Tag Archives: culottes

Completed: A Jumpsuit, of sorts

3 Sep

A couple of months ago, I was asked by the ladies at By Hand London if I’d like to test their new Holly Jumpsuit. I’m always a sucker for these gorgeous patterns, but then they went and threw in an offer of testing-fabric from Grey’s Fabric to really seal the deal. Consider me sold, name signed in blood and all (forreal, though, I’ll do anything for love free fabric).

Holly/Tania Mash-up

I finished with good time, sent my testing notes in, and took some photos (I could pretend my hair grew like that overnight, but in reality, these photos are just that old. Haha!). And then I waited. And waited. Right before the pattern was to be released, there was a design snafu that meant the pattern had to be reworked, which set things back by… well, a lot. Fortunately, the kinks have been worked out and the pattern is now officially for sale! Which means I can finally show you mine! Yay!

Holly/Tania Mash-up
Holly/Tania Mash-up

You may have noticed by now that my jumpsuit* looks nothing like the pattern – and you would be right. That’s because at this point, no part of my jumpsuit is actually part of the pattern! Whoops!

Holly/Tania Mash-up

However, it is still technically a jumpsuit (right? The two-separate-holes-for-each-leg dictate that… right?), so there’s that.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

There’s a method to this madness, I promise. As a pattern tester, I always make my first version (usually a muslin), exactly as drafted and written by the pattern. After I have taken my (usually very unflattering)photos and made my fitting adjustments, I will transfer those adjustments to the pattern and make it up in my fashion fabric (if not a second muslin entirely). I started out with the shorts and Variation 2 bodice, which was surprisingly a pretty good fit straight out of the envelope. The butt of the shorts was a little tight (it is my understanding that this ended up being a grading error that has since been amended), and I needed to shorten the straps – but overall, things were looking good. It wasn’t until I had made this up in my beautiful rayon challis – i.e., the good stuff – that I realized the entire ensemble just made me look like a giant toddler. Especially when combined with this fabric – while beautiful, it’s pretty juvenile looking. Eep!

After some chatting with the BHL ladies, we ultimately decided that it would be a shame to sew something I’d never wear (and I know I occasionally wear some out-there ensembles, but again, looking like a giant toddler is NOT one of them) , so I was given the green light to swap out the bottoms for another pattern. Specifically, I chose the Tania Culottes because FUCK YES I DID.

After that, things went haywire in the design department and my tested version of the bodice ended up getting scrapped and redesigned. Which means my tested Holly jumpsuit is now basically anything BUT Holly! Oh well! I tried!

Holly/Tania Mash-up
Holly/Tania Mash-up

Anyway, let’s talk about the construction of this jumpsuit. To combine the bodice with the Tania culottes, I added a 2″ wide straight waistband (interfaced on one layer, and faced with self-fabric on the inside) that connects the bodice to the skirt. Ideally, I would have shortened the bodice and raised the rise of the culottes, as I think the waistband sits a little low, but that’s life. The Tanias are sewn as normal, just without a waistband.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

All edges were finished with my serger and I used my rolled hem foot to make the prettiest little baby hem.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

The end result is a sweet little flouncy tank dress that has an amazing twirl factor – and thanks to the culottes, is less likely to fly up and flash any innocent bystanders.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

As I previously mentioned, my beautiful rayon challis came courtesy of Grey’s Fabric, specifically to be used to test this pattern. I just love the smooth silhouette and fluid drape that comes with rayon challis – not to mention, it’s ridiculously comfortable to wear in the heat. Rayon loves to wrinkle like crazy and this fabric is no exception, but at least the busy print and voluminous skirt hide most of that.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

Anyway, despite my design changes+unexpected pattern snafu changing things to the point that my tested pattern ended up being something completely different, I am happy with said end result – not to mention, it’s absolutely something I would wear (and have worn! Lots!). Again – if you plan on buying this pattern, please keep in mind that absolutely nothing about my version matches what is included in the final pattern – although it would be pretty easy to Frankenpattern this one with a couple indies.

What do you think of the Holly Jumpsuit? Are you Team Jumpsuit – craving dangly earrings, sparkly eyeshadow, and a Studio 54 vibe (I mean, ugh, that new Variation 2 bodice is KILLER, ain’t it?)? Or do you feel like an overgrown toddler who would prefer to stick with dresses and two pieces, thank you very much?

* I think the leg-shorts mean this thing is actually a romper or a playsuit, not a jumpsuit. However, the thought of saying that I’m wearing a playsuit makes me feel, again, like an overgrown toddler, so fuck that. I’m calling it a jumpsuit, as that sounds a lot more grown-up. My blog, my sewing, my rules 😛

In other news-
1. The new class schedule is up at The Fabric Studio! Lots of fun classes coming up – including an Open Sewing Lab hosted by yours truly! Those of y’all in Nashville can come hang out in the studio to sew and drink tea with other crafty peeps 🙂 I’ll be on hand to answer questions and assist as needed. This is a great alternative to a structured class since you can work on whatever you want, come whenever is convenient for you, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a private lesson 🙂 Check out the classes page to sign up (my class is at the bottom). I am REALLY excited for this; I love sewing with company! Yay!

2. Don’t forget that the Casual Sweet Clothes giveaway ends on Friday! If you haven’t already entered, here’s your hint 🙂

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Completed: Winter Tania Culottes

28 Oct

I wasn’t sure if the Tania Culottes could be winterized, but they can. THEY TOTALLY CAN.

Winter Tania Culottes

And they look really good in the process!

Winter Tania Culottes

I made these using a piece of fabric I’ve had in my stash for a few years… it looks like wool suiting, but it’s actually 85/15 linen and silk. The silk addition is nice because it means the fabric doesn’t wrinkle. I guess it would be more suitable (lolz) for summer wear, but summertime is not suit fabric time, regardless of fiber content, as far as I’m concerned.

Winter Tania Culottes

Anyway, it’s a remnant from my local fabric store. It was pretty funny when I bought it, because the ladies at the register kept exclaiming, “WHAT is that? Where did you find that? Oh, it’s so amazing! And it’s so cheap!” and I’m all, “Back off bitches, I found it first.” I’d totally elbow someone over fabric, let’s just be honest.

Winter Tania Culottes

Making these wasn’t much different than sewing them with cotton. There is no lining – I reckon I could’ve popped one in (there’s a short blurb at the end of the instructions on how to do this), but I didn’t have any lining on hand and this fabric isn’t very grabby like a wool tends to be. I did take in a bit extra at the side seams, since my first Tanias are slightly loose. I nipped in the side seams at 3/4″ and the waistband fit is perfect on these.

Winter Tania Culottes

I was initially hesitant to make these up in this fabric, since it’s sorta drapey but it’s not sooo drapey like a rayon or a cotton voile would be (not to mention the fabric is much thicker), but I’m actually really happy with how the silhouette turned out. It’s so flippy and full!

Winter Tania Culottes
Winter Tania Culottes

I have a similar miniskirt (from American Eagle, oh lol) that I’ve been meaning to replace as it doesn’t fit right anymore… and this is a perfect replacement! The longer length means I can wear it to work, and the higher waistline means I can wear it with my cropped sweaters.

Winter Tania Culottes

Not to mention, it’s essentially a pair of drapey shorts – so I can also wear this shit on my bike!

Winter Tania Culottes

(O shit, I never realized how cool these tights are!)

Winter Tania Culottes
Winter Tania Culottes

The only blip I had with sewing these was the hemming… I couldn’t fit the bulk of the fabric under my rolled hem foot, and I will be DAMMED if I am going to sit and blindstitch all that yardage at the bottom. So I serged the edges and folded them under once with a quick topstitch. The fabric is so busy, you can’t really see the serging. And I finished my hem fast! Evening the hem out was also way easier, thanks to the stability of the fabric.

Winter Tania Culottes

Doesn’t they look so good with my cropped Chuck? Ugh, I love this sweater so much, but the length makes it difficult to pair it up with just anything. These two, though – they are a match made in heaven.

Winter Tania Culottes

I’m happy that I finally found a use for this stash fabric, and winterized one of my favorite summer patterns! Tanias year-round for everyone!

Winter Tania Culottes

Oh, and check this out – my little photo companion for the day 🙂

Winter Tania Culottes

This is Nimue, isn’t she the cutest little thing? She’s a corgi puppy – no, we didn’t adopt a pet (I wish! But I want cats. Moreeee catssssss), I was just watching her for the afternoon. She was very good, although she preferred cuddling up on the couch with me most of the time 🙂

Completed: Birthday Tania Culottes

24 Jun

I never thought I would say this… but… YAY CULOTTES!!!

Tania Culottes

These culottes come courtesy of not one, but TWO awesome birthday gifts I got back in May.

Tania Culottes

I used Megan Nielsen’s Tania Culottes pattern to make these bad boys up. The pattern was a gift from reader Carla (she doesn’t have a blog yet, but there’s her Instagram!). I had to wait first because this pattern is wildly popular – it was sold out, and it appears to be sold out again, ha! – but I like to think it was worth the wait. This is such a fabulous little pattern, it’s very easy, but it sure doesn’t look it!

Tania Culottes

I cut the size XS, keeping the length also on the XS. The length should really look more like a mini, but on my short lil’ legs it’s *almost* appropriate for work (I say almost, but not quite :P). This pattern was seriously fast to make – I breezed through it in a couple of hours.

Tania Culottes

The engineering on this pattern is SO COOL. It actually looks like I’m wearing a floaty little circle skirt…

Tania Culottes

… but they are indeed culottes! With a crotch seam and everything!

Tania Culottes

One thing I will mention that was not written in the instructions is that you reeeeeally need to let this sucker hang for 24 hours before you hem. Since the skirt is a circle (or half circle, or whatever, I can never tell with these things!), the bias along the hem leads for some crazy settling. I had to cut quite a bit off to get it even, and still it’s not exactly perfect. Better, but not perfect.

Tania Culottes

I think the fabric is what really makes these, though. Isn’t it lovely? THAT was a gift from Kristi, a giftcard to Mood, which I immediately used to buy me some of that Thakoon cotton everyone is raving over. And, you know, after handling this fabric during the making (and wearing!) of my culottes, I gotta say… the rave reviews are there for a reason. This stuff is AWESOME. It is the silkiest, softest cotton (my mom was shocked when I told her it was just 100% cotton… and she’s a seamstress, too! She knows her fabrics!), but it’s not slinky to handle at all. It presses well and while it’s lightweight/sheer-ish, it’s opaque enough to not need a lining. I kind of wish I’d bought several yards of the stuff. I may anyway, when I get my next Mood allowance.

Tania Culottes

Srsly, I wish I could cut a little swatch to send to each of you! It is THAT amazing!

Tania Culottes

I didn’t bother to match the stripes on the CF or CB seams, but I don’t think it’s really noticeable? The folds in the circle skirt do a good job of hiding that, ha.

Tania Culottes

Anyway, I looove my new culottes! I cannot wait to try these out while riding my bike. Gonna feel like a floaty cycling goddess, y’all. Again, thank you SO SO SO MUCH, Carla and Kristi, for making my culotte dreamz come true~~

Now, on a totally unrelated note, let’s have a cat story!!

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(I know, the side of my house looks SUPER white trash, bear with me here…)
On Friday, I hear this awful/scared mewing from outside the house. I looked out the back door and there was a tiny kitten on the porch! He ran when he saw me. All that night, I could hear him but I couldn’t figure out where he was hiding, until I realized there was a tiny hole in the crawl space under the house (this picture was taken after I pulled out all the bricks in the crawl space, fyi!).

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I eventually caught him when I brought Amelia outside. He just ran straight to her! (Amelia, on the other hand, wants NOTHING to do with him. Bitch.) We brought him inside, gave him 3 baths (he was covered in fleas, poor thing!) and he seems pretty happy now. He gets really scared if you leave the room and he can’t see you, but I try to carry him around with me because I don’t want him interacting with Amelia until I know for sure whether or not he has any kitty-diseases. She’s vaccinated and on flea/tick/worm meds, but still. You never know!

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So now I have this kitten. I have no idea how old he is – he seems really young, though. We’ve been calling him Theodore.

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I wish I could keep him, but I can’t afford the bills & additional pet deposit that he would cost me – not to mention, Amelia is REALLY unhappy about sharing her space with another animal. Fortunately, I think my brother & sister-in-law are going to adopt him 🙂 She’s taking him to the vet right now to make sure everything checks out, and I may hang onto him for a week or so until they move into their new house. Fingers crossed that everything works out! He’s super sweet and cuddly.

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Here we are trying to take a picture this morning. As you can see, Theodore wasn’t feelin’ it 😉