Zéphyr Skater Dress

As much as I love the Lady Skater pattern, I’m finding myself preferring princess seams on bodices so the Zéphyr Dress from Deer&Doe was a good pattern to try out. The bodice does indeed fit nicely thanks to the four princess seams. I didn’t even need to shorten it! I followed the pattern exactly except to grade between sizes like I usually do, and I’m pretty happy with how it looks. But this also means no pockets. (What can I say? I was lazy the day I made it. . . .)
 1CC2E7B2-0D0F-4414-B882-3E6D0250BD44
I did have a couple of issues with the pattern. One is that the arm bands are really, really short (hence all the wrinkling around the armscyes–I had to stretch the bands a lot to get them on). I googled a bit to see if this was a problem other people had (maybe an error?) and the only mention I found was that one person said they seemed short but she drafts her own bands anyway. If I make this again without sleeves, I’ll definitely do the same.
Speaking of that . . . I don’t know why I thought I would be happy with a sleeveless dress. I guess I’m spoiled by all the patterns with various options, because it’s kind of disappointing to have no sleeve options at all (and no pockets–come on, guys!). The paper pattern and instructions are quite lovely, but if I make another one I’m definitely going to try to add sleeves. (Maybe redrafting the armscyes based on the Lady Skater pattern and using those sleeves might work?)
 93017331-4FEF-449B-A390-FF924230592B
The fabric is the other mystery fabric in that order I mentioned in my last post. I asked the retailer which one they thought it was, and they said this was probably the Soft Wicking Jersey. Remember, this is the one that’s a bit less smooth and had a rubbery smell (which has finally mostly faded after the third wash!). I definitely prefer the other fabric (Interloc Wicking), though both do dry quickly, are similar weights, and do not require hemming. Thanks for the help, The Rain Shed!
Advertisements

Activewear Skort

Hurray, finally I made something from an activewear pattern that I actually like! This is the Jalie 3670 Loulouxe Skort. I made the version with leg bands and two pockets (obviously!).

IMG_9820

I added about 3 inches to the skirt length (ha) and flared the front skirt panel a bit more, but otherwise followed the straight size for my hips. And it’s very comfortable!

I’m not sure exactly which fabric this is since I bought two cuts of black activewear knit in the same order and they weren’t labeled when they arrived. I wish I knew because I like this fabric a lot so far, but the other one still smells faintly of rubber, even after washing twice. (I used that one for a dress; will post about that soon.) Otherwise, they are a similar weight and conveniently don’t curl, so I didn’t have to hem either garment (hurray!). UPDATE: I contacted the retailer and they said they think this one is their Interloc Wicking item #4325. At that price, I’ll definitely try ordering again!

IMG_9840

Linen/Cotton Tunic

The best thing about this tunic is that it finally gave me a chance to use the scraps of black-and-white rose print quilting cotton I’ve been hoarding for years! I loved that print and never could find it again, and all I had left were a few pieces that were too small for most things. Well, they worked out great in this!

IMG_9754

The gray fabric and contrast black are a linen/cotton blend–it’s a little coarse-feeling, but I’m hoping it softens up in the wash.

IMG_9753

The pattern is the Torii Tunic from Serendipity Studio. I found it yielded a pretty loose fit on me (in contrast to the pattern photos) when I made up my usual size and I ended up using 1-inch seams on the sides to get a closer fit (the pattern uses 1/2-inch seam allowance). It’s still a bit loose, but that’s what I wanted–figured it would be something comfy yet protective for hot summer days.

Pink Activewear Top

Hmph. This fabric‘s color is listed as “orchid” and on my screen it sure looked like a lovely pale lavender (I mean…I don’t know what colors orchids come in!). So it was a bit of a surprise when it arrived! It’s definitely pink, very pink. Luckily, I’d just snagged one yard on a whim (in an ongoing quest for quick-drying, cool activewear), so I shrugged and made something with it anyway.

This started with with good old McCall’s M7349, View B, but cut short. I lowered the front neckline a bit into a gentle V and added some pockets in the side front panels. They’re kind of weird and small, but also kind of fun.

Well, I’d say this is fairly flattering on me, though I don’t love the color. I’ve worn it for dance a couple of times and it does dry quickly, but the true test will come in a few months at camp. I have a few more yards of activewear knits for more items in a more “me” color (black, haha), so hopefully I’ll have some stuff I’m more enamored of in the near future….

IMG_9697

A Simple Ponte Circle Skirt

I had just enough fabric leftover from my last dress to make this simple circle skirt. It’s all cut in one piece, and then the waist is serged to a loop of 2-inch-wide flat elastic that serves as the waistband. That’s it! I didn’t even bother hemming it. Hurray for this lovely, stable knit!

Hogwarts Uniform Skirt

Don’t judge too harshly–I’m not claiming this is an accurate movie replica. But it’s a dark gray A-line skirt with two box pleats in front, so it’s close enough for me. I started with the skirt from the Laneway Dress, since it met my two requirements: A-line and (IMHO) flattering on me.

IMG_9630

Then I drafted box pleats for the front, used the contoured waistband pattern I’d already made for an earlier skirt, and added a lining since the skirt is wool. Center back closes with an invisible zip.

IMG_9590

This is some random wool I picked up from Fashion Fabrics Club on sale and it’s actually pretty nice; kind of wish I’d bought more. On the down side, it doesn’t want to hold a crease AT ALL. I wish I’d edge-stitched the pleats; they’re already falling out after just one day of wear. (And this after sewing them down by hand and leaving the stitches in for over a month!) Ah well.

IMG_9608

IMG_9555

Next up for the uniform, I’m planning to knit a sweater vest. We’ll see how that goes!

A Witchy Knit Dress

Last autumn, I completely fell in love with a dress I saw online, but I didn’t feel like I could justify spending ~$75 on it when I didn’t really need a new long-sleeved black dress. Fast-forward several months and Fabric Mart was having a sale on some delicious viscose/lycra ponte. I snapped up a few yards (for far less than $75) and when it arrived I realized it would be perfect for re-creating that dress I’d fallen in love with!

I started with McCall’s M7349 and made these modifications:

  • Increased the flare of the skirt from the waist (generally necessary for me with this pattern anyway).
  • Drafted asymmetric bell sleeves.
  • Replaced the neckband with a short funnel neck. (I didn’t actually have to change the neckline at all–it’s very high on me–but instead of using the neckband pattern piece I cut a rectangle about 3 1/2 inches wide x the length of the neckline, joined it into a circle, folded it in half, and sewed it onto the neck with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.)
  • Added in-seam pockets.

04538BF9-D31D-48A4-A1BB-5A195BE95A8D43A1A65E-CF30-4D1C-9FAD-750A498D407188044C8E-BF91-4476-A0EB-EA9C8B17B9E9

(I still haven’t found a good place to take photos in the apartment. This is the least-cluttered spot, but it sure is ugly!)

Potholders

I’m alive! I took a break thanks to the holidays and a stressful move, but now that I’ve finally settled in I’ve finished my first sewing project in the new place: potholders.

IMG_9246

Nothing much to say about them! The outsides are a quilting cotton, and between are 2 layers of cotton batting and 1 layer of Pellon 975 Insul-Fleece. Edges are bound with store-bought double-fold bias tape. I honestly can’t remember what tutorial I followed, but there are tons all over the web if you want to make some for yourself.

Anyway, I have four other projects in various stages of doneness, and two knitting projects in progress. So I am working on stuff! Just haven’t finished much yet.

Corduroy Hollyburn

Last post of the year! Apologies in advance for the extra-terrible photos in this post, but I’m in the middle of packing (for a trip AND a move, hahaha kill me). I am hoping, however, that I will soon have a much better setup. Fingers crossed . . .
I admit–I bought this stretch corduroy just to make a skirt to go with this sweater while I was knitting it. And originally it was going to be an entirely different skirt. But I could not make it work with that pattern (things were ripped out and put back together at least 2 . . . 3? . . . times), so another Hollyburn it is! I mean, you can’t go wrong with those great pockets, right?

 

IMG_8886
This is View C, which is a little short for my preference, but I didn’t have much of a choice since I was cutting it from pieces I’d already cut out for the original skirt. In fact, both back panels are pieced (though fortunately I managed to get them symmetrical so it looks deliberate).
IMG_8897
The pockets and waistband are faced with a delightful orange/burgundy/gold quilting cotton to keep down bulk. (And once again I almost had a failure, trying to marry the stretch corduroy with a decidedly nonstretch fabric . . . but I think in the end it turned out fine.)
I did make one change to the pattern: I swapped out the waistband for a narrower contoured waistband (click here for contoured waistband instructions!). This does seem to work better with my very short waist (no more gaping at the top of the waistband), and I’m glad I now have a pattern piece for this since I have yet another Hollyburn variation coming up in my queue.
IMG_8911

Painted Autumn Leaf Hoodie

It’s another Simplicity 1251! This pattern comes with a template and instructions for needle-felting a rose design on the sleeves and hood. Now, I wasn’t going to needle-felt by hand and I don’t have a machine that can needle-felt, but I liked the idea of adding something to relieve the stark black of this hoodie. I worried that hand-embroidery would be too delicate (the idea was to be able to throw this in the wash easily), so I decided to try fabric paints.

FullSizeRender 10

The paint I used is Jacquard Lumiere #223 (“Brass”), which I found, to my surprise, at my favorite local trim store, Pacific Trimming. (Never having been in the market for fabric paint before, I just never noticed that they had a rack of it in one of the windows. It’s also available at Dharma Trading Co., for those who aren’t NYC locals.) I found a nice leaf template on Etsy (I got the 9″ x 9″ size), unearthed some unused makeup sponges, and my attempt at fabric painting commenced. Turns out it’s kind of difficult to stencil on sweatshirt fleece, but I’m still pretty happy with the results!

FullSizeRender 11

Oh yes, the fabric is the thick, cozy Beefy Cotton Solid Fleece from The Confident Stitch (thank you to Lladybird for linking to that). I’m so glad I discovered this because I’d been having a really hard time finding thick sweatshirt fleece. (It’s not like sweatshirts are rare items…why is cozy sweatshirt fleece so difficult to find??) (Side note: This does shed A LOT in the wash on the first washing–I’ve only washed it once so far and am hoping now that all the edges are finished it won’t do that again…but oof! The drains in my laundry room were not happy.)

FullSizeRender 13

Unfortunately, this particular fleece actually isn’t a great match to the pattern–the fabric has very little stretch and the pattern calls for some, so the hoodie ended up being pretty tight (even after I reduced the side-back and sleeve seams to 1/4 inch), especially in the upper arms. That is totally my fault, though–I would absolutely use this fabric again in an instant, but maybe with a pattern for a nonstretch woven (or perhaps I should’ve just made a bigger size?). Anyway, it’s wearable without anything underneath, but doesn’t quite fit the bill for what I’d intended: a warm tunic to throw on as an extra layer.

FullSizeRender 12

So we’ll see how much wear I get out of this garment. But at the very least, I’ve now discovered that stenciling on fabric is quite easy and quick, and I’ve found a great source of sweatshirt fleece, so even if I don’t end up using this particular make too often I’m pretty excited about those two facts!