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We’re moving closer to The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019.   Check out the challenge rules and dates here.  Be sure not to miss the prizes lined up for the challenge!  Today I’m introducing you to the fabulous team of ladies who will be joining me here on Elizabeth Made This and on YouTube February 18th-24th for 2019 The Day and Night Dress Challenge blogapalooza.  It’s a crew of vloggers and blog and all of them have different perspectives that’ll bring a fresh voice to this challenge.  Without further ado, let’s meet the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers & vloggers.

Meet the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers & vloggers

Elizabeth– Elizabeth Made This

Picture of  Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers

Hey it’s me. Sew something creative is my credo and DIY is deep in my blood. I’ve never met a bottle of fabric dye I wouldn’t use, pattern-hacking brings me joy, and pushing the envelope in refashioning is what I am always striving to do!

Alethia– Sew Much Talent

Picture of  Alethia of Sew Much Talent for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Sew Much Talent

Alethia is our fearless leader in the Facebook group Sew Much Talent. She’s always teaching, always mentoring, always encouraging others to sew beautifully, no matter where they’re starting from. She regularly does work for The Lydia Project, which is a charity helping women cope with cancer.

Tonya–Sew So Petite

Picture of  Tonya of Sew So Petite for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Sew So Petite

Tonya is a petite sewist who’s always stitching up classic style with a twist.  Don’t miss her previous Day and Night Dress Challenge makes. Her sleek cocktail dress from last year is a great representation of her elegant style!

Anita–Anita By Design

Picture of  Anita of Anita By Design for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
Image from Anita by Design

Anita of Anita by Design hardly needs an introduction, and I’m positively thrilled that she’ll be joining us here as a blogger for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge. No doubt her chic style and her Sewing with a Plan will be guiding much of her projects for the challenge!

Linda–Elle Gee Makes 

Picture of  Linda of Elle Gee Makes for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Elle Gee Makes

 Linda’s blog, is always chock full of the coolest projects.  She always does such a remarkable job recreating designer looks that jive with her Oregon weather.

Laquana– Made by Laquana 

Picture of  Laquana of Made by Laquana for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Made By Laquana

Laquana is another fellow admin in Sew Much Talent, and I’ve loved watching her craft grow.  She’s positively fearless behind a sewing machine!  Her Same Fit Done Thick series, where she looks at ready to wear and then adapts the styles and patterns to fit her–a must see for the curvy sewist or those looking to adapt patterns. 

Maria–Velosews

Picture of  Maria of Velosews for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Velosews

Maria gets the Ultimate Trooper for participating in last year’s challenge while she was recovering from foot surgery. She’s regularly sewing up beautiful colorful garments like this blue jumpsuit with her couture knowledge and generally making Australia a happier place no doubt! 

Akram–Akram’s Ideas 

Picture of  Akram of Akram's Ideas for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Akram’s Ideas

Akram‘s vintage style and sweet heart make her such a fun YouTuber to watch. Her recreation of Day and Night Barbie’s style for last year’s challenge was hands down one of the most creative and joyful interpretations I’ve ever seen!

Mesha–Keamesha

Picture of  Mesha of Keamesha for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from KeaMesha

I’m always happy to see Mesha’s garments pop up in Sew Much Talent. Her easy everyday style shines through so well in everything that she makes. I cannot wait to see what she styles up for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge!

Sue–I Love 2 Sew

Picture of  Sue of ILove2sew for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from I Love 2 Sew

Sue is one of my fellow Fabric Mart Fabricistas.  She always is pattern-hacking up a storm, and making sweet projects for her grandkids like these fun dinosaurs.

Dawn–Duelling Designs 

Picture of  Dawn of Duelling Designs for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Duelling Designs

Dawn is the brain behind That Sewing Blab.  She and Myra Rentmeester, Dawn is there every Tuesday interviewing some fantastic people in the sewing community. Her cocktail dress from last year’s challenge was truly exquisite.

Nateida–Natural Dane

Picture of  Nateida of Natural Dane for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers

image from Natural Dane


Nateida has become a good vlogging friend. She’s been finding her classic style for her and her husband 1 garment at a time. In February she’s running her #BHMPatternDesigners.

Viv–Stitches and Seams

Picture of  Viv of Stitches and Seams for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Stitches and Seams


Viv is another vlogger who’s become a dear friend. She spearheaded Sew Man Pants and she’s been sewing up a whole lotta dresses since last year’s challenge after vowing that she wasn’t a dress girl!

Gillian–Crafting a Rainbow

Picture of  Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
picture from Crafting a Rainbow

I’m so Gillian is joining in for another round of The Day and Night Dress Challenge!  You might know her from the Sewcialists blog in addition to her own blog. I love how she’s been mixing up her signature style lately diving deep into Kibbe body types.

JeTua–Robertswife

Picture of  JeTua of Life of Robertswife for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers

JeTua is another I’m so glad will be joining us again for The Day and Night Dress Challenge. JeTua’s kindness and her elegant yet polished everyday looks are always welcome! This tie-dye dress is way up my alley!

Meg–Cookin’ and Craftin’ 

Meg and her bright fresh style are always a delight, and I’m excited to see how she’ll be pairing her dress for The 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge. I’m excited for her own Twists and Ties Challenge!

Helena–Gray All Day 

Picture of  Helena of Gray All Day for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Gray All Day

Clothes Making Mavens has always been one of my favorite sewing podcasts, and being able to have one of the faces behind that, Helena here again for the 2019 Day and Night Dress challenge will be too cool. Her laid back style of her cocktail dress for last year’s challenge was one of my favorites! I’m expecting big things from Helena as her jackets are awesome!!!!

Renata–The Twilight Stitcher

Picture of  Renata of The Twilight Stitcher for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from The Twilight Stitcher

I’m serious looking forward to seeing Renata’s accompanying pieces for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge. The Twilight Stitcher herself, and the originator of The Little Red Dress Project is an ace when it comes to styling her handmade garments!

Myra–Myra Lorraine 

Image from Myra Lorraine

Myra‘s easy casual style will no doubt bring a different twist to the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge. Besides being one of the most encouraging voices in the sewing world, she is co-hosting the #BHMPatternDesigners with Natural Dane.

Karina–Lifting Pins and Needles 

Picture of  Karina of Lifting Pins and Needles for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Lifting Pins and Needles

We missed out on having Karina of Lifting Pins and Needles last year with a move to a new country! I’m looking forward to seeing her creative, expert drafting and alteration skills come into play in the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge ans they did here on this asymmetric dress.

Eli–Cat in a Wardrobe 

Eli of Cat in a Wardrobe will be bringing her effortless style and beautifully tailored garment making skills to the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge. If she does anything close to as cool as this dip dyed dress, it’s going to be great!

Alex–Sewrendipity 

Picture of  Alex of Sewrendipity for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Sewrendipity

New to the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge but not at all to the sewing world, Alex of Sewrendipity has been bringing high fashion into her sustainable wardrobe. I loved watching her on The Great British Sewing Bee, and her Fabric Shops directory is a must see for traveling sewists!

Claire–Penguin and Pear

Picture of  Claire of Penguin and Pear for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Penguin and Pear

Claire is a new to me vlogger, but I’ve been instantly charmed by her humor and her grit. She’s created her own challenge called 12 Patterns Plus which is an inclusive size challenge for all of 2019.

Lori–Girls in the Garden

Picture of Lori of Girls in the Garden for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge bloggers&  vloggers
image from Girls in the Garden

Lori joining in the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge feels a bit full circle for me. She hosted a wardrobe challenge many many years ago, and her casual style coupled with expert sewing knowledge has inspired so many! Her podcast Sew Forth Now was the very first podcast I ever listened to!

How excited are you about  this crew?!!!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  1. Find your lonely dress in your closet! Sew up 2 extra pieces to coordinate with your dress for a day look and a night look.
  2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
  3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
  4. Post a picture of your newly styled dress and extra pieces in your day look and your night look to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
  5. Grab the graphic below and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:     
Picture of  logo for the 2019 Day and Night Dress Challenge
Post me!!!!!!
collage of logos for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

When I was looking for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 Sponsors, I really wanted to partner with some people that really reflect the spirit of this year’s challenge. There’s some old friends from previous challenges, and I’m really excited to share some new faces among our amazing sponsor list today. So let’s look at what’s up for grabs!

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 Sponsors

All of the prizes will be for participants in the community challenge which is running all the way until March 17th. You have until then to post a picture of each your day and night looks to Instagram tagging me @elizabethmadethis with the hashtag#dayandnightdresschallenge. After that, all winners will be chosen randomly for prizes.

To create your day and night looks, pair a dress you already have with 2 new garments or accessories that you will sew. Anything is game here, and I can’t wait to see people’s creativity come alive with this new spin! Make sure you check out the official challenge post for all of the details of the challenge!

Anita by Design

Anita by Design logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

The lovely Anita of Anita by Design is generously sponsoring a $50 gift card to LA Finch Fabrics for one winner.

I so wanted Anita to be a part of this challenge this year not only because she’s one of the kindest people out there, but also because we’re thinking a lot of the same thoughts about our wardrobes lately. Do not miss her Sewing With a Plan series!

Fabric Mart

Fabric Mart logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

I’m glad to welcome Fabric Mart, a longtime supporter of the challenge among The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors! This year, Fabric Mart will be offering 1 Julie’s Picks Membership.

Since the goal of this year’s Day and Night Dress Challenge is to help you create a flexible wardrobe, a Julie’s Picks Membership can be a huge help. Every month, Fabric Mart sends a swatch booklet with helpful sewing hints and pattern suggestions. It’s not always easy to shop for fabric online! Swatches can really help you look at the projects you already have and shop for new fabric without wondering will this actually match?

My Daily Threadz

 My Daily Threadz logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Shari of My Daily Threadz is offering 1 of her multicultural sewing planners to one winner. The artwork in these planners is just beautiful and she’s done such a remarkable job of putting together a planner that’ll help you organize all your thoughts about your sewing projects and life in general!

Sew Plan It planner cover from My Daily Threadz
image from My Daily Threadz

Athina Kakou

Athina Kakou Patterns logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Athina Kakou, the brain behind Athina Kakou Patterns and last year’s SMYLY challenge is offering 1 copy of her Sewing Your Dream Wardrobe E-book. I love her mission she has in this book to help you, “
curate your current wardrobe, [and] also offer you all the tips and tricks to fill it with clothes that you will actually love to wear everyday “. What more could you want?!

picture of tablet with Sewing Your Dream Wardrobe e-book
image from Athina Kakou

Style Sew Me

Style Sew Me logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Eryn of Style Sew Me is offering 1 copy of her Madison Cardigan + Style Book for one winner. If you’ve never seen how expertly Eryn styles all of her patterns and outfits, go treat yo’self to her fantastic blog and learn from a master!

Madison Cardigan line drawing and modeled photo from Style Sew Me
image from Style Sew Me

Seamwork Patterns

Seamwork logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Seamwork Patterns is offering 1 pattern to 5 winners. Winners can choose any pattern from Seamwork OR Colette’s impressive library of patterns. I’ve always loved how Seamwork and Colette do such a great job of focusing on helping people build a wearable wardrobe. Seamwork’s Design Your Wardrobe series and in the past Colette’s Wardrobe Architect both dive deep into thinking about how you go about planning. Definitely a good read!

Fabric Magpie is also offering a £25 voucher to their shop to 1 winner. Boz always does such a great job of curating beautiful fabrics to make memorable garments. Kids are welcome to participate in this year’s challenge too! I know my daughter would be all over a dress in this hot air balloon print!

Emmaline Bags

Emmaline Bags  logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Emmaline Bags is offering a $25CAD gift card to their shop to 1 winner. One of the things that I’m most excited about this year’s challenge is being able to encourage sewists who like not just garment sewing, and I can think of nothing cuter to go with your chosen dress than one of Emmaline Bags’ Necessary Clutch Wallets! I love how they have hardware kits like this one to go with their patterns.

Clover Convertible Bag from Emmaline Bags

Sew Sweetness

Sew Sweetness logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Speaking of awesome bag patterns, Sew Sweetness is offering 1 $80 gift certificate to their shop for 1 winner.

If you don’t know, Sew Sweetness is another great name out their making bag patterns that yield professional looking results. If you’re a bag maker, you will never be at a loss trying to find a cool bag for any occasion from Sew Sweetness. I think an Appaloosa would be a great addition to your dress!

Appaloosa bag pattern from Sew Sweetness
Appaloosa bag pattern from Sew Sweetness

Patternreview

patternreview logo  logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Patternreview is offering a $50 gift card to their shop to 1 winner. If you’re looking for advice on any given pattern, Patternreview is the place to be. Plus, their contests are constantly pushing sewists to grow in their skills and have fun together! I know Wardrobe Sudoku forever changed how I look at my own closet!

Wardrobe Sudoku grid for Patternreview's Wardrobe Sudoku contest
My Wardrobe Sudoku grid

Minerva Crafts

Minerva Crafts logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Minerva Crafts is offering a £100 Fabric Hamper to 1 winner for the challenge. I’m so glad to have Minerva Crafts as a part of The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors. They have some truly beautiful fabrics that aren’t always easy to get in the US, and their international shipping is crazy reasonable! Here’s a peek from my project I have coming up for their Blogger Network at the end of the month:

scalloped embroidered denim collar
adventures in self drafting!

Sewalicious

sewalicious logo  logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Sewalicious is offering a £30 gift card to their shop for 1 winner of The Day and Night Dress Challenge. If you can’t tell from their logo or their whimsical graphics alone, Sewalicious is one of the most fun shops I’ve seen out there offering modern fabrics and accessories to sewists. I love their cactus pincushion kit and their line of sewist themed jewelry by Jazzy Menagerie. This measuring tape necklace is one of my favorites that I wear!

measuring tape necklace from Sewalicious

DG Patterns

dgpatterns  logo for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors

Last but certainly not least, DG Patterns is offering a $50 coupon code to 1 winner for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019.

DG Patterns always has such fresh pattern ideas and so many of them can easily make up a truly flexible wardrobe. I’d love to see the Soledad dress + the Leslie Cardigan as a combo! 

So those are all the prizes that are up from The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 sponsors. A giant thanks to all of the amazing people who are donating their fabulous products for the sewing community here!

I cannot wait to give these out!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  1. Find your lonely dress in your closet! Sew up 2 extra pieces to coordinate with your dress for a day look and a night look.
  2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
  3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
  4. Post a picture of your newly styled dress and extra pieces in your day look and your night look to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
  5. Grab the graphic below and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:     
The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 logo

It may sound daunting to start thinking about your sewing projects in terms of building a flexible wardrobe. I mean you already have to think about good construction, right fabric choice, pattern alterations, fitting and the list goes on. And yet, I know how many of us (hand raised here!) have gotten to the end of a challenge only to have yet another garment that you’re not going to wear. My dear hope is that by the end of The Day and Night Dress Challenge, you would walk into your closet and be able to see, ok, this dress goes with this and this and this too. So let’s break down how you can start building a flexible wardrobe.

Sew a flexible wardrobe

What is a flexible wardrobe?

flexible wardrobe example of a knit dress styled with a chenille motorcycle vest for winter
knit dress + motorcycle vest + tea=my life!

A flexible wardrobe could mean a lot of things to you. It could mean that you have some pieces that you can wear year-round. Maybe it means that you can mix and match everything that you own. Ultimately, in a flexible wardrobe, you have some pieces that you can match with at least one and as many other items as you can. But this doesn’t have to be restrictive or boring. You won’t hear me telling you to get rid of your whole closet or be done with sewing your own clothes when you have 7 interchangeable pieces.

Start with a dress

flexible wardrobe in play with Sew Over It Lulu dress styled with cowl scarf
Sew Over It Lulu dress with cowl sweater and Converse because…Momming

Today we’re going to start with thinking about 1 type of garment–a dress and how it is that you might pair that garment with other garments. This will help you start thinking about creating your day and night looks for The Day and Night Dress Challenge, but beyond that, I hope it’ll give you a framework for evaluating future sewing projects you might have in mind.

So here are 5 things to think about with dresses when you’re thinking about sewing a flexible wardrobe:

1. Think about your life

What sorts of hats do you wear in your life? Are you a teacher, a Mom, a business person, do you like looking super sharp or are you pro casual all the time?

Give a name to all the styles that make up how you dress in your day. For me, my typical week is a whole lot of Mom Style, Teacher Style, and periodically Church Style. Some others might be Work Style, Going Out Style, Weekend Style. Write down all of your style categories your everyday life fits into.

You could even have subcategories within your style groups: I know my own Soccer Mom Style requires a whole different look than my regular Mom Style and particularly depending on what time of year it is. Which leads me to point 2.

woman wearing orchid sweater dress styled with purple hoodie
A hoodie + a sweater dress is perfect for battling Colorado wind, morning cold and bad hair on soccer Saturdays!

2. Think about the weather

Maybe you live in a climate with really consistent weather. Oh you tropical island people! Probably wherever you live, there’s at least some unpredictability with the weather. Here in Colorado, it’s not uncommon to have a snow day followed by a really mild day or a whole lot of wind on what otherwise would be a pleasant day. How I wear a dress in winter is going to be totally different than how someone in a full-on Canadian winter handles it.

A flexible wardrobe considers the weather.  Here a boiled wool coat is paired with leggings and sneakers which is not nearly warm enough for a 40 degree day.
You chose…poorly with the sneakers on this 40 degree day. The scarf did save me though!

Write down any kind of weather challenge. Brainstorm any kind of solution that might help you with that challenge. And then write down garments or accessories that will smack help deal with that.

Here’s a couple examples:

Weather challengepossible solutiongarments/accessories to pair with your dress
fickle Winterlayering on top, under dressesjackets, sweaters, fingerless gloves, scarves, detachable cowls, coats, ALL.THE.LEGGINGS
burning hot sunsleeveless airy dresses, but also, light layers in breathable fabrics to avoid sunburnlinen overshirt, cotton short sleeve bolero

3. Think about your work and hobbies

A flexible wardrobe requires mixing pieces that work for your hobbies. 
 Woman playing violin while wearing orchid sweater dress styled with printed rayon t-shirt
You’ll literally never see me wearing woven tops while playing violin.

Do you have any physical needs in your wardrobe during the day? I know when I was in a classroom, wearing pencil skirts was mighty impractical being up and down and sitting on my knees on the floor for much of the day. In my violin life, knit shirts and dresses keep my upper body free to move while I play.

And most jobs have some sort of norm for how you need to be dressing.

So next, write down any specific ways that your job or anything else you do might affect your wardrobe choices.

4. Color is Queen

Not all colors go with all colors. Putting colors and mixing prints is a skill that takes time to develop. A black dress does NOT go with everything. You know this instinctively, but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut with color. Here are some good basic categories and qualities of color that work well together. It’s good not to mix categories. To give you an example, a muted red is going to look weird with a bright fuschia, but it’ll look great with a grey.

  1. Muted: colors with grey added to them
  2. Pastels or tints: pure colors with white added to them
  3. Analagous: colors next to each other on the color wheel
  4. Monochromatic: various shades of the same color
  5. Jewel Tones: pure saturated colors–think Crayola bright in all their full glory

Color is the most visual and maybe the most interactive component in a flexible wardrobe. I don’t want you to write anything down here yet. You need to look with your eyes! Nancy Zieman said this really profound thing once on a Sewing With Nancy episode:

“Make visual decisions visually”

Nancy Zieman

First take your dress, and put it against a neutral background–a white board, a wood floor–whatever you have. If you have a dress form, use it!

Place different colors next to it and take note of any that just make it sing. You could use swatches of fabric, actual yardage of fabric, or anything with color like paint chips from the hardware store. Which ones make an impact? Are there any that you want to throw across the room they’re so wrong? I like all of the above for different reasons, but the organza has my heart and imagination.

Now, write down those happy making colors.

If you were using fabric, set aside the winning fabrics. You can even cut a little swatch of the fabric and staple it to a project page if you have a sewing planner.

5. Find a sewing pattern that brings it all together

So far, you know what dress you’re going to pair with a new garment. You’ve thought about your lifestyle needs you have in your wardrobe, the weather challenges you face, and what colors make that dress jump for joy. Your last step in sewing up a flexible wardrobe is to find a pattern that will bring all these elements together. Brainstorm all your ideas for any possible sewing patterns.

If you can’t find a pattern straight off the top of your head, it’s okay to write down an idea for the perfect pattern. You can easily go searching for something like a “cocoon cardigan pattern” or “cropped sweater pattern” later!

Create your own flexible style by combining your favorite garments.  Purple faux leather jacket + printed rayon tee shirt + sweater dress
Who knew this jacket would become probably my favorite outside of this denim jacket?

My faux leather jacket is a good example of ticking all the boxes. I can’t violin in it, but it keeps me warm in fall and spring, I can pair it with most dresses and I feel darn cool in it. Originally it was for cosplay, but it’s easily become a staple in building my own flexible wardrobe.

Keep experimenting!

Wardrobes are things that are ever changing. We grow bigger, we grow smaller, clothes wear out, get dated. As sewists we hold ALL of the style cards, and the more we can think about making pieces that work in harmony with each other, the more of a flexible wardrobe we will create.

flexible wardrobe example with one dress styled 3 ways
Pin this image

It’s BACK!!! I’m happy to announce The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 today! I’ve been so glad to host this event for the greater sewing community online, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will come of it this year! Let’s jump into what this challenge is all about this year!

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019

Your official graphic for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019

Every year, I have two goals for The Day and Night Dress Challenge: #1 make it bigger and better. I’ve met so many people through this challenge, and I so love and get excited about seeing how everyone takes the same idea and takes it a totally different direction. So why not have more people be a part of that?!

My #2 goal with The Day and Night Dress Challenge is to make it different each year. If it’s a challenge for other people to participate, it should be a challenge personally for me to try and figure out how to shake things up. And boy howdy, I’m putting this challenge in the blender this year. So what’s going on with The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019?

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019: The theme!

So last year, I had the theme of Coffee and Cocktails in about 5 minutes. This year, I was literally drawing the graphic before the subtitle came to me. Which is….

1 Dress 2 Looks

The theme of The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 is 1 Dress, 2 Looks. I know what you’re thinking. This is the Day and Night DRESS Challenge and we’re not making dresses? Nope. Read on friend!

Here’s the thing. I just bet that you have a dress hanging out in your closet that’s not getting a lot of wear. Maybe you wore it once for a wedding and then it got buried under last season’s t-shirts. Perhaps you’ve always liked it but couldn’t figure out how to wear it. Maybe you love it, but it’s only appropriate for about 2 seconds of the year before your weather turns on you.

Whatever the case, that dress needs some help. Some styling help.

Be your own stylist with The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019

So let’s take that dress that you aren’t wearing. The challenge for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 is to pair that neglected dress with either another garment or an accessory to give you your day and night looks that have always been a part of The Day and Night Dress Challenge.

Step 1: Find your dress

Say you have a sleeveless dress. It’s winter here in the US. As I write this it’s about 20 degrees outside. How can you make that dress like this blockprint linen dress make it into cooler months?

sleeveless blockprint dress
Favorite linen sleeveless blockprint dress

Step 2: Create your day look

Per tradition for The Day and Night Dress Challenge, you must create 2 different looks. The “day look” is how you might wear your dress in real life. How is this dress going to hang out with a friend? What will this dress look like if you’re going to the grocery store or to work?

Sew Over It Lulu dress
Sew Over It Lulu dress with cowl sweater–add those layers!!!

For a day look, you can pair that sleeveless dress with a wool jersey t-shirt underneath the dress. A coat could work, so could a sweater or cardigan. If you wanted to go the accessory route instead, you could make a scarf or a hat. And if you have a dress that’s plenty warm thank you very much, you could make a handbag. There’s many ways to play here whether you want to take on a big giant project like a tailored coat or something you could make in about 30 minutes like a scarf.

So what about your “night look”?

Step 3: Create your night look

So your “night look” for the Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 needs to incorporate your dress with a different extra garment or accessory to that you and your dress could go out to a nice night out. You can go as fancy as you want here (wedding, opera, cocktail party whatever), but it need not be the case. If a nice dinner out is you and your husband getting a quiet dinner without the kids, your dress can come along for the ride!

lace dress
My night look for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2018

Let’s use an example. Here’s my cocktail dress from last year’s Day and Night Dress Challenge. I love this lace and the coral slip underneath definitely puts it into dinner out category. My hubby and I even got out for sushi last year for my birthday in it:

For this dress, I’d love to add a long trench coat. The lace is a bit too nice to cover up entirely, but a trench coat gives you some options for still creating a cohesive ensemble. I love this blue trench with this funky dress.

Maybe you live in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s currently summer. Maybe your night look then just needs a quick little sequin bolero. This challenge has always been about making clothes work for you and your lifestyle. So here’s the official rules:

Official rules for The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019


AS BEFORE, THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE WILL HAVE 2 PARTS: 1. A BLOGGER/VLOGGER PORTION AND A COMMUNITY CHALLENGE WITH PRIZES!  I’VE GOT A GREAT LINE UP OF SPONSORS, AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE THEM!

The challenge:

Take a handmade dress you haven’t worn in a while and create 2 looks:

  • Day look: Pair your chosen dress with 1 extra item (jacket, coat, hat, scarf, handbag etc) to create an ensemble for your regular everyday life.
  • Night look: Pair your chosen dress with 1 extra item (jacket, coat, hat, scarf, handbag, etc) for a combination that you might wear to a nice night out to dinner or anywhere else that’s a little more classy.

Things to note to be counted as an official entry:

  • Your extra items must be something that you’ve made from now until March 17th when the community challenge ends.
  • Post a picture of your day look and your night look to Instagram between now and March 17th. If you’re shy, you can totally post a pic of your dress form donning your looks!
  • When you post your looks, tag me on Instagram @elizabethmadethis with the hashtag #dayandnightdresschallenge to be entered for a prize.
  • Prizes will be drawn randomly from the pool of entrants after March 17th.

The Day and Night Dress Challenge 2019 schedule:

  • The blogger/vlogger post-a-palooza will take place from Monday, February 18-Sunday February 24th right here on Elizabeth Made This.
  • The community challenge runs from January 3rd-March 17th. See above rules for entry.

STAY TUNED HERE AS I’LL BE SHARING LOTS ABOUT THE CHALLENGE INCLUDING INSPIRATION POSTS, POSTS ABOUT THE BLOGGING/VLOGGING CREW, ABOUT OUR AWESOME SPONSORS AND THE PRIZES THEY’RE SHARING!

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE DAY AND NIGHT DRESS CHALLENGE 2019?

  1. Find your lonely dress in your closet! Sew up 2 extra pieces to coordinate with your dress for a day look and a night look.
  2. Let other people know about it.  Use #dayandnightdresschallenge on Twitter and Instagram and follow the Day and Night Dress Challenge Facebook group.
  3. Keep reading here to find out the latest.  Follow Elizabeth Made This on Instagram andFacebook.
  4. Post a picture of your newly styled dress and extra pieces in your day look and your night look to Instagram to enter yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me @elizabethmadethis and use the #dayandnightdresschallenge.
  5. Grab the graphic below and post it on your site and/or repost on Instagram:     
Post me!!!!!!

Winter is upon us and this is the time of year that I start loading up the layers in a vain attempt to keep myself warm. So today I’m going to show you how to make this DIY ruffle sweater. It’s an easy pattern hack meets girly style! Let’s get hacking!

yellow ruffle sweater

DIY ruffle sweater

For this ruffle sweater pattern hack, you’ll need a t-shirt pattern that you love. There’s umpteen million choices here, but I’m using Burdastyle 2-2011-106. It’s a great little basic round neck tee that I’ve used before for this Hummingbird tee.

If you don’t have a favorite tee-shirt, here’s some other choices:

Fabric choice

You’ll want to choose some cozy fabric for your ruffle sweater! I’m using a sweatshirt fleece, but a sweater knit, french terry, or wool jersey are all great options too.

If you’re using a t-shirt pattern designed for more stretchy knits like rayon jersey, cut a size larger than you would normally. Sweatshirt knits typically don’t have as much stretch and definitely not the recovery of stretchier knits. If you’re going Team Lazy here, you could also get away with just adding a little extra seam allowance at the sides.

ruffle sweater infographic

1. Make the Crossover front piece

ruffle sweater pieces

To start, trace off a copy of your front pattern piece. For this project it needs to be a full piece. You can trace a full piece or go the lazy route by using your traced half as the altered part and just overlap your original piece at center front when you cut. When I’m pattern hacking, I’m all about Team Lazy!

Next, draw a curve from the middle armhole down towards the hem. It should crossover center front 1-2″ from the bottom of the hem. For this style, you want to reduce the hem allowance to 3/8″ since we’re going to add the ruffle.

To finish the front piece, add a seam allowance beyond your line that you drew and cut away the excess. You’ll need to cut 2 of these.

2. Measure for the ruffles

Next let’s make the ruffles. Take a measuring tape and measure on your pattern piece along the curve you drew. Multiply this X2 to get the length of your ruffle. Cut 2 ruffle pieces the length you need X 2.5″ wide.

Do the same thing for the back piece. Measure along the hem line, multiply X4 to get the length of the back ruffle (X2 if you’re using a full pattern piece). Cut 1 ruffle that length X2.5″.

3. Cut the ruffles

Cut 2 front ruffles and 1 back ruffle

4. Gather and hem the ruffles

Hem the ruffles by pressing up 5/8″ to the wrong side on the long edges. Topstitch the hem down with a double needle, zigzag stitch or a coverstitch.

Gather the top long edge of the ruffle by first sewing 2 rows of long stitches close to the top edge. From the wrong side, pull on the bobbin threads to gather the fabric. Repeat for the ruffles.

5. Sew on the ruffles

With wrong sides together, pin the gathered edge of the ruffle to the cut edge of a front piece. Adjust the ruffle to fit, then sew the ruffle to the edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Repeat for the second ruffle and the back piece.

Stack the front pieces with the right front on top of the left and baste the armholes and neckline together. Trim away any ruffle from the armhole area so that the ruffle is flush with the armhole.

yellow ruffle sweater

*A note on the left front ruffle*

If you’re using a closer fitting t-shirt pattern as I am and your fabric is a little bulky (mine is!), you might want to have the left front ruffle end just past the point that it crosses over CF. You’ll still get a ruffle hem, but it won’t add extra bulk underneath the right front. But check your pattern. A looser fit tee might be just fine with that second ruffle.

6. Finishing up

After that, sew your shoulder seams, side seams, neck binding and sleeves as you would for any other t-shirt.

yellow ruffle sweater

Styling your DIY ruffle sweater

ruffle sweater flatlay

How do you wear something like this? I’m wearing mine with slim motorcycle leggings and boots. Other options would be to pair it with a nice cozy scarf and a pencil skirt or even over a knit dress. Leggings + a longer tunic under the ruffle sweater might be cool too. Or jeans! Always the jeans!

Winter dressing is all about layering! Have a look around your closet and don’t be afraid to experiment. For other styling posts, check out how I styled Sew Over It’s Lulu dress.

ruffle sweater

Make a DIY ruffle sweater yourself!

If you make this ruffle sweater yourself, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to let me know about it on Instagram or you can email me elizabethmadethis@gmail.com!

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boiled wool coat

Hi all! I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and lovely times with family! I’ve certainly enjoyed hanging around in pjs with my family and wearing my pompom jacket! Today I’m over on the Fabric Mart blog talking about this colorblocked boiled wool coat and sequin cardigan.

faux suede trim

There’s dye! Suede trim makes an appearance, scraps become a zipper tassel, and I consider how sequins can be a part of your everyday wardrobe. Go check it out!

toddler sequin skirt and sequin cardigan

Next up tomorrow:

ruffle sweatshirt

Is this t-shirt pattern hack. It’s quick and easy and it’s the kind of top you’ll want to rescue out of the dirty clothes to wear again!

Do you have any post Christmas sewing plans?

Sew Over It Penny dress

The light was filmy, and the woods around me positively technicolor.  Elaborate spider webs lay untouched and moss grew wild.  I half expected a gnome to jump out and yell, gotcha.  It was not the place that I first imagined my Sew Over It Penny dress in this rather tropical Lady McElroy fabric to take a walk, but a couple weeks back, as my husband and I explored The Haunted Wood at the Green Gables house on Prince Edward Island, that’s exactly what happened.

“Oh, Marilla, I wouldn’t go through the Haunted Wood after dark now for anything. I’d be sure that white things would reach out from behind the trees and grab me.” Chapter XX, Anne of Green Gables

Sew Over It Penny Dress in the Wilds of Canada

Sew Over It Penny dress

Okay, so it wasn’t that dramatic.  But still, it’s not everyday my handmade garments get to have such a moody backdrop.  Usually, the most common place my handmade garments find them is in the driver’s seat of my minivan with my crew to soccer practice in probably possibly in the form of my latest pair of crazy jams.

It’s pretty easy to see how these woods inspired L.M. Montgomery’s imagination as she wrote Anne of Green Gables.  It was too cool to get to take pictures in such a place–the inspiration itself for one of my favorite books of all time.  Dude–this dress?!  I wouldn’t wear puffed sleeves, but THIS dress!!!!!

“Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence. Oh, how pretty it was–a lovely soft brown gloria with all the gloss of silk; a skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately pintucked in the most fashionable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves–they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown-silk ribbon.” Chapter XXV, Anne of Green Gables

But let’s get into my dress itself.

Lady McElroy lawn

Sew Over It Penny dress

I was totally taken by this Lady McElroy lawn.  Last year I had seen Lauren Guthrie make it up into a project and instantly loved the peachy pinks. I may or may not have stalked this fabric for a while on about every website possible, trying to justify the price + the crazy expensive shipping from the UK.

As it turned out, Fancy Tiger stocks it which saved me a buttload in shipping plus the chance to see it in person.  This is really lovely fabric.  It’s crisp and has good structure, making for a proper popped collar, yet it has a hand that’s nearly as lovely as a silk cotton blend.  While it wasn’t cheap at $22/yd, this dress only took up 1 1/3 yds with my modification on the skirt.

Sew Over It Penny dress

Narrow that skirt, thread up a drawstring, that’s how we hack it

Just like on my shibori dress, I narrowed the skirt for this version of the Sew Over It Penny dress.  I think half circle skirts look great on other people, but they always feel like far too much fabric for my frame and height.  This slightly A-line skirt I added from my self-drafted pencil skirt is just the right amount of sweep at the hem for me on this one.

Sew Over It Penny dress

Because I’m like the Princess and the Pea with elastic, I added the drawstring.  To do so, I added 2 tiny buttonholes on either side of the center front at the bottom of the bodice.  The drawstring is threaded through the casing then.  A full elastic waist is perhaps the most uncomfortable thing to me, plus I love how a drawstring is a built-in belt and that I have the option of tightening or loosening it.  With a sewn-in elastic waist you don’t have that option, plus you’re probably adding a belt to add some waist definition.

Sew Over It Penny dress pattern review

Sew Over It Penny dress

In terms of the actual sewing of the dress, this is pretty easy sew.  There’s no darts or zippers, though there is a collar.  I think this would be appropriate for any beginning sewist who’s ready to tackle putting in a collar.  There’s no collar stand which requires more precise stitching, and the facing makes for a really clean inside.  Shoot, you could make it collarless and make it even easier.

The dress has a great silhouette to it, and I think there’s very few body types it wouldn’t work for.  Maybe consider narrowing the skirt if you’re petite like me.  Otherwise, this has a great classic look and super easy to style with a jacket, cardigan, tights, whatever!!

A better shoulder yoke

Sew Over It Penny dress

For all the loveliness of this pattern, I have a serious beef with the shoulder yoke.  For some reason, the directions would have you leave all of the seam allowances just serged/zigzagged off on the inside.

Sew Over It Penny dress
How would you sew it: Per the pattern directions (left) or with a clean finish burrito style (right)?

A clean-finish yoke like what you’d see on the inside of a RTW men’s shirt is SOOOOOOO much nicer and really doesn’t require a whole lot more in terms of the construction.  Sometimes rough inside finishes get the job done quickly, and that’s totally okay.  In this instance, why you would choose to skip a clean finish is a mystery.

Sew Over It Penny dress

But that’s one of those things.  Sometimes you follow the directions to the T and you move on.  On the other hand, when you’ve done something a certain way, you have an opinion about it.  If you like the way to construct something better than what’s in the pattern directions, make it the way you like.  The pattern police won’t come and get you!

That’s my thoughts for the Sew Over It Penny dress and my walk in the woods, but I’m curious:

Are you a follow-the-instructions type, or do you go your own way when you sew?

 

 

sew over it lulu dress

There’s been so much feet dragging with my Make 9 this year, and the Sew Over It Lulu dress has been partly to blame.  I saw the lack of darts and waist shaping and thought there was no chance it’d work on my pear shaped self.  Guess what?  I was totally wrong.

Sew Over It Lulu dress

The specs

sew over it lulu dress

An awesome pattern for beginners

There’s no zippers or buttons or darts to sew in this pattern!  What?  What a rare bird among woven dress patterns!  I have a friend who’s terrified of buttonholes and zippers of all kinds, so this pattern would be perfect for her.

And because there’s none of these things, this dress sews up pretty quickly.  The only thing that might be intimidating for a beginner is the facing for the keyhole.  But the instructions are good on this point.

Can you hack it?

sew over it lulu dress

As far as pattern hacking goes, there’s a couple of good options.  You could use a contrasting color on the sleeves for a little colorblocking.  You could even take off the sleeves entirely, bind the sleeve holes with bias and make a tie neck as a neck binding for a summer halter.

For me, I used this striped cotton shirting from Cali Fabrics.  The stripes are actually 60 degrees to the straight grain, so while it looks like I put the stripes on the bias, they’re actually on the straight grain.  Sneaky… To get the alternating stripes, I didn’t cut the front and back on the fold.  Instead, I cut 2 fronts and added a seam at CF and CB so I could alternate the pattern.  It took some time to cut this right so that the stripe matching could work.  I even managed to mess up the right side on one of my sleeves and had to take it apart and re-sew it.  Still, it wasn’t too bad since this is a pretty simple pattern.

Styling for a better fit

Because there aren’t any darts and this has a pretty loose waist, I think Lulu could benefit from some extra styling.  I myself am a pear shape (A shape!), and without any waist definition, I do not feel particularly polished.  You might find yourself in the same position if you have more of an hourglass (you lovely X shapes!) silhouette.  So what do you do dear?

#1 Grab a belt or a scarf

sew over it lulu dress

Cinching loose waists is not a cure all, but in this case, it really does help.  I tried a pashmina and a simple fabric belt and liked both.

 

#2 Try an asymmetric cowl sweater

sew over it lulu dress

This is a style you might not be able to find, but an asymmetric cowl sweater is easily crocheted.  I bought mine from a woman in Sew Much Talent, but check out this tutorial if you crochet or this quick sweater refashion from See Kate Sew.  The asymmetry adds a little more waist definition to the Lulu, and it’s a good addition for layering for the coming cooler months.

Mine is open on the sides, so I’m holding it together with a kilt pin!

#3 Jackets make everything better

sew over it lulu dress

Name one outfit a jacket doesn’t make better.  I paired my very tough looking Rose Tyler jacket for a purple explosion.  Any other jacket or even a cardigan would work well too.  For me, my shoulders get lost in the raglan sleeves, so the jacket helps me remember where they are.  Plus, it’s cool.  Wear a jacket.  Look cool.  The end.

My life as a Sew Over It newbie

sew over it lulu dress

 

I know Sew Over It has been popular for a good long while now, and I finally get it.  Cute styles, easy sewing, and at the end of the day you feel pretty great.  While this won’t be my go-to pattern, it was good to try something outside of my style comfort zone and explore how to make it work for my body type.

sew over it lulu dress

Have you tried the Sew Over It Lulu or another Sew Over It pattern?  How did it go?

 

 Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas

Carolyn pajamas

I’ve been slowly getting back to our routine after a travel heavy July and August, but today I get to share the Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas I made this past week for Fabric Mart.  This percale was such a nice fabric to work with, plus this was a great project for getting back in the swing of things.  Not only that, there was a gingham shirt that really wanted to become piping.

carolyn pajamas

You can check out the full post at the Fabric Mart blog.

 

 

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