White Petticoat Skirt

Another project done! I actually had a white petticoat skirt I made a couple of years ago, but there were some issues with it so it was axed in the great purge. This is the replacement!

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As with most of my (non-historical) petticoat skirts, this is a half circle skirt with a ruffle. I had a lot of extra fabric, so I added a second ruffle above the bottom one. Waistband is just elastic. Fabric is white cotton lawn.

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The neat thing on this one is that I hemmed the ruffles with a narrow hem on my serger. Takes forever, but it looks so good! I almost didn’t add lace to the bottom because I liked how clean it looked. But of course in the end I couldn’t resist.

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Check out my awesome “vintage” 1980s Gunne Sax dress, haha.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Dresses

  1. Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. Green dress (purchased)
  3. Cream floral Lady Skater
  4. Calico Giselle
  5. Calico Simplicity 1080 View A (I’m not 100% sure this pattern will work for me, but…I’m just dying to try it!)

Skirts

  1. Jersey maxi skirt (McCall’s 6608 View D) in black
  2. Gauze maxi skirt with ruffle (rework gauze circle skirt for this)
  3. White petticoat skirt
  4. Brown midi petticoat skirt
  5. Jean Hollyburn
  6. Nevermore skirt

Tops

  1. Wrap top (Butterick 6285)
  2. Cropped black T-shirt
  3. Gray rose peasant top
  4. Black Weekender tunic

Outerwear

  1. Jean jacket (Simplicity 8020 View A)
  2. Army green jacket (purchased)
  3. Green spencer
  4. Gray jersey cardigan (purchased)
  5. Aurelia cardigan?

Navy Twill Six-Gore Skirt

Oops, another random item of clothing! I’d bought this navy cotton twill for another project that then got cancelled, so instead I decided on an Edwardian-ish long skirt (I know it’s not historically accurate; no need for any “well, actually…” emails). I started with this 1948 “pattern”:

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[source]

Of course, I had to size it up a bit for my waist size, and as you can see I made it longer (more like 42″), which meant less flare overall. I also curved the waist and hem so I wouldn’t be cutting off the points of the long sides while attempting to even out the hem at the end. I added a pocket in the right side seam (which I later realized I should’ve made out of a lighter material, but oh well!).

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The skirt closes with a button on the waistband and an invisible zipper in the left side seam. I really wanted to do a lapped zipper in keeping with the 1940s pattern, but I’ve never done one before and all the online instructions insisted that you needed at least a 5/8″ seam allowance while I’d used 1/2″ (to make the math easier, haha).

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The waistband is faced with grosgrain ribbon (to reduce bulk), which is kind of fun.

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And it’s hemmed with a 3-inch facing, which helps the skirt keep its nice shape.

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All in all, I’m really happy with the fit! I’m usually so worried about making things too small that I end up with garments that are too big and then I never get around to taking them in. So I’m thrilled this one actually fits really well in the waist (without relying on elastic).

I could definitely see myself making this again, maybe in wool. I’m thinking of making the center back panel wider and pleating it for more fullness. Maybe if I made it out of something lightweight I’d put elastic in a wide center back panel for comfort and a gathered effect.

P.S. Pretty sure this took me longer than 4.5 hours since I ended up doing the waistband and zipper insertion twice!

McCall’s M6957: Black Knit Dress

I wasn’t sure whether to post this since I wasn’t entirely happy with the finished dress. However, it’s on my list and I’m not planning to make another one! I’ve also worn it once and . . . it was pretty comfy. So while I was doubtful at first, only time will tell whether this becomes a cold-weather staple.

IMG_3381Anyway, this is McCall’s M6957, View D without the belt (aka the “black knit dress” in my fall/winter capsule wardrobe). I think the fabric was interlock? Its not super-stretchy, and it’s relatively heavy weight (which may be the origin of some problems I had with it). I also think the recovery isn’t so great, hrm.

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I picked a size based on my high bust and then I still had to take about 4(!!) inches off the bodice, PLUS I had to pinch in some of the center back seam at the nape of the neck. Yet the neckline was still too wide for me! So rather than turning it under per the pattern’s instructions, I added a neck band. But it’s still too wide. ARGH.

The shape is also just not as flared as I’d prefer in the skirt. Honestly, I only picked this pattern because I wanted a fit-and-flare knit dress that didn’t have a waist seam. But I think I should’ve just stuck with my beloved Lady Skater.

Oh, well. To get me a little more excited about it, I added some cream lace on the neck and sleeves. As usual, the sleeves are a little short, though! Sigh.

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In non-WA news, I made a mock-up of my November ballgown bodice recently . . . and it did not look good (pointy-boob city!). Fortunately, I have at least two other modern ballgown patterns that I’ve successfully made in the past, so I may end up just going with one of those.

I did finally locate the perfect sweatshirt fleece for my hoodie, though! And I’ve suddenly decided I really need to make a carryon tote bag and matching toiletries bag (I can’t find my usual carryon bag and I have two trips coming up). Turns out the materials (interfacing and batting) are rather pricy, though. So I’m still debating them.

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)
  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

Corduroy Ginger

I don’t know why I decided suddenly that I needed a corduroy A-line skirt and I’m not sure that I love the shape on me, but this pattern was great! This is a Colette Ginger, version 2 (scalloped waistband), in brown cotton corduroy. Of course, you can see I made some changes.

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A scalloped hem! I followed the instructions here and they turned out great. And check out my facing fabric:

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So autumn-y. I also used this fabric as the lining for the other modification:

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Pockets! Overall, the pattern was super easy and quick (well, except for the scallops). I’m finding on wearing it that the waistband is a bit too wide for me (you can’t really tell in these photos, but the top is going over my lowest ribs), so next time I’ll make it narrower. However, it is gently contoured, which fits much more nicely than a straight waistband.

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Invisible zip! Again, I’m not sure I totally love the A-line shape, but I still kind of want to make another one in denim, if only because it was so easy! (And took less fabric than my usual skirts.) It’s a good pattern to customize with fun details because it’s otherwise pretty simple. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an A-line skirt that sits at the waist.

Capsule wardrobe 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)
  4. Gray wool Giselle (3/4 sleeve)
  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

*Someone gave me a bunch of historical patterns, including the Edwardian underthings pattern from Folkwear. So now I’m kind of thinking of doing the drawers in bemberg rayon to use as a half slip.

Next up: Well, I’ve completed one other thing on the above list that has not yet been blogged. Then a Victorian dress for October (sneak peek), the hoodie, and a ball gown for November.

Wardrobe Architect 2015: Fall Planning

I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and go through the Coletterie post “5 steps to plan your fall sewing.”

Step 1: Review Your Core Style

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Lookin’ good. Pretty autumn-y already. 🙂

Step 2: Make a Fall Moodboard

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A mixture of favorite fall-flavored images and things I’m thinking about making or buying, collected over at Pinterest.The board is too big (and still growing) to capture the whole thing here, so visit it at Pinterest.

Step 3: Choose Your Fall Silhouettes

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A few new silhouettes here: the A-line skirt (spoiler alert: I’m actually almost done with this one), jeans(!), and the empire waist dress (which, okay, I had on the spring/summer silhouettes, but didn’t end up using at all). That last is really just included because I have one (purchased) empire-waist dress that I loooove and wore all last winter and I expect I’ll be doing that again this winter. As for the jeans, I don’t really like wearing pants and I’m not interested in sewing them, but I’m hoping to go horseback riding this fall and, well, I need jeans for that! But those will be going on the to-purchase list. (I do like the look of jeans, though! I just need to find comfortable ones. . . .)

Step 4: Form Your Fall Palette

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Yeah, mine is . . . exactly the same as it was for spring/summer. #noregrets

I’ve also been thinking about some fall/winter fabric patterns that I would like to use–namely, plaid and argyle–but I haven’t yet figured out if they’ll fit into my capsule wardrobe.

Step 5: Make a Project List

In progress. It currently includes 5-6 sewing projects and a few things I need to purchase. I’m actually mostly with one new item for fall. Write-up tk soon!

Wardrobe Architect 2015: Week 11, Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe & Sewing Queue

I’m still (still!!) trying to part with garments I almost never wear to make room for more useable items, but I’ve accepted that this is an ongoing process. After all, time’s passing and I want to get started on the next stage (actually sewing stuff) while I don’t have to rush because I have nothing to wear. I’ve tried to purge as much warm-weather clothes as possible and my plan is to use the fall/winter stuff I already have for now then ditch what I don’t love once it’s warm enough that I’m not wearing them frequently.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Skirts

  1. MAKE: Knee-length Hollyburn in black cotton broadcloth or poplin; white lining with white eyelet ruffle (longer than overskirt); contour waistband; elastic in back of waistband
  2. MAKE: Long petticoat skirt in black lawn or voile with deep ruffle, gathered at waist with back elastic
  3. IN PROCESS: Brown midi petticoat skirt–need to shorten the skirt I have and fix waistband (add lining? add pockets?)
  4. IN PROCESS: Blue denim Hollyburn–need to take in waistband (okay, this color isn’t technically in my palette, but I’m considering it a neutral denim)
  5. IN PROCESS: Black floral circle skirt with attached black eyelet petticoat–need to replace waistband

Tops

  1. MAKE: Peplum top in black ponte with Nevermore collar (Simplicity 1699 view B)
  2. MAKE: Sweetheart t-shirt in white jersey (from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual)
  3. MAKE: Sweetheart t-shirt in black jersey (assuming this pattern works for me)
  4. MAKE: Peplum top from Lady Skater in cream? or cream floral?
  5. MAKE: Another cream or green top?
  6. HAVE: Black & white polka dot Bronte top
  7. HAVE: Gray & black horses print Bronte top
  8. IN PROCESS: Black tunic top from Weekender Dress pattern
  9. IN PROCESS: Black gauze top–need to add rows of elastic to waist

Dresses

  1. HAVE: Gray floral Lady Skater
  2. HAVE: Black and gray Weekender Dress
  3. HAVE: Green and pink floral Lady Skater
  4. HAVE: Green knee-length dress with neck ties (purchased)

Outerwear

  1. MAKE: Long-sleeved bolero in gray (or black?) linen or laceweight sweater knit or lightweight sweatshirt fleece (Butterick 5232 [out of print, sorry!])
  2. HAVE: Olive military jacket (purchased, but need to fix closures)
  3. HAVE: Gray jersey elbow-length cardigan w/ ruffles (purchased)
  4. HAVE: Black and cream lightweight sweater knit cardigan (purchased)

So that’s 22 pieces, 18 of which I will have made! I already have the patterns I need, so I feel pretty confident that I’ll be making useful items (the only thing I haven’t made up before is the Sweetheart t-shirt).

My most urgent need is for white and cream tops, and then skirts (I’m a little sad there are no dresses* in my queue, but the separates will be more useful). I’ve ordered swatches of various cotton knits and lightweight wovens to figure out what fabrics will work for the items on my to-make list. While I’m waiting for those, I suppose I should really start tackling the in-process items–most of these are refashions or fixes of things I’ve already made to make them a bit more useful.

The only things on my to-purchase list are socks (probably some lightweight knee-highs) and another pair of sandals.

I hope to have all these completed in the next couple of months so that I’m wearing them when it’s warm (and getting into hellishly hot). Then I’ll revisit the Wardrobe Architect exercises (and possibly do another wardrobe purge) in July so I can start planning and sewing for fall and winter. (However, although I call this the “spring/summer” capsule wardrobe, I do fully intend to wear many of these in fall/winter, so I won’t end up with two entirely discrete capsule wardrobes. At the moment, I anticipate making long-sleeve t-shirts, turtlenecks, and wool dresses.)

*Totally unrelated: I’m seriously considering doing the Weekend Dressmaking Intensive at Workroom Social in June. It’s a little pricey for this penny-pincher, but I could really use some fitting help!