Sewing

Striped Knit Dance Dresses

This year, my oldest daughter started taking ballet lessons. As with most girls their age, our daughters love to put on “shows” and regularly choreograph dances for us. They’ve been practicing a dance for our family reunion talent show for weeks and requested matching dance dresses. I used a striped rayon jersey knit to make them matching dance dresses.

Striped Knit Dance Dresses | Handmade Girls Tank Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I could have bought them something, but I thought quick, knit tank dresses would be easy enough. I ended up just creating patterns for them myself by tracing a store-bought tank they already had and adding some length. (I probably could have used the top of another pattern like I did with the knit Southport Dress here…but I didn’t think of it then.)

I cut the front and back of the tank plus some 1 1/2″ wide strips for the bindings. I folded those strips in half horizontally, wrong sides together. In order to attach the binding flat (and to avoid figuring out exact measurements for sewing them on in the round…), I sewed one shoulder seam, then added the neck binding. Then I sewed the other shoulder seam and added the sleeve bindings. If you’ve made almost any t-shirt pattern, the method is the same. Just stretch the binding slightly as you sew.

For the most part that worked well. At that point, I tried the dresses on the girls and discovered there was too much ease under the arms. That was an easy fix because I hadn’t sewed the side seams yet. I just took in the side seams under the arms and graded out to the original line.

Striped Knit Dance Dresses | Handmade Girls Tank Dress | Radiant Home Studio

I left the bottom edge raw and cut it with an uneven hem. My daughter had a unique hemline on a top that she liked so we copied that hemline. It has a rounded front and back with squared off sides.

For dancing, a turned-up hem would have weighed down the “twirliness” of the skirt. The shape of the dresses is an A-line shape, so they don’t spin out as much as a circle skirt would but they still have pretty movement.

Striped Knit Dance Dresses | Handmade Girls Tank Dress | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, the girls love the dresses and are happy to have matching dance outfits for their many performances, so I call that a success!

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Sewing

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress

I’ve been eyeing this beautiful Treasured Kermes print by April Rhodes since it was released. Blue and red are my go-to colors for both clothes and decor (as you can see from the colors in my kitchen). Every garment I’ve seen in this fabric is gorgeous. Last week I needed a more fabric to fill up my cart for free shipping, so I grabbed a couple of yards. Please tell me you do this too!

I knew two yards would be enough for a top but was hopeful that I could squeeze a sundress out of it. It was just enough for an Ogden Cami Dress!

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I’m a big fan of the True Bias patterns I have used (see Hudson Pants, Southport Dress, and Lodo Dress). I didn’t buy the Ogden Cami right away because it seemed so basic. As usual, I always need basics but forget to sew them. It turns out the Ogden Cami is basic, but not overly simple. The details make the top. It has a half lining and the shape is nicely fitted at the bust flaring out slightly at the waist and hips. It seems to be flattering on a variety of body shapes.

The Ogden Cami pattern doesn’t come with a dress option, though Kelly shared a dress hack on the True Bias blog. I had less fabric to work with so I just cut the front and back longer instead of adding a fuller skirt.

I measured the pattern pieces at the hip to make sure that there was enough ease (there was). I measured 36″ from the underarm and marked that as my length (that hits just below the knee). Then I measured 2″ beyond the hip width and drew a smooth line from the bottom of the pattern piece to the bottom corner I marked. I used the hemline on the pattern piece I wasn’t using to create a slightly curved hem.

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

The cami could be a super quick sew if you skip some of the finishing steps, but I wanted a quality dress and spent the time doing all of the staystitching and understitching. Since I used rayon, I felt like it was important to finish the side seams to avoid fraying. I should have planned ahead and cut larger seam allowances for French seams but I didn’t.

After sewing the seams I decided the best way to finish them was to fold the seam allowances under to create a straight, clean edge. Is there a name for this? I couldn’t find one (other than “clean finish edge”). It worked well and overall it’s less bulky than a french seam.

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

I always find it helpful to compare sizes. My measurements are around 34, 30, 38. I cut a size 4, graded out to a 6 in the hips. I think the fit is just right.

As with all of the True Bias patterns I’ve made, I’m sure I will make more Ogden Camis! This is such a classic shape that can be layered and worn in many different ways. A simple black one would work for a night out or as an everyday top. I need more versatile pieces like this.

Rayon Ogden Cami Dress | True Bias Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Here are a few of the best Ogden Cami’s I’ve seen around the sewing blog community if you’d like more inspiration:

This striking Silk Crepe de Chine Ogden Cami by Sewbon is one of my favorites.

I unintentionally copied, and I’m now matching with @lindsayinstitsches! I totally missed this when I was searching for inspiration.

Leslie’s linen drawstring dress is a really creative use of this pattern.

Teresa made the perfect classic black Ogden Cami. This is definitely on my to-do list.

 

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Embroidery

Free Mother’s Day Embroidery Pattern

Today I have a free Mother’s Day embroidery pattern for you! It says “I’m so thankful you’re my mom,” which really means you can give it to your mom any time of year. It would also make a sweet birthday gift or thank you gift (because you can always thank your mom for being awesome!). But Mother’s Day is next month, so it seemed good to share this embroidery pattern now.

Free Mother's Day Embroidery Pattern | I'm So Thankful You're My Mom | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission for recommending products at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I enjoy making patterns that can be given as gifts to encourage other people. And who better to encourage than your mom? Plus, she’ll appreciate the time and love that goes into a handmade gift.

Free Mother's Day Embroidery Pattern | I'm So Thankful You're My Mom | Radiant Home Studio

This is a full-length pattern with step-by-step photos and instructions for both a 6″ and 8″ hoop design. I’ve also included photos of each type of stitch and tips for finishing the hoop. I also have suggested floss colors but you are welcome to choose your own. To download the pattern, just enter your email below to get access to my free resource library. You’ll receive a welcome email with a link and password. (There are also some printable planning pages, a sewing glossary, and a couple of other patterns just for my subscribers!)

 

 

Free Mother's Day Embroidery Pattern | I'm So Thankful You're My Mom | Radiant Home Studio

Free Mother's Day Embroidery Pattern | I'm So Thankful You're My Mom | Radiant Home Studio

This pattern uses 3 stitches: a backstitch, a satin stitch, and a colonial knot (similar to a French knot, but easier in my opinion!). If you aren’t familiar with these stitches, Mollie Makes has a good post showing the steps for each stitch and I have photos and instructions included in the pattern. These are my suggestions, but you can always simplify it by stitching all of the lines with a backstitch.

Free Mother's Day Embroidery Pattern | I'm So Thankful You're My Mom | Radiant Home Studio

I usually just trace my pattern onto white fabric by holding it up to the window, but if you have darker fabric or fabric that needs stabilizing you might want to try some water-soluble fabric stabilizer. The pattern directions include a few transfer options in more detail.

You’ll also need a good embroidery needle, about 5-6 colors of embroidery floss, a 10″ square of fabric, and an embroidery hoop (there are designs for both a 6″ and 8″ hoop).

I love to have a hand stitching project available for those moments when I’m waiting around for something. It’s so much more satisfying than mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. I finished my stitching in just two days by working on it in smaller chunks of time throughout the day. If only I could make that work for sewing bags and clothes on the sewing machine!

Free Mother's Day Embroidery Pattern | I'm So Thankful You're My Mom | Radiant Home Studio

 

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Marigold Dress in Chambray

Back in January, I discovered the Marigold Dress pattern by Blank Slate patterns. I was familiar with Blank Slate before, but it’s not one of my go-to pattern companies. I had seen the Marigold before, but it was Abbey’s short-sleeved chambray version that grabbed my attention.

Marigold Dress in Chambray | Blank Slate Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

With a nursing baby, I’ve struggled to find dresses that work for me. I actually spent hours looking for any type of dress that was nursing friendly a few weeks ago. We had a last minute Christmas party and I didn’t have anything in my closet that seemed appropriate and no time to sew. In the end, I settled for a very stretchy knit A-line dress that definitely wasn’t appropriate for nursing in public. I had to find a place to hide just to feed the baby.

When I saw the Marigold and realized that it would work for nursing, I remembered how thankful I am for the ability to sew what I need. You would think a shirt dress would be relatively easy to find, but it just seemed to be “out of style” this season and impossible to find.

Marigold Dress in Chambray | Blank Slate Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

I started sewing in January, and what should have been a 3-hour project took 6 weeks of sewing in 10-15 minute spurts. It was definitely not the most efficient method of sewing since I had to keep finding my place every time I got started again. But with a 6-month old baby, you sew when you can—even if that means it’s only 15 minutes here and there.

I chose some Kaufman Chambray for my Marigold Dress. It’s lightweight and has a nice drape. The fabric is slightly sheer, but I always layer tank tops and bike shorts or a slip under my dresses so it seemed fine. I wouldn’t recommend it for a dress or skirt without an extra layer though.

The Marigold pattern has lots of options. You can make it with longer sleeves, a belt, skirt only, or as a peplum top. I chose to make a short-sleeved version of the dress, with the longest skirt length. I think it will be a great year-round style. I can wear it in the summer as it is and also layer it with a sweater and leggings on a cold day.

Marigold Dress in Chambray | Blank Slate Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern instructions were well-organized, especially considering all of the options available. I was able to follow the instructions for my style without confusion. Though I prefer illustrations, I found the photos clear and helpful for construction. I should have looked through the pattern for information on seam finishes before cutting. The collar, placket, and shoulder seams are all clean and hidden, but the side seams need to be finished. My serger seized up last month so I ended up sewing french seams on the sides of the bodice and skirt. I would have cut slightly larger seam allowances if I had planned ahead.

I made a size medium with no alterations. My bust and measurements were right in line with the size chart and my waist is a couple of inches larger. Since the elastic in the waist can be adjusted to the right size, I didn’t worry about that. The finished fit is great, and I don’t think I would make any changes. It’s a flexible style and will continue to fit as I lose baby weight or if I gain a few pounds.

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