I am so excited to be a part of the Remix the Stitch blog tour today! The lovely Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs is celebrating her one year pattern making anniversary and to celebrate she asked a few of us if we wanted to help her celebrate! Well, first, who doesn't like a reason to celebrate, right? Second, she deserves to celebrate, in her first year she has been cranking out some amazing and stylish patterns for woman!
For my remix I chose the Ballard tunic and turned it into a dress...
It was a hard decision choosing which pattern, in the end the Ballard won because I was intrigued by the open back. Next, how to remix? I went through several options at first, but finally settled on turning it into a dress after cleaning up my fabric stash/sewing area and finding this amazing sweater knit...
I bought this fabric ages ago from Joann originally intending on making something for Violet, you know because of those sparkley flecks... But, it just feels so soft and lovely and has a beautiful drape to it as well. So, against her wishes, I decided to use it for myself, but to make the flecks a bit more subtle I used the "wrong" side of the fabric where the flecks are just barely noticeable and and the color is much more heathered. (I will say though that between the hazy, humid sun and this textured heather taking photos was a bit of a, ahem, challenge...)
I have to be honest, while I was excited to sew up the Ballard and knew I was going to like it, I had no idea just how much I was going to love it!
I particularly love the sleeve length, and the sweet gathering at the neckline, both very flattering, feminine, but not in an over the top way. Once my top was made I was hesitant to actually add the skirt because it was so lovely as a dressyish sweatshirt, but this is Remix the Stitch so add the skirt I did!
Originally, I wanted it to be more of a swishy/twirly/fullish skirt, but alas, after cutting out the pieces for my top I was left only with a small rectangle of fabric...The loose weave and stretch in this fabric is truly the only way I managed to eek a skirt out, thank goodness for that!
To begin, I shortened the pattern by quite a bit, Kimberly has a lengthen/shorten line in the pattern and directions on how to do that so this was easy. I simply held the pattern up and shortened it to fall right around my hips, with seam allowances, etc that brought the bottom right around my waistline. I then followed the pattern as instructed omitting the waistband/hemming options. Instead of finishing the top as instructed I added the skirt.
First, the skirt is simply a rectangle that fit me when I wrapped it around and sewn together with 3/8" seam allowance along each side because I had limited fabric and honestly that is all I could do with what I had. Once the skirt was sewn I aligned right sides of skirt raw edge with the right side of top raw edge matched up side seams and front and back centers of each, pinned and sewed together with 1/4" seam allowance. You may need to stretch your fabric slightly for the top and bottom to match up. Next, sew a casing for the elastic waist. Start at the back, stitch 3/8" away from your initial seam allowance around the entire skirt/top leaving about 2" open near the back. Cut a piece of 1/4" elastic to comfortably wrap around your waist, feed it through your casing, overlap and stitch elastic ends together and stitch up casing opening. Hem! (I wished that I had hand stitch my hem because of my material, oops!)
And there you have it! A Ballard Dress!
I love that this dress is amazingly comfortable and that it's a sweater dress that can go either comfy casual with boots/tights or paired with heels is nice enough to be a "cocktail" sweater dress!
Especially with it's lovely open back!
Let me just say that the open back breeze I was getting was a godsend whilst taking pictures in 90 degrees in a sweater dress!
I am so pleased with my new dress, I can't wait to wear it this fall!
And perhaps make another with a fuller skirt...and top and...this pattern really quite versatile depending on your fabric choices, lengthening/shortening, etc!
To make it even more fun she's put together an amazing giveaway filled with so much good stuff (see below to enter)! Plus Straight Stitch Designs is having a 50% off sale on all her patterns through the tour, which is an amazing deal. Check out the rest of the tour dates and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!
Tuesday, September 8th: Meg Cookin' and Craftin' | Jennifer Ginger Peach Studio
Wednesday, September 9th: Ajaire Call Ajaire | Heidi Handmade Frenzy | Stacey Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
Thursday, September 10th: Melissa Rebel & Malice | Annika Näh-Connection | Abby Sew Much Ado
Friday, September 11th: Katie It's Hard to Hear Up Here | Jane Buzzmills | Lisa Mabey She Made It
Saturday, September 12th: Elena Randomly Happy | Allie Indiesew | Jess If Only They Would Nap
Monday, September 14th: Jaime Made By Jaime | Lauren BASTE + GATHER | Sara Made by Sara
Tuesday, September 15th: Audrey Skirt Fixationy | Teri Fa Sew La | Hayley Welcome to the Mouse House
Wednesday, September 16th: Emi Just Add Fabric | Rachael Imagine Gnats | Teresa Dandelion Drift
Thursday, September 17th: Kaysie | KZJO'STUDIO Rita Conversas de Hermanas | Stephanie Swoodson Says
Friday, September 18th: Andreia In a Manner of Sewing | Nienke Pienkel | Abbey Sew Charleston
I was given the Ballard top pattern in return for my participation in this blog tour, but all opinions are my own.