Archive | June, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway: We Have A Winner!

29 Jun

Wow! Y’all must really love you some Shabby Apple – can’t say I blame you, really :) One of y’all is going to REALLY love them, though, because now it’s time to unveil the winner of that $50 gift card!

Hold onto your hats, folks~


Random Number gave me 151, which according to my Excel spreadsheet o’names (I really did consider writing them all on slips of paper & throwing them in my Featherweight box for a pull, but 166 names to write? NOPE, SORRY), means our winner is Jessica!! Yay!

Jessica says in her comment: I would buy one of the new lighthouse wrap dresses. I’m using the coupon code to buy Overboard right now… I’ve been lusting after it for months. Taking the plunge now – hahahaha

Hehe, I guess this means you get a bonus dress then :) Enjoy that wrap dress along with your Overboard :)

Thanks so much for all your entries, everyone! And remember, you can still get 10% off with the code “lladybird10off” until 7/20, so maybe you should go ahead & treat yourself anyway :)

About these ads

Completed: A Totally Tubular Simplicity 1803

27 Jun

“Tubular” is such a weird word. I mean in the sense when people use it as a synonym for awesome or rad. I mean… it’s literal definition is something that is tube-shaped. What is so rad about a tube? English language, you mystify me.

You know what is pretty radtubular, though? This Simplicity 1803 pattern, yeah! Now that we have set aside our differences, a beautiful relationship can be allowed to bloom. With this in mind, I would like to introduce you to my latest incarnation of Simplicity 1803, heading straight up Awesomeville.

Simplicity 1803, v2
This print is pretty loud in comparison to what I normally wear, but I like it!

Simplicity 1803, v2
There’s not much to say about the construction here – it’s pretty much the exact same as my Disaster dress, although a bit more simple (no underlining, machine-stitched hems, etc). I did discover that the fabric has a very subtle stretch, which made the dress a bit too big… so I ended up with some pretty giant seam allowances at the zipper. We’re talking 1.5″ seam allowances. Yeesh! On the fip side, the stretch makes the dress quite comfortable.

Simplicity 1803, v2
I remembered to put the pockets in the correct place this time! No princess-seam pockets for this girl!

Simplicity 1803, v2
This fabric is just fabulous… a nice, drapey rayon with a hint of stretch, and a really busy pattern that hides sweat – which is quite important these days, considering we are gearing up for a high of 108* later this week. I KNOW.

Simplicity 1803, v2
I did make the waist tie this go-round, although it blends in pretty well with the busy print. Oh well, I guess it provides a bit of texture?

It was difficult to get pictures of this dress – most of them ended up totally blown out with light. I kept moving around to different areas of shade.

Simplicity 1803, v2
Then I noticed the awesome neighborhood stray cat in my back yard!

Yay kitty!
This cat is so cool! He’s super friendly and VERY vocal, and he loves having his belly rubbed. I know he’s skinny as shit, but I’ve actually tried feeding him before & he refuses it. He looks pretty healthy and is definitely quite social, which gives me reason to believe he’s probably someone’s pet prowling around the neighborhood. I see him about once a week and we are best friends. I have named him Bobby, fyi.

THIS CAT
Told you he was friendly ;)

:3
Although he never sits still long enough to get a good picture!

Simplicity 1803, v2
This is the dress front. Again, I went with soft pleats instead of thread gathers on the skirt. I’m a big convert of the soft pleat!

Simplicity 1803, v2
Dress back, lapped zipper.

Simplicity 1803, v2
Orange zipper! Also, check out my massive seam allowances lol

Simplicity 1803, v2
I’m trying it with a belt for work today, I think I like it better than the tie… it breaks up the pattern a bit.

As a side note – I’ve got one sleeve on my Miette sweater now!

Miette Progress
My sleeves is a little shorter than the pattern calls for (I skipped a few rows of stockinette), but I still think it’s a little long for my preferences. I guess that means I have T-Rex arms hahaha.

Miette Progress
This sweater has been really fun to knit, but I’m looking forward to finishing it so I can work on something a little less mindless :)

Simplicity 1803, v2

Also, don’t forget to enter my Shabby Apple Giveaway if you haven’t done so already – it closes this Friday :D

One last thing – I just looked up tubular, and according to dictionary.com: excellent. (Surfing and later general youth slang. Having to do with a tube [wave] that is good to surf in.) : That pizza was totally tubular!

A Day At The Flea

25 Jun

Alternately titled: Why I Love Tennessee And It’s Awesome Flea Market!

The flea market here is monthly, and I do try to go every month (last month I had to miss because I was in Florida – but I’m not complaining!!). The whole thing is MASSIVE – and full of vendors selling all kinds of stuff, from priceless antiques to dirty junk. I personally like the dirty junk :) There are also vendors who sell boring shit like socks & discontinued Clariol hair dye & door mats with whimsical pictures of your preferred dog breed, but I tend to avoid those booths because, well, boring!

Anyway, I took my new friend Jenna with me this time, as she had never been before! We met up with Lauren Winter after about an hour. We also ran into Kaelah as we were leaving – Nashville is such a small town! I’m not going to go into detail over what everyone else bought – let’s just say we had to make an extra trip to the truck about an hour in, because we already had too much stuff to carry around! :)

I didn’t make out with quite as much bank as I customarily do – no huge garbage bags of fabric for $4, or stacks of patterns for pennies apiece – but I did come home with some perfect little gems.

$15, yo!
My absolute favorite thing I bought was this dress – I bought it right before we left (after seeing it first thing & obsessing over it for the next few hours, ha!). I haggled the lady down to $15, which is totally a steal I think. The fabric feels like some kind of silk-blend; it is unfortunately much too hot to wear during out 100*+ days. Anyway, the colors are kind of autumnal. But I love it so much!

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
I did end up swapping out the buttons to these – the ones on there obviously weren’t original, as they didn’t match the dress at all. Also, there was one missing. I am quite sure I bought these brass buttons at the flea as well, so it seems like a good fit :)

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
Those are the old buttons on the right – silver rhinestones. lolwut

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
One thing that really delighted me about this dress is that there is a lot of hand-mending all over it – including these little darned holes at the hem. It was obviously a favorite dress.

Embroidered Pillowcase
I also bought this pillowcase (filled it with polyfil from my sewing room – for some reason I have like 3 bags of it?) for $1 – I love all the embroidery! The lady who sold it to me said the woman who did the embroidery was in her 80s at the time. I just think it’s so pretty!

Brooches
Some pretty brooches – the pinecones came from the same booth that the silk shirtwaist dress is from.

As far as sewing notions, I found a few…

Crazy Zipeprs
Crazy zippers! Lol I have NO idea what I will do with these, but they had to come home with me.

Bias Tape!
Crazy bias tape – I see a floofy Christmas dress in my future…

Plaid Taffeta Fabric
Plaid taffeta… good for another Christmas skirt? Man, I love Christmas.

Green Lining Fabric
Celery green lining fabric… kind of boring, but it was also kind of only a $1 sooo no complaints here.

In the world of things I didn’t buy but considered taking home with me anyway -
The puppy that @bloomingleopold tried to buy today.
THE CUTEST PUPPY I’VE EVER SEEN
He’s a miniature Australian Sheepdog! At 19 weeks, he weighed about 6 pounds. We all fell IN LOVE, but apparently he already sold (lol who sells a dog at the flea market anyway?).

I love the flea market, but this is creepy as shit
Well, no, I didn’t actually want to buy this. Thought I would share anyway. Apparently, this is Farrah Fawcett’s head, in a wooden box.

I actually started – and mostly finished – a new dress over the weekend, but the weird slinky poly was giving me an absolute fit, and the pattern wasn’t looking too hot on me (maybe because of the fabric?), so I ended up tossing it (rather violently, I might add) in the corner & instantly felt 100% liberated. I haven’t had a proper UFO in about 2 years, so this is a very new experience for me.

In the meantime, I started a new dress – we are revisiting Simplicity 1803. In the loudest print I have ever purchased.
Simplicity 1803
Headed toward Tackyville, y/n?

CHICAAAAAGO!

22 Jun

Ok, I’m really jumping the gun on this on WAY too soon – but I’m excited! So excited! See, Landon & I scored a really great deal on plane tickets (think 2 round-trip tickets for under $200! I KNOW.), so we have decided to book a trip to Chicago in September! We were originally tossing around the idea of going to Riot Fest, although now I’m so enraptured with the idea of just being in the city, I really don’t care about the festival so much anymore (especially since I’ve already seen like all those bands. Except Built to Spill, waaah).

Anyway, this is relevant to some of your interests because I know there are a few of y’all who live in Chicago and/or the surrounding areas (I’m looking at you, Liz & Tasha!), and I thought I would stick my feelers out & see if anyone was interested in a little meet-up? Maybe we can get some coffee (or adult beverages, no judgement here!) and then squeal over fabric together? I definitely have the Textile Discount Outlet & Vogue Fabric Store on my must-see list :)

So let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in something like this – make sure you include your email address too, so I can email you closer to the date! I’m really not familiar with Chicago AT ALL – this will be my very first time visiting – so please feel free to drop some suggestions my way. The dates we have booked are 9/13 – 9/17, I’m thinking a Saturday or Sunday to meet up, depending on what is open on those days.

In an attempt to keep this relevant to everyone’s interests – let’s discuss this piece of fabric I bought!

I’ve been pining over Megan’s cream/black plaid coat for a few weeks now. I just love it so much! And I think it would be fun to make.

[image credit: Tom & Lorenzo]

Unfortunately, I am having a devil of a time sourcing the fabric. I assumed it would be easy – that is a pretty classic looking plaid – but apparently no. Not in coating fabric, anyway. My dreams: Shattered.

Then I picked this stack of wool fabric up at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago
wool fabric
Look in the back – red plaid! Is it fate? I THINK SO!

I even found the perfect dupe pattern- Simplicity 2311:

Fate!

I’m hoping the red plaid won’t look too garish as a coat – I originally grabbed it because I thought it would make a cute little jumper-type dress (honestly didn’t even make the fabric connection until a couple of days later!). What do you think? Obviously, I don’t shy away from red – but I also don’t want to look like a lumberjack :)

I have 3 yards of this stuff and it’s over 60″ wide, so I should have enough to cut a shorter coat on the bias. I’d like to make the lapels & pocket flaps with a really short pile black velour. Oh God, why am I planning my winter coat in JUNE? Lord help me.

Totally unrelated, but today is Amelia’s birthday! She’s 5!
cat table
Happy birthday, Amelia! I totally love you, even if you are the biggest bitch I’ve ever met ♥

Shabby Apple Giveaway

20 Jun

!!! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED !!!

Who likes a giveaway? Who likes a Shabby Apple giveaway? EEE me me me me me! Ok, maybe not me… maybe I’m just the host. But I’ve got a sweet treat to give one lucky person – could it be you?

For those of you not familiar with Shabby Apple – we are talking about a fab online store that sells beautiful vintage-inspired dresses. Come, take a walk with me down Beautiful Dress Lane.


Overboard is a classic gingham shirtdress


Ipanema reminds me of something Trudy Campbell would wear while hosting an outdoor dinner party


Admiral makes me die with glee, just a little bit. How cute is that model!?


Che Bella! is reminiscent of my Hawaiian dress reconstruction, except quite a bit more regal – it’s like the casual version of a LBD. Love it!


Ming just makes me want to throw big honkin’ rosettes on every tshirt I own


I guess Academia may be a little off-season, but I had to include it because it looks a lot like my Galaxy dress ripoff. And y’all know I can’t turn down something that reminds me of, well, myself :3

Have I piqued your interest yet? Are you ready to throw down for your own Shabby Apple goody? I’ve got a $50 Shabby Apple gift card that is going to end up in the mitts of one lucky reader! You can pick whatever you want with your gift card – one of the dresses I listed above, or pick something completely different off the site. Dresses aren’t your thing this week? That’s ok, they have separates & accessories too!

To enter, here’s what you gotta do:
1. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook. You must do this to enter the giveaway. Make sure you leave me an email address in your comment so I can contact you if you won!!
2. For a bonus entry, leave a comment & tell me what you would get if you won the $50 gift card. The Facebook entry is mandatory, this one is just because I am nosy as hell :)

The giveaway is open to US readers (sorry international pals! I will plan something that includes y’all soon, promise!♥). You have one week to enter; I will close the giveaway on Friday 6/29 and draw a randumb name.

Shabby Apple has also generously offered a coupon code for 10% off any purchase – so even if you don’t win, or don’t live in the US, you can still get on a little deal. Simply enter “lladybird10off” at check-out (and make sure to admire that there is a coupon code with my name on it. Ha! It’s the little things, eh?). This offer is good for a month, so shop your hearts out, y’all!

I think that’s it! Big thanks to Shabby Apple for the awesome giveaway! Good luck, everyone! :)
!!! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED !!!

Completed: Simplicity 1803, aka, The Disaster Dress

19 Jun

I am calling this The Disaster Dress, but it’s really not that bad. Promise! My main issue could have *easily* been solved in the muslin stage – had I actually been paying attention when I tried it on.

Simplicity 1803

Anyway, this is the ever-popular Simplicity 1803. If my dress looks familiar, it is because I was quite obviously influenced by Gertie’s perfect version. I had to have one for myself!

I guess I should mention exactly why I chose to call this dress a disaster. It doesn’t look much like a disaster now – I worked around all the fitting issues. But hoo boy, getting there was an adventure! This pattern has some wacky shit going on with it, y’all. WACKY, I tell you. First, we have the issue of ease. I know this has been talked to death about all over the sewing blogesphere, but seriously – this dress has a LOT of ease. Let me put it this way: according to Simplicity’s size chart, I fit in the 12-14 range. I cut a 4 in this pattern and it fit perfectly. There is about 4.5″ of ease in this pattern… consider yourself warned. Anyway, I cut my 4 & sewed up the muslin, put it on, glanced in the mirror, and started working on the real dress. I am a fit-as-you-go type sewist – constantly pinning & basting to double-check the fit. Right before I sewed up the shoulder seams, I realized that the curves of the princess seams were nowhere near the fullest part of my bust – how I missed that, I have no idea. The shoulders were WAY too short – which is actually kind of ironic, since I usually have to shorten that stuff quite a bit for my teensy shoulders. Of course, I already had the bodice half-sewn (and underlined!) at this point. Long story short, my shoulder seams are sewn with the scantest of scant seam allowances – like, less than 1/4″. The fit and everything is in it’s proper place – but barely. Also I have no idea exactly where I’m going with this story, except that you should definitely scrutinize your muslin.

Also, another beef I had with this pattern was that they skipped some vital steps in the instructions – such as sewing up the side seams. Wtf, Simplicity? You will give me half a page on ~how to sew a dart~ but then forget to tell me to sew up the side seams? You cray.

This is part 2 of Stuff I Made Using Birthday Gifts – the teal Bemberg rayon lining was sent to me by Alicia of Iron On Maiden (can we also collectively agree that she has the coolest blog name ever? Yes.) for my birthday! Yeah! It is underlining this awesome black eyelet from Mood. I also finally got to test out my new interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply – I used the light-weight fusible and it is AWESOME. I never thought I would actually like fusible interfacing, but I think I just officially converted.

Simplicity 1803

Other than the above rant on sizing/fit (and lack of side seams), this dress went together pretty quickly. The only other change I made to the pattern was to swap out the gathers for soft pleats – there was a LOT of gathering involved, and my fabric is quite thick so I was afraid it would get too bulky around the waist. To make the pleats, I matched up all the seams/notches as I would if I was gathering, and then just pleated the fabric until everything looked good & matched up. Pretty easy! I think I like this much better than I would have liked the gathers, too!

The pockets are really fucking stupid, though. They are in the right place according to the pattern – but WTF!? Who puts pockets on the princess seams of a full-skirted dress?! I know the Iris Shorts have similar pockets, but they actually contribute to the design… in this dress, they’re hidden in the folds. Of course I didn’t notice this until I actually sewed them in – and of course it is displayed prominently on the envelope. Oh well.

Simplicity 1803
This is how I feel about the pockets.

Simplicity 1803
I do like the scoop back!

Simplicity 1803
Bonus drunk-looking picture of me.

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803 - bodice, belt
Do you like my birdy brooch? :) I tore up an old necklace (well, it was already broken), glued a pin to the back & spray painted it blue.

Simplicity 1803 - no belt
Here it is without the belt!

Simplicity 1803 - Bodice, no belt

Simplicity 1803
I love how bluuuue the inside is. The facing is a simple black broadcloth – again, the eyelet was too bulky for facing. I trimmed it with some matching rayon seam binding (also in the package from Alicia – told you she was awesome :D) and catch-stitched it to the lining.

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803
Lapped zipper & soft pleats (and that red spot is from my camera – I was wondering why it kept leaving a spot of haziness in every picture. Then I noticed that the lens was incredibly dirty. At this point, I am sure you are questioning how much I actually pay attention to things. Not much, I’m afraid).

Simplicity 1803

Anyway, despite all the shit I went through to get this thing put together, I’m absolutely happy with the finished dress! I think it’s quite flattering & can be worn for a number of occasions (and seasons, for that matter!). So yeah! Now that I’ve sorted out my issues, I will probably make another one… I have this awesome/wacky rayon fabric that I picked up at Goodwill recently; I think it’s perfect for this style. What do you think?

Simplicity 1803

Underlining: The Why & How

15 Jun

I’m currently working on the madness that is Simplicity 1803 (seriously thinking about calling this dress The Disaster Dress, if that means anything) and I thought I would share a few of my trials & tribulations with y’all. I’ve had a lot of comments requesting a tutorial for underlining (or even just asking wtf underlining is exactly), and while I haven’t been able to fulfill those requests in the past – but today is your lucky day! Underlining day, yaay!

First up, let’s talk shop. What exactly is underlining? Some people tend to confuse it with lining; this is incorrect. Lining is a duplicate garment that hangs separately inside your dress (or skirt, or pants, or whatever) that covers all seams for a nice clean finish. It is constructed separately and generally only attached by a few seams – perhaps a neckline, or the waistband of your skirt. The hem usually left free-hanging for ease for movement. Consider lining the inception of sewing – a garment within a garment (see what I did there?).

Underlining is when you sew two pieces of fabric together & treat them like a single piece – kind of like some relationships (ahhh I’m on a roll today here). Since the underlining is actually sewn to the back of your fashion fabric, the seams do show & the inside of the garment doesn’t necessarily have that clean finish.

Underlining is wonderful for a variety of reasons – you can use it to stabilize your fashion fabric to give it a bit more body (like with my Bombshell dress), to add a layer of opacity to an otherwise sheer fabric (my Swiss Dot Violet really benefited from a batiste underlining), to add a layer of warmth to a coat (the lining of my Lady Grey is underlined with cotton flannel), or even to brighten up your fashion fabric a notch (look at the difference underlining made on my Gingham Peony!) If you were concerned about the integrity of a delicate fabric – lace, or vintage, or… I dunno, vintage lace – you could underline every piece for additional strength. Underlining has lots of uses, it’s awesome!

For my dress in question, I am using this pretty black eyelet from Mood. The whole thing is quite see-through so I knew ahead of time that it would going to need some kind of backing to keep certain places under cover. I originally planned on just dropping a whole lining in the thing & calling it a day, until I realized that you would see every single seam through the eyelet – and by every single seam, I mean eyelet seams & lining seams. I’m using Bemberg Rayon here (LOVE!!!!!) and that stuff frays like nobodies business. I started imagining little shreds of turquoise popping out all over the place & it gave me the willies.

So I decided to underline instead. An added bonus is that it totally negates the two issues I was having with the individual fabrics – the Bemberg was sliding all over the place, and my sewing machine was throwing a giant fucking fit every time I tried to sew over the textured eyelet. By sewing the two fabrics together, the Bemberg stays put & provides a layer over the eyelet that keeps the needle from freaking out. Yeah!

This process is pretty easy. I’m almost embarrassed to even post this.

1
Cut each pattern piece from both your fashion fabric & preferred underlining fabric (as I mentioned here, I’m using Bemberg Rayon – which is traditionally a lining fabric, but it’s main job for this dress is opacity). The pieces should be mirror images of each other. I like to go ahead & snip all my notches, it makes things easier to match up. Don’t worry about your pattern markings (the kind you use chalk or tailor tacks or whatever for) just yet.

2
Place the underlining on the wrong side of the fashion fabric. If your underlining has a right side, make sure it is facing the wrong side of the fashion fabric (so when you flip the whole thing over, both right sides should be facing up). Pin everything together – I used these tiny silk pins because my lining shows pin holes.

3
Then you just sew the lining to the fabric! Here are some tips:
– Yes, you can sew it by machine. I chose to sew by hand because the rayon is super slippery & I wanted it to shift as little as possible. It also makes ripping the basting stitches out MUCH easier. If you sew by hand, you want to keep things as flat as possible – sit at a table! It’s very mindless work, so feel free to watch a movie (or two!).
– Sew giant basting stitches using one strand of thread. Pick something contrasting so it’s easier to pull out the stitches after you sew the seams. I used orange thread; I thought it was pretty haha.
– Try to stay well within your seam allowance – you can see that mine is less than 1/4″ from the edge. I think this makes it easier to pull out the stitches (it’s not anywhere near the 5/8″ SA, so I’m not actually sewing over the basting with my machine) and it hides any pin-marks that may get left behind on delicate fabrics.
– You may also notice that I did not sew along the bottom edge of the piece. Call me lazy, idgaf. The basting for underlining is really there to hold the pieces together until they are properly sewn. I’ve found that I can usually get away with omitting the bottom hem & any seams that extremely short (such as the point between the princess seam & the armscye). Play around & see what works for you!

BONUS TIP:
Next project involves eyelet... And a ridic amount of underlining, ugh
(sorry about the crappy Instagram picture!)
For super precise darts, thread trace the dart legs through both layers after you have basted the pieces together. This keeps the fabrics together while you sew the dart, and eliminates any weird bubbling that may otherwise happen.

4
Here is the other side of my underlined piece. Cute!

Now that you’ve got your pieces all basted together, you can treat them like one piece of fabric. You can transfer your fabric markings to the underlining side of the fabric so it doesn’t show on the front. Sew as you normally would, and make sure to pull out your basting threads as you sew each seam.

Here is how my bodice is looking as of this morning
5
Since this is an underlining, and not a proper lining, you will still have to finish your seams & deal with facings. My seams are serged; my facing is a simple cotton broadcloth as the eyelet was too bulky.

7
I love the subtle peek of turquoise :D

6
I am including this picture because it looks like a uterus, and that is funny to me.

So that’s it! Hopefully this brings a light to some of the mystique :) As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,091 other followers