Sunday, March 10, 2013

4 Dresses in 10 Days

For months I've been wanting to revamp Grace's Sunday dress collection.  She has dresses, but most of them are knit dresses that she wears to school.  She also has several skirts, but most skirts are school skirts too, and I just have been wanting dresses that are only for church.  Yes, I know I shouldn't care so much about what my kids wear, and probably I'm totally vain, but I like clothes.  John has also been told that I feel as though a girl can never have too many dresses.  I don't think Grace needs to wear something new every Sunday (but I wouldn't cry if she did).

Now I can move on having confessed my sins of vanity.

Like Annee said last week, we exchanged some texts and by the end I'd taken on the dare to see if I could sew 4 dresses in 10 days.  I'm not one to turn away from a dare, and in fact, I dare say, pun intended, I work better under a deadline and pressure.  I needed the motivation to get me behind my machine, and boy did this challenge do just that.

And, drum roll....I finished 4 complete dresses in 10 days.  I can't remember the last time I sewed 4 things in 10 days let alone a small collection of dresses.  I'm hoping that I can keep my sewing mojo going because I have visions of new pillows and pants for George and maybe even another dress and or skirt for Grace, etc.  But, before I get ahead of myself, here's the rundown 4 dresses I sewed and my review of each pattern.

Dress 1

Review:  I sewed this dress first because I thought it was going to be very challenging with the sleeves, bodice, pleats, etc. I'm usually totally frustrated with Simplicity patterns, but I've never sewn a Project Runway pattern.  Surprisingly, this dress was not hard.  I wouldn't say it's easy, but I felt like it was well written and easy to follow.  I will definitely look at more Project Runway patterns in the future.

Dress 2

Review: I love this dress, and I loved making it.  Annee and I actually had a long distance sew-along the night I made this which made it even more enjoyable to sew.  I will definitely make this again.  The dress was easily sewn in couple of hours. I also think this is Grace's favorite dress out of the four I made.

Dress 3

Review: This dress is out of print and is highly coveted.  I'm not sure why the girls of Sugar City stopped selling this pattern, but from what I've gathered in chat rooms, maybe it was just more than they wanted to take on?? This dress is not for the faint of heart, and you might make yourself crazy if you try to make this all in one day.  Also, I skipped all hand sewing except the buttons.  The pattern called for hand stitching all of the trims - sleeve trim, yoke trim, and button bias trim. My hands would be crippled if I dared to take on all that hand sewing.  While this was a total labor of love (and maybe a swear word or two), I'm in love with the results.  I want one for myself.  I think this look is to die for.  Using the shot cotton took it to a whole new comfy level.

Dress 4

Pattern: Simplicity 2825

Review: Annee kept telling me this was a 2 hour dress.  I saved it for last because I was banking on it being so easy.  Really I think I saved the best for last.  I love the look of this dress, and it fits so well, and the fabric is adorable. It's a simple pattern and start to finish really could be made in 2 hours.  I'm sure I'll be making this again.

And that's a long wrap.  Sorry this is so long! I'm off to bed early tonight.  I do have pillows cut out, so maybe you'll see a whole new look in my living room soon.  Stay tuned!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What I loved about February...

1.  Liz magically showing up at my house at the beginning of February!!  It was the most amazing 24 hours of the month.

She is like a great big dose of motivation.  Everyone should have a Liz!  She helped me FINALLY finish Wally's "Inside Out" quilt.

Eleanor's had been done, but never photographed:

2.  My heart tree.  It's March, and I can't bring myself to put it away yet.

3.  My little girls (who hardly seem very little anymore) turned 8!  For some reason, we were rather stumped as to what to give them.  When suddenly it struck us that what they would love more than any "toy" would be a dedicated space all of their own.  A special little "reading nook".  It was the funnest birthday present I've given in a long time.  We took a picture late, late at night before my husband and I crawled into bed having finished making birthday magic:

They were thrilled.

4. I sewed dresses!  It feels like it's been forever since I've made any dresses.  I needed a break from quilts.  

Jane's dress is a Project Runway #2320 (for Simplicity) pattern I picked up at Joann's a few weeks ago.

I love the finished product.  The Anna Maria Horner Field Study fabric may also contribute to my feelings about the dress, but the pattern gets some credit too.  I was very excited about the contrasting yoke detail.  The pattern comes with several different sleeve options.  I let Jane choose the option she wanted.  Including my girls in the design process is pretty essential at this point for them to feel invested in the final product.  She loved those sleeves.  I would never have guessed that!

She's already worn it to school and to church, so that means it's a success.  With so many pattern variations, I think I could make it a few more times before I get tired of it.  Good pattern find!!

5.  An Olive&S Sew-Along that Liz and I had, after I dared her to sew four dresses in ten days!

On February 27th, Liz texted me a picture of the four dresses she wanted to make, and had already laid out and selected all of her fabrics!  I was sew impressed.  I asked her when she thought she'd be done with them.  She texted back, "in a year".  I texted back, "I dare you to make four dresses in ten days".  And that's pretty much all you need to say to a Markos (Liz's maiden name!).  I think before that day was over, her first dress was cut out.  I think she's on day 7 or 6 (counting backwards), and she has already completed two dresses!  She's totally going to make four dresses in ten days.

But for fun, I joined her on Friday night for a O&S dress sew-along.  We each worked until midnight local times, and had a dress by the end of it.

I used an all time favorite AMH LouLouThi fabric, paired with an orangy/red shot cotton.  I made the dress in a size 10.  Just as a reference.  Ruby has requested three new spring dresses (luckily this one counts as #1).  We have the fabric and the requested pattern for the next one.  But we'll see when we find the time.  I am not Liz, working on a dare.  I'm just a new mom of six, lucky to get a shower every other day :)  

Stay tuned for Liz's epic dress post.  You've got this Liz!

This concludes what I loved most about February.
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