Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Clothing

A New Summer Dress

This dress has been in my head for quite some time. It is a combination of several pieces: this Flickr dress, the fabric combination from one of AMH’s Evening Empire dresses in her Little Folks voile line, and the Heather Ross smocked sundress.

It was fairly simple to make. Corinnea was kind enough to share some directions on her Flickr photo. I measured my chest and the desired length and made 2 panels with those measurements. I made the dress a bit A-line as well. I sewed the bottom strips on using french seams for a more finished look and to prevent too much fraying.

I followed the Heather Ross’s shirring tutorial I had used for my daughter’s sundress (detailed here) for the top and straps. Then I sewed the sides together and tried it on for fit. I ended up taking it in a bit more at the waist. Then I trimmed up the side seams and finished them off with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.

Overall the dress took me about 4 hours. The french seams added a bit of time, but I finished it in 1 nap time + 1 evening.

July 9, 2010   9 Comments

Japanese Sewing Books

Japanese sewing books

I mentioned before that I had been bitten by the clothing-sewing bug. Do not worry, I’m still working on my quilts (and getting close to finishing my Map of the States quilt), but there is something so fun about actually wearing something I made. And nothing compares to the patterns in the many Japanese sewing books available. I recently received a few that I ordered a couple weeks ago on Etsy.

I did a bit of research before ordering these books. The Purl Bee has an excellent review of sewing patterns from these books. They are almost entirely in Japanese, but the diagrams look great. I wouldn’t make your first article of clothing ever from a book like this, but if you have experience sewing garments, I think you’d be ok.

The most important tips I’ve come across is that the sizing is smaller than we are used to in the US and the pattern pieces do not include the seam allowances – you must add those yourself.

On with the fun! I’m always curious what patterns are actually in these books, so I’m thinking I might feature a blog post on each book as I go along. In the meantime, here are the books I purchased and a sample pattern from each one.

Check & Stripe Floral
ISBN 978-4-418-09403-5
CHECK and STRIPE FLORAL - Japanese Dress Pattern Book


Adult Couture Stylish Dress Book
ISBN 978-4-579-11185-5


Gauze Linen Cotton Natural Clothes
ISBN 978-4-8347-2849-1


Simple Tunic and One-Piece Dress
ISBN 978-4-8163-4709-2


April 7, 2010   1 Comment

Schoolhouse Tunic

Schoolhouse Tunic

The first time I saw the Echino Lion fabric, I thought it was totally weird – yet intriguing. I couldn’t figure out what I’d do with it though, it’s not really something I wanted to put into a quilt. But it was one of those fabrics that I never stopped thinking about. Then when I was looking online, I saw the fabric used as a class sample at The Needle Shop for the Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated. It was the perfect combination of cool and crazy. :) I had to make it immediately.

Luckily I found enough of the fabric left at Harts Fabric, although now even the brown is sold out there. The tunic was very simple to make. It was actually my first time making something with sleeves I think. That made me a bit nervous, but really it was very simple. It was also my first time working with double gauze fabric. The only thing I found tricky was if I made a mistake and needed to remove stitches. That was more difficult than with quilting cotton, for sure.

Overall I love it! It’s at a length that is *just* too short for me to feel comfortable wearing it without pants, but I think if I made it about 3″ longer it’d be an adorable dress. (Add it to my list!) Still trying to figure out what sort of shorts/capris to pair it with for summer. But for today I’m sticking to my skinny jeans – which I swore I’d never buy….never say never!

And another photo just for fun, we have a couple deer that live in the woods behind the house. Last night at dinner time they both came into the yard and let me walk near them for a photo. We tease Avery that they are going to go for a ride on her swing.

Deer Swing

March 27, 2010   13 Comments

Spring Ruffle Top…Minus the Ruffles

Spring Ruffle Top

I think I’ve been bitten by the bug…the clothes making bug. And not clothes for my daughter – although that is fun, she grows out of them so quickly. No, making clothes for myself. Sew Mama Sew has a great *free* tutorial for a Spring Ruffle Top by Rae from Made by Rae. Isn’t it cute?

I had plenty of Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Voile left over from my baby quilt and really there isn’t anything more perfect if you ask me. The drape is lovely and the prints are perfect for summer. And not to pick favorites, but I could probably make an entire wardrobe out of Baby Bouquet Sweet and die happy. The top portion is Four Square Berry.

Spring Ruffle Top - close up

I changed the pattern a bit and added lining as the voile is a bit sheer. Basically I just made 2 each of the front and back pieces and sewed them together at the top and then sewed them to the chest strap as if they were one piece. If that makes sense…

Not a nice day here in Chicago so my 3 year old helped take this picture inside. It’s a bit blurry, but not too bad for her first try.

Spring Ruffle Top - on

March 25, 2010   4 Comments