Seaside Dress – Freshwater Approved! My Woven and Knit Creations with the Seamingly Smitten Pattern

Seaside Dress Collage

When Seamingly Smitten invited me to do a summer guest blog, my eyes gravitated immediately to the Seaside Dress. The combination of blouse-looking top with the gathered, pocketed skirt is exactly the style I’ve been oogling this summer. I’m pretty sure I printed the pattern and sewed my first version the same day–and that included making a fabric run for the perfect chambray. I was headed to the lake on vacation, and I needed this dress with me at the beach. 😍

This pattern is suitable for both woven and knits, so let’s get on with it. I’ll share a few tips and what I did to create the best fit for each fabric type. [p.s. if you’re grabbing the pattern now, use code SUMMER20 to save 20%, valid for 48 hours]

Version 1: Woven

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 1

For this style, I chose a striped chambray from Hobby Lobby that I had already seen online and knew would be perfect for this style. The pockets are a polka dot chambray also from Hobby Lobby. In this pattern, I measured XS bust, S waist, and XS hip. For the woven style, I chose to make a straight Small since this was my non-stretch version and the elasticized waist would create a fitted look.

I did not color-block either of my versions. I used the full top for the bodice (no inserts). It was just the look I wanted for these two versions–and I’ll definitely be sewing more to try out the color-blocking.

 

The fit turned out perfect in woven; and I was right–I lived in this at the beach. The style is classy yet modest…and definitely mom-approved!

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 4

Woven Sewing Tip: Because we don’t have the grace of stretch when sewing with wovens, there are a few tricks to get a perfect fit when connecting the bodice to the skirt. My skirt ended up being wider than my bodice, and this could have been for several reasons (my pocket placement, seam allowance etc.). I simply used a basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine) and slightly gathered my skirt before connecting it to my bodice (and before adding elastic). The gathering was minimal, and it didn’t affect the proceeding steps (creating the casing etc.).

Seamingly Smitten Seaside Dress 2

I also have tips for creating a nice, crisp “v” –and I’ll share those toward the end of the post.

Version 2: Knit

Seaside Dress Knit Floral Seamingly Smitten 3.1

For my knit version, I used single brushed poly “Herb” from Sly Fox Fabrics for the bodice,  “Joy” in sage single brushed poly for the skirt, and single brushed “Moss” for the pockets. Again, I didn’t use fabric from my stash. I had a vision, and I went with it!

For my knit version, I sewed a straight XS (measurements were XS bust, S waist, XS hip). I knew I had more leeway with knits; and I’d recommend this to others sewing the pattern as well: if you’re between sizes, choose larger for woven and smaller for knit.

 

I can’t say enough how awesome these pockets are with the gathered skirt style! I’m not even a big pocket user, but I want them for looks. I’m all about the pockets this season 🙌

 

Waistband Elastic Tip: As with any pattern, I recommend taking your elastic and circling it right around your waist. I do this every time to see what length is most comfortable (depending on where I’d like the elastic to sit). I ended up cutting my elastic about 1” shorter than the pattern recommendations.

“V” Neckline Tips: Lastly, I want to leave you with a few tips to get that crisp “V” neckline. This is another feature that I love about the pattern. I don’t sew enough v-necks, and they can be intimidating for many. This style uses a facing, so once we sew the facing, we flip it to the wrong side of the garment. If you’re new to v-styles, you’ll love this.

Step 1: Start stitching 1.5-2” from your “V”

Anytime I sew a “v,” I want my concentration to be on the most integral part–that center “v.” To ensure that I get the “v” right, I start stitching just before the “v” and then continue around the rest of the neckline. You can see where my presser foot is; this is where I’m beginning to stitch the facing.

Seaside Tutorial 2

Next, per the tip in the pattern, when you get down to the “v” point, keep your presser foot down, pivot your needle to stitch straight forward, and use your hand-crank to crank two stitches forward. Then, with needle down, pivot again to face the other edge of your “v” and continue stitching the remainder of the neckline. Those couple stitches in the middle of the “v” allow the fabric to turn more easily with less bulge.

Seaside Tutorial 3

Here is what the inside of my neckline looks like with the facing, before I’ve flipped it to the other side.

Seaside Tutorial 4

Then, snip as close to that “v” as you can, without going through the stitches. I also snip one on each side as well. This eliminates bulge.

Seaside Tutorial 5

Once we flip the facing to the wrong-side of the fabric, it’s time to topstitch. Again, I start near my “v” to keep my concentration on that center point. Otherwise, I can easily get lost in my sewing and might be careless by the time I get to the “v.”

Seaside Tutorial 6

Once you’ve completed your Seaside Dresses, I want to see them! Be sure to share them in the Seamingly Smitten Facebook Group and use the hashtag #SeasideDress so we can easily find them!

Happy sewing!

Seaside Dress Knit Floral Seamingly Smitten 1

Feature Friday: Maize Dress Pattern Mods for a Hi-Low Keyhole Dress

Maize Dress Hi-Low 19

Today is Feature Friday over at Petite Stitchery, which means they highlight a pattern and offer it for $5 for 24 hours. The pattern this week is the beautiful Maize Keyhole Tunic an Dress.

To celebrate the Feature, I decided to do a few mods. Please pardon my picture overload; I couldn’t get enough of this dress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Changes I Made

To get the hi-low look and keyhole front, I made a few changes to the construction of the pattern.

  1. I narrowed the shoulder since I wouldn’t be adding sleeves
  2. I switched the front and back bodice so that the keyhole would show in the front
  3. I created a dramatic hi-low design using the skirt template provided in the pattern

Maize Dress Hi-Low 6

The first two steps don’t require additional instruction; however, if you wanted to construct the front/back bodice properly, you could interchange the armscye/opening and width. I kept it as-is, and it worked for us! So I’ll move to the third, creating the hi-low. You’ll first want to determine how dramatic of a hi-low you’d like. I added at least 4” to the skirt cut chart and used the skirt guide to create the curved hem.

Back

Maize Tutorial 2.jpg

I created the front piece in a similar way, but you’ll flip this one upside down so that the curve goes up toward the center.  Use the same size fabric piece as the back skirt because you’ll need to connect the side seams (side seams are on the right of this pic). As you cut the top of the curve, gradually cut down toward the bottom of your fabric (not shown).

Front

Maize Tutorial 1

The end result is stunning from both back and front and such a fun way to use the pattern in a new way!

And who doesn’t love a perfect flower-picking dress??

The fabric I chose for this pattern was a boarder print called Beds of Roses by Michael Miller that I ordered from Punkin Head Threads. I absolutely adore boarder prints and actually ordered this print in all 3 colorways for my 3 girls. I can’t wait to get all three of them together (one dress at a time…) 😍

So grab your pattern here for just $5, and be sure to share your creations on the FB page! I’m inspired here every.single.day.

 

Disclaimer: The pattern links in this post are affiliate links; I’m so happy that you were inspired to buy the pattern via my creations! I am affiliated with most of the pattern companies I test for, and this in no way shapes my response or promotion. I only test for companies I respect and only share patterns I adore!

 

Lesley Flutter: On-Trend Creations

Last fall, I sewed up this version of the Lesley Flutter Sleeve and was in love with the free-flowing arms while still having a great fit throughout the torso.

Skinnies Jeans 4

 

Today I’ll be sharing a few versions of the Seamingly Smitten Lesley in this season’s on-trend prints as well as tips and tricks for the best Flutter sewing experience!

 

First — meet Lesley in brushed poly elephants. Both brushed poly and elephants are on-trend. Even in summer, with the correct drape, brushed poly feels heavenly (and not too hot). You can see how the sleeves cascade down the body, yet they don’t actually have such a major arm opening. This is a unique feature of the pattern; it is both sewn from the inside and outside (we’ll get more to that below).

Elephant Flutter Sleeve Top

 

The second way to style the Lesley is with both a solid and a pattern. The top has just one pattern piece for both front and back, allowing you to really play with fabrics! You could style with lace, solid (brushed poly, rayon spandex, bamboo lycra, etc.). Here, I’ve used a trendy stained glass brushed poly and solid mustard brushed poly. The shirt is reversible (just don’t add a tag), so you can wear it loud/printed or soft/solid depending on your mood. It’s also a great way to subdue busy prints.

 

Lastly, here’s our third on-trend Lesley in vertical stripes. The double brushed poly I used had enough stretch either way to really make this work. Additionally, this particular pattern doesn’t require too much stretch. So, although the stretch was best with horizontal stripes, I chose to go vertical!

Tips and Tricks

Hemming the Lesley – A great deal of the Lesley construction is hemming (neckline, full side sleeves, and bottom). The pattern calls for a double-roll method, where you’ll fold under and under once more. This is the cleanest finish, and I’d recommend using a double needle, stretch stitch (like zigzag), or coverstitch to finish your hems on knit garments. Alternatively, you can also serge the full ends and fold under just once if you don’t mind the inside serged edges showing a bit within the flowy sleeve.

 

WARNING: The last step says to sew the garment RIGHT SIDE OUT…and it’s correct!

Lesley Flutter Tutorial 2

After you’ve sewn the complete garment, there is one final step. The instructions say to turn the garment right-side-out and stitch up from the side seam. This is correct and you’re not reading it wrong! It’s very rare in the sewing world to stitch a garment seam from the right side; but this is what creates your beautiful flutter while preventing too wide of a sleeve opening. If you’ve made this mistake already, you’re not alone! I’ve had to grab my seam ripper a time or two 😁

SEW AND SHARE

So there you go! Find your perfect fabric (what speaks to you), and sew your first (or maybe 10th!!) Lesley Flutter Sleeve Top. When you’ve finished, use the hashtag #LesleyFlutter, and be sure to share in the Seamingly Smitten Facebook Group; I want to see what you sewed up!

Flutter Sleeve Collage

 

All on-trend printed fabrics in this post are from Love Adore Knits. The owner of Love Adore passed away, and the Love Adore team is in a short period of transition. They will be back shortly to continue Kimberly’s vision and to serve an amazing sewing community! You can join their Facebook page for updates.

 

 

My New Garden Midi Dress: Oceanside by Itch to Stitch

Oceanside Dress 10.1

Kennis Wong is a designer from Hong Kong with an eye for detail. I know this about her patterns, and I adore it. Before jumping into every test, I understand that there will be more options for detailing and finishing that initially meet the eye, and this new dress is no exception! The Oceanside Dress releases today and contains a sweet inset “v” cutout at the neckline and sleeves that “v” down at the sides for gorgeous color-blocking options:

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 9.16.05 AM.png

After checking out my closet and seeing the desperate need for midi-length, I chose to lengthen my skirt for the perfect summer-garden midi dress!

Using solids for part of my color-blocking allowed my floral to stand out without being overwhelming. Both my floral and deep raisin solid fabrics were from Sly Fox Fabrics, and the blush pink liverpool was from Pretty Posh Prints.

Oceanside Dress 6

As far as fit, this style is very forgiving and highlights the beautiful features of women. I measured a “0” up top and a “2” at the waist and hips and sewed a straight 2. The bodice gathers into the fitted waistband so nicely, allowing that fit/flare look with a beautiful loose/blouse bodice.

It’s so comfortable that I actually garden in this dress before heading out to enjoy friends and more pleasantries of summer.

Will I sew it again?

AbsolutelyThis style allows for many solid and pattern color-blocking combinations; and with such a different look depending on length, I could sure use a few more of these in my wardrobe!

Be sure to join the Itch to Stitch Facebook group for a special discount code and share your new Oceanside Dress on the Facebook page so we can be inspired!

 

Disclaimer: The pattern links in this post are affiliate links; I’m so happy that you were inspired to buy the pattern via my creations! I am affiliated with most of the pattern companies I test for, and this in no way shapes my response or promotion. I only test for companies I respect and only share patterns I adore!

Made for Mermaid Chambray Mama Daphne, Including Fall Mods

Made for Mermaids M4M Mama Daphne Dress 2

Some patterns just make you feel at pace in your own skin … this is mine.

I was no new creature to the Mama Daphne. I had oogled it several times, drooled over the beautiful creations, and I even sewed a double brushed poly version as my “solid staple” top for the summer. But I needed a dress.

I was so devoted to finding the correct chambray that I contacted Art Gallery Fabrics for swatches. I wanted to see the beautiful colors in person, to feel the breathability, the softness. I decided on the Cool Foliage for this dress; the greenish hue spoke to me for both summer and the upcoming fall. A little mint pompom trim was my perfect accent.

What I Did Differently

Made for Mermaids M4M Mama Daphne Dress 3

Flounce + Sleeve Combo

I knew I wanted flounce, but I also wanted sleeves. I didn’t want my underarm to be free to the air, especially since I couldn’t part with this dress come fall. I cut all pieces out and realized that the flounce is designed much larger than the neckline. To make this work, I simply cut down my flounce to be the same width as the neck opening.

  1. I sewed the top of the dress together without the flounce.
  2. I narrowed my flounce pieces to be the same width as the neck opening and then sewed them (the flounce pieces) together.
  3. I laid the flounce over the neck opening just as you see it (with the wrong side of the flounce against the right side of the dress). I serged the flounce to the neck opening at the raw edges so that this would now function as one piece. If you don’t own a serger, you could simply use a zigzag stitch over the raw edge.
  4. I created my neck casing by folding down that serged edge just once (to decrease bulk) and stitching just above the serged line.

Waistband Elastic

The next modification I made was the size of my waistband elastic. When I cut according to the measurement chart, I could feel that the elastic would be very snug against my skin. I wanted a slightly looser fit so that I’d be very comfortable in this dress. So,

I simply wrapped my elastic around my waist where it felt comfortable, and snipped there.

The end result? Love! I just want to curl up, read a good magazine out on the porch, and soak in this beautiful weather!

 

Disclaimer: The pattern links in this post are affiliate links. I am affiliated with most of the pattern companies I test for, and this in no way shapes my response or promotion. I only test for companies I respect and only share patterns I adore!

 

 

New Horizons Portlander Pants and Shorts: Monochrome Fashion Classics

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 6  Portlander Pants and Daphne Top 4

I tend to sew florals or bright colors. I love pink. But this year I’ve been drawn to blues and neutrals like no other and decided to press into that monochrome pull for this sewing feature of the Portlander Pants by New Horizons Designs.

The Portlander Pants is a pant pattern that runs sizes xxs-3XL and is fitted up top and looser toward the bottom. I feel elegant, yet ready for the beach, in this style.

Creating a monochrome wardrobe (or at least a few staples) definitely has its perks. The neutral coordinating colors will be so easy to pair with other items in my closet. Plus, I’m absolutely, helplessly in love with this black+white jersey print from Love Adore .

The second version of the Portlander (same pattern, different look) that I created was shorts. I simply cut at my desired inseam and tried them on to adjust the length before hemming. For a looser fit, simply grade out in the legs (you can also angle outward); I chose to keep the sizing/fit as-is for a fitted style.

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 1

This was a fun way for me to use my black lace overlay material from Knitpop. Since I used a sheer stretch crochet lace material, I lined them with mauve double brushed poly (Pretty Posh Prints). The mauve was on the verge of being a bit too nude–but paired with the right top, I ended up loving it as a quick way to feel classy and comfy.

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 3

The off-the-shoulder top that I chose as an elegant accent to my Portlander Pants was the Mama Daphne top by Made for Mermaids. I used a solid black double brushed poly from Pretty Posh Prints. Many seamstresses grab the solids and then wonder what to do with them; using them to line lace garments (like under the shorts) and for elegant accent tops like the Daphne is perfect year-round.

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 7

You can find the PORTLANDER PANTS here at New Horizons Designs. If you sew up this pattern, be sure to share your creations in the New Horizons FB Group!

Portlander Collage

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑