Colfax Midi Dress // Handmade Summer Dress Challenge

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

Today I'm sharing a Colfax dress that I made a few mods to and am completely in love with. I am happy to be sharing it in conjunction with the #handmadesummerdress challenge. This challenge is hosted on YouTube and Instagram by two lovely ladies; Lisa and Andreanne.

The challenge is simple! All you have to do is repost the above image; make a summer dress and share between now and May 21st; you can share about it on YouTube or Instagram, and be sure to use the hashtag and tag the hosts! You can see there are some amazing sponsors and you can find all the details on the prizes HERE!

And now for the details on my Handmade Summer Dress!

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

I made this dress in a linen/rayon blend from Joann's. If you can't tell, I'm sort of in love with that fabric blend, and I've found the stuff they carry at Joann's to be very good quality. I've had this fabric in my stash for quite a while, not knowing what exactly I wanted to make with it, but knowing that it had to be something GOOD, because I loved the print!

I should also mention, it's rare that they carry it in a great print like this, but they usually have an array of solids at my store. So when I see a good print, I snatch it up!

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

Well, I finally settled on wanting to make a Colfax dress out of it. But, I can rarely leave well enough alone on patterns and decided to make some mods! I was really wanting a midi dress, so I made it happen.

To do this; I added 5 inches to the skirt length. I added this in, 6 inches above the original hem line. This allowed me to use the existing hem facing without having to redraft anything there.

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

The other slight style change I made was to adjust the front armhole scoop to have more coverage. I raised the scoop about 1/2" at the front of the armhole and graded back out to nothing towards the top and also back out to nothing at the side seam. I didn't make any changes at all to the back scoop, so this way the side seams matched up perfectly.

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

After making those couple of changes, I sewed the dress together, finished seams and all, and then tried it on. Haha. I don't recommend this if you've skipped the muslin step! Eep. I ended up taking the side seams apart completely and adjusting a couple of things. Because I added so much length to the dress, it made it feel disproportionately wide. I took 1 inch of width off of each side, front and back, so 4 inches total. I took this width out between the bottom of the bust dart and ended it about 2 inches below the pocket.

I also raised the pockets 1 1/2 inches, they were too low for me to comfortably put my hands in them before and also added odd looking fullness below my hips. I actually think I could have raised them a bit higher still.

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

Overall, I'm really pleased with my new dress!! This fabric is so amazing to wear and this style is comfortable as well. 

My absolute favorite part of this dress is the arm and neck bindings and the front placket detail. It comes together so smoothly and it's just the most fun detail! I'm scheming all the things that I can hack this placket detail onto!

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

I like how this midi-length looks belted too. Plus it looks great paired with a cardi, for an even more dressed up look.

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

Colfax Midi Dress // Sewing For Women

I know this won't be my last Colfax dress! I really want one in the original, above-the-knee length too now!

Back To Basics 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Union St Tee // Emerson Shorts

Hi friends!!

I am talking all about some BASICS sewing today, AND there is a GIVEAWAY involved, too!! What a happy hump day it is! *Be sure to read to the end for the giveaway details!*

Mac and Katie (from Sew Altered Style) approached me a while back about participating in this tour, and of course I had to say yes! I have to admit. Sewing basics is kind of one of my favorite things, but not always the things I make time for! Can any of you relate?

There is something so innately satisfying about making something and then repeatedly reaching for it over and over because it's something that;

  • A. You love.
  • B. It's a staple wardrobe piece/builder.
  • C. It's something you made and feel pride in wearing. 
But let's be honest. Sewing basics can seem sort of... boring. I mean, why not just grab a $5 tee at the nearest store and be on your way? Hmm. This can be a tough one! And I will admit, I do on occasion grab those tees! In fact, I just recently grabbed a few such tees. One reason was that I (along with many others) am having a hard time finding that 100% cotton, lightweight t-shirt knit that makes for the perfect slouchy tee. 

The second reason was that I needed a specific tee for a specific reason and simply didn't have time to sew it up. That might sound silly, because tees are super quick sews, but life as a mom sometimes just is what it is and doesn't allow those extra minutes just when we need them!

Another reason this Back To Basics Week (actually the founding reason) is so timely, is that in just 6 days from today, starts the epic sewing-world event... Drum roll please... Me Made May!! Hellllo, that hashtag has been used over 50k times!

This is the third year that I will be participating in Me Made May and I am just so excited for all the camaraderie surrounding it. It's so much fun to see everyone's amazing handmade clothing. 

While Me Made May is super exciting, it can also shine a direct spotlight on the gaps in our handmade wardrobes. So this year, I am getting a little head start and made a few basics that I knew I needed and would see a ton of wear, not just in May, but throughout the upcoming summer.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts
You will not find me in jeans or pretty much pants of any kind in the summer once the heat sets in, so I made a THIRD pair of one of my all time favorite shorts patterns, the Emerson Shorts by True Bias

I really can't say enough good things about this pattern. It's number one appeal for me is the comfort factor. Seriously, it can't get any better for a pair of woven shorts. But comfort isn't what drew me to the pattern initially, it was the design. I love the loose fit in the legs, the pleats and the slant front pockets. It all adds up to style AND comfort, which really can't be beat!

This is my third pair, and I sewed it up in some super lovely tencel denim from Joann Stores. And really, how much more basic does it get than denim!? This pair will be worn to threads, no doubt about it. I have a black pair (you can see here) and a light blue pair, both in rayon/linen that I already live in, and this pair will blend into the rotation seamlessly. 

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

The only change I made to the pattern this time around was to add 1-1/2" to the hem length. Otherwise I sewed a straight size 6, my current measurements are H-37.25, W-28.5.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

Up until about a month ago, I had several white tees in my closet. But the problem was... They weren't that white anymore. Ick. I really didn't even feel that bad getting rid of them because they had lived with me and served me well for 5+ years. It was time to let them go. 

But then I had a white tee emergency and ran to Old Navy and bought, in all honesty, a perfectly good white v-neck tee! But like I said, I just got rid of at least 3 of them, so I'm in the restocking stage with my white tee stash. 

The store-bought version of my white tee is a bit different from this one. The neckband on my Union St. Tee (Newest Version) is wider, the neckline is higher and I added the chest pocket. Also, the hem shape and length are different. This one is customized to me! And I'm super happy not to have the extra hem-length bunching up around my hips on this version.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Union St Tee // Emerson Shorts

I used white Laguna Jersey for this tee. It is a cotton/spandex blend that I purchased from Imagine Gnats a while back. Unfortunately it is out of stock, but the Dana Modal jerseys are an excellent alternative! I was super worried that the fabric would be too sheer for this shirt, but I'm happy to report, that with a skin-toned bra, it is perfecto. Good thing, because I have a couple more yards of this fabric to make a couple more basic white tees with different details!

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Union St Tee // Emerson Shorts

I went down a size to a size small on this pattern. I am super happy with the fit! The arms are a wee bit snug, so for the next one, I may go up a size in the arm width. 

I also raised the v-neck 1/2" in the center front. You can view how I did this on my saved Instagram Stories, under Tutorials.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Union St Tee // Emerson Shorts

I find Hey June patterns to be pretty long on my 5'3" frame, so I took 1 inch out of the lengthen/shorten line and 1 inch off at the hemline. I haven't decided yet if this is the perfect length for me or not. For pairing with jeans, I feel like it's just smidge TOO short, so I may leave the 1 inch on the hemline next time.
Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Union St Tee // Emerson Shorts

Next up is another Hey June pattern, she's a go-to for basics patterns for sure!

This one is the ever popular Lane Raglan (in the updated version, for those of you who have owned the pattern for years like I have!).

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

I've made a few of these over the years, but unfortunately, the fabrics I used on the first two, did not hold up and I have since parted with them. I still have one that I wear mostly for yard work, because I'm not a huge fan of the colors I chose to color-block, and also, because it's just too long.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

So for this version, I kept it VERY basic. I went with a single fabric, rather than color-blocking and chose a pale peach color that I knew I would want to wear constantly this spring.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

I kept with my same pattern changes as the last time I made it. I went down a size to a small on the top, graded to a medium at the hips. This time however, I made some length mods. I took out 1" at the waistline and hemmed it at the band cut line, rather than adding the band.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

I used a lightweight french terry, also from Imagine Gnats, and it's the perfect spring top to pair with shorts! The fabric does not have a lot of stretch, so it is pretty close-fitting across the top, but not uncomfortably so. I'm just noting it to myself, because in a jersey with more stretch, this sizing is my perfect choice.

Back To Basics // Sewing For Women // Hey June Lane Raglan // Emerson Shorts

And those are the 3 basic pieces I'm going to be bringing into May with me! This will mix and match with the vast majority of my closet and that makes me super happy...

Now for the GIVEAWAY!!!

I am so super thrilled that I get to give one of you a $25 gift certificate to Imagine Gnats Shop!! You can purchase all three of the patterns I used there, as well as so many amazing fabrics to make them with. To enter, please hop over to my Instagram page HERE, and comment on today's post! I'll mention the giveaway at the top of the post so you'll know you've found the right one.

Now go do something nice for yourself and sew you some basics!!

Be sure to check out the Back To Basics Tour Schedule below as well. Thanks for stopping by!!

April 23 | Creative Counselor
April 24 | Heather Handmade 
April 25 | Handmade Frenzy 
April 26 | Harper + Lu 
April 27 | Sewing by Ti

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Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women

Happy mid-week friends!!

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women
I am so super excited to share today's project with you. I made the Lou Box Dress 1 as part of a week long series over at Imagine Gnats, featuring both the Lou Box DRESS patterns!

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women
I made the sweatshirt dress of my dreams. I mean, a sweatshirt that you can wear to church!? Yep, that's basically what it is. And it pairs equally well with leggings and sneakers for my everyday life. Trust me, I want to wear this dress, every day!

Lou Box Dress 1 // Sewing For Women

Head HERE to read all the details and the changes I made to the pattern. You don't want to miss this one!

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Monday, February 19, 2018

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Today is the day!! The highly anticipated Joy Jacket Pattern by Chalk and Notch released today!

**GIVEAWAY! Be sure to read all the way to the end and enter the rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win your own copy of the pattern!**

Making a jacket gives one all the feels normally, but the story behind this jacket makes it even more beautiful. You'll have to be sure to check out THIS POST to read more about it.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

The instant I saw the first sneak peek, I knew this jacket needed to be in my life. What I didn't know, was just exactly how much a lightweight drapey jacket would fill a hole in my wardrobe! I tend to be more of a cardigan wearer in the winter, but often times a cardigan just doesn't cut it during the winters here, even if they are on the milder side. 

Enter in the Joy Jacket. I made mine in Tencel Twill for the main fabric and cotton lawn for the bodice lining. Both of these fabrics are from La Mercerie. I used a rayon crepe that I had stashed from LA Finch for the sleeves, since it's necessary to use a slippery fabric for the sleeve lining so you can easily slide it over a base layer. This combo of fabrics provides the perfect amount of warmth that can carry me all the way from fall to spring, with the exception of a few colder winter days here and there. 

The pattern comes with 2 views. View A being the version I chose to sew, with a beautiful collar and square pockets. View B features a hood and angled pockets. Both views include a full zip front and optional drawstrings at the hem and neckline, the pockets are interchangeable. 

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I'm basically head over heels in love with tencel twill, so I knew I had to use it to make this jacket. It is the perfect weight and the drape is absolutely incredible. The color I used is Slate Gray, but it definitely reads blue. If you'll notice, the zipper I used is medium gray and it blends in perfectly. So this color is somewhere in between gray and blue and I LOVE it. *Silly side note: the walls in my kitchen are also gray/blue, the same way this jacket is. They look blue until you look at them up against my gray dining room walls, then it blends together.* I guess I am just drawn to this color in all areas of my life! Haha.

A bit of a note on using tencel twill; I chose to cut it out in a single layer. This added a big chunk of time to the project, but I am SO happy I did it this way, because it made sewing the jacket a breeze and all of the pieces fit together perfectly. Like any rayon fabric, it is quite shifty when laying it out and cutting, so getting everything laying smoothly, multiple times and cutting each piece individually did definitely take a long time, but it was totally worth it all.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I love the outside of this jacket so much, but the lining, I have to say... It just makes my heart sing! I used THIS COTTON LAWN, called Exquisite Stems and it was the perfect compliment to the main fabric. As you can see, the sleeves are a contrast fabric as well, and as I mentioned before, this is because lawn is not slippery enough to use for the sleeves. It would make getting the jacket on and off quite difficult. I did not plan this part well when I purchased my fabrics, so I shopped my stash and luckily found this large dot rayon crepe fabric in the perfect complimenting colors to use for the sleeves. It was another happy accident that made me love the finished product just a little bit more.

I also added another small patch pocket to the lining. I'm a mom, so I'm always toting around an extra tissue or small toy, plus I always like to keep my lip balm handy and this is a nice way to conceal the little added bulk.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I truly cannot get over the beautiful design of this jacket! I just absolutely LOVE the shape of the collar!

And the fit is perfect as well. In the pattern, there is a large seam allowance included in the outer sleeve seam. This is to allow custom fitting in the sleeves. I ended up letting my sleeve seams out 1/4". Next time I will probably even do 3/8" - 1/2" just for a little more added room. This part will be individual to each person, so it is recommended to sew up a quick muslin to check the fit. And if you are using a tencel/rayon twill, I would definitely personally recommend it as well. I sewed the sleeve seam first as per the pattern and then had to let it out and you can see the original stitching line if you look closely. So... Do as I say, not as I do. ;)

I also shortened the bodice and the sleeves by 1 inch. I am 5'3", for reference. Otherwise everything else is sewn up exactly as per the pattern, in a straight size 6.

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I just realized I only have one photo of my hands out of my pockets to show the sleeve length. Haha, I do love pockets, but I'll work on that little detail in the future!

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

I had never bagged a lining before, but the pattern instructions make it super easy and the finishing details are perfection. There is not a single exposed seam in this entire jacket. 

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Joy Jacket Pattern // Sewing For Women

Since this pattern also uses notions and hardware not used as frequently, I thought I'd link to the places I bought all of my supplies from. These are not affiliate links, I'm just passing on the info. The links will take you to the product page.

Tencel Twill: La Mercerie
Cotton Lawn Lining: La Mercerie
Rayon Crepe Sleeve Lining: LA Finch (this exact one is no longer available, but they have a large selection of rayons that would work well)

Tricot Interfacing: Nancy's Notions
Metal Zipper: Wawak
Grommets: Wawak (I actually bought mine from Amazon, but wasn't super pleased, I think these will be a better option for my next one. I've already purchased them and they look good)
Woven Label: Dutch Label Shop

Other things that came in handy while sewing:
Tailor's Ham - I used this frequently.
Press Cloth - This was a must. I used it every time I pressed on top of the tencel twill. Otherwise, the heat left shiny marks.
Sleeve board - I'm not sure how I would have gotten the creases out of the sleeves without it!

Would you like to win your own copy of the pattern?? Gabriella has graciously given me a copy to give to one of you! I've made it super easy, just leave a comment on this post and record your entry in the rafflecopter. The giveaway will remain open through Sunday 2/25, 11:59pm EST. Good luck!!

Nikko Tops // Sewing For Women

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hi friends!! I'm so excited to show you my Nikko Tops I made during testing! The Nikko Top and Dress Pattern is a fitted, mock turtleneck top.

It comes with 4 views. Long sleeve top, sleeveless top, long sleeve and sleeveless dress with hem splits.

This top is the perfect layering piece! I love, love, love, the long sleeve version layered under my Blackwood Cardigan. It is perfect for our colder winter we are having this year!

Actually, they both look great under my Blackwood!!

This pattern is perfect for tucking into high-waisted styles. Like the Lander Pants!

But I'm pretty sure that my favorite way to wear this sleeveless version is going to be with my Emerson Shorts that I absolutely live in during the summer. 

The recommended fabrics for this pattern are rib knits and bamboo knits with at least 70% stretch. This is important because the stretch is needed to get the top over your head. 

I used a bamboo knit for the long sleeve version and I love the buttery softness of it! I found it to be much more close fitting than the rib knit, which makes sense because rib knits do tend to have a lot more give. For future versions, I will look for lovely rib knits, I'm just loving how this pattern looks in a rib! I also love it in the bamboo, and the next time I make one up, I'll probably add in a little more ease through the waist, just for personal preference. 

Kelli did make a few small changes to the pattern since these tester versions. She lengthened the sleeves slightly, added more ease to the neckband and also added an inch more ease in the hips. For the sleeveless version she also added a bit more coverage to the front arm hole.

So in summary, this pattern is a great wardrobe staple!! I can't wait to sew up a few more and make a couple of dresses as well. I've got the fabric all ready to go!

ps. The morning I decided to take these photos it was 30 degrees! So the look on my face is "I'm freezing!!" and I also forgot about my non-matching fitness tracker. Lol. Oops!

Both of the fabrics I used for testing were purchased from
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