Tag Archives: skirt

Completed: Ikat Moss Mini

21 Apr

Since I announced my pledge for Me-Made-May, I realized I better get crackin’ on making some summer-appropriate handmades if I want to actually get through the month as planned. One thing my closet has been missing for a few years is a good, basic mini skirt. I used to wear these things aaalll the time, but all my old ones either disintegrated over time or plain don’t fit anymore. I really wanted to try Grainline’s Moss Mini, but I wanted to hold off on pulling the trigger until I came across the perfect fabric.

Moss Mini

That perfect fabric being Ikat. Ow ow!

Moss Mini

OMG I love this skirt way more than I should. It’s a new silhouette for me for sure – despite having worn this style a LOT in the past (no lie you guys, I had them in every shade of denim, from white to dark blue. My dreams of being in a Poison video were, unfortunately, never recognized. Perhaps it’s because I only have a pick-up truck to lounge across, instead of a sweet 80s sports car? Dammit, I knew there was a reason why I needed a Delorean.), it’s not something I wear a lot of these days, so the style takes some re-getting used to. I’m liking it so far, though!

Moss Mini

Let’s talk about the pattern. The Moss Mini is a cute little mini skirt that includes slash front pockets, a back yoke, and a front fly with a button closure. It sits a little lower than my other skirts – the waistband is right below my navel. The length is pretty short! I didn’t remove any and it’s good for me – but I’m a petite lady, so as always, check those measurements.

Moss Mini

Moss Mini

I cut a size 0, but I had to take quite a bit out of the waist and hip to get it to fit without straight falling off. Next time I make this, I will probably cut a wedge out of the center back yoke as well – it’s gapes a little, since I curve more there than the pattern was drafted for. Other than that, the fit is pretty good!

Moss Mini

I debated adding back pockets (lord knows I’d use ‘em), but ultimately decided that the skirt was busy enough without extra pocket baggage also demanding attention. Plus, the thought of additional pattern matching made me want to cry. Print-matching this bitch was rough, but totally worth it.

Moss Mini

“Wait a second, Lauren, didn’t I hear you say something earlier about there already being pockets on the skirt?” Yep! Check out those front-slash pockets, so cunningly camouflaged RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES.

Moss Mini

Like I said, pattern-matching this skirt was way rough. I used my single layer method, which always does the trick. The hard part was getting the pattern to seamlessly continue, so you don’t notice any interruptions in the skirt (as opposed to a plaid or stripe, where you just follow the line). It’s like hanging freaking wallpaper, I guess. I think I ended up doing a pretty damn fine job if I do say so myself, though – do you see the center back seam? No? Good.

Moss Mini

Apart from the pattern-matching-hell, the fabric was lovely to work with. This is a stretch cotton twill from Mood Fabrics, emphasis on the stretch. Like I said, I had to take a bit out of the side seams to get this baby to fit close (a close fit is important when you are working with a stretch – negative ease is needed!), but the resulting skirt is also really comfortable and not at all constricted. Be warned that it does like to fray and shed, though. I used flat-felled seams throughout my skirt and it’s held together pretty nicely, although pressing got a little fiddly (tip: use a reeeeally hot iron and smack the shit outta that bad boy with a clapper. Ha!).

Moss Mini

Moss Mini

As far as how I’m gonna wear this skirt? I dunno. I like the way it looks with my white button-down, but the combo feels a little fussy for a breezy summer. The lower rise is also throwing me off, as tucked in shirts just don’t look nearly as good (and this shirt is long enough to where it needs it; it looks sloppy otherwise). I’m thinking I’ll just make a bunch of plain tshirts that hit right at the waistband seam, and just swap out the colors according to my mood.

Moss Mini

Now let’s plaid “find that seam!”

Moss Mini

I debated how to cut the back yoke. Originally, I planned on matching it with the back of the skirt, so the pattern wasn’t broken up – but then I realized you wouldn’t be able to tell there was a yoke there. I stand by my mis-matched yoke (and slightly mis-matched waistband, ah well), but I still think a close match would have looked good too.

Moss Mini

There’s the flat-felled seam! Omg you guys, I changed out soooo much thread to make this stupid skirt. All interior seams are white, all topstitched seams are navy. Since every seam gets sewn twice (first the inside, then the topstitching for the flat fell), you can imagine how much I was changing thread to make this. Of course, I have 3 more machines that I could have set up to speed things along. Did I bother? Naw.

Moss Mini

I made a couple of changes to the waistband. I kept the extra length that was left (from me taking in the side seams) and used it to create an underlap for a flat button. I’ve found that I prefer this kind of waistband finish, as a non-underlap waistband – on me, anyway – tends to pull funny. I also used a hook and eye to close the front, instead of a button. I dunno, I just like the clean finish of no button!

Moss Mini

And here’s the inside! I serged the pocket edges and the fly front/facing, but everything else is flat-felled (with the white thread on the inside – see how good it looks??). I’m really really happy with how the inside of this skirt looks. So clean!

Moss Mini

I guess that’s it! Question: What color tshirts should I be making to wear with this skirt? I’m filling up my Mood cart right now…

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Completed: Chevron’d Ginger Skirt

4 Apr

Here’s another piece that I have seriously been planning for a couple of years – the chevron’d Ginger skirt!

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

Another stupendous idea delayed by lack of fabric – why why whyyyy is it so hard to find a good, 1″ stripe, non-stretch fabric, apparel-weight? Whyyy? I find lots of striped shirting fabrics (too lightweight, stripes too narrow), striped stretch twill (holding out for the lycra-less, pls), striped knit (ok, yes please, but not for this particular project!), or stripes in some kind of weird array of colors. Not to mention the overabundance of home decor striped fabric – but I’ve found I just don’t like all the structure that comes with home decor weight. My ass is not meant for curtains to hang off of it.

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

I was PRETTY FREAKING EXCITED when I found this fabric at last month’s flea. Hiding under a pile of vintage fabrics (all good, I bought nearly all of them lolz) were 4 yards of my dream yellow-and-white-1″-striped-cotton. In a rare unselfish move on my part, I ripped the yardage in half and sent 2 yards to Sunni (who I was doing a great fabric swap with earlier this month and holyyyy shit you guys I cannot wait to start digging into the lovely stuff she sent me!), keeping the other 2 yards for myself and this skirt. And here she is – finally, the striped/chevron’d skirt of my dreams!

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

As I mentioned before, this is the Ginger from Colette Patterns. I made view 3, which gave my striped fabric a nice chevron. I know chevrons are REALLY hip right now (and every time I pass something chevron’d at Target, I groan. A lot.), like to the point of already looking super trendy and dated, but I do like them for clothing. I’d say something like I hope they never go out of style, but I pretty much wear whatever I want regardless, so let’s just say I hope I can continue finding good striped fabric to make my own! Hopefully more frequent than once every couple of years :)

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

I’ve made this skirt a few times before, so this definitely ain’t my first rodeo, but I did have to size down since my previous versions don’t fit me anymore (well, maybe the Gazer does. I haven’t pulled that one out of summer storage yet to check). I cut the pieces on a single layer so I could be really accurate with lining up those stripes, and it (mostly)paid off.

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

I even went as far as to center the yellow vertical stripe in the middle of the waistband, so everything would be nice and balanced.

Now that you’ve seen the gorgeous, time to share my shame…

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

Kind of bummed that the chevrons on the side seams don’t match up :( I actually think it looks much much better in these photos vs real life (and since I took these photos, I have worn the skirt and been totally ok with the barely-matched-up side seams). Like I said. I did a very careful job of cutting everything out on the single layer, but the way this skirt is shaped means that you either get the fabric on-grain, or the side seams match all the way up to the waistband. One or the other, make your choice! I decided the grain was more important – plus, they kinda sorta match, right? :)

The other shame is that dammed invisible zipper! Guysss, inserting an invisible zip into a bias-cut garment isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever do. I stabilized my seam allowances with 1 1/4″ wide stripes of silk organza cut on the straight grain, and the zipper is ALMOST perfect, but there is a tiny bubble at the bottom. I’m trying to decide if it bothers me enough to rip it out and fix it. Eh. It looks pretty bad in that picture!

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

But, you know, issues aside – it’s a fun skirt! And it’s fun to wear, although I do feel like I’m exposing myself every time I bend over to pick something up. Bias cut rides up all kind weird.

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

This fabric was also kind of weird, amazing as it is. When I first grabbed it, it felt like a great bottom weight – slightly stiff, a bit of body, a subtle sheen. After the prewash, however, the fabric majorly softened up and weight-wise, it felt a lot more like quilting cotton. I was hesitant at first, as I wanted a stiffer shape to my skirt, but I’m pretty happy with how the drape of the fabric looks with the bis cut. The only drawback was that those bias sides stretched a loooooot. Like, so much. That’s probably a good part of the reason why the side seams don’t match up so nicely.

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

To give the waistband some structure, I interfaced the outside with my normal fusible interfacing, and sewed hair canvas to the facing. While this particular waistband isn’t quite as high as the other views on the pattern – and it’s not shaped, either – I still didn’t want it to crumble when I bent over. Not a good look!

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

Oh yeah, I used the bicycle fabric left over from this dress to face the inside of the waistband. It’s a cute little surprise!

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

I also used the last of my yellow lace hem binding for the hem. Side note – the packaging for this stuff (it’s from the 70s) boasts that it’s “Like Pretty Underwear!” which makes me laugh every time.

Ginger Skirt - chevrons

So that’s it! Simple skirt, simple fabric – but I love the results! I guess I’m on a major skirt kick right now; I’ve got anther one cut out waiting for assembly as I type this.

As a side note – the shirt I’m wearing is my button down from this outfit. I LOVE this shit and I’ve worn it soo many times since completing it! The reason why I’m pointing it out, though, is because this is what the shirt looks like after a wash with no ironing – I just shook it out and hung it to dry. It has some subtle wrinkles, but nothing crazy – it kind of reminds me of linen with how the wrinkles just look relaxed and natural. Except it’s cotton! Pretty cool; I love getting away with not ironing my clothes ;)

Completed: The Tie-less Miette

31 Mar

Ever since I made up my my first version of Tilly’s Miette wrap skirt, I’ve been meaning to make a second one. Isn’t that how it is, though? You find a pattern you like, you vow to make another one post haste, and it falls to the backburner in favor of something more *new* (I’m the same way with knitting socks. I’ve been meaning to knit a pair since I started knitting, but I keep getting seduced by gorgeous sweater patterns. Someday, I guess!). Miette fell by the wayside for, oh, a year.

Red Miette - no ties

What’s even dumber is that I finally sat down and made that shit up, and it took me all of two hours. Oh, priorities.

Red Miette - no ties

So, back to Miette. Like I said, I’ve made this pattern before – and I still wear it aaaaall the time. That polka dot fabric goes with everything as far as I’m concerned, and it’s a great skirt for “oooh I have nothing to wear” because any top you wear with it looks instantly polished. I wish Mood Fabrics still had some of that navy, by the way. I tried to find it in the store while I was there a couple of weeks ago but all they had left was brown with white polka dots (which I totally bought, by the way).

Red Miette - no ties

This fabric in question is Organic Cotton Twill. It was one of the first things I grabbed in my first NYC-Mood-store-run (I also bought some navy because, c’mon, it’s just beautiful), and one of the only *basic* fabrics I bought the entire weekend (truth, I realized I should save my money & suitcase space for stuff that’s more special/can’t be later bought online). I love this stuff; it’s the same twill I made my skinny red Thurlows with, and I can personally vouch that it wears and washes beautifully. The only drawback is that it also attracts thread and cat hair like it’s going out of style. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Red Miette - no ties

Back to the skirt. The only thing I didn’t care much for in the original pattern was the waist ties. I knowwww, the waist ties are basically the whole point of the damn pattern! But on me, I always felt like they looked a little too twee and added too much bulk to my waist. I usually wear the bow tied to the back (it’s a tiny bow, but I make it work, dammit!), which is fine, but it means I can’t wear belts with the skirt. Y’all know how much I love abusing my belt privileges, too. I briefly experimented with tucking the ties in the waistband so I could put a belt over it, but that added even more bulk.

Red Miette - no ties

So I just made the skirt without the damn ties. Instant win!

Red Miette - no ties

This was sooo easy. Using my original skirt as reference, I sewed up the 3 waistband pieces as normal and attached them to the top of the skirt. Before I sewed the facing on, I tried on the skirt and measured how much waistband to cut off to get a good fit (the waistband does not sit completely in line with the skirt top; there’s some excess on either side). I wanted the underlap to have about 1.5″ of excess, and the overlap to be completely flush with the skirt. After I finished the waistband (sewing it as you would normally sew a plain waistband), I sewed a button hole + button to both the underlap and over lap. easy!

Red Miette - no ties

Red Miette - no ties

The inside of this skirt is very plain. I just serged all my seams, pressed them open, and topstitched them down. The topstitching helps keep the seams open (one thing I always need to re-press with my former Miette), and makes the skirt look more casual.

Red Miette - no ties

I think the pooling at the back is due to how I’m standing, btw. After seeing these photos, I checked in the mirror and that shit is smooth.

Red Miette - no ties

This is a great, full-coverage wrap skirt. I can personally vouch that I’ve worn my other Miette on some SUPER windy days and that shit stays put. I also ride a bike in this skirt, no fear of flashing! The fact that it wraps in the back helps things stay perfectly in place.

Red Miette - no ties

Also, in case you were wondering – I did make my tshirt as well! It’s a Renfrew, and the fabric is from Elizabeth. It’s a bit on the sheer side (ok, a LOT on the sheer side hahah), but it’s great for layering during this weird, fickle season. This is the same top I wore during the NYC meet-up, btw. I have lots of handmades like this – basic, simple, didn’t take a lot of time to sew up – and I’m reluctant to post them because it just seems like a such a boring post on my end. This is not to say that I think people who post about a tshirt are making a boring post – I love reading that kind of stuff! But I personally make soo many, it just seems really redundant for me to keep posting the same pattern over and over. So I try to sneak them in posts like this. A twofer, if you will. lolz.

Red Miette - no ties

Huh, I guess I should clean the lens of my camera tho.

Red Miette - no ties

Um. Sorry in advance for all the cat hair you’re about to see :X

Red Miette - no ties

Topstitching! For this, I used my blind hem foot and stuck the little blade in the ditch, then stitched down each side (single needle). This gave me a perfectly straight line that mirrors both sides :) With my topstitching, I also like to increase the stitch length a bit (going from 2.5 to 3), as I think it looks a bit nicer.

Red Miette - no ties

Decorative button at the over lap.

Red Miette - no ties

Plain button at the underlap.

Red Miette - no ties

So there you go! Plain Miette, perfect wardrobe basic that I assure you will get worn a LOT this summer. I just love making wardrobe basics; I know the pretty/fancy stuff is more interesting to make for some people, but I really find a good basic to be a great way to work on really perfecting my technique. Plus, unlike fancy piece – this shit gets worn to death.

What about you? Do you like making basics? Or are you a special-occasion-only sewer?

Completed: Runway-Inspired Separates

25 Mar

So, everyone at the Mood Sewing Network decided a couple of months ago that we would challenge ourselves to make pieces that were inspired by the Spring 2014 runway. Real talk: this shit sent me into a panic. Runway? I can honestly say I have never even so much as glanced at a series of runway photos, let alone determined an outfit based on what I saw (I’m not saying this in an ~ooh, I’m so cool I just don’t even pay attention to fashion~ way, more like, yo clueless!). Furthermore, it’s difficult for me to grab “inspiration” from something without just blatantly copying it. I spent an entire month agonizing over designers, pouring over runway sets at style.com (holy crap, there are a lot of them) and wringing my hands over what to make.

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Then I discovered Alberta Ferretti.

Alberta Ferretti Spring 2014

I still don’t know who this designer is, exactly, but the entire runway show is magical. Bright, saturated colors! Crisp white accents! Flowers! Stripes! This is the kind of inspiration I can get behind! I decided to make myself a *wearable* (emphasis on wearable ;)) version of my favorite look.

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Figuring out the fabric and patterns I would use was almost as difficult as picking a designer! I knew I wanted to make a striped skirt with pleats similar to the runway version, because I just really love how that turned out (plus, who doesn’t love a good striped skirt?), but finding a good striped fabric on the Mood Fabrics website was haaard. I mean, they have all sorts of good stripes to choose from – but very little in that specific combination of wide, irregular stripes in bright saturated colors. I know, I know – this is supposed to be an inspiration, not a literal interpretation. But dangit, I wanted those irregular stripes!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I’m not going to tell you how long I spent picking through the Mood website with a fine-tooth comb; let’s just say I probably know every apparel fabric they sell now. I did finally find my big prize, though – this amazingly bright orange stripe cotton sateen is the clear winner. Woohoo! Of course, it clashes with my hair like big time crazy bad, but whatever, I picked all this shit out pre-blue LT. Anyway, I just love love LOVE the bright colors of the stripes – it’s not quite the same colors as the inspiration skirt – it’s way more happy springy! Yay spring colors!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I was originally going to make the fabric in a skirt that is more similar to the runway inspiration – no button front + pleats all the way around – but at the very last minute (like, right before I cut into the fabric, lolz), I changed my mind and decided to go with a pattern I knew I would actually wear and love. Enter the Kelly skirt! Cutting that shit took forever, btw. I agonized for a long time on how to cut the stripes – where each color and wide stripe should hit. I used the inspiration photo to help me decide how to cut the waistband (it was originally going to be a mess of stripes on it’s own, but I like it as one solid, thick stripe!), and was careful to match up the stripes along the side seams, the button front, and the pockets. Like I said, it took forever, but once I got the pieces cut, the actual assembly took no time at all.

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

The fabric is described as a lightweight cotton sateen, but it’s weighty enough to work as a bottom weight. There is definitely some texture in the weave, and it stretches quite a bit. I made sure to stabilize the waistband and button placket so the fabric would keep it’s shape in those areas, and used a long stitch on my machine for all the topstitching. It presses very well – really easy to get a sharp crease in there, yeah! – but it also tends to leave pin holes. For areas that needed to be pinned together and topstitched (such as the button band and inside of the waistband), I fused the pieces with a long strip of stitch witchery instead of pinning; this keeps everything in place and makes topstitching SO much easier! Especially if you tend to miss spots and only discover them after you’ve finished topstitching the seam, which means they gotta be ripped out and restitched so you catch the entire fold (er… not that I would know anything about that…). That shit’s not a problem at all when you’ve got Stitch Witchery on your side. Yay, Stitch Witchery!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Since my skirt is so bright and colorful, I went the boring route with my top and made a classic button-down shirt. I seriously considered adding embellishment – or even making it into a crop top, because, why the fuck not? – but in the end, I stuck with the classic tried and true. Mainly because my wardrobe is sorely lacking a solid white button down with sleeves, so I know this shirt will get quite a bit of wear with other pieces to mix and match. I used this Theory lightweight cotton shirting – which, if you were wondering, took almost as much agonizing as find the perfect stripe. There are SO MANY WHITE SHIRTING FABRICS available at moodfabrics.com! SO FUCKING MANY. Like, how do you even choose? I figured that I’ve had really good experiences with all the Theory denims I’ve bought, so the shirting fabric must be just as excellent. Which ended up being true – this shit is soft as angel’s wings, presses and stitches beautifully, and it’s right along that line of being *almost* sheer because it’s so lightweight. A skin-colored bra is a must with this fabric. The only drawback is that since it’s 100% cotton, it does wrinkle like crazy. Like, when I pulled it out of the dryer, it was a hot mess of wadded wrinkled ball I don’t even know what. Good thing it presses well! :)

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

For my pattern, I used Butterick 5526. Like I said, I knew I wanted a classic button-down shirt but nothing in my stash was exactly what I wanted – everything was either a relaxed fit, or had something twee like a peter pan collar or an abundance of ruffles cascading down the front. Which is fine – clearly I like these patterns enough to even have them in my stash – but I wanted something super basic. Butterick 5526 perfectly fit the bill – I went with the princess-seamed version with 3/4 sleeves, and I’m actually a little surprised at how much I like it. I made the size 6 with no muslin, with the hopes that the princess seams would give me enough room to play around with the fitting. It actually came out perfect straight out of the envelope – I KNOW, RIGHT? – although next time, I will shorten the sleeves because they are stupid long. They’re supposed to be 3/4 and they come to right above my wrists – in that weird spot that’s not quite long sleeve, but rather looks like I measured my arms wrong. Wah wah! I’ll just wear these rolled up, I guess. I also may reduce some of the ease out of the sleeve cap in the next version; these were pretty hard to ease in smoothly and there are still tons of wrinkles. But, for the most part – it ain’t bad!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I did try to jazz up the shirt a little bit by adding topstitching, but for the most part – it’s just a plain jane backdrop to an awesomely loud skirt. I love it!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Ok, now I have to tell you my secret – I didn’t start sewing this until Saturday morning! On top of that, it had to be finished and photographed before dark on Sunday – and I had a wedding to attend on Saturday night. I spent so long agonizing over my designer inspiration, then the fabric, then the pattern – that by the time I had everything (mostly)figured out, it was time for me to get on a plane and head to NY. When I got home on Monday, I had another more urgent deadline that needed to be taken care of asap (more on that later), which put this project on the backburner for a few days. Needless to say – I was pretty stressed come Saturday morning! I like to think I’m pretty efficient when it comes to making things quickly, but even that’s a stretch for me, especially two garments. I’ll be honest – I was tempted to half ass this one, just for the sake of time, but I decided early on that it wasn’t even worth my while if I didn’t end up making something that would be wearable past this photoshoot. Which means I forced myself to slow down – I made time for fitting, for the details like topstitching, for fixing mistakes (oh yeah, I totally sewed that collar stand on backwards the first time NO BIG DEAL), for eating lunch. But hey, look – not only did I actually get it done, but I actually made something nice without cutting corners.

Butterick 5526, made with Mood Fabrics

Butterick 5526, made with Mood Fabrics
I mean, check out that topstitching!

Butterick 5526, made with Mood Fabrics

Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics
Lots of topstitching on the skirt too, woohoo :)

Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

I know my outfit isn’t quite as fashion forward as what I could have done, but I am elated with how both pieces turned out and I can’t wait to give them some proper wear to welcome spring in with loving arms. Come on, spring! I know you’re lurking back there somewhere, time to come out of hiding!

Butterick 5526 & Kelly skirt, made with Mood Fabrics

One last thing – most of y’all are probably aware by now, but just in case you weren’t… By Hand London is going to start printing fabrics on-demand! How freaking awesome is that?? They need some help with costs to get production started, so they’ve got a Kickstarter going to raise funds. You can get some pretty sweet loot in exchange for your money – from tote bags, to coffee mugs, to free patterns, to private sewing lessons – but even $5 helps. Every little bit adds up! I am so so excited for this new venture that the BHL ladies are seeking out, and I really hope they meet their goal so it can become a reality (especially if it means I can start printing wildly tacky fabric to my heart’s desire). You can check out the Kickstarter here – watch the super cute video, and I dare you not to fall in love. I dare you.

Completed: A Fabulously Festive Skirt

13 Dec

Ok, y’all, time to wrap up this trio of holiday crafts. You saw my Halloween contribution and the joint effort with my mom for Thanksgiving… what could be in store for the winter holidays, you might ask?

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Thinking about the given theme, and what was was needed for my personal holiday decor (Christmas, specifically), I decided to make a gorgeous tree skirt since I’ve been covering my tree stand with a giant fabric scrap for the past couple of years. Before I bore y’all to tears, I must point out that this skirt is quite special in the fact that it does double duty-

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

YEP. You can totally wear it as a skirt for humans!

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I am beyond excited about this project (seriously, it woke me up in a glorious epiphany in the middle of the night!) and hopefully y’all feel the same way. I mean, really, who doesn’t want a little kitsch in their Christmas? ;)

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I mean, for god’s sake, I managed to get pictures in the snow. It never snows here (although it does snow on my blog, as a lot of you noticed ;)). It was clearly meant to be.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Want to make your own? It’s SO easy!
Just a head’s up: this tutorial required lots and lots of pictures and words, so feel free to skip if it’s not your bag. You have been warned!

First things first – let’s talk about what sort of shape works best for this type of skirt. What we want to make is a circle skirt. I’ve seen people call skirts circle skirts when they really aren’t – a circle skirt is literally a circle with a smaller circle cut in the middle of it. It doesn’t have gathering, and the edge of the hem is curved completely all the way around (i.e., no straight lines). Like this:

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Mmm, looks like a donut.

You can make a circle skirt that is a seamless, continuous circle, like what you see above. However, for our purposes, we do need at least one seam so we can get the skirt over the tree. So your pattern will actually look like this, with seams:

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

You know, like a Poké Ball.

This pattern is really easy to draft. Seriously, the hardest part is just finding a big enough piece of paper for it (I tape lots of paper together, personally). I won’t be going over how to draft a circle skirt, but I can point you to this excellent tutorial on how to draft a circle skirt, by Casey. This is the tutorial I used to draft my pattern, and it’s really easy to understand and execute. You can make the skirt as long or short as you want it – mine is 18″. Once you have drafted your pattern, you can measure the amount needed for trim and fabric. If you’re buying before you draft, a good ballpark is 4+ yards for the main fabric, and at least 4-5 yards for any trim you sew along the hemline. This is a great project for those gorgeous quilting cottons that you can’t bear to use for apparel purposes – I got mine from JoAnn, and it was on sale whoop whoop.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Once you have drafted your pattern, you should have two pieces of fabric that look like this. The straight edges are your side seams, and the little curve in the middle is where your waist sits.

I tried to take photos to explain this, but it ended up being waaay too difficult, so here’s a little hand-drawing diagram instead!

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Sew up one side seam of your skirt. On the unsewn side, you will sew velcro so the skirt can open and close. How long you make the velcro is up to you – I suggest making it go all the way down to the hem, to make it easier to put it on the tree (since the skirt will open all the way). However, if you’re like me and your swear you bought velcro but it somehow managed to not come home with you and you have to dig through your stash to find some little leftover pieces that equal maaaybe 12″ total… you can do that to, and just sew the remaining seam closed. At the top, instead of a waistband, you will sew a length of ribbon to finish the top of the skirt. If you are concerned about the skirt not staying closed while you are wearing it, you may also sew a hook and eye to keep things secure (or even make a drawstring casing for cinching it tight when it’s around the tree), but I can assure you that the ribbon does a pretty good job of not untying itself, at least on me :)

A few little tips for constructing the skirt-

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I like to staystitch the waistline curve before I do anything- just sew a line of short stitches (if your machine sews at 2.5, reduce the stitch length to 2.0) just inside the seam allowance. Since the waistline is cut on the bias, it will stretch out of shape if it’s not secured beforehand.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

To attach the velcro, first finish your seams in whatever method you prefer (mine are serged, and oops didn’t change the serger thread haha) and press under the seam allowance on one side.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Keeping close to the edge, sew the loop side of your velcro to the side seam that is not turned under (this will be the underlap of the velcro) and the hook side of the velcro to the wrong side of the turned under seam.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt
Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

If your velcro does not extend to the hemline and you need to close the remainder of the seam, overlap the folded under seam allowance with the underlap and pin down.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Then topstitch!

After you have attached your velcro, you can sew the ribbon to the skirt waistline. No photos for this step, but I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Let your skirt hang for at least 24 hours, to allow the bias to settle before you hem it – otherwise you may end up with an uneven hemline.

Then comes the fun part… embellishing! Seriously, I had sooo much fun trolling the aisles at JoAnn, trying to find the ~perfect~ sparkle trims. I ended up with pom-pom fringe (I think I used about 4 yards – again, MEASURE FIRST. That hem takes up a lot of yardage!), sequins, and glitter ribbon.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I sewed the pom-pom fringe to the bottom of my skirt by machine.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Since I couldn’t get my hands on any red, I improvised by adding a line of red sequins on top of the fringe. These are just hot-glued on; ain’t nobody got time for dealing with sequins.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

My favorite part about this skirt, though (other than the fact that I can WEAR IT), are the 3-D poinsettias! I made these using felt and hot glue and it’s super, super easy, once you make a little template.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Start by drawing a petal shape that is approximately half the the desired poinsettia size. Mine is about 2.5″ long.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Now draw a circle. This doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s just a guideline for the petals.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Trace your petal shape over the circle, with the four points touching in the center of the circle.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Cut the template out and flip it over so no one can see the shame.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

To assemble the poinsettias, cut two pieces of felt using the template, four additional petals (cut slightly smaller than the first petal shape), a circle for the inside, and a leaf (the leaf is just two petals with the points touching, cut as one in green felt).

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Stack the template pieces like so and glue together.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Then glue on your four petals.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Attach the center (I know, traditionally, poinsettias have white centers, but my fabric had gold centers SO GOLD IT IS).

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Then glue on the leaves. Done!
To make my poinsettias extra fancy, I added some beads in a bottle at the center and a healthy dose of glitter spray paint.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I put my skirt on the form with a petticoat, and just stuck the poinsettias on until I was happy with their placement (since they’re felt, they will temporarily stick without glue), then I hot glued them on.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

And that’s it! It’s a tree skirt/me skirt!

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I am wearing mine with a petticoat for maximum fluff, fyi.

The best part about this project?

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

It’s SOOOO twirly!

So I guess that’s it! I feel pretty #fabulouslyfestive, what do you think? I realize this project is probably a bit too twee for most adults, but it would be perfect for kids. Aren’t kids the best excuse for dumping a load of tacky, or is that just me?

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

If you managed to sit all the way through this giant post, so awesome! Here’s a coupon just for you ;)

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Thanks to JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for letting me get my DIY Crafty on this season, and thanks everyone for hanging in there with me for some non-clothing-related sewing. As always, if you’d like to see more crafty goodness, you can check out the Celebrate the Season website.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Happy Holidays, y’all!

Completed: the Zinnia Skirt

8 Nov

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

See?

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

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

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

Renfrew top made with wool knit from Mood Fabrics

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

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

Renfrew top made with rayon knit from Mood Fabrics

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

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Renfrew top made with wool knit from Mood Fabrics

Renfrew top made with rayon knit from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

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

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

Completed: A Cozy Kelly Skirt

16 Sep

Look at me, I’m like a 1970s Sherwin Williams swatch book all up in hurr.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

I know I haven’t talked about her much since the denim version came out to play, but OMG I LOVE KELLY. I seriously can’t get enough of this pattern – it’s very simple, but delivers maximum effect!

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

This is my second corduroy Kelly, same difference as the first, although this cord is a much thicker wale with a softer hand. I snatched it up during my trip to NYC – it was part of a swap, although I am a terrible swapper and I don’t remember who it came from :( Sonja? I know the majority of the goods came from your stash haha :)

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

Anyway, origin aside, this fabric is pretty fabulous! It’s super soft with a fair amount of body, and the color is one of those great browns that goes with everyyyyything (except the new top I made, apparently, which is not the same top I’m wearing in these pictures btw. Oh well haha!). I love corduroys, but sometimes finding a good one that’s pure cotton with no stretch and a nice color can be surprisingly difficult!

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

I can’t speak much on this pattern because obviously I’ve already made/discussed it, but I will tell you what I did differently this time ’round. For one, I used sew-in interfacing instead of my regular fusible… corduroy can be kind of finicky when you press it (specifically – you risk squishing the wales flat and ruining your fabric and WAH), and a quick test of the fusible proved that I would be making a huge mistake. I used muslin as my sew-in – just cut the pieces, basted them to the waistband and button hole placket, and then proceeded as usual.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

I did topstitch my skirt as directed, but it’s not really noticeable due to the thickness of the fabric. It doesn’t bother me – I like the subtle look – but if you’re planning on making this with a similar fabric and want the topstitching to be visible, you will need to use top stitching thread and the accompanying needle.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

Obviously, you want to be careful when pressing corduroy – but some stuff does need a good sharp crease, like these pleats and the hem. To do this, I laid a scrap piece of corduroy on my ironing board, right side up, and put my skirt on top of the scrap right down down (this keeps the nap from getting crushed, as the fabric on the bottom provides some support). I used my silk organza press cloth and steamed the beejeezus out of everything, and then used my clapper to hold everything down until it cooled off.

I love that clapper. I always feel like such a fancy-pants when I use it, ha.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

I also omitted the second button on the waistband – I want to wear this skirt with belts, which I can’t do if there’s a giant button in the way. I put in the top button and added a hook and eye where the second button should be.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

Here you can see my hook and eye. The skirt in unlined, but it works fine with a slip underneath in the winter, for wearing with tights. Well, the other corduroy one does, anyway, haha.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

Oh yeah, my buttons were free too! They’re some faux-leather suiting buttons that my Mamaw gave me. She gave me HUNDREDS of them (and my mom took half… but still… that’s a lot of buttons) and I rarely find a change to use them since they’re just really big. But I think they work here! The color looks great with the color of the fabric.

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

I almost forgot – look at this cute pocket lining! It’s a tiny little scrap I got at the flea market. The seller threw it in for free (lord, can I say “free” enough in this post??? FREE FREE FREEEEEEEE) with a few other scraps, after I made a purchase pile. It was just big enough to use to line the pockets. I love those colors, wish I could find a big yardage that looked like it!

Corduroy Kelly Skirt

I guess that it’s! Kind of a boring staple to make, but these kinds of basic pieces get a lot of wear in my life :) Plus, it looks sooo good with my mustard Renfrew, which is always a plus in my book.

Completed: Hummingbird Separates

8 Jul

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

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set
Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set
Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

SURPRISE FANCY POCKET LINING, YEEEAHHH!!!

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

Hummingbird Set

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

Hummingbird Set

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

Psst! I have a couple announcements, real quick!

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

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

Hummingbird Set

Ok, I guess that’s it!

Completed: The Cascade Skirt

3 Jun

I think this might be my favorite thing I’ve made yet!

For those of you who have been around for awhile, remember this amazing fabric?
Fabric from Macedonia :D
It’s from Macedonia – my best friend bought it for me while she lived there last year. I’ve hoarded it for over a year, waiting for the ~perfect pattern to come my way. That proved to be a bit tricky – the paisley motif is fairly large (bigger than my hand), so it definitely needed to be made with a pattern that didn’t have a lot of little pieces. Since I look awful in shift dresses, I thought a maxi dress or skirt would be a good way to showcase the fabric – a lovely, floaty cotton voile. But, almost all the maxi dress patterns I found either required stretch fabric, or gobs of yardage (and I only had 2 yards). So I sat, and I waited as patiently as I could.

Then I got the Cascade pattern for my birthday, and it was like the heavens opened up and started singing to me RIGHT THEN.

Cascade Skirt

I mean, that skirt is pretty heavenly, y/y?

I did have to make a few changes to get this pattern to fit on my short yardage – I had two yards at 60″, and the pattern calls for 3. I did take about 5″ off the back length (partially to preserve precious yardage, partially because I am not an Amazonian Long Legged Beauty like the model and thus did not need a skirt that came down to my ankles :P); I also used the waistband option that buttoned, rather than the ties – again, this saved a lot of yardage. Also, just a head’s up, but I chucked another 2″ off the length once I had the skirt assembled, as it was still a little long. I love the length now!

Cascade Skirt

I sewed the XS and other than taking up the length, I didn’t make any adjustments. This is a VERY easy pattern – it definitely has a lot of wow factor, but it’s super super simple to put together. Even with the french seams and the rolled hem that is FOREVER long, it came together very quickly.

Cascade Skirt

I even had time to throw together a little tshirt to wear with it :) This is the Briar top, the cropped version with short sleeves. It’s basically the same as the ones I’ve made before, just shorter! I tucked the back into the skirt for these pictures, FYI.

Cascade Skirt

But let’s get back to that skirt.

Cascade Skirt

Fuck yeah.

Cascade Skirt

This shit totally makes me feel like Shakira, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment.

Cascade Skirt

And it’s perfect for showcasing this large print, so yay!

Cascade Skirt

The button-band of this skirt is actually really great for using special buttons, since you only need two.

Cascade Skirt

I love these buttons! I’ve been hoarding them for years; since I only had 2, I couldn’t find a suitable use for them. Nailed it :)
Also, I totally used purple thread. I didn’t have any pink on hand and I think the purple actually works really well :)

Cascade Skirt

Cascades! One thing to keep in mind if you make this pattern is that the wrong side of your fabric will show at the back (that is, assuming you don’t line it). So make sure your fabric is pretty on both sides! As you can see, mine is almost the same – just a little less bright.

Cascade Skirt

Cascade Skirt

Not much else to say here (sorry for the picture overload, btw – I got excited I guess, haha), but I’m so glad I found a use for my special fabric!

As a side note, guess who IIIIIIIIIIIIIII hung out with on Friday…
Oh nbd just hanging out with @elisalex !!!!!
Yep, that would be the lovely Elisalex from By Hand London!! EEEE!!! She was in ‘Murica for a week, and made an evening pit stop in Nashville, so OBVIOUSLY we met up and went dancin’! I also was there for her very first PBR (sorry, Oona! I know you hate that stuff, haha!) :) She’s just as fun (and gorgeous!!) and you’d expect in person. It was a magical evening and it was STELLAR to meet her and I’m already trying to figure out how to save up enough to go visit HER! So hopefully soon there will be a LLADYBIRD-UK edition. Yes? Yes.

Also, one last thing!!

Refashioners

The Refashioners is live, starting today! Head over to Miss P’s blog to check out all the posts for the next two weeks :)

The lovely ladies involved this year are Karen, Tasha, Marie, ME (!!!), Zoe, Sally, Joanne, Liz, Dixie, and Elisalex. I am DYING to see what everyone made up, can’t wait!

Completed: Another Kelly Skirt, In Denim!

15 Apr

Let me just start off by saying I LOVE this Kelly skirt pattern. It’s incredibly simple – 5 pieces, and the skirt sections are nice and rectangular (which is magical when it comes time to make flat pattern alterations, especially to the length). Easy and fun to sew, and super duper flattering. I love it and I want to make its babies.

Denim Kelly Skirt

And I love my denim version – I really really do – but DAMN GIRL we got off to a rough start :(

Denim Kelly Skirt

I bought this denim at Mood while I was NY (I’m starting to sound like a broken record… sorry! I told you I bought a lot of shit while I was there, deeeal with it haha). While I can’t tell you exactly what it is so you can find some for yourself (although George might, he found it and squirreled it away for me because he is awesome), I can say that it is a lovely light/medium weight, dark dark denim with no stretch. The color is super rich, and it has a nice body without being super heavy and stiff. Also, I bought like 3 yards of it. Expect more denim-wear, aha :)

Denim Kelly Skirt

So, like I said – this is the Kelly skirt. I made this lil’ dude before in corduroy. I wanted to make this immediately after that silk near-disaster, as something easy and mindless that didn’t require a lot of focus. Plus, my wardrobe was desperately missing a denim skirt, as my faithful denim Ginger is just way too big for me to continue wearing at this point. Kill two birds with one stone? Don’t mind if I do!

Denim Kelly Skirt

Well, I don’t know what I did wrong here, but the making of this skirt was a HOT MESS from practically beginning to end! You can’t tell from the finished skirt, because it’s awesome (and I’m totally tooting my own horn here, dgaf. toot, toot), but there was lots of screaming and cussing during the process. I know, I cuss even when I’m thrilled with how things are going – but I’ve never cussed AT my machine until this. Sorry, Nina :\

Denim Kelly Skirt

My biggest issue was that top stitching thread. My machine was NOT having it, and kept throwing fits at me every time I tried to sew. If you think the topstitching looks good – well, that’s because I ripped out out several times. I had a lot of practice at that point! Good thing denim is forgiving when you hit it with the steam iron, because I had a big ol’ denim needle and everything. The machine just kept flipping it’s shit over the thread – I had to use all-purpose (aka, regular) thread in the bobbin, which caused the tension to freak out in a major way. I probably spent about an hour fussing over the bobbin tension, trying different threads and needles and changing the numbers and… ugh. That was the biggest issue. I was so concerned, I actually asked the Bernina store if my machine was behaving normally or if I needed to take her in for a check-up. General consensus was that the machine was being finicky due to the thread, that these things happen, and next time I should try a topstitching needle (me: oooh, those exist?!).

Denim Kelly Skirt

So, I spent foreeeeever messing with that, and ripping seams and restitching and re-ripping, and finally I had my waistband on – topstitched and everything. I put the skirt around my waist to check the fit. Uhmm… I know my last skirt was a tiny bit big, so I sliced off just the tiniest bit of size for this time… and it was TOO SMALL. Like, a good half-inch smaller than my actual waist measurement. Wtf?! I don’t know what I did, but I must’ve fucked it up somewhere. I also couldn’t let the waistband out at the seam allowances because I’d aggressively clipped the corners for when I turned them out :X

Denim Kelly Skirt

In the end, I unpicked the old one and cut a new waistband. It wasn’t too painful to do – especially with that steam press interfacing fusing masterpiece I now have. YEP. I also ripped out one of the front plackets and sewed it slightly narrower, to give the skirt a little bit of extra room up top.

Denim Kelly Skirt

I also had problems with my button holes. The machine just wasn’t having it… especially when I tried to make them vertical. I ripped out 4 button holes before I just let them be horizontal. I also had problems with top stitching the hem, but I won’t get into that. I can just be an idiot sometimes.

Denim Kelly Skirt

After seam-ripping my button holes open, I don’t really like the way the threads are hanging out there everywhere. So sloppy! Soooo, I bought myself a button hole cutter. FANCY. I can’t wait to use it!

Denim Kelly Skirt

You may notice that I didn’t have enough buttons – the pattern calls for 7, I had 6. I compensated by only putting one on the waistband, and sewing a hook and eye below it so it wouldn’t gape.

Denim Kelly Skirt

The topstitching did turn out nice in the end, after MUCH finagling. Just a little tip – when you’re topstitching, increase the stitch length slightly (for me, I go from 2.5 to 3). It makes for a prettier stitch :)

Denim Kelly Skirt

And hey, here’s a little surprise – polka dot in the pockets! This is the same Marc Jacobs fabric I used for my Miette wrap skirt.

Denim Kelly Skirt

One last thing – remember when I said I only had 6 buttons for this skirt? Wellllll, I was trying to jump on Landon’s back and unfortunately I broke the bottom button. Haha! I mean, split the shank and everything. So now I only have 5. If the hem stitching looks mis-matched, it’s because I pinned the skirt together at the bottom for the pictures and I didn’t do quite a good job. I promise that shit actually matches… I spent a good 45 minutes futzing with it, you know ;) OH, and in case you were wondering… that is totally an original Stray Cats shirt, and it is totally awesome.

This will be great for Me-Made-May – I LIVED in my denim Ginger last summer. So glad we can finally be reunited, even if it’s a different pattern :)

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