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Completed: The Film Noir Coppélia

8 Jan

Okkkk, I wouldn’t normally post the exact same fucking thing almost twice in a row (only broken up by the La Sylphide On A Dude Ranch), but I feel like I owe it to this pattern to show y’all that it also totally rocks in a neutral/solid fabric. Like a gorgeous little backdrop in wooly wrapped goodness.

Film Noir Coppélia
Again, this is the Coppélia pattern – this time sewn up in a dreamy, drapey wool knit. I’m not sure exactly what this fabric is; I bought it at the giant fabric sale last week and the bolt said it was a wool blend. My burn test seemed to indicate that it was pure wool – or at least blended with something natural, as the ash was not that sticky hard horrid bead of death that you usually get when you burn polyester. At any rate, it’s warm and snuggly and soft, and the texture almost looks like gauze when you hold it up to the light. Pretty!

Film Noir Coppélia
Also, let the record show that my wool version was birthed because Katie said she was making a bunch of these in merino knits and I got jealous and decided to copy her. SORRY NOT SORRY.

Film Noir Coppélia
Can someone explain to me why it is so difficult to find wool knits in the first place, though? Especially in not-neutral colors. What I reeeeally wanted was the emerald green wool jersey I found at Textile a couple of months ago (and not because emerald is the new ~color of the year~, but more so because I look bomb ass in emerald, trufax), but it was $30 a yard and I was holding out for the 40% sale, except it sold out at some point between those dates and now I am a sad person and SOMEONE FIND ME JEWEL COLORS OF WOOL JERSEY PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Film Noir Coppélia
Black is good, though. I feel like such a lady.

Film Noir Coppélia
At least black goes with everything… including my Giant Plaid Circle Skirt. You dig?

Film Noir Coppélia
I tried to take motion pictures to show the no-gape in all it’s glory, but my hair was in the way for most of them. Here is… something.

Film Noir Coppélia
This one fits a little different than the Disco Queen version… mostly because the fabric is much stretchier. I really like it; it’s very comfortable and slouchy without actually being sloppy. Look at how much longer the ties are when they stretch!

In other COMPLETELY RANDUMB news, Andrew WK hollered at me via Twitter last night:
WHAT THE FUUUUCK omg omg omg
UMMMM WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK THIS IS SO AWESOME HOLY SHIT.

In celebration, I give you this gif of me being excited out of thin air:
gif
OMG SO EXCITE

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Completed: La Sylphide, Dude-Style

4 Jan

Ok, I actually finished this *before* the Coppélia, making this top the very last thing I sewed for 2012 (finishing up on 12/30, no less!). I hate posting stuff out of order because I’m weird like that, but it is what it is!

Anyway, here she is – the La Sylphide, another sweet gem that Katie from Papercut Patterns sent me. I’m not sorry if I’m coming off as a bit of obsessed – I think this pattern line may be my new fave for 2013! Yay!

La Sylphide
As you can see, my version is quite a bit different from the pattern cover – I really dude’d this one up with the plaid and pearl snaps. Yeehaw!!

La Sylphide
This is technically a wearable muslin – I wanted to test the fit before I made my ~real~ version, hence why it’s a top instead of a dress. And if you think I’m wack for making a muslin with plaid… I guess I am kind of wack. But the shirt turned out really awesome, so no complaints here!

La Sylphide
Size-wise, I cut the XS. The ONLY alteration I made was to suck in the center back by 1″. Again, this is a pretty typical alteration for me as I have a small back (I wear a 32 or 30 bra band, fyi). Everything else fit perfectly! So happy!

La Sylphide
The pattern calls for a floaty/drapey fabric, which is what the samples are sewn with. They are totally lovely – and totally what I want to make my future dress with – but I’m actually really happy with how this cotton/poly plaid ended up looking with the pattern. It doesn’t have as much body as say, quilting cotton, but you can see there’s not a lot of drape to my top. It has a nice structure that really makes the peplum stand out. And the bow! I love how crisp the bow is in this fabric!

La Sylphide
Sorry this picture is blurry. You can see my center back seam here. Well, sort of.

La Sylphide
I’m pleased to report that the plaids matched up pretty well here. I probably could have done a better job with the peplum at the center front – but I was running low on fabrics, and I guess this is acceptable for a wearable muslin. I also think this would look much better with the tie cut on the bias, but again, low fabrics means we make do with what we have.

La Sylphide
I am going to change my name to the Plaid Boss. Because, FUCK, I love plaid.

La Sylphide
Don’t worry – the stuff under the bow matches too :)

La Sylphide
I decided to go with pearl snaps instead of buttons for this guy. I was eager to try out the buttonholer of my new machine, but I also really love using hammers on my sewing projects. Plus, pearl snaps just really fit with this style of shirt, you know? The original pattern calls for 4 buttons on the top, but I was getting too much gape so I added a few more. I am also fully aware that the snaps are on the wrong sides. I thought I was being sneaky and clever by checking Landon’s shirts and doing my snaps the opposite way, but I forgot that pearl snaps are the opposite of buttons, so I ended up with a double negative button situation. Oops.

La Sylphide
I love the way the sleeves are sewn here – there is light interfacing at the bottom, which with the top stitching makes a little built-in cuff. The sleeves are attached to the bodice in the flat, and then the side seams are sewn up after. It makes easing everything in much quicker!

La Sylphide
Also, I’m sorry for the weird wrinkles. I took these pictures after a full day of wear, so the peplum is a little squashed at the back.

La Sylphide
Pearl snaps are awesome because at the end of the day you get to rip your shirt off and pretend like you are the Hulk.

La Sylphide
As a side note, did you notice my cute little tights!? DID YOU??

Tights!!:D
Rain and lightning! Aren’t they the cutest!? I love that the lightning cloud looks like the TCB bolt hahaha.
My friend Victoria just opened a Galaxy Cauldron Tights and she sent me a couple of pairs to try out. These are the Stormy Skies. I was pleasantly surprised at how thick they are – not as thin as those cheap $5 ones from Target (which was what I was expecting, tbh). There’s a bit of heft to them, and the design is my favorite thing ever right now. I guess you could also wear the print at the back, like calf tattoos, but I like them on the front. They make me so happy! I thought y’all would like them too :)

La Sylphide
I guess that’s it! I’m fully infatuated with Papercut Patterns at this point and I can’t wait to make the full dress of this (and maybe some more plaid peplum tops, because of reasons).

Completed: the Coppélia Cardy

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the holidays left y’all with plenty of relaxation, time with friends, wonderful gifts, and of course… alcohol. Can’t forget the alcohol ;) So sad, January 2nd is now upon us so I guess it’s time to revisit the Real World, take down my Christmas tree, and dive back into my nine to five job. Wah!

I’m going to kick this year off with the very first thing I made in 2013- the Coppélia from Papercut Patterns
Coppélia Cardy
YUM. That’s my short-list review of this cardy, if you must know.

Santa (or maybe Jesus?) must have been following my wishlist something fierce, because Katie generously sent me this pattern (along with the La Sylphide and DON’T YOU WORRY, because I have words for that one too!!). My experience with Papercut Patterns is brand-spankin’ new – I’ve long admired the sweet styles that are offered, and the delightful packaging that the patterns are wrapped up in. And you know what? I was NOT disappointed with the actual pattern – or the finished garment. I could wax poetic about this wrap all day, but I’m going to stop because I don’t want to make anyone sick. Just know that when it comes to Papercut Patterns, the answer should always be yes.

Coppélia Cardy
I know my fabric choice here is a little… different. Haha! Honestly, I’ve actually had a hard time lately pulling myself away from the looks that I see outlined on the pattern envelopes. For some reason, this isn’t too much of an issue with Colette Patterns, but something about the photography with these particular patterns just makes me want to wrap myself in pastel chiffons and roll around in a field of wildflowers. Except it’s winter here (ooh 40* brr! DON’T JUDGE ME) and I look like shit in pastels. Anyway, every time I thought about my future lover Coppélia, I envisioned her in white. Realizing that I need to make a wearable muslin for this top (since I’m unfamiliar with how these patterns are drafted), and then realizing that I had a very large yardage of this god-awful zigzaggy sheer polyester monstrosity that’s been sitting my stash for at least 3 years… Coppélia The Disco Queen was born. And OMFG I KIND OF LIKE HER.

Coppélia Cardy
The fabric is kind of uncomfortable, though. What can I say? It’s a very heavy, very cheap polyester that I bought from $1/yard table at Walmart. And it’s totally sheer. But it works, somehow.

Coppélia Cardy
The size XS fit me *almost* perfectly straight out of the envelope. I had to pull a good 1″ chunk out of the center back – which, I’d already cut my pieces, so the back now has a seam – but I have a fairly small back/ribcage, so this does not surprise me. I also tapered the sleeves down to an XXS as they were a bit baggier than I prefer. In the future, I will shorten the sleeves as well – they’re a bit long (I folded the cuffs back so it’s not noticeable on this top). All in all, the fit is pretty nice, though!
Also, I have no idea what I’m doing in the above picture. Sniffing my armpit, I guess?

Coppélia Cardy
I love how cozy and snuggly this top turned out! I can only imagine how much I’ll love it in a nicer fabric – especially something with a bit more drape. This is an actual wrap top – which means when I untie the ties, the whole thing opens up in the front like a cardigan (i.e., not a mock wrap!). Surprisingly, the gape factor here is pretty much nonexistent. I spent all day in this shirt and never once worried about exposing more than I intended. Yay!

Coppélia Cardy
If you’re wondering how I already made a top this year and we’re only 2 days in – it was a SUPER fast make! I used my serger to sew most everything (except a small bit of topstitching along the bottom hem for the band), and I think my total sewing time came in around 45 minutes. I didn’t stay out late on NYE – I’m an old lady when it comes to my bedtime, I was out by 10:30PM! – so I was up by 10AM, had a leisurely breakfast and quickie sewing sesh, then made it to Gallatin to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens with my parents by 1PM :) Yay for New Years!

Coppélia Cardy
The pattern instructions are great – they are brief and to the point, without a lot of unnecessary hand-holding (although they are not so brief that a knit n00b would have no idea what is going on). Same with the pattern markings – there are notches to match the pieces, but not a metric shit-ton. This is perfectly fine and dandy with me. I don’t need a bunch of notches to match up a sleeve seam, you know? Just tell me how to get it on the bodice, I think I can figure it out from there!

Coppélia Cardy
I also really love the construction method for this top – it was very straightforward and intuitive, very very similar to how to like to sew my knits. So maybe I’m just a little biased haha ;)

Coppélia Cardy
Here’s a good look at the sheerness of the fabric – the zigzags are solid on top of a knit mesh (that’s my hand behind it). It’s not so noticeable on this top, especially since I am wearing a nude bra, but it would definitely show in something like a dress. Hence why I had so much yardage and never did anything with it – the fabric is heavy enough on it’s own, and adding an underlining just makes it even worse. So I’m glad I figured out a use for it :)

Coppélia Cardy
I definitely plan on making more of these – I actually skipped my lunch break today to take advantage of the semi-annual sale at Textile Fabrics (which, if you live in Nashville: GO. 40% off everything, yo!). I only let myself buy knits, but I got some awesome stuff – stripes, silky drapey rayon, and a lovely woolish sweater knit that is turning into Film Noir Coppélia STAT. Which I’m hoping will be easier to match with bottoms :) Haha!

Hopefully a first successful sewing project means all of 2013 will be successful sewing projects too! HAHA ok, maybe that’s a little optimistic – but optimism is good, yeah?

Happy 2013, y’all!

Completed: Another Alma Blouse

28 Sep

I’m still wearing those damn Thurlow jeans, btw. SORRY FOR NOT BEING SORRY.

But, hey, look, new blouse!

Alma blouse

This blouse is extra-special to me because the fabric actually came from Liz – can you believe she dumped this in the swap pile!? I certainly couldn’t! I snatched it up with visions of an Alma floating in my head. I almost felt like I needed to save the fabric for something more, I dunno, substantial – like a dress. But I’m pretty happy with the end result & I think it will get a lot more wear in it’s blouse-form. So there!

Alma blouse
This fabric is pretty amazing, at any rate. It’s actually a double fabric (I’m guessing double-gauze? Maybe? Help me out here.), fused together. Which mean it’s super warm and actually kind of heavy when sewn up into a blouse. Almost like a lil’ non-knit sweater! So obviously, long sleeves were in order. And a peter pan collar because, c’mon.

Alma blouse
I knew I wanted the collar & cuffs to contrast (although I love the look of a solid print on everything, I think this fabric was just a little too much!), but I couldn’t find a suitable match in my stash and I REALLY didn’t want to tromp back to the fabric store after spending so much at Vogue while I was in Chicago. Then I had a no-shit-Sherlock moment when I realized I could just flip the fabric over for the perfect orangy contrast! That’s right – all the orange accents you see here are actually the wrong side of the fabric. I’m so brilliant, durrp.

Alma blouse
There is totally an invisible zipper right in that side seam. Oh, you can’t see it? Neither can I!

Alma blouse
I just think this pattern is drafted so beautifully. The collar pieces include separate under collar pieces, so there is no fug seam ruining my beautiful collar line.

Alma blouse
Really sorry these pictures are so cruddy, by the way. It’s overcast today and I guess my camera is on strike or some shit.

Alma blouse
Since this fabric is so thick, I separated the two pieces for the collar & facing, then interfaced the single layers.

Alma blouse
I actually ran out of interfacing while I was cutting out the pattern, and rather than wait for more to arrive in the post, I kept the cuffs at their double-layer status & just sewed as normal without interfacing. I’m not sure if I’m totally thrilled with the end result, they don’t exactly sit right. Oh well – they have leaf buttons! LEAVES, you guys!

Alma blouse
The fit on this guy is a little different than my previous Alma blouse – I wanted it to be a little more loose-fitting, like a cozy sweater. I did have to shorten the sleeves about an inch, and take about 1/4″ out of the sleeve seams.

Alma blouse
I love the little leaf buttons, as impractical as they are.

Alma blouse

Alma blouse
Thought I’d have a little fun with the different fabrics – surprise undercollar!

Alma blouse
The inside of the shirt is actually quite orange, just the facing matches the outside fabric :) Since this is a double-layer, I was able to catch-stitch the facing down so it doesn’t pop out.

Alma blouse
And here is proof that there actually is an invisible zipper in that side seam. Haha! I’m quite proud of this zipper insertion – it’s a metal invisible zipper, which is probably one of the most wtf sewing notions ever. Seriously, these things suck! They don’t fit in my invisible zipper foot, so I have to use a regular zipper foot & push the needle waaaay over. The teeth don’t press down, so sewing it in is a matter of pushing the teeth down with your fingers & praying that the needle doesn’t sew through something it shouldn’t. And apparently there’s a really fine line between “invisible” and “this shit won’t zip up.” I bought these stupid things at the flea market, and I can’t say I’m surprised that they don’t appear to be manufactured anymore.

The end result is pretty good, though, and yes I’m tootin’ my own horn ;) Deal with it.

Alma blouse

Pattern Testing: The Alma Blouse

2 Aug

I actually finished this blouse almost 2 months ago ago & I have been DYING to share it with you guys! This is Sewaholic’s newest pattern, the Alma Blouse. I got to be one of the pattern tester’s for this. I LOVE being a pattern tester, by the way – something about being able to not only see a pattern before the rest of the world, but even sew it up?! Count me in! It doesn’t hurt when the pattern in question is something totally awesome that I absolutely would have bought anyway. Double yay!

Alma Blouse
Am I right, though? This blouse is totally cute – and I love that it’s a woven top that is *not* a button-up. Those kinds of options are few & far in between. This is version A, with the cap sleeves & notched neckline.

I did make a few changes to the pattern – you’ll notice that it is much more form-fitting than Tasia’s sample photos. I did originally cut it in a straight size 4, but the muslin was a bit more blousey than what I am comfortable wearing. The final piece is a size 4 at the bust, tapered to a 0 at the waist & a 2 at the shoulders & hips. I did not do any sort of FBA besides grading the pattern sizes. I did take about 1/4″ out of the center back seam, but the end result is a little snug so I’ll probably slap that back in for future Almas (and yes, there will be future Almas). I pinched about 1/4″ out of the sleeves because they originally stuck out too far – I have small shoulders, though, and this is a pretty typical alteration for me.

Alma Blouse
One thing that I love about this pattern is that it closes with a side invisible zipper – which makes it possible to be so form-fitting (yet still be able to get it on).

Alma Blouse
Man, I love those tiny cap sleeves. They are super flattering!

Alma Blouse
Also, I can personally vouch that this pattern is suitable for plaids – everything matched up beautifully! And since there aren’t a lot of pieces involved, the process of cutting/matching isn’t really much of a horror story.

Alma Blouse

Alma Blouse
Look at how much shorter my hair is in these pictures! Haha! I took these about 2 months ago :)

Alma Blouse
The only design changes I made were actually post-construction – I felt like the notched collar was getting lost in the plaid, so I added a row of rick-rack 1″ from the edge. I also cut a tiny pocket on the bias, because tiny pockets are adorable.

Alma Blouse
I love the waist tie! I think that might be what sets this blouse over the top – of course, it looks great without the tie, but one of my favorite ways to wear it is tucked in to a high-waisted skirt with the tie as a belt. Of course, it looks great untucked too!

Alma Blouse
Sorry the lighting in this picture is so bad! The fabric is a light cotton/poly plaid seersucker, one of the many that my mom picked up at a yard sale for me a few months ago :) Thanks, mom!

Alma Blouse
The pocket is really simple to make – I sketched until I had a shape that I liked, then traced it onto a cardboard template. When I cut the fabric, I added my seam allowance & used the cardboard template to press the seam allowance back so everything would be crisp & even. I figured out the placement by putting the shirt on & holding the pocket up until I was happy with the way it looked. Easy!

Final words: I’m totally happy with this pattern, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a way to make tops with wovens that don’t involve a bunch of button holes front & center. There are several options in the pattern, which is great since that makes it work for all seasons :) Thinking about making a long sleeved version next – with embroidery on the peter pan collar! Ooh la la!

Alma Blouse
Now run – don’t walk – over to the pattern store & pick up your own copy!

Completed: Simplicity 3688 Trousers (with bonus crop top)

5 Jul

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

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

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

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

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

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

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

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

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

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

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

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

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

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

McCall's 4488

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

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

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

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

So there ya go. AMERICUHHHH.

Simplicity 3688; McCall's 4488

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

Completed: The Taffy Blouse!

21 May

I don’t even know if I can legitimately call this the Taffy blouse. I mean, yeah, I used the pattern pieces for the front & back… and I cut the front on the bias. That’s about where the similarities end & the mad scientist in me started cooking up something entirely different.

Floral rayon
I started out with this fabric. Isn’t it so pretty? Approximately 1 yard of floral rayon, I found this at the Goodwill for a whopping $1.99 YESH. I envisioned it as the Taffy Without Sleeves and promptly cut the front piece out of my fabric.

… and then it was time to cut the back piece, and that’s when I realized I had made a huge mistake. I may be a small person, and I may wear my clothing very fitted, and this may be ~just a top~, but uhhh… it’s still a bias-cut pattern, and it needs more than a yard of fabric! I frantically tried to fix my mistake by moving the back pattern pieces around the sad flap of fabric that remained. I tried cutting the back pieces with a seam (as opposed to on the fold). I tried piecing them. I tried making only the bottom of the back floral with some kind of backwards contrasting yoke. No dice. I half-heatedly checked my stash for a lone piece of black fabric I could cut the back piece out of, thinking I’d do a two-tone look, but I didn’t see anything that even remotely matched. So, I did what any self-respecting seamstress would do – I got pissed off & chucked the top & all the little fabric scraps in the scrap bin. BYE.

In the meantime, I brainstormed until I had an epiphany. Do y’all ever get stumped by something sewing-wise & end up having an epiphany later that perfectly fixes whatever ails you? Or maybe that’s just me. I usually get them right before I fall asleep haha. Whatever, I ain’t complainin’!

Taffy

So anyway, I ended up cutting the back piece in a black knit fabric, figuring the stretch of the knit would complement the stretch of the bias on the woven side (so if you’re wondering – the black knit wasn’t cut on the bias. It was cut on the… stretchy knit grain, or whatever you call it, I dunno). I did cut off a half inch or so of the back side, since it was extra stretchy. It still does not have negative ease, but I think it drapes pretty nicely.

The front (woven) part of the shirt is cut in a 2. I did have to pull up the shoulders quite a bit as the neckline was originally pretty freakin’ gapey, but I think it worked out in the end. It is still gapey & kind of lumpy in the back, but ehh… it’s the back, I don’t have to look at it. Haha!

Taffy - Back

Taffy - Front
So obviously, my Taffy does not have sleeves. It also did not get the bias tape treatment – I decided to use some of my lace stash instead. Pretty black lace around the neckline & arm holes! Looove it.

Taffy - Side
The lace at the bottom was an inspired afterthought – I barely had enough black knit to get the full length out of the back piece (I know, I’m such a mess); it ended up getting cut about 3″ short. So I shortened the front piece to match & sewed this pretty wide lace around the bottom. I love the way it looks!

Taffy
So that’s it! A pretty simple top that almost didn’t happen. I really like the way it turned out and I think this is a great way to use up smaller yardages of woven fabric that you might not have enough to cut both the front+back with – just sub a knit in there! :)

In other news – today is my birthday! Yay me, I made it all the way to 27 :)
And I got some new fabric (and more is on it’s way – I placed an order with Mood this morning ;))

Yard sale score
Sorry this picture is so bad – the plaid in the second bolt is actually really beautiful & colorful. Blame it on the rainbad lighting. Anyway, my mom found this at a yard sale on Saturday – the woman holding it had been an heirloom seamstress, so there was promised to be lots of batiste! I told my mom to let me know what she found. She called me as she was leaving and said, “Yeah, I saw quite a few bolts of the stuff. I didn’t buy anything, though.” WUT. I made her turn around & go back & buy… all of it! Hahahahaa! What you see here is something like 15-20 yards of batiste. She got the entire stack (including about 10 more yards of that blue on top – I took 2.5 yards & let her keep the rest haha) for $15! Which is awesome because I was totally about to buy more batiste, except I was going to spend $16 on 2 yards. Soooo, needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled with this find. And I love that it’s all on bolts; it makes me feel extra fabric-hoardy.

Buttons!
She also bought me all these buttons… I think they were a quarter apiece. Aren’t they sweet? I especially love the lemons & the flies (my mom says they’re bees. Whatever, they will always be flies to me). And if you creep the right corner, you can see some of the wooly nylon she also got. Fifty cents a spool! Uh huh, I love me some yard sales!

And on a final note… Morgan sent me some gorgeous fabric all the way from Skopje, Macedonia.
Fabric from Macedonia :D
It is the most beautiful cotton I think I have ever seen! And she sent me two entire meters – which she purchased speaking only Macedonian! I am so proud of her & totally dying over this fabric. I have no idea what I will make out of it – I’m thinking it needs to be a maxi dress, though. The paisley repeat is just so huge & awesome. What do you think?

Oh, there were also hot dog flavored chips in the bag along with the fabric. I haven’t summoned up the courage yet to sample them (that will be tonight, after I’ve had a couple of birthday drinks hehe), but I’ll let y’all know how that goes down…

Happy Monday!

Completed: Embroidered Silk Shell Top

22 Mar

shell top

And another one down!

I don’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I picked up this silk turquoise skirt at my favorite thrift store about a month ago – at half off, it was $2. And it was plus size, and long, which meant lots of fabric for me to play with. Silk for $2? I’ll take it! I was able to salvage some giant pieces of fabric, plus the lining. And the zipper, for about 5 minutes (until I forgot that there wasn’t a zipper stop and I immediately pulled the zipper off the teeth. DERP.). I know the tag says ‘dry clean only,’ but I washed a little swatch of the fabric in the sink & it didn’t seem to be an issue at all – no water spotting, no weird shrinkage. Anyway, I had enough fabric to make the little top in Simplicity 4400 (which, I might point out, is the very first vintage pattern I ever bought – at the same thrift store, no less!). I was even able to finagle the pieces so that I kept the original skirt hem intact. Yeah!

A word about this pattern (and every other vintage pattern I’ve ever sewn up) – there is still ease in vintage patterns. Lot and lots of ease. Notice the size on that pattern is for a 32″ bust? My bust is actually 36″ – and the top fits me perfectly. I have noticed this a lot with vintage patterns, so do what you will & make a muslin (or tissue fit, like lazy me :3).

To keep this top from being *too* simple, I embroidered a rose by the right shoulder:
Silk Shell Top - embroidery
I got the design from Hoop Love Vintage Transfers on Flickr – a GREAT embroidery pattern resource! To transfer the design, I laid it over a sheet of wax transfer paper and traced with a pencil. The stitches here are split stitch (on the rose) and back stitch (on the leaves & stems). Oh, and if you are apt to try this – make sure you staystitch those curved seams before you start! It’ll keep them from stretching out with all that extra handling :) I probably should have serged my edges too, since this silk frays like nobodies business, but you know me… livin’ on the edge & shit.

As a side note, can we discuss these wtf directions?
Silk Shell Top
I’ve never seen this before – it’s a dart, but without the dart legs. I have to make my own dart legs. How intriguing!

Ok, anyway, back to my top.

Construction was fairly simple & straight forward. I opted to hand-pick a center zipper (instead of the machine-stitched lapped zip in the directions) and did not topstitch the facings, as I wanted the top to be simple so the focus would be on that embroidery. The top sewn as-is ended up being too billowy for my tastes, so I added vertical darts below the bust for a little shape. I originally planned to wear it tucked but I think I prefer it untucked now! Unfortunately, the arm holes are a little on the tight side but, eh, I think I can deal.

Silk Shell Top
(huh, I really need to re-press those dart tips!)

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

BONUS: Tucked!

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top - handpicked zipper
Hand picked zipper – I got a little obsessive & tried to match the stitches up on both sides hahaha

Silk Shell Top
Remember when I said I broke the zipper that came with the skirt? Well I found this one in my stash – and it matches perfectly! Talk about a happy accident!

Pretty pleased with this little top – I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer. The silk is so deliciously soft, and I just love the color!

Silk Shell Top

completed: the colette sorbetto top

7 Jun

this project is kind of a let-down, to be honest. i made the sorbetto top, courtesy of colette patterns. i had some high hopes for this one, y’all – colette patterns are so pretty & well-drafted and ughh i even had the best fabric. however, the appeal of overfitting (which isn’t normally a gigantic problem for me, but it certainly is when the garment in question is supposed to hang loose!) turned this guy into something kind of ho-hum. not at the fault of the pattern itself – i think i just needed to cut it bigger. oh well, live & learn, right?

i’ll start by showing you the pretty fabric i bought:
sheer rayon fabric
isn’t it lovelyyy? sheerish, 50″ wide, 100% rayon. i bought it (a little over a yard) for $5! too bad it’s a BITCH AND A HALF to sew. omg i’m never sewing sheer fabrics again.
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