Archive | January, 2013

Completed: A Slinky Red Butterick 5078

15 Jan

This doesn’t really warrant much of a post – it’s a knit dress, I’ve already made the pattern before, wah wah – but I thought it warranted at least a mention, after I made the changes I was musing over.

Butterick 5078 - slinky red
This is my second version of Butterick 5078 – and way better! So much better!

Butterick 5078 - slinky red
For one, the fabric is better. I wish I could share a little piece with all of you because it is SOOOO SOOOOFFFTT. It’s a rayon knit that I picked up at my local fabric store’s 40% sale (I should go back. Should I go back? ARGH), and it’s even softer than the purple bamboo knit that I used to make that Tiramisu (which, ps, I’m wearing right now. Actually, I wear it like once a week. THIS.DRESS.IS.THE.BOMB.). The color is a rich vibrant red, and it is slinky as all get-out. So, perhaps most people wouldn’t want a slinky red dress. But I like! Slinky and feels like pajamas, yeah!

Butterick 5078 - slinky red
I used the same sizing and everything as before – the 8 – but I did make a few changes:
– Lengthened the bodice to cover all my boobs and not cut across the middle of them. To do this, I put on my first incarnation of the dress and measured how much I needed to add, and then just added it to the bottom of the pattern piece. It was somewhere in the realm of 3″, FYI.
– I removed 3″ of the skirt length from the pattern pieces, so I didn’t waste any of my precious fabric.
– I changed up the construction sequence of the dress, to make it easier and more, uh, knit-friendly. Most everything was constructed flat (the pattern has you do everything in the round, including the sleeves. ewww), and then I zipped up the side seams at the last minute. This was extra convenient, as the super drape powers of this fabric made it a bit big when I first sewed it. It was very easy to take in the side seams!
– The biggest change I made was to eliminate that runched drape deal at the waistline. I considered adding it – even cut out and assembled the pieces – sewed the dress up, thought, “Oh God, I have made a huge mistake”, pulled the runching back on over the dress and realized I would have made a bigger mistake by adding it. I dunno, that runching just looks weird on me. Sorry.

Butterick 5078 - slinky red
I am fully aware you can see, like, everything through this dress. NO CARE – it’s like a slinky, sexy pajama. Ooh ooh!

Butterick 5078 - slinky red
I also think it’s interesting to note how different the neckline looks with a drapier fabric. Unfortunately, this one isn’t so gape-friendly. I do have to be careful when I bend over (and wearing a tank underneath to counteract isn’t an option: see above re SLINKY).

I guess there’s not much else to say about this dress. I do think knit dresses are my new go-to for cold weather, though. I can cozy them up with tights and boots and a handmade sweater, and I feel polished while still being totally appropriate to roll up on the couch. I need to dig into the rest of my knit stack from Textile; I’ve got a few stripey pieces that I’m dying to play with!

Butterick 5078 - slinky red

Butterick 5078 - slinky red
Kitty approved? Sort of.

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Completed: the Elisalex Dress

14 Jan

I know I’m SUPER late to the dance party on this, but I just looooove the new goods from my girls over at By Hand London. A pencil skirt with generous ease at the hips?? That made me sit straight up and divert all my attention at once (a feat on it’s own!). So when I was offered to try my hand at the patterns, I responded with an enthusiastic “UHM YES PLEASE!!” and was immeditely given my very own hourglassy pencil skirt pattern of dreams, as long as the Elisalex dress pattern.

Elisalex Dress

I’m going to fully disclose here and let y’all know that I’ve actually been working on this pattern for over a month – we got off to a very rocky start, unfortunately. My first problem stemmed when I couldn’t find any finished measurements listed anywhere in the pattern, and for some reason I had a huge issue with measuring the pieces (which is not the fault of the pattern, I was just basically being a dumbass. It happens.). Once I got the sizing sorted out, the muslin I whipped up gave me the biggest hunchback that you ever did see. Just… oh my god, it looked like I had a growth back there HAHA. I had to cut quite a bit off the center back to get a snug fit – about 1.5″ per side. I hesitate to blame this back on BH, as I’ve seen a few of these dresses in the wild west (aka, internet) and no one has mentioned the size of the back, which would indicate that this is a Lauren-fitting problem, not a poor drafting issue. Happily, the rest of the bodice muslin looked fine, so I cut my fabric, cranked up the music, and started assembling the dress.

Oh, the fabric, by the way. Isn’t it AMAZING!? It was a (super sweet and incredibly thoughtful!)gift from my homegirl Erin of Miss Crayola Creepy. She bought a bunch of this stuff at the LA Garment District, apparently it’s ~Prada~ ooohhh!! Don’t worry, she kept some of it for herself – you can see what she made with it here. I’ve been sitting on this fabric for foreeeeever, just waiting for the perfect pattern to come up. With the marriage of the Elisalex and the dreamy Prada floral twill, I thought I had it made. I HAD IT MADE.

Elisalex Dress

But you know what? That tulip skirt, as beautiful as it is – it really sucks with this drapey, stretchy fabric. Ask me how I know. Wait, no, I’ll tell you. It droops and sags and it looks like a shit sack made out of beautiful fabric. There’s a reason they tell you to use a weighty fabric to make this dress – the skirt needs the structure for those beautiful pleats. I had done goofed, again. Sooooo I threw the bodice on my dressform and gave up for about a month. Womp womp.

Elisalex Dress
I finally pulled the UFO off my dressform last week and decided it was time to asses the situation – normally, I’d throw in the towel at this point, but considering both the fabric and the pattern were given to me with wonderful intentions, I thought it was pretty shitty to just toss them out. So I made it work. I scrapped the droopy skirt and traded it for a circle skirt – I had to shorten it a little to get it to fit on the rest of my fabric, but it works! I sewed some 2″ horsehair braid at the hem to give it some lift and combat any potential droopiness. And then I spent like 3 days handsewing the the lining and hem, bc, FUCK, there is a lot of handsewing involved.

Elisalex Dress
It was worth it, I think :)

Elisalex Dress
The finished size ended up being a 6 at the hips/shoulders, grading out to an 8 at the bust. I didn’t bother with a FBA, I think the fit is fine. In the future, I need to lengthen the bodice as it is a bit short on me and hits at a kind of frumpy place… hence the belt.

Elisalex Dress
The back is my favorite part! Love love LOVE that V detail- so pretty!

Elisalex Dress
Here it is without the belt. See what I mean about it being a hair short? It kind of makes me look like a box. A beautiful autumn box (perhaps full of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, mm)

Elisalex Dress
I added a little bit of trim around the neckline and the sleeves as well, to help break up the pattern a bit.

Elisalex Dress
Oh, and I subbed out the exposed zip in favor of an invisible one! Mostly because I really wanted to try out my new Bernina invisible zipper foot :) This fabric did NOT like that invisible zipper – it bunched up soo bad, and I had to rip it out several times. The mess you see right now was the best attempt I managed, haha!

Elisalex Dress
LOVE ME A GOOD CIRCLE SKIRT.

Elisalex Dress

Elisalex Dress
Neon yellow Bemberg rayon lining, courtesy of my remnant hoarding :)

This dress is quite comfortable and well-suited for those of us who like to be a bit active, see:
Elisalex Dress
Great for kicking at the cat when she tries to get in the picture frame

Elisalex Dress
Trying to pull the cat out from under the desk because you know she’s totally giving the camera the evil eye and could quite possibly be scaring small children

Elisalex Dress
WHAT’S THE MATTER, Y U NO WANT CUDDLEZ

Elisalex Dress
Aw, so sweet!

Elisalex Dress
Nope, nevermind.

In closing: Elisalex is a YAY, just make sure you muslin that baby out first if you are prone to hunchbackness :) And yes, I have plans for that Charlotte skirt! Just you wait and see!

Completed: The Film Noir Coppélia

8 Jan

Okkkk, I wouldn’t normally post the exact same fucking thing almost twice in a row (only broken up by the La Sylphide On A Dude Ranch), but I feel like I owe it to this pattern to show y’all that it also totally rocks in a neutral/solid fabric. Like a gorgeous little backdrop in wooly wrapped goodness.

Film Noir Coppélia
Again, this is the Coppélia pattern – this time sewn up in a dreamy, drapey wool knit. I’m not sure exactly what this fabric is; I bought it at the giant fabric sale last week and the bolt said it was a wool blend. My burn test seemed to indicate that it was pure wool – or at least blended with something natural, as the ash was not that sticky hard horrid bead of death that you usually get when you burn polyester. At any rate, it’s warm and snuggly and soft, and the texture almost looks like gauze when you hold it up to the light. Pretty!

Film Noir Coppélia
Also, let the record show that my wool version was birthed because Katie said she was making a bunch of these in merino knits and I got jealous and decided to copy her. SORRY NOT SORRY.

Film Noir Coppélia
Can someone explain to me why it is so difficult to find wool knits in the first place, though? Especially in not-neutral colors. What I reeeeally wanted was the emerald green wool jersey I found at Textile a couple of months ago (and not because emerald is the new ~color of the year~, but more so because I look bomb ass in emerald, trufax), but it was $30 a yard and I was holding out for the 40% sale, except it sold out at some point between those dates and now I am a sad person and SOMEONE FIND ME JEWEL COLORS OF WOOL JERSEY PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Film Noir Coppélia
Black is good, though. I feel like such a lady.

Film Noir Coppélia
At least black goes with everything… including my Giant Plaid Circle Skirt. You dig?

Film Noir Coppélia
I tried to take motion pictures to show the no-gape in all it’s glory, but my hair was in the way for most of them. Here is… something.

Film Noir Coppélia
This one fits a little different than the Disco Queen version… mostly because the fabric is much stretchier. I really like it; it’s very comfortable and slouchy without actually being sloppy. Look at how much longer the ties are when they stretch!

In other COMPLETELY RANDUMB news, Andrew WK hollered at me via Twitter last night:
WHAT THE FUUUUCK omg omg omg
UMMMM WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK THIS IS SO AWESOME HOLY SHIT.

In celebration, I give you this gif of me being excited out of thin air:
gif
OMG SO EXCITE

Completed: La Sylphide, Dude-Style

4 Jan

Ok, I actually finished this *before* the Coppélia, making this top the very last thing I sewed for 2012 (finishing up on 12/30, no less!). I hate posting stuff out of order because I’m weird like that, but it is what it is!

Anyway, here she is – the La Sylphide, another sweet gem that Katie from Papercut Patterns sent me. I’m not sorry if I’m coming off as a bit of obsessed – I think this pattern line may be my new fave for 2013! Yay!

La Sylphide
As you can see, my version is quite a bit different from the pattern cover – I really dude’d this one up with the plaid and pearl snaps. Yeehaw!!

La Sylphide
This is technically a wearable muslin – I wanted to test the fit before I made my ~real~ version, hence why it’s a top instead of a dress. And if you think I’m wack for making a muslin with plaid… I guess I am kind of wack. But the shirt turned out really awesome, so no complaints here!

La Sylphide
Size-wise, I cut the XS. The ONLY alteration I made was to suck in the center back by 1″. Again, this is a pretty typical alteration for me as I have a small back (I wear a 32 or 30 bra band, fyi). Everything else fit perfectly! So happy!

La Sylphide
The pattern calls for a floaty/drapey fabric, which is what the samples are sewn with. They are totally lovely – and totally what I want to make my future dress with – but I’m actually really happy with how this cotton/poly plaid ended up looking with the pattern. It doesn’t have as much body as say, quilting cotton, but you can see there’s not a lot of drape to my top. It has a nice structure that really makes the peplum stand out. And the bow! I love how crisp the bow is in this fabric!

La Sylphide
Sorry this picture is blurry. You can see my center back seam here. Well, sort of.

La Sylphide
I’m pleased to report that the plaids matched up pretty well here. I probably could have done a better job with the peplum at the center front – but I was running low on fabrics, and I guess this is acceptable for a wearable muslin. I also think this would look much better with the tie cut on the bias, but again, low fabrics means we make do with what we have.

La Sylphide
I am going to change my name to the Plaid Boss. Because, FUCK, I love plaid.

La Sylphide
Don’t worry – the stuff under the bow matches too :)

La Sylphide
I decided to go with pearl snaps instead of buttons for this guy. I was eager to try out the buttonholer of my new machine, but I also really love using hammers on my sewing projects. Plus, pearl snaps just really fit with this style of shirt, you know? The original pattern calls for 4 buttons on the top, but I was getting too much gape so I added a few more. I am also fully aware that the snaps are on the wrong sides. I thought I was being sneaky and clever by checking Landon’s shirts and doing my snaps the opposite way, but I forgot that pearl snaps are the opposite of buttons, so I ended up with a double negative button situation. Oops.

La Sylphide
I love the way the sleeves are sewn here – there is light interfacing at the bottom, which with the top stitching makes a little built-in cuff. The sleeves are attached to the bodice in the flat, and then the side seams are sewn up after. It makes easing everything in much quicker!

La Sylphide
Also, I’m sorry for the weird wrinkles. I took these pictures after a full day of wear, so the peplum is a little squashed at the back.

La Sylphide
Pearl snaps are awesome because at the end of the day you get to rip your shirt off and pretend like you are the Hulk.

La Sylphide
As a side note, did you notice my cute little tights!? DID YOU??

Tights!!:D
Rain and lightning! Aren’t they the cutest!? I love that the lightning cloud looks like the TCB bolt hahaha.
My friend Victoria just opened a Galaxy Cauldron Tights and she sent me a couple of pairs to try out. These are the Stormy Skies. I was pleasantly surprised at how thick they are – not as thin as those cheap $5 ones from Target (which was what I was expecting, tbh). There’s a bit of heft to them, and the design is my favorite thing ever right now. I guess you could also wear the print at the back, like calf tattoos, but I like them on the front. They make me so happy! I thought y’all would like them too :)

La Sylphide
I guess that’s it! I’m fully infatuated with Papercut Patterns at this point and I can’t wait to make the full dress of this (and maybe some more plaid peplum tops, because of reasons).

BIG HUGE EXCITING NEWS OMG

3 Jan

GUESSWHATGUESSWHATGUESSWHATGUESSWHATGUESSWHAT

No…. I’m not engaged, I’m not expecting, and I definitely did not buy another sewing machine

Layout 1
THIS BITCH JUST GOT ADDED TO THE MOOD SEWING NETWORK, AWWW YEAAAH!!!

boss

To say that I am excited beyond recognition (not to mention incredibly flattered to even be associated with the other 8 ladiez involved) is a massive understatement. To be frank, I’ve done a very terrible job of holding in my shouts of joy and I’m quite surprised I haven’t shat my pants in anticipation. I’m sure it’s coming eventually, just wait for it.

I know most of y’all are fully aware of all the goodies that come with being a ‘network blogger (omgomg), but just a quick runthrough for the handful of people who have been hiding under a rock for a few months:
– There are nine bloggers total, covering a broad range of experience and personal style. I’m #9 (yay!), and the other 8 amazing ladies are Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing, Diary of a Sewing Fanatic, Erica B.’s DIY Style, Ginger Makes, Goodbye Valentino, Miss Celie’s Pants, Oonaballona, and Sew Well. If you are unfamiliar with any of these blogs – get clickin’! For reals!
– Mood gives me a small monthly fabric allowance to make whatever I want, out of whatever I want.
– I do not receive any other compensation (because, realtalk: fabric is compensation enough AMIRITE).

I’ve been a lover of the ‘Mood since I first discovered their website a couple years ago in search of horsehair crinoline. To have the opportunity to work with them – and their awesome fabrics – and be tied in with the fabulous other bloggers that are also on the network – what an honor! And what an awesome way to kick of 2013 :) So many thank you’s are in order: Thank You to Mood for giving me what is essentially a sewer’s DREAM, Thank You to all the Mood Sewing Network bloggers who suggested me when the opportunity came up, and THANK YOU to everyone who reads this blog – this shit totally wouldn’t have happened without y’all. I’m so grateful, and I only hope I can fulfill everyone’s expectations!

I know, I know… my picture isn’t on the site yet. I’ll be ~officially~ added when my first post is published. Which should be soon- I spent the majority of my Christmas break working on it, and it’s pretty fabulous if I do say so myself :) But anyway, Meg gave me the go-ahead to make my announcement, sooo… let’s celebrate! Party!

Andrew WK Party Hard

Andrew WK party

Andrew WK Time To Party

Completed: the Coppélia Cardy

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the holidays left y’all with plenty of relaxation, time with friends, wonderful gifts, and of course… alcohol. Can’t forget the alcohol ;) So sad, January 2nd is now upon us so I guess it’s time to revisit the Real World, take down my Christmas tree, and dive back into my nine to five job. Wah!

I’m going to kick this year off with the very first thing I made in 2013- the Coppélia from Papercut Patterns
Coppélia Cardy
YUM. That’s my short-list review of this cardy, if you must know.

Santa (or maybe Jesus?) must have been following my wishlist something fierce, because Katie generously sent me this pattern (along with the La Sylphide and DON’T YOU WORRY, because I have words for that one too!!). My experience with Papercut Patterns is brand-spankin’ new – I’ve long admired the sweet styles that are offered, and the delightful packaging that the patterns are wrapped up in. And you know what? I was NOT disappointed with the actual pattern – or the finished garment. I could wax poetic about this wrap all day, but I’m going to stop because I don’t want to make anyone sick. Just know that when it comes to Papercut Patterns, the answer should always be yes.

Coppélia Cardy
I know my fabric choice here is a little… different. Haha! Honestly, I’ve actually had a hard time lately pulling myself away from the looks that I see outlined on the pattern envelopes. For some reason, this isn’t too much of an issue with Colette Patterns, but something about the photography with these particular patterns just makes me want to wrap myself in pastel chiffons and roll around in a field of wildflowers. Except it’s winter here (ooh 40* brr! DON’T JUDGE ME) and I look like shit in pastels. Anyway, every time I thought about my future lover Coppélia, I envisioned her in white. Realizing that I need to make a wearable muslin for this top (since I’m unfamiliar with how these patterns are drafted), and then realizing that I had a very large yardage of this god-awful zigzaggy sheer polyester monstrosity that’s been sitting my stash for at least 3 years… Coppélia The Disco Queen was born. And OMFG I KIND OF LIKE HER.

Coppélia Cardy
The fabric is kind of uncomfortable, though. What can I say? It’s a very heavy, very cheap polyester that I bought from $1/yard table at Walmart. And it’s totally sheer. But it works, somehow.

Coppélia Cardy
The size XS fit me *almost* perfectly straight out of the envelope. I had to pull a good 1″ chunk out of the center back – which, I’d already cut my pieces, so the back now has a seam – but I have a fairly small back/ribcage, so this does not surprise me. I also tapered the sleeves down to an XXS as they were a bit baggier than I prefer. In the future, I will shorten the sleeves as well – they’re a bit long (I folded the cuffs back so it’s not noticeable on this top). All in all, the fit is pretty nice, though!
Also, I have no idea what I’m doing in the above picture. Sniffing my armpit, I guess?

Coppélia Cardy
I love how cozy and snuggly this top turned out! I can only imagine how much I’ll love it in a nicer fabric – especially something with a bit more drape. This is an actual wrap top – which means when I untie the ties, the whole thing opens up in the front like a cardigan (i.e., not a mock wrap!). Surprisingly, the gape factor here is pretty much nonexistent. I spent all day in this shirt and never once worried about exposing more than I intended. Yay!

Coppélia Cardy
If you’re wondering how I already made a top this year and we’re only 2 days in – it was a SUPER fast make! I used my serger to sew most everything (except a small bit of topstitching along the bottom hem for the band), and I think my total sewing time came in around 45 minutes. I didn’t stay out late on NYE – I’m an old lady when it comes to my bedtime, I was out by 10:30PM! – so I was up by 10AM, had a leisurely breakfast and quickie sewing sesh, then made it to Gallatin to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens with my parents by 1PM :) Yay for New Years!

Coppélia Cardy
The pattern instructions are great – they are brief and to the point, without a lot of unnecessary hand-holding (although they are not so brief that a knit n00b would have no idea what is going on). Same with the pattern markings – there are notches to match the pieces, but not a metric shit-ton. This is perfectly fine and dandy with me. I don’t need a bunch of notches to match up a sleeve seam, you know? Just tell me how to get it on the bodice, I think I can figure it out from there!

Coppélia Cardy
I also really love the construction method for this top – it was very straightforward and intuitive, very very similar to how to like to sew my knits. So maybe I’m just a little biased haha ;)

Coppélia Cardy
Here’s a good look at the sheerness of the fabric – the zigzags are solid on top of a knit mesh (that’s my hand behind it). It’s not so noticeable on this top, especially since I am wearing a nude bra, but it would definitely show in something like a dress. Hence why I had so much yardage and never did anything with it – the fabric is heavy enough on it’s own, and adding an underlining just makes it even worse. So I’m glad I figured out a use for it :)

Coppélia Cardy
I definitely plan on making more of these – I actually skipped my lunch break today to take advantage of the semi-annual sale at Textile Fabrics (which, if you live in Nashville: GO. 40% off everything, yo!). I only let myself buy knits, but I got some awesome stuff – stripes, silky drapey rayon, and a lovely woolish sweater knit that is turning into Film Noir Coppélia STAT. Which I’m hoping will be easier to match with bottoms :) Haha!

Hopefully a first successful sewing project means all of 2013 will be successful sewing projects too! HAHA ok, maybe that’s a little optimistic – but optimism is good, yeah?

Happy 2013, y’all!

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