Tag Archives: papercut patterns

Completed: the Meissa Blouse

28 Feb

I think every sewist has a dream fabric that they’ve spent years searching for in vain. It’s not necessarily a weird combination of prints and colors on a totally inappropriate weave, but whatever the specific end result is, it’s nowhere to be found. I have two – a wide (like 3″ or more) white and navy striped twill, and a bicycle print that is NOT quilting cotton.

Meissa Blouse

I gave up on the stripes, but the bicycle print really haunts me. I’ve seen some cute little stylized bikies (see my Bicycley Belladone for an example), but I was holding out for that literal printed-bike-on-some-lightweight-cotton-in-a-nice-color-combination that didn’t seem to exist. And NO pennyfarthings! I want real bikes, not some super hipster twiddly mustache crap.

Meissa Blouse

I had this particular fabric in mind when I was contacted by Organic Cotton Plus with offers to try out some of their yardage. I’d just been back from snooping at Brooks Brothers, specifically zeroing in on this Bicycle print button-up. Isn’t that shit amazing? Argh! So I thought to myself, “Cool, well I’ll just get a stamp and make my own, yeah? Oh, they don’t have any batiste in good colors… but they do have dye…”

And this, my friends, is how I ended up with two yards of white cotton batiste, emerald green Procion dye and some weird little bag of soda ash. Have I gotten in over my head? Probably.

Meissa Blouse

My first couple of days were preparing the fabric – first, I dyed it in a bucket (for real; I stood at the kitchen sink with a my Kindle on Netflix and squished it around the water while wearing gloves, ha!). I wish I would have used a bit more dye in my mix; the end result color is pretty, but it is lighter than the emerald green I was anticipating. On the flip side, though, the dye took evenly all the way across the fabric, so yay!

After I finished the dye bath and let the fabric dry, I took to stamping the entire yardage with a rubber stamp and fabric paint (I blobbed my paint into a dried-up ink pad to make it easier to use). I thought this part was gonna take forever, but it wasn’t too bad! Since stamping tends to look pretty, well, stamped (i.e., it’s not exact and you won’t get a perfect image transfer every single time), I didn’t follow any straight lines and just kind of stamped around haphazardly. After I cut the pieces, I re-stamped a few that had big gaps. This particular ink is great because you don’t have to heat-set it to keep it from washing out (which is good bc I’d spent long enough prepping the fabric, so one less end task is good in my book!), and the ink itself absorbs into the fabric and is not stiff.

Meissa Blouse

Other than the dye reaction it had (which is I think my fault for not making a strong enough dye bath, oops. Live and learn!), I really enjoyed working with this fabric. The batiste is one of those good ones that feels like there’s silk or something smooth and luscious blended in the fabric, but it is truly 100% cotton (and organic, no less!). Because it is cotton, it presses well, which makes it perfect for shirtmaking. It’s also not super sheer like some batistes – even the virgin white would be fine for a shirt. Always a plus in my book!

Meissa Blouse

The pattern I used is the Meissa Blouse from my beloved Papercut Patterns. I love this pattern because it’s a casual button-up without being an Archer (which I obviously LOOOVE, but hey yo, a girl’s gotta branch out!), ha. The little feminine details – the rounded collar, the shoulder yokes with the little gathers, the double buttons – seemed like a good match for this fabric, and a nice nod to my original inspiration without being a blatant copy.

Meissa Blouse

The pattern instructions make this thing really, really easy. Katie has had lots of praise around the webs for how good they are, and it’s all try! Really basic, really straightforward, and beautiful results. I did change a few things just because I’ve hit my personal shirtmaking stride – I flat-felled every seam (the way the shirt is made, only the side and underarm seams are not enclosed, so it’s not like you have a flat fell a million seams to do this) and I pulled in the waist an additional 1/2″ or so. I also shortened the sleeves by about 1″.

Meissa Blouse

Meissa Blouse

Whatever I did to the sleeve seams now means that I cannot button the cuffs around my wrist – they are WAY too small! Whoops! Oh well, this is totally a summer shirt, and I’ll never wear those sleeves rolled down anyway. Ha!

Meissa Blouse

Meissa Blouse

To keep the shirt from being overwhelmingly green, I added some cotton braid to the inside of the button band (butted up right against the stitching line) and inside the sleeve cuffs.

Meissa Blouse

Meissa Blouse

The sleeve cuff treatment is something I saw on the Brook’s Brothers shirt (seriously… if you have a Brooks Brothers in your area, you should snoop it. Some of the finishing inside the clothes there was pretty awesome!). There was a little piece of petersham ribbon tucked in the seam at the top of the cuff, which shows when you flip up the cuffs. Using that inspiration, I tried to do the same thing with my shirt. It’s a liiiiiittle sloppy because I was experimenting, but I like how it turned out! It even makes me ok with the fact that I can’t use the cuffs :)

Meissa Blouse

I’m super happy with all the detailing on the shirt. I used lots of topstitching so it would really stand out.

Meissa Blouse

And hey, check it out – the shirt is long enough to where I can tie the bottom in a knot, like a fashion blogger or some shit.

Meissa Blouse

Meissa Blouse

~So fashun.

Meissa Blouse

I still have quite a bit of the dye & soda ash left over. I’m thinking I may buy a load of silk and sandwash the shit out of it. My friend Elizabeth uses soda ash to prewash her silks into this amazing textured wonderland, so I can’t wait to try that! I will definitely report back with results. First, I gotta find a washing machine, though ;)

Ok, ONE last thing – and I promise this is a good one! Remember The Great British Sewing Bee and how we (we as in Americans, ha) bitched about not having a US version of the show? Well, I was contacted by a Love Productions, who is in the process of producing and casting a pilot for – you guessed it – an American version, called The Sewing Bee! They are currently on the hunt for amateur sewists in the NY, CT & NJ area (although if they get picked up, they will expand to nationwide). I actually ended up talking to one of the producers on the phone and I’m really excited to hear about the plans they have in the works – such as, the show will differ slightly from the UK version in that there will be a different set of contestants and winners every week. One thing that is similar is how they plan on editing – as far as I know, it will be as drama-free as the UK version, which is what I like most about it!

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Click here for a bigger version of the flyer

If you’re in the area (or don’t mind traveling and camping out for a couple of weeks, I guess), you should definitely try out for the show! And then report back to me, because I want to see y’all on the teeeveeee!

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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 :)

DIY with Zazzle

6 Dec

Have y’all ever heard of Zazzle? It’s an online marketplace where you can create custom, well, anything, and have it printed and shipped directly to you, on demand. Not only that, but you can also upload your designs to sell and have other people buy them! Pretty neat, and pretty perfect if you love creating designs but hate going through with actually getting the design printed on anything. Ooh La Leggings Zazzle contacted me a couple of months ago to see if I wanted to try out some of their products for a review. Did I! The hardest part was figuring out what I wanted – seriously, the options are endless. You can make tshirts (with like 50+ styles and colors to choose from), business cards, coffee mugs, key chains, buttons, stretched canvases for your wall, phone cases, greeting cards, custom wrapping paper… the list goes on and on and on and on and on! And everything can be customized. Ooh La Leggings I spent about 2 weeks trying to sort through the products, and in the end I decided to go with a pre-designed raglan tshirt – the Crafty Tee! Isn’t it cute? I love the design and the fact that I could get it printed on a raglan. You can also change the colors of the raglan, but I love the simple black and white. Ooh La Leggings My only beef with this top is the sizing – the suggested sizing says I need to go up from my normal size, since it runs small. So I ordered a medium, and it was just too big :( Should have trusted my gut and went with the small, oh well! Fortunately, I have a serger and I can make shit, so one quick swipe through my machine and the fit is perfect. No bagginess! Ooh La Leggings Ooh La Leggings Keeping things relevant with the ol’ blog, I also made my leggings. I used the Ooh La Leggings pattern (my flavorite), and this amazing solid red rayon ponte from Mood. You can’t see too well in the pictures, but it has a lovely sheen to it and it’s very soft. I love these ponte leggings because they are SO comfortable, and they almost pass as pants! Especially if you tuck them into boots, ha. Zazzle Loot I still had some extra credit burning a hole in my account, so I decided to also order some tiny business cards and a custom mug. Aren’t they cool! Zazzle Loot Zazzle Loot You probably saw this mug on my Instagram, because it’s hilarious. My sewing motto (other than “I’ve made a huge mistake” haha) is “That’s steam out” (because, seriously, IT WILL STEAM OUT). I say it all the time! So naturally, I needed a mug that said it. I couldn’t think of an appropriate, non-licensed picture to include, so I just went with one that I know doesn’t have any copyrights attached to it – my tattoo! Ha! “Designing” the mug was really easy – I just uploaded my picture, centered it where I wanted it on the mug, and then added text and played around with fonts until it looked right. There are multiple views of the mug, so you can do a 360 to make sure everything is placed correctly. If I could change anything about the whole process, I would include some pre-set, standard placements to choose when you’re centering your picture and text. There is a center vertically and center horizontally, which helps a lot, but most of my mugs have the design centered when the mug is turned to the side – so it looks nice while you’re holding it. I’ve learned that choosing placement is hard when you don’t have the physical mug to look at, and as a result, my stuff isn’t quite centered. And it’s also on the wrong side (I’d say oops, but it faces me when I’m holding it sooo that’s actually kind of a good thing, maybe). Honestly, I could send this back and get it fixed (it’s Zazzle’s policy to refund or replace if you’re not satisfied with how your design turned out), but I dunno, I guess I’m lazy. This works good enough for me! I’m also happy with the quality – it’s a nice, solid porcelain (makes a fun ‘ting!’ when you hit it with your spoon, aha) and the image is very sharp with saturated colors. Zazzle Loot The last product I chose were these skinny business cards for my blog! Nothing fancy, just my name, email and blog address (plus that little pincushion because, d’awww). I forever have people asking me for my blog link when they find out I have one, and I’m forever searching for paper to write it down on. Now I can just hand them a card! And they’re so tiny and cute. I also love the package they came in – it keeps the cards safe from the dangerous land that is the inside of my purse, but it’s easy to pull a card out by sliding your thumb across the top. Ooh La Leggings Overall, I’m very happy with my Zazzle experience – everything went to print and then shipped quickly, and the ordering process was smooth and simple. I would love to create a custom printed tshirt and then work some refashioning magic on it – how fun would that be?! Plus, I think I need more coffee mugs – like this one. And ooh, check out the cool sewing tshirts – one, two, and holy shit this is hilarious. Thanks, Zazzle, for letting me test and review a tiny offering of your massive array of products! Guys, just as a head’s up – this post contains affiliate links. Meaning, if you click the link and then buy the product, I get a teeny kick-back. Just in case some of y’all hate me or something, and don’t want to contribute monetarily. No worries! Anyone else get a hankerin’ for some DIY with someone else doing the work? Have you ever ordered from Zazzle before? I think I’m in love!

edit sorry the tshirt link was bad, y’all! I updated it and hopefully it’s fixed now :) Also, I just noticed that everything on the site is 20% off – and tshirts are 50% off! Sale runs today only, so go shop your little hearts out :)

Pattern Testing: The Sigma Dress

13 Nov

Umm, have you guys seen the new Constellation Collection from Papercut Patterns? Obviously, I’m biased here, but it’s pretty freaking amazing! Katie has really killed it this time, with the release of six fabulous new patterns – including a bomber jacket (which, duh, totally making that). I was lucky enough to test a pattern in this round, so I ended up making the Sigma Dress. Want to see? :)

Sigma Dress

The Sigma is a simple dress that can be made up in a variety of views/fabrics to create a different dress each time. What I love best about this pattern is the pure simplicity of it – it can be embellished however you please. Add a sweet detachable collar, sew it up in a fabulous brocade for the holidays, tough it up with an exposed zipper – it’s super versitale! And, I should point out, it’s a great pattern to sew up in a lovely plaid ;)

Sigma Dress

My Sigma has the skirt from variation 2 (small gathers at the waist; kind of hard to see in this fabric, ah!) and a weird mishmash of sleeves from both variations. I reeeeeally wanted this dress to have long sleeves, but I totally borked up the cutting, like, immediately (I blame it on the kidney stone), so I just made the sleeves as long as my fabric would allow me to. Soo, elbow-length it is!

Sigma Dress

I cut the size XXS, based on my measurements, and it was a near-perfect fit straight out of the envelope. I did have to add two small 1/4″ darts at the back neckline because it gaped a little, but that’s a pretty typical measurement for me. I also sewed in a lapped zipper at at 5/8″ seam allowance (these patterns use a 3/8″ seam allowance), to tighten the waist seam and also because I didn’t want to math.

Sigma Dress

Fair warning, this baby is SHORT! This is the actual length you see on me, and I’m 5’2″. Katie and I discussed the length, well, at length (hee, we’re like a mini-focus group), and she ultimately decided to keep the original short length because it’s cute as hell and add lengthen/shorten lines to the skirt so you can get on with your bad self and make it whatever length you want!

Sigma Dress
Sigma Dress

See that strange lightened area around the pocket? Yeeeah, that was where I applied interfacing to the wrong side of the skirt, sewed up the pocket, stuck it on the dressform and realized my stupid fabric was identical right/wrong side and I had used the wrong side as the right side. Meaning, my unbalanced plaid did not match at ALL at the waistline. After mulling over it for a couple of days, I carefully shredded off the interfacing and tried to wash the glue off, but as you can see – a little still remains. It’s not totally noticeable, but it *is* there. Something to keep in mind if you’re making this up in a plaid – make sure you’re using the correct side of the fabric ;)

Sigma Dress

“Wait, did someone say pockets? In this dress??”

Sigma Dress

Yep! Yay for pockets!

Sigma Dress

If you were wondering about my fabric choice, it’s really not anything special – some lightweight cotton plaid I got from a friend (who I think originally bought it at an estate sale). It’s actually a bit toooo lightweight for this dress, as it loves to wrinkle up whenever it has the opportunity. But, you know, that’s the beauty of this pattern – you can make it in practically anything. Anything!

Sigma Dress
Sigma Dress

I also think the neckline is just perfect for showcasing those little choker-esque necklaces that I can never figure out what to pair with.

This was my first experience testing for Katie (although not my first rodeo with her patterns, yeehaw!), and it was a very pleasant experience! I really liked that she had the patterns printed and shipped directly to us, as opposed to sending out PDFs to be printed and assembled at home. For one, I hate printing PDFs (and I don’t even have access to a printer anymore after quitting my office job, sooo it’s not like I could print even if I wanted to. Ok, I could go to a copy shop but you and I both know that’s not gonna happen), and for two, I’m not really sure how accurate they are when it comes to testing purposes. Seems like an easy way to fuck things up, size-wise, in my opinion.

Sooo, now that I’ve waxed poetic about this pattern for an entire post, who else is excited to get their hands on it? Or anything from the new collection? I think the next sewalong we have on the Papercut blog will be for this dress – just because I reeeeeally want to play around with different looks (which you can’t really do with a tester pattern, I mean, not the slicing and hacking type of playing :)). Speaking of which, we have a La Sylphide sewalong going on right now if anyone is keen to join!

Sigma Dress

Right now, through 11/15, you can get 15% off this pattern (or any pattern in the new collection) with free shipping! This is a great opportunity to try out a Papercut Pattern, if you’ve been on the fence before. Not to mention, Katie added a new size so they go up to XL now :) What are you waiting for??

I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT

30 Sep

No finished outfit post today, I’m afraid- spending a weekend in Chicago means I didn’t exactly get any sewing done ;) But what I DO have to share today is some REALLY FUCKING EXCITING NEWS. And before you ask – no preggers, no engagement. Just so that’s out of the way ;)

LOVE this sign @kaelahbee made for me with my ~sewing motto~ haha!!

Actually, I have no idea how to bring this up so I’ll just go out and say it – I got a new job! Ok, that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, it’s what I’m doing that is exciting. Ladies (and… gentlemen?)- I will be working part-time for Muna Couture, a local dressmaker here in Nashville. Muna specializes in custom formal wear – wedding dresses and ball gowns and the like – but she also does beautiful made-to-order clothing on a less fancy scale, as well as bridal alterations. To say I’m grateful for this opportunity and excited to start a career that actually encompasses my passion is a complete understatement – I am OVER THE MOON. I have so so so much to learn, and I can’t wait to share all the dirty details with y’all!

boss

But wait, there’s more – I will also be working for Papercut Patterns as the official blogger for The Papercut Collective! Obviously, y’all know how much I love sewing and blogging about it – so this is basically going to be the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned. Katie and I have been emailing and Skyping back and forth for a hot minute, and we’ve been cooking up some fun plans. I can’t wait to start up some pattern hacks and sew-alongs!

conan

My previous job was working for an advertising agency, sitting at the front desk and doing media-related stuff. It was a good gig- I loved the people I worked for and with, and enjoyed most of the work (lots of math and data entry, yay!), but I was bored for the most part as there was never enough work for me to do (meaning, I spent a lot of time on my blog. Dudes, you have no idea…). I’d been at that job for over 6 years, and a few months ago, I realized it was time for a change. I wanted to do something that I felt like I was actually good at, something I enjoyed doing – and not just passing time until the weekend came. I was bored, I was restless, and I started exploring my options. I had met with Muna through a mutual friend, and while I visited with her every week after work, I didn't think that working for her would be a viable option until very recently.

shit

Obviously, it's been REALLY hard keeping this under wraps – I've been in cahoots about this for months! But, I finished my last day of work at the office on Wednesday, so I figure now is as good a time as any to get y'all in the loop ;)

You might be asking – what does this mean for the future of the LLADYBIRD blog? Well – hopefully, not too big of a change from a reader's perspective! I am not quitting my job to be a full-time blogger, or littering posts with sneaky affiliate links, or just giving up on the blog entirely. My relationship with Mood Fabrics still stands. There may actually be more sewing, since I'll have more time on my hands. You can always follow the Papercut Collective if you want an extra dose of Lauren ;) (actually, PLEASE follow it! We can hang out with each other twice as much! :D)

Really, I just wanted to get this post out because I feel like it’s important to share this part of my life with y’all – and to thank you for reading/following/just being generally awesome. I never thought I would say that my stupid blog would get me a job… but it kind of did. I am so thankful to have this opportunity, and so excited to start this new chapter in my life! Sorry for all the gushing, I just love you guys ok.

**(In regards to the picture at the top of this post… hopefully that motto will remain only a sewing motto ;) Sign painted by Kaelah btw!)

Further, what would a happy news post be without some PARTY GIFS?

Andrew WK Party Hard

Andrew WK Time To Party

dancin

deal with it

EDIT lol just noticed the typo in the title of this post. DAMMIT. Fixed now!
Thank you thank you thank you for all your support – and for not pointing that out ;) ha!

Completed: Polka Dot Peter and The Wolf Pants

26 Sep

Remember when I was trying to hunt down the perfect polka dot fabric for these Peter & The Wolf pants? And then I couldn’t find it and I was sad but I made them anyway? Well! Look what I found!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

My dream stretch polka dots pants fabric – a polyester wool suiting with flocked polka dots (right?! right?!)!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

I got a fistful of swatches from Mood about a month ago, this swatch being one of them. I immediately zeroed in on those flocked polka dots and called the store to get a couple yards sent to me. I should also mention this was like day #2 post-surgery, and I was laying on the couch totally hopped up on painkillers and I’m fairly certain that the dude on the other end of the line thought I was a crazypants. Whatever! Joke’s on him, now I HAVE the crazypants!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Then I got my fabric and I rolled around in it for a couple of weeks because that is what you do when you are in love.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Again, I used the Peter & The Wolf pants from Papercut Patterns, with just a couple modifications from the last time I made them. I already had the pattern pieces modified to reflect the changes I made – sizing, crotch length, crotch curve, all that good stuff – but I went ahead and made a quickie muslin just to be SURE before cutting into this precious stuff. I added another 1/2″ of length to the legs and swapped out the waistband for a curved waistband – specifically, I used the waistband from my Clovers. I definitely prefer the way this fits over the straight band – and it’s a good height, too. It just barely covers my bellybutton, which I like.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

I lined my pockets with a little scrap of Bemberg rayon lining and it’s kind of amazing. I feel so posh whenever I stick my hands in my pockets now, ha!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Also, I’m very happy to report that the grainlines are totally straight on these pants (since I didn’t have to do emergency pants-weightloss surgery while sewing them), and as a result the hem scallops are straight as well. Yay!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

The only part about all this that I was NOT digging was when it came time to actually press my seams. Lord, that polyester refused to do anything that involved heat. I solved most of the issue by doing a lot of top stitching – front and back leg center seams, the yokes, the pockets, the waistband. Basically everything I could get my needle into.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

I think it worked out quite well in the end, though! And yay, all my seams match up!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Next time I make these, I will stabilize the zipper opening. It’s just a little too wavy – which, I mean, I could fix, but I also got those seams matched up fucking PERFECT and I’ll be dammed if I’m ripping that shit out again. Nope.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

To get the bottom scallops to have a nice sharp edge (remember, the polyester wanted nothing to do with that iron), I had to improvise and figure things out as I went along. I did include the facing, which I under stitched and then top stitched (I find under stitching is VERY helpful when you are sewing something that is difficult to press, as it forces facings to roll to the inside). To press the edges, I used my sleeve board and a silk organza press cloth and steamed the shit out of each section. After it got nice and hot, I used my clapper to hold down the fabric until it was completely cool. This is probably the closest I’ll get to a good press on this fabric, and hey – no shine! Woohoo!

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

God, I love these pants.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

I also really love these labels. They speak the truth, at least as far as these pants are concerned.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Sorry ’bout the creeper hand.

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

I added arrowhead tacks to the bottom pocket opening, because why not? I used embroidery floss and followed this tutorial on the Coletterie (I also see that I commented about a western shirt I was going to make. Obviously that never happened, but it SHOULD. Ooh!)

Peter & The Wolf - Polka Dots

Really thinking about making a wool version for the cold weather – maybe lengthen the legs to full-length, omit the pocket detailing and scallops? What do you think?

(psst! If you were wondering – my wrap top is handmade, and my shoes are from Clark’s ;))

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: 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: Peter and the Wolf Pants

21 Jun

So I’ve been sitting on this pattern for a couple of months now – Katie sent these to me as a surprise spring gift. An awesome surprise, I might add. Who doesn’t love getting surprise patterns in the mail, amirite!

Anyway, my immediate first thought was to make these up in a light polka dotted denim. Doesn’t that sound like it would be amazingly cute?! Unfortunately, I couldn’t source the right fabric – this pattern calls for fabric with a little bit of stretch, and I couldn’t find any sort of stretch bottomweight that also included polka dots (I know there are lighter-weight fabrics out there, but in my experience, their thinness requires either 1. Commando or 2. Thongs, neither of which I’m comfortable with rocking. TMI? Whatever.). I remembered this polka dot DIY post from Portia and I figured, hey, I’ll just get light denim and make my own polka dots, yeah?

Peter & The Wolf Pants

But, you know, I was seduced by all the pretty dark denim at Mood Fabrics. OH WELL. This stuff is from Theory and it is amazeballs. Nice and dark, robust without being super heavy, and just the right amount of stretch.

Btw, you’ve probably figured out that I did eventually end up with polka dot bottoms – in the form of shorts. Hey, it works!

Anyway, let’s talk about these pants!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

This is the Peter & the Wolf pants from Papercut Patterns. The way these pants are cut is really unique – in addition to side and inseams, there are seams straight down the middle of the front and back legs, as well as some interesting pocket/yoke action and the cutest little scalloped hems. As you can see here, they definitely do emphasize the hips, but that’s what I like about them!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

I cut a size XS, although in retrospect, I really should have gone down another size to the XXS. I had to do a LOT of alterations to get these to fit the way I like, and I made some easily-avoidable mistakes along the way. Pretty much EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM could have been eliminated if I had made a muslin first. Why didn’t I make a muslin first? I dunno, I guess I was feeling ~cocky with how good those Rite of Spring shorts fit me straight out of the package.

So, LESSON 1: Make a muslin. ALWAYS MAKE A MUSLIN.

Here is why this is so important, why I keep knocking this into your heads and why I should listen to my own damn advice:
- I tried these on right before I put in the zipper, and the sizing was MUCH too big through the waist and the legs. Normally, that’s not toooo bad of an issue because one can just take in the side seams (I do this all the time, u guise), but the way the pockets are placed means there isn’t a lot of side seam to take in before you start cutting into pocket territory. I couldn’t pull from the center seams because I’d already done all that topstitching and I’m ssssooooo laaaazzzzyyyy. I sat and thought about it for an evening, and ultimately decided to remove the majority of the excess from the BACK of the pants, rather than equally distributed between the front and the back. It worked, and my pockets are still there – yay! – and you can’t tell too much that the front is bigger than the back (unless you’re really studying where that side seam hits), except one glaring error…
- The front scallops now ride toward the inside of my ankles, instead of being centered in the middle of my leg :( Believe me, I tried really hard to fix this, but ultimately it’s just a matter of physics… the front is twisting, since it’s wider than the back. It’s not too terrible since they both pull about the same amount, so it looks intentional. But you and I, we know the real truth.
- The crotch curve was wrong for my shape and it looked like I was hiding packets of ketchup down the front of my pants at the crotch. WOOF. Please don’t take this to mean the crotch curve was bad across the board – I just mean it didn’t work for my specific shape (obviously it’s good for some people – look at the model on the envelope!). We all have different crotch curve shapes (how many more times can I say the word “crotch” here?) and mine is apparently a pretty pronounced J – something I learned when I was sewing the Colette Clovers. Fortunately, redrawing a curve is super easy – even on mostly-assembled pants, I mean, you’re basically just creating a new seamline – and that eliminated most of my issues in that one area. If this sounds confusing and slightly terrifying, it’s not! There is TONS of information on Google, as well as in various pants-fitting books.
- I also should have slightly shortened the crotch depth. Not even by much – just a little pinch of fabric (you can see where it’s puffing out a little. STOP STARING.). Unfortunately, I can’t fix this now as it’s something that needs to be adjusted to the flat pattern before cutting. #1 reason why you should make a muslin first. Womp womp.

I know this sounds like a lot of issues, but I just want to stress that all of them could have been EASILY solved if I’d just made a damn muslin first! ARGHGHHGHGH.

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Well, at least I remembered to shorten the inseam before cutting my fabric; the original inseam is over 29″ and I needed something much shorter, plus I wanted them to be cropped. I love the length!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

My yoke seams don’t perfectly match up due to all the side seam that I had to cut off, but at least I preserved the pockets!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

I subbed out the invisible zipper for a lapped zipper. I really think an invisible zipper would look best, but I was concerned that I would have trouble with the bulk of the denim+invisible zipper. A lapped zipper doesn’t look terrible, although I wouldn’t necessarily say it looks great, either.

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Look how good the butt fits, though! I should also point out here that I widened the waistband so it would cover my navel – this was easy, instead of cutting 1 waistband and folding it in half, I cut two and sewed them together at the top. Next time, I will opt for a curved waistband instead (this one is straight), as I find the straight doesn’t hug my curves as well. Just a personal preference!

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Personal fitting woes aside, these are REALLY cute. I love all the topstitching, it really highlights the cool yoke and pocket detailing.

Peter & The Wolf Pants

Peter & The Wolf Pants

For sitting through this giant long post, here are some pictures of me swatting away the skeeters.

Peter & The Wolf Pants
Peter & The Wolf Pants
HAHAHAHAHA

In all seriousness, though! I know this post sounded like a big Debbie Downer review, but I do really love these pants! Slim-fit, stretch pants like these can require a bit of tweaking to get the fit right (remember the everyone’s personal saga with the Colette Clovers?), but it’s worth it in the end, as you can crank these out over and over once the fitting adjustments are done. Which is what I plan on doing – wool cigarette pants for winter, please! Hey, maybe I’ll even find some dotty fabric ;)

Peter & The Wolf Pants

PS – My top is McCall’s 4488, an old make from last year.

Completed: A Chambray La Sylphide – AND THE BOMBSHELL WINNER

17 Jun

OMG you guys. I am so backed up with posting finished garments… this top is from TWO WEEKS ago. Woof.

Chambray La Sylphide

This is the La Sylphide from Papercut Patterns. I know, I keep meaning to make the dress version – it’s so pretty and floaty on the pattern picture, ahhh! – but this damn top keeps seducing me with it’s own version of awesome.

Chambray La Sylphide

This is pretty similar to my Dude’d Up La Sylphide – I sewed a size XS, took 1″ out of the back and no other alterations. The sleeves are just rolled up in these pictures, btw.

Chambray La Sylphide

The fabric is a chambray from – who else? – Mood Fabrics, which I bought while I was in New York. They have a lot of chambrays there and while I almost picked a gorgeous sateen-esque chambray that had just come in from some designer, I ended up with the more muted one because I wanted my shirt to be a little more rugged. Also, it was cheaper by like $2, ha.

Chambray La Sylphide

Ok, CONFESSION TIME: I TOTALLY stole this idea (for a chambray La Sylphide) from my friend Colleen, who suggested it first. Although, to be fair, she also voted pearl snaps – and this one just has grey buttons that I had in my stash. So, while not a 100% idea rip, it’s still an idea rip and I’m sorry.

Chambray La Sylphide

Also, I just realized I really need to repress the tips of those bust darts. HIIII.

Chambray La Sylphide

I wasn’t expecting to be able to wear this top with these linen shorts, but I actually quite like it.

Chambray La Sylphide

I really love this pattern because the top looks just as good with the peplum tucked, as you saw during Me Made May. As much as I love the peplum, sometimes an outfit just doesn’t work with it – like the Kelly skirt. Too much flare going on! And as much as I love making and hoarding clothes, I don’t need two chambray shirts… so I’m ok to let this one do double-duty.

Chambray La Sylphide

And I guess that’s it for this post.

OH WAIT NO IT’S NOT!!! We have a Bombshell winner! There were 354 total comments (my most commented-on post EVER, thanks guys haha), but I had to pull a few out for dupes/replies/no entries.

winner
It landed on my lucky number! GOOOOOO 7!!!!

… Which makes our winner Joanne!
Joanne
Joanne, I think this pattern will work out for you a lot better :) And I want to see that neon floral fabric, because it sounds awesomeeee.

Thanks to everyone who entered! The pattern is available on Etsy for those who did not win. Don’t forget to join the Sewalong, it starts today! I can’t wait to see everyone’s Bombshells! :)

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