Monday, June 28, 2010

Mama's New Clothes

Ben has been wanting me to wear a dress for a while now....You see, when I had Molly I started wearing skirts and shirts, because it was so much easier to nurse babies, and I haven't had a dress since. But since Ben asked for a dress I decided to give it a go. I have had the "Built By Wendy Dresses" book for a couple of months now but I'm ashamed to say that I hadn't really got past the muslin stage until last week. Last week when I got to feeling better I started out on a mission! My mission was to use the Built By Wendy bodice as a starting point to make the perfect fitting dress/ top go-to pattern for myself. Once I have that pattern just how I like it I can whip up a new top or dress anytime I want! Add that to the go-to skirt pattern that I already have, and hunny I'm all set! The dress above was my first try, it's OK, but it's a little big under the arms, I would like it to be a little longer, and it needs a little room taken out of the waist. I made this one out of a thrifted duvet cover, I thought I would probably never wear it because of the color but I think I like it now.

I did have three flowers (see how it looks like one is missing?) but one has disappeared, I'll make another one before I wear it again.

In the end it was a good thing that I made it too short, because that gave me my next idea.....a petticoat! Well really it's just a skirt (made out of the lining of a thrifted shirt that is now the shirt below) with wide crocheted lace along the bottom, but I love the layered look and I can use it under other skirts and dresses too!


See! It's all starting to come together now, the perfect skirt, with the perfect dress or shirt, that's like a whole wardrobe worth of mix and match clothing if I can get this right!

So then I made up this shirt out of a thrifted skirt. I took a little too much room out of the bust but it's pretty close to being exactly what I want.

I used tiny crocheted lace around the neck and bottom, but when I get this pattern just right I'm going to put a lot more time into the details.

This is another skirt that I made and I think it layers well with the dress too. I'm so excited about being so close! Now all I can think of is all of the different shirts and dreses that I will be able to make when I get the basic pattern just right! I've been so discouraged about making things for myself before now (besides the occasional skirt) but now I'm on fire! Do any of you have any suggestions for fabrics, blogs, or books that may help me on this little adventure? Any tips or suggestion based on my pictures? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

try a sort of wrap top one! they're great for nursing...even though it seems like you're out of that stage. I've made a ton! that have an overlapping middle area on the bust and then just an elastic empire waist and a double elastic back (elastic that connects to under the arms and elastic that follows the empire waist around the back). i've seriously made a TON of items with this basic idea...just finished a jewel tone one (deep emerald and deep purple) I made a flannel nightgown with it, and i'm pretty surei'm using this vintage white with big yellow polka dots with it too. try a ruffle along the bottom to lengthen, even though i love your idea of the different skirts underneath...maybe even add lace! haha, sorry, new fan of your blog i'm totally going through a dress phase, so i got carried away, good luck!

Trina said...

Great job! They all look fantastic. I've been considering making some clothing for myself rather than just for the kids. This may just inspire me to finally take the plunge.

Aurora said...

You did a great job!! My husband always compliments me when I wear dresses and skirts, so I've been trying to get back into that, too. The dress is very cute and you look great in all of that stuff!

Misty said...

I've got a nursing baby (my 4th), and I totally understand the switch from dresses to skirts and tops. I made the mistake of wearing a dress on Easter that zipped up the back (not smart when your baby is only a month old and nurses often!). I love your clothing creations! I need to try some for myself. I also noticed your black mary jane shoes...I have the same shoes! Don't you love comfy! I get compliments on mine all the time. :)

organicmommy said...

I keep trying to take the plunge into sewing for myself and never quite get there. This would be the perfect pattern for me as well. I may have to see if I can get my hands on that book to work with. As for fabrics, I love marie-madeline studios.
They have a great blog: great customer service and awesome fabrics!
ANother great sewing blog I love is sew mama sew

Sew Pretty Dresses said...

I love it! I have been curious about that book for a while. It sounds pretty cool! I like the dress with the petticoat and I think the shirt is perfect as it is. I just made a Kwik Sew dress for myself. I will be posting it soon. It is DAUNTING sewing for yourself, or that's how I feel. All the darts and, in my case, reworking the pattern to fit, measuring, calculating, measuring and calculating AGAIN before cutting. It's almost like it all the prep work for the pattern builds me up for a "Oh no! What if I mis-measured and cut it too small!?!?" Now I know what those 5/8 seam allowances are for. And what sewing with muslin is for! Oh and I found a great source for some fabric on sale. In fact, check your favorite shops, July seems to be the magic sale month for many. Anyway is having a great sale. Go check them out. A lot of Jennifer Paganelli's older lines are on sale. Serious cannot pass up sale. And you only need to order $35 worth to get free shipping! Woo hoo!

Anonymous said...

I love your new clothes Sam.

Make Your Own Patterns and Make Your Own Dress Pattern might be good books for you to get some ideas. Rene Bergh wrote the first book, Adele Margolis wrote the second.

mandi said...

I love the layered skirt look! I've been leaning towards this lately because all store bought dresses are so darn short!
This is inspiring. I usually give up on my own clothing projects and lean towards just making stuff for the kids. Their clothes sew up so much faster!
Looks great!

Anonymous said...

My name's Katie and I'm from the UK. I follow your blog regularly- initially it was because there was some crochet that you made (I really love to crochet!) but have grown to enjoy all your posts.

My question to you is this.... how do you find the time to be so creative with all your lovely patterns, sewing etc and be a 'home-schooling-mama'? I am a wife and mother of my girl (9) and my boy (5), I work for a counselling charity for 20 hours a week and have a small cottage and a small garden. I simply have no time to do anything other than manage my household and get to my job. I would really love to know how you run the farm and do all your amazing creative stuff while also having all three children at home!!!!

Best wishes,
Katie xxx

Anonymous said...

PS in the light of my previous comment about having no time, I'd like to add that I only get to do the crocheting as I have a 15 min train ride to work every morning after dropping the children at school. Do you sew into the early hours when the little ones are asleep? is that the way to do it I wonder??? x

maribeth said...

i love the green shirt. it looks perfect to me. i can't wait to see the details you will add to things after the shoes you created. so cute! i would really like to sew more for myself because it fits so much better than when you buy something and you can pick cuter fabrics! would you ever create a pattern for your new top??

Goosegirl said...

Oh Sam, I love the dress and top. I want that book too. I only recently started sewing for myself again and I am so glad I did. I do prefer to sew for Ahnalin because she is easier to fit because she is straight up and down. But we mamas deserve pretty things too. Have fun sewing for you!
Your petticoat reminds me of my old lawn petticoat from Laura Ashley days. Oh I love that!

Renata said...

Well done! I haven't sewed anything for myself for years - once upon a time I used to make almost all of my own clothes!
I love the dress & that cute white petticoat! Also that shirt style is lovely!