Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

This is Cake Patterns, Hummingbird. Part Duex. And it still ain’t perfect. I love the smaller size (though I washed and dried the first one and now it’s perfect!!) but I’m still struggling to get my seam line at the perfect height.

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The Facts

Fabric: Orange Koi 100% cotton knit from Brooklyn General in Brooklyn, NYC (obviously)

Notions: None, unless we’re counting thread

Pantone Challenge colors: Koi

Pattern: Cake Patterns, Hummingbird (I LOVE that smiling brown lady on the cover and that my friend Mikhaela helped to design her!!)

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Year: 2012

Time to complete: A few (very rushed) hours

First worn: Today, to snap last minute pics

Wear again? Fo’ Sho’!!

Total Cost: $7-8, I guess. Brooklyn General had a sale on and I can’t remember the price per yard.

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

I couldn’t find my instructions, which makes it impossible to confirm if I attached the peplum properly. That rogue pleat makes me think, not.

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

The problem is, this wasn’t my first, second or even third choice for my Sew Weekly Reunion project (this fabric turned out to be an AWFUL one for pinning and stitching darts) and the difficult time I had with it tells me that the top knew it, too. It’s still full of little pulls and wrinkles and tugs that I’d get fussy about if this top wasn’t still an awesomely orange addition to my black and white filled wardrobe ;)

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

I like that it looks good belted.

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

And not.

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire

And it’s great with pants or skirts.

Reunion-ing, Just Under the Wire
But the BEST part was reconnecting, if only briefly, with the Sew Weekly gang!!

Pantone Time

With the Sew Weekly deadline fast approaching, and a headache from hell that refuses to go away, I’ve got to do something to light a fire under my ass. One thing that pushed me a bit, realizing that the fabric I planned to use for the Fall For Cotton sew-along has more than one Pantone color!

SCORE!

Pantone Fall 2013

Sew Weekly & Fall For Cotton

I see some Mykonos Blue, some Linden and Deep Lichen Green, a little Samba. Yes?

Now, for the motivation to SEW! I’ve got four days to make the Sew Weekly deadline. Can I do it?

The “Grayscale” Ensemble

The "Grayscale" Ensemble

That life line TOTALLY WINS with my heart tights*!!
The Facts
Fabric | Kenneth Cole Poly/Rayon blend men’s slacks, $5.00. They’re size 34/32. Banana Republic tissue thin 100% Cotton top, $5.00 (I think). The belt was inspired by this Burberry one.
Patterns | None
Year | Current
Notions | Thread, elastic and a hook and bar for the belt.
Time to complete | Almost no time. I spent more time futzing around on the internet, waiting to be inspired by a refashion for a top to wear with the shorts I knew I wanted to make.
First worn | To take these photos, initially. We, my daughter and I, ended up walking to the thrift store together and taking more on the way. We scored some great deals on things we both wanted. YAY for mother/daughter time!! Funny aside, there were two college students filming in the spot we often go to take pics (the super colorful ones are taken across the street from each other). They were working on a lighting assignment and switched their focus to shooting us when we arrived. They were so sweet. I gave them a card and asked that they send me some footage ;o) EDITED TO ADD: They sent it! It was very weird to see how frowny I must look to other people, lol! Here’s a smiling still from the footage.


Wear Again? | Yes, definitely! I can’t believe how much more wearable this sweater is now and I’m a huge fan of making shorts from men’s pants. The time I’ve saved on making all the details that are staple features in menswear trousers is not lost on me. I need to re-work the bow portion of the belt. I’m not ashamed to admit that it did not immediately occur to me to INTERFACE the bows for stability. DUH! I’m wearing lace heart tights from Forever 21 (I have a gray and black hounds tooth pair that I planned to wear, but they were SUPER tight!) and my H&M oxfords.

The "Grayscale" Ensemble

I like this pair of man shorts more than my last. This time. I narrowed the legs and raised the crotch by taking them in at the inseam. Genius, the person who first posted that to the interwebs. This had the effect of making the waist fit better and the overall fit being more like that of a lady who does not need room in the crotch area for man parts. There, I’ve filled the blog’s crotch talk quotient for the next little while ;o)

The "Grayscale" Ensemble

The "Grayscale" Ensemble

This top was once about mid thigh length. It’s also meant to be worn the opposite way. See, here. I hated looking for this one black tank (that I wear under everything) whenever I wanted to wear it. And I always ended up bunching it up after about 2 seconds of wearing it full length. I lopped off about a foot, cut the ribbing off and reattached it to the new, shorter, sweater. Then, to solve the the need for a bottom layer, I wore it backwards! I think it works. Even my husband, who would not hesitate to (nicely) discourage this plan if it didn’t, agreed.

The "Grayscale" Ensemble

I put it together with lace heart tights and my much loved oxfords and away we went! The belt idea, the part that took the longest, came about when I hated the way my existing belts looked with the outfit. I have always had it in the back of my mind to knock off the Burberry belt and now was the time. Using one of the pant legs, I made a long casing (about 50 inches), turned it right side out, feed the elastic through and caught it in the ends when I tucked and stitched them closed. In hindsight, I should have made the casing with one seam, so it would be easier to hide it at the back. As I stated above, I also should have used super heavy weight interfacing to give the bows some dimension. I think I’ll replace this bow (which is just pinned on, I have tons of broken costume jewelry pieces to swap it out with once I figure out how to attach them, lol) and use the remaining pant leg (or, you know, any of the metric ton of fabric I have on hand) for another go. I have tons of thick elastic for more. I will be belted in the future, people! You can see more pics here!

That’s all folks!

The "Grayscale" Ensemble

*I thought that this line kind of looked like a life line when we stopped to snap this pic. I hadn’t even noticed the actual one in the other pictures that were taken first!

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

The “Hold the Buttons” Sencha

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

The Facts
Fabric | Red, dotty rayon challis from, where else, Fabric.com. It was $1.95 a yard and I had a TON of it, lol. Some was wasted on a failure and I also used it to make this skirt. I think I might be able to squeeze one more thing out of the remnants.
Patterns | Colette Patterns, Sencha. This is my second, it’s modified even more than the first.
Year | Current
Notions | Thread and a zipper. There’s a bit of iron on interfacing at the center back to support the zipper.
Time to complete | I’ve had major insomnia lately (anxiety over school, cataloging and classification SUCKS) so I was, literally, up all night sewing this. The fabric, and my desire to get cleaner results, made me take my time. I stopped, with just the zipper and neckline to go, when the sun came up and finished the next (last) night. I’m really proud of the finishing on this one. The inside is so nice and neat!
First worn | To take the kiddies to school. On the way home, I posed for some timer shots, ALONE, in a semi populated area!! This is HUGE for me. I only felt a little awkward. Check out this pic of me laughing when an older gentleman, probably a professor, stopped to say “looking good” and that I “chose a great model” lol.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

My daughter took a few shots with it belted, though I prefer it without it. You can see all of the pics here. I’m holding a rock in my hand, btw. I found it on the stairs, there. My kiddies collect cool looking rocks. This one is a pretty beige color and very smooth.
Wear again? | Yes. It is so slinky and comfy. Hubby and the kiddies like it, too. I really, really love working with challis. I’ve loaded up my cart with some cool selections for future projects.
Total price | A couple bucks for the fabric is really all.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

I chose to use a zipper as the closure partially out of laziness (my new machine has a 4 step buttonhole that seems like too much work) and partially out of practicality. I was never crazy about the buttons on the first one, I disliked the way it made the bottom portion flare out. I initially planned to insert a side zip. But, even with the extra width for the cut-on facings removed from the center back, it was still very wide. You can see in the shot below how much room I still had to groove by the size of the facings.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha
I think removing width from the center, rather than cutting a smaller size was the right choice, at least the darts seem to be properly placed. The upper back could be taken in some more (I folded out a small section at the upper back and cut it smaller than the front. Both front and back are a smaller size at the waistline and tapered out to a larger size for my slightly larger lower half), my back is super narrow, but overall I’m pleased with this fit.

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

I’m happy to be sewing again. Along with back to school fever and PMS sapping my energy, I had the worse streak of sewing failures ever at the same time. Going to Gertie’s book party, chatting with awesome sewing peeps and being surrounded by so much handmade goodness really lit a fire in me! I was especially jazzed after dinner with Janice, Sharon and Cindy talking about draping and sewing challenges over yummy Korean BBQ. I hope my sewing luck, and patience and attention to detail, continue!

The "Hold the Buttons" Sencha

PS- I am CRAZY about these shoes!! I LOVE oxfords and I love finding things a good price. I almost caved and bought a similar pair from Asos for $90. I found these in H&M for $35! The jeans were only $10.90 from Forever21. Love it!

Black & White at the Night Circus

This guy is a little more ogre than circus clown, but he makes an interesting backdrop!

Black & White & Night Circus

It’s literature inspiration week at the Sew Weekly, and I’m on the front page! Friends, I LOVE TO READ!! Heck, I’m in school studying librarianship! It is my favorite thing to do. Followed by making things. For this week’s challenge I had my heart set on channeling one of my absolute favorite protagonists (EVER) one Ms. Lisbeth Salander. I fell instantly, and hard, for this character from her first appearance in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I loved her more when I watched the Swedish film version. And, though I mightily resisted watching it at first, the American version only increased my devotion to her.

Why, then am I not dressed like my beloved ball busting heroine?? All of my ideas for a Salander style ensemble were way too hot for the warm weather we’re still having. I tried to shift gears to something temp friendly, but still applicable, and it just didn’t work. I spent a lot of time trying to force it, but the good sewing juju didn’t like my manhandling and flew the coop.

I needed to shift gears. I tried to think of ANY of the books that I love (and even the ones I don’t) that matched anything I had in my stash. I almost made a Red Dress. Or something Indian inspired.

Then, I spotted my borrowed copy of The Night Circus and had a brainstorm.

Black and White and Red. Reveur style.

I had white t-shirts and black t-shirts and a black & white shirt and a red & white bit of fabric. A plan decided, I set into motion. Only, it was slow motion as I continued to be plagued with problems. That the bit of red & white fabric was SO uncooperative! But, I powered through and ended up semi pissed with the lame version of what I saw in my minds eye. I think the mood of failure had a lot to do with the fact that through it all, I was still wishing to be Salander for a day. (I had even found some awesome graffiti to pose in front of!) I was also missing my pop of red….

And then I remembered my favorite lippy. And then I saw the pics. And then I kind of loved my Reveur Style!

Black & White & Night Circus

Black & White & Night Circus

The Facts
Fabric | A couple of my hubby’s old t-shirts and dress I thrifted from the Goodwill store for the striped accent.
Patterns | BurdaStyle’s Lydia for the top, I winged it on the skirt. It’s a tube with an elastic waistband. I used the existing shirt hem for the bottom.
Year | Current
Notions | Thread and a bit of elastic.
Time to complete | I had a hard time with this challenge. I have been sewing, and ruining fabric, for days to come up with this relatively simple ensemble. But, it’s done and I love it. No harm, no foul. Just wasted time and fabric, lol.
First worn | On a picture walk with my kiddies. You can see the little three in a conference off to one side while my oldest takes the pics ;o) I find new graffiti every single time I leave home, now. It’s awesome! (FYI: the twins are the two closest to me, the one is the red hat is 17 months older than them, but I am often asked if they are triplets)

Black & White & Night Circus
Wear again? | Yes. Initially, I wasn’t too jazzed about the overall look because it was not what I had in mind for this challenge. At all. (Another round of music and book challenges, please) But I think it looks rather nice in pics and it is very comfy as its made entirely of t-shirts ;0)
Total price | I’m going to call it free so I can stop beating myself up about the money wasted on all of my failed efforts for the week.

Black & White & Night Circus

I even dragged out a prop for the shoot ;o)

Black & White & Night Circus

I would have loved to find a bowler hat or a B&W umbrella as seen with the author here, but we work with what we have, eh? The white portions are unevenly cut, intentionally, so that more or less of the b&w fabric shows from each side.

Black & White & Night Circus

Overall, the look’s not bad. One more shirt with a bit of pizzazzzzz to add to my go-to fall jeans and tee uniform. And a dead simple, dead comfy little slip of a skirt to throw on with tunics and even more versions of Roxanne and Scout. Leave it to me to use a fantastical, magical, transcendent work of art to make practical, casual basics! I mean, look at what Gina did this week! I’ve got to find my A game!

Roxanne Scout Rides With Hipsters

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

Hipster Mobile!

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee
This week’s sewing was, in a word, sucky. I started this blouse and completed it all the way up to the point of it lacking one more sleeve cuff and buttons to be done, when I tried it on…and the second sleeve was BACKWARDS!!! Of course, I had already serged and finished the inside. I didn’t have the heart or the energy to go on after I’d unpicked it all.

The next day, I started something else instead. A mash up of two recent makes, The Scout Woven Tee and Roxanne.

Meet Ms. Roxanne Scout.

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

The Facts
Fabric | 100% Nani Iro Double Gauze $33 for 1 1/2 yards making this the most expensive fabric I’ve ever purchased. And then let sit in the closet for over 2 years.
Patterns | Victory Patterns, Roxanne and Grainline’s Scout Woven Tee
Year | Current
Notions | Thread only, I skipped interfacing the collar
Time to complete | It was fairly quick. Though, I did need to take a minute to redraw the collar on Scout to the same dimensions as Roxanne. But even that was super fast.
First worn | On a lunch date with my hubby and a dinner date with a friend.
Wear again? | Yes. I love how light it is and I’ve always loved this fabric. I’m happy that it’s finally out of the closet!
Total price | $33 for the fabric. I’m wearing it with $10 jeans from Forever21.

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

I love the look of this collar with the shorter tee length. Though I made the same mod (intentionally this time) to the front I think the original closed neckline would work better due to the collar weight. I don’t want to use a closure, but I’m thinking of adding one so that the left side stops drooping. I added a bit more width to the Scout body and repeated the curved hem detail from last time. I have so many more ideas for this little tee. You might even see one for next week’s challenge.

Hubby snapped my pics before our date. These were taken with my iPhone because the freaking camera batteries were dead when I took it out of my purse. Grrrr. I couldn’t stay mad in this pretty top, though. This Nani Iro fabric is magical! It’s asymmetrical so it has a different print on the front, back, each sleeve and collar section. I LOVE that!

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

The centering of this motif was a total accident! I wish you could see the thread I used a bit better. It’s variegated. And it is awesome! Overall, not a bad little top to transition into fall. Hopefully, its pretty floral print will help me hang on to enough of summer to get me through the early fall chill. If I get too cold, maybe the hipster who owns this ride will give me a lift!

The "Roxanne Scout" Tee

Only in Brooklyn! I LOVE my city!!

As always, there are a few more pics here.