Seamwork Leonora Skirt

Seamwork Leonora
This skirt is one of my favorite makes so far for my #SummerSewing wardrobe.

Summer 2018 Wardrobe Mood Board

I wanted a simple straight skirt so I went with the Seamwork Leonora pattern.

I bought this 100% cotton bull denim from Joann Fabrics. For a skirt like this, I didn’t want a stretch denim.

Seamwork Leonora

I bought the buttons and round rivets from WAWAK.

Seamwork Leonora

The pattern was pretty good and easy to follow. I’m pretty pear shaped so I had to grade up two sizes in the hips.

Seamwork Leonora

I also needed a severe swayback adjustment. Normally I would scoop out the back waistline to make that adjustment. This time I trimmed the bottom edge of the yoke along the yoke seam. I ended up cutting out about 1″ in length at the center back along that seam!

Seamwork Leonora

In the end the I think the fit looks pretty good, although I could probably steam the side seams a bit more.

Seamwork Leonora

The only mistake I made was somehow cutting the belt loops too short. They probably need an extra half inch in length. Along the bottom side, the loops shouldn’t be attached so close to the waistband. There ought to be a little extra space between where the loops attach and the waistband seam to help accommodate a wide belt. I doubt I’ll wear a belt with this skirt but the short loops did create a problem with the rivets. The pattern is designed to use rivets to attach the bottom of each belt loop to the skirt but because my loops were too short, I had to attach them with stitching. This resulted in too much bulk for the rivets to stick through.

Seamwork Leonora

Despite that minor snafu, this skirt is a definite winner. I’m glad I took the extra time and money to add the rivets on the pockets and sides.

Seamwork Leonora

And even though the fabric is white, it hasn’t gotten very dirty, even while cooking! It’s been quite a useful bottom layer in my wardrobe so far. 5 out of 5!

Seamwork Leonora

Hey June Willamette Shirt

Hey June Willamette Shirt

This is another one of my projects from my #SummerSewing wardrobe: the Willamette shirt from Hey June.

Summer 2018 Wardrobe Mood Board

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted to sew it but never got around to it.

I like this relaxed version of the classic shirt style. Plus the seaming, cuffs and pockets allowed for fun stripe placement.

Hey June Willamette Shirt

The Willamette is my first Hey June pattern I’ve made and it was pretty successful. Easy to follow instructions and quick to sew.

Hey June Willamette Shirt

The only change I made was to lower the center front stitching. The center front was originally oddly high – which may or may not have been my own marking error so don’t quote me on that. My adjusted stitching matches the sample pics on the Hey June listing.

Hey June Willamette ShirtI bought this striped cotton at Joann Fabrics. It’s quite lightweight and thin. I’m actually pretty disappointed in the quality. It wrinkles terribly even though it’s not crisp at all.

Hey June Willamette Shirt

I should have hunted for another fabric like a voile or lawn that had a tighter weave and finer quality threads. But I liked the subtle gray stripe (which I cut on the bias for the main front pieces) and the low price. Just goes to show that you get what you pay for.

Hey June Willamette Shirt

I’d give this shirt a 3 out of 5. Pattern is good. Fabric, not the best. But I certainly want to sew this pattern again with better fabric!

Hey June Willamette Shirt

Lyocell Grainline Adler Dress

Lyocell Alder Dress

Lyocell Grainline Alder Dress

Although I’ve taught the Grainline Alder Dress in a class setting a few times, this is only the second version I’ve sewn for myself! Which is surprising because I absolutely love this pattern.

Alder Line Drawing

This dress ticks off one of my summer sewing goals (I’ve finished another top, just need to take pics, so that makes 4 completed).

Summer 2018 Wardrobe Mood Board

I bought this slinky lyocell (which is a type of rayon) from Joann fabrics. I’ve been impressed with some of their fabrics lately. Every once in a while you find a gem like this. Unfortunately, everyone else loved it too and they didn’t have enough on one bolt to make this dress. Luckily, they had about a yard left on another bolt – but the color was slightly darker.

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You can barely tell, but I used the darker fabric on the collar, button plackets, and pockets. For the pockets, I turned the top part to the outside, exposing the lighter wrong side of the fabric as a contrast.

At first, I wanted to sew the straight, non-gathered version of the dress but when I realized how slippery this lyocell would be, I determined it would be too difficult to keep the grain straight on such long pattern pieces.

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I knew better than to try to cut and sew lyocell without some kind of stabilizer (like spray starch) but I was feeling daring. I paid the price by having to re-sew the collar pieces because they were off kilter.

The only other problem I had with this dress was a mishap involving the serger. But I easily fixed that by trimming the front body pieces and extending the gathered section toward the center front by about half an inch. Dress saved!

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The buttons came from a friend (thanks Roseanna!). I asked for advice on Instagram to choose between three types of fasteners. I think the snaps won but when I tested one on a scrap, the pressure of the snap points caused the threads in the fabric to pull, making nasty runs. I went with clear buttons instead and I think they’re a good size and work well with the blue fabric.

I topstitched as many of the seams as possible.

This fabric is very drapey and soft but it also slides around on my shoulders and it wrinkles easily. And it tends to pull against the more structured, interfaced button band. So while this fabric is quite nice, it may not have been the best choice for this pattern. But that doesn’t really matter because I love this dress and I’m going to keep wearing it all summer!

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McCall’s 7431

McCalls 7431

McCalls 7431

I had such high hopes for this dress because I LOVED this border print black and white fabric, but after completing the project, the dress feels too bold for my taste.

McCalls 7431

Maybe it’s the bell sleeves or the front lacing or the piping or dizzying stripe? Maybe it’s all of it combined. Some aspect of this design pushed it over the edge into crazyville and now I’m having second thoughts.

Let’s back up…

McCalls 7431

This incredible geometric border print is a semi-sheer poly-blend from Lockstitch & Lustre here in Austin.

Mccalls 7431

I had McCall’s 7431 in my stash and I thought the skirt, sleeves, and lacing band in front offered a good opportunity to highlight the border on the fabric.

McCalls 7431

The pattern itself was fine and the dress came together without any real problems, although the sleeves are a tad tight. I enjoyed adding eyelets/grommets to a modern garment rather than a historical costume.

McCalls 7431

The only change I made was to line the skirt with beige Bemberg rayon.

McCalls 7431

I spent so much time fussy cutting the pieces, sewing perfect piping and hammering eyelets that it seems a shame to waste this dress.

McCalls 7431

Perhaps I’ll try the pattern again in a tamer print. Or with a different sleeve option. As cool as the bell sleeves look, they tend to get in the way whenever I try to use my hands to do normal things like eating food or picking stuff up.

McCalls 7431

My plan now is to lop off the sleeves. I can only hope that losing the bells will help ground this design. But I’ve yet to take the plunge… What do you think I should do? Is the dress fine as is? Am I being overly critical? Should I just embrace the crazy? Or is there some other change I haven’t thought to do?
McCalls 7431