Wedding Dress: Part 2 (Bodice Fitting)


I’ve been working quite hard on the toile of the bodice of my wedding dress. The skirt has quite a ways to go but I’m ready to share my fitting process for the bodice.  My design sketch is above but my full design post is Wedding Dress: Part 1 (planning)

Image result for mccalls 7124

I’m using McCalls 7124. I initially bought the pattern for the tiered skirt, however I’ve changed my design to be a long elegant tulle skirt. However, I still thought this pattern had a good base for my bodice, I knew there would be some fit issues as McCall’s typically doesn’t fit my well. Particularly in the boob area.

I started by tracing off the pattern in my standard McCall’s size with is a 10 in the bust, 12 in the waist, and 14 in the hips. This did result in the waistband being inverted from it’s original shape, but it worked well for me.

I should have wrote this as I was going as I’ve forgotten some of the changes, but I’ll try to show you everything I can. I wanted to start off as close as I could, so I made design changes before ever making a toile. The first was I wanted a low V, so I adjusted the CF which you can see in the photo. I also lowered the back so it would be mostly backless, meeting at the zip.

top first version

When I sewed up this version, it wasn’t too bad. The V was much bigger than I’d like, so I knew I had to cut it closer and use a smaller seam allowance at the V. I struggled with knowing how to adjust it as it didn’t have any boning or interfacing so it was hard for it to hold itself up with no back. You can sort of see the pin on the side seam I added. I did know I needed to take out a little at the top of the side seam.


I also worked on the Overlay at the same time. It took me a little bit to wrap my head around it. At first I thought I would just cut out overlay pieces in the bodice as well and follow the pattern to get the sequins all over, but the deep V made that difficult and I didn’t want the princess seams to stand out. I really wanted the overlay to go over the bodice, like the David’s Bridal dress I liked. So what I did was overlap all the pieces to create the overlay after making my initial design changes. I wanted a cap sleeve, rather than a tank top looks, so I borrow my Anna dress from By Hand London, to see the shape of the sleeve. I moved the start of  the sleeve over, adjusting the back piece as well.



Overlapping this way created a huge dart. So I knew it wasn’t going to work but I did think sewing it up would help me know how to change it.


The dart didn’t even line up in the right spot with my bust. So much extra room. I thought I might need a small bust adjustment but I needed to change that dart around. So I just googled how to move a dart from the waist to bust. I didn’t want to move the whole thing but just a small part. There are 3 main lines you need to move the dart, which I put in the pic below.  I moved the dart as well to match my bust. Then I squished out the bust dart in pattern form. You can also see in the photo below that I did make a small bust adjustment.


I pinned this tissue to my dress form and could tell it would put me a lot closer, so I then sewed it up with a lot of success. I adjusted the neckline a bit, making it a bit lower and bringing the neckline in a tad so it wouldn’t fall off my shoulders. The waist darts needed to be a smidge bigger as the length was too long for the waistband.


The back of the overlay comes down into a triangle.


Sorry to jump around but I wanted to follow my process. At this point I tried the bodice piece on again and this time I could clearly see it needed a small bust adjustment, the length was too long. I followed the same By Hand London tutorial I used in my jumpsuit


I feel pretty good about the fit of the pieces, my fabric is here. I’m ready to cut and make the bodice. You’ll have to wait for that reveal. I know I missed some changes to the patterns, if you are interested in each mock up and the changes, you can go through my highlight reel on my instagram, I saved the bodice testing there.


purse · Uncategorized

Portside Duffel by Grainline Studios


The SewMyStyle challenge for October was a bag. It wasn’t the Portside but I was going to sub in the Portside for myself. It’s Mid November. Very unlike me, I normally have those done like 2 weeks into the month. But I had some notions delays. This bag has so many notions.  You need D rings, swivel hooks and  2 different sizes of webbing

This is a Christmas gift for my fiancee. He is an archeologist so I made some vinyl iron on’s with my cricut with archeologist sort-of jokes. John has used the same duffel bag since high school from his boy scouts and it finally gave out a few months back. He’s been borrowing one from his dad so I thought it would be the perfect gift.


The pattern for the most part was great. What I didn’t like was that the notions and yardage wasn’t separated into views. Grainline studios assumes you will make the dopp kit and other bag as well. I only wanted the duffel so I ordered too much yardage. This bag was expensive so I wish they had yardage listed individually.


In case you are curious here is my price breakdown: (I did order 1.5 yards for both canvas which is more than the pattern calls for but I wasn’t sure which part I was going to use the colors with right away)

$25.47 for the 15oz white water repellent canvas 1.5 yards

$13 9.3oz royal blue duck canvas for 1.5 yards

$21.75 Printed Pattern

$20 Cotton Royal Novelty Lining from Joanns

$40 (approx) for Notions

Grand total of: $120

Keep in mind I have a lot extra of the webbing as JoAnns didn’t have the colors I wanted so I had to order online and most had set yardage or amounts. The white webbing was from Etsy here which was 3 yards and the blue webbing was from Amazon  here which was 10 yards but it wasn’t too much and the 1.25 and 1.5″ webbing was tricky to find. The D Rings were from Amazon here. And the swivel hooks were from etsy here. The webbing came quickly but the swivel hooks and D rings both came from China and took 3-4 weeks to arrive I think.


It felt like it sewed up quickly but since I sewed it all up at different times I not sure. I just sewed whatever steps I could as my materials came in.

I put the white on bottom mostly because it’s waterproof and heavier.


I also added a strap pad. I was worried if he had a lot in the bag it would hurt his shoulder. But I also like it on the lower straps so they stay together at the top. I believe I used a tutorial from Melly Sews to make it. It is not something that is part of the Portside pattern.


Sweater · Uncategorized

Serenity Sweater from Love Notions


I love making sweaters. I still buy some Rtw clothes but never sweaters. Why? I end up never wearing them cause they are too hot. I love lightweight sweater knits that are soft and cozy. This fabric is much warmer than what I used for my toaster sweaters. But the open front helps counteract it a bit.  Most places have the heat on in winter, so I want to be warm, but not too warm.

I’ve been wanting to make a similar top for months. I have a pinterest board for sewing ideas, and I have a few tops that I have been eying for awhile but wasn’t sure what pattern to use. The Serenity Sweater is pretty new from Love Notions. This is a new brand to me. I can’t remember exactly how I even found it, except maybe there was a giveaway or something on insta that led me to it. All their patterns are reasonably priced, but it was on sale when it came out so I got it for $8.

$35.99! Stylish Deep V Neck Solid Color Loose Sweater

This was a very quick make. It only has 3 pattern pieces. Since it’s a knit you don’t have to finish the seams. I probably made it in an hour and a half. That time including unpicking the elastic and redoing it, as I didn’t stretch it enough the first time.


The fabric is from Harts Fabrics. I had won a giveaway from them and received a $25 gift card amongst other things. I picked out a rib knit called Brushed Dream Rib Knit in Dusty Rose. I would link to it but it seems they no longer have it. It is so soft. I ordered 2 yards, so after shipping it was only $8. I could have done less, as I have a bit extra, but originally I was going to use it to make a Blackwood Cardigan.


I added 1″ in the sleeves. Totally not necessary but I love longer sleeves, so I’m glad I did. Keep in mind at 5’7″ I have long arms. The pattern suggests using a hidden snap if you don’t want it so loose in the front. I wanted the loose look. However, I may go back and stitch the bottom in place for about 1-2″ up, Just to hold it’s place a bit more. Otherwise I do tend to want to adjust it a lot.


I opted for a straight back hem. They do have a longer curved back hem option.


I’ve been waiting to make this post so I could include an engagement pic or two. I made this up last minute for a casual option for my engagement photos. I had a family friend take them and I edited them, so quick turnaround for sharing. It was really hard not to wear this right away, but I didn’t want to get paint on it or anything before the photos. It’s really cool that I was able to make most of what I wore for my photos and love it more than anything I could have bought.



Pattern: Serenity Sweater from Love Notions

Size: Small

Fabric: Rib Knit from Harts Fabric

Alterations:  1″ added to sleeve length.

Overall: Love it. I could see myself playing with the pattern to match my inspo photos a bit more. I feel very stylish in it and cozy for winter. Highly recommend. Not too shabby for $16 ay?



Wedding Dress: Part 1 (planning)

A couple months ago, before I was engaged, I did not plan on making my dress. I was worried there would be too much pressure. But once I got engaged, I changed my tune. As I looked up potential dresses, I just had a feeling I would regret not making it. At the end of the day, it’s a dress, and I’ve made plenty of dresses. There will be some new techniques and fabrics to learn, but I know I am capable.

So once I decided to make my dress, I started coming up with a design based on what I liked online.I’ll share a pic of a sketch of it at the end. I drew over the design with what I’m actually doing so I won’t share it yet. But below is a pic I really loved, the deep V, tiered skirt, and then I designed an overlay, as I want some modesty but love the deep v. fullsizeoutput_fdc

I’ve been looking up basically anyone who’s blogged about making their wedding dress. The number one suggestion was to go dress shopping, see what you like on you. I made an appointment at David’s Bridal with my mom and best friend. I tried to try on dresses with some of these elements. I’ll share these pics next. They aren’t the best photos as my mom took them, but it’ll let you see what I tried on.


This was the first dress I tried on and the one I liked the most. I liked the high waist (although there were a few dresses my mom and friend like that had dropped waists). I loved the neckline. I’m not much of a lace person, I’d prefer beading or sequins. Initially the skirt was too full for me. They had given my a crinoline slip. Once I took off the slip, I liked it a lot more. I realized I really didn’t want a lot of fullness.


Next I tried on the tiered skirt I was thinking of. We decided we liked the elegant one layer skirt. The tiers just make it too full. I had a dress in mind I still really wanted to try that had the tiered skirt. The person helping us wanted me to skip it since I didn’t like the skirt on this one, but I had to try it still.


This one was my top pick before trying on. I liked it but not as much as the first one. Once I tried this one on I knew I had to change the skirt on my initial design. The skirt was just too full. I did love the beading on the top though.


This was their only dress with a deep V. The overlay neckline was way too high and I didn’t love there not being a breakup between the skirt and bodice. But I still liked the deep V and will be keeping that in my design.


This one was just a wildcard so I wouldn’t be so stuck in my initial vision. It was alright but I didn’t love it.


We asked if they had any other dresses with similar skirts from the first one. This was the only other one. It wasn’t special enough for me. But it did confirm I liked that silhouette.


We tried on this dress for it’s color. Every dress they had was mostly Ivory and my mom really wanted to see my in white. Which was good, because I need to know what color of fabric to get. They said Ivory is the new white. They have to special order dresses in white. I think I felt more like a bride in the white vs Ivory.

I really feel like the dress shopping solidified my vision. I changed a few things from my original design. I am not much of a sketcher. I’ll show you my sketch but beware, I did not take my time on it, it’s messy. The pencil is my original design, the pen is my changes.


I was messing around with the back quite a bit. I think I’ll do a V back. I wanted to have a heart cut out but I’m having a hard time seeing how the sleeves will stay if I do that.  The circles are just me explaining a circle skirt and then adding a train.

Below is my timeline for making my dress. Most likely I’ll work ahead I imagine as I get excited over it.


-1st muslin of bodice


-make a circle skirt

-order fabric


-construct anna skirt for lining

-2nd bodice muslin if needed


-construct bodice


Construct tulle layers


-finish dress


-decide on accessories/shoes


-extra time if needed


-last fitting before wearing


I know some people save these posts till after the wedding, but I prefer to post as I do. So you’ll get updates as I go. Expect more updates through instagram stories, but I”ll post details of my journey on here, probably broken up by muslins, dress bodice, dress skirt, and then final look. My wedding is July 28th, so I”ve got just shy of 9 months to make it.

Dress · Uncategorized

Vogue 1587 special occasion dress

Often I hear sewists making a vacation wardrobe or something for a specific occasion. Most of the time, I think they are a bit silly. I make what I want as I can. When it’s time for vacation, I pull from my closet. This post is a bit of an exception. My boyfriend’s sister gave me some fabric and I’ve had Vogue 1587 in my head for awhile, then I decided I need to make it in time for John’s birthday.


September has been so busy for me. I really have only been able to sew on week nights for a few hours at a time. So I was bit cray for wanting this done in like a week’s time. I somehow did it though. It was a great time out celebrating with the boy.

Image result for vogue 1587

Vogue 1587 was one of the newer pattern releases. I loved how sleek it was, but I knew immediately I’d need to change a few things. I mostly wanted to get rid of the slit at the bottom. To me, it looks a bit like an arrow to the private areas. That was a pretty easy fix. I just straightened off the pattern pieces.


I also was worried a bit about modesty… and it turned out for good reason. I added 3 inches to the length, and it was still pretty short. I’m 5’7″ so I typically add 1 1/2″ to patterns in length. I probably lost 1/2″ of the extra length due to a error, I’ll talk about in a minute. You can see in the model photo, it falls really short, but just wanted to mention that if I bend down without much thought, I’d be flashing people, with that extra length.

So let’s talk about an error. I’m still not sure if it’s something I did or an error in instructions. I reread it over and over, and I feel like I did it correctly. Basically, I struggle with attaching linings. The lining was stuck to the outside, when I turned it from the back zip, per the instructions, it just flipped in a never ending circle. I ended up unpicked the bottom hem, flipping the lining, and hand sewing the bottom hem. I had trimmed the seam allowance before attempting to flip the lining, which is how I lost a little bit of length.


This dress was a bit of a lesson of keep changing things til you like it. I got to the point where I could try it on, and I wasn’t loving the color, and the arm holes weren’t fitting right. If you follow me on instagram, you saw that journey a bit.  To fix the color, I decided to try dying it. I used Scarlet Rit dye and a tad bit of Petal Pink. I did a test first, with some fabric and grosgrain ribbon. Below you can see the color difference. The cream made me feel a bit old, and the pink feels a bit more romantic.


To fix the sleeve issue, I shortened the strap till it was only showing about 1/2″. It was quite a long strap. I do tend to have to shorten straps, but I was surprised by how much this time. That also helped raise the center front. I did raise the neckline by 1/2″ before I cut it out. Even with the shortened straps and the 1/2″ raise in the pattern neckline, I still wasn’t comfortable in it, and I couldn’t quite wear any bra with it.

Thanks to a sewing insta buddy @sewnotes, recommended adding some lace. I ended up doing this. I just handsewed a tiny bit in at the very end, and it made it much more comfortable to wear, with no worry on what bra to wear.


I was really impressed with the finishings on this pattern. I had never used grosgrain ribbon to finish edges. It’s quite similar to using bias binding. I really think it adds a nice touch. In addition, it is also fully lined.


Pattern: Vogue 1587

Size: 12 bust graded to 14 waist

Fabric: not really sure, it was fabric given to me. There is some stretch to it. I used poly lining I had leftover from another project

Alterations: Straightened the front hem, cut front skirt on fold, raised neckline 1/2″, shortened straps, added 3″ length

Overall: I really like how it turned out. Will I make it again? probably not, the pattern is too much of a stand out to have more than one.




Blouse · Uncategorized

Fringe Blouse : SewMyStyle Sept

For being a fairly simple top, this took me a bit only because of how busy I’ve been this month. I still have 2 weeks til the actual reveal day, but I typically get SewMyStyle done in the first week just cause deadlines make me nervous. fringe4

I’ve been wanting to make the Fringe Dress from Chalk and Notch for a long time. I actually applied to pattern test it but didn’t get pick. Then, I suggested it in the survey Jessica Lorraine put out for SewMyStyle.. and it got picked, so you’re welcome.   I originally wanted to do View A in dress form but after making the Myosotis dress and needing more tops, I switched to view B in a blouse.


I ended up with this beautiful cotton lawn from Style Makers Fabric. Style Makers is always a bit more expensive then I like, but the quality is always there. After looking through tons of fabric, I knew I had to splurge and get the one I really liked.


I made a size 4 bust and graded to an 8 waist. I know that bottom is loose and those measurements don’t matter as much, but I was worried about the point right before the gathering being too small. I kept the darts at a size 4.  The fit is pretty good. The only fit change I would make if I make this again is add a little more room in the back neck. I’m getting a little bit of the same problem I had with the Myositis dress. There is a little resistance when moving my shoulders.


I did lower the neckline 1/4″. I did this for really no apparent reason. There were a few makes on insta that it seemed a little high to me. During the making process, I thought I might regret not stitching to the original neck height. The change was so minimal that it probably didn’t matter much, but I do really like where the neck hits on me.


I really love the finishing on this top. The facing completely secures the raw edges in, and there are only a few serged edges showing. I really like how she reccommended sewing a guide line for folding, I think it really helped my seams look better.


I rarely share pricing, but for those interested, I got the pattern for $9.60 with the sew my style discount, and the fabric cost $31.68 after tax and shipping. There shipping is a bit high. So this blouse costs me about $40. It is my no means a “cheap, saving money by making” blouse, but I could see this in a high end shop for $80 so I’m happy cost-wise.

Pattern: Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Size: 4 graded to 8 at waist

Fabric: Cotton lawn from Style Makers Fabric

Alterations: lowered neckline

Overall: This dress is really my style, I love fit and flare. I love a good gather. I can see myself making this again. I do still want to try view A at some point.






skirt · Uncategorized

Bibi Skirt from Tilly’s Stretch Book

I’ve had Tilly and the Button’s Stretch book since it came out. Most of the patterns are very fall like. Except the Jonidress, but I can’t decide if I love that one. So it’s been sitting pretty for a few months.

Image result for tilly and the buttons stretch

At the end of August I was running out of fabric money. I give myself $75 to spend on fabric/patterns/notions a month. Safe to say that doesn’t last long, but it’s what my teachin budget can afford. So I went digging in my (basically non-existent) stash. And I found enough left over fabric from my first toaster sweater to squeeze out a Bibi skirt.


So the Bibi Skirt has 2 pattern pieces, if you don’t do any of the hacks. I honestly don’t care for the hacks so it worked out perfect for me. If you can only fit 2 panels on your scrap fabric, you can make a contrasting skirt, which makes this pattern a great scrap buster.


The fabric is a midweight Ponte di Roma from who know where. Probably fashionfabricsclub or fabric.com. I got it 2 years ago, so it doesn’t really matter. I cut a straight size 4.


I actually really need some more skirts, so I’m pretty happy to add this to my wardrobe. Although I really need some other colors besides olive green. Do you all end up making things in the same color?


The front/back/side panels are all the same, so you can’t really mix up what goes where. It’s nice not to worry about front/back when putting it on. I love the length for work. It was such a simple, easy sew.


The only negative I can think to this skirt is that it’s best with tucked in shirts, and there are lines from where the shirt is. This happens cause it’s a knit. It probably looks great with crop tops but I rarely wear those.


Pattern: Bibi Skirt from Tilly’s Stretch

Fabric: Ponte di Roma

Size: 4

Alterations: None

Overall: Great stashbuster, easy for work, easy to make. Win, win, win all around