Showing posts from October, 2019

Winter Mesas

Back in Feb 2018, I decided I needed a sweater dress so I could be warm and cozy in the winter months.  Did I use one of the many other patterns I own that are specifically designed to be sweater dresses?  Of course not!  I went straight to my TNT Seamwork Mesa!

The fabric is a Royal Blue Heather Gray Ethnic Stripe Hacci Sweater Knit that I bought from Girl Charlee way back in December 2016.  I underlined it with a soft and cozy cotton jersey. 

The only modifications other than adding an underlining was that I lengthened the sleeves and added thumbhole cuffs.

At the time, the only tutorials I could find were for the inseam thumbholes, so I spent a little time reverse engineering the thumbhole cuffs on my favorite hoodie.  I had the foresight to take some photos as I was doing it, so I'll try to explain my process.  Just don't mind them having been taken on my cluttered sewing table!

First I cut out wide cuffs.  In the photo below, you can see the two cuff pieces that are folded in half, with the fold at the bottom.  The smaller strip in the photo is what I used for the thumbhole binding.

I then cut out the holes for my thumbs as shown below on the left.  I then took a binding piece, folded it in half lengthwise and matched the raw edges with the opening of the hole and sewed the binding on through all 4 layers of fabric.  Then I folded the binding piece to the wrong side and stitched it down, as shown on the cuff on the right.

Next comes the tricky part.  One end of the cuff is sewn together and can no longer be unfolded - I'll call that the closed end and the other the open end.  Fold the cuff in half to match the short ends.  Hold the closed end and the one layer of the open end that is touching.  Take the other half of the open end and wrap it around the closed end so the right sides are all touching.  It will look like the photo below.  Sew the two ends together like that, through all layers.  Then you will be able to unfold it into a completed cuff, ready to sew onto the sleeve as normal.  I recently discovered this video about how to sew a waistband that basically explains what I did, in case that didn't make sense.

A closeup of the finished cuff.

I love them so much!

So much, in fact, that I made another Mesa with them immediately after!

This one is made from a quilted double knit from Fabric Mart and underlined with a cotton knit I got from a flawed bargain lot from Girl Charlee.

The only difference was I moved the thumbhole a little closer to the edge.  It was a worthy experiment, but I'll be moving it back when I use that cuff again.

I'm looking forward to making another nice, cozy winter Mesas and maybe I'll finally get around to trying out one of those other sweater dress patterns I own.

A pleated Moneta

The Colette Moneta is one of my favorite patterns.  I've made a couple before, but I apparently only blogged about one so far.

I decided instead of gathering the skirt for this Moneta, I would try using pleats.  I put two pleats in the front and two in the back.

The busy print of this fabric makes it hard to see the pleats.  But I like the subtle difference it makes from the other Monetas I've made.

I also lined the bodice with self fabric.  I like lining the Moneta bodice because it makes for a clean neckline and I don't have to worry as much about what color bra I'm wearing.

I will likely end up doing this variation again, just so I don't end up having too many dresses that are exactly the same.

Seamwork Kenedy

When the Seamwork Kenedy came out, I thought the dress was cute, but I'm not always comfortable with having my upper arms so exposed, so I passed.  Then, a couple weeks later, Seamwork put out the bonus flutter sleeve, so the pattern made it to my ToSew list.  Last year, when I was making a few things to take to Hawaii, it finally made it to my sewing table.

My first version was out of a chevron challis that I got from Fashion Fabrics Club and the only change I made was that I added 4" to the length. 

But it was evident from the pulling I get in the bust, especially seen from the view of the back, that I did actually need a full bust adjustment (FBA.)  I really don't know why I ever think I can get away without one in a woven dress!

So, I did a 2" FBA for the next version.

For this version, I also used a challis, with some floral images that make me think of postcards.  I don't remember where this one came from.

For this version, I added a couple beads I had lying around to the ties.  I like that little detail, but I quickly realized that it means it's not the best choice of dress to dance in.  

The fit is much better now and will likely make this pattern again in the future.  It's a loose silhouette that I don't normally like to wear, but it's great for those hot days, which we've been getting more and more of up here during our Seattle summers.

I wore both dresses on my vacation, but I only seem to have a photo of me wearing the first one.  And with a cute island boy at a luau, no less!