McCall’s 7538 – Simple Summer Knit Dress

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I can see this quickly becoming one of my favorite summer dresses. It is simple, yet I think the stripes and crossover detail give it a lot of interest.

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The pattern caught my attention because it offers so many options; sleeves, neckline, skirt shape, dress or top. And that is without factoring in the fabric possibilities.

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To make sure my stripes matched on the sides, I cut out each piece individually rather than layering them. I normally do this when cutting horizontal stripes. I purchased the fabric from Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley. I love that store and wish it were closer to where I live though it‚Äôs probably better that it is not ūüėČ

Other than setting the sleeves in flat prior to sewing the side seams, I sewed this according to the pattern instructions. No alterations.

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There’s not much to say about this dress. The process of sewing it was uneventful. I am very happy with the finished product which is always a great feeling. After a working on a wadder for over a week (I tried so hard to save it), this dress was just what I needed to get me feeling good about sewing again.

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McCall’s 7543 – Eyelet Off-the-Shoulder Top

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I purchased this scalloped-edge eyelet in Granby, QC last Spring while visiting family and friends. ¬†White eyelet screams summer to me. I knew the fabric was going to be an off-the-shoulder top but was not sure which one. The knotted sleeves on McCall’s 7543 caught my attention. I think the sleeves are a super cute detail and something a little different than the standard casing/elastic finish.

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I also like the shoulder straps. They look good and hide my bra straps. To make sure my bra straps are covered I chose to wait until I finished the top to sew the straps on by hand. The pattern has you apply the straps to the front prior to forming the casing. While it does create a nice finish it doesn’t allow you to align them to your bra straps. The back straps are sewn by hand so it wasn’t a big stretch to sew the front by hand as well.

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My top is 1.25″ longer than the pattern. I lined up the scallop with the bottom of the pattern, omitting the 1.25″ hem. I underlined the front and back with cotton voile.

This was a fast and easy project. The result is a fun top that will be part of my summer adventures.

The pants are Jalie Eleonore’s made last Fall.

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Me-Made-May ’17 – Wrap Up

I did it again! I made a commitment to wear at least one me-made item every day for the month of May and succeeded. This was my second year participating in Me-Made-May.

Wearing me-mades every day is not too challenging for me because I make most of my clothes. For this challenge, I like to take the opportunity to dig a little deeper in my closet for something to wear. Purposely choosing and outfit every day made me realize once again that I keep my clothes a long time by most people’s standards. Disposable fashion is not part of my wardrobe.

Below are my me-mades for May 2017. Thanks to my husband I was able to document all thirty one days of me-mades. Most of these pictures were taken early in the morning before my husband left for his job in Silicon Valley. I often wonder what the neighbors must think as they look out of their windows and see the two of us in photographer/model mode before most people have had their morning coffee. The sunglasses so early in the day were needed because on some days I had not finished my make-up by the time my husband had to leave for work.

Thank you to Zoe at So Zo …What Do You Know? for the getting the challenge going. I look forward to participating again next year.

Burda Style 10-2015-121 – Blouson Jacket or What I Wore to Meet Leslie Sbrocco

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My fashion photographer and I enjoy food.  I love to cook and try new recipes but we also enjoy discovering new places to eat. One way we stay on top of the local restaurant scene is to watch Check, Please! Bay Area on our local PBS station. The weekly show features three guests who each talk about their favorite restaurant. The show is hosted by Leslie Sbrocco, a wine expert with a fun approach to wine and food. Leslie is a regular guest on the Today Show as well as other shows where she shares her knowledge about wine.

This year my fashion photographer and I were able to attend the annual Taste and Sip 2017 in San Francisco. It is an event hosted by Leslie, featuring local restaurants and wineries. Of course I needed something new to wear!¬†San Francisco in the evening is always challenging for me. You never know how “cold” it will be. I wanted a jacket to layer over a sleeveless top and pants. ¬†I purchased this stretch metallic denim from Fabric Mart last year with a blouson style jacket in mind.

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This Burda Style jacket has an 80’s vibe to it that appealed to me when I received the magazine in 2015. ¬†I like the length of it because it allows me to wear longer tops than I would wear with a bomber jacket. The pattern is well drafted and came together easily. Tracing the pattern was a little more challenging as the pattern pieces are used for multiple jackets in the magazine. The pattern calls for folding the front over the zipper to cover the teeth. I didn’t want to do that because; A) I noticed that it pulled at the waist because of the elastic, and B) I liked the shiny gold zipper I purchased from J & N Zipper¬†. I forgot that by not folding the front, the collar was no longer going to finish at the zipper, as designed. My collar is a nudge short ūüė¶ ¬† I decided not to cut a new collar and call it a design feature.

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I like the fit of this jacket a lot. It felt good to wear and added to the fun of our evening.

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We had not planned on doing any fashion photography but arrived early enough to walk around and take pictures.

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I was completely star struck when I saw Leslie Sbrocco. People were asking to have their picture taken with her but I was too embarrassed to do that. My fashion photographer noticed her walking towards us (I went into panic mode) and asked her if she would pose for a picture with me. Leslie immediately scooted in and put her arm around me. She was warm and gracious AND told me I had a beautiful jacket. I don’t know what I said but I know it was something banal like “I watch your show every week and love it”. ¬†As if¬† she’s never heard that before. Sheesh! ¬†I look like a deer caught in the headlights in the picture below but I still like it because it reminds me of the wonderful time we had sipping and tasting away the evening.

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Simplicity 1463 – Striped Batwing Tops

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I am not intimidated by matching stripes. It is a sewing skill that I am proud to say I have mastered. Depending on the fabric I sometimes¬†baste my seams to make sure they don’t move while I’m sewing. Other times¬†I might¬†use my walking foot as well as double-sided tape to keep the stripes aligned.

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The first top I made using View A was the orange/coral stripe pictured below. The fabric was purchased from Fabric Mart a while ago.

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When I came to sew the shoulder seams I realized that I forgot to match the stripes. The sides were good but the shoulder seams were WAY off. I would never wear it looking like that. Ugh! A wadder in the making. The next day at work I shared my frustration with a co-worker who also sews. She suggested contrast bands to distract from the mismatched stripes. I had nothing to lose since it was not wearable the way it was. I dug out some ponte knit scraps and created insets as well as a contrasting neckband. I am happy with how this turned out.

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I cut out the blue/white stripe right after finishing the orange/coral. I was not going to let myself be beat by such a simple project and a rookie mistake. I needed to cleanse my sewing palette with a success.

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A few years ago I made View C from the same pattern with stretch lace and jersey.

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Vogue 9243 – Ruffle Sleeve Top

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I am enjoying all of the beautiful statement sleeves that are popping up everywhere this season. I hope the trend lasts for a while.

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I have been adding patterns with fun sleeves to my stash. I was attracted to Vogue 9243 not only for the sleeves but for the princess seams as well. I find princess seams very flattering. I like the length of this particular sleeve. They are¬†comfortable to wear and do not get in the way of “everyday life”.

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The fabric is an embroidered cotton/poly blend with a nice hand. I wore the top for over and hour in the car and it barely had any creases, not even from the seat belt. I purchased this fabric at Tissus Mode De L’Orme in Granby, QC while visiting family and friends in April.

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I wore this top to the Monet exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco with my fashion photographer. We were going to take pictures of the top outside of the museum with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. So why are these pictures taken in our front yard and what does the fact I bought a new laptop bag have to do with any of this? My husband had never seen my new laptop bag and grabbed it instead of his camera bag. We were all set to take pictures outside of the museum when he reached for the tripod that is normally in the side of his bag and was baffled. I took one look at the bag and figured out what happened. Oh well, there will be other opportunities for pictures at the Legion of Honor.

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Butterick 6418 – Stretch Lace Top

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On my recent trip to Granby, QC I stocked up on fabric at Tissus Mode De L’Orme. I love, love, love that fabric store. I found this tie dyed stretch lace and matching jersey and knew they were destined to become a top of some kind.

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I found Butterick 6418 to be exactly what I was picturing for the fabric. View C  would showcase the lace but allow the jersey to be visible.

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The pattern is described a close-fitting. I made my usual size 8 and I found the top to be “comfortably” fitted, not too tight but not shapeless. I shortened the long sleeve by 3″ and narrowed the sleeve by 1/2″ tapering to nothing just below the armscye.

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I added a neck binding instead of turning in the neck edge and hemming as directed in the pattern. I chose to have the binding be on the outside of the top instead of the inside. I thought it finished off the lace nicely. I also hemmed the lace overlay. The pattern calls for leaving it unfinished.

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I paired my new top with my Jalie Eleonore jeans. These jeans are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. The pictures were taken at a winery on the Central Coast of California. It was the perfect afternoon for a Sunday drive and a little wine with my fashion photographer.

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