Thursday, June 20, 2019

Deer and Doe Myosotis dress and True Bias Emerson Crop Pants: sewing examples for classes

When we create sewing classes at Hello Stitch Studio where I teach, we've found that choosing a specific pattern and designing a class around that works out better than general sewing classes. I think because people who are new to sewing can visualize the finished item (plus probably have seen many nice versions on line). Those who are more experienced might decide to try a new style, and every one gets the encouragement and camaraderie of sewing together.

In so many classes I ask people how they know one another and come to find out they just met there in the class - while I thought they were already friends! Some even decide to take another class together which is really nice. I think everyone bonds over sewing successes and failures and there just aren't that many opportunities in everyday life to talk sewing. I mean really, do your office mates want to hear about your latest pattern haul? Well maybe - I don't know what your office is like :) but if anything like my previous corporate life there were always a few comments about stuff I made but nobody wanted to hear about fabric shopping bargains.

The latest two patterns that we've selected for summer classes are ones that fit into a summer wardrobe but I think can be useful all year round. I always sew at least one version of the pattern prior to my classes, just to compare to the instructions and check for any tricky bits.

By the way - be sure to scroll down to the 2nd outfit as it is a bit of departure for me, style-wise and I think I love it!

Myosotis dress 3

The Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress is the first Deer and Doe pattern that I've made, although around here I've seen plenty of great versions of the Magnolia dress and if I were a maxi dress wear I might consider it (but I'm not!)
The class at Hello Stitch is on Sunday July 14 and I think there are 3 spots still available.

The reason I chose this pattern is that I think it is IDEAL for pattern hacking. A nice basic pattern that you can change up and use in a lot of different ways. As you can see from my summertime version below.

My changes: Sleeveless, slightly cut-in armhole, no neckband, in fact I opened the neckline about 1 inch all around. Oh yeah, and pleats in the skirt instead of gathers. Also a tie at the back waist for more shaping. Facing for neckline and button front, bias binding for armholes.

What else could I do with this pattern? Here are some more ideas:
-Make it long sleeved, with perhaps a ruffle at the sleeve hem or a standard button placket and cuff.
-Add a shirt collar to the collar stand
-Drop the seam to the true waist by adding length in the bodice front and back.
-Continue the button placket down the front of the skirt to make it a true shirtdress
-Use a contrast fabric for the upper and lower half.
-Play with stripes by adding trim or a hem band
-Reduce the width of the skirt for a different silhouette


Closer look at the pattern and the adjusted neckline.


Closer look at the fabric and the skirt pleats.  This might be the oldest fabric in my stash that I can recall buying, at Stone Mountain of course:) and it was in the 50% off cotton section, which is mostly quilting cottons. This happens to be a Robert Kaufman fabric, with a slightly brushed/sateen surface but not stiff. I think I've had it for maybe 10 years and not sure what possessed me to use it for this but now I think it will be my summer beach cover up dress.

The only slight sewing detail is this - hairpins are perfect for turning smallish tube of fabric.


Up next: the Emerson Crop Pants from True Bias. Or in my case the not cropped pants, i.e. the full length pants and a matching top to fool you into thinking it's a jumpsuit.

Emerson outfit3

Do these qualify as wacky pants? Somehow I think so. I was given this fabric with a few other pieces by the owners of Hello Stitch as they were remainders from a fabric swap day they had last month. OK, it's a little wild but it does have pink in it and also is a very lovely weight of rayon that is perfect for both these pants and the top. Plus I have enough remaining to make a skirt so versatile, right?

I lightened this photo a bit but it's still hard to see the details on the pants, which are probably well known by now, they have deep slant pockets, a flat front, two small pleats in front and then a wide elastic gathered back.

Emerson outfit on form

Black print bondi top front and back on form

The top is my favorite Bondi dress pattern as a top. Here's my first version of the dress, and here's the version in silk crepe I made as a top.  Gosh I wear that top a lot, so it was an easy choice to use it again for this outfit.

Sewing details, I don't like how the Bondi top has a loop and button closure in the back, as sewing a loop is a pain (although I have used tiny elastic which works a treat) but I decided to add a small ? placket, where I could sew a couple of snaps for closing. Also if wearing a racer back bra it keeps the center back from opening.

Bondi print top inside view

I finished the edges with bias binding I made from some black cotton voile in my stash. I can't stand to use purchased bias tape, I think it's way too stiff for most garments, and bias in self fabric or a lightweight voile, ambiance lining or silk works really well.

Emerson print pants inside pockets

Since I was being stingy with the fabric so I could make a skirt, I used a remnant of ambiance lining for the pockets, and sewed on the outer fabric over that where it would show on the slant pocket.

Emerson outfit back view

I chose the Emerson pattern size by my hip measurements and they fit perfectly. I made the high rise version ( or the regular rise, perhaps the other option is called the mid-rise). And I lengthened by about 5 inches and then had about 2 inches of hem to play with.

So that's the latest on my sewing for upcoming Hello Stitch classes. Soon I'm going to make a Zadie jumpsuit for myself, the class on August 3 is sold out, so we've added another one on Sept 22.

You can read more details and register for the classes here at Hello Stitch Studio which is in Berkeley.
Next up I will be starting on a Closet Case Files Jasika Blazer jacket - the class is in Sept and I think there are just 2 spots remaining in that one. (Note if you have some other jacket pattern you prefer to make that is OK with me).

And then some sewing for my Mom as she has a birthday party coming up and I found a great fabric to make her a new top, plus the June Burda arrived (Yay!!!) so I'm sure I will find something in that.

Emerson outfit4

Happy Summer sewing, Beth

Today's garden photo - the same hydrangea that is shown above in the white pot. It looked a little scraggly all winter and I never dreamed it would come out with all these blooms. Another Trader Joe's plant that I couldn't resist. Plus it's kept its color and is blooming in the same pink color as when I first brought it home. A winner!



  1. Love them both! I really like the print on the faux jumpsuit; I don't think it's wacky, actually!

  2. Love the different styles you are trying for your classes. I really like the faux jumpsuit.

  3. Both of these makes are very flattering, Beth. I lurk a lot on your blog, dreaming of what I would give to go to a class with you, but it isn't in the stars. Nevertheless, I love your blog and have learned a lot from you. Happy Summer!

  4. I love both. I think the fabrics are great and awesome for summer!

  5. I think what you call whacky is actually very fashionable and looks great on you!! If that is whacky then that should be you specialty because its beautiful!

  6. I love the faux jumpsuit look! I have to try this!

  7. I love the dress with the changes you've made especially. The widened neckline is perfect for a hot summer. The faux jumpsuit is really fabulous. It looks great on you, so I hope that you will get over thinking it's weird and wear it. I bet you get lots of compliments!
    Really nice Hydrangea. I stopped growing hydrangeas since all of the really interesting ones are also very interesting to the deer.

  8. Nothing wacky about those pants. Sexy and chic come to mind, especially paired with the top. Great style.

  9. YASSSS! I am making a tencel chambray faux-jumpsuit. Super excited about it too! I just love this so much and it is totally not wacky!