To The Max

I’m really slow to join on fashion trends. Mostly because I’m oblivious. But there’s one that has caught my eye for years: Maxi skirts and dresses. I’ve never joined in – I’ve tried on occasion, but it just didn’t work. My legs are really long. Most maxis hit me well above the ankles, which is so not cool. Or they have no coverage on top, which isn’t my style. Or colors that I really don’t like. So I’ve just watched, filling a Pinterest board with images, considering but never actually making a move.

But wait. I sew. Cue the duh moment… really sometimes it takes me longer than it should! I blame the toddler.

So for my birthday present to myself I’m finally joining in!

Lady Skater Maxi Dress at Gabi Sunshine

I used the Lady Skater pattern again for the bodice. I showed my first try/ wearable muslin / troubleshooting version here. I got some great feedback on the alterations I needed and I am much happier this time. The skirt is a simple tube across the width of the fabric gathered onto the bodice (following the suggestion from here)

Lady Skater Maxi Dress at Gabi Sunshine

The fabric is a soft jersey knit that I bought from… wait for it… Mood! I know it’s not really that big of a deal, but after a decade of watching Project Runway, ordering from them was definitely on my bucket list. Life goal accomplished.

3 2014 004

I’m really pleased. I styled it really simply today, but I’ve already thought up a half dozen variations based on things already in my closet. Some with long sleeves over the top – it got cold again! I’m so ready for spring. This dress is so easy to wear. I’ve been on my knees on the floor, climbing up on ledges, and everything in between. Other than having to remember to lift the edge on stairs (oops) it’s one of those throw-on-and-go outfits that still looks pulled together. Making more? Definitely.

Lady Skater Maxi Dress at Gabi Sunshine

Details

Dress: Lady Skater by Kitschy Koo, tube style skirt

Fabric: 100% cotton jersey from Mood

 

Advertisements

Coco Cay Tankini

Summer’s coming! We’ll be taking Gracie to the beach pretty soon. Which of COURSE calls for a new swimsuit! Mainly because all the ones from last year are way tiny. But also because this child has a very… ah… specific sense of style. If it isn’t neon she isn’t interested. Thank goodness I picked up a swimsuit pattern during all the Thanksgiving sales a few months back! Introducing my first Coco Cay Tankini from Peekaboo Pattern Shop:

title

So, inside on this windy gray day, we’re celebrating a little sunshine.

front

As usual with Peekaboo Patterns, this stitched up a dream. Well, a dream considering I’m working with completely foreign-to-me materials and techniques. I’m still getting over my fear of regular knits. 4 way athletic knit? It’s crazy. The suit is far from perfect but I learned a LOT and have no doubt the next one will look very professional, and it’s very wearable. If you can’t tell, the part I need more practice on is getting the elastic evenly stretched. I’ve got super tight spots and super loose spots. I’m calling it a win though because she’s covered and comfortable. Oh and the applique is crooked since Grace wouldn’t decide what she wanted until AFTER the whole top was assembled. Next time I’ll do that very first. But she doesn’t care at all:

side

She’s a natural model. LOL. I pull out the camera and it’s just pose after pose after pose.

book

Ready to play in the waves! I’ll definitely be making at least one more of these to get through summer. We’ve graduated to a 2 piece due to potty training – she has a habit of waiting until the last. possible. minute. and I really don’t want to deal with a one piece in that situation. Actually, I hate one pieces in general. I really think a well fitted, long enough tankini is more modest that a one piece any day. Speaking of long enough, that was my only pattern edit – I extended the bottoms up a half inch and the top down about 3/4″. Otherwise it’s a straight 3t. I’ll probably do the top yet a little longer next time but the bottoms are perfect.

juggling bag

Oh, I also got one more project off my list for the Cover-to-Cover Little Things to Sew challenge! That makes 4 so far… I’m super behind but have plans for many of them. This is the juggling bag. Well, mostly – I used the directions and the shapes, but the size is free handed based on the size I needed. The top half is scrap swimsuit fabric; the bottom is mesh swimsuit lining. It’s just right to throw a swimsuit and towel in. And it matches! Which is all that matters to Grace! Here’s my challenge post in case you want to know more about the challenge, see my completed projects, and maybe even jump in too!

Details

Pattern: Coco Cay Colorblock Tankini

Fabric: Athletic 4-way stretch knit from Joann’s

Bag: Little Things to Sew book by Liesl Gibson, scrap fabric

Troubleshooting the Lady Skater

Want to see a work in progress? I usually only post finished, polish, and posed, but I need help!

3 2014 011

Meet the Lady Skater dress from British designer Kitschy Coo. It’s just a tee shirt dress with a circle style skirt (not a full circle. Maybe half?). Super simple, super perfect uniform every day dress. I’m looking forward to making a shelf full – there’s some brilliant interpretations on the blog and on Pinterest that I can’t wait to copy. Except I need to do some pattern work first. So it’s completely appropriate that I’m taking photos my in process dining room.

I have narrow shoulders. It means that every. single. pattern. needs altered. I’m planning to spend some time later this spring making a sloper to make alterations easier (Don’t know what that is? Come back in a month or so! I’m already writing the series). I need some extra eyes on this pattern though to figure out what specifically to adjust. This is my first knit dress for me. I know that I can get it perfect. And I really, really, REALLY hope I do, because…

3 2014 004

See? It’s got to be perfect before I cut into my splurge fabric! Here’s some close ups on the bodice. I know I’m not standing up straight but hopefully it’s enough to see. (My husband only had about 2 minutes before running out the door to work)

3 2014 007

3 2014 008

3 2014 005

3 2014 006

So, wiser eyes, what do I need to fix? Here’s what I’m thinking, but I feel like I’m missing something. I made a straight size 5 with 4? extra inches in skirt length (I’m 5’9″), but no other alterations so far.

  • Narrow shoulder adjustment, as shown here
  • Slight sway back adjustment
  • Bringing the neckline in all the way around

HELP! And, Thank You!