Completed: Moth Dress, and looking forward to fall makes!

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Happy Friday! Here’s the last of the dresses I made over the summer (that are worth photographing, anyway…tried quite a few patterns that didn’t pan out, derp).

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This dress is such a mashup of patterns and self-drafting that I can’t really attribute it to any one pattern. It was designed to showcase the fabric, which honestly is one of my favorite conversational prints from the fabric store I work at. It’s covered in moths and fireflies, and the colorway is a combination of vintage and rustic, using sage green, rust, terracotta, marigold, and cream.

There isn’t much to say about the construction of this dress, other than that it was gratifying, and that the dress is comfortable, and that I probably won’t reproduce it. I’m starting to move away from conversation prints and toward structural/architectural pieces, where loud prints like this one get in the way of showcasing the beauty of the construction and silhouette. These projects are all still in the works, though, so posts will be upcoming! Anyway, here’s a photoshoot, because I felt like it, and this is my blog, and I can subject you to half a dozen pictures of myself if I want to! 😀

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Stay tuned for my fall makes! Jackets, blazers, coats, yum yum yum!

Completed: Green Bee Frances Dress: Fun with St. George and Friends

I’m sorry. Really. I know I’m no model, but I couldn’t help it. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS DRESS. LOOK AT HOW LONG IT MAKES MY LEGS LOOK.

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Seriously, guys. I was not aware of how crazy-long my legs look.

I prefer a bit more modesty. I prefer skirts that at least hit the knee, because my work requires me to go up and down stairs, bend over, that sort of thing. And I don’t want people getting peeks, nor do I want to spend the entire day carefully monitoring my movements so that I’m not indecent. So I wear leggings at work, and people compliment me on my fun little tunic, and that’s that. But for a photo shoot?

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LOOK AT THIS SEXY LITTLE GEEK DRESS.

Actually, the reason why I’m pointing at myself like I’m about to fly apart at the seams from excitement is because of the cotton I used, which only adds to the geekiness:

st georgeLook! It’s St. George, and the dragon, and a little boy, AND THEY’RE FRIENDS. No one is killing each other! They’re just reading each other stories and eating apples and it’s adorable and happy and makes my day every time I look at it. ❤

DSC_0017 Now, onto more useful information: The pattern review!

The pattern? Honestly…it’s okay. It’s printed on opaque paper rather than tissue, which forces you to trace it out on your own tissue paper. This has both good and bad aspects: it might be a turn-off for people who want to whip up the dress in a day or a weekend, but it also ensures that you can come back to the pattern again and again, regardless of body changes.

Also, it’s drafted great for curvy ladies.But for a stick like me? I had to take INCHES out of the bust, and the only way to make this not look like a sack on me is to use the waist tie.

There were also a few things that didn’t make sense to me: like, for example, waist darts AND guide lines for elastic to be sewn straight onto the dress. Both? Really? Maybe this is a flattering thing to do for women with cups that overfloweth? I ended up omitting both and just using the waist tie, which works fine for me.

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The dress is also obviously made for women who are a few inches shorter than me. I’m 5’8”, by the way.

Also, the front placket has interfacing and two layers of fabric, which, when you include the seam allowance encased within the placket, makes for like 6 layers of fabric and a layer of interfacing. This is REALLY hard to rip with a seam ripper when making the buttonholes.

And speaking of buttonholes, protip: If your placket is narrow, make your button holes VERTICAL, not horizontal. /facepalm

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But there are some super cute details. The gathers in the center of the back, below the yoke. Also the gathers below the front yoke. Both are flattering details. The sleeves are also roomy, but the armhole isn’t gaping, so I have freedom of movement without having to worry about the awkward side-boob problem. Also, the buttons go low enough down the dress that you can, indeed, wear it as a dress, and aren’t forced to wear tights or leggings with it at all times.

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The dress was quite simple to put together though, and a gratifying project. Cute, doesn’t require a lot of yardage or materials, and versatile.I’ll probably shorten it by a few inches and make a few as shirts.

So, given what you see here, will you be making the Green Bee Frances dress?

Completed: Sewaholic Yaletown: Coneflower Confection

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Happy Friday! Have I mentioned how much I love Sewaholic patterns?

Because I am totally in love with Sewaholic patterns.

This is the Yaletown dress, though I made it without the sleeves…I made it out of a delicious coneflower rayon challis, and it was intended for hothothot weather…so no sleeves.

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This dress is fairly easy to throw together, and as always, Tasia’s instructions taught me something new. In this case, it was elastic casing. Tasia’s method is probably standard fare, but I read over the instructions before starting the casing and laughed aloud. “Genius!” I exclaimed. I had never thought to use the seam allowance as the casing!.

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So, yeah, I’ve been wearing this dress a lot. It’s super comfortable right out of the package (I DID have to do an SBA, but I always have to do one of those, so I hardly count it anymore), super flattering, and feminine without being ultrasweet. When I wore this dress the first time, a girl came up to me and said, “Can I just say? I don’t like your dress. I’m DROOLING over it.”

DSC_0014  It’s such a flowy, airy, comfortable style that I want to make another two or three and have it be a wardrobe staple–but it’ll have to wait until I can save up a little money and find a similarly good rayon challis. I have access to a wide variety of rayons at my workplace (woot woot independent fabric stores!) but they’re relatively transparent and I don’t like wearing bras.

What?

DSC_0009  I have another few dresses I’ll post about over the next week…stay tuned!

Simplicity 1802 & Simplicity 1606 Frankenpattern: Modern Art Museum Ready!

I know it’s been, like, FOREVER since I posted to my blog, but the reason was that my internet was working, and not that I haven’t been sewing!

The best make is one I recently finished, a silk charmeuse dress made with a combination of Simplicity 1802 bodice and Simplicity 1606 skirt:

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See the grid-like pattern on the skirt? I wanted to create a focal point on the bodice, so I rearranged the bodice pieces on the material so that I wasn’t just creating random nonsense.

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It took forever and was a total pain in the butt and I’m never doing this insane of pattern matching EVER AGAIN EVER. Unless someone pays me at least, like, a hundred bucks from the get-go as a “pain in the patootie” fee.

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I made this dress for a trip I’m planning with my S.O. to a nearby modern art museum. We had to put the plan on hiatus, so I wasn’t able to take pictures of the dress in the museum itself (which is what I wanted…oh well). But I was fortunate enough to have a rare day off that was actually sunny, so I snapped a few quick shots anyway.

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What do you think? Is it modern-art-museum ready? What would YOU make to wear to a modern art museum?

Coming up next week, assuming my internet is still working: a runway copycat piece!

Completed: Sewaholic 1301 – Robson Coat

I’ve been busy the last few days, making myself a trench coat made of sunshine! 🙂

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The coat is made from a cotton/silk twill that was literally named “Daffodil Twill.” Since I’ve wanted a yellow trench coat for years, when I saw the material in the fabric store I jumped on it, even though it was about twice as expensive as fabric I usually pick up.

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My S.O. took the shots…didn’t he do a good job?

The Robson coat was a great project to tackle. It took me a long time, but I learned a lot from it. It was my first time working with bias tape to such an extent–the coat is unlined, so all of the seams are finished with bias tape:

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It also had me do a great deal of topstitching and pressing–things that I had ignored before, because I had a crummy iron, and also because it was never explicitly put in the directions from pattern companies like Vogue and Simplicity. But this pattern taught me first-hand that a good final product results from pressing at least as much as you sew, if not moreso. Here’s a detail shot:

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The one thing that blew my mind about the Robson Coat was that I had to do no other modifications than lengthening the sleeves an inch. The shoulders, the bust, and the sleeve width are all perfect, and these are normally areas that I need to take in a lot. Check out the fit of the top half of the coat!squidtrench4

 

And, in case you weren’t convinced by how happy I am–not only to have a yellow trench coat that I made, but to have it turn out so well–

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Completed: The Striped Dress

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It’s been a long time since I started talking about this dress, but life got in the way for a while, so I wasn’t able to work on personal projects. Today, however, I had some time to myself, so I powered through the last steps and got the dress put together!

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The pattern matching wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. What ended up being tricky was drafting the back. I have no dressform, which meant I was doing a lot of twisting and turning in the mirror to try to get it to lay right. But the twisting and turning was causing it to behave oddly…it took forever, but I think it turned out okay.

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Also, there is no zipper. Since the waist is cut on the bias, it stretches enough to just pull over my head. Isn’t that neat?

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Until next time!