Saturday, May 31, 2014

There Are Giraffes Walking Across My Blue Anna Dress

Hey readers - this dress is ridiculous! It has giraffes walking across it. With birds sitting on the giraffes. It's bright blue. It is not the slightest bit sophisticated or RTW. But I love it! :) (I will say, a nice old lady at a hotel told me it looked expensive ;)

I found the fabric while shopping with Ashley at the Needle Shop in Chicago. We were in the throws of the Sew Dolly Clackett challenge and I got crazy and picked out this blue quilting cotton with giraffes, saying, "And wouldn't this be perfect for a dress?!" In fact I would like to blame the entirety of my purchasing this fabric on Ashley's new found obsession with sewing kitschy dresses - it was contagious ;)

This pattern is the By Hand London Anna Dress pattern, made with the boat neck and knee length gathered skirt. That inspiration was straight from Roisin herself! She is always slapping different pattern bodices and skirts together to get 100 different combinations in fun prints and they all look amazing! :) I also added pockets - obviously.

Funny story - this dress was actually half sewn IN A HOTEL ROOM! That's right, I had started it at home - bodice cut out, darts and shoulder seams sewn, but then we had to hit to road! So Archibald got packed up and went along on his first ever road trip! I brought along a little box of sewing supplies, the pattern, and the still uncut fabric for the skirt. Thankfully the hotel had an iron and ironing board, so I was all set! I finished the bodice and lining, improvised a gathered skirt with pockets, put in a zip and hemmed it to be worn the next morning to my sister-in-law's graduation! You can see more of this adventure on my Instagram feed!

Here are the details:

Pattern: By Hand London Anna Dress

Fabric: Quilting Cotton - Blue with Giraffes from the Needle Shop (Chicago) // White Posh Lining - Joanns

Construction Notes:

- This dress is fully lined - great instructions on how to do this in the BHL sewalong post
- I used an invisible zipper down the center back. It's pink, b/c I didn't have any other colors, and it is probably one of the worst (least invisible) I have put in. I think this is mostly to blame on the iron situation - I was a little too safe when flattening out each side of the zipper b/c I didn't want to melt the teeth with a strange iron and be left zipper-less. It's amazing the difference it makes!
- Added side seam pockets with self-fabric

A few other thoughts:

This is my third version of this dress! You can see the first here, and the second here - very different! :)
As much as I DO love this one, the second version is my favorite - the fabric works so well with the pattern! I just love the Anna dress pattern - so flattering :)

One issue I have run into lately is an increase in bust size - I have always measured and made clothes for a 34" bust, now I'm working with 36". I think this is partially due to overall weight gain, but it has definitely thrown me off in making old TNT patterns - you can see that the bust is tighter on this dress than my other two versions. And I'll be honest, it's kind of freaking me out. I've been the same size up there forever, and now to change is very strange. I have been exercising and will soon... very soon... stop eating so many sweets ;)  But really - has anyone else had this happen? How has it affected your sewing?


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coral Triangles Plantain and S1463 Winner!

Just a quick post for today, friends! One of my favorite new makes, that has seen a lot of wear in Me Made May.... a plantain tee in coral triangles/white jersey, with POCKET! :)

This is actually my third version of the plantain. I have an unblogged, never worn version in an adorable turquoise and navy stripe with navy elbow patches. Not sure if I made the neckline too wide or the stripe placement is weird, but it just never looks right on me. I've never given away a handmade garment before, but that might be a contender. Anyways, back to this third and better version ;)

WARNING!!! This next sentence will change how you see this blog and all other sewing blogs from now on, so PROCEED WITH CAUTION...

I have baby face knees, and so do you.  Someone once told me that knees look like baby faces, and now I can't un-see it, no matter which blog I'm reading. It's ridiculous, I know, but I am happy to share my knowledge and expertise with you all. You have great looking baby face knees :)

Haha - left baby face knee is trying to munch on right knee
So back to sewing... here are the details:

Pattern: Deer&Doe Plantain Tee (Free PDF)

Fabric: Coral Triangle Arrows on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee

Sizing / Alterations: Made size 38, had to let out some all around (graded out a bit at the waist and hips)

Construction Notes:

- Raised neckline about 3/4 inch
- Shortened sleeves to half-sleeve length, left off elbow patches
- Added square pocket, topstitched on front
- Hemmed sleeves and top with a double row of narrow zigzag stitches

The Verdict: Love this top in the normal length just as much as the tunic! Easy wardrobe staple! And the fabric really makes this one :)

And finally, the winner of the pattern giveaway for Simplicity 1463, as chosen by is aleah!!!
I cannot imagine living so far from a Joann's - I'm there weekly at least to get random sewing notions, etc... Haha! Just send me an e-mail at thequirkypeach{at}gmail{dot}com with your address! THANKS for entering, everyone!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

S1463 in Gray Modal & Giveaway

Hi! I have been so ready for SPRING! Now that the flowers are finally blooming, I had to find some to use in my photos - how amazing is this hedge of lilacs?! It's like a floral explosion!!! A perfect background to this otherwise very plain make.... oh wait! The back is actually awesome:

This is a dolman sleeve knit top, with criss-crossing draped back pieces and a tie across the top. The drape comes from pleats on the side seam, and the hem has a really nice line. The top is more fitted than I expected from the front. I added 2 inches in length.

For this pattern, I used a wonderful gray modal knit from Joann's. It is originally about $25 a yard, which is too pricey for me, but I found it on a great sale and bought... 5 yards! I have enough for a top, a dress, leggings, and who knows what else? This is the kind of fabric you could live in! Super soft and silky, but with a bit of heft and totally opaque. It was great to sew with as well!

Here are the details:

Pattern: Simplicity 1463 Knit Top - View B

Fabric: Simples Luxuries-Solid Gray Modal Poly Spndx - Joann's

Sizing / Alterations: Made size Small (10-12) - Lengthened by 2 inches

Construction Notes:

- Instructions are very easy to follow and understand
- The front neckline is finished with a neckband, topstitched down, and the back is turned and topstitched (I used a double row of very narrow zig zag stitches
- The sleeves and hem are finished like the back edges
- My back drape is somehow on the wrong side - doesn't really matter, except it doesn't match the illustrations in the directions, so I had to read everything opposite - no big deal :)

The Verdict: This is one of my most favorite tops I have made! It is such a great fabric, and the pattern is very cool. In fact, it is so awesome that I have one to give away to you!!!

The Giveaway: One NEW copy of the Simplicity 1463 Pattern (Sizes XXS - XXL). The other designs included look pretty cute too! To enter, you do need to follow/subscribe to this blog in some way - please indicate in the comments how you get your dose of the quirky peach. The giveaway will be open until Friday, May 23rd, with the winner announced soon after. Edit: The giveaway is open internationally! Thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ooohhhh, We're Halfway There - MMM 2014

Hi there friends!! Just a quick post with a halfway point update for Me Made May 2014!!! I pledged to wear one handmade garment every day for the month, and so far it's going great! I'm taking the photo part very casually - daily snapshots on Instagram - and it has made it much more enjoyable :) Here's what I've been wearing...

Day 1 - Still undecided on participating in Me Made May, but after seeing how much fun everyone else was having, I jumped on the bandwagon ;)
Day 2 - Renfrew Mini-Dress / Tunic in Fuschia
Day 3 - Cropped Victoria Blazer in Stripes with Floral Belladone Dress
Day 4 - Striped Hemlock Tee *unblogged
Day 5 - NEW Drapey Criss-Cross Back Modal Tee *unblogged
Day 6 - Blue Floral Mini Skirt
Day 7 - Purple Color Block Ivy Tee
Day 8 - Dark Denim Chardon Skirt *unblogged

Day 9 - Ava Peplum Top Like a Dandy
Day 10 - NEW White / Coral Triangle Plantain Tee with Pocket :) *unblogged
Day 11 AND 12 - Floral Belladone Dress
Day 13 - Floral Knit Maxi Skirt
Day 14 - Mint Bow Dress
Day 15 - Black and White Checkered Dress

To see the original post on any blogged makes, please visit my *NEW AND IMPROVED* Handmade Closet page :) Past makes are now organized by year instead of garment type and have a clean looking table thing going on - I think you'll like it! So, are you doing Me Made May???

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Floral Belladone Dress

Hi there lovely blog readers! Well it's official, I'm OBSESSED WITH FLORALS!!! Almost half of everything I've sewn since this year has been floral print. I think I'm subconsciously going for a whole wardrobe - Bomber jacket - check! Mini skirt - check! Maxi skirt - check! Dress - check! And it doesn't stop here - you should see my fabric stash! :) 

A couple thoughts on my first version of the Belladone dress:

THE FABRIC! It is my personal philosophy to make the first version of any pattern (that you plan to do multiples of) with a busy print that can easily hide mistakes. Not saying this version is full of mistakes or anything, but if it was, you couldn't really tell! The floral print is so bright and happy -  it has most of my favorite colors in it! This fabric also has spandex, which means the fit is forgiving, and I was even able to omit the zipper!! Yay :) Even though this is a polyester (which some do not go for) I really love it - the weight, drape, and stretch are just perfect and I would buy more in different prints if they had it! :)

THE PATTERN! In the past I have made three Deer and Doe patterns (Chardon skirt - unblogged, Plantain Tee, and Sureau Dress) This Belladone dress definitely had the best fit so far! Love the back cutout, pockets, and waistband. I was worried about gaping issues with the back as mentioned by other bloggers,and that D&D is designed for a C cup, not a B cup, but I had no issues with this! The only change I made to the pattern was significant length addition to the skirt (probably 4 inches?). While the waistband hits perfectly at my natural waist, it still is proportionally high (thanks long torso) and I think the extra length keeps it from looking like a dress that was made for a shorter person. I also think the longer length adds a lady like sophistication - ooh la la.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Deer and Doe Belladone Dress

Fabric: Poly/Spandex Sateen Packed Flower Multi Bottomweight - Joann Fabrics

Notions: thread, one pack single fold bias tape (pre-made) in Bright Pink :)

Sizing / Alterations: 38 - bust, 42 - waist, 46 - hips

Construction Notes: 

- Added a good 4" in length to the skirt, perhaps a bit more to the back skirt
- Bias tape, which is not usually my favorite finishing method, was GREAT to use on this pattern! Finished the back cutout, neckline, and armholes with it
- Omitted zipper, due to fabric stretch
- Insides are finished with a serger
- Widened back skirt darts a bit to even up with waistband before attaching - not sure where that error happened but this seemed to be a quick fix to the problem
- Due to the nature of this fabric, I attempted a narrow hem: serge, turn and stitch, turn again and top-stitch - not entirely happy with the result but I'm not sure how else to handle a fabric that's not very press-able. Any suggestions??

Narrow hem from the inside
Back cutout inside view - PINK! :)

The Verdict: I'm really happy with how this turned out! The back cutout is everything I dreamed it would be :) Still not totally sure about the fit, due to the spandex in the fabric making everything fit wonderfully like a knit! I am excited to try it in a non-stretchy woven... I already have the perfect fabric in the queue: Maritime Club Fabric - Shirting Navy and White - 100% Cotton - Joann Fabrics. It is amazingly soft and I cannot get enough of the tiny stripe! They also have it in white and red if you're interested ;)

OH, and I decided last minute... belated, even, to join Me Made May 2014! You can follow my daily looks on Instagram and I will do a couple of round up posts here on the blog as well :) I'm excited to see how I do compared to last year (only 4/week) and what gets worn most! You can bet you will see this dress in the line-up :)

Thanks to the cutie on the right for taking these photos for me! ;)

ALSO anyone notice how this photo looks kind of photo-shopped? Actually it isn't touched up at all (only cropped), but when blogger uploads it, it changes it to this - WHY???? Anyone else have this issue? Is the internet automatically editing our photos now? Help!

Don't we look so normal and real now? Lol :)

This dress was made as part of SSW 2014, hosted by the lovely Rachel of Imagine Gnats. Check out all the projects on the Kollabora page!