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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ice Dyed Flutter Blouse

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

This Silk Dupioni Papercut Flutter Blouse was actually my first version of this pattern (second version here). I made it in the Fall of 2016 to wear to a wedding along with this self drafted silk wrap skirt. Because of some major issues with attempting to hem the skirt by myself I didn't actually wear this outfit to that wedding. These were the first pieces that I sewed after spending most of 2016 on a sewing hiatus while we remodeled our house. This piece of silk is very special to me because I ice dyed it with my mom on a Summer vacation almost four years ago. I just love the random print that the ice dyeing created. It reminds me of a lace agate or layered sedimentary rock in technicolor.

Papercut Flutter Blouse
I used the less shiny side of the stretch charmeuse on the exterior of this skirt. 

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

I made the XS but altered the pattern by removing some of the gaping at the back neckline and hemline.  I also added 5/8" seam allowances and French seamed the interior. I used a contrasting fuchsia silk dupioni for the bias binding and let it peek out just so on the sleeves and neckline and I love the effect. I shortened this version quite a bit to make it work better with a high waisted skirt. I have the option to tie the points together in the back and create a slight blousing at the waistline. 

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

The fit of this pattern in this more structured fabric is so different from my other version in Rayon Challis. I actually think the quite curved, dropped shoulder works best in a more drapy fabric. That doesn't stop me from being thrilled with the outcome of this version.

Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

My skirt is a gorgeous stretch silk charmeuse that I paid more for than any other single cut of fabric that I've ever bought. I then proceeded to make a midi length self drafter wrap circle skirt. Not having mom live nearby anymore and not owning a dress form I attempted to hem it and all went haywire. It was terribly crooked and I couldn't live with it. I kept chopping it shorter and never could get it straight so I gave up until my mom was visiting and could trim it while I wore it. I probably threw away half of the fabric, which is a shame, but I do love this length after all, so I'm not mad about it.

IMG_1851Papercut Flutter Blouse and Self Drafter Wrap Circle Skirt

Flutter blouse insides
Interior cunstruction

Monday, February 19, 2018

2017 Makes

2017 Makes
I was inspired by Arrowmountain's post on Instagram to take an inventory of what I made in 2017. Being a procrastinator through and through, it is no surprise that it took me almost two months into 2018 to write this post. Partly, I was waiting to get my last two makes of 2017 photographed, and blogged and that is now done. So here you go.

Here are my maker's stats for 2017

  • 22 finished items
  • 19 made it to the blog
  • 11 Tops
  • 3 Dresses
  • 3 Skirts
  • 2 Knit hats
  • 2 Swimsuits
  • 1 Pair of pants
Patterns Stats
  • 3 Self Drafted
  • 3 Megan Neilsen
  • 2 Blueprints for Sewing 
  • 2 Papercut   
  • 2 Vintage
  • 1 Simplicity
  • 1 In the Folds      
  • 1 Colette         
  • 1 Built By Wendy 
  • 1 Deer and Doe 
  • 1 Tilly and the Buttons  
  • 1 Charlotte Kan  
  • 1 Closet Case Patterns 
After rounding up all my makes for last year I realized that I was much more productive than I had imagined. I call myself a slow maker and a procrastinator. I am those things, but apparently I am pretty productive when I am enjoying what I do.

I participated in #sewphotohop on Instagram last September and it really helped me hone in on what I needed to make, and have a solid plan. I did not make the two skirts, but everything else on this plan was completed. I focused on tops, and added some much needed pieces to the upper half of my wardrobe. I never made a solid Winter sewing plan, and here in Texas Winter is already waning. I do need to do this exercise again to focus my attention on what I really need in my wardrobe. 

Fall Sewing Plans

I loved putting the fabric swatches together and seeing where my color choices overlap and work together.

Fall Sewing plans

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gretchen's Saltbox Tee

Here is Gretchen in her Saltbox Tee. Doesn't she look gorgeous?! I think it suits her so well. 

Saltbox Tee Saltbox Tee Saltbox Tee

During the process of receiving the handprinted fabrics from Gretchen and making our Saltbox Tee's I was posting on Instagram. In hindsight I wish I had taken better quality photos to share here.
Here are the two other prints that I didn't use. It was so hard to pick. Gretchen has since printed more designs on fabric and you can see what she's up to on her Instagram.


And one of my all time favorite photos of us. This one was taken by my mom in Santa Fe in the Summer of 1997. We were visiting Gretchen while she worked at a Summer Camp.
    Gretchen and I 1997 Santa Fe


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saltbox Tee, Twenty Seven Years in the Making

There is so much more to this blog post than this pattern, this fabric or this make. I have a story to tell about my oldest friend and the 27 years of friendship that lie behind this handmade tee.
  Handprinted Saltbox Tee

In the seventh grade I started a new school. Picture me, super shy, super awkward and the new kid in a tiny, country middle school. The Forty some odd kids in my class had mostly been in school together since kindergarten. It was hard. I met Gretchen Schermerhorn that year. It was 1986 to be exact. She was popular, but different than most kids in that she was interested in art. She was always nice to me, but it wasn't until the summer after 9th grade (1990) that I got up the courage to call her and invite her over to my house. I asked her if she wanted to come over and make purses, and she did. My mom had a craft and sewing room above our garage and we took full advantage of the space and her materials. We painted with acrylics and 3-D fabric paint and glued together envelope purses with ribbon for straps. I will leave those to your imagination, though I do have one or two still. Those purses were our first handmade bond, a tradition that carries on to this day.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

Gretchen and I remained close friends and graduated both high school and college together. We took watercolor, metals and ceramics classes together and were roommates in college. I majored in metals and she went into printmaking, ultimately pursuing an MFA in the field. Gretchen is a working artist and teacher, in printmaking, paper making and bookmaking. She works at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

Clearly I have brushed over the intervening years since college, but the point is, that our handmade bond continues. G gives the best gifts, always something unique and often handmade (by her or other artists). We have continued to make things for each other and together. When I saw her post a video on Instagram of herself printing on fabric I was, of course, intrigued. My interest was met with an offer, if I would make her a top with her fabric I could have some for myself as well. Yes, of course I said yes. This has to be the most special fabric that I have ever sewn with or worn. It was designed and printed by my life long friend and she trusted me to sew with it. I felt honored.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

Gretchen picked the Saltbox tee by BluePrints for Sewing. I made the size C/D for myself. I love the details and structure of this top. The forward shoulder seam gives the appearance of a yoke, and the simple side vents lend a really nice fit. I was skeptical about the instructions for attaching the sleeves, but they really did ease in nicely. The contrast fabric is thrifted linen that I indigo dyed. It started a light mustard yellow, so it has a bit of green in with the indigo blue. This top is an excellent pattern for highlighting special prints, or even pattern mixing could be fun. This was my first time using a pattern from Blueprints for Sewing but it won't be my last.

Taylor the pattern designer says:

Blueprints for Sewing patterns are simple, flattering, comfortable, and classic with an artistic edge. They emphasize functionality and simplicity and feature thoughtful embellishments and adaptable cuts. Each pattern takes its inspiration from an architectural style.

I find all that to be true and it fits well with my personal aesthetic. I loved all the nods to architectural blueprints in the pattern layout. 

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

The handprinted fabric is quite stiff, but may soften up some with washing and wear. It is printed on Kona cotton. I had a really hard time picking from the 4 prints that G sent me, but the cactus won out in the end. I just adore this fabric so, so much.

Handprinted Saltbox Tee

I am waiting for Gretchen to send me a photo of her in her Saltbox Tee. We took a photo together at Christmas but it is dark and blurry. I will post her photo and some of my pics of the fabrics soon. You can see a bit more here. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my personal history with you.

Monday, January 29, 2018

My Loominous Colette Aster

Colette Aster

This is one of my last two unblogged projects from 2017. I actually finished this Colette Aster back in October but procrastinated sewing the buttonholes until I was able to use my mom's fancy Bernina in early November. And then I procrastinated taking photos, and then I procrastinated blogging. Oh well, I am here now. "Slow maker" is my new moniker and I am living up to it well!

Colette Aster

I have become a person who loves the color pink. Mostly brick, adobe, brownish shades of pink but I do love this pop of color from this gorgeous Loominous fabric from Anna Maria Horner. I have been a long time fan girl of Anna and her fabrics and this line is even more wearable for me than most of her designs.

Colette Aster

I did not create a muslin for this top, my bad. I put the pattern together as drafted, and it was baggy, gapey and all kinds of ugly from the back. I should have known better, as I always need a sway back adjustment. Luckily, the editing that I had to do to fix my issues made the back pattern piece smaller than the original, allowing me to recut the back from the already cut pattern piece. I think I achieved a really great fit and after my initial befuddlement that made me very happy.

Colette Aster

I do find the sleeves to be a bit tight, and while I like the look of the slim fit I think my biceps need a tiny bit more room next time. There is plenty of room across the back, shoulders and chest, so it isn't that I chose the wrong size. This is version 1 in size 2 by the way.

Colette Aster

I figured out too late that I used the wrong side of this fabric. It is a very loose weave and I am not sure how it will hold up over time. I will have to be careful with this blouse.

aster alterations
1. Original Pattern piece             2. Second draft with pleat eliminated and swayback removed      3. Final result with ease added in at hips. 

Here is the evolution of my pattern alterations. It took some thinking and research to figure this out because I had only ever done swayback adjustments on garments with a waist seam. The original pattern piece is on the left. I eliminated the pleat because there was way too much volume for my taste. Then I cut a wedge out at the waist line for the sway back adjustment. Finally I had to add ease back into the hip by pivoting at the center back. You can see that my final back pattern piece ended up with a curve at the top where it meets the yoke. I'm not sure if this is the "correct" way to do a swayback adjustment on a blouse but it worked for me and I am pleased with the result.

Colette Aster

As simple as this pattern is, I had always been drawn to its style lines. I do plan to make the other two versions at some point now that I have the fit down. I would recommend this pattern for someone as an introduction to sewing a button down blouse. I think it has just the right balance of simplicity, modernity and classic lines for my taste.