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I’ve been a speedster all up in my sewing room of late.  I’m attempting to get through a cosplay of Rose Tyler’s purple jacket from Journey’s End and hopefully a 10th Doctor suit for my husband by the end of Patternreview’s Costume Contest.  The jacket is 86% done, but the suit is going to be a big tall mountain.  This last week, I finished up a batch of dresses for SEWN, the local boutique that I sew for.  My latest video goes over the details of the 8 dresses and includes some backyard catwalk fun courtesy of my friends.  But I’m sharing here some more pictures including some of our outtakes of my SEWN Denver Fall 2017 Collection.

SEWN Denver Fall 2017 Collection

Tie neck dresses

The first 4 dresses are all knit dresses with nice flare skirts.  I used the the same style as the velvet dress from my winter collection but I lowered the neck into a high V.  The tie is a big glorified binding that’s longer than the neck edge on both sides of a little loop that’s sewn near the neck edge.  The ties thread through the loop to create a tie that’s not really a tie.  I like this finish because I think sometimes tie necks can be too bulky.  This first geometric knit really benefited from the less bulky tie.

Embroidered circles

On the ITY versions of this dress, I added circles to the skirts from ponte and a rayon/poly/lycra knit on the blue dress.  After I affixed them to the skirt with a glue stick, I stitched back and forth over the circles.  I love this technique, and I use it frequently on appliques.

Overdyeing the lining

The blue dress is a refashion from a size 20 Coldwater Creek dress.  There was a lot of fabric on the original dress–so much so that I was able to cut the whole thing minus the sleeves from just the skirt.  The blue is a rich rich cross between royal blue and navy.  It’s truly beautiful fabric and when I spotted it at the thrift store, it was clear that it had been worn about twice.  Do you sometimes buy things at the thrift store as a rescue project?  Sometimes I’m downright indignant that things end up there, especially when they’re this nice.

My problem is that the only knit I had available to line the bodice was a baby pink poly interlock.  As lining fabric goes, this stuff is wonderful.  It’s got great recovery, it sews easily and it offers the support and opacity that’s required.  But, the pink was so so ugly against the blue.  I thought about it for a while and decided to dye the whole dress with Rit DyeMore in royal purple.  The blue did not take any of the dye, but the pink settled down to a nice lilac and the circles picked up a hint of the purple.  It was such an upgrade!  It might seem fussy to go through the trouble, but the whole process took about 10 minutes plus a run through the wash which I was going to do anyway.

Handkerchief hem dress

I cut this handkerchief hem dress from a curtain panel.  I say curtain panel, but this was one that someone had professionally made.  So this is actually a good weight cotton fabric, not a home dec fabric with some of the finishes or blends that you see in curtains that you buy at home stores.  I was drawn to the stripes in the print and the beautiful fall colors of the floral.

The bodice is a vintage style cap sleeve style.  I’ve used it before on the wax print dress here.  The skirt is a big giant square with a hole cut out the size of the waist.  I so loved the gentle flow of the corners of the squares on my chiffon skirt that I wanted to replicate the look on this floral fabric.  I like how the stripes sit on the handkerchief hem.  My only wish is that I had had a little more width on the fabric so that the skirt could be a little longer.  As this is a fall dress, I’m okay with it being shorter.  I personally wear leggings with all my cooler weather dresses.  Hopefully anyone buying this will be smart enough to do the same!

Caftan-ish dresses

I’m currently taking Laura Volpintesta’s intro to patternmaking class, and on one of the videos she talks about the origins of patternmaking in traditional garments like kimonos and caftans.  (Though I’m moving along at a snail’s snail’s pace since I’m in the heat of soccer season when I have zero spare time) She was so enthusiastic that you could just do a whole lot with a little elastic to add some shaping to what would otherwise be a giant rectangle, that I decided to take her up on it.

Both of these dresses are essentially rectangles, though there’s a yoke with an extended cut on sleeve with a little sleeve band.  The ties are attached to elastic that goes around the back in a casing. I had doubts about this whole style and then I put on one.  Boy howdy is it comfortable and way cuter than you’d think.  I take back everything I’ve ever thought about how shapeless caftans are.  I suppose they can be, but they need NOT be.

Eyelet dress

The eyelet version is underlined with a blue chambray in the yoke.  Hot pink satin is an underlining on the lower part of the dress.  I really love the hot pink against the forest green.  When I was searching through my linings, I thought they looked really nice together but I was skeptical about the combination.  Would it appeal to anyone?  Is it current or at least not out of date?  After seeing a few style bloggers sporting hot pink + forest green, I felt a little more settled about the “trendiness” of the two colors.  Not that being current is what I think about when I sew per se, but I never want my stuff to have that “of an era” look.  You know like this:

image found on Pinterest from Vintage Everyday

Fall wax print “caftan”

This fabric was such a find.  The fall leaves plus the cool black chevrons opened up a lot of possibilities.  I used the chevrons on the yoke and for the hem.  While I thought about making self ties for the casing, I went for black twill tape which I think is a good contrast.  I still had some of the wax print leftover, so I made a twin dress.

Pinstripe wax print dress


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The navy pinstripe is from a Banana Republic dress.  I think it’s a linen/cotton blend though the fiber content tag had been removed from the original dress.  The skirt was what drew me to this dress.  The play with the stripes and the flounce on the hem were too good to pass up.  There were sleeve flounces too that I saved.  When I disassembled the bodice, I had very little fabric to work with. I was able to cut one front and one back from the original dress.  The wax print is for the rest.  There’s another dress that I haven’t blogged yet because it’ll be in the next Altered Couture issue where I did this same kind of print blocking.  I personally like the contrast.

Plus my friend and I had too much fun taking twin shots.  I think we were flipping our hair here?

Overall, I’m really pleased with this collection, and I’m hoping that things sell well!
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I made another couple of things for SEWN recently, and though they’re not for me, I think they’re worth sharing.  I’ve really enjoyed making things for this store even if they don’t end up selling (I hope they do!).  It’s good to work with fabrics that I love even if they aren’t things that I would personally wear.  So it is with all of these back cutout dresses.

Bow back refashion

My lovely friend D agreed again to be my model.  She modeled some of my other dresses for SEWN here.  We’ve decided it’s fun to play dress up and no doubt I need to properly just make her something as a treat!

back cutout dresses

 

This stripe dress was a RTW dress I found.  I had an idea for a back cutout with bows that bridge the gap.  One of my son’s friends has a dress like this and it seemed a fun style for an adult as well.  I kept the front neckline the same and simply cut the back.  The back neckline is bound with foldover elastic.  For the bows, I cut bits of hot pink rayon/lycra from an old wrap top that I made eons ago.  Little strips of the navy stripe gather the centers of the bows.

back cutout dresses

The bows are simply attached behind the foldover elastic by stitching over where I attached the elastic and then right on the edge.  The only tricky bit was making sure that the bow was not too floppy.  No doubt this would’ve been easier on a dress form.  As it is, I tried it on, trying to imagine that my shoulders were as wide as this dress requires.  It fits D in the back really quite well.

Umbrella drink dress

back cutout dresses

I couldn’t believe my luck when this fabric showed up at the thrift store.  There’s a LOT of junk at thrift stores, but if you’re willing to look regularly, sometimes you find some gems.  This cotton is one of those gems.  All I could think was that this fabric needs a pina colada.  If ever we took a cruise, this beachy print sprinkled with sand and starfish punctuated with red and teal would seem completely appropriate.

The pattern has a great back cutout that’s gathered into the front waist.  It manages to show some skin at the back while not being distasteful.  Pair it with the high/low hem, and this dress is really perfect for summer.  I love it so much, I will literally cry if someone doesn’t buy it.

back cutout dresses

Geo squares and zigzag wax print dress

back cutout dresses

Can you believe I found this fabric thrifting too?  Who in her right mind throws out real wax print fabric?  After working with it, I get why people love this fabric so much.  It manages to be structural and yet it drapes really well and handles more delicate things like gathers.  Plus it’s easy to sew and press.  Combine that with the vibrant prints and I will never pass up a chance to work with this stuff!

back cutout dresses

The same Burdastyle 08-2014-116 looks really different in this fabric.  The wax print gives it a little more drama, and my addition of the coral foldover elastic on the sleeves and neck edge break up the print a little.

I’ve been excited to share these dresses for a while!  Thanks for reading!

Last week, I mentioned some of the items I’ve made for SEWN Denver, and here is my collection of Elizabeth Made This T-shirts that are at SEWN Denver right now.  There’s a lot of mixed textiles in this collection.  True to my aesthetic of “artistic apparel”, the tees feature upcycled goods and vintage bits of fabric.  They’re all a great choice for unique fall tees.

T-shirts are $46.  Details and sizes are below.  If you’re visiting Denver, or if you live here, SEWN is located just a few blocks south of Fancy Tiger on 18 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209.  The shop’s number is 303.832.1493 if you want to ask any questions.

The Collection!

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Navy and riverside tee with flame cheetah trim

Bust: 30″, Hem: 34″

 

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Blockprinted pinking shears red raglan tee

Bust: 34″, Hem: 39″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Navy stripe toile leaf applique tee

Bust: 34″, Hem: 40″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Deep purple mustard lace tee

Bust: 36″, Hem: 40″

 

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Mixed blues and brown floral applique tee

Bust: 31″, Hem: 36″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Purple and taupe tee with gold applique

Bust: 37″, Hem: 42″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Orange stripe floral applique tee

Bust: 37″, Hem: 42″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Purple beaded and embroidered tee with navy racing stripe sleeves

Bust: 30″, Hem: 34″

Elizabeth Made This t-shirts

Purples, navy stripe and floral applique tee

Bust: 30″, Hem: 34

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

 

I’ve been so busy with the Fabricista challenge, I haven’t gotten a chance to talk about something I’ve been very excited about!  I have a collection of items I’ve made for SEWN Denver.

image from SEWN Denver

SEWN is a cool little boutique in Denver just a couple blocks south of Fancy Tiger that carries handmade goods from a variety of local designers.  I met Kirsten, the owner through my sewing machine dealer, and I think when we met, there was a bit of a mutual admiration society going on.  I resolved to check this place out which I did a couple days later.  When I stepped into SEWN, I felt like I had met my people.  The store’s aesthetic is very, very much like mine…artsy goods with vintage touches and a whole lot of creativity.  So about my collection:

Elizabeth Made This for SEWN Denver

Elizabeth Made This for SEWN Denver is all about upcycled goods with artistic touches.  My tags read, “Elizabeth Made This artistic apparel”, and that is my goal.  Prices range from $35-68.  Here’s the rundown of some of the pieces:

blockprintnapkindress

Blockprinted napkin dress: made from upcycled linen napkins, hand blockprinted by me Bust: 35″, Waist: 30″, Hip: 36.5″

sewn-dresses-aug-2016-wax-print-dress

SOLD!  Wax print dress with contrast skirt

Bust: 35.5″, waist: 30.5″

sewn-dresses-aug-2016-floral-dress

Floral dress

Bust: 35.5″, Waist: 30.5″

sewn-aug-2016-striped-jersey-top-front

sewn-aug-2016-striped-jersey-top-back

Hot pink and blue stripe tee with lace yoke

Bust: 35″, Hem: 40″

sewn-aug-2016-striped-jersey-dress

Hot pink and blue stripe jersey dress

Bust: 32.5″, Hip: 36

sewn-aug-2016-ric-rac-floral-skirt

ricracfloralskirtfull

Ric Rac pocket floral skirt

Waist: 29.5, Hip: 36.5″

sewn-aug-2016-butterfly-bag-close

butterflybagfull

Tea towel and wool shoulder bag

sewn-aug-2016-brown-wool-clutch

Wool Carpet clutch

pipedfloralskirtfull

pipedfloralskirtflat

Green piped pockets floral skirt

Waist: 29.5, Hip: 36.5″

 

sewn-aug-2016-blue-wool-shoulder

Carpet shoulder bag with belt strap

sewn-aug-2016-aqua-wool-shoulder

Aqua wool carpet shoulder bag with belt strap

There’s even more to this collection, but I wanted to get the word out.  You can see these items and more at SEWN Denver, located at 18 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80209.

And vote for my entry for the Fabricista fashion challenge finals!</h2

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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