Tag Archives: fall 2011

completed: the galaxy dress, a loving ripoff

8 Nov

i know we’re all familar with the roland mouret’s galaxy dress:
galaxy dress - the original
although i did not discover it until last year, it became an instant “must-have.” lucky me, vogue 8280 it an absolute, blatant rip-off, making this dress completely obtainable for my greedy hands.

let me preface this post by saying this pattern is confusing as shit. it’s not necessarily difficult, per se, but the instructions jump around a lot and i noticed many people were complaining that they inadvertently caught themselves sewing up the wrong view. so, fair warning, y’all. i went over the instructions before sewing, circled & highlighted what i needed, and wrote things like “STOP!” and “DON’T DO THIS!!!!1″ under the ones that were unnecessary.

that was my smart moment.
my not-so-smart moment was skipping the muslin. oops. i ended up having to open up the shoulders & remove about 5/8” from each piece. this is an adjustment i ALWAYS make with vogue patterns – why i didn’t make the adjustment to the flat pattern, i have no idea. sometimes i just refuse to learn from my mistakes.

the pattern calls for lining only the bodice and self-facing the flanges with the fashion fabric. since my fabric is a super wooly, super itchy tweed, i interlined them with cotton & faced with my lining. i also lined the skirt and covered the sleeve heads as well. the whole thing is pink on the inside! yay pink! i also stitched down the flanges to the bodice, as otherwise they would have have just been flapping around, and no. the pattern calls for no interfacing or stay-stitching (right??), and i was afraid those seams around the neckline would stretch, so i stabilized them with strips of silk organza – both the bodice neckline & the curves of the flanges. nothin’ sadder than a gapey neckline, amirite?

i used the aforementioned itchy wool tweed (yard sale score – $3 for 4 yards OH YEAH) and watermelon-pink bemberg rayon (left over from my circle skirt) to line. i actually stashbusted the shit out of this project; the only things i had to buy were the seam binding and a spool of brown thread. basically, my galaxy dress cost me less than $10. take that, mouret!

galaxy dress

galaxy dress b00ty
this is a *very* fitted style, as evidenced by the booty protrusion

galaxy dress
i put a lapped zipper in the back since i was afraid an invisible zip would have trouble zipping over those layers. i like the effect, but i got a small bubble at the waistline. ugh.

galaxy dress
had to lighten this photo, but check out the sleeve detail! yeehaw!
also, i know i kind of look preggers here but i promise i’m not 😉

galaxy dress

galaxy dress - sleep cap
here’s a little progress shot – the sleeves are giant & droopy without support, so i made a sleeve cap to give them some lift. i used horsehair crinoline and stuck it between the sleeve & the sleeve lining. the instructions wanted me to put it on top of the lining… why?

galaxy dress - sleeve
happy sleeve!
i ended up tacking my down by about 1/2″ at the sides – they were super huge & too footballesque, otherwise!

galaxy dress
the lining took forever because i had to keep changing out the thread from brown to pink. i think it was worth it, though.

galaxy dress - hem
put a little seam binding at the hem

snap inside dress
the neckline also had it’s fair share of problems (something i could have dealt with if i’d bothered to make a proper muslin!) – it is wide. too wide to wear a normal bra with! i don’t do strapless and i don’t do braless, so i sewed these little snaps inside the V to hook my bra to.

bra snap
and here is the bra i sacrificed to the galaxy dress. it was the most low-cut out of any bra i own, and uhhh it’s teal blue.

so yep! there’s my galaxy dress, and another outfit down for fall/winter 2011! next up: the peony. i’m working on my muslin right now 🙂

galaxy dress

completed: ceylon v2.0

1 Nov

picking up where we left off…
green wool ceylon - progress

this turned out to be one of those “add-on” projects. you know – the kind that start out relatively simple (TNT pattern, easy fabric, no embellishment, etc) until you begin to branch with a bunch of “oooh, let’s add THAT to it!” i decided i didn’t like the way the fusible interfacing acted when i used it last time, so i used muslin as a stabilizer (basting it to the facing pieces, then trimming it out of the seam allowances). i decided to hand-embroider the yokes – this was actually really really easy, just time-consuming (done during my lunch hour over the course of a week or so. and yes, my coworkers are used to me doing this kind of stuff in the lunchroom :B). then i decided that i didn’t like the way the facings looked serged, so i trimmed all the edges in straight lace. i hand-hemmed the sleeves & skirt bottom. and i covered all 16 buttons, using the shittiest coverable buttons i could find (aka in my stash), without a tool. my fingers hurt and i should have learned my lesson from my last ceylon, but nope. at least i used all the buttons up – and i won’t be buying them again. at least, i don’t think so. ha.

i made one small adjustment to the pattern fit – tapered in the waist & hips to a size 0. i kept the bodice at a 4. i love the fit & i didn’t have to make any further modifications after cutting! yay! i also narrowed the skirt a little, to get it to fit on my piece of fabric. i had 2 3/8 yd of 44″ fabric (which is more than a yard less than the requirements on the envelope), but i managed to get everything cut, on-grain (!!), using some very creative cutting layouts & narrowing the skirt side seams.

wool ceylon

wool ceylon

wool ceylon

wool ceylon

wool ceylon

wool ceylon - tag & embroidery
i put a tag in… makes me happy 🙂

wool ceylon - buttons

wool ceylon - lace facings
lace-trimmed facing 🙂 you can see it in the sleeves, too – look closely.

green wool ceylon - embroidery detail
embroidery detail – forgot to take a close-up on the finished dress, whoops
here is the embroidery pattern i used – it’s free! i used 2 strands of cream-colored embroidery floss & outlined everything in a backstitch. there are a few french knots, those used all 6 strands.

wool ceylon - lace hem
lace hem

oh! i also made a covered belt to wear. it is the same shade of cream as the embroidery. i used muslin and a self-covered kit. i had high hopes of putting in cute eyelets & making the whole thing super jazzy & special, but i didn’t realize i needed a tool & those eyelets were shitty 1-piece eyelets anyway and now i’m pissed off. so have a slidey belt:
wool ceylon
what do you think? can’t decide if i like it or not. i wanted a green belt but i definitely did not have enough green wool left over after cutting out the pieces.

overall, i’m very pleased with my new dress. the fit is perfect & the wool is very warm – which is great for a southerner like me who thinks anything below 60*F should be against the law :P. the only thing that bothers me is the lace is white, and my embroidery is off-white. i considered tea-dying the lace, but it’s polyester & also i’m lazy.

special thanks to my kitchen wall for being such a gorgeous & colorful backdrop xoxo

wool ceylon

completed: colette violet blouse

12 Oct

i know what you’re thinking – how the heck did i finish this blouse so freakin’ fast!? lol if by “fast” you really mean “slow.” let’s start this post with a confession: i started this blouse over a month ago, stitched up to the point of near-completion, then set it aside for other projects. for a MONTH now it’s been staring at me, one-sleeved & pathetic. i’m so glad i got this out of the way – i was beginning to think i could actually hear it whimpering!

violet blouse

so here is my second piece for my fall wardrobe! colette’s violet, made with a vintage cotton-rayon blend (that i picked up for a dollar! nyah nyah!). i interfaced the facings & collar with muslin, rather than fusible interfacing – i hate that stuff! hate hate hate! the inside seams are bound with self-bias tape, and i rearranged the buttons to include only 6, since that’s all i had and i reeeeally like these buttons a lot.

violet blouse - up close & personal

i only made a couple of changes to the fitting – for some reason, the darts were hanging out next to my underwire. lolwut. of course, i’d already sewn up/serged the blouse (aka my ~wearable muslin~), so i unpicked as best i could & repositioned them to reach the sky. they still aren’t *quite* in the proper place but i just can’t deal anymore today. i also took in the side seams a little – maybe another 1/2″ or so?

violet blouse - side

to be honest, i’m not thrilled with the fit of this blouse. i don’t like the loose fit, i’m more of it if-i-can-squeeze-into-this-then-it-fits kinda girl. i may end up redrafting the back piece to lay un-gathered & then pop a few vertical bust darts in the next version.

violet blouse - sleeve

violet blouse - back

violet blouse & ginger skirt
here’s my outfit – with my ginger skirt!
my expression in this picture cracks me up. “well hi there!”

flat violet

handmade :)
remember those handmade tags i was working on? snuck one in 🙂 i used speedball screen printing ink & muslin.

awesome buttons!

bias-bound facing
self-bound in bias tape

violet - untucked :(
untucked. i don’t plan on wearing it this way – see how sad it makes me? so sad!

FUN FACT: this pictures were taken in the same room as yesterday’s pictures. it is amazing how different this wall color looks depending on the light! today is rainy & grey, meh.

aaand i’m outta here.

violet blouse & ginger skirt

completed: tweed circle skirt

11 Oct

and i’m back to sewing! betcha thought i was gone for reals, huh? too bad!

who participated in the circle skirt sew-along? i had a little issue with time – aka, life got in the way – so i wasn’t able to finish in time for the first ’round of circle skirt party 2011. i was able to finish last night, though! and i’m wearing my new circle skirt today! and lucky me – i spilled coffee all over it this morning so it even smells good! /sarcasm.

circle skirt
this was a really easy pattern to draft & put together. i was able to smoosh mine out of one piece of fabric & eliminate any side seams (well, on the shell fabric – the lining was only 45″ wide, so there are seams in there!). although i was a tiny bit ambitious with my original length, and ended up cutting about 5″ off the finished piece. yikes! longer skirts & i just don’t mix, i’m afraid.

my shell fabric is a lovely wool tweed i bought at the flea market for $3. it actually has a herringbone pattern, which you can see on the swatch. it is lined with silky bemberg rayon – my favorite! i went with a pretty pink because, well, pink lining! the zipper is a faced slash zipper, hand-picked. i ran out of my original tweed fabric (or, rather, i had already done away with the scraps because that is how i roll), so it is faced with brown cotton… which i’m thinking was probably for the best, as the tweed is a slightly loose weave & tends to unravel. dropping in the lining was easy: i slashed a zipper opening & slipstitched it to the zipper. the top was basted to the top of the skirt shell, which is covered by the waistband. the lining is hemmed with a rolled hem and the shell has 2″ horsehair braid all around the edges – i used a little over 4 yards of braid! and i hand-stitched it all because i clearly have nothing better to do with my time.

circle! skirt!

circle skirt back

obligatory twirl photo
lol ~twirl

pink lining!
lining! 😀

circle skirt
i really love the shape the horsehair braid gives the hem. it has a very nice subtle flair. i actually have a petticoat i made using sugardale’s tutorial (which is AMAZING, by the way. this is a good ‘un, people!), but i prefer the way the skirt looks with the braid. also, i made my petticoat with horsehair crinoline, so it has great body but EW ITCHY.

so there you have it! my first circle skirt!

~lol omg~

plans for fall 2011 sewing

14 Sep

i suppose it’s time to get crackin’ on my new season wardrobe.

i already pooled through my fabrics & clipped swatches of what i want to use… yardages are noted on the swatches. look at how organized i can be!
as a side note… i don’t have a whole lot of storage in my sewing room, so i box up my out-of-season fabric & store it elsewhere. opening this box & pulling out all the pretty wools & autumnal colors was like christmas! wheeee!

now i’m pulling out my patterns & trying to figure out what to match up with what. i can already tell i need to go buy more fabric. my life, it is so hard.

here is my ~board. it is very simple because i really can’t be arsed to make it pretty. ha!

some discussion:
butterick 5078 – i bought this really sweet knit dress (also maggy london, actually) at the thrift store a few weeks ago and I WANT TO LIVE IN IT FOREVER. so comfy! clearly, i need more knit dresses. i consider myself a global ambassador of the knit, but i’ve never actually sewn a knit garment from a pattern (as opposed to the zillions of self-drafted knit stuff i’ve made… seriously, queen of knits over here). i would love to make this in a deep jewel tone, like that lovely green (which is actually a shantug over at gorgeous fabrics but the color is A+)

self-drafted circle skirt – i’ve already started this one! i had *exactly* enough of that tweed to cut it on the fold – barely under 2 yards at 60″ wide, cut for a 27″ waist & 26″~ length (knee-length for me with a 3″ hem). the pink is the lining – i bought too much so it will probably end up lining something else. ooh matchy!

vogue 1059 – thinking about making me some wide-legged denim pants. i will wear them with a vest & button-up shirt & pretend that i am annie hall.

parfait – ok, my corduroy is a little more navy (navier?) than this one pictured, but same idea! the parfait looks great layered, and corduroy is very seasonally-appropriate.

ceylon – i have a nice olive green wool twill that i think would work with this dude. well, provided i can finagle the cutting layout – i only have two yards. SHIT.
anyway, yeah, covered buttons & a covered belt, y/y? ooh i just love olive + red. or olive + cream. a beautiful beautiful marriage indeed.

clover – my favorite of colette’s new pattern offerings! i never even realized i needed skinny cropped pants until these came out lol. i want to make mine in a stretch suiting – tweed or herringbone – cropped at the ankles. LOVE.

simplicity 8155 – continuing my annie hall fantasy… a vest in grey herringbone. btw, this is *exactly* want i want for the clover pants, except the one i have doesn’t stretch. boohoo.

violet – i think this will be lovely in this autumnal floral fabric, with matching self-covered buttons.

vogue 8280, aka the galaxy dress – been hanging onto this pattern for a hot minute, waiting on the perfect fabric. i think i have it: tweed wool suiting. yeeeeesh, this stuff is itchy! depending on how much i can squish the cutting layout, i may be able to use the rest of that pink lining for this dress. i want to line the whole thing.

i also have simplicity 5154 that i would like to make, but i need to find a good fabric. and by ‘good fabric’ i mean exactly that plaid that the model is wearing. i need that plaid in my life!

sooo my fall/winter sewing plans are a little ambitious, to say the least. i doubt all of these will be completed by the time i am sick of winter clothes, but it’s nice to have a plan written out, at least for my own record.

what are your plans for fall sewing? tell me!