Saturday, April 30, 2016

Think Pink! more fabric designs with McCalls 6513 and Simplicity 5914

Thanks everyone for all the great comments on my denim shirtdress. Sounds like there are a lot of these in the works - and perhaps we can all wear/post on the same day. #denimshirtdressday   That would be fun. Also I have had some questions on my last few items, so I will try to answer those in my next Random Threads post, maybe early next week.

In other news, all the classes I will be teaching at Sips N Sews Sewing Studio in San Francisco are now listed on their website, with descriptions etc. So check it out and register! Scroll down to the section on single day workshops. I hope to see/meet some of you there. I'm working on some other technique based workshops for the following months. I'm thinking of doing a collar and lapels workshop and also welt pockets/bound buttonholes. These would be hands-on sessions where I demonstrate plus have lots of practice, students would make samples and learn how to do the techniques on any pattern. If you are in the area and are interested let me know what class topics you would like to have.

Back to my latest project, using a fabric I designed on My Fabric Designs. This is a company where you can upload a design or use their website tools to create a fabric design and then have it printed on any number of different textile options they offer. My first fabric was a cotton poplin which I sewed up into a dress, here is that blog post. For this one I decided to try their organic cotton interlock knit which is 100% cotton (no spandex). The printable width is 58" on this fabric. They have a few other cotton knits, including one called cotton slinky knit - that one is 94%cotton, 6% spandex, it has a 48" wide printable area and in the sample swatch book the edge is curling which indicates how the fabric might behave. If you are at all interested in doing designs I suggest you order the swatch book, it is $5.00 and the swatches are a good size (5" x 7") and also printed so you can see how the colors look on each fabric option.

Once again I don't feel like I am an artist at all - so I have stayed with graphic prints that I created in Photoshop. I am much more attracted by color so I start with a color I like and go from there.

pink white top with jeans

I made this random dots print that seemed suitable for a cotton knit. For the top I used one of my favorite patterns, McCalls 6513 which I have used before, first here and 2nd here. On the 2nd version there is lots of fitting info (for a simple top I had to do a good amount of adjusting, but worthwhile to get a nicely fitting knit top).

Mc6513 pattern

As they say on those late night infomercials - "But wait, there's more!" 

Since I had 2 yards of 58" wide fabric, I was determined to eke out a skirt from the fabric as well. It kind of gives the appearance of a wrap dress with the added bonus of a top that I can wear with other things as shown above. Score!

pinkwhite 2piece on me3

Yes I am a fabric cutting ninja! OK maybe a slight exaggeration but I do love to squeeze a pattern or two onto the least possible fabric. Something about that just warms my miserly heart. Which means often I buy 2 or 2.5 yards of some fabric and then squeeze a pattern onto 75% of that fabric, leaving me with 1/2 yard or so of something that is really of no use. Which I save anyway...thinking that someday I will create some kind of color block item that needs just that scrap to complete it.
However for this one I had shreds remaining. Which is great!

Dress form pics so you can see the print a little better. This pattern is super easy to adjust, it is a Palmer and Pletsch pattern so it has all the adjustments built onto the pattern pieces, very good for learning how to do a lot of different adjustments. And princess seams so you can shape as you sew.

pink white top only on form

pink white skirt on form

For the skirt I kind of winged it. The pattern is one that has been in my file for ages - I always have it in the back of my mind for just this type of thing and finally I used it. Although I did a lot of fitting after I cut it out. I think I did a size 12, with adding 1 inch on the side seams for fit insurance.  and then shortened from the waist as it was way too long for the look I wanted. Then the whole thing was kind of big so I tapered all the princess seams down about 12 inches - so it would keep the flare below the hip. Super easy skirt to make and a great bottom half for a faux-wrap dress. The pattern is a bit misleading, I made the Version B but it is not at all as tulip-y at the hem as it appears on the pattern picture. Perhaps in a more structured fabric it would be. I think my finished skirt is about 21" long.

Simplicity5914 pattern env

So that's the latest on my fabric designing efforts. I just created another one and this time ordered the silk crepe de chine so I am looking forward to making a floaty summer top with that. Disclosure:  My Fabric designs have provided me with an allowance to create fabric each month. Thus far I have been really impressed with the quality of the fabric, although I find designing a bit of a challenge.

Up next, another new silhouette for me (that recent BurdaStyle pattern release Mod Style really grabbed me). And some prep work for my classes in May.

Happy Spring Sewing, Beth

and today's garden photo - this time of year it has to be roses. Here's one of the new ones, I just added to the front area. It is a Pink Peace, and I am not so sure about it. I tried to find new roses to replace some very old and tired ones, so researched what would do well in our super hot summers. The blooms on this just didn't last more than a day or two which seems wrong, but very pretty when they are opening. Although most of the roses seem a bit wimpy the first year or two and then really take off after that. Fingers crossed :)

April garden


  1. Perfect fabric for spring! Love the two piece set.

  2. So feminine and pretty! Love the fabric! Is it available for others to purchase?

  3. Hi Beth, I'm finally stopping by to see what you are up to after a 2 year hiatus and what do I see? You are designing your own fabrics now? Wooooowwww! That is a lovely print, and what a great two piece dress, twice as versatile! You just reminded me that I have that top pattern as well, bought it on your recommendation. I should dig it up and get to work... Greetings from Holland :-)

  4. Very pretty outfit, I like the idea of your two part wrap dress! Hope your Pink Peace will settle well, great colour and perfect shape. Would make a lovely border print for a summer fabric design ;)

  5. All these from just 2 yard of fabric?! You really are Fabric Ninja, Beth! Very pretty outfit, perfect for hot summer.

  6. I love the two pieces together! They make a great outfit. BTW Simplicity 5914 is one of my favorite skirt patterns and thanks for sharing it...I have the perfect fabric to pull the pattern out and use it with!

  7. Very pretty fabric and rose!

  8. Hi Beth! I love the way you paired the top and skirt together and made it look like a wrap dress. I will have to try that trick. I have been following your blog for a while now and really like your style. I enjoy seeing your makes which inspire me to try some of your ideas. It seems we must have some of the same taste as I have quite a few of the same patterns you have; for example I have this top and skirt pattern. Now I know how these two will look paired together!
    I just read your latest Craftsy Blog post about the jeans waist alteration, which is a problem I have with every pair of RTW, but I find very frequently when I make that waistband alteration that the center back then dips down too low after the alteration. I think it is because I have to take up quite a bit and also because there really isn't enough room for my derriere to begin with. Any suggestions how to correct this dip at the waistline after the alteration? Thanks.