Tag Archives: top

Completed: A Chambray La Sylphide – AND THE BOMBSHELL WINNER

17 Jun

OMG you guys. I am so backed up with posting finished garments… this top is from TWO WEEKS ago. Woof.

Chambray La Sylphide

This is the La Sylphide from Papercut Patterns. I know, I keep meaning to make the dress version – it’s so pretty and floaty on the pattern picture, ahhh! – but this damn top keeps seducing me with it’s own version of awesome.

Chambray La Sylphide

This is pretty similar to my Dude’d Up La Sylphide – I sewed a size XS, took 1″ out of the back and no other alterations. The sleeves are just rolled up in these pictures, btw.

Chambray La Sylphide

The fabric is a chambray from – who else? – Mood Fabrics, which I bought while I was in New York. They have a lot of chambrays there and while I almost picked a gorgeous sateen-esque chambray that had just come in from some designer, I ended up with the more muted one because I wanted my shirt to be a little more rugged. Also, it was cheaper by like $2, ha.

Chambray La Sylphide

Ok, CONFESSION TIME: I TOTALLY stole this idea (for a chambray La Sylphide) from my friend Colleen, who suggested it first. Although, to be fair, she also voted pearl snaps – and this one just has grey buttons that I had in my stash. So, while not a 100% idea rip, it’s still an idea rip and I’m sorry.

Chambray La Sylphide

Also, I just realized I really need to repress the tips of those bust darts. HIIII.

Chambray La Sylphide

I wasn’t expecting to be able to wear this top with these linen shorts, but I actually quite like it.

Chambray La Sylphide

I really love this pattern because the top looks just as good with the peplum tucked, as you saw during Me Made May. As much as I love the peplum, sometimes an outfit just doesn’t work with it – like the Kelly skirt. Too much flare going on! And as much as I love making and hoarding clothes, I don’t need two chambray shirts… so I’m ok to let this one do double-duty.

Chambray La Sylphide

And I guess that’s it for this post.

OH WAIT NO IT’S NOT!!! We have a Bombshell winner! There were 354 total comments (my most commented-on post EVER, thanks guys haha), but I had to pull a few out for dupes/replies/no entries.

winner
It landed on my lucky number! GOOOOOO 7!!!!

… Which makes our winner Joanne!
Joanne
Joanne, I think this pattern will work out for you a lot better :) And I want to see that neon floral fabric, because it sounds awesomeeee.

Thanks to everyone who entered! The pattern is available on Etsy for those who did not win. Don’t forget to join the Sewalong, it starts today! I can’t wait to see everyone’s Bombshells! :)

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Completed: The Pavlova Wrap Top

25 Mar

Well, you guys. I done goofed. I put this outfit together in hopes of the emerging spring – and oh, it is indeed emerging… so much that Landon had to mow the freakin front yard a couple weekends ago because it was sooo lush and green and, like, springy – but today is heartbreakingly gray, freezing, and the windiest of windys. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before I left the house this morning, but a giant circle skirt is NOT appropriate for this kind of wind. I managed to learn this lesson immediately after I flashed everyone on West End Avenue. Hope someone out there was nurturing a stockings fetish! Ahhh!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, I think this skirt fabric is a pretty amazing floral for the weird transitional months – it has those pretty, bright, springy flowers, but they’re smashed up against a black background so it’s still a little srs bsnss. And it looks great with black tights (I always get all weird about what color tights to wear with my spring dresses, ok!). I got it at the flea market last year and I’ve been hoarding it ever since.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I originally cut this skirt out a couple of months ago, during an afternoon sewing date with my boo Lauren W. My fabric was large enough for me to cut a full circle, but hers wasn’t, and I wanted to be a good friend (and also get an idea of wtf I was doing before ripping into her fabric), so we pieced the pattern out so it has 4 skirt pieces, and then added pockets. You can’t see my skirt seams because my fabric is so robust and floofy, but trust me, they’re there.
Anyway, the sewing-date ended with a fully seamed skirt with pockets, and then it sat in my sewing room for… well, until last Friday. Lauren has been making progress on her own skirt at home (aw yay!!) so I decided to finish mine up, so I could wear it with my new wrap top. Don’t they match so well?! Like it was ~meant to be.

You probably guessed that the skirt is not the Pavlova circle skirt – it’s just my standard, self-drafted circle skirt pattern. It’s like a sneaky Pavlova, since it was cut into 4 pieces. Also, it’s not hemmed with anything but a very simple narrow hem. The fabric has a lot of body, so it stands up pretty well on it’s own. Which is great, because I don’t have any horsehair braid right now :P

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, let’s talk about the top! This is the wrap from the Pavlova pattern. I’m not even going to lie, I was a liiiiiittle apprehensive about sewing this pattern – something about that lapped seam on the neckline, not to mention the shoulder darts, looked intimidating! I really shouldn’t have worried, though – Steph has an incredible way of relaying instructions that makes them sooo easy to understand. The only problems I had with making this top was my topstitching – and I fault that to my fabric and lack of fusible hem tape to keep shit in place. I sewed a size 30 and made no alterations to the pattern.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

My fabric is from NY – I bought it at Fabrics For Less. This was my very short, very solo return to the Garment District on Monday afternoon. Yes, after 2 full days in that madhouse, I WENT BACK. And I bought more fabric. Honestly, I was very upset about the lack of knits in my suitcase, so I got this mint cotton jersey as well as a matching red, and also the french terry for my Avocado hoodie. What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I don’t know if this jersey was the very *best* choice for this top – you can see everrrrrry single little lump under there (fyi, the line across my chest is actually from the hem of the wrap top, not my bra. Just so we’re clear ;)), as it’s super drapey and tissue thin. I just love the color though, and it goes with a huge chunk of my wardrobe! Word of warning – this is a short top. The front barely clears my waistband (which comes above my navel), and all my pants are too low to wear with it. The back is nice and long, though, which is sweet.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Also, this is one hell of a twirly skirt.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I forgot to mention – I added a thin line of mint piping between the waistband and the skirt, using a perfectly matching bias tape I had in my stash. Yes! I love it when these things work out!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Soooo… what’s next? Do I need plead a special case to the Sun God or what??

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 :)

Tutorial: The Paulie Pocket Top

18 Jan

stretch yourself header
This post is part of the Stretch Yourself Series hosted by Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute. This two week series is ALL ABOUT the love of knits, so go check it out!
I’ll be showing y’all some embellishment twist on a classic, along with Jessica of A Little Gray

Here she is – the Paulie Pocket Top!
Paulie Pocket Top
I KNOW. The name of this top is totally ridiculous & tacky – but what part about my life isn’t? :)

Paulie Pocket Top
You will need 3 different kinds of fabric to make this – something for the majority of the shirt (in whatever yardage you need to make your top), something to line the back of the pocket with (half a yard or so should be enough), and scraps for the pocket binding. For the binding, you don’t want to use anything that is too thin/floppy, or it’s not going to sit right – try something with a bit more body, like ribbing or a cotton knit.

Don’t forget your pattern! You can download it here. The edges of the paper are part of the band pieces; the lines just didn’t transfer over during the scan.
Be sure the test square prints out to 4″x4″ (or 10cmx10cm, if you fancy). The stretch guide is there for the binding fabric – you just want to make sure the 4″ piece stretches up to the length provided (or else your binding will not fit in the cut-outs). If it stretches more or less, that is fine, but you will need to adjust your pattern pieces accordingly.

Paulie Pocket Top
Cut all your pattern pieces from the main fabric as normal. For this tutorial, I am using the Renfrew pattern. Sew the shoulder seams as instructed (you don’t *have* to sew the shoulder seams first, but I like to because it helps with pocket placement – you can pull the shirt over your head and double-check in the mirror).

Now push the back of the shirt out of your way. We won’t be touching it for the rest of this tutorial.

Paulie Pocket Top
On the shirt front, measure on both sides the distance from where you want the bottom of your pockets to hit, keeping seam allowance in mind. I usually go with 1 3/4″. Mark this with a pin.

Paulie Pocket Top
Align the bottom of the pocket template with the pin and cut from the front of the shirt only.
(pst! I know my template has different wording – while putting together this tutorial, I hadn’t decided on a ~name~ for my pattern embellishment yet ;))

Paulie Pocket Top
Give the pocket piece to your cat to play with, idk.

Paulie Pocket Top
Cut 2 pieces of pocket ribbing, using the pocket band pattern piece.

Paulie Pocket Top
Fold in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.

Paulie Pocket Top
Pin the pocket band to the pocket opening on the outside of the shirt, matching raw edges, notches, and ends. The pocket band will be smaller than the pocket opening – this is good, we are going to stretch that band to fit and give our pockets a nice curve. Do not overpin this – 3 pins is plenty.

Paulie Pocket Top
Start by anchoring one end of the pocket band to the pocket edge, and stop with the needle in the down position.

Paulie Pocket Top
Sew the band to the edge, stretching the band to fit as you go (don’t stretch the raw edge of the pocket- just the band! It’s much easier if you position it so the band is on top). Sew slowly and take your time. We ain’t in a hurry here.

Paulie Pocket Top
Once the band is sewn down, you can topstitch it on your sewing machine – using a twin needle or a regular ol’ zigzag stitch.

Paulie Pocket Top
You should end up with something like this. Ain’t that fancy! Let’s put a back to those pockets so our sides aren’t hanging out in the glory of the sun – unless you’re into that kinda stuff, eh, no judgement here.

Paulie Pocket Top
Measure from the bottom of the shirt front to about an inch above the pocket band. Mine is 9.5″, which is approximately how tall I need my pocket lining piece to be.

Paulie Pocket Top
Measure that same measurement from the bottom of your shirt front pattern piece and cut that from your pocket back fabric.

Paulie Pocket Top
Finish the top edge of your pocket back fabric – this is optional as we all know jersey doesn’t exactly unravel, but it’ll make the next step a little easier :)

Paulie Pocket Top
Lay the shirt front over the pocket lining piece you just cut, matching all raw edges. Pin along the pocket openings and shirt bottom to keep everything in place.

Paulie Pocket Top
Now, using your fingers to feel the edge of the top of the pocket lining underneath, carefully pin across the front of the shirt so both pieces are pinned together.

Paulie Pocket Top
Flip back periodically to make sure you catch both layers.

Paulie Pocket Top
Topstitch (again – you can use a twin needle or a zigzag) along the line you just pinned. Baste the side and bottom edges together.

And that’s it! You can go ahead and sew your shirt together as instructed by your pattern – treat the pocket-ed front as one piece.

Yay for embellished shirts!

Paulie Pocket Top

Paulie Pocket Top

Paulie Pocket Top

Special shout-out to this awkward picture:
Paulie Pocket Top
No idea why I look so emo here haha

Paulie Pocket Top
There! That’s better :D

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

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

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