Tag Archives: jersey

Completed: A Black Wool Jersey Wrap Dress

14 Oct

Something that has been missing from my closet for a very very (very!) long time has been the class Little Black Dress. I know, it’s supposed to be a staple, and lord knows I’ve noticed the hole more than a couple of times over the past few years. Part of the reason why I’ve never bothered trying to rectify the situation is that black fabric is so BORING to sew. Send me to the fabric store with black intentions, and I’ll come home with acid-washed polka dots. Or something.

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

That being said, I knew I needed to eventually make one of these bad boys – they’re so versatile and useful to have (and I guess they’d be convenient to have should I need to attend any funerals or KISS concerts, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can prolong both situations for a very very long time). My upcoming trip kind of sealed the deal for me – well, that and this fucking fabulous fabric. It’s like fate, y’all!

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

To keep things interesting (while still retaining the whole This-Needs-To-Be-A-Plain-Backdrop-Type-Dress), I decided to make my LBD a Little Black Wrap Dress. And who else to use as my inspiration than the Lady of the Wrap Herself – Diane Von Furstenburg! Yeah!!

Actually, this dress is kind of a bastardization of my beloved Vogue 1610/DVF. But, you know, sometimes we have to make sacrifices.

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

I started with the bodice from the pattern – I’ve got the fit pretty much perfect as far as those things go. However, I knew I wanted to try a non-gathered skirt and I also needed long sleeves (which this pattern does not provide). Rather than buy myself a copy of Vogue 1548 (and probably sacrificing some goats or some shit as well because, holy mother of god, that price) (ugh, still want that pattern with every fiber in my soul, tho), I decided to take advantage of my favorite pattern – the Frankenpattern. Oh yes, I Frankensteined the shit out of this pattern.

Like I said, the bodice is indeed the original Vogue 1610. I sewed everything as normal (for me – I’ve made some construction modifications to get the neckband to fit better), except I left off the back tucks. For the sleeves, I used the long sleeves from my Lady Skater pattern. For the skirt, I used the Miette pattern and simply flipped it around so the wrap was in the front.

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

And you know what? I think it turned out PRETTY FREAKING LEGIT, which is great considering I just started cutting without any muslins/testing/second thought. This could have been a Disaster Dress. Thank god it’s not.

If you want to Frankenpattern, you definitely need to check beforehand that the measurements for whatever you’re attaching match – so, your bodice will be the same size at the bottom as the top of the skirt (or the sleeve caps match, or whatever). For the sleeves, I just cut them and sewed them as whatever (although, looking back, I think I sewed them with a 5/8″ seam allowance instead of the included 3/8″, so they’re very fitted. Ah! It worked out here ok, but better pay attention to those seam allowances in the future). For the skirt, I did add an extension to the front pieces, so I’d have a facing to fold back (same as on the original gathered skirt). I took a little bit out of the center back seam – enough so that the back skirt measurement matched the back bodice where they connect – but other than that, I didn’t do any other modifications.

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

So. This fabric. I picked this up at Mood Fabrics in NYC when I was there most recently (how many more times can I say that? Sorry, I’m just blasting through all the AWESOME SHIT I BOUGHT). It was up there on the 3rd floor, being my dream wool jersey and all. I can’t remember what designer claims this wool, but, you know… it’s ~designer (ooh la la). It’s also the softest wooly knit I’ve ever been privy enough to touch and omg it’s like a little black cloud of softness. I love it so much.

Pretty sure there was a hoard of women behind me all getting grabby hands as I was getting this cut, too. Raise your hands if you came home with the dream black wool knit! And then please share with the group what you’ll be making from it :)

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

Sewing this up was very easy, very fast. I used my serger for almost the entire thing, and then just slip stitched down the facings and hems by hand. What’s nice about this fabric is that it has a little bit of texture, so stitches don’t show on the outside :)

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

Here’s a horrible picture of the hem/facing. I just serged the edges and sewed them down by hand. Easy!

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

This is probably my favorite part of the dress – an official tag! Yesss!! Kelly sent me this as a little surprise – originally intended for my silk jersey DVF, but it’s been sitting on my pinboard this whole time because apparently I hate modifying things after I’ve finished them (even tags, I guess). I decided to save it for this dress because, well, why the hell not? It looks so good in my neckline, woohoo.

Also, while we’re talking about Kelly – can we talk about her DVF 1548 and oh my god that is stunning and now I’m jealous.

As a side note – that yellow tag is just a little piece of ribbon. I added it so Landon & I would have an easier time doing laundry – anything with the yellow tag can’t be washed in the machine (because, you know, wool). After destroying some wool garments by accidental washing (the saddest were my brown old man trousers, wah), I figured we probably needed a tagging system. I first thought about creating – or buying – care tags, until I realized that was dumb and ribbon is free. So there you go.

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics
Anyway, this dress will make a fine addition to my traveling capsule wardrobe. Solid black, easy to dress up or down, warm (!!!) wool, and check out that wrap! I’d like to see a gusty London wind try to turn me into a panty flasher! Ha ha ha!

DVF Black wool dress made with Mood Fabrics

And now, I have nothing more to say. So instead, tell me – what kind of jewelry would look good with this dress? I just realized I own, like, 3 necklaces and help me I need to adult.

 

*Disclosure: This fabric was provided to me for free, in exchange for contribution to the Mood Sewing Network (well… I think it was free. I got a LOT of stuff that day and dropped a WAD of cash! Ha!).

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Completed: Vogue 1610, in Silk Jersey

23 Apr

All right, y’all, so back to Vogue 1610. If you recall my first make-up of this pattern, I’m happy to report that I finally got my hands on some gorgeous silk jersey and was able to do her her all fancy-like – want to see? :)

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Yay, baby’s first ~silk jersey~ DVF ;)

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

I know, I know – a true 1970s DVF would be made in some ~futuristic~ polyester, but I’m a fine lady with fine tastes and I wanted silk! So silk I got. Ha!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

After my first make, I was pretty confident on the sizing and adjustments I needed to do to get this dress really looking it’s best. Y’all should be proud of me – I remembered to *not* hack off the hemline to dangerously short proportions, and I remembered to remove the added length to the bodice so this hits me in the right spot. Other than that, this dress went together almost the same way as my first one – except I left the sleeves off, for a cool 70s kick. Nice, yeah?

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Now let’s talk about silk jersey. After lurking the Mood Fabrics website (as well as the store last month!) for a few weeks, I came across this gorgeous this paisley silk jersey by Marc Jacobs. I was looking for something a little groovy that would look like something Diane would use to make one of her iconic dresses, and I think this fits the bills. Also: SILK. Hell, it was expensive, but it was definitely worth it!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

This was my first experience working with silk jersey. The texture is quite a bit different than what I had imagined this fabric would feel like – it kind of feels like a really really high-quality ponte (this particular fabric is also a heavier weight of silk jersey; some of the lighter weight in the store, for example, almost felt like straight-up poly. So weird!). A high-quality ponte with a beautiful drape and feels like luscious silk, I might add. The colors on the fabric were SUPER saturated, and there was a nice sheen to the right side.

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

I say “were” because while they’re still pretty bright, the colors aren’t quite as close as they were when I originally got the piece of fabric in the mail. See, I’m of the camp that anything that cannot be safely washed in the washing machine simply does not belong in my house. For some of my older (and wool!) projects, that usually means they get a good airing out and the occasional hand wash. For everything else, it means I don’t own it. Ha! I hate the dry cleaners, I hate the chemicals, and I don’t want them anywhere near my body! I knew this dress wouldn’t get worn at all if it meant that it was a pain to clean, so I did a little research and ultimately threw the whole yardage in the washing machine and dyer to pretreat before I cut into it. Apparently, silk is a-ok as long as you treat it the same way you will treat the finished garment (in my case – wash on cold, tumble dry medium). Be warned that it will soften the silk and remove the sheen, as well as slightly dull the colors. I figured a little dull color is better than a dress that I never wear, so in the wash it went! No regrets!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Anyway, back to sewing this stuff – my particular fabric (again, like any other jersey, not all silk jerseys are the same!) was pretty stable, so it would be fine for sewing up on a regular machine. For the most part, I treated this fabric the same way I treat any other knit – the seams are constructed on my serger (again, not necessary – but hey, I have a serger and it’s there, so why not?), and I stabilized the shoulders with strips of iron-on interfacing to keep them from stretching out over time.

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

The few parts that I did sew on my sewing machine, I used a fine 70/10 ballpoint needle and regular polyester thread. What is different here (as opposed to how I normally sew knits) is that I included facings at the arm holes and blindstitched them down, as well as blindstitched the hem and the facing on the skirt overlap. I know, I know – it’s a knit, throw a fucking binding on it and call it a day, yeah? – but I felt like this dress deserved just a little more finesse, it being a silk jersey DVF and all. Since the silk jersey is so, well, robust, it lends nicely to blindstitching as the stitches really sink it and are completely invisible on the right side. Plus, it presses like a dream. Yay silk!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

GAH, I mean – just look at that beautiful fabric!

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

So good.

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Here’s what silk jersey looks like once you push it through the wash. Notice that the texture isn’t smooth and shiny – it a little rough, almost slubbed (I hesitate to call it pilling because I feel like this particular fabric probably doesn’t pill, but feel free to chime in if you have a long-term experience with this stuff!). Despite being silk, the end result is very relaxed and casual feeling, but it totally looks nice enough to wear to work or on a date.

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

Overall, I’m really pleased with how this dress turned out and I can’t wait to test those silk-breathing properties in the dead of summer. Not to mention – how about those colors, eh? Seriously, is it even possible to be unhappy while wearing this dress? :)

Vogue 1610 - silk jersey

So, there you go – silk jersey wraps FTW! What do you think? Are you ready to fall in love with silk jersey yet?

Completed: A Transitional Lady Skater

11 Sep

I know, I know. Fall is just around the corner – the temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, everyone is flipping their shit over pumpkin spice everything. September is such a magical month… unless you live in Tennessee. It was 95* yesterday and the humidity was so thick, going outside felt like walking through a pot of soup. Gross.

If I sound butthurt, it’s because I totally am. I love fall and I love September, but honestly – it ain’t fall weather here. And as much as I want to start busting out the wool crepes and snuggly flannels, I know in my heart of hearts that I likely won’t have a chance to wear them until closer to Halloween… possibly even later. I have memories of wearing shorts on Thanksgiving. It happens.

So, what do you do when you want to change for the season but the season won’t change for you?

Fall Floral Lady Skater

Concentrate on seasonal colors and prints, not fabric weights.

Fall Floral Lady Skater

I know, this is basically the biggest “No Shit, Sherlock” statement I’ve probably ever made, but it has seriously taken me years to come to terms with this. I do it in the spring, too – try to start pulling out the lightweight voile dresses while there’s still slush on the ground, hate myself, rinse repeat. Something about the seasonal changes makes me want to overhaul every single color in my wardrobe, I dunno.

Fall Floral Lady Skater

Since I live in an area where the temperature tends to hover around “Hell,” except for a couple of months out of the year, I need more layering/lightweight/transitional pieces than I do big cozy wool garments (don’t get me wrong – my wool is ready and waiting for me the second I think the temps are gonna start dropping. Just need more patience, ahhh!). You know, so I can wear them now instead of sticking them back in the closet for a few weeks :) Bonus – once we do get cool weather, this will layer up nicely with tights, boots, and a scarf. Win!

Fall Floral Lady Skater

This fabulous cotton jersey is from Mood Fabrics (they have another colorway if the mustard is *too* retro for ya, but I like it! Mustard for life!). It’s a little bit on the sheer side – like, not indecently so, but enough where I gotta watch the color of my undies when I wear this.

I was pleasantly surprised with the stretch recovery for this fabric, by the way. Cotton tends to stretch and sag over the course of the day, making everything baggy and off-the-shoulder, but this stood up pretty well after a full day of wear. I think I can get an extra day out of it before needing to throw it in the dryer for a little shrinkage. Win!

Fall Floral Lady Skater

I used the Lady Skater pattern to make this dress. I have made this dress before, so this is basically round 2 (there’s also a round 3, you just wait. It’s finished; I just haven’t taken photos yet :3). The only change I made was to stretch the neckband ribbing a little tighter, to keep it from getting floppy, which meant for a shorter neckband piece (since the band is applied flat, it’s REALLY easy to do this – you just stretch, sew, and cut off the excess. Yay, no maths!).

Fall Floral Lady Skater

I will urge you to pay close attention to the elastic at the waist seam, and make sure not to skip it when using a cotton knit! I think a good part of the reason why this stuff didn’t stretch out all haywire by the end of the day was because the waist seam is nice and snug and fully stabilized.

Fall Floral Lady Skater

Fall Floral Lady Skater

Fall Floral Lady Skater

Next, I want to make this pattern in pumpkin colored knit. Wouldn’t that be DELICIOUS?

Fall Floral Lady Skater

I also want to give a shout-out to my hair in these pictures. I think this might be the first time I’ve ever posted pictures of myself on this blog with my hair up? There’s a reason for that – I’m actually really really self-conscious about my ears. I hate how much they stick out and I rarely take any pictures with my hair up. Which is funny, because whenever I see people with a similar feature, I think it’s super cute… just not on me. I’ve never liked it and it’s been something I’ve always wanted to change.

I’m not saying this to fish for compliments, so please don’t take it that way. I guess I’m just realizing now how stupid it is to spend so much energy hating something about myself that I CAN’T change (ok, yes, I know otoplasty is a thing… but it’s not a realistic option for me). It’s part of me, what makes me unique, and is just as much a family trait as the shape of my nose or the color of my eyes. There is no point in wishing change on something that won’t change, so my next move is to learn how to love and embrace it. Starting with posting pictures of myself with my hair up. I know, my head is turned to the side in all these pictures, but… baby steps, y’all.

Fall Floral Lady Skater

Sorry to get all deep on such a lighthearted post, just been thinkin! Anyone else struggle with this? What has helped you?

Completed: The Pavlova Wrap Top

25 Mar

Well, you guys. I done goofed. I put this outfit together in hopes of the emerging spring – and oh, it is indeed emerging… so much that Landon had to mow the freakin front yard a couple weekends ago because it was sooo lush and green and, like, springy – but today is heartbreakingly gray, freezing, and the windiest of windys. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before I left the house this morning, but a giant circle skirt is NOT appropriate for this kind of wind. I managed to learn this lesson immediately after I flashed everyone on West End Avenue. Hope someone out there was nurturing a stockings fetish! Ahhh!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, I think this skirt fabric is a pretty amazing floral for the weird transitional months – it has those pretty, bright, springy flowers, but they’re smashed up against a black background so it’s still a little srs bsnss. And it looks great with black tights (I always get all weird about what color tights to wear with my spring dresses, ok!). I got it at the flea market last year and I’ve been hoarding it ever since.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I originally cut this skirt out a couple of months ago, during an afternoon sewing date with my boo Lauren W. My fabric was large enough for me to cut a full circle, but hers wasn’t, and I wanted to be a good friend (and also get an idea of wtf I was doing before ripping into her fabric), so we pieced the pattern out so it has 4 skirt pieces, and then added pockets. You can’t see my skirt seams because my fabric is so robust and floofy, but trust me, they’re there.
Anyway, the sewing-date ended with a fully seamed skirt with pockets, and then it sat in my sewing room for… well, until last Friday. Lauren has been making progress on her own skirt at home (aw yay!!) so I decided to finish mine up, so I could wear it with my new wrap top. Don’t they match so well?! Like it was ~meant to be.

You probably guessed that the skirt is not the Pavlova circle skirt – it’s just my standard, self-drafted circle skirt pattern. It’s like a sneaky Pavlova, since it was cut into 4 pieces. Also, it’s not hemmed with anything but a very simple narrow hem. The fabric has a lot of body, so it stands up pretty well on it’s own. Which is great, because I don’t have any horsehair braid right now :P

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, let’s talk about the top! This is the wrap from the Pavlova pattern. I’m not even going to lie, I was a liiiiiittle apprehensive about sewing this pattern – something about that lapped seam on the neckline, not to mention the shoulder darts, looked intimidating! I really shouldn’t have worried, though – Steph has an incredible way of relaying instructions that makes them sooo easy to understand. The only problems I had with making this top was my topstitching – and I fault that to my fabric and lack of fusible hem tape to keep shit in place. I sewed a size 30 and made no alterations to the pattern.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

My fabric is from NY – I bought it at Fabrics For Less. This was my very short, very solo return to the Garment District on Monday afternoon. Yes, after 2 full days in that madhouse, I WENT BACK. And I bought more fabric. Honestly, I was very upset about the lack of knits in my suitcase, so I got this mint cotton jersey as well as a matching red, and also the french terry for my Avocado hoodie. What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I don’t know if this jersey was the very *best* choice for this top – you can see everrrrrry single little lump under there (fyi, the line across my chest is actually from the hem of the wrap top, not my bra. Just so we’re clear ;)), as it’s super drapey and tissue thin. I just love the color though, and it goes with a huge chunk of my wardrobe! Word of warning – this is a short top. The front barely clears my waistband (which comes above my navel), and all my pants are too low to wear with it. The back is nice and long, though, which is sweet.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Also, this is one hell of a twirly skirt.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I forgot to mention – I added a thin line of mint piping between the waistband and the skirt, using a perfectly matching bias tape I had in my stash. Yes! I love it when these things work out!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Soooo… what’s next? Do I need plead a special case to the Sun God or what??

lladybird spring 2011

31 Mar

i had big plans for my ~spring launch~, but unfortunately, life got in the way (and when i say “life” i mean “my bad attitude”). you ever have one of those days when you feel like everything that could possibly go wrong has, well, gone wrong? that’s been pretty much my entire month, all focused on my sewing. i can’t even begin to tell y’all how much i’ve trashed and/or given up on. i have an entire box of UFOs that will probably remain like that forever.

not that all my sewing has been tragic – my projects for my personal wardrobe are looking AWESOME if i do say so myself. despite all the inspiration i’ve given myself and the good intentions i had for this line, the end result is not exactly what i had in mind (at least not quantity-wise). but that’s ok! i’m not beating myself up over it – i’ve got the rest of the year to cultivate something marvelous. in the meantime, i’ve squeezed out 7 pieces. haha, 7, so sad.

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