LBD and a Designer Stitch Willow Kimono

I don’t wear a lot of black anymore but I used to wear black in my early teen years. I like sporting black tops and a million “Goth” necklaces. It didn’t last long before I thought that the black made me look super pale and I started having allergic reactions to the bad metals in the cheap necklaces. A rash on my chest plus a super pale face just looks like I am suffering from a terrible disease. Turns out it was a terrible disease!! (EDS joke!) …But not an infectious one. I eventually settled in to a more grunge style with men’s jeans or super baggy overalls and a large amount of vintage t-shirts with men’s button up shirts or a plaid flannel shirt over top.

Ever since, I haven’t really cared for black anything. I wear black pieces but never a full black outfit anymore. A little black dress is a piece women are often told they must have in their wardrobe. I’m not really one for being told what to do, but since I wanted to make more party dresses last year, I thought I would make one. And yes, this project was started last year.

I used the Cashmerette Upton bodice and the Tenterhook Patterns Snapdragon skirt with a curved wrap front. Sadly, Tenterhook Patterns is completely out of business, but there are other woven pencil skirt patterns you could use to recreate this look.

I put it together the first time with the zipper and was underwhelmed. It wasn’t as cinched in at the waist as I wanted it. So I unpicked the zipper and side seams and unpicked the waistband to the waist darts and then left it in a basket for…. several…. months….ahem a year…

And then, as with every time I plan a bunch of stuff, I started thinking… Oh I should maybe finish that thing first…. So I picked it up.

Instead of doing fisheye darts like I was originally going to do, I wanted to maintain the waistband without interruption. So I unpicked the bodice and skirt from the waistband and I put an additional dart in the bodice at the waist. Shortened the waistband by about 2 inches and put a dart in each side of the skirt at the waist and then tried it on and was much happier.

My plan with the dress originally was to make it accessible so that if I was having trouble with my shoulders, I could easily get in and out of the dress. I put ties in at the shoulders and an extra long zipper at the side. There is about 4 inches of side seam at the bottom of the dress on the right side only because I forgot that I didn’t get a separating zipper for it. Originally, I was going to use a separating zipper and then have slits on both sides. I still have slits on both sides but not a completely open side seam for the zipper. In retrospect, that makes it a bit easier for me, especially when getting into the dress.

I’ve tested it a few times and I can get the dress off without any effort. I can also slip it on over my head without any effort. It’s really remarkable!

I bought the fabric years ago. One of the first bits that I added to my stash. It’s a black cotton embroidered with leaves. It’s like an eyelet but without any holes. It’s actually really challenging to sew and my old machine had a lot of trouble sewing it. The embroidered sections are difficult to sew over and are really thick with thread. My new machine went over it without issue, of course. Yeay for the Singer 4452.

I added pockets when I redid the dress. I love having them in the dress. If I ever make another in this style, though, I will use a slash pocket that is anchored by the waistband. Because the pockets aren’t anchored, they fall open a bit. It’s not a huge issue, but doesn’t look as great as I want it to look. There is also a strange pucker on the left bust dart and a bit of gaping at the armsyce. I am guessing that is due to my left shoulder being more dropped that my right shoulder. I likely need to make sure that side is tied a bit tighter.

I’m really glad I made this dress. I think it will be great for at least one of the weddings I am attending this year.

And because I don’t really wear solid black anymore… It also happens to look fabulous with my outrageous Designer Stitch Willow Kimono.

Last year, I got a bunch of fabric from Minerva Crafts as an Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern month prize. I also got a voucher for Designer Stitch as well during that month and got the Willow Kimono. Among the fabric was this orange animal print satin. It’s definitely a bright and outrageous print, but I fell in love with it. I sent some fabric to family in the Dominican Republic for a fellow sewist who lost a lot in the hurricane last year. I almost sent this fabric but then pulled it out of the pile because I had the brilliant idea of making a shorter Willow Kimono with red fringe. Don’t worry, I pulled something else out of my stash that was fabulous to replace it for the gift. I had a meter of this satin and basically decided to cut the length to whatever I could fit on to the piece of fabric. It is cut about 4 inches under the curve of the sleeve.

It’s a really weird garment even for me who loves wacky fabrics! But I really really love it. It was quick to make. The thing that took the most time was trimming the fringe so it was all relatively even.

I think it looks great paired with my LBD. It also looks great with my white upton dress with tie sleeves underneath. Both dresses make it the focal point and don’t overwhelm the eye too much.

What is the most outrageous thing you have made?

 

 

 

Progress Report

First off, check out the interview I did as part of Muse Pattern’s Meet the Maker series! It was a blast to be a part of. You all know I’m a big Muse Patterns fan. I’m also a pattern tester, but I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t love them. ūüôā

Second, one of the things about working through a super long list of sewing like I have on my honeymoon plans is finding time when I am not sewing to actually take pictures of my finished products. It’s pretty difficult, actually. Add to that chronic pain. Add to that full time job. Add to that not ignoring my husband or stepkids. Add to that eating, sleeping, improv comedy, etc. It’s not my preference to share cell phone pictures, but I’ve decided to do that for a few of them since otherwise I will have far too many pictures to take at once. Some I will save for better pictures and full pattern reviews, but some will be in posts like this, because I am sewing too fast for blogging right now.

In the inane and boring category, I sewed a bunch of leggings. They weren’t part of my plans, but I recently retired three pairs of leggings and then took a closer look at the remaining ones and saw that I had very little time left with them as well. RIP leggings. I usually buy my leggings from Old Navy on sale, because they tend to be a lot cheaper than buying the fabric. But I’ve decided to not give in to fast fashion and make them myself. I had to buy some fabric for this, but I went to the clearance section at Fabricland and bought a bunch for actually much less than the Old Navy sale leggings would have been.

I used my Old Navy leggings as a template for a pattern and got to cutting my muslin.

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Of course, my muslin is in a shiny spandex… Hahha. They turned out okay. A little small in the butt due to the stretch in the spandex.

My next version was in snake skin print:

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These fit so well.

My next two are black and black with white polkadots:

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Unfortunately the fabric isn’t that great and was a lot thinner than I expected. The pair on the right might actually be a wadder sadly.

I’ve got some stretchier and thicker material (read: better material) for my next four (two pairs of the gray):

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On to the next:

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I made a pair of lace underwear using a tutorial. I’m not going to link to it, because I really didn’t follow it correctly. Hahha. Ever the rebel. The underwear are okay and fit well, but the lace is a bit scratchy.

I have a ton more Kitschy Coo¬†Barrie Briefs cut out and ready for sewing. I sewed one pair, but the stretch percentage made it a wadder. I test for these things. Sounds like I don’t, but I do. But with fitted garments like knickers even a slight difference makes the fit go wonky. Ugh. Luckily, it wasn’t a huge amount of wasted time. The knickers looked good, though. Totally forgot to take a picture of them, though.

In geeky things I made:

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This smoking hat reminiscent of Dumbledore’s hat in the Harry Potter movies.

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Why? Because my husband was playing Dumbledore in a local show called Potterprov. I, of course, was ill both times he played. Nerd fail.

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I made the hat with some fleece on the inside to give the satin body. I just stuck a band on a round piece of fabric otherwise and serged the whole thing. It’s fast and easy not right….

I made some other garments:

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A Jenna cardi hacked into a sweater using this tutorial on the Muse Patterns blog. I refashioned my Fall Moneta from years ago. I used the sleeves cut a bit shorter into 3/4 length. The skirt became the sweater, except for the band which was from the bodice. I did make the band a bit longer so it fit over my high-waisted skirts without any issue.

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Next up a Snapdragon skirt from Tenterhook Patterns made in cream suiting with pastel threads throughout.

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This was a UFO for a while and made in the last days of February as part of the Monthly Stitch UFO theme. I think I cut this skirt out back in December or perhaps even earlier along with this version:

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The wool I used for this one is red with black and grey plaid stripes. ¬†It’s a thick winter skirt, but will be nice for brisk Spring or Fall days. Right now I am writing up a review of the skirt for the Curvy Sewing Collective. I’ll let you know when that is out. Of course, I will also take much better pictures then.

I am also sporting my new vee neck Jenna Cardi using the expansion pack that Muse Patterns released a short while ago. This is made¬†in the merino wool sent to me as my prize for the Muse Loves Merino contest¬†for my Gryffindor cardi. This post is all about Muse Patterns love, it seems. I’m okay with that.

Up next, I am working on my next pair of Style Arc Misty Jeans in actual jeans fabric. I added front pockets and a waist stay to this version:

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I was inspired by Heather’s bright jeans pockets and added some gorgeous floral and butterfly fabric to make my insides pretty.

The waist stay is amazing. Seriously. I am so glad I added it. I was afraid at first that it would cause the pants to not fit well because of the lower stretch, but they fit so well. I’m very impressed. They suck that tummy in, too! The pockets are nice and deep for my phone and keys and whatever else I need. I drafted a waistband for the jeans, as well. It hasn’t been attached yet, but that’s happening tonight. I made a few other alterations to the pattern this time for fit: shortened the front crotch curve, full bum adjustment, and a large calf adjustment.

I also topstitched with purple thread!

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Some errors there, since my machine isn’t that great with heavy fabric, but it looks good to me and totally fine on. I’m a bit annoyed that the back yoke is slightly mismatched causing the pockets to be slightly out of line with each other, but I am not unpicking the seam since it looks fine on and my butt looks amazing in these jeans. Haha.

I’m working through my honeymoon wardrobe list pretty nicely. I have all the pattern alterations done for my Waffle Pattern’s Pepernoot coat. Graded up two sizes and did an FBA for a crazy amount of pattern pieces. I’m tempted to skip the muslin stage and just get started, but I will make the muslin. Sigh…. Being good is haaard.

I got faux fur for the coat and purchased zippers as well. I plan on making the faux fur trim on the hood removable with buttons and button holes. I think it should be an easy pattern hack. I might post a tutorial, if people are interested.

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I also got a bunch of bias tape, because I went a bit nuts that day in Fabricland. I do have plans to grade up the Sewaholic Tofino pants and make a bunch of pj pants, though. Bias tape is always useful, too, and it wasn’t expensive either. My zipper for is a two way separating zipper and heavy duty. It’s going to be a durable coat!

I settled on pink plaid for my Pepernoot coat. I’d like to make the red plaid version in the future if it turns out I love this pattern.

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I’m also going to use a brown wool I have for the pockets, yoke, and sleeve tabs, because I adore contrasting details.

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The wool on the bottom there will be the contrast. I want to play with stripe direction, too, for the heck of it. I just need to get interfacing for the coat and then I have all the materials ready to go.

I got my first Decades Everyday Three’s a Charm Jacket cut out in black with pink polkadots fabric. I think it’s cotton, but I haven’t tested it. I had¬†just¬†enough fabric for this by cutting the back with a seam along the selvage. I will have to cut the facings out of some black fabric I have, though.

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I was tempted to use the wrong side of the fabric since it is also fun, but I will sew it using the right side since polkadots. It’s a very soft fabric so I am leaving it unlined for this wearable muslin. Future version will be in plaid so I need to draft a lining for the pattern.

I also couldn’t resist getting the new Decades Everyday pattern, the Buttons and Bows blouse¬†even with the horrible Canadian dollar. I need to resist making it up this second, though. I’m becoming a Decades Everyday fan and I haven’t even completed a garment yet! I own three of their patterns now, including the ESP dress. I just love vintage style, but need it in modern sizing. I am outside of the size range, but just need an FBA and a large bicep adjustment for their patterns¬†since their largest conforms to my high bust measurement. So far I am impressed with their patterns. There’s a lot of thought in them and nice details I don’t see often in indie patterns.

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I’ve got this massive pile left to go for things on my planning list before I can tackle that blouse pattern. I seem to be sewing at an insane pace, though, so I think I can get a good amount done by the end of the month. Imagine if I had it all done by the end of the month?! In my dreams… I do have to sleep and eat and work and pay attention to my family…

Can anyone spare some extra time?

 

Pink Denim Snapdragon skirt

The challenge this month at the Monthly Stitch was denim never dies and the additional challenge was pink, because of their new pink logo (which I love since I loooove pink). Being the overachiever I am, I had to hit both challenges with pink denim. I took the opportunity at the beginning of January when a pink denim went on sale at Joann fabrics and I snapped it up along with a few other fabrics before I put myself on a buying freeze.

I’ve been on the search for a perfect pencil skirt pattern for my inner sexy librarian for a while and came across the Snapdragon skirt from Tenterhook Patterns. I fell in love with all the views and the bonus of the plus sizing. I love where the skirt is meant to hit: at the high waist or natural waist (your smallest point). For my shape, that really is the best place for the waistline. The Snapdragon skirt has three variations: straight pencil skirt, asymmetrical faux wrap and faux wrap style, which I have made.

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I cut out the largest size (size G) to give my hips enough space. I knew I could take it in at the waistband and deepen the darts to adjust for my size, but I wanted to make sure the hips were well taken care of. I ended up taking in an inch on each side throughout and deepening the darts throughout. I likely could have made up a size E or F instead, but I didn’t want to chance it, because I didn’t make a muslin. I kind of ran out of time and wanted to get my pink denim challenge done. It ends up fitting really nicely and allows for details like the extended waistband and the button.

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I wanted to add front slash pockets to this skirt but opted not to since I wasn’t sure how the fabric would respond or if there was enough room in the skirt to do that.

I used my own method for things like the waistband and the zipper (I haaaaate invisible zippers or break-apart-crappy zippers, as I call them). I made a lapped zipper and made the waistband overlap with button closure. I just love that detail. I considered adding belt loops, but really wanted those buttons on there.

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I feel very prepared for Valentine’s day in this skirt. I’ll likely wear it then.

The raw edges are all finished on my serger, Rochester. Pretty insides!

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You might also notice that the top is a Bronte top! It was the second garment I made on Rochester. The top is made from a soft interlock knit from Joann’s (part of the last biiig purchase).

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This top is basically my best make ever. It’s so professional looking and well done that I stared at it for about two hours while I was supposed to be watching something that I will have to see again sometime, because I have no idea what happened or what it was called….

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Loooooook. So. Pretty.

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I have two other Brontes in different colours (black and blue) of the interlock knit cut out and ready to go. I really want more of them. It’s honestly the best top I own.

I finally have a sexy librarian skirt!

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Shhhh…. I’m reading….

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern:¬†Tenterhook Patterns Snapdragon Skirt
  • Pros:¬†Tons!¬†The pattern is nicely done. I love the instructions, even if I didn’t follow them, because I used my own methods. They are very detailed and great. Some things I followed and am definitely using for the future, such as pressing the darts over a tailor’s ham to give them more of a curve for my hip-tastic self. The different options for the skirt are also a bonus. I love having several variations to make the skirt again with an entirely new look. I also love where the skirt is meant to hit (high waist), because that’s where my smallest point is.
  • Cons:¬†No pockets. I just really love pockets. I think I will¬†add¬†front slash pockets in the future. That’s not really a con….actually….that’s my personal preference….
  • Make again?: Absolutely! (I say that a lot, but I really want tons of these skirts)
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md¬†pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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