Not-a-Frock by Friday

I just can't stay away from the Frock by Friday events over at Grosgrain!

They have been a lot of fun, and a great way to sew from my stash.  I seem to be sewing more dresses than I can wear, though!  The June FbF was to lengthen a summery shirt, so I took the opportunity to create the shirt version instead.

Fabric: Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile
Pattern: Tara from BurdaStyle

My alterations:
I stitched the elastic casing directly to the shirt instead of just enclosing the elastic in the seam allowance.  This forms a neater look.
I used bias binding to finish the to edges of the front and back.
I eliminated the sleeves and used bias binding for straps.


Overall, I like this top.  The fabric is really soft and it fits well.  The pattern was really easy to use, and I may use it again to sew up a few camis to sleep in.  This top may even end up in the pj drawer - look how well it matches my cutie "lingerie" pj pants!

Love Frock

That's what I'm going to call this dress from now on.  I used the burgundy memento print from Amy Butler's Love line and a simple white cotton for the accents.  And I LOVE it. :)  I think this is my favorite dress in my closet, and certainly my favorite garment that I've made.

And some shots of the detailing:

Top left: Collar, front pleating, button placket and belt
Top right: Close up of the bottom of the button placket and the belt
Bottom left: Back pleat
Bottom right: View of the back

I found the directions for this dress to be a little bit tricky. I had the directions written by the pattern maker (links to pattern and instructions here), and then Grosgrain also included step by step instructions for each day of the Frock By Friday event. In the end, I followed the pattern writer's directions and referred to the great photos on Grosgrain.

As a note, I didn't find that the 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric was enough. I chose to use the burgundy print for both sides of my belt, so I did have enough. Next time I think I'd buy a 1/3 yard.

The button placket was my first hiccup, but google helped me out. ;) Because the pattern came from Bernina, the pattern writer referred to a few garment construction techniques from Bernina. A little bit of web searching and I found a really great explanation, which resulted in a pretty snappy placket!

I also found that the sizing was off by quite a bit (why can't they give finished garment measurements?). When I first tried the finished dress on, it looked like a burgundy potato sack! I didn't want to deconstruct the entire thing, so I took in the sides with basting stitches until I found the right fit. I ended up taking in the sides by about 4 inches total!! This resulted in a slightly different look for the cuffs. I also took about 3 inches off of the hem. Looking at the pics, maybe that was a tiny bit too much. ;) Oh well, it's not like I show off my runner legs all of the time!

The belt really helped to pull the look together. I was able to do less fitting on the sides because of it. My last "alteration" was to wear the cuffed turned up. I'm not actually sure how the dress was meant to be worn, but I looked like a floral football player if I didn't cuff them.

Despite the extra researching that I had to do, the stitches that I tore out, and the extra alterations, I do love this dress. I wore it out for my birthday and never once got the goofy "I hope my dress doesn't look Suzie Homemaker" feeling!

If you decide to give this project a try, I would suggest following the day by day instructions on Grosgrain. Knowledge of garment construction isn't necessary, but I did do some extra research before I tackled the more detailed parts of the dress. There are a lot of great tutorials on the web, so take a few extra minutes to look into them. :)

Rainy day activities

It's been rainy and dreary here all day, so I took the opportunity to finish up a few things that I had on my to do list.

Modern Siggy Swap 2 blocks, DONE!

And I also altered my Coffee Date dress.  I ended up taking it in by an inch on each side, and I still have some room.  I was trying to avoid any puckers with the belt, but I just don't think that's possible...  Either way, I really like it now that it's altered and I found a great belt to go with it!

I also started on the next Frock By Friday!  I'm using some Amy Butler Love that I had sitting around.  I actually intended it use it for the Amy Butler Liverpool shirtdress, but I liked this design more.  And following along with the group gives me more motivation to finish it faster!  I'm hoping to wear this next dress for my birthday this weekend. :)

Coffee Date Dress - from the first "Frock by Friday"

This is my finished dress from the first Frock By Friday that was in April of this year.

I didn't fnish it that Friday, because I drove up to Chicago to see my sister that day.  But it was finished within a few days.

I need to take it in a bit, and find a cute white belt.  But it's been sitting in my sewing room closet waiting to be photographed, so here it is!


I felt a bit like Dorothy with my blue dress and red shoes. :)  Please excuse my awful hair and less than fabulous pictures.  I left my hair straightener in Seattle, and Matt never seems to photograph me from the right angle!

(There is another Frock By Friday, taking place this week!  Hop on over to see what's going on!)