Tag Archives: dress

Bella Sunshine Designs – Amelia Maxi Dress

Hey, sewists!  Are you on the hunt for a new summer maxi pattern?  I have a great one to share with you today!  I was lucky enough to pattern test for Bella Sunshine Designs again!  This round of testing was for the new Amelia Maxi Dress.  I was able to help test the bodice fit and provide solutions before the final test version went out to testers.  Since I enjoy pattern design it was a lot of fun to help out at this stage of development.  Pattern testing is not for everyone, but I like the process helping to fine tune the pattern and the instructions.  I made three different versions of the bodice during testing, which is why I say this process isn’t for everyone.  Those test bodices did use up 2.25 yards of random pieces of stash fabric from previous projects, so I will call that a win for me.

The Amelia pattern has a front wrap bodice with a deep V back neck and gathered front and back waistband.  Like the Sahara, with the deep scoop back, I love this deep V back neckline! For the bodice and waistband I made a size 16 and for the skirt I cut a size 24.  The skirt is gathered, so making a different size than the bodice meant I just had more gathers.  More gathers makes it fuller and a bit more flattering over my stomach.

I wanted to highlight the gathered belt on the bodice, so I used a sequin sample that has been in my stash for ages as a contrast. I didn’t have enough of the sample to cut it on the fold, so I ended up making a seam down the center front of it.  I underlined the sequin fabric since it has a mesh backing and I didn’t want my center front seam to be visible.  The seam also gave me an opportunity to stitch down my gathers in the front.  

Also, can we just take a minute to talk about the fabric I used?  The fabric is a rayon jersey knit with a navy and white sea life print.  This print!  I love it!  It has sea horses, shrimp, starfish, shells, and kelp!  I picked up 3 yards earlier this month at Jo-Ann’s for $19.47 and I used all 3 yards for this dress.  I also used 3/4 of a yard of an off white mystery knit that I got back in 2013 from a Fabric Mart mystery bundle.

That off white mystery knit was used for the bodice lining.  That is the great thing about the BSD patterns, all the bodices have linings to eliminate topstitching.  The lining also helps give a bit more stability to the bodice when using a 4-way stretch fabric like rayon jersey.

This pattern calls for using clear elastic at the waist to help support the weight of the skirt.  Instead of the clear elastic, I used white foldover elastic.  The sequin fabric I picked could not be run through my serger without breaking several needles. In fact just slowly straight stitching the gathers down I broke 2 needles.  I chose to encase the bottom edge of the waistband in elastic with a  zig zag stitch the finish it off.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with how this dress turned out.  I do enjoy the drapey quality of rayon jersey and the full gathered skirt of the Amelia really shows that off.  As for the pattern, just like the BSD Sahara, the fit is perfect.  The only alteration I had to make was shortening the length of the skirt by 4″.  Which was not a bad alteration since the pattern pieces have a lengthen/shorten line for a quick and easy process.

 

**I am an affiliate for Bella Sunshine Designs and do receive a small commission for each pattern purchased through the link in this post.  With that being said, I would not be an affiliate if I did not truly believe in the company behind the pattern. 

May the Fourth be with you

Happy May the 4th to all my fellow Star Wars sewing nerds!  I think today is such a fun day to show off my geeky sewing side.   I was so excited when I found this Star Wars knit at Jo-Ann’s back in March.  For the longest time, sewists options have been limited to woven cotton fabrics printed with our favorite characters and fandoms.  I enjoy sewing woven fun geeky dresses but a geeky knit dress…that is game changing!  What’s even better is the print features Princess Leia, R2D2, and Ewoks!  I am also excited that I am hosting the Stashbusting Sewalong this month with the theme of sewing inspired by movies/TV/novels.  How fitting that this theme was picked for May!  Ha, I love it!

 

This is my second version of the recently release Bella Sunshine Designs – Sahara Dress.  I still believe it is a really fantastic pattern.  For this version, I did choose to make the lower neckline version, which is only an inch lower.  That one inch is not a big deal, but it does allow for some other necklace options.  I am on the hunt for a big chunky costume piece necklace now.

The only change I made to the pattern was in how I cut the skirt.  The pattern features a full circle skirt with no seams.  I chose to make it a full circle with side seams because of the print.  If I had left it as intended the print would have been upside down in the back and right side up in the front.  That is not really the look I was going for, so side seams it was and it worked really well.  I placed the pattern piece on the fold and added 3/8″ to the side seam for seam allowance.

 

One of my favorite features of this pattern is that back neckline scoop.  Gosh, it is just a good flattering back neckline.  It is a little bit more revealing than a standard higher back without actually being immodest and showing my bra.  I also love that the bodice is fully lined, making it so you have a clean finish.  I did choose to topstitch the neckline because, personally, I like that finishing detail but it is not necessary.  I think that the lining also helps give the bodice a bit more tummy sucking in shaping too and who doesn’t want that?!

I am considering this fabric stash fabric, even though I recently bought it in March.   I bought it with no project in mind and knew it when I brought it home I would put it on the shelf with the rest of my stash.  I did use all 3 yards that I had bought as well as a half yard of white jersey for the lining that was purchased in 2014.  I am pretty pleased that I didn’t let that linger too long and used an even older stash fabric on top of that.

Earlier, I mentioned that this pattern features a full circle skirt.  Do you know what the benefit of a full circle skirt is?  Maximum twirl factor!  After working in the show choir industry making dresses that satisfy this twirling need, I am excited to be able to have it in my everyday dresses.  It is just plain fun!  I am excited to be able to wear this dress this to Gen Con this year and C2E2 next spring.  When I wear my geeky printed dresses to Gen Con I tend to get stopped and asked where I got it.  I think I may need to get some new business cards printed now.

Stay tuned this month for more geeky Star Wars makes for my husband and some Gilmore Girls inspired makes for myself.

**I am an affiliate for Bella Sunshine Designs and do receive a small commission for each pattern purchased through the link in this post.  With that being said , I would not be an affiliate if I did not truly believe in the company behind the pattern.

Mini Vacation

Hey everyone!  How’s it going?  Eric and I are doing great.  We were lucky enough to take a mini vacation to Dale Hollow Lake, one of our favorite spots, this past week to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.  Let me tell you, we had a blast for the short time we were there.  We left on Sunday and were back on Tuesday.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

The scenery driving through Kentucky is just gorgeous! Since we live in Indiana our drives are normally pretty flat with lots of corn and soybean fields, so being in the hills of Kentucky is a treat for long road trips.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Of course, I wore my own makes the entire time we were there!  Also, that tent behind us was a gift for our wedding 8 years ago that had never been used.  I am so glad we finally got to break it in and I cannot wait to go camping again with a few bits of glamping added in.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Monday, we decided we would hike the 2 miles from our campsite down to the marina.  I forgot my tennis shoes, so I footed it in my sandals.  Probably not the wisest decision I have ever made, but the walk was well worth it.  Next time I will remember them and we can go on other hikes, like the waterfall at Sulpher Creek.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

I think I made Eric stop about every half mile so I could take some pictures.  I didn’t bring my camera, just my phone.  Lately, my phone has been taking far superior photos anyways.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Once we made it to the marina an hour later, we had to wait around for the rest of our small group (Eric’s dad and a family friend) to wake up and meet us.  While waiting I spotted this moth and was able to get super close to take this picture.  I love the coloring and the patterning.  I am feeling very inspired to make a jumpsuit out of a fabric that is similar.  What do you guys think?  Let me know of any fabrics if you spot them.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Eventually, we made it out on the water where we spent most of the day.  Dale Hollow Lake is a 27,000 acre reservoir on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee with some of the most gorgeous relaxing views you will ever see. With it being a Monday the lake was not overcrowded making it relatively calm waters.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

I am not one who likes to swim in lakes, because I cannot see to the bottom.  Once, when I was a kid, I had a leach that stuck to the bottom of my foot after getting out of the lake that may have something a lot to do with this.  It takes a lot of coaxing to get me into the water, which is 84 feet deep at this point.  Once I do get in I really do enjoy it though.  Look at the color of that water!  Talk about serene blue.  I would like to say that my previously made swimsuit held up pretty well too.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

The only new make that I brought was this previously unblogged version of McCall’s 6744.  I made it before the trip from 1.25 yards of Girl Charlee Knit Fix fabric that I got from someone on Facebook.  I left the dress/swimsuit cover up in my in-laws camper, so it may be a bit before I get it back to take full photos of.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

We had to cut our trip a day short due to weather.  We were checking out the lodge in the Dale Hollow State Park, after we got off the boat, when the tornado sirens started going off because a tornado touched down 7 miles north of us.  We were shuffled down to the basement where we waited out the storm. The weather got pretty hinky out, which made us nervous about sleeping in our tent. We were surprised and relieved to find that our tent was still where we left it and there were only a handful of rain drops that got in, so we stuck it out for another night. The forecast for the next day was more storms, so we decided to pack up our tent that morning and head back.

All in all it was a great trip and we cannot wait to go back again.  I have only been down a few times with Eric, but he spent a lot of time down here as a kid.  This is definitely a spot we will be taking many family vacations to after we adopt.

What are some of your favorite vacation spots?

M5974 version 6

Musings of a Seamstress

I have a new dress to share!  Let me start by saying I love it!!  It is by far the loudest print I have ever used.  It is my sixth version of McCall’s 5974.  I really do have a deep love for this pattern.  It really is the perfect knit dress.  The fit is phenomenal!  The silhouette works really well for my body type.

For this version I used 2 yards of a semi lightweight knit from Jo-Ann’s that has been in my stash for a year now.  I debated whether or not it needed a lining because it was not quite thin enough but in the end I decided I would rather put it in and know I felt comfortable over not putting it in and possibly wishing I had. For the lining I used 2 yards of white cotton knit from Fabric Mart that has also been in the stash for a year.  Woohoo for stashbusting.

Musings of a Seamstress

 After wearing it all day it did get a little baggy in the back.  Since I did not pre-wash my cottons I have confidence that it will shrink back down.  I actually got a few compliments on how well the back fits by some coworkers.  Of course this was before it got baggy.

Musings of a Seamstress

 This dress doesn’t have a lot of circle spin like the ones I make at work, but it is still fun to spin in.

I did also take a bending over shot, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. The dress does gap a bit in the chest when bending over, but for now I am going to say it is because the dress stretched out a bit after wearing it all day at work.  We will see what happens after I wash it.

Musings of a Seamstress

I do the belt differently than the instructions say.  The instructions do it to were the seams are all on the inside of the belt and include a bit of hand stitching.  That takes a good chunk of time and I am okay with my seams showing on the inside of my dress.  I straight stitched my bodice to they belt and to the skirt. Then I serged each of those seams to finish it off.  I think this works just as well as the way the instructions indicate.

Musings of a Seamstress

Instead of doing a narrow hem, I just serged my lining to my shell and turned and stitched it.  It worked out much easier to do it this way than the narrow hem.  I think with the shell and the lining a narrow hem would have been too bulky.

Musings of a Seamstress

 I decided I wanted to try a rolled hem for this version, something a little different than the other five I have previously made.  I made sure to make my lining an inch shorter than my shell so I don’t run the risk of it hanging out.  I think my serger’s rolled hem function worked quite nicely for this dress.

Seriously, if you have not made this dress yet, you really really need to!! What are you waiting for?  Go to your stash, find a great knit, and cut it out this weekend.  It is a quick and easy make.