Glenda Convertible Clutch in Skeletal Toile

This isn’t the bag I intended to make. See, I decided about a week ago that it’d be useful to have a tiny bag–just big enough to hold my phone and wallet–for an upcoming trip. It would be something I could use as a purse, but which could also easily be stowed away in a backpack (aka my “personal item” for carrying on the plane). In my mind, a “clutch” is indeed a tiny bag–and this pattern is a “convertible clutch,” so, hey, it would have a shoulder strap! (I don’t understand the appeal of having to carry clutches in general, so I wouldn’t have been interested if it hadn’t included a strap.)

But, uh, turns out other people’s definitions of clutches don’t necessarily match mine.

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Yeah, this bag is much bigger than I’d intended, and then I went and made it out of a cream fabric, which means I’m not so inclined to cram it into another bag and risk dirtying it.

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THAT SAID. This is a super cute bag! It doesn’t match anything I own, but what a fun fabric, right?? This is an Alexander Henry quilting cotton (Midnight Pastoral Toile in cream), lined with a plain natural muslin. Delightfully, everything used for this bag came from my stash except the pattern and the hardware (D rings, swivel clips, and magnetic snap), so at least I didn’t waste a bunch of cash on something that may not turn out to be so useful. (The interfacing and stiffener were not exactly what the pattern called for, but I think they were perfectly adequate substitutes.)

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Obviously, the sizing issue is merely  due to my laziness in not reading the pattern (which does say what the finished bag size will be). I found the pattern–the Glenda Convertible Clutch from Swoon Patterns–pretty easy to follow and my only deviation was adding that bit of lace on the flap. (I do rather wish Swoon had included a photo of someone holding the bag on their product page so I could’ve judged the size that way, though. That’s why I included that photo of me above.)

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Oh well! I don’t know what I’m going to do with this thing, but I kind of adore it. Also, I’m learning that bags are a GREAT way to use all those wonderful quilting cotton patterns that I love, but that aren’t so useful for clothing.

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I still might make some kind of gothic lolita skirt out of the rest of this yardage, though….

Anyway, this will probably be my last post for the year (there have been many snafus with acquiring fabric in the last month and a half, so no new garments at the moment). Happy holidays & see you in 2016!

Edwardian Drawers/Slip

Just as I was thinking about making a half slip or two, someone gave me the Edwardian Underthings (#203) pattern from Folkwear and I thought, hey, why not make drawers out of slip material?? So I attempted to make drawers out of rayon bemberg.

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Turns out rayon bemberg (yes, that’s what I mean, autocorrect–stop changing it to bombers!!) is a huge pain in the ass to work with. I spent all my sewing time wishing I’d just decided to make a regular half slip (with two side seams only). But I persevered and flat felled all the seams (sloppily, ha).

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However, I looked at the placket instructions and despaired, so I just closed up the side seams, left off the waistband entirely, and finished the waist with some lingerie elastic (like in these instructions). I didn’t take any closeup photos of that because, uh, it looks awful. In my defense, it’s the first time I’ve tried that and bemberg is really slippery, AND this is what I’m using to zigzag:

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It zigzags by moving the fabric rather than the needle, so it’s really difficult to keep the fabric lined up neatly and to keep it from shifting–even when you’re not using a slippery fabric.

But this is an undergarment and I think it’ll work fine for that! Next time: Make drawers out of cotton and use rayon bemberg for simple half slips only. Lesson learned.

Meanwhile, I’ve made a few changes to my fall/winter wardrobe plan, so here’s the annotated update:

Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater (short sleeve)
  2. Black Weekender dress (short sleeve)
  3. Green purchased dress (short sleeve) (but I’ve hardly been wearing this at all, now that we’re in layering weather)
  4. Gray wool Giselle (3/4 sleeve) (I still like the idea, but the Lady Skaters I added below will probably be more useful, so this is getting nixed for now)
  5. Cream floral Lady Skater (elbow-length sleeve) (NEW! This might be more of a spring item, though)
  6. Black knit dress (long sleeve)
  7. Red purchased dress (long sleeve)
  8. Plaid Lady Skater (long sleeve) (NEW!)

Skirts/Pants

  1. Brown tweed Hollyburn (unfortunately, this doesn’t fit me at all anymore, so it got donated!)
  2. Black wool Walking Skirt (need to fix waistband)
  3. Corduroy Ginger
  4. Jean Hollyburn
  5. Nevermore skirt
  6. Green plaid wool skirt (need to add lining–eh…maybe, maybe not)
  7. Jeans
  8. Flannel petticoat  (NEW!)

Tops

  1. Plain black T-shirt (short sleeve)
  2. White sweetheart T-shirt (short sleeve)
  3. Gray cropped V-neck (elbow-length)
  4. Black wrap top (elbow-length)
  5. Cream turtleneck (long sleeve)
  6. Black cameo Bronte (long sleeve)
  7. Black Weekender tunic (long sleeve)

Outerwear

  1. Black corduroy blazer
  2. Pumpkin corduroy blazer
  3. Black fleece zip-up hoodie
  4. Bottle green wool sweater
  5. Black or gray wool sweater? (on second thought, I think this needs to be washable, so maybe something cotton or cotton/silk? I’m having trouble finding sweater knit that I like, so this may be something I buy even though it SHOULD be easy to sew)
  6. Heavy black wool coat

Accessories

  1. Slips
  2. Tights & socks
  3. Black boots
  4. Brown snow boots (NEW! bought these already because I’ll be in snow country soon and the black boots won’t cut it–they’re paddock boots)
  5. Brown oxfords
  6. Scarves
  7. Brown satchel
  8. Black She Who Sews Dottie bag
  9. Black leather gloves
  10. Brown leather gloves

Hoodie + Hooded Tunic

It’s a two for one! Both of these items are based on Simplicity 1251, View B. First up: A tunic. I wasn’t really planning on this one–it’s not in the right colorway for Wardrobe Architect and isn’t very stretchy at all…but I saw a possibility with the border print (plus, I’d bought this fabric from Girl Charlee ages ago–Marigold Floral on Dusty Teal Border Print Cotton Jersey Knit Fabric; it doesn’t seem to be available anymore–and never done anything with it) and the hoodie was so easy to put together (yes, the hoodie came first) that I went for it anyway.

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So, as you can see, I placed the border print on the bottom of the sleeves and around the hood. I think I followed the pattern instructions pretty closely for this one, except that I turned the hems of the sleeves and bottom up rather than attempting to do a lettuce hem.

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Oh, the other modifications were that I increased the flare from the waist (as usual), made the hood a bit bigger, and chopped off about 3.5-4 inches from the bottom. That tunic is really long!

Next up is the hoodie:

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This is a super-soft and cozy modal/poly sherpa fleece knit from Fabric.com. Sooooo comfy. (Also apparently no longer available! So sad!) This was from the same pattern pieces as the tunic (with the added flare), but I kept the original length in the back and cut it up way shorter in the front. And I added an inch in the center front for the seam allowance around the zipper. (The zipper is 12 inches in length, just fyi.)

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For this one, I did attempt a lettuce edge with  my serger, but the fabric just wasn’t stretchy enough so it isn’t obvious. Oh well.

In addition to adding a separating zipper in the front, I decided to use cotton twill tape to bind the neckline rather than bias tape, based off an OTR hoodie I have. It looks great on the inside and is soft, but I’m not sure how you’d use that method to do the V-neck if you wanted to make it without a zipper in the front….

Anyway, my one regret is that I cheaped out on the zipper, and it STICKS IRRITATINGLY. I’m trying to decide if it annoys me enough to buy a new zipper and replace it (especially since I did such a nice job installing it, siiiigh)….

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Overall, I found this pattern to be easy and flattering and I loved the shape and bell sleeves! (I might have to steal those sleeves for other things….) The hood was a little small for my giant hair, but for someone with a cute pixie cute like on the pattern envelope it would be fine. Fortunately, that’s an easy thing to change if you prefer giant hoods like I do.

Obviously, I didn’t do any of the needle felting–that’s not something I know how to do or am interested in learning/investing in anytime soon (so many other things to do/learn/buy first!). I like the roses, though, and it’s good inspiration for appliqué placement.

I’m not sure how often I’ll wear the tunic since the fabric just isn’t that comfy (not stretchy enough), but I’m tempted to make another in a better fabric. At least the hoodie means one more thing finally checked off the Wardrobe Architect plan!

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Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater (short sleeve)
  2. Black Weekender dress (short sleeve)
  3. Green purchased dress (short sleeve)
  4. Gray wool Giselle (3/4 sleeve)–Perhaps to be replaced with a long-sleeved Lady Skater or two??
  5. Black knit dress (long sleeve)
  6. Red purchased dress (long sleeve)

Skirts/Pants

  1. Brown tweed Hollyburn
  2. Black wool Walking Skirt (need to fix waistband)
  3. Corduroy Ginger
  4. Jean Hollyburn
  5. Nevermore skirt
  6. Green plaid wool skirt (need to add lining)
  7. Jeans

Tops

  1. Plain black T-shirt (short sleeve)
  2. White sweetheart T-shirt (short sleeve)
  3. Gray cropped V-neck (elbow-length)
  4. Black wrap top (elbow-length)
  5. Cream turtleneck (long sleeve)
  6. Black cameo Bronte (long sleeve)
  7. Black Weekender tunic (long sleeve)

Outerwear

  1. Black corduroy blazer
  2. Pumpkin corduroy blazer
  3. Black fleece zip-up hoodie
  4. Bottle green wool sweater
  5. Black or gray wool sweater?
  6. Heavy black wool coat

Accessories

  1. Slips
  2. Tights & socks
  3. Black boots
  4. Brown oxfords
  5. Scarves
  6. Brown satchel
  7. Black She Who Sews Dottie bag
  8. Black leather gloves
  9. Brown leather gloves