Sunset seagulls tank...and a skirt

I kept passing over this fabric at Joann's, picking it up, putting it back, each visit. Loving the color of this knit but feeling unsure about those birds. Readers, I don't ever wear animal portraits or shadow portraits, that stuff is for kids right? Yea! Until now? Oh, and this is M5853...again. I didn't want to wait on this fabric sitting around waiting to get sewed, it was now or way too late!


Everything is completely serged, except for the twisted streamer & relaxed pleat, which were machine stitched. Each was made of 4 inch wide strips, serged closed and either twisted or pleated. Easy. The streamer was sewn into the shoulder seams & the pleat is machine tacked.

The skirt: stretch linen, pleated with pockets!!
Description: 2451 Misses' Skirts, each in two lengths. Easy to Sew Collection.

Unlined, serged, invisible zipper. Comfortable. Let's call it a wearable muslin...I may do this one again.

Whatcha think?


Lemlem dress ideas

Recently, a new reader requested ideas for a DIY project, making this Lemlem Lucy patio dress. She likes it, but not a $200 like it. Here are 2 great ideas to get it done!

This would be my first choice! NL6936.

A second option: S2642.

Or you could use both patterns: Using S2642 for the top (I think the sleeves look better) and NL6936 door the skirt portion (it's not as full). Just match up the size correctly.

Finding fabric that you like might be more challenging than sewing it up! Good luck finding something that you love! Here are some suggestions:

Designing your own fabric with ribbon will be a very tedious process but very rewarding.

Lastly, screen printing the stripes on your fabric. This will create a unique custom look, that you'll enjoy for years! Oh, and I have no idea about the cost, unless you DIY, it could get pricey! There are plenty of videos to walk you through this process.

Hope this helps and good luck on your project! Thanks for asking too! Have a question, let me know at b4thedoor @ gmail dot com.


Painted zebra wrap dress, B5320

Pattern Description: MISSES' DRESS: Mid-knee, lined wrap dresses A, B have inseam pockets, pleated collar, front princess seams and gathered back. A: cap sleeves. B: sleeveless. I choose a modified version of B.

NOTIONS: 1/2" Wide Ribbon and One Snap. Didn't use ether.

RECOMMENDED FABRICS: Lightweight Stretch Broadcloth, Linen and Crepe. Unsuitable for obvious diagonals. Allow extra fabric to match plaids or stripes. Use nap yardages/layouts for pile, shaded or one-way design fabrics.

Pattern Sizing: BB(8-10-12-14), F5(16-18-20-22-24)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Mostly, except for minor changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Pretty straight forward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Liked the gathers and pockets. Disliked the gathered back upper and the voluminous collar.

Fabric Used: 100% cotton print by J.Crew from Haberman's. I know! They got a pretty good shipment in last week. I was shocked at my luck! No stretch, sateen. Feels like butta, cuts like butta, sewed like butta! 2 yards of lining, but I only used 1.25yds. And there's enough left for a pencil skirt! Yea!

Pattern alterations or any design changes made:

Waistline: shortened by 1.5 inches.

Gathers: Decreased the gathers on the front side and back panel by about 4 inches on each piece. I cut 4 inches off so the skirt was not that fluffy! I can't imagine using all that fabric on my derrière. This was enough!

Collar ruffle: I didn't use the pattern piece, I drafted my own. Reducing the width by more than half. Modified the length to fit only around the neckline. The knife pleats are randomly placed and alternate to each side. After the ruffle was stitched and steamed (not pressed because I didn't want to deal with the crease down the middle of my ruffle), I reshaped the ruffle (separating the flat ruffle, slightly twisting then securing with pins & steamed) for a miniature crushed ruffle look.

Back upper: For a more fitted look, I added 2 custom back darts, so I didn't have to do the upper back gathers. Its very simple to do if you have a good form. If not you may want to swap it out for another favorite pattern piece with darts.

Hem: Raised the hem by 2 inches. Machine sewed lining, hand stitched fashion fabric hem.

Inside: Understitching, helped everything lay nicely. Oh, I didn't interface the front facing at all. The fabric has good weight, and I wanted to keep the swing!

Belt: Is supposed to be cut on the bias. Instead I cut it on the grain, just to go with the flow, especially on the back view. And I like the contrast of the vertical bow tails with the horizontal stripes on the skirt. For the longer left belt pattern, I added a little lightweight interfacing, so that it wouldn't sag, it's pretty crisp. This was done before the turn.

Lining: I only had to alter the pattern by .75inch on each side. I liked that the skirt linings are separate pattern pieces.

Pockets: The pattern calls for the facing and pocket to be used by the fashion fabric. I faced with lining. The pockets are nice and deep!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Hmmmm...this is a really great real wrap dress, would be nice to try sans collar with 3/4 sleeves & a neckline modification, but one is enough for now!

Conclusion: I love this dress! Its very comfortable and breezy! I know I've broken a cardinal 'look slimmer rule' with gathers, ruffles and wide horizontal stripes, but some how it works! Right? Whatcha think?


Early fall Simplicity 2010

Here's the cover. Not liking the hair, but liking the dress on the back cover. Maybe.

Of corse the moto & boyfriend blazer...

Cute suit...& blouse...but a boxy jacket...

CR: For early fall there's bags & an apron.

The one with hope: draped sleeves, ruffle front, high collar or a gathered bodice like Vogue's Kay Unger sans collar. Might be nice to try.

A bit like Butterick, but more tailored and not online quite yet. Ok back to planning. Tomorrow...a new dress. Can't wait to show you! Thank for stopping by!


My McCall's Fall 2010 picks are...

M6170 is a jacket I think we've seen before. It's really one of those that could be really great, or go very wrong, IMO, like the denim! The animal print is looking sleek but too trendy trendy for me.

M6173 is quite interesting, especially depending on the fabric choice! For very hot legs only! That's all!

M6172 is a great boyfriend blazer that is on trend but can be just as classic as well. Slouchy and tailored styles are great, but the cropped version is drenched in the 80s. I'm guessing the tailoring is more involved because it's Palmer/Pletsch

M6177 is kinda cute if you are into aprons. The scoop neckline is a little different.

M6162 is a lot like the popular black halo dress and my number one pick. Every other pattern in this rollout fades! I like the waistline piece and the option to go with out the shoulder flaps. Not so great with people with really broad shoulders! But I want to try this one!

This black halo dress retails for $345.00

Over all with one or 2 exceptions this is a sad fall rollout. A lot of sloppiness, boxy jackets and blankets that you wear... which is not my personal style so, and I can only take so much of this. Overall, there is a lot of shoulder emphasis, of them,only 1 that I really like. Here to hoping that other previews are not as uninspired. BTW, Hobby Lobby McCall's patterns are only .99 cents this week! If they are not in the cabinets today, hopefully they will be by the end of the week. You can find all of the McCall's Fall 2010 new sewing patterns on their website. Happy sewing!


If you don't like pretty, look away!

Well readers, the shows for Resort 2011 are basically over. I try to reserve one eye for what might be coming to the stores in a couple months. Mostly it's inspiration for color, prints and texture, but I do want to redo a couple of when I can get my hand on some really cool fabric. This montage only covers a few of the collections that showed. Resort presentations are usually a precursor to what we'll see in the fall (Spring 2011).

Very tropical! These crazy prints are awesome! There's a yellow for everyone!

Oscar always gives good collar! Very interesting shapes.

These are chic and not too trendy.

What amazing graphic prints! Great shapes and surprises!

This line is so sugary sweet and precious! I love the neutrals too!

I'm sure we'll see one of these on the red carpet in the near future. Elegant gold foils and beadwork, as usual.

I'm happy to see that the asymmetrical/one shoulder look will be around for another season. Lena Horne rocked it! I'd like to see it become a true classic. Most ladies have at least one great shoulder, right?

I love every single one! Great color, great lines, sophisticated. I want!

This line reads a bit fall to me, but I like it a lot! These blends of neutrals are my true comfort colors!

One of my ultimo fav designers! Very sweet also, but with a dash more grown woman.

Wow! Retro yumminess!! I love it all! Just a bit of Mad Men and 2010! And the hair...spot on! Maybe Cathy might like something?

This line is new to me, but it's been around for a couple years! Beautiful colors, classic shapes! All the way pretty!

So do you have a fav, or something you like?


DIY: Liberty Floral Daze Cardigan by J. Crew

The J.Crew version.

Liberty of London for Target® Pleated Chemise - Grand Royal & Sixty Print. Was $17.99, now on sale for $12.99 if you can find one. I purchased a XL. They must be junior sized because the elastic banding fit me snugly. The bottom portion I used for my DIY project.

Merona® Women's Classic Cardigan Sweater - White $19.99. Nothing special.

I've been delaying this project for way to long! Mistake!

First I started by 'aging' the cardi...
Lots of hot water and coffee packs in the filter, at least 2 gallons for an xs. Give it room to swim! Wet the cardi before aging. I think it's ok to check every 30 seconds, but I checked every 10 seconds. And of course it will dry lighter, and it did. Lay flat to dry, then into the dryer with a bunch of like colored towels.

...Then harvesting my fabric
It worked out to just cut it off. I already knew I had enough fabric. Because the original chemise was pleated, it needed to be ironed out before cutting.

Fitting the muslin...
This was a bit tricky because I wasn't going to cut the cardi so it would lay flay, so I cut the muslin on my form, giving about 1/2 inch seam allowance. First, I started shaping with a vertical bodice dart, but I thought that would alter the floral print to much. So I went a horizontalish bust dart. That worked.

Sewing on...
The neckline and center front parts as well as the bottom edge went along quite smoothly. Shoulder & side seams gave me a minor bit of grief because the actual cardigan seams were bulky. Dealing with this bump was annoying, but I guess if you shop or thrift for a high quality cardigan you may not run into this issue. Oh, and does the zipper foot help!!

Center front edge & bottom edge...sewn down & pressed back
Neckline & side seams... Topstitched on

I'm really happy with the results! So happy that I'll be wearing it today! Totally worth it! Of course I'm saving my pattern and thinking of a fall redo. Yea! I'll save the details for later. I REALLY love it. At first I thought the print was cheesy retro, but it kept growing on me. BTW, the coloring is slightly deeper in most photos, my flash was working overtime! The sewing neckline photo is color true. My cardi differs from the original in that is does not have patch pockets. They would be easy to do if you had a matching twinsets.

Watcha think?

And one more thing...back in March this same retailer gave a few ideas for DIY kids. Bits of tulle on leggings, fabric paint on a tiered dress, and rosettes on cardis. Hmmmmm......

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