Saturday, August 29, 2015

Selfish Sewing

Whew!  Now that my big kids are back in school, I have time to sew again!  And believe it or not, I don't *just* sew for my kids.  I've really been enjoying sewing for myself lately, too.  I've done a little selfish sewing in the last few weeks preparing for fall weddings and events.
The first jaunt was a dress I had in my mind for a long time before I had it on my sewing machine.  I used the Marbella pattern by Itch to Stitch.  It's made of grey satin from the "Let's Pretend" line from JoAnn Fabrics and lace and pleather from Fabric Recycles, a sewing consignment store in my area.

Pretty on the mannequin, huh?  

The pattern is well written and detailed.  The measurements are spot on.  But unfortunately, this dress does not do my curvy, post-four-babies, over thirty bod any favors.  My measurements are 40-30-40, and my tummy is a little squishy.  This dress makes me look wide and boxy.  I'm not sure if it's the design of the dress itself or the fabric I chose that does this.  I am eager to try this pattern out again with some less structured fabric than the crisp satin I used, such as a lighter weight linen or perhaps some rayon challis or even ponte de roma, and see if it lays in a little more flattering way.  I don't think I'll be wearing this one any time soon.  It's fun to look at in the closet, though.

The next two on the list should really get their own post, because I've used this pattern several times and it is currently my favorite dress pattern.  But I'll just write about the two I did yesterday for now.  
Both of the these two came from the same pattern.  It's Harlow by Violette Field Threads. If you have a squishy mommy body and like to sew, BUY THIS PATTERN.  It's incredibly flattering.  I feel so pretty in all my Harlows.  I have four so far, and plans to make another.  They're all different, and they're all awesome.  I sewed both of these up yesterday.  Yes, both in one day.  And I took a kid to the doctor AND took care of my four kiddos solo (hubby was on a much-deserved guys overnight outing with some friends). It's easy to sew and just the greatest dress/top ever. Depending on the fabric choice and what options or modifications you make, it can be very sleek and modern or retro fabulous.  I flippin' love this pattern. 
This first one is the peplum top version of the pattern done in drapey rayon challis.  I have to admit that while I really like the finished product, it was a total pain to sew.  I've gotten spoiled by all the non-shifty fabrics I've been sewing lately.  But it still came together in a couple of hours.   I let off the ruffle and sleeve parts to make a tank that will go nicely under a cardigan as the weather gets cooler.  I very much look forward to wearing this with skinny jeans and black boots. 
One of my favorite things about this pattern is the bust options.  You choose the bra size you typically wear for the bodice as well as chest and waist measurements.  This makes for a totally perfect fit.    

 Now THIS one....this is a perfect dress.  The fabric is a flocked stretch denim (so weird, right?) I found in the red tag section at JoAnn Fabrics, and I actually originally intended to make skinny jeans for my girls with it.  But the more I looked at it, the more I knew I had to have it.  I modified the neckline on the original pattern to be lower and kind of a sweetheart/v-neck hybrid.  I also shortened the sleeves about three inches to be cap sleeves instead of short sleeves.  The denim, which really seems more twill-y, was just dreamy to sew.  Nothing shifted or slid.  The seams pressed easily.  It was like therapy.  And it fits crisply and comfortably.  It even makes a subtle swish sound as I move.  I'm sure my friends and family are going to get tired of seeing this thing, because I'm going to wear it a lot.  Jessica and Ericka of VFT have outdone themselves on this pattern.  

Seriously, go buy it.  

Like, now.