Monday, July 28, 2014

Sailor Inspired Vintage Natalie Dresses for A Family Portrait

Oh I love these girls!

Last week I wrote about the dress I made for India
to wear at a family reunion celebrating my parents'
50th anniversary.

Today I will be writing about the dresses 
I made for Ahnalin and my niece.

Once (and twice) again,
I am using my beloved "Vintage Natalie" patterns
that my friend Janet Gilbert
designed for Sew Beautiful Magazine. 

for my niece and the pattern

You can purchase the patterns by clicking
on the bolded links above.
If you don't have them already, 
I suggest buying them right away.
 Sew Beautiful is no longer being published
and I have no idea what the plans are for the availability
of these amazingly beautiful patterns.

I love this pattern.
I am pretty sure it is my favorite pattern.

I know I have also sewn it a few more times for
custom orders,
but somehow I put them in the mail before I took photos.
Not smart, I know! 

But you can see how much I love this pattern!

For these dresses,
I cut the traditional mid-calf length.
I cut a size 8 for Ahnalin and a size 6 for Cherish.

My mother had requested a sailor style
navy dress with white and lemon yellow trim.

After being unsuccessful in finding 
ribbon trim with a nautical theme in those colors,
I chose my beloved white rick rack
and lemon yellow ribbon as accents.

Ahnalin chose the yellow flower buttons. 

My darling niece.

I used the tab belt with ribbon for the back.

I used the same navy blue cotton sateen,
with 97% and 3% spandex for these dresses.

My mom ordered the hats online.

This pattern is so well written and the fit is so perfect!
The instructions are very well written and
the construction goes together beautifully.
It is a very versatile pattern!

I think next time, 
and there will definitely be a next time,
I will use a border print!


Our three lovie girls and my dad photobombing with his
yellow shorts!

Grandpa John John and Grandma Barbara with their grandgirls.

Me and my girls.

I have a few customs to finish today
and I hope I remember to take some photos
before I pop them into the mail!

Happy Sewing!



Friday, July 25, 2014

Simplicity 1353- A Leanne Marshall Confection for India

Oh how I love this dress!

And I love the girl who is wearing this dress!
And I love the reason why this dress and this 
girl came to be in the first place.

Let me back up a bit.....

You see, my parents celebrated 50 years of marriage
on May 16 of this year.

We had all been trying to get together as a family
to celebrate for several months.

We finally all met up at their home in Sparks, NV
last weekend!

My mother decided to ask a photographer friend
to take family photos, 
as we are rarely all together in the same place.
And she wanted a color scheme
of navy blue, white and yellow.

And she thought it would be fun if her three granddaughters
wore coordinating dresses with a sailor theme.

This cracks me up, because nearly 26 years ago,
I had a navy, white and ice pink scheme with 
a sailor theme for my wedding.

None of us are, or ever have been sailors.

But we like the theme!

I would be making three different dresses for three girls,
aged, 5, 9 and 22. 

Ahnalin picked out the patterns for her dress
and for my niece Cherish.
She chose Janet Gilbert's "Vintage Natalie"
pattern that she designed for Sew Beautiful Magazine.

India chose Simplicity 1353,
also labeled as S0573
designed by the fabulous Leanne Marshall
of Project Runway Season 5.

I will say it again, 


Whenever I make a dress for India, 
or an adult client, 
and especially for myself,
I always start by making a muslin
or trial bodice.
I made a muslin of 
this pattern for India's dress and the muslin fit perfectly!


I actually plan to finish the muslin so she will have another dress
in this pattern in a different fabric.
Now that I know I can sew it directly from
the pattern and know it will fit her,
she may end up with a hundred of these dresses!!

One of our favorite details of this dress is the
accent piece at the top of the bodice.
 It offers just a peek of a print
on an otherwise solid dress.

For the main part of the dress, 
I used a cotton sateen
from Joann Fabrics that is 97% cotton with 3% spandex.
I have used this fabric in nearly every color they offer
and I love it every time!
 The white is a cotton sheeting
and the yellow polka dot is from 
Jennifer Paganelli's new line "Jenny Eliza"
which is also available at Joann Fabrics.

Both of the accent fabrics are cut on the bias,
requiring 3/4 of a yard.

So I ended up with plenty of extra fabric to line
the bodice and even....
sneak in contrast pockets!!!!!!


Pockets are always a must for India's dresses,
so that she has a place to put her insulin pump.
She adores these pockets and she adores this dress!

I found matching navy blue bow flats
on clearance at Macy's and bought
a pair for each of us.
They were perfect!

And my mom bought the sailor hats for the girls.

Some of my favorite things about this pattern
are the fit of the fully lined bodice and the pockets.
I love how Leanne explains how to insert an invisible 
zipper right in the pattern instructions.
I love the little details and explanations 
in the directions that are often left out
of most patterns.

I will definitely make this pattern for India again.....

and maybe one for me!

Next up, I will talk about the other two dresses.

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ahnalin As "Cinderella's Mother" for "Into The Woods"- McCall's 5499

Back in May, Ahnalin performed the role of 
"Cinderella"s Mother" 
in her school's production of 
"Into The Woods".

Since Cinderella's late mother is also the
"Fairy Godmother", her teacher
requested that her costume would be rather "ghostly".
Yet she wanted her appearance to reflect youth and beauty,
as Cinderella's mother was still young when she died.

Ahnalin chose McCall's 5499 for her costume.

As usual, I made a few changes.

I purchased all the fabrics from the red tag racks
at Joann Fabrics.
The shimmery ivory fabric was a very soft and flowy acetate
that I found for $1.50 per yard.
I don't usually love acetate satin but
the price was right for a school costume!
As the fabric was nearly transparent,
I lined the entire gown with the same fabric.

In addition, I found a very soft
cotton drapery organza for the sleeves and overdress.
The drapery organza was 120" wide so I only
purchased 1 yard.

The slit in the neckline was MUCH TOO LOW
so I added eyelets and laced the opening closed.
I love this look and it made the dress much more comfortable for my girl.

Because I lined the dress completely,
I used twice the amount of yardage required on the envelope.

As I had only one yard of the organza,
I had to cut the overdress much shorter than the main dress.

I cut the hem at an angle so that I could use
as much of the fabric as possible,
while adding to the "ghostly" appearance of the gown.

The overdress pattern calls for the bodice
area to be lined.
But I felt it the sheerness added to the ethereal look of the costume.
I shell hemmed the entire overdress,
including the neckline and arm openings.

Here she is with Cinderella during the show.

Ahnalin is very slim but growing taller.
I cut the Child's size 5-6 but lengthened
the satin gown to approximately a size 10.
She will be 10 years old next month.

Ahnalin was the youngest and smallest child in the whole show.
The cast ranged from 4th grade through 8th grade.
This was her first school musical and she loved every minute!

India even got in on the act.
She was the assistant director!

Happy Sewing.