Kitty Chronicle

When Erin announced the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge over at Miss Crayola Creepy, I was pretty jazzed about it. I starting looking up cat prints and scouring the interwebs for ideas. I found this lovely print, which I had lusted after in the past:

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The Kitty Chronicle print was available on etsy through Custom Creations, which is located here in Ontario. I messaged the owner for a cut of three yards knowing that I would be using black fabric from my stash for the collar, yoke, button bands, and waistband. The almost simultaneous announcement of the fall of 1000 Shirtdresses by Mary over Idle Fancy cemented the pattern I would use for the challenge: McCall’s 6696. The pattern is making its round in the sewing blogverse right now and I figured I would try out this apparently amazing pattern. This is also part of my FESA 2014 fabulous frocks.

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I chose View D for my cat lady dress.

My muslin went really well:

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I didn’t bother making the button band, but knew it would fit well. It was my first woven dress in a really long time and I wanted to make it perfect. I did french seams and handsewed the waistband rather than use my usual method of topstitching on the right side and hoping it works. I may have reverted back to that method for the button bands and the collar, but my future version of M6696 will all have handsewn collar facings and button band facings, because it just makes for a much neater and stronger finish.

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Look at those sexy sexy insides. ūüôā This is before I sewed the buttons on.

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My buttons are from another etsy seller, Krafty Sian. My favourite thing about my cat is her adorable paws that look like jelly beans. I got pink little paws to sew on the dress:

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So adorable, right?! ūüôā

Okay, so by now, you probably want to see this wicked dress, right?

Well, heeeeeere it is! *drum roll*

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Psyche! It’s me and the cat. Trinity is NOT an outdoor cat and was pretty upset at being wrangled into my arms and then dragged outside into the outdoors that she calls “the netherworld” (I assume she calls it that). She spent the entire time clawing at me to get away and back inside to her scratch pad, which she sleeps on and doesn’t use to scratch (duh, she has two couches for that!).

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Much happier.

Okay, here is the dress sans kitty cat.

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I sewed up view D. I usually sew fuller skirts and future versions will definitely be the fuller skirt version. The width of the fabric and the weight (quilting cotton) meant it would never look quite right as a full skirt and really the concept wouldn’t show off the print. Considering I am still trying to sew a perfect pencil skirt, I figured a figure hugging skirt for a shirtdress would look very cool with this print. And I love it.

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I love this dress. Although, confession time: In a race to get pictures taken before the sun set (which it does now at unreasonably early times), I basically just pinned the buttons in place and then took the pictures. I still have to sew them on. The magic of the camera. Also, I am not barefoot. There are just tons of leaves that I should sweep on our back deck. Fall is in full swing here and I’m about to make a 1000 shirtdresses for it.

Other technical parts: I sewed up a¬†size 24 in a D-cup. I made a large bicep alteration to the sleeve and didn’t add the cuff to the sleeve, because I did not like the look after I pinned it on. I also graded up to a size 26 in the butt, because I got junk in my trunk.

For future versions of the pattern, I will be making the fuller skirt. I do love this view and it definitely works best for a heavier weight fabric. I can see it in a lightweight floral denim with contrasting bands and collar again. Hmm….. Maybe….. I feel great in it, but I know I would be more comfortable in the fuller skirt version. More me.

I would also make more button holes than this (I totally ignored the pattern…listen to the pattern, people! I was just in a rush to finish the button holes). I find that I always need a few more buttons to keep the girls inside my shirtdresses. I’ll follow the pattern next time. ūüėČ I didn’t even look at it. :-S

I see there is some pulling in the bodice buttons which would likely be solved by doing a small FBA in the d-cup pattern. I think I just need about an inch more room to make it a perfect fit.

All in all, I loved making this dress.

A final note, I haven’t posted in a while here. October was insane for me. I plan on making a ton and blogging a ton in November with my bra-making class on the 28th (my birthday!!)/29th at Bra Maker’s Supply. There will be tons to talk about including the round-up of Bimble and Pimple’s sewvember photo challenge. Check me out on Instagram if you miss my posts. I am a frequent poster there and you can often get previews of my makes and adorable shots of my cat and food (mmm, food). Also, the Instagram sewing peeps rock my world.

Fall Sewing Plans

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I originally started this post in draft over the weekend and in the meantime I found The Creative Perfectionist¬†from browsing around other people’s blogs and their favourites on bloglovin’¬†(yes, I am a stalker). I follow a ton of blogs on there and apparently never have enough to read.

I love the categories that Sarah put together for this and my original post really conformed to it. I have other sewing plans that are outside of FESA 2014 categories, but I figure why not join the group? I started this blog to join a community of sewists and to share creative endeavours. If my own plans can join in with a group, I might as well do it.

There are seven categories and I have plans in all except for Those Cozy Nights, which focuses on sleepwear. I have no plans to make any more pajamas.

Here are my plans in the six other categories:

Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather

Leggings

I’ve had Cake’s espresso leggings pattern for almost a year now and I have yet to touch it. Must make all the leggings, because I am always cold and hate winter so much, but refuse to not wear dresses. Pants suck, gals! I need dresses!

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Espresso leggings are one of Cake’s RiFF patterns, which means they are customized based on your measurements. Once you create a wearable muslin, you can basically make them with very little fabric and make them up super quick from the many blogs I’ve read talking about them.

Check out these blog entries on their espresso leggings reviews: Dreamstress, Dixie DIY, happilycaffienated, and Blinky Sews¬†(Blinky’s post was the one that first made me buy the pattern).

Basically fall/winter are all about layers and I need tons, because I am ALWAYS cold in the fall/winter. I am the person you hate in the summer who runs about in 40 degree Celsius weather and gets angry when it dips below 25 Celsius. In the fall/winter, I am always in way more layers than everyone else. I even have a work blanket that I use ALL YEAR ROUND.

Fabric/notions needed: stretch material in different colours, 3/4 inch elastic.

Pencil skirts.

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I recently went WAY outside my fashion box by trying on a pencil skirt at Old Navy and an orange one at that. I love orange, but the colour has never been in my wardrobe, because my skin often doesn’t like yellowy hues and I end up looking like an extra from Walking Dead. I’ve only been wearing red in the past couple of years and discovered how much I adore it. I used to be 100% the pink girl. I wore pink, pink, and more pink. I feel like my readers are always expecting me to sew with pink and I swear I will! I’ve just been trying different colours a lot more lately.

I’ve decided to make a few pencil skirts as a result of the above pics. I didn’t buy that skirt, because the material was stretchy and had poor recovery (yeay for learning about that! Thanks, Colette Patterns!). My versions will be made of stretchy suit material from my stash and I am excited. I am starting off with a free Lekala pattern #5088:

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It’s a super basic pencil skirt. I have four¬†fabrics in my stash for pencil skirts (yeay stashbusting!):

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Top: plaid stretch suiting, red stretch suiting Bottom: stretch corduroy, thick cotton blend (no stretch)

Depending on how I feel about the Lekala pattern, they may all be the same pattern, but I may keep my eye out for some other ones or try drafting my own. I really like the idea of drafting a vintage style high-waisted pencil skirt, but I dunno if I would really like that look on me… We’ll see. Gotta live outside the box!

Fabric/notions needed: Zippers.

Chic Chemises for Cool Climates

Cardigans.

With the Parisian top into a cardigan pattern hack, I’ve realized what I want in a cardigan: cute features for different colours and prints of fabric, versatility, and one that hits me at my natural¬†waist.

Enter the Jenna Cardi from Muse patterns. Kat over at Modern Vintage Cupcakes recently launched her first pattern with her new label Muse Patterns and I am jazzed. More than jazzed. What is more than jazzed? Whatever that is, I am that.

Yes, I do love everything about this pattern. Yes, I do. Look at the versatility, the size range ¬†(up to 48″ bust size!), the fun details in variation B and the simplicity in variation A.

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It only needs about two yards of fabric depending on your size and the version. I will be doing variation B at waist length with long sleeves to start and then likely trying every variation and the variations within the variations with variations. Verily!

Fabric/notions needed: Stable light-medium weight jersey/knit fabrics (such as merino wool, wool or acrylic blends, cotton knit, cotton blends, or even stretch lace), and buttons.

Fabulous Frocks

Wrapalong

The Curvy Sewing Collective is doing a Wrap Dress Sew Along and they posted a link on their facebook page to a plus size Burda collection that included the most awesome Wrap Tunic Dress that would go perfectly with a new pair of Espresso leggings. I wasn’t going to join the Wrapalong, because with the exception of a woven wrap dress from yesteryears made into a circle skirt recently, I am not a big fan of wrap dresses. I love a nice wrap cardigan, but wrap dresses never quite fit the girls.¬†I am in love with the style on this one though and the draping in the finished version they have is making me go nuts:

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Fabric/Notions needed: Stretch jersey, 1/4 elastic.

Fall of 1000 Shirt Dresses

Following Mary at Idle Fancy‘s lead, I’m declaring it the Fall of 1000 shirt dresses. She may end up making this a sewing challenge and I am in full support of that!

Combined with this is also the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge with Erin at Miss Crayola Creepy.

I recently acquired this awesome fabric:

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I plan on making McCall’s 6696 in view D:

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I will be using black cotton fabric for the waistband, button bands, collar, and the cuffs. I will be the coolest cat around (heheh, so punny again!).

Of course, I will be making a¬†wearable muslin to prep for the October challenge and that means: MORE SHIRT DRESSES! ALL THE SHIRT DRESSES! I mean… I guesssss I will make shirt dresses….. (dances)

Lots of these Fall of 1000 Shirt Dresses fabrics will come from my stash (Yeay stashbusting!):

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Mostly cottons, except for the black at the top, a polyester blend.

Other fall dresses include:

Lekala #4115 (with one of the above stash fabrics):

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Colette Moneta

I’m going to try to find merino wool or ponte knit and make a few of these in a heavier knit with long sleeves. The Moneta is so easy for me cut and to sew up.

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Fabric/notions needed: Merino wool, ponte knit, heavier stretch fabrics, buttons for shirt dresses, zipper for Lekala 4115, elastic for Moneta.

Tender Tootsies

I also have an idea of making Espresso tights.

Handmade by Carolyn has a great tutorial for drafting your own tights that would be useful combined with the custom fit of the Espresso leggings. Basically just using her tutorial for making the feet for the tights.

Along with this, I have a few pairs of knit tights that don’t quite fit me anymore in the butt, but I am planning on hacking into slouchy knee high socks.

Fabric/notions needed: Elastic.

Underneath It All

I have a lot of remnants of stretch material and a lot of plans with more jersey knits and other things that I can fashion into: Underwear!

I plan on¬†taking the Bra-Making Workshop in Hamilton at the Bra Maker’s Supply in November over my birthday weekend. Bras are hella expensive and I want a better fit. They say if you can set a sleeve you can make a bra! Sign up if you are in the area and meet me!

Baby It’s Cold Outside

My First Coat!

In the beginning of the summer before I was put on a fabric-buying hold as part of the Summer Stashbust, which I failed in sew many ways (ha, punny!), I bought this wool from a thrift store.

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I have yet to determine how much of it I have (I keep forgetting), but I have plans to combine it with other wool fabric, if I need more. I think there is enough for the main parts of the coat, but accents like straps and the collar might be made of a contrasting solid wool rather than the main.

I love the smell of this wool. I can’t get over how wonderful it smells. I’m not normally a fan of wool fabric, but this one… I dunno just smells so wonderful. It had original tags on it that said it was 50 bucks. Maybe it’s just higher quality than I’ve been used to.

Possible patterns for this include:

Lekala #5835 acquired with my Monthly Stitch dresses win of five patterns.

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I have to lay out the pattern pieces on my wool to see if I have enough fabric minus the smaller straps and the top collar.

If that doesn’t work, I also own these two patterns:

Butterick #5685:

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I would shorten this and have to use the D-cup pattern pieces. Actually, this may be moving up my list to top choice, because I really like the pattern…and that the bust variations are there.

McCall’s #6657:

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I might also have to shorten this one, but I don’t need to alter the pattern based on finished garment measurements.

All three make me super happy. I’ll definitely be doing a muslin, though, because the fabric is too gorgeous to make a coat that I won’t show off like crazy and be absolutely in love with in every single way.

I also want to line it with this fabric, if I have enough:

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Even if I have enough for just the main pieces minus the sleeves, I have black liner fabric I can use for the sleeves. I just adore this fabric. I got it in a swap a million years ago when I was doing burlesque in St. John’s Newfoundland and I’ve been hoarding it since. It’s lovely. It’s cotton, I think?

Aside: learn more about fabric types.

I have brilliant dreams of combining brown leather with coat pattern 1 and 3, but my wallet might get pissed at me. Although, really, a coat for the 10 bucks the wool cost me at the thrift store and buttons and some leather…. still a cheap coat…

Fabric/notions needed: Contrasting accent fabrics in wool or leather, if needed, buttons.

Colour/pattern Palette:

fall colour palette

I’m all about the plaid this fall so I want to hopefully find some plaids in stretchy materials to take home and be mine for a Jenna cardi or Espresso leggings. And yes, pink is on my list of colours. I’ve been trying to find more pink, but I keep getting distracted by other colours… I am going to try to find a nice one for my wrapalong dress.

Oranges and yellows are on my list for the first time ever! I am going to break it up with having them as accents on black or brown or possibly grey cardis or making my Moneta with the skirt in one colour and top in another.

Lots of options there.

Complete shopping list:

  • Burdastyle wrap tunic dress: 4 yards light weight drapey jersey/knit fabrics, 2 yards 1/4 inch elastic
  • Espresso Leggings & tights: 2 yards of medium weight jersey/knit fabrics, 4¬†yards 3/4 inch elastic
  • McCall’s shirt dress: 11 1/2 inch Buttons (hopefully cat related)
  • Jenna Cardigan: 2 yards stable light-medium weight jersey/knit fabrics, 6 1/2 inch buttons
  • Moneta: 3.5 yards merino wool, ponte knit, heavier stretch fabrics, 2 yards clear elastic
  • Lekala pencil skirts: 4 7 inch zippers
  • Lekala 4115: 6 1/2 inch buttons (zipper in my stash)
  • Coat: Wool for contrasting accent fabrics for coat or leather (this one is more in the air as I haven’t settled on a pattern yet, but I likely won’t be sewing this until November)

Not too long of a shopping list. Only 13.5 yards of fabric to get over a couple of months. Some of those items can certainly get out of hand, but I’m not allowed to go to the Toronto Fashion District and buy a year’s worth of fabric like I did last year at this time. I am only allowed to get enough for one of each of the above patterns and definitely not at once. The moment I buy more means that I start hoarding them all!

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Finding Balance and Realizing Limits:

I am in love with how all of these challenges overlap so that I can take part in a few with one garment. However, given my up and down health, I am not going to stress if I don’t get it all done. I also have a lot of non-selfish stuff in the works for Halloween and those plans may overtake my selfish sewing. I definitely want to get three things done, though: Espresso leggings, Burda wrap tunic, and McCall’s cat print shirt dress. I know I will get at least one pencil skirt done as well, but I also know the Halloween stuff will be taking over soon! I’ll tell you about it eventually, but no planning posts on that. Secrets! You’ll have to wait until after Halloween to see what I accomplished. It’s also possible that most of this list will be sewn in November outside of the three top things. I can always push some of these into my winter sewing plans…..I do have another stashcation planned for Christmas holidays….

UFOs, Costume, and Cat Lady stuff

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Remember this UFO? Well, it’s a UFO no more!

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The colours in the skirt are closer to the first pic. Low light and my camera settings seems to have coloured everything a little blue. But wait, Andie, the top one was a dress and this is a skirt, what genius is this?

I can’t take credit for the idea. It’s from Erin at Miss Crayola Creepy. Erin started off with a dress and then decided to chop it into a skirt. You can read more about it by clicking through to her blog.

This started as McCall’s 6504, but didn’t work out. I graded the pattern up, but there was already so much ease in the pattern that it ended up being very large. Then I tried to fix that, but nothing was working out. Too many pattern pieces meant one side would work and then the other would go wonky and fix the one and then the other one goes wonky. I started the dress in May and finished it in August after Erin’s post. Took me one night to chop it into a skirt and add a zip. Would have taken less time if it weren’t for having to sew the waistband twice. I find waistbands really troublesome to sew especially with so many layers of fabric and different types of fabric. The sewing is still not entirely straight, but I am done fiddling with it. I love the skirt. It’s ultimately another circle skirt and very similar to the Pavlova, but there is a lapped zip on the side with two hooks in the waistband to keep it closed. It’s really wrinkled in these pics after a day at work.

Action shots. Circle skirts are for twirling! You can see the shorts I wear under all my dresses. Scandalous!

The other item I am going to share with you is still considered a UFO:

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It’s a Parisian Top hacked into a cardigan. I got the idea from A Lemon Squeezy Home’s Project Sewn Leading Lady Challenge. I know it looks lovely and complete in that photo, but I finished it shortly after my last entry in August and haven’t worn it since and didn’t want to blog about it. I don’t like how it looks on me. Hence, the pic of it on my living room carpet. I’m determined to make it wearable. First off, it needs to be shorter. All of my dresses and skirts are high-waisted and this hits me on my hips. Second, the buttons gape. I can’t make a new button band, but I can add more buttons. Other than that, it’s okay. The neckline doesn’t quite work with any of my tops or dresses, but I will figure something out for that. It’s completely made of remnants from my stash. So yeay for that!

I would make it again with the alterations mentioned and a better fabric. A ponte knit would work really well on this.

I haven’t sewed a lot lately other than that. I did an upcycle for a friend for a costume and it was featured in the Mary Sue for uncommon Fan Expo costumes as #18:

Princess Kenny

The white underdress was upcycled from two nightgowns and the purple vest from a robe. The three fabrics are all manner of material: poly blend, silk, and satin. All incredible frustrating to deal with, but looked good in the end. The white poly blend ran and I had to patch a part of it. Made me almost tear out my own hair! I made the shoulder pads with the same yellow silk from the bottom of the white dress, felts for stuffing, and foam core board. I put it together with hot glue and then attached them with velcro so that the top could be washed.

It was my first paid gig!

In other news, some funny pics of my cat in a cone to stop her from scratching:

 

Speaking of cats, have you checked out Miss Crayola Creepy’s October Cat Lady Sewing Challenge?

Oh yes, I will be taking part!

I am basically a crazy cat lady, but I am just crazy for my crazy cat. Isn’t that crazy?

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Phew, long post. This is what happens when I procrastinate on taking pictures and blogging. Ooops!

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I’m using the glasses on my necklace as real glasses. Crazy!