In 2018, I began transitioning my wardrobe from ready-made to “me made.” It kind of happened by accident at first, but after a while I realized I was buying more fabric than ready-to-wear clothing, and preferring my makes to the items I had bought in the store. After a lot of summertime sewing, I actually had wearable pieces that I had created with my own two hands, and I was excited to show them off.
I feel the need to warn you at this point that I have become completely obsessed with Sew Over It, and I get most of my patterns and fabric from their site now. The obsession is so intense that I am even a member of their fabric and PDF clubs so I don’t miss out on a single thing! I am currently eagerly – and not so patiently – awaiting my first fabric club box, and my next one has already been ordered. This post is more or less my exploration of Sew Over It’s patterns, as they are just so darn easy to wear!
(Note: this is not at all a sponsored post, just the ramblings of someone who’s really loyal to brands she likes! Wait ’til I get going on Rifle Paper Co.)
The Vintage Shirt Dress
I have made three Vintage Shirt Dresses thus far. It was my first foray into the world of Sew Over It, and I loved it so much I had to make two more. The one to the right is made from a Rifle Paper Co. rayon fabric (from their Amalfi collection, I believe). Last year also taught me to work with drapes, soft fabrics like rayon, cotton lawn and viscose, and how making the right fabric choices can change everything when it comes to sewing. After having done costumes for a school for so many years, and making everything as budget-friendly as possible, it was fun to be able to explore the world of more luxurious fabrics.
To the right, you see a different take on the same shirt dress. I added sleeves, but not the ones that came with the pattern. I used the sleeves from the Kate Dress (see below), and I made the bodice and the skirt in two different fabrics. The bodice was actually made from an IKEA curtain I’ve had lying around forever! The skirt fabric came from an estate sale last year, where my sister and I got to fill a bin with fabric for about $3.00. Because we were masters at getting as much fabric into that bin as possible, I have no idea what this dress actually came out to price-wise, I only know that it was pretty thrifty!
The Kate Dress
The Kate Dress appeared in Sew Over It’s Work to Weekend ebook, and I knew immediately that I had to make it. In fact, I even purchased more of a Rifle Paper Co. fabric that I had already bought so that I would have enough to make the dress (this one was from the most recent English Garden collection). This was one of those makes that went very quickly for me, for the sole reason that I wanted to see the finished product as soon as possible. I sped through it, despite the fact that it had a few techniques that I hadn’t done before. However, I’ve found that my sewing skills have grown by leaps and bounds over the past year or so, and following the directions made making this dress a breeze.
The Kate Dress was my most popular make, if Instagram is an indication. I had over four hundred likes on the dress!
The Emma Dress
The Emma Dress came from Sew Over It’s Introduction to Knits class. I highly recommend the course if you’re new to sewing knits which, for the most part, I was. I had sewn a few jersey items but the class really gave me some construction techniques so that I was no longer messing up jersey items I was trying to sew.
In addition to being an extremely easy make, made easier by the video instructions that came with the class, it was also super comfy! The version you see in red is a Ponte di Roma, and the version on the right is a lightweight jersey in multi-colored polka dots. I love wearing them both. They are perfect work dresses, especially for the chillier winter months. The polka dot one was also worn to my family’s Fake Christmas celebration as well as my holiday party for work.
The Penny Dress
I wasn’t sold on the Penny Dress when I first saw it. I wasn’t sure that the elastic waistband was something that would look nice on me. But the obsession had grown deep at this point, and I had such great success with everything else I had tried, I knew I needed to go for the Penny as well. To my surprise, it is now one of my favorite dresses. It’s comfy and lightweight, but it pairs extremely well with cardigans and tights for chillier weather. Next to the Emma dress, I’d say its the one I pull from my closet the most. I made this one in a Viscose Twill in a “glass blowing” print.
The Carrie Trousers & The Ultimate Trousers
These are two different patterns, but they fall into the same category: pants! I have never in my life considered making pants until this year. Sure, I made some for the musicals but never for myself. I was brave enough to give it a try, and I’m hooked on it now! To the right you see the Ultimate Trousers, which are great work pants. These are made in a polka dot stretch cotton, which was stiffer than I anticipated when I ordered it but actually very comfortable. I need to repair the zipper on these as I split it open the other day – not because the pants didn’t fit but because I think there was something wrong with the zipper to begin with. Though it’s installed correctly, it’s been hard to zip up, even when the pants aren’t on.
To the left we have the Carrie Trousers, which are amazing for warmer weather as they are made in a rayon. They are extremely comfortable and easy to wear. Depending on how you make them, they could also be great pants for lounging around the house. These did make the work outfit of the day twice, but I think I really prefer them for a more casual setting (i.e. drinks with friends, etc.).
My next foray into the world of pants is going to be jeans!
The Edie Top
To go with all these new pairs of pants, I needed a top. The perfect one was provided for me in the Edie Top, another pattern in the Work to Weekend book. It’s a boatneck knit top. It’s simple and beautiful and I plan to replace most of the shirts in my wardrobe with this one!
Tip: it’s super cute in stripes! This is the only one I have made so far but I know it’s not the last!
The Ultimate Wrap Dress
Another one of my favorites, and one that gets pulled out of my closet more and more is the Ultimate Wrap Dress. I wasn’t planning to make this one at first, but when the fabric I ordered for another project arrived, it didn’t feel right. It screamed wrap dress, and thus I changed my plans. I had just enough fabric to get the pattern out of it, albeit with a slightly modified tie (it’s thinner than it’s supposed to be but still fully functional). I use this as my go to “day to night dress.” It works perfectly for work, and then transitions into a really nice dress for dinner and a show. It doesn’t hurt that it’s super-flattering and I feel really good every time I wear it!
The Elsie Dress
The Elsie Dress was one of those patterns I knew I wanted to make, but it took a while to get around to it. I bought it, printed out the PDF file and just kind of left it sitting around for a while, waiting for just the right fabric to appear. It showed itself in a Sew Over It vlog post, and it was this lovely blue fabric with a large floral print. I bought it immediately after watching the video. When the fabric arrived, I immediately started on the dress and made quick work of it. This was another one that I just wanted to wear as soon as possible! The print was so beautiful and it lended itself to the design so well.
The Elsie is an easy to wear retro style, probably a little bit too dressy for my job (though that didn’t stop me from wearing it to work twice already!). It’s as versatile as the other patterns mentioned here, however: it can be dressed up or down, depending on what you wear with it and what fabric you make it up in. I already have another planned.
The Heather Dress
Finally, we have the Heather Dress, another one that I didn’t think would work well with my body shape, but also one that I felt I needed to try. It’s meant for a knit fabric, and so I chose an adorable French terry with a little origami elephant print that I got on sale. It has some imperfections (ones that you cannot likely see in the photo), such as a collar that doesn’t stay down on one side because I neglected to stretch it out when I was sewing it down. Even so, it’s perfectly wearable and, because it’s a knit, extremely comfy and cozy!
2018 was definitely a productive year! In addition to these makes, there were also quite a few more dresses that I showed off on the old blog, and will soon be making there way here as soon as I’ve complete the export process!
They all look terrific on you, and I like your fabric choices.
Thank you! Choosing the fabric/pattern combination is my favorite part!
Wow, this is absolutely amazing! I’m also a big fan of Sew Over It. Just today I cut my fabric for an Erin skirt 🙂
Thanks! I have so many things cut and ready to sew (and a ton of fabric purchases just waiting to be cut!) but with my current costuming project, don’t have much time for stuff for me! Itching to get back to it ASAP.