Tag Archives: rayon

Completed: Two Colette Mabels

8 Oct

I totally skipped all the hullabaloo that came out when the Colette Patterns Mabel skirt was released – but that’s ok! I’m here now, reporting for duty!

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

I actually made two – just to be safe!

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

Let’s start with a basic Mabel lowdown. I made the grey version first, out of some leftover ponte knit that I used to make a pair of Ooh La Leggings (not pictured – because neither photographed nor blogged, but they are basically the same thing as these black ponte leggings except, you know, grey). I actually have no idea why I bothered saving that little piece of fabric, because it was about half a yard and thus not enough to do anything with – and the ponte is pretty thick, which means it wouldn’t work for something like, say, colorblocking a tshirt (which can be a good use of leftover knit scraps, if you tend to get hoardy like I do). Anyway, it’s a good thing I did, because I had exactly enough to make a little Mabel mini! Yay! I love it when these things work out!

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

Mabel Mini 1 is view A, size XS. I sewed the pattern exactly as per the directions, except I opted to understitch the waistband lining (I used my machine’s lightning bolt stitch – kind of like a very short zig zag stitch), to keep it from sticking out. The seams of the skirt were sewn on my serger, and the hem is done with a twin needle. From cutting, to sewing, to hemming – this entire thing took… I dunno, maybe 30 minutes? It was VERY fast.

I didn’t really use the instructions – I mean, it’s a knit skirt, it doesn’t need much introduction – but they looked to be pretty good, based on my glance over. Like the Moneta pattern, they include lots of tips and info on how to sew knits with a regular machine, which is always nice. The only thing I did not like about this pattern was taping it together (I have the PDF). Holy shit, talk about too many pages! My disdain for PDFs is no secret (I get why other people like/need them… no defense necessary :) But for me? Nope, no way! Can’t do it!), so maybe I’m biased – but this one seemed to be unnecessarily large & unwieldy. My advice: get the paper pattern. Ha!

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

Anyway, speedy instaskirt is the reason why I obviously needed to jump right into Mabel Mini 2 immediately after :P

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

I made a couple very minor changes for this one – I took in the center back and side seams by about 3/8″ (in retrospect, I should have taken in more, because it’s still a little loose around the waist and thus rides down farther than I want the rise to sit), as well as the waistband by the same amount. I used the last of my black striped ponte from Mood Fabrics NYC store. Again – 30 minute skirt. Talk about fast fashion, amirite.

Colette Mabel
Colette Mabel
Colette Mabel

For both skirts, I used a lightweight black rayon jersey (the same jersey that my black tshirt is made out of, incidentally. That tshirt is a Renfrew, by the way!) to line the waistband. I considered using a self-lining – but decided the fabric was a smidge too bulky, so I went with a lighter weight lining, which ended up being a Good Decision.

Oh yeah! I made that plaid flannel button down too! SUP!

Grainline Archer

This was made using the Archer pattern. I actually finished it waaaay back in… March. Yep. I got it in my head that I needed to make a new plaid Archer to wear when I went to NY, so I nearly killed myself trying to finish the shirt in something crazy like 2 days. I did end up finishing it – and bringing it to NY to wear – and I learned two things about the experience:
1. My life did not suddenly become more fabulous because I had a new shirt to wear while on vacation; and
2. Pushing myself to the point of exhaustion to finish something for a self-imposed deadline is not fun at all. Seriously – it’s shitty, it makes me anxious for no reason, and I didn’t enjoy any part of sewing that shirt. Which is sad, because button downs are one of my favorite things to sew! I love how precise the stitching is, and all the little details that make it special. I unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy any of that because I was too rushed trying to hurry up and finish (when, realistically, I should have either started earlier, or accepted that I just wouldn’t finish before I left), and yeah, that’s just lame.

So, with that being said – no more unnecessary last-minute vacation sews with shitty deadlines! If I need clothing that quickly, I will buy it (lol jk I’LL NEVER BUY CLOTHES AGAIN)(ok, seriously, kidding with that last part… mostly.). So far, I’ve done a decent enough job of putting this into practice, so that’s good!

Grainline Archer

And, for what it’s worth – I do like the shirt. I could have done a better job with it – the topstitching is not my best, and the grain is all wonky because the plaid fabric was hideously off grain (like, to the point where I actually cut the entire shirt twice. Yes. I did that. And it’s still pretty bad) – but it is what it is. It’s snuggly, it’s warm, and I also just realized that I made it to match the leggings that I made with the rest of that grey ponte fabric hahaha omg my life is fabulous.

Grainline Archer

Anyway, I hope you liked my Archer story. Have some pearl snaps.

Grainline Archer

And a sleeve placket while we’re at it!

Ok, so here’s my dilemma – and I’m hoping y’all can help me. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR WITH THESE SKIRTS. I feel like everything I put on just gives me weird proportions! The tops I’m wearing here are ok, I guess, but that’s about the extent of what my closet can offer. Most of my other tops just look… weird? I think the biggest problem is the waist line- it kind of hits at a strange place:

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

See what I mean? It’s about right at my belly button – which isn’t quite high waisted, and not quite low waisted. I can’t tuck anything in – partially because it’s very lumpy under the ponte, and partially because the waistline hits at a sort of wide point on my body. Untucked, most stuff just looks sloppy or gives me that weird long-abdomen proportion that we just loved soo much in the early 00s (y’all know what I’m talking about!). So yeah, can’t figure that one out. Any suggestions? Should I stick with more fitted, cropped sweaters (such as what the model is wearing on the website)? HELP ME I CAN’T ADULT.

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

Anyway, let’s talk! Answer one or more of the following:
- What shirts should I be wearing with these skirts?
- Have you ever made yourself sick by rushing to complete a garment before going somewhere?
- What happened when you finished it? Did a unicorn grant you 3 wishes or did you just realize that life was still doing life things and dammit is it Monday already?
- Seriously, though, what should I wear with these skirts?

** Necessary disclaimer: I received the Colette Mabel skirt from Sarai of Colette patterns, gratis. No review was requested – but as always, all opinions are my own. All fabrics in this post were purchased by me :) I do get a monthly Mood allowance, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also spend plenty of my own money there! Just wanted to clear that up :)

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Completed: Butterick 4066

5 Sep

Ummmm so this may or may not be the third garment I’ve posted this week that is made of rayon challis.

Butterick 4066

No shame.

Butterick 4066

These pictures are also horrifyingly bad and blown out, but… meh. We all know y’all don’t come here for the ~dazzling photography. Again: No shame.

Butterick 4066

I picked up this copy of Butterick 4066 while I was last at the flea market in July. The cover art is a little outdated (and not in a cool vintage way, but rather, I feel like I can probably smell my Mamaw’s house if I lean in too close. Wait, just kidding, my Mamaw’s house smells great. That shit probably smells like someone else’s Mamaw’s house, maybe), but the line drawings looked promising enough – almost like the Kelly skirt and Hollyburn skirt had a secret affair that ended up with a little love child.

Butterick 4066

It’s hard to see, thanks to my terrible photos, but the skirt has pockets, a smooth A-line shape with no darts or tucks, and buttons down the front. I used this shameless 90s black floral rayon challis from Fashion Fabrics Club, as I knew the shape would look great with a drapey fabric (just like my Crazy Paisley Hollburn).

Butterick 4066

My skirt pattern was just a smidge too big (not the fault of the pattern itself – my copy is a size too big, since we don’t normally get to be choosy when it comes to buying vintage patterns!), but that was easily fixed by taking in the side seams before attaching the waistband. The big challenge was cutting off length – a LOT of length. Even after I’d shortened the shortest version of the pattern tissue by a good 6″, I had to go back after making the skirt and hack off another 4″! Shortening the length did wonders for the overall look of the finished skirt – before, it was pretty dowdy and outdated looking (mostly due to fabric choice, I mean – we are talking about the 90s here), but I think it looks pretty cute now! Shorter skirts FTW!

Butterick 4066
Butterick 4066

I finished the seams with my serger and used these pretty black and gold buttons that I had lurking in my stash.

Butterick 4066

I love how the finished skirt turned out – and I think it’ll transition really nicely for our “fall”**, since it’s so cool and lightweight, but still has those nice dark fall/winter colors. That being said, it’ll look great with tights and a sweater, too :) (maybe with a silk slip, though! It’s not very warm!) I’m interested to try pairing this print with black and white stripes – I can imagine it in my head, but until I start sewing up the striped knits I got while I was in Mood last month, your guess is as good as mine.

** Tennessee Fall: Beyond gorgeously colorful (visiting Tennessee in the fall should be on every single one of y’alls bucket lists), but still blazing hot and, yes, we absolutely make fun of those dumbasses who insist on wearing wool caps and jeans tucked into tall boots while marinating in giant pools of sweat. I mean, COME ON LADY, it’s 90* outside FFS! You aren’t fooling anyone!

One last thing – Giveaway Winner! Lucky number is…

winner1

winner2

Congratulations, Sue Martin! I love your method of sneaky inspiration by way of shop dressing rooms – something I’m too chicken to do myself (I got major stink-eye once while manhandling a rack of dresses in Buckle and I’m kind of traumatized now haha). As far as adding hours in the day – well, let me know when you figure it out! :) haha!

Thanks to everyone to entered the giveaway – and thanks to Laurence King for providing us with a copy to giveaway! Friends, if you’d like to buy your own copy of Casual Sweet Clothes, use the code LLADYBIRD35 to get 35% off! The code is good through 10/1/14 :)

Completed: A Jumpsuit, of sorts

3 Sep

A couple of months ago, I was asked by the ladies at By Hand London if I’d like to test their new Holly Jumpsuit. I’m always a sucker for these gorgeous patterns, but then they went and threw in an offer of testing-fabric from Grey’s Fabric to really seal the deal. Consider me sold, name signed in blood and all (forreal, though, I’ll do anything for love free fabric).

Holly/Tania Mash-up

I finished with good time, sent my testing notes in, and took some photos (I could pretend my hair grew like that overnight, but in reality, these photos are just that old. Haha!). And then I waited. And waited. Right before the pattern was to be released, there was a design snafu that meant the pattern had to be reworked, which set things back by… well, a lot. Fortunately, the kinks have been worked out and the pattern is now officially for sale! Which means I can finally show you mine! Yay!

Holly/Tania Mash-up
Holly/Tania Mash-up

You may have noticed by now that my jumpsuit* looks nothing like the pattern – and you would be right. That’s because at this point, no part of my jumpsuit is actually part of the pattern! Whoops!

Holly/Tania Mash-up

However, it is still technically a jumpsuit (right? The two-separate-holes-for-each-leg dictate that… right?), so there’s that.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

There’s a method to this madness, I promise. As a pattern tester, I always make my first version (usually a muslin), exactly as drafted and written by the pattern. After I have taken my (usually very unflattering)photos and made my fitting adjustments, I will transfer those adjustments to the pattern and make it up in my fashion fabric (if not a second muslin entirely). I started out with the shorts and Variation 2 bodice, which was surprisingly a pretty good fit straight out of the envelope. The butt of the shorts was a little tight (it is my understanding that this ended up being a grading error that has since been amended), and I needed to shorten the straps – but overall, things were looking good. It wasn’t until I had made this up in my beautiful rayon challis – i.e., the good stuff – that I realized the entire ensemble just made me look like a giant toddler. Especially when combined with this fabric – while beautiful, it’s pretty juvenile looking. Eep!

After some chatting with the BHL ladies, we ultimately decided that it would be a shame to sew something I’d never wear (and I know I occasionally wear some out-there ensembles, but again, looking like a giant toddler is NOT one of them) , so I was given the green light to swap out the bottoms for another pattern. Specifically, I chose the Tania Culottes because FUCK YES I DID.

After that, things went haywire in the design department and my tested version of the bodice ended up getting scrapped and redesigned. Which means my tested Holly jumpsuit is now basically anything BUT Holly! Oh well! I tried!

Holly/Tania Mash-up
Holly/Tania Mash-up

Anyway, let’s talk about the construction of this jumpsuit. To combine the bodice with the Tania culottes, I added a 2″ wide straight waistband (interfaced on one layer, and faced with self-fabric on the inside) that connects the bodice to the skirt. Ideally, I would have shortened the bodice and raised the rise of the culottes, as I think the waistband sits a little low, but that’s life. The Tanias are sewn as normal, just without a waistband.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

All edges were finished with my serger and I used my rolled hem foot to make the prettiest little baby hem.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

The end result is a sweet little flouncy tank dress that has an amazing twirl factor – and thanks to the culottes, is less likely to fly up and flash any innocent bystanders.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

As I previously mentioned, my beautiful rayon challis came courtesy of Grey’s Fabric, specifically to be used to test this pattern. I just love the smooth silhouette and fluid drape that comes with rayon challis – not to mention, it’s ridiculously comfortable to wear in the heat. Rayon loves to wrinkle like crazy and this fabric is no exception, but at least the busy print and voluminous skirt hide most of that.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

Anyway, despite my design changes+unexpected pattern snafu changing things to the point that my tested pattern ended up being something completely different, I am happy with said end result – not to mention, it’s absolutely something I would wear (and have worn! Lots!). Again – if you plan on buying this pattern, please keep in mind that absolutely nothing about my version matches what is included in the final pattern – although it would be pretty easy to Frankenpattern this one with a couple indies.

What do you think of the Holly Jumpsuit? Are you Team Jumpsuit – craving dangly earrings, sparkly eyeshadow, and a Studio 54 vibe (I mean, ugh, that new Variation 2 bodice is KILLER, ain’t it?)? Or do you feel like an overgrown toddler who would prefer to stick with dresses and two pieces, thank you very much?

* I think the leg-shorts mean this thing is actually a romper or a playsuit, not a jumpsuit. However, the thought of saying that I’m wearing a playsuit makes me feel, again, like an overgrown toddler, so fuck that. I’m calling it a jumpsuit, as that sounds a lot more grown-up. My blog, my sewing, my rules :P

In other news-
1. The new class schedule is up at The Fabric Studio! Lots of fun classes coming up – including an Open Sewing Lab hosted by yours truly! Those of y’all in Nashville can come hang out in the studio to sew and drink tea with other crafty peeps :) I’ll be on hand to answer questions and assist as needed. This is a great alternative to a structured class since you can work on whatever you want, come whenever is convenient for you, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a private lesson :) Check out the classes page to sign up (my class is at the bottom). I am REALLY excited for this; I love sewing with company! Yay!

2. Don’t forget that the Casual Sweet Clothes giveaway ends on Friday! If you haven’t already entered, here’s your hint :)

Completed: The Belcarra Blouse

1 Sep

I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that this make is over 3 weeks old at this point*. What? I’ve been busy, ok??

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

This is the Belcarra Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns. Described as a super simple/wardrobe staple top, this bad boy has no darts or tucks (ladies, can I get a hell yeah?), raglan sleeves (requiring no setting like a traditional sleeve, which means – let’s have another hell yeah!), and a simple bias bound neckline. I knew it would be quick and easy, but I wondered – would it be flattering?

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse
Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

Obviously, that crazy paisley fabric would hide a lot of sins (if there were any to hide mwahahahaha), but I think it’s safe to step out of my cave and say, yes! Yes, this shit is flattering! Yes, it’s comfy! Yes, it’s breezy and cool to wear when the temperatures are still hanging out in hell territory. Yes yes yes!

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

I shit you not, I made this in an afternoon. From cutting, to sewing, to finishing – it only took a few hours. I followed the instructions as written – except in the case of the neck binding, I found that I needed to shorten it to get it to lay right (which I was anticipating, because my rayon challis has a slight stretch to it). I cut a size 0, which is my usual Sewaholic size, and took in the side seams an extra 1/2″ because it seemed a little overwhelmingly big when I first tried it on. Otherwise, pretty good straight out of the envelope! Good and fast.

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse
Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

My initial concern was whether or not this would actually be flattering, as I’m not one to really embrace loose shapes (I’m trying, though! It makes for a more comfortable summer when a breeze can blow between you and whatever unfortunate piece of clothing you happen to be wearing!). To be honest – when I first saw the pattern, I brushed it off as ~not me~. It wasn’t until I found myself staring at this silk Georgia tee from Elizabeth Suzann** that I realized the key to making this pattern look good on me was using a fabric with a gorgeous, fluid drape (and it doesn’t hurt that the Georgia tee is a VERY similar style and shape – albeit with kimono sleeves instead of raglan, and no waist shaping – so I could see this put into action).

I know I joked about making this pattern with this fabric so that it would match my Crazy Paisley Hollyburn, but forreal, these two are a match made in heaven. The rayon challis has pretty much no body to it whatsoever – just a nice drape that flows like water. This keeps the top from being too structured, and thus the excess ease hangs in soft folds, instead of sticking out all crazy and giving me a weird shape. I like it! And next, I want to make this shit up in some SILK!

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

To further prove my point, here is the top when worn loose over jeans. Doesn’t that look lovely?

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

I kept this particular style very simple (well, as simple as you can be when you’re dealing with a fabric design that wack-o, amirite), but I’d love to experiment with different fabrics and textures to really play up on the raglan sleeves. I’d love to try it with a two-sided silk satin – keeping the body matte, with the cuffs and bias binding shiny. Or even make it out of two different colors of silk, as a sort of fancy baseball tshirt!

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

Not a lot of shots of the inside, but here you can see the guts. Serged seams, self-cuffs cut on the bias, and self bias neckline that is topstitched down.

The only thing I will change about future Belcarras is that I’d like to take the neckline in to be a bit less wide. The wide neckline is lovely, but it also means that bra straps are constantly getting flashed. I also feel like it almost looks *too* wide on me – and that it’s not balanced. Thoughts? I’m also waffling with shortening it, because it seems too long when it’s tucked in, but I think it looks just right when it’s untucked. Decisions, decisions!

Oh, one last thing-

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

You know I totally tried that shit on with my matching Hollyburn – and it surprisingly works! Really! Even Landon agreed (after laughing at me when he saw me pulling both pieces out of the closet). It might be that the fabric is so busy, you can’t really see what’s going on – but, fuck, it sure looks like a dress to me. Y’all have no idea how tickled I am about this discovery.

Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

Anyway, what are your thoughts on the Belcarra? Love it? Hate it? What’s your go-to woven tshirt pattern?

Ooh, one more thing! As you’ve undoubtedly already heard all about, I’m going to be teaching a small class while I’m in London this November, over at Tilly HQ, in her gorgeous new studio!! My Zips+Buttonholes Worshop will teach you how to insert both invisible and lapped zippers, and also guide you through sewing flawless button holes (for both one-step/automatic and four-step/manual). Afterwards, we will celebrate with a delicious cocktail and we can talk about how typing ‘buttonholes’ usually ends up being ‘buttholes’ (just me?).

If any of y’all Londoners are sad that you have to miss my class at The Sewing Party due to international restrictions – here’s your make-up chance (except this one is better, because it’s in PERSON! Actually, that might be worse, depending on how annoying you find me HA HA HA). Sign up for the Zips+Buttonholes Worshop here, or peruse all the neat workshops here (wish I could take that copy your clothes one taught by Zoe! Argh!).

* As of publishing, I still have 3 unblogged garments to post – I seem to have no problem finding the time to sew; my issue is finding the time to write about it!
** You’ve probably already picked up on this at some point, but yes, I work for Elizabeth part-time as a production seamstress (my ~main money~ income is being a personal assistant for another entrepreneur. Yeah. It rules.). I sew on some of the coolest industrial machines, handle gorgeous silks and linens all day, and watch a loooot of Netflix. It’s just as awesome as it sounds.

Completed: Kitty Zinnia!

6 Aug

You know what I love almost as much as I love bike fabric?

IMG_9372

KITTY FABRIC :D :D :D

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

This ain’t just any ol’ cat fabric though – this is freaking silk chaurmeuse, all the way from LA.

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

When I was in NYC earlier this year, I mentioned to Trice how I was looking for non-quilting weight novelty fabrics – especially something with cats on it. Trice, being the sneaky lady she is, emailed me several months later and said she was going to send me something. I don’t know what I was expecting- but it was NOT this! I mean that in the best way, obviously. I love how the fabric isn’t super loud-in-your-face-cat-print (although, let’s be real – that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing), I love that it’s black and white, and I love that it’s fucking SILK CHAURMEUSE. What the what? Talk about an amazing gift from an amazing person!

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

I didn’t have a whole lot of fabric to work with – maybe a yard and a half, tops, and it was pretty narrow. A Colette Zinnia seemed like the perfect fit- I have a similar short, pleated silk skirt (I wore it in the photos for my Owls Sweater), and I wear it all the time, especially in the winter.

The Zinnia calls for a loooot of yardage, but I was able to barely eek by. I shortened the skirt by about 4″, which allowed it to fit on the narrow width of the fabric, and cut the pockets out of some bemberg rayon that I had in my stash. It was a close call for sure, but I made it work! I also cut it with the shiny side on the inside, because I thought the matte side looked a little less, I dunno… costumey?

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

Most of the sewing was pretty uneventful. I did have to lengthen the topstitching on the pleats – the pattern has them about 2.5″ deep, but the skirt looked suuuuuper floofy right about my hips, so I lengthened them a couple more inches and that helped. It’s still pretty floofy, but I mean- it’s a cat skirt. It’s already ridiculous enough, you know?

(Yep, my bra band totally gives me back fat hahaha. Actually, I probably have back fat too.)

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

I mean, LOOK HOW SWIRLY IT IS THO.

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

More kitties! Isn’t this seriously the coolest print? Everyone I told about it kind of gave me a weird look until I showed them a picture- and then even cat haters were all, “ooh I want me some of that!”

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

I obviously needed a cool top to go with my super cool skirt, so I made a quickie crop top to wear with it. This is the Closet Case Files Nettie, made in some rayon knit from Mood (leftover from this Jalie top from forever ago).

To crop the shirt, I just cut it along the bottom lengthen/shorten line. I had previously added 2″ length to my pattern, so that ended up being the perfect crop top length. I also tried my hand at widening the shoulders, since they are super narrow on me… I used a tutorial from Colette on shoulder adjustments, but I guess I didn’t add enough width because they’re still SUPER narrow. Unfortunately, I think this crop top has a very short lifespan in my closet because the shoulders are too narrow for it to be comfortable (the sleeves ride up as I move my arms and the shoulders raise and it just doesn’t look good). It’s pretty obvious in this picture how far the shoulder seam is from my shoulder – plus, the arm hole is still way too high. Gonna have to go back and retweak that pattern again, I guess. Ah well! Sewing!

Also, I know you can totally see my bra lumps through this shirt. DGAF.

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top
Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top
Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top
Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

It’s hard to see any detail at all in this print, but don’t say I didn’t try :)

Kitty Cat Zinnia + Nettie Crop Top

Thanks again, Trice, for the amazing fabric! Guys, she also sent me a BUNCH of bra straps – which means I guess I better start exploring the world of sewing lingerie, yeah? Forreal, though, I just downloaded my first Ohhh Lulu bra pattern. Wish me luck!

What about you? Found any good (literal)animal print, lately?

Completed: The Emery Dress, An Aztec Delight

1 Aug

You know who has the best Emery dresses? Angie. Specifically – her Arizona Emery is the thing jealous dreams are MADE of. I love the tough/cool spin-off an otherwise sweet looking pattern.

So… you know what that means. I copied her.

Rayon Emery

Fuck yea I did. Sorry, Angie!

Rayon Emery

Well, to my credit- not entirely. I did pick a lighter fabric (in both color and weight), and I left the sleeves off because… do I have to say it? I’m gonna say it. SUN’S OUT, GUNS OUT. Sorry y’all! Summertime in this place means I got the right to BARE ARMS amirite lolololol

Anyone? Guys?

Rayon Emery

So anyway, this is the Emery dress. I figured I better make it again, considering I put so much fucking effort into all those muslins when I was first trying to fit it. Might as well make it worth my while! Fortunately, the fitting kinks all worked out by this point, so this dress was a matter of cutting and assembling. I did have to take in quite a bit at the center back, but that’s accounting for the fact that my fabric has a slight stretch to it. Not a lot, but just enough to mean some things gotta be sized down a smidge. I think I was a little toooo aggressive at the upper back, because now the shoulders pull, but eh. Live and learn.

Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery

“What’s that fabric,” you say? Well, I’m so glad you asked! This little piece of happiness came my way courtesy of Fashion Fabrics Club. I was really curious to try it, considering how ridiculously cheap it was – would it prove to be worth my sewing while? Or would the day end in tears?

The specific fabric in question is this white/grey Aztec stripe. It’s a floaty rayon challis, so lightweight that the full 2 yards barely weighed anything. Look at the price – this shit was $5.75 a yard. How is that possible? I have no idea! I don’t have a helluva lot experience with rayon challis, but I do have a little, and this stuff is pretty similar to the others I’ve used – just as lightweight and shifty as the rest. To it’s credit, though, it is pretty dreamy to wear in the heat. It is very breathable, dries fast (if you sweat a lot like I do)(sorry), and the print hides aforementioned sweat (sorry again). The only drawback is that is does stretch out over the course of the day, since the heat of your body relaxes the fibers. That’s not a huge deal – and when it’s hot outside, you may even welcome the extra ease – plus a quick wash shrinks things right back up.

Rayon Emery

Cutting this stuff was a BEAST. Omg! The dress pattern only has like 5 pieces (and one of them doesn’t count because they are pockets, and who matches pockets? Not me!), but it took me forever to get everything cut out since the fabric kept shifting around. I got most everything lined up, but unfortunately, the center back had to take the pattern-matching fall. I actually didn’t even notice this until I was going through the photos. Whoops! I think I actually cut it off the match – because everything else (waist seam, top seam, etc) matches perfectly. Oh well, just one of those things!

Rayon Emery

On the flip side, sewing it wasn’t too bad. I noticed that the fabric does have a tendency to snag and run if you’re not careful (as with other rayon challises I’ve used), so I used my silk pins and a 70/10 microtex needle. That’s about the extent of my carefulness with this fabric. I threw it in the wash on cold, dried it in the dryer, and steamed the hell out of it with my iron. I know you’re supposed to be more careful with rayon, but I have rayon dresses that have been washed+dried for years and they seem to be holding up fine. FWIW, I generally keep my rayon dresses out of the dryer and just hang them – they wrinkle a lot less that way – but I always use the dryer during prewashing just in case the finished dress accidently gets thrown in a dryer load. Don’t wanna have a surprise shrinking incident!

Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery

I’m pretty proud of how my print matching turned out (minus that center back mistake, I mean). Also love how that print placement turned out at the bodice front. I actually didn’t plan that at all, but it’s a nice surprise! Even if it does look like I’m wearing an Aztec wrestling belt :P

Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery

I opted to leave the dress unlined so it would be as lightweight as possible. To finish, I used self bias facing at the neckline and arm holes. Oh yeah, and because it’s sleeveless, I raised the underarm by about 1/2″ and cut about 1/2″ off the edge of the shoulders. Didn’t want this to look like a muscle tank!

Rayon Emery

Also, this dress totally broke my camera remote. Well, maybe not “broke,” but it definitely stopped working, which kind of sucks. This is what I look like when that happens, in case you were wondering.

Rayon Emery

So there ya go! Thanks so much to Fashion Fabrics Club, for letting me try some of their (literally)cool rayon, and thanks to Angie for the inspiration for my awesome new dress!

Who are you lurking on these days for a shameless rip-off? Fess up!

** Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, although I did receive the fabric for free. I guess I also got the pattern for free too. Hey-o, free dress! :)

Completed: A Crazy Paisley Hollyburn

12 May

You ever see a sewing pattern and think, “Yeah, that’s too plain… next please!”? This was my thought when I first saw the Hollyburn skirt from Sewaholic Patterns. Cute enough, I thought, but too plain for me to take a second look at. I wanted adventure and excitement in my sewing patterns! I wanted something different.

Paisley Hollyburn

Actually, it appears what I need is to fill some closet gaps. Simple flared skirts and knit tops are one of my favorite casual outfit combinations – you can mix and match them to each other, so they basically do double-duty. My current lifestyle doesn’t allow for much in the way of fitted/pencil skirts – I need to be able to move around and, like, sit on the floor – and I’m kind of over circle skirts at the moment. My skirt experimentation has rekindled my romance for Ginger and Miette, not to mention a fabulously swishy and dreamy Gabriola, but I was ready to try something new.

So I revisited Hollyburn.

Paisley Hollyburn

And we totally fell in loooooooooove ~~~

Paisley Hollyburn

Seriously, guys. There is nothing necessarily ground-breaking about this pattern (although, let’s be real, Tasia’s a drafting genius and I’m like creepy obsessed with her patterns right now), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good pattern. The beauty is in the simplicity – it’s a simple flared skirt with a simple waistband, a back zip closure, and curved front pockets. Nothing fancy here, but it works and it’s awesome. And I already made two.

Paisley Hollyburn

Hollyburn 1, aka, the Crazy Paisley, is made with this amazing paisley rayon I yanked at the Nashville Flea Market. Forreal, is this shit not insanely awesome?? I saw it out of the corner of my eye, in one of those booths along the walkway between buildings (you know those booths are the best because those people always have the weirdest mismash of shit and they’re always willing to sell it for dirt cheap. Especially if you’re nice to them :)), and I immediately ran over to assess. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I do know it was $3 or less. Not sure of the age of this particular fabric, but it’s 42″ wide and definitely rayon. Oh, and it’s awesome. Did I mention that yet?

Paisley Hollyburn

I really really really wanted this fabric to be a Gabriola – wouldn’t it make the most dreamy rayon maxi? Ahh so lush. But, dammit, I had under 3.5 yards of this fabric… and like I said, it was pretty narrow, which ended up being the reason things didn’t pan out (believe me, I tried!). So, I decided to stick with the Sewaholic family and try out this Hollyburn that had been burning a hole in my pattern stash. And not only am I super happy with the result – I think it’s quite a bit more wearable than the original maxi inspiration, yeah? I mean, I can totally wear this while riding a bicycle :)

Paisley Hollyburn

Hollyburn is a pattern intended for beginners – just a few pattern pieces, very easy to fit (really, you only have to worry about the waist measurement here), quick to sew up. Besides the agony of cutting that slippery rayon, the actual sewing of this skirt took me under 2 hours. That fast! I briefly considered trying to match the print at all the seamlines – in addition to the side seams, there are also center front and center back seams, plus the curved pockets – but it was giving me a headache and, you know, fuck it. Whatever.

Paisley Hollyburn

For this particular pattern, I was smack between two sizes, so I cut the 0 at the hips/hemline, and graded to right between the 0 and 2 at the waist. I’m pretty happy with the fit – it’s fitted enough to stay put without the aid of the belt (but I like the belt, so belt stays), but it’s not so tight that I need to sneakily unzip anything after a big meal. I went for version 3 – the shortest one – with the added belt loops. I also lopped about 2″ off the length. Short skirts for lifeeeeee!

Paisley Hollyburn

Here it is without the belt. Yay! No belt!

Paisley Hollyburn

And this because, I dunno, my hair looks good here. Also, I probably should not wear that bra with that shirt again, eep (shirt is a Renfrew, btw!).

Paisley Hollyburn

What I love most about this particular skirt (and, I guess, the pattern in general) is how different the shape looks based on what fabric you use. Go look at the pictures on the Sewaholic website – the skirt has a great amount of flare, and it’s pretty structured. Compared to mine, which was sewn in a super drapey rayon, it’s all fluid and flowy and just kind of hangs (but in a good way). Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting to try NEW NEW NEW OMG NEW STUFF that I forget you can easily manipulate the look of a garment just by using a different fabric.

Oh, right, and remember when I said I made two of these? I totally did – the second one is in a much stiffer fabric, and looks totally different. I didn’t get photos in time to cram them into this blog post (which is probably for the best, since I think there are enough pictures of me on here today anyway, lolz), but stay tuned for that! In the meantime, I’ll probably wear it for MMM soon :)

Paisley Hollyburn

Obligatory swish post. Lookit dat swish! ♥

Paisley Hollyburn

Paisley Hollyburn

Sorry these pictures are a little blown out :( I added some topstitching to the pockets and waistband (as well as the hem) and swapped out the centered zip for an invisible zipper. All the inside seams are serged.

One last thing! We have a winner from last week’s giveaway – who’s it gonna be, eh?

winner1

winner2

YAY! Congratulations, Melanie! I’ll be sending you an email asap :) Hopefully this book will be just the ticket to get you comfortable manhandling the stretch lace :)

Thanks to everyone who entered! A HUGE thanks to Colette Patterns for not only writing up this amazing resource, but offering a giveaway copy as well! :) As always, you can get your very own copy of The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits from Amazon or directly from the Colette website.

Paisley Hollyburn

Now, the next question is – should I or should I not use the remaining paisley yardage to make a matching Belcarra blouse? Before you ask – yes, I would totally wear it with the skirt. FAKE DRESS FTW! Don’t you dare judge me.

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