This is a post continued from earlier this week about my recent versions of the Sew Over It Nancy Dress (click here to see Part 1 for more general pattern tips!)
The second Nancy Dress I made was for my mother-in-law Caroline. It was her 60th birthday, and I thought a 60s inspired dress was perfect for her petite frame and style. I’m always nervous about sewing gifts though, after making a shirt my husband didn’t like, so I cheated a bit. I didn’t tell her WHAT I was making, but I sent her a choice of 5 fabrics I thought would be suitable for the dress, and she chose a dark navy crepe with a white rectangle print. The only issue was that this fabric also happened to be a bit see through! I texted her and asked if she ever wears slips… but she doesn’t.
So! I decided to challenge myself to line this next Nancy dress! I’m not a huge fan of polyester lining, so I chose a white crepe fabric to match the weight and drape of the navy crepe on the outside.
Because of the way the Nancy is constructed, the front panel is all one large piece. I couldn’t just line the skirt or bodice- I was going to have to do the whole thing!
I cut out double of all the pieces except the sleeves. I assembled the dress the exact same way for both sets, until I got to the neckline. I debated just using the lining like you would a facing (instead of using the bias binding) but I didn’t want any of the white to peek through. I decided instead to construct it as described with the bias bound neckline. I placed both the lining and main fabric wrong sides together and then finished the neckline.
My next decision was to sew the lining and main fabric together on the side seams. A personal pet peeve is when the lining starts to pull up and inside out and you have to wrestle into your dress. I liked connecting the two pieces at the sides to make sure it stays in place. This made for some creative hemming at the end, but that’s ok! It was at this point I decided to give French seams a try, to great success! I would trim them down more next time so they are less bulky, but I think they looked pretty darn good.
I attached the sleeves as normal, but only in the main fabric (I didn’t think it was necessary to line the sleeves).
Like I said, things got a little dicey when I got to the hem, as I wanted to hem the lining and main fabric separately. I did this, because sometimes the fabrics shrink more than others, and warp the garment. I wanted to leave both hems free to account for this.
I sewed two lovely blind-stitched hems, only to realize that the lining in the back was longer than the main fabric! It had stretched out over the week I had let it hang prior to hemming. I’m so glad I did that, as I fiddled with some more folds, and re-arranged the hem so that it did not peek out.
I included one hook and eye at the top as a finishing touch!
You can see below, the dress fit Caroline nicely. I got her measurements ahead of time, and I’m so happy with the result. She can wear it to the Rod Stewart concert which we got her tickets for as the rest of her gift!
Happy Birthday Caroline!
It was mostly just the best of times creating these two lovely versions of the Sew Over it Nancy Dress.
First off – what a fantastic pattern! I have gotten so many compliments on both dresses, and I have found it to be very flattering on a lot of people – not to mention fun! It’s perfect for the winter with its higher neckline, longer sleeves, and short hem so that it can be paired with tights and cute ankle boots. Here are my overall tips:
since I think the Sew Over It Nancy Dress was released as part of their PDF club in the spring, and I bought it right away! Normally, I prefer a more fitted silhouette, but I thought it would be perfect for winter events with tights! I found the perfect fabric, and it's been sitting, waiting patiently, in my fabric stash since March.
For my first Nancy, I made it specifically to wear to this month’s Ceili dance, hosted by Comhaltas Ottawa! I figured the swinging, swishy skirt would be perfect for the house-around!
I chose a polyester viscose for this dress and it did not disappoint. This fabric was a dream to work with, and the other great thing is that it does not wrinkle. At only $7 a metre, it was also quite affordable (from Fabricland).
I brought the dress with me, fresh off the sewing Machine, to my sister-in-law’s house as my husband and I were babysitting for them while they attended a wedding. I had to leave her house and head straight to the ceili dance when they got home. She was lamenting that she had nothing to wear, and since we are about the same size, I offered up my dress for the occasion. It was a perfect fit, and she received a lot of compliments on it at the wedding.
After I got it back, I decided to wear it on our monthly “date night” that my husband and I have. We are both somewhat “foodies” and enjoy trying the restaurants in the area. To make it more fun, date night has a few rules:
This month’s choice was Chris’ and he chose Stofa! I wore my new Nancy as we enjoyed a Seafood Tower, duck ravioli, and passion fruit souffle!
We don’t take a lot of pictures when we’re out and about, but the lady sitting next to us at Stofa insisted she take our picture, because we reminded her of her daughter.
Overall, a lovely and enjoyable evening – and the Nancy is date night approved as it hides an expanding food belly.
Tune in for part two for more details on how I created a LINED version of the Sew Over It Nancy for my wonderful mother-in-law Caroline on her 60th birthday!
I got pretty crafty when creating my lined, sequin Linden for the festive season. I thought I would share the steps I took as a little tutorial for anyone else looking to sparkle this holiday.
First - let's talk pattern! I used the Linden, but I imagine other boxy tops, like the Grainline Scout Tee or Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Top would be good patterns too. Do you have any other suggestions?
I've also included the Bess Top from Imagine Gnats, Sew Over It Silk Cami and Grainline Willow in the Gallery below for your inspiration!
So! Here is a step-by-step process of how I included a lining for my festive sparkly Linden!
I used some leftover white crepe fabric as I'm not a huge fan of the feel of traditional linings. The nice thing about this fabric was that there was a little give and stretch to it too! I cut out identical pieces of both my main fabric and lining.
Next I finished off those seam allowances! Because I turned them into the inside of the garment, I didn't want to worry about doing that later in the game. Also - crepe - amiright?
Next I sewed up my Linden as directed in the instructions, but separately. I essentially sewed 1 sequin Linden and then a separate crepe Linden. One special note! I did not sew the back seam up completely, only about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom (I stopped sewing where the pins started). Because this pattern is meant for knit fabric, and neither of my fabrics had a ton of stretch, I wanted to make sure I could get it on OK. Plus who doesn't love a little back detail?
Here you see the Crepe Linden all ready to go, except the side seams. I finished the hem along the bottom before sewing the side seams so they would be nicely tucked away and moved on to my next step.
Next comes the trickiest part. Right sides together, I connected the two pieces (lining and main sequin fabric) together at the neckline. This wasn't too challenging, since it was not a full circle (I didn't sew the back seam all the way up- remember). However, when I flipped it right side out, the sequins were heavier than the crepe, pulling downwards and exposing the lining! So again, I got crafty and top stitched all around the neckline, close to the seam, to make sure the lining stayed put. Because of the mashup of mesh and sequins, you can barely see it on the finished product, the stitching blends right in.
At this point, my lining had the right side facing my body - so all those seam allowances were nicely tucked inside the garment.
The last thing to do was tidy up those seams! As Lauren Guthrie suggested in her sequin tutorial video, I pressed down all the sequins on the seams to get a flatter look.
Then I hemmed all the sequin layers so that it fell just below the lining.
And last but not least, I finished off the back seam, rolling the seam allowance on both layers inwards and stitching it down. I added a hook and eye to keep things closed.
Bring on the party season! What are you planning on sewing? Do you have any handy tips when it comes to adding a lining to your garments? Stay tuned for a green velvet number I'm working on...
I LOVE the lead-up to the holidays. Getting together with friends, cheerful parties, cookie exchanges – it’s my favourite time of year. The snow is new (and we’re not sick of it yet) and winter is still fairly mild!
As a personal rule, I set November 12 as my countdown date. I observe Remembrance Day in my community and then welcome the Christmas tunes!
I decided to kick off the holiday season sewing-style with a festive themed Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt which should carry me through the holiday season. It’s perfectly slouchy enough to cozy up with socks and a cup of tea.
I decided to spring for the paper pattern since this is likely something I will make a lot of, and I happened to be in the neighbourhood of Fabrications Ottawa. For my first Linden, I got this metallic jacquard knit from Fabricland as part of their ends - $16 for 1.5m. The red flower motif reminded me of Pointsetta, and the gold sparkle gave it a festive touch – even for a sweatshirt! The back of the fabric has gold stripes I thought would make a good contrast for the neckband and cuffs.
I sewed this one first as a “trial run” before making my…
…second Linden (which is top secret). This Linden sweater I crafted specifically for the “Linden Swap” exchange. My swap partner lives all the way in England, so I figured an early start was necessary. I will post pictures after the holiday, but I used a really cool fabric combo – a knit crepe for the body part, and a lacy, floral French terry fabric for the sleeves and bands. After an hour of Instagram creeping my partner, I’m pretty sure it will be right up her alley (fingers crossed!). I’ve packaged it up with some Canadiana goodies (mmmm maple syrup candies), and I’ve mailed it across the pond.
My THIRD Linden was a bit of an experiment. I was inspired by this YouTube video from Lauren Guthrie, in which she sews a sequin Grainline Scout Tee. She said she chose this pattern because of its simplicity (and no darts!). I’d never sewn with sequins before! Again, I purchased this fabric from the ends department ($15). To add to the complexity, the sequin mesh was see through. I debated just sewing it up and wearing it with a tank top, but it wasn’t a look I really wanted to go for. I decided instead to use a crepe fabric to line it – and experimented with the pattern a bit. Overall, I’m happy with how my festive cropped version (View B) of this Linden turned out. I paired it with a headband I made a while back with extra lace from my wedding dress.
Overall Pattern Notes:
It was my first time sewing with a Grainline Studio Pattern, and I think it’s definitely a classic. The instructions are easy to follow, clear, and the garment sews up super quickly. There are lots of fun ways to color coordinate, or to experiment with different fabric choices. I would compare it to a blank canvas – it really allows you to be creative because the pattern is so simple and versatile. You can make the cuffs, waistband, sleeves, body and neckband all different colors. With both a long sleeved and cropped version, it’s also great for both warm and colder months. Another great thing is that purchasing fabric is relatively inexpensive. Although I am a smaller size (I cut between a size 0 and 2), I used 0.6m for my cropped short sleeve Linden, and just over 1m for my long sleeved version! You can definitely afford to splurge a little on a nice cosy fabric without breaking the bank. The only thing I would make note of for beginners – attaching a neckband can be a little tricky. I’ve done this several times now, so I had no issues with the instructions – but if it was my first time, a little YouTube tutorial might make you feel more comfortable.
Sequin-y and sparkly Lindens are the perfect way to spread holiday cheer – wouldn’t you agree?
Next week I’ll post a step-by-step tutorial of how I created my lined, sequin version!
I don't know about you, but fall is my all-time favourite season. Especially living in Canada, the colours are stunning, the weather is perfect for a light jacket and everything is pumpkin spice flavoured.
When I started sewing seriously (read: compulsively) in the spring, I LOVED making colourful spring and summer dresses. I have a dress for every occasion:
- Grandmas 84th birthday and pool party! (check)
- Garden party at the Irish Ambassador's house! (check)
- High School bestie's bachelorette party concert! (check)
- Lunch with my inlaws! (check)
- Escape room at the Diefenbunker! (check)
... Because lets be honest, each of those occasions needs its own perfect dress.
But now as we move into fall, I'd really like to start taking a balanced, planned approach to my wardrobe. I also would like to be a bit more thrifty. By planning out my fall sewing "wishlist" I can keep an eye out for fabrics that will all work together in one cohesive wardrobe and (hopefully) allow me to resist the urge to buy something, that although beautiful, may only be worn on that "one special occasion". It's an effort to wear more me-made everyday and to make use of what I have.
To come up with a list, I was inspired by the most recent issue of Seamwork Magazine (and the July issue too), which encourages you to to develop your "Style Signatures".
I started by taking a look at my current fall wardrobe. What colours do I wear a lot of? How would I describe my style? What pieces would be a nice addition? What should I retire?
I like to describe my style as "Grandma Chique", and the colours that populate my fall wardrobe are forest green, navy and denim blue, mustard yellow and burgundy red. Throw in some other basics (tan, white, black), and I had a colour scheme to focus on.
Next I looked through Pinterest and created a board specific to fall fashion. Which silhouettes did I like best? What patterns, textures and shapes? Here's an example of what I came up with:
Next I went through all the patterns that I have and leftover fabric I have from other projects. Which of these could I include in my fall wardrobe that reflect my style, my Pinterest and colour palette.
And finally I also included some patterns I don't have - maybe I have the perfect pattern but not the fabric - or vice versa. By planning this, I hope to keep an eye out on sales to make the purchase at the perfect time.
So below you can see my (horrible) drawings of what I'm picturing for fall (see "Moto jacket" illustration if you need convincing).
Please ignore my breakfast crumbs.
Now, will I get to everything on this list - realistically- no. But it's definitely worth having options so that I stay inspired, motivated and keep an eye out for that perfect fabric.
The patterns and fabric I've decided on (for now) include the following:
- Mia Jeans in a dark wash denim (Sew Over It)
- Plaid Alex Shirt Dress in a brushed flannel - my fav. (Sew over it)
- Silk Cami - I figured this is a good pattern for using up scraps while creating coordinating basics (Sew Over it)
- Rowan Bodysuit - White V-neck (Megan Nielson)
- Rowan Turtle or Crew neck - forest green (Megan Nielson)
- Plaid crop top - a mix of the Ultimate shift dress top and New Look 6431 to include the pleats at the top.
- Plaid skirt - forest green and navy blue (Self-Drafting)
- Button Front Erin Skirt - either in a burgandy or tan corduroy (Sew Over It)
- Midi Button Front Embroidered Rayon Denim Skirt (NewLook6014 - a retro pattern from my mother in law)
- Blackwood Cardigan - likely in an off-white (Helen's Closet)
- Moto Jacket in a tan colour (Not sure of Pattern yet - Maybe Ziggi Jacket by Style Arc or the Biker Jacket from Burda Style)
- Kelly Anorak - colour TBD (Closet Case Patterns)
-Cropped Astoria Sweater - mustard yellow, a straight-up blatant copy of Jessica Lorraine's beautiful Astoria (Seamwork)
- More plaid shirts. All the plaid. (Rosa Shirt from Tilly and the Buttons and/or Alex Shirt from Sew Over it)
- Pussy bow Blouse in a nice burgundy (Sew Over it)
- A loud fall print Moneta - or other jersey dress (Colette)
- Ultimate Trousers in Navy (Sew Over it)
- Manila Leggings (Seamwork)
- Either a Nancy Dress (Sew Over it) or Orsola Dress (By Hand London) in this beautiful black, green and purple floral fabric I have in my stash.
... Wish me luck and follow along here/on Instagram (@floralsflannels) to see how I do :)
Self-taught sewist, Knitter, Crocheter, and all round crafty person from Ottawa, Canada.