Tag Archives: knit fabric

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

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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?

Completed: Ooh La Leggings

23 Aug

Leggings are one of those types of clothing that have always mystified me. What is their appeal? Why do people insist on treating them as pants? Don’t they have enough decency to cover their asses, for fuck’s sake?

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

And yet, here I am, posing in leggings-as-pants, with a nice dose of cameltoe to boot. The things I do for you guys.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

Haha in all seriousness, though, I don’t actually plan on wearing them out in public without my ass being covered – the fabric is too thin, it’s practically transparent as far as I’m concerned. I wasn’t sure how to treat these pictures – since, if I did cover the top of them, it would kind of cover everything and defeat the purpose of even taking the pictures, yeah? – so in the end, I took one for the team and here I am baring my ass on the internet. Don’t judge me.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Leggings! I never got their appeal. Why not just wear… tights? I mean, if you’re gonna wear socks anyway (my feet are always cold, I like the multiple layers). But I gotta say, these Ooh La Leggings from Papercut Patterns were REALLY intriguing to me. They look so cozy and comfortable – and the model just looks super glamorous. Or maybe it’s because she’s gorgeous, I don’t know, either way, it got my attention.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

The pattern is one of those deceptively simple patterns that offers a bit of a kick with the finished piece with all the interesting seaming – front and back yokes and seams down the front and backs of the legs. It’s very easy to put together – I can get these done in a couple of hours, from cutting to hemming – and it doesn’t require a lot of knit finesse or even fitting to get everything looking good. Only 5 pieces, a self-encased elastic waistband, and a quick pintuck of the front leg seams (or leave it off, see if I care) and you’ve got a pair of leggings that has a little somethin’ somethin’.

This is actually my second pair of Ooh La Leggings… I made another pair a couple of months ago, in red rayon knit. I never bothered to take photos (again, I wasn’t sure how to go about modeling them), but I can assure you that they get worn frequently. They are SUPER comfortable and they’re red!

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

I cut the smallest size – the XXS – and took about 4″ off the hem. I should point out that the waistband hits very high on these – above the belly button.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

The grey fabric is a lovely merino wool, straight from New Zealand. Katie sent me a big, gorgeous stack of this shit earlier this summer, and I’ve been hesitant to cut into any of it because I didn’t know what to make with something so special! Leggings, I think, are a good choice – I can layer them in the winter when I’m biking, or wear them as loungewear.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

If you’ve never used merino wool, let me be the first to tell you that this stuff is AWESOME. It’s soo soft and warm, and you can wash and dry it like normal in the machine! It doesn’t slip around while you’re cutting it, nor do the edges roll up when you’re sewing it. There is a good elasticity and stretch recovery as well. The fabric of the gods, basically!

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

The only drawback (which I don’t consider a drawback, since I don’t wear these as pants!) is that this stuff is a little thin. Thin enough where you can see everything under my leggings – including my panty lines (hey, at least you know I’m wearing undies amirite) and all the muscles in my legs. I was a little hesitant to post these pictures because I don’t think they’re terribly flattering – are my thighs really that big?! – but, you know, whatever. Them’s my legs and that’s just what they look like.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

I also made my top, do you like it? The pattern is the Coppelia, and if you’re keeping track here you’ll know that it’s my third one (others are here and here). For this one, I sized down to the XXS and lengthened the bottom by 2″. I also shortened the neckband because it was gaping a bit, but I think that’s my fabric choice. Speaking of which, this is some type of rayon knit from Mood Fabrics, and it’s really weird. It feels like a cheap polyester, but it’s definitely rayon (I burned it and everything). Also, it’s kind of see through, despite being a bit thick. So weird!

Anyway, whatever, white wrap top/good layering basic.

I just realized you can totally see a mosquito on my chest in this picture. HAHA. Omg I hate mosquitoes.

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

Consider me a leggings convert! I still don’t know if I would willingly leave the house without something covering my ass (I say this as I have posted pictures of myself ON THE INTERNET with my ass out, and everyone knows the internet never forgets), but maybe with a thicker fabric, I could see it happening. I think these would be really wonderful in a ponte knit. You know I’m gonna try it!

Ooh La Leggings & Coppelia Cardy

Did I show you how good my ass looks in these? Because… look at how good my ass looks in these things.

Completed: The Lady Skater Dress

22 Jul

PATTERN TOUR WITH LOGO

About a month ago, Amanda contacted me and asked if I’d like to participate in her Lady Skater Pattern Tour, to promote this awesome new pattern that she had just released. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to participate – my fabric funds are currently pretty tight right now, and YES IT SUCKS – but after chatting for a hot minute (with me flapping my arms and squawking about how much I was dying to sew the pattern up), Amanda offered to send me some yardage from her shop, Kitschy Coo.

Lady Skater Dress

Specificially, this ice blue tiger knit. HOLY SHIT, right?!

Lady Skater Dress

I’m really not trying to be cocky here, but I’m fairly confident that I have the best dress in the world now. For real.

Lady Skater Dress

I’m supposed to talk about the pattern, so let’s discuss that first! This is the Lady Skater Dress pattern – a basic knit dress pattern that opens itself up to a world of customizations, and it’s EASY. It’s so easy, y’all. If you’ve never sewn a knit before, this is a great pattern to use for toe-dipping.

Lady Skater Dress

Let me put it this way – whenever I sew up a new pattern (especially if I’m testing), I keep a notebook on hand to write myself little notes. Stuff like adjustments on size or construction, whatever I can think of that will help other people who are sewing the same pattern. When I sewed this dress, I literally did not make ANY notes. The instructions cover every single thing that I would have already said – even down to creative cutting layouts to make the most of your fabric yardage. If that’s not a sign of a well-written pattern, I don’t know what is :)

Lady Skater Dress

My dress is a size 2, which corresponds perfectly with my measurements. I made absolutely no changes to the sizing – this is how it fit straight out of the envelopeerrr, printer ;). I did shorten the length a little, but that’s just a personal preference. The skirt should hit about at your knees, if you keep it at the length as printed.

Lady Skater Dress

Like I said, the instructions on this dress are pretty fabulous. Amanda has you stabilize both the shoulder seams and the waistline seam with clear elastic – something I’ve never done before. I’ve used twill tape (topstitched down with a twin needle), and fusible interfacing (which, obviously, doesn’t require sewing on, so it’s invisible), so I was interested to see how this worked out. First of all, I should mention that I didn’t have any clear elastic on hand, nor could I be arsed to buy any. SOWWY. I used regular ol’ polyester elastic, 1/4″ wide, and followed the same instructions for the clear. You basically sew the elastic on right along the seam allowance, so when it comes time to sew your pieces together, they are permanently attached along the seam.

Lady Skater Dress

Here is my waist seam. You can’t see it from the inside, but guys – it works. My fabric is a bit heavy, but the waist seam stays exactly where it should (instead of sagging and being sad and droopy). I should also point out that I took these pictures after wearing the dress all day. Nice, yeah? ;)

Lady Skater Dress

I love the skirt on this dress! It has a nice flare, but it’s not so huge that it eats up too much fabric, or creates difficulties when navigating the world on a windy day.

Lady Skater Dress

The only thing I’m not crazy about are the wrinkles on the back. There are instructions on the pattern to eliminate this, but I’d already sewn my top and bottom together and I couldn’t be arsed to unpick the serging (yep, sorry, lazy LT). I may try to fix it on the next go-round, but honestly? It’s the back of the dress. I’m not looking at it, therefore, I’m not sure if I really care :P

Lady Skater Dress

I decided early on that I wanted something contrasty for my neck and arm bands. Initially, I wanted black, but I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash. This polka dot knit is from Mood, and it’s a pretty perfect match, yeah? I tend to shy away from mixing prints, but I don’t think this is too busy at all!

Lady Skater Dress

I think it’s funny that I somehow managed to match the tigers at the back waist seam (trust me… that was unintentional, haha!). Wish it would have worked out for the front, too. Oh well!

Lady Skater Dress

Srsly, tho: TIGERS.

Lady Skater Dress

Lady Skater Dress

Lady Skater Dress

Sorry for the picture overload, I am really enjoying the macro setting on my new camera, haha!! My topstitching was done with a double needle, and white wooly nylon thread in the bobbin.

So, like, you know what’s better than white tiger knit fabric?

Lady Skater Dress

MATCHING WHITE TIGER SHOESSSSSSSSSSS!!!

IS THIS A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN OR WHAT?!

Lady Skater Dress

The Lady Skater is TOTALLY my new TNT knit pattern. I can’t wait to make multiples upon multiples upon multiples of this lil guy :D

Thanks again, Amanda, for letting me join this pattern tour and also for the ACE fabric!!

Completed: Hummingbird Separates

8 Jul

I hope everyone had a good weekend – holiday or not! I celebrated by basically NOT leaving the house, except to get an oil change (for my truck) and donate blood (from my body). It was rainy and cold all weekend, which is really abnormal for July. No complaints here!

I didn’t get too much sewing done, surprisingly (rain makes me want to lay on the couch, which means that I knit!), but I did make myself a new outfit to wear over the weekend – using the new Hummingbird pattern.

Hummingbird Set

Every time I sew up one of this patterns, I am reminded of just how much I loooove Cake (not the food, the pattern company! Although, I’m not one to turn down the food, either…). These patterns are basically my dream patterns – easy to customize the fit, easy to adjust during sewing, easy to sew (but with just enough challenge to keep things interesting), basic & wearable for all occasions. Not to mention, Steph recently changed up the paper patterns to include sizing lines in different colors. It’s like a party in the envelope, guyzzz.

Hummingbird Set

This is the whole set – both the top and the skirt. This is my second top from this pattern (and no, you haven’t seen the first because I never blogged about it. It won’t be in this post either because it was in the wash while I was taking pictures! Soon!), and my first skirt. I wasn’t sure if I would even make the skirt, since a fitted/straight style isn’t really something I wear much of – I like to be able to mooooove… ride my bike, sit on the floor, crawl under tables, you know, the usual – but it’s surprisingly comfortable! These pictures were taken after a full day, so pardon my wrinkles.

Hummingbird Set

We can discuss the top first. I cut the size 30 bust/26 waist (Cake patterns are based off your measurements, not standard sizing) with a 17″ length (this ensures that the peplum hits the right place – I think it does! What do you think?). This is exactly how the pattern is written, with NO alterations. Can you believe how good it fits straight out of the envelope?!

Hummingbird Set

Unfortuately, I don’t think I’ll get much wear out of this top. As cute as this stripey fabric is, it’s kind of tragic – loosely woven, and stretches like a mother (it also unravels. A KNIT. I can’t even…). It’s the same fabric I used for my Stripey Tiramisu, and it just sags and bags after a couple hours. I don’t know why I bought sooo many yards of it, but ugh, I did. So I’ll just enjoy the top while I can, I guess.

Hummingbird Set

To make this work with my fabric, I had to drastically shorten the neck and arm bands to keep them from being floppy (this is super easy, since you sew those on while they’re flat, instead of in the round – you can just cut the excess off). Instead of using interfacing to stabilize the shoulder seams, I pulled out the big guns and used 1/4″ elastic. I also used the same elastic at the waistline; hopefully this will keep the weight of the peplum from pulling the shirt down too much.

Hummingbird Set

Ok, skirt’s turn! This is a 26 waist/35 hip (the measurements closest to my own, obviously). I actually ended up needing to take in quite a bit during the side seam fitting – about 1″ off each side of the waist. Fortunately, this pattern is made to allow for fitting during that stage of sewing, so it didn’t mess up my pocket placement or anything.

Hummingbird Set

Be warned that this skirt is a bit on the short side – I only hemmed mine 1/2″, and this is the length I got.

Hummingbird Set

I used the same denim leftover from my Peter & the Wolf Pants – I think the stretch is key to making this skirt super comfortable. And bonus, this skirt barely took any fabric – less than 7/8 yard!

Hummingbird Set
Hummingbird Set

Sooo these pictures were taken with my new camera, btw. I think they look pretty good, but it’s obvious that the close-ups need better focus. I also discovered that I do not like the self-timer on this camera; it takes the pictures rapidly with no time between. Good thing I ordered a remote last week!

Hummingbird Set
Hummingbird Set

Ok, I’ve officially run out of things to say about this set. Here’s some flat shots!

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

SURPRISE FANCY POCKET LINING, YEEEAHHH!!!

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

I took a close-up of the fabric so you could see how awful it is. It is literally a knitted fabric – that’s stockinette right there. Isn’t the macro feature on my camera delicious, though? Expect lots of close-up shots, I can’t get over it.

Hummingbird Set

I can’t wait to try the flouncy version of this sucker. Gonna shake my tailfeathers all over the place :D

Psst! I have a couple announcements, real quick!

- My awesome sponsor, Sweet Little Chickadee, is moving to NY and closing shop for a month or so to handle the move – but in the meantime, she’s having a quick sale to empty out stock. Use the code MOVINGSALE to get 15% off your total purchase (this includes sale items!) through Tuesday, July 11. I know the blog post says Sunday 7/7, but Juli just informed me that she is extending the sale, soooo… shop your hearts out! But hurry! :)
- Speaking of shopping, I’ve started the mind-numbingly awful process of preparing some of my handmade and vintage clothes to be put up for sale on Etsy. I took tons of pictures and measurements over the weekend, and I’ve been slowly adding them to my shop. I thought it would be real awesome to have everything up and running by the time I wrote this blog post, but obviously that hasn’t happened yet. Check back at the LLADYBIRD shop if you are interested in buying a little piece of my history – I plan to have them all in the shop by the end of the week (and I’ll mention on the blog and/or Twitter when that’s said and done).

I hate the idea of selling my beautiful handmade clothing, but none of this stuff fits me anymore and it’s too much of a size change to take in. Rather than hoard it for no reason, I’d love to see this stuff go to a loving home where it will actually get worn. I’m not trying to make a huge profit here, so I’m pricing everything pretty low. Proceeds are going to fund some upcoming medical expenses I have, if you’re curious. Also, I am NOT trying to turn this into a big blog about how everyone should buy my shit, so don’t worry about that. Again, if you’re interested – check out my shop!

Hummingbird Set

Ok, I guess that’s it!

Completed: The Wild Side of Butterick 5078

27 Mar

Apologies in advance for the lame post title. This dress, though, is NOT lame. Unless you think leopard is lame, and if that’s the case – I’m afraid we can’t be friends at this point, so you need to GTFO, bye.

Leopard Knit Dress
This is my third (!!!) make of Butterick 5078 – and likely not my last, although it probably should be for right now. I love this pattern, although I’ve had to make a few modifications to get it exactly where I want it – shortening the skirt, eliminating the waist runching, and streamlining the sewing process. It appears to work well with a variety of fabrics, from slinky to ones with lots of body. Now that’s a versatile pattern, yeah?
(ooh I just noticed how crooked that picture is. My tripod doesn’t stand straight, so I usually have to straighten them in editing… and I guess I didn’t straighten that one enough. Sorry! I’m also not fixing it, mwahaha)

Leopard Knit Dress
My fabric is a lovely knit ponte from Mood fabrics – it has a nice heft and body to it (unlike the rayon jersey I used for my slinky 5078), as well as a good amount of stretch, even though it’s also quite stable. This fabric was a joy to work with, especially when it came time for my twin needle topstitching. Usually I have to play around with the tension and stitch length to get a good smooth stitch without that weird bump down the middle, but with this stuff the stitches just sank right in. It also presses really well – which yeah, pressing a knit seems kind of weird, but I like to press my hems before I topstitch as I find it makes it easier to sew. And while it’s nice and cozy, I also think it’ll be totally suitable for warmer months.

Leopard Knit Dress
As I mentioned before, I switched up the construction order for this to makes things easier. I basically just sewed everything flat, and then swooped up the side seams at the very end. This is what I love so much about knits – having those open side seams means it’s really easy to suck everything if you need to size it down a little. Which I ended up doing, since the super stretch of the fabric made the dress too big originally. I also narrowed the width of the midriff section, as the skirt is very heavy and the weight was pulling it down.

Leopard Knit Dress
Also, I wasn’t thinking when I bought this stuff (well I was thinking, but more along the lines of “OOH LEOPARD OOH SEXY DRESS LET ME WRAP MYSELF IN THIS HERE BOLT OF FABRIC), and I only bought a yard and a half. It would’ve been enough if the bodice wasn’t cut on the bias. Whoops! I spent foreeeeever trying different cutting layouts to get this to fit on my piece of fabric. In the end, I shortened the sleeves to elbow-length, took an additional 2″ off the skirt, and now the bodice back has a seam (it’s supposed to be cut on the fold – can you see that seam tho? It kind of looks, oh, camouflaged trololol).

Leopard Knit Dress
Sewing the actual dress took barely any time at all, though. Seriously. It took me 45 minutes to stitch the thing together.

Leopard Knit Dress
Leopard Knit Dress
Here it is without the belt. You all know I’ve been on a major belt kick lately, but this looks pretty good sans belt, too!

Leopard Knit Dress
Consider me a ponte convert! Special thanks to Carolyn, she dragged me to the section I would have otherwise ignored. Now I wish I had one of everything that was in there, gah.

Leopard Knit Dress
Man, I love leopard print. It really goes with everything… expect maybe more leopard print. I probably shouldn’t wear my leopard coat with this, eh?

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??

Completed: A Stripey Tiramisu

8 Feb

It’s no secret that I love knits – I love sewing them and I love wearing them. Sometimes when life throws you a big shit sack full of bummer, the only way to get back on the horse is with a good ol’ TNT. All knits are TNT as far as I’m concerned (so. freaking. forgiving!), but I especially love my purple Tira, because it goes the extra step of actually looking pulled together. Which is nice, especially when you just wanna feel like you’re wearing comfy pajamas.

As much as I love purple, though, it’s pretty winter and no duh I need a stripey summer Tiramisu now, right? No shame, I totally ripped off both Steph AND Penelope, because I am shameless and awesome and secretly hoping we can be twins(triplets?). Ladies, pls.

Stripey Tiramisu
Anyway, who doesn’t love stripes?! It’s like wearing a circus ON MY BODY.

Stripey Tiramisu
This fabric is from the giant sale at my local fabric store, where I totally cleaned up last month. I actually have this stuff in black/white stripes too (and I think I bought some crazy amount, like 4 yards of it haha). It’s so stripey and soft and awesome. It’s also kind of not really suitable for this kind of dress; it’s VERY stretchy, 4 ways, and super drapey. I had to make a few changes to the pattern to get it to work – which ended up ok in the end, but please heed my warning: you need something more stable for this dress, unless you want to futz with the fit all night like I did.

Stripey Tiramisu
Still, it turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself! And it looks so good with my new shoes :D

Stripey Tiramisu
Anyway, let’s talk about the changes I made:
- I reduced the size of the bust to a C on the pattern tissue, but once I basted the top together to test the fit, it was still a bit low (as the fabric was pulling under it’s own weight. And this was before the skirt was attached!). I removed another 3/4″ from the underbust, although looking at these pictures, I could’ve stood to remove a little more.
- I reduced the waist by 3/4″ before sewing; once sewn up I had to take in the side seams another 1/2″ or so. I’m telling you – this fabric is soo stretchy!
- I shortened the neck and arm bands and stretched them to fit when I sewed them on; without stretching, they would have ended up floppy.
- I shortened the hem twice – first hacked about 3.5″ off the pattern tissue, then another 2″ when the dress was sewn up as the skirt had stretched under it’s own weight.
- I left out the pockets – I feel like they add a lot of bulk with fabric like this.

Stripey Tiramisu
I tried to match up the stripes, but I didn’t do the best job. They match up on this side…

Stripey Tiramisu
… but not the other side. This is partially because the fabric was a PAIN IN THE ASS to cut (so shifty!), and partially because I had to keep sucking in the side seams after the dress was finished, to get it to fit. Also, please note that the waistband is not cut straight. Again, shifty fuckin fabric.

Stripey Tiramisu
The shoulder seams also do not completely match up. Oh well!

Despite my problems with the fabric, the gape factor is pretty non-existent:
Stripey Tiramisu
Stripey Tiramisu
I think the key to this is shortening the bands and stretching them to fit the neckline. It kind of sucks everything in, and allows it to curve to your body.

Stripey Tiramisu
If you have your heart set on sewing this pattern with a very drapey fabric, make sure you are vigilant about pressing every seam. It really makes a huge difference, especially on the bands.

Stripey Tiramisu
Stripey Tiramisu
Sorry about all the loose threads; I had literally just finished the dress before I took the pictures :)

Stripey Tiramisu
Now then, let’s have a bit of Spring up in here, pls?

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