Tag Archives: knit fabric

Completed: Vogue 1610

26 Feb

Good morning, everyone! Sorry, I took the last few days off of blogging… to be honest, I’d spent the entire weekend in my sewing room futzing with ONE fitting adjustment for ONE pattern, and six muslins later (yeah, just typing that makes me die a little inside), I was done. Not done with the fitting adjustment – I wish! – but rather, done with sewing. I took some time away to do more important, non-sewy things (specifically: binge-watching infomericals from the comfort of my velvet couch and drinking bourbon with ginger beer… yum.), and I gotta say – I feel like a new woman now. Ready to go tackle that god-forsaken fitting adjustment and get back on the ~swagon~.

Speaking of swagon (which is like a sewing wagon, except way funnier), check out my new threads- baby’s first DVF!

Vogue 1610

OKKKKK, it’s not a ~real~ Diane von Furstenberg, obviously, but it *is* a Vogue Designer Pattern, which is close enough in my book. This is Vogue 1610, a classic DVF wrap dress with sleeve and length options. I found this dude at an estate sale a few years ago – in my size, and for $1, no less! – and this is the first chance I’ve had to make it up.

Vogue 1610

Sewing this wrap was an experience, albeit a fairly easy one. Although the pattern came in my size, a quick tissue fit (and by tissue fit, I mean I held it up to my chest and looked in the mirror, ha!) showed that the bodice front was big enough for complete coverage – which, when one is sewing a stretch knit, that is TOO big! You need the pieces to be a little smaller than you are, so they stretch into shape and give you that lovely silhouette that only negative ease can do. Further, this pattern was drafted for stable knits – i.e., pontes and double knits and all those goodies – and the fabric I had was an extremely fluid, extremely drapey rayon jersey. Fortunately, both the style of this dress + knit fabrics in general are pretty forgiving, so I sized down with some experimental hacking and I think it came out pretty good!

Vogue 1610

At the cutting stage, I took 1″ off the center back seam and the front side seam. I didn’t bother changing the pattern tissue itself (have you seen how much this pattern sells for on Etsy? Holy shit.), just folded over the edges to size and pinned them down. When cutting a piece on the fold, I just extended the pattern piece so it hung over the fabric edge by 1″. I also shortened the skirt by, um, a lot. I think 7″ the first time, and then another 2-3″ after I sewed it up (and immediately regretted that decision, because YIKES SHORT AIEEE). I don’t really recommend this type of size hacking unless you are very familiar with sewing and manipulating knits, because you can definitely end up with a surprise outcome, but it all worked out for me.

Vogue 1610

I chose not to follow the instructions that came with the pattern – I’m sure they were fine, but they were also written for stable knits and included things like facings and pockets. I hate pockets on knits, by the way! They always come out lumpy and can’t hold anything heavier than a cell phone. I also hate facings on knits because, whyyyy. Why would you put yourself through that kind of torture.

Vogue 1610

Construction-wise, I sewed everything up on my serger, except where I used my twin needle to topstitch the hems. The hems are stabilized with Stitch Witchery, which seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, but in retrospect, my hems are weird and stiff and lumpy. Not a good look! I also can’t trim any more length off that skirt for fear of indecent exposure. I’ve used Stitch Witchery in the past to stabilize hems, and I stand behind it, but for something as drapey as this rayon, it just didn’t work. Next time, I will probably just steam the heck out of it and sew very slowly to get my hems.

Vogue 1610

I applied my neck binding in the flat (starting at the center back and stretching down each side of the front individually), so I could get it as stretched as possible and cut off the excess. I think I ended up cutting a couple of inches off each end! The final result is a binding that stays in place and does NOT gape – which is important for this wrap style. I like my clothing to stay in place while I’m wearing it, thanks.

Vogue 1610
Vogue 1610

I was a little concerned that the gathered skirt would look stupid in a knit, but I actually think it’s quite lovely. I think the key here is to go with something lightweight and drapey – bulky fabrics will add, well, bulk!

Vogue 1610

Isn’t this fabric fun, though? It’s the Arc Deco rayon jersey from Mood Fabrics. I snapped up three yards of it while it was on 50% off sale (do y’all get those sale emails? Oh man. Those are dangerous.), specifically with this pattern in mind. It sewed up like a dream, wears like a dream, feels like a dream… just don’t use Stitch Witchery with it ;)

Vogue 1610

Next time I make this, I’ll shorten the bodice a bit – whoever owned this pattern before me had lengthened it about 1″… I left it because it definitely hits my waist, but I think it looks a little long and unbalanced in these pictures. I also promise not to get too scissor-happy with the skirt length on the next go ;) But yeah, I’ll definitely be making this again – I want one in silk jersey, like a proper DVF! Yum!

Vogue 1610

I guess that’s it! Some housekeeping before I dip outta here-

- Clare and I have already started planning the meet-up while we’re in NYC, and emails have been sent! I tried to get everyone who expressed interest, but inevitably I’m sure I missed someone. If you’d like in on the action for Saturday March 15th, holler at me and I’ll get that email out to you! I’m really excited about this trip, can you tell? :)

- Oh, right, giveaway winner! Let’s see, random number generator says…

Ok, for whatever reason, Flickr won’t give me the html code to show the number box (and I don’t have time to futz with it this morning because I need to leave for work in… 5 minutes haha), but you can click this link if you want to see the screenshot. Btw, fuck you, Flickr.

winnerstevie

Congratulations, Stevie Nicole! Watch for my email so we can get your Georgia out to you :)

Everyone who asked – I don’t care if you copy my Georgia! Remember, I copied that lace+emerald combo from someone else. Plus, who doesn’t need a gorgeous sexy lace dress in their life, yeah? :)

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Completed: Coco!

21 Feb

YAY I’m so glad I finally get to share this secret with y’all – Coco!

Coco Top

For those of you living under a rock (a… really big rock, I’d assume), Coco is Tilly‘s newest pattern, just released last week! Tilly asked me a few months ago if I’d like to test the pattern, and as soon as I saw the word “knit” in the description, I immediately jumped at the chance. I can’t resist knits, I’m sorry!

Coco Top

Coco is a lovely, simple shape reminiscent of those gorgeous Brenton tops that everyone except me seems to own. Sewn up in a more stable knit (I love my slinky jerseys, but this pattern is not really the place for that… although I will probably experiment with that shit in the future anyway!), it’s very easy to assemble and very forgiving to fit, making it perfect for beginners to tackle. I made the short length with 3/4 sleeves and a funnel neck; there are three views included in the pattern (that you can mix and match for endless variations) – you can see them all in more detail on Tilly’s blog.

Coco Top

For my fabric, I used a heather grey ponte knit from Mood Fabrics. I sewed the entire thing on my serger, although you can absolutely sew this on a regular machine if need be – the pattern even includes some instructions and tips if that’s the case for you! I made no alterations to the pattern itself; just sewed it up in a straight size 1 and followed the instructions to assemble! I used a straight stitch to sew the side slits and the hem, which have held up quite well, despite all the washing and wearing I’ve given this top. This is also the first thing I made using my new gravity feed iron, and WOW you guys – that hem pressed like a dream!

Coco Top

I’ll admit; when I was sewing this up, I was a little afraid it looked a bit Star Trek-y for my tastes, with the solid color and the big funnel collar. I think the end result turned out really cute, though, and it’s sooo comfortable to wear with leggings. I’m wearing this one with my red ponte leggings; it’s like a ponte double-whammy up in hurr, yeah!

Coco Top

Also, check out that throwback hair! You can tell how old these pictures are, ha ;)

Coco Top

I think this would be REALLY cute up in a stripey fabric (which I looked for, but no dice. Whyyy is a good stripey knit so hard to find, anyway??). I’d love to try the variation with the boat neckline and keep the little side slits – maybe even go with the longer length. It’s a simple shape for sure, but it’s also open to LOTS of possibilities!

Coco Top

What do you think? Love Coco or LOVE Coco? Get your copy here!

Completed: A Snuggly White Hoodie

17 Feb

Oh my god, I love this hoodie.

White Hoodie

Remember that stripey hoodie I made last year with a sacrificed RTW hoodie that I ripped up to use as the pattern? I LOVE that thing – I wear it allll the time – but it’s a bit lightweight for winter. I mean, the fabric is a very flimsy jersey knit. I knew I wanted to make something with a bit more heft and warmth to it, but every fabric in my stash just seemed… wrong.

White Hoodie

Then I bought that ridiculous chunk o’ yardage of ivory jersey from Mood and I was like, YES. White hoodie it is!

White Hoodie
White Hoodie

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. This isn’t just any ol’ white hoodie – this is a white hoodie that has been lined in fluffy faux sherpa, at the pockets and the hood, for extra warmth and snuggliness!

White Hoodie

I bought sherpa remnant while I was in Chicago last year, at the Vogue Fabric Store (Here is it on their website, I think). I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I knew it had to come home with me! After seeing how great it looked next to the ivory knit, I knew I’d found a match made in heaven.

Since the sherpa only has a slight stretch to it, I knew I couldn’t use it for anything that was dependent on being stretchy – i.e., the body or the sleeves. This left the hood and the front pockets, both of which I lined. I cut the pattern pieces from both the knit and the sherpa, giving the sherpa an extra seam allowance at the hemmed edge. After sewing the pieces together, the smaller size of the knit meant that it easily pushed inside the lining, so I had a cute ~sherpa edge~ on the hem of my front pockets and the edge of my hood.

“But Lauren,” you might be thinking, “isn’t sherpa hard to sew? Don’t you need to use a special leather needle or risk blowing up your machine?” Naw! Not even! My sherpa is pretty thin, even with the suede backing, so it sewed up fine with a ballpoint needle (normally I would have opted for a universal needle, but we are dealing with knits on the other side here) and serged effortlessly. It also wasn’t quite as messy as other faux furs I’ve used – no fur tumbleweeds blowing around in my sewing room or anything! – but be warned that it does still shed. I was wearing my Lola Sweater Dress  while working on this and by the time I was finished, I looked like I had crawled through a snowstorm. So, you know, maybe invest in a lint roller or something.

White Hoodie

I topstitched down around the perimeter of the hood hem, which turned the sherpa into a casing where I could insert a drawstring and some little sherpa pom poms. I mean, if you’re gonna go all out – you should go all out, yeah?

Pom poms are SO easy to make, by the way!

White Hoodie - pom pom

Cut a circle out of your fabric (cut it bigger than you think you should) and baste all the way around with a long running stitch.

White Hoodie - pom pom
White Hoodie - pom pom

Gently pull one thread tail to gather, and the circle will form itself into a ball.

White Hoodie - pom pom

Before fully closing the ball, you will want to stuff it so it has some body. You can use polyfill or just fabric scraps – I decided to use some of my leftover tiger jersey because I thought it would be a fun little secret ;)

White Hoodie - pom pom

Finally, just fold gathered raw edges under and sew across the top several times, pulling the thread tight (but not so tight that it snaps!) until the hole is closed. Not pictured but you should do this anyway: make sure you put your drawstring in the hole before you close it up! I first tied a giant knit at the end of mine so it wouldn’t pull out.

White Hoodie
White Hoodie

Pom poms + sherpa = best hoodie ever

White Hoodie

This hoodie was one of those weird experiments that I wasn’t sure was going to work out until the very end – the front pockets are pretty thick, thanks to the sherpa, and the hood fits a bit tighter than normal because of the multiple layers. But I really LOVE the way it turned out! Exactly as I imagined!

White Hoodie

The only question (and the only thing I didn’t think through before plowing ahead): Um. How does one wash suede-backed sherpa?

White Hoodie
White Hoodie

Here are some less blown-out close-ups. Man, this thing was hard to photograph! I tried taking the pictures in my living room so it wouldn’t be quite as bright, but it’s still hard to see the details.

White Hoodie

One thing that really upped the luxe factor of this hoodie (or, as luxe as a hoodie can get, I guess!) is the zipper I used. Instead of going to Joann and getting a plastic white zipper like I usually would, I went to my Bernina store and bought one of those special gold metal zippers that costs like $8. Ha! It’s not quite as fancy as a Riri zipper, but it’s the best thing I could find locally ;) I think it really adds a nice touch and makes the hoodie look super professional!

White Hoodie

To get the zipper in was a bit fiddly, since I had so many layers going on at the pockets. I basted the layers together by machine, folded the edges under and fused stitch witchery in between to keep everything in place. I sewed the zipper in with two lines of straight stitching – the closest line going right up against the zipper. I used a walking foot and a ball point needle so the fabric did not move around at all.

White Hoodie

There are those pom poms again! Ha! I LOVE them! :D

White Hoodie

Leaving y’all with this picture because it’s so amazing. What am I even doing here, I have no idea, but it makes me laugh every time I see it.

Psssss- I just got wind that the Great British Sewing Bee is casting for Season 3! Ahh!! I know I said I don’t like participating in sewing contests, but were I qualified for this one I would be ALL over it like white on rice! Which means, if you DO qualify – go on and let us live vicariously through you! Do it do it!

Completed: The Ensis Tee

13 Feb

I feel like such a bad friend, but I’ve hardly managed to make a ding in my stack of Constellation patterns from Papercut Patterns. Not for lack of inspiration – I have plans for almost every pattern in that horde – but a lack of time. Well, I guess time isn’t such a bad issue now, huh? :) YAY TIME TO GET SEWING.

Ensis Tee - stripes

So here’s the first of the series – the Ensis Tee! Actually, hush hush, but this is the second Ensis Tee I’ve sewn – the first one, I tried to use pieced fabric scraps to make the yoke up and it just ended up a mess of mismatched seams. It’s super comfy, though, so I wear it as loungewear :)

Ensis Tee - stripes

Ensis Tee - stripes

I really love the colorblocking effects with this pattern – I have so many ideas that I want to put into action! Like making it into a colorblocked turtleneck or cutting the yoke out of lace. Such a great little basic pattern!

Ensis Tee - stripes

For this particular Ensis, I used more my stripey ponte from the making of my Stripy Lady Skater, and the matching ivory ponte for the colorblock at the top. I also managed to cut out a Renfrew with the tiny bit of remaining yardage left, so expect one more garment out of this amazing fabric. What? Don’t look at me like that.

Ensis Tee - stripes

I cut the size XXS and the only alteration I made was a nip the waist in just a tiny bit for some added shape. My original Ensis was made using a very drapey Merino wool and the unaltered size is perfect, but when the fabric has a bit more body, you may need to add a little bit more shaping or else run the risk of looking boxy.

Ensis Tee - stripes

Ensis Tee - stripes

I also shortened the sleeves a little, as the originals were too long with the addition of the cuffs. You can’t see too well in these pictures, but the hem is slightly curved. I finished that with a simple twin-needle stitch – the rest of the shirt is sewn entirely on the serger. Yess!

Ensis Tee - stripes

I mostly like this top because I think it makes my boobs look big. There, I said it.

Ensis Tee - stripes

Ensis Tee - stripes

Ok, FINE, I reckon we can now address the elephant in the room – my hair! What is UP with my hair?!

Ensis Tee - stripes

I told y’all it was bright orange!

Ensis Tee - stripes

So, this is phase 1 of a two-part hair makeover. I had it bleached out last week at the salon (my salon does a training program that needed a bleach model, which means I got this done for a STEAL. srsly, srsly cheap), but I haven’t had a chance to deposit my color on it yet – hopefully this weekend. YES, it’s very orange – I had old box color already on my hair, which makes for unpredictable bleaching results. This was as light as we could go without really damaging my hair, and it’s fine for what I have planned. YES, I am aware that orange is not the most flattering color for my complexion, and I don’t intend to leave it like this for forever (although it’s kind of fun right now, not gonna lie!). I’m now working a job that doesn’t require a natural hair color as part of the dress code, so I jumped at the opportunity to do something weird with my hair. It’s just hair, it’ll grow back!

Ensis Tee - stripes

Also, say hello to my sewing room! The winter has been wretched cold, but with enough random warm days scattered throughout so I was able to squeeze in some outside photos from time to time. We’re right in the midst of another below-freezing week, so I’m back to shooting in my sewing room :)

Completed: A Stripey Lady Skater

31 Jan

Oh my god, you guys. I am so sorry to do this, but I’m about to dump another Lady Skater on y’all.

Stripey Lady Skater

Actually, you know what? I’m not sorry. This dress is damn cute!

Stripey Lady Skater

Since I’ve posted about this pattern a few times already, I’ll spare y’all the repeat drivel about my sizing and construction. I used this really amazing grey and white striped medium weight knit from Mood Fabrics – which has apparently already sold out (wah! I was planning on going back and ordering ALL THE YARDAGE), sorry guys! This ivory knit is the closest thing I could find, at least weight-wise, although it’s sold out too (and yes, I totally bought some of dat).

Stripey Lady Skater

Anyway, the fabric is fabulous and I plan on getting a lot of wear out of this little dress. I think it will make a nice backdrop to a variety of colors – I’m wearing it with red here, but I think it will look equally fab with yellow, or navy, or hell – even green. It’s super comfortable and the fabric does not wrinkle, which means this will be great for traveling*. Since, you know, I travel all the time and everything . Ah well, a girl can dream!

Stripey Lady Skater

This dress was also SUPER fast to make. I am not kidding when I say it took me an hour to assemble – and that includes cutting the fabric! Yeeeeah buddy, this is why I love knits!

Stripey Lady Skater

So, realtalk: this Project Sewn has been sucking up a LOT of my sewing time lately. Fortunately, we were given the challenges a bit in advance and encouraged to start as early as possible, so I’ve managed to knock out quite a chunk of my work over the past few weeks. Which means, less stressed Lauren – but also, less time to work on other things! So, unfortunately, this blog has had to suffer a little bit as a result.

I’m happy to say that the contest officially starts on MONDAY – so I can finally start showing y’all what I’ve been working on! Yay! I’m also hoping this will free up some personal sewing time for me, because I’ve been staring at my fabric and pattern stash and just been getting that itch.

Stripey Lady Skater

With that being said, now you know why I’ve been sewing up a lot of knits :) What can I say – they’re a great little palate cleanser when you want to work on something else but don’t have a lot of time to devote to it.

Stripey Lady Skater

Plus, I don’t know about y’all, but a cute knit dress is ALWAYS welcome in my closet! Expect to see more of this fabric… I bought 2.5 yards, so I’m hoping I can squeeze another top (or two!) out of the remaining piece :)

Stripey Lady Skater

Now, can we please get the weather to warm up again so I can go back to not wearing socks? And maybe get some greenery back in my pictures as well, that would be nice!

Stripey Lady Skater

* Oh, hey, and speaking of traveling… I just booked myself a plane ticket for a weekend jaunt in NYC with my blog bestie/super babe Clare (AND I’M SO EXCITED OMGAH)!! I’ll be rolling in March 14 – March 17 (lucky Clare gets to stay a bit longer than I do, boo!), and I’m thinking maaaaaybe we should try to for another epic meet-up on Saturday 3/15? Who wants to go fabric shopping??? :D

Completed: A Lola Sweater Dress

17 Jan

Here we are with my first official I-made-this-entire-thing-in-2014 garment*! It’s a pattern repeat, but a newb in my closet nonetheless – another Lola dress!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

Honestly, this is a super duper simple make – like, I hesitate even posting this because it’s kind of the equivalent of a tshirt. Which for me is fun to make, and even more fun to wear, but doesn’t really translate to ~dazzing blog post~. However, I think it’s relevant today because it’s a shining example of how drastically different a pattern can look when you make it up in a new fabric.

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

If you recall my first Lola, it was done up in a proper sweatshirt knit. The stability of the fabric gave the dress a nice structure – I mean, it literally looks like a sweatshirt that has been made into a dress, little V detailing at the neckline and all. For this dress, I went on the opposite end of the spectrum with something that has a lot more drape. The resulting dress is loose-fitting and a little slinky – and looks completely different!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

This is a sweaterknit that I picked up while I was in Chicago. I think I picked up at Vogue Fabrics, I think, but it may have also been Textile Discount Outlet. Either way, it came from the same city that the sweatshirt knit was picked up in, so it’s kind of a fabric romance story, ha. This knit isn’t anything special – I wish it was wool, but it’s boring ol’ acrylic (on the flip side, I can throw it in the washer and drying without worries of shrinkage, so yay!). The colorway is a very subtle blue gradient, and it’s quite drapey with a slightly loose weave. I love it as a dress, but I also wish I’d bought like 10 yards of it because I’d also love it as a sweater. Oh well!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

Here you can really see how the drape of the fabric affects the shape. It just kind of skims over my body and hangs nicely. Thanks to the loose weave of the knit, I did have to size down a little as I went, but I tried to keep the shape relatively loose because this isn’t a super forgiving knit – it’s so lightweight, I think it would just look lumpy on anyone, even the skinniest lady in the world, if it was super tight. The way it is right now, it’s also reeeeally comfortable. Like, lounging in the pjs comfortable.

Sweater Knit Lola DressIt is not, however, super duper warm. Thanks, acrylic!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

The only construction issue I had with sewing this up is that the waistline ended up quite a bit ripply since the fabric is so lightweight. In my experience with knits, there are a few ways to eliminate this problem -
1. You can make one piece smaller and stretch to fit as you sew (kind of like how you apply binding to a knit neckline). It’s still ripple like crazy, maybe more so than before, but once you actually put the garment on a body, it should stretch to fit and it will look fine.
2. You can stabilize that sucker with some elastic or interfacing and hope it all works out.
3. Sew only with stable knits, thus bypassing all ripple issues!
4. Steam the shit outta that bad boy and show them who’s boss.
Obviously, with my positive-ease fit and lightweight fabric, my best option was #4 (I reckon I could have stabilized the waistline, but I didn’t, and I think it worked out fine). This was also the easiest option – as simple as, well, steaming the shit out of the seam and pressing it down. Ripples begone!

Also, you totally needed a second shot of those tights, right? Aren’t they adorable?? omg.

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

Oh yeah, no duh, I also lengthened the sleeves so they’d be full length! This totally makes this a proper, cozy sweater dress, in my opinion. I made them long enough so they’d pull over my hands with the cuffs, which is my favorite way to wear long sleeves. To lengthen the sleeves, I actually just lazied my way through and used the long sleeve pattern piece from the Sigma dress to get the correct length and width below the elbow. Obviously, the pattern pieces are different at the top – the Sigma has a set-in sleeve, the Lola has a raglan – but since they are almost identical starting at the armpit and going down, I was able to just trace the bottom half and it worked out fine. I used the cuff pattern piece from the Lola pattern, and it perfectly fit the long sleeve length. Yay! I love it when these things work out :)

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

Here you can better see the color gradient of the fabric. I love this stuff!

Sweater Knit Lola Dress

I decided to keep the neckline simple and not bother with the V detailing – I think it’s cute for a sweatshirt dress, but on this fabric, it just looked like I was trying to cover a mistake. For my binding, I just used self-fabric. I set it in-the-round and left off the topstitching as it lays just fine after a good steam. God, I love my steam iron. I can’t even express that enough.

I left off the binding at the hem, same as last time, and just pressed up a good 2″ hem and topstitched it down with my twin needle. I also omitted the pockets and just kept the dress simple.

Sweater Knit Lola Dress
And that’s it! Pretty simple, kind of a boring blog post I guess, but I love seeing the difference between these two dresses. Oh, wait, one more thing before I let y’all go-

I’m an official contestant for Project Sewn, Season 3. This is SUPER exciting and has been very difficult for me to keep under wraps (truth, if you know me at all in real life you’ve probably heard me mention this at some point or another. Sorry! I’m bad at keeping secrets when they’re this fun!), but now I can talk about it so YAYAYAY!! I’ve already been working on my projects for the upcoming contest, hence the little * at the top of my post – I have some half-finished makes from 2014 that predate this sweater dress, but you can’t see ‘em until February ;) Sorry babes! Needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the season 3 themes and I’m really excited to share them with y’all, not to mention see what everyone else makes of ‘em! Which leads me to my next concern… have you seen the other contestants for this round? YIKES. That’s a superstar line-up if I ever saw one, and I’m a little terrified :) Ha! Regardless, even if I get booted out of the first round, I think this is gonna be fuuuun!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to enter the knitting pattern giveaway if you haven’t already done so – entries close this Monday!

Completed: the Zinnia Skirt

8 Nov

Who doesn’t love to wear wool in the winter time?

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

I feel like a broken record when I start singing the praises of wool, but foreal you guys – this stuff is awesome. It’s super warm and cozy, breathes very well (so you don’t get overheated in all that warm and cozy-ness), and it’s also antimicrobial, which means it naturally repels odors. Which means now you know why I wear so much wool and still manage to keep up with the laundry – it doesn’t need to be washed very frequently! Airing out is fine for day-to-day. Yay for being lazy!

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

So obviously, I was ready to bust the wool out just as soon as the temperatures started dipping. I’ve had my eyeball on that Zinnia pattern, and I paired it up with this beautiful lightweight wool plaid suiting from Mood.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

I didn’t take any special precautions when sewing this – it’s wool, it’s just easy! The stitches sink in (bad for unpicking, but great for hemming since you can’t see the top stitching ;)), it presses beautifully, and as weird as this is gonna sound – it was really fun to cut, too. My scissors just sliced right through that yardage. I love the colors and it looks just as good paired with black as it does with navy. Double duty fabric and all that.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

For the skirt, I cut the size 2 (although I did end up taking in the waist so maybe the 0 would have been better). I left the skirt unlined and shortened the hem by about 3″ so I could have a mini. The waistband is cut on the bias and, despite what you might think you see, I promise that the plaid matches up at the side seams :)

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

See?

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Oh yeah, and I did totally just change shirts. We’ll discuss those in a second.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

So. About working with this skirt in a plaid fabric. It works – kind of. Matching those side seams was HELL ON EARTH and I’m not really sure why. There are only two pattern pieces, for fuck’s sake! That was also the same day I got my kidney stone (which, if you’re still wondering… it’s still here. Just hangin’ out. Ugh ugh ugh), so I blame it on the pain meds. Anyway, I don’t really think this patterns works very well with a stripe – at least not the stitched-down-pleats version. They just look like a hot mess at the front and back. Might want to save your plaids – or at least your large-scale plaids – for another project.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

I also had to drastically shorten the hemline – like I said, 3″ and WOO IT’S A MINI – because the longer length just looked dumpy as hell on me. Which means my plans for using a border print probably won’t work with this pattern, at least not the print I had in mind. It’s just too tall for the skirt length.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics
Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Also, the fabric I chose maaaay be a little too much for this pattern – seeing as how it sticks out like I have a teeny petticoat underneath it, ha – but I actually like the flared look.

Renfrew top made with wool knit from Mood Fabrics

Oh yeah, my tops! This is a Calvin Klein wool jersey, also from Mood Fabrics (attached link isn’t the same color – looks like they’re sold out of the grey, SORRY – but it’s the same fabric type) and it is deeeelicious. So soft and cozy, and not itchy at all! I used the Renfrew pattern and made the cowl version with 3/4 sleeves. I just love the way the fabric drapes at the cowl – it has enough body so it’s not droopy, yet it’s also not huge and standing up on it’s own or anything.

Also, sorry about the rouge leaf. Didn’t see that during the photos, haha!

Renfrew top made with rayon knit from Mood Fabrics

I made the navy v-neck because I felt like my contribution was a little boring, and also because I wanted to see how good navy looks with this skirt (it does! it does!). I used a rayon jersey from Mood Fabrics that’s been in my stash for ages – originally considered for leggings, until I realized that it was a tiny bit too sheer aka I would be baring my bum. I’m so glad I found a use for it, though, because it is some of the most luxurious fabric I have ever handled! It may just be a rayon knit, but it’s silky smooth and amazing. I really wish I had it in every color! I’m also, like, stupid proud of how that V turned out, by the way.

As usual, I took waaay too many pictures, so I’m just going to dump the rest here.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Renfrew top made with wool knit from Mood Fabrics

Renfrew top made with rayon knit from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

The tiny belt loops are my favorite part! So tiny and cute!

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

See what I mean about the plaid? It looks like a hot mess at the pleats. Oh well.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

One last thing – I wanted to thank y’all for all your advice regarding my muslin, as well as my kidney stone. I’ve decided to set the muslin aside for now; I may revisit it in the future but I think my coat for 2013 will have to be a totally different pattern! So I guess I’ve got that to figure out. As far as the kidney stone… well, it’s still there, taking up residence. Y’all will probably be able to hear me scream from the rooftops once it finally emerges haha. A few people urged me to to go the doctor, and I did want to follow up and let y’all know that I went to both a doctor and a specialist last week, got the x-rays as well as a variety of medications. There’s not much else we can do at this point beyond surgery or shooting lasers (which my uninsured ass is reeeeally trying to avoid), which means I gotta shoot it out! For the past couple days I’ve been on an essential oil regimen, and tonight I will be trying some Coke/asparagus concoction that sounds fucking disgusting but is supposed to work. Anyway, sorry for the TMI, keep thinking happy kidney stone thoughts! haha!

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics
Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Completed: Coppélia in Merino

18 Sep

Just a head’s up – this is another kind of boring, repeat pattern post. Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit of a snooze for making the same things over and over, but honestly – I enjoy tweaking my patterns with each make, until I have something that is as close to perfect as humanly possible. It’s a process, to be sure. It’s also the only way I can bring myself to cut into precious fabrics. Don’t wanna goof it up!

Merino Wool Coppelia

So, with that being said – I made another Coppélia cardy! (for previous versions – see one two three). This one in another piece of my prized Merino stash, hence why I needed to perfect this fit.

I also wore my hair up for you guysss! Look at me, branchin’ out and shit :)

Merino Wool Coppelia

This Merino wool is different than the first piece I sewed up (see Coppélia three; the leggings are the Merino!). It is MUCH stretchier, a bit more sheer, and much much softer. Due to the stretch, I did have to take down the pattern size a little to accomodate, but it all came out fine in the end! I was also initially concerned that the color would look bad on me… and maybe it does, but ehhh I don’t care. I love it, it’s so bright and happy!

Merino Wool Coppelia

Let’s see, pattern changes. I started out with my base Coppélia, this time sized down to XXS with 1″ taken out of the center back. I took an extra chunk out of the side seams (maybe 1/2″? I dunno, I just serged it off haha) and about 5/8″ off the under arm and sleeve seam, for a much closer fit. The biggest change I made was to lengthen the top, so it would be wearable with my jeans. I slashed through the pattern about 1″ from the bottom and then added 2″, making sure to true up the lines and everything when I was done. This pulls the cardi down long enough to cover my waistband, which hits right below my navel. Perfect!

Merino Wool Coppelia

Another change I made was to tighten the neck band for a closer fit. I just kind of wing’d (wung?) it up as I went – tacked it down at the center back, then starting at the CB on one side, I pulled the band while I serged it to the neckline. Once I reached the end, I went back to the CB and attached the band from the opposite side. I think I ended up pulling about 2″-3″ off the neckband at each end. The result looks a little gathered when it’s laying flat, but once on it gives a nice snug fit – which is important with a low wrap top like this.

Merino Wool Coppelia

Merino Wool Coppelia

I like the ties wrapped in the front, but after taking these pictures I ended up tying them in the back like the pattern envelope.

Merino Wool Coppelia

And this top looks great with my jeans! Win! :)

Merino Wool Coppelia

So, speaking of Papercut Patterns – I know a lot of people have voiced concerns in the past about the prices of the patterns. So, with that in mind, two things: 1. Make sure you change the currency (it’s at the top right-hand corner) to USD, or whatever works for your country. NZD is the default, and their shit’s a little more expensive! 2. Consider that the price also includes free shipping, if that helps sway ya :) This top is $20.48 USD, which includes the shipping – a top from other indie companies usually runs, what, $14-$18, plus the shipping, which can easily be $5 extra. Just something to keep in mind! :)

Merino Wool Coppelia

Now that I’ve perfected the fit on this, I can’t wait to make a million more and then post them and force y’all to look at multiples of the same shirt.

Merino Wool Coppelia

Merino Wool Coppelia

Ha! Just kidding, I wouldn’t do that to you.

Merino Wool Coppelia

Probably not, anyway.

Completed: An Emerald Green Wool Jersey Lady Skater

13 Sep

Before I start, two things:

1. I know. Another Lady Skater. Y’all are probably getting sick of looking at this, but uhhh sorry not sorry! Honestly, I wanted to put both of these dresses in the same post, but I hadn’t managed to get pictures of the green one and I wanted to post the floral one RIGHT THAT SECOND and, well, you know how it goes.

2. Much more important, but thank you thank you thank you for all of your lovely comments on my last post! Again, I wasn’t posting that bit to fish for compliments, or anything like that… it has just been on my mind for a long time. I wholeheartedly believe that sewing + the blogging community (not to mention taking pictures of oneself and posting them on the internet, eep) is so wonderful for helping us maintain a healthy body image, and I would be lying if I said the outpouring of support and consolation stories didn’t make me feel a trillion times better about my insecurities and why they shouldn’t even matter in the first place. Y’all are just lovely, and I love you :)

Now, back to the matter at hand…

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

I made another Lady Skater! This one comes with bonus surprise Duck Lips!

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

I know I don’t have to justify myself when it comes to things I sew, but just in case you were looking for justification – I made this twice in a row because it’s an awesome pattern and I wanted to try out every sleeve version. I have made short sleeves, I have made 3/4 sleeves, and today we have long sleeves!

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

I really love seeing how a pattern can look totally different depending on the fabric that is used to make it up, and this one is no exception. My last Lady Skater was a thin, drapey, VERY stretchy cotton knit. For this version, I used wool jersey that is fairly stable, and look at what a difference it makes!

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

My green wool jersey is from – where else? – Mood Fabrics. Having tried Merino Wool and now Wool Jersey, I am now going to give you my opinion on them and how they are different.
Merino Wool – due to the chemicals in the wool, this stuff can be washed and dried as normal in your machine without felting. It also tends to be less scratchy, in my experience. Elasticity and stretch recovery are excellent. Fabric can be a bit sheer, at least based on the pieces I’ve personally handled.
Wool Jersey – ok, I’m going to be real gross and weird here and admit that I didn’t pre-wash my Wool Jersey. I plan on washing it the same way I wash my sweaters – which is a lukewarm sink bath with no agitation, and laying flat to dry. The stretch recovery on this is good, however, it doesn’t have as much elasticity (see the difference in fit vs my previous dress? Wool Jersey is a bit more stable than cotton jersey). It is also pretty scratchy! It’s not unbearably scratchy by any means, but it does feel like I’m wearing a wool sweater… which, I kind of am! It is much more opaque than the Merino. I am wearing neon undies under this dress and you can’t even tell, ha.

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

It is also REALLY warm. Which will be good, when it eventually gets cold here :P

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

I kind of feel like a Girl Scout in this dress, what’s with the bright green and slightly scratchy fabric. I know the green looks sort of muted in these pictures, but trust me and not my inexperience with my camera. This shit is BRIGHT FUCKING KELLY GREEN. It is amazing.

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

See what I mean about the fabric not being as elastic? You can totally see bra straps and back fat here. Which doesn’t bother me, personally, but if you don’t like looking like you were poured into your clothing that morning, you maaaay consider sizing up if you choose to make this pattern with a more stable knit :)

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

I should also point out that the stability of this fabric makes it really easy to sew. Just like Merino Wool – it doesn’t curl up, doesn’t slide around (actually, it’s slightly lofty so the pieces kind of stick together and that’s MAGICAL), stitches and presses like a dream. I really enjoyed the sound my scissors made when they cut into it, strangely enough. It’s the little things.

Emerald Wool Jersey Lady Skater

Ok, so who’s jumping on the Wool Jersey bandwagon with me? ALL ABOARD, LET’S GOOOO!!

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?

me-made-may'13

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