Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Last of Summer Sewing: Victory Patterns Simone Tank

Truly it is still hot here in North Texas. We got a cool front last week and it was gray, rainy and chilly. We were all ready for Fall. Then it got hot again. Right now I'm procrastinating going out for a run in the heat and humidity. I'm just not a morning person and can't get out there early like smart people do. I'm so ready for it to cool down again.

Well, it took me so long to get back to writing this post that it is now officially Fall and for once the weather here in Texas is doing what it is supposed to do.  It is simply beautiful and perfect out there.  All this is to say that yes, this Simone tank from Victory patterns was the last of my Summer sewing for this year.  I have a few other Summer pieces that were never photographed, but have moved on to transitional sewing, just having finished a lightweight Kimono and am working on a pair of linen pants.


This top started with the indigo shibori linen that my mom dyed and gifted to me when I said that I loved it. She is so generous, just like my Granny was. When we visited in July and mom and I dyed like mad women I did the solid indigo, overdying a large yardage of yellowish linen that was a major thrift store score. I still have several yards of that lovely blue to make something fabulous with.

Here is a detail of my top.  I sewed down the pleats to somewhat minimize the fullness.  I love the details in this pattern, it is excellently drafted in my opinion. The only adjustment that I made was taking it up at the shoulders, but that is a typical alteration for me. Isn't the fabric gorgeous?! I just love the bits of pink that remained from whatever color this linen started out.
 As you can see the top still has plenty of fullness and swing with the pleats put under submission.
simoneside simone3

I love the back of this top. The way it is fitted through the upper back and flares out at the bottom is super flattering.


I definitely intend to make the dress version of this pattern at some point in the future. I love all the opportunities for utilizing different fabrics. In this version I left off the piping around the front placket. I have heard some complaints that the instructions were not well written for this pattern. Honestly I didn't have a problem with them, and even really liked the way that the instructions have you attach the front placket to the main body of the top. However, I would consider myself an intermediate sewist and mostly put this together intuitively, not relying heavily on the instructions or illustrations. I love this pattern enough that I will definitely purchase and make more designs from Victory Patterns. I think they are wearable, modern, different and fun. Call me smitten.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In love with Nettie

I have been a big fan of Closet Case Files since I discovered her blog last year. Heather's style is rocking and she is such an inspiration. I finally got around to making up her Nettie pattern and I'm in love! Nettie is designed to be a bodysuit or dress, but I made her into a top. I'm liking this fitted top and higher waisted skirt look on myself more than I ever have. I see many more Nettie's in my future. Oh the possibilities....


My mom gifted me this lovely organic cotton knit that she bought at Austin Fabric Co-op when we were there earlier this Summer. She decided there wasn't enough for what she wanted to make, it was only one yard. I squeezed this Nettie Tee out of that yard. It is such stretchy and luscious fabric that I knew I wanted to make something fitted out of it. Nettie was the perfect match.


I did the scoop neck and mid scoop back.  I used Heather's tutorial for adding to the insidescoop at the shoulder to prevent bra straps from showing with a scooped front and back. I neglected to take the top up at the shoulders which is a typical adjustment for me. Not taking it up meant the it is a little big at the shoulders and wanted to fall off of mine. I HAD to make it work so I added a tie to the back, to keep her from exposing my bra straps constantly. I think it works, and I'm so happy with this top.

Nettie Back Nettie Detail

I love this basic pattern, it is very well drafted and offers tons of options and plenty of possibilities for customizing and pattern hacking. I'm so glad I fell in love with Nettie! By the way, I made the skirt several years ago but I don't think I had ever worn it. The fit was too tight when I made it, but is great now and pairs perfectly with this top.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My little Hawkgirl

Our niece Karlie turned 5 and started kindergarten last month. We were lucky enough to be able to get down to Austin on her birthday. Here she is in the Hawkgirl costume that I made her, per her request.

Her favorite part of the costume was the mace. I also made her this little tunic that I drafted with pieced sleeves made from quilting cottons and knit.

Karlie is growing up so fast, and I imagine she will be changing in warp speed now that she is in elementary school. Here she is on her 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays. I feel so blessed to have this silly, smart and sweet little girl in my life!

Hawkgirl costume details: The costume is made from Poly-Lycra that I purchased at Joann. The Bustier (swimsuit) portion is McCall's 6729. I split it in half and seamed it at the waist. I used gold sparkle foldover elastic for the straps, and black foldover elastic for the waist.

The leggings are Simplicity 1332, and just happened to be one of the most recent patterns I picked up at a Joann sale.

I drew and cut the mask from foam sheets that I found at Joann, Frank's idea, and glued the layers together with a hot glue gun on low temp. The wrist bands are made from the same foam and laced with thin leather lacing. The mace is made from a styrofoam ball, a dowel for the handle and polymer clay for the spikes.  I made the spikes and stuck a nail in each one before baking.  Once baked I put hot glue on the bottom of each and stuck the nail into the styrofoam.

Not shown are the boot covers that I made from red vinyl.  They had pins in them because I needed to measure for size and she was scared that the pins would poke her.  They were made from McCalls 7001, intended for a wonder woman costume but I put hawk legs on them.

The wings were purchased at our local costume shop.  Karlie woke me up early the morning after her birthday telling me, "Aya, I have to show you something".  She was watching the cartoon that Hawkgirl is in and said "look, her wings don't have straps!".  Apparently Hawkgirl's wings are not attached to her body with elastic around the arms, didn't you know?!  I thought that was funny and cute.  But then again I think Karlie is funny and cute.  I hope she doesn't outgrow homemade gifts anytime soon, or like, ever!

I'm really pleased with how this costume came together, especially considering I didn't think I was going to make it in time for her birthday at all.  I ended up starting at the last minute and finished just in time.  Typical Ashley.