Sock Knitting

Well, things sure have gotten crazy! I ended up taking last week off of computer-ing to catch up on some life things (laundry, cleaning, that kind of stuff) and I’m glad that I did! We are all safe and at home now. My oldest daughter is home from school, doing digital learning days now. Which means that I am basically homeschooling, but without having to create the curriculum. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining! I have homeschooled her before so this is something that I’m comfortable with!

However, it has changed my crafting habit back to more knitting. Knitting is so relaxing. I can unwind and knit at the end of the day! I’ve been making lots of socks right now! I have lots of fingering weight yarn on hand anyway and socks are fast and fairly mindless projects. I’m trying out all the different heel types in different socks! I love the look of the after-thought heel (above) but I still want to try the German short row.

For the socks I have knitted so far, I have been using the fingering weight pattern from the Knits for Everybody book from Knit Picks. And I’m using their Felici yarn as well (they don’t have my color way anymore but they have lots of great colors!).

I picked up a couple other patterns from Ravelry, both from Tracie Millar. I grabbed the On The Porch pattern which she made free for all of us to get us through this social distancing time! And I also grabbed her Galiano Sock pattern because I want to start working on cables and this is a perfect and small project to start learning!

What are you all working on? How are you feeling through all of this?

Dress Sewing Pattern Round Up

Before we dive into our dress tutorial (coming next week) or our sew-a-long (coming up in a couple weeks), I thought we would list out some great pattern options in case you just want to sew dresses that are already ready for you!

Let’s Start with basics.

With a dress that has a basic shape, you can use this to create almost any style you can dream of. All of my tutorials to come are based off of a basic dress shape (you are also welcome to draft your own bodice for tutorials but starting with a well fitting bodice makes it so much easier!).

Moving on to something a bit more flirty.

These dresses are flowy and feminine. These would make lovely summer dresses sewn up in linen. They would also make beautiful event dresses sewn in silk.

Let’s look at classic shaped dresses.

In this category, we are looking at a basic shirt dress or other more simple, stream-lined silhouettes. I know for my personal style, I love this shape mixed with just a little of the “flirty” category.


That’s all for today! On Friday, we will be chatting about bust adjustments and gearing up for the dress tutorial for next week!! Let me know what your favorite dress patterns are in the comments!

Dress Making Tools

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It’s officially the first day of DRESS FOR SUCCESS! Yay! Today we are going to go over some tools and things you need (or maybe want ) to have around to make your dress making process easier and more fun! These are things that are beyond your basic stuff that you have to have. You won’t find a sewing machine listed here! I have a list with basics right here.

1: A Clear Ruler

Something like this is going to help out so much with pattern tracing, blending lines between sizes and with pattern drafting! I have two because I loose them all the time hahaha. They are clear. They just disappear!

2: A Tailor’s Ham

This will help out with pressing the curves! I just recently got one for the first time and it is life changing!

3: Hand Sewing Needles

Hand Needles Compact

Hand sewing needles always come in handy (haha). Sometimes, you want to finish a dress in a lovely invisible way or try out a few couture techniques on a dress. Have some hand sewing needles in your stash! You will thank me later.

4: Magnetic Pin Caddy

I bought one of these years ago and it changed my sewing life. I LOVE IT!! Best part, when you drop a pin, you can hover the pin caddy over the ground and it picks it back up!!

5. A Marking Pen

This is great for most fabric choices except when the fabric is too dark (then I use chalk). This washes out or disappears with heat depending on what side you use!

That’s all for today! Tomorrow we will be going over some dress patterns that you may want to have in your library!

Dress for Success- March Series

You guys, I can’t believe it is March! This year is going so fast already. And I’m so excited to introduce you to the Dress for Success Series. Throughout the month of March, here on DarcySews, we are going to dig into dress sewing! I will be bringing you tutorials, sew-a-longs, and quick how-to posts that will take your dress making skills to the next level!

I am so excited! I really hope you enjoy this too! We are going to get ourselves ready for the Spring/Summer season during this series! Not only will you have two dresses finished, if you follow the sew-a-long and the free tutorial, but you will leave March with lots of ideas and hopefully some helpful techniques to create even more garments that you love.

If you are new to sewing, or don’t sew yet, hang in there because I have something in the works to teach you to sew coming very soon!

Let’s chat about the schedule. You will be seeing a post EVERY Monday, Wednesday and Friday during this series with an occasional Tuesday/Thursday post. I have so much information that I wanted to put into this, I really could have made it a two month long series! If it goes well, we can bring it back for round two!

Today was a short post because I will meet you back here tomorrow! Bye for now! XOXO

Sewing with Thick Denim

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This denim jacket is kicking my butt! I keep making silly mistakes. The positive side of making so many errors is that you learn so much! So if you are going to jump into a denim jacket adventure, let me share with you what I have learned.

1) Buy some extra fabric

I happened to grab a little too much fabric and has served me well. I had to recut a couple pieces after I messed up the locked bags one to many time and ended up tearing a whole in the piece with the seam ripper. I recut the piece, started the welt pocket over and got it right this time!

Here are some great fabric options if you want to sew your own jacket:

Kaufman Denim 8 oz. Indigo Washed Kaufman Denim 8 oz. Indigo Washed

2) Sew slow and listen to your sewing machine.

My machine (check out the one I have here) was not taking to the top stitching thread so I ditched that, used a similar color regular thread and sewed over the top stitching sections twice to make it look thicker. It takes a bit more time but it looks just as nice!

I also know with this machine that it does best on very thick sections if I go very, very slow. So when I’m sewing over 4 (or more) layers of this very thick denim, slow is the way to go!

3) Do this project in little chunks

I’m not even done with this yet, to be honest! Because I’ve been taking this one slow, watching one section of the Seamwork Audrey class at a time and just completing that section. When I try to do too much at one time, I get frustrated so I’ve allowed myself breaks and “palette cleanser” sewing/knitting projects in between steps.

If you are interested in learning more about this class and Seamwork membership, I wrote a post about it right here or you can sign up using my link here and get $3 off of your first month!

4) Press, press and press again.

I nice hot iron goes a long way on this thick denim. Press a little more than you think you need too on this project. Make sure the edges are crisp! Make sure the corners are pushed all the way out. Go slow and make it right! You will thank yourself later!

5) Enjoy the process

I sort of said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you get tired or frustrated, do something else for a bit! This project will get done. But remember, sewing should be fun! So don’t make it too hard on yourself and let yourself have a break!


That’s all for today! I’m so excited for next week, y’all! I have a whole theme for the month of March and I think you are all going to like it a lot. I know that I’m very excited to start talking about it!

In Depth Look at Molly’s Fancy Dress

Just last week, I posted about making my daughter a fancy new dress. Today, I wanted to stop in and show a little bit more behind the scenes of creating this dress.

I mentioned that I used the Oliver + S Building Block Dress and today I’m going to walk you through some of the changes that I made to the pattern to achieve the final look!

The first thing that I did was create a muslin of the bodice. This muslin was then fitted to her body. I took a good bit off of the side seams and moved the back closure to be a zip-side closure. I also made markings for the new, one-sleeve neckline.

Once the bodice was off of her, I straightened the lines and added back in seam allowance on all seams.

Now, rather than transferring pattern back into paper, I used the actual muslin fabric as a pattern. Aligning the muslin under the mesh, I pinned and cut. The reason for aligning this way is that you can see how the embroidered pattern will look on the finished garment.

I then did the same for the back piece, making sure both times that I was cutting with right sides facing me. For this dress, that is particularly important. If you are going to make this garment, I would mark “right side” directly onto the muslin (or pattern pieces) so that you end of up the correct pieces.

Next, I hand basted the mesh to the lining fabric and cut out the lining. Having the lining and mesh basted together helped to keep the pieces aligned during the sewing process. No shifting!!

Since there was only one sleeve, I aligned and cut the sleeve in the same manner, with the pattern piece underneath so as to see the embroidery. The sleeve was then hand sewn with a French seam. By using a hand sewn French seam, I was able to hide the stitches a little bit better than if I had machine stitched. I had complete control of where I put every single stitch.

As for the skirts, I cut very simple, full-circle skirts. I cut one layer of the circle skirt in mesh, one in the lining fabric and two out of the tulle. Then the skirts were layered (top to bottom) mesh, tulle, tulle, and lining.

After the side zip was inserted, we realized it was going to fall down on the side that didn’t have sleeves no matter how tight I fit the dress so I attached a simple spaghetti strap to hold up that side! And done! It really isn’t that hard. It took all of three days maybe, and that’s mostly because of the larger than normal amount of hand sewing involved!

In other news, I’m working on recording (yay for video!!) some fun things for the blog and I’m really excited to talk about them more! I’ll see you on Friday!!! XOXO

QuiltCon

This past weekend, my friend HollyAnne and I went to QuiltCon in Austin TX!

I know I’m not a quilter (yet) but this was still one of the most fun things related to sewing that I have ever done!

There were so many amazing quilts. I’ll put my favorite up here on the blog. Plus I met some amazing people. I loved meeting some of the people behind Janome (the sewing machine brand that I use). I also loved meeting many of the people that HollyAnne works with in her business.

We shopped for fabric! I got some waxed canvas and the Range Backpack pattern by Noodlehead. I will be talking about that more here as I sew it!

I met amazing people. I met some of her students from her online course. I met some of her colleagues. I met many other amazing woman who were interesting and funny and just good people to be this. One of HollyAnne’s students made a little quilt bag for me. AND ITS SOOOO GOOD! It’s a tiny quilt 😱

I’m going to post the pictures of my favorite quilts below and try my best to link the quilt to the maker (or tell you where you can find them on the internet).