Tag Archives: shirtwaist

Completed: the Organic Hawthorn

7 Aug

First of all, thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Colette Hawthorn Contest – I somehow ended winning second place! Such a wonderful surprise, and do check out those other winners – because, guys, I’m not worthy.

With that being said, I love this pattern and I’ve already made a second dress.

Navy Hawthorn

I realized that my wardrobe was severely lacking some basic, work-appropriate, tattoo-covering clothing (we are fairly casual here at my office, but I think it’s good to have a few pieces that err more on the professional side should I need it for meetings or important clients dropping in), and a Hawthorn with sleeves pretty much fits the bill here.

Navy Hawthorn

It’s modest and sleek without being frumpy, vintage-inspired without being costumey. Win!

Navy Hawthorn

I am super happy with how it turned out, however, I am NOT happy with those bust dart points. I promise you they look 1000% worse in the pictures than they do in real life – according to these photos, I have two sets of eyes D: I resewed the dart tips more times than I care to admit – lowering them, raising them, tapering them more subtly – as well as pressing the everloving fuck out of them. No dice. Like I said, they’re not as bad in real life as they look here, but now I can’t stop staring at them oh god I’m sorry.

Navy Hawthorn

Anyway, dart issues aside – we’ve already discussed the pattern, so today we are going to talk about the fabric!

Navy Hawthorn

This is organic cotton sateen, from my pals at Organic Cotton Plus (my second review for this – they liked my my first review so much, they came back for a second round :P). I’ve not had much experience with cotton sateen – most of what I’ve seen has been the sort of fabric I shy away from. Think super shiny (if you like shiny, that’s totally fine, but personally I always feel like I’m wearing a prom dress!), too much stretch, and much too stiff for my liking. This stuff is NOTHING like what I described, though. Don’t let the boobie-eyes deter you; there ain’t much shine on this fabric, other than a spectacular luster that comes from high-quality cotton and a gorgeously deep pigment.

Navy Hawthorn

The fabric has a great drape – it just floats and creates the most lovely folds. It’s pretty lightweight, with no stretch, which makes it ideal for this pattern. And since it’s cotton, it’s super comfortable to wear. It also wrinkles like crazy, because of the aforementioned cotton, but I’m ok with a few wrinkles – I’d rather have wrinkles than pools of sweat from polyester!

Navy Hawthorn]

This is a great basic if you want to make something in a solid color but feel bored with the idea of, well, solid colors.

Navy Hawthorn

Both the buttons and the monogram are from the flea market. I think they both add something special to the dress, while still keeping it office-appropriate.

Navy Hawthorn

I love the monogram! It’s actually metal, and has sharp bars at the back that pierce the fabric and bend to keep it in place. Which means it’s never coming off this dress… except to wash, I guess. I’m not sure how old it is, but it’s pretty sweet! I’ve been hoarding it for a few months now, waiting on the perfect shirtwaist backdrop.

Navy Hawthorn

Soo, as you can see here, I tried splitting the dart on this version, following the tutorial at the Coletterie. I’m not totally happy with how the darts turned out – they are too close together at the top (and I suspect that, while they likely aren’t 100% of my nipple-eye problems, they likely contribute to it, ugh). I didn’t realize how they looked until after I’d put the bodice front together- and cut up all my fabric. Shoulda made a muslin, shoulda woulda coulda.

Navy Hawthorn

Oh well!

Navy Hawthorn

Quick, look at this! Shiny!!

Navy Hawthorn

I trimmed the hem with matching rayon seam binding, and catch-stitched it down for a clean finish (and yeah, that took forrrever haha). I’m mostly including this picture because it really shows the color best. It’s so rich!

Navy Hawthorn
Navy Hawthorn

The dart points aren’t as prominent here – this is much more accurate of how they look in real life. Still… how do I fixxxx thiisssss????

Navy Hawthorn

Navy Hawthorn

I think this dress will end up getting a lot of wear this fall! I can’t wait to pair it with future Kelly Green cardigan – navy and green is one of my favorite color combinations at the moment. I better get knittin’!

Me Made May – Week 1 Roundup

4 May

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

Time for a round-up of the first week of Me-Made-May!

I wanted to put these in a cute little collage, but since Picnik died & left me all alone to grieve in private, you get individual pictures. Them’s the breaks.

Dress: Simplicity 2458
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Target

Dress: Colette Patterns Rooibos
Belt: Handmade
Cardigan: Thrifted
Shoes: Target

Dress: Simplicity 6268
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Steve Madden

5/4 (that’s today!)
Blouse: Colette Patterns Violet
Skirt: Colette Patterns Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted; reconstructed by me
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Target Kids

Sooo… about that Violet blouse… we need to talk.

The original incarnation just wasn’t doing it for me. I know it’s looks super cute in the pictures, but it was very uncomfortable in real life – mainly because those damn armholes were WAY too low-cut for sleeves. Every time I moved my arms, the whole shirt would ride up. As a result, I never wore it and felt very sad inside since 1. dotted swiss; and 2. cotton batiste, aka my two favorite fabrics that very instant.

So I cut the sleeves off.

Dotted Swiss Violet

I wish I could tell y’all that cutting the sleeves off immediately solved the problem, but that would be a lie. Remember those low armholes? They were so low, sans sleeves, that you could see the whole side of my bra without even being sneaky about it. Which, I mean, I’m definitely known to let it all hang out from time to time, but we’re talking about a freakin swiss dot button up with a peter pan collar here. Not really the right vessel for looking tarty.

I used part of the sleeves to add an extra wedge of fabric at the bottom of the arm hole – I ended up having to raise it a good 2″, and it’s still a little too low but I am NOT in the mood to fiddle with this blouse anymore. I finished with bias tape facing (machine-stitched because, again, NOT in the mood). I also took in the side seams a bit more at the waist to give it some more shape, since I was feeling pretty box-like at that point. I’m not 1000000000% happy with the finished result – it kind of looks, well, homemade – but it’s much better than the sleeved version.

The lesson here: don’t buy a loose, free-flowing boxy blouse pattern when you prefer to wear everything with little to no ease.

On a happy note, look at the newest addition to my house as of last night!
It’s actually Landon’s set, not mine 🙂 But OH MAN it’ll be SO FREAKING NICE to do laundry in my own house! I really love doing laundry (and folding it! Haha!), but I hate dragging it in & out of the house. So I’m pretty excited about this. And yes, this is absolutely relevant to MMM’12 since pretty much all the good stuff is in the dirty clothes bin right now.
Also, check out my reel mower on the right (don’t look at the recycling on the left, please & thank you). I mow my lawn with a reel mower because I’m a BAMF. And also because gas is expensive.

Oh, and my Bombshell dress is almost done – all that is left is securing the vent (seriously, a little 2″ diagonal line haha) and figuring out how I want to attach the strap. It’s lookin’ good and I’m feeling good about it!

I leave you with this –
In case you were ever wondering what it looks like when the plastic cone inside a spool of serger thread crumbles into pure nothing.

Completed: The Tacky Shirtwaist Dress

2 Apr

I actually don’t think this dress is tacky at all – I think it’s kind of kitschy & cute! Landon however, hates the fabric – “that looks like a set of curtains my mother had” – which means that I’ll be wearing this dress a lot around him, just because. I’m a terrible person.

ANYWHO let’s talk about this pattern for a minute. This is Simplicity 2458, a sweet little 1958 shirtwaist pattern that includes a few different options. I went with option 2, but I cut the sleeves & hem significantly shorter than indicated by the pattern – the original hem came down to my ankles. Total frumpsville! I tried to take a picture for lols, but I couldn’t get the tripod far enough away to capture the true essence… so just trust me on this one. Anyway, the pattern was lovely to work with, although some of the instructions were a little dicey. A dress like this uses a LOT of fabric – I think I used close to 5 yards! Fortunately for meeee, this fabric was part of one of my ‘fill several giant bags full of fabric and pay $5 for all of it’ flea market finds, so this dress ended up being cheap 🙂 I’m actually surprised at how well the pattern fit straight out of the envelope – the only sizing adjustment I made was to add about 1/2″ at the side seam under the bust dart. Everything else fits great! There are 10 darts in just the top of this dress – 4 vertical bust darts, 2 horizontal bust darts, and 2 vertical neck darts in the back. There are actually 2 darts in the skirt as well, but you can’t see them for all the ~soft pleats~ hovering at the waistline. Also, I think this dress really needs pockets. I’m not the kind of girl who things pockets belong in all dresses or anything like that, but I feel like this dress would have benefited from some deep side seam pockets. Maybe next time!

I actually really hate the buttons on this thing – I think they are tacky as hell & they make the dress look really cheap. I really need to find some nice turquoise buttons, but these’ll do for now – they were what I had in my stash (and I actually went to the store in search of buttons but WTF why are buttons so expensive?! It was like $3 for two buttons – and now I’m seriously regretting that I passed up all those pretty antique Czech glass buttons at the flea market last month. Dude wanted $1 a piece & I thought that was way too high, but looks like I was wrong. Ok enough with the button tangent.) The off-white belt is my attempt to pretend like the buttons were on purpose. That is all.

Dress with belt:
Shirtwaist Dress
Oh, do you see where the button placket on the skirt is kind of sinking into the folds? I clearly used much too heavy of an interfacing down there, and it is weighed down as a result. It’s a fairly sturdy, mediumweight sew-in interfacing – worked beautifully on the collar (so crisp!) – but it really doesn’t belong on the skirt. Especially since I’ll probably never unbutton those buttons.

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

Dress without belt:
Shirtwaist Dress - no belt

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

this is me running back into my house to lock the door
This is me running back into my house because I realized it might be a good idea to lock the door.

Shirtwaist Dress - with petticoat
Came back with a petticoat!

Shirtwaist Dress - with petticoat
The skirt looked a lot more full in real life, argh.

Look, I made a new friend :)
Also, I found a caterpillar 😀
(sidenote: someone made a snide comment about my septum ring a couple of posts ago… good for you, lady, I hope this picture grosses you out lol)

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress
Instead of a button at the waistline, there are hooks & eyes. This keeps everything nice & flat without gaping! Sorry about the yellow smudges – I tried to edit them out best I could. This is my tip for getting hooks & eyes positioned so they actually latch closed – sew on the eye, and then rub chalk all over it until it has a layer of powder covering it. Close the garment and press down slightly where the hook should go… when you pull the garment open, there should be a little dot of powder that is exactly where you need to sew the hook. So helpful!

Shirtwaist Dress
Lace at the hem 🙂

That’ll be all, folks! 🙂

Shirtwaist Dress - no belt