Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ivory / Mustard Striped Lady Skater

Hello friends! There are few patterns I have made more than once, and only a handful I've made three or more times. Some would call these "TNT" or "tried and true" patterns. At this time in my sewing career, these would include: By Hand London Anna Dress, Deer & Doe Plantain T-shirt, Simplicity 2451 Skirt, Simplicity 1690 Top, Sewaholic Renfrew

And now let's welcome to the club... the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater Dress!

Pattern: This is my third time sewing up the Lady Skater, and it is definitely an easy sew, even in stripes! The size, construction, and everything is the same as the first two versions (in red ponte, and sequin stripes). I was able to construct this in an afternoon, even with my perfectionism about stripe placement ;)

Fabric: Mustard and Ivory Cotton Jersey Knit - Girl Charlee

This dress was directly inspired by Kelly's striped skater, made last year in the same fabric! I just loved the stripes and the colors and ordered the same fabric immediately :) Then it sat in the stash...until this week's cold front, which has made me crave 3/4 sleeve, comfy knit dresses!

The fabric is a bit thin, but so soft and cuddly. I should really make a tan slip for wearing under all those dresses I'm too lazy to line ;) Even though the stripes are printed on, it isn't stiff, and stretches quite nicely. My theory still stands that the less ink used, the better the fabric, when it comes to Girl Charlee knits.

So that's about all for today! I would love to know, what is one of your TNT patterns???

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Let's Sew Deer & Doe - Chardon Skirt

Greetings sewists and friends! I'm about to blog the longest belated make in the history of the quirky peach - my Chardon Skirt from last year's (that's right, 2013) Me Made May! It is my kick off post for a very special sewing challenge I have taken on, alongside my friend Ashley from Craft Sanctuary. Read on to find out more about it :)

The nice thing about a belated blog post is that I can talk about the wear-ability and durability of a garment! This skirt has definitely been a go-to in my closet over the last year and a half! It is perfect for throwing on with a belt and sandals, or tights and boots. It is also (until a week ago) the only solid colored skirt I own! ;) Sadly, my stitching left something to be desired - you can see where it is pulling apart at the lower end of the pleats, and one of the belt loops is hanging by a thread. But still, it gets worn... because it is plain and awesome. Or plain awesome. Kind of like this picture...

I really should go into modeling.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Deer & Doe Chardon Skirt

Materials: Dark Blue Denim / Chambray from Joanns (circa 2013), Invisible zipper

Sizing / Alterations:

Size 40 waist (TOO SMALL!) altered to a size 42ish

After sewing the majority of the skirt, I realized this barely fit my waist :( I took out all the pleats and made each one smaller so that gave me some extra room, and added some from the seam allowances at the side and back. 

Note to self - do not try to flatter your ego by sewing the size you are when you suck it in ;)

Construction Notes:

Here's a fun tip! If you are just starting out using a serger (which I was... back in May 2013 - lol), use a different color spool for each one. It is easy to see what does what, and if you are just finishing seam allowances, it doesn't have to match any colors! My serged seam allowances on this skirt are turquoise, hot pink, purple, and black (viva la 90's.... seriously, my mom just found my old lunchbox and it is these exact colors)

The pleats on this skirt are very cool, but unlike any I had sewn before. The first time I made this skirt, I sewed them all inside out. And also the second time I attempted this skirt, but that version never got past seam ripping the inside out pleats. Bad fabric choice :/

Okay, so at the beginning of the post I mentioned a special sewing challenge that I am taking on with my friend Ashley from Craft Sanctuary. We are both pretty obsessed with Eléonore's adorable patterns and set a lofty goal to sew every Deer & Doe pattern we own by the end of the year! We are calling it "Let's Sew Deer & Doe!" 

In addition to this Chardon, I have previously made the Belladone, Sureau, Plantain (twice), and Reglisse. On my "to-make" list are the Pavot, Datura, Bleuet, Centaurée, but first up is her brand new pattern, the Bruyère button down shirt! :) Look for that post coming later this month!

If you love to sew Deer & Doe, we want you to join in! There is a flickr group for this challenge - enter your photos of Deer & Doe makes made from now until the end of the year for a chance to win a Deer & Doe pattern of your choice. Yay! :) Grab a button below, if you want. And be sure to follow Ashley's blog to keep up with all her adorable garments, and also just because she is awesome!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Purple Floral Maxi Dress

Hi friends! 'Tis the season for weddings! And boy howdy, we have had four cousins gettin' hitched this summer alone! Here is the dress I made for wedding #3 :) My sis has a fancy new camera and wanted to jump in on the photo taking, so enjoy...

This fabric is very special, as it was hand picked and sent to me from my beautiful friend Maude in Canada :) If you haven't been on her adorable and somewhat nerd-tastic blog, check it out HERE (Whovians for life!) Back to the fabric - it is a purple floral print on white with some brown/tan accents. The fabric is a type of chiffon, I think, but it is textured and kind of hefty, almost opaque! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with.

Oh, and these photos are just plain ol' plain, taken on my point and shoot, by the hubs... ;)

Here are the details:

Pattern: New Look 6282 - Misses dress, with strap variations and maxi or high/low skirt


Main fabric - gifted from Maude :)
Lining fabric - white cotton "Daphne" - Joanns

Sizing / Alterations:

Size 12 bust, 14 waist
Size 16 hips

OKAY, so one should not assume that a pattern alteration will work for ANY pattern, just b/c it did on the last several... and a gathered skirt is not the same as an elasticized skirt.

For many of my dresses, I adjust for my larger hips by cutting the largest hip size and gathering it more to fit the smaller waist size. This has worked really well in some cases, but not this time. First, with main fabric and lining fabric, you've got a lot of poof there at the waist just from excess fabric - not flattering. Second, a skirt that is gathered by thread is not the same as one that is drawn in by elastic. In fact, this is not a "gathered" skirt piece at all - it should fit exactly to the waist of the bodice with no gathering required. I goofed up here. I was hoping for something slimming and flowy like my Anna maxi dress... instead I got flower poof waist!

Construction Notes:

Love the beautiful finish of the bodice neckline / straps with the lining - so professional and elegant! Just a word of warning - the straps are sewn on before the lining, so be sure they are exactly the length and placement you want. Otherwise it will be difficult to adjust later!

Serged most edges for a clean finish - tiny hem with topstitching for slits and hem of skirt


First of all, this dress perfectly matched the colors of my cousin's wedding, and she personally approved the fabric, so that's a win win!

The straps and neckline are so elegant, but not too low cut - keepin' it classy ;)

It definitely works better with a belt! Found a perfect one (cough, cough... the morning of the wedding, cough) at Kohl's to match the sandals and clutch (tassel) I already had!

That said, here are a few photos of the dress, sans belt:

And you can't wear a dress with slits and not try the Angelina pose...

And with that, I'm out! Peace!