Sprout Spring Birthday Dress

So every year I sew a birthday dress for myself. The weather starts turning warm, spring flowers bloom, my favorite daffodils turn their faces to the sunshine, and I have a new fun dress!

This year I decided to take advantage of an awesome Sprout Patterns promotion, and try out the Colette Monetta at a discount! (They’re running this discount for the full month of march! Go get it!)

This dress was so fun and so easy to sew! With the fancy sprout product, I was able to take this dress from un cut fabric, to a fully finished garment in just two hours and six minutes. Slice slice with a rotary cutter, zoom zoom with my serger, out pops a dress!

I wrote a review of this pattern here: https://dressinsouciantly.com/2016/03/25/colette-moneta-dress-pattern-review/

Happy birthday to me!

I also spent some time playing with chalk art to create a cute sign for the kegs we got for the party. Mm, local beer!

Pluviophilia Rain Dress

I mentioned my involvement in the new Spoonflower project called Sprout Patterns before, but to repeat myself: there is an amazing new thing out there called Sprout Patterns and you really really must go check it out. The idea is that Spoonflower will actually print the pattern for various garments and projects directly on the fabric for you, filled in with your chosen design. They’ve partnered with a whole bunch of indy pattern makers to bring you a really diverse and excellent set of options. In addition, you can actually see your project before you buy it, projected in 3D in your browser. You can even shift the pattern around if you care about design placement, and they’re working on allowing design rotation so that you can accurately place border prints. Its so cool. This is what my dress looked like when I built it in sprout patterns.

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The bit on the left is literally what your printed fabric will arrive looking like, with obvious cut lines, labels, et al. I find the sense of scale invaluable when trying to judge how a various project will look with a spoonflower fabric design. Not to mention, the bit where you have to print out a pattern, tape endless sheets of paper together, tediously cut out all the bits and only THEN start playing with your fabric is completely removed when you use Sprout Patterns for your project. I cut out the pieces for this dress while sitting on my couch watch tv. I just followed the lines on the fabric. And it turned out fantastic, if I do say so myself.

I actually designed the fabric for this project as well. I’m one of those people who actually really love thunderstorms, cloudy days, even sometimes just the steady drum of of a rainy wet day. You know, when I can sit inside, warm and dry with a book and just watch it. So awhile ago, I designed myself a set of curtains with watercolor and ink pen clouds, pouring forth a stream of words, all quotes about rain. When the sun is too bright and sharp and loud, I can pull the curtains closed and it all gets softer.


I re-used the cloud elements to create a fully repeating cloudy day fabric design. If you like it, you can buy it yourself on spoonflower in small scale like my dress below, and large scale.

The pattern for this dress is the Colette Myrtle, and it was perfect for this project. The fit is very relaxed, obviously, without a whole lot of pieces, or a need for exact fitting. Considering the steps that sprout takes out, it was also very very very fast to put together. I even did french seams on the side of the skirt! The fabric is Spoonflower’s poly crepe de chine, which is still one of my favorites. Light, flowy, slightly textured, super easy to sew.

I reviewed this pattern here: Colette Myrtle ★★★★★

Also as promised, more pictures of myself, wearing my creations. This one is definitely a crowd pleaser, a winner, and something I actually get to wear frequently.

Colette Myrtle ★★★★★

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This pattern is super easy, very flattering, fun and fast to put together. I don’t really have a bad word to say about it. You can use it with wovens and knits, heavier fabrics or things light and drapey. I’m not usually a fan of cowled drapey necklines, but in this case I liked it. I used Sprout Patterns with this pattern, so I didn’t even have to do the usual paper taping and pining. With the easy fit of this pattern, it is definitely the way to go! Check it out here.

You can see this pattern in action here: Pluviophilia Rain Dress

Cotton Lawn Peplum Blouse

Spoonflower has a new fabric, that I’m actually really excited about. Its perfect for apparel projects. They made a video, and I made a blouse!

The fabric is, obviously, our new Cotton Lawn Ultra, and was designed by Chantale Pare. The pattern is the Colette Hawthorn, and was easy and fun to use. The photos were taken by the lovely Caroline Okun of Brains Are Pretty. (I know, its crazy what my sewing looks like when a professional photographer does it, instead of me with a cellphone on my back porch.)

I wrote a review of this pattern here: Colette Hawthorn Dress ★★★★

Colette Hawthorn Dress ★★★★

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This was the first shirt dress pattern I’ve ever used. It was fairly easy to follow, and certainly satisfying to complete. It does suffer from the usual colette problem where I seriously have to adjust the bust darts, because I believe she drafts her patterns for a larger than usual bust size. But its an easy adjustment to make at this point. I will say that I have some trouble with the way the collar lines up, and depending on the fabric you choose you should definitely skip the interfacing. Maybe its just because I’m a sloppy sewist, but both times I’ve used this pattern thus far, I’ve had trouble lining up the waist seam-line across the buttons. One side always turns up a millimeter or two higher than the other.

However, Colette’s instructions are excellent, and definitely great for a beginner. I’ve been too lazy to actually put a button placket in either version of this pattern that I’ve tried, but once I do I know that her directions will make it clear and easy.

I’ve completely both the peplum blouse version of this pattern, and the dress, and both turned out excellent.

You can see the peplum version of this pattern here: Cotton Lawn Peplum Blouse

Here are some images of the dress version:

 

Spring Birthday Dress

So here’s my birthday dress for 2015.

The pattern is Dahlia by Colette Patterns. I used the sleeveless version and altered it a little bit to shorten the straps to raise the neckline, and I lengthened the hem in the back to create an asymmetrical hemline.

Its a great pattern, easy and fast to put together, with very little fitting involved considering the gathered bodice and six-panel skirt. I liked the use of self-made bias tape for the straps and sleeve binding, it was a nicely finished detail that didn’t require a lot of effort. I’ll probably try the sleeve version when it gets to be closer to fall again and I’m looking for warmer clothing.

I wrote a review of this pattern here: Colette Dahlia Dress ★★★★

The fabric was a spring green linen I found on sale at joann’s and simply had to have. But I wanted a bit of color to really give some detail, so I added the hand embroidery.

Colette Dahlia Dress ★★★★

2lineartThe colette dahlia was quite easy, and is definitely a true beginner pattern. The way you use bias tape to create the straps is quite clever, and will definitely help anyone who has a fear of inset sleeves (as I definitely first did).

This pattern does suffer from the same problem as many colette patterns where her drafted bodice is larger than average. The use of gathers and the lack of darts means that you can mostly get around it, but if I wanted to be true to fit I’d have to do a bust adjustment.

Version 2 is perfect for a comfortable summer party dress. I’ve yet to give version 1 a try with the sleeve, but I’m sure it will be just as easy and fun as the first.

Here’s what I made with the Dahlia: Spring Birthday Dress

Colette Zinnia in Yellow Silk

The skirt that should have had pockets…

So I was making this lovely skirt out of some yellow striped silk, following the Colette Zinnia pattern. And because it is silk, I decided I’d do all the right things. I’d take my time, measure twice, pin everything, even put proper french seams in it. And I got so into “being good” that I completely and utterly forgot to put in the pockets. And that was one of the things I am always most excited about. Oh well, lesson learned, don’t pay so much attention to the little things that you forget the big things you wanted in the first place.

You can read my review of the pattern here: Colette Zinnia Skirt ★★★★★

Regardless, this skirt is wonderful, and I quite like how it turned out. The pattern is simple and easy to follow, and workable in many different fabric types. It has twelve pleats around the skirt, and an invisible zipper and button closer in the back. It can have pockets, if you remember to put them in.

I also used some of the scraps to make a matching headband for myself. I never used to be in love with the color yellow, in my own clothing that is. But I’m really warming up to this sunshine not-quite-orange but not-quite-mustard definitely not pastel color of yellow.

Colette Zinnia Skirt ★★★★★

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This pattern has definitely become one of my favorites. Its a basic easy pleated skirt, which takes on a completely diverse character depending on what fabric you use. With a silk crepe, its slinky and flowy, with a thicker cotton sateen its got more body and floats along with you.

The fit is easy, as the only bit that really matters is the waist band. The pleats are easy to place, and the zipper and button combo in the back is secure, and even fun if you choose a cute button.

I’ve never made the gathered version of this, with buttons and top patch pockets, but I feel like it’d work equally well, and I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually. I already have three zinnia skirts, and I doubt I’m going to stop there.

You can see this pattern in action here: Colette Zinnia in Yellow Silk