Monday, September 18, 2017

Knit dress: Pauline Alice patterns Aldaia dress

September means vacation to me, and I just returned from a glorious and relaxing time in Hawaii. With quite minimal time on-line - and that might have been the best part. While I love keeping up to date it does feel that sometimes looking at screens has overtaken actually doing things - whether for work or leisure. I didn't bring my laptop - and decided not do much else, not even take many pictures. Which left me free to watch other people taking pictures  - with the reward of seeing a lot of other people have some "oops" moments. Is that mean to say? It is funny to see someone walk into a pole because they are too focused on their selfie stick. Of course at the beach there is the possibility of seeing a phone go dunk in the ocean. Ok, call me cruel but it was funny...

Anyway,  I will admit that having an iPad loaded with books does have it's advantages. Years ago my dad would just shake his head at the quantity and weight of books that I would pack, but what can you do? a three week vacation sitting on the beach, reading, swimming and breaking for ice cream is just about heaven to me but it does require bringing plenty of books. So e-books do have that advantage. Although I do miss the days of buying $1 used books at the library and saving them up for travel.  

With teaching classes at Hello Stitch, doing private lessons and sewing for a couple of people I really needed to step away from the sewing machine but now I'm rested and have plenty of posts to catch up on. I will be teaching a class on Knit dresses starting Oct 21 so I wanted to sew this up and see how it goes together. My verdict - super cute and I am about to cut out another one, a winter version. Note that for the class another option is the Turner dress by Cashmerette patterns.

This photo is kind of blurry and has a strange exposure - I took it with the timer on my iPad. I also think I took some of these pictures on a day when it was over 100˚F so they were of the quick dash outside for photos and be done with it variety.

red white dress 6

It looks much better on the dress form. You can see that it is a true red and bright white print. I actually made this as a test version, the piece of fabric has been sitting in the closet for at least 2 years. I ordered it from Girl Charlee and when it arrived I thought it was a bit too busy - even for me. Also I just couldn't picture it as anything. However the weight of it was perfect for this pattern so I decided to give it a go.

red white dress front view
red white knit dress back view

Once I saw it on the dress form I really like the fabric - although it still is a bit wild.

Here's the pattern, it is shown on the envelope with these three variations but in actuality you can mix and match all the skirt, bodice and sleeve combinations to come up with a lot of different looks.

Aldaia dress pattern envelope

Aldaia dress options

I copied this image from Pauline's blog to show the mix and match options  - and it also would work well for color blocking.

I sewed size 40 which is what I have used in her patterns before and the fit was really good. The neckband fit perfectly which is a nice feature. I also can see using this pattern as the starting point for a knit tee shirt.
red white knit dress side view


My fabric was a slightly strange width, it had a big white unprinted section on either selvedge so the actual usable part was nearing to 50" wide. Because of this and only having 2 yards I had to reduce the width of the skirt, so I just pinched out about 2 inches from each skirt piece at the hem and then tapered that pinch to zero at the waist. And I don't even miss the fullness, in fact it seems right to me so I am not going to add it back for the next one.

Other sewing details, I just sew knits on the regular sewing machine, with straight stitch. However - this dress has a very fitted waist, and after I basted it together I realized that I couldn't get it over my shoulders unless I used some type of stretch stitch. So I sewed the waist seam and the side seams with a small zig-zag and that was just right. I think I lengthened it about 2 inches so as designed it is kind of short.

Another not so great photo - and the sky was really that color on the day when the fires in N. California were making very smoky and grey all over. Glad that has cleared up.

red white dress 8

Last weekend was my knit t-shirt class at Hello Stitch and it was full with some people on the waitlist so we are scheduling another session sometime in November. And coming up soon is the one I am really excited about - the weekend Jacket Essentials workshop. I am planning lots of demos of techniques and hands-on practice to making the perfect tailored jacket. For some of the other classes, like the Button-front shirt, knit tee, skirt, dress and Fit Lab, these will be regularly on the calendar so check the Hello Stitch website. We are usually scheduling about 2-3 months out.

Next up is my birthday dress - my personal tradition to make a summer sundress type item to wear on vacation (nice how that all fits together, huh?) and then some giveaways, plus the Pattern Whisperer returns!

Summer is gone next week, right? on the 22nd autumn begins....and I am always sad. Fall sewing - not a thrill, as you know by now that perpetual summer would be fine with me. However I do have some beautiful wools that I am ready to get working on, so I guess I will allow this change of season and temperature (like it is up to me, ha!) For now I will enjoy the fact that it is still shorts and tee-shirts weather :)

So for those of you who are excited for fall sewing and wearing boots, scarves, sweaters, layers etc, I say...what is wrong with you?  Well, to each her own sewing style and season. I look forward to seeing whatever you make!

Happy September Sewing,
Beth

What better post to use this two-tone dahlia than with this two-tone dress? I have been waiting to post this one. This was a great year for my dahlias and I have plans for even more next year.

dahlias









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Monday, September 4, 2017

Latest posts on the Craftsy sewing blog and some sneak peeks of latest projects

I've done so many posts on the Craftsy blog this summer that I've kind of lost track, and I like to link to them here in case you are interested in reading them.  I've been trying to multi-task in a big way and chosen topics to write about that go along with things I'm preparing for teaching classes at Hello Stitch, and feel so clever when I can do one project and use it for multiple things 😊.

So here are some recent posts on the Craftsy blog. It always interests me which ones get a lot of comments, and which ones get pinned or shared more than others. I can never tell which will have the most readers before I do them, which probably keeps me on my toes!

Craftsy Sewing Blog Posts

➜ Note that I don't write the titles, nor the little excerpt that introduces the post. Well, sometimes I do, the "floppy facings" title I will take credit for...after all, that's what they are, sometimes.

Links to the post appear below each one in blue.


understitch

How and why to Understitch 


floppy facings post photo

Tame Floppy Facings


shirt collars

2 Ways to attach a collar to a shirt



sew even hems

Tips for sewing even hems

make the most of your fabric

Make the most of your fabric

I used that white/red knit fabric just to stage the photo above of cutting out a knit top - and then promptly put it back in the fabric cupboard. Then I was working on some things for my upcoming classes, and it turned out to be the perfect fabric for one of my upcoming classes. So here's a sneak peek of a finished item, which I sewed as an example for my upcoming Knit Dresses class at Hello Stitch. 

Knit dress


And another finished object, using this fantastic citrus print sateen I found at Mood fabrics. Just a peek, and I will post it soon. Can you guess the pattern I used? Hint - a repeat, of course.

citrus dress peek


Upcoming in September and October I have some fun classes at Hello Stitch - well, they are fun for me to get deep into the details of jacket making, shirts, knit tops etc!

The leaves are actually falling already however today is the first day in about five days that the temperature was below 100˚F here  (yes it was 113˚F one day, eek!)  and so it doesn't seem like fall. And I am NOT about to start fall sewing.  So stay tuned for as many summer items as I can squeeze in.

Happy Sewing,
Beth

Today's garden photo - this little sunflower was a volunteer that popped up in a not so sunny spot.

sunflowers etc
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