Monthly Archives: August 2013

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More serging going on…

Hello Dear Readers. Where I left you last, I was still feeling iffy with the relationship with my serger. Well, we’re a tiny better off, but I’ve learned to rely on it only for major seams, like shoulders and sides. It does great with woven cottons, and most jersey knits, but mostly when I am using the cutting knife with a 5/8″ seam allowance. It gets tangled and messy when I use a smaller SA. Maybe that means I need to have the cutting knives sharpened? I’m not convinced yet that it’s not user error (me) and my lack of serger  experience. I’m going to give it a bit more time and see how it works out. In the meantime, I’ll have to be happy with serged finished edges for garments and side and shoulder seams.

Remember the pink fabric I used to practice serging? That was a nice lightweight rayon or bamboo jersey knit that I picked up at Michael Levine/The Loft for just a few bucks. I think I got 4 yards of it, and it was a great piece to learn on.  Squid  had asked me to knock off a Brandy Melville drop-waisted dress, and this was the chance to try it.

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Brandy Melville dress – the inspiration

All did not go as smoothly as I had hoped, and I ended up using all of the fabric to practice and learn on.  In the end, Squid got her dress, but there will be no close up shots of the seams. It’s messy, people, and I freely admit it. However, I played around with gathering/ruffling and attaching neck and arm hole binding  with the serger. It’s all about technique, so I have learned. Without further ado, here is the knock off dress.

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Knock off dress – don’t look too closely!

The fabric was super stretchy, and I ended up having to take it in several inches on both sides. Squid has worn it a couple of times so far, once as a beach cover up and the other for a travel day, hence the airport shot. The dress has held up well, all things considered, so I’m generally pleased with it. I did learn a lot from this project so in the end, it was well worth the time and little bit of money I put into it.

In the beginning of August we drove down to Carlsbad for a family vacation. The weekend before our departure, I was lucky enough to spend an entire Saturday sewing like the Tasmanian Devil. I made 2 Mission Maxi dresses, 3 knit pencil skirts (from Mimi G’s free video tutorial), and a Colette Hawthorn dress with fabric I had just purchased at Sew LA’s sale. Here are the 2 Mission Maxi dresses I made.

 

 

 

 

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Mission Maxi Dress made with cotton jersey knit from Girl Charlee

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Mission Maxi dress made with rayon jersey knit from JoAnn’s

The navy blue and white paint splatter print dress is my favorite of all of the Mission Maxis.  Fit, drape and comfort are all perfect. I wore it on a travel day recently to Houston, and a family dinner upon arrival. The dress fared wonderfully, maybe a tiny bit of stretching out but noticeably too much.

My last sewing pieces that I’ll show you today were designed by Squid.  She told me she wanted an Ariana Grande inspired two-piece floral outfit to wear the first day of school.  The first set I made was using some vintage floral jersey knit from my mom’s stash. It was probably 30+ years old and I just had enough for the project.  I googled how to make a circle skirt and that was easy to whip up. For the top, I copied a boat neck crop tank for the pattern. The fabric lacked enough stretch so the top was a dud and I didn’t have enough fabric to make another. Oh well, lesson learned. Really pay attention to the amount of stretch in the fabric, and the amount called for in the pattern.

I let it simmer for a few days, and Squid chose another piece of stash fabric, a medium-weight cotton spandex blend that had plenty of stretch.  I knew before the first attempt that this was the perfect fabric, but she didn’t like the pattern as much at the time.  You can tell from the picture below that it was the perfect marriage of fabric and pattern. She’s really happy with how both pieces turned out, as am I, and she’s wearing it to the first day of school. I’d call that a success.

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Ariana Grande inspired two-piece outfit made with cotton spandex jersey knit from Fabric Mart (I think)

This post has gone on long enough. I am still knitting, but I am facing a knitting deadline so I won’t show any pics of the sweater until it’s done. Keep your fingers and knitting needles crossed for me!