Just a quick one....

Hey guys! This is just a quick note to tell you that I've posted somewhere else! I've sort of been keeping it on the down low until my post got published, but I have recently joined the Cali Fabrics blogging team. It's a really great group of bloggers, and the fabrics I've tried out so far have been fantastic too. Anyway, no pressure to, but if you want to go and check out my first post, it's there.

And if you don't want to go check it out, I'll just tell you quickly, that I made a beautiful (if I do say so myself) kimono for Katie (she just had a baby, so I wanted to make her something pretty), and here are some quick shots of it:

Oh also, in case you're wondering about the details, basically, I get an allowance (which doesn't include shipping - kind of a bummer for us Canadian bloggers because shipping costs so much) every 10 weeks, and then I get to choose whatever fabric I want, make whatever I want with it, and then write a blog post about it for the Cali Fabrics blog. As always, I promise to keep it real and tell you exactly how I feel about the fabrics, and if it ever gets to be more work than fun for me, I'll stop doing it. The owner of Cali Fabrics (which is actually a one-man show online fabric store), Ron, is a very down to earth guy, and he seems to be on the same page as me, which is why I agreed to join the team.

Anyway, I'd love to know what you think about this, so feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Happy Sunday!

Hot Patterns Weekender Boyfriend Jeans - The Quest Continues...

Hey Everybody!! How are you all? I'm doing alright. I'm still not feeling 100%, but I'm getting better. The dermatologist knew exactly what my skin issue was: psoriasis (I know right, yuck! And lucky me 😏 it's an autoimmune disease so when my skin flares up, I feel the inflammation all over my body with aches and pains). Anyway, it's kind of a relief to finally know what's going on, and the doc gave me the stuff to get on the mend, (and bonus: it seems to be working. Yay!). It's taking some time, but things are healing and I'm slowly getting back to normal. Phew!

So this post has been a long time coming.  John took these photos for me almost a month ago, but even worse, I made these jeans back in January! January people! Why haven't I posted them in the last 8 months??! I have no idea. Ha ha!

Anyway, these are the Hot Patterns Weekender Boyfriend Jeans, and I made them before the Morgan jeans were even released, and then once I made the Morgans, these kind of got cast aside. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I dug these out again, as I do like the fit. They need some minor adjustments that would make them even better, but really it's a very well drafted pattern.

These are a size 14 and they are made out of a 10oz stretch denim. I'm not entirely sure where it came from as I didn't mark it down in my notes, but it's leftover from a pair of jeans I made John. The only real adjustment I made to these was to shorten the legs by 2 inches, and I straightened out the front crotch curve slightly. As you can see, the front crotch is a little to long for me. I really love the rise though, it seems to hit a little higher than my Morgans, but still comfortable. Anyway, if I make these again, I'll just pinch that extra depth out. Lauren has a great photo of  that adjustment here (it's close to the bottom of the post), if you're interested.

I do see in my notes (yes I keep notes for every project I make, and I'm so glad I forced myself to make it a habit) it says that I tried these on without the waistband, and they were a little bit too baggy, so I increased the seam allowance at the side seam by 1 cm (3/8"). So I probably could have gotten away with making a size 12. 

The other thing I did, was distress them a little. This was the first pair of jeans I tried distressing on, and I didn't actually decide to do it until they were already assembled. So I just took the sandpaper to the legs, which gives them a bit of a worn in look and also softens up the denim. I think they came out well.

So there you have it. FINALLY! It's hard to say which of these boyfriend jeans I like better (these or the Morgans), because I like different things about each one. The Hot Patterns jeans, have very minimal instructions, but you could easily just follow along with the Ginger Jeans sew-a-long and your jeans would turn out just fine, so don't let that scare you. I think the Morgans are a bit more of modern cut, and I know that both of these are called "boyfriend jeans" but honestly, they're really just what they used to call a relaxed fit jean. Super comfy and super stylish. I've been wearing my Morgans pretty much non-stop (my second pair) and I'm in the process of making myself a white pair. So maybe that's your answer. I seem to be reaching for the Morgans more often. 😉

Also, I should mention that I'm wearing a Union St Tee here too (scooped neck, elbow length sleeves in size medium) made from more gorgeous cotton jersey knit (the exact colour seems to be sold out, but it's just like this one) from L'oiseau Fabrics

Anyway, do you like boyfriend jeans? Have you made a pair yet? Which one's your favourite?

Ogden Cami & Emerson Shorts: Pattern Testing for True Bias

Hi Everybody! (Does anyone else hear Dr. Nick's voice when they read that?) How's your week going? I gotta be honest, I've been better. I am fighting some kind of skin thing (yes like Grandpa Simpson in the previous clip, I have skin failure). I'm not entirely sure what's set it off, but it's some kind of allergic reaction or something, and I am finally going to see a dermatologist on Tuesday for it. Anyway, it's been really sucking the life out of me over the last couple days, hence all the references on Instagram to having a Stranger Things marathon. It's not just because that show is frighteningly addictive, it's because I just haven't had the energy for much else. Anyway, lucky for you it's not too noticeable in these photos (the camera has a way of smoothing out my skin somehow), so let's get on with talking about the TWO new patterns from True Bias.

Before we go too far, I need to let you know that Kelli did end up making a few adjustments to both these patterns before they were released, and the garments in these photos are made from the tester versions of the patterns. I believe Kelli added a tiny bit of length to the cami as well as a little bit of ease at the bust, and she added some length to the crotch curve of the shorts/crop pants. 

So let's start with the Ogden cami. I knew I would probably need an FBA, but I was hesitant as I didn't want to add a dart. In my experience, if I choose my size based on my Full Bust Measurement, then the garment always ends up being much to big in the shoulders for me.  I knew that with this pattern, the shoulder fit would be quite important so that the straps wouldn't be too far apart and constantly slipping off. Anyway, I wanted to keep this a nice and simple cami, so I looked up a couple of tutorials on how to do a dartless FBA, and it just looked like too much work for this lazy sewist. So I decided to try another cheater FBA (like what I did with my Sway Dress). Basically, I chose my size based on my upper bust measurement, a size 10, and then graded to my full bust measurement on both the front and back pieces, keeping the size 10 armhole height, and then back to the size 10 for the waist, hip and length. 

I'm really happy with how it turned out. The fit is pretty much perfect for me. I love the shape of the neckline, and I feel like I can wear this cami on it's own and not feel overexposed. With a lot of camis, I feel like I have too much cleavage and skin showing when I wear them on their own. This one is light and breezy to wear, but gives enough coverage that I don't feel like everything is hanging out. Apparently, I'm getting quite modest in my old age. Ha ha!

I should also mention that I realize you can see a lot of bra in these shots, but I think that might actually be because of this bra style. Currently the only bras with black straps I have in rotation, are my newest Marlborough bras. And I think I actually need to adjust that pattern a tad. The straps are quite far set for me, and as I wear them more and more, I am finding that I wish the straps were a little closer to the centre of my body. The straps actually dig in a bit right at the spot where my arm joins my body, so if I made a small adjustment, the straps would probably blend in a bit better with this cami (and be much more comfortable). Anyway, maybe I should do a bra making post one of these days, but I digress.  I can honestly say that the Ogden cami is a great pattern, and I see many more of these in my future. It's a quick sew, and doesn't require a ton of fabric, and it will be a great wardrobe staple for me year round. I'm also thinking it would make a great slip, if you lengthen it a bit, and I've also been thinking about what it would take to make it in a knit. Hmmmm....

Okay onto the Emerson Shorts. You wanted to see a close up of my bum right? I thought so. The photo above is a tester photo I sent to Kelli, but I included it so you could see a close up of the fabric. It's so lovely but I think the colours muddle a little in the distance and I wanted you to actually see the print. It's a gorgeous rayon voile from LA Finch Fabrics, and it sooooooo soft!! Perfect for the Emerson shorts, and I have a little bit leftover which may turn into a matching cami too. Hello summer pajamas! I should take a moment to give a shout out to LA Finch Fabrics. This fabric (along with a couple others) was my first purchase from them, and the service was great! The shipping was speedy, and all the fabrics I ordered were exactly as described (great quality and beautiful!!). So if you're looking for some lovely fabrics, go check them out!

Wow, I'm just blabbing all over the place today, aren't I? Anyway, I ended up making two pairs of Emerson shorts. The first pair, the rayon, are super soft and lovely, but as I've mentioned before, I am not a pro when it comes to sewing slippery fabrics, so while I was super happy with how my first pair of shorts turned out, I wanted to make a second pair in a slightly more stable fabric to make sure I was really giving this pattern a thorough testing. Plus I need shorts, so I knew it wouldn't hurt to make another pair.

Both pairs are the same size, a size 10. I chose my size based on my hip size, which is what I normally do with elastic waist bottoms. I really like how both of these fit, but I think a size 12 would have worked well too. I think one of the best parts about sewing, is you can play with fit and ease to get different looks. I do have plans to make another pair of these and I might make a size 12 just to compare. 

I scooped out the back crotch curve slightly, which is pretty much a standard alteration for me with any type of pants/shorts. And by the looks of that last photo, I really think I should try a Full Seat Adjustment one of these days too. I read this post by Anya after I finished these, and I was like, what? I need that. Lightbulb moment! Anyway, back to the shorts. I really love how the pleats turned out in this crisp, cotton seersucker. I think they look really sharp, and I've found that these shorts just get comfier and comfier as the day goes on. Hooray for cotton!

I've had this fabric in my stash for years now, and I don't know why I saved it for so long. It's super cute and perfect for summer shorts. It might be a bit hard to tell, but it has cute little pink skulls embroidered on it. It came from Fabric.com, and sadly, I don't think they have it in stock any more, but they do have some similar fabrics if you are interested. I really love these shorts and I have been wearing them a ton. I have plans to make the crop pants as well, but I'm still deciding on the right fabric. Anyway, the shorts (and the cami) are a quick and easy sew. You can easily whip them up in a day, and as always, True Bias pdfs go together like peas and carrots. 

This is quickly becoming my summer uniform. It's started to really warm up around these parts, and having light and flowy pieces to wear is perfect!  If you were to drop in on me, you'd probably find me wearing this outfit or one of my pairs of Carolyn pajamas. Yes, some days I stay in my pajamas all day! Hope you all are having a lovely week, and if you are looking for something to binge watch and get all nostalgic about the 80's and Winona Ryder with, watch Stranger Things! (But maybe do it in the daytime, while sewing, or cuddling pugs, if you're a big scaredy cat like me.)

Thurlow Shorts and An Archer Popover

Hey Everybody, how's your weekend been? I've spent the last week in Calgary, and it's actually been quite rainy, but there was a little sun mixed in, so not too bad. And to be honest, the rain has really suited my mood. We lost our sweet little Quincie about a week and a half ago, and while the pain is subsiding a little now, I miss her terribly, and I have not been feeling like my normal, happy and positive self. I have also really not felt like blogging (or doing any type of socializing for that matter). John took a bunch of photos of me in 3 different outfits, just before my last post, and I had every intention of writing two more posts for last week, but I just haven't had the energy. Plus it seemed wrong to post photos of me looking so happy, when in reality I feel the complete opposite. Anyway, I have thought a lot about writing more about Quinice, and maybe a tribute post to her, but I just don't know if I will. I sort of want to keep all the special things about her to myself. Not because I don't want you to know more about her, she was amazing, but because I want to keep her in my heart, and writing something like that feels like letting go. I'm just not ready to let go yet. Sometimes I pretend she's in her little bed next to me, because thinking about how I'll never see her little face again is just too hard. Anyway, I'm obviously getting a little emotional here, and it's not my intention to drag you down, so let's get onto the sewing stuff.

I thought I would hit two birds with one stone here and show you not only my new Thurlow Shorts, but also, an Archer popover I made a few months ago (and because of some poorly placed buttons, you also get a little peak of my me-made bra too). 

There isn't too much to say about this Archer, it's got all the same fitting changes as my regular Archers, and I didn't really have too much trouble with the placket. It's just like a sleeve tower placket, only bigger. My only regret is that I wasn't more careful with my button placement. Sometimes I just follow the template and that isn't always the perfect placement for me. It works out better if I put the shirt on and plan where the buttons should go. Oh well, it's not that big of a deal and it will definitely not keep me from wearing it. I should also mention that the fabric is a Liberty Tana Lawn that John bought me when we were in London about a year ago. Of course I couldn't find the print on the Liberty website to link to, but I think it's called Lotta A, and the designer is Lotta Niemenen. It's a really pretty print

Sorry for the wrinkles, but I had been wearing these for quite a while before we took the photos.

Okay, onto the shorts. You may not know this, but I've actually made 2 pairs of Thurlow trousers (last year), and I really like them both. One I made as is, and one I made with a skinny leg. I've never blogged either one, and I'm not entirely sure why because it's a great pattern and it fits me really well. Anyway, it was a natural choice when I was looking for a good shorts pattern to try.

I have never really been a shorts girl. I always want to wear them, but I never seem to be able to find a pair that fits right. They're either too long, or way to short, or too loose in the leg, or just right in the leg and too tight in the waist. Ugh!. I have never really been able to find a pair that's flattering on me. I can remember being on holidays somewhere and trying on a ton of shorts, and after coming out of the change room in several different pairs, even the boys (my 3 stepsons) were like, "hmmmm...maybe shorts aren't your thing". LOL.  Of course now that I sew my own clothes I was keen to give shorts another try. I've made some elastic waistband pairs before but I really wanted to make a "real" pair. And by real, I mean a pair with a proper fly and waistband, and pockets. Anyway, when I googled Thurlow shorts, I spotted this pair by Caroline and that sealed the deal for me.

I started with a size 8 (sidenote: this took some trial and error when I first made the Thurlow Trousers, as my measurements put me in a size 14 waist and a between a size 6 - 8 hip, so I recommend using the finished measurements to help you choose your size), and I scooped out the back crotch curve by 1/2". I probably should have shortened the legs a bit but I kept them longer but with a deep hem in case I want to cuff them later.  I also decided to leave off the back welt pockets. Part of that was due to laziness, but more so because I hate how fabric pocket bags get wrinkly and you have to continually iron them, and even then, they never seem to look right after a wash or too. I played with the idea of patch pockets, but with this fabric I didn't think they seemed right. 

Speaking of fabric, this is a lovely tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. This colourway is sold out, but there is still a really pretty plum, grey and black in stock. This fabric is super soft and lovely to wear but it does really up the dressy factor on these shorts (at least in my opinion). Especially paired with this Archer, I feel quite businessy. Do you now what I mean? I've actually been struggling with what to wear with these shorts as I would like them to be quite casual, but they don't really go with any of my tees. That really hasn't stopped me from wearing them though, as they are super comfy, but next time I might pick more of a cotton type fabric, or even a denim maybe.

The only other change I made, was to do a button at the front instead of the hook and eye closure. I like how the button looks, and again, I wanted these to be a bit more casual. Oh and one more thing worth noting: with this pattern the fly is actually on the right side, instead of the usual left. I actually think that's how women's trousers are supposed to be, but with jeans, most pairs have the fly on the left like men's. Anyway, it's not something that bothers me at all, but if it bothers you, and/or you need a little extra help with this type of fly, you should check out Lisa's post. Lisa is a fly master and her post is so helpful!

So there you have it. Thanks for reading, and I have to say it feels really good to have this post written, and it's helped me to feel a bit more normal again. I know that I sound a bit forlorn, but losing such a big presence in my life, and really, such a big unconditional love, has been really tough. And while I know life goes on, I am really trying to make sure that I take time to grieve, and to just be sad. Anyway, I promise I won't be depressed forever, and thank you to everyone who offered me a bit of love, and a kind word or two on Instagram and Facebook. Hope you've had a great weekend! (I'm very much looking forward to getting back to the lake tomorrow.)

Papercut Sway Dress

Hi Everybody!! I finally managed to get some pictures of my Papercut Patterns Sway Dress. I realize that it is crazy sunny in these shots, and I might blind you with the sun reflecting off my white skin, but when the mood strikes and your photographer is willing, you gotta go for it. And really I think the sun is making my skin look really nice, who knew the sun could actually hide flaws?

I made this dress to wear to my youngest stepson's grad back in May and my original plan was to get some photos of it when we were out in Nova Scotia, but it ended up being way too cold. It was quite crazy actually. It was raining, and windy, and super humid so there was no way I was taking off my jacket. LOL. Anyway, not a big deal as the grad went exactly as planned and we were thrilled to watch young Jack walk across the stage. Anyway, back to the dress.

I really hummed and hawed over whether to make a new dress or just wear one of many already in my closet. But of course at the last minute I decided: new dress! Then naturally, I couldn't decide what pattern to make. I thought maybe a Flora, or a Belladone, but neither of those seemed right. Then I spotted the seemingly perfect dress on Instagram. I couldn't believe that it was a Papercut Sway dress, which really, was nowhere on my radar. Rachel (of Boo Dog & Me) posted two beautiful versions on Instagram and I loved them both instantly (the other one is here). Doesn't she look gorgeous?!? I loved that she chose to make a wider fabric belt to really cinch the dress in at the waist, which gives this dress a completely different look than the pattern images online (at least that's what I think anyway).

Talk about a quick and easy sew! I think the part that took me the longest was the hem. I am not a big fan of hemming circle skirts, mostly because I'm really no good at it. I can never get the hem to be flat - it's always ripply. First I tried just pressing up the seam allowance and then stitching, but that looked horrible. So I unpicked it and used hem tape hoping that would work much like a bias tape hem (which I've had lots of luck with on other garments), but hoping the hem tape would be less stiff to match this fabric. Alas it didn't turn out much better, but I wasn't going to unpick it a second time and honestly, I didn't have time to redo it. And really who's going to notice anyway? Next time I will just do a rolled hem with my serger I think.

I haven't made very many Papercut patterns (even though I have several in my stash - Bad Heather! Make up those stash patterns!), but with the couple I have made, I have found that they fit quite big. So even though, my measurements indicate that I should make Medium, I went with a small, and I think the fit is quite good.

I knew that this dress is basically a giant triangle with a belt, so I really wasn't too worried about fit, but because it's important to have the bust fit and not hike the entire front of the dress up, I decided to do a bit of a cheater FBA and I graded to a medium at the bust. I didn't want to do a regular FBA because one of the great things about this dress is that it's reversible! You can wear it with the vee in the front, or the back. I really like it both ways, but right now, I am prefering the vee in the front. I also figured, that it would be super easy to slim down, if that ended up making the bust area to big. 

I really wanted to make a super wide self-fabric belt, but unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric. I was able to make the belt a little wider than drafted though. I cut two pieces at 3 inches wide and the full length of fabric. This makes for a really long belt, but I wanted to be able to wrap it around my waist twice (if I wanted too - a girl needs options right?). While it wasn't exactly what I envisioned, I'm really happy with how it turned out. You can wrap it once, tie it in a bow, and leave the tails a bit long, or wrap it twice with short tails, like I have it here.

I really love this dress, and I feel fantastic in it. It's really comfy, and I think I look really pulled together (read: grown up) in it, plus it's so fun to go to an event in a dress that you made yourself. The other bonus: after a big fancy dinner (like the one we had the night of the grad - hello lobster!) you can just loosen the belt a little and still be super comfortable. Score! Have I mentioned the fabric yet? Did you notice the giraffes? Very Anthropologie-esque right? Well, it's from...I know you'll be shocked...Blackbird Fabrics! I've had it in my stash for a while, but I thought it would be perfect for this dress, and I was right! It's actually a poly crepe, and before you turn your nose up at the polyester part, you should know that Caroline really only picks the best fabrics, so if she's carrying a polyester in her shop, you can trust that it's great. It's not plastic-y at all, and did not even pretend to melt under my super hot iron. If you want to hear more about it, check out this post on the Blackbird Blog.

Okay polyester PSA over. Wanna see this dress without the belt and me doing some awesome action poses? No, you don't? Well too bad, it's my blog and I'll dance if I want to. LOL

So there you have it, my Sway dress. I love it, and if you're wondering whether or not you can jump on the sway/trapeze dress bandwagon, I say: yes you can! You may need a belt, like I do, but it really doesn't make it any less comfortable. Okay maybe a tiny bit, but remember you can always loosen the belt if you need to (it's like undoing your top button, but far less people will notice). 

I hope the sun is shining where you are, and making your skin glow too! 

Grumble Sewing

Hey Everybody! How are you this fine Monday? It's actually kind of overcast and rainy here; a big change from how the weather was last time I blogged. I thought for sure that summer was here, but it cooled off significantly. I'm okay with that though because we need the rain. Anyway, I hope you are ready for a pug heavy post. I really had a hard time narrowing down the photos for this one. ;)

About two months ago, Lucy from Sew Essential in the UK, contacted me about my Maya Top blog post. She said that she really loved my top and would I be interested in her sending me some fabric in exchange for a blog post mentioning her shop. I'm always a little bit apprehensive about freebies, but Lucy seemed very sweet, and after a couple of emails, she brought up the idea of sewing for my pugs, and that's what really sealed the deal for me. How could I say no to free fabric for my pugs?!

Anyway, Sew Essential, I discovered, is a family owned and operated (Lucy's husband and mother-in-law started it, and now they all run it together) online shop that carries a big selection of pet sewing patterns (as well as an extensive range of human and home & craft patterns), among many other sewing notions, machines and fabric. It took me a while to settle on a pattern, but I finally chose Kwik Sew 4020. I don't really ever dress the pugs up, so clothes seemed out of the question. But we do seem to go through beds quite frequently, and I'm always looking for something that's comfy and snuggly, yet machine washable. This bed seemed to fit the bill. I let Lucy know, and asked her to just choose some fabric for me. I am incredibly indecisive and I thought that would just be easier. 

So a few weeks later (shipping from the UK always seems to take quite awhile), a nice little parcel of cotton arrived for me. The cotton actually turned out to be a cotton/poly blend but it's really soft and smooth, and I'm hoping it will turn out to be quite durable in the long run. I was happy to see that Lucy had picked out two shades of blue, as blue is one of my favourite colours but you may have already figured that out. ;)

The pattern includes two sizes, and I went for the largest one. It was super simple to put together. The only tricky parts were sewing the centre octagon to the already sewn together outer pieces, and then sewing on the casing for the drawstring. You stuff the bed as you go, so getting the casing sewed around the stuffed bed was a bit challenging. I moved my machine to the big table to see if that would help, but it really didn't. 

Anyway, in the end, it was worth it, and I think the bed turned out quite well. 

I used some regular poly fill stuffing to stuff the bed, but then I ran out so I used the inside of an IKEA pillow, which actually turned out to be even softer than the poly fill. Who knew?

I didn't have any cording on hand, and it took me a few days to get into town to pick some up, but that didn't stop the pugs.

They were happy to test out the bed before it was completely finished. Ha ha!

All 3 of the pugs have enjoyed napping on this bed, but I think that it's Shanny's favourite by far. It's the bed she goes to first now, and she'll even make room for Jackie Boy to get in and cuddle her instead of getting out. She doesn't always like to share a bed, but it's hard to get her to leave this one. LOL

I did eventually manage to get to get Fabricland and pick up some cording. It cinches up the bed nicely and makes it just a little more cozy.

I am also pleased to say that this bed has already been washed and dried by machine, and it did so like a champ. I really can't wait to make a couple more, and replace the pugs' old ripped beds. It feels really nice to have made my little loves something - I don't know why it took me so long.

So there you have it, some very successful, unselfish sewing. While I was a bit hesitant to do a "sponsored" post (is that the right term?), I'm glad I went through with it. It was just the nudge I needed to do some much needed grumble sewing!

Thanks for putting up with all the pug photos!!

True Bias Colfax Dress

Hello my friends! How are you? Summer has hit us over here in beautiful British Columbia, and this weekend was a scorcher. We managed to get out and do some fishing on Sunday, but it was almost too hot for me. I'm not very heat or sun tolerant. Can you tell by my pasty white skin? LOL. Anyway, let's get on with chatting about my beautiful Colfax dress. I feel like I have a lot to say here so maybe grab a coffee (or beverage of your choice) and let's get down to it.

I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for Kelli's latest True Bias pattern: the Colfax dress. When I first saw the line drawing, I wasn't quite sure how this dress was going to look on my figure, but I really liked the cool yoke detail, and I really loved Kelli's samples (she sent her testers a few pictures before we sewed them up). Anyway, long story short, my tester version did not turn out well. I went against my internal compass, and skipped the FBA, which was a big mistake. When I finished my dress, it had these horrible diagonal lines from my hips to my boobs, and it hiked way up at the front. It did not look good, and I was not happy. So very impulsively, I chopped it off into a top. Better, but still not great, and I now, really wish I wouldn't have chopped it off so quickly. Don't get me wrong. I think this pattern acutally makes a great tank too, but because of the fit issues I already had, my tank wasn't much better than the dress was. And I really wish I would have worn the dress a bit before chopping it off, because sometimes after something sits for awhile or you wear it a bit, your opinion of it can change (like today when I looked back at the tester photos, it really wasn't so bad). Anyway, I still made lots of notes for Kelli, and I think my tester info was still helpful, or at least I hope it was.

So, even though I was unhappy with my first version, I really wanted to make another one for 2 big reasons:

  1.  I felt really guilty about not having a nice version to blog about. Now before we go too far here, Kelli does not ask her testers to blog, or do any promotion whatsoever, but when you really like a pattern (or even a designer), don't you want to blog about it, share it with the world, and support said designer? I do. I mean, I always keep my opinions on this blog honest and completely genuine, and I don't like being told what to do on my blog, so I will never say anything I don't want to. But like with anything I make, I really wanted to tell you all about the Colfax dress, and I didn't want to have to show you my poorly represented tester version. Plus, when a pattern is first released and I'm thinking about buying it, I always want to see it on real bodies, and different shapes and sizes, not just the photos the designer showcases, and I thought that's probably what you would want too. So I kind of felt like I was letting you readers down as well. 
  2. I liked the design, and I didn't want to let it defeat me. Sounds silly right? I knew in my mind that if I just sucked it up and did an FBA, I would probably be happy with this pattern and it was so silly that I didn't do it in the first place.  I think I have a lazy/stubborn gene in me that usually stays dormant but occasionally overtakes me, and for some reason, it did the day I made my first version of this dress.

So here we are with my "good" version.  I'm not sure if you guys know this about me, but I'm really sucky at sewing with shifty fabrics. But, you know what they say: practice makes perfect, and if you don't try, you can't practice, so expect to see more shifty fabrics from me in the future. 

This fabric is a rayon challis, and while it's really soft and not slippery, it still shifted around on me a lot. I really should have starched it while I was ironing it, but I didn't. (I recently read on Anya's blog about this cool fabric stiffener, which I really need to try STAT. PS: Anya is an amazing sewist from Calgary!! If you haven't already, you should check out her blog - she's awesome!) Anyway, while shifty, I thought this fabric would be perfect for this pattern as the print has sort of a retro shift-dress feel, and I thought a more flowy fabric would lend itself well to this pattern. I should also mention this fabric is super special because Katie sent it to me. I know I've said this before, but sewing people are the best!

Okay, back to the dress, I chose my size based on my high bust measurement, which is a size 8, and then I did an FBA. It was soooooo easy!! Why on earth did I skip it before? Ugh! Kelli has tutorial on her website as part of the Colfax sewalong if you want to check it out.  Anyway, I did a 1.5" FBA which adds 3" all around and it worked out perfectly! The fit is so much better and the front no longer hitches up. I didn't end up shortening this pattern at all, so watch out tall girls, you may need to lengthen it a bit.

I made a huge boo boo on this dress while I was sewing it, but it was totally my fault -  I sewed the yoke onto the wrong side of the dress and cut my slit down the centre before I even noticed. YIKES!! It was such a pain to unpick and resew, but I got it, and my yoke is only slightly wonky, so it turned out okay in the end. 

Anyway, I'm really happy with this dress, and I think I will wear it a lot. It's really comfy and perfect for throwing on with sandals. I don't love this style as much as I love the Southport, because I think I need a bit more waist definition than it provides, but it's light and easy to wear, so I'm sure I'll reach for it a lot this summer.  I might also try it with a belt and see if that changes my mind.  

Thanks for hanging in there with me guys. I hope you're having a lovely week! I'll be getting up early tomorrow to watch some dudes dig up our backyard and fix our water/well problem, or at least I hope they can fix it - finally. Wish me luck!