Ruffled Kyoko

Today is picture day at Miss L’s school, which meant I felt compelled to sew something for her to wear. As luck would have it, Sarah mentioned last week that she needed an updated Kyoko sample for the shop, so I decided to knock out both tasks with one dress.

I’ve sewn several of the Kyokos and the pattern continues to be one of my favorites. I love the style and fit, as does Liesl, which certainly helps things. Of course, having sewn it so many times, I wanted to see if I could mix things up a bit. I vaguely remembered seeing a version with ruffles and decided to try one myself.

The fabrics are a new line by Alexander Henry and actually weren’t the first choice. Initially, I’d pulled the same fabrics in a colorway that’s more “me” (aquas and pinks) but decided to go with more Fall colors instead. I can’ really explain why I did it but looking at the dress tells me I was right to make the switch (although I’ll probably grab some of the other fabrics to use for another outfit).

The bodice is lined and I skipped the neckline binding, instead adding a 1/4″ seam allowance and sewing the lining and exterior together. I understitched the lining to the seam allowance so no topstitching shows on the neckline.

I again skipped the binding on the hem and sleeve edges, replacing it with ruffles. Oh, how I love those ruffles! They were worth all the math and measuring to figure them out. The ruffles are finished with a rolled hem, which I’m only meh about: I didn’t have any brown Wooly Nylon on hand so just used regular serger thread and it doesn’t have the fullness I wanted. Not really a big deal and I doubt the majority of people will even notice so I’ll just keep quiet and live with it.

The obi is probably my favorite. I was on the fence about which fabric to use and Sarah suggested I make it reversible. Brilliant! Liesl asked to wear the apples today but the reverse is the same yellow fabric used on the ruffles. Overall, I think it’s one of the tamer Kyokos I’ve made but, oh, how pretty it is!

By the way, I’m teaching a Kyoko class (which will include tips for modifying the pattern like I did) on Oct. 9.

ModKid meets Alexander Henry

I’m not lying when I say that I love Patty‘s patterns. The styles are so fun and hip, and the clothes sew up so nicely. I’m never disappointed by the results and Miss L always loves wearing them.

About a year ago, I tried to bring home Patty’s prototype for the Sydney hooded tunic but was foiled. Lucky for me that I can now make one whenever I want — and I’m expecting there to be plenty in L’s closet before too long.

Now, this particular Sydney was made as a sample for the shop but I did let my sweetie wear it before I dropped it off. The two main fabrics are by Alexander Henry and I have to say that I love them just as much now as I did when Sarah ordered them at Market in May. Bright, fun, bold — all the things I love. The green dot is actually one of Paula‘s from Summer Soiree. A few of those prints actually look really good with the AH line but the dots won out for me. Why? Because I have a polka dot fixation. (The green corduroy pants, BTW, were a Carter’s purchase and a perfect match.)

I did make one change to the construction of the tunic and that was sewing the front facing over the hood so that the front edge of the hood ends up between the facing and the tunic. I think it makes for a nice, clean line in the front of the tunic and no serged seams to show if the neckline flips open. If you want to try this yourself, follow the directions for attaching and turning the facing but skip topstitching the opening as well as basting the facing to the neckline. Then when you attach the hood, pin the facing so the hood is between it and the tunic, with the wrong side of the facing on the outside of the shirt. Clip the corner and turn the facing back to the inside of the top before topstitching around the hood and the shirt’s V.

I don’t think it took me more than two or three hours to sew it up, and part of that was because I got caught up in the TV show I had on while I was sewing. (Shhh! I have an unhealthy addiction to the SoapNet’s repeats of Beverly Hills, 90210!)