Blog Tour: Infinite A-line Dress by Whisk’em

Infinite A-Line Dress, pattern by Bonnie Wiscombe of whiskem.com, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

To infinity and beyond!

Sorry, Buzz Lightyear, but this post has nothing to do with space exploration. But it has everything to do with a brand new girl’s dress pattern – the Infinite A-line Dress – by Bonnie Wiscombe of whisk ‘em. Oh boy, was this pattern fun to sew!

Welcome to stop #1 on the Infinite A-Line Dress blog tour! I am honored that Bonnie asked me to join her blog tour for this extremely versatile new pattern – thank you, Bonnie! This is Bonnie’s first sewing pattern, and it’s loaded with options to create seemingly endless versions of an A-line dress and really allow your inner designer to take the reins.

Infinite A-line Dress by Bonnie Wiscombe, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

For my first attempt at the pattern, I selected Version D, which includes an empire bodice with ruffles. This version has a bit more going on than the simple, classic triangle-shaped silhouette, but don’t worry, the traditional A-line shape is included among the pattern versions. I chose Version D in particular because it made me think of this dress I found on Pinterest a few weeks ago and have been hoping to replicate for my daughter.

Infinite A-Line Dress, pattern by whiskem.com, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

I sewed the dress in a size 3 based on my daughter’s chest measurement. Her measurement was exactly equal to the maximum for size 3. I was tempted to size up just to extend the period that the dress would fit, but I wanted the dress to fit well this summer, so I stuck with the size 3. The bodice fits perfectly.

Infinite A-line Dress, pattern by Bonnie Wiscombe, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

The assembly of the bodice for Version D was very straightforward, and I appreciate that it is more detailed than simply adding a flutter sleeve to an armhole. The ruffle piece is attached along the entire front and back bodice piece. Don’t get me wrong – I love me a pretty flutter sleeve – but this bodice and ruffle design provides for a more structured and sophisticated look. It also prevents the ruffle from becoming too floppy, since it has support along the entire bodice.

Bodice Detail, Infinite A-line Dress by Bonnie Wiscombe, sewn by #fromwholecloth

The additional seaming along the bodice is also the perfect invitation to add trim! I could not resist adding red ric rac trim along the bodice/ruffle seams. Piping or mini pom pom trim would be awesome as well. Ah, so many possibilities. I also used a red metallic embroidery thread for my topstitching for another pop of color.

Back View, Infinite A-line Dress, pattern by Bonnie Wiscombe, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

Aside from adding the trim, my only variation from the pattern instructions was to make my back button loop out of the main fabric, as opposed to using elastic cord. This was simply based on personal preference; I think the fabric loop looks dressier. I cut a piece of fabric about 8″ long by 1″ wide; pressed the fabric in half lengthwise, and then folded in both the lengthwise raw edges to meet the center fold in order to conceal them and pressed again. Then I topstitched the piece closed along the lengthwise open edge. I ended up cutting a few inches of extra length off the loop once I’d sewn it in place on the bodice, so 8″ was way more than enough length to work with.

Back Closure Detail, Infinite A-line Dress by Bonnie Wiscombe, sewn by #fromwholecloth

The dress is a good reminder that I need to use solid color fabrics more frequently in my sewing. I am so often drawn to the gorgeous prints and beautifully illustrated designs featured in quilting cottons, and they can be wonderful choices for making cute children’s apparel. But for this dress I used a Robert Kaufman chambray in indigo (to be honest I thought the color would be darker than it is – I purchased it online so I didn’t see it in person before purchasing). After reading so many other bloggers raving about chambray for apparel sewing, I finally made the plunge and I am a complete convert. It was amazing to work with and the soft drape leaves quilting cotton in the dust. I also feel that the solid color allows the details of the dress to stand out more. It’s worth mentioning that the softness of the chambray means that the ruffle is not quite as perky as it would be with quilting cotton. I prefer the more subdued ruffle.

Back View, Infinite A-line Dress by whiskem.com, sewn by #fromwholecloth

I already have plans to sew another version of this dress pattern. With so many options, and opportunities to really personalize the look to your own taste, this pattern is bound to be in rotation for a while!

Project details:

Pattern: Infinite A-line Sewing Pattern by Bonnie Wiscombe of whisk ‘em; Version D in size 3 shown here4; pattern available at Craftsy.com

Fabric: Cotton chambray by Robert Kaufman, in indigo; red ric rac trim

Notes: Version D Bodice is fully lined; bodice seaming created by the ruffle piece is a perfect opportunity to embellish with trim

Infinite A-line Dress Pattern, by whiskem.com, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

Thank you for visiting!  Be sure to follow along on the Infinite A-line Dress blog tour and check out additional creations from these lovely contributors:

Thursday, May 28: S is for Sewing

Saturday, May 30: itstaylormade

Monday, June 1: heatherhalesdesigns

 

Orange You Glad It’s Spring: Betsy’s Dress

orange Betsy's Dress, a pattern by BG Originals, in a Heather Ross fabric, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

I’ve never considered myself a big fan of the color orange. I don’t dislike it, but it’s just never really risen anywhere near the top of colors I use in sewing or otherwise. But this dress — this orange dress — I love!

Betsy's Dress, a pattern by #browniegoose, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

The dress pattern is Betsy’s Dress by browniegoose, purchased on Etsy. I’ve sewn several brownie goose patterns and they have all proven to be well-written and very straightforward. And completely adorable!

The fabric is by Heather Ross, and its bright colors and whimsical design perfectly embody Spring. It’s hard to tell from these pictures, but the design includes the cutest little bumblebees adorned in handkerchiefs and carrying baskets, out collecting blooms. This was a fabric design I ordered almost immediately upon its release, and then saved it and saved it… It’s funny how that happens (er, repeatedly). I’m applauding my delay in using it though, because I think it’s perfect for this dress.

This dress was actually a Mother’s Day present to myself. I wasn’t sure Daisy would truly like the dress due to the higher neckline and the three-quarter length sleeves, but I was quite enamored with it and determined that she’d at least have to wear it for me on Mother’s Day. Whenever I dress her in something with in-between length sleeves she spends a bunch of time tugging on them in an attempt to make them full-length. The same thing goes with capris. “Why don’t they go all the way down?”, she asks bewildered.

Betsy's Dress, pattern by brownie goose, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

Well, it’s been a success. She wore it for Mother’s Day and a few times since, as well. She was concerned about the sleeve length at first, but it subsided quickly. Maybe that was a Mother’s Day gift to me, as well!

I love the sweet little details on this dress. The pattern suggests lace trim on the cuffs and pocket, but I elected to use white ric rac. And the pocket in its own fabric (Bonnie Christine design, I think) is a fun way to use up some scraps while adding more visual interest to the dress. Daisy has already put the pocket to good use while collecting random bits of nature around the yard. Note to self, must remember to empty the pocket before washing the dress! (Random detail: I never remember to check pockets when doing laundry. I am forever finding hard little tissue paper “rocks”, coins, hair elastics and more in the washing machine due to my forgetfulness! Does everyone else remember to check pockets?)

Betsy's Dress pattern by brownie goose, sewn by fromwholecloth.com

And lest you think she’s always ready and willing to be perfectly posed for a photo shoot — here’s a shot of her in her more typical mode, Transformers in hand, of course!

Betsy's Dress, pattern by #browniegoose, sewn by #fromwholecloth

I’ll be back early next week to show off a new pattern from a talented new pattern designer! Stay tuned….

Geo Clutch: Sewing for Me

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

I did a little sewing for me recently. A clutch purse with geometric prints in indigo and white.

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

I realize a clutch is not the most practical of purses, but it’s a style I really like. And these geometric prints from Hawthorne Threads’ new Isometry Fabric Collection seemed like a fun way to indulge my fancy. I couldn’t choose just one of the prints, so I decided to feature a different print on each side of the bag (and the lining!), and I love the look of the different designs combined when the clutch is folded over. And, seriously, what’s not to love about indigo and white. The crisp combination says “summer!” to me. I guess the colors conjure up sailor’s suits and other nautical themes, but are just so much more modern in the geometric precision of this collection.

And if indigo doesn’t make you as giddy as it does me, the Isometry collection comes in an array of colors — including an amazing azalea. The background fabric in these photos is another Hawthorne Threads design, from their Zambezi fabric collection.

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

And I dare say the gold metal zipper looks just fetching with these colors.

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

The arrival of this new fabric collection was like kismet for me. I’ve been searching for geometric prints for another project I’ve had my eye on for a while.  This clutch was the test run to see how I liked these new fabrics. They are actually digitally printed – just like paper! – and you can read more about the process on the Hawthorne Threads website. Very interesting.

I made this clutch big, both to accommodate a nice fold over and to allow it to fit my ipad and a few other goodies when unfolded. I also used fusible fleece interfacing between the layers to give it some nice thickness and padding.

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

Sewing this clutch made me realize it’s been a long while since I’ve sewn something for myself. I definitely need to rectify this situation. Jeans and t-shirts move aside. I’ve got plans.

Geometric Clutch by fromwholecloth.com

 

Vacation Wear: Nelle Dress and Moon-ish Pants

raspberry Nelle Dress sewn by fromwholecloth.com

We’re nearing the very end of March and it still feels like winter around here. Grrrr. I am past the cabin fever; past being depressed over the snow, snow and more snow. Now I’m just COMPLETELY ANNOYED. I used to be someone who enjoyed winter. This year is forcing me to rethink that mindset.

Thank goodness we were lucky enough to escape last month to sunny Florida for a family vacation. I was just so happy to be somewhere warm and sunny, where being outside felt good rather than numbing. It was heavenly to feel the sun on my skin.

raspberry Nelle Dress by fromwholecloth.com; pattern by brownie goose

In joyful anticipation of a sunny vacation I made big plans at the beginning of February to sew up a handful of items for the warmer weather. But it turns out that spending your nights sitting on your butt watching Netflix is not very conducive to sewing, so my big plans were quickly whittled down to two items made two nights before our departure. My daughter scored big, and my hopes for a new beach cover-up have been shelved until summer — assuming we actually get a summer and we’re not stuck in permafrost tundra forever.

raspberry Nelle Dress fromwholecloth.com

The sundress was made using the The Nelle dress pattern by brownie goose. I love this pattern. I actually have several Nelle dresses in my Etsy shop because it’s so much fun to sew. It doesn’t require yards and yards of fabric and is so versatile; wear it alone or pair it with pants or leggings. I have had that dress fabric for almost four years now. It was the very first fabric I ever purchased when I started sewing, and I still love it as much as I did back then. The color makes me think of black raspberry ice cream. I have just enough of it left to maybe make her a skirt next year.

Raspberry Nelle Dress by fromwholecloth.com; pattern by browniegoose

The pants are my attempt to hack the upcoming Moon Pants Sewing Pattern from Made By Rae. Rae’s moon pants were among the fabulous sewing projects highlighted in Issue 3 of Stylo Magazine, and I have been eagerly awaiting the actual pattern. After their magazine debut (and before sewists went crazy over the design and *demanded* that Rae create a pattern), Rae mentioned on her blog that the pants could be sewn by making some alterations to her Parsley Pants Sewing Pattern. And so, I attempted just that. I’m happy with the results, but I still can’t wait to purchase the real pattern.

raspberry Nelle Dress by fromwholecloth.com; pattern by brownie-goose patterns

raspberry Nelle Dress by fromwholecloth.com; pattern by brownie goose

Nelle Dress by fromwholecloth.com; pattern by brownie-goose

The pants fabric is from the City Girl collection by Kitty Yoshida and is also a purchase from my early days. I guess this outfit was a real stash buster!

Nelle Dress and "Moon Pants" by fromwholecloth.com; dress pattern by brownie goose

Vacation was great. Not in the big, fancy, expensive, once in a lifetime way that vacations can become, but rather in the way that I felt like I was able to hit the re-set button. In past years we’ve made trips to zoos and other attractions while on vacation, running here and there for oohs and aahs, but this trip was different. We didn’t try to cram each day full of trips and big experiences, but instead spent our days playing at the beach, swimming in the pool, being outdoors, being together, heading to bed early, recharging.

Before vacation I was feeling kind of ambivalent toward many of the things that typically appeal to me. Winter doldrums, I guess. This vacation, in its simplicity and lack of reliable internet connection, was more about having time to think. To enjoy each other’s company. To take a deep breath and not have to rush off to the next thing. Of course, that also leaves me wondering why we allow “regular” life to move so far from that ideal.

So, now that those of you who did not have a winter vacation are ready for me to shut the heck up…

raspberry Nelle Dress by fromwholecloth.com; pattern by brownie goose

Is she still talking about her vacation?!!

 

I will!

Here’s to Spring and all of us feeling recharged and ready for something simple and good!