Monday, January 12, 2015

A Black Polka Dot Moneta

Hi there! HaPpY 2015! Welcome to a brand new year with the quirky peach! It's fun to look back to the beginning of last year and see how much has changed. For instance, my on-again-off-again relationship with bangs, the ever growing inspiration wall in my sewing room, or my love/hate relationship with the word "make" as a noun ;) This year, one of my main goals in sewing to make clothing that I love and will actually wear! I've found that for me, the most worn clothes in my closet are a perfect combination of cute & comfortable. If it's not comfortable, it won't get worn. If it's not cute, it won't get worn... out of the house. I think my first garment of 2015 is a winner - a black knit dress with subtle polka dots that makes my heart go pitter-pat! ♥ ♥ 




Pattern: Colette Moneta (made once before, here)

Fabric: Black ponte knit with flocked polka dots / Lining: solid black ponte - both from Joanns

Sizing: Small (bust) to Medium (waist) to Large (hip)

Design Changes:

- Lined bodice
- Sleeves at "half" length
- Shortened skirt 3ish inches
- Omitted pockets

Outside // Inside
Construction Notes: 

- Lined bodice and understitched neckline for cleaner finish at neckline, and warmth :)
- Added "One of a Kind" label: sewn to lining only, before attaching sleeves
- Zig zag stitch for sleeve hem / skirt hem
- To gather skirt:
(1) stitch two lines of basting stitches along top of skirt
(2) gather skirt to match lower edge of bodice
(3) baste bodice, lining, skirt with wide zig zag
(4) attach elastic and finish waistline with serger




The Verdict: Well it's black, it's a knit, and it has subtle polka dots. I LOVE IT! The skirt is the perfect gathered skirt shape, and will probably become my go-to anytime I want to add one to a knit dress. The only bad thing about this version is that it is tight around the bust and arms. This ponte doesn't stretch as much as other knit fabrics, and I accidentally cut the sleeves on the cross-grain, so no stretch at all there. Getting it on is a little tricky, but once it's on, it wears like a dream :)


So I'm curious - which factors play into what get's worn in your closet? Would you define your style as Cute / Comfortable or something else?? Please share in the comments - I love to hear from you :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - A Year in Review

Well folks, here we are - the end of 2014! A short and sweet review of the year is what I had in mind for this post. Granted, this may be more for my sake than yours - I really enjoyed looking back at last year's end post (here) and how I've changed / grown in a year's time. So without further ado...

1. What I Made:

11 Tops, 3 Cardigans/Jackets, 5 Skirts, 11 Dresses, 1 Swimsuit, 1 Romper, 1 Halloween Costume
14 in Knit Fabric and 19 in Woven Fabric
Total: 33 Garments


My FAVORITE and MOST WORN garments tend to be Knit Tops and Woven Dresses with pockets :) 

See all of them in My Handmade Closet

2. What I Learned:

Blogging takes a long time. There are a lot of great sewing blogs out there. Therefore, one should not feel bad if everything sewn (like this skirt) doesn't make it to the blog - that's what Instagram is for :)

Also, this must have been the Year of the Hem! I tried several new techniques besides a straight stitch:

Narrow hem  //  Bias tape hem  //  Rolled hem  //  Blind hem

Finally, it's okay to get rid of clothes you made! Really! Curating the perfect closet means cutting out stuff that doesn't fit well, hold up under lots of wear, or just isn't your style. Give away or sell what you don't like and you'll be left with what you love :)

3. For 2015:

Use patterns and fabrics from the STASH

Stick to styles, colors, and fabrics I love and will wear

Take the time to construct it well


Make these patterns again, because they are awesome and worn all the time:


Alder Shirtdress // Belladone Dress // Bronte Top and Dress // Bruyere Tunic // Rigel Bomber Jacket

And one last thing:

Thank YOU for reading this blog!

I love reading your comments and interacting with you all on this wonderful world wide web.
So, what is YOUR #1 Goal or Tip going into the New Year?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Mini Chardon Skirt in Burgundy


Every girl needs a versatile holiday skirt. At least, that's what this fabric seemed to whisper, sitting on the shelf at the Needle Shop. "I am the perfect color, have a little shine, and ooh, ooh, look at my subtle polka dots!". Fine. I was sold. I scooped up a yard and a quarter and headed home to make this festive frock.


I knew I wanted this skirt to be a "mini" since it was going to be worn with leggings (most likely fleece lined) or tights all the time.  I wanted a fit and flare silhouette, but didn't have much fabric, so I went with the Deer & Doe Chardon skirt (made previously here). This fabric was perfect to hold the structure of the pleats. 


Here are the details:

Pattern: Chardon Skirt / Jupe by Deer & Doe

Materials: Jacquard Twill in Burgundy Dot from The Needle Shop, Interfacing, Invisible zipper

Sizing / Fit Alterations: Cut size 42 - let out front pleat and side seams slightly for a perfect fit.

For mini length, I cut the skirt at the "contrast" line instead of the lower edge hem.



Construction Notes:

Understitch the waistband facing - it will help it lay smoother

Hand sewing required: tacking the facing down to the zipper tape, tack waistband facing at side seams

The pattern calls for a 10" regular zipper, but I used a 9" invisible zip


New technique - Blind Hem. 

My sewing machine has a special presser foot for this that I have never tried. My first attempt was reaaaaally bad, but I think the second try looks nice! Not perfect, by any means, but it makes me want to give it a go on future garments.


The Verdict: 

I really like this skirt pattern, and adore this fabric! Perfect for this time of year. I decided to pair it up with a couple options for photos, and ended up liking all of them. The ones above are just with a pale pink tee. I also could wear it with a silk tank:


Or a cozy sweater:


Or just a simple black tee with a statement necklace, which is how I wore it for a recent family Christmas party, when I got an awesome sewing book! Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress by Dolin Bliss O'Shea. There are some great patterns included - can't wait to try them out.

So, any sewing related presents on your Christmas wish list this year? Have you made any holiday attire? Sewn any Deer and Doe recently? Be sure to add it to our flickr pool! And thanks for reading! :)