Is it Christmas yet? Maxi Alder

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The time between Halloween and Christmas is my favorite season. So of course I had to make a fun dress to wear!

Actually I searched everywhere for the fabric equivalent of the ugly Christmas sweater. Maybe I looked too soon, but I found this cute stripe pattern, complete with silver snowflakes, at Walmart.

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I just cut the Grainline Alder dress to a maxi length. And added a 1.25″ waistband, with elastic, for my first go at a Christmas dress.

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It took about 3 yards, but I bought 4, just enough to make a little something else…

Loving the holidays…Coco

McCalls 6559 and back to basics that work

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The nice thing about culling my closet of uncomfortable and ‘not loved’ garments is, of course, the opportunity to sew something else!

McCalls 6559 is a favorite, TNT, pattern for me.

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Earlier this year, I extended the shoulders for a bit of coverage and sewed it in an ITY knit:

And it’s the most comfortable and appealing dress I have. (p.s., I’ve made the tied cardigan a couple times, it’s a great pattern for same). I did a separate post on this dress (here),  but here’s a link to the changes I made to the pattern for the extended shoulder.

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I’m in the garden today, staying green and enjoying the windy and dry weather.

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This moss green ITY is from Fabric Mart, and it’s really a nice deep green, lightened for the photos.

I like this dress so much that I’ve ordered 3 more ITY knits from Fabric Warehouse Direct, all in solids. I think prints exhaust me 🙂 A plus for the purchase (big plus) is the price: $3.99/yard, 58″ wide. I can make this dress with only 2 yards of fabric in the size 10.

Last pic:

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Ciao! Coco

StitchSisters Kaftan in a knit fabric

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This didn’t take long! After my 5-day linen version saga (here), I indulged my curiosity and sewed this kaftan in a knit fabric. This is a lightweight rayon/lycra French terry from Cali Fabrics. It’s so soft! This exact print is not available at the moment, but they have similar prints and many solids.

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My first post has sewing notes and a link to the pattern, but here are a couple notes on this version:

  • The first thing I did was to cut the back neckline too low. With the 75% horizontal stretch, it was just too wide at my shoulders. I took a small pleat, about 1 1/4″, at center back, stitched the pleat together on the inside for about 8″, and topstitched it on the outside to avoid exuberant behavior (I accented one side in this pic since the stitching is hard to see).

back pleat

back pleat full

  • After that little goof, the construction was straightforward. I decided to use the center front seam as suggested in the pattern, and I didn’t have any difficulty adding the neckline binding.

neck band

front close

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Happy pattern and dress 🙂

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Many thanks to the StitchSisters for this lovely (free) download pattern and abundant sewing guidelines. I’m off to post on Instagram, the #sewingsansfrontieres pattern challenge.

Ciao! Coco

BTW, here are some more Igram links for the challenge hosts:

@sewing_in_spain

@hportemanteau

@suestoney

 

StitchSisters Kaftan

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This could be titled ‘how to turn a 1-hour project into a 2-day project!

I’ve been really intrigued by all the StitchSisters kaftans popping up on Instagram. So much so that I decided to give this free pattern a go and join in the fun.

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My version is color-blocked with stripes.

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And all that color blocking is which is why my project took a couple days. I’ve had lots of linen remnants this year, and I wanted to use them. I spent hours on the cutting board, futzing around with pieces. This is not my favorite thing to do. Working with my remnants, I managed this dress. Not all of the pieces are cut on the grainline, some are cut across the grainline, but always, all of them, straight. NO bias going on here.

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Sewing notes:

  • I based my pieces on the size 8. I’m 5’6 1/2″ tall, so I added an extra inch at the hemline. And over an inch to the length of the sleeve.
  • My goal was to have the blocks grow longer, top to bottom, and have the color ‘weight’ go down as well.
  • I spent some time on the sleeve, within the first block, so that the sleeve/side seam would meld without a color interruption.
  • I thought an intermittent color stripe (pink) would balance the overall silhouette.
  • I did not use a CF seam on this. My back and front are the same width. And I drew my neckline from the Charlie Caftan and faced the neckline. It’s such a nice clean finish at this focal point.

I love the result!

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This took a couple days, but it was was all fun 🙂 I really like this!

Ciao – Coco

Simplicity 8640 dress in white linen

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It’s a very rainy Saturday, and my plans to take pics in the garden gave way to the storms we’re having. It’s noon, and we’ve already had over an inch of rain today. My garden alligator is swimming (he’s concrete, BTW, but very convincing).

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In the spirit of things, I just drank more coffee and took pics in the loft.

This is my second version of Simplicity 8640 (first one here). Any time I really like a pattern, I do a repeat pretty quickly. I’m so self-indulgent!

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This one has a few tweaks, the most significant being a shorter length. Originally I added 1 5/8″ to the hemline of the pattern, but after seeing the photos and actually wearing my red dress, I decided it was too long. This one is 1″ shorter, and I think the length is perfect. And, yes, I went back and shortened the red one 🙂

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I also improved my pocket pattern by taking the 5/8″ seam allowance off the top edge and re-drawing the facing. This is a very small change, but, IMO, the result is more balanced.

pocket

First version:

I’m so in love with the front detail. I cut the the bodice pieces on the straight grainline this time, instead of on the bias. Much better! The bias cut actually pushed out at the seam lines and caused a little ballooning on my red dress.

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Fabric: Kaufman Brussels Washer linen from Fabric.com

What a fun dress!

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And I’m off to the loft to sew. Bye for now – Coco