Category Archives: Minerva Craft Bloggers Network

Roses in the City

Look, look! I made a thing!!!

To be more specific – I made a dress!!! A summer dress, in the hope that one day summer will arrive. (Although it looks like I’m going to have to travel to the Northern Hemisphere to get any summer this year… Hmmm…)

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And if we’re wanting to be really specific, I made the Rose City halter dress by Sew House Seven, using a Liberty poplin in the classic Carmine print from Minerva Crafts. Because rose pattern on rose dress pattern just screams out summer picnics and adventures, don’tcha think?

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Plus I figured the extra sweet girlishness of roses would be offset by my tattoo with the halterneck back. Coz normally, this print would be just a little bit too sweet for my taste…)

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This was my first time sewing a Sew House Seven pattern, although I’ve got a few of them in my ‘things to make’ list. (Have you see the Tea House dress? Gorgeous! I need a maxi in that style…) I found it to be a great pattern to work with – instuctions and markings all nice and clear, all the measurements that you need to figure out what you’re doing, everything matched up as it should. Overall, a well crafted pattern, I reckon! πŸ™‚

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made up version B, with the bias-cut A-line skirt with curved patch pockets. I did all my usual adjustments – grading out a size between bust and waist, lengthening the bodice by about 1.5cm, and doing a small bust adjustment. For once, I didn’t length the skirt, as it seemed to be a good length (i.e. I can actually wear it without fears for showing the world my unders. What the heck is up with super short dresses?!?!? Or maybe it’s just those of us who live in windy locales who worry about that… πŸ˜‰

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Rose City Halter dress has some lovely details, including a fully-lined bodice, unusual pocket shaping (curved on one side and the base, and straight on the other side!), released pleats at the shoulders, and separate neck ties that you line with the same fabric as your garment so they’re always showing right-side-out. The lined bodice gives a great, clean finish – I went with a yellow lightweight poplin for lining, just to add to the summery essence of the whole garment. πŸ˜‰

I added a couple of other touches too, naturally. I hemmed the skirt using a blind hem and Hug Snug rayon seam binding. And I added an Oscar Wilde quote as a label on the inside, on top of an accent of the Carmine poplin.

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’m really happy with how this one turned out. So lovely and girly and summery to wear, and fun to make. πŸ™‚

Also – notice the shoes? Liberty print Nikes, yeah! Double Liberty!! πŸ˜‰

(Photos taken on a trip to Wellington Zoo. In late January (yes, that long ago). In between chasing after two preschoolers who were determined to cause chaos. Hah!)

Rose Squared dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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Swaying around the world

Hello hello! Long time, no see! (Again. Whoops!)

You know what? I think this is officially the longest I’ve ever been without posting here in the past few years. Yep. So there’s a fair bit to catch up on…! πŸ˜‰

But first up – let’s talk sewing.

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And a bit of travelling.

So anyway, I made another dress! (Surprise!)

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This time it’s the Sway dress by Papercut Patterns.

Papercut Patterns - Sway dress

Papercut Patterns – Sway dress

Now I liked this dress from the moment I saw it when it was released. But at the same time, it’s not my usual style. (I am a ‘fit and flare’ kinda girl, after all. Hah.) I originally got it because I was still nursing my youngest one, and thought that the tent style and centre front seam would work really well (easy to wear with post-pregnancy body changes, plus easy to add a centre front invisible zip for ‘easy access’ when required by a little one).

But then of course, I didn’t get around to making it before the littlest one decided to stop nursing. And it seemed like it would be yet another sewing plan consigned to the ‘things that could have been made’ pile. 😦

Clearly though, the pattern escaped that fate! Thanks to getting my hands on some lovely drapey viscose with a big floral print. I fell for the fabric, then had to figure out what to make with it. Something with drape… Something that didn’t require too much fabric so I could fit it on what I had… Something that didn’t have too much detailing because of the size of the floral print…. Eureka! The Sway dress!

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Plus, it seemed a perfect style for travelling. πŸ˜‰

(And it was. This dress got it’s first wear in Hong Kong. And then on a long distance flight to Zurich, a shorter flight to Heathrow, a trip to Goldhawk Road in London (!!), a day in Singapore, a flight from Budapest to Frankfurt and on to Singapore, and also a day wandering around Cegled in Hungary. Which is where these photos were taken, courtesy of my extremely wonderful friend Agi. πŸ™‚

Agi and I have a long history. We met when we were 18 – I lived with her family for a year as an exchange student, and they became my “second family”. I try to go back to Hungary every few years to visit them – and since I really wanted to introduce my youngest child to them before he got very old, this year the trip was made! (But more about that in another post.)

Anyway, one of the days I was staying with Agi, we went to Cegled, the nearby town, for a wander around. Perfect excuse for blog photos, no? πŸ˜‰ These were mainly taken in the park at the town centre.

But let’s talk about the dress for now, shall we?

The Sway dress is a lovely pattern. Simple but with a great cut – very 70’s in style with it’s A-line tent dress style. There’s a centre front seam and a centre back seam, and inseam pockets. It comes in two lengths – short (the length I made) and shorter (the length I shall never make). (And yes, I know it’s meant to be longer than this but hey, I’m tall. This is how short above-knee-length styles end up on me.)

The neckline is a deep, wide vee on one side, and a scoop on the other – you can wear the dress either way ’round, so you can pick and choose which neckline you want at the front on any given day.

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

There are no fastenings – it’s a pull-on style, with a narrow tie belt that you can wear to cinch it in at the waist. (Top tip – this also makes it super comfy for wearing for long distance flights! I suspect this is going to be a go-to travel pattern for me.)

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So far, sounds pretty simple, right? Well, then we get to the facings and that all changes! The necklines (both of them) are faced, as is the armholes. The facing is an all-in-one style, and the pattern gets you to use the ‘burrito’ method to attach it. (I.e. roll it up really tightly to stitch one side, then roll tightly the other way to stitch the other side.) The result being a lovely, clean finish around both necklines and armholes. Beautiful!

And because I could, I finished off all the inside edges with Hug Snug seam binding. (Although I must admit wishing I hadn’t gone for such a contrast colour, as it shows through the yellow a bit around the edge of the facing. Whoops!)

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As for changes I’d make next time? Only a couple of things, really. I prefer the vee neckline at the front, but it stretched out pretty quick (or else it was always pretty low) on this dress, so next time I’d stabilise it before stitching it, and possibly raise it up a little bit. (Main issue – when I lean forward you can see right down the dress. Oops!) I’d also topstitch the facing down around both necklines – the pattern calls for understitching, but with the width of the neckline and this pattern working best in a drapy fabric, I found it wasn’t quite enough to stop the facing from rolling to the outside. Oh, and the other change I’d make? Add some length. Hah!

Despite this not being my usual style, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I love wearing this dress! It’s perfect for warm weather, and for travelling. (Plus, it makes a great hiding spot for toddlers.)

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And now, let’s finish off with some scenic shots. Just because we can. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day when we were out taking photos – warm in the sun, a little cooler in the shade, and the leaves not quite starting to change colour. (Back in mid-September, by the way. Like I said – I’ve got a bit to catch up on!)

statue

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

windows

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The youngest child loved it there in the small park – he spent lots of time running off (necessitating us running after him as he ducked around hedges and snuck under trees and deliberately put small stones in his mouth while laughing at us).

foxinpark

stonesflowers

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Typically, he also found one hole in the lawn and stood in it for a while. Because – child.

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

After the park we went wandering a little bit to find a gift store, and a supermarket so I could buy some Hungarian chocolate to take home and some amazing cake for us all to eat after dinner. (Yum!) Youngest one being a child, he decided part-way down a side street that he didn’t want to be carried. Nor did he want to walk. Stand-off ensued. *sigh*

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

sidestreet

Agi pointed out this building tucked behind some of the others – it was the old fire station tower. Made of wood, and tall so they could keep watch for fires.

firetower

Rounded off the trip into town with a lavender lemonade gelato. Which was as amazing as it sounds. Yum!! Wish we had that type of ice cream here…. ❀

Yellow Sway dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh Dear Me!

Hello hello! It’s me! I’m back! Yay!

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(I’m also sitting inside, under the heat pump, with two woolen blankets tucked around me, a mug of hot lemon honey ginger drink, and feeling super cold. Weather report says it feels like -1 outside at the moment with the wind chill factor. I do not like cold. So instead, let’s talk summer-ish dresses! πŸ˜‰

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(And how inappropriate they are to model in winter, outside. But we’ll get to that later. Brrrrr….)

This one is my latest make for the Minerva Craft Network. As is probably kinda obvious by now, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for cottons with fun prints on them, so when I spotted this gorgeous Michael Millar cotton poplin with deer and flowers all over it, it jumped straight to my things-I-must-make list. (At the time, I had no idea what I’d make with it, but it was always going to be a dress. Because, dresses.)

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I got invited to be a guest blogger over on Kestrel Makes as part of the Vintage Pattern Pledge this year. (Thanks Kerry!) A great excuse to dig out vintage patterns for pairing with floral deer! πŸ˜‰

The pattern I went with was Simplicity 4298 – a “7 day wardrobe” pattern from the early 1960’s, and one I’ve never made before. (I love the idea of “wardrobe” patterns, don’t you? I’m going to make that a project one day – sew all the variations from a “wardrobe” pattern to make the capsule wardrobe that the envelope promises.) To suit the light weight of the poplin, I went for the full skirted version of the dress, with gathers at the waist. And because I didn’t have quite enough fabric (that skirt takes up a fair bit!) I made the sleeveless variation.

Simplicity 4298 pattern

I made a couple of other changes to the pattern too. The skirt is about 15-20cm shorter than the pattern (again, due to not having quite enough fabric). I did a small bust adjustment and removed the waist dart, keeping only the side dart which got re-positioned by lowering the dart point. And I lowered the waist by 1.5cm. (Which it then turned out I didn’t need to do, as the weight of the skirt pulled it down that much anyway!) I also finished the armholes with a bias facing, rather than a classic facing. (I’m using “fabric quantity” as an excuse for that, although really it’s because I prefer bias facings there! πŸ˜‰

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I went with the facing from the pattern for the neckline, and finished the edge of it with Hug Snug for added inside-of-dress prettiness.

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This pattern and fabric combination went together wonderfully. The poplin is beautiful to work with and nice and light, so it worked well with the bulk of all the gathers at the waistline. (And my gosh, there was a lot of gathering there!!)

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Speaking of which, the skirt has a non-gathered section in the centre front and back, with the gathers only over the sides. Which reminds me a bit of wearing panniers or the like due to the silhouette, but I do like the flat sections in the middle for contrast.

The hem was finished with Hug Snug, and a blind hem done by machine.

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern was quick and easy to make up – but then, it is a pretty basic style for back then! πŸ˜‰ The neckline is finished with a facing, and the dress fastens up the back with an invisible zip. (The pattern called for a dress zip, but I prefer invisible zips for these styles…. I’m such a rebel haha yeah right.)

Overall I really love my new dress! (Mainly because – deer and flowers! Yay!)

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I must admit to not being 100% happy with the fit though. It’s not sitting as close in the upper bodice/neckline as it should, which bothers me a bit. So if I make it again, I’ll pinch about 2.5cm in total out of the centre of the front neckline. Other changes I’d make in the future – keep the waistline at the original position, and close up the side dart while keeping the waist dart instead. (The reason I didn’t do that this time was I felt the side dart would be less obvious with this print. The high risk of having folded-up deer, and all that.)

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The day after I finished this dress, my partners parents came to visit and looked after our kids for a couple of hours, so my partner and I seized the opportunity to go out and have a coffee and an actual conversation (!!) and go for a walk. (We used to love going for random walks and exploring places….) We went out to Strathmore, a suburb in Wellington, and walked out to the old World War II radar and gun station that looks out over the south coast. It’s so gorgeous out there!

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It was also super cold, being winter and a classic Wellington windy day. Brrr!!! I had to psyche myself up to take my coat, scarf and jersey off for the photos, and it was a very fast photo shoot after that so I could jump back into warm clothes, haha!

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’ve been wearing this dress nearly every week since. (Yeah, I may have made it and photographed it about a month ago. *shrug*) So it’s a definite winner.

Yay, deer and flowers! πŸ™‚

(And speaking of flowers, here’s some scenic shots to finish off. Including the airport, since the bunker looks out over it.)

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

plane

flower

Oh Deer dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

view through plant

True blue, baby

It’s getting cold, down here in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ve been having a lovely autumn so far – warm days, good weather. And then a couple of days ago, winter decided to arrive. Brrrr!!! Oh well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later?!

And winter is, of course, the perfect time for flannel pajamas. πŸ˜‰

Which brings me to… the first thing I’ve made for myself in nearly two months! Eeek!!!! How on earth has it been that long?!?!

True Blue pajama pants | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make some new pajama pants for, well, ages really. Most of mine are nearly threadbare and overdue for retirement. And you know, colder weather, need new pajamas and all that.

Enter the Carolyn pajama pants, from Closet Case Patterns. This is the second time I’ve made these, and I wear my first pair all the time. They’re super comfy – a nice slim cut, while still plenty roomy enough to move around in easily. I now officiallly have a go-to pattern for pajama pants. Hah!

This is where I have to give a big shout-out to me-of-the-past, who wrote a blog post last time I made these and said I lengthened the pattern by 4cm and should add another 1.5cm in the future. Yay for blog posts and relevant details like that! So I followed me-of-the-past’s advice, and added 5.5cm length to these, and now they are perfect. Love it!

True Blue pajama pants | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

For this pair, I made the variation with the cuffs at the bottom. (The 5.5cm of extra length was added to the legs – the cuffs are the same width as the original pattern.) And because I could, I added some teal green piping where the cuffs joined on to the leg.

True Blue pajama pants | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Why teal green? Ok, I admit it. It was the closest to my sewing table and I couldn’t be bothered standing up to find another colour. Lazy!! But also happy, as I think it works really well with this blue. πŸ˜‰

The fabric is a nice flannellette from Minerva Crafts. Lovely and soft and cozy to wear, it sews up like a dream as flannel tends to do. And I am completely in love with the shade – such a vibrant royal blue!

The elastic in the waistband is also from Minerva – a classic no-roll elastic, slightly narrower than the pattern called for (whoops!) but I think it works fine anyway.

Aside from the length addition, I didn’t make any changes to this pattern at all. And I recommend it – it goes together well, I love the fit, and the instructions are all nice and clear.

And yes, I’ll be making some more soon. I have some flannellette with foxes all over it that is demanding to be winter pajamas… πŸ˜‰

True Blue pajama pants | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(I must say, it’s nice to have made something for myself again…. Here’s hoping it won’t be so long before the next garment!)

A Measure of Pink

Ever since I saw the Meta dress that Dolly Clackett made, I’ve been wanting a tape measure dress all of my own. And now… I have one! Yay!

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I was pretty excited to find this cotton poplin at Minerva. Although I must admit to debating about it for a while – would it be too much? Is it too cliched for a sewist? Am I going over the top?

(The answer to all of those is, of course – not at all!)

But I kept on returning to it, and eventually I caved. (Which then prompted a bunch more thought – which colourway? I was super tempted by the red and grey for a while. But pink won out. Just!)

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

With such a directional print, I wanted to match it with a pattern that would play with that. Enter the By Hand London Sophia dress. With its Y darts in the bodice, angled arm holes, and full skirt with godets, I figured there was ample angle opportunities to play with a inconsistent bold stripe design.

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This was my first time sewing up a By Hand London pattern. I used the paper pattern (although they’re sold out of the paper version, you can still get one from Minerva crafts). I really do like the packaging design of By Hand London patterns. The pastel colours, different shaped cut outs, and the well thought out details, such as the design on the inside of each sleeve that matches the inspiration of the pattern. Lovely!

The instructions are in a nice booklet – clear illustrations, easy to follow steps, and a friendly tone of voice. My one issue was that the size chart and finished measurements are on the back of the packaging inset, rather than in the instruction book – it took me a minute to find them, and I had to keep reminding myself they were there, rather than where I expected them to be. But really, that’s pretty minor, and all the measurements you need are still there to be easily accessed!

The pattern came together nice and easily. All the notches lined up, all the markings that were needed were there, no problems whatsoever.

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made my usual adjustments to the pattern – doing a 2” SBA to bring it from a B-cup to an AA-cup. Lowering the front bust dart points by quite a bit. And lengthening the bodice by 1.5”. All changes I need to make to pretty much every pattern, and nothing out of the ordinary at all.

There was a bit of debate when it came to choosing a size. I based my decision on my high bust measurement + 2″ (as the By Hand London patterns are drafted for a B cup, and I’m a AA cup). My measurements fit between two sizes, and I went down rather than up. A deliberate decision – I am still holding out hope that I’ll lose the last of the baby weight, in which case, the smaller size should fit well (hopefully soon?!?). Whereas a lot of the dresses I made last year are now a size too big in the bodice. So, I sized down, and the result is admittedly a bit too fitted in the bodice. I’m still debating about that – should I let the upper bodice side seams out a bit? Or leave them there? Hmmm…. (I’ve left the lining unattached at the waist for now, while I decide. Because I am lazy and once I’ve finished a garment, especially one that involves hand stitching down lining on the inside, I’m very unlikely to go back and alter it later. Sad but true.) Fit for now, or fit for later? What do you think I should do??

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The bodice is fully lined, for which I used an olive green cotton remnant that was near the top of my stash (why? Because I couldn’t find the lemon yellow poplin I would have usually used, and this was the only suitable weight non-patterned fabric nearby!). The lining gives it a nice clean finish around the arms and neckline. I also stitched the lining to the invisible zip on the inside for a clean finish, rather than handstitching it as the instructions called for.

A Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh, and added a label for fun, of course. πŸ˜‰

(Speaking of which, I really must get around to getting some good woven labels made. It’s been on my to-do list for a while now….)

For hemming, I used yellow Hug Snug, and a blind hem stitch on my machine. And this is where the volume of that skirt really comes in! It took me 9 minutes of steady and fast sewing to get around the hem of the skirt. Then pressing time, then another 9 minutes to do the blind hem stitching. Yep, that hem took over half an hour to do – yikes!!! Not one I would ever recommend hand stitching, that’s for sure!

A Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As far as the style goes now that I’ve made it up – I like it! The Y darts in the bodice are a fun touch, especially how they’re replicated on the back, and I like how they echo the neckline and armhole angles. The skirt is lovely and full and swishy and fun to wear with it’s seven godets, yet still nicely fitted around the waist and upper hips as they start a little down from the waistline. Plus, good for twirling!

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I must admit that the fit isn’t quite right on me though – I didn’t pick it up in my super quick muslin (which was done mainly to mark where to move the bust point to and to check bodice length), but the armholes aren’t sitting quite right on me in front and back at the lower edges – there’s a bit of standing-out-from-the-body happening there, so I’ll need to fix that for the next variation. (And yes, there is likely to be a next variation. With the collared version – I really want to make that one, but it seemed like it might be a bit much with all the tape measures and the direction changes in the fabric for this time!)

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Overall – I recommend this pattern, and will happily make it again. I also recommend this fabric – a nice and easy to sew with poplin, with a fun print and great colours.

It also works well when worn with a cardigan, so for me that makes it pretty much an all-year-round dress when matched with tights, boots, and a long-sleeved merino top underneath.

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I wore this out on Friday night as it was my last day at work so we went out for a farewell dinner and drinks, and got compliments from two complete strangers, so I figure it’s a win. πŸ˜‰

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The photos were taken last weekend, when my parents were visiting and we all went to the Southwards Car Museum up the Kapiti Coast (for which a blog post may follow sometime soon). We had lunch at Paekakariki then took the kids to a nearby playground so they could burn off some energy. Big thanks to my lil’ sis’ for playing photographer at the park! The island behind me in the hilltop images is Kapiti Island – a nature reserve where there are all sorts of amazing NZ birds. And I haven’t been there yet, as you have to book in advance and my life is not that organised these days – maybe in a few years when the kids are bigger. Since we were at a playground, fun had to be had – climbing trees, going down slides, that kind of thing. Because – playground!

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Measure of Pink dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Denim shorts for little dudes

Wow, this was rather unexpected! I actually made more things for the little dudes! (Yep, that’s right – it’s another kids-clothing post. But at least there’s a vintage pattern in here, too!)

Since we’ve finally got some summer weather here, the little dudes are going through several changes of clothes a day due to lots of playing with water and sand at daycare. More shorts were in order, fast! (So naturally, I made them some. Surprise!)

First up was a pair for the Little Man. Sorting through my pattern stash, I pulled out Butterick 2122, from 1961. The pattern is for both a shirt and pair of trousers/shorts, however sadly my copy is missing all the pieces for the shirt! 😦

Butterick 2122

I made the shorts length up using a mid-light weight denim from Minerva Crafts (all the supplies for both pairs of shorts came from Minerva). Just for fun (because the Little Man adores trains) I added a train patch on the back.

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Carrying on the train theme, I used a train track printed quilting cotton for the pockets. (I omitted the pocket facings as I wanted the train track fabric to show through to make the Little Man smile.)

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oddly enough, the pattern has a real zipper fly in it – complete with fly facing. Why is that odd, you may ask? Well, the instructions call for you to do a proper fly insertion, then to stitch it closed at the top!!! Yes, that’s right – all the effort of inserting a zipper fly, only to immediately make it non-functional. I have no idea why on earth they thought that was a good idea. (Needless to say, I ommitted the fly and just did a faux fly instead. Same look, far less hassle.)

I made them in a size 4, which is about half a size too big for the Little Man at present, hence why they’re looking a bit big on him. Give him another couple of months and they’ll fit fine. πŸ˜‰

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(For those curious, in that last photo he tripped over and then decided it would be fun to lie there digging in the dirt for a while. Cue overhead shot.)

For the Littliest Dude, I pulled out a pattern I’ve used several times before – Simplicity 3766.

Another super simple pattern – it consists of only two pattern pieces. A combined front/back piece (no outer side seam on the legs!), and a guide for cutting the elastic for the waist. Easy!

These were made up in the same denim, and for fun I used a playground print quilting cotton for panels along the legs.

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I also added a little length of seam binding to the back inside waistband, so it’s possible to tell which way around they go!

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I cut these ones at a long shorts length – long enough to cover the knees (a bit of protection for the inevitable falling over), while cooler to wear than full length trousers. And just like the other pair, they’re a little bit too big as I made them in the 18 months size.

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Always fun trying to get decent photos of small creatures. “Hey what’s that you’ve got there? Can I have it? Give me give me give me that camera!!!”

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

“What’s this? An Elna Supermatic?!? Let me at it!!”

Denim shorts | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Summer is for strawberry milkshakes

I love summer – warm weather (sometimes!), sunshine, flowers blooming, long days and relaxed evenings. It all makes me happy. πŸ™‚

Know what else makes me happy? Dresses! In particular, summer dresses. Yes indeed!

And so, it seems only appropriate that my first make on the blog this year is… a summer dress. (Surprise!)

This months theme over on The Monthly Stitch is ‘Cheers for New Years’ – choose your favourite beverage as inspiration for something to sew. While pondering which drink to use for inspiration, my eye was caught by this multi-pink-toned quilting cotton from Minerva. The colours and squiggly design immediately made me think – strawberry milkshake! (Which is, after all, a rather fantastic drink for summertime.)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Inspiration and fabric decision made, the next choice was… which pattern to use? (Obviously, it would have to be a dress. Because, dresses.) With the directional print of the fabric, I thought it would be fun to make something that could use that as a feature – the Sylvie dress by Christine Haynes. It’s a fun summer dress, and features a wide band under the bust – perfect for mixing up a print direction for contrast.

Sylvie dress by Christine Haynes

Size-wise, I made a size 6 at the bust, grading out to a size 10 at the waist and hip. Officially, my high bust measurement put me at a size 8 in the bust, but going by the finished garment measurements I felt that would be too much ease for my personal preferences.

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(And here’s where I made a dumb mistake. Firstly, do not cut out fabric when tired and upset. Secondly, when grading between waist and bust and there is a wide underbust band involved, remember to grade the band as well as the upper bust piece! Yes, there was a lot of unpicking involved to take it and correct that one. Whoops!)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As with all patterns, I lowered the bust darts – in this case, by 2cm.

I didn’t have enough fabric to make the dirndl skirt variation of the dress, so instead I extended the skirt out by 8cm on either side at the hem, and angled the side seams to meet, to create a gentle A-line shape. (My walking style is not conducive to wearing straight skirts. Long legs, long strides, seams rip….!) I also added 1″ at the skirt hem because – tall.

Another change – pockets! I added simple in-seam pockets to each side seam. πŸ™‚

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern sewed up nicely – quick and easy, with a nice and neat finish where the wide band meets the upper bodice as it’s self faced on the inside. The neck and armholes are finished with bias binding (the pattern has a piece for cutting a self-bias facing, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric so used a purchased pale pink bias binding instead).

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I also used a white polyester hem binding on the skirt – normallly I use Hug Snug, but thought I’d branch out this time and try a different type. (It worked fine for the hem, but it’s quite stiff and a bit rough, so I wouldn’t recommend it for seams that sit next to your skin. I’ll be sticking with the lovely soft Hug Snug for those!)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I must admit though, I’m a bit on the fence about the final dress. I’m not 100% sure that it suits me?!? It’s mainly the colour I’m unsure of – is it too pale? (Normally I go for bolder colours, but when viewed from a little bit of a distance, the colours on this kind of blend together into something a lot closer to a pastel shade….)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And another confession – I made another mistake when cutting out, that I didn’t realise right up until the end. (Yep, that lesson again – don’t cut out fabric when distracted!) I forgot to do my usual SBA. *hangs head in shame* And with this style of bodice, that’s even more obvious than usual! So there is far too much fabric in the bust of the front upper bodice. *sigh* I’m currently debating whether to recut the upper front bodice (I think I may have just enough fabric to do that?!) and fix it, or not. What do you think – is the colour and style working enough for me to bother unpicking and fixing? Or should I just give this one up as a lost cause and give it away instead? I have lost perspective on this one due to my annoyance at my own stoopid mistake when cutting out. Gah.

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But hey – it’s a summer dress! And there are roses in the background, and I have a big milkshake cup! Yay! πŸ™‚

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes