Tag Archives: simplicity

OAL: Hemming & Finishing

14 Jul

Good morning, OAL-gers! Today is the final post in the OAL series (which I’m sure means that a lot of y’all are dancing for joy to hear that there won’t be any more of these posts! Ha!), and we will be finishing our dresses. Yay!

You should have a mostly-finished dress at this point – everything is connected, all seams are finished, and the only thing left to do is hem the dang thing! Of course you can hem however you like (as most of y’all already have at this point), but I wanted to give a couple options for those who are unsure what to do, or just want to try something different. You know how much I love having options!

First things first, try your dress one and determine where you would like the hem to hit. I like my hemlines above the knee, and this dress runs a little long (or, rather, I’m a little short), so I ended up cutting off about 4″ from the hemline. I’ve found that the easiest way to mark my hemline is to measure the length of a skirt that I like, mark that length with a pin on my dress, and then try it on to see if it works. Before you cut, add back a hem allowance (however much you will be turning up before you stitch the hem), otherwise, your skirt will end up a little short :)

Option #1: The Easy Turned Hem

OAL - Hemming
Fold the skirt hem under 1/4″ to the wrong side and press.

OAL - Hemming
Now fold one more time, again to the wrong side, and press. However much you fold under depends on how much of a hem depth you want. I stick with about 5/8″ for this particular type of hem. You can certainly fold more for a deeper hem, but be aware that the curved hemline means that you might have difficulty easing the fullness in (since a curved hem means it’s bigger at the bottom than it is at the top) if it’s too deep.

OAL - Hemming
Now just topstitch that bad boy down!

Some tips for topstitching your hem:
– Start on a side seam so your backstitching doesn’t distract from the beautiful front or back of your dress
– Use a slightly longer stitch length (I use 3.0 over my machine’s standard 2.5 length); the stitches will be a little more defined
– Topstitch from the right side if you can help it – the needle stitches are much prettier than the bobbin stitches
– Use the measurement markings on your throat plate to help ensure you are stitching in a straight line

OAL - Hemming
If you are sewing the version with the notched bodice, don’t forget to tack down your facing to the center front. Catch only the seam allowances and use a couple of handstitches to keep that facing inside the bodice where it belongs.

OAL - Hemming
And done! :)

Option #2: The Extra-Fancy Hem
One thing I like to include with my hems is a strip of seam binding. This vinage-inspired finishing covers the raw edge (so you don’t have to fold twice) and is a fun little surprise whenever someone sees the wrong side of your skirt. You can use seam binding, bias strips, or even lace – in a matching, contrasting, or complementary color. I just think it looks really pretty and it really adds a nice professional finish to an area that most of us tend to rush through (because, duh, we just wanna wear our dresses!). For this hem, I used vintage seam binding and topstitched it down, although you can also sew the hem by hand if you’d like it to be invisible from the outside.

OAL - Hemming
Starting at one of the side seams, pin your hem tape to the right side of your skirt hem, letting the binding hang over about halfway.

OAL - Hemming
Stitch, keeping your needle as close to the edge of the binding as possible.

OAL - Hemming
When you reach the full circle of the hem, overlap the binding by about 1″ and fold the raw edge under, as shown.

OAL - Hemming
OAL - Hemming
Now fold the binding to the wrong side to whatever hem allowance you prefer, measuring all the way around to ensure it is even. Pin into place.

OAL - Hemming
Topstitch on the opposite (unsewn) side of the seam binding – again, sewing as close to the edge of the binding as you can. Press and use steam to ease out any fullness.

OAL - Hemming
Ta da!

And that’s it! Give yourself a pat on the back, pour yourself a stiff cocktail, and do a little dance because YOU FUCKING SEWED A FUCKING DRESS, LIKE A FUCKING BOSS! Whoop whoop!! Don’t forget to post your finished outfit in the Offical OAL Finished Outfits Ravelry Thread – there are already sooo many beautiful dresses and cardigans lurking around there, omg. Remember that you have until 7/31 to post to be eligible for prizessss – so you’ve got a couple more weeks if you’re running behind :) Don’t have a full outfit but want still want to share your dress? You can post that in the Official Unofficial OAL Flickr Group.

Stay tuned for my OAL photos in the next couple of weeks… a friend took them for me, and, well, all I’m going to say is that they are MUCH better than anything I could have tried to do haha!

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Me-Made-May ’14: Week 5 Round-Up

30 May

Ahhhh, you guys! Me Made May (and thus, the daily photographs) is almost over! Can I get a FUCK YEAH!?

This is going to be a longer than usual round-up, because I went on vacation and obviously I had to change outfits a couple times each day. That’s what you do on vacation, right? ps, sorry in advance.

5/24
5/24, Saturday
Dress: Lady Skater
Shoes: Keds

First day of our vacation! Here we are en route to Santa Rosa Beach, at a food truck somewhere in Alabama. I knew we’d spend the day in the car, so I opted for a comfy knit dress. I’ve always thought this dress was very fall-like, due to the colors, but the fabric is definitely summer-appropriate as well :)

5/25 pt. 1
5/25, Sunday I
Pajamas: Lakeside pajamas

I’ve been wearing various other me-mades throughout the month that haven’t made it into photos (workout wear, pajamas, leggings, underwear, etc), so here’s some proof! I brought two pairs of Lakeside pajamas to wear while on vacation – the ones you see here, plus a new set I made a couple days before (I used this cute strawberry print cotton lawn to make them, if you were wondering!)- and wore them all week. In addition to being awesome pajamas, they also make a great swimsuit cover-up! Although, to be fair, I started out wearing the set and ended up in only the shorts(+ bikini top, obvs) by the end of the week.

Speaking of bathing suits…

5/25, pt. 2
5/25, Sunday II
Swimsuit: Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit (no blog post on this… yet! But here’s the link to the pattern :))
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Hat: Scarlet Begonia

Hell yes I came with a handmade swimsuit! THREE, in fact! This is the first – the result of my pattern testing for Papercut Patterns a couple of months ago :) I haven’t had a chance to write up a proper blog post, but here’s a sneak preview :)

5/25, pt. 3 (sorry! Last one for today)
5/25, Sunday III
Top: Refashioned from a men’s Hawaiian shirt
Shorts: Rite of Spring shorts
Shoes: Keds

After spending all afternoon at the beach (no, really, I laid up on a float and bobbed around in the ocean for hours and it was glorious), I reluctantly put on clothes and walked around the shops with Landon. I didn’t buy stuff, but I did buy liquor. Priorities, y’all.

Also, that shirt. This is the third vacation I’ve dragged it to (and no shit, I literally wore that same outfit last May HAHAAHAHA whatever, it’s good, I’m not apologizing for shit), so it’s basically my official vacation shirt at this point. Unfortunately, it’s also way too big now. My alterations were pretty shoddy (it was a very last-minute job), and I’m thinking I may just need to send it to the nice Goodwill Bin in the sky at this point.

5/26, pt. 1- my other @papercutpatterns Soma bikini + a photo bombing niece  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/26, Monday I
Swimsuit: Papercut Patterns Soma Swimsuit
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Hat: Scarlet Begonia

Exact same get-up as the day before, but check out how different it turned out! This is version 2 of the Soma Swimsuit, and the second one I tested (yeah, I tested both. I wasn’t asked to, but after making the first one I kind of went crazy. I almost made 3, tbh). I used this version to play with stripes and decorative elastic, and I LOVE how it turned out. Seriously, my favorite swimsuit ever! Again, expect a blog post on these bad boys soon :)

Oh yeah, and that bratty kid in the background is my niece :) I told her she could photobomb my picture and she sure did me proud.

5/26, pt. 2- dress: Sewaholic Lonsdale; shoes: Fergalicious.  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/26, Monday II
Dress: Sewaholic Lonsdale
Shoes: Fergalicious

I wore this for a dinner out with my parents+Landon’s parents (the first time they met! It went very well :)), and unfortunately forgot to take a photo until right before bed. Oh well! Also, I love this dress and I should totally make it again.

5/27, pt. 1- swimsuit: closet case files bombshell  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/27, Tuesday I
Swimsuit: Closet Case Files Bombshell
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Hat: Scarlet Begonia

Last bathing suit! This is one I made last year, and I still love it :) Especially good for those days when I realized I’ve just been drinking beer and eating key lime pie all weekend and oh god it’s time for the beach. Hahahaha!!

5/27 forgot to upload this yesterday! Drinking wine in Seaside, FL :) top: thrifted; skirt: Tilly's Miette (tie-less); shoes: Fergalicious #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/27, Tuesday II
Shirt: Thrifted
Skirt: Tilly’s Miette
Shoes: Fergalicious

Post beach, Landon and I spent the afternoon in Seaside, checking out the cute houses, the shops, and drinking free wine (the best part!). Again, with the top – that’s another unofficial vacation top (that I bought… 3 years ago, at the Goodwill on Santa Rosa Beach, ha!) that’s about to get the Goodwill shaft. It’s just too big :(

5/28 channeling my inner mermaid before heading back to Tennessee ☀️ top: Megan Nielsen cropped briar; skirt: Megan Nielsen cascade.  #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/28, Wednesday
Top: Cropped Briar
Skirt: Cascade

Last day on the beach! I thought it would be fun to take the photos of my Cascade by the cascading waves (you can’t even tell in this picture but they were AMAZING that day!). The wind was blowing like crazy, and I think it makes for a really cool picture :) This picture also vaguely reminds me of <a href="this picture from the Little Prince, which makes me happy :)

5/29 dress: deer & doe Belladone; shoes: Sam Edelman; necklace: Fabu #mmm14 #mmmay14
5/29, Thursday
Dress: Belladone
Shoes: Sam Edelman
Necklace: Fabu

Back to Nashville! It was at this point that I realized we were almost at the end of May – and I haven’t worn some of my favorite stuff! So out comes the Belladone :) I tried to style this a little differently than usual – I generally wear it with brown or yellow, but I do like the red :)

5/30
5/30, Friday (today!)
Dress: Simplicity 1803
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Chatterblossom
Shoes: Born

My other favorite dress – and our star pattern for the OAL. I love this pattern and I’m glad I finally have a reason to buckle down and make another! Which reminds me – the sewalong starts on Monday! Eep! :)

Speaking of which – those of you who are participating, do you feel like you need a post that covers fabric selection? I was planning on skipping straight ahead to cutting and marking, since I figured most everyone’s already chosen their fabric (and thus makes a post on fabric selection a moot point) – not to mention a lot of y’all are sewing different patterns (which means different fabric requirements) – but you tell me!

Sooo I guess that’s almost it for Me Made May! We do have one more day of the month (and you bet I’ll be wearing me-mades and begrudgingly taking a photo, ha), but I’m not going to include it in this round-up because it doesn’t fit with my ~schedule~. Sorry! If you want to view the rest of the weeks, here they are:
Me-Made May: Week 1
Me-Made-May: Week 2
Me-Made-May: Week 3
Me-Made-May: Week 4
I also have a Flickr Album of all my MMM photos, if that’s more your jam.
If you’re sick of looking at me, that’s ok too – I’m sick of looking at myself at this point :B

I am glad I participated this year, because I definitely learned a lot about what’s lurking in my closet – namely, that there is WAY more than I think there is! Seriously, so many pieces didn’t even make it out this month, and that’s kind of sad considering I only repeated one skirt and a couple of tshirts. I’ve had some size fluctuations over the past couple of years, which means a lot of my summer wear doesn’t fit anymore (and while I altered some of it – such as the Simplicity dress I’m wearing today – a whole bunch of it got sold/donated instead). After that giant purge, I was under the impression that I didn’t have a lot left to wear in warm weather – which is clearly not the case! With that being said, despite my overabundance of clothing, there are still tons of pieces that my wardrobe is lacking. I’ve got plans to make more separates, including shorts (gah, I can’t believe I didn’t wear shorts once this month, wtf?) and tshirts, as well as workout wear, loungewear, and more bathing suits! Serious question… how many bathing suits is too many? They are REALLY fun to make, ok.

How did your Me-Made-May turn out (if you participated)? Did you learn anything life-changing about your closet? Are you SO sick of taking photos? :)

Ohh, I almost forgot – I promised y’all outtakes! Let’s revel in the unflattery together:

MMM'14- Outtakes
Most of my photos end up looking like this haha. I dunno why, but I always close my eyes when the picture is being taken (not to mention… whatever my mouth is doing. I guess I was in the middle of talking haha. OK FINE I BASICALLY NEVER SHUT UP)

MMM'14- Outtakes
If anyone happens to see where I left my arm, I’d appreciate your help.

MMM'14- Outtakes
Original photobomb did it better

MMM'14- Outtakes
Look at the fear in Amelia’s eyes hahahahahaha

MMM'14- Outtakes
I just think this is cute. Amelia doesn’t care much for being held (despite my consistent grabby hands at her), but she loooves having her butt scratched.

MMM'14- Outtakes
Hey, that’s almost a good picture! Until you zoom in a bit…

MMM'14- Outtakes
That, my friends, is the face of a cat who’s completely given up on life.

MMM'14- Outtakes
Ok, this is my favorite outtake and the one that made me laugh the hardest. This is a really unflattering picture of both of us – I’m pulling some kind of weird face (again, seriously, probably in the middle of talking) and Amelia just looks PISSED.

MMM'14- Outtakes
If that doesn’t look like the devil incarnate, I don’t know what does.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Completed: Simplicity 2145

10 Feb

Happy Monday, everyone! I have some good news and I have some bad news. The bad news is – I didn’t make it through the first round of Project Sewn. Bummer! Although, I’ll be honest right now – as soon as I saw who I was competing up against, I immediately figured I’d be one of the first to go :) On the flip side, my girl Oona made it as the winner for the first round! YAY OONA GET IT GIRL. Can’t wait to get some celebratory drinks with you when I’m in NYC next month!

Speaking of my short stint with Project Sewn – I’ve received lots of sweet messages and comments since I was eliminated, and I am absolutely floored by all the support. Aw! You guys! I think some of you were more upset about the elimination than I was :) I’m actually a tiny bit relieved to have that heavy workload off my shoulders. I’m not gonna lie – it was tough trying to coordinate all that sewing (for PS, as well some other ~secret~ side projects, stuff for the Mood Sewing Network, not to mention this blog!), and it got a bit stressful. SO MANY UFOS ALL OVER MY SEWING ROOM. Which is certainly a first world problem, don’t get me wrong, but it is what it is. I really don’t know if sewing contests are for me at this point – I always feel too rushed when I’m making my shizz, and half the time I end up with something that isn’t up to my personal standards. I really loved participating in Project Sewn, and I don’t regret my decision to join one bit, but but I think from here on out, I’ll be staying out of contests like that :)

So, anyway, the GOOD news – my pink dress is already finished and photographed, and since I’m not one to let a perfectly good project go to waste, I’ll be showing y’all a whole DAY earlier than originally planned. Woohoo!

Simplicity 2145

The color is a deep magenta, although it looks quite red in these photos.

Simplicity 2145

This is Simplicity 2145, which is one of those ~be your own designers~ Project Runway patterns. I’m just going to throw this out there – I don’t like the PR patterns. Sorry! The drafting is fine for what it is, but the method of construction (and instructions) is usually pretty subpar in my experience. I suppose the drafting is more important than the instructions (ok, I KNOW the drafting is more important than the instructions, ha), but they are generally intended for “emerging designers” and I think they just set a bad example. I’ve sewn lots of these patterns in the past – they usually have some neat style lines that I don’t find replicated in other patterns – and if I was dealing with those instructions as a beginner, I think I’d give up on sewing entirely. Lots of unfinished edges, missing information (I can’t remember the particular pattern, but I do recall one that spent 3 paragraphs explaining how to sew a dart, and then forgot to tell you to close the side seams. Really!), and the yardage requirements are waaaay too generous.

I guess my point is – if you want to sew these patterns, great, but make sure you have a good instruction book close by. That is all.

Simplicity 2145

ANYWAY, back to the matter at hand – I think this particular dress turned out great! I really love the front wrap and the pleated skirt, and I think it’s a cute (and flattering!) look. I believe this pattern was intended to be a knockoff of Princess Kate’s engagement dress, although let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that she looks 1000x better in hers than I do. Must be the silk jersey ;)

Simplicity 2145

My version is made from wool crepe, which I picked up at Textile Discount Outlet while I was in Chicago last year. It was cheap, too – I think I paid less than $10 a yard for it (and it’s pure wool, according to my burn test. Nice!). I used a scrap of baby pink Bemberg Rayon to underline the bodice, and left the skirt unlined (only because that’s all the lining I had). I decided to go with underlining because the thought of trying to draft a lining for this style gave me a headache, haha. Underlining also meant that I got to keep the facings without there being a lot of bulk. I like facings.

Simplicity 2145

One thing I will warn y’all about this pattern is that it runs LARGE – like, super duper large! Holy shit! According to Simplicity’s size chart, I should be wearing a size 10. Well, I know how much they (and the rest of the Big 4) looove to make things way too fucking big, so I double-checked those finished measurements and ended up sewing the 4. So freaking ridiculous!

On the flip side, I didn’t have to make many adjustments to get a good fit. I did make a muslin – this has become a very regular thing for me (more so than usual) because I’ve learned that my posture means the back is too large at the top and needs a flat pattern adjustment. So I have to muslin everything I make now. It’s a pain for sure, but I will admit that it is REALLY nice to not have a big gape at the back of my neck! This one didn’t need much of an adjustment – I did a 3/8″ rounded back adjustment, and the fit at the back is pretty much spot-on now. The only other alteration I made was to shorten the sewn-down part of the skirt tucks. They were a little too long on me and it just looked weird.

Simplicity 2145

The dress also has two tucks at the back, which upon viewing these pictures appears to hit a somewhat unflattering spot right above my ass. Oops.

Also, for some reason, I had a DEVIL of a time inserting that invisible zipper. I don’t know why – invisible zips don’t really give me much trouble! – but my feed dogs were trying to make it gather on one side. So weird! I’ve since inserted several invisible zips, and they go in flawlessly. I don’t know if it had something to do with the wool crepe or what. If you super zoom into this photo (which, I mean, uh, don’t. Haha), you can see that my waistline seam at the zipper is off by about 1/4″. That was the closest I could get it, after ripping the zip out like 4 times. Stupid zipper!

Simplicity 2145

Another thing I don’t care much for about this dress is that the sleeves are SUPER tight and it’s difficult to raise my arms very high. So it’s ok for wearing if I’m going to be sitting all day/not moving around, but that’s about it. I need to rip them out and reinsert them and see if that helps. I’ve been told that if the sleeve isn’t eased in the right areas, it can make it difficult to move your arms, but I was pretty careful about that while I was setting these in. I’m thinking it might be another pattern adjustment that I need to address, because it happens a lot to me. Anyone have a suggestion on what I should be looking for? The armhole is high enough (I believe) and the circumference around my bicep is the correct size, so I’m not sure where to go from here, or even what to research.

Simplicity 2145

Sleeve issues aside, the rest of the dress is right up my style alley. You can get a better idea of the true color here – it’s a very rich, deep pink, and it looks super fabulous with all the wool crepe-y texture.

Simplicity 2145

Simplicity 2145

Simplicity 2145

Wish I’d actually had the correct thread color on hand – I had a pale pink, which in retrospect was a horrible decision (you can sort of see it at some seams when I’m wearing the garment, ugh), but at least it matches the lining, I guess?

Simplicity 2145

Oh yeah, and if you were wondering why my hair looks SO good in these pictures – I’d just had a haircut and that blowout they gave me was LEGIT. God, I wish I could afford regular blowouts haha! As it stands right now, my hair doesn’t even look like this anymore. I had it bleached last week, and now it’s neon orange. More on that later ;)

A couple things before I dip outta here:
– Remember Joanna Baker, she of the sweet sewing prints giveaway? Well, I just heard back from her (she’s been busy getting married since then!) and she has listed the 3 sewing prints in her shop for a limited time. I know some people were interested in purchasing them, so if that’s you – here are the dressform, button collection and thread prints.
– Also, She’ll Make You Flip is currently offering a nice discount – use the code VALENTINE25 for 25% off your entire purchase, good through 2/24/14! Someone should go buy this and hang it on their wall, because that is EXACTLY what I would do with that pattern. Ok ok, in all seriousness, how cute is this pattern?? AND IT’S IN MY SIZE. EEP, my neverending quest for the perfect stripe fabric continues!

Completed: A Very Purple Simplicity 3178

16 Jan

Y’all. Can we talk about wool crepe for a minute? I just love this shit to tiny threadbare pieces and I wish everything I made had a wool crepe option. I love the spongy texture, the glorious drape, the magical body-temperature-regularity (yay, wool!), and the COLORS. Truly, everyone should have at least one experience rolling around in a uncut length of wool crepe. Especially if it is a jewel-toned wool crepe. Ooh la la.

For my first Mood Sewing Network project, I wanted that experience to include wool crepe. I have a beautiful 1940s Simplicity pattern that I knew would look amazing done up in such a fabric. And since we’re talking about ~my first time~, I decided to go all out with my bad self and splurge on silk crepe de chine lining and satin bias tape as well. The end result is very… purple.

Simplicity 3178
The pattern I used is Simplicity 3178, which is undated but looks to be from the late 30s/early 40s. I love vintage patterns because they always have sweet little details, like the darts on the elbows that provide gentle shaping for the sleeves and the shoulder yokes that are actually pockets (!!).

Simplicity 3178
The skirt is bias cut, so I finished the hem with 1″ horsehair braid to give it a nice flare.

Simplicity 3178
The pattern gives a couple of options for finishing the neckline – I went with the double collar (self fabric on top and ivory wool crepe at the bottom) and a giant bow!

Simplicity 3178
I didn’t have to make too many changes to the pattern to get a good fit. I took in the side seams by 1/2″, tapering up to the underarm. I also removed a whopping 9″ of length from the skirt – the original pattern pieces came all the way down to my ankles! Yeech!

Simplicity 3178
I reckon the pockets are totally unnecessary, but ughhh I love those little fuckers!

Simplicity 3178

Simplicity 3178
This baby is also lined! Wool crepe really begs for a nice lining to give it some additional structure, and although the pattern doesn’t include pieces or instructions for adding a lining, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Unfortunately, I didn’t correctly calculate my yardages, so I didn’t have enough lining for the entire dress – which means the sleeves are not lined. I’ve noticed a distinct lack of lining in lots of dress sleeves, so this doesn’t bug me too much. Bonus plus: now you can see the pretty bias tape at the sleeve hems!
Also: lol at this hideously unflattering photo of me. IT WAS WINDY WHEN I TOOK THESE PICTURES, OK.

Simplicity 3178
The instructions do call for the sleeve slit and hems to be finished with bias tape, and then closed with a series of snaps. After trying the dress on during one of many fittings, I decided to flip the hems back to show the bias tape since the dress really needed a bit of color breakup. I pressed the cuff (wool crepe really does press so beautifully) and tacked down each side with a couple of hand stitches to keep everything in place. The neck bow is the same bias tape, just pressed completely open.

Simplicity 3178
I think the shoulders are my favorite part of the dress! Instead of using shoulder pads, I made a small stiff rectangle with horsehair interfacing and tacked that to the armholes like a sleeve head. It keeps the pleats from dropping too much and gives the dress those badass strong shoulders that were so fashionable in the 40s.

Simplicity 3178
Here you can better see the yoke pockets. I just think they are the coolest little detail! I wish they were big enough to hold my phone, but they’re just baarely too small. Hm, what do you think I could use them for? My seam ripper seems to fit :)

Simplicity 3178
Simplicity 3178
I worked hard to make the inside of this dress just as pretty as the outside. The yoke pockets and neck facings are lightly interfaced with silk organza, the facings are finished with satin bias tape, and I even rolled the hem lining and used tiny hand stitches to secure it. The collar is detachable – it’s current state of attachment involves basting stitches.

Simplicity 3178
Overall, I’m very happy with my dress – I love it’s snuggly wool warmth and did I mention purple? Because purple.

IN OTHER NEWS:
– Brittany of Viva Bang Bang, one of the MANY local Nashville bloggers who I’m just obsessed with (check out my sidebar; there are tons of us! WE ARE EVERYWHERE, YO), came to my house over the weekend and took a bunch of pictures of my sewing room. If you thought it looked cool before, definitely go check it out now because she made it look fucking amazing. Yay! Thank you so much, Brittany!!
– I’m sure some of y’all are into Project Runway, yes? Even if you’re not (that would be me, haha. Guilty!), you should totally watch this season because my homegirl Amanda Valentine is one of the designers and she is super rad and you should support her. I mean, they called her a bitch in the season preview. How sweet is that?! Haha!

Completed: Simplicity 3688 Trousers (with bonus crop top)

5 Jul

I just realized I should probably call this ensemble the ’88 or something of that nature, since both pattern numbers end in 88. What are the odds, eh?

Anyway, new outfit! I’m not even going to both separating these into 2 posts since they are pretty simple on their own. Both pieces were SO quick & simple to make – that crop top took maybe 2 hours. Amazing!

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

I made the trousers first, so we will start with those. They are Simplicity 3688, you know, the incredibly-famous-incredibly-flattering-incredibly-EASY pattern that everyone has been raving about? I was mildly curious (and also interested in making some high-waisted trousers that didn’t involve a front-fly zip), so I picked it up at the most recent $1.99 sale. This pattern is pretty sweet, I must say! I only made a couple of very simple adjustments – tapered the waist in to fit, and added a little bit of room at the back for teh heiny – and the fit is pretty spot-on. I didn’t even have to adjust the crotch length like I normally do. SWEET. SO SWEET.

Simplicity 3688
Here they are with my very favorite crop top, a sweet little embroidered Hungarian piece from the 60s. I love this top, but unfortunately it is old as shit & totally falling apart (it’s made out of some class of sheer cheesecloth-type fabric). So I have to be careful with it when I do wear it – otherwise, it is restricted to wall art haha.

My only beef with this pattern is the available sizing – it only goes down to a 10. I really should have graded down the waist to an 8 or maybe a 6, but it doesn’t go any smaller than the 10. Sadly, I don’t think I will be making the blouse or the jacket from this pattern – as darling as they are – because they are simply too big. BOO. Why not offer all sizes, Simplicity? I’ve seen you try to do this with the bigger sizes too. Sneaky sneaky.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488
The fabric is a *very* lightweight denim chambray – it might even be too light for pants, these kind of looks like pajamas. Perfect for summer, though :) The waistband has a bit of horsehair interfacing for stability.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

Simplicity 3688
I finished these as simply as possible – serged seams, topstitched waistband, side lapped zipper. They close with 2 hooks & eyes.

Now for the crop top, McCall’s 4488…
I just love sewing skanky crop tops!
Ahahah, I bought this pattern at the flea market a couple of months ago. It’s so ridiculous! Honestly, I thought the seaming was kind of tacky, but it actually looks a lot better made up. The fabric is some weird stretch knit that I bought at the thrift store for $2.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488
There’s not much to say about this shirt. It’s very simple, and actually kind of flattering. I’d like to make it in a longer version, maybe even with long sleeves for winter.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488
The side stripes did originally match up, but I had to take quite a bit in to get it to fit, so now they don’t match. Wah wah. They actually look quite good, considering that I did not take the stripes into account AT ALL when cutting this.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

McCalls 4488
Here’s a scandalous mirror shot of how it looks without the high-waisted – HAHA. Ummmm I don’t think I’ll be wearing it out like this!

McCall's 4488

McCall's 4488
The finishing was pretty interesting for this – there is a very narrow facing at the neckline, which is folded back & then top stitched according to the instructions. It looks very similar to ribbing, actually. The sleeves & hem are just stitched down with a twin needle.

On a side note, yesterday we celebrated America by eating hot chicken. In 100*+ degree heat.

Hot Chicken Festival
At the Music City Hot Chicken Festival – we waited in line for over an hour!

Oh yes, this was painful.
Hurts so good.
If you’ve never had hot chicken… uhhh I don’t exactly know how to properly describe it. It’s not necessarily spicy. It just sets your mouth on fire. Definitely an experience if you like to inflict pain yourself haha.

So there ya go. AMERICUHHHH.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

Completed: A Totally Tubular Simplicity 1803

27 Jun

“Tubular” is such a weird word. I mean in the sense when people use it as a synonym for awesome or rad. I mean… it’s literal definition is something that is tube-shaped. What is so rad about a tube? English language, you mystify me.

You know what is pretty radtubular, though? This Simplicity 1803 pattern, yeah! Now that we have set aside our differences, a beautiful relationship can be allowed to bloom. With this in mind, I would like to introduce you to my latest incarnation of Simplicity 1803, heading straight up Awesomeville.

Simplicity 1803, v2
This print is pretty loud in comparison to what I normally wear, but I like it!

Simplicity 1803, v2
There’s not much to say about the construction here – it’s pretty much the exact same as my Disaster dress, although a bit more simple (no underlining, machine-stitched hems, etc). I did discover that the fabric has a very subtle stretch, which made the dress a bit too big… so I ended up with some pretty giant seam allowances at the zipper. We’re talking 1.5″ seam allowances. Yeesh! On the fip side, the stretch makes the dress quite comfortable.

Simplicity 1803, v2
I remembered to put the pockets in the correct place this time! No princess-seam pockets for this girl!

Simplicity 1803, v2
This fabric is just fabulous… a nice, drapey rayon with a hint of stretch, and a really busy pattern that hides sweat – which is quite important these days, considering we are gearing up for a high of 108* later this week. I KNOW.

Simplicity 1803, v2
I did make the waist tie this go-round, although it blends in pretty well with the busy print. Oh well, I guess it provides a bit of texture?

It was difficult to get pictures of this dress – most of them ended up totally blown out with light. I kept moving around to different areas of shade.

Simplicity 1803, v2
Then I noticed the awesome neighborhood stray cat in my back yard!

Yay kitty!
This cat is so cool! He’s super friendly and VERY vocal, and he loves having his belly rubbed. I know he’s skinny as shit, but I’ve actually tried feeding him before & he refuses it. He looks pretty healthy and is definitely quite social, which gives me reason to believe he’s probably someone’s pet prowling around the neighborhood. I see him about once a week and we are best friends. I have named him Bobby, fyi.

THIS CAT
Told you he was friendly ;)

:3
Although he never sits still long enough to get a good picture!

Simplicity 1803, v2
This is the dress front. Again, I went with soft pleats instead of thread gathers on the skirt. I’m a big convert of the soft pleat!

Simplicity 1803, v2
Dress back, lapped zipper.

Simplicity 1803, v2
Orange zipper! Also, check out my massive seam allowances lol

Simplicity 1803, v2
I’m trying it with a belt for work today, I think I like it better than the tie… it breaks up the pattern a bit.

As a side note – I’ve got one sleeve on my Miette sweater now!

Miette Progress
My sleeves is a little shorter than the pattern calls for (I skipped a few rows of stockinette), but I still think it’s a little long for my preferences. I guess that means I have T-Rex arms hahaha.

Miette Progress
This sweater has been really fun to knit, but I’m looking forward to finishing it so I can work on something a little less mindless :)

Simplicity 1803, v2

Also, don’t forget to enter my Shabby Apple Giveaway if you haven’t done so already – it closes this Friday :D

One last thing – I just looked up tubular, and according to dictionary.com: excellent. (Surfing and later general youth slang. Having to do with a tube [wave] that is good to surf in.) : That pizza was totally tubular!

A Day At The Flea

25 Jun

Alternately titled: Why I Love Tennessee And It’s Awesome Flea Market!

The flea market here is monthly, and I do try to go every month (last month I had to miss because I was in Florida – but I’m not complaining!!). The whole thing is MASSIVE – and full of vendors selling all kinds of stuff, from priceless antiques to dirty junk. I personally like the dirty junk :) There are also vendors who sell boring shit like socks & discontinued Clariol hair dye & door mats with whimsical pictures of your preferred dog breed, but I tend to avoid those booths because, well, boring!

Anyway, I took my new friend Jenna with me this time, as she had never been before! We met up with Lauren Winter after about an hour. We also ran into Kaelah as we were leaving – Nashville is such a small town! I’m not going to go into detail over what everyone else bought – let’s just say we had to make an extra trip to the truck about an hour in, because we already had too much stuff to carry around! :)

I didn’t make out with quite as much bank as I customarily do – no huge garbage bags of fabric for $4, or stacks of patterns for pennies apiece – but I did come home with some perfect little gems.

$15, yo!
My absolute favorite thing I bought was this dress – I bought it right before we left (after seeing it first thing & obsessing over it for the next few hours, ha!). I haggled the lady down to $15, which is totally a steal I think. The fabric feels like some kind of silk-blend; it is unfortunately much too hot to wear during out 100*+ days. Anyway, the colors are kind of autumnal. But I love it so much!

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
I did end up swapping out the buttons to these – the ones on there obviously weren’t original, as they didn’t match the dress at all. Also, there was one missing. I am quite sure I bought these brass buttons at the flea as well, so it seems like a good fit :)

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
Those are the old buttons on the right – silver rhinestones. lolwut

Silk Shirtwaist Dress
One thing that really delighted me about this dress is that there is a lot of hand-mending all over it – including these little darned holes at the hem. It was obviously a favorite dress.

Embroidered Pillowcase
I also bought this pillowcase (filled it with polyfil from my sewing room – for some reason I have like 3 bags of it?) for $1 – I love all the embroidery! The lady who sold it to me said the woman who did the embroidery was in her 80s at the time. I just think it’s so pretty!

Brooches
Some pretty brooches – the pinecones came from the same booth that the silk shirtwaist dress is from.

As far as sewing notions, I found a few…

Crazy Zipeprs
Crazy zippers! Lol I have NO idea what I will do with these, but they had to come home with me.

Bias Tape!
Crazy bias tape – I see a floofy Christmas dress in my future…

Plaid Taffeta Fabric
Plaid taffeta… good for another Christmas skirt? Man, I love Christmas.

Green Lining Fabric
Celery green lining fabric… kind of boring, but it was also kind of only a $1 sooo no complaints here.

In the world of things I didn’t buy but considered taking home with me anyway -
The puppy that @bloomingleopold tried to buy today.
THE CUTEST PUPPY I’VE EVER SEEN
He’s a miniature Australian Sheepdog! At 19 weeks, he weighed about 6 pounds. We all fell IN LOVE, but apparently he already sold (lol who sells a dog at the flea market anyway?).

I love the flea market, but this is creepy as shit
Well, no, I didn’t actually want to buy this. Thought I would share anyway. Apparently, this is Farrah Fawcett’s head, in a wooden box.

I actually started – and mostly finished – a new dress over the weekend, but the weird slinky poly was giving me an absolute fit, and the pattern wasn’t looking too hot on me (maybe because of the fabric?), so I ended up tossing it (rather violently, I might add) in the corner & instantly felt 100% liberated. I haven’t had a proper UFO in about 2 years, so this is a very new experience for me.

In the meantime, I started a new dress – we are revisiting Simplicity 1803. In the loudest print I have ever purchased.
Simplicity 1803
Headed toward Tackyville, y/n?

Completed: Simplicity 1803, aka, The Disaster Dress

19 Jun

I am calling this The Disaster Dress, but it’s really not that bad. Promise! My main issue could have *easily* been solved in the muslin stage – had I actually been paying attention when I tried it on.

Simplicity 1803

Anyway, this is the ever-popular Simplicity 1803. If my dress looks familiar, it is because I was quite obviously influenced by Gertie’s perfect version. I had to have one for myself!

I guess I should mention exactly why I chose to call this dress a disaster. It doesn’t look much like a disaster now – I worked around all the fitting issues. But hoo boy, getting there was an adventure! This pattern has some wacky shit going on with it, y’all. WACKY, I tell you. First, we have the issue of ease. I know this has been talked to death about all over the sewing blogesphere, but seriously – this dress has a LOT of ease. Let me put it this way: according to Simplicity’s size chart, I fit in the 12-14 range. I cut a 4 in this pattern and it fit perfectly. There is about 4.5″ of ease in this pattern… consider yourself warned. Anyway, I cut my 4 & sewed up the muslin, put it on, glanced in the mirror, and started working on the real dress. I am a fit-as-you-go type sewist – constantly pinning & basting to double-check the fit. Right before I sewed up the shoulder seams, I realized that the curves of the princess seams were nowhere near the fullest part of my bust – how I missed that, I have no idea. The shoulders were WAY too short – which is actually kind of ironic, since I usually have to shorten that stuff quite a bit for my teensy shoulders. Of course, I already had the bodice half-sewn (and underlined!) at this point. Long story short, my shoulder seams are sewn with the scantest of scant seam allowances – like, less than 1/4″. The fit and everything is in it’s proper place – but barely. Also I have no idea exactly where I’m going with this story, except that you should definitely scrutinize your muslin.

Also, another beef I had with this pattern was that they skipped some vital steps in the instructions – such as sewing up the side seams. Wtf, Simplicity? You will give me half a page on ~how to sew a dart~ but then forget to tell me to sew up the side seams? You cray.

This is part 2 of Stuff I Made Using Birthday Gifts – the teal Bemberg rayon lining was sent to me by Alicia of Iron On Maiden (can we also collectively agree that she has the coolest blog name ever? Yes.) for my birthday! Yeah! It is underlining this awesome black eyelet from Mood. I also finally got to test out my new interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply – I used the light-weight fusible and it is AWESOME. I never thought I would actually like fusible interfacing, but I think I just officially converted.

Simplicity 1803

Other than the above rant on sizing/fit (and lack of side seams), this dress went together pretty quickly. The only other change I made to the pattern was to swap out the gathers for soft pleats – there was a LOT of gathering involved, and my fabric is quite thick so I was afraid it would get too bulky around the waist. To make the pleats, I matched up all the seams/notches as I would if I was gathering, and then just pleated the fabric until everything looked good & matched up. Pretty easy! I think I like this much better than I would have liked the gathers, too!

The pockets are really fucking stupid, though. They are in the right place according to the pattern – but WTF!? Who puts pockets on the princess seams of a full-skirted dress?! I know the Iris Shorts have similar pockets, but they actually contribute to the design… in this dress, they’re hidden in the folds. Of course I didn’t notice this until I actually sewed them in – and of course it is displayed prominently on the envelope. Oh well.

Simplicity 1803
This is how I feel about the pockets.

Simplicity 1803
I do like the scoop back!

Simplicity 1803
Bonus drunk-looking picture of me.

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803 - bodice, belt
Do you like my birdy brooch? :) I tore up an old necklace (well, it was already broken), glued a pin to the back & spray painted it blue.

Simplicity 1803 - no belt
Here it is without the belt!

Simplicity 1803 - Bodice, no belt

Simplicity 1803
I love how bluuuue the inside is. The facing is a simple black broadcloth – again, the eyelet was too bulky for facing. I trimmed it with some matching rayon seam binding (also in the package from Alicia – told you she was awesome :D) and catch-stitched it to the lining.

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803

Simplicity 1803
Lapped zipper & soft pleats (and that red spot is from my camera – I was wondering why it kept leaving a spot of haziness in every picture. Then I noticed that the lens was incredibly dirty. At this point, I am sure you are questioning how much I actually pay attention to things. Not much, I’m afraid).

Simplicity 1803

Anyway, despite all the shit I went through to get this thing put together, I’m absolutely happy with the finished dress! I think it’s quite flattering & can be worn for a number of occasions (and seasons, for that matter!). So yeah! Now that I’ve sorted out my issues, I will probably make another one… I have this awesome/wacky rayon fabric that I picked up at Goodwill recently; I think it’s perfect for this style. What do you think?

Simplicity 1803

Underlining: The Why & How

15 Jun

I’m currently working on the madness that is Simplicity 1803 (seriously thinking about calling this dress The Disaster Dress, if that means anything) and I thought I would share a few of my trials & tribulations with y’all. I’ve had a lot of comments requesting a tutorial for underlining (or even just asking wtf underlining is exactly), and while I haven’t been able to fulfill those requests in the past – but today is your lucky day! Underlining day, yaay!

First up, let’s talk shop. What exactly is underlining? Some people tend to confuse it with lining; this is incorrect. Lining is a duplicate garment that hangs separately inside your dress (or skirt, or pants, or whatever) that covers all seams for a nice clean finish. It is constructed separately and generally only attached by a few seams – perhaps a neckline, or the waistband of your skirt. The hem usually left free-hanging for ease for movement. Consider lining the inception of sewing – a garment within a garment (see what I did there?).

Underlining is when you sew two pieces of fabric together & treat them like a single piece – kind of like some relationships (ahhh I’m on a roll today here). Since the underlining is actually sewn to the back of your fashion fabric, the seams do show & the inside of the garment doesn’t necessarily have that clean finish.

Underlining is wonderful for a variety of reasons – you can use it to stabilize your fashion fabric to give it a bit more body (like with my Bombshell dress), to add a layer of opacity to an otherwise sheer fabric (my Swiss Dot Violet really benefited from a batiste underlining), to add a layer of warmth to a coat (the lining of my Lady Grey is underlined with cotton flannel), or even to brighten up your fashion fabric a notch (look at the difference underlining made on my Gingham Peony!) If you were concerned about the integrity of a delicate fabric – lace, or vintage, or… I dunno, vintage lace – you could underline every piece for additional strength. Underlining has lots of uses, it’s awesome!

For my dress in question, I am using this pretty black eyelet from Mood. The whole thing is quite see-through so I knew ahead of time that it would going to need some kind of backing to keep certain places under cover. I originally planned on just dropping a whole lining in the thing & calling it a day, until I realized that you would see every single seam through the eyelet – and by every single seam, I mean eyelet seams & lining seams. I’m using Bemberg Rayon here (LOVE!!!!!) and that stuff frays like nobodies business. I started imagining little shreds of turquoise popping out all over the place & it gave me the willies.

So I decided to underline instead. An added bonus is that it totally negates the two issues I was having with the individual fabrics – the Bemberg was sliding all over the place, and my sewing machine was throwing a giant fucking fit every time I tried to sew over the textured eyelet. By sewing the two fabrics together, the Bemberg stays put & provides a layer over the eyelet that keeps the needle from freaking out. Yeah!

This process is pretty easy. I’m almost embarrassed to even post this.

1
Cut each pattern piece from both your fashion fabric & preferred underlining fabric (as I mentioned here, I’m using Bemberg Rayon – which is traditionally a lining fabric, but it’s main job for this dress is opacity). The pieces should be mirror images of each other. I like to go ahead & snip all my notches, it makes things easier to match up. Don’t worry about your pattern markings (the kind you use chalk or tailor tacks or whatever for) just yet.

2
Place the underlining on the wrong side of the fashion fabric. If your underlining has a right side, make sure it is facing the wrong side of the fashion fabric (so when you flip the whole thing over, both right sides should be facing up). Pin everything together – I used these tiny silk pins because my lining shows pin holes.

3
Then you just sew the lining to the fabric! Here are some tips:
– Yes, you can sew it by machine. I chose to sew by hand because the rayon is super slippery & I wanted it to shift as little as possible. It also makes ripping the basting stitches out MUCH easier. If you sew by hand, you want to keep things as flat as possible – sit at a table! It’s very mindless work, so feel free to watch a movie (or two!).
– Sew giant basting stitches using one strand of thread. Pick something contrasting so it’s easier to pull out the stitches after you sew the seams. I used orange thread; I thought it was pretty haha.
– Try to stay well within your seam allowance – you can see that mine is less than 1/4″ from the edge. I think this makes it easier to pull out the stitches (it’s not anywhere near the 5/8″ SA, so I’m not actually sewing over the basting with my machine) and it hides any pin-marks that may get left behind on delicate fabrics.
– You may also notice that I did not sew along the bottom edge of the piece. Call me lazy, idgaf. The basting for underlining is really there to hold the pieces together until they are properly sewn. I’ve found that I can usually get away with omitting the bottom hem & any seams that extremely short (such as the point between the princess seam & the armscye). Play around & see what works for you!

BONUS TIP:
Next project involves eyelet... And a ridic amount of underlining, ugh
(sorry about the crappy Instagram picture!)
For super precise darts, thread trace the dart legs through both layers after you have basted the pieces together. This keeps the fabrics together while you sew the dart, and eliminates any weird bubbling that may otherwise happen.

4
Here is the other side of my underlined piece. Cute!

Now that you’ve got your pieces all basted together, you can treat them like one piece of fabric. You can transfer your fabric markings to the underlining side of the fabric so it doesn’t show on the front. Sew as you normally would, and make sure to pull out your basting threads as you sew each seam.

Here is how my bodice is looking as of this morning
5
Since this is an underlining, and not a proper lining, you will still have to finish your seams & deal with facings. My seams are serged; my facing is a simple cotton broadcloth as the eyelet was too bulky.

7
I love the subtle peek of turquoise :D

6
I am including this picture because it looks like a uterus, and that is funny to me.

So that’s it! Hopefully this brings a light to some of the mystique :) As always, let me know if you have any questions!

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