Stylish Dress Book (available at the workroom)
Dress ‘B’ : Liberty of London ‘Mauvey’
I wanted to try making Top ‘B’ from Stylish Dress Book as a dress since I loved the pattern so much. I’ve already made this pattern twice (version 1 & 2). The pattern modifications were pretty simple. I extended the pattern pieces for the front and back and added side seam pockets.
This darker version of the ‘Mauvey’ Liberty of London print seemed so perfect for this fall. I’ve been adding purple tones to my standard grey wardrobe recently. Every time I wear one of my Liberty dresses, I always want to make more. They are so easy to wear and feel really great!
Similar to Dress ‘S’, I knew that I would be adding shirring to get the dress to fit better. This time I started my lines lower, closer to my waist and did seven lines. It is amazing what a difference this simple technique makes and now the dress fits like a glove.
I have never put pockets in a Liberty dress before, so I wasn’t sure what to use. I ended up cutting into a piece of fabric that I bought in Paris. I almost feel like a Liberty dress should be lined with more Liberty. Mostly because there really isn’t anything like the weight and feel of the Tana Lawn cotton.
As soon as the weather turns cold, I get the urge to dress only in jeans and sweaters. I’m trying to resist the urge this season and make more dresses and skirts that are suitable for colder weather with tights. So far, so good.
NOTE : Please note there is a tricky part to making the gathered sleeve on this pattern when you are tracing out the pattern. See my comments here.
Wild Flower Garden Cross Stitch
by Kazuko Aoki
available at the workroom
I am obsessing over cross stitch right now. It’s something I’ve always been really interested in, but haven’t officially learned. I’m working on changing that! I’ve ordered a line of Japanese embroidery floss called Cosmo (over 400 colours!) for the workroom and once that arrives we’ll be launching an Intro to Cross Stitch class. Yay!!
In the meantime, I’m doing lots of ‘research’ and pre-planning for future projects. When I came across this book, I ordered it right away for the shop. (and grabbed a copy for myself!) It is filled with page after page of gorgeous cross stitch flower designs and projects. I am imagining cross stitching these happy floral designs during the cold winter and feeling cheered up by creating a stitched garden scene.
Speaking of cross stitch and general cute-ness… I wanted to let you know about Amanda & Ashleigh’s new shop for cross stitch and quilt-y patterns. The shop is called ‘The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘. The shop just launched and I am really excited to make these patterns. Cross stitched candy corn in halloween costumes?!! TOO cute. Their holiday patterns are coming soon and I can’t wait to see what they are.
Stylish Girl’s Clothes
available at the workroom
When I first caught sight of this adorable book, I knew I had to have it. The incredible outfits and styling just melt your heart instantly. It’s crazy but I’d love to wear pretty much any of these clothes, especially the pink dress on the cover!
Now that we’re carrying these books in the shop, I’m excited to carry all my favourites and to discover new favourites for you. I’m going to have to try very hard not to go overboard. (unless you encourage me to go overboard!)
Colourful Fabric Dress Book (available at the workroom)
Tank Top : nani IRO ‘Pocho’
After I finished making Dress ‘W’ with the Pocho nani IRO, I looked at my leftover fabric and thought I could squeeze out a simple tank top. I remembered that there was a tank dress in the Colourful Fabric Dress Book. I just traced out the two top pieces for the dress.
I don’t know why I don’t make more tank tops! It is the perfect thing to do with leftover fabric. I think you’re going to see a lot more of them from me. I wanted to try a couple finishing details with this. I made facing pieces for the armholes, rather than do bias binding. Sometimes I just prefer a more elegant invisible finish. I also tried doing a silk bias binding on the neckline, with the raw edges facing out. I have a box full of beautiful shades of vintage silk charmeuse. A bit fancy for everyday, but so incredibly beautiful. I’ve been wanting to use them, so this is a good start. It’s a simple way to add a little bling to a basic piece.
I also made a matching silk tank top to wear underneath. I wanted this to also have raw edges, so I sewed the seams on the outside to emphasize this. I need to perfect this pattern a bit more before I show it to you, but it’s a good start for a layering piece.
The day I took these photos it was WAY too hot to be wearing jeans. Even today, the first day of September is going to be a scorcher. I’m a bit confused about what I should make next – a sleeveless summery dress or something more autumn appropriate.
Stylish Dress Book 3 (available at the workroom)
Dress ‘W’ : nani IRO ‘Pocho’
This nani IRO double gauze fabric was one of those bolts that arrived at the shop one morning and by the time the shop closed that night, it was all gone. I’ve ordered more, of course. These huge polka dots are just too cute!
I envisioned a dress made from this fabric with a little gathered sleeve, so I went back and pulled out my pattern for Dress ‘W’ from Stylish Dress book 3. Instead of cutting out a yoke, I just put the two front pattern pieces together and cut a single front bodice piece. The rest of the dress is pretty simple. For the pockets, I used a lovely tiny stars prints. I think it goes perfectly.
One detail that I’m really happy with is that if you look at the sleeves, the polka dot colours match on each side. Love!
This is the first dress that I’ve made of the double gauze, I’ve mostly made tops. The one thing I’ve noticed is that with the fabric being so soft, if I have anything heavy in my pocket (ie. my iPhone) then the side seams pulls down a bit. Nothing major, just something I’ll keep in mind for the future.
I had cut two metres of this fabric and after making the dress, there was a little bit left. I didn’t want any of it to go unused, so I was able to make something else with the leftovers. I’ll share that project with you tomorrow!
I have to thank Kimberly for first showing me this book. It’s hard to keep up with them all, so I love when you give me suggestions and show me the books you’re buying. As soon as I flipped through her copy, I knew I had to order it. It’s filled with super cute dresses and tops that seemed different from all the other Japanese dress books I’ve got already. I love the huge bows that they show with several of the pieces. I’ll definitely be making one of those.
I hope you’re having a great long weekend. I’m going to try to catch up on blogging some of my recent projects. I seem to have a bunch that I haven’t told you about yet!
After the India Flint workshop, I was inspired to try doing a simple tie dye t-shirt. I used the super simple pattern from the nani IRO book, “Colourful Fabric Dress Book“. We have some lovely white organic cotton jersey at the workroom that was perfect for this project. I cut out the pieces (there are only 2!) for this project and wrapped some rubber bands around the sleeve area and the hem. I decided to forgo mordanting the fabric in order to get a softer result. The next time I dye this cotton jersey, I’ll try using milk as my mordant. (Awesome tip from India Flint!) I used a very exhausted logwood dye bath we’ve had at the shop for almost a year. Every time we do a Natural Dyeing class, I always get Julie to leave behind the logwood since I’m so in love with grey.
I absolutely love the soft dove grey colour of the jersey. I’m also really delighted with my tie dye experiment. I am definitely going to do more. I actually also tie dyed some other pieces of jersey at the same time to make a couple pairs of underwear.
The sewing for this project was merely four seams sewn on up on the serger. It couldn’t be any easier. I didn’t even do anything to finish the edges on the neckline, sleeves or hem. I thought of possibly doing some satin bias trim, but then I wanted to wear it right away. Maybe another day or perhaps I’ll save that for another project.
Stylish Dress Book 3 (available at the workroom)
Top ‘Y’ : French General ‘Rouenneries’
I wore this new top to the Yard Sale Trunk Show for the first time. A few of you have already spotted me in photos and asked if the top was from Stylish Dress Book 3. Wow, you guys are REALLY good! I’m so impressed.
I wanted to make this one for a few reasons. Firstly, it wasn’t a dress. I need more tops in my wardrobe! I also liked the shoulder ruffles. I decided to use this pretty French General fabric. The ruffles feel a bit like wings, but I think they’ll soften up as I wash the fabric more. I think they would drape much nicer and softly with a cotton voile or tana lawn cotton. I used the rolled hem foot to create perfect tiny hems on edge of the ruffles. I’ve been using this foot more and more and really love it.
This is a fairly simple pattern – bias tape up and around the neckline and along the armholes with some gathering along the waist. I love the billowy look and the long side ties. I’m thinking about putting a little hook and eye at the neck to hold the top together. Otherwise, I need to make myself some cute tank tops to layer underneath.
p.s. Have you heard of New Dress a Day? Marisa is impressively remaking 365 thrifted dresses on a budget of $365. Wow!
The one textile that I picked up when we went to Brimfield a few weeks ago was a vintage swatch of navy lace. I specifically was looking for something to go with this navy Anna Maria Horner ‘Good Folks‘ fabric for the yoke of a dress. When I found this swatch, I couldn’t believe how perfect it was. I have never seen a ‘plaid’-looking lace like this, but it certainly echoes the diamond pattern of the fabric. This particular vendor had lots of lovely lace swatches, but they were a bit pricey and so I decided to just get this one.
The pattern is the first that I’ve made from Stylish Dress Book 3. It is a slight variation on Dress ‘W’. Rather than create a separate skirt, I simply extended the bodice to make a short shift. I’ve been wanting to try doing a lace yoke on a dress for a while, I was a bit worried about sewing it and whether it would hold properly since the holes are rather large in between the lacey bits. I serged all the edges of the lace when I serged the rest of the pieces for the dress. I thought this would help to give it a bit more stability. The sewing was easier than I thought it would be. I was extra careful when attaching the bias tape around the neck since you can see through the lace to the underside of the bias tape. I think it turned out really well. I really like the little gathered sleeves on this pattern.
My special pocket detail this time used the fuschia Heather Ross mermaid fabric. Surprisingly, I haven’t used any of this fabric before and now I’m a bit sad that I didn’t have the foresight to stash a bit more of it away for myself. Oh well. I did just order the ENTIRE new Heather Ross Far Far Away 2 collection for the shop and I won’t make that mistake again.
Navy is where it’s at right now. I have another navy dress that I’m trying to finish off. (that’s 3 navy dresses in a row!) It has a super cute detail that I’m excited to show you!
I’ve had this book for a couple months now and I’m psyching myself up for trying one of these patterns soon. This is not the typical Japanese dress book that I normally work with. This one focuses on knits and creating amazing shapes through the way the fabric is cut, gathered and draped. It’s pretty incredible. A lot of these dresses are like soft sculpture!
I’ll admit that I’m slightly intimidated by it, but figure I’ll start off with the easiest looking one and see what happens!