Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beach Retreat

Two weeks ago (yikes I'm slack!) I went on a beach weekend with some girl friends. This is what the view was like for two full days...awesome! It was divine, I even tried my best not to sleep in so I wouldn't miss a thing. But...
This was my view during the evenings! We had a total of 3 machines and one serger crammed into our little one bedroom beach condo! Needless to say, we ate our meals on our laps! I helped my dear friend Sugar learn how to use her machine and thread it and such. She made a pair of pants and half finished a little dress for her sweet, and only daughter. I taught my friend Claire how to use my embroidery machine, she caught on so quickly! I was impressed, she had never sewn before at all! I see a Viking in her future!!! She appliqued four shirts, three of them all by herself. I appliqued two owls for dresses that I have since completed and did a little smocking on the beach. My fellow veteran sewist Buffie did a little of her own sewing too! Dear Dena offered her expertise opinion on our color choices and kept us entertained for sure. It was such a great and productive get away!
Here is the owl that I appliqued, cutie aint she? I made this outfit because I loved this Ragsland outfit and knew I could make it for sure. It sold for $50 and I made it for $24 out of premium fabric...and mine is REVERSIBLE!!! Check out the happy pumpkin! After I stitched it out I wished I had left the face off and put a monogram on the pumpkin instead, but at least now I can hand it down. I also like being able to choose my own fabric because the ready-to-wear version was in corduroy and its too hot for our Southern Falls here.

So, what I did was use my standard Holly and Hunter pattern by Bonnie Blue. I traced out a new copy and cut the top off (adding seam allowances) of the front to make that little flat yoke piece. Then, when I cut out the bottom part of the front I pulled it off the fold about 4 inches. I used the front pieces as my pattern pieces for the lining/pumpkin side so that they would match up. I cut the back out as usual. So, then I gathered the bottom part of the front and stitched it to the yoke. Then I followed the rest of the instructions for assembly. You have to whip the opening closed at the end to be able to reverse the dress. I usually cheat and straight stitch it since it is hidden inside.
Here's what I would do differently...
1.) I would cut out the patterned (check) side first. The second cutting is a hair larger and the pattern shows up more easily when reversed. I had to trim it and match it up perfectly before stitching.
2.) I would cut the bottom of the front much wider, maybe 6 inches off the fold at least. (For a 4 and 5 size dress) There is just not enough gathering there I think.
3.) I would add some piping or ric rac at the top. It's a tad bit boring to me. A pink turtleneck can change that! :)
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Mari said...

What a fun and productive getaway! I love your outfit - both the owl and pumpkin are so cute!

chelle said...

Sounds like alot of fun. I would love to go on a sewing retreat. The little jumper is too cute, I must try it. I saw another BB Holly and Hunter done up today with a piece of gathered fabric around the bib front it look cute sort of like the cc pattern but not near as complicated. I have just started blogging and love your blog.

Dena said...

So cute! I LOVE the face...Entertaining for sure but oh so much fun! beach weekends ROCK!

Melissa said...

I LOVE that owl/pumpkin dress!!!! If Buffy cannot make it, can I pay you to make Amelia one!?