Tag Archives: stretch cotton

Completed: Ikat Moss Mini

21 Apr

Since I announced my pledge for Me-Made-May, I realized I better get crackin’ on making some summer-appropriate handmades if I want to actually get through the month as planned. One thing my closet has been missing for a few years is a good, basic mini skirt. I used to wear these things aaalll the time, but all my old ones either disintegrated over time or plain don’t fit anymore. I really wanted to try Grainline’s Moss Mini, but I wanted to hold off on pulling the trigger until I came across the perfect fabric.

Moss Mini

That perfect fabric being Ikat. Ow ow!

Moss Mini

OMG I love this skirt way more than I should. It’s a new silhouette for me for sure – despite having worn this style a LOT in the past (no lie you guys, I had them in every shade of denim, from white to dark blue. My dreams of being in a Poison video were, unfortunately, never recognized. Perhaps it’s because I only have a pick-up truck to lounge across, instead of a sweet 80s sports car? Dammit, I knew there was a reason why I needed a Delorean.), it’s not something I wear a lot of these days, so the style takes some re-getting used to. I’m liking it so far, though!

Moss Mini

Let’s talk about the pattern. The Moss Mini is a cute little mini skirt that includes slash front pockets, a back yoke, and a front fly with a button closure. It sits a little lower than my other skirts – the waistband is right below my navel. The length is pretty short! I didn’t remove any and it’s good for me – but I’m a petite lady, so as always, check those measurements.

Moss Mini

Moss Mini

I cut a size 0, but I had to take quite a bit out of the waist and hip to get it to fit without straight falling off. Next time I make this, I will probably cut a wedge out of the center back yoke as well – it’s gapes a little, since I curve more there than the pattern was drafted for. Other than that, the fit is pretty good!

Moss Mini

I debated adding back pockets (lord knows I’d use ’em), but ultimately decided that the skirt was busy enough without extra pocket baggage also demanding attention. Plus, the thought of additional pattern matching made me want to cry. Print-matching this bitch was rough, but totally worth it.

Moss Mini

“Wait a second, Lauren, didn’t I hear you say something earlier about there already being pockets on the skirt?” Yep! Check out those front-slash pockets, so cunningly camouflaged RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES.

Moss Mini

Like I said, pattern-matching this skirt was way rough. I used my single layer method, which always does the trick. The hard part was getting the pattern to seamlessly continue, so you don’t notice any interruptions in the skirt (as opposed to a plaid or stripe, where you just follow the line). It’s like hanging freaking wallpaper, I guess. I think I ended up doing a pretty damn fine job if I do say so myself, though – do you see the center back seam? No? Good.

Moss Mini

Apart from the pattern-matching-hell, the fabric was lovely to work with. This is a stretch cotton twill from Mood Fabrics, emphasis on the stretch. Like I said, I had to take a bit out of the side seams to get this baby to fit close (a close fit is important when you are working with a stretch – negative ease is needed!), but the resulting skirt is also really comfortable and not at all constricted. Be warned that it does like to fray and shed, though. I used flat-felled seams throughout my skirt and it’s held together pretty nicely, although pressing got a little fiddly (tip: use a reeeeally hot iron and smack the shit outta that bad boy with a clapper. Ha!).

Moss Mini

Moss Mini

As far as how I’m gonna wear this skirt? I dunno. I like the way it looks with my white button-down, but the combo feels a little fussy for a breezy summer. The lower rise is also throwing me off, as tucked in shirts just don’t look nearly as good (and this shirt is long enough to where it needs it; it looks sloppy otherwise). I’m thinking I’ll just make a bunch of plain tshirts that hit right at the waistband seam, and just swap out the colors according to my mood.

Moss Mini

Now let’s plaid “find that seam!”

Moss Mini

I debated how to cut the back yoke. Originally, I planned on matching it with the back of the skirt, so the pattern wasn’t broken up – but then I realized you wouldn’t be able to tell there was a yoke there. I stand by my mis-matched yoke (and slightly mis-matched waistband, ah well), but I still think a close match would have looked good too.

Moss Mini

There’s the flat-felled seam! Omg you guys, I changed out soooo much thread to make this stupid skirt. All interior seams are white, all topstitched seams are navy. Since every seam gets sewn twice (first the inside, then the topstitching for the flat fell), you can imagine how much I was changing thread to make this. Of course, I have 3 more machines that I could have set up to speed things along. Did I bother? Naw.

Moss Mini

I made a couple of changes to the waistband. I kept the extra length that was left (from me taking in the side seams) and used it to create an underlap for a flat button. I’ve found that I prefer this kind of waistband finish, as a non-underlap waistband – on me, anyway – tends to pull funny. I also used a hook and eye to close the front, instead of a button. I dunno, I just like the clean finish of no button!

Moss Mini

And here’s the inside! I serged the pocket edges and the fly front/facing, but everything else is flat-felled (with the white thread on the inside – see how good it looks??). I’m really really happy with how the inside of this skirt looks. So clean!

Moss Mini

I guess that’s it! Question: What color tshirts should I be making to wear with this skirt? I’m filling up my Mood cart right now…

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Completed: A Lacy Georgia (+ a giveaway!)

19 Feb

As much as I’m not really one for ~celebrating~ Valentine’s Day (I’ll take the flowers and the steak dinner, though, thanks!), I *love* the excuse it gives me to make a new dress specially for going out. Last year I wore red lace, this year I decided to go with… lace again. Except this time, I thought I’d ramp up the knockout factor with some black lace and a form-fitting, By Hand London-approved shape.

Georgia dress

So. Meet Georgia.

Georgia dress

When the girls at BHL HQ asked me if I wanted a copy of their newest pattern, I did not hesitate to scream YUSSSS and start prowling the Mood Fabrics site for a perfect lace. I knew I wanted to experiment with emerald underlining black lace (when I was still working for Muna, we had made a swing coat for a client in a similar color scheme and I looooved looking at that thing. LOVED it. Unfortunately, the client didn’t want photos taken of her even though she’s totally gorgeous, so you’ll just have to use your imagination here), so I snapped up this Anna Suit stretch lace and emerald cotton sateen and immediately set to work.

Georgia dress

The prep work for assembling this dress was definitely a labor of love – I underlined every single piece of lace with the green cotton sateen, using long basting stitches and silk thread, by hand. I kept the pieces flat on my tabletop so they wouldn’t shift around, and I bribed myself with episodes of the X-Files while I sewed (two, in case you were curious) (speaking of which, whyyyy didn’t anyone ever tell me about the X-Files?? I’ve just discovered it and I’m OBSESSED! It’s like watching Ancient Aliens, except with a 90s love story. omg.). As I sewed each piece together to assemble the dress, I removed the basting stitches (this is where silk thread comes in handy; it just slides right out effortlessly!) and serged the edges separately so the seam allowances could be pressed open.

Georgia dress
Georgia dress - stabilizing neckline

I used twill tape to stabilize the top edges of the cups, so they would curve against my body and not stretch out over time. This is one of those really easy techniques that takes barely any time at all, but give you fabulous results. You basically do the same method as you would for taping the roll line on a coat – cut the twill tape to the length of the neckline minus 1/4″, then place it inside the seam allowance, up against the seam line. Since the tape is shorter than the neckline, the neckline gets eased into the length of the tape and then stitched down (inside the seam allowance). That’s it! So easy! So effective!

Georgia dress
Georgia dress

I’m really happy with how the hem turned out – I knew I wanted the scallops to roll all the way around the dress, with a wide hem of solid green below (similar to the aforementioned coat). Since the skirt has 6 panels to give it it’s shape, cutting the lace required some forethought and a lot of head-scratching. I’m happy to report that my scallops ended up pretty close to perfect – they go all the way around the hem uninterrupted, even at the zipper! Yeah!! Totally worth that extra effort.

Georgia dress

I changed up the construction of the straps because my fabric was too bulky to pull right side out. Instead, I treated them like belt looks – finished one edge, folded the strap into thirds, and slipstitched everything together. As a result, my straps are really secure and I think they look great!

Georgia dress

The only part about the dress that I’m not happy with is the bodice size – despite my muslin, it ended up toooo small! Whoops! Thankfully, it’s totally wearable (the smallness is in where the bottom seam hits, not in a scandalously-low way or anything), and it’s not terribly noticeable in real life, thanks to the lace. But it’s there, I know it’s there, and next time I will be giving this lady a big ol’ FBA.

Also, in case you were wondering – I can wear my dress with or without a bra. It’s fitted enough to give me some support without a bra, but it also works fine with a strapless bra.

Georgia dress
Georgia dress

What I love most about this dress, though, is the 90s throwback style. It really looks like I’m wearing a Cher Horowitz-approved, super fancy slip. The whole time I was making this dress, this scene from Clueless kept running through my head:

HAHA! But seriously – someone make this shit up in white silk! DO IT NOW!

Georgia dress
Georgia dress
Georgia dress

The pattern itself was very easy to follow, even with my added changes. I made the size 2/6, with the skinny straps and the mini hemline. Just a warning – it is pretty short! If you are considering the mini and you are not a petite person, you may want to consider lengthening it. I personally did not have to make any sizing alterations to the pattern, but like I said earlier, I will be doing a FBA for the next round.

Georgia dress

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Ok, so here’s the prize if you made it through to the end of this post – the gals at By Hand London graciously sent me an extra copy of the pattern, so let’s have a giveaway! If you’d like to win your very own copy of the Georgia dress pattern, simply comment on this post and let me know what fabric you’ll use to make it up. That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the entries next Wednesday February 26, 2014 at 8AM CST.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Good luck! Here’s a bonus picture of me and Landon on Valentine’s Day, smug wine smiles and all~

Valentine's Day!

Completed: Advance 8511 in Gingham

19 Jun

In an attempt to catch up on all the stuff I’ve finished that I haven’t posted yet (I just counted and there are 8… yikes), here’s a gingham top I made using Advance 8511, which is a vintage pattern.

Untitled

Gingham Top

I also forgot to mention that the pictures are REALLY bad; this is what happens when you don’t wait for it to finish raining (hence, me standing on the porch) and then position yourself so that the sunlight is directly behind you, and then try to lighten the pictures and when they turn out grainy and grey, you say, “Eh, fuck it.” and post them anyway.

Not that I know anything about that.

Anyway, I’m sorry.

Gingham Top

This was a fun little pattern to make! It would have gone together a lot more quickly if I didn’t have so many fit issues. I don’t think the fit of the pattern was too bad – the size was a little big, but nothing too tragic – but rather, my fabric was a terrible choice for this pattern. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

This pattern only has 4 pieces – a front, a back, a back neck facing (the front facing is all attached to the front as one piece) and the collar (no undercollar). The armholes are bound with self-made bias tape and it only uses 4 buttons. So economical!

Gingham Top

The fabric, again, is from Mood Fabrics in New York. It’s really lovely stuff – a cotton gingham seersucker with lots of texture and LOTS of stretch – but that damn stretch was nearly my undoing. I kept taking in the side seams over and over to get this shirt to fit (I know slightly-loose button-ups can look good, but not this shape/style with a woven stretch. Just… no), and I think I ended up removing a good 2″ from each side, possibly more. I don’t think stretch wovens are inherently bad (take a look at my fabric stash if you don’t believe me), but they really should not be used for a pattern that is already a little big to start.

Gingham Top

You can’t see too well (because the pictures are so bad, again, SORRY), but there are tucks at the front and back waist, and soft pleats at the neckline under the collar. I had to extend the front tucks to be longer (originally they were only about 1″ long) because they ended up giving me this weird fullness in an area where it wasn’t needed. I don’t know how I feel about the neckline pleats – they are beautiful in theory, but in this fabric I think it kind of looks like I messed something up and hid it under the collar. Oh well.

Gingham Top

Hey look, Dolly went on a diet and now she can actually model my clothes again! And they BUTTON UP. Holy shit!

Gingham Top

Gingham Top

I had to add a pleat to the center back because it was MASSIVE compared to the collar. Seriously, the width of that pleat is how much bigger the back was than the collar. I double checked my pattern pieces and they don’t match either, so I’m assuming someone was hitting the bottle hard at the Advance pattern drafting headquarters that day.

Gingham Top

Despite the fitting issues, I do love my little shirt! Navy gingham goes with everything, surprisingly.

By the way… check out my new back porch!

Back Porch

I wish you could have seen what it looked like before (if you think it looks trashy now, let me tell you… this is an improvement). The previous renters laid this horrible fake hardwood all over the porch – you know, the kind that is supposed to go INSIDE a house – and didn’t even cover the whole flooring area. There were bare spots of concrete by the stairs. It was just drab and ugly and sad and we mostly ignored it for the past year. A couple weekends ago, we tore up the flooring (yes, we are renters, but I’m pretty sure my landlord dgaf), bought and painted the screen door, as well as hung the curtains and that tapestry. Now I am on the lurk for a tiny bistro table to fit back there.

Back Porch

Here’s another view – and there’s the old shed! I reckon you can guess where at least one of those chairs went 😉

Back Porch

Now we are actually inclined to hang on the back porch, IMAGINE THAT. If only I could figure out a way to permanently fend off the ‘skeeters…