Monday, February 16, 2015

February Free-For-All - Popover Sundress Inspiration

Welcome to visitors from the Frances Suzanne blog - what a great idea they had to showcase free patterns!!

Where do you get inspiration for your sewing?

I *used* to rely heavily on the now near-dead Flickr website.  When I started sewing for my youngest, I got tons of inspiration there - I "favorited" items to document where I'd like to go with my sewing.  When I started a new creation, I'd go there to see what other people had done with similar patterns.  I joined groups, made friends.

Then, Flickr pretty much died.

Now, I get lots of inspiration searching Instagram.  But, unless people hashtag correctly or in a predictable manner, it's tough to really keep track of what you like.   I've never been much of a Pinterest person.  So, when I signed on to showcase a free pattern, I - of course - chose an Oliver + S pattern, then went back to my old friend, the Flickr group.  A group of folks who do seem to still hang with Flickr are the O+S people - which is a good thing.

I chose the Oliver + S Popover Sundress.  Even though this is a free pattern, it includes all the high quality finishes you expect from an Oliver + S pattern, including a bonus doll pattern.  Little things like a beautifully finished yoke, and a reminder to iron down your stitches to set them really set Oliver + S patterns apart.  In my opinion!

I had made this previously for a charity event making dresses to send to Haiti, but never for my child.  When I'm searching Flickr for inspiration, I search first the pattern name within the group, then refine by "interesting".  Who knows exactly how Flickr determines interesting, but it definitely gives you good results.

When I searched the Flickr pool for the Popover Sundress, I found some interesting trends.  It seems like some of the most popular sundresses were:

  1.   made from large scale prints
  2.   made from plain fabric, with lace inserted in the yoke
  3.   made from a border print or applique

So, in the spirit of trying to be interesting, I made 3.

Here's my large scale print...



For this version, I used some very interesting Kokka double gauze from my shop.  I shortened it into a tunic.  Since this was a woven, I decided to try a size 5.  Probably a bad decision.  I used foldover elastic for the straps - a good decision.  However, this particular FOE was a bit too narrow.  Still, in spite of the pitiful look on my child (stomachache) she does really like this top.  A lot.

Here's a phone picture later in the day to prove it!



I was struggling for inspiration for a border/applique version.  Then, sadly, I got inspiration from my old dog Luther.  Luther went to doggie heaven this past weekend.  A very, very tough weekend in our house.  I decided to do a black lab version of the Popover Sundress - more for my benefit than anyone else's.  (If you'd like to see photos of Luther in his heyday, you can check my photo website here:  http://www.harrisdigitalpix.com/galleries/animals/7/ - Luther is the black lab mix.)






For this version, I used some more fabric from my shop (yes, more shameless promotion!!) - a ponte de roma double knit.  Seriously great fabric, seriously great to work with.  Since the Kokka top turned out big, I sized down to a size 4 with 6 length.  This one worked perfectly.  Until......the kid put it on and FREAKED OUT about the ties at the shoulders.  No, those are NOT going to work for her.  After the photos, I cut off the ends of the ties.  She seems to be ok with it.

Last, but certainly not least, I made a basic black dress from more ponte de roma double knit with some very nice organic lace from Organic Cotton Plus at the bodice.  Really, this dress can go anywhere. For this version, I used a wider foldover elastic - much better.




Julia wore this black dress out to dinner tonight - at the restaurant, she told me that she wants more dresses like this - oh yeah, success!

Thanks to Ashley and Emily for asking me to participate - such great inspiration from a bunch of very talented bloggers!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cloud 9 Voile - A Pleasant Surprise - And A Teeny Give-Away

Well, Kid's Clothes Week passed with me doing exactly one hour of embroidery on the very last day.  Hmmm....life getting in the way again.

I received some delicious fabric from Organic Cotton Plus - some voile from Cloud 9.  Organic fabric - need I say more?  Well, I had never sewn with voile.  In fact, I don't even think I had ever felt it before.  It's a beautiful weight - lightweight, but not so light that it's difficult to sew.  It's like a cotton lawn, but a bit lighter weight.  I did line the body of this dress using voile as well.

It took me an entire week to decide what to make with this fabric - after all that thought, I came up with the Playdate Dress from Oliver + S.  One of their oldest patterns, but a very lovely one.  I made two previously - here and here.  The first was made from quilting cotton - rejected by the kid.  The second was made from stretch velvet - much loved by the kid.  You just never know....plus, how much longer will she want to wear pretty dresses?  Next year, school uniforms for sure.  Ugh.


This is a straight up size 5.  I haven't made her any size 5's yet, but she is 5 years old....I think size-wise she is more like a size 4 with a 6 length, but I'm a very lazy sewist.  I was hoping that this would fit her for a while, but looking at the length, I'm sure she'll outgrow it length-wise fairly soon.  She's still at like 41 pounds - I think she's been the same weight for a year!


Really, the yoke on this pattern just slays me...


I absolutely agonized over the decision to put flat piping under the yoke, or lace.   I also got some absolutely beautiful cotton, organic lace from Organic Cotton Plus.  After playing with it, and thinking about it, I like my decision to just let the embroidery and the beautiful fabric stand for themselves.  The lace will be used in another project, very soon.



After doing some research on the fabric, and the fabric designer, I realized that Lunada Bay, the name of the fabric, is about a ten mile drive from me in Rancho Palos Verdes!  Now, if I were a really good blogger, I would have taken a road trip there for photos....

So, here's the teeny give-away - I have a good 3/4 of a yard left of this lovely fabric.  If you'd like to try it out, just leave a comment.  I'll choose a random winner by Valentine's Day.  I'll send mail to anywhere...

And, by the way, the kid *says* she loves this dress.....we will see!


**********And the giveaway winner is Mikea Gray from Gray Colors - chosen by the very scientific method of the child pulling a number out of a hat!  Hope you like the fabric Mikea!*******
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