Tag Archives: rayon

Completed: Deer + Doe Myosotis Dress

26 Aug

Welp, I see that it has been 3 months since my last post haha! Honestly not trying to kill my own blog but it looks like I’m causing a slow death regardless.

ANYWAY

I have a new project! Yay! This is also 1/2 of my Outfit Along project – the sewing portion. The knitting portion is, unfortunately, still unfinished. More on that in a minute, I want to talk about the dress!

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

I actually started this dress back in 2018 – I was inspired by Fiona’s gorgeous white version and immediately wanted to make one for myself. I ordered the Myosotis Dress from Deer & Doe, and a lovely white rayon lawn from Mood Fabrics to make it up. I got as far as cutting the fabric pieces and then… just kind of gave up. I’m not sure what exactly caused the flame to burn out – but I stuck it in a drawer and left it alone for the winter. I definitely still had every intention to sew it – it survived a pre-move purge and was shuttled from one house to the next – but not really any current desire. I think I realized that the style + color weren’t really something I wanted to wear (looking at Fiona’s post again, I still think the dress is great but I also don’t know WHAT I was thinking when i decided to make it for myself as it is absolutely, definitely not something I would necessarily wear myself), but since I had already committed and cut the fabric I felt the best solution was to sew it up and at least then I could donate the dress to someone if I still didn’t like it.

So, that’s a long, boring-ass story about how the dress started. This year, when Andi and I planned the OAL, I immediately knew the Myosotis was going to be my sewing WIP. I got the pieces out, and had everything sewn up with a couple of days.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Now, the first rendition of the dress post-sewing looks completely different than the final version. I had a feeling that I was going to want to change the color, but I wanted to give the white version a fair fighting chance before I made that decision. As far as sewing – this was a simple, efficient make. I cut a size 36, with no pattern adjustments. I made version A, with aaaaall the ruffles, and added slim waist ties to pull in the waist a little bit (I can’t take credit for this inspiration, again, this was something I saw + liked on Fiona’s dress!). I sewed all the seams with a fine 70/10 needle and serged the seam allowances. Even though I was fairly certain I was going to dye the dress, I still chose to use white thread since I wasn’t sure what the final color would be. Since the thread is polyester, that meant it would not take the dye – meaning the topstitching would end up contrasting. I was aware of this going into the sewing, and just made sure to be extra careful that my topstitching was even and nice-looking.

One of the biggest complaints I read about this pattern is that people seem to really hate all the gathering. Y’all, I don’t know what kind of lazy sewers are out there but honestly it’s really not that bad and goes together really fast.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Once I finished the dress, I tried it on to confirm that the style was not going to work for me. Again, it’s a beautiful and romantic look – which isn’t how I like to dress. Furthermore, the fine, lightweight fabric was essentially see-through (as clearly seen on my dressform). I’m no stranger to dressing like an absolute hussy in the summer, but even this was a bit outside of my comfort level (and before you get at me with crazy suggestions like “adding a lining” or “wearing a slip,” let me remind you that summer here is very hot and I try to get away with wearing as few layers as possible, ha!).

Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

I knew I’d never wear the dress as it was, so I decided to experiment with dyeing it using coral Rit dye! I followed the instructions for doing this in the washing machine, using about 3/4 of the bottle and allowing it to agitate for about 50 minutes. The resulting color is VERY saturated – much more me! – and also takes the edge off the sheerness so that I can wear this dress without looking like I’m trying to win a wet t-shirt(dress?) contest. I should also report that I was dismayed to discover the dye turned my washing machine pink, despite running a couple of loads with bleach + old towels afterward (as instructed by the bottle). I own my washing machine, so it’s not a huge deal, but it was kinda lame regardless. That all being said, after a couple months of regular laundry, the washing machine is no longer pink whatsoever (I should also did – and did not transfer any dye to my other clothes). So it does eventually come out! Now, the dress itself – I have to wash it by itself as the dye still bleeds. I wash it in the sink using Soak rinseless wash (if you don’t already own this, do yourself a favor and invest. It’s marketed toward knitters but I use it for all my hand-washing, including lingerie, and it RULES) to prevent it from dyeing an entire load of laundry. My kitchen sink is stainless steel so I have not noticed any dye transfer by using this method.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Here is the dress after dyeing! It was almost good but I tried it on one last time and decided the sleeve ruffles had to go.

I cut them off, plus a few more inches so the sleeves would be cap-length. These were turned under and hemmed – using white thread, to match the rest of the topstitching.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

The finished dress is definitely much more my style! The saturated coral color is one of my favorites for summer, and loose, swishy shape is perfect for the extreme heat we are experiencing lately. I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoy wearing this dress – it’s still a slight departure from my usual style, but it is a fun little way to change things up.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

So that’s my finished sewn garment for the OAL – what about my knitted garment? Well. I had an Improv sweater waiting in WIP purgatory that I had all intentions of finishing for this OAL. I had started it about 3-4 years ago (back when I lived in an apartment in West Nashville)(ooh and here I am back in West Nashville IN MY OWN HOUSE look at how things go full circle yay), got about halfway down the body and decided I didn’t like how loose the fit was. Rather than unknit, I just left it in my knitting basket. Upon rediscovering for the OAL, I tried it on again and was fine with the sizing so decided to finish that.

Unfortunately, since this sweater has been out of my queue for so long, I seem to have lost all the notes I made with the math for sizing. I was able to finish the body, but the sleeves are a little slower going as I had to work out the equations for decreasing, and also try the sweater on frequently to make sure things aren’t going haywire. It is working out fine and I will certainly finish it – it’s just slow-going. At this point, the sweater is too bulky to comfortably carry around outside the house (and again, there’s that whole issue of trying it on as I’m knitting), which means it doesn’t go with me when I travel – which is frequently! AND, in the meantime, another WIP that I started right before the OAL had a major error that required a lot of unknitting so I’ve been focusing on that. So, I didn’t finish my knitted sweater – but I plan to in time for sweater season! Which to me encompasses the general spirit of the OAL that I was aiming for!

I think that’s all for this make! Lord, I don’t know how I manage to take a simple dress and turn it into a giant blog post of verbal diarrhea. If you’re wondering, I’m like this IRL too when people try to talk to me. What can I say, I’m from the South haha. Mindless chatter is our love language.

Coral Rayon Lawn Myosotis Dress

** Note: The fabrics + RIT dye used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewciety Blog (oh yeah, MSN moved!). All opinions are my own!And extra big thanks to my friend Jennifer for being a real pal and taking these photos for me when I was in Brooklyn last month for recent Jeans Making Intensive class at Workroom Social! Which, btw – 2020 for WS dates are listed! Yay! More dates to come as a I finalize them!

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OAL2017: My Completed Kim Dress

31 Jul

Good morning, everyone! It’s the last day of July, which means the deadline to finish + share your OAL garments! Today, I’m going to show y’all my finished dress – because my sweater actually isn’t done yet! LOL for being the worst host ever. Whatever! It’s been a crazy last few months, I’m not even going to apologize. Instead, I am going to celebrate actually FINISHING something! Yay!

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

Another thing worth celebrating – actually going outside to take photos!  Another yay! Now that I’m in a house with a semi-private yard (I share the space with my upstairs neighbor, and we are on the corner of a somewhat busy street. Also, there is no privacy fence!), I feel more comfortable going outside to take my photos. The lighting is certainly better, and the background a bit prettier than a white wall 🙂 I still go outside really early so that it limits the amount of people rubbernecking as they drive by, but, you know… baby steps. haha. For someone who doesn’t give a fuck about a lot of things, I DO give a fuck about my neighbors watching me take ~fashun photos~ with a fucking tripod in my backyard hahahaha.

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

Not too much to say about this one, since I covered all the construction in previous OAL posts. To summarize – the pattern is By Hand London‘s Kim Dress, modified to include tie straps and a facing (no lining). I used polka dot rayon challis from Mood Fabrics – both for the outer and the facing – and added an invisible zipper and pleats at the hem. All seams except the gathered waist are finished with French seams (you can totally French seam a gathered waist seam, FYI, but I just didn’t feel like unnecessarily torturing myself haha).

Here are all the tutorials from the OAL, in case you missed them!

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

This is a great dress for summer – it’s a bit more loose fitting than what I would wear in the past, and the rayon is nice and breathable. So it’s super cool in this humid heat we’re going through right now, and the navy + white polka dots is the perfect print + color combination! Black bra straps aren’t necessarily the best choice for this look, but I’m hoping to make a strapless (currently creeping SO HARD on the Esplanade bra pattern! Soon!) before summer ends! Navy bra straps would also work, which I need to get on making. I have several tops that would benefit from a bra with navy straps!

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

Considering I talked a LOT about this dress during the OAL, there’s not much else to say! One thing I will point out is that this particular project was going on while I was in a big funk earlier this summer – I completely, 100% lost my sewing mojo and pretty much all creative energy (I continued knitting, but mostly because it was something to do with my hands while I watched tv -so that I didn’t feel like a complete lazy loaf). Knowing that I had to finish this dress due to my commitment to the OAL was the only reason why I even started it – and it’s also what eventually reignited my creative energy. I may talk about that more in detail in a future post, but basically – I’m back! I feel good and I’m sewing up a storm again! It’s pretty amazing!

OAL2017: Finished Kim Dress

How is your summer sewing going? Did you participate in the OAL this year? LET ME SEE YOUR PROJECTS please and thank you!

* Note: The fabrics used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

OAL 2017: Getting Started!

1 Jun

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 2017 Outfit Along! My apologies that this post is a bit late – I moved house yesterday, and only just got my internet turned on in the new place. Taking a short break from unpacking to get this OAL rolling! Let’s do this!

The official pattern for this year is the Kim Dress from By Hand London. There are a few options for this pattern – choose between a straight or sweetheart neckline, and a gathered skirt with pintucks at the hem or a sleek tulip skirt. I will be making the sweetheart neckline with the gathered skirt, but obviously feel free to make whatever your heart is calling for – whether it’s another variation of this pattern, or a different pattern completely! We want you to love and wear what you make, so don’t waste your time on something that doesn’t check those boxes for ya 😉

As I mentioned in my announcement post, I will not be running a full, in-depth sewalong for this pattern. I will be popping in every week with updates on my progress, as well as tips and tricks (with tutorials!) that you can apply to any pattern you are sewing – not necessarily specifically this one. However, if you are feeling that you need that extra help – there is a great sewalong on the By Hand London blog for this pattern, so please feel free to utilize that! You got this!!

For the first post, I’m gonna keep this one reasonably short and sweet!! This week is all about preparation!

If you still haven’t chosen your fabric, you will probably want to do that first 😉 This particular pattern works well with a smorgasbord of fabrics – from crisp cotton lawn to slinky silk, the sky is really the limit here! The main thing you want to keep in mind when deciding on fabric is how you want the finished garment to hang when you are wearing it. Do you want a more structured garment or one with a soft drape? Choosing a fabric with the correct amount of body and drape is key for this. That cotton lawn will result in a more structured bodice and full skirt that wants to stand out on it’s own, verus the slinky silk will give you a soft, floaty bodice with a skirt that drapes beautifully around your body. For more in-depth information about this, see this post from a previous OAL that goes over the differences in drape and body in fabric.

OAL2017 - my fabric

Here is the fabric I am using this year – a soft rayon print from Mood Fabrics with a nice drape to it. I love wearing rayon in the summer – it breathes really well in the heat, and a dark color/pattern means that sweat is less likely to show. Rayon traditionally can be a little tricky – both to work with and care for – but I ultimately think it is worth the additional effort. This particular rayon is pretty stable and easy to work with, compared to other rayons I’ve used in the past, so I will not be doing any sort of pre-treatment to aid with sewing. That being said, if you are sewing one of the aforementioned slinky rayons – or a silk, or slippery poly, anything that wants to float off the table when you try to cut it – you may want to consider pre-treating your fabric to be a bit more stable before you cut it. You have a few options for this – for something quick and easy with no mess, spray stabilizer works very well. Just spray it on your fabric, allow to dry, and then treat it as usual. Once you are finished sewing the garment, it easily washes out so your fabric goes back to it’s glorious, drapey self. For a cheaper option, I’ve been very happy with the results I’ve gotten from using gelatine. This method is more time-consuming, but also WAY cheaper. You basically boil the gelatine in water, soak your fabric, and then spread it flat (or hang) until it’s dry (Threads has a full tutorial on their website). Again, this washes out easily once you are finished. The major downside is finding space to dry it flat – if you live in a small space, that can be tricky – but it’s a fraction of the cost of using spray stabilizer and works just as well one it has dried. I have used both of these methods with great success, it just depends on your time and budget!

Make sure you pre-wash your fabric before you do anything – you want to make sure you get all the shrinkage out before your pattern pieces are cut. I wash and dry all my fabric the same way I plan on treating it once it’s been turned into a garment. For delicate fabrics like rayon, you don’t necessarily want to throw it in the dryer every time you launder it – over time, this will break down the fibers. But I do think it’s a good idea to use the dryer for the very first pre-wash, as it will shrink up the fabric sufficiently and then if the garment does accidentally end up in the dryer, it won’t shrink more!

As a side note, there are plenty of “dry clean” only fabrics that actually can be washed in a machine. Fibers such as silk and rayon are totally machine washable – you just want to ensure that you are washed them before they are cut, again, so that you get all the shrinkage out. I wash all my silks and rayons on cold water, use the dryer for pre-washing (and hang to dry once they are finished) and have not ruined anything yet. Keep in mind that this will take a bit of the shine and stiffness out of your fabric, but I think it’s worth it to not be a slave to the dry cleaner! When in doubt, test with a swatch to make sure you are ok with how the fabric looks after it’s been laundered.

I am making a few changes to my pattern that are a bit different from how it’s drafted:
– I converted the straps to tie at the top (instead of being a continuous loop)
– Rather than line my bodice, I drafted all-in-one facings to clean finish all the top edges

For the tie-top straps, I used this tutorial from By Hand London. It’s super simple – you just trace your pattern piece, and then extend the top strap by 6″-7″, rounding out the end to a nice shape.

To draft the all-in-one-facing, here is what I did:
OAL2017 - drafting a facing

First, I marked my seam allowances on all the bodice pattern pieces. Since these bodice pieces have princess seams on both the front and back, we want to eliminate those so that the facing pieces are one continuous piece.

OAL2017 - drafting a facing

Once the seam allowances are marked, I overlapped the pieces as they would be sewn together (center back to side back, and center front to side front). Then I laid my pattern pieces on a sheet of blank paper (mine is just kraft paper from a roll, but you can use whatever you have on hand) and traced around the neckline, arm holes, and straps. I drew down the side about 3.5″ and center about 4″, which will be the depth of the facing.

OAL2017 - drafting a facing

I used a curved ruler to connect the center back/front with the side seam, just to give it a gentle curve. Then I transferred all my notches and grainlines, and marked the pattern pieces.

OAL2017 - drafting a facing

It’s a good idea to lay your drafted piece under your pattern pieces, just to make sure everything fits and matches up. Which this one does! Yay!

That’s all for this week! You’ll want to cut and mark your pattern pieces, and be ready to sew next week! Let me know if you have any questions about anything covered in this post or, you know, life in general 🙂