Sewing The Vanessa Dress From M4M

Sewing The Vanessa Dress From M4M

One of the dresses that is literally everywhere from Pinterest to Amazon is some version of a sweater dress with a thick, deep V-neck that’s off the shoulder. Well, Made for Mermaids made all of our fall/winter sewing dreams come true with the Vanessa Dress! Now home sewists can be the Pinspiration, ha!

The Vanessa Dress from Made for Mermaids

The Vanessa Dress only comes with the V-neck neckband in both the front and back. For shoulder style, it comes in both on and off the shoulder. The sleeve options are color-blocked lantern, plain lantern, long-sleeved fitted and there are 2 cuff lengths–long and short. You can make this in a top, mini, dress, or midi length. So there are so many options available to really customize this dress to what you want it to look like.

Line drawing for the Vanessa Dress

Fabric Choice With The Vanessa Dress

This dress has been designed for knit fabrics. For the versions I made, I used a soft sweater knit from Freckle Fabrics and a cable knit from So Sew English. I do have another one planned in a lighter weight fabric like double brushed polyester or bamboo knit to see how it works out. The fabric should have at least 40% stretch at a minimum so Ponte, scuba, Oakley, French terry, and hacci are all really great options too.

Sewing The Vanessa Dress

This is quite literally one of my favorite patterns right now because of the ease with which you can make this dress. Both the front and back pieces are the same so cutting the fabric is really fast. I was able to cut the pattern using my projector in 5 minutes. This is big to me because patterns with lots of pieces take a lot of time to just cut out and I don’t always have the time I need to do this. If you’re a serger user, you can construct the dress and top entirely on this machine. For the dress version, you do need to hem and this can be done on your sewing machine, serger or cover stitch. But this is a really fast sew–perfect for those last-minute makes when you want something new and have like an hour.

Styling

I love the versatility of this dress. I styled mine with over-the-knee boots because it’s so easy. You can add a belt to really cinch your waist and give it a more dramatic blousing effect. And adding a wool fedora hat will definitely take this look to current! If you’re looking to be more dressed up, adding some booties that are heeled or some stilettos will really dress this look up.

Hacking the Vanessa

Because I am who I am, I hacked the Vanessa not once, but twice and it was super easy.

My first hack was adding a slit and showing a little thigh. Instead of coming all the way down with the seam, I stopped mid-thigh and hemmed it.

My second hack was making it into a faux dress to be worn together or as separates. I loved how this came out so much. I cut the bodice at the dress line and added the band to it as well as the skirt portion. Super easy.

Rating

This definitely gets a 5 out of 5 needles for ease of make and versatility in wearing.

#SMS2020 Sewing The Dionne Duster: Choosing Fabric

#SMS2020 Sewing The Dionne Duster: Choosing Fabric

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It’s time for another #SMS2020 Sew! This month I’m excited to be sewing the Dionne Duster from my friends Sew Altered Style. They are the designers behind one of my favorite Misty Tank that I hacked after I tested it. I haven’t made this duster yet and honestly, I’m not sure why because Macharva’s pictures of hers are always swoon-worthy!

It's time for me to lead another month for the #SMS2020! I'm super excited about this sew which is the Dionne Duster. First up, fabrics.

Choosing The Fabric For The Dionne Duster

The beauty of dusters is that they can literally be made from anything. The fabric choice will determine the fit and feel of them as well as how dressy or casual they are. Because we’re currently in COVID19 times, I’m basically living in comfort. Sure, I’m sewing some other things outside of the cardigans, sports bras and leggings that I’m living in but even those are PEEK comfort.

My Favorite Cozy Fabrics

French Terry

French Terry is basically my favorite fabric. I could live in the coziness that it brings forth. There are different blends (polyester, cotton, jersey) and then there’s also brushed. Brushed means that one side of the fabric has been “brushed” making it super soft.

Oakley

I found out about Oakley in 2019 from So Sew English. It’s a form of sweater knit that feels like the love child between French Terry and Double Brushed Polyester. It is so soft and warm and cozy and it doesn’t pill.

Brushed Hacci

Confession: I don’t love the way hacci feels on my skin. It’s almost scratchy? But brushed hacci? Whew! Now this is soft and cozy and is perfect for both tops and bottoms. The brushed form of hacci is definitely on my list!

Waffle Knit

I love wearing waffle fabric but I don’t really love sewing with it. I know… How can you love it and hate it at the same time. But for some reason keeping it together while I’m sewing is hard with some waffle blends. But the softer ones? I love!

Because I want to wear this sweater often, choosing a fabric that will be easily worn with like, everything, is important! So… here are some of the fabrics I’m looking at:

Brushed Black French Terry

It's time for me to lead another month for the #SMS2020! I'm super excited about this sew which is the Dionne Duster. First up, fabrics.

Brushed Sweater Knit

It's time for me to lead another month for the #SMS2020! I'm super excited about this sew which is the Dionne Duster. First up, fabrics.

Mustard Rib Sweater Knit


It's time for me to lead another month for the #SMS2020! I'm super excited about this sew which is the Dionne Duster. First up, fabrics.

Can you see my theme here???

So tell me, what fabric do you think I should go for with my Dionne Duster? Or maybe I should mix things up and do something totally different!


New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Leanne @ Thready For It | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.

#SMStyle 2020: The Reed Trousers Failure

#SMStyle 2020: The Reed Trousers Failure

I didn’t want to lie and make it seem like my Reed Trousers were a success. They were not and I have A LOT of feelings surrounding this. This was my first month and time leading the Sew My Style Challenge and I was really excited. When I was asked to lead, I had all these great ideas and I was prepared to take MY BIRTHDAY MONTH by storm.

But then I met the Reed Trousers and it went to hell.

What Happened With The Reed Trousers?

Let me preface this by saying there will be complete honesty here. So let’s get into it.

The Pattern Pieces Had Errors

This wasn’t as much of an issue. I’ve been sewing for long enough to be able to pivot when needed. The front piece for the trousers was labelled as the back. The tutorial referenced using interfacing for the welt pockets but the welt pocket pieces didn’t reflect needing to cut them out. When you print out the pattern, page 1 didn’t print in order. **Spoiler alert: It does print but it comes out between pages 18 & 19 of the pattern.

The Tutorial Didn’t Make Sense (To Me)

I’m pretty smart. I read directions fairly well and when I still can process it, I utilized Google because, well, we all should. When it came for the welt pockets, I looked up this video that was helpful because as I was reading the directions, I just didn’t get how this was supposed to work from the tutorial. Same with the zipper install. I read the instructions an obscene amount of times, installed the zipper a million times only to have to seam tear an equal amount.

And In Conclusion…

Countless hours later accompanied by many tears and a little blood, I have my first unfinished garment in my sewing history. This is the first pattern that has stumped me so much that I couldn’t complete it. I’ve made trousers before for myself and I could have deferred to those instructions but I wanted to follow the tutorial and complete it that way. The Reed Trousers were a big fail for me and I’m still sitting in frustration because they were going to be a birthday present for my husband.

Also, in complete transparency, the pattern designer did let me know to reach out if I had questions or needed help. I didn’t. Why? Because the tutorial ideally should have been something anyone could follow and I’m not a beginner sewist. If you’re looking to make men’s trousers, I don’t recommend these unless some updates are made.

New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Leanne @ Thready For It | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.

#SMS2020: Choosing Fabric For The Reed Trousers

#SMS2020: Choosing Fabric For The Reed Trousers

This blog post contains affiliate links. I appreciate your support in using them.

I’ve sewn quite a few things for my husband since I’ve been regularly sewing. I’ve made him some shirts, hoodies, undies, and socks. But now I’m ready to take on a new challenge for him: the Reed Trousers from Laela Jayne. I’m not going to lie: this is a bit intimidating for me. Making pants that fit me can be a challenge but making them for someone else’s body that’s nothing like mine?

Super challenging.

But it’s also forced me to go back to the basics of sewing versus getting into my head. I know how to measure properly. I know how to grade patterns. And I know fabric–which is where I’m starting first.

Choosing Fabric For The Reed Trousers

My husband will be the first to share a judgmental glance when I huff and puff about not having fabric. Friends, I have ALL.THE.FABRIC–just none for men’s trousers! One of my biggest fears in sewing for others is that they won’t wear this garment that I’ve put my blood (yes, often a little big), sweat and tears into. So fabric choice for these is huge.

The pattern calls for bottom-weight fabric like twill, denim, corduroy or any suiting. Because we’re basically getting dressed with nowhere to go, comfort is key here. And also, he’s kinda picky. Any pizazz in his wardrobe has been as a result of his colorful wife lol.

I hit up Fabric.com to check out their options and these are some of my favorites that I found:

I've never made men's trousers before but I'm kicking off July with Sew My Style with the Reed Trousers. But first, I've got to choose some fabric!

Suiting Fabrics

Gabardine Suiting in Black

Heather Wool Blend

Gabardine Solid Blue

Italian Tropical Wool

Twill Fabric

Black Polyester Twill

Camoflauge Twill

Navy Blue Polyester Twill

Brushed Twill

Now I’m absolutely loving this brushed twill. The color is everything and brushed everything is soft. But I’ve also made a couple pieces for my son and daughter in the camo and I think it would be cute for them to match daddy. So we’ll see…

What fabric option would you choose for your spouse or self?


New to Sew My Style? Learn more and join in here.

Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Leanne @ Thready For It | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

To stay up-to-date with all the #SMS20 news, pattern discounts and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at Sew My Style 2020.