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.

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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!

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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.)

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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.

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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!

 

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Cropped Pinup Sweater

It’s getting cooler, right?! This sweater has been in my sewing queue for at least two years, so it’s quite an accomplishment that I finally made it (and it only took about 4 hours, so I don’t know what my hangup was). Anyway, the pattern is the Pinup Sweater from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, cropped (like, I think I chopped 7-8 inches off) and with long sleeves. The sleeves and bodice are finished with wide bands. The sleeves are a little long, but I keep making things with the sleeves ending up too short, so I’m leaving them for now.

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The fabric is a soft and drapey cotton/poly hacchi sweater knit (no longer available, sorry). I have about half a yard left and I need to find something to do with it since it is so, so soft.

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Anyway, hopefully this will be a versatile staple for the cooler months (or, honestly, for the office air conditioning in the summer).

OAL 2017: Complete!

My outfit for the Outfit Along 2017 is complete! My knitted garment is an Evening Spencer Jacket in red cotton and the sewn garment is a self-drafted skirt. Details on the knitted jacket (including lots more photos of it) are up on Ravelry. The skirt is a linen/cotton blend and this is roughly the pattern I used:

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I call it a 1/4+ circle skirt for obvious reasons–it starts with a 1/4 circle, but has a couple of extra panels added on the back for a bit more width (the width of the back panels was determined by what I could eke out of 2 yards). The waistband is just bound in bias tape and it closes in center back with a zipper.

This isn’t exactly what I ended up with, though. It turns out that even with the extra panels and even with it sitting low on my waist, it wasn’t quite wide enough for my hips/butt (sigh). I lowered the waistband (trying to bring wider areas up higher) and took in the extra width at the waist in two pleats around the center back. (Darts would’ve been an elegant solution, but I couldn’t get them to look right.) It’s still not quite as wide as I’d like, but it works. Next time I’ll just go with a half circle!

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Of course I added pockets. Patch pockets this time since there aren’t any side seams–with fun embroidery! These are hand-embroidered; on the skull pocket I used Skully Stitcher from Urban Threads (in white and red to match the jacket) and for the other pocket I just picked up some elements from that design.

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Anyway, have some more photos, including a kitty photobomb:

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Steampunk Denim Jacket

It’s a jacket made of denim…and that’s all the relationship this has to a traditional “jean jacket.” This has been on my to-do list for…maybe a year? And finally I did it!

For the pattern, I used Simplicity 8020, View A. Major changes from that pattern were to replace the buttons with a zipper and add a set of darts in the front since it was looking a bit boxy when I first tried it on. I made a lot of fitting adjustments to accommodate my narrow shoulders, but that isn’t a reflection of the pattern so much as it is how my body relates to the “standard” sizing. (With each project, I learn more about how to adjust the fitting and I’m pretty happy with my progress on this one.)

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I love that the jacket looks tailored, yet is actually quite loose in the torso (which means it’s comfortable and will hopefully fit over bulkier tops).

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The one thing I think I’d do differently if I made this again is to make the sleeves tapered or straight to the wrist. The ruffle is cute, but it leaves the forearms rather exposed–not so great if you’re wearing this for warmth. (Though this does mean I now have an excuse to get some of those scissors arm warmers from Sock Dreams….)

The jacked is unlined and all inside seams are finished with my serger, then pressed to one side and topstitched.

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But of course the really exciting touch is the patches on the back.

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Loki wants to know what the fuss is all about.

These are sold by MTthreadz on Etsy, and they have soooo many great patches! You can see from the photo above this one that I sewed these on–I did iron them on, but it didn’t seem like they would stay (especially since they’re so large and on an area that would see a lot of movement) so I stitched around the edges with my machine. I will definitely be picking up more patches for future projects.

On a related note, I’ve dived into fall/winter sewing. The main things I “need” for the next few months are:

  • Turtlenecks
  • Toiletries bag
  • Ballgown for November
  • Ren fair outfit

Other things I’m hoping to make:

  • Wool skirt
  • Long-sleeved knit dress
  • Clutch purse (I’m dying to make this one, but the instructions are awfully daunting)

Ah, so many plans!

Regency Spencer

Last month, a few of us costuming enthusiasts had a nineteenth-century picnic in Central Park. We were mostly Regency, which gave me an excuse to make new stays (already blogged) and a spencer.

Picnic1(Leia, me, Marci, and Alex. Photo by James)

The spencer is the Sense and Sensibility Regency Spencer/Pelisse pattern. I made the lapels a bit less pointy and adjusted the shoulder width (successfully! finally!), but otherwise didn’t make any major changes. I think the sleeves ended up a bit short, so the next time I have an excuse to work on Regency outfits I may add cuffs. I interlined the lapels and collar with hair canvas for stiffness, though the pattern just calls for interfacing the collar.

haircanvasThe entire bodice is self-lined and the sleeves are unlined (I finished the armscyes with self-binding). The jacket closes with two hooks and eyes; the fabric-covered buttons are just decorative.

spencerfront spencerhooksandeyesBut my favorite decoration is the cotton piping!

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Fabric is a mediumweight linen, which was perfect for a spring day–breathable but provided a bit of warmth.

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(Photo by Marci)

In other costuming news, it’s looking like there’ll be a good chance I can join my sister at the big Texas Renaissance Festival in November. Three days of Ren fair equals three different costumes, right?? At this point, I’m thinking:

  1. Italian Renaissance gown (already made)
  2. Classic Ren fair “wench” outfit (which I’ll have to make entirely, but damn it I’ve been wanting one since high school!)
  3. “Goth” Ren fair outfit (aka, an excuse to finally finish altering my black leather Timeless Trends corset)

YES, only the first costume is even remotely historically accurate. But that’s the fun of Renaissance fairs: they’re a great excuse for fantasy dress up! It’s kind of refreshing to wear whatever outfit you want regardless of whether it’s “correct.” (I think the researching part of historical costuming is fun–don’t get me wrong–but sometimes it’s a nice break to just indulge yourself in complete fantasy.)

(Top photo in this post is by Leia)