Posts Tagged ‘colette patterns’

Georgia Dress in Rayon

Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitchI have been hunting for that perfect, easy, casual dress for a long time. Something easy to slip on when I’m headed to an event at the kids’ school but nice enough to wear when I am teaching a sewing class or out for a casual dinner date.  Top priority was really that I was comfortable (of course, this is always first in my world) but a wee bit on the dressy side.  I’ve been on the hunt for this kind of ‘all occasion’ dress pattern for a while, actually. I thought about adapting the Lou Box Top, like Erin from Sewbon did. She is so clever and talented, isn’t she? But, I wasn’t in love with the neckline on the Lou Box and was concerned that the drop shoulders would look too unstructured on me.  Then came the record scratch! I was perusing the Seamwork magazine patterns because I have a some extra (read = a gazillion) pattern points and came across the beautiful Georgia dress. Georgia Dress from Seamwork

It had everything I was looking for…beautiful scoop neck, set-in sleeves, a gorgeous scooped hem-line.  Boom.  This was the one I had been waiting for.  I quickly bought the last of this Cotton + Steel rayon fabric from Urban Sewciety and went to town on a Georgia Dress in rayon. (Sadly, this fabric seems to be sold out in many places. Sorry about that.)

First, I made a muslin (so proud of myself!) and realized that I didn’t like the two-toned aspect especially with my fabric being such a large-scale print.  I also didn’t like the length of the sleeves; they were just too long.

Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitchSo, I hacked the pattern to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches and mashed together the top bodice and skirt pattern pieces to create a seamless dress.  It became everything I was looking for. I also graded from a 6 in the bust to an 8 at the hips because I have to accommodate my luscious hips.

Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitchI have already worn this dress half a dozen times.  I am in love with my hacked Georgia Dress in rayon. I bought more rayon and have plans to make a shirt from this pattern as well as a second dress.  Possibly a dress with petal sleeves like these stunning ones.

Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitch

Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitch


Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitch

You are probably thinking, “Melissa, this dress is cute as a button and you look gorgeous as hell but isn’t it getting cold outside in New Jersey?! Why are you talking about flow-y drape-y, short-sleeved dresses?  Make some warm things!”  While I appreciate your very specific concern and thank you for your generous, unprompted compliments, I have to confess that I just can’t seem to get excited about sewing cold weather clothing.  I did make my lovely Anegada top but even that has elbow-length sleeves. I just see a drastic and concurrent decrease in sew-jo when I look at cold weather patterns. My brain goes blah. I did force myself to make another pair of sloan leggings and another long-sleeve plantain tee the other day but I was mumbling like a grumpy old man the entire time. I’m just not feeling it. I would rather be folding laundry. Let’s hope this feeling passes soon or I will be sewing like a woman with the delusional belief she lives in Florida. Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitch

Rayon Cotton and Steel Georgia Dress Hack || sewn by a happy stitch

Sorbetto Sundress :: 30 Days of Sundresses

Sundress_Sorbetto Top into a Dress | a happy stitch

It’s around this time of year that I lose all tolerance for annoying things like jeans or tight-fitting dresses. I want to either be wearing grub-wear in the garden or a dress I can throw on over a swimsuit. I also have pretty nit-picky criteria for sundresses…they should be so easy and comfortable you can wear them all day in the sun and also feel free to stop in at the ice cream shop or indulge in a boardwalk funnel cake without shame/discomfort.  You should be able to sweat freely, no pools of sweat that collect at a tight waistband.  They should allow enough length for sitting but not so much that the breeze can’t dry any sweat behind the knees. They should never, ever involve anything that even stands a chance of scraping or itching such as a zipper.  Save all that other stuff for the fancy dresses!   I’m a delicate flower in the hot sun of summer and my tolerance for irritation plummets to all time lows.  I really don’t think I’m the only one.  Let’s be honest, summer days meander with uncertainty and a sundress should be ready for all of it. (more…)

Flash the Lightning Tank and Colette Knits Book Review

As I mentioned, I’ve been making lots of clothes that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about.  This Lightning Tank top is one of them.  I saw this knit lightning fabric pop up on the Wanderlust Facebook page and knew I needed it. Needed.

Lightning Tank Top

Lightining tank tops are the new summer essential, I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere. This fabric is superb..the flashes of lightning are worn and a rose gold color, absolutely perfect.  It’s thin and light with a soft hand a decent amount of stretch.  Sometimes knits I buy on-line end up cheaper feeling than I would like but not this stuff.

LIghtning Tank Top | made by a happy stitch from the Jorna Tank Top pattern

I used the Jorna Tank pattern, same as this one, with a few modifications.  Just like I did previously, I took out the flair in the tank but I also lowered the neckline and didn’t put in the called-for lining.  I just wasn’t crazy about the way the lining sat in the top. Instead of lining it, I hemmed the armhole and I tried something new with the neckline.

Inspired by the great new book from Colette Patterns, The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits (affiliate link) by Alyson Clair I attempted a raw-edge rolled band.  That sounds very technical but it’s really exciting and super easy.  You know how knit fabrics don’t fray? And, it naturally rolls up a little at the edge, which always seems so annoying.  Well…this method of finishing the neckband uses the non-fraying rolling part as an advantage.  You simply sew on a strip of rolled knit fabric and that’s it! New neckband method! How great is that?

Lightining Tank Top with rolled band neckline | made by a happy stitch from Jorna Tank Pattern

It’s kind of hard to see in this picture because I actually stitched the neckband on with the roll rolling to the inside instead of the outside of the top.  But, next time I will remember to check for that and get it right.  Besides that mistake, this is kind of a life-changing neckline for me.  The book even suggests using a strip of lightweight silk in the same way for a super pretty effect.  Isn’t that genius? It’s such a great way to elevate a basic item with a touch of color and impact. I love it.

As soon as I heard about the Colette book about knits I knew I was going to buy it.  And, to be honest, when it arrived I was a little sad it didn’t include any specific projects, no patterns, nothing.  But, once I opened it I didn’t even care.  It goes through amazing, creative, beautiful options for trims, elastic lace, the best machines, great tips for knits, bands…everything.  It’s a knit lovers dream.  The first section discusses different fabric weights and stretch, proper needles and notions.  Following that is in-depth coverage on the best machines and how to use them.  The final section, which I found the most useful, includes an incredible array of great tips on how to lay out knit fabric, how to get a good fit and then stitching and finishing options.  I feel like I know a lot about sewing with knits and I learned a ton from this book.  It’s an awesome addition to my bookshelf.

april happy happenings

no matter what, it always seems like a good time to sew.  in january it is the perfect time to stitch together a warm cozy quilt and sit hand-stitching the binding while watching a movie.  (speaking of movies, I finally saw “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and it is unreal. I thought about it for days. don’t miss it.)

and, now in april, it feels like the perfect time to clean up, organize the sewing studio and crank out some breezy warm-weather clothes.  judging from everything that is going on in blogworld, I am not the only one with the spring sewing bug.  sew-a-longs abound!



I have to start with the huge news that Meg from elsie marley, who already led the semi-annual and unbelievably popular kids clothes week challenge has partnered with Dorie of tumbling blocks to build a whole new blog dedicated to hand-sewn kids clothing.  it also has a new name Kids Clothes Week (I know, so different, right?) and they have announced that the sewing challenge will now be seasonal!  wahoo!  if you have never joined in on kids clothes week, now is the time to jump in.  the spring challenge starts april 22 and involves dedicating one hour a day to sewing clothes for kids.  simple idea but it’s amazing what you can get done and doing it along with hundreds of other people is incredibly inspiring.  I am already plotting out what I want to make.

kcw plans

the best part is sewing for kids is so much easier than sewing for grown-ups.  kids are basically shaped like planks of wood so there are no complicated darts and things.


if, however, you are inclined toward a grown-up sewing challenge and want to perfect those darts and side zippers then you can take the time from now to April 19 to take part in Made By Rae’s spring top sew-a-long!



I have got plans to make this shirt from collette patterns. I think it is about time for some complicated, challenging sewing on my part. plus, I am falling hard for peter pan collars. join me?


if you would rather take a back seat, skip the sewing and cheer on fellow sewists (maybe you have gardening to do, for pete’s sake!) then you will be happy to know that Nap Time Crafters is holding a sew off! the contest is already into week 3 and the competition is steep.  be sure to check it out.

sew off


and, I’m positively thrilled that the uber-talented abby glassenberg has a new book out on how to make stuffed animals.  not only does it look chock-full of inspiring stuffed animal projects (including a stuffed animal with a zipper mouth!) but it is also carefully designed to teach specific techniques that make it easy to learn the basics behind making stuffed animals so you can develop your own designs.

stuffed animal book

you can see her fun, generous personality and get a sample of the book projects in her video here.


go make shit. that is the idea behind this blog started by jill from made with moxie and rachael from imagine gnats and lots of other awesome contributors including the ever-inspiring thomas knauer.

and, they have a good point and a great conversation has started here.  the idea is simple.  just go make shit. don’t let fear of fitting into or arbitrary divisions about modern or traditional making get in the way.  feel like making it? have a good idea about something that needs to be made? good.  go make it.  make it well or make it poorly.  make it pretty or make it ugly.  just make shit.

it doesn’t matter one iota if what you make reflects someone else’s idea of beautiful and wonderful, there are worlds upon worlds of shit to be made, so make it your own!  wahoo!




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