So Sew Natalie » my sewing adventures!

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  • About Natalie

    I am just a regular gal taking a stab at sewing and thought I'd share them on a blog rather than having a photo album on facebook, flickr or just leaving the finished products unseen.

    A few words to describe me would be: type 1 diabetic (20+ years), creative, crafter, newbie hiker, cat whisperer, reader of physical books not online books, music lover, wife.

date night dress :: april rhodes pattern

Oh my it’s been FAR to long! My last entry was the beginning of July and I haven’t been at my sewing table since (I did try to sew at one point, but it was much too hot so I didn’t get far at all.)

For those that don’t know, K and I are expecting our first baby! This has been part of the reason I haven’t blogged or been sewing; it’s too hot out for me to do much and I was exhausted for my first trimester. Now in my second trimester I am slightly less exhausted, but still way to warm, and busy making room for the baby.

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I’m hoping to start sewing again once my “sewing room” is no longer holding all the stuff we moved out of the nursery room to sell at the garage sale this weekend or unpack later to store in the “sewing room”.

In the meantime I guess I should blog my Date Night dress! I bought the pattern a while back from Spool of Thread in paper form and picked up some beautiful cotton silk at Fabricland for 50% off for the dress and a simple black cotton fabric for the slip. One thing I learned from using silk is that..I don’t like working with silk. haha.

date_night_dress_01After fiddling with a muslin version, I ended up having to buy a digital copy (which is kind of better since I can print as I want and not worry about storing a thin paper pattern) to make the final dress.

date_night_dress_2_muslin

At the point of starting this dress I had two things in mind; wearing it to both K’s baby sister’s wedding in July along with his best friend’s wedding in August and that I wanted it to be flowy, not clingy. I decided to make the top L and the bottom XL; at the time, we hadn’t found out I was pregnant and making the bottom XL would be perfect for the bump! I did find out shortly after the muslin was done though.

I somehow made some errors with the PDF, whether during the printing set-up process or the paper cutting process; I ended up with an XL neckline on an L top. During the cutting of the fabric I made the mistake of cutting two front pieces instead of a single front and back piece! Not realizing yet I had cut the neck too big and thinking it was L, I thought it would be fine and just add a cute touch with a low back neckline.

I continued with the dress, realized I hated working with silk, and a few weeks later (yes weeks!) got the hemming point of the dress which was pretty painful for the large sleeves when you can’t press silk like you can with other fabric!

date_night_dress_3

I eventually got the dress done, minus the bottom hem, and went to try it on only to find out the two front necklines were WAY to big. It literally fell off my shoulders. GAH! Thanks to help from K, we worked through the issue and solved it by adding pleats in the back (see below); it made the top shoulder seams move back more and it still seems odd to me but it helped. The front neckline is still too large, but as long as I keep an eye on it to adjust, I can keep it looking flat.

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With the July wedding only a day away, I literally came home from the family dinner the night before in Abbotsford to finish my dress and slip! Just in the nick of time I finished it for the wedding. Phew!

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I wore it for the wedding in July when I was around 10w pregnant and luckily I wasn’t really showing at that point, plus the dress was flowy enough to hide any evidence. We ended up announcing the pregnancy to family the following week and then to everyone else after that.

date_night_dress_finished1

The wedding in August was just this past weekend and the pregnancy had been announced so I didn’t have to worry about hiding it. I was worried the dress would be too short, but having made both the slip and dress skirt portions in XL, even with a growing bump I was able to get away without needing leggings! It was also flowy enough that my bump wasn’t as obvious as when I wear tank tops or my other dresses; I was worried about those who didn’t know finding out at the wedding as I didn’t want to pull focus from the happy couple.:)(In the end a number of people found out at the wedding reception anyways or hadn’t seen us since we announced but it wasn’t a big deal)

date_night_dress_finished2

Notes for the next time I make this dress:

  1. No silk fabric.
  2. Double check printing scale and lines cutting to avoid cutting XL neckline.
  3. DON’T CUT TWO FRONT PIECES.
  4. Give more time to finish the dress than the night before an event (haha).

diy handkerchiefs :: sewing for weddings

My beautiful SIL got married this past weekend and had a wonderful DIY wedding. My contribution to the wedding was handmade handkerchiefs for the ceremony.

I got the idea from Pinterest, of course, to have vintage handkerchiefs for guests to grab on their way into the ceremony. I couldn’t find any, that weren’t ridiculously priced on websites like Etsy, so I decided to make them. The construction is simple: cut a square, fold 1/2 inch on all four sides, iron, fold another 1/2 inch on all four sides, sew straight lines with a 1/4 inch seam.

I tried to find vintage fabric on the cheap for this but couldn’t find enough so I ended up picking up two of the wedding colours in heritage cotton from Fabricland on sale. I got 3 meters of a pale yellow and 2 meters of a coral rose colour, two of the four colours that were found at the wedding.

diy_handkerchiefs_1diy_handkerchiefs_3

Because I waited for long, due to being so busy, I actually finished the 75 I made two days before the wedding. I had originally planned to make 100 but didn’t have enough time. K helped me by making the template for me to use, along with helping mark and cut the fabric. I couldn’t have done it without him; he even ironed the hems for me while I was at work two days in a row!

Mikey tried to help, but ended up being in the way; he got kicked out of the sewing sweatshop a few times for trying to eat my sewing pins. haha.

diy_handkerchiefs_2

The sewing was definitely the easier part of this project since it’s just a few straight lines, whereas the prep took quite a while. I bought an Ezy-Hem ruler though which made the ironing slightly easier. I ran out of sewing pins so we actually started using paper clips! Office supplies to the rescue;)

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They ended up being 7×7 inches, because we miscalculated and made the template 9×9 inches, but they still worked out. I put them in one of my small wooden trunks that I used for photo prints at craft fairs and we set it on a chair at the entrance to the church.

diy_handkerchiefs_7_finished

 

diy seashell collection bags :: sewing for kids

While on Pinterest, of course, I came across this tutorial for seashell collection bags which is a super cute idea for summer! I decided to make them for my younger nieces and nephews since the bags are basic construction.

sea_shell_bag_diy_1

I had some fat quarter fabric to use up so this was a perfect project to get through my stash. I only have three completed at the moment for my nieces and nephew on the mainland, but I have two more pending for my niece and nephew on the island which I hope to get done and mailed to them later this week.

sea_shell_bag_diy_2

I made some alterations to the pattern, I used white fabric I had in my stash for the sides since I didn’t have enough left in the fat quarter pieces and I gave them two short handles instead of one long handle. On second thought one handle, even a small one, would have been better than two as they don’t open very wide anyways.

You can find the tutorial on the Come Together Kids website here.

maxi skirts in action

This is quite late but I finally made it out to my mother-in-law’s a month or so ago to give C her maxi skirts!

Without knowing her measurements I am happy to say that they fit perfectly and look great!

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I also gave C the Staple Dress I made which ended up being a bit too small on me but fits her nicely.:)I have a few more sewing projects for her, including attaching circle skirts to tanks she bought, which I hope to get done before the summer is over!

the zippy top :: see kate sew pattern

When the Zippy Top pattern became available from See Kate Sew I got really excited and bought it a little while after it was up for sale. It was a PDF download pattern where you print it off, tape the pages together and cut the pattern size. I love PDF patterns because you don’t have to worry about tracing paper, tissue paper patterns or losing/storing them; you just print whenever you need!

zippytop_paper_pattern_pdf

The only downside to PDF patterns is the amount of time it takes to tape each piece so you can cut it out!

Using some of the awesome cotton voile fabric I found for 50% off at Fabricland I went to making the top.

zippytop_practice_hem

I altered the pattern to have a wider neck as I was worried a medium neckline would be too small. The interfacing pieces for the front and back did not fit properly so I ended up skipping the piece for the front; this was a mistake as it made the neckline unstructured.

zippytop_practice_finished

Oh well – chalk it up to a practice piece using discount fabric. I did learn a few things with this practice top so it wasn’t all in vain. I skipped the zipper on this one in the end and use a button with elastic instead which I think is super cute, don’t you? I guess you can’t really call it a “zippy” top without the zipper though eh? haha

zippytop_practice_back_button

I went ahead and made two more zippy tops; this time I went with the medium size neckline but with a large size arm opening which worked out well because I don’t like feeling restricted under the arms. I didn’t use the interfacing pattern pieces and instead I made my own using the neckline from the cut fabric pieces and this worked out.

zippytop_comparison

As you can see above, the neckline worked out a LOT better with the interfacing piece just like the instructions said..who knew!;)

I added some details to the two tops I made on the shoulder to keep the interfacing pieces from sneaking out.

zippytop_1_details_01

Here are some detail shots of the “first” Zippy Top in the light purple fabric:

zippytop_1_finished_frontzippytop_1_finished_back

zippytop_1_finished_closeupzippytop_1_details

I wore both shirts to work in the last week and received a lot of compliments! I can’t wait to make C’s tops and more for me.:)

zippytop_2_finished

zippytop_1_finished

zippytop_1_finished_inuse

 

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May 30, 2014 - 3:47 pm

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