Archive | May, 2012

Completed: An Oddly Psychedelic Jalie 2921

8 May

I’m no stranger to little indie pattern companies – I loveeee Colette & Sewaholic patterns, and I LOVE when I can get away with not buying current Big 4 patterns (yeah! Stickin’ it to the man!). However, I’ve never sewn with a Jalie pattern before – and I honestly wasn’t planning on it, really, until Mikhaela had to show me up in her amazing scarf collar knit top, the top that made me so jealous I actually saw red for about 3 seconds. The pattern was Jalie 2921 and I NEEDED IT. And, so, uhm, I bought it. Pattern ban? What pattern ban? It’s (almost)my birthday, I deserve this.

I’ve actually been sitting on this pattern for about 2 weeks – blame the delay on my Bombshell-frenzy. I was finally able to sit down last night & start cutting… and sewing! I finished this lil number in record time, forreal! And it barely used any fabric. Hey-o, new favorite pattern!

A couple of thoughts on Jalie – while the pattern was easy-easy to put together into a cute finished shirt (and the finishing is sooo coooool, you just wait & see!), the instructions were extremely short & sparse. The pictures were difficult for my pinhead-brain to decipher, although obviously I was able to figure it out eventually. I also do not like the way these patterns are packaged (sorry!) – it came in a shrink-wrapped plastic sleeve, with a large color photo of the pattern front, and the pattern pieces printed on heavy white paper & folded neatly. There was no actual envelope to store the pattern pieces in. Not a huge deal – since I ordered this from, I just used the envelope it was shipped in. But it did give me pause, since normally envelopes aren’t something I just happen to have on hand. Also, the sizing/yardage information was difficult to read, since it’s in both French & English, and the sizing varies from baby to big momma. But hey – at least it was easy to cut out! And no, I didn’t trace this sucker AT ALL. No hate for the pattern tracers, I just don’t want to put for the effort and anyway, I don’t mind buying another pattern if I need another size (it’s a small business! I support y’all!). I did save the rest of the sizes that I cut away, so I guess I can tape it back together if I need to. Not that I plan on sewing this for anyone else, heh heh heh.

For sizing, I cut an R & tapered out to a T at the bust & lower armhole, then back down to an R at the shoulder & neckline. I think it fits pretty perfectly with no other alterations! Yeah!

Jalie 2921
Of course, Landon thinks the fabric is too loud. I guess it is kind of hiddy, but I love it anyway!. It’s some super stretch polyester I bought from Walmart like 5 years ago. We are considering this my wearable muslin.

Jalie 2921
I do love the tie-neck, but my fabric is a bit too heavy so the bow droops pretty bad. Next time I make this, I will use something lighter… and probably shorten the ties, as I think they are a bit long.

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921

Jalie 2921
The construction on this top is pretty cool (once I figured it out, I mean). It leaves a nice clean inside at the neckline- no seams! So pretty!

Jalie 2921
I hemmed the sleeves & the bottom with a twin needle on my regular ol’ sewing machine.

Here is your photo-story for the day:
Notice those pretty rosebushes in my background? Weeeeell they belong to my neighbors, and I’ve been eyeballing them pretty hard since they started blooming. They smell AMAZING, btw (and I have lots of honeysuckle on the other side of my house – so, despite living in a shitty neighborhood, it smells delicious right outside my front door lol). The light has always been way too harsh right there, though, which is why you get porch pictures. Today is overcast, so I thought I’d take advantage of those roses!

Jalie 2921
Until I heard a car driving down my (dead-end)street.

Jalie 2921
And then I realized they were not turning around, but actually parking.
Right next to the rose bushes, that they were going to trim.

Jalie 2921
“Well, this is awkward.”

Picture me high-tailing the fuck back into my house (they were STARING at me!).


So, sorry about the lack of decent pictures.

Jalie 2921
Here I have photoshopped out the wrinkles in my skirt, I hope that makes up for it.


FINALLY COMPLETE: The Bombshell Dress

7 May

Yay! It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or lurk the MMM Flickr Pool have already seen this picture… I snapped it right before I left for a lovely Saturday afternoon wedding (spoiler: it was a beautiful wedding and I overindulged and DEFINITELY paid for it the next day, ugh haha).

I did take better pictures, though! And now I will share then with the group 🙂

Fair warning – there’s a lot here, and you can see that I moved locations a couple of times while shooting. I actually took over a hundred pictures – I know that sounds kind of, uh, self-obsessed, but the light was extremely bright and it’s pretty difficult to get a good shot when you have to keep running back and forth to the tripod! I was able to narrow the selection down to WAY below 100, but there are still quite a few. I normally feel a little narcissistic posting a bunch of pictures of myself in the same freakin’ pose, but I’m really proud of my dress so just indulge me this one time. Ok? Ok!

Bombshell Dress
Here is where I started – in my backyard. Isn’t it so lush & green? Lovely backdrop for this dress 🙂 Unfortunately, the light was too harsh here, so only a couple of pictures survived the cut.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
On the porch (which appears to be the best light ever; this is why you always see outfit pictures on this porch haha). Not a terribly awesome picture of me, but – my hair! My hair looked so good! Alas, it was almost 90 degrees on Saturday and extremely humid so the curls ended up drooping about 5 minutes later. Ah well.

It got too hot, so I gave up and went inside to the air conditioning.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
The strap! I made mine fairly wide, with small gathers where it joins the bodice. There are button holes & buttons, but the strap didn’t sit right buttoned in, so I used tiny fell stitches to anchor it to the top of the bodice as well.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

I’m not going to share any more pictures or details of the insides, I think there are plenty enough as it is on this blog!

A few thoughts on the Bombshell:
– It is quite comfortable! Of course, I tend to wear my clothing with little to no ease regardless, but boning is something that I’ve always associated with discomfort. The boning in this dress is great: it kept everything into place but didn’t hinder any movement whatsoever.
– When I first finished the dress, I was worried that the bodice was too long for my torso. Maybe I’m just used to a shorter bodice, because this one absolutely ends right at my waist, so it’s the correct length. Anyway, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I think it looks fine.
– Despite multiple muslins, the middle of the bodice does not actually sit flush against my chest. I guess my cups are a smidge too small as it should fit just like a bra does (and my bras do fit with the middle flush against me. Is that tmi?). Then again, I think any gal who is increasing the cups to fit a chest that is too big for the original pattern size is probably going to struggle with getting that piece to lie flat. The lesson here: no one else noticed, and I only noticed because I have this wonderful angle of looking straight down. I still think the fit looks great. Don’t sweat it if yours doesn’t lie flat either!
– As I mentioned, it was 90* outside and the wedding ceremony was in the middle of a flower garden covered with direct sunlight. It was hot outside! And even though my dress has many layers and is extremely fitted, I didn’t feel any more warm that I would in shorts & a tshirt. Make sure your fabric (and lining) is very breathable if you are planning on wearing this in super hot weather!
– I enjoyed working on this dress, and I loved the process of all the fiddly detail work, but I will confess that toward the end I was just ready to be DONE! I think this is a great dress for a special occasion, but make sure you give yourself a nice long deadline in the distant future so you don’t feel terribly rushed – a dress like this, with all the fitting, and handwork, and special techniques… doesn’t need to be rushed.

I guess that’s it? I am very pleased with my finished dress, and I definitely think the course was worth the $$ – I learned so much, including new favorite hand-stitches and little tips/tricks that never occurred to me otherwise. If you are still on the fence for a class like this, I hope this post & these pictures nudged a little closer to my side 🙂

Bombshell Dress
And I’m still rolling along Me-Made-May! 🙂

Me Made May – Week 1 Roundup

4 May

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Time for a round-up of the first week of Me-Made-May!

I wanted to put these in a cute little collage, but since Picnik died & left me all alone to grieve in private, you get individual pictures. Them’s the breaks.

Dress: Simplicity 2458
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Target

Dress: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Belt: Handmade
Cardigan: Thrifted
Shoes: Target

Dress: Simplicity 6268
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden

5/4 (that’s today!)
Blouse: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted; reconstructed by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target Kids

Sooo… about that Violet blouse… we need to talk.

The original incarnation just wasn’t doing it for me. I know it’s looks super cute in the pictures, but it was very uncomfortable in real life – mainly because those damn armholes were WAY too low-cut for sleeves. Every time I moved my arms, the whole shirt would ride up. As a result, I never wore it and felt very sad inside since 1. dotted swiss; and 2. cotton batiste, aka my two favorite fabrics that very instant.

So I cut the sleeves off.

Dotted Swiss Violet

I wish I could tell y’all that cutting the sleeves off immediately solved the problem, but that would be a lie. Remember those low armholes? They were so low, sans sleeves, that you could see the whole side of my bra without even being sneaky about it. Which, I mean, I’m definitely known to let it all hang out from time to time, but we’re talking about a freakin swiss dot button up with a peter pan collar here. Not really the right vessel for looking tarty.

I used part of the sleeves to add an extra wedge of fabric at the bottom of the arm hole – I ended up having to raise it a good 2″, and it’s still a little too low but I am NOT in the mood to fiddle with this blouse anymore. I finished with bias tape facing (machine-stitched because, again, NOT in the mood). I also took in the side seams a bit more at the waist to give it some more shape, since I was feeling pretty box-like at that point. I’m not 1000000000% happy with the finished result – it kind of looks, well, homemade – but it’s much better than the sleeved version.

The lesson here: don’t buy a loose, free-flowing boxy blouse pattern when you prefer to wear everything with little to no ease.

On a happy note, look at the newest addition to my house as of last night!
It’s actually Landon’s set, not mine 🙂 But OH MAN it’ll be SO FREAKING NICE to do laundry in my own house! I really love doing laundry (and folding it! Haha!), but I hate dragging it in & out of the house. So I’m pretty excited about this. And yes, this is absolutely relevant to MMM’12 since pretty much all the good stuff is in the dirty clothes bin right now.
Also, check out my reel mower on the right (don’t look at the recycling on the left, please & thank you). I mow my lawn with a reel mower because I’m a BAMF. And also because gas is expensive.

Oh, and my Bombshell dress is almost done – all that is left is securing the vent (seriously, a little 2″ diagonal line haha) and figuring out how I want to attach the strap. It’s lookin’ good and I’m feeling good about it!

I leave you with this –
In case you were ever wondering what it looks like when the plastic cone inside a spool of serger thread crumbles into pure nothing.

The Makings of a Bombshell

2 May

Hey-o! I’m not quite finished with my Bombshell yet (only one video left! ::sob::), but I thought we could discuss some of the inner workings that are going on inside this monster of a dress.

I have the zipper & lining inserted & I’m pleased to report that everything still fits exactly as it should! Yay! I don’t know about y’all, but when I’m fiddling with a dress this snug, I end up trying it on a LOT. Lots of pinning & basting & walking around my sewing room in my underwear. I’m sure my neighbors just love me, ha.

Here is my lining – completely boned (lol)
Boning the lining
The lining is 100% cotton batiste (and it is quite sheer, as you can see all my little red markings, oh well) and the boning casing is double-sided satin ribbon that I sewed into little tubes.

Putting the boning (lol) in was a BITCH. OH MY GOD I HATE CUTTING SPIRAL STEEL BONING. There are 11 pieces inserted here, all different lengths, all tipped with their little metal tips… it took me an entire episode of LOST to cut & tip those little suckers. Putting on the tip was easy – Karen has a good picture showing exactly what this entails – but the cutting was so so awful. I was using Landon’s wire cutters, and when I complained that they weren’t cutting the boning (lol), he gave me the side-eye until I made him try it himself:
Spiral Steel Boning
This is how far he got.

Anyway, I got them all cut (obviously). And I’ve heard lots of people say to cut the side spirals & it will just pop apart – well, good luck with that, I basically just manhandled mine until they gave up & fell apart in sheer agony lol.

Everything else has been smooth sailing, though!

The lapped zipper turned out gorgeous.

There is a black petersham zipper guard (1.5″ wide, if yr curious!)

Oh, right, the zipper is hot pink!

As is the petersham waist stay 🙂
I just love fun/colorful surprises in my clothing 🙂

I still need to have this dress finished by Saturday afternoon… all that’s left is the vent, hem, and halter strap. The dress fits fine without the strap, but I really don’t like how I look in strapless stuff. Right now I’m debating how wide to make the strap – WWYD?

As a side note, Me-Made-May is going splendidly (you know, the whole 2 days it’s been May), and I have made an executive decision to not post daily outfit photos on this blog. Instead, I’m going to compile them weekly & dump them all that way. I am posting daily in the Flickr Pool if you feel like lurking everyone’s progress, though!

Also, this has nothing to do with the Bombshell dress, but look at the chicken I painted last night!
I went to a painting class with my friend Carla. So much fun! The chicken’s name is Bud, by the way 😀 This will go nicely with the poppies I painted with my mom. Yessss.