Tag Archives: peony

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?

Completed: Colette Peony – Summer Gingham!

27 Feb

Ok, it’s not summer here, but it sure feels like it – right after I took these pictures yesterday, I pulled on a short-sleeved tshirt & some denim capris and took my bicycle out for a spin. It was LOVELY outside – and today doesn’t look like it’ll be any different. Yay for spring getting a head start this year 😀

Gingham Peony

Anyway, here’s a little summer sundress to get us in the mood – sorry if you live in a cold climate, maybe you should move to the South 🙂 Ha! I kid, I kid! I can’t wait to wear this dress as God intended – no tights, no cardigan, just some espadrilles and a sweet little rose brooch. I have a feeling this dress will be in heavy rotation for the next few months!

There’s not much to say about this pattern – I’ve already made it twice, so I didn’t have to do any preliminary fitting or a muslin – just cut & go! I did putter around with the pattern, since I had a pretty limited amount of fabric – 1.5 yards of 44″ gingham is exactly enough to cut out this pattern with no sleeves or facings (but still keeping the pockets) in a size 4, FYI. I underlined the entire dress – bodice & skirt – with white cotton batiste to keep everything modest, since my gingham was pretty sheer! Since I didn’t have enough fabric to cut facings, I faced the neck & arms with white bias binding for a clean finish. I did consider lining the dress (as opposed to underlining) so I wouldn’t have to deal with facings at all, but I wanted my batiste to offer a little structure in addition to making things opaque, so I stuck with underlining. As a bonus, it brightened up the colors, too! I also scooped a little out of the neckline so it wasn’t quite so boat-neck, per my inspiration.

I decided to keep the overall look of this dress simple & clean – with pops of yellow to make everything less Dorothy-esque 🙂 The yellow belt is a leftover from my first rooibos (man, I miss wearing that dress! GET WARM OUTSIDE!), and the yellow crocheted rose pin is something I made a couple of years ago when I had this crazy idea I was going to crochet a white granny square afghan with yellow roses. Actually, I still want that afghan, but I have too many projects to finish & I hate crocheting anyway 🙂 Here is the video I used to make the rose, it’s really easy! I still have a pile of these roses that I need to do something with – maybe I’ll give them away. Dunno!

Gingham Peony
My sewing room is so tiny, but I just love standing in there & gawking, so I thought y’all might like it too!

Gingham Peony

Gingham Peony
I cut the pockets out of gingham as well, so they blend in with the sides of the dress 🙂

Gingham Peony

Gingham Peony
Oops, I almost forgot – here is a shot of it without the belt! The checks match up pretty well, if I do say so myself 🙂

Gingham Peony
This is the best close-up I could get – every single other one of my pictures turned out super dark 😦

Gingham Peony
It cracks me up how my dresses look post-FBA when they are hanging or flat – they have little built-in boobs! HAHA!

Gingham Peony
You may have noticed that the zipper is bright yellow. I did not have a white 22″ zipper on hand, but I did have yellow! And it goes with my overall theme – not to mention that pretty burst of color when it’s unzipped! I love colorful little surprises like that 🙂

Gingham Peony
I just wanted to share my check-matching at the zipper. That’s as close to perfect as I could get! I know the checks don’t line up at the waistband – it’s due to the back darts. The fronts & side seams match up, though – you can’t win ’em all!

Gingham Peony - yellow lace @ hem
Yellow lace on the inside of the hem 🙂

Crocheted yellow rose pin

The flea market was kind of mehhh this weekened, but I did score at the thrift – look at this beauty I picked up~
Thrifted silk skirt
100% silk, in the most gorgeous shade of teal – $2! It’s a skirt, but it’s fairly large & long, and the seams are very simple. Cutting it apart yielded about 1 3/8 yard of 36″ fabric – plus the silk lining & zipper. Also, I bought a cashmere cardigan (not pictured) for $4. YUS THRIFT.

Gingham Peony

Tutorial: Using Bias Tape As A Facing

22 Feb

Continuing with my sewing-for-the-wrong-season theme (spring, please get here now!), my current project is a simple little gingham sundress. As I mentioned yesterday, I am using the Peony pattern sans sleeves – summer dresses don’t need sleeves! Here is my inspiration, if you wanna be inspired too!:) I squeezed this out of a sale remnant (1.5 yards @ 44″, if you’re curious!), which left no room for facings. That’s fine, I guess, because I don’t really feel like drafting facings for those arm holes. Onto the next best thing – bias tape!

Bias tape is a great alternative to facing – whether you are working with a fabric that is too thick to use as a facing, or too uncomfortable to wear next to the skin, or maybe you just want something lightweight & unfussy! It gives a nice clean finish with considerably little effort. I personally like to make my own bias tape – the Coletterie has a great tutorial on how to do this – as I find the packaged stuff to be too stiff and bulky. Making your own bias tape also gives you all kinds of options – contrasting colors, patterns, something to give the inside of your garment a little pop! Yellow bias tape would be so fun with this dress! I had to make do with what I had on hand, though, so mine is white.

Here is my method for sewing in a bias tape facing – I understand there are different ways to do this (such as Colette’s Sorbetto top), so use what you will!

You are going to start by sewing up your garment as usual – should seams, side seams – as we are going to insert the bias tape in the round. If you are using bias tape to face the neckline, insert your zipper as well. I’m just focusing on the arm holes here.

Trim down the seam allowance minus the width of the fold of your bias tape – in my case, my bias tape is 1/2″, so the folds are 1/4″. I trimmed off 1/2″, as the seam allowance for this is 5/8″.

Open up the bias tape and fold under 1/2″ at the beginning. Press.

On the right side of the garment, pin the opened bias tape right sides together around the arm hole, matching the raw edges.

Sew the whole thing down, positioning your needle in the crease of the bias tape. Don’t sew over your pins!!!

Clip the seam allowance every 1/2″ or so to ensure that the tape will lie smoothly. Be careful not to clip into your stitching. If your main fabric is bulky, you may want to grade down the seam as well.

Now fold the bias tape over so it is on the wrong side of the garment and carefully pin into place.
You can sew the tape down on your machine, or by hand (like I did). Sorry the picture doesn’t show so well! I slip-stitched to the underlining only, to keep the stitches from showing on the right side.

Give your arm holes a good press with the steam iron to ease out any wrinkles.

And you’re done!


My next dilemma – how to trim up this dress! I do want to incorporate some yellow, so I pulled out all my yellow notions & threw them in a pile in the middle of my sewing table. I have buttons (1/2″ and giant 1.5″!), tiny rick-rack, wide lace, a scant piece of piping (enough for maybe a neckline or a waist), seam binding, and of course the petersham that is choking poor Dolly. The petersham is probably going to turn into a belt, since I only have a yard of it. What would you do? Jazz it up, or keep it simple?

Completed: Cinnamon Slip

21 Feb

It’s a little early for me to jump in the spring clothing game, but holyyyyy mother the weather has been positively spring-like here! Well, except on Sunday – we had “snow” (you know, that weird slightly frozen rain that just makes a slush mess on your windshield? Yeah, ew) and it was so cold, I refused to get off the couch/out of my pajamas. But it’s back to the 60s today and I’m ready for this warm weather to stick around for good! Can’t hurt to make some springy clothes that could be layered to ward of a little chill, eh? Eh?

I got this pattern as a Christmas present from my baby brother (thank you, Matt! You are the best :D) – I really love wearing vintage slips around the house (and, er, sometimes out in public :B) in the warmer months. That’s some dainty shit! Unfortunately, vintage slips are difficult to find in my size… and I don’t care to pay the super marked up prices that resellers charge. I don’t mind makin’ em, though! Especially when it means I can use colors that aren’t pastel and fabrics that aren’t slippery nylon. Whee!

Cinnamon Slip

I’ve never sewn up a whole bias garment before – bias skirts, yes, and bias midriffs. Never the whole thing! So this was an interesting experience. The pattern has lots of information on working with bias – including what stitches to use & where. I was a little put off at the suggestion to use a small zig zag stitch to construct everything, but I ended up following the instructions to a T since I figure Sarai knows more about this stuff than I do 🙂 I do like the finished result!

Cinnamon Slip
I do have a couple small fitting concerns – the center point of the V is not flat against my body; it sticks up a little. And there are wrinkles across the top of the midriff. I’m guessing I need to cut my next one a size bigger – this is a 2, with a 4 bust, and it fits reeeally perfectly except for those wrinkles. It doesn’t look so bad in the photos but it is definitely noticeable in real life.

Cinnamon Slip
The fabric is a lovely cotton voile that I picked up for a steal last summer at my local fabric store – I think I paid like $3 a yard for this stuff! It’s totally NOT my style – I don’t care much for the super sweet florals, or lavender for that matter – but it was sooo soft, it just kind of leapt into my arms. I love how it looks & feels as a slip dress, though! And it made the whole bias experience much easier than if I had started out with a giant piece of slippery silk.

The print *is* a little busy, though, so I raided my stash for trim to highlight that pretty midriff detail. This lavender ribbon matches perfectly – no idea where it came from, or why it was in my stash, but yay for being a stash hoarder!

Cinnamon Slip

Cinnamon Slip - ribbon detail
Here is some ribbon detail. It’s sewn on with a tiny zig zag stitch – amazingly, I had matching lavender thread on hand too! What are the odds?

I made this slip with the intention of it being for around-the-house wear, but I think it really looks like a casual sundress. I can totally see myself wearing this to the park with some flats and a light cardigan. What do y’all think? Strictly slip or approps for public wear as well?

Cinnamon Slip

As a side note, here’s a sneaky peaky at my next project – another summer dress!
Next project - gingham peony
It’s a Peony, in some gingham that’s been lurking in my stash for about a year (actually, I think I bought it at the same time/from the same sale rack as that floral voile lol). Not sure what I’m going to do with the petersham yet; I do want to incorporate some yellow so the dress isn’t so Dorothy 🙂

And check this out –
sheer vs underlined
I underlined the pieces since they were so sheer. Pretty amazing how much of a different underlining makes! The blues & whites are much more vibrant now!

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

and, in case you were curious:
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

completed: colette peony, in a floral explosion

14 Nov

first off, i realize i took way too many pictures of myself making the same pose/face in this dress. i’m sorry. i tried to edit them down as much as possible. i also apologize for the crappy lighting – i think i might be the only sewing blogger who’s not married to a photographer? just me & my tripod! and don’t tell me to move away from the coral wall, or i will hit you with the empty paint can 🙂

moving on…

i finished my dress! so happy with the final piece – it is AMAZING! let’s talk shop – i made this using a stretch velveteen fabric. stretch fabric is NOT my choice for this dress, the neckline sits kind of weird & i had to do all kinds of alterations to get it to fit (as it stretched too big, when my woven muslin was a perfect fit). i didn’t realize the fabric was stretch until i received it in the mail… my bad for not reading the description more closely, oh well. i added piping to the neckline & waistline, and interfaced the facing with god ol’ cotton muslin. instead of using an invisible zipper (i was afraid it would bubble under that stretch fabric), i handpicked a lapped zipper, stabilized with a strip of silk organza.

as far as the actual fit of the pattern, me likey! it did require a little tweaking – MAKE A MUSLIN – i had to move my vertical darts over and my horizontal darts up, but the overall fit is good! and it doesn’t use a whole lot of fabric. win win! i cut a size 4 and added a 1/2″ FBA… i think this made the shoulders fit better than if i had cute a size 4.

floral peony

floral peony
using the pockets

floral peony - OMG POCKETZ
omg pockets!

floral peony

floral peony - back
the bunching on the cummerbund is due to there being no stabilization at the buttonhole (i used polyester taffeta for my cummerbund, fyi). next time, i will put some interfacing there.

floral peony

want to see the dress without the cummerbund? you got it!

floral peony - no belt

floral peony - no belt
(no idea what my face is doing here)

floral peony - flat

floral peony - piping at waistline
ooh i love piping.

floral peony - inside
per usual, i finished the edge of my facing with rayon seam binding. i actually found this in my stash – the color is called “toast,” but i think it looks more like “baby shit.” anyway, it matches my dress (should i be unhappy about this?). oh, the red lines are from my markings. they won’t wash off this fabric, awesome.

floral peony - hem
more baby shit at the hem!

floral peony - belt
taffeta cummerbund. i love that this pattern only uses one button – awesome if you’re a button hoarder like me and have jars and jars of awesome buttons and only one of each.

floral peony
so yep! that’s my peony! i really love this dress, the pockets, the fit – everything! so much that i’ve already cut out my pieces for peony #2… and i know y’all want a little sneaky peeky, so here you go 🙂

plaid peony


next up: the peony!

11 Nov

first, a sad story.

this is my sewing machine. it is a pfaff 7570 and it is my lifeblood. i paid more for it than some of my friends paid for their first car. i bought this machine – used – at the tail end of 2007, so we are approaching our 4 year anniversary (aw!). to say i love this machine is a serious understatement.

so you can imagine how upset i was when, during galaxy dress construction, the tension started messing up really bad & nothing i did would fix it. i had it cranked up to a 7, which is pretty unheard of for this machine. and on top of that, it was… squeaking whenever i sewed. UHM. MY MACHINE DON’T SQUEAK.

i had a minor panic attack and spent the next 2 days researching where to take it – the place i originally bought it from is sadly no longer in business, and the woman who serviced it last year (yep, i take my machines in to be serviced every year! you should too!) was nowhere to be found. i was starting to think i was going to have to drive to lousiville or atlanta to have the thing checked out – you can’t get a pfaff serviced by any ol’ dude with a tool set. then i convinced myself that i was going to need to actually replace the machine. cue more tears.

i did end up finding an authorized pfaff repair shop within 20 miles of my house (yay!). the guy looked at it and said that, while it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t sound like i need to junk my machine or anything (double yay!). so right now it’s in the safe hands of the repair shop, and i anxiously await their call. there is some discussion that the woman who fixed it last time may have messed it up, which sucks since i paid her $89 and now i have to pay another $89+ to undo the damage she caused. ugh. anyway, fingers crossed!

in the meantime, i’m using my back-up machine:
back-up sewing machine
it’s a janome memory craft 4000 and i hate it. it is actually a decent machine, it just isn’t my pfaff. and i’m spoiled as shit and all i can think about are it’s shortcomings – like, i have to adjust the tension? ew, my pfaff does that automatically. and why isn’t there a light to show me the bobbin is running out? my pfaff could tell me when the bobbin is running out. i miss my dual-feed. this machine is ugly. i need a needle-threader. etc etc.

anyway, enough whining. let’s talk peony!

oooh u guise, this dress is EASY. easy easy! i started sewing on it last night & it’s practically finished! and it looks GOOD. i can already tell i’ll be making a few more of these 😉

i did start out with a muslin, as suggested by a few people. i’ll mimic them: make a muslin! i decided to try a different approach with this pattern – i usually cut a straight 4 for the bust, this time i cut a 2 and added a 1/2″ FBA. i also found out that i needed to move the darts around a little, as they were placed kind of weird according to my body shape. here is my altered bodice front:
peony alterations
see the ruled paper sections? that’s how far i had to move the darts. again: make a muslin! 🙂

for the 3 of you who live under a rock & don’t read good sewing blogs, jane hosted a giveaway recently for the colette sewing handbook. and i just wanted to rub in everyone’s face that i won! hehe 🙂 seriously, though, if you haven’t picked up this book – do check it out! it is full of great information & beautiful pictures. and PATTERNS. anyway, i mention the book because i used a few of the tips with working on the peony – the diagram for a FBA (a little more concise than fit for real people) and gathering stitches with 3 rows of basting. it is kind of tedious to sew three rows of basting stitches (especially on this stupid machine! ok ok, i’ll stop.), but the results are worth it. setting in the sleeves was SO easy. mine still have a few puckers, but it is mostly from my fabric choice – a thickish velveteen that i didn’t realize was stretch until it was too late. oops.

the pockets are some cheapie red lining i found in my stash… apparently they grew when i serged them, wtf.

peony progress!
and so far! there is piping at the neck & waistline, which was also found in the stash – a match made in heaven, i must say! i am headed to the fabric store to pick up cummberbund fabric – i’m thinking olive green. and a fancy button, of course. oooh buttons.

what are y’all working on this weekend?