Distracted by Frosting

First, thanks SO MUCH for your nice comments on my Meringue skirt and your comments in general. I really appreciate it!!

Now. You see, I’ve already encountered some frosting to interrupt my Fall Sewing Scheme! Janice made this awesome suspender skirt for this week’s Something Blue Sew Weekly challenge.

Isn’t it so cute!! Now, Janice did an awesome job of putting together a casual look with this style and I’ve been obsessing over it since she posted the pattern on her blog. I’ve already hunted down the exact pattern via Etsy, but I’m wondering if this wouldn’t be kind of easy to draft using my TNT pattern….

Etsy seller, Mean Old Bags (KICK ASS NAME), has helpfully posted a photo of the back of the pattern. Don’t you just love that vintage patterns put photos of the actual pattern pieces on the back? It’s so helpful to know if that look you love takes 10 pieces or 20 pieces to construct. Here’s a look at it:

you can view it super sized on etsy

Advance 7907

Image via Mean Old Bags Shop Listing

It seems like it would be fairly simple to trace the front and back skirt pieces butted up against each other or slightly overlapped, then draft the higher waistline and front detail in? Yes? No? I’m not worried about the lack of instructions if I don’t buy the pattern. A pencil skirt is a pencil skirt. I do wonder if I can get the waistband to sit like I want without side seams….unless the instructions tell you to put a dart at the waist like this pattern (made up here and here) does. I could always use the side seams on mine, Janice’s skirt has them, I don’t have to make it up exactly as this pattern shows.

What do you guys think?

This is also the time of year when I get the urge to knit. I’ve just downloaded these two beauties:

Pontos

I’m making Pontos first, in this Irish wool I got at a (SUPER FUN) yarn swap. Mine will be a little shorter, wearing sweaters this length is hard for me. They tend to hug and emphasis my larger lower half. And not in a good way. They need to be longer, like to the knee, or shorter. I chose shorter for this one.
Aran Wool from Kerry Woollen Mills in Ireland

Chuck

Chuck is a challenge knit, as I am pants at making cables. I really love the look Andi’s got going on in that photo, though I’m planning mine in a fuchsia pink color. I tried looking for similar, or at least cabled sweaters, in the thrift store today. No dice. I did bring home some real treats (including a Micheal Kors knit top for $6.39 and a Gap puffy vest w/ fur trimmed hood for my daughter for the same price) that I’ll try to photograph tomorrow. All told, we (my big girl was with me) spent $35.53 for nine items. Not bad

I know you’re thinking “WHAT ABOUT YOUR SEWING PLANS!?!?!” But, knitting is really useful at this time of year, as the kiddies Saturday activities start up next week and I’ll need something to do while I wait for them. Knitting is portable, sewing is (usually) not.

Do you guys have any knit plans? Sewn or by hand?

The “No Navy Meringue Blues” Skirt

The "Navy Meringue Blues" Skirt

The Facts
Fabric | 50/50 Poly/Cotton or Rayon/Poly suiting. It’s from fabric.com, and it either cost $2.99 a yard of $5.99 a yard. I have ordered so much blue fabric and suiting fabric lately that I can’t tell which this is, lol. It’s not terrible, but I am glad I didn’t make a dress from it like I originally intended. The gray facings are made from a stretch suiting that is so soft and wonderful I wish I had ordered twice as much as I did.
Patterns | Colette Patterns, Meringue from The Colette Sewing Handbook. I used my TNT pencil skirt pattern to help me choose the size and grade the side seam from one size to another. I’m glad I did that, I don’t think I would have liked the slight flare the skirt would have had otherwise.
Year | Current
Notions | Thread, a zipper, iron on interfacing.
Time to complete | Quite a few hours for such a little skirt. I was skeptical about the facings being wide enough because they looked quite short and they NEVER are when I make skirts. I always have to fudge it a bit, but this pattern is drafted to perfection. I even took care to follow the zipper installation instructions (partially) so that my zip is nicely enclosed in the facing. Lovely. I played fast and loose with the scallop application, but I’m really pleased with the outcome.
First worn | To take indoor photos, which I now realize I don’t enjoy. I’ve become accustomed to outdoor photo sessions. Something I never thought I’d say when I started this challenge. But, there’s no school today and it’s damp and cool out, so we’ve been in all day. I’m wearing a thrifted cardigan as a top, my new Melissa shoes (!!!), F21 tights and my grandmother’s necklace and pin.
Wear Again? | Yes, definitely!

The "Navy Meringue Blues" Skirt

The "Navy Meringue Blues" Skirt

The back also fits pretty well, but the waist could sit closer to my body. I layered my TNT pattern pieces, which already has a swayback adjustment on the back piece, over the pattern sheet from the book. I think applying the zipper on the side rather than the back (thereby eliminating that extra back seam) left a little more fabric in that area. One of my darts is a bit pointy, but it’s barely noticeable. I used a ham to press them (and the darts on Sencha) and I really feel like it made a difference.

The "Navy Meringue Blues" Skirt

There’s not much else to say about this one. Though, getting the little details to line up properly and the darts to look well in this fabric mix took a little bit of time, it was worth it. I love this little skirt! I don’t know how many scallop hemmed skirts one really needs her in her wardrobe, but thanks to the roll of 24 inch wide tracing paper (OMG why didn’t I get this sooner, it saves so much time taping sheets together and worrying about the tape coming loose) I bought, I have a really serviceable pattern copy, that will last.

The "Navy Meringue Blues" Skirt

A little side note about these shoes. I fell in love with the Melissa line thanks to Ms. Darling and another Aussie blogger, Marianne of Esme and the Laneway (be careful if you follow this link, you will want her entire wardrobe of clothes and shoes). I am not generally a heel wearer, but a good wedge is usually fine. Well, I wore these shoes to go to Gertie’s book party. I was rushing around and sweating (Melissa’s are like old school Jellies for grownups) which was a bad combo for a new shoe outing. My heels are still recovering.

Lesson: Don’t wear new shoes when

a. you are in a rush

b. when they are plastic and it is hot

c. when you’re on an outing far from home.

d. all of the above

Thank goodness I brought some flats with me. And had bandages in my purse :(

The "Navy Meringue Blues" Skirt

More pics, including the guts which we all love to see, here. Oh, the first two were Picmonkey-ized. I do not naturally glow like that, no matter how much I buff my skin ;p

Anise Fabric Fiesta

I dragged out some of my fabric stash for evaluation. There were some surprises, like the three small holes I found in my salt and pepper wool ;( And a AHA moment about a selection that was headed back to Fabric.comland (more on that one, later).

Colette Anise

For Anise I was initially trying to decide between these two.

An 80/20 Wool/Cashmere Melton Suiting.

In black, or midnight as it was advertised.

80/20 Wool/Cashmere~ Black

80/20 Wool/Cashmere~ Black

It is DIVINELY soft, but not quite coat weight (obvs. as I just said that it’s suiting). I do have a ton of black flannel that I could use to underline it. This choice has some definite

Pros:

  • the fabric is quite stable
  • meaning there will be no sliding around while cutting or shifting when sewing
  • the suiting weight might be easier for a first-timer to work bound buttonholes and other tailoring details in.

Cons:

  • I don’t want to do a lot of work for a coat that is not really warm
  • this black seems like it will pick up lots of lint
  • 4 children + lackadaisical housekeeping skills = high lint encounter odds

100% Wool Coating

 In a really pretty (and hard to capture) sort of heathered blue with a diagonal pattern.

Wool Coating! Marled/Heathered Blue

Wool Coating! Marled/Heathered Blue

Wool Coating! Marled/Heathered Blue

The obvious pros are:

  • warmth, warmth, warmth. I get sooooo cold in the winter. A brisk fall day makes me pull out a scarf.
  • due to the warmth factor, I could wear it longer

Cons:

  • the weave on this is slightly loose
  • which makes it a prime candidate for unraveling and other shenanigans while working with it
  • that pretty diagonal pattern will also make any misalignment of pieces really obvious

This last one is a wildcard option. I bought it with pants in mind, but I have absolutely nowhere to wear snazzy wool pants too….skirts I can justify more easily. Anyway, I like it and I think it could make a smart little jacket.

100% Wool Herringbone/Squares Suiting

Plaid Wool~ Charcoal Grey and Burgundy

Plaid Wool~ Charcoal Grey and Burgundy

Plaid Wool~ Charcoal Grey and Burgundy

Same Pros:

  • the fabric is quite stable
  • meaning there will be no sliding around while cutting or shifting when sewing
  • the suiting weight might be easier for a first-timer to work bound buttonholes and other tailoring details in
  • plus, the squares will likely make aligning pattern pieces much easier

Cons:

  • I don’t want to do a lot of work for a coat that is not really warm
  • I have a black herringbone coat from H&M that I don’t wear so often, but it’s not warm so I think it’s that more than the fabric that keeps it in the closet
  • lining up those red squares might be a bitch and a half

Lining

This is the only suitable lining material I have on hand. I like it. A lot, actually. It would look great with that black fabric, but it’s not the nicest lining ever by any means.

Bow Print Poly~ Baby Pink

Bow Print Poly~ Baby Pink

Could I use the delicious Black Poly Crepe de Chine? This might be a better use for it than a dress.

Crepe de Chine~ Black

Would that be entirely too much black? Would it contrast too much, in a bad way with the blue coating? It might look really nice with the herringbone fabric….The ladies at Coletterie caution that a poly lining might be, too warm.

Any opinions?? Coletterie staff, feel free to chime in if you’re reading this ;o)

What I Wore :: 9.25.12

What I Wore 9.25.12

Yellow Cotton Cardigan :: Halogen :: $4.99 from The Salvation Army Store
Silk Blouse (came with a matching skirt) :: Due Per Due :: $4.59 Thrifted from Domsey’s
Scarf and Jeans :: Forever 21
Purse :: Express :: $14.99 on sale (!!!!)
Shoes :: Old Navy :: $19.99

Hello, all!! I should have worn this outfit to take the kiddies to school and to run an errand at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection room yesterday. Instead, I wore the t shirt I slept in and the nearest pants I could find to take the little three to school and then crept back home, whilst keeping my THROBBING head as still as possible.

You see, I had a migraine from HELL. It started the night before last and kept me up all that night and begin to really hammer by daylight. There were tears and some dry heaving. Very, very unpleasant stuff. I was in bed, in the dark lying very still, all day.

But today, I feel better. Here’s proof.

What I Wore 9.25.12

An extra cheesy smile! I was not fit to take a picture of yesterday. I could barely sit up. I did power through homework with the kids and an assignment I had due that night. I can’t rightly say I did so well on it considering that I could hardly think. SIGH.

 Anyway, here’s a closeup of my blouse. Little ladies! With umbrellas! I love it!

What I Wore 9.25.12

During the wee hours of this morning, as I moped about my potentially bad grade, I started a new Pinterest board. I have one for style inspo and one for sewing related links, but I was starting to lose track of stylish things that I could make myself or find the ingredients for in my closet. So, this board was born.

Because I had nothing better to do, like get some sleep, I moved or repinned a lot of items from the style board to this one. I need more style help in cooler weather. Summer style is easier for me. I think this system will work much better for finding things I not only like, but want to wear and can thrift or make myself.

About the making aspect of this whole thing. I’m working on another post. It’s all about jacket fabrics. I had way too much fun draping them on my dressform earlier. I was a little punchy from lack of sleep and trying to stay awake, so it probably wasn’t really that much fun, lol.

Right now, I’m reveling in the sounds of joy coming from my living room. I went and bought a copy of The Avengers for the kids (and me and hubby, too) this morning. Somehow, I mainly blame Netflix instant watch options, we have a house full of die hard super hero fans. They look at this book everyday. The pages are falling out of it!

I’m off to make dinner while running on fumes. It’s times like this when I really wish I drank coffee and that caffeinated beverages didn’t give me the shakes, lol.

Till later!

Fall Sewing Scheme

I was strolling, virtually, with my sewing peeps when, Janice mentioned her lack of sewing plans for fall. In a counter argument, my girl Heather, chimed in with her fall make plans.  Janice has some really valuable points about sewing what you want and thinking through your reasons for what you choose. And there was some definite overlap between what Heather and I wanted to make and it got me thinking about my fall agenda. I know, that for me, making plans can be the kiss of death. But, I’m gonna do it ANYWAY, lol. With Janice’s philosophy in mind. Here’s my, tentative:

Jackets
Colette Anise  Sewaholic Minoru

Anise is up first. Coletterie has a sew-along planned and I’ve purchased the Anise Companion, as well. I have three fabric choices in contention at the moment. I’ll post more on them soon. If that goes well, I will try to tackle Minoru. There are sew-along posts on Tasia’s blog to help me if I make it there.

Tops

Colette Sencha Victory Patterns Roxanne

I want to make view 1 of Sencha and a long sleeved version of Roxanne.

Colette NegroniPattern Runway Pussy Bow Blouse

There are two Negroni‘s planned. One for me. And I have to (FINALLY) make my hubby something! He deserves it. He approved the fabric (a gorgeous blue french cotton for him, and yellow for me) and the pattern. I have a nearly done Pussy Bow Blouse on my dressform right now, in need of a sleeve, hem and buttons.

Grainline  Scout Woven TeeVogue 8815

I am full of variations for more Scout Woven Tees, I want one in challis or crepe. Or leather!! And I’d like a long sleeved peplum top, I think.

The left one is a Burda Magazine pattern. I’ll use Lydia to make my own version in black thermal knit. I’ve already had a comically spectacular failure at making that bow blouse, lol. I was rushing and working with a silhoutte that I don’t love. I’d still like to give it another go using some of the mods I made with my last Sencha.

Skirts

Burda Style 7283Colette Beignet

Mimi’s version of BS7283 convinced me that I had to have one! I still haven’t gotten over my failed Beignet. It was massive, lol. I have some lightweight denim that should prevent it from being super bulky like that one, too. I’m thinking of nixing the buttons on this.

Pattern Runway Skirt

That gathered skirt might become a circle skirt instead. Either way, I want it in this olive wool I’ve had in the stash forever. I already have a Meringue, from The Colette Sewing Handbook, cut out and ready to go.

Pants/Shorts

McCall's 6404   Grainline  Maritime Shorts

Vogue 1051

The pants are the only true question marks on the list. I’m going to start with the pattern most likely to be worn, the first one, McCall’s 6404. I love so many versions of that Alice and Olivia pattern, but my preferred fall/winter footwear options won’t really work with that silhouette. The shorts from Jen will have to be done sooner than later, depending on how the weather plays out.

Dress Options

 McCall's 6553Simplicity 2246

 

I MUST have McCall’s 6553!! Mimi, Sallie and Ginger made this one a must sew. I have this gorgeous, slinky, black crepe de chine that is begging to become that dress. I have a great chambray for Simplicity 2246. I have very strong feeling about the wiggle dress in Gertie’s book. I have a function to go to with my grandma that I would like to make it for, but I don’t know if that will happen in time. There’s bound to be tons of fit issues with my pear shape and I have a ton of school work that makes deadline sewing a bad idea. I have a variation on that last dress already cut out and ready to go.

There it is! Ambitious to be sure, but these are only plans, people! Rules are for fools and are made to be broken…..or whatever, lol. I’m sure there will be something frothy and cute to distract me. But, either way, I end up with more (hopefully) awesome handmade goodies.

Will you join the virtual sewing stroll and post or reply with your list???

How I Modified My Sencha

Sencha button

I took a few photos of my Sencha pattern to show you how many different sizes and tucks and cuts it took to get that fit.

Take a look at the front:

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

The shoulder, sleeve and waist has been sliced and turned under to size 6.

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

The hip area is sliced and folded to size 10 and I cut the fabric at the size 18 length. I’m 5’7″ and I don’t think I have a particularly long torso, but most sewing patterns are too short in the bodice for me.

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

I’ve mentioned my dislike of super high necklines before. To make mine slightly lower, without cutting the pattern, I folded the tucks and drew in a new neckline with pencil. As evidenced by my pencil line, precision is not my forte, lol

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

I unfolded the pattern and copied the new neckline onto tracing paper. I used that copy to re-cut the neckline after the front was cut from the original pattern piece.

Onto the back piece:

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

For the back, I cut the shoulder, sleeve and waist the same size as the front. The first time I made this, I cut the facings and left the upper back the original width. I ended up making the facings extra wide to account for the excess fabric I ended up with. This time I folded out a small section and did not cut the facings.

Colette Patterns, Sencha Mods

The lower back is smaller than the lower front. I tapered out to size 8, instead of 10, here. With the new facings, the back is ultimately much smaller than the front. This has a similar result as the swayback alteration I make for my pencil skirts. When the back and front are the same on my tops I end up with too much fabric in the lower back section.

Red, rayon, polka dot Sencha’s guts.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

For the zipper placket, I ironed strips of lightweight fusible interfacing onto the wrong side and used that width as a guide to press the placket sections down. I wish I could say there was a formula for deciding what that width would be. The truth is, I tried it on and guesstimated how much would give me a good fit. I double serged the edges and stitched a seam down the pressed line up to the point where I wanted to start the zipper. I used basting stitches for the rest of the seam. I applied the zipper (nearly painlessly!!) and removed the basted stitches with my seam ripper. I always do zippers this way.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

You can just see from these pics that I also left off the neckline facing. It is cut generously wide and with the interfacing I used on my first one, it was very uncomfortable. Here, I also serged the raw edge twice, which gave the floppy challis some stability, and then pressed it under before stitching it down with two rows of stitching.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

I serged the raw edges of the sleeve, pressed and stitched. I admit, I tried the lazy machine stitch way out to finish them and it looked terrible. I busted out my Colette Sewing Handbook to check the catch stitch instructions. I undid the seams, pressed and redid them by hand. I am much more satisfied with this result! It held up well, too.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

In this, slightly blurry, pic you can sort of see the baby hem (and the blue streak in the back of my hair!) at the bottom. I double serged the raw edge again and pressed before machine stitching it. The top and bottom edge of the facings are caught in the hems.

Well. That’s all, folks! I hope this helps someone!!