October 22, 2017

Fall 2017 Collection: Meet Nora!

Our last reveal for the fall collection is The Nora Faux Wrap Dress. Nora resembles our Ramona Wrap Dress, but I went in and changed a few things so that Nora only "looks" like a wrap dress and features an easy fitting elastic waist. I added options on the skirt to feature an overlapped version and one where the skirt front is one solid piece.
Knee length dress with ruffle hem and 3/4 length sleeves with elastic hem
Fabric: Cotton + Steel rayon
Design options include a short sleeve or a 3/4 length sleeve that can have an elastic hem or tapered to feature a lace edge or a contrasting hem. The bodice is finished with a bias binding. If you choose the overlapped front skirt, the bias binding finishes its edges as well. The plain skirt version can be hemmed plain or a ruffle can be added for a fun finish. You can also choose to cut one side of the front overlapping skirt to be in a contrasting fabric for a completely different look.
Knee length with overlapping front skirt and contrast; short sleeves and contrasting bias trim
Fabric: Kaffe Fasset marble for Westminster Fabrics
This is another design that I had fun with my fabric choices! I simply love the red sample made in rayon. It is easy to wear and drapes so well. I really can't recommend that you try rayon enough! It makes delicious clothing! I also ventured into a lovely border lace eyelet for the black sample. I did line that particular dress so I didn't have "peep holes" where the lace inserts were. The pattern instructions include how to add a lining to your pieces if you would like to do this. I had tremendous fun with a metallic Essex linen from Kaufman. It made such a shimmery fun dress!
Below knee length overlapped front skirt with 3/4 length sleeves with elastic hem
Fabric: Metallic Essex linen from Robert Kaufman
I would also love to make this dress from a border print. It would be just lovely to have that print running along the bottom edge of the skirt. Keep an open mind when choosing your fabrics and have fun with it!
Below knee length skirt with tapered 3/4 length sleeves
Fabric: Black double border eyelet, lined with black clipdot from Michael Miller Fabrics
We are currently working on the web pages for the new designs and expecting the pattern stock to arrive next week and we'll begin shipping then. In the meantime, I will be working on the pdf versions of each pattern and hope to have those out shortly.

Happy Sewing!

October 21, 2017

Fall 2017 Collection: Meet Bernadette!

Our next reveal in the new fall collection is The Bernadette Dress! For those of you who have been fans of the Bebe Dress, this one should look familiar! Our beloved Bebe went out of print earlier this year. Instead of running a reprint, I decided to revisit Bebe, add some new design elements, and publish her brand new as Bernadette.

Gathered skirt with contrasting ruffle at lower edge and between bodice and skirt.
Cap sleeves with contrasting trim featured also.
Fabric: Boho Fusion by Art Gallery Fabrics
New additions include a 3/4 length sleeve with the option of adding a ruffle to the lower edge of the sleeve. I also worked on the bodice a bit and made it a bit roomier. The end result is a really sweet baby doll style dress that works very well for any season!

The bodice is very high waisted, so those of you who like a little more length in the bodice may want to add an inch or two to the lower edge. This is easily accomplished by just adding the length, extending the side seams, and continuing the lower dart. This design features a center back zipper and neckline facings. The scoop neckline is generous without being too revealing, so you don't have to worry about showing too much if you happen to bend over while wearing this dress!

Dress featured in rayon with narrow ruffle hem, elbow length sleeves, and gathered skirt
Fabric: Art Gallery rayon
I love having sleeve options and this one certainly boasts several looks. Choose from a short cap sleeve, elbow length, or the full 3/4 length with the ruffle. You can also choose a large center front/back skirt pleat or gather the skirt for a completely different look. Hem options abound as well. Choose from a wide contrasting hemband at the skirt edge, a simple ruffle, or a wider ruffle with contrast. The skirt can also be cut shorter with the option to add a contrasting fabric before hemming.

Gathered skirt with 3/4 length sleeves featured in an embroidered border chambray fabric
Again, this dress can be made from a variety of fabrics. Choose quilting cotton, cotton lawn/voile, chambray, linen, or lovely rayon. The result with each fabric will be completely different! In fact, I am about to make one from a plaid flannel that will be perfect for fall. I plan on using the 3/4 length sleeve with a ruffle on the sleeves and lower edge of skirt. I think I'll cut those ruffles on the bias for a little extra interest. I can't wait to get started on that one!
Pleated front/back skirt featured in batik fabric with contrasting floral panel and ruffle on 3/4 length sleeves
Other design options include adding a ruffle or bias trim between the bodice and skirt as well as contrasting other portions of the dress. The choice of fabric will also change the look of the dress. Note one of the photos features an embroidered edge chambray. This one is one of my favorites. I simply can't resist those borders!
Pleated skirt with cap sleeves featuring contrasting bias band between bodice and skirt & hemband for sleeves and skirt

We are currently working on the web pages for the new designs and expecting the pattern stock to arrive next week and we'll begin shipping then. In the meantime, I will be working on the pdf versions of each pattern and hope to have those out shortly.

Happy Sewing!

October 20, 2017

Fall 2017 Collection: Meet Kira!

Toady, I am sharing the second design of the new fall collection: The Kira Kimono Dress.

When I designed the adjustable waistband for the first time seven years ago, I had no idea that it would take off the way it has! I have since incorporated it into many designs. Reflecting on this particular design element, I think the reason it has been so popular is that for one thing, it eliminates the need for any buttons or zippers as a closure which makes it ideal for beginners as well as seasoned sewers who want a fast stitch. Secondly, I think it works well because the fit is so forgiving. On any given day, that waistband has the ability to adjust to your body...and that's a good thing!

Upon looking through popular designs that I had done in the past, the Torii tunic came to mind. With its Dolman sleeves, it is an easy stitch and easy fit. By adding the adjustable waistband to the design and tweaking here and there, a new pattern is born! This one is EASY to SEW and EASY to wear! Everyone loves an easy fitting longer sleeve, so this is a welcome addition to the pattern collection with the adjustable waistbands. Kaylee is my only other design with longer sleeves and the adjustable waistline option.

Knee length with contrasting neckline trim, waistband, and hems
Fabric: Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
Design options include four different hemlines so you can wear this dress as a cute tunic with leggings or jeans and boots or as long as a flowy maxi dress. You have the option to add a contrasting neckline trim to the front bodice, make the waistband stand out in contrast fabric, and hem the sleeves and skirt with contrasting fabric as well. One other cool thing about this design is that you can run pattern of fabric to run across the bodice instead of vertically. This is particularly effective with border prints as you can use the edge design to finish the sleeve edges, then run the skirt with the length of fabric and use the fabric edge for finishing the skirt.

Maxi length featured in a border print rayon.
Note the direction of fabric for bodice versus the skirt to best utilize the design in the fabric.

This design works wonderfully in quilting cotton, rayon, or cotton lawn/voile. Each fabric lends a different feel to the end result. The drapiest version is most definitely the rayon. It is so comfortable to wear, you'll almost feel guilty for looking so good and feeling so good!

Mid-calf length featuring cotton lawn border print
Fabric: Alison Glass cotton lawn for Andover Fabrics
My word of advice when working with rayon or cotton lawn/voile is to use a walking foot or the built in dual feed of your machine (if you have that option). I bought the new Bernina 770 last year that has the dual feed option and it has been a godsend for fussy fabrics. I don't change any settings as far as presser foot pressure or tension....I just activate the dual feed and rest is magic!

Tunic length featured in cotton lawn with dupioni silk contrast along neckline and hems.
Fabric: cotton lawn from Art Gallery Fabrics

We are currently working on the web pages for the new designs and expecting the pattern stock to arrive next week and we'll begin shipping then. In the meantime, I will be working on the pdf versions of each pattern and hope to have those out shortly.

Happy Sewing!

October 19, 2017

Fall 2017 Collection: Meet Erin!

Hey Everyone!

Fall is in the air and we're getting ready to release our new collection of patterns. It has been a while, I know, but a break was needed! My brain needed a serious rest and recharge. It feels good to have a new collection to share with you. I enjoyed the challenge that new designs always present and the fun of choosing fabrics and sewing up the samples. I want to thank all of you for sticking with me during my hiatus!

I ventured into several substrates this time and you will see that as the collection is revealed over the next several days. Growing up sewing for myself, I never shied away from whatever fabric I loved, no matter what the fiber content was. Once I started actually designing patterns, I stuck to quilting cotton for its high quality and availability. Now that so many fabric manufacturers we know and love are branching out, I am sewing with a variety of fabrics again. I had forgotten how much I love the drape of rayon! It truly is a lovely fabric and one I encourage you to try. There are some great tricks to working with it and I'll be sharing those in the next several blog posts as applicable.

Now without further ado, here's the first design for the fall collection: The Erin Shirtdress! 
Below Knee Length version with shoulder ruffles and contrasting belt & hem; snap closure
Fabric: Shell Rummel for Free Spirit Fabrics

I initially worked up this design over the summer and worked through some different detailing ideas. I really wanted to make a dress with simple design lines with details that could be added. Erin has princess seaming down the length of the dress with a simple button or snap closure down the front in the classic shirtdress fashion. The center front and back skirts have a subtle amount of gathering to add ease through the hips down through the hemline. This dress can be made as knee or below knee length. You could even shorten it and make an adorable tunic length style that would be fantastic with leggings and boots! Add a sweet little cardigan, and you would have a lovely fall outfit!

Design details include a shoulder ruffle that is added to the side front/back seams, which ever so slightly extend past the armhole opening. Another detail is the stand-up collar. I like having a little detail like this at the neckline. You can choose to make it out of the main dress fabric or a contrasting fabric so it stands out away from the rest of the dress. The last design detail is the back belt loop and tie belt. Again, this design element can be made to blend with the dress or as a contrast. What makes these design details so great is that they can be added or omitted at will and the end result is a completely different looking dress.

Below knee length version in washed linen with collar and belt design details; snap closure
Overall, this dress is fitted through the bust with a light amount of ease through the waist, gradually growing to the greatest amount of ease through the hipline. I particularly love it with a snap closure, but buttons work great as well. It is a sleeveless design, which makes it so easy to add a cute jacket or cardigan when the cool breezes are blowing.

Knee length dress with shoulder ruffles, contrasting collar, belt, and hem; snap closure

Because this design has long uninterrupted pieces, it is a great candidate for border prints. As you already know, I am a huge fan of the border print, whether that be the actual pattern in the print, as an embroidered edge, or some other design element in the fabric. They make a statement without being too much and I love to let fabric speak for itself!

Knee length dress with contrasting collar and hem; button closure
Fabric: Andover

We are currently working on the web pages for the new designs and expecting the pattern stock to arrive next week and we'll begin shipping then. In the meantime, I will be working on the pdf versions of each pattern and hope to have those out shortly.

Happy Sewing!