Thursday, December 23, 2021

Very Merry Christmas to you and some sewing too

In the words of the song, so this is Christmas, and what have you done? As the great John Lennon said in the next line, Another year over and a new one just begun. This certainly is a time for reflection and this strange year has given so many opportunities to think about what we have all been through and what is to come.  Last year in December we were hoping for a better year and in many ways it has been. While life isn't completely back to normal here in N. California we are doing quite well and fingers crossed it will stay that way. I wonder what it will be like in 5 or 10 years to look back on this. 

Life moves on and the holidays are a time to celebrate. Let's talk sewing - I've been seeing friends and getting a chance to wear some of the things I sewed last winter that never got out of the house, especially my red coat. 

Holiday coat2

I finished this coat in early 2020 and wore it to one event at the end of that February. It's so strange to think of that time and know that we had no idea what was on the horizon. I did three blog posts on this coat as it was quite a project so here are the links.
In case you don't read those, just to review, this is actually a plaid, up close you can see that it's a basketweave design so I did match it as a plaid. I ordered the fabric from Mood in NY and everything about it was perfection, including that color. 

As for new sewing, under the coat I'm wearing a new top which I think will be one of the most popular magazine patterns for Burda this year. It's Burda October 2021 # 112.

Green turtleneck3

This is about as far as I will go on the big sleeve trend, I just find the sleeves annoying when you put on a jacket so these are interesting but not gigantic. Also the slim long wrist portion keeps them precisely in place when you are wearing this top, it's really comfortable.

Green turtleneck top

Adjustments:  I made a size 38 at neck and shoulders and graded out to fit at the hips. I shortened the cuff portions 1.5 inches. I cut them out as they were and sewed them up but the end of the cuff was just about at my elbow bend which wasn't comfortable. Since I had attached the bottom of the sleeve but not sewn the cuffs closed I just shorted 1.5" at the bottom and snugged them up there at the wrist. Plus marked it on my pattern pieces so I can make another one! The turtleneck portion ends up needing to fold over 3 times to wear it, and I think that might be a bit excessive so I think I will shorten that as well in future. This is a super quick top to make and a little more interesting than the average turtleneck. It could also be nice with just a flat neck band, eliminating the turtleneck. 
The fabric is a mystery knit that I had in my stash - I think I got it in the last year at a rummage sale. It's kind of thick but not a ponte. Bonus points for the fact that it coordinates so well with my green corduroy Ash jeans which have turned into a wardrobe staple - I wear them all the time. 

And you can see that I wasted a few minutes playing around with Photoshop when I could have been sewing to blur the background in the restaurant. We were a group of 12 and we had an outside table on a very cold day - so I dressed warmly. As it turned out the outside table was in a tent (the standard for dining here in N. Cal) and there were so many of those outdoor heaters that it was boiling! But I would always rather be too warm than cold so it was fine with me. You can see the color of the top better here, standing in front of a green Christmas tree in a green outfit does mean you will slightly blend into the background. 

Restaurant pic copy

Here's the image from the Burda website and the tech drawings. Yes that turtleneck is a bit too much. In the magazine I think it's also a dress version which would make a nice cozy winter dress. 

Burda top 10-2021

Another look at my very green outfit. I wish I could find more stretch corduroy in colors, a royal blue would fit in my wardrobe nicely. 

Green turtleneck

So that's the pre-Christmas sewing. I have a few other projects in the works which I hope to post in the next two weeks. And then I will start another round of classes at Hello Stitch and online. 

Now it's crunch time in terms of baking, cooking and wrapping. I've made about 6 Italian panettone so far and this is my new favorite thing to bake, although it does take a lot of time. Mostly waiting during the rise and then baking. So an ideal thing to make while at home sewing with a few dashes into the kitchen to move it along. 

Merry Merry Christmas to everyone and I wish you health and happiness this season and all throughout the New Year.


Holiday coat1

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Jacket Sewing Class completed and a Jasika Blazer for a friend

Perhaps it's the year we've all had or the fact that I have enough jackets to last me a good long while, but as I started to prepare to teach my Blazer Jacket class in October I looked around for someone else to be the recipient of a new jacket. My next door neighbor Marissa was happy to oblige - and it's very convenient to have such a nearby fit model! Plus she got this blazer out of it. I have to say that this is one of the best things I have made in a while - due to being meticulous with every step in order to show details to the class via photos and video. Also I decided to up the degree of difficulty with plaid fabric, but I think it's ideal for this jacket and I'm so happy with the result.

Plaid jacket lapel

I also note that this is one of those items that doesn't photograph all that well, it might look a bit drab but I think that up close it looks so nice and it can be worn with so many different looks.  Here's Marissa wearing her new jacket. It's the Closet Core Jasika Blazer. About half the people in the class made this pattern and the rest made others. I like to have my classes be very general purpose so you can learn basic techniques which apply to any pattern. 

Jacket M edited

I made a size 8 for her with just some small adjustments in the hip area and lengthening the sleeves. She's tall but the hem was at a good spot so I didn't adjust the length.  

My online class started in October and went for 6 weeks, with Tuesday evenings for instruction and Thursday evenings for sewing time, questions and discussion. That was longer than any other online class I've done but it worked out well since a blazer has a lot more steps than other projects. I really enjoyed it and plan to repeat it again in a couple of months. I've done this class both in person and now online and while they are different both are a lot of fun and have different pros and cons. Here's a quick video with some snippets from the class - I'm learning to use iMovie and now you can't stop me :)   If it doesn't have the play button if you click on it, then you will go to the Flickr page where you can view. 

Jacket class video

You can see she is a bit taller than I am, maybe 4 inches? I'm wearing my Pauline Alice Saler blazer which is one of my most frequently worn jackets, that color is my favorite.

Final jacket 1 edit

Here's a look on the dress form. 

Plaid jacket

Jacket front and back edit

This fabric is 100% wool and I think it's been in my stash for more than 20 years?  Is that even possible? I know I bought it way back when I was working in the corporate world and we wore suits a lot, but I just never sewed it up so it stayed with me - across a couple of moves and occasionally I would pull it out to make sure it didn't have any moth holes. I am 95% sure I bought it at Stone Mountain and I used about half of what there was to make this jacket so I still have a piece remaining. I just might make this same jacket for myself. It's really lightweight and not at all itchy, yet has the perfect press ability and non-wrinkle tendency of a high quality wool. 

Plaid jacket front edgejpg

For the class I also made another blazer from a new Butterick pattern, which made me long for my Burda jacket patterns - more to come when I post about the Butterick. Although with that project I did  try out VikiSews patterns to make pants to go with it and they were great so it was a productive project in the end. 

I hope the video is entertaining - let me know what you think and also if you are interested in joining in a blazer class in the next couple of months. It's been a happy side effect of this pandemic that I've started these online classes and had the chance to meet and interact with people who I might have known as names in a comment here or in IG. 

This has definitely been a year of making some fun things for friends - I plan to do a year-end post so I will mention all those then. Meanwhile I'm so happy to be wearing a few of the coats I made last year as things here in N. California are very good (fingers crossed it stays that way) and we are mostly out and about with precautions. 
I've made a few holiday-ish items for the season including what I think will be the Burda top of the winter, so I'll post those next week.  

Until then, Happy Holidays and take care,

Final jacket 5 edit

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Random Threads # 40: Finding Fabric, new Patterns and sleeve doubts

What?? It's been a full year since I've written a Random Threads post! Looking back I see the last one was October of 2020 when I wrote about my opinions on magazines, podcasts and patterns that use a lot of fabric. Today I have thoughts on some new acquisitions, elusive fabrics, styles that don't appeal and my obsession with Russian patterns.

Why is it so difficult to find nice corduroy? I really like to wear corduroy jeans or pants in the fall and winter, especially in interesting colors. But while I can see a variety of shades in ready-to-wear it seems really challenging to find nice fabrics to sew. I've been looking for some interesting blue colors, not a muted shade but perhaps royal blue. You know how I like the jewel tones. Or a rich olive green, I think that would be a good neutral. I do prefer the stretch corduroy for pants or jeans, and around 14 wales per inch, not the pinwale type. I see some on a fabric website at $22/yard or so and my bargain hunting self thinks that is too much. Because of the fabric nap I do need around 2+ yards. So perhaps the availability is not the problem but my miserly tendencies :) 

All the pockets:  I bought the Anzu skirt from Waffle Patterns. I think it looks like the perfect travel skirt for the upcoming trips which look every more likely these days. Who dislikes carrying a purse or bag when doing some sightseeing - I certainly do and it would be great to have sunglasses, phone, wallet, etc. at hand and safely attached (or even hidden) on your person. Plus it's ideal for denim. I hope to get to this one after my current jacket class concludes. Until then I'm immersed in lapels, sleeves and all things blazer jacket. 

Anzu skirt3

How do you wear a jacket?  Every time I see a pattern with great big sleeves I think this. Don't those sleeves bunch up uncomfortable inside the arms of the coat or jacket?  And the fluttery ones, those would drive me crazy.  Once in a while I make something that has elastic at the wrist, with the bottom of the sleeve creating a ruffle and that also annoys me so I have learned not to make that, despite being a pretty shape. Perhaps I'm overly fussy - I feel the same way about labels in clothes, particularly ones at the center back neck - the worst! I always extract those from any t-shirts or fleece tops. 

Sleeve examples

Iron conundrums:  I have been a loyal Rowenta iron user, despite the leaking and other issues. I just like how they press, they are nice and large, the "platinium" sole plate (if you can find this model) is amazingly non-stick and easy to clean. I admire the marketing genius that came up with that word which means nothing and yet names their sole plate material. But earlier this year my shoulder was hurting, a combo of lots of pressing on my relatively high work surface which means I am lifting a heavy iron up near my shoulder, particularly when using a sleeve board or other pressing tool. 


So I decided to get a lighter weight iron. At the studio in Berkeley they had some of these Black and Decker Irons and they worked well so I ordered one. It's great! much lighter than my Rowenta and has really good steam. And the price is right. At the studio they also have these Oliso irons with the retractable feet which I actually despise - I just don't see the point and I can't get used to putting the iron in that flat position. If you love them then great - irons are like sewing machines, everyone has their specific preferences. 

VikiSews Patterns: these are my new obsession. I bought a couple of patterns via their English language Etsy shop and had them printed via PDF Plotting. I made the pants and ordering the size based on my hip measurement they were just about a perfect fit. Could this be my holy grail of pants patterns, I think so! The one I made is Lora, shown on the right in blue.  I made them as a test in some weird printed corduroy but now I think they might be wearable. To be determined, I will hem them and post. 
Vikisews pants image

So I then ordered a couple more patterns, from their actual Russian website. On their website that is English language they have a good selection of patterns but they actually have many more that they are working to translate. I don't really need the instructions so it doesn't matter to me, however their instructions are perhaps some of the best I have ever seen.  I will definitely do a post all about this pattern brand. Stefanie (whose style I admire very much) blogs and posts @seaofteal She has written about these patterns, she has made several and they look fantastic. 
I couldn't resist that blazer on the right shown in green, it's so sharp but actually I think I will make the Riana blazer first, it's a more casual look and simpler to fit. I'm also planning to make those Anne pants, maybe even in a ponte as I have a couple of pieces in my stash. 

Vikisews jackets image

Burda pattern magazine repeats:  I'm  not the only one who has noticed the repetitive nature of patterns in the Burda magazine this past year. I think this happens if you have been subscribing for a while. At first all the designer are new-to-you, but then as a couple of years roll by you see the same knit tops, the same pants, and variations on the same dress. I also wonder if just like the Big 4 pattern companies their output has slowed due to the effects of the pandemic, lockdown, etc.  I didn't see any interesting jackets in their fall issues which usually has some outstanding and interesting looks. Perhaps this explains my interest in the VikiSews (actually for that I credit Instagram).  Anyway, I have some faux suede fabric in a nice dark green and will probably reach back to a pattern from 2018 or 2018 to make a holiday dress this year. 

A new coat is not needed: but if I did have thoughts of making a new coat this one caught my eye. I'm not that wild about the front, I think it doesn't match the back but I really like that inset creating a full skirt effect. Actually looking at it more closely I think it would be nicer with set-in sleeves instead of the raglan. See - that's why we sew - we can pick and choose elements of design and come up with something interesting.  Anyway - I have hardly worn the last two coats I made. The other evening I met friends, sitting outside at a restaurant and I wore this plaid coat. It was almost too warm for it but sitting outside I thought it might be chilly. (if the temperature is below 70 Fº I am freezing!)
Actually I'm really looking forward to wearing this red coat which you will see me in all through December.  Also, this Vogue pattern takes between 3.5 and 5.5 yards of fabric, depending on length and size. That is a lot of fabric, both in expenditure and to tote around on your body. 

V1837 coat patterns

So that's the rundown of my opinions for this Random Threads, I didn't even mention my dislike of the trend of exaggerated collars with ruffles on the edge. They remind me of pilgrim costumes. Timely for November I guess.  
Up next, I am working on two blazers for my current online Jacket Making Class, which is heading into its 3rd (of 6) weeks. Back vent, and starting on the collars are on the sewing table now. I'm making the Jasika blazer and the Butterick 6862 with a lot of details and a bit of compare and contrast as I go along.
Perhaps we will run this class again in the spring if there is interest. 

Hello Stitch Studio:  very gratifying - all the in-person classes we've scheduled through the end of this year are sold out with waiting lists. I think people are thrilled to get back to doing things in person and also to learn to sew, something they may have tried during lockdown and are now ready to get some in-person instruction. We're just starting to plan for 2021 so if you are in the bay area and have a class suggestion let me know. 

Happy Halloween to all - my neighborhood is VERY popular with the trick or treaters, so I might have to rest up this afternoon as the evening will be busy! I think it will get started early and finish early as it's a school night - let's hope so.

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo is this beautiful Salvia Mexicana "Limelight" which I think I got at the local junior college horticulture department sale a few years ago. This weekend they are finally opening for a sale again in person, after almost 2 years so my calendar is marked!!!  This plant is so pretty and a late bloomer (October here) so a nice addition to the not so thrilling fall garden. Plus I took a cutting and made a second plant which makes me like it all the more.


Monday, October 11, 2021

A silk shirt post with lots of construction details

It finally feels like fall here in N. California. Not exactly coat and scarf weather but a slight nip in the air, and some falling leaves. Actually today is a swirl of fallen leaves and a red alert for wind and fire danger but we will cross our fingers and hope for the best. This is the scariest time of year and I don't mean Halloween!

Last week my sewing thoughts turned to long sleeved shirts and I decided to use this beautiful silk crepe de chine fabric. My favorite local sewing store Stone Mountain Fabric  has just reopened to the public after being online only during these many months and this silk fabric is the last thing I bought in person there. In fact purchases the very day before we started the first day of lockdown here in California back in March 2020. 

Blue shirt1

I've been doing a lot of preparation lately for my jacket class that starts next week, so I have construction details on the brain and thought I would share some of my silk shirt construction methods with this post. I used to do more detailed posts and would like to do some more this fall and winter. The problem is remembering to take pictures as I sew!

For this shirt I've used the same exact pattern that I use for almost every button front shirt I make. I like the size and shape of the collar and the way it fits across the shoulders, so why try something different when a shirt pattern is just the starting point. I have changed this same pattern up to do a popover placket, gathers instead of darts, hidden buttonhole placket, cut-on faux button band, faced front and tunic top versions so if you check the search bar on the side of the blog you can see many other versions. It's Simplicity 2339 which is an Amazing Fit pattern from around 7 years ago? 

To start with I evaluate the fabric and decide which method I will use for the closure at the center front and then which interfacings would give me the shaping I want. For this shirt the fabric was just about the same as this one, which I wear A LOT and whatever I did was successful so I decided to use those methods. (actually if you look at that post there are some god construction details) However I couldn't remember what I used in the collar/collar stand so I unpicked it a little bit at the center back neckline so I could see into the seams. As it turned out I used a combo of lightweight fusible and silk organza. Also I used facings at the front, so there is no sewn-on button band. Sometimes on a silk shirt I think it looks smoother with facings. 

In the photo below I'm getting ready to apply the fusible to the collar, and so I place the fusible on the silk pattern piece, pin it lightly down and then use the paper pattern piece to make sure the shape is retained. Some fabrics just seem to wiggle or change shape and then once you apply the fusible you are stuck with an incorrect shape. I do this a lot with a variety of pattern pieces, particularly V-necklines to make sure they are still the same shape as the paper pattern piece. 

Silk shirt collar fusible

I do the same for the collar stand, check the shape before fusing. For the collar stand side with the silk organza, that fabric is quite stable, it stays the same shape as the paper pattern piece so you can use that as the guide when joining that to the fabric. 

Next up is taking care of the facings. I like to use the fusible which is in fact a woven fabric to finish the edge of the facing by stitching them right sides together and then flipping over the fusible, clipping the seam and then fusing the rest in place. It is a bit of a fiddly process as you don't want to fuse it crooked, or with a wrinkle so I just move the iron about 1/4" at a time from the seam edge towards the other edge. 

Facing edge with fusible

The result is a very clean finished edge inside the shirt, and then you have the facing showing where the neck falls open at the top, so you see the right side of the fabric. This fabric has a distinctive different shade of blue on the wrong side and for a while I was trying to figure out how to use that as an accent but it's not really distinctive enough so I let go of that idea.

Blue silk shirt facing

Silk shirt front

I wish I had measured the piece before I started cutting it out, it was probably 1.5 yards of 55" wide fabric. So that's enough for me to make most shirts or tops with some inventive cutting out - however I did have to omit the inner yoke piece in silk. In fact I often use some solid lightweight fabric there anyway so it worked out. 

Blue silk shirt inside

As I was sewing I realized I wanted the seams at the side and in the sleeves to have some nicer seam finishes so I did what I think is a faux french seam, in that I press it open and then press to create two folds which are stitched closed. Perhaps more work than the traditional method of a french seam but I never remember to do it and then have to use this. So often I am just sewing on auto-pilot with something playing in the background. I'm currently watching a variety of British, French and Italian mysteries on Britbox and Mhz channels. And I definitely need the subtitles on the French so that means I pay more attention to the screen than to my sewing :). 

Silk shirt french seam

For the cuffs I put both a lightweight fusible and then on one side I put silk organza, that combo gives the cuffs just the right amount of stiffness. I just cut out some "close enough" pieces, baste them on and then trim to match the cuff edge. 

Silk cuffs interfacing

Silk shirt back

Blue shirt back

I wanted the back to be loose and flowy so I put a small pleat in the center back. 
For the cuffs on these silk shirts I don't do a tower placket, I prefer the continuous binding which is a bit softer. 

Blue silk shirt cuff

So that's the latest on my start of fall sewing. I am vowing NOT to make any coats this year, I've made 3 in the past 18 months and the red coat only had one wear. I plan to wear that all through the holiday season!! 

It will be blazer sewing from now to Thanksgiving. We start the Live/Online Jacket Tailoring class next week on Tuesday night. There's still time to register, here on the Hello Stitch website.  It's  Tues/Thurs 6-7:30pm so hopefully that works no matter your time zone. And you don't need to have all your supplies for the first class as I will be covering a lot of that information then and you can get your project together after that.

I've now taught a couple of in-person classes at the studio and it was really fun to be there, I think a lot of people either started sewing during the pandemic or decided it was time to learn because we are almost fully booked. In January I think we will have lots more garment sewing classes so I will update when we get the schedule finalized. 

I'm looking forward to wearing my new silk shirt, and this is actually how I will probably wear it most of the time, underneath a cashmere sweater. 

Blue shirt with sweater2

Happy Sewing,

For today's garden photo, a closer look at those hydrangeas which were a bright lilac blue earlier in the summer. I tend to leave them on the plants and just see what colors they turn. The other day I saw a floral designer refer to this hydrangea bloom as "antiqued" which is I suppose a fancy name for fading flowers. 


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Tops: knit and woven

 It's always fun to make a new dress but really when I analyze my sewing output it's the tops that get the most use. So I decided to dive into the stash and use up both some fabric from the stash and a new arrival. 

First up the stash fabric. This is a cotton and silk blend voile that I ordered from Mood Fabrics maybe two years ago? I was 54" wide so I only ordered 1 yard thinking I would make a summer top. But now that summer is coming to an end I decided to make a slightly more season spanning top. Only slightly, as it is very light and floaty, this fabric is dreamy. 

Pink top 3

And I'm wearing it with my favorite denim skirt made a few years ago. At the time I called it the best skirt pattern ever and it hasn't been surpassed although I just recently bought the Anzu cargo skirt from Waffle patterns which seems like the perfect travel item.

The key to this pattern is a really lightweight fabric, it needs to gather softly in the front and then the neckband is a wide bias piece. 

pink white top front back 

I've sewn this top pattern 3 times now, and there will probably be more. It's from the Burdastyle Feb 2018 issue No. 120, although each time I've made it with very much shorter sleeves. Elbow length sleeves drive me crazy, they always get bunched up inside jacket sleeves. Here's the first version, and the second. 

Burdastyle 2-2018-120 drawing

Pink top 5

It does wrinkle a lot, after being tucked in it was very crumpled but it pressed perfectly. So I guess this is not one of those tops that you start the day tucked in and then change that up later. 

Top Number 2 is something that caught my as soon as I saw the preview for the preview of the June 2020 issue. I love things with square necklines.  You might notice, same day - quick change for blog photos :) 

Green stripe3

I kept looking at this fabric on the Girl Charlee website and finally decided I had to try it plus the price was too good to pass up. The colors are just perfect with my wardrobe. It's a rib knit which I haven't used much, and now that I've worn it a couple of times I will go back and make it a bit tighter around the waist and hem as it's too loose there. 

green stripe T front and back

Here's the pattern image from the BurdaStyle magazine, the pattern is June 2021 No. 108.

Burda knit top
You can see that I didn't do the peplum version (no thank you!) nor the side gathers, I just made it a regular T-shirt. This pattern will go into my "to be remade" file as it's just right for an interesting knit top and I could change the sleeve design to make it more interesting. 

Green stripe2

I'm very happy with how the stripes turned out, I could have done some matching of the shoulder inset piece but I thought it might look weird, and they they would show up as separate pieces. The shoulder piece is at a slight angle anyway.  One fit note I have is that I narrowed the center front part of the neckline by about 1/2"  by pinching out 1/4" on either side of the center front fold line before cutting out. I could just tell that the neckline would be too wide on me as most are. I could even take out a tiny bit more for my next version. 

green stripe matching

And in other news, I am smiling because we are back to in-person classes at Hello Stitch Studio. Although most of our classes scheduled for Oct-Dec are almost full or sold out!  People are ready to get back to doing things and I couldn't agree more. Fortunately we have a very high vax rate here in the bay area as well as people mostly being careful (sensible) about masking etc. So it's just very wonderful to feel some normalcy returning and I hope it stays that way. 

pink top 2 

I do have an online class starting in October, which is Intro to Tailoring: Make your own Blazer. That will be on weeknights Tues/Thurs 6-7:30pm. And it's not pattern specific, so you can use any pattern you would like.

Other than that I'm trying to do some painting projects around my house now that it's not a thousand degrees every day (exaggeration but 110ºF does not make you want to do fix-it projects). We are all crossing our fingers and hoping for a calm fire season - the ones currently burning in N. California are terrible enough but at least in the bay area the air has not been like last year, with the famous orange days. October is actually the most windy month when a lot of fires have started. On a more positive note the Giants are in the race for the playoffs and we are hoping for weeks more of baseball in San Francisco. 

Pink top1

Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo, these dahlias which grow about 3 feet tall but the flowers are quite small. The color is so nice. I've had almost no blooms on my dahlias this summer and I have to try some different ones next year. 


Friday, September 10, 2021

A different kind of wrap dress: Patrones 423 #10

Almost every month I buy the digital issue of Patrones pattern magazine. While I don't make all that many things I like to look at it almost like a fashion magazine, plus it's on my iPad so always at hand if I want to browse. I still haven't quite figured out their sizing and details for my fit. Their number sizes are shifted slightly from Burda, but with my metric conversions I determined that the Patrones size 40 is pretty much the same as Burda 38, at least in the bodice so that's what I start with. Although I think last winter I made a coat that wasn't quite roomy enough. Like I said - still working out the fit on these patterns. If you want to see my first project with Patrones here's that post from last summer. 

Here's a dress I just made from their recent Issue 423, "Vestidos Faciles" which is "easy dresses" and I can say I complicated it a bit as I didn't quite understand what I was making based on their photos. But it came out well in the end.  

Green dot dress8

By the way I took all these photos in the morning which I usually don't do but we were having a triple digit heatwave and I wanted to get outside before it was too hot. So the colors are a bit all over the place. 

Here's a much better look at this dress on the dress form. As usual with any pattern I did some changes as I went along, and ended up with very long ties, but since it is a lightweight fabric I think it looks ok tied as a bow. The fabric is from Once in a while I order from them and I've been quite happy with the silks and rayons so that's mostly what I look at on their site. 

Green dot dress on form

Here's the page from the Patrones pattern App with their version and the diagrams. I like the red version but since I wanted to try this dress and had this lightweight woven rayon in my stash it was a good match for the pattern. 

Patrones 423 # 10

And now I will confess that I saw that photo of the back and ties held open and didn't really think through on how it would work when worn. In fact I got it all finished and then wrapped it around and it made a big bunch in the center back. After playing around with it for a while I figured the only way it would work would be to go through an opening just like a regular wrap dress, DUH! and then I read the Spanish instructions with a bit of translate help and realized that yes - you need to leave an opening in one side.  

Green dot dress back wrap outside

So that's how it works, the one side passes through the side opening just like any other wrap dress, just that is one wraps in the back. I don't think I've made a dress of this style in a long time or I just wasn't really paying attention. The back V-neckline could have used some interfacing so that it held the shape a little better I think, as it is a bit wobbly. 

green dot dress5

green dot dress tie

Since I really didn't pay attention to the instructions I constructed the whole back, including the tie ends, and then attached the skirt portion with zipper completed to the back bodice. I also constructed the whole front, including skirt, and then sewed the shoulder seams and the neck lining seams. Turned it inside, pressed and under stitched, and then I can fit the side seams as needed once I try it on. This is the order I do most all dresses. 

green dot dr wrap inside view

I turned it inside out on the dress forms so you can see the lining. I used a cotton voile for the bodice as it is the most comfortable for summer dresses, but for the skirt I had a bit piece of rayon bemberg so that  is the skirt lining. I really thought about making a separate half slip instead of attached lining as them I could wear it with other dresses and I still might take the lining off and do that. Maybe next summer!

green dot dress3

There is something about the V-neckline on this dress that I'm not so happy with. I followed the pattern as designed and the V came out very straight, like a triangle, and I prefer a V-neckline to be ever so slightly curved. But probably only I noticed it. And now you, as I have pointed it out :)

For the skirt I also did a bit of cheating, as I had looked at the Patrones skirt pattern pieces and realized they were almost exactly the same as the skirt pieces on a Burda dress I made previously, so I used those.
Here's a quick look at the pattern PDF from Patrones, they are just 9 pages with the pattern pieces overlaid on those, but SO much easier to trace than a magazine as it is just one pattern.

Patrones pdf info

If you want to see the whole Patrones PDF I put a short video here. 

Another sewing detail on the lining is that I don't use the pattern pieces to make a lining for the skirt portion, I just approximate the width, length, and angle of the seaming and then cut out a front on the fold and a back with a seam, and then add to the bodice by folding in pleats as I pin it on prior to sewing. It saves fabric and is quite quick to sew.

green dot dress inside lining

So that's the latest on my almost end of summer sewing. It's getting dark earlier and I think I'm ready to make a jacket or two.  

At Hello Stitch Studio we have in-person classes scheduled starting in September !! So exciting. And as Stacey, one of the owners predicted, they are filling up fast. In fact the first two classes I'm doing which are aimed at beginners are sold out. Whew! I think a lot of people got a little taste of sewing during their lockdown time and are ready to branch out into making their own clothes. Other classes coming up are a Fit Lab, Garment Copying, and then later in the fall a Quilted Jacket class. Plus I am doing a 6-week online Jacket Making class starting in October. Some people have found that the live online classes really work well for their life and schedule (not to mention location as we have people from all over the country).  If you want to get updated on any of these classes I suggest you get on the email list for Hello Stitch and then you will get the class updates. 

I'm not so sure about the color or the polka dots of this fabric, but it is a cheerful dress and I will probably wear it next summer. This year I just got to wear some of the things I made last summer!
Perhaps the bigger win of the pandemic is that I have been cutting my hair - for better or worse for the last 18 months. And I can't see all that much difference from when I went to the salon, so I don't know what that says about my style. Anyway I think I will continue for the time being. More $$ for fabric, right? 

green dot dress4

Happy End of Summer Sewing,

Today's garden photo, a hydrangea that has lived in a pot for more than 3 years and is still putting out these luscious pink blooms. I'm hesitant to move or repot as it is doing so well. 

Pink Hydrangea