Tag Archives: bike

Completed: A Belladone for Bicycling

9 Sep

Ok, time to confess something really dorky: I’ve been looking for the perfect bicycle-print fabric for years now. It’s actually become something of an obsessive manhunt – trying to avoid the quilting cottons, the cruisers and penny farthings, the hideous color combinations. You’d think with bicycles being these super cutesy Pinterest-approved photo prop (forreal, I’m sick of looking at pictures of people using their bikes as props! Ride that shit already!), there would be a bigger selection of this type of print. You’d think. I never found it, though.


bicycle fabric

Isn’t this biciclette fabric adorable?? It’s from Bubiknits‘ shop on Spoonflower. I’ve always wanted to try my hand with a piece of Spoonflower fabric – but honestly, every time I try to browse the choices, I get overwhelmed with so many options. And I’m not gonna try to design my own because, ha, no. Let’s just not even discuss. So when Giusy emailed me and asked if I would like a couple of yards of any fabric from her shop as a gift, I immediately zeroed in on that bicycle print in organic cotton sateen. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, except that it would be a dress.

Bicycly Belladone

A Belladone, to be exact!

Bicycly Belladone

I should apologize in advance for how bad these pictures ended up. Turns out white doesn’t photograph too well in bright sunlight. Who woulda thought? Just imagine the bicycles and we will get to the close-ups soon enough.

Bicycly Belladone

Obviously, this ain’t my first Belladone rodeo. That stripey dress is actually 100% the reason why I decided to make my bicycle dress with the same pattern – it is my favorite dress to cycle in! It’s very comfortable, the skirt is the perfect width needed for riding (but not so floofy that it causes wardrobe malfunctions) and I like to think that it’s pretty enough that it makes the Mary Poppins Effect a reality on my commute. Plus, the dress is finished with bias tape – visible or invisible – which I thought would provide a nice contrast against the white/yellow of the main fabric. As much as I love the colorway, it unfortunately washes me out, so I needed something a little darker to sit next to my face.

Bicycly Belladone

I can’t really say I started this dress with any real direction in mind. Originally, I wanted the contrast to be turquoise, but when I actually got the fabrics side-by-side, I didn’t like the look of the two colors together… too light for my tastes. Navy seemed like the perfect choice (and yes – that’s navy. I know it looks black, but it’s navy.). I used leftover navy cotton sateen from my lace trench (I swear, that fabric… it’s like the gift that keeps on giving. I STILL HAVE MORE OF IT, TOO) and made a few yards of bias tape to enclose all the edges along the top of the dress. I actually applied all this bias tape by hand, so the stitches would be invisible. I think it adds a bit of polish to the overall effect, even if it did mean making this dress took twice as long. I also applied a strip of interfacing to each diagonal edge, as well as staystitching, to make sure the edges don’t get distorted over time.

Bicycly Belladone

Of course, taking a light dress and adding dark trim to the bodice meant that the thing ended up looking top-heavy. I added more dark contrast to the waistband, as well as a couple of inches above the hem, which I think ties the dress together. To finish, I added 2 self-covered buttons at the center front.

Bicycly Belladone

It’s so perfect, I could marry it.

Bicycly Belladone

And the back! Don’t you love the back!?

Bicycly Belladone

One more picture, sorry 🙂

Bicycly Belladone

Here you can see the bicycles! Aren’t they sweet 🙂

Bicycly Belladone

Since I’d already made this pattern before, I didn’t need to make any major modifications (other than the aforementioned contrast additions). I did sew the side seams at the waist with a 1/2″ seam allowance (instead of the pattern’s 5/8″); I noticed that my stripey dress can get a little tight if I’ve eaten a lot of food, so an extra bit of wiggle room is appreciated 🙂

Bicycly Belladone

I also pressed the pleats so they were centered over the stitching lines (instead of pressed to one side). This gives them more of a box-pleat look, as opposed to a soft tuck.

Bicycly Belladone

Can you see the stitching on the outside, huh, can you? NEITHER CAN I!

Bicycly Belladone

Bicycly Belladone

The inside waistband is faced with more bicycles 🙂 And yay, yellow zipper!

Bicycly Belladone

Sewing that strip of navy around the bottom was super easy. I sewed on my hem facing as usual, then centered the seam binding over the stitching and stitched it down on both sides.

Bicycly Belladone

Working with this fabric was an absolute dream – and wearing it is even better 🙂 I know Spoonflower’s fabrics tend to skew toward the pricey side, but this is some good stuff – organic cotton sateen with the subtlest sheen, the colors are rich and saturated, and it’s very easy to sew and press. Plus, the design choices! Gah!

Bicycly Belladone

Thank you again, Giusy, for the amazing fabric! If anyone was wondering… yes, I have taken this dress for a bike ride, and yes, it was a little magical 😉

One last thing – and I swear, it’s important – I just heard through the grapevine that Colette Patterns is running in second place in the Martha Stewart American Made Competition. The #1 spot is currently being held by a scrapbooking company, boo! If you’ve got a minute to spare, go vote for them (you can login with your Facebook if you’re lazy like me, and you do not have to be a US resident to cast a vote!). Colette Patterns will be dumping the entire $10k prize back into their employees as bonuses, which is pretty fucking amazing and I think totally deserving of winning. Plus, do we really want to see them get beat out by a scrapbooking company? NOPE!

Go forth and vote! Every little checkmark counts 😉

Me Made May – Week 4 Roundup

25 May

I wish I could say that this was the last week of MMM’12, but May is a sneaky little month that manages to have 5 weeks crammed into it. So here’s to week 4 – we’re, uh, 4/5th of the way through!

Top: Thrifted, resized by me
Shorts: Simplicity 5110
Earrings: Thrifted
Shoes: Converse
Sweet Shadez: Pangea (Nashville)
Getting ready to ride Tour de Nash! Don’t worry, I (begrudgingly)wore a helmet – it’s in my back bike basket 🙂

Dress: Simplicity 8345
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Bracelet I converted into a necklace
In my sewing room – I was pretty sick of taking daily pictures at this point!

Dress: Vogue 1227
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Antique, restored by InVintage.
My birthday! 😀 Since I couldn’t wear a dress called “The Bombshell” to work (I mean, our dress code is sorta lax but it ain’t that lax!), I wore last year’s birthday dress. Also, that necklace is my very favorite piece of jewelry I own – and the most expensive one to boot (and by “most expensive” I mean it was still less than $50 because I normally buy my jewelry at the flea market lol).

Dress: Vogue 1174
Bolero: Thrifted
Shoes: Nine West
-CONFESSION- I made this dress over 2 years ago & I have only worn it once (twice if you count me putting it on for pictures)! I just really hate the way I look in strapless dresses. Inspired by MMM’12, I pulled it out of the closet, dug in my scrap bin for the rest of the blue satin, and made a halter neck strap. Now it is much more wearable 🙂 Yay!

Vogue 1174 w/ halter strap
Here it is without the bolero 🙂

Dress: Simplicity 2412
Belt: Handmade
Necklace: Fire Finch (Nashville)
Shoes: Nine West

Dress: Simplicity 3061
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Pangea (Nashville)
I pretty much always wear this dress with a nautical flair, so this time I tried to go in a different direction. I think I like it!

5-25 (today!)
Dress: Vogue 1117
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden
I love this dress so so so much, but the poor thing really doesn’t get as much wear as it deserves – I made the mistake of lining it with polyester lining! Ew, so hot! Oh well, that’s me – suffering in the name of Looking Good.
ALSO: Bonus! I got this fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics, and it is mad cheap right now – someone go buy the rest of her yardage!

I’m pretty bored with taking pictures of myself every day – it seems so redundant and, I dunno, kind of narcissistic (which is how I feel about most fashion blogging in general, SORRY). I will be glad to put this project to end next week!

As a side note, I counted my remaining handmade garments and I definitely have more unworn pieces than there are days left in May. Right now I’m trying to decide if I should pull this project into another week or so, just to wear ALL my shizz, or consider a month good enough & move on. I haven’t repeated any outfits – I just own a metric shit ton of clothes – and I really miss some of the stuff I wore at the beginning of the month.

With that being said, I am going on vacation starting tomorrow at the buttcrack of dawn. SO EXCITED. We’re going to the beeeeach! And I bought a cute bathing suit! (For the 3 of you who are worried about my cat being left alone – don’t worry, I got a housesitter 🙂 Wow that sounds so grown-up haha). I’ll still be documenting MMM’12 in the Flickr group – hopefully all with pictures ~on the beach~ haha – but the blog will probably be nice & silent for the next few days.

Have a great weekend – holiday or not 🙂

Me Made May – Week 3 Roundup

18 May

Sorry for the radio silence this week, peepz. I have been house/dog sitting since Thursday night, which means I have not had access to my sewing machine for almost a week! I opted to not bring it with me since there was just so much stuff to carry around (and plus, I make giant messes when I sew ahaha), figuring I would just knit instead. Spoiler alert: didn’t get much knitting done either. Whoops! Anyway, I’m back at home now so hopefully I can get some sewing done over the weekend, maybe 🙂 I miss it so much!

Top: Sewaholic Renfrew (unblogged, sorry!)
Jeans: Vogue 2925
Shoes: Walmart
This is basically the same outfit as Friday – I had cute stuff packed, but it ended up being really cold & rainy so I stuck with jeans for the second day in a row.

5/13 – Mother’s Day!
Dress: Actually, this is two pieces… the dress made me look like a box, so I separated the skirt from the top & sewed white elastic for the skirt waistband. I can wear them together or separately, woohoo.
Cardigan: Agatha – my first sweater 🙂
Belt: Thrifted
Necklace: Fire Finch (Nashville)
Shoes: Walmart (man those things are filthy… I should wash them)
This is me & my mommy, in her sewing room. Isn’t she so pretty?! Love her 🙂

Top: Yardsale
Skirt: Style 1568; it’s supposed to be culottes but it looked awful in this linen/cotton blend (too stiff), so I converted it into a skirt. The linen would also explain why it is wrinkled as fuq – I swear I ironed the night before!
Cardigan: Thrifted – ended up wearing it tied (like how I have it on 5/15) after this picture was taken.
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Nine West
Earrings: Thrifted
Brooch: Flea market – it’s a skunk holding a flower ahaha

Dress: Colette Patterns Peony
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Rose Brooch: Crocheted by me 🙂
Shoes: Target

Top: Thrifted, altered to fit by me
Skirt: Thrifted – it was originally a child’s dress. I cut the bodice off & replaced the busted shirring at the waistband. Insta-skirt!
Cardigan: Agatha
Belt: Thrifted
Scarf (worn at neck): Vintage
Shoes: Target

Dress: Colette Patterns Ceylon
Shoes: Nine West

5/18 (today!)
Top: Colette Patterns Sorbetto
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Belt: Thrifted (holy shit I wear this belt a lot lol)
Shoes: Target kids
Necklace: Flea market

ALSO, today was Bike to Work Day… don’t worry, I managed to wear something Me-Made 🙂
5-18 - before work
5/18, pre-work
Tshirt: Stenciled & resized by me
Pants: Lululemon (obviously not Me-Made, but I wrote a review on ’em if you are interested!
Shoes: Converse
It gets very hot/humid here, so I brought a change of clothes for the office haha 🙂 Oh, and I guess you could also consider my basket Me-Made – it started out as a purse from the thrift store, I just cut the handles off & zip-tied it to my bike. Baskets are expensive!

As a side/non-sewing note, Bike to Work Day was really awesome!
Bike To Work Day
There was a great turnout

Bike To Work Day
I mean, really forreal

Bike To Work Day
Tons of food & drinks (including coffee, yeeeeeah)

Bike To Work Day
The mayor even showed up to talk to us 🙂

Bike To Work Day
The best part, though, was having cycling partners on the commute 😀

Did anyone else bike to work today?

We’ve Officially Reached Sweater Vest Territory!

1 Mar

First of all, I want to thank y’all for all your amazing comments on my gingham Peony post. I basically spent the entire day (and the next day, and the next day), blushing like a little kid. I also got pinned all over Pinterest which was kind of exciting all on it’s own. You are all so sweet! Way to make a girl feel like a sewing champion lol 🙂

Today, we are going to discuss knitting. I have sweater progress to share! This is a big deal~

Agatha Sweater

I am SO EXCITED that this little shit actually fits me! I mean, obviously it should – I made soo many gauge swatches haha. But I was still pretty apprehensive – there is about 2″-3″ of negative ease, so pre-blocked (this is still pre-blocked, fyi), it’s pretty tiny. I was afraid to try and pull it on while it was still on the needles (and too scared to pull it off the needles onto scrap yarn), so I waited until I finished the ribbing. It fits! It fits!

Agatha Sweater
Look at how cool the side decreasing is!

Agatha Sweater
The back looks good too! I could have bound off a little more loosely, but oh well!

Agatha Sweater
I hope my excitement is just radiating out of this post.

Agatha Sweater
One more sweater picture! All that is left is the sleeves & the ribbing around the neck and where the buttons go. And then blocking, of course.

The sleeves are knit in the round. For those of you who are newbies to my corner of the internet, I only learned how to knit over Thanksgiving… and upon starting this sweater, hadn’t quite mastered knitting in the round (or even attempted it, to be honest). I made an executive decision that I would finish the sweater up to the sleeves, and then figure out this multiple needle shit (I know, I know, “magic loop” or whatever, but I want to try double pointed needles first!). I bought some bamboo needles & sat down with my knittin’ buddy on Tuesday night to try it out. I’m not gonna lie – joining those stitches in the round was hard. It took me something stupid like 15 minutes to join 2 stitches. At one point – I shit you not – I actually forgot how to knit. HAHA. But once I got started, it was surprisingly easy. I made a little tube that I later discovered fits my iPod perfectly…

It's an iPod cozy!
(It’s the correct size, I just wanted to show you that an iPod is in there!)
So that’s my first knitting in the round project! I want to make one more thing, because I still need a little more practice – there are a couple of holes where I didn’t pull the yarn tight enough between needles. Ooops! But I think it’s pretty good for a first attempt, yeah? 🙂

Next mini-project
My next project is going to be a coffee cozy, and I’m going to make it out of this ugly-ass yarn 🙂 I love knitting in the round! COZIES FOR EVERYTHING.

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note – I biked to work this morning! First commute-to-work bike ride since winter started 😀
Biked to work this morning :)
This is my halfway point – the Shelby Street Bridge! Isn’t it lovely? It’s a pedestrian bridge, so there’s always a lot of foot/bike traffic going on. I love how pretty the city looks from here! See that weird red thing in the right hand corner? Unfortunately, it’s not a roller coaster – it’s a completely useless sculpture called Ghost Ballet and it’s ugly as shit. I don’t know any Nashvillians who actually think this thing wasn’t a waste of taxpayer money. Blech.

But nevermind that, look at the rest of the bridge.
Shelby Street Bridge

Agatha Sweater
This is me saying, “Well shit, I just knitted a vest-thing.”

pattern testing: the minoru jacket

15 Nov

time to talk about the minoru! finally! for those of you who don’t follow (the… three of you? ever?), tasia of sewaholic patterns recently dropped her 4th pattern, a darling sporty jacket called the minoru. i was chosen to be a pattern tester (out of 600!! geez louise!), which was awesome, except for the part about dropping all my sewing fun-times for 2 weeks :). this was also during the dark month that my truck had died & i hadn’t replaced it yet… so i actually rode the bus to the fabric store. it took an hour (for maaaaybe a 14 mile drive?). that is some dedication, y’all!

anyway, a few of the pattern testers have already posted theirs, so i will follow suit and post mine.

i’d actually been toying with the idea of making a cycling jacket – something brightly colored, to increase visibility now that the sun is setting earlier & earlier. when i saw that the pattern we were testing was going to be a sporty jacket, it was like god himself had sent the pattern down to me from the heavens. i initially wanted to make my jacket in a bright yellow corduroy, but the fabric store was lacking (and i didn’t have the means to shop around), so i stuck with white. in retrospect, this was not the best idea i have ever had – it gets dirty faster (duh!), my patterned lining shows through, and it is hard as shit to photograph. btw, i think i took over 150 pictures of this jacket. it was that hard to photograph.

anyway, the pattern itself was a total breeze to work through! tasia has it labeled as intermediate, but i think an advanced beginner could easily tackle this. the instructions are great & the pieces lined up nicely! i did have to make a few changes to get the pattern to work for me – the big one was a full bust adjustment. since these patterns are for the pear-inclined, there is not a lot of room up there! i had a bit of trouble since this jacket doesn’t actually have any darts in the front, so i had to add my own dart & then slash and spread from there. i also shortened the jacket, as the original length overwhelmed my short frame.
one thing i wish i had done was interfaced the collar – it doesn’t call for it in the instructions, but it is also assumed that you are using a heavier fabric. my corduroy was very fine & lightweight (hence the see-thru), and my collar just flops. i considered interfacing it while i was making the thing up, but i wanted to stay as true to the pattern/directions as possible so i could offer better feedback. so there’s my feedback – use a sturdy fabric, or use interfacing!

anyway, i love my jacket and i love all the fun details that make it so special – the topstitching (btw – buy 2 spools of thread. you will need them!), the fine gathering, THAT ELASTIC WAISTBAND THAT IS BEAUTIFUL AND GENIUS (sorry, i got excited for a second there), the inside pockets, the collar. i will definitely make this again – in my preferred yellow, with an interfaced collar 🙂 and a hood. i think i missed out by not doing the hood.

anyway, pictures!

minoru jacket

minoru jacket - zipping

minoru jacket - collar

minoru jacket - back
lovelovelove the back

minoru jacket - unzipping

minoru jacket - unzipping

minoru jacket - ah-sneeze
i am including this picture bc it cracks me up. i was trying to show the lining & i sneezed!

minoru jacket - pocketssss!

minoru jacket - open

and some detail shots…
minoru jacket - flat

minoru jacket lining

minoru jacket - elastic

minoru jacket - collar open

minoru jacket - zipped up

minoru jacket - open

ALSO one last thing…

minoru jacket & bikey
minoru & bike.
you jealous? 🙂