Thursday, 19 October 2017

European Holiday Sheath Dress:)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

          Good morning my sewing friends! I made this dress last month and took some photos but ended up tweaking it to improve the fit. There was gape around the armholes  and neckline. There's still some gape at the neckline but the fit at the shoulders is better and that make the most difference. Unfortunately adjusting the shoulders resulted in the armholes being higher and tighter. I can live with it though. I will make a few more adjustments in the future.

     The fabric I used is this colourful cotton sateen purchased ages ago from Fabricville. Its one of the first cuts of fabric I ever bought. I actually planned to make a dress with it last Summer but there was an Islamic terrorist attack in Italy at the time so I decided to set it aside. The print, with its leaning tower of Pisa & Eiffel towers printed all over it puts me in mind of a European holiday, hence the name:) Just realized "Hotel Negresco" is in Nice, France.

McCalls 8789
        I mentioned in my previous post that my first attempt at garment sewing was to try to make a fitted sheath with a square neckline. I had a similar RTW dress that I loved til it literally wore out. Needless to say I knew nothing about fitting a pattern or how to make adjustments and my dress was a major flop, lol. I recently purchased a Craftsy class on fitting (Joi Mahone) which was a good introduction. I've been trying to incorporate some of Nancy Zieman's techniques as well. Fitting is definitely a good skill to learn. I can understand why people draft their own patterns from scratch.

     I left the dress unlined but will probably wear either a full or half-slip underneath. Makes a big difference. I could have lined it but I wanted to work out the fit a bit without having to worry about the extra step. I made a small sway-back adjustment that I didn't make for my African print sheath but will do in the future.

       It was nice to finally use this print that has been marinating in my stash foreeever!! Lol. I was so afraid to ruin it, but in the end I suppose its only fabric. I really like the cotton sateen, a little stretch is nice!  How about you? Do you find it difficult to use certain pieces you've bought or do you just go for it? Any long-stashed items you've used recently or plan to use soon? What are you working on now?:) I just finished a faux wrap dress that I will hopefully get good photos for on Sunday and post about early next week:) I also purchased a Sew Over It Heather Dress pattern earlier this month. My dear husband will be printing it for me today and I'm planning to get started on it tonight!

Til next time! Have a wonderful day everybody!:)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

African Print Sheath

"This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen."

1 Timothy 1:15-17

From Instagram, the filter in the belt pic dulls the dress fabric colours a bit but shows the details of the belt better:)

Colours are more like this (I think I did use a filter on this one too though!:)

        Hello my beautiful sewing friends!:) This African sheath dress has been a month in the making! My sewing group has monthly challenges and September was African print/Vintage. I really wanted to make an African style dress and was gifted this great cotton by a friend from my church! She often wears fab African style clothing so I asked her if she knew where I could get a nice African print (I wasn't crazy about anything I could find in my local stores). She offered me one of her head wraps since she doesn't wear them! It was a nice big piece of fabric that was large enough for me use for this sheath dress! I must keep that in mind for the future, ordering a head wrap to use for fabric for a project!:) I used this sheath dress pattern for my European Vacation dress as well (making a separate post for that one). I made two muslins to check the fit, so now I'm kind of sheath dressed out, lol. I do plan to make more of these dresses in the future though. A sheath dress is definitely a good staple pattern to have. I plan to perfect the fit and trace a sturdy copy on freezer paper. I'd like to do a rounded neckline as well.

Belted & unbelted.

     I was almost done when I realized I could probably use a belt to break up the busy "optical-illusion" print. I used an older Mimi G Obi Belt Tutorial/Pattern. I self-lined the belt instead of just turning the edges over and hemming. I used knit interfacing on the backs of both middle pieces (not the ties) since my fabric seemed a little too lightweight. The fabric was from my stash & has a velvety feel and doesn't fray. It was tricky to press, but I managed, lol. I topstitched to reduce puffiness. I'd love to make another in a nice leather or faux leather:) A denim would be cool too!:) Even with the extra steps I took, this is a quick project that can easily be done in an afternoon/evening (or during your child's nap time:)


      I found this pattern at a thrift store (image from Google). I had some issues with neck gape/ swayback which I will work out further. I found that an 8 up top and 10 at the hip seemed to work pretty good. I **looove** finding patterns and fabric at thrift stores!:D Its so exciting, lol!

I should mention that a square neck sheath dress (different pattern) was my first attempt at garment sewing years ago. My favourite RTW sheath had literally wore out and I wanted to recreate the look. I had no idea how to make fit adjustments then & it was a total flop, lol. Immediately I turned to sewing with knits which was much easier!



     I didn't really try to line up the print in the CB seam but I did attempt to at least make sure the darker border was positioned the same on both sides. I sheepishly admit that I discovered I still had pins in the back when I got to church Sunday! Lol. At least they didn't jab me too hard;) I was in the back area so I don't think anyone noticed me taking them out!

 Well thats it for today! I'm going to blog about my other dress soon & I already have another project cut out and ready to sew tonight! A knit this time:) So how about you? What was your first garment attempt and was it wearable?;) How long did it take to sew something you could confidently don in public?:) Sewing is a skill that definitely takes practice, but its not as difficult as some people think. If I can learn to sew anyone can!

Have a blessed day everyone! xo

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Floral Mimi G Mermaid Maxi Skirt

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 1:1-5, 14

     Hey everyone! I've been busy working on some sheath dresses lately & needed a mental break from all the muslin-making and fitting:p I purchased a mermaid maxi skirt tutorial awhile back from the fabulous Mimi Goodwin and had the urge to make one lately, especially since I joined an online sewing group she hosts.  I went to Fabricville Sunday afternoon to use a coupon (love those;) and asked one of the lovely sales associates if they still had any of this textured floral knit (polyester blend I'm pretty sure) left. It was from their Summer collection so it was tucked away in their back room, but the employee was kind enough to go hunt for it & yay, she found it! My husband and I watched a couple of episodes of Duck Dynasty after the kids were in bed & I still had time to cut and sew this skirt before I crashed for the night!! I met some friends the next morning & was excited to be able to wear it! Talk about instant gratification project! I may have cut too much off the bottom so I might leave it un-hemmed.

  Its been awhile since I've watched the tutorial and had to go from memory since I didn't save the link that came with it (my bad, I should probably email customer service:p). She shows you how to draft a pattern based on your measurements. I actually just took a fitted skirt pattern I had and used part of it and went from there, instead of starting from scratch. I used Nancy Zieman's method of applying elastic. I used a length of 1" non-roll elastic my waist measurement (butted the ends and zigzagged them together).

Elastic is attached at the top of the waist with a wide zigzag stitch (like in swimwear). 

Turn the elastic under once to form a casing & stitch in the ditch on the side seams. So easy!

      I admit I haven't really been huge on maxi skirts. I prefer shorter & more fitted skirts and dresses, but I really love this "mermaid" style.  I was pretty casual today with my ponytail & V neck t shirt, but I felt a little glamorous walking around in this!:) Even just grocery shopping, lol. I love how it swishes when I walk in it;) Mimi G is such a great teacher & she has sewalong videos on Youtube for most (or all) of her Simplicity pattern designs. She has other tutorials on her blog as well.

     Well thats all for today! I have to adjust the shoulders on one of my sheath dresses and finish the other (hopefully this week!). Anyone else try this tutorial? Do you have a favourite maxi skirt pattern? Or do you prefer shorter? Its so nice to throw in a truly "instant gratification project" now and then! I don't remember the last time I bought fabric and made something with it the same day! That has to be some kind of record for me, lol:)

Til next time sewing friends!:)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

McCalls 7467

 "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

Jude 1:3-4

Connect with me on instagram,  @ rikkiboneschansker:)

  Happy Saturday my friends!:) I can't believe its September already! My last post I mentioned that I wasn't ready to give up Summer sewing quite yet, but now I feel ready to transition into some Fall stuff. Yesterday the temperature was definitely Fall-like, even though its technically Summer for another couple of weeks. I went to Fabricville the other day and all their Fall collection is out on display. I picked up a couple of remnant pieces of a lovely soft Fall knit & I'm already thinking about what to make with it:) 

I finished this dress earlier in the week & started on my last Summer project of the season, my "European Holiday Dress" (because of the print, not that I'm heading on any vacation, lol).  More on that next post! Now back to the current project!

       The floral print is polyester-lycra knit from my stash. The black is a heavier scuba knit. Initially I cut out the pieces for view D. I just love the look with the funnel-type collar. The black fabric wasn't stretchy enough for this patten though (you'd think I'd have learned by now, :p). I cut black sleeves & the back of the dress in the scuba knit & cut the collar but it turned out too tight & the collar didn't look like the illustration at all! I was pretty bummed about that:/ I basted all the seams together but I didn't want to unpick the middle panel so I left the black front sides. I really like the contrast & it makes it appear more hour-glass (bonus!).

    I then cut out the sleeves in the floral but I didn't like how it looked, so I made it sleeveless, with arm & neck band. I used 1/4" elastic to gather the middle panel after trying to gather the usual way which was a total fail! Next time I'll try something else.  The elastic is very uncomfortable against my skin so I need to wear a full slip underneath, which is ok, I have one I really like.

       So that's it for me today! How about you all? Are you done with Summer sewing? Have most of you moved on to Fall wear? What are you working on or what plans do you have? I'd love to hear!:) I hope you all are doing great & enjoy day!

Monday, 14 August 2017

McCalls 6886, Double-Take

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise."
Galatians 3:26-29

    Hey my lovely friends!:) What have you stylish sewers been up to lately? Soon it'll be time for Fall sewing, wow! Gotta get a few more Summer projects in before then!

After my recent swimsuit challenge (took a little over two weeks), I needed an instant gratification project (or two, lol). I had a daisy print dress (fabric from my stash) on the brain when I ran out to Fabricville to get some more swimwear elastic & spotted the Hawaiian-print cotton knit which was on sale!! Regularly $16.99/metre and I got it for $4.99 a metre! I've since gotten a bit more so I can make a little skirt and another dress of some kind! Not often I come across a Hawaiian print cotton knit so I took advantage, lol:)

      I made these pretty much like my last Tribal-print dress (used a slightly smaller seam allowance on the side seams). I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern because I was dying to make something quick, lol. I also wanted them done for my weekend away with my husband:)

   I did finish the necklines differently however. I made a neckband for the Daisy dress but decided I didn't like how a neckband was going to look on the Hawaiian dress. I had already trimmed the 5/8" off the neckline (like I usually do) so I didn't have much seam allowance to work with. The fabric isn't very opaque either, so I decided to make a facing for the neckband with the wrong side showing.
I cut a strip of 1.5'' (pretty sure it was 1.5":p)  wide fabric, cut to be 15% less the neck circumference. I should have cut it even shorter though because the neckline doesn't lie completely flat.  I under-stitched, then turned it inside, topstitched & pressed it to death to get it to lie flat.

I tried using a double-needle, but I was getting a lot of skipped stitches (I had used steam a seam, that may have been why. I used SAS because I was getting unsightly tunnelling, bah). Also, this particular print left tiny holes in flowered parts, yikes! Knits can be tricky to top-stitch, at least for me, lol. Oh well, it turned out all right in the end! I used a triple-stretch straight stitch and it looks...passable. The Hawaiian fabric gets wrinkled fairly easily so I pretty much have to press it before I wear it but thats ok. I love it! Plus I have enough fabric to make another dress if I need to;)

      Well, thats all for today. I wore the daisy print dress to church yesterday & loved it:) Feels dressy-casual (is that a term, lol?). Anyone moved on to Fall sewing? If so, what are you making? I'd love to hear:) I'd also love to hear if you're still on Summer stuff.

Have a fabulous week everyone!:)

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Swimsuit Hack/ Sewing Stuff in PEI

"..But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This is the Spirit He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by His grace, we would become heirs with the hope of eternal life. 

This saying is trustworthy. And I want you to emphasize these things, so that those who have believed God will take care to devote themselves to good deeds. These things are excellent and profitable for the people."

Titus 3:4-8

    Hello my lovely sewing (and non-sewing) friends!:) Anybody make some swimwear this season??:) Or perhaps in the process? This is only the second (wearable) suit I've made for myself  but I must say I do enjoy it! This project was more involved than my last basic one piece. I had a look in mind, this view from Butterick 5795. I had to hack up a basic tank suit (I used the pattern from the Kwik Sew swimwear book) to recreate the look since this pattern only comes in Plus sizes.

View D, Butterick 5795

  I studied the Butterick pattern and instructions to try figure out the best (and simplest way) to got about making a pattern that would fit me.

 First, I made a muslin of the basic tank style but drew the V neck on (from the Kwik Sew master pattern) to see if I liked the fit. I made a separate left and right side.

I marked "slash lines" starting from the waist up to almost at the bust. (this photo I hadn't added all the lines yet, I ended up drawing lines about 1" apart and spreading them 1"). After my second muslin, I added two more slash lines for a bit more gathering below the waist. I may add more next time (if I decide to do another one).

I added two more slash & spread lines below the waist after I took this photo.

Left front piece before sewing with crossover piece (out of thin white nylon/lycra)

    I used cups from an inexpensive bandeau-type strapless bra. I probably should have cut them in a more triangular shape :/ Seems to work ok though.

I ended up (carefully) cutting out the back lining and resewing at the crotch. The lower back ended up being a bit too tight and I thought removing the back lining might reduce some of the strain. It did help a bit, but next time I'll grade up a little in that area.

The side gathers aren't as taught as I intended (when I realized this I had already sewed the seam and it would have been too much unpicking:p). The print helps draw attention away from the saggy gathers, lol.


Beach in PEI 

  My husband and I were able to get away to PEI for a few days and I was able to test out my new suit at Brackley Beach! Held up great in the water:) I didn't get to go fabric shopping (drat), but I did get a couple of cool sewing-related photos! We visited the Ann of Green Gables Museum where they had an antique treadle machine used by Author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The shell-encrusted Folk Art Dress Form was at the Ripley's Believe it or Not Odditorium:) I'm wearing a new McCalls 6886 dress I finished the day we left!:)

Antique Treadle Sewing Machine at the Ann of Green Gables Museum

Folk Art Dress Form @ the Ripley's Odditorium

        Well thats all for today! I hope you all are having a great summer! Have you been sewing any swimwear this season? Have you ever stumbled across any cool sewing related items while on vacation? Do tell!:)

Til next time!