Sunday, March 11, 2012

Online Classes, a Spring Dress & Lacy Undies

Have I ever mentioned that Craftsy is eeeeevil?
Why, you ask? Well, I had finally decided that I really do need to purchase Gertie's Starlet Suit course, because every girl need a cute blazer and skirt combo (even though I haven't even started on the Bombshell Dress class, which I got last year), and who knows how much longer it will be available for half-price? So I went and bought the class, and do you know, in the confirmation email they offered me any additional class that I bought this week for $25! Any one I chose! So, um, I might also have bought Susan Khalje's Couture Dress course (which includes a Vogue dress pattern, shipped to you with no charge). And Kenneth King's Jean-ious, which helps you reverse-engeneer your favorite pair of jeans.
Have I ever mentioned that I'm a sucker for bargain buys?

I haven't spent anything on fabric yet, this month, though, since I wasn't feeling well on the day of the Holland Fabric market, so that's alright. And I'm pretty sure it will be a great opportunity to learn loads of stuff!

I'm also happy to say that there has actually been some sewing going on! (Although to be honest, all of that happened last week...) I still have a pile of winter sewing to finish, two skirt refashions, a reddish wool Meringue, a sweater-to-cardi refashion... but with the weather already getting spring-like, I'm not all that excited about those. So I decided to make a quick spring dress to maybe get in the mood to finish these things, even though I probably won't wear them a lot before next fall.
Doesn't it look all high-school-ish? It's actually the interns' locker room at my internship placement.

This is the navy&cream polka-dot jersey that I bought a little while ago. I used my TNT self-drafted jersey top pattern for the bodice, the same that I used for my ruffle top and striped longsleeve and t-shirt, and a couple of other tops (and which is actually just the tracing of one of my RTW jersey tops). It works really well with strechy, drapey knits like this rayon jersey. Then I added the midriff band and half-circle skirt from my self-drafted raglan-sleeve jersey dress.

I finished the neckline and sleeves with a folded band, similar to the instructions for the Renfrew top. I love this finish, it looks so neat. :) I also attached the sleeves before sewing up the side seams this time around, and I think I'll do that whenever possible from now on.
yay for spring weather! now if it could actually be sunny on weekends instead of when I have to work...

The Facts:
Fabric: roughly 2m of navy&cream polka-dot rayon jersey
Pattern: bodice from self-drafted jersey top pattern, added straight midriff band and half-circle skirt
Notions: none
Time to Complete: about 4h, with little breaks in between
First Worn: Sunday choir practice
Thoughts: I love sewing with jersey, as there is so little fitting involved, and I've made the top pattern a few times already. Construction was pretty straightforward, even without instructions. I'm still looking for a good way to stitch seams like the ones attaching the midriff band without a serger, as the narrow zigzag sometimes isn't stretchy enough, but with the wider zigzag, the stitches are visible because of the vertical pull. For now I'm using a narrow zigzag that's reinforced with a wider one, and it works if I'm careful when pulling the dress on and off.

The dress is endlessly comfy, and I think I wore it three days out of four in the last two weeks. I may have to make another 3/4 sleeved jersey dress or two in the near future, so this one doesn't wear out in one season. ;)

I also managed to finish (or at least start on) another item on my sewing agenda: knickers! I copied the pattern from one of my favorite pair of lacy jersey hipsters, using pins according to Ali's instructions. The original pair actually doesn't have any side seams, but since I was working with small-ish t-shirts, I pieced them without any ill effects. They are very comfy as well, and I may have to round up the rest of my jersey scraps to make them all into underwear!
But, first things first. There are still some winter skirts to be finished!

What's on your sewing table right now? Have you already started your spring sewing, or do you still have some winter garments to finish?

Have a lovely Sunday!

26 comments:

  1. Pretty dress! I'm a sucker for packages too - those classes look good though. The jeans one caught my eye in particular - it's so hard to find good jeans! :)

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    1. Oh, yes, definitely! I have to say that I've only (and reluctantly) worn jeans on one occasion, this year. But I'm thinking I might wear them more often if I had a nice red pair... :D

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  2. I wish I have been sewing as much as you. The polka dot dress is really cute. I've been meaning to make some jersey dresses but I didn't love how my last one came out.

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    1. Aww, keep going, Lisette! My first couple of jersey garments came out awful, too. I think using existing, fitting garments as a template helps. :)

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  3. The polka dots are adorable on you. I did the couture dress and I learned a lot. The pattern is really nice too. Its one of those patterns that has six different skirts, so it is really versatile. I am just finishing up my bombshell dress and then I will look at the other classes.

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  4. I love, love, love that dress!!!! Well done!

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  5. beautiful dots! have you counted how many polka dotted garments you have? i'd be very interested to know...

    i'm actually working on something that makes me think of you every time i look at it (guess why).

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    1. I just counted and it's actually not all that many: 8 out of about 40 me-mades, so just about 20% (and another one or two RTW garments). 16 of the me-mades are boring solids, by the way. :D But I'm pretty sure the balance will go further towards the polka-dots by the end of spring!

      Ooh, Oona in polka-dots! Fun!

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  6. I agree Craftsy is evil...and your timing for bargains is better than mine. I signed up for the couture dress and Jean-ius at 50% off...the second wasn't available when week deal was on. Oh well. Well done on the dress and especially the underwear...never dared to go that far

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  7. Great job combining those patterns for such an amazing dress. You always have the best polka dots! Oh and those undies are pretty great looking too. Girl, you have been busy!

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  8. Love the polka dots! I have one more winter garment to finish then it's on to spring! :)

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  9. Very cool! I need to make some unmentionables out of my old jersey scraps too!

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  10. Love the dress and the undies!
    I keep meaning to look at Craftsy.My sister has taken some courses and she thinks it is great.

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  11. Oooo! Such a cute dress! Love it! And I´ve been eying that Susan Khalje class as well, seems terrific! I am all about spring sewing now (when I actually will have time to sew, that is, and not just think about sewing), winter is soooo over! ;-) I admire you for finishing up your winter sewing, though. Then you´ll have lots of "new" items next winter! :-)

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  12. Lovely polka dots dress!
    I´m so interested in this kind of online courses. Can you explain me more about them? They´re videos about sewing or something similar?

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    1. Hi Maider! I actually haven't taken those classes yet, but as I understand it, they are video classes. The Starlet Suit course, for example, has 14 lessons about anything from cutting out the fabric and making button holes, to inserting shoulder pads and a lining and hemming. I think there are even little previews for every Craftsy class, where you can watch part of the first few videos for free. :)

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    2. Thanks Alessa!!!
      I´ve to check it, I´m interested in these courses.

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  13. I love how you have a polka dot dress for each season! This looks great and comfy. I love sewing with knits too and I think this might be the month of knits--knit burda dress, copying favorite tanks, maybe making a little knit nightie--oh!


    Glad the pin-method worked for you--they look great! Since I'm trying to slow down making I've been thinking more and more about making lovely underthings -- luxurious and handmade :)

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  14. The dress looks good! And I don't blame you for jumping on that Craftsy deal. I probably would have done the same. (Actually, I'm signed up for the Jean-ius class myself, because I got an email offering it for 50% off. So that's next month's main project!)

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  15. (Also, I have to ask--how on earth did you get Blogger to give you a comment reply feature? I've been wanting that for years!)

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  16. I love the polka dots! Thanks for the tip on sewing jersey- using a smaller zigzag stitch that is reinforced with a larger one. I will definitely have to use it when I don't have access to a serger. Can't wait to see what else you have coming up...

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  17. Ha ha ha Alessa! We have the same fate ahead of us, both now having at least 3 of the same online courses ahead of us. I think you got a better deal than me for the couture dress though :-~ I too bought the bombshell last year & have a couple of sewn cups & the pattern pieces printed for the skirt lying on my floor gathering dust. But not for long! I have also gone for the jacket, but not jeans - I'll leave those for you to tell us all about.
    The dress you've made is so pretty too - you are my polka dot queen :-)
    Well done also on making knickers out of t shirts that a. fit and are b. comfy. That is an achievement!

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  18. Those online courses look good - I was especially taken with the jeans one. But I need to find some money somewhere first to pay for them! The knickers look fab. I love the polka dot dress - so pretty. I have a great poka dot dress example to show you. http://lieblingallsorts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/trevlig-helg.html (I want to make one of these)
    On my sewing table? Well, it's a metaphorical table but I have cut out the front bodice only of another Mariposa Anna Maria Horner dress. It is a wrap dress with an easy to feed baby top. I need to still cut the back, and the ties. The skirt is just a rectangle. I am planning on slowly sewing it up.

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  19. I love that dress! You are truly the queen of polka dots!

    And I love the idea of copying a RTW piece. I've been meaning to use up jersey scraps for undies and I think you have inspired me!

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