Handmade wardrobe // lena horne

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Dress: Tabitha Sewer Lena Horne dress

Penny’s dress: McCall’s 7739

fabric: bubble crepe from Cali Fabrics (interfaced and lined for body and stability)

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GUYS, I’m SO excited about how this dress turned out! When Tabitha Sewer first released her Lena Horne pattern, I immediately pictured it in this mustard-y medallion fabric I’ve been hoarding in my stash. Problem was, this fabric is a crepe. A lightweight and drapey crepe. Something suited more for a flowy dress or blouse, and I really wanted the ruffles on my Lean Horne to have body and weight. But I was determined, so I interfaced the ruffles to give them stability so they stood up more and didn’t drape, and I lined the bodice in a cotton for more added stability. and as a quick add-on, I attached a ruffled flounce along the bottom hem. It just made sense to me with the whole vibe of the fabric/dress combo. Kind of like a 70’s boho vibe, I think. Yes?

I did have a few set backs with this make. I had to completely remove the bust darts, but thats my issue, not the pattern’s (no boobs problem. Like literally, no boobs. I can get away with no bust darts at all). I also struggled with the fact that the interfaced underside of the ruffle was visible. I really wanted to double layer/line the ruffles, but didn’t have enough fabric since I was determined to make a dress for Penny too. And speaking of Penny’s, I also kind of struggled with hers, too. The pattern seemed like a perfect match. But because I was working with limited leftover fabric and I was in a rush to finish it, it didn’t turn out quite as much of a match as I was picturing. The dress itself was huge, even though I cut out her size. I ended up having to add a little pleat in the front to help keep it on her shoulders. And the shape of the ruffle is much wider and drapy-er than the Lena Horne ruffle. If I would’ve been paying more attention and slowed down when making it, I would’ve modified her ruffle to be less wide, longer and more gathered. So that it looked similar to mine. But c’est la vie. It’s still a really cute dress once I get past the fact that its not a perfect match for mine. She looked freakin adorable twirling around in it. And since its so big, she’ll be able to wear it for years, ha.

But seriously - my dress? OBSESSED. I need some place to wear this baby more often.

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Handmade Wardrobe // back to basics

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my skirt: handmade using basic elastic skirt tutorial on Megan’s Nielsen Design Diary, rayon crepe fabric from Harts Fabric

my tee: Everlane

both mine and Penny’s hats: Target dollar section

Penny’s skirt: also handmade using same tutorial  

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 If someone, who has never seen a single thing ever but wants to try for the first time, asked you what’s the very first project they should try, what would you tell them! I would say a basic elastic skirt! It’s seriously the simplest project - no pattern, one rectangular piece of fabric, one piece of elastic, and basic seams. You can make it any size from kids to adult, and any length from above the knee to maxi (and everything in between!). I recently updated an old tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary with updated images and more thorough instructions. So if you are a beginner who wants to give it a try, check out the how-to there!

Not that you have to be a beginner to make one of these skirts. I have a few favorites in my closet, and love them all. And they are a nice quick project palette cleanser! Both mine and Penny’s skirts here are these basic elastic ones. Mine in a light drapey rayon at midi length, Penny’s in a crisper chambray above the knee. Same technique, two different looks! I also added a tiny bit of interest to mine with a slit in the (one!) seam and topstitching in contrasting thread. 

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Handmade Wardrobe // fruit bowl for two

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my dress: McCalls 7946 in ‘fruit bowl’ viscose from D&H Fabrics Co.

Penny’s top: Burda 9437

Penny’s shorts: Hello Dear Kids pants pattern, shortened

Penny’s headband: Nelly Lou

bag: Target

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You guys, how cute is this little ruched sundress?! Honestly, when I first saw this pattern, with the main image being a sleeved version, I didn’t think the pattern was for me. Just not something I gravitate towards. But then I caught a glimpse of this tie strap view, and I surprisingly couldn’t get it out of my head. Then Tammy at D&H Fabrics Co gave me a little peek at a new fruit print viscose fabric before listing it, and it just seemed like the perfect match! And now, well now I want to live in this dress all summer long. I’m glad I took a chance on the pattern! No mods or adjustments were needed, because there is a lot of wiggle room with the elastic and tie straps.

So this viscose fabric is a dream. It’s drapy and soft. A tiny bit translucent in direct light (I’m wearing a slip underneath just in case), but not too sheer. And the abstract ‘fruit bowl’ print is just adorable. I love that it is colorful, but the colors are more subdued and more muted. Just my style. This kind of viscose woven is my dream summer fabric. So light and airy, I could dream up a million things to make with a whole bolt of it, lol.

And of course, I made sure I was able to squeeze out something for P too. I wanted something with a similar style, but not exactly the same, since I didn’t have a lot of extra fabric to work with. I found this little tie strap tank top pattern and it was the perfect compliment to my dress! It’s a little big along the top/under the arm. But I’m ok with that, because that just means it will probably fit her next year, too, lol.

Now enjoy about a million photos, because they turned out so cute, ha.

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Handmade Wardrobe // Rosebud Ruffles

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Both dresses : mashed up/self drafted

fabric: rosebud cotton poplin from Measure Fabric

Penny’s sunglasses:  Mini Made Co

Penny’s sneakers: June and January

my purse: thrifted Free People

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i am so so so soooo in love with how these dresses turned out! 

I have actually had this idea for this squared neck ruffle dress in my head for YEARS. literally years. I think I saved an inspiration photo in 2016. I don’t know why I waited so long to make it happen, but I’m glad I did wait for this fabric. When I first laid eyes on this little mini rosebud print from Measure Fabric, I immediately started thinking of this dress again. It just couldn’t be more perfect! It’s a cotton poplin, so more of a shirting fabric. It is a little bit translucent in direct light, so I lined the whole thing. 

As far as the pattern, I started with the Tessuti Fabrics Romy top just to get a starting point for the shape of the top (but altered it a bit) and then kind of just self drafted the rest. And then I kind of just eyed/self drafted Penny’s mini version. I was a little worried just winging all of it, but it was actually pretty simple and came out just as I was imagining! 

Penny thinks the little rosebuds are strawberries and keeps calling them our strawberry dresses 😂.  

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Handmade Wardrobe // flower child

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dress: Megan Nielsen Patterns Floreat dress

penny’s cropped tee: self drafted  

fabric: double brushed jersey knit from Girl Charlee

my belt bag: Target

my shoes: sooooo old

penny’s pants: Target

penny’s sunnies: Amazon

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I originally had this post scheduled for later in the week, but I was so excited about this set that I rearranged posts and moved this up to Monday haha.

I’ve been holding onto this fabric for awhile (it’s no longer available, unfortunately), but I honestly knew I wanted to make a knit Floreat dress with it from the second it arrived in the mail. This is the 5th Floreat version I’ve made, and as usual, I’ve had to make zero mods to the pattern. The loose fitting shape is forgiving, and it makes it quite an easy sew. Yes, even with the angled hem! Once you get the hang of it (I mean I have made 5 now haha), it’s a breeze. I did also make the matching tie belt for it, but last minute decided to wear my new belt bag with it instead (which I’m obsessed with!). 

My original vision was to make a cute gathered dress for P, too. Or at least a peplum tee. But I had so little fabric left, the most I could squeeze out was this little cropped tee. That little belly sticking out a bit kiiiiills me. 

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