Monday, March 16, 2015

The Happy Whale Dress

Happy Monday, friends! Finally the sun has started to shine here in Chicago-land and I could not be more excited :) Last weekend was my cousin-in-law's wedding shower. The theme was tropical and she loves marine biology, so I decided to whip up a dress with this whale print cotton that has been in my stash since last summer. But these are not just any regular old whales...


They are HAPPY whales! Just look at those adorable little smiles :) When I saw them across the aisle in the "Baby / Nursery" quilting cotton section of Joann's, I had to have them. The print is definitely kitschy, but the colors are great, and so me, that I could only see it as a cute dress!

Now to find a suitable pattern...


I wanted something with a higher boat neck shape, because duh... whales=ocean=boats... and also it really lets the print shine. I didn't have anything in my stash that quite fit the bill, so I went off to Joann's to see what I could find. There were no "Big Four" patterns on sale, so I turned to New Look and found this great little dress pattern 6262.


I don't typically purchase New Look patterns. Partially due to the cost ($3.99 - gasp I know ;) versus on-sale Big 4 patterns ($1 - $2). BUT I made a great discovery - each pattern envelope includes the entire size range! Typically in the Big 4 I never know which size to get b/c my bust is usually in the smaller size and my waist/hip in the larger. And who wants to buy two of every pattern!? Or try to grade on two separate pattern pieces! All that to say, I am quite happy with having all sizes together and I will definitely be browsing the New Look catalog more often :) I mean, just look at this dress, and this one, or this one, which I totally forgot I made last summer...oops!



Here are the details:

Pattern: New Look 6262 - View B, no overlay, with lined bodice

Fabric: Novelty Quilt Print Cotton - Whales on Navy from Joann Fabrics (no longer available)
Lining: Ambiance Bemberg Lining Fabric - Medevial Blue from Joann Fabrics (still available)

Sizing / Fit: 12 bust, 14 waist, 18-ish hips/skirt
*For the skirt, I cut out a larger size, closer to 18, and just gathered to fit the 14 waist


Bodice is lined with bemberg (the best) lining, attached around the neck and understiched, along the zipper, and at the waistline - serged together at armscyes


Something wonky happened in the back with the lining and the back neckline twists. I'm not sure what caused this, but it could have been my hurriedly slapdash method of putting it together the morning of the party ;)


But it's not that noticeable from more than a yard away, so....


Haha... And that's really all I have to say! I totally love the print and colors of this dress. The pattern, New Look 6262, is a great dress pattern with lots of options - I really want to try the V-neck version as well!

And this dress pairs perfectly with my new pink coat from Anthropologie :) Yes I pinned it months ago to sew, but found it on sale and just bought it instead of attempting to sew it myself. It's perfect for these winter to spring months!

Pink.... buttons.... flared.... swirly.... pockets....

Sometimes when it's your dream coat, you just buy instead of make. What do you think? Would you buy a dream garment instead of sew it, if you could find it RTW??? Or am I talking crazy here? ;)


Thanks for reading!!!  Sally

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Black Polka Dot Rigel Bomber


Hey friends! The polka dot Rigel bomber jacket from Jacket January has finally made it to the blog :)

A quick timeline:

January 8th - It all begins on a snow day! Pattern cut out, perfect front welt pocket made, and then...
I scorched the dots right off with the iron :'( In frustration, the jacket goes to "the pile" and I turn to more fun things like this dress :)

Mid-January - reluctantly re-do my front piece, including welt pocket - thankfully had enough fabric to recut, but welt pockets take sooo long.

January 29th - Wake up crazy early and decide to finish my jacket before school! Success! And just in time for Rigel Jacket January!  But later that day.... I come home and remove the jacket only to find that it has dyed the underarms and side of my t-shirt blueish-black! >:( Back into the shun pile it goes.

Two weeks later - I decide I have forgiven the jacket and wash it, along with my black polka dot Moneta dress to remove any remaining dye.

Mid February - I finally photograph the jacket, later realizing all the photos are way too dark

Late February - The jacket is re-photographed in slightly better lighting

Today, March 8th - I sit down to write this blog post

Whew.... does this sound familiar to anyone else????? I feel like I used to be so much better at sewing a garment, photographing, and blogging it super quick. Now it takes forrrrreverrrrrrrr




Pattern: Papercut Rigel Bomber, made once before in floral cotton sateen

Fabric: Actually, there are four different fabrics involved in the making of this jacket!

- Black flocked polka dot ponte (also used for my Moneta dress)
- Black cotton ribbing
- Black velvet, for welt pockets
- Plain black ponte knit for pockets


Okay, and now for the crazy part: THIS JACKET HAS NO FACING OR LINING!

That's right! I completely left out the facing and just sewed / serged the zipper and neckband on! To secure the top ends of the zipper, "stitch in the ditch" between the neck band and bodice, catching the zipper top, then trim off the corner that sticks out. If I had thought of it earlier, I would have tuckedthe top of the zipper ends between the neckband before serging. The lower front edges are finished with a serger, then turned and topstitched.



And that's that! I made a size Small, and it fits pretty well. My only real qualm is that when I move my arms around, the hem band slides up and I have to constantly pull it back down. And it usually takes the shirt underneath with it. I don't recall this happening with the ponte hem band as much. It is one of those small annoyances that may deter me from wearing it as much as I might otherwise.

Do you have any small annoyances like this in clothes you've made? Do you overlook them b/c its a handmade garment, or do you avoid wearing it as much as you might?

Thanks for stopping by the quirky peach! Always good to see you here :)


Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Heart These Sweaters

Hello lovely readers! It's been awhile since my last post, which I am going to blame completely on the weather. Freezing cold temperatures and short days kind of kills my sew-jo, and my blog-jo (yes that's a thing). There aren't many fabrics in my stash that lend themselves to cold weather garments, and who wants to sew summer dresses in the middle of snowmageddon! However, this black and white heart sweater fabric was a perfect match for these frigid days!

Enjoying coffee with brunch on a snow day!
The fabric was purchased at The Needle Shop in Chicago, but is now sold out. 
(Update: Found it here on e-bay! Move quick, it's free shipping!)

I got two yards and was able to squeeze two sweaters out of it - there's even some left over!

The black ribbing for both was purchased at Joann Fabrics. 

VERSION 1: DEER & DOE PLANTAIN TUNIC HEART SWEATER




I've made this free Plantain t-shirt pattern quite a few times - see (1) and (2)*now worn by my cutie pie sister. In fact, this version is my #2 most viewed post of all time! Lol :) The only design changes I made were:

- Lengthen hem a few inches for tunic length
- Graded out at the hips
- Lengthen sleeves and add ribbed cuff
- Raise neckline an inch

This pattern is pretty much perfect out of the envelope!

VERSION 2: GERTIE'S VINTAGE TEE HEART SWEATER





This pattern is new to me. I wanted to make a sweater like this one, found on Pinterest. Thankfully, Gertie's newest sewing book, Gertie Sew's Vintage Casual, includes one with several of the same features (fitted, short sleeve, crew neck).

Sizing: 6 bust, 8 waist, 10 hips

Changes/Alterations:

- Lengthened sleeve by a couple inches
- Added sleeve band with black ribbing
- Lengthened sweater by an inch or two

It is definitely a fitted sweater, a little more than I would like. This may be due to the fabric not having quite as much stretch as, say, a jersey knit. Also, the armscye is too small and tight. Is this something that going up to a size 8 at the bust would fix? Or is it more complicated than that?


Here is a side by side comparison :)


The Verdict: While these are both great little sweaters, the Plantain will probably get more wear because it fits better. I would love to wear the short one over a collared tank (in my sewing queue!). Expect more fabric double-duty next week when I post a Rigel bomber jacket, made with the same black flocked polka dots as my Moneta from January.

And you may have noticed, I have a shiny new pair of glasses! I've never had wear-all-the-time glasses before, so this will be a definite adjustment. The prescription is not super strong, but it has already helped with strain and headaches. I just got them last week and really like them :)