Monday, September 28, 2015

More Vacation Sewing McCalls 6952

I found this watercolor rayon challis at Joann and bought a yard and a half. Then I wish I had bought more. I love the colors, but wondered if it was going to look too Granny-ish as a dress. Luckily I had the perfect solution, some solid black rayon challis in my stash to eliminate the all over floral effect, and supplement the fact that I hadn't purchased enough fabric. I used McCalls 6952 and am super happy with the outcome.


This is another one of those patterns that I never would have picked based on the cover art. It wasn't until I saw Lladybird's version that I wanted to get my hands on this pattern. You really do have to look past the cover and take a look at the line drawings to get an idea of what you could create with a pattern, especially from the big four.

I made View B in a size 10 and I eliminated the lower ruffle. There was just something off about the proportions on me. I think because I am so short waisted it just looked funny with the ruffle being so low.  I raised the shoulders, an easy alteration that I always have to make.

I really like the princess seams, though they don't show much in black and floral here. I like that they give the dress some shape even though it has an elastic waist. I did my favorite new seam finish throughout, French seams made by serging wrong sides together, then turning and sewing.

  dressback2dressfront4 dress

 I wore this dress for mine and Frank's Sixteenth anniversary of our first date. It is easy and comfy to wear and will be a perfect Summer or beach vacation dress. I will use this pattern again because I like View A with the back cutout. I highly recommend this pattern.

I have to thank Juebejue over at Petite Republic for the heads up on these awesome shoes. I complimented hers and she generously told me the brand. I hunted some down on Amazon and am loving them.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Vacation Mode in McCalls 7155

I had the weekend off to go camping, but was so indecisive about where to go that I waited too long to make reservations. The weather turned cooler for a couple days and of course all of the nearby campgrounds were booked. It worked out just fine though because we caught a bit of Fort Worth's Fall Gallery Night and hung out with some new friends Saturday evening. Sunday we made up for not camping by checking out Cleburne State Park on a day trip. The highlight of the park is a spring fed lake and a CCC built Spillway. My Pawpaw was in the CCC, so I always love to see structures that they built in the 1930s still standing. We took the opportunity to do a little photo shoot with my newest make, McCalls 7155. I am still sewing for Mexico, so all of my makes continue to be Summery.


I dyed this linen with Indigo at my mom's house a while back. I just wadded it up and tied it as an experiment and was thrilled with the outcome. The straps are also hand dyed rayon challis.


I like the swingy shape of this top and I think the fit is just right. I made version A in size small.

indigotank tank2

 I was inspired by Heather Lou's Inari Tee dress with neon topstitching. I couldn't find any neon topstitching thread and don't have the triple stitch that she mentions. I used a neon yellow embroidery thread and I think it works pretty well. Instead of facings I made bias tape out of the yellow rayon.

  tank1 tank3

While the highlight of this tank is definitely the funky straps, they were a bit fussy to get right. I don't have a dress form so it was pin, try on, re-pin, try on. Frank tried to help but ended up poking himself with pins. I still didn't get them just right but I do like the outcome. I wove the straps through each other and did sew the top and bottom points together where they met. I almost think a knit strap around elastic would work better for this effect. Hmm, I have more experimenting to do.


Speaking of the straps, I don't know how you would wear this top without a bra showing. I am wearing it with my swim top here, and that is how I imagine I will use it. I think I would make this pattern again, perhaps in a drapier fabric. I do think that version A is the only one I really care for out of the six options.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Meet Fashion Cat

My niece Karlie came to visit with my parents a couple of months ago and we designed her Birthday/Halloween costume together. Meet Fashion Cat!

Meet Fashion Cat. Karlie and I designed her together and this will be her birthday present/Halloween costume. Complete with red wig, cat ears, a leopard print crop top, red arm coverings, a black tulle skirt, black heels and tattoos. She was very specific
There is also a theme song!
A video posted by ashleyakers (@ashleyakers) on

K was very specific about the details, wanting a half shirt with leopard print, red full length gloves and a tulle skirt that was long in the back and short in the front. I think I pulled it off. When I sent her this picture of the gloves (which barely fit me) she freaked out. She kept telling me how jealous all of her friends were going to be and that they were exactly what she had dreamed of. That made my heart swell.
Working on Karlie's fashion cat costume. The gloves barely fit me but I told her I would send a pic. She freaked out and told me over and over how jealous all her friends were going to be. I know the way to her heart. I love making costumes for her becaus Here she is posing in her costume right after she opened it.


I used Simplicity 1122 for the skirt, it wasn't difficult but takes patience for all that gathering of tulle! I definitely recommend this pattern as it has a very cute effect.

For the crop top I used McCalls 6729, the same pattern I used for her Hawk Girl costume last year. I modified it a bit, making it into a crop top and adding the cutout and ruffle. I went up from a size 3 (which seemed tight last year) to a 4. It was quite big but I realized later I only did 1/4" seams on the serger instead of the recommended 5/8" seams. Oh well, it should fit her for several years.

I also made leopard leggings, which you can't see here and which also turned out quite big.
The ears, tail and wig were purchased at our local costume shop.

We all had to try on that fabulous wig!


This was the fourth year in a row that I have made Karlie a costume for her birthday. There was Snow White, a Mermaid, last year's Hawk Girl and now Fashion Cat. I love that we designed this one together and that it is an original. K turned 6 last month and I hope she will enjoy me sewing for her for years to come.