Friday, May 20, 2011

Clothing Designer Alert: Calypso St. Barth for Target

As a "novice" seamstress I have shunned buying any new dresses since I thought could always make one in a fabric, style and size that I wanted. I was also under the impression that what was supposedly "in" right now didn't really match up with what I thought was "in" or "stylish" for me. You should have seen my expression when I walked into Target this past weekend and came face to face with the Calypso St. Barth for Target collection. I don't know if it was the colors, the well made dresses (dresses are lined/embroidered), the fact that I would love to dress as if I was on a beach vacation all year long or that I could fit the size medium dresses that made me love this collection. I think it was all of the above.

I have been a great follower of the Target x Designer team ups since its inception. My favorite clothing line was the Luella collaboration. Fit has always been an issue with these designer collaborations. Even at my skinniest I seemed to always fit the bodice of the dresses, but the skirts would be humongous and sometimes vice versa. Sleeved tops have been issue too where the shirt would fit perfectly, but my upper arms would always be squeezed like sausages. As of late, I haven't been too impressed with the latest designs until now.

Here are some of my favorite Calypso St. Barth for Target pieces:

I love the Maxi Dress and Khaki Dress
I ended up purchasing several dresses from the collection and haven't looked back since. So go to Target now if you want a chance on getting your hands on these dresses. I ended having to order the maxi dress online because my size was not available in any of the stores in my area.

Here are some more pictures of the Calypso dresses. I recommend wearing a belt with the tunics if you are as shapeless and short as I am and want a more tailored look. Of course this won't be any problem if you wear it to the beach.

Tunic Dress

Khaki dress

My favorite colored tunic dress

Sorry for the lack of sewing posts. My sewing has been stalled due to the unfinished sewing room/craft room remodel. Finally got my dad to agree on coming over this weekend to help me hang the cabinets so hopefully I will have a great completed sewing room remodel post and finally have some space to start sewing again.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pent Up Sewing Energy

I had some pent up sewing energy this past weekend and really went overboard on some super easy patterns. The first pattern was McCalls 5360 Infinite Dress. I purchased this from Etsy and when they say its easy. It's really easy. All you have to do is cut the pattern on the fold and sew one seam. Since the pattern is meant for a knit fabric you don't even have to hem the edges unless you really want to.

I made the first one in under an hour. Had to set up my sewing machine, cut the pattern and play with my new serger so it took longer than expected. I used a floral knit jersey that was super stretchy that was from Fabric Mart and here is the finished product. So cute! I loved this style of dress since you can wear the dress in many different ways depending on how you fix the straps.I loved this style of dress since you can wear the dress in many different ways depending on how you fix the straps.

Dress Configuration 1

Dress Configuration 2

Dress Configuration 3
 Sadly I ran out of fabric when I made the floral version. The dress is a bit short, but can easily be worn with pants or shorts. If you ever make this dress just know that it takes about 3 5/8 yards of fabric for the full version. If you want a shorter version you might be able to get away with 3 1/4. This all depends on how short you want it. Of course in typical "novice seamstress" style I was so stoked with my first success that I wanted to make more. So I went to Joanns and raided their clearance section and found a red polyester jersey knit fabric and made another version. Sadly this version ended up so-so.

Red Polyester Knit Front

Back View

As you can see the fabric isn't as clingy as the first version. For this version I decided to hem everything and it seemed to make the fabric less stretchy. Also the weight of this type of knit seemed too heavy to comfortable make all the other versions of the dress I made before. It just felt like the drape was all wrong for this dress design. Oh well lesson learned. I really need to stick with a knit that has a lot of stretch, possibly four way stretch if necessary. I prefer to work with the printed knits since I really love the floral version, but it can be a hassle since the back side of the fabric can show through sometimes. My quest continues. Perhaps some really nice ITY knit might work for this dress. I've seen that the ITY comes in a lot of yummy prints.

Since my sewing mojo was on a roll. I decided to tackle another sewing project using some ruffle fabric that I found on clearance while I was at Joanns. I have been loving the Coastal Curtsy Skirt that was featured on the No Big Dill website and just recently ordered some Ruffle Fabric to make one of my own. I was lucky to find this ruffle fabric at Joanns so I decided to make a practice skirt. This skirt was just as easy as the Infinite Dress. Two measurements, one cut and one seam. I didn't hem the skirt or even add a waistband as suggested since it just slipped over my waist. Although I may add one in the future.

Coastal Curtsy Skirt Front

Coastal Curtsy Skirt Back
I love how this skirt fits. I am so in love with the back "tail" as my mother calls it. I had a great time swishing it back and forth. The cut of the skirt makes the ruffles hang vertically in front and horizontally in the back. Sheer genius. My ruffles are an inch long so a bit shorter than the one that was made on the No Big Dill blog, but it still looks great. I can't wait to make more of this. I also have plenty of fabric to make a regular skirt for myself and maybe some leggings or a dress for Buni.

My last project from this past weekend was a simple circle skirt made from Panne Velvet using the tutorial on the MADE website. Another super easy skirt that involved a little bit of math. I was surprised how easily it came together. My next version will be a bit shorter as I overestimated the length. The skirt is really twirly so it does easily fly up in case your very modest like me. Phew.. Definitely a very successful weekend of knit sewing. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Circle Skirt in Panne Velvet