White Cotton Dresses

I had a summer sewing resolution this year to make more dresses. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that I have actually come through with that resolution, thanks in part to the McCall’s #V9253 contest from my last post, and also thanks to the fact that I’ve been a little bit better with the sewing self-discipline this summer.

As seen on my Pinterest boards, I’ve really been into flowy white cotton dresses lately, and one has been on my Make List practically the entire summer. The design I had in mind included something easy breezy with brown buttons, going either mid-way or all the way down. So when this Butterick pattern (#6363) appeared in my stash ;) it was a light bulb moment…! My perfect white dress pattern. Wooo!

Given it is white, and cotton…a slip is necessary to wear underneath this number. I admit, I don’t mind slips. I know most women (especially younger) feel slips are a bit of a hassle–but seriously, there’s a reason for them. Not only are they are saviors for unlined white dresses, they also bring back a little nostalgia and femininity to the art of dressing, because ladies…dressing is in fact an art form. Mmmhmm.

These peep-toes round out the entire ensemble perfectly. ;)

Complete with the brown buttons ;)

What I really love about a great white dress though, is of course the versatility. ^ This would totally be an appropriate dinner outfit, but if I wanted, I could make it more casual with some sandals, a sweater, and soft waves and take my basket purse to a picnic. ;)

Outfit details:

Bracelet-H&M (no longer available); Earrings-Vintage (mom’s); Basket purse-Vintage (etsy); Shoes-Target (no longer available)

Summer Making

As an experienced fabric hoarder, I will say it is always extremely exciting to have that “aha!” moment when deciding what to use specific fabric for.

I had been hanging on to this printed cotton for 8 months or so because I just couldn’t decide what to make from it. Especially because there was only about a yard and a half, which meant I was somewhat limited, project-wise. Finally, I found that perfect something (M7603) after my most recent McCall’s pattern haul ($1.99 patterns? Yes. Please.) And hey, look! Another print! I’m on a roll… ;)

This McCalls pattern was very simple, and definitely a great basic to add to the summer wardrobe. I already have plans to make a few more versions.

The fabric I used was more that belonged to my Grandma… I guess I now know where my fabric hoarding habit came from. And the buttons are vintage that belonged to the other Grandma. ;)

Since I didn’t quite have enough of the printed fabric to use for the neck and shoulder binding, I used some solid dark pink which added a great contrast.

I am loving my new [vintage] basket purse. I’ve been searching for one of these for two summers now. I just couldn’t find one I liked enough, so you can imagine how happy I was when I found this one on Etsy from ThreeSparrowVintage. It’s the perfect summer bag because it coordinates with just about anything, plus it’s cheery and puts a smile on your face. ;)

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Shoes-DSW; Earrings-Earthbound; Sunglasses-vintage; Basket purse-Etsy

Check out the Gingham…

I’m pretty sure I made it a style resolution of mine to try to wear more prints this year. A few years ago, a co-worker made it a point to tell me how often I wear neutrals–which I often do, or maybe did more so when we worked together (what can I say, it makes getting dressed WAY easier). Alas, I remember that that comment made me realize that I also tend to lean more toward solids than prints…but not anymore! This post and the last couple are evidence of my aim at more print-wearing.

So, the other day I was going through my bin of cotton fabric and found this yardage of gingham check. I had forgotten about it altogether–especially that there was more to work with than I kept thinking there was. That said, as an attempt to make use of both the fabric & my time, I thought I’d make a pencil skirt.

Skirts are such a great place to start with sewing if you’re a beginner, since they don’t take too much fabric and they’re generally on the more basic side which makes them a good foundation to build on.

Cross-body purses are my absolute favorite. They’re so much easier to wear than shoulder bags–especially in summer-time when you’re going places and doing more, like baseball games and festivals. This one from J.W. Hulme is super great. It’s the perfect size, is very well crafted (the leather is getting better with age!), and is made in America.

Doesn’t this tee just make you smile? :D (P.S. Bergman Orchards is the BEST place to get peaches in Ohio. And they are conveniently located on the way to Put-In-Bay).

I’m pretty excited for this skirt! I think it will be a really versatile piece to wear through Summer and even into Fall. ESpecially with neutrals ;)

Outfit details:

More printed skirts in my etsy shop, here; Tee-Bergman Orchards; Purse-here; Sandals-Target; Belt-Old Navy

Summer Coulottes

Remember in the 90’s when we all used to wear skorts to school and they were the absolute best because you could still run around the playground and do flips and cartwheels?! Ahhh…those were the days.

Well, the other day I made myself what I would consider a more mature and sophisticated version of the skort. Coulotte shorts. They really are fabulous because they look dressy, and are super comfy.

I used McCall’s pattern 7131, which includes varying length options–I made the long pant coulottes back in the early Spring but haven’t worn them yet since they’re a little fancier…Next to make will be the more traditional coulotte length-at the knee.

Turns out, they’re easy to dance in, too. ;)

The fabric I used was, you guessed it, some I had stashed away waiting to be used up. Enter: Coulotte shorts.

This fabric was also really great to work with, a heavier printed cotton blend. It pressed wonderfully, which made the pleats in the front extra crisp.

I’d love to hear! What are your thoughts on coulottes?? Yes? No? Maybe so?

 

Outfit details:

Tee & shoes: Target; Belt: Anthropologie (No longer available);Purse: Kate Spade; Bracelet: Grandma’s

Fluttering into Spring

You know how when you find that t-shirt you love with the perfectly soft and drapey cotton, so you buy it in every color? It’s sort of the same as when I find a pattern I really like…I tend to make it over and over. Β As per usual, I made this flutter dress (M7566) with some yardage of fabric I’ve had for a while and decided I needed to use up already. And after I made this one…I made another one (also in different fabric I felt needed to be used).

I absolutely love how it turned out. It’s perfectly feminine and just the right dress for Spring and Summer.

Isn’t this straw hat fantastic? It is vintage (in wonderful condition) and can be found here. ;)

I honestly can’t tell you how long this gingham print had been stashed away, just waiting to be used. But you sewists know how it is…you hang onto fabric knowing that the perfect project will come along sooner or later, we just have to be a little patient ;)

 

Outfit details:

Dress-McCall’s pattern 7566; Belt-Anthropologie (no longer available); Vintage Coach purse; Straw hat-here; Shoes-Target (similar).

Old Movie Inspired

Ask my husband, and he’ll tell you that almost every time we watch an old movie on TCM, I’m running over to the TV with my phone so I can get a picture of a costume that I find inspiring.

I was totally inspired for this next one…by Ann Miller in Two Tickets to Broadway. I used the same pattern Β (M7513) as I did for the jacket in this post. And again, I also did some dyeing for it. Instead of marbling though, I did a full dunk of color. I used RIT dye again, and I did a little bit of color mixing (thanks to RIT’s website full of dye recipes) to achieve this periwinkle hue. Here’s how it came out:

 

It took a little searching to find some appliques I thought would work the best. I finally decided on these from Mood fabrics. They ended up giving just the look I was hoping for.

Leather look pants helped with that edgy aesthetic I was going for ;)

The trim I used was a combination of a normal braid trim with faux leather.

I contemplated making the collar the same periwinkle shade, but ultimately thought it would do well as a contrast piece.

Outfit details:

Belt: BCBGeneration (many years ago); Leather look pants from H&M (last year); Shoes: hand-me-down from a friend!

More Adventures in Sewing…

I told you a sequel to my last post was coming…so here it is.

For the McCall’s contest, I made another version of pattern #7542 with a different sleeve variation.

With this one, I wanted to use up some extra faux leather and lace. Since I love mixing those highs and lows in designs, I thought I’d marry the two drastically different fabrics for this top.

Because you know what they say… opposites attract.

 

While this certainly had some challenges during the making process–it wasn’t AS much of a headache as I anticipated it could be. And that is always a nice surprise.

This top certainly turned out to be one you could dress up or wear a little more casually for that edgier vibe.

 

Outfit details:

Jeans-Gap; Belt-came on a BCBG top; Shoes-also BCBGeneration, here