All the Things I Sewed during Quarantine: Spring/Summer Edition

I have been doing a lot of sewing since the Coronavirus pandemic started. I am blessed to work from home, and I have a lot more free time since I no longer have a two-hour commute. I thought it would be fun to share all of my makes since March. I’ve been keeping track and sharing photos on Instagram, but it’s nice to have everything organized all in one blog post.

From March through May, I made about two garments a month. Most of the time, I worked on projects in short stints at a time – 15 minutes during my lunch break, 10 minutes before dinner. Occasionally, I’d work for a couple hours before bed. All it takes is time and dedication to create a garment you love. You can read more about my philosophy on creating in abundance and why I think it’s important not to focus too much on perfectionism in my article for Seamwork Magazine, Create in Abundance: On Choosing Quantity Over Quality.

Without further ado, let’s get into the projects!

Sweet Red Poppy Face Masks

First off, I made a few Sweet Red Poppy face masks in March. I found this pattern after an extensive Google search to find a face mask pattern that was free, simple to sew, and created by an experienced patternmaker. If you make this mask in cotton, pre-wash your fabric before cutting into it. You may also want to make a size larger than you need. Cotton shrinks after you launder it.

The Seamwork York Top and the Everly Skirt

Click to see this outfit in action

Next, I finished up a couple of projects that I had been working on earlier in the year – the York top and the Everly skirt, which is cut on the bias. Both of these are Seamwork patterns. The York top is actually a free pattern. I think it would make a great base for tunic dresses or flowy summer tops if you changed the sleeves to be billowy.  I made the York in a polyester charmeuse I bought on Fabric Row in Philly. It was slippery, frayed easily, did not press well, and was a total headache to work with – especially when it came time to create the bias tape for the neckline (I was about to pull my hair out). Working with silk charmeuse was surprisingly much easier.

The Seamwork Tacara Dress



Afterwards, I wanted a quick, easy sew. I typically alternate the challenge level of each of my makes. I’ll sew something difficult that teaches me new skills, then I’ll make something easy that’ll give me a quick win, and after that I’ll usually sew a garment right within my comfort zone – not too easy, but not super hard either. Then I repeat the process. That way, I never get too bored or too frustrated. The Tacara dress was a fun, relatively simple sew. Knits are typically easier for me to make. Stretchy material is so forgiving. I added ties to this dress to define my waist. It’s the perfect dress to wear when you’re running around doing errands or working from home.

The Seamwork Bo Blouse

I made the Seamwork Bo top in an airy, ethereal fabric that I bought ages ago on Fabric Row. A little boutique that sold fabrics was sadly going out of business at the time, and I got about 4 or 5 yards of this fabric at an unbelievably inexpensive rate. I feel like a garden fairy wearing this top. I like to wear it over spaghetti strap tops – it instantly elevates my look and makes me look a lot dressier. It’s the perfect companion for Webex calls. I drafted the sleeves myself.

Sweet Red Poppy Face Mask…again

Surprise – more masks. This photo was taken in May, around the time I started to realize that quarantine had no end in sight.

The Seamwork Bobby dress




The Bobby dress with flutter sleeves is just so sassy. I love how it makes my waist look snatched. Sometimes large elasticated waistbands can have a truncating effect on my petite figure. However, this dress has grown on me, and I don’t think I have that issue with it. Still, if I were to make it again, I might change the waist area so it was more form fitting and didn’t need elastic.

The V-neckline is a bold detail that works so well with the overall design of the dress. The fabric was slightly translucent, so I drafted a slip. I edged the bottom with lace, and I absolutely love how it turned out. The wind makes it looks like pants, but the slip is a skirt that I connected to the waistband.

The Seamwork Kenedy DressI absolutely love the Kenedy dress. I sewed it in a silk charmeuse. This was the first time I used silk charmeuse to sew a dress. The way this fabric flows is enchanting. I’m in love with flutter sleeves this season. I made a size 0, but I still had to take in the sides because it was too big. I put the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to work and stitched a dainty leaf detail on the hem.

The Seamwork Gretta Top




IMG_3509.jpgGretta is another Seamwork pattern. I sewed this top up in a fig-print linen and lined it with a silk-cotton voile. It’s so cool and breezy. It’s the perfect summer top: comfortably, flirty, and can be dressed up or down.

Around the same time that I started making the top, I was working on a watercolor of the French castle Château de Gudanes nestled behind a field of flowers. I’m pretty sure that the colors in this top subconsciously influenced the color palette that I chose.


The By Hand London Jenna Dress




I decided to branch out and try my hand at making garments from different sewing pattern companies. This is what led me to create the Jenna dress from By Hand London. I’ve wanted to make myself a dress on the bias for a long time now. I love the way dresses on the bias flow over the body. This dress has proven to be tricky. The shoulder and sleeve fit is all wonky, and I can’t quite figure out how to fit it to my body. I must have changed the zipper placement at least 3 times, added extra darts & took in the bodice straps to see if that would work…nothing does. The shoulders are either too high up on my body or too loose.

Thankfully, the lovely help specialist Jessica at By Hand London was so kind to have a look at my many photos & give me helpful advice as to what could be wrong. She even put me in contact with a fitting specialist.

I’m going back to the drawing board to figure this one out, and I set up an appointment to work with the fitting specialist over Zoom to see if I can get it right. Fitting garments virtually is a very imperfect science, but I figure nothing ventured, nothing gained. If it doesn’t work out, then this just isn’t the pattern for me.

The Common Stitch Wattlebird Cami and Dress





After the stress of the By Hand London Jenna dress, you would think I would head back to making trusty Seamwork patterns. But, I’m not one to back down from a challenge. I tried my hand at a Common Stitch pattern: the Wattlebird cami. First, I made one as a gift for a close friend. I loved this pattern so much that I made it a second time into a lemon-print dress for myself, photographed by Erin Ingraffia. And then, I made myself a cami in a darling deer print lined with silk. What I love the most about the Wattlebird cami and dress pattern is that it’s such a quick sew. I made the dress in one afternoon – it took about 5 ½ hours, from cutting to the final stitch. I wore it to a photoshoot later that same day.

These are all the garments that I sewed for myself during quarantine. I’ve had a lot of fun getting back in touch with expressing myself through sewing. I feel like I’ve got my sewing mojo back. 🙂 I’m going to miss having all this extra free time to create when the quarantine is over. Yet, I look forward to when the pandemic ends and we can hug each other, make new friends and navigate the world without fear of disease.

What creative projects are you working on these days? Any great shows or fun pastimes that you’ve discovered during quarantine?

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