Tag Archives: 4 ply silk

Me-Made-May ’14: Week 2 Round-Up

9 May

Happy Friday, everyone! One week down into Me-Made-May – and time for another round-up!

5/3
5/3, Saturday
Dress: Fabulous Silk Birds
Slip: Ruby Slip
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

My baby brother graduated college on Saturday! Here I am with all my siblings – of course, I’m the shortest one (and this photo is a little misleading because I’m standing on an incline. I’m actually a good 7″ shorter than my sister, who in turn is shorter than my brothers, ha). I used the graduation as an excuse to pull out my favorite Me-Made to date – the Fabulous Silk Birds dress (I don’t name all my handmades, but I named this one! Because it’s fabulous!). I love love love this dress – I always feel so, well, fabulous in it 🙂 Plus, wearing this dress means I get to wear my equally amazing 4ply silk slip (note to self: sell organs and buy more 4ply silk asap), which is always a plus in my book 🙂

5/4
5/4, Sunday
Dress: Seersucker Anna
Shoes: Born
Belt: Thrifted
Sunglasses: Franco Sarto
Purse: Scarlett Begonia

Wore this to go plant shopping and ice cream eatin’ with Landon. I realize that I have this dress styled the exact same way I did in the original FO post – I guess I’m not very creative when it comes to pink seersucker! Anyway, love it and it’s great for hot weather. Also, if my hair looks brighter than it did the day before – that’s cos we redyed it 🙂 I slept in the dye so it’s SUPER bright now haha.

5/5
5/5, Monday
Tank: Target
Skirt: Cascade
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Necklace: Handmade by me

Another favorite me-made! I LOVE this skirt, and everyone else seems to love it too – I’ve literally been followed around retail stores over it, multiple times. It’s the perfect marriage of pattern and fabric (and, before you ask – the fabric came aaaaall the way from Macedonia. My BFF picked it up for me while she was living there a few years ago. Wish I had more of it!), and it’s just so fun to wear. I feel like Shakira, and I mean that in the best way.

5/6
5/6, Tuesday
Dress: Emery
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Born

Can’t ever be sad when your hair matches your dress 🙂

5/7
5/7, Wednesday
Dress: Lady Skater
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: xoxo

ESPECIALLY if that dress has tigers printed on it!

5/8
5/8, Thursday
Top: Briar
Skirt: Moss Mini
Necklace: Thrifted
Shoes: Keds

I took some advice on styling this skirt and went with a tshirt that has a looser fit – and I LOVE how it looks with this skirt! Especially the hemline on this Briar – hi-lo hem gives it the look as if it’s tucked in, without it actually being, you know, tucked. The whole outfit is totally comfy and I’m not gonna lie – I felt pretty good about it all day.

5/9
5/9, Friday (that’s today!)
Top: Advance 8511
Pants: Thurlows (but skinny!)
Shoes: Born

I actually had a different outfit planned today – I wanted to wear a skirt. But then I stepped outside, noticed the chill in the air, and decided to wear my red Thurlows instead. No regrets!

All in all, I think I had a pretty successful first (full)week of MMM! The changing weather has been a little tricky, but I’m working on a lightweight trench coat right now that will hopefully get me through the chilly mornings and occasional rain (actually, the trench is done – I’m just waiting on the buttons to be delivered!). How are y’all doing with your pledges? Find any fun outfit combinations or gaping holes in your closet yet?

Oh, just a few more announcements before I sign off for the weekend:
– If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to enter in the Colette Guide to Sewing Knits Giveaway! I’ll be drawing the lucky winner on Monday morning, so you’ve still got time!
– My girl Elizabeth is looking for part time seamstresses to help her with some sewing work. If you’re in the Nashville area and would like to sew on an amazingly fun industrial machine in a gorgeous studio (I’m not even kidding about either of those – that’s me in her studio on 5/6!) for a lil’ extra cash, send her an email at hello@elizabethsuzann.com. I’m currently doing part time work for her on the side, and it’s super awesome because we listen to 80s music and watch Nicolas Cage movies. I have no intentions of quitting; her business is just growing very fast and she needs more help! All levels of experience are welcome – we’re not handbeading couture or anything here 🙂 – but you must already have a basic understanding of clothing construction and know how to operate a sewing machine. Bonus points if you’re a speedy sewer!
– My class at Watkins, Introduction to Fashion Sewing still has a couple of spots open, if you’ve been on the fence about signing up. DO IT NOW, GO!
– Aaaaaand, Nashville’s newest/cutest fabric store, The Fabric Studio, is finally open and just released the class schedule for June! I’ve got a few gigs there as well – Learn to Sew the Colette Ginger Skirt, All About Zippers Sewing Lab, and Apparel Patterns Demystified (seminar/info session)! I’m really excited about all these classes – excited to share my knowledge, excited to teach, excited to meet other sewers in the area! I think it’s gonna be fun! 🙂 Also, I promise to stop spamming y’all about my classes now 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Completed: Some Fabulous Silk Birds

17 Jul

I am just going to preface this post with a warning: This is my VERY favorite thing I’ve ever made. Forget everything else up to this point. This here, this is the winner.

Also, I tried REALLY hard to cull down the number of pictures, but there are still a lot. Sorry, not sorry.

Marc Jacobs Birds

I initially saw this fabric on the Mood Fabrics Instagram (which, if you’re not lurking that – WHY NOT, THEY POST THE BEST FABRICS!!). Isn’t it fabulous? I immediately called the store and had them set aside 4 yards for me. When I finally had it shipped all the way to Nashville, I was amazed at just how wonderful it was in person. The designer is Marc Jacobs, and it’s a soft silk Georgette with a gorgeous drape and some incredibly saturated color.

Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with 4 yards of bird silk Georgette. I hoarded it for about 2 months, while plotting and planning.

Marc Jacobs Birds

I had a Sewing Epiphany while on the way to work one morning (does anyone else have those? Aren’t they so awesome?) and realized that the print would work perfectly with a 40s style dress – and the drapiness of the silk would be a 100% match for McCall’s 6113. Yes, the same pattern I used for last month’s Mood dress. What can I say – I love this pattern, and I want to make a million of it’s babies.

Marc Jacobs Birds

Since this was my first time sewing with silk Georgette, I spent a few weeks devising a game plan and learning all I could about this fabric before slicing into my yardage. Georgette – or, at least, this Georgette – is on the sheer side, so it was going to need some sort of underlayer to keep things opaque. I didn’t want to underline the dress and compromise the flow of the fabric, so I decided to make a slip to wear underneath. Bonus: this is quite handy on a windy day! Already tested that theory 😛

Marc Jacobs Birds

I used french seams to construct the entire dress, except at a few sections where it was impossible to sew them – such as the curved yokes. For those parts, I pinked the seams to keep them from fraying. I also stabilized the fabric underneath the yokes with a piece of black silk organza. Since the Georgette is so lightweight and that area gets so much stress, I wanted to give it as much support as possible. I also found the use of my walking foot quite helpful while assembling the dress – it kept the layers from shifting (and me from crying tears of frustration).

Marc Jacobs Birds

Despite having made this dress twice already (my red wool crepe version, plus a boring ol’ muslin), I still encountered some construction challenges unrelated to the fabric. For one, the sleeves gave me HELL when I was trying to set them in. I don’t even understand how it happened – they eased in perfectly with the crepe, but for some reason, it just didn’t work with the Georgette without including a lot of unwanted puckers. I was stumped and let the dress simmer for a few days on my dressform. I even considered leaving it sleeveless, no lie.

Marc Jacobs Birds

Fortunately, I remembered that Casey posted a tutorial on excess sleeve ease on her blog a couple years ago, so I followed the instructions for redrawing the sleeve cap and crossed my fingers.

Marc Jacobs Birds

I am happy to say that it worked! I’m so glad I was able to figure it out – the sleeves really make the dress!!

Marc Jacobs Birds

Marc Jacobs Birds

Marc Jacobs Birds

I just think this pattern is SO PERFECT for such a bright print! Isn’t it beautiful?

Marc Jacobs Birds

I even got super fancy and put a (non-functional) fancy button where the front of the dress fastens.

Marc Jacobs Birds

Marc Jacobs Birds

Marc Jacobs Birds

Marc Jacobs Birds

Now, let’s talk about my slip! I am going to post pictures which I realize is essentially me in my underwear, so bear with me here.

Silk Slip

I’m not going to lie – like 99.9% of the reason why I decided to go with the matching slip was so I’d have a chance to get my hands on some 4-ply Silk Crepe. I’ve heard some amazing stories about the stuff, but never had a chance to try it for myself. It tends to run on the expensive side (truth, this silk crepe cost more than the silk Georgette!), but a slip doesn’t require a whoooole lot of yardage, so I sucked it up and put in my order. I didn’t know what to expect when the package arrived at my door.

Silk Slip

People. This stuff is INCREDIBLE. Throw out any mean thoughts you had about silk and focus on the 4-ply. It’s not at all slippery – even when I was cutting bias pieces, the fabric stayed put. It’s nice and robust and opaque, and it feels amazing against the skin. It presses beautifully and sews like a dream. I was extremely skeptical before I properly introduced myself, but I really think it deserves the hype.

Silk Slip

To make the slip, I used the free Ruby Slip pattern. I spent a lot of time redrafting shit to get it to fit right, and it was kind of a nightmare and I kind of almost gave up (no hate on the pattern itself – I’m just VERY particular about how my slips fit!). I started with the size 8, made a lot a lot a lot of changes, and I’m just going to list them here:
– The original bodice was very small, so I added a 1/2″ FBA using the sew-along tutorial. Truth, I tried to get away with not doing this (I wear a DD cup, but let’s be real here – the only thing “big” about my boobs is the proportion, not the actual size, kwim? I could totally fit into like a C cup if the band was small enough), but my first muslin informed me otherwise.
– I then redrafted the bodice to include a center front seam and underbust gathers, following this tutorial.
– My second muslin showed that now the bodice was too big at the center front, and the gathers were sitting in such a weird place… I looked like I had puffy nipples. So awesome, except not. I wish I could tell y’all I did some mathematical pattern drafting magic and fixed it, but honestly I pinned that fucker to my dress form and manipulated it until I had a decent fit. I pinned out a chunk of the center front seam, redistributed the gathers, and chopped about 1″ width off the back midriff. I readjusted the side seams of the skirt (that shit fit almost perfect with no adjustments, thank god) and crossed my fingers.
– Since the new back midriff was slightly (I’m talking 1/2″ or less) smaller than the skirt, I cut that piece on the bias and carefully eased the two pieces together. I think the result is pretty good – it fits my small back, and the bias makes it easy to pull on and off!
– I also cut about 5 1/2″ off the hem of the skirt. It was long, and I need this slip to be shorter than my skirts!

Silk Slip

Silk Slip

Finally, I added some beautiful lace around the top and the hem, and a little self-made bow in the middle of the bodice. The straps are just satin ribbon outfitted with strap adjusters and rings – very easy to put together.

Marc Jacobs Birds

Now, here’s the real question: I still have like a yard (maybe more) of this bird fabric left. WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH IT?