Party like it’s 1814 | Regency Ball

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Johanna, Autumn, Arikka, and Anita at the 2016 Regency Romance Ball in their handmade gowns | Sew Anita

Nothing like a four-month late post! But hey, at least I am back. Back for good? Only time will tell, but I certainly hope so. I may have stopped blogging every week, but I have not stopped sewing! One project I really need to share with you is the regency ball. For a year, three of my co-workers and I planned our attendance at the Regency Romance Ball that the Jane Austen Society of North America, Utah chapter, plans every year. As big Jane Austen enthusiasts, we wanted to go. We secured our husbands support to escort us to the ball, so then all we needed were fabulous dresses to wear!

We quickly dismissed the idea of renting a dress, there was an entire year to sew our dresses! So we bought patterns, and planned what each one of us wanted to wear. I wanted a navy blue dress with gold accents, Autumn was set on pink and black, Arikka was indecisive between gold and brown, and Johanna wanted green and as period accurate as possible. And of course, with one year to sew, we obviously left it all to the last three months. I sewed mine in November/December, then spent January and February helping Johanna and Autumn to sewn theirs. Arikka did all of hers on her own, including test dying her fabric in 30 different shades of yellow and brown until she picked her favorite.

Regency Ball Making Of | Sew Anita

Johanna and I even found time to make waistcoasts for our husbands. And Arikka created her whole husband’s ensemble with refashions. Johanna also made the jewelry we wore, including her gorgeous crown. We didn’t take a ton of photos of the event, we were too busy partying like it was 1814!

Regency Ball 2016 | Sew Anita

Now for the technical details…

Blue dress

Patterns used: the skirt was a modified Simplicity #4055. The top was a mix of three different patterns, with the Simplicity #4055 sleeves,  the back was from Butterick #6630, and the front was a non-regency pattern from Simplicity that I lost the number of.

Fabric and notions: I used five yards of dark blue satin I bought at Hancocks, and five yards of a gold and navy paisley brocade I ordered on Etsy. The brocade is sheer, and a little stiff, but it worked beautifully for this dress. To the waistline I added a gold braid I bought at Hancocks.

Jewelry: made by Johanna with parts she already owned and a pair of pendants from Etsy.

Pink and Black dress

Pattern used: Butterick 6074

Fabrics: pink cotton, and black lace from Joann’s fabrics.

Green dress

Pattern used: Butterick 6074

Fabric and notions: Johanna bought her main fabric online at Amazon, it was a white swiss dot silk, which she dyed green. The trims she bought on Etsy.

Jewelry: Johanna made all of her jewelry with parts she already owned, a few pieces from Etsy, the hardware store, and the local jewelry store.

The men’s costumes were mostly rentals, with two waistcoats made by me and Johanna for our husbands, and Arikka refashioned her husband’s outfit from a thrift store jacket, and other items from their wardrobe.

Regency Ball 2016 | Sew Anita Regency Ball 2016 | Sew Anita

 

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Happy New Year | McCalls 6696

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Oh hello dear old blog. How are you doing? It seems like I have abandoned you for quite a while for the shinier and less time consuming Instagram. But the novelty of IG aside, I guess I kind of missed you. I miss sharing my new outfits with you, and my sewing plans, and other adventures. And I have done so much while we were separated. I suppose it’s time for me to share with you some of what happened in the backstage during this time.

I haven’t kept a great record of what I worked on, but I did photograph one outfit extensively outside of my sewing room, and with an actual camera, not my cell phone. And it was my classic McCalls 6696. Oh wait! You don’t know that this is one of my favorite patterns yet! I have not shared with you the several iterations of this dress that I have made! A hunt on IG for outfit shots is imperative now!

mccalls 6696 shirtdress | Sew AnitaLace M6696 | Floral M6696 | Nautical M6696 | Anna Bodice + M6696 Skirt

Now that we got my addiction the M6696 out of the way, I can share with you photos from one of my latest M6696 that I actually photographed with a real camera, as I said above. I found a cotton fabric at Hancocks with Mickey Mouse, and it was a tasteful fabric in black and white with red accents, which is not often the case with Disney prints found at chain fabric stores. And since I had a trip to Disneyland scheduled in the near future, I had to purchase the fabric, and wear it at the mouse’s own land.

Mickey Mouse McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress | Sew Anita

Mickey Mouse McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress | Sew Anita

And of course I bought ears that matched:

Mickey Mouse McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress | Sew Anita

(you can buy those ears at: Alvena Diiva Desigs on Etsy)

Alright dear blog and dear readers… I think this is pretty good for today! I still owe you much more, but I’ll save them for another post. I have some beautiful knit dresses I made, a 70s inspired dress, a jumpsuit, cat skirts, costumes, etc etc etc. It will all make its way into the blog, pinky swear.

In the meantime, keep sewing!

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Quilting Cotton Skirt | B6102

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Quilting Cotton Skirt | B6102 | Sew Anita

I used a quilting cotton for this wearable muslim Butterick 6102 skirt. I’ve been working on a few different skirts to come up with a good pattern to make a skirt to wear to a wedding in about a month. I don’t think this pattern is the one, but I think this skirt turned out great! I did it a size too big, so my next time working with this pattern I’ll use a size or two smaller. And as much as I love this print and this skirt is super fun, I think it would look better in a solid fabric, or something with a more discreet print.

I do really like it though! Isn’t it fun? The only caveat is that I don’t have a lot of shirts that match it, but you know that’s an easy problem to fix, right? I do feel like I need a couple more cherry red tops anyway.

Quilting Cotton Skirt | B6102 | Sew Anita Quilting Cotton Skirt | B6102 | Sew Anita

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Sewing for Summer Time

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Summer Sewing | Vogue 9100 | Sew Anita

I have a few trips scheduled for this summer, and a few of them are for much warmer and more humid climates than what I’m used to. And when I started to plan outfits to take on my travels, I realized that most of what I have for summer, wouldn’t work with humidity! A lot of my summer clothes are synthetic fabrics and longer sleeves, which works nicely in the dry Utah summer, but are just about useless for the humidity of Texas and Florida. So I got some knit and some challis I had on my stash, and I sewed, sewed, sewed! Non-stop for a couple of weekends till I had a few more tops, bottoms, and dresses to take on my trips. And those are the pieces I’m sharing with you all today!

My first trip planned is for Orlando, which means I’ll be out and about on parks and malls, and will need as little fabric touching my body as possible. So I made some flowy blouses out of my challis, and a dress on a size up so it won’t be too form fitting. And to go with all of my new breezy tops, I made a new mabel pencil skirt with some really nice knit I had. It all came together very quickly! Now all I need is to report back if all of those outfits wore the right choice! If not, at least they’ll still look great for the Utah summer!

Patterns used: Mabel Skirt by Colette Patterns | Sutton Blouse by True Bias
9100 Dress by Vogue Patterns | 7093 Blouses (leopard back, and pink accent) by McCalls

Summer Sewing | Vogue 9100 | Sew Anita

Summer Sewing | Mabel Skirt | Sew Anita Summer Sewing | Mabel Skirt and Sutton Blouse | Sew Anita Summer Sewing | Mabel Skirt and McCalls 9073 | Sew Anita Summer Sewing | Mabel Skirt and McCalls 9073 | Sew Anita

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1940s-Inspired Dress

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1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita

Earlier this year, I got really into Agent Carter, an ABC/Marvel tv show staring Hayley Atwell as the title character. The show is set in New York City post WWII, and has exquisite sets and costumes. And Hayley and the rest of the female cast is so breathtakingly beautiful in those 1940s fashions, I got really inspired to try my hand at making myself something inspired by that era. Which is why I bought a copy of the Simplicity 1587 at my local fabric store.

To be fair, though, the pattern did sit unused, till Lucky Lucille‘s Spring for Cotton challenge. She always host some amazing challenges, and I’ve been watching what everyone comes up with for the last few she hosted. But this time, instead of just looking at what other people did, I decided to try my hand at it. The directions were simple, use a 100% cotton fabric and make something vintage-inspired (20s-70s). So in comes this art gallery cotton voile I had in my stash, and the simplicity 1940s dress, so I could finally look like I could be an extra on Agent Carter.

Sewing this had its usual challenges, but in general was pretty easy to accomplish. It was the first time I got the little notch sewing (no idea the terminology, ooops, but I’m talking about that inverted V shape where the waistband and the skirt meet) sharp, and I was happy with it. The dress is full of wonderful details, and SO MUCH GATHERING. I’m not a fan of gathering, but in this dress it just added to the whole whimsical package. But you bet I groaned every time I saw ANOTHER gathering I had to do.

I loved sewing it, and I’m happy to be still wearing it right now and on my way to a book club meeting on this nice Utah Spring day!

1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita 1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita 1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita 1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita

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Magenta Pleated Dress | New Look 6143

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Magenta Pleated Dress, New Look 6143 | Sew Anita

I grabbed a sewing magazine the other day and fell completely in love with a pleated gray dress from Merick’s Art. I just had to have it! Merrick’s site had a tutorial of how she did it, but I love patterns, and I figured I must have something in my stash that would work out. I was torn in between the Moneta or the New Look 6143. In the end, I settled for the New Look because I have had this pattern in my stash for a long time, so it made sense to try it with it. And I wanted it to feel a little bit less fitted, while the Moneta after sewing it twice, I know it’s really tight fitting.

I also had a ton of this magenta fabric. I got it super cheap at Fabric Mart, and it is a tricky fabric to work with. I tried making a little blazer first, and it didn’t look good. So next I made a pair of pants, but the fabric was too thin for it. Third time is the charm, right? I’m happy with how this dress turned out. I think the bust darts are too low, and this fabric really works best with the least amount of details as possible (that’s why there’s some wrinkling in the sides. But the color! This color is so beautiful. And the fabric, as tricky as it is, feels really good on the body. And this was also my first chance at making something with my new serger, and wow, things go so much quicker! I’m loving it. Still working out the kinks, but I’ll get there.

Magenta Pleated Dress, New Look 6143 | Sew Anita

 

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Leopard Print Carolyn Pajamas

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Carolyn Pajamas | Sew Anita

A few months ago, I found this beautiful leopard print rayon challis at Hancock’s, on sale for a mere $3/yard. I knew straightaway what I was going to do with it: another Anna Dress. Rayon challis is just so soft and flowy, they are perfect for the Anna. But then the months passed, and that beautiful, soft, and let’s face, loud fabric just hanged in the closet. So I finally admitted to myself that leopard print is not my thing and if I spent all the time required to make a dress out of it, I’d never wear it.

But then Closet Case released the Carolyn Pajamas and I realized that there was something I could do with that awesome fabric. Something I could do and wear it and not worry if the print is too loud or crazy: pajamas! Classy pajamas in leopard print and red buttons (but only red because I bought the wrong black buttons and had to make do with what I had at home).

So here it is! My own pair of summer Carolyn Pajamas. The fabric is amazing, and it was the first thing I sewed with my new serger. The piping was a challenge, but I feel like I figured them out at the end. It was a good learning opportunity. I didn’t find the instructions for the pattern too easily to follow, but the sew along on Heather’s blog helped me on the parts I got stuck. I wouldn’t say this is a pattern adequate for beginners, but I managed. I want to make a second one, for winter, but I’ll worry about it later.

Since I made myself the coolest pjs ever, of course I also had to get a room at the fanciest hotel in town to take photos of it! It was the only place fit for it.

Carolyn Pajamas | Sew Anita Carolyn Pajamas | Sew Anita Carolyn Pajamas | Sew Anita

 

 

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An LBD at last | Georgia Dress

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LBD, Georgia Dress | Sew Anita

Well, this one almost tipped me over back to my sewing funk, but it came through in the end, and now I absolutely love it. It’s my first try at the Georgia Dress from the ladies of by Hand London, and it came to be after months of drooling over some beautiful versions of this dress that I’ve seen around the web (like Roisin’s and Neeno’s—wow ladies!). Double confession time: First, I hate all the product photos from by Hand London, and I only end up buying the patterns after I’ve seen the bloggers versions of it. That sounds so snobby of me, but it’s true, I think their product shots just don’t do the patterns any justice. Second confession, I usually steer away from bodycon-type dresses. I’m super self conscious and I’m not always (okay, almost never) a huge fan of my body. That said, you can see why I was almost despairing over this dress: it’s really sexy. Way sexier than my comfort zone, but then you may call me out for being Brazilian and all, and I know, that should make me way more comfortable about this sort of outfit, but it doesn’t. Call that assimilation or just being prude, but it’s the truth.

Nevertheless, holy cow I love this dress on me. I used a Pique with a little bit of stretch from Fabric Mart, and boy, this fabric was a joy to work with. And on happier news, I still have a ton left. I don’t really think I ever own a black dress that I would put into the LBD category, but this one is the one. For this photo I paired it up with some nice wine heels and vampy lipstick, because. I’m saving it to maybe wear it to my wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks.

I made a few modifications to this pattern. I cut the short size, but after finishing it realized it was TOO short, so I added a 3 inch band at the bottom of the dress. I love it, and actually think it could look really cool with a contrast band, but I didn’t have any other pique at hand, and didn’t want to change too much. The other alteration I needed to do was to the straps: shorter and closer to the center of my back. That took some work, since my bodice was finished and attached to the skirt when I realized the straps where they were at just wouldn’t do. Lots of unpicking while watching Netflix.

LBD, Georgia Dress | Sew Anita LBD, Georgia Dress | Sew Anita

And just because talking about looking sexy and all that makes me feel super awkward, let me share some outtakes so you don’t get this idea that I’m suddenly this femme fatale. Nope, still a dork (and proud):

Just for the laughs | Sew Anita

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Tropical Skirt | Simplicity 1419 and Charlotte mash up

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Tropical Skirt, Simplicity 1419 and Charlotte mash up | Sew Anita

This may come as a surprise, but I actually don’t have any patterns for big pleated skirts in my stash. But the other day I was looking for a quick and tried-and-true project to take my mind off my sewing funk (it happens to everyone), and I couldn’t find anything on my separates pattern stash that I liked. I had 2 yards of this beautiful tropical border print, and I felt it was just enough to make myself a big poofy skirt. But alas, nothing really jumped out as a good alternative to that fabric. So that’s when I decided to just use the skirt pattern pieces of one of my favorite patterns, Simplicity 1419, and then match it with the waistband from the Charlotte Skirt. And then I even made that waistband larger, and this really simple frankenpattern was born. I love it. I think it looks fantastic with the sweater I’m wearing, and even though it’s such a vibrant tropical print, it still feels right at home in this mild winter we are having here in Utah.

Tropical Skirt, Simplicity 1419 and Charlotte mash up | Sew Anita

Tropical Skirt, Simplicity 1419 and Charlotte mash up | Sew Anita

Tropical Skirt, Simplicity 1419 and Charlotte mash up | Sew Anita

Tropical Skirt, Simplicity 1419 and Charlotte mash up | Sew Anita

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Denim Peplum | Simplicity 1425

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Denim Peplum, Simplicity 1425 | Sew Anita

Long time no blog! I’ve been kind of slow at sewing lately, I started a few projects that didn’t pan out and had to be scrapped, and that got me into a little bit of a funk, so I took a couple of weeks of to just relax, watch TV, and read. But I had one last finished project to blog before I get back to sewing, and it’s been sitting on my wardrobe for a few weeks. And you all know I can’t wear it till I blog about it, so here I am, FINALLY blogging about it so I can wear it to work this week.

This top’s pattern is Simplicity 1425, a really cute and easy peplum top. I am not a huge fan of peplum, but I still wanted to give this pattern a try, because who can resist this cute packaging? I made it into this stretch denim I had at home, just a yard of it so it wasn’t enough to make anything other than a top with it, and this pattern was just perfect for it. Construction was fairly easy, with a lot of finishes done with bias tape, which I’m a big fan. There’s a few detail shots at the bottom of this post where you can see how neat it looks on the inside. The pattern has buttons sewn on the back, but I thought that didn’t look good, so instead I bought a denim zipper for the back, and sewed it exposed. I like the look of an exposed zipper, as you probably noticed from some of my previous projects. The only DUH moment was on the peplum. I folded everything alright, but inside out. So, the peplum is basically upside down. My explanation made no sense, right? But compare the peplum on the Simplicity packaging and my photos and you’ll see what I mean.

This pattern is a winner though, and I’ll be making another one of those tops soon, maybe in a more summery fabric. This denim top looks kind of bad ass, doesn’t it? Or maybe it’s just me.

Denim Peplum, Simplicity 1425 | Sew Anita Denim Peplum, Simplicity 1425 | Sew Anita Denim Peplum, Simplicity 1425 | Sew Anita Denim Peplum, Simplicity 1425 | Sew Anita

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