Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Summer Dress

Want to make yourself an easy summer dress? I can recommend Vogue #8233 as seen here in a cotton/poly paisley fabric I picked up at our local JoAnn's. It does require close to 5 yards of fabric but this paisley was on sale for a $1.99 a yard! Quite a deal my $10.00 dress! The bodice is fully lined and its an easy fit due to the wrap front. The minor alterations I made to the pattern were a bust adjustment and shortening the ruffles so the skirt would end just above my knee. I also made an adjustment to the armseye shape making the shoulder an inch narrower. I will probably wear mine with this "uber" wide suede belt when I want to dress it up a bit, and plain for hot casual summer days.

This is the same dress made for my daughter. This fabric also purchased at JoAnn's is a heavy cotton with embroidered dots scattered all over. For her alterations I shortened the bodice as she is short waisted, but no bust cup alteration, then the same narrower shoulder which you can see real well here, and I also shortened the ruffles for her. I included the tie closure according to the pattern but made mine from a length of white ribbon with a red twill tape laid on top. I secured the two together by zig zagging in white along the edges of the red twill tape. My daughter is left handed so I also wrapped the dress in that direction for her.

Other options shown on this pattern include a small flutter sleeve and a single ruffle on the skirt instead of the double I chose. This dress can be completed in a weekend! No zippers! No buttonholes! No worries.

Versatile shirt pattern

I am loving this pattern from McCalls #5522. Paula recently completed this cotton voile print shirt using this pattern. Note the fitted lower bodice which provides a neat and comfortable fit to wear over your pants and skirt. Very Slimming!! She has made this shirt once before in the long sleeve version with collar(see earlier posts). This shorter puff sleeve is constructed like a bubble skirt so no elastic pinching your arm. The gathers maintain their fullness due to the shorter narrower sleeve lining. I am thinking of making this pattern for my daughter but modifying the sleeve to make it quite a bit shorter.

What I like about this pattern is:
1) Its flattering meaning slimming due to the fit under the bust.
2) It has 4 versions with different sleeve lengths, collar options,
and even tuxedo ruffle.
3) And this is probably my favorite it has different bodice front patterns
for different cup sizes eliminating at least one common pattern alteration.

This pattern looks great in this voile, but would look good also in a pin wale corduroy, cotton broadcloth, Rayon or wool challis, or a double georgette.

A note about voile. Voile is a lovely lightweight fabric with a crisp hand. Its most commonly seen in a cotton but can also be found in silk. It is used for heirloom dresses, light summer blouses or as an underlining where some crispness is desired with out adding bulk. It used to be used a great deal for children's clothing because it can yield very delicate details for gathering, lace insertion and faggoting.

Nice work Paula

Nancy's Roman Shades

Nancy completed her Roman shades recently for her living room. Now here is the really neat part...These shades were made from some existing curtains that were given to her. The curtains were originally made for larger windows than Nancy's and she had often thought of cutting them down. Instead with a little guidance from yours truly she made these wonderful soft pleated roman shades. She already had the fabric/curtains so she had zero expense in the fabric, even the lining came from the previous curtains. Then for about $100.00 she purchased all the necessary hardware, that and 2 days of sewing cafe and Voila! fabulous fresh new shades. Congratulations to you Nancy for a job well done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Marches Progress

March proved to be a little quiet! The weather is just so impossibly depressing in March that motivation is hard to find. But needless to say we persevered.

Liz worked on a "Spitzen Tote" by yours truly, and enjoyed it so much she started another one!

Nancy completed her roman shades. Stay tuned for coming pictures, as I plan to go help her install them soon.

Ambitious Paula made the denim jacket you see here from a Sawyer Brook Fabric and a Vogue Pattern. I spoke about this jacket in an earlier post mentioning its 24 pieces, which always seems a bit overwhelming when you are cutting and marking. But what a payoff! All those pieces created a well fitted shapely fun and useful jkt. This jkt will fit in so well, with her other "Sew with a Plan" pieces. To refresh you memory you can refer back to the earlier post. Now we did find some mistakes in the pattern directions! As I recall they instructed you to sew the zipper in upside down, but once discovered not difficult to fix.

Paula also completed this jersey wrap blouse from a Sandra Betzina pattern. This is an unusual pattern but quite fun as it can be worn with the wrap in the front or the back. You see it here wrapped to the back. Another boon to this pattern is it can be completed in a day, a full day mind you. After sewing a 24 piece jacket a quick blouse is just the project Paula needed.

Our dear Elizabeth is going to have an amazing spring/summer wardrobe. She has made herself another lovely and practical dress. She has begun another dress from this same pattern, which we look forward to seeing soon.

Even I managed to finish a vintage houndstooth jkt which I am thrilled with.

April is off to a great start, we took a break over the Holiday but will return to duty this week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Attention Vogue patterns are running a special: $5.99 a pattern, monday and tuesday only (20th & 21st)


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pegs jackets

Its another quilted jacket! As many of you already know this last summer we had a mini sewing retreat at Betty's. She provided a lovely cabin in the woods while we all toiled away on the "Frayed Jacket Pattern" If you scroll thru the archives you will see Michelle's, and Bettys. Now we have Pegs, which was completed quite awhile ago, but has just taken me this long to get the pictures taken....and posted. I just love how different they all turned out. Truly one of the many joys of sewing for yourself is getting it just the way you want it in form and feature. Nice job as usual Peg!

Next we have a silk Jacket made from a Claire Schaffer pattern by Vogue. She calls it her Channel Jacket. The instructions for these patterns are very precise and complete and really help you to acheive the results you see here. Enlarge the image and you will see some hand knotted buttons that Peg made for this special garment. Currently Peg is working on a skirt to go with this to wear to her sons graduation. Won't she look smart?

Sule's gift

Seeing as how I have been speaking about these placemats that I was making for my daughter for seems like ages now....finally I can post pictures.
For those of you who were not in class on the day I was working on them, here is a sampling.

Of course I could not resist one with the pasta bowl so you could see what they were designed for.

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