Month: July 2015

Tina Givens Bloom Dress in Cotton & Steel Double Gauze

A handful of times I’d visited the Tina Givens website and perused the patterns, then I saw she had free patterns to try and printed out the Bloom Dress. This is sewn up in Cotton and Steel’s Double Gauze from the Fall 2014 line. The colors are what I’m really into right now, especially that red and teal. This fabric had been languishing for months in my stash and had subsequently fallen in and out of love with it a few times. It would do for a wearable muslin.

july 15 tg bloom dress in cotton and steel dbl gauze collage

After it was all sewn up, my love for it was reignited. I did a cursory measurement of the bust and even the small was quite voluminous- over 50″. The pattern states the small is for busts up to 44″. I’m a 40″ bust right now and figured taking out 2″ on the front and back would be a good starting point and would make tweaks from there. Her aesthetic is very free-flowing and loose for lots of layering. There are no bust darts, but there are in seam pockets.

july 15 TG Bloom Dress in cs dbl gauze

Here is a quick and dirty pic of the two mods done for shaping:

Mods to TG Bloom Dress

For the hemline, I was hoping the hi-lo shape would help balance out all that volume. It will also look interesting if I get around to making the slip to layer underneath. The hemline from View D of McCall’s 7120 was my guideline. To save time and fabric, bias tape was used on the neckline and hem. This pattern calls for 54″ wide fabric due to the width at the bottom, but taking out those 4″ and moving it just enough over on the bottom so it fit worked out ok. The elongated ‘c’ shape taken out on each side near the underarms helped with fit at the bust. This was totally a shot in the dark, but it worked for the most part. Sewing by the seat of my pants. One thing to note, the front scoop is almost too deep when you have your hands in the pockets, something to remember for next time. Oh, and taking in the underarm helped slightly with side bra exposure.

july 15 tg bloom dress side

july 15 tg bloom dress front cropped

july 15 tg bloom dress back

Cotton and Steel’s choice of substrate in double gauze is even finer than the beloved Nani Iro in my stash. I’m no expert but taking the two different tops out of the dryer, Nani Iro’s sticks to itself like velcro whereas C&S double gauze will fall a little more smoothly. They both, of course, need to be ironed. It’s a very small difference and won’t keep me from Naomi Ito’s amazing fabric.   (No tsking, we keep it real in this household and if it’s not machine washable, it probably won’t be worn, lol)

After Googling the Bloom dress to see other makes, I was surprised to not see more- especially since it’s free! I’m happy with my comfy top, now to just figure out which bottoms to wear with it besides jeans since my red pants are too lipstick red compared to the tomato of this top.

july 15 TG Bloom Dress in cotton and steel dbl gauze hanger


Merchant and Mills Workbook, The Curlew Sleeveless Top

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on ever since I first got wind of it being published. I’ve loved all my Merchant and Mills patterns and the only one I’ve held back on making was The Factory Dress– but after seeing this video of Carolyn Denham wearing hers, it has moved up the queue drastically.

So happy!! @ute_ig what have you made so far?! I'm just about to start flipping through it, need to refresh my coffee first 😂😍✂️

I had mentioned in a previous make how nice it would be to have finished garment measurements on the patterns and my dream came true in The Workbook! The sizes show FINISHED measurements so you can know precisely how much ease will be built into your usual size. This came in particularly handy when I was deciding on which size to trace out for the Heron, a bat-wing wrap top.

july 12 curlew muslin in crossweave collage

There are 6 timeless patterns and The Curlew Sleeveless T-shirt is a bias cut top with bust darts for additional shaping. The fabric choice is a crossweave cotton in a lovely teal/emerald with cross threads of black. This has been in the stash for a year, back when I went home to Indiana for a visit with family and went to Margie’s Country Store in Madison, In. It is much thicker and more stiff than what is recommended, but this is a wearable muslin since I wanted to check fit on size 16, which falls on my body measurements the closest.

july 12 curlew sleeveless muslin in crossweave full

My guess is that it will be a bit more tricky to sew with a more shifty fabric when I make my next/nicer one in a linen or silk. Since my wearable muslin is more of quilting cotton weight, the bias cut drape isn’t really noticeable. It is incredibly comfy to wear and easy to pull on and off even with the close fit. july 12 curlew muslin in crossweave front detail

My main problem after finally figuring out how to correctly join the bias tape, was the bust darts. These are to be sewn with a stretch stitch since the bias cut makes it similar to a knit with the give in the fabric. I’d never sewn a bust dart quite like this and it shows, unfortunately. I’m wondering if it’s trickier on bias to sew smooth dart points or if it was a combination of user error/stretch stitch/bias-cut trifecta of terror. Using the ham to try and iron it into a smooth shape didn’t work, either. It will be fixed since I love this top..maybe start a short line of straight stitches near the end of the dart and try to get a smooth tapering? If you’ve sewn with a stretch stitch then you know what a b*tch it is to unpick.

july 12 curlew with sweater front

I can see this book one that is used again and again for me, I’m already thinking of making this a short sleeved top. Oh, the possibilities! Thanks, Carolyn, for such an ace sewing book- I’m looking forward to seeing my sewing skills advance with the more involved patterns.

Simplicity 1080 Dottie Angel Frock

Granny Chic is something of a phenomenon to which I was oblivious. Dottie Angel has been selling her lovely vintage fabric aprons on Etsy for years and I loved her aesthetic..the vintage style appealed to me. Seeing her pattern come up on the Simplicity website was a most happy surprise. Simplicity 1080 embodies her most well-known vintage frocks in a tunic and dress length.

july 10 dottie angel nani iro collage

For close to a year I’ve had some gorgeous Nani Iro double gauze from Miss Matatabi in my stash waiting to be used. The happy colors really appeal to me right now since the kids and I are missing hubby while he’s stationed in Korea for the next year.

Granny chic FTW! Think I've finally narrowed down which fabric will be used for my view B #dottieangel tunic. #naniiro #ilovenaniiro #doublegauze #simplicity1080 #thatsalotofbiastape #grannychic #sewing #isew #missmatatabi

july 10 dottie angel in nani iro front

The light fabric is great for summer and I chose the tunic length with yarn dyed linen pockets in a beautiful lilac with white in the cross weave. It was a small remnant in the doggie bag section from here. The only regret for this is that I didn’t make the ties in the lilac, as well. This is the direct link to the fabric, it’s a fairly new addition to their mid-weight yarn-dyed line.


I made the large since I was between sizes and it’s a bit big on me. Next time, I’ll make a medium and add just a little ease for my broad back. You can definitely tell from the back how loose it is on me. But this is super comfy in the summer heat, especially since it’s currently creeping closer to triple digits as the month drags on.

Nitty gritty:

I didn’t use the bias tape in all the places the pattern recommended. And I cheated and used my serger on the shoulder and side seams to help with fraying after sewing the seam with my machine. The shoulder hem stumped me slightly and I should have looked more closely at the diagram since I flubbed the bias at the beginning and end by stopping at the dot rather than sewing to the edge of the fabric. My guess, and it is just a guess- the bias tape for the seams probably helps give support when using vintage/delicate fabrics like Dottie is known for.

For those worried about color matching, etc- the only part that is exposed is the 1/4″ double-fold that is sewn around the pockets. If you don’t want to buy 1/2″ single fold since you have a plethora already in your stash or they don’t have the color you want at the store, go for long as your fabric won’t show through that you used a clashing color 😉  Also, instead of basting the 1/4″ to the pocket before sewing it down, I just unfolded one side, lined up the edges and sewed into the nearest crease, being careful to follow the pocket curves. I clipped the curvy parts before enclosing the seam with the bias tape and ironed it smooth.

This pattern is a winner in my book! Now to think about my next frock, this time in dress length..

july 10 dottie angel in nani iro front1