Posts Tagged ‘cotton + steel’

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

Summer Showcase :: The Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae

I am over-the-moon excited to be a part of the Cleo Skirt Summer Showcase today. This simple skirt pattern from Made by Rae is certainly worthy of its own horn-tooting parade.  So much so, I had to make two skirts.Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy Stitch

The first is a swishy, fire-engine red floral rayon from the Rifle Paper and Cotton + Steel collaboration in view b. The second version is in a Loominious woven print from Anna Maria Horner in view a.   Both are pretty fabulous but with such different personalities.  It’s a bit of a study in fabric behavior.


Selfish Sewing :: The Parision Top in Triplicate because it’s about time I just go overboard already

the parisian top | part of Selfish Sewing Week made by a happy stitch

Yes, I did. I made three of the same top.  Three versions of The Parisian Top from Pattern Anthology. I’m taking the whole Selfish Sewing Week thing quite seriously this time around.  But, ah, this is probably no big surprise because It’s really not news that I love sewing clothes for myself. (more…)

Summer of No Pants :: Inspired Novelty Prints for Dresses and Skirts


Oh friends! I’m so excited!  It’s a full cup of awesome being served here this morning for three great reasons: 1) It is my turn on the Summer of No Pants tour hosted by Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! and I’ve committed to wearing skirts or dresses at least three times a week this summer as a part of the challenge, 2) I’m highlighting my favorite novelty fabric choices for skirts AND dresses and generally drumming up great enthusiasm for busting out some awesome novelty prints for yourself to wear and 3) I’m completely geeking out about being involved in this tour! I love Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! and I’m sort of in awe of that fact that Marigold wanted me to be involved.

I realize #3 is a lot like #1 but I really needed to communicate how fan-girl, crazy honored I am.  Plus, tee hee, this graphic is so clever.  That Marigold, I tell you.


Now that we’ve established a high excitement level, let’s talk novelty prints!

With so many great places to get fabric from these days, such as Spoonflower where you can find all things novelty, and so many emerging designers with an eye for whimsical, playful design paired with sophisticated colors it seems like there has never been a better time to make amazing, grown-up clothing with novelty prints.  I got the novelty fabric bug after I made this Washi dress and my swan dress.  Thing is, I love flowers and everything but the world had lots and lots of flower dresses and striped dresses and solid colored dresses and just not as many playful novelty print dresses.  You know what I mean? It’s time to liven it up.

On top of that, so many modern novelty prints have an almost geometric-like quality that makes them far too interesting for just quilts or dresses for little girls or boys clothing.  They deserve bigger landscapes and worthier showcasing. Finally, the colors being used on many of the better novelty prints work beautifully for women’s clothing…they are more sophisticated and unusual making a dress or skirt interesting instead of cutesy or goofy.

I pulled together a Pinterest board of inspiration here including some great things others have already made like this, this and this.  But, here are the fabric picks that I think are the absolute best and are screaming out to live their lives as dresses and skirts.

For Skirts I picked larger scale prints that would look stunning with a simple black tee and boots or strappy summer sandals (maybe with a mojito in hand):


From Left to Right & Top to Bottom: Frolic Coral from Cotton + Steel; Flamingo Blue of Lulu Magnolia collection from Quilted Fish; Mustang from Cotton + Steel; Mexico Springtime from Sammy K; Elephant and Umbrella from Holli Zollinger; The Fleet in Grey from Michele Brummer Everett (Cloud 9); Slate Grey by Andrea Lauren; Charley Harper Knit from Birch Fabrics; Hot Pink Zebras from Alexander Henry

For Dresses I chose smaller scale prints but I think all of these prints would work for both:


From Top to Bottom and Left to Right: Kitty Dream in Grass from Lizzy House; Fly Aweigh Lobster Red from Riley Blake; August Hide + Seek from Cotton + Steel;  Red Umbrella from New Mom Design; Hopping Along Lotus Pond from Cloud 9 fabrics; Canning party in White from 1canoe2; Anchors in Navy from Dear Stella; Meadowlark from Heather Bailey; Red Balloons from Cloud 9

P.S. I tried, where I could, to link to the best place to highlight these fabrics but I can’t always get direct links.  And, I have to emphasize local fabrics shops as a great source too!

P.P.S. I’ve actually already made a dress in the Red Umbrella fabric up there but I’ve already covered lots of ground, I promise to share it soon!

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