Tag Archives: skirt

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.

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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 :)

Pattern Testing: The Miette Wrap Skirt

1 Apr

Ohhhh, I’m so excited to finally post this! Keep secrets is not exactly one of my strong points :)

Ladies and Gentlemen (… are you there??), may I introduce the Miette Wrap Skirt:
Miette Wrap Skirt

Our now-famous Tilly has released a new downloadable pattern – the Miette! Miette is a gently flared wraparound skirt that ties at the front in a delightful bow. The skirt has a wide back overlap (no danger of flashing!) and optional practical patch pockets. Guys, this is the perfect beginner pattern – wrap around ties (no fiddly closures!), simple to fit, and it’s actually cute and wearable… not to mention highly customizable. Can’t you see this with a contrasting waist tie, or even some embroidery or applique on the front pocket? Another bonus is that the simple shape works with a variety of fabrics – even the scary ones, like silk or plaid – and since there are only a few pieces, it’s a great pattern for testing the waters without a huge commitment. I love it!

Miette Wrap Skirt

I also love that it’s a non-flashing wrap skirt. I took these pictures on a windy day, wore it out on a windy day – even stood on the street corner and waited 15 minutes for my ride to pick me up – and things stayed exactly where they belonged. I haven’t had a chance to fully test this theory, but I very strongly suspect that this skirt will also work well for cycling.

Miette Wrap Skirt
In addition to being a simple skirt design, the instructions are also super easy for even the most amateur of beginners to comprehend – think full, in-depth tutorial, with scads of color pictures and lots of words to guide you along (there is also a set of basic instructions for those of us who don’t need quite so much hand-holding ;)). Consider it a sewing lesson with a bonus pattern!

Miette Wrap Skirt
I cut my pattern in a size 2, omitted the pocket (otherwise it would’ve gotten lost in the sea of dots) and shortened the length by about 4″. The fit turned out perfect; I couldn’t be happier!

Miette Wrap Skirt

Isn’t my fabric gorgeous!? It’s a lovely medium-weight linen by Marc Jacobs… from Mood, of course ;) I actually chased the bolt around the store, which made me spend an extra long time cutting and thus made me late for the round-up at the end of our first shopping segment during my NY meet-up. Totally worth it, though – this stuff was a dream to sew, to wear, to just look at. And it goes with half the tops in my wardrobe! YUS.

Miette Wrap Skirt

Psst! It comes in other colorways as well… I have an entire fistful of swatches to prove it. Who wants to be twinsies with me?!

Miette Wrap Skirt

As you can see, here is an entirely different set of pictures. I didn’t like the way my first batch turned out! I was also super eager to try pairing this skirt up with a mint top, after seeing my homegirl Kaelah’s mint+navy outfit and being jealous of her color-matching skillz. This is my Pavlova Wrap top.

Miette Wrap Skirt
Since this is a wrap skirt paired with a wrap top, I will be calling this outfit the Wrapper’s Delight. Go ahead, groan.

Miette Wrap Skirt
Speaking of groaning, I know I shouldn’t be wearing black tights with this outfit. I promise I didn’t go out in public like this. Just ignore them, please and thanks.

Miette Wrap Skirt
I love my new skirt and I can’t wait to find new combinations to wear it with (as dorky as that sounds!). I also can’t wait to see all the different versions that are sure to start popping up – judging from the maker’s gallery, I think we’re all in for a treat :)

Want one for yourself? GET IT GET IT (you know you want it!!). And thank you, Tilly, for letting me be a pattern tester!

Completed: The Kelly Skirt/Jalie 2921

4 Mar

I’m doubling up on this post – I hope y’all don’t mind. Just didn’t think either of these pieces deserved a whole post of their own :) This is pretty basic cake stuff we’re working with here.

Also, this is a result of me waking up on Sunday morning and going “OMG I’M GOING TO NY NEXT WEEK AND I HAVE NOTHING TO WEEEEEAR!!”
(not literally – I mean, have you seen my closet?)

Anyway, I’d just picked up the Kelly skirt pattern and I was dying to try it out. I found this giant yardage of navy corduroy in my stash – I’m trying to stash-bust as much as I can before I overfill my sewing room with more fabric next week heh heh – I think I got it at a yard sale a few years ago?

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
It works great for this pattern although it is very STIFF… you can’t see too much from these pictures, but the skirt just balloons away from my body and stays that way. Now, I like me a stiff skirt as much as any girl, but this is almost comical. Next time, I will opt for a slightly softer fabric. I may try to wash this skirt a few times in the meantime and see if I can beat down the stiffness a little as well.

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
This pattern was soo easy to whip together. There are just 5 pieces, a little bit of topstitching, and a smattering of buttonholes. I had the whole thing made from start to finish in less than 3 hours. Now that’s what I call fast fashion, derp.

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
The only change I made was to not interface the waistband – like I said, my corduroy is very stiff. Also, I am lazy. I think it holds up fine, though.

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
I made a size XS and it’s a tiiiiny bit big at the waist, but nothing that I can’t cinch in with a belt.

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
I can see this pattern working beautifully with a wide range of fabrics, from a lightweight chambray to a nice cotton twill. Ooh!

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
I also made my top over the weekend, same Sunday, even! Before you get too excited – it’s a knit top, which takes me like an hour to put together. Srsly, I looove sewing knits. The pattern is Jalie 2921, and the fabric is this Coral rayon jersey from Mood. More Nard-Dog colors, sorry y’all.

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921
I only made a couple of changes to the pattern – had to shorten the sleeves because there were REALLY long, and I also shortened the ties because they overwhelmed the shirt. There was no scientific method to shortening the ties – I just put the shirt on and hacked away. Instead of leaving a hole in the center front seam to pull the ties though, I sewed it up all the way and just looped the ties over each other. The fabric is too heavy to make a proper bow. I feel like this look is kind of jaunty, with the ascot and preppy colors.

I did experiment with my hems on this top – I found a bunch of wooly nylon in my stash that I’d forgotten about (oops) and I wound some of that in the bobbin and then did my usual twin needle topstitching. I LOVE the result; the stitches are very uniform and there are no ridges or rippling. Worked like a charm!

Kelly Skirt

Kelly Skirt - pocket!
Since the cord was so thick, I used this fun quilting cotton to face the pockets :) Isn’t it sweet? Kiddie cowboys!

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921 - hem

Kelly Skirt, Jalie 2921

As a side note – if you didn’t see the first post announcement – I’ll be in New York this week and planning a meet-up for Saturday! If you’re in the area and want to join for some fabric shopping, send me an email and I’ll pass on the details :)

Completed: The Charlotte Skirt

21 Jan

I always keep an on-going list of wardrobe staples (Cake, if you will) that I would like to get my sew on with. Knit dresses, a lightweight denim skirt, that cycling jacket, red straight-leg trousers (Sunni, I love you but I REALLY love your pants and I’m going to copy you aaand I hope that’s ok!), white tshirts… to name a few. One of the pieces that’s been on the list for the very longest was a red pencil skirt. I dunno why I’ve put this off for so long – red is basically a neutral as far as I’m concerned, and my wardrobe is quite lacking in pencil skirts these days. Sewing boring clothes can be, well, boring – but ain’t nothing boring about a handmade staple that gets the hell worn out of it all the time, amirite.

Charlotte Skirt
I did finally make that red pencil skirt, though.

CIMG0035
This is the Charlotte skirt I was telling y’all about last week. It’s generously sized through the hips, so those of us whose hips don’t lie can still rock our pencil skirts with minimal size futzing and fretting. It’s like, living the dream. Oh yeah.

Charlotte Skirt
I went with the plain jane, no frills view as I really just wanted a plain ol’ red pencil skirt. I based my sizing experience off the Elisalex dress and cut a 6/10, which ended up being quite a bit too big and needed some shaving down the sides. Now that I’m looking at the pictures, I might need to adjust the darts for future skirts are there is definitely some slack chilling at the front. DAMMIT. It really doesn’t look that obvious in real life.

CIMG0044
This is a very simple pattern to construct – there are only 3 pieces! I did make a few changes – shortened the hem by several inches (I think around 4″? Ladies, watch your petite selves – this skirt is long!), added a 4″ slit for walkability, and dropped in a full lining. Adding the lining was SUPER easy, by the way – I just cut out an extra front and back piece from the lining, sewed the darts and side seams as normal, and then dropped it in the shell of the skirt before attaching the waistband. As the skirt is wool (from the flea market, yeah!), it’s limited to winter wear which means tights – which means lining is a necessity.

Charlotte Skirt
I did have a little snafu with the sizing, once I put the waistband in. And by “little snafu,” I mean the skirt was too damn small and it measured out to like 2″ smaller than my actual waist measurement. WTF?! Fortunately, my zipper had giant seam allowances just hiding beneath the lining – as well as the waistband having a nice generous overlap for snaps – so 15 minutes of quality time with my seam ripper meant the skirt was saved. !!!

Charlotte Skirt
It does have a nice rear view.
Shit, I hope I don’t attract the Flickr weirdos with this picture.

Charlotte Skirt
It seems I have run out of things to say. Here is an artsy photograph for your consideration.

What’s on your staples-to-sew list?

Completed: Giant Floral Circle Skirt

11 Jun

I looove giant repeat prints, but I find them difficult to sew – you want something that doesn’t have a lot of seams as to not break up that beautiful print (and thus render it obsolete). Unfortunately, less seams = less form-fitting, and if you’ve learned anything by lurking my closet for even five minutes, you will notice that I don’t do those loose shift-shapes.

I encountered this problem last year, and decided that circle skirts are a foolproof solution. You can’t disagree with me because I’m totally right, btw.

Floral Circle Skirt

This is part 1 of Stuff I Made Using Birthday Gifts – Trice (which I might add – if you haven’t been introduced to her blog you HAVE to check out the mini tailored jacket she recently completed. It is so cute; I died a little) sent me a giftcard to Mood Fabrics & I immediately zeroed in on this Marc Jacobs cotton poplin. Ooh, big repeats! And I need a summer circle skirt… right? Right.

As per my other circle skirts, I followed Casey’s Circle Skirt Sew-along for construction, using the pattern I drafted last year. I kept this one pretty simple/summery – cotton skirt, topstitched waistband & hem, no lining. Easy stuff!

Floral Circle Skirt
And I just so happened to have this hot pink belt that matches the background color perfectly… dontcha love it when that happens? :D

Floral Circle Skirt
Circle skirts are magical!

And just so you know I’m forreal here -
Circle!
It is -literally- a circle with a smaller circle inside :)

Floral Circle Skirt - Matching zipper :)
I also thought it was pretty magical how well the zipper matches the purply-grey bits. Confession: I pulled it out of my stash, and it’s one of those weird colors that I’ve had forever and never used because it was just so weird (and 7″ long). I can’t even tell you how delighted I was when I realized what a great match it ended up being. The little things!

Floral Circle Skirt - Waistband
My slashed zipper insertion went in pretty perfectly, if I do say so myself.

Floral Circle Skirt - Horsehair braid @ hem
The hem is finished with 2″ horsehair braid – a whopping 4 yards, to be precise. Rather than blind stitch 4+ yards of hem by hand, I sewed 2 rows on by machine. It’s not invisible by any means, but I think it looks pretty good as a design detail! And the horsehair braid adds such a nice flounce to the hem – I personally don’t care for circle skirts without some kind of oomph down there (on me, at least, they hang kind of funny & look limp otherwise). I’ve eyeballed Sunni’s petersham ribbon on a curved hem deal, and I love the subtle effect it gives but I haven’t tried it yet – mostly because every time I get hold of petersham ribbon, I just want to rub it all over my face forever. Is that weird? I guess that is kind of weird.

Floral Circle Skirt

Anyway, yeah circle skirts! :D

Me Made May – Week 5 Roundup

1 Jun

Well, Me-Made-May is finally over – 5 weeks/31 days of handmade with daily photographs. I’m not even going to pretend I wasn’t relived to NOT take a photo of myself this morning :)

Since I was on vacation pretty much the entire week, I tried to be creative with my photos (mostly because I didn’t want to drag the tripod, camera *and* laptop with me to Florida lol). It was a bit of a struggle on a couple of the days, mostly because I spent lots and lots of time in my bathing suit… but I managed!

5-26
5-26
Shirt: Sewaholic Renfrew – modified some more since it’s original inception; you can’t see it too well but I cut the ribbing off the bottom & replaced it with wide lace (just like my Taffy blouse)
Pants: Colette Clovers
Necklace: Vintage bracelet I turned into a necklace
Shoes: Rugged Warehouse
Shades: Pangea
After a long day of driving (nearly 8 hours in the car! Plus 2 hours at some rando gas station after a belt in Landon’s car snapped & we had to wait for my dad to fix it. Which was preferable to towing it to some shop & paying them assloads of money to fix it, by the way!), we made it to Santa Rosa Beach! This is the view/balcony via our condo.

Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Uh huh.

5-27
5-27
Top: Giant men’s Hawaiian shirt resized by me
Skirt: Vintage, dyed by me
Shoes: Rugged Warehouse
Couldn’t get anyone to take a picture of me, so I settled for one of those awful mirror shots in the fitting room at Goodwill haha.

5-28
5-28
Top: thrifted – from the aforementioned Goodwill, no less!
Shorts: Simplicity 5110
Shoes: Walmart
Hat: Not mine, just trying on the goods
This was taken in a cute little town called Seaside, just a few miles from Santa Rosa Beach. We rode our bikes there, and I spent the entire time dying over the bike paths-
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Totally flat, totally separate from the main road (which is on the left). It was SO NICE! I wish we had commuter/non-greenway bike paths like this in Nashville.

Seaside was really cute – there were tons of bikes
Seaside, FL

And shopping
Santa Rosa Beach, FL

And food trucks
Seaside, FL

And pretty things to look at
Seaside, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL

And a bonus outfit shot from Monday, 5/28:
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Birthday dinner with Landon (and the rest of the family). I wore Vogue 1174. I knowwww I should have worn my birthday dress (I even brought it!) but everyone else was pretty casual so I decided on the blue dress at the last minute. SORRY.

5-29
5-29
Dress (worn as a swimsuit coverup): Hawaiian Sundress
Hell yeah I spent the whole day at a waterpark. And then Fudpuckers (where my little brother lost his debit card & the kind man at the bank verified the last transaction was from “pudfuckers” lol), and then some chintzy tourist shop called Alvin’s.
From left to right – Maddie (Matt’s girlfriend), my mom, Caroline (my niece), Matt (little brother!), me, my dad, & Landon.

5-30
5-30
Top: Jalie 2921
Skirt: Vintage, dyed by me
Party Hat: YEP
Last time at the beach! I gave up on trying to wear cute outfits & just put on something comfortable for the drive home :)

5-31
5-31
Dress: Colette Parfait
Shoes: Target
Purse: Thrifted
Scarf (tied on purse): Flea Market
Last day of Me-Made-May! I celebrated by going to my favorite fabric store for their 50% off sale :)

So yeah! I consider this may a total success – albeit not nearly long enough, as I still have masses of handmade clothing yet to be worn. Oh well! Since wearing my stuff wasn’t really much of a challenge, I tried to mix up how I wore it, and I think I did pretty good! I can’t think of anything this challenge made me realize I had gaping, except maybe some summer jeans – which I bought fabric for yesterday, btw! I also used this challenge as a kick the butt to get me into my mending/fit-fixin’ pile, for certain things I never wanted to wear (I’m looking at you, Swiss Dot Violet!)

The only thing that I didn’t like was the daily photos… it got old pretty fast, and felt pretty narcissistic the entire time. I did find myself getting more comfortable in front of the camera, until I got to the point where I didn’t feel like I needed to take 40+ pictures to get that ~one perfect shot~.

Here are the rest of MMM’12 posts, if you missed them the first go-round!
Me Made May, Week 1
Me Made May, Week 2
Me Made May, Week 3
Me Made May, Week 4

And a big big BIG thanks to Zoe for pulling the whole thing together! Apparently, this was the biggest Me-Made-Month yet; I hope we made you proud :D

So today is June 1st, and here I am wearing all handmade anyway hahaha
6-1
Top: Leotard reconstructed by me into a tank top
Trousers: Vogue 2925
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Thrifted

recon: taffeta christmas skirt

5 Dec

my favorite kind of recon – easy easy!

holiday skirt

i’ve been pining for a plaid taffeta party something for a couple of weeks now – didn’t care if it was a skirt or a dress. i actually wanted to make a taffeta peony, so i started lurking plaid taffetas online. well, i scrapped that idea to the back burner when i realized how expensive that stuff is – and i wanted silk!

so imagine my delight when i found a little girl’s plaid taffeta party dress during my saturday shopping trip with lauren. it’s polyester, but whatever – PLAID. and $2.50!

holiday skirt - the before
here’s what i started with. it’s pretty small, but that empire waist is exactly my waist measurement. and before anyone gets sad about the death of a little girl’s plaid taffeta party dress, i will point out that it’s a walmart brand. pretty cheap stuff to begin with.

anyway, i removed the skirt from the bodice (and discarded the bodice – not enough fabric to do anything with!) and cut the hem off the bottom to form a waistband. since the hem is on the bias, i stabilized it with horsehair interfacing to give it some structure. i shortened the zipper & stuck it back in there with the skirt lining. the hem is just a simple rolled hem. easy!

holiday skirt

this whole project probably took about 2 hours, and now i have a new skirt to wear for christmas parties :) i already wore it this morning to put up the office christmas tree.

holiday skirt - waistband

holiday skirt - inside

i even had enough taffeta left over to make a matching headband.

matching headband

i look like a damn christmas present.

holiday skirt
i’m okay with that :)

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