Tag Archives: seersucker

Project Sewn: Hello, Dolly!

4 Feb

All right, dudes and dudettes – Project Sewn is up and running! This first week, the theme is Style Icon.

I’m just gonna be real with y’all – as soon as I saw that challenge, my personal motto started rolling through my head. The thing is – I don’t have a style icon. I honestly don’t have a person (or designer, or whatever) who I use as inspiration for my outfits. I mean, I like the way lots of celebrities dress and I’m no stranger to the siren song of a good Joan Holloway outfit, but as far as picking a particular person… naw. I don’t even know, y’all. In the end, I decided to go with someone who I admire as a person who just happens to have amazing style….

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Dolly Parton!

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

I mean, who doesn’t love Dolly, amirite? She’s such an incredibly smart, funny, generous – and not to mention talented as HELL – woman… a true icon in my book. Speaking of books, have you ever read her memoir, My Life and Other Unfinished Business? Or heard about her program Imagination Library, which sends free books to kids to get them excited about reading? Or, hell, have you been to Dollywood?? This woman, she is amazing. She’s not just a style icon for me – she’s a real life icon, the kind of person I want to emulate.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Plus, Dolly (specifically circa 60s-70s) was no stranger to an overly decorated/borderline tacky western shirt. And, dammit, I wanted a western shirt! I’ve actually been looking for an excuse to sew one for years.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

I made my entire outfit, obviously, but let’s talk about the shirt first. My fabric is a tiny check gingham seersucker from Mood. I used the Archer as my base pattern (lol, poor Jen, probably never thought her pattern would get used to make this sort of monstrosity SORRY JEN I LOVE YOUR PATTERN THO), and made a few modifications, beyond my normal ones of changing the sleeve placket, narrowing the side seams, and a different method for attaching the collar and collar stand. There’s quite a bit of piping, since we all know it’s not a real western shirt without gratuitous amounts of piping.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Adding the piping was really fun, and definitely adds some pizazz to an otherwise plain shirt. The piping at the back yoke and top of the sleeve cuffs was easy – I just sewed it along the seam allowance before attaching the other pieces. For the front yoke, I had to do a little bit of drafting and figuring out – I ended up tracing the front piece and cutting off where I wanted the yoke to hit (right above the pockets) and then drew my scallops with a french curve. To attach the piping, I first sewed it to the bottom of the yoke, clipped and trimmed and pressed and it toward the wrong side, and then laid the yokes on top of the front piece and topstitched along the piping. The raw edges of the piping are enclosed inside the yoke, so the inside of the front of the shirt is perfectly clean except for a line of topstitching. I think it worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Once I had the shirt entirely assembled, less the pearl snaps and hem, I hung it on a hanger and stared at it for over a month. What to do next? I liked the way the effect was going, but it clearly needed some embroidery at the yokes to give it that western flair. I realized at the point that the tiny gingham check was working against me – any embroidery was going to get lost in all that action.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

I had my epiphany right before I fell asleep one night – APPLIQUE! That would show up against the check, and it would still allow me to involve some of the embroidery I so desperately wanted. I knew I still had a piece of vintage barkcloth in my stash that would be perfect (I used the majority of it for my birthday dress a few years back, and have been hoarding the remaining yardage ever since!). I painstakingly cut around each rose and leaf, arranging the pieces so they would be mostly mirrored at the front, and attached them with fusible web to the yokes. Then I hand-embroidered around every piece – partially to keep them attached to the start, but mostly because I just loove the texture of hand embroidery!

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

I am pretty freaking THRILLED with how it turned out, what do you think??

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

The last thing my shirt needed was a little bit of pearl snap action! I got mine from Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the overall experience. I actually bought both red and black pearl snaps, but once I got the shirt finished, black was the clear winner. Also, I just really love hammering shit in my sewing room, ok.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Ok, now let’s talk about the pants! I used a Theory stretch denim from Mood and my pattern is McCall’s 6440. This is my first version of this pattern (you’ve already seen my leopard pair, ooh la la), and I went through a BIG fitting curve with these. I initially cut the size 8, based on the finished measurements – and they were huuuuge! Pretty much every thing about them sucked except the crotch curve, basically. I spent an entire evening trying on, pinning, basting, trying on, repinning, basting, trying on… ad nauseam. I’m happy that they worked out in the end – they are SO fun to wear, and look super pin-up, yay! – but getting there was a process, plus the insides are full of thread tails from all that basting. Oh well!

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Some gratuitous butt shots for ya. You’re welcome.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Oh, yeah, and in case you were wondering – I can also wear this shirt untied with the sleeves rolled down, like a proper Archer, which makes it much more wearable in day-to-day life 🙂

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Now at this point, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Ok, fine, but where the hell are you going to wear that thing, anyway??” Guys. Guys. I live in Nashville. I’m not so stuck up my own butt that I’m not above rolling down to the tourist district and getting my Honky Tonk on. Let’s be real – Honky Tonkin’ is the best part about living in Nashville, as far as I’m concerned. OF COURSE you can go dancin’ in normal people clothes, but why the hell not throw on your best western digs and cowboy boots and dress the part? This being made of seersucker is even better – it’ll be much more comfortable come summer, compared to my RTW black cotton western shirt, especially with the looser style.

I’m also going to wear it just for the heck of it because, well, it’s awesome 😉

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Also, in case you were wondering – I DO have cowboy boots! I just thought this outfit needed a little tone down from the ~country~, hence the Keds 🙂

Ok, hope you’re ready for some detail shots… I took a million :\….

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

The waistband of the pants is faced with more gingham seersucker. I love when my pants match my top, even if it’s only on the inside!

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Don’t look too closely, but the embroidery on the front yokes is actually not a perfect mirror. Since the flowers weren’t printed to mirror, I had to get super creative with my cutting and appliqueing on one side, but I think it worked out quite nicely!

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Sleeve placket + pearl snaps + piping = ♥

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Yokes

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Embroidery – the flowers are outlined in a 4 thread split stitch, and the leaves are outlined in a 2 thread chainstitch. I love the effect and textures with the applique and embroidery – it’s just a little bit Alabama Chanin.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon
Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Snaps to anyone who sat through this entire post! I have one gift for you, which I found while I was trolling the nets for Dolly inspiration (click for source):

dolly parton style inspo

NOW do you see why I chose her as my inspiration? God, I love that woman.

Project Sewn, Week 1: Style Icon

Now head on over to Project Sewn and see what everyone else has been up to! Don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

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Completed: The Anna Dress, 1

19 Aug

Thank you so much, everyone, for your overwhelming support this past week. My recovery is going well (although I’m still not clear to lift anything that weighs more than 10lbs – that includes my CAT! HAHA! Oh well, I’m sure she’s happy about that, anyway), and I’m back to work and back to… sewing!! Yeah!!! Well, sort of. I promised myself I would take it easy (aka: laying, knitting, snoozing) until Friday, per Doctor’s orders, and only then could I get back in the sewing room. Lucky me, I woke up on Friday morning with a fucking cold! So, needless to say, the past few days have been a haze of cold meds and even more snoozin’. I’m functioning, albeit slower than normal.

But hey, look, I have a make to share with y’all today!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Ok ok, before you flip your shit on me – I finished this dress before the surgery! Haha! I actually wore it to work the Friday prior; it’s just taken me this long to take photos. Speaking of which – if I look a bit extra happy in these photos… cold meds. That is all.

Anna Dress - Seersucker

This is the Anna Dress, from my friends, the babely babes, over at By Hand London. I’m no stranger to the patterns from this line – I can proudly say that I have sewn every single one of ’em, yeah! – but I gotta say… Anna is my favorite. Based on everyone else’s gushing about this particular pattern (here is where I was planning on linking my favorite Annas, but again, cold meds. If you made it, linky up in the comments pls!), I’m not alone. Anna is a WINNER!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Am I allowed to tell y’all that I actually saw this dress waaaaay before I was announced to the hoardes of blog readers? Truth! Elisalex showed me a sneaky peeky while she was in Nashville back in May! I have been dying to get my hands on the pattern ever since! I love my short version, but I am SO EXCITED to try out that thigh-high split, peeps.

Anna Dress - Seersucker

I opted for a very simple version for my wearable muslin, in a classic seersucker from Mood. This is one of my last pieces of fabric from the NY stash, btw. I’ve held out on making this up because it’s a stretch cotton, and we don’t play well together. But I think stretch cotton works fine with this type of dress, as long as you’re ok with how the bodice looks in a slightly structured fabric. I like it!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

My Anna is the short version, with the slash neckline. I cut the size 2/6 and shortened the skirt about 5″. I found that the back was rather large on me – I just pinched out the excess along the zipper line. Oh, I also put in a lapped zipper because I didn’t have any invisibles on hand. Sue me!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Since my fabric is stretchy, I stabilized the neckline facing with a bit of non-stretch cotton. To do this, I just cut a second facing piece from the cotton, sewed it to the seersucker facing (as you would a sew-in interfacing) and applied the facing as normal. This keeps the neckline nice and smooth and secure!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

The pattern itself was an absolute delight to put together. There’s a reason why this pattern has so many fangirls – especially considering how short a time it’s actually been available on the sewing market. There aren’t a lot of pieces, and what is there is super simple to put together. I think this would make a great beginner pattern, whether you’re a beginner at sewing or a beginner with a a certain type of fabric (meaning: yes, you should make this up in silk!)

Anna Dress - Seersucker

I should probably tell you that I already have a couple more versions planned. Better get used to this dress! Ha!

Anna Dress - Seersucker

Oh, one more thing before I tear outta here… our giveaway winner!

wins2

There were 230 entries in all (accounting for duplicates), and you ALL made me hungry (special shoutout goes to Marchelle who linked me to this lemon cookie recipe from Martha Stewart… I will have y’all know, I made this yesterday and they are delicious aaand I’ve already eaten about half of them, ha!). Random Number Generator sayssss-

wins1

Louise is the winner of the Sweet Dress Book! Yay!!

Um, will someone kindly tell me what spotted dick is, though? Here in America, that means something TOTALLY different and I’m afraid to google it…