Aeolian Tee – and more Laguna blue…

Before I get into the Laguna blue tee (I’m doing my best to use up this fabric), I’ll share a pic from the wedding, walking in with my son… The photographer has sent a few teaser photos to Ashley, but it’s only been a few days. This was taken by a guest.

I’m planning a post on my dress once I get more pics.

Inspiration – Anna at Blogless Anna and Lara at Thornberry have sewn some absolutely delightful versions of this tee! Theirs are beautiful prints, both knits and wovens. I’ve been really anxious to give this a go, but have been consumed by MOB dress stuff. Ah. It did feel good to tape 32 pages of paper together last night and sew up a muslin this morning 🙂

Fabric: Emerald Robert Kaufman Laguna stretch jersey from Craftsy

The pattern is very simple. Boxy, with straight sides, wide raglan sleeves, and deep hems. Nice, and a very quick sew. Check out all the lengths!

There are some mysteries here. Like the size ranges:

S = 6 – 10   (10 bust is 35.5″/91cm)
M = 6 – 14  (14 bust is 37 5/6″/101cm)
L = 10 – 18

Finished bust measurements aren’t given, but it’s pretty easy to get them from the tissue. I sewed the short tee in size Medium – the finished bust measurement is 45.5″. That’s a lot of ease for me, knit or woven, but I went with the ‘boxy’ definition.
The length of the garment is given but it’s from the highest point of the shoulder, ‘HPS’, where the shoulder and neck join. For the short tee in Medium, it’s about 25″/63cm. For the traditionalists among us, I measured the finished length from the back neck edge, came in at 24″/61cm.

I love the deep hems on this tee and will borrow the technique on future makes. I decided to use a decorative topstitch just to break up some of this bluuuue. I serged the hem edge first, and topstitched right on top of the serging from the right side. 

Sewing Notes:
– I left off the back facing. Cannot figure a purpose for this, and it adds bulk to the back sleeve and neck seams.
– And did not use iron-on interfacing on the neckline. More bulk. I stay-stitched the neckline edges just inside the seam line.
– I used a neckline binding rather than a neckband. Just personal preference, because the inside stitching on neckbands irritates my skin.
Well, not much of this fabric left. This muslin is now in my PJ drawer, it really is nice and soft. The pattern? hmmm. I also have the Patterns for Pirates Raglan pattern – I have a suspicion it’s really similar! Something is drawing me to these patterns, so I’ll give this some think time and go through my stash for some fun fabrics to try.
Ciao! Coco

Wedding Bells!

At lunch with the Team Bride on Friday

Pinching myself…

I just got home, have a fresh pot of coffee, and I’m enjoying the pics I took leading up to the wedding. I only have one from the ceremony – I didn’t take my camera in with me.

But I have lots of memories.

I went over on Thursday and spent the night with Ashley, Darrin and the kitties. The house was full of boxes, presents, wrappings, lists – I just listened, petted, and helped when I could.

I must say the kitties have really gotten into the spirit of gifting. They think the boxes are arriving for their pleasure…

On Friday morning, Ashley, the bridesmaids and I had mani/pedis, and I treated all to lunch. Lovely lovely time with the girls. Her ‘Team Bride’ are two amazing, beautiful women. They’ve taken really good care of her for two months, and believe me, like any bride, at times she’s needed the support, love, and reassurance that only close girlfriends can give.

Friday afternoon, Ashley and I headed to the hotel with all the event items and her things, and got settled into our suites. A quick rehearsal with the wedding party Friday night, followed by great drinks and bocas at Shoeless Joe’s. What a nice bunch of friends they have.

Saturday morning…I slipped into Ashley’s room.

With nothing planned until 2 o’clock, we went shopping! I needed some things from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and she really needed Starbucks. It was perfect. When we got back, I remembered to take her gown out of the bag so it could ‘relax’, and her photographer arrived for their last run-through.

A text from my son, he had arrived, so a hug and I went off to meet him for lunch…

By the time I returned to the Bridal Suite, things were in full gear. Wow. Hair, Makeup. She and Team Bride had a practice session on all this a couple weeks ago, so they were fully on top of everything. I just praised and watched!

Last snap before I left to get dressed.

My son came for me a little before 6 o’clock. And he took this pic just before the procession.
My beautiful daughter. I could not be happier for her. The light in her face reflects all the joy in her heart. She and Darrin are so in love with one another and so happy to be married. He chose the final song for their reception – ‘At Last’ by Etta James.

Pink for Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! And yes, my second post in two days. I just can’t stand to look at all that bluish green on my blog from my last post. Just me…

I need pink!

This little dress is one of the muslins I did for my MOB dress. I’ve done 5 muslins from all sorts of pattern combos. Exhausted. But my MOB dress is in the closet and will be blogged post-wedding 🙂

This version is basically my Jungle January dress,

BurdaStyle 05/2010 #113 with modified bodice
with  3/4 length sleeves, as in this muslin.

It’s done in Tribal Stripe cotton lawn from So soft and easy to sew, it presses beautifully and doesn’t wrinkle! 
Originally I thought I would line it because it’s a very thin lawn. And I made a full lining, planning to connect it to the main dress with binding only at the neckline. I even added lining for the sleeves, but thought I might remove it.
I attached neckline facing using the main fabric, so that any peek-a-boo into the back or front bodice would be pretty and not afford a glimpse of lining. The facing was sewn on top of the lining, to prevent show-through of the print.
Maybe this will make a nice summer dress or nightie! because I didn’t use it. The dress doesn’t need it. In retrospect, I think the lining would defeat the coolness of the lawn fabric in our Florida heat and humidity.
Things learned…
So I removed that pretty facing, underlined it, and used it on the dress. I used every scrap of 5 yards of fabric. Planning, matching, and sewing the pattern of stripes was pretty challenging, particularly with the attachment of the skirt to the bodice. Additionally, the skirt has three tiers – I didn’t want to end up with the same stripe where two tiers joined!

It’s extraordinarily comfortable and breezy to wear. Love it.

I’m off to the market to show off. Bye for now! Coco

MOB Dress – A tale of two tops

Only three weeks left before the big day, and I’m working on my final MOB dresses. Yes. Dresses, plural. I’ve chosen two designs and two fabrics!

But I’m laughing right now, so all is OK.

The boutonnieres at left are for the gents in the wedding party. I love them. Ashley was so excited to find these, offered by a crafter in the Ukraine. They’re perfect for her latte/country pink color theme and reflect the ambiance that she and Darrin want to create.

I’ve actually completed all the fitting and muslins for the hardest part of the two dresses – the bodice. The skirts are easy! The two dress designs have a lot in common: a raised waist, rounded neckline, 3/4 length sleeves, and a long skirt gathered into the bodice. I tentatively plan a narrow sash-style band covering the bodice/skirt seam. Maybe even with a small bow and/or long ties in the back. For the skirt, well, either black or self-fabric.

Here’s a look at the ‘two tops’. This fabric is Floral/Aztec Print in a cotton/linen blend, from FabricMart. It’s mid-weight, doesn’t need a lining, and is the more casual of the two fabrics I’m considering.

First bodice, based on the Salme Pleated TShirt (the blue marks are chalk lines ):

My bodice has 3 pleats plus length for adding the skirt.The sleeves are extended with a band that will be hemmed to echo the pleats. The back is plain and has no darts.

And the second bodice, based on the one I used for my Tiered Maxi dress:

The front has side and vertical darts, and the back is plain. I redrafted the armscye using the Salme pattern and used the sleeves from that pattern as well, again with additional length.

Both tops have faced necklines, instead of binding.  I confess I’m always bothered by the raw edge of the hem on a facing, so I finish it first on the serger. Picky, but only takes a minute to do. It also makes the fold on the curved edge a lot easier! (yes, that’s very high-tech masking tape on my needle plate, marked at 5/8″ and 1″ with a fine-tip Sharpie. I keep a roll in the loft.)

Back to the sewing loft for the weekend. Tennis, football, old Oscar-winning movies on TCM – what could be better. Hope yours is nice as well.

Ciao! Coco

Last MOB dress muslin post – I promise!

I admit I’m having a blast doing muslins. Maybe I’ll just do muslins – all year long! It’s fun and there’s absolutely no pressure. 
Well, OK, there’s this MOB dress thing out there, but conceptually, there’s no pressure 🙂
Having spent hours looking at my first MOB dress muslin, I’ve decided I don’t particularly like v-necklines on myself. As my bustline and neck drop, v-necks appeal to me less and less. I need ‘up’!
This muslin has a round neck! and I like it better.
It also has both bust and vertical front darts. I’ve been thinking for a while that putting darts in my knit tops might also give me some of that ‘up’. 

It’s not so easy to find a darted pattern for knits, so I pulled out a bodice I drafted recently for my Jungle January dress (coming soon). It’s based on McCalls 6884 Fashion Star sundress, which is for woven fabric.

Basic changes for the Jungle January dress: I slit both bodice pieces just above the front side dart and dropped the bottom piece  by 1″. This took care of my FBA and vertical dart adjustments. To compensate, I removed that 1″ from the bottom edge. My other change was to tape some drafting paper inside the front neckline and redraw it. I didn’t sew the back darts or use a zipper, and I straightened the side seams just a tad.

For this knit bodice, I added the same sleeve and skirt elements I used on my first muslin: sleeves from Vogue 1315, skirt from New Look 6936.

At this point in my photo shoot, a mosquito buzzed my ear! Don’t they know they’re not allowed here?
More fabric arrived this week…Post-holiday sales have been my best friend. I’ve paid $5/yd or less for all the fabrics I’ve purchased this month. 
Tribal Stripe Cotton Lawn, Aztec Print Cotton/Linen Blend – Fabric Mart

I’ve already laundered the lawn. Gosh, it is so soft and not a wrinkle anywhere. The nicest lawn fabric I’ve ever had. It feels like very fine rayon challis. I plan to launder the cotton/linen blend twice before I lay it out for cutting.

The cotton/poly sweater knit from laundered beautifully. I was so afraid it would simply unravel! 

Bye for now, hope everyone is safe and near loved ones.


MOB Dress V1 is complete!

Live from the garden for a change! It has been so long since I took photos outside. But my patio and walks have been cleaned of  their rainy season mold, the air is lovely and cool, and the sun is staying just behind the clouds – perfect for the camera. 
Ms. Squirrel let me down, no doubt getting into trouble in the neighborhood with her buddies…
I finished this ‘muslin’ not long after I posted ideas for my MOB dress and showed the bodice of this dress.  I love it. And I love ITY knit. It’s just heavenly to sew and wear. Once it’s sewn, the iron goes away forever, and it travels like a dream. 
Clementine Floral ITY Knit – Fabric Mart
To reprise, it’s a mix of two patterns:
Bodice and skirt – New Look 6936

Sleeves and bodice sleeve armscye redraft – Vogue 1315

I added a 1.5″ waistband and casing (finished width), in which I inserted 3/4″ elastic. The casing is woven broadcloth, which supports the weight of the ITY skirt. 
The bodice, skirt, and waistband are all 42″ in width, so no gathering is required 🙂 The small gathers provided by the elastic are just enough to ease my full bust and allow the skirt to fall nicely past my hips without clinging.
I’m really pleased with the bodice – all that careful fitting paid off.
Ideas continue – I just finished the muslin of another dress, totally different from this one. And I like it so much that I ordered some fabric for a second version. Ashley’s colors are pink and latte, so I’m keeping them in mind as I shop. I definitely will not wear orange!
Lawn – Fabric Mart, Cotton/poly sweater knit –

I also got the Vogue 8885 shrug pattern in the mail, and I’ve put it aside as too fussy. Instead I’m working on a muslin of View B of McCalls 6461 – it’s one of my very favorite cardigan patterns. I’ve sewn it 4 times in various ways, and admit I’ve never blogged it.

It has a really cute twisted tee pattern thrown in. I’ve not sewn it, but I’ve seen some nice versions on the web.

A couple more pics – Ashley’s bridal shower is the end of January, maybe I’ll wear this dress!
Ciao! Coco

Mother of the Bride dress…first muslin

Now that the holidays are behind us, I’m thinking wedding…

I visited with Ashley the weekend after Christmas for some girl time…and a trip to David’s Bridal! She found the most beautiful dress – it is just what she had envisioned for herself. Such excitement, a few tears, lots of happiness.  She also got an exquisite corset and shoes, as well as her gown preservation drop-off box.

Then we went off to lunch to relive it all. Such a memorable time with my girl.

Note: the original decision to make her dress was fleeting 🙂 Shopping for a gown and watching her face was such a wonderful experience.

Now I’m working on my dress! I’ve been thinking about it so much, trying for an idea that will work well with her venue and theme, while being comfortable and elegant.  I know I want a maxi dress with long sleeves, so I won’t be at all concerned with scleroderma scars and so on on my arms and legs.

For my first idea/muslin, I’m using pieces of two patterns. The dress is based on New Look 6936, which I made as a maxi dress in matte jersey for Jungle January 2013…

And I’m using the narrow sleeves from Vogue 1315, another Jungle January dress!

Redrafting the New Look bodice with the armscye from the Vogue pattern was very easy – and I’m really happy with the muslin so far:

Clementine Floral ITY Knit – Fabric Mart

As with my Jungle dress, I’ve changed the waistline elastic casing treatment. The original pattern uses 1/4″ elastic in a narrow casing formed from the bodice/skirt seam allowance. Instead, I’ve applied a 1 1/2″ wide casing (finished width) in which I’ll use 1″ elastic.

IMO, the wide casing adds interest and finish to the dress. The lining on the inside of the casing is woven broadcloth, chosen to provide stability and support at the waist area. ITY knit in a long maxi skirt can be very heavy!
I also applied binding around the neckline edge, instead of turning it inside in a narrow hem. Again, I think it looks more finished with the binding. Another plus – the binding makes the neckline very stable, really important for a crossover plunging neckline! 
Speaking of which, I fit the crossover very carefully with my intended undergarment, so it will behave when the dress is finished 🙂

I’m also thinking about another approach, loosely based on this pic, i.e., a maxi dress with a jacket or shrug.

Vogue has a beautiful pattern for a knit shrug, V8885, that includes a long sleeve option. The dress could be as simple as McCalls much-loved M6559.

And I have a luscious jersey that would be so pretty with a lace topper. The two fabrics don’t seem to match here, but they do in real life. The lace, which I found at JoAnn’s but haven’t purchased as yet, has a very soft, dense, and drapey hand.
Lime/Grey/Multi Abstract Floral Burnout Jersey
Fabric Mart
Scroll Lace – JoAnn’s
Back soon with more – Ciao! Coco