Hop hop hoppin along

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I’ve had this song stuck in my head for weeks now. I originally heard it in the Francis Ford Coppola movie, The Conversation. If you know this movie or decide to watch it, the lightness of the song and the twisted theme of the movie might floor you. It did me, anyway.

But on to this blog hop I’m participating in. The sweet Simona emailed me to join in the hop, sharing some answers to questions as a means to get to know other bloggers and continue to build the camaraderie among the online sewing community, who you know I love so dearly.

I don’t remember exactly how I met Simona but I feel like I’ve been online buddies with her for a while now. It might have been from working with her as a Lolita Patterns tester but I feel like I’ve known her longer than that. Here’s her Sugar Plum! It’s so classy.

On with the questions!

* Why do I write?

I write because I have to! I have always written. I used to write a mommy blog but once I started sewing for myself and my kids started to get older, I decided to branch off into this blog. I started ThreeDressesProject in an attempt to teach myself how to fit, draft and design. I love sharing what I learn and how I do what I do. I love connecting with other bloggers and sewists and that’s exactly what I’ve gotten out of this project of mine.

* What am I working on?

A million projects, as always. I’ve been on a cutting rampage. Haven’t sewn any of it together yet but I can stop myself from cutting.

First is my Ralph Pink Patterns Playsuit. I can’t wait to sit down and put this together. I’ve already cut out the fabric. I just need to cut out some lining and I just got that in the mail. Of course, I had to go with the sheerest of the sheer. 

Another project in my sewing room is my yummy sushi Sewaholic Cambie. The bodice is cut out of a faux leather. Can you picture this?? Yeah, I really need this in my closet. It’s my nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I also HAVE to make more leggings. I know they’ll be a quick make since all the fitting is done. I just have to stop cutting things out. These are the Cake Espresso pattern.

There’s seriously too much to list. I’m working on baby carriers, wristlets, costumes for other people, sewing for others…

* How does it differ from others of its genre?

My blog is very specific. I deal with FBAs and getting around FBAs a lot which I know attracts a certain readership. That said, I’ve become friends with people that don’t do FBAs thanks to my blog so I think I cover grounds that appeal to different sewists. I also sew up several costumes which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But man is it fun!!

* How does my writing process work?

Either I sew something, dream something or get a tattoo (haha), catch the inspiration to blog and start. A couple of times, I’ve received requests for tutorials or just feel the urge to write my process up. Sometimes I’ve very calculated about how many tutorials I write, how many posts go live a week, and how many costumes I write up a month. And then there’s the list of unblogged, but very worthy makes, like my Inara costume. I wish I wrote more about the sewing fails I have- cos I have many. I do muslin quite a bit so I don’t end up losing out on fabric, mostly time but I always learn something.

Ok, so that’s me. Now, I’d like to introduce to you my two nominations! These two gorgeous ladies will be answering these same questions on their blog. Watch their blogs!

I nominate…. (click their pictures to go to their blogs)

My faux wife, Heather from Handmade by Heather B. Heather and I have been friends on Twitter since what seems like the beginning of time. I completely idolize her style, fabric choices and technique. I’ve started buying fabric from the same places as Heather as well as in a couple occasions buying the exact fabric she’s bought because it’s just too gorgeous. I’m a better sewist because of this woman. Thank you, Heather!

And

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The Stripe Queen, Repeat Pattern Queen and Master of Knits, my girl Gillian of Crafting A Rainbow! Oh and even if you’ve been to her blog in the past, she just switched to WordPress (yay!!). Go follow her on her new blog. Gillian helped me repeat a pattern and use prints! It’s amazing to think of how scared I was to buy prints and now I do it quite often. Hats of to you, dear Gillian!

Have a great weekend everyone! And, again, thanks to Simona for getting me to sit down and write. xoxo

Current Leila events, work and most important, boats!

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I’m not shy to blurt out that it’s my birthday today. If need be, we can blame me being a Leo, a middle child or just the fact that my birthday falls during summer vacation so I rarely did anything on my birthday with friends when I was younger. I really only remember two birthdays growing up. One was with friends in Colombia when I was in middle school or 9th grade and the other was on an airplane when I turned 7. Yup. We had been in the U.S. for part of the summer and we were traveling back home. I actually had my birthday with presents and all that on a plane. So, today I celebrate not just my being born but my parents and sisters for putting up with me!!

If you follow me on social media, you know I’ve been working as a server at a restaurant nearby my place. I’ve also been freelance sewing- which I want to do more of. Things are going well. In some respects, really well! I’m not the kind of person who gives up. This weekend, I got to see an old friend- one of the ones that knew me before I started having kids- and she commented that it made her happy to see me happy. And, really, that’s what I am. I have good and bad days but doesn’t everyone, regardless? So, I’m no different. I’m gaining a new peace with where I am and I have some great friends who are watching out for me and making sure I’m feeling loved.

On to boats!

I don’t know when I first fell in love with being on a boat but my desire to be on a boat in the middle of the ocean has been recently rekindled. I was in Jamaica with my parents and younger sister and due to some civil unrest, we had to take a boat from one side of the coast to where we were staying. It was a tiny fisherman’s boat, nothing to write home about, but I loved it. It feels like I’ve always had a love of the ocean and boats. I don’t know if anyone remembers me tweeting about my boating wardrobe, my striped Trifecta and all that, but that’s where it comes from. You’ll see more stripes, anchor prints (hopefully!!), white and navy jackets and comfy weekend clothes in general. Of course, I also haven’t made a costume in what seems forever so that’s gonna have to happen soon, too.

For now, I’ll be daydreaming of being on a boat for my birthday. A girl can dream!

Comino Cap with the lengthening

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You saw my last Kitschy Coo Comino Top but have you seen the dress I made? I didn’t make the dress version, per se. I just lengthened the top a bit. It’s still the same fit from the last one and I love it!! So, really, quick post just to show you pics!

I got the fabric from Elliot Berman. It’s a border print so I took a bit of time to decide how to fit the border on the dress. Dude, that takes a while. It’s still available, too!

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And an animated .gif cos it was so freakishly warm and humid when I was taking these pictures.

Pinup girl stripe Trifecta Top FTW!

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While browsing Instagram, I came across a picture posted by Pinup Girl Clothing that made me stop in my tracks!

After seeing this top with the red pants, I knew I wanted to make a stripey top and what better time than now to try Kitschy Coo’s Trifecta Top pattern. I made the size 3 with no alterations. Only thing I didn’t follow was the sleeve length. There’s a cut line if you’re doing the cap sleeves with arm bands and a line lower for hemming the sleeve. I cut at the hemming line but still added the arm bands.

Once I started cutting, it was a bit late, and I wasn’t about to start matching stripes on a raglan…so, really, my top isn’t an exact copy as you’ll see but I totally got inspired by PUG.

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What’s on the ground that I keep looking at? Geez, Breton! Apparently it’s funny so I’m going to guess: squirrel?

The jerseys I used for this top are so super soft they make me want to curl up inside and take a nap. Sorry, I don’t remember where I got the stripe. It might have been from The French Seam here in town- which would make sense because it’s seriously delectable. The black rayon jersey is from Fabric Mart.

Pants are from Banana Republic.

Lip pretty is from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. A lip stain called Stalker. Steph from Cake Patterns got me hooked on this brand. It’s amazing, feels great, doesn’t cake and I don’t have to reapply even during work.

What do you think? Should I make another Trifecta with mesh? #MeshQueen

 

MESH QUEEN! Comino Cap Top

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Once upon a time, there was a Mesh Queen. She bought all the mesh after making a bunch of Lolita Patterns and Ralph Pink dresses. She fell in love with mesh. Every time there was a mesh sale, she was there. She looked off into the distance, dreaming of mesh. She pondered the fabric she’d underline it with to make it pop. She dreamt of the see thru-e-ness of the mesh and every pattern she came across had to have the potential for mesh.

Thus, the Mesh Queen was born. She lived for a hundred years (she lived that long because she made everything with mesh) and she ruled her mesh kingdom kindly.

One day, Kitschy Coo put out the word that there was a new pattern and the Mesh Queen fell in love with it’s mesh potential. Amanda called this pattern The Comino Cap Top (and there was a dress option, too) and the Mesh Queen was happy.

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I’m wearing my Grainline Studio Moss Mini and in order to show off the mesh yoke without a bra strap showing, I went for my Panache Evie Bridal strapless. On the bra fitting, I think I need a 28 band because I bought the 30 band and after only a month I’m already on the second set of hooks. It still gives a nice round shape and doesn’t flatten me a ton. My bust apex ends up lower in my strapless bras but it’s the price I pay. And I don’t really mind it.

Here’s a pic of the strapless.

 

I cut a straight size 3. No alterations. I could make some in the back but honestly, it’s a knit top and I’m trying to not over fit everything I make. As you can see, I did the neck and sleeve binding but I only did a rolled hem on the bottom of the top. It works quite nicely.

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I got the mesh and this rayon jersey when Fabric Mart was having a huge sale. I bought like 5 yards of the black jersey and I don’t regret it at all.

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I got eaten by mosquitoes to bring you these photos. I hope you like them…and send me bug repellent because apparently I always forget to pick some up.

You might have seen on IG that I have two more of these tops in the works. They are very quick to make- if only I could stay off social media long enough to make them. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I love you guys! #sewcialists

Go pick up this pattern and play with mesh! I have some more coming in the mail thanks to my faux wife, Heather, who sent me a link to some gorgeous fabric over at Marcy Tilton. If you don’t follow Heather’s blog, you really should. She’s the queen of tutorials and drafting and just an overall amazing person.

 

 

on staying focused

I’m constantly distracted by new patterns and new fabric but it’s important to me to stay focused on my sewing to-do lists. In part because several things on my sewing to-do list are for other people, and they are part of my income, so there’s a drive to do good work and fulfill orders in a timely manner.

I want to continue doing freelance sewing work so staying focused is key. 

Here’s a swimsuit I’m making for Betsy who has been commenting on my blog for some time now (tho that’s not her whole story- this woman is beyond amazing). Anywho, I just have elastic to put in the legs and I can ship it off to her to try on! It’s a muslin which is why I used a bunch of different swim fabrics but that’s the point of this part of the process. 

Can’t wait to send it off so we can go to the next stage. 

Another freelance gig I’ve got going is for a woman who has recently lost a lot of weight. As I started pinning her skirts and pants and taking one thing in here and another in there, I realized how little my time with her was about alterations. We talked body image, weight loss and, of course, well fitting bras. She just stopped by today to pick some of her stuff up and ask about altering a pair of pants and showed me her new bra. It fit so great and she’s all excited to wear her t-shirts tucked in now. 

Some hems and zippers are just about hems and zippers. Others come with deep personal life changes. I like being a part of this world. 

I’m just gonna need more fabric! 

 

 

Winner of the Capital Chic Patterns Giveaway!

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Many thanks again to Sally from Capital Chic Patterns for offering up a pattern to give away!

And the winner- thanks to the random number generator- is….

gmariesews!

Her comment reads:

What an amazing skirt. Love the eyelet and the color is so bright – perfect! I really like Martini – might work for the wedding or rehearsal dinner, no? The other really good one – Belini. Thanks for sharing.

I’ll be putting our winner in touch with Sally so they can work out the details.

If you didn’t win, first off, thank you so much for looking at Sally’s patterns and go back on over there and buy some of her pdf’s! You won’t be disappointed. Buy all the patterns!

Capital Chic Patterns and my Blueberry Manhattan

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**This giveaway is now closed*

No, I’m not serving drinks over at Three Dresses Headquarters. I’m talking about a new pattern company out of London called Capital Chic Patterns!

I was contacted by Sally, the owner and designer at CCP to see if I’d test a couple patterns for her. I chose the Manhattan skirt and the Martini dress. I still have to fiddle with the fit on the Martini cos, yeah, hi bewbs, whatcha doing sneaking out? The Manhattan, even in beta form (and the final pattern didn’t change from beta), fit perfectly. I made no fit changes. The sizing works really well for my body. Usually I have to make the waist larger or take in the hips. The difference between the two on me is a mere 6 inches. Anywho, it’s always nice for someone used to making all the alterations, to get a break once in a while.

Here’s some more info on CCP:

Named after cocktails, each of the PDF patterns comes with two variations included. The collection comprises two skirt patterns, a blouse pattern, a sweatshirt pattern and two dress patterns. Each of the designs is inspired by the catwalk, red carpet fashion and London street style, contrasting with many existing indie pattern offerings based on vintage or retro style.

The patterns’ difficulty ranges from intermediate to advanced, perfect for those looking to move on from sewing beginner styles. Techniques such as using boning, French seams and machine-rolled hems are explained in detail; following each set of fully-illustrated instructions is a great way for sewists to learn and improve their sewing repertoires.

The patterns are available now for digital download from http://www.capitalchicpatterns.com as print-at-home and print-at-copyshop PDF files. The patterns currently come in five sizes, from UK 10 to UK 18, and they are nested for easy blending between sizes. A wider size range may be available later in the year, depending on demand.

The blue eyelet was a purchase I made after seeing Heather’s dress! The fabric is so nice. I lined it with black and put in an invisible zipper instead of the exposed one.

Manhattan and modded Olive front Manhattan and Olive back Manhattan and Olive closeup Manhattan and Olive full view front Manhattan and Olive side close

 

Ok, now, an exciting part. Sally is offering my readers a PDF of your choosing! Yay! I’ll encourage you to like her on Facebook and Twitter but really, what I want you to do to enter this giveaway is to go to her site and tell me which is your favorite pattern of this brand spakin’ new company. If you don’t want to be entered into the giveaway but you still want to chime in about your favorite pattern, just be clear about that.

I’m closing the giveaway on July 7th at 9pm Eastern. Get your favorite pattern in the comments and I’ll let the lucky winner know on the 8th and you’ll hear from Sally. K?

Go have fun! And thanks again Sally for including me in the testing.

Vogue 8900 Muslin, the first

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Meet Vogue 8900. A sporty little dress.

Yeah, I’m insinuating that there will be a second muslin. I’m not sure if I like how this design fits me. I added to the front sides and lengthened for bewbs. Also filled in the cut in armholes to cover my bra but I don’t think I needed to. I’m wearing a strapless under the muslin and it seems fine. Lined everything up and found that it was too wide in the front so I pinched it out, pinned it, and also had to shorten the torso. I’m glad I did my 1″ swayback/flat butt alteration because this dress presupposes a longer torso than I have. The waist is too tight as is so I’ll have to take it out. Luckily those seam allowances are HUGE.

That said, I’m thinking I might redraw the cutouts because they look funny to me now…like they’re too small or something? or maybe it’s just my short torso? The neck is too high for my taste- I don’t think it’s flattering. But I don’t know what I think, to be honest. So, as usual, I take to social media. Weigh in.

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What if I redrew the side cutouts so that they were proportionally more suited to my body- so probably make them bigger since I shortened the front and all?

Also thinking I’d rather have a lower neckline…or, what about just making it strapless? It’s not as sporty but that neck has to go down, bro! Granted, I didn’t press down the seam allowances at the neck so it’s still gonna be 5/8″ lower but I don’t think that’ll be low enough. Any votes for a strapless version?

This is why I do muslins! I haven’t messed with the nice fabric and if I don’t like how this looks then no harm, no foul. Anyway, that’s my test garment/toile/muslin public service announcement.

The Rambo Project and my Hummingbird Skirt

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I get THE coolest emails. One of them was from Seamstress Erin saying she had a pile of fabric that was used in the movie Rambo III and asking if I wanted to participate in the Rambo project. She’d send us the fabric and we just had to come up with a way to make it into a garment and blog about it.

The fabric was used as turbans in the movie and we were told, and you might already guess this if you’ve seen the movie, had snags and stains from being, y’know ON SET! So yeah, we were getting about a two yard piece (more or less) of 26″ wide fabric which makes for some need to be a sneaky cutter. I swear I cut around all the stains but I see some on my new skirt. Let’s just say it adds character and what a story!

So, I chose the Cake Hummingbird skirt- a pattern I love and really am reminded of how much I enjoy making and wearing it. I started with the size 40 hip and took out a ton on the sides but hey, that worked and I know Steph made the pattern for easy fitting and I’d call that easy fitting. I might try the 35 hip next time, tho. Once you get the pocket sewn together, the skirt is a breeze. And I love invisible zips. They are so fast.

So, on to my Rambo Project Hummingbird!

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So, this piece of turban fabric had stripes on both ends and I wanted to use them in an interesting way. Bias stripes worked for the upper pocket piece! Woot!

I feel like a part of Rambo III in a way I could’ve never imagined. This skirt is now a part of movie history. It’s pretty amazing. Thanks Erin for including me!

Now, go check out the other Rambo Projects on Erin’s blog!

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