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Completed: Vogue 1610

26 Feb

Good morning, everyone! Sorry, I took the last few days off of blogging… to be honest, I’d spent the entire weekend in my sewing room futzing with ONE fitting adjustment for ONE pattern, and six muslins later (yeah, just typing that makes me die a little inside), I was done. Not done with the fitting adjustment – I wish! – but rather, done with sewing. I took some time away to do more important, non-sewy things (specifically: binge-watching infomericals from the comfort of my velvet couch and drinking bourbon with ginger beer… yum.), and I gotta say – I feel like a new woman now. Ready to go tackle that god-forsaken fitting adjustment and get back on the ~swagon~.

Speaking of swagon (which is like a sewing wagon, except way funnier), check out my new threads- baby’s first DVF!

Vogue 1610

OKKKKK, it’s not a ~real~ Diane von Furstenberg, obviously, but it *is* a Vogue Designer Pattern, which is close enough in my book. This is Vogue 1610, a classic DVF wrap dress with sleeve and length options. I found this dude at an estate sale a few years ago – in my size, and for $1, no less! – and this is the first chance I’ve had to make it up.

Vogue 1610

Sewing this wrap was an experience, albeit a fairly easy one. Although the pattern came in my size, a quick tissue fit (and by tissue fit, I mean I held it up to my chest and looked in the mirror, ha!) showed that the bodice front was big enough for complete coverage – which, when one is sewing a stretch knit, that is TOO big! You need the pieces to be a little smaller than you are, so they stretch into shape and give you that lovely silhouette that only negative ease can do. Further, this pattern was drafted for stable knits – i.e., pontes and double knits and all those goodies – and the fabric I had was an extremely fluid, extremely drapey rayon jersey. Fortunately, both the style of this dress + knit fabrics in general are pretty forgiving, so I sized down with some experimental hacking and I think it came out pretty good!

Vogue 1610

At the cutting stage, I took 1″ off the center back seam and the front side seam. I didn’t bother changing the pattern tissue itself (have you seen how much this pattern sells for on Etsy? Holy shit.), just folded over the edges to size and pinned them down. When cutting a piece on the fold, I just extended the pattern piece so it hung over the fabric edge by 1″. I also shortened the skirt by, um, a lot. I think 7″ the first time, and then another 2-3″ after I sewed it up (and immediately regretted that decision, because YIKES SHORT AIEEE). I don’t really recommend this type of size hacking unless you are very familiar with sewing and manipulating knits, because you can definitely end up with a surprise outcome, but it all worked out for me.

Vogue 1610

I chose not to follow the instructions that came with the pattern – I’m sure they were fine, but they were also written for stable knits and included things like facings and pockets. I hate pockets on knits, by the way! They always come out lumpy and can’t hold anything heavier than a cell phone. I also hate facings on knits because, whyyyy. Why would you put yourself through that kind of torture.

Vogue 1610

Construction-wise, I sewed everything up on my serger, except where I used my twin needle to topstitch the hems. The hems are stabilized with Stitch Witchery, which seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, but in retrospect, my hems are weird and stiff and lumpy. Not a good look! I also can’t trim any more length off that skirt for fear of indecent exposure. I’ve used Stitch Witchery in the past to stabilize hems, and I stand behind it, but for something as drapey as this rayon, it just didn’t work. Next time, I will probably just steam the heck out of it and sew very slowly to get my hems.

Vogue 1610

I applied my neck binding in the flat (starting at the center back and stretching down each side of the front individually), so I could get it as stretched as possible and cut off the excess. I think I ended up cutting a couple of inches off each end! The final result is a binding that stays in place and does NOT gape – which is important for this wrap style. I like my clothing to stay in place while I’m wearing it, thanks.

Vogue 1610
Vogue 1610

I was a little concerned that the gathered skirt would look stupid in a knit, but I actually think it’s quite lovely. I think the key here is to go with something lightweight and drapey – bulky fabrics will add, well, bulk!

Vogue 1610

Isn’t this fabric fun, though? It’s the Arc Deco rayon jersey from Mood Fabrics. I snapped up three yards of it while it was on 50% off sale (do y’all get those sale emails? Oh man. Those are dangerous.), specifically with this pattern in mind. It sewed up like a dream, wears like a dream, feels like a dream… just don’t use Stitch Witchery with it ;)

Vogue 1610

Next time I make this, I’ll shorten the bodice a bit – whoever owned this pattern before me had lengthened it about 1″… I left it because it definitely hits my waist, but I think it looks a little long and unbalanced in these pictures. I also promise not to get too scissor-happy with the skirt length on the next go ;) But yeah, I’ll definitely be making this again – I want one in silk jersey, like a proper DVF! Yum!

Vogue 1610

I guess that’s it! Some housekeeping before I dip outta here-

- Clare and I have already started planning the meet-up while we’re in NYC, and emails have been sent! I tried to get everyone who expressed interest, but inevitably I’m sure I missed someone. If you’d like in on the action for Saturday March 15th, holler at me and I’ll get that email out to you! I’m really excited about this trip, can you tell? :)

- Oh, right, giveaway winner! Let’s see, random number generator says…

Ok, for whatever reason, Flickr won’t give me the html code to show the number box (and I don’t have time to futz with it this morning because I need to leave for work in… 5 minutes haha), but you can click this link if you want to see the screenshot. Btw, fuck you, Flickr.

winnerstevie

Congratulations, Stevie Nicole! Watch for my email so we can get your Georgia out to you :)

Everyone who asked – I don’t care if you copy my Georgia! Remember, I copied that lace+emerald combo from someone else. Plus, who doesn’t need a gorgeous sexy lace dress in their life, yeah? :)

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Completed: Leopard Skinnies

21 Jan

I never thought I would actually be saying this – but I made myself a pair of leopard skinnies. Wheee!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Grey leopard is a neutral… right?!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

I’m trying to get more into wearing pants that aren’t, well, denim. As much as I love my I+W jeans (so much, in fact, that I went out and bought myself a second pair a couple of weeks ago. I’m bordering on “collector” at this point, eep), sometimes I find myself gazing jealously at the girls in their wacky print leggings and purple skinny jeans. NO FAIR, I WANT TO JOIN THAT PARTY. So when I saw this leopard print stretch twill at the Mood Fabrics site, I knew I’d found the perfect piece for a lil’ toe-dipping.

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

This twill is pretty awesome, honestly. It’s got a nice stretch, but it’s hefty enough so you don’t see panty lines (a must with pants this tight… and I don’t wear thongs. TMI? Oh well. Maybe you need magical undie-covering fabric too!). The lycra content keeps the seam allowances from shedding too much – which is good, cos this pattern had me going crazy over the fitting, 1″ seam allowances and everything. Not a good time to start unraveling!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Since the twill is a brushed cotton, it’s even a little bit fuzzy. Love it!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

For my pattern, I used McCall 6440. This pattern is… ok. The fitting was a pain in the ASS, pardon the pun, mostly because the pattern has way too much ease. I’ve actually made these up one time before (but it’s ~top secret~ so you can’t see those quite yet… oops I’ve said too much already ;)), so I knew kinda sorta what I was getting into. The main issue with sewing something out of stretch fabric is that every fabric has a different stretch factor (well, maybe not *every* fabric, but there are certainly enough differences to keep one guessing!), so you generally end up doing some tweaking to get the pieces to look right, in addition to going down a size or two to make up for the negative ease.

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

These are a size 6, with some additional tapering taken out at the legs and the waistband. FWIW, the body size for a 6 is supposed to have a 23″ waist. While I can assure you that I do not have a waist that small, I did have to take an extra inch out of the waistband to get it to fit. See what I mean about excessive ease? Measure those pattern pieces, folks! Don’t trust the lies of McCall.

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

I know, this pattern is super duper similar to the Clover pants from Colette, which is another pattern I have. I ended up with this one because I’ve never really gotten those Clovers to fit right, despite all my tweaking a couple of years ago. I wanted to try a new pattern, and I liked that this is a Palmer/Pletsch – I love their fitting books Fit for Real People and Pants for Real People, so I was banking that I’d love the pattern, too! And I guess I kind of did, minus that ease thing. For one, the crotch curve is pretty much perfect for me – something of a Holy Grail among pants sewists. That Clover pattern, not so much :) (but maybe it’ll be perfect for you!). I also liked how high the waist is, the seam down the back of the legs (that you can’t see because it’s ~camouflaged~ by the leopard, ooh, see what I did there?), and the leg options included with the pattern. Spoiler alert – I went for the straight leg, but maybe I’ll experiment more in the future! Baby steps for now, starting with this outta control print. Oh yeah, and just an advance warning – these were exactly the right length for me, and I’m 5’2″! Tall ladies, beware!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Speaking of how high the waist is – see what I mean!? I don’t think this is supposed to reach *quite* as high as it does on my petite frame, but the waistband just covers my belly button. Which means, obviously, I’m gonna be Bettie Pagin’ the shit out of these with heels and a crop top come spring, yaaay!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Whenever I post a photo of myself wearing something with a ridiculously high waist, someone always inevitably comes out of the woodwork to tell me that my outfit isn’t flattering. So, here I am, brushing the dirt off my shoulder in advance because la la la I don’t care!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Like I said, I had to adjust the leg seams to get everything as fitted as it is. Not to say the leg width of this pattern is bad – it’s just more straight than what I wanted for these pants. I wanted to be able to tuck them into boots! Since the pattern is drafted with 1″ seam allowances on all side/leg seams, this made things a tiny bit difficult once it came time to start poking myself with pins – those seam allowances get bulky when you’re sewing something like twill!

What I ended up doing was just focusing on one leg – pinning, basting, fitting, and then stitching the final line once I got to the desired tightness. To mirror the second leg, rather than taking measurements or repinning, this is what I did- I learned this trick at my stint with Muna!:

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

First, I stacked my legs on top of one another and pinned along the seam lines, making sure they matched on the opposite side.

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Then, with the adjusted leg on top, I pinned along the new stitching line I had created.

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

When you flip the fabric over, you can see the pinned original seam line and the new seam line marked by a second row of pins. Make sense?

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

From there, I just connected the pin lines with a my handy marking tool, which gave me a new stitching line. Super easy, and now both legs exactly mirror each other!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

These pants are finished with serged seam allowances and an invisible zipper. Speaking of which – I learned a slightly different way to insert an invisible zip, also courtesy of Muna. Anyone interested in a tutorial? It’s not OMGSODIFFERENT, but there are a couple of tweaks that make insertion practically flawless.

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

One thing that made me irrationally happy was that the fabric is lightweight enough so I could face my waistband with self-fabric, instead of trying to find a matching cotton. As much as I like contrasty facings, I also like matchy-matchy!

Leopard Skinnies made with stretch twill from Mood Fabrics

Not sure what I was thinking when this photo snapped, but it looks like a roar so we’ll leave it at that.

Finally, we have a winner Andi Satterlund knitting patterns giveaway! Before I drop that bomb, I just gotta say… that was by far the biggest response I’ve ever had to a giveaway. Who woulda thunk I’d have so many knitters who follow this blog and love Andi as much as I do? :) Thanks y’all – I appreciate every single one of you! Wish I could give you all patterns, too, but unfortunately I’m not that rich… yet :)

Anyway, without further ado – who’s the lucky number today?

winner47yay

winnerAlexandra

Yay, congratulations, Alexandra! Expect an email from me with how to collect your prize – I can’t wait to see how your sweaters turn out :)

Thanks to everyone who participated, and big huge thanks to Andi for providing the big prize :) For everyone who didn’t win – Perhaps I can entice you with one of Andi’s many freebies?

Completed: The Owls Sweater

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone!! Gah, I feel like I really dumped a load on y’all with my last post… sorry about that! I promise to keep things much more concise, at least with the current offerings :) And before we get too far into the new year, I do have one small confession – I actually finished this sweater at the very end of 2013! Whoops! So it’s not my first completed garment of 2014 (and it’s sweater #9 of 2013, wow!), but we’re going to count is as such since that’s when the pictures surfaced :)

Let me introduce you to: Owls!

Owls!

I’m sure a lot of you knitters already recognize this pattern, since it’s insanely popular on Ravelry. Truth, this was one of the sweaters that really made me want to improve my knitting skills enough to be able to have one of my own! This is the famous owls pattern by Kate Davies and there’s a good reason why it’s so overplayed (in the best way, I mean) – it’s a simple, quick knit and looks flattering on pretty much everyone who makes it up!

Owls!

Like I said, this has been in my queue for aaaages. So long! Part of what made me waffle on starting it up was finding a suitable bulky weight yarn that didn’t cost a fortune – some of the stuff I was looking was pretty pricey! Eep! I was actually gifted the pattern by Jo for my birthday last year (did you know you can gift patterns on Ravelry? So dangerous…), which really pushed me to try to find a good yarn.

Owls!

What ended up working for me was the Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky from good ol’ yarn.com. What I loved about this yarn was that it was cheap (I think I paid $3.99 a skein, but it’s normally $5.99!), 100% wool, and it came in colors that didn’t suck. I know a lot of people love that Cascade 128 that comes in a giant yardage, but I never cared for the colors offered and plus, with the amount I needed I would end up with a lot of unneeded yardage. So this worked out perfectly.

Owls!

Thanks to the bulky yarn, this pattern knit up SUPER fast – I finished it in a little over 3 weeks. That’s a record for me! Definitely needed after how long I toiled on my A to Z cardigan :) The construction for this was pretty interesting – it’s knit bottom-up to the armpits, then you knit each sleeve from the bottom up, then you connect everything and finish the owls and the neck binding. It gets a bit heavy at the end, but fortunately there’s not too long of that.

Owls!

I love how the owls wrap around the shoulders. So cute!

Owls!

I knit the pattern as-is, and there were a few things I didn’t care much for during the process. For one, the back decreases were kind of… weird? I think it also gives me a slightly poofy upper back, although it’s more noticeable in pictures. I would have changed to side decreases – it was even suggested to me by a few people – but the construction was so weird that I didn’t quite understand where the sides started, so I just followed the instructions blindly. Oh well! It doesn’t look bad, I just think the bad is a weird place to put decreases! Another thing I did not like was how the sleeves were attached, because you end up grafting stitching at the underarms. There are 4 stitches to graft, but my holes were WAY bigger than 4 stitches! It was like an armpit window or some shit! I managed to close it up and you can’t even tell, but man, that’s more sewing than I want to do on a knit. Sorry.

Owls!

One last beef, and you’ll probably notice this the second I point it out (if you didn’t notice already ;)) – I ran out of yarn at the very end! I bought the recommended yardage (oh ho ho, I actually bought a whopping 5 yards more than required, like, I’m such an adult), but I obviously goofed something because I ran out of skeins while finishing the owl cables. Shit! And since I ordered this online, I didn’t want to pay for shipping to ship one whole skein to me for like… 5 rows of knitting. I unraveled my two gauge swatches (bummer, because I was saving them to make a blanket o’ gauge swatches, like, someday haha) and still came up short. I hemmed and hawed for a few days, dug around my stash, lurked the yarn store by my house… and eventually realized that the black yarn I used to knit my Blagatha was an *almost* perfect match. Not quite, but close enough. Since the donor yarn is a lighter weight, I held it double and it worked out fine to finish the ribbing. It doesn’t quite match, but it blends into kind of an ombre effect. Fancy!

Owls!

The most agonizing part about the whole yarn ordeal was that once I blocked the sweater, I realized the sleeves were too long! DERP. So, yeah, I totally had enough yarn! Whatever, fuck that shit. They’ll just stay cuffed and maybe my arms will magically lengthen someday :B

Owls!

You probably also notice that I left off the eyes on all my owls. I started to sew on buttons, but decided I like them more subtle. So there!

Owls!

Owls!

This puppy is WARM! I’ll probably live in this for the remainder of winter. I love how it looks with this silk skirt (which, btw, is vintage, not me-made – but now I’m thinking, ooh, silk Zinnia??). Anyway, full Ravelry notes here!

Owls!

One last thing… we have a giveaway winner from last year! Ooh, so who’s the lucky recipient of the $25 credit at She’ll Make You Flip?

win79

winmeow

Congratulations, SewMeow! Go check your inbox! :)

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to She’ll Make You Flip for offering such a lovely prize! Guys, if you’re still eyeballing a sweet vintage pattern, let’s up the ante a little! Use the code LLADYBIRDNY25 for 25% your total purchase through January 15, 2014! Yeah! Now don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya ;)

Christmas Wishies – 2013 Edition

16 Dec

I reckon I’m a little late to the game this year with my wishlist (honestly, I’ve been having a bit of a bummer month so I haven’t really felt much of the ~Christmas spirit~ if ya know what I mean. Not a sob story, just statin’ facts!), but better late than never! There’s sooo much good stuff out there this year that I’ve got eye on; the hunt is almost as fun for me as actually receiving something! Take a look…

THE PATTERNS:

portsidecover
Ever since Jen released the Portside Travel Set, I’ve been dying to make my own! I don’t know what the deal is, but something about having matching luggage just makes me so, so happy. I would make mine in this striped cotton twill with accents of organic cotton twill. Well, that’s a safe version – have you seen some of the awesome twills on Mood Fabrics, lately?? Check out this
crazy Art Deco print and this paisley twill.

One thing I really want to explore this next year is trying some new pattern companies! I love the indie offerings we all obsess over, with their lovely packaging and clear instructions, but I also really want to try something that’s a little less spoon-fed, just to stretch my sewing muscles. I have heard a lot about Marfy Patterns, over the years and even through some blog comment encouragement, and I’ve been casually browsing the offerings and really falling in love with some of the patterns! Check them out -

2758_01
Marfy 2758, the glam coat dress.

M3015
Marfy 3015, the pintucked Redingote coat

M2240
Marfy 2240, the ruffly-collared riding coat

Aren’t they beautiful?? True, I’ve been put off by Marfy for many years (the patterns don’t include instructions, seam allowances, multi-sizes, etc), and part of me is slightly concerned that the smallest size is a little too big for me (I should be wearing a size 40 according to their size chart). But, I want to try them! 2014, let’s make it my year!

Another pattern company I’ve been lurking on lately is Stylearc. Some seriously cool, seriously fashion-forward (lolz, like I’m a fashion-forward kind of dresser. WHATEVS). They’re pretty expensive when you factor in shipping, but they reviews are pretty much raves across the board. And there are definitely some styles I don’t see anywhereeeee else. Check them out:

ALISHA-DRESS
The Alisha Dress, a beautiful lace sheath with a matching slip pattern. Like I need more excuses to get my lace on.

ZIGGI-JACKET
The Ziggi Jacket. GUYS IT’S A MOTO JACKET, GUYS I WANT IT.

STACIE-JACKET
The Stacie Jean Jacket. Gah, I’m dying over this one. I love denim jackets but I can neverrrr find one that fits the way I like. I altered an old one I had laying around, but the construction is subpar at best and, honestly, I want to just make one. This pattern looks fabulous.

S3514
I really love these 1940s dresses, like Simplicity 3514. I don’t even care how twee they are – I’d even go the extra mile and make it SUPER TWEE with some Marc Jacobs daisy print fabric because, yes.

M7399
I also love this jacket pattern, McCall 7319 (what is it with me and jackets lately? IT’S NOT EVEN THAT COLD HERE). I could totally see this made up in a lovely charcoal alpaca wool, lined with a plaid wool (!!!) flannel.

THE FABRIC:
FS12614
I was recently gifted the Aubépine dress from Deer & Doe and I’ve been having a lot of fun looking through my fabric options! Wouldn’t it look lovely in this Marc Jacobs dotted cotton/silk?

FC22718-f
Another contender is this floral cotton silk voile. A bit summery for sure, but could easily be layered up for the current season.

302721
Wouldn’t this floral velveteen be perfect for a pair of Chataigne winter shorts? Also in my lurk: mink solid velvet. YUM.

303135
Love this leopard stretch cotton twill, I can imagine it made into a pair of skinny stretch jeans. Just need to find me some new boots!

303069
Soo, I reckon y’all have seen By Hand London’s newest pattern, the Georgia dress, yes? I have a copy burning a hole in my pattern cabinet, and I’m DYING to make it up, but I haven’t settled on a good fabric yet. Something glittery or brocade-y (or even sequin-y, for the masochist sewist in me) is high on my list for a fun party dress. Then I discovered this stretch buffalo plaid. Amazing! I need all the plaids, all of them.

300376
I’m really digging this Marc Jacobs star cotton fabric. Couldn’t you see this made up in a woven skater dress?

303887
Mood actually has this navy zigzag sweater knit in several other color combos, but the blue is my favorite. The perfect little knit wiggle dress!

FP19600
I also can’t get enough of all the gorgeous special occasion fabric I have been seeing lately. Like this Carolina Herrera rose brocade

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And this Italian metallic brocade

FS12610
And ESPECIALLY this Oscar de la Renta polka dot silk taffeta. bleeechhhhh get in my life!

vichy_square
Gingham jersey? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

THE OTHERS:
rooster
Still obsessing over Jamie’s jewelry. I recently got this peacock necklace, but that doesn’t stop me from checking out the other goodz she has available. Love this Rooster necklace! You know I would totally turn wearing that into a neverending dirty joke ;)

Simflex1
Why don’t I have one of these expanding sewing gauge doohickeys?

71-FhaIYk2L._SL1500_
My current iron (a Rowenta that’s more than 6 years old) has been slowly dying over the past year – the shut offs are more frequent, and the water reservoir doesn’t hold for shit. A new pressing tool is definitely in the future, and I’ve been eyeballing this gravity feed iron for what seems like forever. Fingers crossed that Santa heard my wishies!

BLCS2_1_med
File this under things that I really really want but can’t afford – a coverstich machine! I know, there are other brands that are equally loved, but I’m a Babylock girl when it comes to my sergers and the like. I’ve tested this machine in the past, several years ago (yeah, I guess I’ve been lurking on this for a while!) and it’s fucking amazing. Totally deserves a spot in my sewing room.

Hey, putting this post together was really fun! Like shopping without actually spending money (or getting product, but let’s not think about that right now). I love it!

A couple more things while I have your attention!

First, I owe y’all a giveaway winner. Random number generator says….
wins

winsss

Lauren Talley! Congratulations, Lauren! Great name ;) hee! Expect an email from me soon!

For everyone who inquired about the sewing prints being in Joanna’s shop… I believe they will be offered soon, but give her a couple of weeks because she’s in the process of getting married :) So sit tight!

Finally, can I ask a tiny favor of my local/Nashville readers? I have a friend who is doing some research for a local fabric store (and I swear, this is not a thinly disguised “friend” who’s really me, or anything like that. Promise!) and she needs a few more opinions. If you’re in the Nashville/Middle Tennessee area, or come here frequently to buy fabrics, she would loooove your opinion to help her research. Click here to take survey. Again, local people only, please! I love you all but your buying habits on the other side of the country are not relevant for this particular purpose ;)

Ok, I guess that’s it! Now let’s get back to the fun part: PRESENTS. What’s on your wishlist this year?

Completed: From A to Z Cardigan

2 Dec

I feel like the knitting of this cardigan took forever, but it was really only about 2.5 months. Crazy!

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This particular project is a little special to me because I started it right when I put in my final notice at my old job, then I got a huuuge chunk of it done while I was in Chicago, and now it’s been my saving sanity since.

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The main reason why I haven’t knitted it up as quickly as the others is just TIME. I never feel like I have enough anymore! I guess every adult feels that way, though, huh? :) Once I realized I was not getting back those 1 hour lunch breaks (and let’s be real – working from home means NO LUNCH BREAKS EVER, EAT WHILE YOU WORK !!!! haha), I just let myself manage what I could manage. Which usually meant a full 15 minutes of knitting, at the tail end of my lunch. This equates to about 10 sleeve rounds (oh, don’t look at me like that, there were 30-50 stitches per round. very small!).

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Once I hit that, I finished fairly quickly! Yay for me taking my own advice :)

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Anyway, pattern talk time! This is From A to Z by Andi Satterlund. A little different from what I usually knit – the construction is bottom up, with knitted-in pockets and a few bits of intarsia for contrast, plus that monogram at the front (it’s duplicate stitch, not intarsia. FYI!). I used Valley Yarns Northamton worsted weight yarn for the main color, and the contrast is leftover bits from my Central Park Hoodie.

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The pockets on this cardigan are SO COOL. They are knit with the body – meaning they aren’t seamed on separately. It was hard for me to wrap my head around first (honestly, I had to email Andi and ask her for help, and she was very prompt in her response!), but once I got going it was pretty easy. The top stripes are intarsia – my first intarsia, ever, and while it’s not terrible, it could use some improvement. I still have problems with holes where the colors join (which you can’t see because, duh, I sewed those shits right up), but it’s a start!

IMG_5549

Part of the reason why this took so long was because it was sooooo repetitive. Stockinette can really take forever, especially at the bottom where it’s the widest! Once I got to separating the tops and then adding the sleeves, I finished this up fairly quickly. In comparison, anyway.

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(I was really horrified when I saw this pantyline picture, until I later realized that those lines are caused by the ruffles in my undies. JUST SO WE ARE ALL CLEAR)

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I plan to wear it closed, but it looks good open, too!

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I made the XS and had no pattern alterations. This is what I love about Andi’s patterns – they fit me perfectly as-written! Can’t argue with that :D

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I LOVE the monogram. As with my intarsia, my duplicate stitch could reeeeally use some work as it’s definitely a Monet. It doesn’t look so great up close! But from far away it’s not so bad.

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Ugh, sorry for all the pictures. I’m just really proud of how this cardigan turned out!

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Like the varsity sweater of my ~dreamz

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Told ya that dupe stitch was lacking. OOPS haha!

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Here’s the back of the pocket, in case you were curious about the construction. I created the pocket by making kfbl stitches and pulling the new stitches to a holder, then knitting the pocket lining separately, then picking up each stitch along the side as I knit the bottom of the cardigan. I hope that makes sense! It’s pretty genius, in my opinion, glad I had a chance to try it out!

IMG_5554

I’ve plumb run out of things to say, so I reckon that’s it! Ravelry notes are here. Next knit project – Owls! I have some lovely grey yarn for that and I’ve already started swatching :)

Oh, and just in case you were curious – my shirt says “I Listen To Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet” (because it’s hilarious, that’s why) and I made my hairbows myself:)

One last thing – the giveaway winner! Let’s see who the random number generator picked today….

winner
winnername

Congratulations PoldaPop! Keep an eye on your mail, you’ve got a Sugar Plum headed your way!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Completed: A Totally Sheer Anna Dress

21 Oct

I swear, this is my last Anna dress for now!

Sheer Anna

But I mean, look at that fabric – can you blame me? That shit was meant to be amirite?

Sheer Anna

So, this fabric is pretty amazing. I actually bought it way before the pattern was released, with no real project in mind except that I HAD to have it. I found a lonely yardage stashed away at my new work (obviously this was before I started working there, when I was going on weekly visits and soaking up little sewing tricks and tidbits by osmosis) and took home 3 yards.

Sheer Anna

You can’t really tell in the pictures since I am wearing a slip underneath, but this fabric is quite sheer. I’m not really sure what the content is, but it feels (and sews and presses) like a silk organza, maybe with a tiny bit of poly blended in there. For being a sheer fabric, it has a surprising amount of body (again, like an organza). When I first started sewing it, I wasn’t sure how it would look as this dress -the pleats were sticking straight out over my boobs! Fortunately, they seem to have toned down a little, ha.

Sheer Anna

I just loove the print! Little brown leaves, covered in some kind of flocked something (I say flocked, but it almostttt feels like super duper short fur. They’re like, hairy, haha. Oh man, I’m making this fabric sound disgusting right now) and then outlined in sparkly black flocked something. To sum it up in one word: magical.

Sheer Anna

Speaking of things that are magical, I feel like I’ve been using that word a lot lately. I should probably come up with some new adjectives.

Sheer Anna
Sheer Anna

For the pattern itself, I didn’t make any changes apart from the tweaks that were there from my last two versions. I sewed the entire dress using french seams, except I did serge the seam allowance next to the zipper (hairy fabric means sheddy fabric, ugh).

Sheer Anna

Ah! There’s the slip! :)

Sheer Anna

The neckline was a little tricky thanks to the sheer fabric – I didn’t want to use a facing because it would show through, and I didn’t want to line the dress because duhhhh what if I decide to go all undiesonly.com (lol does anyone else remember that website HAHA) and I can’t because the dress has been lined? I decided to bind it with a strip of black silk organza cut on the bias. Boo on me, my silk organza was actually grey, not black (the hell?) so I had to turn it to the inside and that’s where things went a bit… wonky. It’s ok, but it’s not my best work. If you have a hankering to make a sheer Anna, buy matching silk organza and bind the edges like you normally do with bias tape. It makes it easier to miter the V for a nice sharp point. Just a tip!

Sheer Anna

Also, while we’re being honest with one another, I should let y’all know that I put that tiny bow+button on the neckline to cover my less-than-lovely v-point haha. And of course, now I’m noticing that it’s totally not centered at all and it’s making my eye twitch.

Sheer Anna

I guess it’s tacky to show my bra straps, but idgaf.

Sheer Anna
Sheer Anna

All french seamed and shit

Sheer Anna

Here you can really see the texture of the fabric. Also, isn’t that button on the bow so cute?! I got it in a box of tiny deco glass buttons. This was the only one, so I’m happy to have found a use for it :)

Sheer Anna

Despite the french seams and fiddly neck binding, this dress came together VERY fast. Which is good, because I needed it for all the weddings I went to this month (three! Seriously, October, what’s up with that?? Don’t worry, tho, I caught 2 out of 3 bouquets… poor Landon HAHA). I mean, yes, duh I have tons of dresses, but I wanted a faaaaall dress. And here she is! And yay!

Sheer Anna

A couple more things before I let y’all off the hook! One, we have a winner for the ChatterBlossom Giveaway! Random number generator says…

cbwinner

uglybeat

Ding ding ding! Congratulations, Uglybeat! Expect an email from me about right… now :)

For the rest of you who need consolation for not winning, may I remind you that the coupon code is still good for the next week! Lladybird15 gets ya 15% off your order through 10/28 :)

And because everyone loves coupon codes, we’ve also got one for my newest newest sponsor, She’ll Make You Flip! Use the code LLADYBIRD20 to get 20% off your entire purchase through the end of 2013. Meaning, someone buy this 1940s dress pattern before it accidentally ends up in my shopping cart, thanks ;)

Happy Monday, everyone!

Completed: Plaid Flannel Archer (+ Draping winner!)

10 Oct

Finally, a successful Archer button-up – in my dream plaid flannel, no less (seriously, I keep eyeballing all the other colors… do I take the plunge and buy them all?? Because I want to!)

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

I am pretty proud of this shirt, so let’s be honest – there are lots of pictures in this post.

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Although the more I look at these pictures, the more they appear to just be the same picture at a slightly different angle or pose. Oops :(

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

ALSO, please forgive my awful editing and how the color changes in every picture. I bought a new photo editing software with my new laptop (Corel Paintshop Pro, if you’re curious!) and I’m still trying to get used to it :) BUT HEY, I can edit out zits and stuff now, so that’s pretty freaking awesome!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Anyway, ok, let’s talk about this Archer I made! Using my failed linen Archer as a wearable muslin, I shortened the sleeves by about 1″ and left the body length intact (you’ll recall that the linen one I ended up cutting too short. Or maybe you don’t recall, see if I care). I think my sleeves are still a little long, but I also anticipate this shrinking more in the dryer (I only washed the flannel once before cutting, sorry, I was just excited!) so hopefully they won’t end up too short!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

I also made the pocket smaller! No rhyme or reason to how I did it, I just eyeballed until it looked “right.”

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Making this shirt was super fun, from cutting (what can I say… I love matching up plaids haha) all the way through sewing. I forgot how much I love sewing really precise things like button-down shirts. Makes me want to sew another shirt for Landon, maybe. What’s funny is I actually caught myself starting to rush through the construction of this – not because I was on a deadline, but because it’s starting to get cold and I wanted to wear this shit nooooooow – and I decided to force myself to slow down by sewing flat-felled seams instead of just serging the seam allowances off. Even the arms are flat-felled. I’m so glad I did, because the end result turned out pretty fabulous if I do say so myself.

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

I cut the back yoke, pocket, and front button band on the bias. Everything else is straight and painstakingly matched. The only boo-boo I made was that I put the button band on the wrong side – oops! I originally chose the opposite side of the flannel as the right side, then changed my mind when I started sewing. Since the front pieces are not mirrored, this meant I had to compromise my button band side. Oh well, I am just pretending that it’s actually a men’s shirt, haha!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

At any rate, the side seams match up beautifully. Look at that shit!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

I changed out the buttons for pearl snaps, so I can hulk my way out of this shirt when the urge strikes. Funny thing about those pearl snaps – they actually started out white, and while it looked ooookay, it also just looked like I bought the wrong color pearl snap. I can’t get black snaps locally (and DAMMIT that I SAW them in Chicago and was like “nah I don’t need that” lol oh Lauren, hindsight is 20/20 or some shit) and I couldn’t wait sooo… I painted these with black nail polish. Black glitter nail polish, to be precise. Hey, it works!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

I sewed the size 0, as I did last time, except the side seams are sewn at 5/8″ instead of the pattern’s 1/2″. This makes for a slightly (very slightly) smaller fit.

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

The collar stand turned out fucking perfect, which I’m VERY proud of! I followed Andrea’s tutorial and I had no unpicking with that method. I’m sold, and Andrea, I owe ya a beer for that. Thanks bb♥

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

I also changed out the sleeve plackets and used the ones from the Negroni pattern. I just think these look so much better with the flannel check, plus they are more conductive for rolling up sleeves. I also find this type of placket easier to sew. Man, I love sewing plackets.

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Oh, I also made my leggings! You can’t really see any detail because they are black, wah, but I did make them! I used the Ooh La Leggings pattern and a black ponte knit from Mood Fabrics. My take on ponte leggings – AWESOME. So so awesome!! I actually wore these when I traveled to/from Chicago (so, 18+ hours total) and they were SO comfortable – and they actually look like pants! Guys, I am so sold on these.

I don’t have much else to say, so have some pictures -

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Glitter buttons, yeah? :)

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Collar stand pride~

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Placketz

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Flat-felled seam, curved hem

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Proof that these are actually leggings and not some black blob.

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

This outfit has basically become my fall uniform. Seriously! The flannel is so warm and cozy – and easy to throw on if I’m chilly (which is always. Yes, I have worn this shirt every day since I finished it, don’t judge me). I am really happy with how both turned out, and definitely plan on making more. Question – is it really dorky to make me & Landon matching plaid flannel shirts? Because I’m totally about to go there.

One last thing – We have a winner for the Draping book! Random number generator, who do you choose?

random

yaywinner

Congratulations, Jennifer Stephenson! I can’t wait to see what vintage recreations you end up making!

Completed: The Anna Dress, 1

19 Aug

Thank you so much, everyone, for your overwhelming support this past week. My recovery is going well (although I’m still not clear to lift anything that weighs more than 10lbs – that includes my CAT! HAHA! Oh well, I’m sure she’s happy about that, anyway), and I’m back to work and back to… sewing!! Yeah!!! Well, sort of. I promised myself I would take it easy (aka: laying, knitting, snoozing) until Friday, per Doctor’s orders, and only then could I get back in the sewing room. Lucky me, I woke up on Friday morning with a fucking cold! So, needless to say, the past few days have been a haze of cold meds and even more snoozin’. I’m functioning, albeit slower than normal.

But hey, look, I have a make to share with y’all today!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Ok ok, before you flip your shit on me – I finished this dress before the surgery! Haha! I actually wore it to work the Friday prior; it’s just taken me this long to take photos. Speaking of which – if I look a bit extra happy in these photos… cold meds. That is all.

Anna Dress - Seersucker

This is the Anna Dress, from my friends, the babely babes, over at By Hand London. I’m no stranger to the patterns from this line – I can proudly say that I have sewn every single one of ‘em, yeah! – but I gotta say… Anna is my favorite. Based on everyone else’s gushing about this particular pattern (here is where I was planning on linking my favorite Annas, but again, cold meds. If you made it, linky up in the comments pls!), I’m not alone. Anna is a WINNER!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Am I allowed to tell y’all that I actually saw this dress waaaaay before I was announced to the hoardes of blog readers? Truth! Elisalex showed me a sneaky peeky while she was in Nashville back in May! I have been dying to get my hands on the pattern ever since! I love my short version, but I am SO EXCITED to try out that thigh-high split, peeps.

Anna Dress - Seersucker

I opted for a very simple version for my wearable muslin, in a classic seersucker from Mood. This is one of my last pieces of fabric from the NY stash, btw. I’ve held out on making this up because it’s a stretch cotton, and we don’t play well together. But I think stretch cotton works fine with this type of dress, as long as you’re ok with how the bodice looks in a slightly structured fabric. I like it!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

My Anna is the short version, with the slash neckline. I cut the size 2/6 and shortened the skirt about 5″. I found that the back was rather large on me – I just pinched out the excess along the zipper line. Oh, I also put in a lapped zipper because I didn’t have any invisibles on hand. Sue me!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Since my fabric is stretchy, I stabilized the neckline facing with a bit of non-stretch cotton. To do this, I just cut a second facing piece from the cotton, sewed it to the seersucker facing (as you would a sew-in interfacing) and applied the facing as normal. This keeps the neckline nice and smooth and secure!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

The pattern itself was an absolute delight to put together. There’s a reason why this pattern has so many fangirls – especially considering how short a time it’s actually been available on the sewing market. There aren’t a lot of pieces, and what is there is super simple to put together. I think this would make a great beginner pattern, whether you’re a beginner at sewing or a beginner with a a certain type of fabric (meaning: yes, you should make this up in silk!)

Anna Dress - Seersucker

I should probably tell you that I already have a couple more versions planned. Better get used to this dress! Ha!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Oh, one more thing before I tear outta here… our giveaway winner!

wins2

There were 230 entries in all (accounting for duplicates), and you ALL made me hungry (special shoutout goes to Marchelle who linked me to this lemon cookie recipe from Martha Stewart… I will have y’all know, I made this yesterday and they are delicious aaand I’ve already eaten about half of them, ha!). Random Number Generator sayssss-

wins1

Louise is the winner of the Sweet Dress Book! Yay!!

Um, will someone kindly tell me what spotted dick is, though? Here in America, that means something TOTALLY different and I’m afraid to google it…

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! :)

Drape Drape Giveaway: We Have A Winner!

19 Feb

The Drape Drape Giveaway is now closed (thanks to everyone who entered!), and a winner has been drawn! Congratulations to Susan – a winner is you!

winner

Andrew WK party
dancin

YAY!!!

In case you were curious (I was!!), the most mentioned sewing books were, in no particular order:
The Colette Sewing Handbook
Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing
Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing
Vogue Sewing

If choosing a go-to sewing bible seems like a daunting task, maybe this list of TNTs will give ya a helpful nudge! I personally love Vogue Sewing… it was the first sewing book I bought, and I read it cover to cover like, well, a book! ;)

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