Happy New Year! A Dressmaker’s Year in Review

Happy New Year! I’m excited for 2016 to begin although, before moving forward I would like to look back at my little learning experiences of 2015. Some fails and some success!

The first thing I made last year was the Snow Flake Dress Replica I was putting off from 2014.  Whenever I wore this 1940s bias cut dress (on the left) I could hear rotten, vintage stitches popping left and right. Matching prints was a goal of 2015 so you will see it a lot here. Jan.1, 2015

Tracy McElfresh Dress replicaTracy McElfresh Dress Replica

Tracy McElfresh

Model is Gwen Vo, Photo taken by Robert Parkey III RP3PhotoWorks

My second dress for Jan. 2015 was Heirloom Dress replica. I wanted to learn heirloom stitching using winged needles, silk threads, hemstitching, slotted lace and pin tucks. The left is the original dress and the right is my version.

Tracy McElfreshTracy McElfresh

Model is Gwen Vo, Photo taken by Robert Parkey III RP3PhotoWorks

Model is Gwen Vo, Photo taken by Robert Parkey III RP3PhotoWorks

In February I sure was missing spring! I designed this dress from a photo. There is a lot of work in this dress that is hard to see due my excellent print matching. This Little House on the Prairie Dress Replica came out great.

Tracy McElfreshTracy McElfresh

Model is Gwen Vo, Photo taken by Robert Parkey III RP3PhotoWorks

Model is Gwen Vo, Photo taken by Robert Parkey III RP3PhotoWorks

The Christmas Dress was one of my favorites! It was a replica for my dear friend Leslie Ruby Randall. To be most honest I was scared of matching such a large scale plaid print but I did it anyways.

11863207_10205063789615458_3062992114802405446_n Tracy McElfresh Tracy McElfresh Tracy McElfresh

The really cool part was that she wore it on a shoot in Scotland! One of my makes made it to Scotland!

Modeling is Ruby Randall and this photo was taken by Winter Wolf Studios

Modeling is Ruby Randall and this photo was taken by Winter Wolf Studios

I learned how to make shorts, pants, fly zips, welted pockets, jeans and pants of all kinds. Here are just a few and I still have to say even after all this work, pants are hard people!

Colette Iris shorts and Grainline patterns Scout TWearing Histories Playsuit pattern Tracy McElfreshSew Liberated Skinny JeansPearl Soho Gym City ShortsSewaholic's Wrenfrew patternWearing Histories playsuitChristmas get up, I underlines each piece of itchy glitter knit Sew Over It London Trousers Colette Patterns Wearing History Patterns Shorts  Wearing History Patterns tops and pants made by me Christmas get up, I underlines each piece of itchy glitter knit Tue Bias Hudson Pants Active wear PJs Sewaholic's Thurlow IMG_7677 Wearing Histories playsuitLearning waffle knitsVintage Sewing

There were more pants and I promise you learning them was a lot of seam ripping to get my fit right for each pair.

Waffle Knits were a challenge. I made 4 things before I got it!

Sewing Waffle knits

I did a few pattens hacks.

Sewsholic's Wrenfrew topOut and About Dress Pattern hack

My favorite was the butterfly dress. I took hours researching something that I found to have not been created yet.

cropped-Tracy-McElfresh-30.jpg

Modeling Gwen Vo Photo by Robert Parkey III

Tracy McElfresh Tracy McElfresh

The Etch Graffiti dress was fun.

Tracy McElfresh Photo by Robert Parkey III

The 1910 Witch Dress replica.

12144743_1129529053743038_6388532395548588445_n

Modeling Ruby Randall and photo by Sharon Elaine Photography

Modeling Ruby Randall and photo by Sharon Elaine Photography

My Red Frida Dress Replica was another favorite.

inspiration photo

Photo by Stephanie Baker and Modeling is my friend Lawanda

Photo by Stephanie Baker and Modeling is my friend Lawanda

Another Frida dress I designed in 2015 and replicated.

Tracy McElfresh

1910 Titanic Dress Replica.

11240774_10204794653767230_7581743743505212213_n

Photo by Robert Parkey III and the lovely model is Cassie Smith

Photo by Robert Parkey III and the lovely model is Cassie Smith

The Alexander Henry Cat Dress

Alexander Henry Cat Dress

Colette Pattern Parfait I made reversible dress out of Cotton and Steel’s Tokyo Train Ride.

Artist Amy Kollar Anderson in my reversible dress.

Artist Amy Kollar Anderson in my reversible dress.

The Bio Degradable Wedding Dress.

Lovely model is Leslie Ruby Randall and this wonderful photo was taken by Sharon Elaine Photography.

Lovely model is Leslie Ruby Randall and this wonderful photo was taken by Sharon Elaine Photography.

My velvet Liz Taylor Holiday Dress.

Liz Taylor Dress by Tracy McElfresh

I made a cat costume from outer space just for fun. I learned working with this metallic rubbery knit too.

Tracy McElfresh

One the most challenging was Wearing History’s Ahwanee 1920s Blanket coat. It has welted pockets and all kinds of other things going on that are hard to see because I worked so hard matching the plaids.

Wearing History Pattern

Here are a few more non garment adventures.

241 Tote I made 4 of these last year T shirt blanket for my husband inspired by a dress Pot holders for all of my friendsvintage Simplicities baby booties with Sublime Stitching

Upcycles, I learned I can take large garments and remake them into well fitted garments. Wool coats make great hats and mittens too.

UpcycleJesy in I in the hat I made from a coatmens shirt to Grainline Studio's Linden top

Behind the Scenes~ Here is the one that went in the trash. I had problems from the beginning and I was not having fun. Life is to short!

vampire coat

As for 2016 I’m wanting to learn new techniques, work with textiles I find challenging and try to make only solid printed garments. This means I will need to be creative and find ways to naturally embellish my work. I hope to pay close attention to precision and detail as solid materials will glaringly show any mistakes.

Feel free to leave me positive comments and thank you for reading.

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh
By | 2017-02-08T01:10:43+00:00 January 1st, 2016|Makes of 2015, Uncategorized|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Sharon January 2, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Total inspiration, you have achieved so much in the year. Really blown away with the pin-tuck detail heirloom dress and I love the butterfly print style dress/top. So many fabulous makes to choose from…. Absolutely fabulous X

    • Tracysews January 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Thank you so much! Happy New Year!

  2. gwendolyn January 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Love, love, love! Working with you. Everything you make is so inspiring. Thank you so much for the opportunity to model for you! It has been an honor and I look forward to many more adventures! Thanks a million!

    • Tracysews January 4, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Love working with you to Gwen. I’m excited for the next shoot! After the next 5 garments I hope to work something out with you and Robert Parkey III.

  3. lawanda stonerock January 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    love reading your blogs my friend, always inspirational 🙂

    • Tracysews January 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you!! I’m excited for our craft morning!!

Leave A Comment