Sewing the Lyle Midi-Dress + Becoming a Seamwork Ambassador

My sewing brain has officially turned towards summer. All I think about are cute dresses, light layers and how to stay cool and comfortable when the temperature rises. In my fantasy summer is all sandals, wicker purses and chill patios. In reality I am more likely to be hot, sweaty and sticky. Oh man, do I hate feeling sticky. And sometimes I just want to get up, throw something on and feel prepared for a summer day.

Enter Seamwork’s Lyle Dress!

This is one of Seamwork’s May patterns (they have 2 new patterns each month). A boat neck, sleeveless midi-dress made from knits. I was excited for this pattern because it reminds me of a dress I have – not made by me – that is starting to wear out. The fabric is a Bamboo Jersey from Rick Rack Textiles which I found quite easy to work with. For this first version I made a straight size 16, no changes.

The fit is good. Loose without feeling shapeless. And for being 5’9″ the length is great. For my next one I was even thinking of shortening it an inch! I didn’t even have to adjust the armhole width, which I find can often be too loose or tight depending on the designer.

This is a good beginner pattern for working with knits. With 5 pattern pieces total it’s simple yet has a few bits that you can learn from, like the neck and armbands and the curved hem, which I think could be the trickiest part for new sewists. Most of the time the hem is one of the last things to sew. In this pattern you hem before you sew up the side seams. This actually made sewing the hem easier and look neater. I used a coverstitch machine for the hem and sometimes I have trouble getting a even stitch when going over seams. This method made a very satisfying hem and while I wouldn’t use it for all patterns it works excellent for this one.

To turn the Lyle into a LOOK I knotted the front hem added a chunky necklace (gargage sale) and a silk wrap made from vintage fabric, which I bought a few years ago as a happy birthday to me present. Wear while walking through a flowery field, practicing social distancing – of course – bare feet optional.

I’m also excited to share that I got chosen to be a Seamwork Ambassador this year! Seamwork is a online sewing community that offers patterns and classes. Every month there is a new issue of Seamwork Magazine, which features 2 new patterns as well as thoughtful and inspiring articles. You can purchase the patterns separately or by becoming a member. I’ve been a member since 2016 and have really enjoy the community aspect and the variety of patterns.

When they had a call for ambassadors earlier this year I took a chance and applied.

As an ambassador I get membership for 1 year as well as early access to the patterns before they get released and offer input on future projects and patterns. In return I commit to sewing at least 10 Seamwork patterns within the year and sharing them with you!

My goal with upcoming blog posts, for Seamwork and any sewing pattern, is to give you a honest look into my sewing process. I’ll share what alterations I’ve made, what works and what doesn’t, suggestions for fabrics and what I really think. So pretty much the good, the bad and the ugly! By doing this my hope is to inspire and encourage you in your sewing journey!

I just loooove taking photos of myself, can’t you tell! Lol

Want to check out more of Seamwork’s patterns? Click here!

Super Easy T-shirt into Tank Top Refashion

Here is Value Village refashion number 2! This one was sooo easy! It also turned out much better then I thought. I’ve tried to refashion t-shirts in the past and sometimes it ends up looking like a baggy sack, which is great if that’s what you want to wear, I guess. But this t-shirt into halter tank top turned out super-duper. it could even be a no-sew refashion and you’d be done in a minute!

tshirt-before-and-after

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Men’s Suit Jacket to Vest Refashion

 

I’ve wanted a longer menswear vest for awhile, so on a recent trip to Goodwill I dug into the men’s section and found a suit jacket I could refashion into a vest. I chose this jacket because it covered my butt, I liked the fabric and it has a lot of pockets. Who doesn’t love a variety of pockets!

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Introducing… The Halie Top!

My sister, Halie, is currently part of an exhibition at Untitled Art Society called A Space Ship is Just a Time Machine. The reception was this weekend and she wanted to have an amazing outfit. The pants were already decided on but she wasn’t sure about the top.

Sewing Sister to the rescue! I had seen a photo that week on pinterest I thought would work perfectly with the pants. This pattern drafting was very simple and consists of two squares (for the back and front) and two rectangles (for the sleeves). Happily the muslin looked great.

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A worn out coat, renewed!

My sister, Halie, and I are similar in many ways. We are both creative, share the same birthday, and adore a great thrift store find. When we spotted this coat on a recent Goodwill trip Halie fell in love instantly. I wasn’t equally as smitten. While I did like the shape, color, and fuzziness of the fabric, it had major problems. It was badly worn on one shoulder, my guess is from a purse strap, and on the elbows. The lining under the armpits was also torn on both sides. Halle couldn’t let the coat go, it really was a steal, and since I knew I could mend it easily I agreed to help.

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Stampede style inspiration throwback

In YYC the Calgary Stampede is a big deal. Have you been? If not it’s definitely an experience. This year the Stamped runs from July 3rd – 12th. The downtown is transformed with brightly painted windows, hay, and reclaimed wood boards.  Plaid shirts and cowboy hats abound! And the Stampede grounds are where all the action is.

 

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Since this is my 5th year in Calgary and my 4th year Stampeding I’ve been around the hay bale a couple of times. Dressing up cowboy style is always fun. I love the challenge of dressing in a theme. Trying to infuse your own style into an outfit while not looking like a costume can be a challenge. Do you really want to look like a cowgirl cliché? Of course not! That’s why I’m sharing two past posts I did on how to dress for a stampede/rodeo.

In 2013 white was on trend and that hasn’t changed for 2015. Get inspiration for how to accessorize your white lace dress/skirt or even what kind to buy. There are so many different styles! What I’m obsessed with… White lace dresses.

cowgirl inspired outfit victoriadaytoday.com cowgirl outfit Victoriadaytoday.com

Once you have your outfit you’re going to need a cowboy hat. This is a must as it completes the ensemble and helps keep the sun out of your eyes while watching the rodeo. A little cowboy hat creativity will show you two ways you can customize a run of the mill hat. Give your chapeau a little pizzaz and you’ll never get lost in the crowd.

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conclusion

Remember, you’re beautiful and no matter what you choose to wear, confidence and a big cowgirl smile will always be in style during Stampede and beyond!

What I made… Summer kimono

Summer is here and hoo boy is it hot! Well at least in Calgary it is. Even though I feel like I’m melting, being over exposed in public is not for me. I may be cooler but I’m not comfortable. Halie, my sister, feels the same way. The solution is a light and breezy kimono! She asked me to make her one and since her birthday was coming up how could I say no?

The fabric Halie picked out is a vintage Japanese silk which I’ve had in my fabric stash for awhile. It was perfect for this project and I think it turned out great! I tried a different method then my previous kimono tutorial and pretty much just winged it. Luckily it worked out on the first try. I’ve found a tutorial similar to what I did on Babble by Merrick White. The only difference is since the kimono I made is longer I didn’t sew the side seams all the way down, only to about mid-thigh. Even with hemming the edges this kimono is still a quick and easy sew! If your wondering how I made my first kimono check out my Cozy Kimono Cardigan tutorial.

Thanks to Julianne Gutowski for taking these pretty photos of Halie modeling her kimono. Isn’t Lesser Slave Lake a beautiful location!

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conclusion

Even in hot weather you can still be cool and comfortable without resorting to short shorts and crop tops! (although if that’s your style I’m sure you rock it!)