Collared Dress for Burda Style

I finished this dress back in December, but only recently got around to taking photos of me wearing it.  I was waiting for my lights and backdrop to be set up to take photos of this beautiful dress as we are in a deep freeze right now and there’s no chance I’ll be going outside for my photos!

I will admit, when I was looking at the style lines of this dress and seeing that it had an invisible zipper and is quite fitted….I was worried.  This past year, I’ve tried to not let fear dictate what I can and can not sew.  I do not let the words “beginner” “intermediate” or “advanced” decide whether or not I’m going to sew a particular garment.  Rather, I find those terms give me a heads up as to what I might be dealing with when it comes to my sewing projects.

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I was crazy to have feared this dress.  The invisible zipper was actually easier than I was anticipating.  Meg is an awesome teacher and I love learning from her.  She walks you through absolutely everything in order to complete the assignments and pass the course.

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This is such a beautiful dress and for me, the fit is spot on!  For the Burda Style Teacher Certificate course, I was more focused on sewing the techniques properly rather than getting the fit right.  So with all of my Burda Style assignments, I never made any alterations to the patterns.  Some of the students did make changes to their garments to suit their style, but I decided to play it safe and complete the assignments as is.  I’m actually surprised at the fit of this without any alterations, it works well for me.

The only one thing I’m not too crazy for is the gathers on the back bodice piece.  There were several other students who did not favor the back gathers as well.  One student actually modified the back piece and eliminated the gathers completely and I absolutely love the way her dress turned out.  I think in the future, I’d love to make this dress again and eliminate the back gathers.  I’ll need to do my research and figure out how to get rid of those gathers.

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Other than the back, I’m very pleased with this dress.  This dress is probably my most favorite make from the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course!  If you want to learn how to sew, or if you’re looking for confirmation that your sewing right, this is such a great course for that.  I will have a complete review on the course in the next coming weeks.

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Techniques that were learned for this project were:  how to install an invisible zipper, darts, gathering, neckline facing, and hand stitching.  The hem, and the sleeve hems are all hand stitched in place.  A bonus technique that we learned but were not graded on was the vent in the back of the skirt.  For the neckline facing, take your time.  There are 3 layers that you’ll be sewing together; the dress, the collar and the facing piece.  Go slow, take your time and you’ll have a beautiful Peter Pan styled collar.  The collar is probably my favorite element to this dress.  There are so many varieties you can do with this collar.  One classmate, McKell at McKell Makes added some beautiful beading detail to her collar.  I absolutely loved that idea!  Others used a contrasting fabric for the collar.  There are lots of variations; you can do the bodice in a printed fabric and the skirt portion in a solid or vice versa.  Let your imagination run wild with this one!

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Thank you for taking the time to read about my dress for the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course.  My review for the course will be posted within the next week or so, stayed tuned!

“In life I loved you dearly in death I love you still, in my heart I hold a place that only you can fill.” — Author Unknown

The Samantha Dress – Pattern Review

I am really excited about this blog post!  This is my first ever pattern review project!  When Athina of Athina Kakou Patterns put out a call for pattern reviewers, I knew I wanted to team up with her because I had seen how much hard work she puts into her patterns, that I just knew, her patterns would be awesome!

For the month of January, she had asked her review team who would be interested in reviewing the Samantha Dress Pattern, I instantly replied to her email as I absolutely loved the look of this pattern!  Luckily, I was a chosen pattern reviewer for the Samantha Dress and I’m really excited to share with you my version of the Samantha Dress.

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The Samantha Dress is a knit dress that comes in sizes 4-28.  The Samantha Dress has 2 versions; version 1 has ties at the sleeves and a shorter skirt length where as version 2 has a collar, regular sleeves, a longer skirt length and a tie belt for the waist.  This is a great pattern to mix and match the views.

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I sewed version 1 with the sleeve ties and the shorter skirt length in a size 10.  My measurements are as follows: Bust 36, Waist 33, and Hips 38.  I chose the size 10 based on my bust measurement.  I was on the fence about grading to a size 12 at the waist, but because this is a knit pattern, knits have stretch so I figured the size 10 waist would be good for me.  I cut a straight size 10 and did no alterations to the pattern at all.

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I used a “Glam Gal” fabric from my local fabric store, but essentially, I believe it is a Liverpool Knit after comparing it to the Liverpool Knit fabric in my stash.  If you know me, I absolutely love a good Liverpool Knit.  The fabric is textured on the right size and has a smooth feel on the wrong side.

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The construction of dress was very easy and fast!  I usually give myself a week to complete a project, but I was able to finish this project in one evening and a morning, definitely less than 5 hours for sure.  Not only does Athina provide clear and concise pattern instructions, she also has a sew-along on her blog, AND she has a video sew-along on her YouTube Channel!  I love that Athina has done this as it reaches out to most of the different learning styles.  I personally enjoyed utilizing her YouTube sew-along.

I absolutely love wearing my Samantha Dress,   it is very comfortable.  I believe the size 10 fits me really well and I’m very happy with the outcome.  I’ve left the hem of my dress raw, as knits do not fray and I really like how it hangs.  I feel that if I were to hem it, it would hang differently.  Leaving the hem raw is one of the recommended finishes in the pattern instructions.  I’ve paired my dress up with a fancy elastic belt.  I originally purchased the belt for another project, but I do believe that this dress and belt were made for each other, they go perfectly together!

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I will definitely be making another Samantha Dress in the future, I think for my next version I might make the regular/shorter sleeves.  I highly recommend this pattern to everyone!  It was definitely an enjoyable and easy sewing project.  If your looking for a pattern to recover from a difficult project, Samantha is your friend!

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Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience sewing the Samantha Dress pattern by Athina Kakou Patterns.  Thank you Athina for the great opportunity!

“You may not be with me any more, but my love for you will never die.  I miss you, dad.”  — Author Unknown

Memory Quilt – The Start

Sometimes we wait for the perfect time.  But sometimes there will never be a perfect time.  You can end up waiting forever for the perfect time to come and it will never come.  This is how I feel about this project.  I had thought that for sure with it being over a year since my dad had passed, that this project would get easier with time.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I have come to learn last night, that there will never be a perfect time to tackle such a project.  How do you go on to cut up someones shirts, when images of them wearing these shirts flood your head with memories and your eyes with tears.

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My mom gave me most of my dads shirts with an exception of a couple that she wanted to keep for herself.  Out of all the shirts my mom gave me, I chose the green shirts to work with for my moms quilt, as she liked my dad in green.

Next, I started to look at the seams of the shirts and held my seam ripper in my hand.  I thought of my dad wearing these shirts and put my seam ripper down.  I put my head in my hands and said to myself “I am not ready”.  Then, the thought of the perfect time came to me and I realized, there will never be a perfect time to sit and do this task.  My current thoughts are: cutting up these shirts will be the hardest task of the whole quilt.  I could be wrong on that thought and I will let you know once the quilt is completed.

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I had decided that my first task for this quilt was to go over the quilting information that my Auntie sent me back in the summer time.  Through email, she sent me links to information about strip sets, blocks of 9 and the disappearing 9 patch.  She mailed me a couple sample blocks when she sent me my quilt.  You can read about our little jacket and quilt exchange here.  I studied the blocks she sent me and I looked at how she organized the colors and such.  I have decided that my next step is to go to my local fabric store and pick out a couple solid quilting cottons that would go lovely with the colors of the shirts.

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I think for my mom’s quilt, I’m going to attempt the disappearing 9 patch quilt style.  My Auntie sent me a photo of the disappearing 9 patch quilt she made for her grand-daughter and it looked lovely.

I’m not too sure how long this project will take me, but I will keep you updated with little progress posts here and there.  This will be my Memory Quilt Series for 2019.

“There are not enough words I can say to describe just how important my father was to me, and what a powerful influence he continues to be…” — Author Unknown

A Dose of Pattern Drafting

One of my sewing friends Michele, is simply amazing.  She’s able to see a photo of a garment and draft a pattern for it.  I’ve been following Michele for quite some time now and she’s always had the talent of being able to draft her own patterns.  In September she decided to go to her local college and take some pattern drafting courses to dig deeper and gain more information about pattern drafting that can not be found online.  She inspires and motivates me on a daily basis to step outside of my comfort zone.  Actually, in fact, it was roughly a year ago we were chatting and I told her that I was in no way interested in learning about pattern drafting.  Oh how things have changed!  I find it very inspiring that she can look at a photo and draft a pattern for it.

Now that I have my sewing quality to where I want it to be and to know that I’m sewing the techniques properly has really changed my sewing game and mind.  I think of sewing 5 or 10 years down the line, and yes, of course I would love to learn how to pattern draft.  I would love to have the ability to look at a photo and draft a pattern for myself.

Michele had told me about a website called Bluprint, and that they were having a period of free time.  Bluprint has a lot of videos for basically anything you want to learn from sewing to woodworking to paper crafts and so much more.  I decided to check it out and look for pattern drafting videos.  I came across a video series by Suzy Furrer, in which you create a Moulage “a skin-hugging hip length bodice that is fitted precisely to a person’s body” – definition taken from Google.  Then from the Moulage, Suzy walks you through the process of adding ease into your Moulage block in order to create another bodice block in which you can create wearable patterns from.

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The first day of watching the videos I was rushing to try to absorbed all of the information that I could while it was free.  But, to measure, draw, sew, fit and adjust the Moulage was going to take quite a bit of time in which I could not simply do in a few days.  So I jumped ahead on some of the videos to see if this was something I was interested in, and it definitely is.

I did my research with Bluprint and found out that they are a subscription based service, formerly called Craftsy.  In the past with Craftsy, you were able to purchase the courses that you wanted.  But with the Bluprint subscription service, it means that for 10 dollars a month I’ll be able to have unlimited access to all of the videos on the Bluprint website for 1 month.  Now, if I can find the time to set aside for 1 month to commit and dedicate to learning and completing this Moulage, then I think it would be beneficial for me.  I have prior sewing commitments for the rest of January, so I will try to fit this Moulage Bluprint course in sometime within the next few months.  I will keep you all posted on this Moulage journey and the building of the block to the sewing of the actual toile.  Before I start this course again, I will need to purchase a curved ruler.

Over the weekend, I had posted on my Instagram stories about the Moulage I was working on and about Bluprint.  I received an overwhelming response from my sewing friends.  For some, I inspired them to check out Bluprint, some wanted to check out pattern drafting as well, some wanted to work on unfinished drafting projects and I even chatted with one gal who was working on her Moulage as well!  Some great conversations were had!

Let me know in the comments below if you have ever made a Moulage, or if you have done some pattern drafting yourself, I’d love to hear about it.

“They say there is a reason, they say time will heal, neither time or reason will change the way I feel.  Gone are days we used to share, but in my heart your always there. The gates of memories will never close, I miss you more than anybody knows.”  — Author Unknown

Let’s Stay Connected

DSCF2766 (2)A couple of my goals for 2019 are more related to my blog and content rather than sewing.  I received some photography lighting for Christmas in order to help me achieve great quality blog photos.  Also, with Willow Tree Fabrics in the works, I’m trying my hand at utilizing Facebook pages.  I’ve created a page for my blog SewNotes on Facebook, please follow this link here to give my page a follow.  Feel free to share my Facebook page with your friends and family who you think might be interested in anything sewing related.  I’ve determined that some like using blogs, some like Instagram and some enjoy Facebook.  I figured I’d use these platforms in order to be more accessible for which ever platform you enjoy using.

Just from using the Facebook page for a week, I have found that through Facebook I am able to share quick information or heads up kind of content.  Sometimes things come up that I’d like to share without having a photo to go with it.  With that being said, I’ll use the Facebook page to give quick status updates sometimes with or without a photo, Instagram will still be for photo and in the process stuff through stories and the grid, and my blog will be more in depth content.  I will also use all platforms to share once a blog post has been published.

I hope to bring you all exciting and informative content for 2019!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any other platforms in which you share your sewing content.

All the best in 2019!

“When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just slowly learn how to go on without them.  But always keeping them tucked safely in your heart.” — Author Unknown