Sewing

Bye Bye Love Bag - Front View
Bye Bye Love Bag - Front View

This bag is the Bye Bye Love bag from Sew Sweetness. I modified the pattern a bit in order to have the two-tone color on the bag. I also switched the inset zipper to the inside of the bag instead of the outside. I'd like to say that's because of some brilliant inspiration on my part, but it's actually because I didn't read the pattern very well and I got the wrong color zipper. I probably could have gotten away with a pink zipper on the outside, but I wasn't feeling it. I just switched it to the lining instead.

I used the Soft and Stable that Sara (of Sew Sweetness) recommends in the pattern. This was my first time sewing with it and it was interesting. For those who haven't sewed with it before, it's a stiff foam that is about 1/8" thick. It gives great body and support to the bag without overwhelming it. I'll definitely use it again with a bag like this that benefits from the structure. Due to the price (it's not too bad, but can add up if you're using this for many bags), I may experiment with interfacing and headliner foam from Joann's. I'll update if I do that and do a comparison.

Bye Bye Love Bag - Inside View
Bye Bye Love Bag - Inside View

This bag was more challenging than I thought it would be. In addition to using the Soft and Stable for the first time, I used the vinyl for the accents and upholstery fabric for the green and the lining. The pink lining fabric frayed horribly and I had to use my serger and a zigzag and it was still disinigrating around the edges. Beautiful, though and worth the hassle.

Because of all these challenges, I make more mistakes on this bag than I had on some of my other more recent bags. I chalked it up to a learning experience and am pretty pleased with the results overall.

I gave this to my sister-in-law for her birthday as I thought the colors would be perfect for her. Also, she's nice enough to look past some of the construction mistakes. :)

Have you gifted things to loved ones even though they weren't perfect? Or do you keep all the mistakes for yourself?

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Knit Dress - Full Outfit
Knit Dress - Full Outfit

My first finished to post to the blog! I'm so excited that I have a successful project to post about. :) This knit dress is McCall's M6073. It has a V neckline in both the front and the back and has three lengths: knee, midi, and maxi length. I wanted to use this fabric from my stash (it's a poly blend from... Fabric.com, maybe?) I only had 1.5 yd. and it was 45" width, so I eeked out as much length as I could, but couldn't even quite make it to the knee length. When I'm standing and there's no wind, it's not too short. :) Also, the fabric is sheer, so I have to have something under it. Therefore, there will be leggins worn with this every time.

I wasn't sure about this pattern at first because it seemed very loose and I wasn't sure if I'd would like it. However, it actually did flatter very nicely. I think that's mostly due to the drape of the very lightweight knit and the help of the elastic in both the shoulders and waist.

I did have to do a few alterations for this. Although my fabric was knit, it didn't have a great amount of stretch. I did a size 22 in the bust, grading to 24 for the waist and hips, then I did a 2" FBA. The fit was great overall. The FBA did give me a lot of gathers; in the future I may do a smaller FBA or none at all and let the deep V of the wrap take in some of the difference.

Knit Dress - Front View
Knit Dress - Front View

The photographer (aka: Mom) decided this was my "I'm a little teapot" pose. No one has ever asked me to model, can you believe that?! 😛

I struggled with the binding of the V neck because the pattern instructions made. no. sense. I was procrastinating utilizing last minute energy to finish this dress so I didn't want to take time to Google the "correct" way to do it. I found a way that worked and looks nice from the outside, but really kind of bad on the inside. I'm adding binding a V neck to my list of skills-to-learn.

Knit Dress - Back
Knit Dress - Back

To update my skill building for this post, I thought I show how I did the bust gathers for this piece. Gathering is basic skill, but when done unevenly, it can definitely add to the "home made" vs. "hand made" look.

I used a technique that I like to think of as "window curtain gathering" (yes, I totally made that up, if you couldn't tell) that helps me get more exact start/end when gathering between two points. Basically, I use two threads, knotted at the end to baste the gathers. One thread starts at the left and the other starts from the right. That way, I can pull on the unknotted ends, now on opposite sides of the gathered section. By doing it this way, there's no ungathered sections near the edge of the gathered sections.

Bust Gathers
Making Bust Gathers