Category Archives: jersey

Tie dye jersey maxi dress: AKA the pyjama dress

Okay, so this isn’t strictly sleepwear, and I’d be lying if I said it was the most comfortable dress I owned. But it is seriously the second most comfortable dress I own. This is my most comfortable dress. But this tie dye maxi, I could actually sleep in it if I wanted to. It is made from the softest rayon jersey from MOOD. It is lightweight and beautifully drapey, but not at all see-through. It cost under $4 per yard, so I purchased several!

The design is a hack of my self-drafted Jaywalk dress. I just cropped the bodice to waist level and added a gathered skirt. I used clear elastic as a stay for the waist. This is a great trick for pulling the waist in on a fitted knit dress.


I’ve been getting A LOT of wear out of this dress. To be perfectly honest, I expected to get sick of tripping up stairs and end up chopping off the length with five wears. But it is such a light and comfortable dress to wear that I am even enjoying the length. And the colour is just delicious. It’s called sherbert. I want to eat it!

So this time round, it was Miss Two who scored on the scraps front. She was pretty excited about this dress because it is nearly identical to mine. We inevitably end up leaving the house in matching clothes now, because whenever I wear mine, she changes into hers. She is super cute though. Believe it or not, that happy smile hides a hideous gastro-bug that hit her like a truck only a few hours later. The smiles before the storm…





V8952 in pixelated glory

 

And what you see paired with my favourite fancy pants (seen also here and here) is the world’s easiest top and the same bad hair as from here. The pattern I used was Vogue 8952. I made up a Medium in View C, but with a few changes:

  • added a neckband
  • shortened the sleeves by several inches
  • widened the sleeves by a couple of inches. I did this by raising the shoulder seam until it was almost straight (instead of curving downwards)
  • dropped the armscye by a few inches
  • lengthened the hem and created a deep dip at the back

 

Pictures do not do this cotton jersey justice. It is the softest, most deliciously drapey jersey I have felt in the longest while. The print is a really unique pixelated design. I purchased it from Tessuti a few months ago. It was one of those fabrics I walked past and fell in love with instantly, but had no idea what I would do with it. They only had one roll of it so I’m not sure if it is still available. In any case, it’s about time I broke up some of that white in my wardrobe. Don’t you agree?

B5409: Hello yellow kimono jacket!

I’ve been inspired by a few ladies (here and here) on instagram recently. We live in worlds apart and adhere to vastly different dress codes, but I can’t help but admire how these ladies who choose to cover their hair and dress conservatively can look so individual, classically elegant, and fashionable, all the while having to adhere to much stricter fashion rules than I.

One of the things I’ve noticed, is that these ladies know how to layer. And perhaps it is the ability to drape and layer with aplomb, that has drawn my interest more than anything else. And perhaps because of them, I am a little in love with fluid, unfitted, kimono jackets right now. Yes, I’m also smitten with white, and yellow, and big, long dramatic hems…and no doubt there will be another whim to enter my world of fanaticism next week. But today, it is the kimono.

 

I would like to introduce you to my buttercup yellow kimono jacket. I love her! She is made from a beautiful, drapey, matt rayon jersey from MOOD. I cannot tell you how many yellow swatches I ordered before I settled on this one. And I did have to settle, since a remarkably more expensive 4-ply silk crepe de chine was my first choice! The jacket is a LOT heavier than it would be, had I sewn it in crepe de chine. It hangs and drapes fluidly, rather than floats. I’ve paired it with my fancy pant Ralphy tracky dacks and bad hair courtesy of night parties with two of my peeps.

 

 
 

The pattern I started from is B5409. The ghastly pictures on the pattern cover give no indication of what can be done with this pattern. I purchased it in the larger size because I’d originally intended on sewing it in a woven, despite the pattern calling for a knit. Usually, I would sew a size down from the one I chose.

The size I started with was a large (bust 38-40″). I’m about a 35″ in the bust. I made the following changes:

  • graded down a size from the armpits to the hem (I had to draw my own lines to do this as the pattern didn’t include the size below)
  • added inseam pockets. I just guessed the position of these and stuck them about 3″ too low in the side seams. I didn’t take into account how far down the jacket would hang due to the weight of the fabric and the low armscye
  • added belt loops in the side seams (just above the pockets). Again, these are also too low, although I don’t think I will be using them anyway. I was only intending to tie a belt through the back of the jacket, not around the front, and I don’t think it needs this after all.
  • ditched the collar and drafted the missing bit of facing. Because of the floppy nature of the fabric, even with interfacing, I stitched all the facing down, from neck to toe.
  • sewed the cuffs on the opposite way so that I could fold them up. Tacked them in place.
  • lengthened the front and back significantly and created a graduated hemline.
 

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I will definitely be sewing this jacket again. Next time though, I will skip the belt loops and bring the pockets up a bit higher. I’m thinking I might put in a fabric order for my upcoming birthday to make this in a bright and boisterous printed crepe de chine. What do you think?




Jaywalk version 1

I’ve said it before, this fabric is gorgeous! Of course I was going to jump at the chance of entering Tessuti’s Jaywalk competition when this little beauty was put before me. The thing I love about this comp is that the rules are few and far between. You can basically make whatever you like, in whatever size, style or shape that suits you!

Stripes are so much fun and these were no exception. I loved playing around with the way they hung and swirled as I twirled. I actually made this skirt first, before my Jaywalk dress.  

 


I’m pretty happy with this make. It was my own design, but an oh so very simple one. The skirt consists of a pencil shaped portion with a generous graduated flounce at the bottom. I am most excited with the way that I managed to perfectly line up the stripes in the side seams, although this is hardly the work of a genius. Those stripes are perfectly on grain and I basted them in place to line them up first.

I stitched the elastic waistband directly to the reverse side of the top edge of the skirt in a zig-zag stitch and then folded it under twice (you can also do this on the right side of the fabric and fold it under once so the elastic sits against your skin). I copied the method from a FCUK skirt a few years ago and have been doing it this way ever since! You might remember the top as a Kanerva hack I made a little while ago.

 

And because this skirt is just so darn HOT, here a few more action shots. I kinda feel like a celebrity in these ones, but I like the way they show the skirt in motion! Now where did I put down my glass of Moet?

Sigh…paparazzo chasing me again. 

Obviously they want another shot of this booty-enhancing skirt… 

 But look, it also twirls!

Jaywalk version 2

So this is actually my second entry in the Jaywalk series. My skirt is yet to come. But like the skirt, this dress is my own design. I used my knit, skirt block for the bottom part and sketched a bodice to match my measurements before joining them up. I then used some scrap jersey to whip up a quick muslin to check and finesse the fit.


The end product is a fitted, dare I say it…..drop waist dress. I’m pretty happy with it. The fit is spot on, the fabric is divinely comfortable, and that flared skirt just makes me smile. It isn’t quite as smokin’ hot as the skirt (yet to come), but Miss Six and I still manage to attract a little attention when we head out in our matching Jaywalkers.

 
 
 

When making the dress, I was at crossroads with regards to finishing the neck and armscye. I was very nearly going to bind those edges with a black stripe, in the same manner that I finished Miss Six’s mini Jaywalker, but then I felt that it gave the dress a ‘too sporty’ feel for the glamorous flare of the skirt. In the end, I bound them with self fabric, before flipping it under, to cover the 1cm seam allowance (which I left in place to give a bit of shape and stability), and then I trimmed very closely to the seam.

 
 
 
 
 







A mini Jaywalker

After making my own Jaywalk pieces (more on that to come), I had enough of these lovely stripes left to make a little dress for Miss Six. I used the Go To Signature dress pattern for a second time, with the same neckline adjustment as before. I also shaped the hem on this one to be higher at the front and lower at the back. I’d intended on adding an elastic waist to this version, but after the first fitting, Miss Six was quite certain that she loved it exactly as it was with absolutely NO further changes. Let it not be said that I would argue with the Queen.


This fabric makes for a beautiful kiddie dress. It is soft and comfortable and holds it’s shape beautifully. It’s going to be a great addition to her daily wardrobe. Unlike in Australia, public school kids don’t wear uniforms in America, so Coco is enjoying the fact that she is now in line to receive equal clothing makes as her sisters.

 
 
 
  
Just look at that lovely side seam, all lined up for me. I’ve discovered that if I take the extra time to baste seams with stripes together first, I get a better result in matching those lines.

A practical Elsa

I would have loved to have gone the whole hog with this Elsa dress…a fitted bodice, off the shoulder, full sleeves, and all with a slinky floor length skirt. I know Miss Four would have loved the ‘whole hog’ version too. BUT, I am nothing if not a practical mother who knows that the minute this dress was off the sewing table, it would be in hot rotation with the other completely impractical daily dress in Miss Four’s wardrobe. I for one, did not want to be responsible for her tripping down stairs, getting sunburnt shoulders, or smouldering in her first Kansas summer.

 


So, here is my watered down version of the Elsa dress. I am pleased to report that it has been met with approval (much to my relief) and I no longer have a middle child, but I am now blessed with Queen Elsa as a daughter. Let it Go, Let it Gooooooooo!

 


The fabric was from Jo-Ann, handpicked by Miss Four, and both pieces were well under $10/yd. The blue jersey is a polyester blend sprinkled with glitter. The tulle is also covered in glitter. The glitter is regrettably glued onto the surface of these fabrics which means there is now a fine coating of glitter on every surface in my house. Also what I didn’t consider was that the glitter covering also makes the outer surface of the fabric a little coarse and grippy. So instead of the tulle cape slipping and swishing elegantly, it catches the under dress a little and sticks like Velcro at times. Having said that, there have been no complaints from Queen Elsa. But I will certainly learn from this glitter overload experience.

The pattern I used was the Go To Signature dress. There are so many options in this pattern, but I ended up using the simplest version. I made a size 4 for my exceptionally tall, slightly built, 4.5 year old. She is wearing the full length version, which would definitely be closer to ankle length on an average four year old. I lowered the neckline a little and skipped the elastic waistband. I attached the sparkly tulle cape (gathered) at the back neckline and shoulder seams, and otherwise just sewed the dress up as instructed.

I admit that I purchased this pattern to be a part of Indie month, as an effort to try a new Indie designer for week 2 of the competition. The idea of so many sleeve options sold me on it. The pattern sizes run from 12mths to 12years, which is fantastic value. And I am also quite impressed with the simple, yet flattering design of the dress. I often find kids clothes too wide in the body when using commercial patterns, but this one is beautifully sized. I also anticipate this pattern making some nice nighties for my girls in the future!

Overall, this project was super simple and effective, and it certainly beat the $60 price tag that I’ve seen on other Elsa dresses online! And to leave you with Queen Elsa’s parting words, as she haughtily tosses her cape to the wind and flicks her white, side plait (yes, we are also working on growing our hair long, white, and to the side)…the cold never bothered me anyway!