Marianne Dress x 3!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all having a great day! It’s funny… now that I’ve got a couple of frustrating projects behind me, I feel so free and easy and I’ve been so productive! It’s such a bad feeling when your creativity is all bottled up after a few failures, so it’s nice to shake loose of that and just happily make things again!

Christine Haynes Marianne dress | Ginger Makes

This is the Christine Haynes Marianne dress, and it’s a dress that I didn’t mean to sew (for myself, right now). My brother gave me the pattern for Christmas (thanks, Tim!) and I’d planned to make some cute long-sleeved dresses, but didn’t have time before the weather warmed up. Fast forward to a Friday evening in late June, when I had that horrible “OH NO I’VE FORGOTTEN A BIRTHDAY!” feeling. I never know what day it is, and so I’m always running behind in life… I just can’t figure out any way to stay on top of my calendar! So Friday night I realized my sister Cam’s birthday was on Monday, and I wanted to sew her something that I could mail out before the post office closed at noon on Saturday.

I thought about making a couple of Renfrews, Plantain tees, or Briar tops as I’ve already made those patterns for her, but for some stupid reason I wanted to try something new. Suddenly, I remembered Heather’s Marianne dresses and thought they would be a quick sew, so I grabbed the pattern and went to work!

The pattern is a breeze to sew, especially if you omit the sleeves and collar, like I did. 🙂 I am not a quick sewer by any standard (I’m way too easily distracted), but these two dresses were both done Friday night in a super painless manner. Shoulder seam + clear elastic, neck band, side seams, sleeve hems, hem! It just doesn’t get easier than that!

The fit of the dress is quite nice. I liked the two dresses I made for Cam so much that I decided to make one for myself, oops! I don’t like to wear tight knits, but I also don’t want to swim in them, but the ease included in this pattern lets it sort of skim over the body. I also thought the skirt might be kind of saggy or gross, but it really looks nice! The neckline is higher than I’m used to wearing, but it could easily be scooped out if you prefer a lower neck. I never really wear knit dresses, with the exception of very beefy knit dresses in the winter, so I was really shocked that I liked this! Now, you could easily size down for a closer fit, but like I said, I’m not really into that, so my fit may be a lot looser than you prefer. Just check the finished measurements! 🙂

OK, let’s talk fabrics. The raspberry polka dot came from Girl Charlee ages ago, and in a big order purchased to make back-to-work clothes for Cam. It took me a while to sew through all that stuff, but now the only thing left is the blue and white stripe… it’s much more sheer than I thought it would be, which kinda limits the garments you can make out of it. 😦 Anyway, this polka dot knit is kinda stiff and not very stretchy, so I was worried that it wouldn’t work well, but it seems to be working. The pink floral is from Fabrics for Less on 39th St., bought a while back for $5. Either it shrunk tons or was cut wrong, but I was shy of a yard by a few inches. I toyed with the idea of just making a top, but I really wanted it to be a dress, so I just shortened the dress until I could squeeze the pieces on the fabric. My sister is 5’2″, I think, so I figured she could get away with it! I’m so happy it worked and really glad I could use fabrics that have been in my stash for a long time!

Christine Haynes Marianne dress | Ginger Makes

The peach fabric for my dress was also bought for my sister, I think from Girl Charlee as well, but I forget. It was intended for a Moneta, which she liked the looks of, but then she changed her mind so it’s been in my stash for a while. It’s not really one of her favorite colors, either. Now, if you’re wondering why my dress has a non-contrast yoke, it’s definitely not because I got too involved in my audiobook (guys, would you believe I’ve never read Pride & Prejudice? I feel like a dope for avoiding it because it’s so much fun!) and accidentally cut the front with the stretch running the wrong direction. I also definitely didn’t sweat and sweat until I figured out I could make it work using the pieces for the version with the yoke. DEFINITELY NOT WHAT HAPPENED.

Christine Haynes Marianne dress | Ginger Makes

Long story short, this is a sweet little pattern and works really well for gift giving since it doesn’t have to fit super precisely. I’m looking forward to making some Breton-style dresses when the weather gets cooler… won’t that be fun? And it’s nice to know that next year, when I lose track of the time and have to make a last-minute gift for Cam, I can crank out a few of these babies overnight! 😉

What have you been sewing? Whatcha up to these days?

Sewing for My Sis: Megan Nielsen’s Kelly Skirt!

Guys.  I should’ve known this day would come eventually, but somehow I never thought it would.  I’ve sewn something for my sister that I really, really don’t want to send to her!

OK, I want to send it to her.  But is it wrong that a part of me really wants to keep this for myself?  My sister has lost her baby weight really fast so we can wear the same size!  It’s meant to be!  Alright, alright, I’ll just have to make another for myself.

This is Megan Nielsen‘s Kelly skirt pattern, and I love love LOVE it!  I’ve always loved pleated skirts, but sometimes they can be a bit too “Catholic schoolgirl”, if ya know what I mean.  This pleated skirt is super cute, but definitely not Lolita-esque.  I’ve loved this pattern ever since I first spotted it, but hadn’t pulled the trigger and purchased it in my attempts to defeat the BUYITNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW thing I’ve had going on the last few years.  Luckily, my sister picked it out when we started planning her new wardrobe, so I had an excuse to order it (from Sweet Little Chickadee, my favorite indie pattern supplier)!

I used this organic twill from Mood Fabrics that I bought a year and a half ago or so, intending to make pants, but I am too scared haven’t gotten around to that yet.  It’s the perfect weight– not to heavy or thick, but with plenty of body to hold the pleats.  It’s halfway between navy and gray, so I think she’ll be able to pair it with many different tops.

This pattern comes together really quickly!  I was momentarily stumped by how to get the pleats to lie flat on top of the pockets, but I found Roobeedoo’s post and realized my mistake.  I just assumed that I needed to baste the tops of the pockets to the skirt front, but if you do that before making your pleats, they won’t sit right.  Once I unpicked that, it was smooth sailing!

The only thing I’m not super excited about is my buttonholes.  I think I might need to pick up a buttonhole cutter as cutting them open with embroidery scissors seems to leave messy buttonholes.  They look pretty unprofessional if you look up close.  I guess I could douse them in Fray Check, but that stuff smells kinda gross.  Luckily I doubt that many people will be looking at the buttonholes up close, so I guess it’s alright.

Lest you think I’m a slacker, I’ve also made her a Renfrew top in her favorite color.  In all my iterations of this pattern, this is my first time making one with short sleeves!  I made her a size 4 and shortened the bodice by 1/2″ (she’s petite), and I’m told it fits her perfectly!  Now that I know for sure that it fits, I need to set aside a day and cut out a half-dozen versions of this top and put them together assembly-line style.  You can’t have too many tees!

So… what do you think?  Should I send this to my definitely-deserving sis, or should I move, change my phone number, and keep the thing, living as a fugitive for the rest of my days, clutching the tattered remnants of this skirt until I die alone in a border town?

Sewing for my Sis: Miette Skirt!

Hi, guys!  I’m so glad to report that I’ve finished the first garment for my sister’s back-to-work wardrobe!  It’s the Miette skirt from Tilly and the Buttons!

I’m a big fan of indie patterns, and I love to support new designers.  I felt bad because neither this skirt nor the Mathilde blouse is my style at all, but I wanted to be supportive of Tilly’s new endeavor.  Luckily my sister loved this pattern so I was able to try out one of these designs– yay!

This skirt comes together very quickly.  There are no zippers, buttonholes, or difficult techniques to slow you down.  It’s a perfect beginner’s pattern.  I spent more time turning the waistband and ties right-side out and pressing them than on the rest of the skirt in its entirety!  Unfortunately, most of the sewing on this skirt took place in the late evening after work when I was really tired, so I made a stupid mistake and lost momentum on the project.  I attached one of the waistband pieces to the wrong side, making one tie 30″ longer than the other!  Somehow I didn’t notice this until I had turned out the waistband, trimmed the seams, and topstitched the whole thing down.  I didn’t want to unpick the whole thing as I was afraid that it would fray like crazy, so I just chopped off extra length on the one side, folded down the edges, and topstitched it closed.  Then I folded the edges under on the extra piece, fit it around the short edge, and topstitched that down.  It’s not a flawless fix, but it’s functional and it got me out of my funk.

Action shot: look, no peep show! This is one well-designed wrap skirt!

The pattern instructions aren’t illustrated at all, but there are photos on the blog from Tilly’s sewalong demonstrating every step.  I can’t emphasize enough how easy this pattern is.  If you’re thinking about learning how to sew, and you want to try out a project that will pretty much guarantee your success, this is a good bet.

I used a red linen from my stash (hooray!), and I’m not sure how wise of a choice this was.  It’s drapey and nice, but I wonder if it’s not TOO drapey.  Somehow the skirt makes my butt look huge, and I don’t have a whole lot of junk in the trunk!  And the ties look a little droopy in linen, so maybe a fabric with a little bit more body might have looked a little nicer.  But overall, I’m pleased with this skirt and I really hope my sister likes it.  It’s really adjustable, so at least I know it should fit her.

Does this make my butt look big? Kidding. Kinda.

I’m so glad I finished something off this list!  Next I’m planning to whip up some quick tops to go with this skirt!