Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maxi Dress Muslin

here is what I accomplished today with the muslin:

The back band is gathered (it was not in the original). I don't know how the original dress was done exactly, but the shoulder strap will be attached only at the seam that connects bodice with skirt.

I think I figured a way to do the bust area without misshaping the breasts (a concern that was duly noted in the comments). In short, the the front and back bands are constructed from two separate pieces that attach about 1" below the fold under the armpits. This seam is reinforced with a 1/4" elastic. Additionally, the front band is cut with more gathers for the outside layer that for the inside one. This allows for the inside layer to hold firm, while the outside layer drapes nicely.

I might insert breast pads as well, I am not sure (don't have any right now to try it).

The skirt is only basted to the bodice:

I am still not sure what I am going to do as far as color; however, after seeing the muslin on myself, I think I'll go with a solid.

What do you think?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making a maxi dress and need your opinion

This weekend (and however long after that it takes) I will be working on the muslin for this dress:

I want to make it floor length, otherwise I LOVE the design.

So, I am asking for an opinion: I think if it is floor length and black it will be too much? Do you agree? What color would you make it in (the collage below shows some of teh colors I'm leaning towards)? Do you think that a bust piece from jersey and a skirt piece from cotton voile print will work? Do you think the jersey from the picture below will work (it is very lightweight)?

Many questions, I know, but I'll really appreciate your input!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Full Layered Skirt

I made this dress last summer from cotton voile from I had some fabric left and thought it would work for a full skirt in color as the one I had planned for spring: see here
The skirt has 2 layers and lining. The bottom layer is made using the stripe in the fabric vertically and the top layer using it horizontally. Both layers were treated as one and pleated at the waist. The pleating only reduces the width, it is not equal to the waist measurement (the waist is later gathered with elastic). Next, I lined the skirt, attached the waistband (made from two layers of fabric), and inserted elastic in it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stirrup Leggings

When you are as short as I am, you have to hem just about anything, unless it is a cropped version because then it is just the right ankle length for me. Not a big deal, yet, it has prevented me from buying basic things, such as stirrup leggings (, because they cannot be hemmed shorter. Generaly, I don't like sewing basics. If I can buy a basic item at a decent price and it fits well, I'd rather not go through the fabric search process and spend valuable time making a plain tee or leggings. In this case, though, there was no available well-fitting RTW alternative.

I thought of buying the Jalie pattern for leggings ( it has a stirrup version), but then decided I could make my pattern just as easy. So I did.

For me, the pattern -making and fitting is less frustrating than fabric-hunting. In my opinion, the right fabric makes the difference between a home-made and professional-looking end-product. Ultimately, it plays a big part in whether you are going to wear what you've made, or stash it in your closet. Because of all this, I am very anal about fabric choice, and have made a lot of successful muslins that never crossed into a final garment stage due to lack of appropriate fabric.
For this project I used a fabric from EOS that is similar to the one you would use for riding pants. The sewing part is very easy and fast. The waisband is simply turned down, no elastic (the fabric properties allowed it in this case). Perhaps after the baby is born I'll change it to an encased elastic.
I am also planning of making a pair for summer, out of rayon-lycra thinner fabric.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Breastfeeding Cover

If you think that this is a glorified apron, you are right! It is called a nursing cover...

I did not use a nurising cover when I nursed my daughter, just a shawl, or did it in the car. This time around, I decided I'll make one and see how it works. The photo on the left is the Bebe Au Lait Nursing cover (photo courtesy of I also used the instructions from this website:
The main (and very few feaurures) are: bonong between the straps , so you can see the baby, and a pocket in the lower right corner for breast pads, burp cloth, or what-not.
I think this makes a great ( and less common) present; it is also a very quick project!

My fabric is something I've had in my stash forever, and I happen to like lime green. The baby room is painted lime green actually, and before the builder did it, he called us at least twice to make sure we had given him the right paint color :)! It ended up loking beautiful, but the color of the paint in the can must have freaked the guy out! Below is a picture of the baby room from a few years ago when DD still lived there:
When she turned 3 y.o. we moved her to a big girl room: