica, who is as fabulous in person as expected!!
All in, it was a really cool night. My feet and throat hurt (I’m old, but the music was too loud), and I definitely had a slow start this morning, but it was a night I won’t soon forget! If you have a Frocktails event near you, I highly recommend making some time.