The Waitress Dress – M7084

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M7084 The Waitress Dress | Sew Anita

Since sewing Mike’s Negroni shirt (and finally figuring out buttonholes, yay!) I’ve been on a kick to sew more shirts. So I thought I’d use all those neat techniques I learned with the Negroni and apply them to McCalls 7084 shirt dress pattern. I had just a small yardage of those beautiful riley Blake fabrics bought at A Fashionable Stitch last year, originally bought to make a regular shirt with the same pattern combination, but I thought I could squeeze this dress out of it too. And I did! It wasn’t easy, there was math involved, and not any room for error, but I did it.

I really like how those two prints go together, but I’m not 100% sold on this dress. It came together nicely, but when I put it on I think it looks like a diner waitress uniform. It’s still cute, but I wouldn’t put this on my favorite-thing-I-ever-made list. Maybe I need to try this pattern’s other version, with a godet skirt, and see if I like it better. It came together easy enough, it is very roomy, which is nice on a dress with so many buttons, so it means nothing will be popping out in a weird way when you sit. I used the felled seams technique throughout this dress as well, so the highly frayable cotton seams would be under control.

I have a few more photos of the dress below, including a bunch of close ups of the details. Check out that cute contrast pattern pocket, and the contrast collar as well. And so many polka dots!

M7084 The Waitress Dress | Sew Anita M7084 The Waitress Dress | Sew Anita

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Simplicity 1607

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Simplicity 1607

I have something rare to share with you today. A photo of a garment I finished without me in it. You can see where this is going, right? I finished this lovely Cynthia Rowley Simplicity pattern only to find out I made it too small. It fit me through all of the fittings, but as soon as I put the zipper in, it was too small. I blame it a little on me following the instructions. I know, usually if you follow the instructions to the letter, you won’t get fitting issues, but I usually don’t and everything fits nicely. I am pretty sure I cut the right size and all, but I used a bigger seam allowance than what I am used to, and there you have it, a dress that doesn’t fit.

On the bright side, this was supposed to be my wearable muslim, so I didn’t really spend much on the fabric. The entire four yard piece I bought, only cost me $8. I knew it was going to be a trickier than usual pattern, and even though it doesn’t fit, I’m pretty happy with it. It was a huge challenge to match those straps together, but I did it, and the finished dress is absolutely amazing. I know where I need to make changes in the future, for starters, I’ll just do one or two sizes up to get something that fits me. Then I know the back needs some work, as a lot of fabric pools there. So I’ll do some changes on that area as well. Which means, I guess I need to go raid the sale rack at the fabric store again. This cotton was such a great find, though, I’m actually really sad I won’t get to wear it. But who knows, maybe I’m lucky and Hancock still has a super discounted bolt of this geometric pattern.

Anyway, check out a few other photos of the dress, including this exquisite zipper I sewed on (what a waste!):

Simplicity 1607 | Sew Anita

Simplicity 1607 | Sew Anita

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Vogue 8996 Summer Dress

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Vogue 8996 | Sew Anita

This dress has been sitting finished but unworn in my closet for a while. I did it on a whim sometime in October, when it was already too cold to wear something so summery. So, I’ve only worn it for the pictures you see here, but I love it. I think the fit was pretty spot on, and I love how flattering it looks!

It’s been a while since I finished this, so I don’t really remember much about sewing it. The fabric was a rayon challis I bought at Hancocks, and it’s one of my favorite fabrics to sew with. I finished the arm holes and collar with bias tape, and I think it looks nice, except that maybe the collar ended up a bit more loose than I’d wanted.

I can’t wait to wear this dress again when it’s warm! So, it means I’ll have to wait another four months. And hey, check out the pockets in it. YES, pockets. I’m not sewing dresses without pockets ever again.

Vogue 8996 | Sew Anita Vogue 8996 | Sew Anita Vogue 8996 | Sew Anita

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Two Neptune Shirts

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Neptune Tee | Sew Anita

Another sewing with knits post! Ah, seriously guys, they are so great to sew with! I bought the Neptune Tee pattern because I loved those triangle cut outs. I cut two in two different type of knits, and they were no issue to put together. The collar is kind of tricky to get it right, I wish I had cut it a little bit bigger. Looks good!

Neptune Tee | Sew Anita Neptune Tee | Sew Anita

Neptune Tee | Sew Anita

Neptune Tee | Sew Anita Neptune Tee | Sew Anita Neptune Tee | Sew Anita

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The Pink Cardi That Almost Made It

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McCalls 6844 Pink Cardi | Sew Anita

Okay, don’t be fooled by the cute picture, but this jacket ended up not turning up how I wanted! I won’t call it a total failure, but the collar ended up pretty messy, no matter how many times I tried to put it together. This was originally supposed to be a gift, but I just couldn’t give it to someone when it just didn’t work so great. The funny thing is, I made this cardi before, well, a variation of it, and it turned out perfect! I made view C, with a cute sweater knit that I had already used before on something else, and it is seriously the cutest thing ever. That one was a gift to my Mike’s sister, and I think she really liked it! I kind of want to make myself a copy of it now too… I still have fabric left!

But back to the pink one. This was going to be a gift to someone else, and I thought they would have liked this view better. And this color was perfect too! But yeah, the collar just wouldn’t stay put, and it just didn’t sew nicely. You can notice how the fabric pulls on the photo bellow of the cardi just handing. And I made the size M, which I would have thought would be the perfect size for me, and I think the sleeves are too big.

The color does look great on me, though, so I’m not going to scrap it. It’s not good enough for a gift, but I can make something out of it! I still have some of this fabric left, but I think I’ll use it to make something more simple next, like a mabel mini or leggings.

McCalls 6844 Pink Cardi | Sew Anita McCalls 6844 Pink Cardi | Sew Anita

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Another Charlotte Pencil Skirt

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Charlotte Pencil Skirt | Sew Anita

Yes, I made another Charlotte skirt! It’s my third one (see the first one and the second one), and this time I didn’t take any length off the skirt, and just sewed as the pattern had it, so it’s actually much longer than my usual skirts. I thought it would be fun to try something a little out of my comfort zone. I do need to wear it with heels all the time, but I guess that’s not really an awful thing!

I used a thicker wool fabric I got from a fabric swap with some friends. It’s really cozy and warm. This pattern doesn’t include lining, but I figured I could add one pretty easy. Scroll down and you will see the cool fabric I used for lining (also from the swap, but I also made an Anna dress out of it, so it got really a lot of use!). It didn’t end up perfect, but I’m getting much better at adding lining. To finish off, I decided to also add an exposed metal zipper to the back, because this skirt is pretty classy, so I needed to add something to make it a little more crazy.

It’s absolutely perfect! I wore it to work already, just like the outfit on the photo, and it was great.

Charlotte Pencil Skirt | Sew Anita

Charlotte Pencil Skirt | Sew Anita Charlotte Pencil Skirt | Sew Anita

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McCalls 6886 T-Shirt Dress

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McCalls 6886 Shirt Dress | Sew Anita

This was a quick and easy project I tackled over the Thanksgiving break (I know , I’m still catching up with blogging!). Since I’ve started sewing with knits, I have been pretty excited about making some basics for my wardrobe. And I definitely didn’t have a t-shirt dress in my wardrobe anymore. Since this fabric was thick, I decided to make this dress with the long sleeve version, and the v-neck collar because I had never sewn a v-neck. I think this turned out really good, and it’s super comfy and warm, it will be great for the winter.

There’s not much else to add to this project! I cut the fabric one night, then in just two hours the next day put everything together. It was only five pieces, the front, the back, the sleeves, and the collar band. I shall make a few more as soon as I have some more fun knit fabric!

McCalls 6886 Shirt Dress | Sew Anita McCalls 6886 Shirt Dress | Sew Anita

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A Christmas Negroni

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Denim Negroni | Sew Anita

This past year I made Michael a shirt for his birthday, a nice basic short-sleeved shirt made with a dark gray shirting fabric. It was my first time sewing clothing for him, and I really enjoyed the experience. Turns out sewing men’s clothing is actually a pretty good learning experience! So I really wanted to make him another one for Christmas, but this time something he really didn’t have already, like a denim skirt. I got this dark denim at Hancock’s, and I was going to use the same pattern from the birthday shirt, but then I read a post about the Negroni from Lladybird and that they had a really good felled-seams tutorial that she even used on some of her shirts, so then I had to get it.

And yup, it was a total winner! I loved sewing and putting this together, and I think the shirt turned out to be one of the best things I ever made! I also bought a half yard of some cute printed fabric, and cut a few pieces for contrast. The sleeve plackets, the inside of the cuffs and the inside of the collar, and the back yoke on the inside. There’s also a ton of top-stitching to make it look  more like a denim shirt.

The flat-felled seams were definitely a cool thing to learn, and the yoke burrito method. It was scary, but then I googled Negroni sewalong and found the posts by Male Pattern Boldness with a ton of pictures and it really helped me feel confident enough to do it. The other new thing I learned was how to make button holes on my machine! Woohoo! Can I tell you how many patterns I avoided doing because I couldn’t figure out how to make those? Then I finally found a helpful YouTube video tutorial on how to do it, and then I nailed it. I’m so happy I bought a shirt dress pattern for myself and am already working on it, because now I can make buttonholes!

The one thing I need to make better next time are the cuffs, they ended up a bit too tight. But Mike likes it, so that’s the best part! I wish I could have made more handmade gifts this year, but there’s just so much time on the month of November and December, you know? Maybe next year I’d have to start much sooner!

Denim Negroni | Sew Anita

Denim Negroni | Sew Anita Denim Negroni | Sew Anita Denim Negroni | Sew Anita

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2014 End of Year Recap

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2014 Recap | Sew Anita

Sewing

Let’s start this 2014 recap with the reason for this little blog’s existence! Sewing! Oh yes, 2014 you have been good to me and my sewing machine! I feel like I finally reached a level of confidence and proficiency with the machine that helped me sew some great things. I look back at all the outfits I finished this year, and there are quite a few stand outs. And I have been wearing all of them pretty often, to the point that I even get enough handmade items to make its own laundry pile (I wash them all on the super delicate settings, then hang to dry, so it’s helpful to accumulate all of them together for laundry). Some of the highlights of the year for me were:

  • Sewing with knits
  • Making my Halloween costume
  • Having a handmade wardrobe to be proud of

Let’s start with knits. I was positively terrified of sewing with knits before. They were so weird and wonky and slippery and they turned to giant messes after going through my sewing machine! A total nightmare. But then, 2014 seemed to be the year of knits, with a lot of indie companies releasing patterns dedicated exclusively to this type of fabric, so I had to keep up with the trend. I signed up for a sewing with knits class at A Fashionable Stitch (RIP, they closed on the 23rd of this month to only be an online store now) and that was apparently all I needed to get started! I learned so many valuable tips and lessons from it, that when I finally started sewing with knits, I was instantly hooked. Turns out they are an even easier fabric to play with than cotton. Yes, really. And the finished products are such a delight to wear because knit fabrics are so forgiving, so comfortable, so basic, and most of all: they don’t need ironing after washing. I still love my quilting cotton dresses, but let’s just take a minute to bask in the glory and practicality of knits.

Sewing with Knits | Sew AnitaIn the top row of the image are some of the makes I made for myself this year: a mabel pencil skirt, a moneta with some crazy fabric, a heart sweater, and another super basic moneta. The bottom row are all pictures from my Instagram (follow me @anitaboeira) and they were all gifts! The cardigan on the left was for my sister in law and I love it so much I might make a copy for myself. The two sweaters in the middle picture look like they are adult sized, but they are actually teeny bitty sweaters for babies! The green and flowery one went to Brazil as a gift for a friend from college who is pregnant with her first baby (the flowery fabric is a knit leftover from a t-shirt dress I have yet to blog about because it turned out a bit too big!) and the diamond checkered sweater was for a friend from here in Salt Lake. I actually made a copy of the same sweater for another friend, so their boys who are close in age can wear matching sweaters. Friends for life now. The last picture was my first attempt ever at sewing for babies with knit, I used more of that awesome heart sweater fabric, and the gray is fabric left over from the moneta pictured right above it. It turned out so freaking cute, and it was just the perfect sweater for the baby who got it. I wish I could share photos, but since the kids are not mine, I rather not post their photos on the web! But trust me when I say they all looked super cute in their sweaters.

Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita

Another highlight of my sewing year was obviously my Halloween costume. To give you some context of why it was a highlight, just last night I had a dream I was going to a costume party with some of the British royal family (yes, Kate, William, George, and even Harry) and what better costume to wear to rock with the princess and princes than my Haunted Mansion inspired costume? With wig and everything? Yup, two months after Halloween and I still have dreams about this awesome project. I love everything about it, from the fabric choices, the crazy jacket, and the styling. And most of all, I love it because it is based of one of my favorite Disney rides. Maybe I’ll have to bring it to Disney next time I go and wear it. Sans wig, of course, that thing is uncomfortable and very hot. Plus, can you imagine how awful it would look after a ride in the Space Mountain? Lol.

Handmade Wardrobe

And last but not least, my biggest highlight of the year really is to have a handmade wardrobe I am proud of. I don’t wear handmade every day, but I have so many pieces in my wardrobe that I am so proud of wearing it on a daily basis to work or even to special events. I lost track of what I sewed this year and what I sewed in previous years, but most of what I own now were things made this year, so I resolved to make a little tally of what I have in my wardrobe that is handmade.

  • Dresses: 15
    By far my favorite thing to make is a dress. It’s also my favorite piece of clothing to wear, to it makes sense that the majority of my handmade wardrobe would be comprised of dresses. They are usually more labor intensive than a shirt or a skirt, but they also make much more of a statement when worn. Most of my handmade dresses have very interesting prints, so they are very unique. Some of my favorites are pictured above.
  • Tops: 12
    To be more precise, out of the dozen tops I have sewed and that are currently hanging on my wardrobe, ten are shirts and two are sweaters. Out of the ten shirts, two are button ups, and four are belcarras (my favorite shirt pattern). Tops are great because  you can sew them up in an afternoon, so it gives you that quick project satisfaction that you don’t get out of a dress. The one thing I need more in my wardrobe though are cardigans, so hopefully I’ll add a couple more next year.
  • Skirts: 9
    Skirts are the handmade item that get the most use, especially because out of my nine skirts, six are work appropriate, and most of them are pencil skirts. And pencil skirts are my favorite thing to wear to work, especially in the winter when wearing tights cause all of my flowy dresses and skirt get bunched up around my legs thanks to static. Pencil skirts don’t do that, so I can happily wear some handmade items in the thick of winter. My favorite pencil skirt pattern is the Charlotte from By Hand London, which I have sewn three times already, including one that I haven’t blogged yet, but you can see a sneak peek of it on Instagram.
  • Costumes: 2
    This year’s costume I already talked about, but two years ago I also sewed myself a costume, an Elizabeth Bennett outfit that still looks pretty rad.
  • Shorts: 1
    I actually sewed two shorts this year, but only one still hangs in the wardrobe. Not for long, since it actually is pretty crappy. Maybe next year I should aim to get better at sewing pants and shorts because currently I suck at it.
  • Pajamas: 1
    I also need to make more pajamas! With all the left over knit I have, it would be nice to use a few to make myself more summer nightgowns, because currently my summer pajama stash is pretty low, and that’s even counting the store-bought stuff!

Redesign

Another highlight of 2014 was the overhaul I gave this website. I changed its name, design, URL, main themes… It’s still very much a blog about myself, but with a main focus on what’s my life current main focus: sewing. I am still very much a newbie, but I felt like taking everyone along with me for this ride. I think it looks even prettier than it did before, right?

New SIte | Anita Boeira

Wedding

Well, speaking of highlights, getting married takes the cake. It was by far the best moment of the year for me. I have blogged extensively about it in the first half of this year, so you are always welcome to click through and read more about this awesome day if you missed it. The ceremony was at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. We got married in the hills with an amazing view, and the Observatory was such a special place for the two of us, we had visited it together in 2009 and had such a great time there, when it was suggested as a potential venue, I knew it was the best place to go. And we are such nerds, that in a way it just felt right to get married in a place dedicated to science and space, and on the day after the spring equinox, no less. It was a happy day!

AnitaMichael_Elopement_KatiePritchard-12

Travels

I also traveled a TON this year, which makes me super happy. Most trips were just quick breaks to relax in places that are pretty close to home (St. George, Las Vegas, and Park City), but we also made it to California again this year (I can’t help it, I love it over there!) for our wedding and a trip to Disneyland that we were planning for for a while. Our longest trip was to the Pacific Northwest, Michael and I packed the car and spent ten days driving and experiencing Portland and Seattle. It was a pretty awesome trip, I had never visited either of those states and cities, so I very much enjoyed getting to see a little more of this huge country. The food in Portland was the highlight of the trip for me, we went to so many great places and ate so many different and delicious things. Another fun part of the trip was all the walks we went around Seattle, our hotel was super close to the space needle, so every time we wanted to go for a walk, we had incredible things to see just a few blocks away. The traffic was kind of insane, but it was so nice to go on that long trip! I’m hoping 2015 is even more filled with trips, but my biggest focus will be saving to go to Japan in 2016!

Travels | Sew Anita

10k

I feel like my biggest personal accomplishment this year was running a 10k. Michael and I signed up for the Deseret Classic 10k, to practice running an official race before we take our chances on one of the Run Disney events (my dream!). I don’t quite think I’m ready for a half marathon, so I’ll probably aim to do a Disney 10k sometimes in the next year or so (depending on what I can get, those events sell out fast!). I started the year running three to four miles on the weekend, and steadily increased till I could manage a 10k in less than two hours. My goal for the race was to finish in under a hour and a half and not finish last (lol, very attainable goals for a first timer). And I got it, I ran my best time ever and finished my 10k in one hour and twenty minutes! It did help a lot that the beginning of the race was downhill, and I was making nine-minute miles, but after the first four miles I got a bit weak and had to walk to the finish line. I ran a bit close to the finish line just so I’d finish running, but my energies were almost exhausted. That’s a lesson for next time: eat more before the race! Or bring a snack to eat mid-race. It was really fun, though. I did enjoy running a race, and just being in the middle of all those people running. And yes, I was not the last to finish, there were at least another 300 people that finish behind me!

Running my first 10k | Sew Anita

Work

The Not So Great News

If you are a regular reader of Sew Anita you might have noticed that I haven’t update the blog since October 31st this year. That’s two months of no updates, and even though I am an irregular blogger, two months of radio silence does call attention to itself. I don’t want to end this post in a sour note, though, so I’ll keep it brief. In November I planned on taking a month off sewing so I could participate into the National Novel Writing Month, but 15,000 words in, Michael got sick, and after a few visits to a few different doctors, a surgery, and some other exams, he was diagnosed with cancer. It’s not a horrible kind, it’s actually one that has a very good survival rate (close to 100%), so we are positive. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck, because it does. But I have all reasons to believe he’ll be okay after his treatment is over, and in the meantime I’ll just dedicate more of my time to him, instead of the blog. I still love this little space of mine, and I’ll continue to try to update whenever possible! I didn’t stop sewing, in fact, I completed quite a few projects this past two months (mostly were gifts, and I’ll make a post about them soon), I just haven’t gotten the camera out to photograph them. It’s hard to photograph cute outfits when it’s so cold too!

Anyway

Even with the not so great news, 2014 was a great year. I won’t dismiss it just because some things didn’t pan out great. Look at all the incredible milestones we hit this year: getting married, running a 10k, traveling a lot, getting a promotion at work, redesigning this website, sewing a ton and getting better at it every day, all the time spent with some of the best people I know, hitting my saving goals (I stopped blogging about it cause it got boring, but yes, I made it! Next year we save some more, but this time it’s saving to travel) and so on. 2014 was am incredible year, and here’s to hope 2015 is an even better one.

Thank you for spending it with me.

Love, Anita

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Halloween 2014 – Haunted Mansion

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Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew AnitaDisney’s Haunted Mansion is turning 45 this year, so of course I wanted to honor my favorite ride by dressing up as one of its cast members this Halloween (here are some of the photos I used as reference). And I am super excited to share it with you! This is a long time in the making sort of thing too. I originally decided I wanted to dress up as one of the Haunted Mansion cast member two years ago, but had no luck finding the perfect fabrics till this year, when I finally lucked out and found this amazing green twill for $5/yard on Fabric.com. So I happily ordered myself five yards of it. To add more details, I decided to buy one yard of this fabric that replicate’s Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s wallpaper from Spoonflower. It looks cool, not as vibrant as I would like it, but still super cool. And in a stroke of luck, a few days before starting to sew this, I got together with a few other friends for a fabric swap, and one of them had that amazing glittery black fabric, and it occurred to me it would be the perfect fabric for this jacket.

After I had all the materials assembled, I sat and worked on this. It took me about two weeks to get all pieces together, a total of four! I made the vest, the jacket, the skirt, and the petticoat that goes under that skirt. Doesn’t it look super fun, I mean, dreadful? The only thing you may have noticed is that the vest is held together with pins. I haven’t decided yet how I want it to close… It’s a bit large on me, so I’m thinking of maybe sewing it shut, so I’d put it on like a shirt, not a vest. I have a fancy little clasp I bought for it, but I don’t think it will work unless I wear this vest with something under it, and I don’t think that really works. On Halloween I’ll probably wear it with a tan-colored tank underneath, just for modesty’s sake since I’ll be wearing it at work, but we’ll see. I have some time to think about it (I am writing this post a week before Halloween).

My costume wouldn’t be complete, though, without the details. I bought a gray and green wig on Ebay, the choker is from a seller on Etsy, the lipstick is from Lime Crime (sold out), the purple tights are from Target, and the shoes are old ones from Nine West. I wish I had cool pointy booties for this costume instead, but I forgot all about shoes in my excitement about the rest. And the best detail of all, my original Disney World name tag. It ties everything together beautifully, doesn’t it?

Anyway, below are a bunch of more pictures of this costume for you to check out all details.

Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew AnitaPatterns used:

Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita Halloween 2014, Haunted Mansion Costume | Sew Anita

Want to see more handmade Halloween costumes? Check out my Elizabeth Bennett costume from Pride and Prejudice!

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