Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Tag Archives: knit fabric

Patch My Heart Dress – Plantain Variation

Earlier this month, the France based sewing pattern company Deer&Doe released a free t-shirt pattern which they’ve named Plantain. To kick off the release, they’ve decided to host a sewing contest. The challenge is just to create your own version of the Plantain pattern. Here is one of my entries (yes, I’m actually working on a second one!).

I lengthened the t-shirt pattern into a dress and added a gathered ruffle to the bottom. I also changed the oval shaped elbow patches that were designed for the pattern into red heart-shaped patches. In essence, I’m literally wearing my heart on my sleeves!

The dress is sewn from a nice navy jersey I found at Dressew. It’s so soft! I love the fabric and it wasn’t too expensive either, just $7/m. I only used 1.5m for this dress. The heart-shaped elbow patches are made from leftover bits from my Olivia dress.

The winner of the contest wins a couple of gift certificates, one to the Deer&Doe store and the other to a fabric store that sells pretty organic fabrics. I don’t know if I’ll win but I’m so happy with how this dress turned out. I love how pretty and simple it is and since it’s made from jersey, it’s so comfortable and wearable for all sorts of situations.

Anyways, wish me luck but even if I don’t win, I’ve already come out a winner from having participated in the contest. It was a challenge that engaged my creativity and pushed me to meet a deadline. And now I have a cute dress!

The Olivia Dress – Simplicity 2865

So I’ve finished another project after a bit of a hiatus. Things were just so nuts in October. I was also working 40 hour weeks for about 4 months. This really cut into my ability to keep up with my hobbies when combined with everything else that got thrown at me in October. But I’m back at full form and raring to go on my sewing machine now

The pattern I used for the project is Simplicity 2865 which is an older pattern from their Built By Wendy line, a collection of patterns I really like. I’ve got quite a few of them stashed away. I made this dress in a red and cream interlock knit fabric purchased from Dressew.

This dress would have taken me a lot less time to sew if I didn’t have so many fitting woes! Can someone please remind me never to cut a size 10 in the Big 4 pattern companies? I’ve had nothing but trouble whenever I cut a 10. I should always be a 6 or lower. For this pattern, I should have cut the smallest size available which was a 4.

I cut a 10 because the pattern said the finished garment measurements for the bust was 32.5 inches. WRONG! I really should have measured the bust across the pattern because it was a lot more than that. I had to take in the side seams by 1.5 inches on both sides but only on the back pattern piece because I didn’t want to alter the front armhole shape. I also had to take in the shoulder seam by 1.5 inches. Even with these modifications, I had to throw the finished dress into the washer on hot water and then into the dryer to shrink it up even more.

I have a feeling even if I had cut a 4, it still would have been too big so it’s mostly the fault of my small frame. Luckily I did not have the recut the collar. Knit fabric is so forgiving to sew with! Anyways, I managed to get through the problems and now I have a cute dress.

Here is a close up of the little red candy buttons I sewed to the placket. I also purchased these buttons from Dressew.

Now the reason I call this dress the Olivia dress is because the inspiration came from a children’s picture book. Here take a look!

Can you see what I mean? I even wore the black and white striped tights to really capture the spirit of Olivia. This is a book series about a very petulant, adventurous, imaginative little pig named Olivia, written and illustrated by Ian Falconer. She’s quite a fashionable little pig too.

I love children’s books and as you know, I work at the public library so I constantly come across old classics and new ones to read. Children’s picture books are an inspiration to me because their whimsical nature is very appealing. I love to pour over the illustrations and get lost in a more dreamy place.

I plan on sewing more projects inspired by children’s picture books in the future. I think this is a great way to combine two of my great loves in life — sewing and reading. So expect to see more of the other sides of my life (the book worm and in a previous post, the nerd) in this blog as I slowly reveal them.

Outfit details: Shoes are from Payless (bought them this autumn and I love them!)

The Coco Top

So I made this top way back in June and finally got around to taking photos. I know my personal friends and family are always curious about what I get up to when it comes to sewing. So here it is!

It’s sewn from a Megan Nielsen pattern, the Briar pattern, which has a high-low hem and comes in a cropped length or a regular full length. I made the cropped length with 3/4 sleeves in a lovely blue and white knit fabric I got at Dressew. The fabric is a linen blend! It feels so nice and is the most luxurious knit fabric I’ve used ever. I’m afraid to get this shirt dirty in any way. It wasn’t very expensive either, it’s just that the linen makes it have such a great drape, weight, and texture.

You can see the back view here. It curves down longer around the back. I love the hem, it’s a great design feature and just oh so cute.

I must confess, this was the first time I EVER sewed with a striped fabric, let alone a knit striped fabric. I had a dickens of a time trying to match up the stripes but I think I did a really great job. I used Tasia’s blog posts on sewing a striped Renfrew top to help me along. They are a great online reference, I highly recommend them.

I think I did an alright job lining up the stripes. If you look closely, it’s not 100% perfect, maybe it’s 95% matched on. I did my best! I don’t think anyone else but me will notice it’s not 100% perfect and I’ve learned these days that you just have to let it go — nothing will necessarily be totally perfect.

Oh and look at my hair! The purple dye completely washed out ages ago and left me with this caramel coloured blonde. I’ve gotten so many compliments on my hair this summer. I’m so happy that I took the plunge to get it bleached and dyed in May. It’s turned out amazing and I’m going to keep it this way for a while. I’m going to need a cut soon and I’m thinking of getting a true ombre done to my hair as well. Either that or more purple dye! What do you think? Ombre or purple? Heh heh!

I have one more thing to mention…I named this top The Coco Top because it reminds me of the striped top Audrey Tautou wore in the film Coco Avant Chanel. I actually only just watched it last week for the first time and I thought it would be a fitting name for my shirt. Now I can feel like a French girl whenever I wear it, haha!

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