Tag Archives: sewing

Completed: The Psychedelic Snakeskin dress

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A fun, quick  make of the Sewaholic Yaletown, out of a dazzlingly-patterned rayon challis, which was totally an impulse buy/make and which will totally become a wardrobe staple.

Enjoy the photo shoot. Most of it is legitimate. In the rest…well. The dress is VERY persuasive. It rules them all and binds them, and brings them all through the darkness and binds them…

OKAY I WATCHED THE TWO TOWERS LAST NIGHT YOU GOT ME.

But seriously. It’s hard not to act up a little when wearing this dress…

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Completed: Pleather Colette Ginger A-line skirt

There’s a contest running on patternreview.com right now in imitation of the Great British Sewing Bee. I am swamped with unfinished projects, commissions, and getting a business off the ground, and I also contracted the flu–so I thought, “May as well participate!”

Here’s my entry!

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It’s a faux leather rendition of the Ginger skirt by Colette Patterns. The contest was to make, in roughly a week, an A-line skirt with a waistband, a hem, a zipper, a button/hook&eye closure, and a lining.  Contest is judged based on execution, creativity, photographs, and the write-up. One required photo is of the inside–which is good, because that’s where all my creativity happened!

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What you’re looking at is a composite image showing the skirt flipped inside out, to show the pink bias tape at the hem, and the hot pink pockets I added, BECAUSE POCKETS.

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Honestly, I jumped into this contest because I wanted to see how far I could get–not, as I’m sure others did, because I like A-line skirts (never wore one before!) or because I was at all interested in the contest prize. In fact, I was a bit irritated with the first part of the contest, because A-line skirts strike me as incredibly 90’s–they remind me of ultra-thin eyebrows, stick-straight hair, and spagetti strap tank tops. NOT my thing.

But the pattern, outside of a few drafting/technical issues (adding extra room specifically for the butt made it IMPOSSIBLE to cleanly install the back zipper, argh!), I was surprised to find that I actually LIKE this skirt. Make it classy with a white button-down shirt and a bit of red lipstick and it actually sort of fits my personal aesthetic. Not to mention it’s surprisingly comfortable.

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So: make another one? Probably not. But this skirt will definitely get some wear!

What do you think? Are A-line skirts classic wardrobe staples, or are they dated?

Completed: By Hand London Victoria Blazer: Cooling Down

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My favorite article both to sew and wear is outerwear, in all its glorious forms: blazers, jackets, or coats, zipped or buttoned, long or cropped, full sleeved or half-sleeved, tailored or minimalist.

In this case, the Victoria blazer is untailored, and even lacks interfacing. Shoulder pads? Nah. Buttons? Ew, no.  It is slouchy, oversized, and oh so very, very cool.

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The By Hand London ladies are a hoot. If you haven’t snapped up one of their patterns yet, do it, if only for the highly informative and entertaining instructions. These gals are punny. I’ve never seen anyone crack jokes in instructions before, and it’s refreshing .

The instructions are also geared toward absolute novices, so if you’re on of those I’ve-only-ever-made-like-one-skirt-and-I-never-let-it-see-the-light-of-day types, I highly recommend getting your feet wet with a BHL pattern. They’re fashionable without being obviously dated, they’re incredibly versatile, and they’re drafted for a good range of sizes.

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I’m already planning to make this blazer up in its various looks (the pattern also has options for a cropped version and a sleeveless version). Guys, this is gonna be a wardrobe staple. I love how I look in it. I love how confident/cool/detached I feel when I wear it. It’s like anarchy for my wardrobe. It’s great.

By the way, a reaction like this is a very good indication of what direction you should be taking your wardrobe in, if you’re the sort of person who curates or “architects” your wardrobe. While I wear quite a few cotton dresses in conversational prints (mostly because they’re easy to throw on in the morning and I get a lot of compliments at work), they don’t exactly do wonders for my self-confidence. I feel pretty normal, maybe cute, but also a bit…”home-made.” And I don’t really want to feel home-made. I want to feel like I ooze style, like someone can see a look and instantly say, “Oh man, Morgan would love that.” I want to reach the point where people are complimenting me on my style, not on my chosen sewing project.

But this untailored, oversized blazer? Heck yeah. Clearly, I need to start steering my wardrobe in a more minimalist direction (which, if any of you follow me on Pinterest, probably should have been obvious to me from the sheer number of pins I have on my “minimalist fashion inspiration” board.)

Now, onto the gritty details!

My only issue with the pattern is that it doesn’t call for lining the sleeves. I don’t know what sort of armor-plated skin the BHL ladies must have, but if you’re making a wool blazer, you DO NOT leave any part that is touching your skin unlined. Yeeeeeech. Fortunately, it was super easy to just throw in the sleeve lining, because the sleeves are finished with french cuffs.

French cuffs, by the way, are utterly genius little things. They’re like sexy facings, where instead of having to do 6 steps, you only do 2. A supremely elegant solution. The ex-researcher highly approves.

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But I have a confession to make:

I miss Midwestern autumns.

Back home, October was the perfect month for blazers and jackets.Temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s, crisp winds blowing in from the north, scattered showers.

Here in the Bay Area? It’s been a blistering 85+ for several days. A coworker of mine showed me a picture posted by a friend of hers from the L.A. area, in which the candles were melting from the ambient temperature. They were saggign against each other and the wall, and drooping onto the table from their candlesticks.

Anyway, the temperature is the reason for my expression above…haha.

At least I was only in the blazer and pants for the photoshoot–you can bet your bottom dollar I stripped and slipped on my airy rayon challis dress as soon as I was done taking pictures.

But whether or not the Bay Area weather cell is in denial, fall IS coming! So next up: coats! It’s been so hot I’ve hated even looking at the material for them, but they’re well on their way to being done, and soon enough the weather will warrant wearing them (YESSSSSSSS. Favorite season EVER.). I have a Gareth Pugh rip-off I’m making (looove sewing: designer fashion, fraction of the price!), and then I’ll start regularly posting along with the Ralph Rucci coat sewalong.  So stay tuned for season-appropriate sewing!

What are you guys sewing up for fall?

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!