Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday is here, but with a twist. ūüėČ

Recently, a friend contacted me asking me to help her with a very special project. She sent me a picture and asked if I could recreate the dress so she could pose as her younger self. The original picture was taken in Hungary at Aquincum ruins of Budapest and she was about to return there with her parents for a family trip.

Recreating childhood pictures is a really great trend that emerged recently. I really love the idea and was fully behind it!

My friend, Susan Debreceni, is heavily into nostalgia. I know her through the Toronto Improv Community. She even runs a nostalgic show called Blast from the Past:¬†“Comedians take the stage and bring their cherished childhood items to life through improv and otherwise. Nostalgia at its comedic best.” It’s a great way to bring out the fun in nostalgia. I also have seen some adorable baby pictures of improvisors!

When Susan sent me the picture, I knew immediately what to do: Colette Moneta bodice and a gathered skirt. I didn’t use the Moneta skirt, because the sides are curved and I wanted to make sure the dress had matching side seams for the stripes.

Finding the fabric was surprisingly not difficult! We were sure that would be the most difficult part. I quickly searched in my usual places and found a striped cotton lycra¬†and a solid yellow cotton lycra (unfortunately no longer available) at L’Oiseau Fabrics. The fabrics were definitely brighter than the original dress, but brighter didn’t matter. It was an almost perfect match! When they arrived, I was really impressed with the quality. Definitely worth the price.

They sewed up beautifully on my serger. I added sleeve bands in yellow to the sleeves and omitted the pockets since they were not sitting correctly. I serged the hem, since that is my preference. I asked first if that was cool with Susan and she was on board. For the butterfly, Susan sent me a picture, which I printed out and used as a template. I used misty fuse to stabilize the cut out and then used a satin stitch on my sewing machine. It worked really well and then needed to be ironed like crazy to sit flat perfectly. It looked awesome.

 

I’m super happy to have helped make Susan’s nostalgic dreams come true!

Want to check this dress out in person? It might appear at Blast from the Past!

Check them out on facebook or twitter.

Jellyfish and Flamingos!

It was a long weekend in Toronto this past weekend and that meant I got some sewing in! I made two dresses that are perfect for the summer!

The first one is a lengthened version of Cashmerette’s Concord t-shirt. Jenny posted a tutorial on making the top into a dress and I couldn’t resist after seeing her version. I decided to just have a straight hem on my version and make it with the digitally printed jellyfish cotton lycra I got at Lapjesmarkt in Utrecht, Netherlands.

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I adore this fabric. It is just the right amount of weight and lycra to make a body hugging dress hide all my lumps and accentuate all my bumps. Don’t get me wrong, I love my lumps and have no qualms about showing them off, but man I look damn good in this dress. I used yellow ribbing on the neckline and sleeve bands and chose the scoop neck and 3/4 sleeve. I should have reduced the length of the ribbing by an inch and a half or so because of how ribbing stretches out when you sew, but I didn’t. As a result the sleeve bands are a bit loose and the neck slightly stretched out. Neither are very noticeable, though. I didn’t topstitch the neckline down this time. I will see if it needs it after a few wears. The topstitching would just keep the neckband in place a little better, but it may be fine. When I make this dress again, I think doing a swayback adjustment would be good since there is some pooling of fabric in my lower back. I never did a narrow should adjustment for the top just but will be doing that for future versions.

I love the way my butt looks in this dress… Sorry not sorry. I love my butt. Hahha.

The second dress I made this weekend is a Colette Myrtle pink flamingos dress! This is my third version of the Myrtle dress and my first time using the longer length and the shoulder tabs. It’s also my last time using the shoulder tabs. Man, I hated putting them on and don’t really love the look. I used some lightweight knit interfacing because the first version was a disaster. This version sucked too so I changed the square ends to pointed ends like the tabs for the Concord t-shirt. The points still doing look great and then the position of them didn’t look great either… Ugh.

Here is my shaaaaaame:

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Oh well. Still love this dress. I used a wider elastic for the waistband. It’s 1.5 inches and shortens the bodice slightly. I much prefer the shorter bodice and wider elastic so I will be repeating that in the future. When I bought the fabric, I thought I could get a maxi length out of the 3 metres (I’m short…), but neglected to think of the fact that the print is directional and that everything is cut on the fold. I got the midi length version out and much prefer it. I will make myself a maxi dress someday, though. I had to cut the back in two pieces with no attempt to pattern match. I cut it a bit wider than necessary, I think. It looks a bit too wide.

Here is my cute self in the dress:

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I put pockets in this one. Although I don’t love how it makes the side seams a little bumpy, I can’t live without pockets. The fabric is not super drapey so the cowl isn’t perfect draped, but that’s okay by me. The fabric is super soft and felt like I was wearing pjs all day at work. Nothing like secret pjs!

I’m going to be revitalizing our back patio into a flowery heaven for bees and butterflies. We got some flowers on the weekend, but before I plant I need to turn the soil in the plantar behind me, add compost/fertilizer and something to help the soil drain better. I thought I would start taking blog pictures in front of the plantar to show off the progress. I can’t wait to see the transformation, but I have to wait to get the soil/compost, etc until next week. I’m excited. The times I tried to do this in the past were not successful due to squirrels trying to dig up my plants. I have some ideas for solutions for that. I hope it works out this time. It seems such a waste of space otherwise and a great opportunity for feeding the pollinators¬† and helping raise up the city’s small bee population.

Style Arc Misty Jeans

This post is ridiculously long overdue. I held it up because I wanted to take “proper” photos, but the reality of that happening at this point is very low. I will be making “proper” photos in the future for other versions, though.

I started my Style Arc Misty Jeans pretty close to the deadline for Alicia’s sewalong. It ended November 30th and I finished it that night and posted pictures on Instagram to add to her link party. I’m pretty pleased that I won that! I even got my Style Arc pattern prize already in the mail with their bonus monthly pattern, too! They included fabric samples and a woven Style Arc tag.

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Tons more Style Arc for the future!

I made size 24 and only made one alteration to shorten the leg by 3 inches.

The fabric I used was a stretchy brown corduroy.

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I pressed that faux zipper out the wrong way. I was tired. Haha. Luckily, I didn’t sew it down like that. SMH.

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My topstitching was in regular green thread (it was a muslin – not wasting topstitching thread on a muslin) with a twin needle. I used my serger to sew most of the seams outside of topstitching. This is how they fit the moment I finished sewing them:

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The pictures are a little dark and sans makeup and a nice top with my house flipflops on, but whatever.

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Let’s talk fit. There is some extra room in the front crotch area that will need to be resolved. The side seam runs very nicely down the side of the pants, though.

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The back is where most of my issues are…. I definitely need to change the pocket placement and bring them closer to the centre, increase back crotch length to accommodate a fuller bum, a full thigh adjustment, and a full calf adjustment. Since I am not a pants fitting expert by any means (first pair here yo!), what do you think about those adjustments or do you think there are others to add or I need to change my list up? I’m mainly going off a few pants fitting resources on the web via Fashionable Stitch and Sewaholic. Also, do you know of any pocket placement guide out there?

For¬†my first pair of pants ever and a wearable muslin, I think the fit was pretty good the first time around. They are incredibly comfortable and have the exact issues that RTW pants would have on me. I’ve been wearing them a lot since making them.

This was also my very first Style Arc pattern. I’m actually really impressed with them and their size range. I love their style and, since they added the etsy shop for pdfs, I’ve been adding them to my pattern stash like crazy. I have a few more of their patterns planned out for the future.

As for the Misty Jeans, I have quite a few projects upcoming, but plan on making a couple of more pairs in February with one or more of these stretch jean fabrics in my stash:

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I got the two on the right from my mom for Christmas. The one on the left is leftover from my floral bomber jacket.

I probably have enough fabric to make about five pairs of jeans!

The elastic waist made the Misty Jeans¬†pretty easy, but I would like to try some real jeans in the future with a zipper.¬†I’ve been eyeing the Jilly Jeans on the Style Arc website. I’m a straight leg jean person.

Other than the Misty Jeans, I also wanted to share another project that never got proper pictures. My latest Colette Myrtle dress in a bright orange tie dye fabric.

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It’s incredibly seasonally inappropriate and the fabric is pretty thin and not entirely opaque…. Although, it’s really lovely fabric and has a silky feel to it. It’s a poly/rayon/spandex blend from Fabricland. I got it in August in Hamilton while meeting up with¬†some fellow Sewcialists. The Myrtle dress is lined in the front for the cowl neckline so it works well to preserve modesty in a thinner fabric like this. I adore this dress. I kept the pockets off for whatever reason and regret that. I just miss having pockets, but they don’t lay super flat in this one. I’ve made the Myrtle dress before so this isn’t a full review. ¬†This is my first time making it with a knit, though. I really like it. My other dress in silk charmeuse is worn frequently. Definitely summer dresses, though.

I made size 3X, used my serger for most parts except topstitching the waistband. I also didn’t follow the instructions for the waistband and instead inserted it into the casing later. The first time I made this, the waistband was constructed as per the instructions: sew the elastic closed and then topstitch the casing down by stretching the elastic while you sew. It was a fiddly method and didn’t give me a lot of control.

Other than this dress, I’ve mostly been making presents for people. I will share those in the next few days now that they have all their presents, except for the two I just put in the mail today.

Lingerie Month is coming up at the Curvy Sewing Collective. I am gearing up for that and already have one bra made up using my cloned bra pattern; watch for an entry on that! I’m going to be sewing a bunch this week to get at least three more done by the end of the month and (hopefully) get my Monthly Stitch outfit done as well! Cross your fingers that I can do that! I’m going to be doing a review for the Maya bra pattern from AFI, too. I’m really excited to start contributing to CSC and it’s about time, too! I’ve been meaning to since last year and never quite got to it. Gillian is quite the encouragement for me to contribute. I definitely needed that!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Style Arc Misty Jeans
  • Pros:¬†Elastic waistband. Great first pants pattern. I thought the instructions were good. Although, they are brief, but the sewalong is a great resource for any questions you may have. Thanks, Alicia, for that!
  • Cons:¬†I think maybe the pocket placement is a little off, but I notice this is true of most jeans patterns once they get on a real butt so I can’t really take points away for that. It’s just something to think about when you are making them.
  • Make again?:¬†Abso-fucking-lutely.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Seamwork’s Florence Lounge Bra

Disclaimer: there is swearing in this post.

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I sort of knew going into this project that it might fail horribly. I have huge boobs, after all, and the phrase “lounge bra” as Seamwork calls it doesn’t really fit with huge boobs, even if my measurements are within the pattern’s specifications. I wanted to try it out, though, because I had some scraps lying around and it doesn’t hurt to try things and watch them fail. It’s all a learning experience.

I really like the idea of Florence, I do. I also have a major crush on the model, Sierra McKenzie. Most of her stuff is nsfw, fyi, btw. So google her carefully or don’t, whatever. ūüėČ Anyone else giggle when they say they are googling someone or is that just me? It sounds oddly dirty.

Anyway…..

I was pretty excited for the lingerie issue of Seamwork and the two patterns. The Geneva knickers are also really cute, but I had a good pattern already. Florence, however, took me in. I want a lounge bra: something to wear at home or to bed and feel supported but not restrained. Florence isn’t really that unless you do major changes for larger cup sizes.

In the larger sizes, the cup increases length-wise, as well as in the width. It’s a significant increase length-wise. Based on the line drawing, I wouldn’t have thought that it would be such a long cup, but in the larger sizes it is very long.

The instructions have very little information in them as well as an odd instruction or two that made me question the process all together.

First off, there is no instruction on stretch percentage. The fabric is simply listed as 6″ stretch lace, but there is no guidance given in terms of stretch percentage. I have four stretch laces in my stash that vary from 20% – 150% stretch. That’s quite a difference. Not all stretch lace is considered equal, either; some can be higher quality than others and have perfect recovery while others have shit recovery. I decided that my lace was either too stretch or not stretchy enough and figured for my first Florence I wouldn’t risk using any of it and instead went with a spandex that had a good stretch/body to it. You saw it before with my gold Moneta.

Second, there is a far easier method to creating the adjustable straps than the one listed in the instructions. Here is the easier method via Madalynne. I was taught this way in my bra class and the method in the instructions, which is here, kind of makes my head spin. You can still attach the extra bit of elastic to the other side of bra ring after or before, but why go through the trouble of sewing the slider bit around other bits of elastic, when you can make a much neater bar tack without all that crap in the way?

Third, I find it very unlikely that they tested this for the larger sizes.

Fourth, I think the band runs really large. So test your fit before you put the elastic in. In comparing the Geneva knickers to my pattern, I also see those run rather large….and there might possibly be an overall issue in both patterns and how they are graded up.

Of course, I know I am not a typical size in my chest, but I doubt this works for larger bust sizes (1X-3X). That’s the problem with lounge bras, I guess, they cater to small busted women, which is great…for small busted women.

I guess I have a problem with creating a pattern for a certain size when it won’t work without proper guidance on stretch percentage or possibly reinforcing with powernet or etc.

If you want the Florence to work for you and you have a large bust like me, be prepared to do a ton of shit to make it work.

Things you might want to do to make the Florence work for a larger bust:

1. Line it with powernet.

2. Add in a closure at the back so that you don’t have to stretch it over your head, because the powernet won’t be as stretchy as the lace.

3. Extend the bridge length slightly so that the cup is more supported underneath.

4. Shorten the cup length, if you have to. I would have to, because I have short shoulders (wait, is that a thing…. I dunno how to describe it…) and the bra cup extended to the back….

5. Drink lots of wine.

6. Repeat #5 until you forget what you are doing.

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*please drink responsibly*

I think I will just get a sports bra pattern from Pin-Up Girls and toss this in the garbage. The nice thing is that I didn’t use much new material for it. No big loss there. ūüôā

Honestly, I am glad for fuck-ups like this, because they help me learn. I learned more about sewing with spandex and using elastic in lingerie. It was a nice learning experience even if the pattern didn’t work out for me. ūüôā

Here is a picture of my Florence. I literally got to a point when I didn’t care about creating a perfect finished product….so the sewing isn’t great, because I just used it as an opportunity to try new stitches and play with elastic methods…

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Seamwork’s Florence lounge bra
  • Pros:¬†Great for small busts….maybe? Not for large boobs…
  • Cons:¬†Errything. Too much to put here.
  • Make again?:¬†NOPE.
  • Rating:¬†white-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md o/5 stars

Fall Moneta

Along with fall starting, I got a lovely cold/flu thing and have been existing on the couch or next to the stove as I wait for my tea. I have a trail of kleenex and bottles of cold fx everywhere between the couch and the kitchen.

This is the current state of me:

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Not pictured: Piles and piles of kleenex

I sip from my “Little Miss Fun” mug because coughing and sneezing is so much fun!

I actually really love this mug and feel happy drinking from it. ūüėÄ

The night before I got sick, I sewed this up in such a crabby mood. I had plans of making a tie to go along with the dress, but was so tired. Turns out I was sick!

I hope to still make the tie. A long black one that I can tie in a bow and use for many different dresses.

This is the start of FESA (Fall Essentials Sew Along) with a Fabulous Frock! A Fall Colette’s Moneta.

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Oh and I dyed my hair red!

This is the first piece of orange clothing I’ve ever owned in my life and I made it. I adore it. I am also sew pleased with how this long-sleeve Moneta worked out (not so sick I can’t make a pun). The fabric is the only disappointment and the fact that my clear elastic snapped and I didn’t replace it (hence the belt to make it better). The fabric has less recovery after washing. Has that ever happened to you? It was fine in the store, but then I washed it and bam…. Doesn’t want to recover. Oh well. The only place where this is a big issue is in the waist and that will be remedied once I put the elastic in.

Oh man, I am so sick in this picture. I’d just come home mid-day from work and was like: “I better just take the pictures right now, because I’m only going to look worse over the next few days.” I can barely muster a smile. I tried harder in the next pic, but it was tough. I just slept the rest of the day after this.

Back to the garment.

In the interest of making this a warm dress (even though I am Canadian I cannot stand the cold), other than making the sleeves long with a lovely cuff to them, I also fully lined the bodice with the same orange fabric. It’s basically like wearing a comfy sweater dress. Perfect with a pair of tights for fall.

With the long sleeves and lined bodice, the neckline ends up being a very wide scoop neck. I have to add bra strap holders to prevent slippage for my work. I would definitely make the neckline smaller for the next version. I also have an idea of making another Moneta into a turtle neck and really maximizing the warmth.

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I think this is my favourite Moneta yet. Mostly because the colour is so outside what I normally wear, but it’s a colour I’ve been wanting to wear for a reallllly long time. I also really love the autumn/Halloween vibe to it. The hair colour change helps the colour look good on me. I am curious whether the colour would look okay with my natural blonde hair. When I got the fabric, I looked in a mirror with it and it seemed okay with the blonde hair, but looks so so good with the red.

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Here is where I leave you. Back to tea and making piles of kleenex.

I’m basically Howl in this scene from Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle:

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Gross

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.

jenna cardigan

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:

wrap tunic dress

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!

gollum

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….

Stashcation: Colette’s Myrtle & A Giveaway at Born to Reign Athletics

I’m on staycation this week and am having a stashcation! What’s a stashcation?

Basically, you take this:

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And plan this:

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And then sew, sew, sew.

There are 20 garments planned here. I know I won’t get them all done within my staycation, but the idea is to go through your stash and plan your next garments out, as well as put those pdf patterns together and cut ahead so that you make sewing easier when you are back to work.

I realized a few things in doing this task:

1) I have spent way too much time buying fabric and not enough time sewing

2) I have way too many patterns that I haven’t tried out before

3) I’m horrible at resisting buying fabric or patterns

4) I’m just too happy with all these things to stop, but I must!

Even after these realizations, I still bought fabric at Value Village (local thrift store) this week thus breaking my Summer Stashbust 2014 pledge for the second time (the first was by buying Colette’s Myrtle pattern).

I’m going to still try to keep on task for my Summer Stashbust 2014, though, because it is important to me to use the fabric and patterns I’ve bought over the past few years. I have a wedding to save for and a wedding dress to plan out over the next year (I’m sure my lovely readers will get tired of that talk!). I’ve got to reduce my spending to save up for the wedding.

Even though buying Colette’s Myrtle is technically against my Summer Stashbust pledge, the fabric I used has been in my stash for several years. Thus, I am categorizing this as a stashbusting post.

This is no Moaning Myrtle! (Can’t resist a Harry Potter reference!) There was no crying and carrying on with this pattern or this fabric.

This was definitely the easiest pattern for me to put together. Including taping the pdf together and cutting it out, the whole dress was about 4 hours to complete and press. It was incredibly simple.

The fabric: Goodness, I can’t even tell you how much I love this fabric. It’s a woven and it incredibly soft and drapes beautifully. It’s been years since I bought it so I have no idea what it is. Perhaps a silk charmeuse, but I’m not even sure. It’s not your basic poly satin and it’s extremely luxurious. I only had 3 yards of the fabric. I made the shorter version of Myrtle and didn’t put the button tabs on the shoulders. I made a 3XL, because I wanted it to have a lot of drape in the front. In the future, an FYI for busty gals is to do an FBA on the chest or lengthen it, because the large bust takes a lot of length out of the finished garment. I’m okay with the length (I also wear spandex shorts under dresses), but it could be a couple inches longer for me.

It was my first time ever creating my own bias tape and my first time ever using bias tape! Bias tape is used in the woven version of Myrtle to finish the back sleeves and neckline. I love love love love the look. I spent about ten minutes after I finished sewing the bias tape just admiring the look.

I’m really impressed with the pattern. Except for the full bust issue, the dress is so nicely done. The arm holes are PERFECT. They don’t gape and aren’t humungous like other sleeveless plus-sized patterns. I feel like that is a huge change from the Moneta, which was verging on much too big in the armholes area. I haven’t made the Myrtle in a stretch material, though, and I can’t speak to how the armholes are finished in that version of the pattern, but they are perfect in the woven version.

As for the next stages in my stashcation planning, I am currently furiously taping together pdf patterns and then I will be furiously cutting out patterns and furiously sewing. We have some plans in the remainder of the week, but I should be able to finish some more stashcation garments, but I will be in a better position to sew in the future and I am definitely excited about that.

Now for a fun thing for my Canadian plus-sized readers:

A good friend of mine, Krista Henderson, launched a great website for plus-sized athletes, called Born to Reign Athletics, and she is doing a giveaway for a $100 Addition Elle card. All you need to do is head over to her site and answer a few short questions through Rafflecopter and you can win a sweet gift card for athletic wear or clothes or even shoes at Addition Elle.

I highly recommend this site. Krista launched a couple of months ago and this is her first giveaway.

Here is a short blurb on the site:

Born to Reign‚ĄĘ Athletics is about unleashing your inner strength and celebrating your power to reign over your life, your body and your spirit in a healthy way. ¬†Created by Krista Henderson and inspired by her own experiences, Born to Reign Athletics provides information, tools and resources dedicated to motivating and celebrating plus size women who embrace an athletic lifestyle.

Now get over there and enter the contest!