Search results for 'plaid skirt'

Completed: Plaid Rosarí Skirt

29 Nov

Y’all. I love this skirt pattern.

Plaid Rosari Skirt - front

I’ve made it in corduroy, stretch twill, and Cone Mills denim, and I’ve had my sights on making a plaid version as well. Nothing like channeling your inner Cher Horwitz with a plaid mini amirite? This pattern is especially great for plaids as it doesn’t involve a lot of matching – just center front, center back, and the side seams – and you can add some ~visual interest~ by cutting the pockets and waistband on the bias.

If you didn’t already figure it out, this is the Rosarí Skirt from Pauline Alice Patterns. I made the mini version in a size 34, and added curved front pockets and a lining (this is not covered in the pattern, but it was pretty easy to figure out).

The plaid fabric is from Mood Fabrics. It is listed as a cotton flannel, but I think “flannel” is a bit of a stretch. It is VERY slightly flanneled if you look at it really really closely, I guess. Honestly, it just looks like a plaid shirting to me. It’s definitely cotton, just the flannel part isn’t exactly accurate. While I had visions of a cozy flannel skirt when I ordered the fabric, I think the smooth cotton works just fine. Probably makes it look a bit less like pajamas, ha. With that being said – if you are wanting to order any of this fabric, definitely get a swatch first!

The lining is Bemberg Rayon that I had in my stash (I’d say it was a miracle that I had a perfect color match, but ha ha have y’all seen my stash?), and the buttons are also old stash (I think they are originally from the flea market, though, probably).

Plaid Rosari Skirt - front

Plaid Rosari Skirt - side

Plaid Rosari Skirt - side

Plaid Rosari Skirt - back

Sewing this up was really easy and mostly uneventful, considering I’ve already made this pattern so many times. Like I said, I added a lining so that I could wear this with tights – the one thing that bums me out about my other Rosarí skirts is that they stick to tights and ride up (generally right in between my legs, which is sooo attractive I know) (I ended up making a teeny half-slip out of stretch silk charmeuse to wear with those – so problem solved! This is the tutorial I followed, FYI!). To add a lining, I cut the lining from the front and back pattern pieces, and sewed them together like a lining skirt. Then I attached them to inside along the top edge of the plaid pieces (also assembled together), and then treated everything as one piece. The lining is basically flat-lined to the outer fabric, except the side and back seams are enclosed. The front button band and hem are turned to the inside as per the pattern and topstitched down.

The only part that was eventful about this sewing – the fit! I was nearly finished – like, button holes sewn in and marking button placement nearly finished – and I tried the skirt on to mark those damn buttons. That’s when I realized that it was too tight – way too tight. I could get it to close, but it was less “cute plaid skirt” and more “sausage stuffed in a casing,” if you know what I mean. I couldn’t figure out why it was too small – did I gain weight? did I fuck up the seam allowances somewhere? – because, again, I’d made this skirt several times, all in the same size, and THOSE still fit just fine (I went in my closet and tried them all on to be sure haha). Then I threw it on the cutting table and plotted how I was going to fix this mess.

Well, first of all – I figured out why it was too small. See, all 3 previous versions were made using stretch fabric. Due to the addition of the lining, this skirt didn’t have any give to allow for a little more room (actually, the fabric itself wasn’t very stretchy either, so – that factors in as well). I probably also fucked up a seam allowance somewhere, idk.

To fix the skirt and actually make it wearable, I removed the waistband entirely. I let out the side seams until the skirt fit comfortably (I think I ended up with 3/8″ seam allowances – I don’t remember), in both the outer and the lining. Then I cut a new waistband and reattached everything. As you can see, it now fits. Success!

Here are a lot more photos. Sorry about that giant-ass wrinkle on the right, by the way.

Plaid Rosari Skirt - on dressform

Plaid Rosari Skirt - on dressform

Plaid Rosari Skirt - on dressform

Plaid Rosari Skirt - flat

Plaid Rosari Skirt - flat

Plaid Rosari Skirt - flat

Plaid Rosari Skirt - flat

I guess that’s it for this post! Moral of the story – even if you’ve made a pattern numerous times, always ALWAYS check that fit as you go! Your fabric can really change the fit of the garment. I generally do this when I sew, but the ONE time I did not, I ended up regretting it!

Plaid Rosari Skirt - front

Completed: Giant Plaid Circle Skirt

30 Jan

plaid circle skirt

This is a pretty giant plaid, huh? I originally bought this fabric from Denver Fabrics, anticipating a cute little plaid dress (view A of Vogue 8667, to be precise), but once I actually got the fabric in my greedy little hands I realized I was not in the mood to match that enormous repeat. So the fabric went into my stash – for a year (or has it been two?) When I went through my big fabric reorganization effort, I pulled out the plaid yet again and wondered what the heck I could do with it.

Make a circle skirt, duh!

I’ll keep this recap simple: I used my self-drafted circle skirt pattern, courtesy of Casey’s sew-along. My plaid was big enough where I didn’t have to cut any seams – it’s just a circle with a little circle in the middle! I lined it in bright yellow Bemberg rayon – also no seams, yaaaay – and sewed 3″ horsehair braid at the bottom for a nice floof. The waistband is interfaced with horsehair interfacing (lots of horsies went into the making of this skirt, it would seem…), which I opted to top-stitch down to keep it from stretching out (something my previous circle skirt has been slowly doing, sadly, despite stay-stitching and everything). The back is closed with a button. Besides letting the thing hang for 48 hours, this was a really quick project!

plaid circle skirt
IT’S SO BRIGHT.

plaid circle skirt - lining!
Some yellow lining for your troubles

plaid circle skirt - open
In all it’s circular glory

twirl!
lol I tried to take a twirl shot… it sort of worked out…

plaid circle skirt

plaid circle skirt - waistband
I guess you want to see it without the belt, huh? I cut the waistband on the bias to avoid doing any plaid-matching.

plaid circle skirt - back
Here’s the back. That bright yellow line is actually the bright yellow zipper – if I’d known it was going to stand out so much, I would have made a better attempt to hide it in the plaid design. O well.

plaid circle skirt - lining!

plaid circle skirt - button

I finished this up on Friday night & wore it to the Flea Market on Saturday… these pictures were taken post-Flea (hence my frazzled hair). I went onward with two things in mind – buttons for the Violet blouse, and yellow lace for this skirt. And look – the gods of the Flea Market were smiling down on me!

plaid circle skirt - lace
No pictures of me wearing it all lacy-like, though. SORRY.

Speaking of the Flea Market, ahem…

flea market haul
Check out my haul trolololol

I’m not going to post every single thing I picked up, but here are my two favorite patterns-
Simplicity 3766
Slip!

Butterick 7557
Pants!

flea market haul - notions & trims
All kinds of notions & buttons! I am the most excited about the bound buttonhole maker – I’ve been looking for one of these babies for a few months now! I don’t even know how much I paid for it because it was in a giant bag of stuff for $4. Also excited about those little flower buttons on the bottom – there are several in that container, although they are dirty as hell so they will definitely be getting a good cleaning soon.

Well I think I just ran out of things to say so I’m just going to end this here.

plaid circle skirt

Bye!

Completed: the Zinnia Skirt

8 Nov

Who doesn’t love to wear wool in the winter time?

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

I feel like a broken record when I start singing the praises of wool, but foreal you guys – this stuff is awesome. It’s super warm and cozy, breathes very well (so you don’t get overheated in all that warm and cozy-ness), and it’s also antimicrobial, which means it naturally repels odors. Which means now you know why I wear so much wool and still manage to keep up with the laundry – it doesn’t need to be washed very frequently! Airing out is fine for day-to-day. Yay for being lazy!

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

So obviously, I was ready to bust the wool out just as soon as the temperatures started dipping. I’ve had my eyeball on that Zinnia pattern, and I paired it up with this beautiful lightweight wool plaid suiting from Mood.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

I didn’t take any special precautions when sewing this – it’s wool, it’s just easy! The stitches sink in (bad for unpicking, but great for hemming since you can’t see the top stitching ;)), it presses beautifully, and as weird as this is gonna sound – it was really fun to cut, too. My scissors just sliced right through that yardage. I love the colors and it looks just as good paired with black as it does with navy. Double duty fabric and all that.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

For the skirt, I cut the size 2 (although I did end up taking in the waist so maybe the 0 would have been better). I left the skirt unlined and shortened the hem by about 3″ so I could have a mini. The waistband is cut on the bias and, despite what you might think you see, I promise that the plaid matches up at the side seams 🙂

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

See?

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Oh yeah, and I did totally just change shirts. We’ll discuss those in a second.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

So. About working with this skirt in a plaid fabric. It works – kind of. Matching those side seams was HELL ON EARTH and I’m not really sure why. There are only two pattern pieces, for fuck’s sake! That was also the same day I got my kidney stone (which, if you’re still wondering… it’s still here. Just hangin’ out. Ugh ugh ugh), so I blame it on the pain meds. Anyway, I don’t really think this patterns works very well with a stripe – at least not the stitched-down-pleats version. They just look like a hot mess at the front and back. Might want to save your plaids – or at least your large-scale plaids – for another project.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

I also had to drastically shorten the hemline – like I said, 3″ and WOO IT’S A MINI – because the longer length just looked dumpy as hell on me. Which means my plans for using a border print probably won’t work with this pattern, at least not the print I had in mind. It’s just too tall for the skirt length.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics
Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Also, the fabric I chose maaaay be a little too much for this pattern – seeing as how it sticks out like I have a teeny petticoat underneath it, ha – but I actually like the flared look.

Renfrew top made with wool knit from Mood Fabrics

Oh yeah, my tops! This is a Calvin Klein wool jersey, also from Mood Fabrics (attached link isn’t the same color – looks like they’re sold out of the grey, SORRY – but it’s the same fabric type) and it is deeeelicious. So soft and cozy, and not itchy at all! I used the Renfrew pattern and made the cowl version with 3/4 sleeves. I just love the way the fabric drapes at the cowl – it has enough body so it’s not droopy, yet it’s also not huge and standing up on it’s own or anything.

Also, sorry about the rouge leaf. Didn’t see that during the photos, haha!

Renfrew top made with rayon knit from Mood Fabrics

I made the navy v-neck because I felt like my contribution was a little boring, and also because I wanted to see how good navy looks with this skirt (it does! it does!). I used a rayon jersey from Mood Fabrics that’s been in my stash for ages – originally considered for leggings, until I realized that it was a tiny bit too sheer aka I would be baring my bum. I’m so glad I found a use for it, though, because it is some of the most luxurious fabric I have ever handled! It may just be a rayon knit, but it’s silky smooth and amazing. I really wish I had it in every color! I’m also, like, stupid proud of how that V turned out, by the way.

As usual, I took waaay too many pictures, so I’m just going to dump the rest here.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Renfrew top made with wool knit from Mood Fabrics

Renfrew top made with rayon knit from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

The tiny belt loops are my favorite part! So tiny and cute!

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

See what I mean about the plaid? It looks like a hot mess at the pleats. Oh well.

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

One last thing – I wanted to thank y’all for all your advice regarding my muslin, as well as my kidney stone. I’ve decided to set the muslin aside for now; I may revisit it in the future but I think my coat for 2013 will have to be a totally different pattern! So I guess I’ve got that to figure out. As far as the kidney stone… well, it’s still there, taking up residence. Y’all will probably be able to hear me scream from the rooftops once it finally emerges haha. A few people urged me to to go the doctor, and I did want to follow up and let y’all know that I went to both a doctor and a specialist last week, got the x-rays as well as a variety of medications. There’s not much else we can do at this point beyond surgery or shooting lasers (which my uninsured ass is reeeeally trying to avoid), which means I gotta shoot it out! For the past couple days I’ve been on an essential oil regimen, and tonight I will be trying some Coke/asparagus concoction that sounds fucking disgusting but is supposed to work. Anyway, sorry for the TMI, keep thinking happy kidney stone thoughts! haha!

Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics
Zinnia Skirt made with plaid wool from Mood Fabrics

Tutorial: Matching Plaids Like A Boss

17 Oct

I know this is going to make me sound like the biggest dork ever, but I loooove matching plaids. It’s really fun and it makes me feel super smart when I get all my lines to match up. I know a lot of people are skeered of dealing with The Plaid (or The Stripes, or the Gingham, or the Buffalo Check for that matter), but I promise they’re not hard to sew! It just takes a little prep, a bit more attention while cutting, and then you’re golden!

Plaid Negroni

The first think you need to do is determine what areas need to match, and what you can get away with cutting on the bias to avoid matching. My biggest #1 tip for plaids is cut whatever the fuck you can on the bias. It breaks up a monotonous pattern, it creates visual interest, and it saves you a few matching sessions. Generally speaking, the parts that go bias tend to be pockets, the yoke and the button placket (on a shirt), princess seams (on a dress), under sleeves (on a jacket) and waistbands (on a skirt or pants), as well as anything that is a small detail (such as pocket welts).

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

A couple things I never cut on the bias – sleeve plackets (those shits are fiddly enough without throwing bias in the mix), shirt cuffs (tends to be too busy; just accept that the lines won’t match up all the way across and get on with your life), collars and collar stands (you can’t see the collar stand, and a collar doesn’t have to match up to the lines on the shirt if there’s a bias piece underneath it. And, again, too busy). It should go without saying, but try not to sew bias pieces next to each other. They are good for breaking up the lines, but use them sparingly!

Gingham Shorts - front

Once you’ve determined your bias pieces, now is the time to locate all the seams that need to match up. Generally, it’s not very many – for my Archer, I matched the side seams and the sleeve seams. The back yoke, pocket and button placket were cut on the bias, and the remaining pieces (collar, collar stand, sleeve placket) were cut without any matching. Sounding easy so far? Ok, let’s get cutting!

Now, just a head’s up – I don’t cut my plaids on a folded layer. I know a lot of people do it that way but I personally have never ever had any luck with that method – there is always oneeee line that is slightly off, and ugh, do not want! So I cut my shit on a single layer whenever I can get away with it. This goes the same for bias pieces (if your piece is on a fold – like the back yoke – trace it so it’s a full piece and cut it on one layer. Trust me.).

1 matching plaids

Of course, there are some pieces you have to cut on the fold – like the back for the Archer shirt. Start with this piece. Fold just the amount of fabric you need, being very careful to match up every single line (and now you realize why I cut shit on the single layer, right? This part is maddening!).

2 matching plaids

Once you’re satisfied with how everything matches up through both layers, pin the selvedge down so the fabric won’t shift. Cut out your pattern piece and clip all your notches.

3 matching plaids

For the next piece – in my case, the two front pieces – open out your fabric so it’s a single layer. Take the folded piece you just cut and open it up (hope you marked those notches, buddy!). Line up the side seam – the part that needs to match – with the plaid lines on the fabric. Get it so it’s totally even and basically plaid camouflage.

4 matching plaids

Then take your front piece and align it on the fabric so the side seams match, from underarm to hem. I know it’s hard to see the in the picture, but the piece I’m holding at the bottom is my back piece, lined up with the remaining fabric.

5 matching plaids

Make sure your notches are aligned on the same bit of plaid, and then cut your one front piece. Don’t forget to clip your notches!

6 matching plaids

Now take the piece you just cut – the front piece – and flip it over on the single layer so the pieces are mirrored with the same sides together. Take care to match the lines on every single cut edge.

7 matching plaids

If you squint your eyes and can’t see the piece you pinned down, you know it’s matched up there perfectly.

Once you cut this piece, you should have two front pieces that are a perfect mirror image of one another – this means that the side seams will match the back on both sides, as well as the center front matching (since it’s a mirror).

I’ve found this technique to be much more successful as you have complete control over the matching and cutting since you are doing everything on a single layer (so no unhappy fabric-shifty surprises when you open up the pieces). And bonus – cutting a single layer means you use less fabric. Seriously! I think I eeked that Archer out in like, less than a yard and a half of fabric. Crazy talk, y’all!

Also, I should probably point out now that once you’ve cut all your pieces, you don’t have to give any other thought to matching the lines as they should perfectly fall into place. Yay for mindless sewing that looks difficult!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings

Now go forth and match up those plaids like a BOSS!

boss
Man, this shit will never not be funny to me.

Pattern Testing: The Miette Wrap Skirt

1 Apr

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

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

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

Miette Wrap Skirt

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

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

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

Miette Wrap Skirt

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

Miette Wrap Skirt

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

Miette Wrap Skirt

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

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

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

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

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

Completed: Giant Floral Circle Skirt

11 Jun

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

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

Floral Circle Skirt

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

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

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

Floral Circle Skirt
Circle skirts are magical!

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

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

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

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

Floral Circle Skirt

Anyway, yeah circle skirts! 😀

recon: taffeta christmas skirt

5 Dec

my favorite kind of recon – easy easy!

holiday skirt

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

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

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

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

holiday skirt

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

holiday skirt - waistband

holiday skirt - inside

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

matching headband

i look like a damn christmas present.

holiday skirt
i’m okay with that 🙂

completed: peony, this time in PLAID

17 Nov

pretty sure the peony is my new favorite TNT dress, y’all. it is SO easy to make up – even with matching plaids! – and extremely versatile in all the ways you can change it up. i am already thinking about making a summertime-approps peony with a chiffon overlay & no sleeves. oooh i just inspired myself again.

anyway, before i get ahead of myself, let’s focus on the peony at hand. this is my second make up, floral being the first. in addition to the previous alterations i made to the pattern, i shaved about 1/2″ off the front neckline, as i felt it was a tiny bit too high. i omitted the facings & instead lined the bodice & sleeves. i wanted to line the entire dress, but i only had 1 yard so it was either sleeves or skirt… i went with sleeves, because i can always wear a slip with the skirt.

the plaid fabric is my new favorite! i bought it from miss lauren winter right before she moved house (and, sadly, out of my neighborhood ::sob!::), although considering she charged me $2 for the whole 2 yards it’s more like she basically gave it to me. it is a very fine/soft wool, super drapey & comfortable. the lining is a pale periwinkle blue bemberg rayon that i found in the remnant rack for super duper cheap & i’ve been hoarding for like a year.

i was concerned that this dress wasn’t totally appropriate for plaid, but i think i did an ok job at matching. this pattern really doesn’t use a lot of fabric – even with matching up the plaids, i used less than 2 yards. the side seams match perfectly (if i do say so myself) and surprisingly the darts match up. well, kind of. the bottoms don’t, but that’s just the way they are positioned. furthermore, the waistline doesn’t exactly match up & again, that’s because of how the pattern was drafted. i can’t decide if it bothers me or not. in the meantime, i’ll just wear a belt and pretend otherwise.

i actually cut out the pieces for the cummerbund (in navy taffeta), but decided to go thrifting last night instead of sewing it up. it’s all good, though – look at the belt i got for $3!

plaid peony

plaid peony - side/back

plaid peony - back
the dark vertical line is actually part of the plaid, and not my invisible zipper, fyi.

plaid peony

plaid peony - no belt
here it is without the belt
ooh the mismatched plaid at the darts actually is really bothering me

plaid peony - front, flat

plaid peony - waistline

plaid peony - back
sorry ’bout the rogue white thread lurking back there

plaid peony - lining
really pleased with myself here – i figured out how to attach the lining without having to slipstitch it to the zipper tape. so clean!

plaid peony - hem
tiniest hem ever – this dress is SHORT!

and some bonus shots…
plaid peony & lady grey
with my lady grey

plaid peony & lady grey - back
a result of gertie’s sew-along last year, my first venture into tailoring. this baby is lined, interlined, padstitched… and it is nice & heavy, just like a coat should be 😉

plaid peony & lady grey - open
LOVEEEE THIS COAT

and, in case you were curious:
SHOES
my shoes 🙂

plaid peony

i have the whole week off next week, and i think i’ve already overwhelmed myself with all the sewing projects i want to tackle. we’ll see how many actually get accomplished, though 😉 hehe

2016

15 Mar

2016 makes – click on the link to see the full blog post!

Gingham Archer Popover
Archer Popover

Fraser Sweatshirt
Fraser Sweatshirt

Kitty Rayon B5526 - front
Kitty Rayon B5526

Niizo Freedom Backpack
the Freedom Backpack

Mélilot shirt - front
Melilot Shirt

Plaid Rosari Skirt - front
Plaid Rosari skirt

Denim Rosa Dress - front
Denim Rosa Dress

Navy Ponte Morris Blazer
Navy Ponte Morris Blazer

Navy Cotton twill Ginger Pants - front
Navy Cotton Twill Ginger pants

Rise Turtleneck
Rise Turtleneck

Coco Dress
Striped Coco Dress

B5526 Chambray Tencel
Chambray Tencel B5526

Marlborough Bra - Glitter Stars
Marlborough Bras

Silk Rite of Spring shorts
Silk Rite of Spring Shorts

Seawall Socks
Sea Wall Socks

Silk Chiffon Archer
Silk Chiffon Archer

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - front
Smells Like Teen Spirit sweater

Organic French Terry Augusta Hoodie
Augusta Hoodie + Anima Pants

Travel Backpack
Travel Backpack

Birdy Scout Tee
2 More Scout Tees

OAL2016: Zinone Sweater + Hollyburn Skirt
Zinone Sweater + Hollyburn Skirt

Silk Lakeside PJs
Silk Lakeside Pajamas

McCall's 6952
McCall’s 6952

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra
Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports bra

Yellow Lace Marlborough bra
Yellow Lace Marlborough Bra

Linen apron
Sewing for my New Apartment

Sleeveless La Sylphide
Sleeveless La Sylphide

Denim Rosari Skirt
Denim Rosari skirt

Black Stretch Twill Rosari Skirt
Black twill Rosari Skirt

Black Silk Polka Dot Boylston Bra
Silk Polka dot Boylston Bra

Sheer black polka dot Marlborough bra
Spring Marlborough bras

Silk Bird Scout Tee
Silk Bird Scout Tee

Butterick 6019 - complete!
Butterick 6019

McCall's 7351
McCall’s 7351

Silk Top & Corduroy Mini Skirt
Silk Top + Corduroy Rosari skirt

Black Lace Boylston bra
Black Lace Bolyston Bra

Simplicity 1799 robe
Simplicity 1799

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank
Ginger Jeans + Silk Cami

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt
Silk Georgette shirt + Brocade skirt

Skyp socks
Skyp Socks

T&TB Agnes Dress
Agnes Dress

Peach Lace Watson Bra
Coral Lace Watson bra

2016: A Year In Review

31 Dec

I can’t believe this year is nearly over! 2016 was such a weird year for me – it seems so brief when I look back, but also like it lasted FOREVER.

At Camp Workroom Social!

As with my wrap-up last year, I’m not going to post every single garment I made in 2016 (part of the reason being that I STILL have unblogged pieces lol whoops), however, I do want to touch on my hits and misses of the year! As always – if you’d like to see everything I made during this year, you can always Lurk my Closet. I can’t always guarantee that page is up-to-date, but it is as of this posting 🙂

First, the faves:

T&TB Agnes Dress
Agnes Dress

I am surprised at how much I LOVE this little dress! It’s comfortable thanks to the knit fabric, it’s easy to accessorize to change the look (lately, my favorite way to wear it is with combat boots and a denim jacket, but the look in that post is good, too!), and I just feel pretty when I wear it! When I made it, it was definitely one of those “I have this fabric/pattern lying around, I just feel like making something” situations, but it ended up being one of my favorite things to wear during the fall this year. I made this dress at the end of 2015, so technically it’s not a 2016 make – but that’s when it’s blogged, so we are counting it as so.

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt
Sparkly Brocade Circle skirt
Another surprising make (and another from 2015 – I actually wore this to ring in the new year haha). I really just made this skirt to wear out on New Year’s Eve, but it has seen a lot of wear during the holidays this year! The metallic makes it look all festive and shit, and the fact that it’s grey means it looks good with lots of different tops (current favorite pairing: with a white collared shirt and a black v-neck sweater). My friends are all in different social circles, which means I totally wore this to every single holiday party I was invited to haha no regrets.

Silk Top & Corduroy Mini Skirt
Mustard Corduroy Rosari skirt
Might as well call 2016 the year of the Rosari skirt – I made this one, a black one, a denim one, and a plaid one. I fucking LOVE this pattern, if you can’t tell.

McCall's 7351
McCall’s 7351
Probably the dress I wore the most all summer (other than my Chambray Hawthorne, which still gets TONS of love). It is easy to throw on, super comfortable in the heat thanks to the rayon (and doesn’t show sweat, thanks to the dark color + pattern), and also it’s just super freaking cute. I got stopped and complimented a lot while wearing this dress – and introduced a lot of people to the idea of making your own clothes haha 🙂

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra
Sewaholic Pacific shorts
These are the best little shorts for running! The back pocket is big enough to hold my phone, and the zippered top keeps it secure so it doesn’t bounce out. I wore these all summer while running on the greenway behind my apartment building. The Dunbar sportsbra did not get worn as much – it’s just not as secure as I’d like in a sportsbra. I think this could be fixed by going down a size, or using a firm powermesh across the whole front, but I haven’t gotten to the point of testing this theory as I already have tons of sports bras as it is. Maybe next year! It is cute, though, and fine for practicing yoga.

Birdy Scout Tee
Birdy Scout Tee
I am SO glad I finally cut up that birdy fabric and made it into this top! I loooove this tee and actually wore it on Christmas! That fabric makes me so happy!

Travel Backpack
Rainbow Travel backpack
I did a lot of traveling this year, and this lil’ guy was soo handy for that! Since making that pack, I made a much nicer/sturdier waxed canvas backpack (which I haven’t actually carried out into the world yet, so I can’t really review it for it’s usefulness!), which I’m also pumped about. I don’t normally like sewing bags, like, at ALL, but both of these projects were super enjoyable.

Organic French Terry Augusta Hoodie
Augusta Hoodie + Anima Pants
These two also surprised me. I made the Augusta hoodie with the intention of wearing it around the house for loungewear, but quickly realized the snaps and super thick fabric made it feel more like a lightweight jacket. I ended up wearing it a lot this fall, it’s a great transitional outerwear piece. And those Anima pants are amaaaaazing when it’s super cold outside! They look way too ridiculous to wear outside of my house (seriously, they are straight-up Santa pants), but I love them for lounging on the couch as they are incredibly warm and very very comfortable. And no, since taking those photos – I have not worn those two pieces together haha.

B5526 Chambray Tencel
Chambray Tencel B5526
I am all about that B5526! The Chambray Tencel one was my favorite, though. It just gets softer the more I wear and wash it, and it really does go with everything.

Mélilot shirt - front
Melilot Shirt
This shirt makes me so happy, I don’t even mind that I have to iron it every time I wash it.

And now, for the misses of 2016…

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank
Bias silk cami
Love black camis, love this silk, do not love pleats over my boobs.

Simplicity 1799 robe
Plaid Flannel Robe
I love this robe in theory – it is really beautiful and quite cozy – but in practice, the arm holes are way too low so the whole thing shifts when I move my arms. Also, the way the robe is made means you have to keep it tied, and sometimes I just like a little breeze, you know?

Black Silk Polka Dot Boylston Bra
Silk polkadot Bra
Real talk: I cut this bra up the other day. It’s REALLY beautiful, but I pulled the silk too taut when I was covering the cups and one of the boobs ended up flattened. Totally noticeable from the outside, too. After several months of it languishing in my drawer with me pretending like I *might* wear it someday, finally just took my scissors to it and salvaged whatever bits I could. MOVING ON.

Silk Chiffon Archer
Silk Chiffon Archer
I still have yet to wear this shirt, even though I really love the way it looks. Maybe once the weather dips enough to warrant wearing a sweater, I will try it as a layering piece.

Silk Rite of Spring shorts
Silk shorts
One of the few true fails of this year. These shorts were fucking stupid. Bad combo of pattern to fabric, looks awful, blah blah.

* * * * *

I really cut back a lot on sewing this year, and it’s definitely reflected in my wardrobe. I’m at a point now where pretty much everything I have is handmade and I don’t have a lot of holes to fill in my closet. As a result, I have really slowed down my sewing – mostly in the form of taking the time to rip out mistakes and do things correctly, or alter/repair pieces that I’ve made and loved to death. I’ve also stopped trying to ~power through~ major sewing sessions. If I feel myself start to get frustrated (which is usually when major mistakes start happening because I start getting real careless), I will acknowledge that I’m not enjoying the process anymore and just stop for the evening. Sewing is my hobby, and I want to keep it fun and happy. Stepping away from a project has been immensely helpful in that I have a chance to cool off and re-assess at a later time.

With that being said, I still really really love to make things, and I’ve had a serious struggle with finding that balance between indulging my creative side vs not having a closet full of shit I don’t wear or even need. As I don’t have a lot of wardrobe holes anymore (other than underwear that’s not all ratty – I still can’t bring myself to spend precious sewing time making panties haha), this means that a lot of what I’m making these days is a nicer replacement to things I already had – whether they were starting to wear out, or they weren’t right begin with but I wore them anyway. This has been a good compromise, as I get to continue to make awesome things but don’t feel super wasteful making a bunch of crap I don’t need and won’t wear (except that prom dress, I DON’T REGRET THE PROM DRESS). Slowing down the process has also been going for this – while I can make an entire top in a couple of hours, there’s really no need to. Also, I will make that underwear next year. This is my promise to myself.

Blog-wise, I feel pretty good about where I am currently. Blogging less gave me more time to work on projects – without feeling like I needed to rush to finish them so I could throw them on the blog. Less posts means I also have more time to respond to comments, which always bothered me that I didn’t do in the past. I don’t blog all the stuff I make anymore – some of it just seems too redundant to warrant it’s own post (tbh, you probably won’t see that underwear ever get posted, so don’t hold your breath or anything haha) – but I will admit that I do miss having a catalogue to look back through. A lot of it did get posted to Instagram – not all of it, but a lot of it! – and moving forward, I’m going to start tagging my makes #madebylladybird so I have that catalogue, albeit on a different media source. It feels weird to give myself my own tag, but, whatever haha. I started doing this the other night and it’s fun to scroll through the tag! Of course, Instagram flagged me once I got about 2 years back and I’m currently blocked from tagging (lolwut) so getting back to the beginning might take a while!

I started out this year with a partnership with Spiegel sewing machines, and did that for about half of 2016. As you’ve probably noticed, I am not working with Spiegel anymore, and it’s been a few months since those posts stopped. The reason for this really doesn’t have anything to do with Spiegel or the machine itself – it just ended up not being a good fit in terms of my available time to commit to it. I have been asked by a few people about this, I did want to mention it just so we are clear!

:D* * * *

On a personal note, I know 2016 was a really terrible year for a lot of people, and probably even for the world in general – but it was actually a really, really good year for me. Growth-wise, this might have been my best year yet. I had a lot of baggage that I carried over from 2015 – I was right at the beginning of a break-up and about 6 months into working through all my personal demons that had come up while I was on that ayahuasca retreat. I really feel good about the challenges that I not only faced head-on – but really charged through them and came out triumphant on the other side. I am proud of the person I’m growing into, although there is still a lot of work that I need to muddle through.

Some notable highlights from the year:

  • I traveled a lot this year! I visited a few new places (San Francisco, Charleston, St Louis, Newport, Exeter), a few old favorites (Portand Maine and New York!), and made plans for next year as well. I taught bunches of sewing classes and retreats (both during my travels and locally), and also assisted at Camp Workroom Social for the first time. I promised myself when I left my corporate job back in 2013 that I would budget more time and money for traveling, with the goal of going *somewhere* (even if it’s just to a neighboring state for a day trip) at least every 3-4 months. So far, I’ve been sticking to it! I even got TSA Pre-Check so I don’t have to stand in that line and take my shoes off haha!
  • I’ve been single for pretty much all of this year, and it’s been… interesting. Definitely met some incredibly awesome people, and definitely navigated my way around some real creeps (if you ever meet me in person, please ask me about my date that involved the pigs. It’s really the kind of story that needs to be told in person, and it’s great.). Don’t get me wrong – I actually really enjoy being single (more time for meeee, fuck yea), but having previously been in a relationship for nearly 5 years, there’s been some adjusting to do. Let me also say that Landon really disappointed me this year – our split last year was amicable, but we are not on good terms anymore. He stole several hundred dollars from me and disappeared off the face of the earth. Pretty much the only retribution I have at this point is to publicly shame him, so, there you go. On the flip side, glad I dodged the bullet. He’s the one who has to spend the rest of his life with his shitty self, not me.
  • I bought a car this year! This was pretty exciting, and I’m still super thrilled about it. I have always owned very old/shitty cars – the kind that you’re afraid to drive more than a couple hours away from home, lest you break down on the side of the road – and my last one was so basic, everything was manual and it didn’t even have a tape deck, just a radio. I have been saving my money for the past 2 years to buy something nicer, and spent a few months researching what was available in my price range. In February, I became the proud owner of a cherry red 2012 Prius C. I’ve never bought a car by myself – my dad always found them for me and I just paid him for them – so that was a new experience, but I did it all myself (although I did buy from Carmax, so there was no negotiating or anything). I got a killer deal on what was practically a new car (less than 20k miles) and I am so so happy every time I drive it. It’s the nicest thing I’ve ever owned – there’s a fucking tv in it and sensors on the doors that lock/unlock when you touch them – and it’s all MINE. And his name is Ricky 😉
  • After living out in the ‘sticks with my BFF for over a year, I decided it was time to move back to the city. Honestly, I did love living in the woods at first – it was quiet, it was serene, and every single night was BFF night. But I hated the 45 minute commute that was required to get anywhere (even buying that new car did not make the drive more enjoyable), and it became very isolating after I broke up with Landon. It was really hard to make myself go out and do anything, knowing I’d have to make that drive – and understandably, no one really wanted to come out to me, either. I also realized that I really wanted to be alone in my own space, and not have to share it with someone else. So I found a 2 bedroom apartment in West Nashville and moved out here in June. I cannot even tell y’all how much happier I am being back in the city. I love being close to everything – whether it’s a short car ride, a bike ride, or a really cheap Uber. I can order food (or Amazon Prime Now) and have it delivered RIGHT TO MY DOOR. Having my own space all to myself is awesome, especially after nearly a decade of living with someone else (be it a roommate or an SO). Plus, I have all these amazing windows and my apartment is right next to a beautiful greenway! I love it so much!
  • A big part of what afforded me the opportunity to move back into the city was a change in one of my jobs. I was working for Elizabeth Suzann as one of her production seamstresses, and I loooooved that job. I’d just come in, put on my headphones, and sew my way through a stack of pre-cut pieces. I had the most amazing coworkers and a seriously, seriously incredible set of bosses who did everything in their power to make their employees feel valued and appreciated. I still love everyone there and do my best to visit when I can (and when they’re not too busy with orders!), but I was offered a much more lucrative job at Craft South and I couldn’t do both. At Craft South, I am the Education Coordinator – so I plan, schedule, and promote the classes, and handle everything related to them. It is a part time job, which puts me in the store 2 days a week (I also work part time as a personal assistant, which I’ve been doing for the same woman since 2014. I don’t talk about her much on this blog bc it’s completely unrelated to sewing, but I absolutely ADORE my boss. She’s an amazing person and I’m so lucky to be in the position I am. She moved to Newport this year, so now I’m remote and I work from home!). I’ve always wanted to work in a craft store, and I really love it! They are also super accommodating with my travel schedule, so I can take off whenever I need to for my workshops. Its pretty great- I have a wonderful new set of coworkers, an inspiring place to be surrounded by other makers, and an excuse to get out of the house a couple times a week. Plus I get to sew on those $10k Janome machines, which, is a pretty sweet perk 😛
  • On a more somber note, we did have a big scare with my dad towards the end of summer. He got very sick with pneumonia that quickly went septic, and he ended up on life support for a full week. It was a really bad time and the doctors didn’t offer us much hope. I was preparing myself for the worst – which, even when you know the inevitable is going to happen (my dad has been fighting colon cancer since 2013, and we’re not delusional here), you’re still never really prepared for it. He made this incredibly miraculous recovery, though, and bounced the fuck out of there the second they released him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an ongoing battle – he’s still quite sick, and we still have scares that make us rush back to the ER – but we are so, so happy to have him back for at least a little while longer. My dad is such an awesome person, and I’m so thankful that we got this second chance.
  • Speaking of colon cancer, I did finally get that colonoscopy that his oncologist had insisted I do a few years ago. The procedure was completely uneventful – it’s really the prep that’s bad, and yes, it’s as awful as everyone tells you haha – and everything was benign. So yay, no cancer!  I also just found out the other day that I don’t have any cavities either, so I’m basically on a roll of awesome here right now hahaha.

* * * *

What’s on the table for 2017? Beats me if I know – but I’m ready for whatever it throws at me! I don’t like to make resolutions as I’d rather just jump right into positive changes than wait for a specific date to start – and I hope 2017 brings me more creativeness, positivity, and growth (both personally and professionally). And I guess more handmade underwear, too 😛

Much love to you all, and wishing everyone a wonderful new year! ♥