MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

It’s May, and I wore a wool dress, today. Comfortably.
WTF.

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

Dress :: Simplicity 8498
Tee :: Lydia Tee
Cardigan :: Target
Tights :: H&M
Shoes :: H&M

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

I’m glad I wore this today. I nearly cut out another one last night. Wearing it today reminded me that the neckline is too high. I’m pleased with everything else, except the facings which will be replaced with bias tape. I’m a convert.

Apropos of nothing, I had angel hair pasta with meat sauce for lunch 😮

I kid. This pic shows the dress well.

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

 Dotty tights! LOVE! Just be glad I shaved my legs before donning them. Sasquatch ain’t got nothing on me, lol

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

Also, looking at these pics, I wonder if this dress is too short?? It doesn’t feel like it while wearing it…

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Darling In EFFECT

IMG_6509

I made a dress!! With BUTTONS!! Lol
I told you, be prepared for ALL the buttons on this here blog 😉

Dress :: Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges
Belt :: F21
Tights :: H&M (??)
Shoes :: Mel by Melissa

Darling In EFFECT

These pics are in full (Picmonkey Orton & Cross Process) effect because my bravery in taking these in such a crowded, public place (the Brooklyn waterfront!!) resulted in slightly out of focus pics ;(

Darling In EFFECT

I was in the area having lunch with David!! Such a nice time catching up and touring his amazing workspace!!

Darling In EFFECT

I had a bit of time afterward and wondered on down to this amazing waterfront spot! I must say, I’ve lived in Brooklyn for my entire life and I’m still amazed by how beautiful it is!! I love my city! I can’t wait to come back and explore this area with my children.

Darling In EFFECT

Darling In EFFECT

This bias tape finish is GENIUS!! And this is coming from someone who HATES bias tape!! The finishing on this was sooooo easy. I complicated things a bit by using a very lightweight challis. But, this was an experiment before cutting into my Mood silk/cotton fabric. Which I don’t think it right for the pattern, now.
Darling Ranges Dress :: The Guts

MODS: I left the elastic off of the sleeves. I hate to have my arms squeezed!! I used a dart from a totally different pattern after an Instagram friend reminded me of the trouble people had with the existing ones. Good move, they are nice and flat. I also lined the skirt section. This challis is super, super thin. The two layers together makes it more opaque but still so lightweight that I kept looking to down to make sure it was there, lol!
Seriously!

SIZE: Mostly a small. I shaved some of the back side seams off because there are no back darts and I knew it’d be too big otherwise. I threw off the bodice length with my slapdash dart change, so I had to even them up afterward.

Darling Ranges Dress :: The Guts

Special touch on this dress? That lace on the hem was given to me by my paternal grandma!

Darling Ranges Dress :: The Guts

Don’t be too impressed with the enclosed lining. It was a happy accident! I added more weight to the buttonhole and button bands by layering in narrow sections of challis. I think it was worth it, though it made the buttonholes a bit inconsistent.

Overall, it was a great experience with very wearable results!!

Archer Hits The MARK!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Archer Hits The MARK!!!

Can you even believe I made this!!! Jen, you are a talented, talented woman!! Without the sew along posts I would NEVER have had such success with this project!!! Making Archer has taught me SOOOO much!!

The biggest lesson:
If it’s not quite right, rip it out and do it again! And again, if necessary

I really hate to do things more than once. But to get the result I wanted, it was absolutely necessary rip out and try again. Several times. And that’s fine.

The collar went smoother than I thought it would and the cuff was dead easy!! The process also forced me to get over my fear of buttonholes and buttons!!! The four step one on my Janome is so much easier than the automatic one!! I love that I control the length, these would have been too small otherwise. I also tried the buttonhole foot from my broken machine and it worked!! All of this adds up to me feeling seriously anxious tackle my next shirt!

Or at least project with buttons, lol.

Archer Hits the MARK!!

I’m pretty pleased with the fit, though I could probably go a size down and be just fine. I have a narrow torso that’s swallowed up a bit. I don’t mind with this style of shirt, though. I am loving the sleeve length!! I have long arms, coupled with my smaller upper body = button down shirt sucky fit.

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

But not with handmade!!!

Here’s the rest of my outfit.

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Coat :: Steve Madden
Sweater :: Sean John (menswear)
Scarf :: Thrifted
Chambray Shirt :: HANDMADE BABY!!
Shorts :: Thrifted & Refashioned Kenneth Cole (Menswear) Trousers
Shoes :: H&M

This is also the first time I’ve worn my hair down like this since I cut it nearly three years ago. Progress!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Untitled

Untitled

And here are some indoor pics of Archer.

Just because!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

Thanks to Rose de Wolfe for modeling!! And thanks to Oona for the sweet deal on her!!

Archer Hits the MARK!!

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???

Don’t Upset the Rhythm

Don't Upset the Rhythm

“Don’t Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)” is my favorite Noisettes song!! Though equally loved songs like “Never Forget You” and the hard rocking “Don’t Give Up” and “Scratch Your Name” might be more your flavor.

It’s musical inspiration week at the Sew Weekly. I was inspired by the beauty above, Shingai Shoniwa. I’ve already blogged about how much I love her style. A small part of me wanted to go for one of her more avant garde looks which might be comprised of headdresses, feathers, winged jumpsuits, hot pants, bustiers, glittering fringe and/or exaggerated hip & shoulder details complete with face paint and bare feet for maximum jumping, thrashing and cartwheeling ability. I could also go with one of her chic or casual looks with a trim sheath dress, short-shorts or high waist pants.

But then I saw the new Victory Patterns on Kristiann’s Pinboard (she is so freaking nice I want to buy TWO of every pattern in her shop!!) and I HAD to have ROXANNE!! I knew with a funky print and a teeny, trim skirt I could have my Shingai inspired look and wearability, too!

Don't Upset the Rhythm

Don't Upset the Rhythm

Don't Upset the Rhythm

These pics (and the one at the top) were taken in Fort Greene Park. I spent a huge part of my childhood playing, cooking out, sledding, snowball fighting, relay racing and more in this park! I’m standing in front of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument you can view a full shot of it here.

Don't Upset the Rhythm

The Facts
Fabric | A rayon blend (I have NO CLUE what it’s blended with) woven ($2.39 a yard) for the top, quilting cotton (free) for the contrast and a stretch rayon blend ($2.39 a yard) for the skirt. The rayon blends are from Fabric.com and the I got the quilting cotton at a BurdaStyle sewing club meetup.
Patterns | Victory Patterns, Roxanne and none for the skirt.
Year | Current! Very, very current! I bought the pattern the same day it was released. It was PERFECT for this challenge!
Notions | Thread and elastic (the skirt waistband).
Time to complete | Two hours or so for the top. I struggled with the collar a bit. This was due to my tendency towards sewing inconsistent seam allowances. I had to resew one collar piece so that they matched and then I was too stubborn (or tired, really) to follow the (very simple and clear) pleating directions. Don’t sew when tired, peeps. The skirt was dead simple, but it was try #3 for a bottom. Number one: pants cut with the stretch going the wrong way @^$*^@#@!! Number two: a black knit version of this skirt which didn’t look great with the blue. It worked out in the end.
First worn | To take my little daughter to swimming lessons. I hope I didn’t look like a Real Housewives wannabe with red lips on in a pool at 10am ;o)
Wear again? | Hell yes!! I LOOOOOVE tops like this! The skirt is a bit too snug so it rides up. It’s okay for wearing with long and loose tops like this, though.
Total price | About $20 including the cost of the pattern, which I will definitely, definitely use again (and again!). I mean, LOOK at the back!

Don't Upset the Rhythm

PARTAY IN THE BACK, BAM! You might not have noticed the modification I made (unintentionally, but it’s really perfect as I normally can’t tolerate high, closed necklines) so I will point it out to you.

Don't Upset the Rhythm

The slit should be at the back of the top on this version, not the front. Remember what I said about sewing while sleepy….Rather than get really peeved and throw the top down in defeat, I took Shingai’s advice. I didn’t let it upset my rhythm!!

Go baby, go baby, GO!

Don't Upset the Rhythm

The pics were taken by my Missy, again. We snapped SO many, I had a hard time choosing, click here for more!!

EDITED TO ADD
When I look for completed versions of patterns I always wish the seamstress said more about sizing. Antoinette asked me about it in the comments. I answered there, but I’ll include my tidbits here, too:

I made the size 4 with no mods, except for the mistake with the neck opening, and I love the fit. I can’t really compare it to the Big 4 because I haven’t really sewn enough current patterns to be sure of my “regular” size.

My high bust measurement is 34 1/2, which is the listed bust for size 4 of this pattern. But the actual finished size of the top is closer to 42 inches (with the pleats relaxed) rather than the 50 listed in the pattern size.

I hope that helps someone!

The “Scout’s Honor” Woven Tee

The "Scout's Honor" Woven Tee

My shirt looks rather off white in some of these photos. I promise you, it IS yellow!

Scout’s honor!

The "Scout's Honor" Woven Tee

The Facts
Fabric | A basic, lightweight woven cotton. 1.5 yards for $5.97. Fabric.com called the print “retro trees” but my oldest son The "Scout's Honor" Woven Teethinks that they like dandelions ;o)
Patterns | Grainline’s Scout Woven Tee (Jen is offering 15% off patterns right now)
Year | Current.
Notions | Thread.
Time to complete | About an hour, including cutting.
First worn | To pick up a stack of free French books with the kiddies.
Wear again? | Yes! I’m not crazy about this fabric, but it was the only yellow I had. I was also skeptical that it would look good on once I finished it, but I really like it.
Total price | I used a yard of the fabric and the pattern cost me $6.50 (less 15%), so about $10. I expect to use this pattern a lot, woven tees have incredible fall wear potential, so the cost of the pattern is negligible. I refashioned the shorts last summer. They’re much more wearable at this length.

The "Scout's Honor" Woven Tee

The "Scout's Honor" Woven Tee

My Scout has a shaped hem (and NO bias binding on the neckline, it’s the devil ;p). This was necessary for two reasons. One, my front and back hems didn’t match up. I think this was due to my printer running out of paper partway through printing. After I added paper, I ran off the missing pages. I may have forgotten to deselect auto rotate when I restarted it. I also went against my gut and didn’t taper the side seams as much as I normally would so that the shirt wouldn’t sit on top of my hips.

IThe "Scout's Honor" Woven Tee

The size 0 was more than large enough for my small upper body, but I was worried about it looking too boxy with the extra fabric, so I was conservative in my tapering. It worked out because I love the hem feature, it makes room for my hips and the fit is pretty awesome!

I have my oldest daughter to thank for today’s pics. My children have become my go-to photographers!They are always so jazzed about helping me show off what I make! This area was PACKED with people lunching, smoking and lounging. I had no fear or awkwardness stopping to take these flicks! Hell, I even spoke on camera this weekend and did not have an attack of nerves. Don’t let anyone tell you that sewing doesn’t boost confidence!

The "Scout's Honor" Woven Tee

I’m glad to be back over on the Sew Weekly!! My machine drama completely threw off my groove! I had 1000+ unread posts in my Google reader and I watched way more TV than I had in a long while. I’ve missed my weekly sewing routine, which apparently affects the groove of the rest of my life!

I used up all of my mojo last week sewing up Promaballoona frocks. But that effort, and my great Saturday afternoon craft date with David and Goodwill, reset my inner creativity clock. I’m back in the saddle again and looking forward to next week’s challenge!

 

 

 

Promaballoona Frock Party!!!

Oh, prom. That time that each girl looks forward to. That blissful, pre-wedding dress shopping experience of dropping fuckloads of cash on a one-time-wear garment. The makeup. The manicures. The salon appointments. Those were the days……just not for this girl. Like most things in my life, my prom going experience was not at all what I hoped it would be.

Read the rest over at my friend Oona’s!!

And check out the frocks below.

Barbie Pink and Sweet Cream frocks!

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

Barbie Pink

The Facts
Fabric | Sumptuous hot pink cotton sateen courtesy of Kollabora
Patterns | Vintage (1940s) Simplicity 2693 and my TNT skirt pattern, Simplicity 9823
Year | 1940s and current
Notions | Thread, a zipper and elastic. I did not interface the bodice, but it is doubled.
Time to complete | Made during an all night sewing marathon, so I’m not sure. It went together pretty effortlessly, I must say.
First worn | On a two part photo shoot with my big girl aka kick ass photographer!
Wear again? | HELL YEAH!! Try and stop me ;P
Total price | Nearly FREE!! I won the fabric, was given the elastic by my sister, the zipper from my granny, the bodice pattern is from a swap and the skirt pattern was probably .99cents.

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

Sweet Cream

The Facts
Fabric | 100% cotton paisley embroidered fabric from fabric.com
Patterns |Vintage (1940s) Simplicity 2693 and Vivat Veritas’ scalloped waist skirt pattern
Year | 1940s and current
Notions | Thread and a zipper.
Time to complete | Made during an all night sewing marathon, so I’m not sure. It went together pretty effortlessly, I must say. The entire dress is doubled. The fabric was slightly sheer and very lightweight. I sewed the two skirt sections together at the bottom edge, turned it right side out and pressed it. Worked like a charm!
First worn | On a two part photo shoot with my big girl aka kick ass photographer!
Wear again? | HELL YEAH!!
Total price | I don’t remember what I paid for this fabric, but I can assure you it wasn’t much. The bodice pattern is from a swap and the scalloped skirt pattern is free online.

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

I took some advice from the recently departed Nora Ephron. She said

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

I saved my prom experience this time around. Snaps for me!

My co-hero, Missy, snapped this pics for me. Don’t they kick ass!!

More pics here.