Leopard Print Fringe Dress

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Last week I posted about my top version of the Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch and immediately after making that I made the dress version. I definitely wanted to make the Fringe Dress this year (it was on my 2019 Make 9) and I figured that if I was going to be able to wear it before it got too cold I needed to get on it.

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My measurements put me at a size 0 bust and a size 6 waist. I decided to grade from size 0 bust to size 4 waist since I would still have plenty of room at the waist with a size 4. I also shortened the bodice by 1/2” and shortened the skirt by 2” (I’m 5’2″ for reference). I modified pockets to be sewn in to the waist seam to keep them in the front. I didn’t top stitch the pockets down. I also attached the waist ties to the front bodice darts but I’m not sure that I love them there. I’d probably either add them to the back darts or side seams or leave them off completely next time. I also left off the sleeve cuff and just turned up the edge twice and stitched it. 

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This fabric is a bit out of the norm for me. It is a viscose crepe from Blackbird Fabrics. I’m not usually an animal print person but I decided to try it out. I love that it is neutral colors but still fun and interesting. I’m excited to wear it with tights and boots and cardigans this fall! I also have a little bit left over and might be able to squeeze a tank top out of it.

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Fringe Top Hack

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This is the a hack of the Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch. I have the Fringe Dress on my 2019 Make 9 and I figured I need to make that soon before the weather gets too cold to actually wear it in 2019. The Fringe Dress Pattern was on my cutting table but I hadn’t yet put away my scraps leftover from my Amy Jumpsuit and I got the idea in my head that it would make a really cute Fringe top. Unfortunately I didn’t actually have enough scraps left over from that project to make it work but I did have enough scraps left over from my Burnside Bibs!

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I did not come up with this hack – I copied this directly from Kelly at athreadthatbinds on Instagram. I made a size 0 and since I’m pear shaped I generally need to grade out at the waist and hips. For this version I didn’t grade out because I omitted sewing the darts which gave me some more room there. I also shortened the bodice by 1/2 inch.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what I need in my wardrobe since starting the Love to Sew Podcast worksheets to Create my Dream Wardrobe. I definitely want more tops that are a little bit nicer than t-shirts and this fits exactly what I was looking for. This is so comfortable especially in the Robert Kaufman Brussels linen/rayon blend! Its easy to throw on and feel stylish without actually putting more effort in to getting dressed. The only issue is that I need more high waisted pants to wear with this cropped top.

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Now time to get on to making the actual Fringe Dress… I’m glad that I did this top version. I’ve been thinking of this as a muslin of the dress but when I make the dress I am going to be using the bodice darts and also grading up a size at the waist and I think I’m also going to leave off the sleeve cuffs so really it isn’t giving me a ton of information I will actually use for my Fringe Dress but I did get to practice the facing.

Leather Cross Strap Slide Sandals

I made a second pair of sandals! I actually started this pair before my other pair but I got a little distracted. I was mostly distracted with trying to figure out the best way to finish the edges of the leather and finding the right tool for that so I put these on hold for a bit but they are finally done!

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These are entirely made out of stuff I had laying around my shoe repair shop. I’m pretty sure the straps are veg-tan leather and the insole, sole and heel block are made out of a leather sole bend. I added a sole saver and heel top lift to make them last. However, the double layer of leather sole makes these not very flexible. I’m hoping that they will get broken in with wear but for now they are a bit stiff to actually walk in.

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Next time I’ll definitely use something thinner for the insole and probably the sole as well. I’m pretty happy that they stay on my feet and are fairly comfortable just standing around but they aren’t very comfortable when you are actually walking around which is pretty important.

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To finish the edges of the straps I ended up beveling them with an Edge Beveler in size 2 and then I used some leather lotion and a hand held burnishing tool similar to this one. It took a little bit of practice and the edges are a bit uneven in places but I’m really happy with how they came out in the end.

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They are also just a little bit uneven but its not too noticeable. The soles are actually the exact same footprint but where the straps hit are slightly off. I finalized my strap placement before I finished the shoe outline and I think if I do it the other way around I’ll get a more consistent result. Once again I learned a ton and I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned to my next pair! I’m not quite sure what that will be yet though. I may invest in shoe lasts so that I can up my shoe making game!

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Here I’m wearing them with my Winslow Culottes and my Rib Knit Nikko top! I love this combo!

Black Linen Sway Dress

I made this dress back in 2016 and I’ve only worn it two or three times and only as a beach cover up. This is the Papercut Patterns Sway Dress which was super popular especially in black linen in 2016 when I made it. I had seen so many amazing linen versions that I wanted one too. I’ve been going back and posting makes that never made it on to the blog and I’ve learned a lot since making this dress. There are a couple of things that I don’t like about this dress which is why I haven’t worn it but I’m hoping to come up with a plan to make this more wearable.

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I shortened the dress because I’m 5’2″ and figured I would need to shorten it but I took off way too much. This dress is shorter than I’d typically wear which is why I’ve only ever worn it to the beach. However, black is not a color I’m drawn to when going to the beach and I don’t go to the beach that often so it really doesn’t get worn much. You can also see the bottoms of the pocket bags because its just too short.

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The fabric is  pretty heavy black linen with a lot of structure to it which makes it stand away from my body. When I wear it I’m nervous that a gust of wind will blow up the skirt. The fabric also frays like crazy which is causing me problems. I love the tie belt but when I turned it right sides out the linen frayed quite a bit and it ended up causing a couple of gaps near the seam. I ended up adding a line of stitching from the outside to keep it from unraveling. That seems fine now but there are a couple of spots that don’t look great. Good thing its black and you can’t actually see that! Also I did a hand stitched rolled hem and there are definitely some threads starting to stick out of it. The fabric also collects lint and cat hair like crazy so that is another reason I haven’t worn it much!

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So how can I fix this???? Here are my ideas so far:

  1. Add a piece of contrasting fabric to the bottom and make a matching belt.
  2. Embrace the short-ness of the dress and buy or make some shorts to wear under it so I’m not constantly worried about wind. Also either move the pocket bags up or shorten the pocket bags so they aren’t visible.
  3. Add a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt also in black linen.
  4. Shorten the dress in to a top.

I’m open to suggestions! What should I do to salvage this dress?

Speckled Deer and Doe Plantain Tee

I’ve been needing more basic T-Shirts to throw on with jeans and I decided to try the free Plantain pattern by Deer and Doe. I’ve made two other patterns by Deer and Doe – the Blouse Datura and the Melilot. I was excited to try another one of their patterns! I Graded from a size 34 bust to a 36 waist and 38 at the hips. I then cut two inches off of the bottom before I hemmed it (I’m 5’2″).

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I used melange jersey from La Mercerie and I really love it. I love that it is a neutral color while still being interesting because of the speckles! It is also nice and drapey which is perfect for a t-shirt.

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I love this pattern for a more fitted t-shirt. There are so many boxy t-shirts out there so it is nice to have another option. There are still a couple of places I may need to adjust for fit but those are all minor (looks like I may need some more room in the sleeve cap?). I do want to keep trying different t-shirt patterns! There are so many out there and there may be one that I like better than this one.

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Also – I’m wearing this with my second pair of Ginger Jeans. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about what I actually need in my wardrobe after listening to the Love to Sew Podcast episode on creating your dream wardrobe. While I’m not sure that I’m ready to get rid of the ginger jeans I’ve made in the past I do not think low rise jeans are my style any more and high/mid rise jeans have jumped to the top of my sewing queue! I’m excited to get started on making some more jeans this fall.

Jordy Bralettes

Its been a while since I made a bra and I wanted to try a soft bra pattern that I hadn’t tried before. I hadn’t used one of Emerald Erin’s patterns before but I really wanted to give the Jordy Bralette a try. This is something I included on my 2019 make 9 because I definitely wanted to try this pattern this year. I purchased two kits from Emerald Erin’s shop and I made up the nude lace version first. I wore that version for a couple of months to make sure the fit was right before making the black version.

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This pattern is so simple – it is really just two pattern pieces for the sheer version plus some elastic… but it is so genius! I didn’t end up making any changes to my pattern from my first version to my second version. I think part of the beauty of this bra IS the simplicity. You can test the band elastic and easily adjust it if its a little off. I also love that the bra doesn’t come up too high. I made the watson bra a while back and I feel like it pops out the top of some of my lower cut shirts (which aren’t really that low cut).

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I definitely want to try the foam version of this bra at some point. The bra tulle versions were perfect for summer but the foam version looks sooo comfortable. But for my next bra I want to try the Black Beauty bra from Emerald Erin. After making the Jordy I’m really excited to try another of her patterns!

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If you haven’t tried bra making yet I’d definitely recommend this pattern! It comes together so quickly and you don’t need to worry about the underwire or sewing the cups in to a cradle which can be a little tricky.

Wedding Guest Amy Jumpsuit

I spent about two months stressing over what I would wear to a wedding in August. After my first dress idea fell through because I didn’t realize that I needed to wear sage green and my wearable muslin of my Anna Dress/ Burnside bibs mash up didn’t feel quite right I really was procrastinating on making a final decision. Part of my issue was that I had too many ideas and I just couldn’t figure out which one to go with. Since I don’t wear a lot of sage green and sage green isn’t necessarily a color that I get excited about I wanted to make something a little bit unexpected. I ended up making a spreadsheet of every idea that I was considering and then I made my boyfriend rank them in order and I ranked them in order and then I added our rankings together and the Closet Case Patterns Amy Jumpsuit won! I honestly wasn’t considering the Amy Jumpsuit until the day I put the spreadsheet together but when I went through and compared all of my options the Amy Jumpsuit was actually my number 1 choice. It definitely had the unexpected element but also was a great match for the fabric which is a linen viscose blend.

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The other reason why this was a great match was that I really procrastinated to the last minute and I only had 2 weeks to make my outfit. I knew the jumpsuit would come together quickly and since it is loose fitting I totally skipped the muslin phase which would have been necessary with a more fitted dress or jumpsuit. Despite this I was a little bit worried about the fit. The instructions say that the jumpsuit is very loose fitting in the hips so unless your hips are more than 3 sizes larger than your bust you do not need to grade between sizes. My hips are more like 6 sizes larger than my bust so I wasn’t really sure whether I should grade out. In the end I ended up cutting out a size 0 at the bust, 2 at the waist and 4 at the hips. Since my hip measurement was 3 sizes larger than the size 4 I figured that would give me plenty of room without going overboard. I also shortened the waist 1/2″. After the jumpsuit was finished I ended up cutting 1″ off of the hem and then folding the hemp up 1/4″ and then 1/2″, which is a slightly larger hem than the pattern is drafted for. I’m 5’2″ and definitely would have expected to need to shorten the jumpsuit a lot more so if you are taller you may want to add length or make a muslin.

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I love how the jumpsuit came out and I feel like its definitely something that I can wear again and dress down for a more casual look. The fabric is the Viscose Linen Noil in Ocean Mist from Blackbird Fabrics. The jumpsuit wads super comfortable to wear and definitely the right choice for the outdoor wedding.

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By the time I had picked out which pattern I wanted to make and gotten the pattern printed I basically had one weekend to get this done. Luckily it came together super quickly and I even had time to make my boyfriend a tie. It was my first time making a tie and I used a free pattern. I can’t say that I would recommend that pattern though so I won’t mention which one because it was a bit wonky and the pattern pieces didn’t line up quite right. If I decide to make a tie in the future I’d definitely spend money on a pattern and eliminate the headache.

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I am in the middle of eating a cracker in this picture and you can definitely tell but I have no regrets.