care package

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Whilst in the throes of Project Sewn, I contacted Lauren about exchanging care packages. Its something that I’ve seen other bloggers do for each other and to be honest, I was totally jealous that I hadn’t got myself in on this action! I think, if ever there was a time that I needed it, its been this season in my life. Owning a brick and mortar shop and allllllllllllllllllllllll of the stuff that goes with that is beyond anything you might imagine hard. Since this past November I’ve had my share of crazy. And to be frank, it diminishes your spirit big time. Some days it really does seem like one big let down after another. Why, just yesterday, I had to deal with the weirdest, most surprising situation yet. Seriously, every single day there seems to be a new thing. And the last thing I need right now, is another thing. Sigh….

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So I thought it was definitely time for a care package. The idea of receiving one got me unbelievably excited (especially cuz I could use a treat in a real bad way) and the idea of putting one together for someone else put me over the moon. Lauren’s been on my radar for some time and I finally got up the nerve to ask her about it. I have a serious girl crush on Lauren. Like, she says things that I would totally love to say and I look up to her “I don’t take crap from anyone” attitude. Oh my goodness! She has a fabulous sense of humor and she’s real down to earth and she lives in Nashville. She’s supah time warp sewing fast and everything she sews catches my attention and I always think about ripping off her stuff because I love her makes. I’ve read Lauren’s blog forever (I’m pretty sure since just after she started writing one) and I can only imagine meeting her in real life.

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So this last week, we exchanged some seriously stupendous care packages. I had to show you glimpses of what Lauren put together for me because it was/felt/is really special. Some crazy fab fabric and wonderful notions, patterns and oh my gosh my favorite – this pretty little dish (I’m thinking small buttons or pins would be lovely in here) and (I die!) these strawberry buttons with matching green buckle slide. She wrote me a lovely note and is pretty much the best sewing friend ever!

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Now, let’s talk some straightness here. I’m not posting this to make you feel jealous (though if you were a little green with envy I totally wouldn’t blame you) but more to tell you that you should do something like this with a sewing friend that you know in real life or through the interwebs. It’s unbelievably wonderful to receive a sewing care package, especially when you know that you really really need one. I felt totally spoiled when I received Lauren’s package and it was such fun putting together a care package for Lauren. So fun! Oh happy day!

Now, back to the business of being well, businessy. And sewing up all this sewing goodness too. Cheers!

  • Leslie - Lauren is a gas, isn’t she. Press the foot to the pedal! Your package is so special and unique. Enjoy.ReplyCancel

  • Doris - Sunni girl, you are way too young and pretty to be feeling overwhelmed with all the businessy shop stuff. With your personality and sewing smarts and great tastes, you will go far. Hugs, DorisReplyCancel

  • Nhi - Aw this is just too sweet. I love the idea of a care package. We all need a little fun surprise in our life. Especially you with all the craziness that comes with the business.ReplyCancel

  • EmSewCrazy - That is a pretty amazing package! What a great pick me up. Thanks for the encouragement to reach out to a friend!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - This is such an unbelievably wonderful idea! I haven’t received a care package since I was in university and my mom sent me one. To get a sewing care package??? I’d be over the moon! Glad to hear that your lovely package picked up your spirits a little….ReplyCancel

  • Miss Crayola Creepy - That’s so awesome that you two were able to swap gifts! Rochelle at Lucky Lucille and I send each other gifts every now and then and it always brightens my day to receive them. It TOTALLY makes my day when I get her thank you texts when she receives mine :) I’m so thankful for my sewing friends on the world wide web!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - what a great care package! running a shop kinda sounds like life with kids… you hope at some point a day will run smoothly, and it never does! things you can’t even possibly imagine happen and it’s easy to get frustrated with the negative. i hope you can look back and see that you’ve done a great job. take pride in the small accomplishments because they do add up!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - Yep, I’m kinda jealous. Lauren is one of my favourite bloggers (blogesses?) too. A care pkg from her would be guaranteed to be awesome – and it was!
    I’ve started dabbling a very little into the sewing-stuff-swap with a friend who’s currently living in Germany. We had our first round a couple months ago and she sent me a piece of silk twill with the most beautiful butterfly print on it, like ‘high fashion’ butterflies, lol. It’s going to make a gorgeous something!
    Reading posts like this make me want to do more. I do need to do a major purge of my outrageously huge stash this spring…..anyone wanna play with me? ;o)ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Aw yeah! I’m so thrilled you liked everything in the package – because I had so much fun picking everything out and putting it all together! Not to mention, receiving your care package was pretty fun too :D yay! Sewing care packages are the best :) ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - When I was quilting, the blog ladies used to organize a Christmas swap. All handmade goodies, I sent one package to Norway, I’m in Canada. It was so exciting to receive than also to wait for your secret partner to post that they received their package.ReplyCancel

  • The Nerdy Seamstress - This is so awesome. I would love to meet some sewing friends too. Sewing care packages are the best, especially coming from someone that put thought and care into the package. You’re one lucky gal!ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle New - Care packages are THE best! I really think there should be a thing where people who really need a sewing boost, or a general pick-me-up, can put themselves on a list to get a special present in the mail from a fellow sewer. Like a secret santa but year round and it doesn’t have to be a secret. Someone should make that a thing. Lord knows I have enough stuff in my stash that needs a good home…ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - Let’s get this out of the way: LAUREN IS THE BEST.

    And, I’m really bowled over by the lovelies she put together for you. The strawberries!!!!! I hope that the high and the long-distant hug you got from these sort of overrides any real crazy you have lingering. And, I really hope smoother seas are ahead. It would only be fair. xoxReplyCancel

Portrait of the seamstress as a young lass

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It’s my birthday today. Oh my goodness, I’m 32. That’s me above, when I was 5 – my first day of kindergarten, wearing one of my favorite sweaters exploding in small white hearts. I have a soft spot for fabrics with hearts, rainbows or strawberries (and that was totally a strawberry necklace you saw me wear yesterday!) – that’s definitely the 80s kid in me. Most definitely. I think my mom digs hearts too because you can see lots of hearts behind me on that wall (photo above). So definitely an 80s childhood and genetic thing.

It’s been an exciting and fun last few years. Gosh, I’ve had a blog for a long time. Like for as long as I’ve been married and that’s been 6 years! It’s been wonderful meeting you – in real life and online – and its been such a wonderful outlet to be able to write here and share what I do with you. I’ve been through a lot of stuff and you’ve been right there with me: lame day job, transitioning to a burgeoning online shop, tailor’s hams and seam roll sets (which I don’t make anymore, sad…), taking on the challenge of owning a real life store, a dress that nearly claimed my life and lots and lots of other sewing fun.

I’m excited for what this year will bring for me. Can’t believe I’m 32. Its interesting to see what life has in store for you which may or may not be what you have in store for yourself. Roll with the punches, right? Here’s to living a full life! Yay! And surrounding yourself with those you love – and that includes you, dear readers!

I’m off to eat homemade hamburgers and fries (yes, I’m a total garbage gut, yessssss) and begging my husband for that pair of shoes that I’ve been drooling over for weeks. I mean, you’re only 32 once right? Hip Hip Hooray!

  • Maggie - Happy Birthday!! I have so enjoyed reading your blog for the past few years (I think I came in around year 4) and have been inspired by your passion, courage, perseverance and, of course, your style! I hope you have a fabulous day, you deserve it :) ReplyCancel

  • Alaskapsych - Happy birthday, Sunni! It’s my birthday too! (But I am much older). Enjoy the day!ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - Happy Birthday! Here’s to a great new year, full of new, great things!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - Happy birthday Sunni, thanks for the posts and tutorials! Wishing you a fabulous 2014.ReplyCancel

  • Sewcial warrior - Happy Birthday! Being 32 isn’t that bad, I turned 32 November 2013 so remember the 80′s fondly too. Have a great day, and enjoy the hamburger. Yum yum!ReplyCancel

  • Nakisha - Awww! Adorable!

    Happy Birthday! It’s ALLLL uphill from here! ;-)

    I love my 30s so much more than my 20s!ReplyCancel

  • Stevie - Happy Birthday Sunni! You have done amazing things and we have loved reading about them! I still have a sleeve roll and tailors ham you made and I use them almost everytime I sew. I’d love to see you’re store one day but its a long way from the UK!

    I hope that husband spoils you today xxxxxReplyCancel

  • Debbie - Happy Birthday, and many more. You are an inspiration to me!!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Cadi - Oh my goodness, it’s my birthday today too! :) Happiest Birthday dear Sunni! Enjoy your day, eat all the things, and I speak from experience as a now 36 year old, 32 is a great year. Thanks for everything you share with us!ReplyCancel

  • Graca - Happy Birthday! Thirty-two, you’re still a young one! Hope you have an awesome day and the hubby surprises you with those shoes.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Happy, Happy Birthday! You can’t believe you are 32? LOL! I just had a birthday a couple of months ago, and I can’t believe I’m 63! Enjoy your life, it will seem so short when you get to my age. You were and are such a cutie!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Happy birthday! I’m sure you will make whatever comes to you this year a success, you always do!ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - what a cute pic! happy birthday–hope you get those shoes! ;-) ReplyCancel

  • zilredloh - Happy b-day Sunni! Hope you have a wonderful day/weekend celebrating ahead of you. :) ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - How cute!!! Happy birthday!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tasha - Yay, happy birthday from a fellow April baby! (I’m next Thursday, woot.) And how holy stinking cute are you as a kidlet! Cheers to 32 for you, and hoping the next year brings lots of great challenges and fun.ReplyCancel

  • Houseofpinheiro - Happy birthday… In two months we will be the same age.. How time goes..ReplyCancel

  • maddie - Happy birthday, Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • janna - Happy Birthday :-) Hope you day is fun filled.ReplyCancel

  • Rochelle New - A very happiest of birthdays to you, Dear!! I hope this year is your most spectaculous one yet. You have a whole lotta things to be proud of so far. Keep it up :) ReplyCancel

  • Maris Olsen - Happy birthday Sunni! May the coming year be full of blessings, love and joy!ReplyCancel

  • lloubb - what a cute pic! cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - Happy birthday Sunni! You are also an April lady like myself. You have the loveliest hair color! I have been following your adventures since 2010 and I am very proud of your endeavors! To many more happy yearsReplyCancel

  • Vanisha - Happy birthday! Grateful for your blog sharing of beautiful sewing and sew grateful for your shop!ReplyCancel

  • Rory - No wonder I like your blog so much — we share a birthday. Studies show that the best people are born on 4-4. Hope you had a great day!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Happy birthday, Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • Tasia - Have a wonderful birthday, Sunni! Hope 32 is a great year for you!ReplyCancel

best dressed

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Here’s the Simplicity 1654 finale! Ha ha! Since I already had this white leather jacket that I made and never blogged from last year, you’re getting a double dose of sewing goodness today. I’m seriously, seriously surprised at the outcome of this dress. I had some pretty grave doubts that this pattern would pass muster. I have no idea why, I just did. But I’m wonderfully, pleasantly surprised. Yes. I love it when stuff like that happens.

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In true commercial pattern style, the bodice is the only part lined via the instructions. For this dress in particular, I would rather have the entire dress lined, so that’s what I did, in rayon bemberg lining. I tried a new technique for lining this type of bodice style – meaning that it doesn’t have sleeves which can give some cause for serious pause. I’ve tried lining sleeveless bodices before, several times and each without success. But it just so happens that I agreed to alter a dress for a customer at my shop – perish the thought, right?!? To make a long story short, I found a RTW way to sew a lining to a sleeveless bodice without too much fuss and without leaving a shoulder seam open in the lining or having to do bindings at the neck or the armhole. All this due to an alteration I had to think fast with. I’m tempted to create a video tutorial for it, but we’ll see. Needless to say, this dress is lined pretty beautifully.

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I’m pretty happy with the fit of this dress. I had to take in the waist about 1 inch and with the alteration I did to the neckline for the strap, this is actually one very comfortable dress. And seriously, those two little fitting alterations were the only alterations I did! For me, this pattern fit quite well, especially for all the stuff that’s going on here. It happens all too often that I’ll go a little nuts and make the bodice section a little too snug and then once I’ve eaten a meal, the only thing I can think of is tearing that dress right off. I took extra care NOT to do that here. There’s still some nice eating room which the practical girl in me loves. And this lovely aqua linen – it will be super fantasmic come summer when the heat is roasting the skin right off my bones!

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This is actually the second round for this bodice. The second round has the bodice entirely interfaced with a very lightweight tricot like interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. The first round was not interfaced and there was rippling in ever single seam. Yikes. So I block fused the bodice, recut it all out and things went much better. Just something to keep in mind if you are planning to make this dress in a lightweight fabric that could benefit from stabilization.

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Now you’re probably wondering about the jacket. It’s McCall’s 6611 (now out of print even though I swear this pattern just came out last year??) and its leather. I made it last spring and never said a word about it here. There’s actually several things from last year that you haven’t seen. Anyway, this was my first time dealing with leather and I have to say, its such a controversial textile! In that so many people have so many different opinions on how to work with it. Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough research about it and ended up listening to everyone and everything and well, it shows were you to look hard enough. You can actually tailor a leather jacket. That means you can apply interfacing and that also means that you can press it too. You just don’t want to press it with steam. Moisture damages leather, heat doesn’t. This is lambskin and it took 4 hides. Additionally, for such a small jacket, I didn’t have enough hides. So I had to go to my local leather place (there’s actually a few in Utah, crazy enough) and I bought a deer hide to go with my lambskin. The deer hide didn’t quite match so I pieced the front panels together so that it looked intentional. I think the jacket is OK, but to be honest, not my favorite. Meh. I lined the jacket and ended up tacking those front lapel pieces in place since they flopped around like a fish out of water when they weren’t tacked down. Still a wearable jacket though and wear it I will with this dress for Spring! Yay!

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Now off to finish up some much needed tops, friends! Ciao!

  • oonaballoona - oh. my. GAH. sunni. just take the perfect shade of blue and make it into a masterpiece and make me choke on my morning coffee. is that a coverstitch on those seamlines? and that jacket is swoony as well! would you like it better if you belted it?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thanks Oona! I do love this particular shade of blue. The topstitched seamlines on the bodice are actually just….zig-zagged. That’s what the pattern actually called for and at first I was skeptical, but it looks pretty darn awesome in the end. Totally worth a try.

      Hadn’t thought about belting the jacket, but definitely worth a try. Ohhhh!!ReplyCancel

  • Doris - I hope you do come up with an easy technique for lining on video. I can do it but would love to see your version. Hugs, DorisReplyCancel

  • Kathy - I love the details on the bodice of that dress. Takes it from a great dress to a spectacular dress.ReplyCancel

  • seamsoddlouise - Beautiful dress and jacket. That colour is perfect on you. Wow. The top-stitching is beautiful too really funky and modern.ReplyCancel

  • shannon c. - Your dress is gorgeous! Also, I’d love love love a video tutorial on how you did the lining. I have made several sleeveless lined dresses and never found a satisfactory way of finishing it all.ReplyCancel

  • Kely - Love the dress! The lines are so interesting and the colors really make the dress come alive.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - I had some doubts when I saw the first post of this dress, but I am eating my words! This dress is gorgeous!! I thought all that front stitching would be too busy, but it works out so nicely. And that color of linen is to die for! Just beautiful.

    My hand is also raised for the lining tutorial, please :) ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I had serious doubts too – I just didn’t know if the bodice would work all that well on me and with the topstitching…. But I’m totally pleasantly surprised. A definitely a-list pattern in my book.ReplyCancel

  • Elena - I love everything about this outfit — dress, jacket, red shoes. What a great look for you!ReplyCancel

  • Tasha - video please!ReplyCancel

  • sallie - Absolutely stunning, Sunni!! That blue looks so SO gorgeous on you! And I love the coverstitch detail to highlight those awesome geometric seamlines. The white leather jacket… don’t even get me started!! I’m a huge HUGE fan of working with leather, and YES I just realized to that it actually loves being pressed and interfaced and all the rest. I also remember loving that pattern and now I’m kicking myself for not picking it up when I had the chance. It’s a great modern jacket for spring!ReplyCancel

  • Sam - Wow! This is a gorgeous outfit. I love both pieces, but the dress bodice in particular is fabulous.ReplyCancel

  • Angela - I LOVE that dress — just gorgeous! Those seam details! And I also really love the jacket, too:)ReplyCancel

  • linB - If the back or the front is open, in two pieces, it is indeed quite easy to line a garment without having to futz about with the shoulder seam. There are at least two good techniques for lining vests, that are easily transferable to other bodice linings. First, sew the shoulder seams together on fashion fabric and lining fabric. Put them right sides together, and sew the armholes together (it’s like a big letter C) and sew the neckline together, all the way to the opening edge. Turn garment right side out — thread the open side through the shoulder seam tunnel. Press neck and armholes.
    Now, put right sides together at the side seams. You can either sew one long seam starting at the bottom, fashion-to-fashion up to the armhole seam and down the other side, lining to lining; or you can sandwich one side within the other (the Gold Medal technique). I much prefer the one-long-seam technique, as it does not leave an annoying jog of fabric at the bottom of the armhole.
    Lastly, poke the entire vest inside itself to put right sides together for the opening and bottom of the garment. Leave an unsewn bit for turning the nearly-finished garment right side out. Sew that hole closed somehow, and press, and put in fasteners. NB: With a zipped garment, you’ll have to wait for Sunni’s tutorial, as I avoid slide fasteners whenever possible.ReplyCancel

  • Susanne - I’m so glad to see that someone else has finally made this dress! I just made a muslin for it and I’m getting ready to cut it out in a plum-colored linen/rayon blend. Still trying to decide if I want to brave the topstitching…ReplyCancel

  • Lucinda - Sunni, that blue looks wonderful on you! You’ve convinced me that I need to add a light blue dress and white blazer to my closet for spring. I think I love the dress even more because of the contrast stitching on the seam lines, it really makes them pop and stand out. Fabulous!!ReplyCancel

  • petite josette - I’ve used this tutorial before to line a sleeveless bodice.
    http://secondbedroom.blogspot.ca/2011/07/tutorial-burda-dress-bodice.html

    I don’t know if it’s the same as your method, but it’s pretty straight forward.
    The dress is looking really nice, it’s a great colour on you!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh thanks! It’s not the same method that I did, but definitely another thing to try. Those blasted sleeveless linings!ReplyCancel

  • tracy - Dear heavens, I love everything about this. I love how you stay true to your own style. It inspires me. That’s why I love reading you.ReplyCancel

  • threadheap - This is beyond gorgeous. The pattern looks crazy scary but you may have given me the push to give it a go — seriously, I had to stop and just stare at your picture for a while before I could even process the words on the rest of this page. Amazing.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I thought it looked kind of scary too, but its way way easy! Definitely go for it!ReplyCancel

  • maddie - Best dressed indeed. It’s amazing how much interfacing makes a difference and it certainly shows that it did wonders with this make.ReplyCancel

  • Janette - That is beautiful! I love the shape. so, so flattering. I need to give this pattern a second look!

    I would also love to see a tutorial on lining a sleeveless dress. I can’t tell you how often I’ve put off sewing a dress because it needs lining. I’ve only done one – a cambie – and that isn’t the same process as a normal sleeveless dress. I’m a horrible hand sewer so anything more machine based is great!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - Could there possibly be a better shade of blue to complement your red hair? I think not. You look absolutely beautiful in this dress, and I love every detail. The topstitching looks perfect. I would very much appreciate the lining tutorial that you have suggested you might do.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - Beautiful. Love the color and the top-stitching.
    Simplicity 3620 is where I learned to do the easiest lining insertion for sleeveless garments. I use it for all my sleeveless projects, whether I’m doing lining or facings. I’m curious to hear/see the method you used.ReplyCancel

  • Siobhan - That colour really pops on you, it looks great! Actually the whole outfit is fantastic. And kudos for making a leather jacket, that’s pretty intense-level sewing!

    Do you know why the instructions would call for you to line the whole bodice rather than do an all-in-one facing? Is it preference or for a particular reason?ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I really love the fresh blue with white leather. The top stitching gives the dress some real interest and highlights the design lines. Always enjoy your posts.ReplyCancel

  • Hana - Gorgeous dress!! It looks so great on you :) Love the fabric, color and the dress detail. It matched well with the jacket too. Beautiful work as always :-) ReplyCancel

  • Maris Olsen - Love.this.dress. Fabric, color, fit – it just rocks. Looks so pretty and feminine on you, Sunni. Enjoy the heck out of it!ReplyCancel

  • Birgit - This dress is so beautiful! And I am jealous of your lining skills! I would love you to do a video tutorial (but no pressure ;) ) You look fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - I have loved this pattern from the first time I saw it. I attempted a version for New Year’s but it became quite bastardized through choice of fabric and fitting woes that the only thing recognizable was the notched out V-neckline. You’ve inspired me to try it again. Yours is so lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Portrait of the seamstress as a young lass » A Fashionable Stitch - […] fabrics with hearts, rainbows or strawberries (and that was totally a strawberry necklace you saw me wear yesterday!) – that’s definitely the 80s kid in me. Most definitely. I think my mom does too […]ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - Your dress came out great! I love the color and it makes me think of Spring. (It’s been raining for three days…) Happy Birthday as well. May this year be better and better.ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - this dress turned out beautifully! it’s always a fine line between “fit” and “comfortable fit.” looks like you nailed it! i love the color and the contrast stitching, and it is so cute with the jacket!ReplyCancel

  • Raquel - Love it! I couldn’t visualize the final dress from the muslin, but the final dress is lovely!ReplyCancel

  • crab&bee - The lines on the bodice are so cool. And I would love to see how you lined the bodice!ReplyCancel

  • Tasha - Ooh, love seeing the dress finished! So flattering on you. I the contrast stitching on the bodice. I know I for one would love seeing the technique you used for lining it, because I know I’m going to want to sew some sleeveless summer dresses but haven’t wrapped my brain around lining.

    And though you might not consider the jacket a total winner it looks absolutely fantastic! What a great pairing with the dress. :) ReplyCancel

  • stillsewing - Absolutely love this dress. In your fitting did you use 2 – 3 inches of ease in the bust? as you suggested in your ease chart many moons ago. This dress looks absolutely fabulous on you – it would not suit that many people so well.

    The jacket is a credit to you as well but, in my mind it begs the question, why are there so many American patterns with peplums? I find that they add to the fitting problems with jackets without contributing to the overall look of the jacket. By this I mean that with a peplum you need to keep the jacket buttoned up at all times. Just my opinion! I suppose this comes from my experience of not having a fitting “buddy”

    Anyway keep up the good work, it such a pleasure to see your work each week.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Love this colour on you , and the fit is sublime, you look great ! also ,totally irrelevant but can I just say ,I think you have quite a look of Joanne Woodward . Considering she was married to the most beautiful man ever to walk the planet , you should take that as a complimet !ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Gorgeous dress!ReplyCancel

Something Splendid

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Though we specialize in fine apparel fabric at the store front shop, we have a wide variety of customers who do things other than make apparel with our fabrics. Its actually really refreshing to see because it expands the mind and gives pause to other creative outlets to pursue and even incorporate into apparel sewing – I mean, at least this is what it does for me.

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I’ve known that piecing something in silk dupioni or shantung would be gorgeous, I just didn’t realize how gorgeous until I saw the whole thing put together in a really creative, exciting and colorful way. Tina Lewis, who is a contributor to Stitch Magazine and who also lives here in Utah, dropped by to show us what she’s done with some of our fabric. Enter now: a pieced clutch.

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Is this so fun or what? Makes me what to make my own! I love this! I wish you could see it in person too, because its even more exciting as I stand here taking photos of it. This was one of Tina’s contributions to Stitch Magazine this time around and so if you too are interested in creating your own clutch like this (from fabulous silk dupioni or shantung!!!) you need to go buy yourself up a copy of the mag.

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Do you sew something other than apparel? If so, what? I’m loving the versatility of a bright and happy clutch like this. Doing it out of something other than quilting cotton is even more exciting – not that quilting cotton is bad, its just fun to see that envelope pushed a little, you know. What do you think?

  • Doris - For me, compared to making garments for an old dilapidated body, this is pure me time play! So fun and relaxing and not only that, good for you!ReplyCancel

  • Doris - Sunni, your notions are the top notch best and truly necessary ‘for real,’ for all garment making and fun projects. There is an old saying; a good seamstress is a well equipped seamstress. Truer words were never spoken!ReplyCancel

  • Suzie - Oh wow, wow, WOW – that clutch is a work of art. Just so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Sue @ A Colourful Canvas - Fabulous!!! I do sew things other than apparel. I sew for the home…I call my slipcovers dresses for furniture, :). And I sew accessories like bags! This one is absolutely gorgeous! I am all inspired!!ReplyCancel

  • Mercedes - How beautiful!!! Very good idea.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Solan Avison - Having retired 10 years ago I have started to broaden my sewing challenges. Over the years I have made everything from hats to socks (from fleece) and then when i acquired a house – curtains, cushions, chair backs wall hangings etc. I love when I can make something that is not available in the shops.

    But in the past few years I joined a patchwork class and believe me it is addictive and as I don’t need any quilts I find myself making covers for mobile phone, Ipads, wallets, and by now all my friends must have struck lucky as I don’t have the need for more than one of each.. Your photo once again has given me ideas but as I made one quilted {but plain} clutches last year I will have to restrain myself.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention as it does widen our sewing challenges, and keep up the good work.

    MaryReplyCancel

  • Siri - Swoon!!!! Such lovely colors, and interesting shapes :) ReplyCancel

  • MADDIE - Beautiful clutch indeed. Even from the photos, I can see the intricacy that went into its making. Thanks for sharing Tina’s feature; I’ll have to check out the tutorial in Stitch Magazine.

    The only non garment sewing I do is lingerie. I’m not sure if that it can be called a “non garment,” but anything other than clothing I fit into that definition.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon C. - I’m an art quilter (though I sew lots of more utilitarian things like clothes and bags too), and I love using apparel fabrics for my quilts. I don’t piece much and I love the way apparel fabrics add a totally different texture to my work than cotton. I’ve recently been experimenting with different ways of doing raw edge work and I love how easy it is to melt/seal the edges of many non-cotton textiles. That clutch is gorgeous- piecing with silks is challenging, so kudos to the maker!ReplyCancel

  • Serac - Love that clutch. Beautiful colors and so well put together! I do make non-wearable items, mostly pillows for my home and bags, more utilitarian than the clutch and no where near as beautiful, but useful for an art student who has to carry around a lot of sometimes seemingly random things.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Wow! This is amazing!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Alaskapsych - That is sharp! I make patchworked wallets and non-patchworked handbags!ReplyCancel

  • liza jane - Gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

  • Sufiya - That is Seminole patchwork, isn’t it? STUNNING.ReplyCancel

  • Tracey - Hi there Sunni! How are you? I did see that bag in Stitch Magazine, it is really amazing and so neat that you were able to see it in person. It looks so complicated- and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Spencer@12ozbeehouse.com - This is amazing! I love this clutch!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - I tend to focus on clothes not accessories, but I do admire this clutch. One day…ReplyCancel

Enter Simplicity 1654 Fitting Muslin

First things first. I did rub-off a pattern for my Garnet Hill inspired dress. I then proceeded to cut out fabric, sew it up and even though the dress itself will work, the color scheme looks really really drab and sad on me. So I’ve put this project off to the side for now until I have the wherewithall to possibly toss it and start anew. This is life. Onwards and upwards.

I’ve really just wanted to sew some dresses is the thing. This is a weird thing for me because well, I’m such a practical person these days. But a dress can be practical. Especially with a white stretch cotton blazer – which is the project directly next after this dress. Yes! So I went to my stash and dug out this Simplicity 1654 pattern. I had actually forgotten how much I love Simplicity patterns. Of the Big 4, this line fits me the best straight from the envelope (note I said fits me the best, we still have a few fitting problems, just not as many as the other Big 4). I find that with McCalls, Butterick and Vogue the armholes are cut so low! Is that just me? So it was nice not to have to deal with that for a change.

This pattern has some great design lines. The bodice is just killer! And since I know that a skirt like that will require little to no fitting, I muslined the bodice to see where we were at. The fit was actually quite good through the bust and waist, but the straps were trying to fall off my shoulders. And its not that they were too wide/far apart, it was the angle at which they were sitting on the body. So I thought I would show you what I did to fix it. I pinched out the excess pooling that was happening when I put the straps where I wanted them to be. That pooling happened at an angle at the bust and shoulder blade. See?

Muslin-1654-2

Muslins-1654-1

How do you fix that on a the pattern piece. It’s the same idea really. I measured how much I pinched out, then slashed and overlapped that amount in those areas of the bodice that I pinched out with pins on the muslin. It’s not a hard fix by any means, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that its intuitive. This is something that I’m always amazed by, but when fitting, many times the part that needs fixing is not the part that we intuitively feel needs the fix. Just some random fitting thoughts.

Simplicity-1654

I’ve settled on an aqua linen to make this up in (fabric from the shop, now online! yay!). I’m actually nearly finished with the dress itself, so here’s a sneak peek.

Now off to line and hem the thing. And then to focus on a white stretch cotton jacket. Yay!

  • Nakisha - Yay! I just chose this for a summer dress. so please document ALL of your progress! Hahahaha!

    Can’t wait to see it!ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - Sunni, just to tell you it´s not just you having a problem with Big 4 armholes! You should switch to European patterns they are so much better. Just have a look at this shirt pattern muslin I just made http://bombardone.com/sewingprincess/2014/02/i-am-weak-wip-margot-blouse-republique-du-chiffon/ It´s without any armhole alteration.ReplyCancel

  • Kate McIvor - Great job, Sunni! I wonder if a small bust adjustment would also do the trick?ReplyCancel

  • Tasha - Ooh that’s a beautiful blue! Looking forward to seeing the whole thing. I think dresses can be practical, too. And I’ve never really felt that way until this year. They felt bulky, or awkward, or somehow not appropriate for X, Y, Z situation. Then I realized it was the *fit* not the fact that it was a *dress* itself per se, that was the crux of the issue for me. Ill-fitting, poor fabric choice for how I like to wear things, etc. Now that I’m getting past all that, I seriously feel like sewing about a million dresses. Throw it on and you’re done. How could that not be practical, I’m not seeing!

    Ironically I just picked up a blazer on mega sale at Gap and my first thought was “ooh! perfect to throw on over a dress!” Looking forward to your stretch cotton blazer, too.ReplyCancel

  • I Made It!! - That is a beautiful blue! Is it finished yet! Can I see it?ReplyCancel

  • lisa g - i don’t remember seeing this pattern before, but i love the seaming! thanks for the fitting tips. since i always have to do a SBA, i tend to shy away from too many seams. can’t wait to see this one finished!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I too have the same problem with the armholes being cut too low on McCalls! Haven’t noticed this on Butterick or Vogue yet, but I’ll be on the lookout. I’ve only ever tried a skirt from Simplicity, but I’d like to try other patterns from my stash. Anyway, you do such a great job with fitting! Looking forward to seeing the finished dress (with jacket!).ReplyCancel

  • Doris - Sunni, I always have the shoulder seams falling off my abnormally narrow shoulders! I love the way you remedied this on this dress. I have the dress pattern and am going to do what you did to make the shoulders fit me. I usually have to make a size smaller in the neck and shoulders, then go out to my normal size at the bust, waist, and hips. In this particular dress, your fix is super! Thanks for the clips! They are priceless for not so good sewers like me!!! DorisReplyCancel

  • Karin - I often successfully remedy the shoulder problem by having my shoulders slope/size traced on a large poster board and then comparing the pattern to the slope and size of my actual shoulders before cutting. I have very small shoulders and back in comparison to the rest of me, especially the bust. However, I believe some version of this would also be helpful for me, as I still end up with some extra fabric at the top of the chest area sometimes….

    Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Kamal - Wonderful piece of work..ReplyCancel

  • best dressed » A Fashionable Stitch - […] the Simplicity 1654 finale! Ha ha! Since I already had this white leather jacket that I made and never blogged from […]ReplyCancel

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