Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kwik Sew 3703 - The Maxi Dress

Earlier this summer I bought a jersey racerback maxi dress from Urban Outfitters and proceeded to wear it everyday. It drives me crazy when I buy things that are over-priced and easy to make! I don't know why I do it. Anyway, I wear it a lot, but needed to break-up my all-grey uniform. I remembered Amber from Confessions of the Pink Obsessed making some really cute knit dresses with Kwik Sew patterns, so I decided that's a good place to start.

For all three of these I used Kwik Sew 3703. I cut a size extra small, but added to the armholes and shoulder strap (picture below). They all have raw hems. I love this pattern. It fits beautifully and is extremely comfortable. You may think three is enough, but I'll definitely be making more. In fact, I was thinking of making one in white and then dyeing it with an ombre effect. Wouldn't that be pretty?

I added to the armholes and made the straps thicker.

Fabric: A cotton knit from Yellow Bird Fabrics that feels like medium weight t-shirt material.

Mods: I only had two yards, so I took out a lot of width from the skirt bottom. As you can see, there's still plenty of room. I also narrowed the neck and armhole bands to about 3/8".

Total Cost: I don't remember how much  I paid for the fabric and can't find a receipt. $20 maybe?

Fabric: A poly/lycra blend from Gorgeous Fabrics. (It's still there!)
Mods: Just the aforementioned pattern changes. I had a few yards of this, so I was able to keep the skirt width. I even did the neck and armhole bands correctly!

Total Cost: about $30

Eeeh. I probably should've tried to match the back seam.

Fabric: A rayon/ycra blend from Emma One Sock. (It's still there!) This is my most favorite fabric ever. I was sick about potentially ruining it, but I think it turned out really nice!

Mods: I only had two yards, so I narrowed the bands and skirt width, but was able to lengthen it quite a bit. I've been wearing it blousoned over a belt, but should probably take off some of that length. I'm tall, wearing 3"+ heels and it's still floor length.

Total Cost: around $35

The innards! Sometimes I sew, sometimes I serge.
It's taken me a long time to wear the things I sew in public, but all of these dresses have made it out of my house. Hooray!

Sorry about the blurry/grainy photos. Should I go outside next time? Find a neutral wall? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dyeing Fabric!

I've been cleaning out my closet and realized that there are several items that I never wear because of the color (or lack thereof). I didn't take a before picture, but I had a pair of tencel high-waisted shorts from H&M that were a nude-ish color. I bought them in Chicago two years ago and the tags were still on! Yeesh. 

I also threw in two yards of voile that I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics a while ago. It was safety cone orange. Not good. I'll talk about my plans for that later.

The Set-Up: I really should've laid down plastic. Oops.

I used Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes from Dharma Trading Company.  I didn't measure exactly, but I used all 2 oz. of jungle red, about 1 and a 1/2 tbsp of lemon yellow and 1/2 tbsp of fuchsia red.

Fin! They are actually kind of dark honeysuckle. More pink than orange.
I wanted them to be slightly more orange, but I'm still thrilled with the results. The big snafu was that the shorts were sewn with polyester thread (which doesn't take this particular dye), so I'm left with white topstitching.

The verdict? Dyeing is fun. So fun that I've pre-washed several more items including my recently finished Green Tea Raglan. I used the green yarn that is pictured, but have plans to dye it cobalt or navy.

Next up: A Sorbetto muslin and way too many Kwik Sew 3703 maxi dresses!