Well, it happened again. I got busy and neglected my blog. Here we are at the end of summer and a wonderful summer it was. We stayed busy for sure, and I even did some traveling with my husband sans kids. We made sure to really appreciate the kid-free aspect and to pack our days with long hikes that the kids wouldn't have been able to handle. But man, I missed those girls. I've been married to this amazing man for ten years this fall though, so it was good for us to go off the two of us like newlyweds, visiting friends and family and both familiar and new exciting places along the way.
I have actually heard from a friend though, that she has been missing my posts. I have a reader. That feels quite special, thanks Amy. And my sewing machines have stayed a-whirring so there are always things to share.
Since I had been showing some love for my favorite sewing businesses when I left off, I figured I would continue in that vein with the always lovely Violette Fields Threads pattern company. I could spend hours scrolling through their website admiring not only their patterns, but their adorable models, the gorgeous photography, and especially the fantastic vintage / bohemian vibe in which it is all styled and pulled together. Even if you don't sew, you will appreciate the gorgeous looks they create for little girls and come away with some style inspiration.
Most of their patterns are for woven fabrics as opposed to knits, which I think is where most people begin their sewing adventures. This is also nice because it enables a good deal of upcycling vintage fabrics, i.e. pillowcases and table cloths. Most of my good upcycle scores are wovens, I know that. Plus, it can be sew hard to resist the wild and wonderful prints that they put out on quilting cottons. While these fabrics have terrible drape, VFT offers many patterns that feature a panel in the bodice or some other just right place to include quilting cottons and incorporate them into a more complete garment that utilizes different appropriate fabrics in other areas.
In case my ramblings are getting confusing, I will try illustrate my point.
The Matilda pattern is your basic peasant dress. It has an oversized raglan style top with an elasticized neckline and waistband fitting it to size. I have made dresses like this before without a pattern. But VFT's version has a flutter sleeve option that I was drawn to, along with multiple other sleeve lengths and I have really been appreciating having pattern pieces to trace instead of revisiting tutorials and repeating math and guessing at armscye curves. Plus, they had a sale this summer, so I scooped up a few patterns that I had been ogling.
I'm not sure you can do better for a basic summer dress pattern. I always feel like the girls need a fun new dress each summer. We have been heading to a bluegrass festival each year, and it is such a good deadline / excuse to sew each of us something fun to dance in.
Althea's dress is a great example of using a quilting cotton mixed with other fabrics. I could not resist this lilac print when I saw it.
I also new that I had this purple cutout fabric sitting around waiting to be turned into something, so it didn't take much to succumb to the lilacs.
I did restrain myself to a 1/2 yard of the lilacs though, and it worked out perfectly for the bodice and flutter sleeves of this dress. It is lined from top to bottom with the (nice and soft) old bed sheet that I used for Fern's Maid Marion dress and I was able to reuse the hem on that.
The bottom of the punched purple fabric was not going to fray, but didn't look very polished, so I added a purple grosgrain ribbon that I had as a bit of trim detail.
Since the bodice has black and dark colors and two layers, the dress can get a little hot when it is 95 degrees, but Oh. My. Word. Both she and I LOVE this dress.
Fern's dress worked out better in the heat. A white dress is really the thing for summer time. Especially when you are camping and dancing and sweating for 5 days straight. The thing about white of course, is that it gets dirty. There is no difference between the front and back of this dress however, so she took advantage of that by putting it on backwards for this dress's second showing at our festival! Smart kid. This is a really fun fabric that I bought at Knack, a great little store in my area selling repurposed craft materials. They sell fabric by the pound. Which is amazing. I got yards and yards of this awesome white stuff with teal flowers embroidered on it for about $5. Totally guestimating there, because it has been a while but I'm telling you, this is a great place to find treasures and deals.
Anyways, I did the short sleeved version here. The dress is unlined and I cut the skirt on the selvage to avoid hemming. Man, I love doing that. This had a plain white selvage that worked perfect.
And I think this became the perfect dress for strumming a ukulele....
Or for watching Rushad Eggleston with your girlfriends...
Or banging on a drum with a large kitchen spoon with your sister...
Or giving said sister a bath with a bubble gun.
Reinventing the bubble bath right here.
I will continue with some more VFT love in a more fall related fashion. Soon. I promise.
Thanks for stopping by!