Friday, August 24, 2018

Ikat Two Piece

A few years ago Ada Spragg was all about the two piece set. As much as I am influenced by her style, I just didn't get it. Well, I finally get it, and here is my two piece set in ikat. I am always late to the party.
  Ikat two piece

I bought two yards of this cotton ikat from Joann a few years ago. I hoarded it, then earmarked it for this skirt, then took at least another year to make it. When I went to cut out the skirt I decided that it needed a matching top. I shortened the skirt and squeezed an Ogden cami (my second) out of the fabric too.

Ikat two piece

I am a new convert to crop tops and skirts and pants that fit at my natural waist.

Ikat two piece

I think the ogden wears and drapes better for me on my rayon crepe version. But I do still love this one and will wear it with high waisted bottoms. Or perhaps over a slip dress.

Ikat two piece

Ikat two piece

I decided not to go too crazy with the topstitching this time but did do a little on those awesome pockets just to highlight them.

Ikat two piece

Ikat two piece

Ikat two piece

The skirt is a vintage Mail Order Pattern that I bought off etsy years ago. It fit perfectly with no alterations. I don't know much about these mail order patterns but have always been drawn to them. I think they were big in the 50s and 60s. I chose view A because even though my machine and I hate making buttonholes, I do love wearing button front clothes. And those pockets are too good to pass up.

Mail order pattern 4615

Speaking of buttonholes, I have a new trick up my sleeve. My mom told me to try a tear away stabilizer. I think these may be the best buttonholes that I have made on my machine. I have a vintage Bernina 831 and the 5 stop button hole maker is broken. It won't go backwards on the 3rd step so I have to start over at step 1 and rearrange the fabric to make the buttonhole correctly.

Button hole sewing tips

I just pin it in place, make the buttonhole right over it and then tear away.

Button hole sewing tips

Button hole sewing tips

How I actually left the house. I think this skirt will go with lots of tops and can be dressed up or down. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

McCalls 7774 or Secret Pajamas

McCalls 7774

This pattern (McCalls 7774) jumped out at me on a trip to Joann during one of their pattern sales. I have been drawn to patterns with these kind of cut in shoulders lately. I've always been self conscious about by under arm fat, but now that my shoulders and arms have gotten stronger I don't mind showing them off. I had ordered this Art Gallery Rayon Challis on a whim. When I saw the two together I knew what I had to do. And I HAD to do it before vacation because this dress needed to go on vacation to Santa Fe with me. Of course I neglected to get photos of me wearing this dress in Santa Fe. It was a perfect summer vacation dress, breezy and cool like secret pajamas. I made the mistake of waiting until the last minute to hem and stitch the bodice lining in place. Then I messed the bodice lining up and mom came to the rescue and fixed it by hand stitching while I finished packing for my trip. Thanks mom!

IMG_2561
If I look miserable here it is because it was about 108 degrees when we took these photos, no lie. 
I had only ordered a yard and a half of the rayon so I made up the difference with some black rayon challis that I had on hand. I think it worked out pretty well. I made this pattern in a straight size 10 based on the finished garment measurements and the amount of ease that I prefer. According to McCalls I should be a size 14. I cut the front and back skirt pieces on the fold, omitting the center seams. When I first cut out the bodice I made the mistake of cutting it with a center front seam, even though I didn't want to do the bias cut for the chevron stripe effect. It looked silly with a center front seam for no reason so I recut it on the fold but that did waste a bit of my fabric, which was a bummer. I guess I was just so excited to get the show on the road with this project.

McCalls 7774
This dress has pockets, which I am looking for here apparently.

My favorite part of this dress is the back cutout that I improvised. Mostly I didn't want to put a zipper in this rayon challis, but I also wanted to add a fun feature, and I am so glad I did. 
McCalls 7774

Here is how I constructed the fully lined bodice with the back cutout. I wasn't sure it would work and did some serious contemplating on how to go about making it work. It did work out and I am so happy with the outcome!

  IMG_4403 (2)

I sewed the darts in the bodice and the lining, and I added some interfacing around the cutout on the wrong side of the bodice. I also sewed them together at the side seams but not the back, so that I had one big bodice piece and one big lining piece. I pinned them right sides together around the back cutout, neckline and armholes. I notched, graded the lining seams, and under stitched where I could.

IMG_4404 (2)

I turned it and then sewed up the back seam and hand stitched the shoulder seams closed. I got a really clean result, even in this slippery rayon challis!

IMG_4405 (2)

I also sewed some elastic cording and a button for the closure. McCalls 7774

Sunday, August 5, 2018

My Perfect Summer Dress

Indigo Jessica Dress

This fabric had a long journey, but clearly it is now living it's best life as the Jessica Dress, aka the perfect Summer dress. I dyed this silk noil four summers ago with my mom. I was inspired by Sallie Oh's silk painting, but hated what I had done to this fabric. My mom used thiox to remove the dye for me and then the fabric sat unloved in its (almost) natural state for some time. I'm not sure where the inspiration struck, but it did, and I knew what to do with it. Mom helped me fold and clamp the fabric with a million clothes pins, ok two packages from target. Then it sat for a while until I refreshed my indigo vat. I never, ever dip my indigo enough times, it seems I'll never learn. At first I was disappointed when it was rinsed and dried and was much lighter than I had envisioned. But now I love the muted, vintage feel that this fabric has.

Indigo Jessica Dress

If you haven't tried the Jessica Dress pattern from Mimi G, you really should. It is a straightforward and easy make with such a cute result. Right after I cut out this pattern, I realized that I forgot to make a muslin. I was just too excited to get started and had a plan to wear this out on a date with my husband. No worries, the XS fit me perfectly, my only alteration was to shorten the straps by about an inch and a half. I only had two yards of this fabric and really had to puzzle out the pattern pieces. I always forget that folded shibori creates such a unique pattern. I really wanted the darker blues down the center and luckily it worked out with the amount of fabric I had.

Indigo Jessica Dress

This was my first time sewing with silk noil, though I have a tank top that I cut out so long ago that I don't even like the pattern or color of the silk anymore. I need to alter and dye it because I adore this fabric now. It reminds me of an old terry cloth towel, but in a good way. By the way, Dharma Trading is a great source for undyed fabrics if you are interested in dyeing your own.

Indigo Jessica Dress

I ended up omitting the big patch pockets on this version. I sure do love the look, but the dye pattern of my fabric wasn't working for me with them. There are also no markings for where to place the pockets and I was having a hard time getting them lined up to drape properly with the skirt. My next version will have them for sure. I think next time I will fully line the bodice as well. I don't really mind the facings but a full lining would give it a much cleaner finish. The only other change I would make is to turn the button holes horizontally on the bodice to help with the pulling.

Indigo Jessica Dress

How perfect are these buttons that I found on clearance at Joann?! I found two sets but needed another. A sweet lady walked up and said, "is this what you're looking for?". She had a baby dress that she had made 49 years ago and was looking for new buttons to put on it. These weren't what she wanted and she gave me the set that she didn't need. It totally made my day!

Indigo Jessica Dress

Big thanks to Mimi G for sharing this pattern with the world. I made it and wore it out on our date and felt super cute and confident. It is definitely my perfect summer dress.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lander Shorts = Pants Making Goal Reached

I know, I know, I claimed that I had conquered my pants making fear with Flint a while back. While my Flint pants fit and are gorgeous, they are flowy and loose. Not three fitted tubes going around my legs and torso. Pants, why do you have to be so confusing?!

Enter Lander.

Lander shorts

I purchased, dowloaded, printed and traced off this pattern back in February. Then I got cold feet. I even had the fabric for quite a while. But I was scared. Now I am pretty sure my fear of pants sewing was created by my previous attempts to drastically alter poorly drafted big 4 sewing patterns into something they were not. Read, start with loose fitting pants and try to turn them into cigarette pants. That's what scared me off for, literally, years.
  Lander Shorts

I decided to participate in the Outfit Along hosted by Lladybird and Untangling Knots. Their official patterns were the Lander Pants and a knitted Waters tee. I needed a push to make pants AND to knit something in the summertime. Now my official OAL2018 pants will be out of Ventana Twill in Brick Brown and my Waters top is being ever so slowly knit with Quince and Co Sparrow Linen yarn. You can see them here. I don't think I will finish by the end of July because I am the slowest knitter in the world, and I am also going on vacation in July. In the meantime my Lander Shorts will do.

Lander Shorts

Lander's sizing had me in a size 2 at the waist and an 8 at the hips. I thought it was a 6 at the hips before but my booty has grown from weight lifting. I made a muslin with the 2 at the waist and 6 at the hips and it was too smallllll. I think that sizing could work with a stretch denim. I ended up cutting a 4 at the waist and an 8 at the hips, then I added 1/4" to each back side seam. I am very happy with the fit and while I usually despise wearing shorts I actually feel very comfortable and confident in these. I think the next version could benefit from a shaped waistband, but otherwise I will probably keep the adjustments as is. I see more Landers in my future and my fear of pants sewing has dissipated drastically. Thank you Kelli for drafting such a lovely pattern!

Lander Shorts

Fabric is a Cotton/Linen blend and can still be found here. Buttons are from Taylor Tailor. The top is my Tessuti Alice top, a pattern that I need to revisit.

Lander Shorts

I think this is my perfect Summer outfit. It is hot here y'all.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Ogden and Brumby, A Perfect Pair

Brumby and Ogden

This is the well loved Ogden Cami pattern by True Bias and my third Megan Nielsen Brumby. I made the skirt last year, it was my third version and I have worn it more than the other two (blogged here).  The Brumby is a tried and true pattern for me. There isn't much to say about this version except that I used an invisible zipper and felt super clever using a small cut of expensive eyelet on the hemline. I love the interest that it adds to this otherwise simple skirt.

See what I mean....
Brumby and Ogden

This rayon challis Brumby proved to be a perfect match for my rayon crepe Cactus Ogden Cami. I feel put together and cute in this outfit without feeling over dressed or fussy. My dad did ask me why I was so dressed up but hey, I felt like looking cute to go to town for a coffee. These photos were taken in my parents front yard, isn't the property gorgeous?!

Brumby and Ogden
I couldn't do this pose without making this face for some reason. 


As a master procrastinator I will never be the first seamstress to sew a new pattern. But I will chime in and agree with the masses that Ogden is a winner. It is drafted beautifully, and takes quite a bit less yardage in my size than the pattern calls for. I can squeeze one of these babies out of about 2/3 of a yard. I'm working on a second, cropped version now and have more planned. This pattern is easy, quick and super flattering. I was quite impressed that it needed no alterations. My usual one would be to shorten the shoulder straps but it wasn't needed here. You can see here that my bra strap shows a tiny bit. I don't think its enough to be tacky, but another option would be to wear a cute bralette whose straps are meant to be shown off. I love that this cami has a built in lining/facing. I do have a hard time figuring out which is the front and which is the back, but truthfully I think it can be worn either way. I have yet to use the custom labels that I ordered as I didn't like the color they came out. I guess I need to order another batch.

Brumby and Ogden Brumby and Ogden

Isn't this fabric fantastic?! I scored it cheap at my favorite warehouse fabric outlet off Harry Hines in Dallas. I discovered Rayon Crepe with this fabric last year and I love how squishy and comfy it is. Plus the cactus motif is just so fun. You can see here that I under stitched the facings, and that keeps them from turning to the outside quite nicely.

Brumby and Ogden

Isn't this eyelet beautiful?!

Brumby and Ogden

Brumby Skirt: 
Version 2
Cut, between size XSmall and Small
Rayon Challis with Cotton Eyelet Trim

Ogden Cami: 
No alterations
Size 4
Rayon Crepe with rayon challis facing

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Vintage Simplicity 9006 or Dream Dress

Vintage Simplicity 9006

Dream dress here. You can tell I'm feeling cute and clever in this outfit.
  Vintage Simplicity 9006

I took my time on this one, though don't I always. I am a slow maker. I did make a muslin for fit but something went awry in the chest. It is TIGHT and though it looks cute it isn't the most comfortable of garments that I have made.

Vintage Simplicity 9006

Tightness in the chest aside, I adore this dress. Those brass buttons pop! That slit is adorably demure. The linen denim, and the topstitching, and oh the buckles from France. Need I go on? The pockets, the pockets. The 70s vibe. It is all there for me. If only it weren't so tight in the chest. Oh well, lesson learned.
  Vintage Simplicity 9006

I made a muslin, I swear I did. And it fit! I think I probably set the buttons slightly too far over and maybe the buttonholes as well. I feel like I need about an inch of ease added to the top of the bodice. Like if I unbutton the top two buttons I am good lol. I kept the topstiching mostly to one line because I didn't want too much of a Western look. Though I'm coming to realize my style has a slight Western vibe. Not overly so.

Vintage Simplicity 9006 Vintage Simplicity 9006

Pattern is Simplicity 9006 from 1979. I could tell this pattern had potential, despite the terrible model shot. It is always the line drawing that reveals a pattern's true potential. Pro tip, look at the line drawings!

Simplicity 9006

See what I mean? Look at that sassy vibe.

Simplicity 9006

This was a Junior size 11 but I took a chance on it because I got it really cheap on Etsy. My muslin and fitting had me add 3/8" at the front waist, tapering out to nothing at the armhole and just below the hip. I curved the back bodice waist for a swayback adjustment. That's how I always do it, not sure if it is "correct". I added 1" at the back bodice waist and 1.5" at the back skirt waist. Again, tapering to nothing at the armhole and below the hip. I'm not sure altering the original partner pieces was the smartest idea but you know, laziness prevails sometimes. Maybe I was out of tracing paper?

Simplicity 9006 Simplicity 9006

Next time I am adding that bodice ease all the way up to the armhole. But for now this is my dream look. I am slowly developing a handmade wardrobe, custom fit (even if tightly) and custom to my imagination. I am loving it. Why on earth did I end up in a career where I wear a uniform to work?! You can see progress shots over on Instagram.

Shoes are Swedish Hasbeens, scored at 70% off retail. Sign up for their emails and you might catch a deal.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Indigo Patchowork Kalle and Colette Beignet

Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Slow Maker, slow blogger here again. I mostly made this Kalle crop top last year but waited again to use my mom's bernina for the buttonholes in January. The top is View A of the Kalle Shirt Pattern. I squeezed this pattern out of a very small amount of indigo dyed linen and a shibori indigo piece for the yoke and facings. Both pieces of fabric were gifted to me and dyed by my mom. I am so lucky to have such a talented and generous mother. I would me in trouble if I didn't mention that my father is also talented and generous. Have I mentioned that he is helping us renovate a 1976 Serro Scotty trailer? I am thinking about adding a page on my blog to share progress on that project. But back to the subject at hand, these handmade clothes.
  Patchwork Indigo Kalle

I just love the contrast yoke. For me indigo is a neutral and I love the pop of interest that the shibori dyed yoke gives this top. By the way I added about 1" to the length of this top and it is still way cropped for me. It works perfectly with this Colette Beignet skirt. I actually made this skirt years ago, probably eight or more years ago. I wasn't too proud of it at the time because the corduroy is quite thin and gave a bit of a saggy appearance. While I think the design is better suited to a more structured fabric I am now extremely proud of this skirt. First of all I HATE making buttonholes and would you look at all the buttonholes on that skirt?! Secondly, I was pretty much a beginner seamstress when I made this and I fitted it quite well, and it is not an easy pattern. I had never known what to wear with this skirt either and wasn't used to such high waisted garments, but I have since come around. I think these two are the perfect pair. And the colors? They are my jam!

Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Patchwork Indigo Kalle
The curved hemline is one of my favorite features of this pattern.  
Patchwork Indigo Kalle
Being so cropped, I actually prefer this top as a jacket
Patchwork Indigo Kalle
I made the facing into a feature and it makes me so happy
Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Patchwork Indigo Kalle

Patchwork Indigo Kalle
Pearl had to make an appearance, duh

Pattern details: 
Kalle View A, size 6. Lengthened 1"
Colette Beignet size 4, no alterations.
Earrings by Claire Sommers Buck can be found here
If you haven't ever noticed these earrings I would be surprised because I wear them ALL THE TIME.
Boots are Frye Sabrina