Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Floral Virginia Leggings go to the Apple Orchard

Say hello to my first ever hand-made leggings! These are the Virginia leggings pattern from the wonderful Megan Nielsen. They are actually the first Megan Nielsen pattern I have completed, which is insane as I have the Darling Ranges, Briar, and Tania all waiting in the queue! (I will say, I have a UFO Darling Ranges and a Briar that I wear as a sleep tee, but I don't count those). I am VERY impressed with this pattern and will be making her others ASAP!

After sporting these leggings at school last week, I decided to pull them out again for a family trip to the apple orchard! I paired them with a thrifted chambray tunic (repaired / replaced buttons with the vintage tan/gold ones), tan riding boots, a vintage red leather crossbody bag ($12!! real leather!!), and some of my favorite jewelry.  The colors in the floral print are perfect for fall: dark blue with red and gold yellow flowers, and a hint of green leaves.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Megan Neilsen Virginia Leggings (PDF)

Size: M at waist to XL at hips

My Shape: Tall (almost 6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Soft Floral Print Knit - Textile Discount Outlet - $1.95/yard!!!

Size Alterations:

- As mentioned above, I graded from a M at the waist to XL at the hips
- The length is GREAT! Still a tiny bit of scrunch at the ankle, which is fine b/c I prefer a straighter leg
- For next time, I will add a little more room at the back for my bodacious derriere ;)

Design Changes:

- None! The design is great! Love that the fabric wraps around each leg so there is no side seam!

Construction Notes:

- Used a zig zag stitch on Archibald for most of the construction
- Serged the inseam and waistband for more security
- In stitching through waistband and elastic, make sure it is spaced out evenly - my gathers are mostly in one spot instead of spread throughout.... whoops!

The hubs! AKA - apple bushel hauler :)
The Verdict:  super easy pattern, sews up very quickly, can't wait to make MORE in other colors/patterns/prints w/ slight fit adjustments for curves.

So have you made leggings, Virginia's or others?? What would you wear with floral leggings??? I'd love to hear your comments! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Elizabeth Top in Stripes

Pattern: StyleArc Elizabeth Top
Fabric: Khaki and Black Striped Cotton Jersey Knit - Mood Fabrics

Whoa, I am loving my new top! This is the Elizabeth Top from StyleArc (free pattern for July - Woo-hoo!) and it is a winner for sure! I haven't found a single other version on the interwebs, which means you guys are missing out! This is a great pattern and can be made in a knit or a woven.  My favorite part of this design is the overlapping asymmetrical flap on the front - very cool and flattering! The panels skim over the waist and hips while maintaining a nice fit. Also love the length of the sleeves and the button loop closure at the neckline in the back.

Here are the details:

Pattern: StyleArc Elizabeth Top

Size: 8

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Khaki and Black Striped Cotton Jersey Knit - Mood Fabrics

Size Alterations:

- None! And it fits perfectly!

Design Changes:

- Sleeves may be an inch or two shorter than originally intended, after much fiddling with the finishing (no sleeve band, wait add a sleeve band, didn't line it up right, adjust sleeve band, don't like it, hem as originally instructed ;)

Construction Notes:

- Squeezed out of one yard of fabric- would NOT recommend. One of the side seams does not have matching stripes and the underneath front layer is actually patched together with two pieces of fabric :/
- In a knit, cut the neckband on the grain, and shorten slightly
- The two front pieces are basted across the shoulders and neckline, and top-stitched down part way
- Zig zag stitch on sewing machine for most of construction (occasional serging or straight stitch...)
- Oh, and I almost forgot - I used tan thread and colored it black with a sharpie on the black stripes ;)

In conclusion... I totally love this top, I have worn it many times since finishing it last weekend, and I can't wait to try it in a woven! :)  Well, Style Arc is now 2 for 2 in my book - what do you think? Are you tempted to try this pattern?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Paint Splatter Dolman Tee

Pattern: Cation Designs Dolman Sleeve Top (FREE PDF!)
Fabric: Paint Splatter Cotton Jersey/Rayon Knit in from The Needle Shop (Chicago - YEAH!)

A quick happy make for your viewing pleasure! :) I could not put this amazing plaint splatter print knit fabric down once I saw it at the Needle Shop - it had to be mine! Then to find a pattern that wouldn't make it too obnoxious ;) I went for the amazing Cindy's dolman top pattern - this is my second version (first here) and I think they made a good match!

Here are the details:

Pattern: Cation Designs Dolman Top

Size: Small

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Paint Splatter Cotton / Rayon Jersey Knit - 1 yard

Size Alterations: 

- Graded out at the hips
- Added 4" of length

Design Changes:

- Wider, more scooped neckline (see notes below)

Construction Notes:

- My original plan to finish the neckline with a band turned out super weird looking due to the crazy print - I just cut it off and turned the neckline under and stitched a narrow hem - it's a little wider and lower than I would have liked - I'll should probably add bra strap carriers to the inside, or not, b/c I'm lazy...
- Finished arms and hem with a sleeve band
- Stitched with regular old zig zag on Archibald, with turquoise thread :)

If you haven't already tried out this pattern, you really are missing out! It's such a quick make, great for loud prints, knit newbies, pdf pattern newbies (cats!) and tricky knit fabric! Not that this fabric was tricky - it was actually wonderful to sew with, and so colorful and happy! I smile every time I see (and now wear) it! :D

Instagram love ;)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anthro Copy-Cat Striped Peplum Top

Pattern: Simplicity 2209 Lisette Passport Dress (Modified to knit top)
Fabric: Ivory/Black Vari-Stripe Ponte Knit (other colors available) - Gorgeous Fabrics

Hi there readers! If you have been following my blog for awhile, you may remember when I posted my plans to copy-cat this striped peplum top from anthropologie - well it is finally complete! I really like my first two peplum tops and they get a lot of wear, but I have to say this is by far my favorite one.

I changed the pattern for this top, as the McCall's pattern I used for the first two gave me a couple fit issues I wasn't sure how to fix. This is the Simplicity 2209 dress pattern that I shortened to a top. I didn't change anything about the size/fit because this ponte knit fabric is quite stable. I knew this pattern fit me well from these two makes, and I really liked the idea of the stripes with the V pattern darts in the front (something the anthro top did not have ;)  I have to admit, I completely forgot that the original top had vertical stripes on the peplum part of the top until I started to write this post! Oh well, too late to change that now! Besides, I think that may have been a bit much with the directional changes happening in the bodice as well.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2209 Lisette Passport Dress (as top)

Size: 12 (34" Bust) graded out at waist

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso

Fabric: Ivory/Black Vari-Striped Ponte Knit - 1 yard

Size Alterations: None

Design Changes: 

- Shortened dress length skirt to top length peplum
- Raised the neckline and widened shoulder straps a bit

Construction Notes:

- I used the same method to finish the neckline and armholes as it calls for in the pattern - front and back facings with bias tape around the armholes. This is actually the same way the Anthro top was finished (I researched ;) and I figured if it worked for them, it would work for me! 
- I made my own bias tape (WHAT??? First time people!) which was ridiculously HARD because this fabric does NOT press - it was quite the power struggle between me, the fabric, and Dolores (Dolly for short - that's my iron ;)
- On the original top there are actual openings in the straps that the buttons hold closed. However, after making a muslin, I realized the opening was right where my bra straps were! Not ideal, especially for wearing to school, so I decided to forgo the opening and just sew the buttons right on. (Let's be honest, I was also too chicken to cut into my beautifully finished straps and try to press and hand sew those openings with buttons and button loops after all the grief I had with the bias tape)

Overall, this turned out really well! Especially as I had never tried making a woven pattern with a knit fabric OR shortening a dress pattern into a peplum top. There are some other great recommendations on using dress patterns as peplum tops in this post by Suzannah over at Adventures in Dressmaking - check it out! :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Koi Pond Dress

Pattern: Anna Dress - By Hand London
Fabric: Orange "Koi" / Gray Striped Rayon Challis -

Hello wonderful readers! I am so happy to have finished this dress just in the nick of time for the Sew Weekly Reunion! I literally got this pattern out of the mailbox THIS MORNING!!! I have to admit that I had no intention of actually making this in time, but the awesomely fast shipping from WeSewRetro made it possible! Also thanks to my new rotary mat and cutter! And having the fabric pre-picked (we all know that can take most of the time ;)

The Facts

Fabric: Rayon Challis (2.5 yds)

Notions: thread, invisible zipper

Pantone Challenge colors: Koi

Pattern: Anna Dress - By Hand London

Year: 2013

Size: US 6 (bust) to US 10 (waist)

My Shape: Tall (6'0), pear shape, narrow shoulders, long torso, buxom hips ;)

Time to complete: 9:00-10:30am, 3:00-7:00pm, soooo 5 1/2 hours

First worn: Today!

Wear again? Absolutely

Total Cost: Around $20

Size Alterations: Graded up two sizes from bust to waist

Design Changes:  Due to the time constraints and slippery nature of the striped fabric I decided to forgo the original skirt (with 6 panels!) and just do a partial circle skirt - I really like how it turned out! I also moved the center back zip to a side zip.

Construction Notes:  I underlined the front bodice due to the sheerness of the fabric - I may go back and underline the skirt as well, but for now I have a half slip that does the job. The seams are a combination of pinked and french seams (completely intentional of course....) and the facing is made with the same white lining fabric as the underlining.

I named this the "Koi Pond Dress" for the color, obviously, but also I loved the recommendation in the instructions for the Anna dress to sew pennies into the hem for more swing! While I didn't do this for this dress, I absolutely love the idea, and the picture of a Koi Pond just got stuck in my head. So, to make up for the lack of pennies I took pictures by a pond... this comes with its own hazards...

Only three of a MILLION!
 Thankfully I had my handsome photographer there to ward them off. And the scenery was worth it!

So did you participate in the Sew Weekly reunion??? Are you good about meeting sew-along deadlines or do you cram last minute like me? Ever been chased by a goose on a photoshoot? (I must admit, attempting to photobomb the pics that the hubs was taking of them may have deserved it...)