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Completed: Polka Dot Denim Hollyburn Skirt

23 Mar

Hey y’all! I just got back from a fabulous weekend in New York – in addition to teaching a very successful Weekend Pants-Making Intensive at WORKROOM SOCIAL (seriously, my students were total rockstars and sooo much fun to chat and hang out with!), I also managed to take in a pretty good fabric haul. It was a very fun, very delicious weekend in the city, but I gotta say – I’m so happy to be home, back in the lovely 75* weather. Oh, Tennessee, how I have missed you! Today, we celebrate with my new favorite skirt, which is perfect for wearing with bare legs. Yay, no tights!

Denim Hollyburn skirt

I figured it was time to revisit the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt, so here she is! I’ll confess that I actually finished this skirt a few weeks ago, but I haven’t actually worn it until the same day these photos were taken. It’s just been too dang cold here to wear skirts with bare legs, and I was bound and determined to wear the skirt without tights. Now that the season of bare legs is starting to creep in (watch, I bet I just jinxed it with that announcement), imma wear dis shit with PRIDE and JOY.

Also, you’ll notice in about half these pictures that the sun was sooo bright, I could barely hold my eyes open. Ain’t complaining.

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Anyway, right, Hollyburn! I love this pattern so so much (see previous versions: one and two), so naturally I had to make a new version for 2015. This skirt pattern is probably my favorite, at least for right now – nice flared shape (without being so flared that it looks costumey), separate waistband with belt loops, back zip, and those wonderful pockets. I think it’s a great, solid wardrobe basic, so it made sense to add a couple more to my summer wardrobe.

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Denim Hollyburn skirt

For this version, I changed up just a couple minor things – just enough to warrant a whole blog post about it (JK I’d post about this anyway because IT’S MY BLOG AND I DO WHAT I WANT lolz). The fabric I used is a medium weight stretch denim that is printed with thousands of tiny polka dots – if it looks familiar, it’s because I made a pair of Jamie jeans with it. I LOVE putting my leftover yardages to good use, and I really really loved this fabric, so double win! Since the fabric is a stretch denim, I changed up the cutting layout just a little and cut the waistband so the stretch ran the entire long length (aka, around my body when I’m wearing it). The waistband needs to be interfaced, so I used a fusible tricot interfacing, which gave the waistband a little bit of structure but didn’t compromise the stretch.

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Also, I wanted this spotted baby to be pretty short, so I cut a few inches off the length. Yeah buddy!

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Good thing I don’t work in an office anymore, because I could not see this length (or lack thereof) being suitable for work! Ha! But isn’t it cute? The structure of the fabric really works well with the shape, which is extra exaggerated the shorter it gets.

There’s not much else to say about this skirt, so have some flat shots:

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Denim Hollyburn skirt

Construction was plain and straight forward – all seams were serged and pressed open, and there’s a bit of topstitching at the hem and waistband (not that you can really see it against this fabric, but, know it’s there). And, I gotta say, I’m super pleased with how nicely that invisible zipper went in. Look at that beautiful seam match and the sharp corners at the top!

Denim Hollyburn skirt

I’ve been meaning to remake a new denim skirt for AGES (sadly, my Kelly and Hummingbird are both way too big at this point, and have thus been passed on to eager friends with grabby hands), as it’s a good wardrobe basic to have that goes with pretty much everything. Actually, prepare for me to sound like a broken record for the next few months because that’s where a lot of my sewing is headed – no, not more denim skirts, just more wearable basics to replace the pieces I had that don’t fit anymore and/or are due to retire. And maybe more denim skirts. I can’t make any promises here. I actually just bought a great yellow denim at Mood this past weekend, so you can at least expect a sunshine Hollyburn in the future ;) yay for summer clothes and summer colors!

Oh, and in case you were wondering – my Merchant and Mills tshirt is from Uniqlo! You’ve no doubt already seen these aaaaall over Instagram, but I thought I’d point it out because we don’t have a store here and I didn’t even realize you could buy that shit online. You can see the entire collection of available goods here – and, ugh, now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t see those tote bags! Oh well! I bought 2 tshirts – which, considering that I don’t buy new clothes anymore (except for underwear, and a new pair of jeans in both 2013 & 2014), is a bit of a big step for me. I feel very strongly about fast fashion and knowing where my clothes come from and aaall that good stuff, however, I also tend to see things as very black and white with no grey area and I’m trying to get past that mental hurdle. Sometimes, you just gotta choose your battles and know when to compromise. Two little tshirts don’t make me a terrible consumer, especially since it’s not like I plan on dumping these when the season ends. For the most part, I try to shop locally and ethically, and be aware of where my food and goods come from. But every now and then, you just want to buy something mass produced from China. At the very least, at least it’s supporting (or advertising) Merchant and Mills, I guess, which makes me feel a bit better.

Anyway, that’s about it! I’ll be packing and moving for the rest of the week, and hopefully by this time next week I’ll be settling into my new house IN THE WOODS. Cannot wait! :D

Completed: the Colette Myrtle Knit Dress

17 Mar

I am so excited that today’s post doesn’t involve sleeves or pants.

Myrtle knit dress

It does, however, involve a navy striped knit fabric. Sorry! Don’t fall asleep on your keyboard! Landon already told me I’m not allowed to buy anymore navy striped knit fabric haha. I guess we all have a type, and I have just announced mine to the internet.

Myrtle knit dress

This is the Myrtle from Colette patterns, a knit dress with a cowl neckline and an elasticized waist. You guys, I’m going to be straight up front and honest with you – I apparently bought this pattern, and then somehow COMPLETELY forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when I was digging through my pattern stash in search of another pattern. So I’m a little late on the bandwagon with this one, however, it’s probably ok timing on my end since I don’t think this sleeveless style would have gotten much wear over the winter!

Anyway, discovering the pattern and then realizing that I had the perfect knit patiently waiting to be sewn up, meant that this project skipped straight to the top of the queue and everything else had to wait. Ha ha!

Myrtle knit dress

My past few experiences with Colette patterns have resulted in some questionable fitting (I think I’m about sized out of their patterns – at least the knits. Wah!), so I made a muslin of the bodice before I got to sewing my fabric. This ended up being a really good idea, because the bodice was all kinds of wrong on me! I knew the bust would be big – the finished measurements for the size 0 are still about 4″ bigger than my bust, and while I know a little bit of positive ease is good with this style, that seemed like too much to me. In the end, everything about the top portion of the dress was just toooooo big and not at all proportional to my body. The arm holes were also really low – like, you could see at least half of my bra band when I stood to the side.

I ended up shortening the shoulders by more than 1″ (I start with a 1/2″ adjustment by slashing the pattern about halfway across the armsyce, to shorten the depth, but that ended up being not enough so I took the rest out of the actual shoulders after the dress was sewn up. Hence why I can’t give you an exact measurement for that adjustment) and taking in the bust by about 1/2″ on either side. I didn’t make any adjustments to the waist – it needs to be a little big so you can add the elastic – but the bust needed to be somewhat tighter or else the entire world was gon’ get a side peep show. As it stands now, I think the bust could still be sized down more, but I didn’t want to overfit the dress so I left it as is.

Myrtle knit dress

The dress has a clever assembly – the front is self-lined (so you don’t see any ugly wrong side in the folds of the cowl) and the front arm holes are finished with all raw edges inside the lining. The back neck and arm holes are finished with a simple turned under hem – in my case, with the twin needle. The elastic has a channel sewn, and then wide elastic is inserted and topstitched down. This was the hardest part of making the dress – I found it a bit fiddly, and as a result, my stitches at the waist aren’t exactly straight (but, I mean, who’s looking? Right? RIGHT?). I think it might be easier to just feed the elastic through the channel once both sides are sewn down. There are supposed to be pockets, but I left those off bc I hate pockets in knit dresses (and freedom, too, apparently). There is a whole sewalong dedicated to this pattern if you are interested in seeing the construction, btw. It’s hosted by Devon, aka my favorite Disney Princess.

Myrtle knit dress

Even with the fitting adjustments, the muslin, and the manhandled elastic – this dress came together very quickly! Its a very easy make (4 pieces, not including the pockets) and I just zipped it all through my serger and used the aforementioned twin needle for all the turned hems. It’s also insanely comfortable, and I think the looser/breezy fit is going to be my gold standard with the blazes of Hell start blasting through Tennessee this summer.

Myrtle knit dress

I really love this fabric, especially with how the stripes look on the cowl! The knit is a Ralph Lauren ~dazzling blue~ striped viscose jersey (their words, not mine) from Mood Fabrics’ website. It’s a nice, slinky 2 way stretch knit with a gorgeous drape that feels wonderful to wear. Definitely bought this without any idea in mind of what I’d do with it, but I think I found a good match :)

I seem to have no pictures of this dress without the belt (I could have sworn I took some on the dressform, but they are gone. Or else they never happened, which is likely the case here), but here’s an shot I posted on Instagram last week. I think the encased elastic is a pretty touch (you will never EVER hear me say that again, by the way), but on this dress + stripes + lose bodice with cowl neck…. just didn’t look right on me. Hence why it’s covered with a belt. I’m still not completely convinced that this dress is very flattering on me, but, I like the fabric and it’s super comfy, so it stays.

Myrtle knit dress

Front bodice with self-lining.

Myrtle knit dress

Enclosed elastic on the inside. The elastic casing is created with a zigzag stitch, per the pattern instructions.

Myrtle knit dress

Anyway, I think it’s pretty cute! I like it with the yellow belt, and it also looks good with my tall brown boots and a cardigan (which is how I wore it last week). The only thing to keep in mind with this pattern is that it is NOT bend-over friendly. No photo evidence to be found here, but just trust me… leaning over is the best way to give the nearest stranger an eyeful. I haven’t found a way to rectify that (some of my other cowls can be pinned to my bra cup, or even have a little piece of elastic or a weight to hold it down, but the design of this cowl doesn’t allow for that), but I thought I’d point it out. One thing I might add later down the line is some little bra strap holders at the shoulders.

SO happy we finally had a warm week here! It’s been pushing over 70 the past couple of days, with loads of sunshine, and it just feels *amazing* outside. The season of bare legs is upon us, at least for this week! Kind of a bummer that I’m going to leave all this to go to cold ol’ NY this weekend (I classify everything under 70*F as “frigid” just fyi), but I’m pretty excited for this class this weekend! Plus, fabric shopping. Can’t visit NY without coming home with a suitcase full of pretty new fabrics, amirite ;)

Completed: The Francoise Dress

11 Mar

Y’ALL. It’s like, practically spring here. After our freak ice and snow storm last week (which was the SECOND one we had this year – never happens! The last big ice storm we had was 20 years ago), the sunshine came back with a vengeance and obliterated the piles of snow (ok, 3″ here. THAT IS A LOT FOR NASHVILLE, OK!) within a couple of days. Thanks to the combination of 60* afternoons and the return of Daylight Savings Time, it’s really starting to feel super good here. Yay for spring!

So, with all that being said – I give you my first official warm-weather make of 2015! Hey, Francoise, how you doin’?

Francoise Dress

Francoise is Tilly’s newest pattern release, and by “new” I mean it’s been around since November. Which is exactly how long I’ve been meaning to make it up. I got my hands on the pattern when I was in London (full disclosure – Tilly gave it to me when we met up and waved her hand when I offered to pay for it. It wasn’t given to me in exchange for a posted review or anything, but, I thought I’d point that out regardless! I know some people feel that a review can be biased if the reviewer didn’t personally pay for the pattern), I made a muslin while I was there, and I looked for my ~perfect~ Francoise fabric on every fabric shopping trip we made. The truth is, I was stunted on fabric choice, so the pattern had to wait while I figured my shit out.

Francoise Dress

Anyway, I think the fabric I ended up with was a pretty PERFECT match, amirite? This gorgeous purple and pink floral cotton sateen is from Mood Fabrics, and it combined with the Francoise is basically a perfect marriage. The small amount of stretch and crisp drape make it perfect for the pattern, and the simple shape and exaggerated flare make the pattern perfect for the fabric. I love it when this shit happens!

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

I made the size 1, based on the finished measurements. The only minor change I made was to take a slightly wider seam allowance at the top of the invisible zipper, just because it was gaping a little. I also removed about 3/4″ from the hem length. I’m 5’2″, so taller ladies may want to consider adding some length because it’s a pretty short skirt!

Francoise Dress

Cotton sateen is REALLY easy to work with – like, beginner-level easy (it doesn’t shift, doesn’t fray, presses well, etc) – so construction was super straightforward. You really just need a fresh needle and a hot iron to coax this fabric into submission. I finished all my seams with my serger, and topstitched the neckline, arm holes and hem. The neckline is finished with a facing, and the arm holes are finished with self bias facing. Both of these are covered in the pattern. I followed the pattern directions as they were written for the bias facing on the arm holes, and while they’re great – I prefer my method, as I think it’s a little easier/fool-proof.

Also, looking at that back view just made me realize that the two back prints are mirrored. HAHAHA uhh… oh, look, there’s a rouge thread, too. GOD, I need to get my shit together. Ok, moving on!

Francoise Dress

Because my print is all crazy awesome and takes all the attention, here’s a close-up of the design elements of the dress that actually make is super cute. I love the raglan seams, and the French darts are so pretty! Also – can we talk about how the floral pattern on the fabric looks like watercolors? YUM.

Francoise Dress

Now here is the dress without me or a belt. I will be honest – when I finally finished everything and put it on, I wasn’t crazy about how it looked at me. I think part of it is the color palette (I LOVE that freaking fabric, but I feel like I look like an ass every time I wear pink or purple. It’s not because of my hair color clashing or whatever. I’ve felt that way about pink and purple for a couple years now) and part of it is the fact that the dress doesn’t have a waist seam. I don’t know why, but I feel like a smooth shape with no waist seam doesn’t look right on me (is that weird?). Once I added black tights and a thin belt, I really started to see the cute factor in this dress. I think the black also tones down the overwhelming girly colors, and I like that too. Ideally, I would have loved to put a black collar on the dress, but I didn’t have any black fabric on hand. Maybe in the future I can make a detachable one, idk.

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

Believe it or not, I didn’t buy that zipper for this dress. No, I just *happened* to have a perfectly-matched lavender invisible zipper in my stash. Again, I don’t really wear purple (and especially not lavender), so I have no idea how that happened, but I’ve had it for a few years now. Glad I finally put that shit to good use lolol

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

Francoise Dress

That’s all for now! Let’s just cross our fingers that I didn’t inadvertently welcome another fucking 6 weeks of winter by announcing spring’s impending arrival. I did that a lot last year and it was way lame.

Francoise Dress

** Note: All fabrics for this project were provided to me in exchange for a review post as per my involvement with the Mood Sewing Network.

Completed: Organic Cotton Jeggings

9 Mar

Good morning, friends! I hope this post finds you well – I have missed all of you! If you missed out on the drama last week (and/or were wondering why I suddenly fell silent and my website went poof into the night), I had a bit of an issue with an expired domain and transferring it back into my name. You can read the boring backstory about it in this post, but basically – everything should be fixed and up and running. If you’re still having problems getting to the site (I was until last night, thanks to my internet provider), try clearing your cache and cookies and see if that helps. Sorry for all the dramz! Shit should be back to normal from here on out!

Anyway, enough of that boring internet talk – let’s talk about why we’re all here! Sewing and fabric and actual fun happy stuff, yeah!

Ginger Jeggings

For this week’s project, I bring you: Jeggings. I’m not sure if this means I’ve cracked some kind of sewing power code with all the ridiculously normal/boring things I’ve made at this point, or if it means I’ve hit rock bottom (I mean, we are talking about the ultimate comfort clothing here. I am not above making fun of jeggings, just so we’re clear). You tell me. What I can tell you is that these are INSANELY comfortable and now I kind of get the hype.

Ginger Jeggings

I’m not really much of a comfort-clothes seeker/wearer – I’m ok with being a little pulled in for the sake of looking nice when I’m out in public. That being said, it’s not a very interesting story as to how I came about obtaining a pair of the ultimate comfort/secret pajama clothes. It started out as a fabric review for Organic Cotton Plus. I was prowling around on their website, looking for something to pick as my next project, when I came across their organic knit denim. The fact that it’s called “knit denim” should have raised some sort of warning flag, but I didn’t even notice it – I just saw denim and immediately got starry-eyed. I’m always on the lookout for a good denim source, and this sounded too good to be true. Organic cotton denim with 5% lycra? GET ON MY BODY. I submitted my order and anxiously waited for my shipment.

Ginger Jeggings

The spoiler here is that this definitely is not denim – not in the true sense of what you get when you buy a pair of jeans. It’s definitely a knit fabric – a very thick, stable ponte-ish type of fabric that looks exactly like denim. It’s the right color and has that twill weave look. It thick and squishy with a good, firm stretch. It’s like a marriage of a tshirt and a pair of jeans. I don’t really understand it, but I’m not going to argue with it. At any rate, I had a yard of this stuff and I realized I needed to make something with it. And that’s where jeggings came in. I wanted to see if I could actually make a pair of jeggings. I did, and now y’all get to see how they turned out.

First things first, I realize that these don’t technically classify as actual jeggings. The material does – it’s more of a knit than a denim, it’s very stretchy and it has a lot of spandex in it. However, these are constructed like an actual pair of jeans. They have working pockets (both front and back), they have an actual zip fly, and there is no elastic in the waistband. The only part about these things that makes them even remotely jeggings-like is the fabric they’re made from. However, I’m going to keep calling them jeggings because – well, I made them, and I get to call the shots. Them’s the rules.

Ginger Jeggings

When I was planning these out (after receiving the fabric, but before cutting into it), I debated on whether to make these into jeans-looking pants – aka, true jeggings, with the pockets and fly simply suggested by lines of topstitching. I thought it would be interesting to see how the fabric works when it’s treated like a woven, so I decided to use an actual jeans pattern and follow it the same way I would if I was making these out of denim. I used the Ginger Jeans pattern and basically did not make any changes for the fabric. The size is the same size I used for my woven denim and stretch twill jeans, and all finishing and topstitching uses the same methods as those pairs do. The only difference is that I didn’t flat-fell any of my seams – I figured it was enough that I was making these out of stretch material, so I just serged and topstitched (like you would with leggings). I’m surprised at how well they fit, although I think the legs could be a little tighter around the ankle. Also – they turned out surprisingly long, due to the 4 way stretch. I actually cut 3″ off the pattern legs before cutting (that was the ONLY way I could make these out of a yard of fabric – short inseam!), which should make them the correct length – but they magically grew, and now they’re too long. I’ve cuffed them for now, because I want to wash them a couple more times and eliminate any additional shrinking before I re-hem them.

Ginger Jeggings

Making these was really fun, and surprisingly quick! Like I said, I made them the same way you’d make a pair of jeans, except I didn’t flat-fell any of the seams. Everything was sewn on my sewing machine with a stretch needle and the edges were finished with my serger. For the topstitching, I used a triple stitch (thanks to Emmie for showing me the stitch on my Bernina – I guess this means I should probably read the manual more often, ha!), which makes a nice defined topstitch that also stretches quite a bit. The waistband is interfaced with my favorite stretch interfacing (seriously – this stuff is AWESOME), which gives it enough structure to look nice, but doesn’t sacrifice any of that comfy stretch. There is an actual zipper and button installed, however, I did leave off the rivets.

Ginger Jeggings

Ginger Jeggings

Basically, these look & wear like jeans – BUT THEY FEEL LIKE PAJAMAS. If that doesn’t blow your mind with amazement, then I give up.

Ginger Jeggings

Sorry ’bout that VPL, story of my life. I do think the pockets are a bit low, which is likely due to the 4 way stretch. I don’t care enough to remove them and raise them, so it’s whatever.

Ginger Jeggings

Ginger Jeggings

Here are some gut close-ups so you can better see what I was working with. The material really looks like denim! Everything handled pretty well, except attaching the belt loops did get a little difficult at the end, just because there were soo many layers (I ended up hammering them as flat as I could, which helped a little. Still broke a couple of needles in the process, argh.). All the topstitching was done with a single needle and a single piece of thread, sewn with the triple stitch. I used lemon yellow cotton thread, also from Organic Cotton Plus, which was nice and thick and worked out quite well with the triple stitch. It looks more gold than neon yellow when it’s against the dark indigo, which I really like.

Ginger Jeggings

Proof that there’s actually a zipper in there! The zipper is also from Organic Cotton Plus; it’s just a heavy brass jeans YKK zipper, but it works really nicely with this pattern. The 6″ length was just barely long enough for the high-waisted version of this pattern; I ended up cutting about 1/2″ off in excess when all was said and done. The pocket lining is just some stretch cotton sateen I had in my stash. I wanted to use something with a stretch, so it wouldn’t fight against the stretch of the exterior fabric.

Ginger Jeggings

And here’s the back! Mock-flat felled seams (just serged and topstitched) and patch pockets! I had to cut the waistband in pieces, because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it on the fold – but the seam is covered by the back belt loop, so it can just be our secret, ok.

Ginger Jeggings

So that’s my little sewing experiment! Turns out you *can* make jeans with jegging material – with all the look of jeans, but the comfort of leggings. Love it! And since there are back pockets, I don’t feel as compelled to cover my butt haha. What do you think? Is this a win or just the weirdest garment I’ve ever made? Have you – or do you – wear jeggings? I always made fun of them, but man, can’t deny how comfy they are!!

As a side note – I mentioned this on Instagram yesterday, but it bears mentioning here too. I’m moving soon! I was finally able to get hold of my landlord with the notice and vacate date (they require 60 days, but they’re gonna let us out in 30 days because they love us for being awesome tenants haha), so we’ll be out of this house by the end of March! My best friend/life partner/former roommate just bought a house in the woods in a small town outside of Nashville, and Landon & I will be moving into the lower level as her roommates! The house is cool as shit, the land is AMAZING (did I mention it’s in the woods? Gah I can’t wait to be a hippie and raise chickens in the forest lolol), and I so look forward to living with my two very best friends in one house. Plus – I get a new sewing room! How cool is that? :)

 

** Note: Organic Cotton Plus provided the materials (denim knit, zipper, thread) for this project in exchange for a review. All thoughts and options are my own.

Completed: Cozy Organic Sweatshirt (+ discount code!)

16 Feb

Nothing very exciting on the blog here today, I’m afraid. I spent my Valentine’s Day with whatever cold bug is currently being passed around (and, ugh, I’ve never been so tired in all my life MAKE IT STOP), and I don’t really feel like doing much of anything now, which is a huge bummer because we have been blessed with a pretty awesome snow day this morning (for real, my street is a literal sheet of ice and my gate is frozen shut. Couldn’t leave even if I wanted to). Still, have a small project that I finished before I came down with the Evil.

Undercover Sweatshirt + Ooh La Leggings

Yep, I made a sweatshirt (and ponte Ooh La Leggings, although the post isn’t focused on those. But I did make them, so there’s that!)! How boring! But, you know, when you make everything you wear (and have been doing so for more than a couple of years), you will end up sewing boring staple pieces. For the current me, that means cozy long-sleeved tops that I can wear with pants. This is a big gap in my wardrobe, as past me never wore pants quite as much as current me (probably something to do with the office job that I quit; I had a space heater under my desk! I MISS THAT!), but, it is what it is. And now I need some tops, dammit. The thin jersey ones I have just aren’t cutting it, no matter how many I layer.

I used the Undercover Hood pattern from Papercut Patterns as my base, size XS, just taking in the side seams ever so slightly to make it a little more fitted. I obviously omitted the hood and added a ~self drafted~ neckband (I use the term “self drafted” very loosely, as it’s really just a rectangle… but, whatever.). I also left off the bottom hem band; mainly because I ran out of ribbing, but I think the simple turned under and topstitched hem actually makes this sweatshirt look a little less casual, so that’s a win. I can’t decide if wearing it with a collared shirt (that’s another B5526 underneath, fyi) looks classy, or if that’s just the 80s child in me trying desperately to emerge. Thoughts?

Undercover Sweatshirt + Ooh La Leggings

The main fabric is some lovely brushed sweatshirting fabric from Only Organic, a company based out of France (let me tell you, I felt REALLY cool picking up that box at the post office when it arrive. No, seriously!). I was offered a meter of fabric to try out, and I immediately zeroed in on this stuff because it seemed like the perfect blank canvas to customize for my needs.

You’ll notice that I did no customizing whatsoever. This is a plain, cream-colored sweatshirt we have here. I will admit that I considered adding something to the front – a stenciled phrase, some gold pyramid studs, something – to give it a little more ~pizazz, but I ultimately realized that I’m not really one for wearing graphic tshirts (or sweatshirts), and it seemed kind of stupid to fancy up something just for blogging purposes. So, boring sweatshirt. Sorry, not sorry. At least I know it’s something I’ll actually wear now.

Undercover Sweatshirt + Ooh La Leggings

Anyway, half-asses apologies aside – this is a great marriage of pattern and fabric! I’ve made the Undercover Hood before a few times – but usually with a drapier fabric, and never as a straight up sweatshirt. I like the way this one fits; it’s comfortable and fitted but it’s not skin tight. The fabric is LUXURIOUSLY soft and fleecy – I’m actually wearing it as I type this, and it’s doing a damn fine job of keeping me warm in my cold ass, snowed-in house, so there’s that. I do question whether or not it’s a good idea to wear a white sweatshirt, knowing how clumsy I am – but, eh, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. At least I know it’s dyeable :)

Undercover Sweatshirt + Ooh La Leggings

Undercover Sweatshirt + Ooh La Leggings

You can see the fleecy goodness of the fabric better here. For ribbing, I used some cream ribbing that I had in my stash – it’s not a perfect match, but it’s close enough, and I love the subtle color changes.

Undercover Sweatshirt + Ooh La Leggings

If you’ve managed to stick it to the end of the post, I have a fabric discount code for ya! Use the code “lladybird” for 10% off your order at Only Organic. Like I mentioned, this company is based out of France, so all my organic-lovin’ pals on the other side of the pond – rejoice! Woot woot!

Now, answer me this – I know sweatshirts have recently had their moment in the spotlight for being ~cool~ and ~luxe~, but does a plain white sweatshirt even pretend to portray that or do I look I belong in a Kmart circa 1995? Also, who wants to take bets on how soon I spill coffee down the front of this thing? I’ve worn it three times since completion and at this point, I feel like I’m flirting with disaster.

** Note: I was given 1 meter of the cotton sweatshirt fleece from Only Organic, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bra-Making with Madalynne

9 Feb

As you no doubt already know by now (mostly because I’ve talked about it to death by this point ahaha), I recently spent a long weekend in Philadelphia with Maddie, to help her set up for her bra making workshop – as well as attend the damn thing myself! I was obviously really excited for this adventure – for the hangs, to explore a new city (truth: the only time I’d been to Philly prior was for a one-way flight back to Nashville after helping my friend move to NYC when I was 22. A 14 year old boy hit on me while we were waiting for the plane to take off. I think he was the most traumatized between the two of us, though), and of course, because of boobs. And now you guys get to hear/see a recap! Yay!

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I won’t bore y’all with a full weekend recap – I flew in on Thursday afternoon, and spent nearly the entire time up until Saturday morning with Maddie to help her prepare for the workshop. We ran errands, we prepped handouts and the (adorable) little kits, and helped with getting the machines set up in the space the night before. I was able to sneak away for a few hours with Andrea, who took me to the Mütter Museum (my request – and also this is your head’s up of knowing that Andrea is an amazing sport when it comes to visiting weird places with an almost total stranger haha) and her favorite yarn shop (where I bought sock yarn. It’s red. That’s about all that’s worth knowing :P).

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No, what we are here to discuss is a recap of the workshop! Actually, I don’t think this post warrants too much typing – you can get a good sense of how things went just based by the photos alone (and yes, those were professionally taken. OBVIOUSLY my hands didn’t go anywhere near the camera that weekend, ha!).

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Honestly, the entire day was more of an event and less of a workshop. I knew Maddie had something special planned when we were cahooting about this shit months ago (well, my side of the cahooting was just being a personal cheerleader. I love cheerleading my friends while they are doing amazing things :) ), but I was surprised when I started seeing things coming together. Of course, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised – anyone who’s lurked up Maddie’s blog knows that that woman is all about turning everything around her into beautiful art (y’all should see her condo. I couldn’t even DEAL) – but yeah, it was all lovely. The production for the workshop, as well as all the styling and catering, was handled by The New Old Fashioned, and the event took place in the Love Me Do Photography studio. There was beautiful vintage furniture everywhere, fresh flowers, a never-ending supply of coffee (and later, prosecco. Yay!), a catered lunch, a light breakfast, adorable cakes, a photo booth – even a freaking spot to get your make-up professionally touched up. I’m telling you, this shit was an EVENT. It was amazing and there was obviously a lot of love and attention that went into every detail. Definitely not the kind of half-assed workshop that I’d throw together – but that’s what you get when you are dealing with Maddie. You get something that’s just as beautiful as it is useful.

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To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to learn a whole lot at the workshop itself – I’ve already made a couple of bras at this point, and I have an ok handle on how they come together. I knew I’d be hitting Maddie up for fitting advice outside of the classroom, and I knew that the environment itself would be amazing and fun. I’m happy to report that I was wrong, at least in the subject of “learning new things.” I definitely learned a whole bunch of new tips and trips – a more effective way of cutting the fabric and lace, when to use certain zigzag stitches and widths, a way to beautifully finish the top of the bridge, amongst other things. And duh, of course the class was fun as HELL! I had such a great time meeting everyone, talking boobs, and making bras together. My kind of awesome day!

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(I am sharing this photo because I have no idea why I’m making that expression! At least my hair color doesn’t look like swamp sludge haha)

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Oh yeah – and the food was fucking fantastic!

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Here are some more photos so that you can be good & jealous of our fabulous day. Our take-home goodie bags included those beautiful cookies, a tiny bottle of prosecco (again – yay!) and a fresh bouquet with a handmade medal.

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We also had temporary sewing-themed tattoos – which, by the way, who else thinks Maddie should get a pair of shears tattooed on her neck? Amirite?!

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I was REALLY excited to see that Carolina and Jen were also part of the class! I met both of these ladies last time I was in NY – Jen was one of my students in the Pants Making Intensive at WORKROOM SOCIAL, and Carolina randomly asked me for coffee (which clearly ended up being a match made in heaven – I mean, we make a pretty adorable prom couple). It was great to be able to see both of them – in a completely different city than before, even.

I know that my friendship with Maddie does make me a bit biased, but this workshop was seriously fabulous. I’ve never felt so pampered while in a class – it’s kind of a nice feeling (I might be kind of spoiled now! Ha!)! And, hey, the bra didn’t turn out so bad, either :) Want to see?

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If you recognize the fabric, it’s because I used it before on a Bambi bra; it was originally given to me from Maddie. Let me just say – the kits that we got with this workshop were seriously nice. Everything was included – all the fabric, notions, hardware, even a tiny rotary cutter and a really nice marking pen – and it was all super high quality stuff. I think most of it came from Bra Maker’s Supply – which, if you’ve ever ordered from them before, you know how nice their products area. No cheap plastic sliders or questionable elastic here! I would have found this very helpful had I been making my first bra – it gives you a good idea of what the good-quality stuff feels like, so you know what to shop for (plus, it’s easier to sew!).

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We used the Marlborough pattern for our bras; I brought my own copy (everyone got a copy with their kits) since I already had some fitting tweaks done. The lace we used is really stretchy, so everything is backed with power mesh to make it more stable. It still has more stretch than the duoplex I get from Bra Maker’s Supply, but the resulting bra actually fits pretty nicely! I’ve spared y’all the floating ghost bra photos for this post (mostly because I’m feeling lazy haha sorry), but, just trust me.

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Our tableware at the workshop was tied with this cute twill tape that looks like a measuring tape – I saved a little piece to make a bow for my bra. Love it :) And check out that pretty gold hardware! Honestly, that’s my favorite part of the whole damn bra. Looks so luxe.

Let’s see, what else? Sunday, Carolina & I walked all over Philly (ok, seriously, maybe 5 miles, tops. haha) and it was cold but also really fun! I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with her and get some bonding done. We visited Andrea at Butcher’s Sewing Shop, where she was teaching a class. Actually, we crashed that shit and drank their mimosas, but everyone was really friendly and the shop is just adorable. No ragrets. Finally, I made it home just before the next snow storm – and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t hit on by a 14 year old this time. Also, the Philadelphia airport is WAY nicer than I remember.

I had an amazing time – the workshop obviously being the highlight of the trip, but it was so wonderful getting to hang with everyone and meet some great new people (and reunite with people I know I already love :) ). If you were interested in taking the workshop, but were put off by the price or didn’t know what to expect – hopefully this revs your engine a little :) It’s definitely an experience! For a more in-depth recap, with lots more photos (as well as a run down of all the vendors who contributed to all the pretty that you see), check out Maddie’s blog.

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I am just gonna leave this picture here, because I think it really illustrates the class well. There is alcohol and cookies on that table – and we can’t tear ourselves away from the machines. TYPICAL.

Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket to the Bra Making Workshop, in exchange helping with prep, set up, and trouble shooting – as well as keeping Maddie’s nerves calmed for her first class (I shit you not, she started VACUUMING her condo like 30 minutes before we had to leave that morning hahaha). I paid for all my travel and food expenses, but my workshop ticket was gratis! This review is just cos I think the class was awesome, and I wanted to talk about it.

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