October 18, 2014

By Hand London's Holly Jumpsuit

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

This is quite possibly the most hipster thing I will ever sew. I mean, it's a rayon romper in a slightly 90s-esque print and color scheme. I don't think I'm quite Coachella enough for this outfit.

The Goal: I was pretty busy when BHL asked if I wanted to test the Holly so I passed. But after they released the pattern and I saw a bunch of finished versions I was intrigued. Could I pull off a playsuit? A romper? An adult onesie? Without looking like a five year old? We'll see...

The Pattern: The Holly Jumpsuit. I made the short version with the sleeve cuffs and button front.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The Fabric: A rayon from the Common Thread. I'm pretty sure it's by a designer but honestly I don't remember who. It's got a tiny chevron print with lots of brown and earth tones in it. I think the soft drape of rayon worked well for this pattern.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The silver buttons were some leftovers from another project that I had bought in Dallas last year. I think the slight southwestern look of them really adds to the overall super-hipster factor.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The Changes: I only had four of those buttons so mine has far fewer buttons than the pattern calls for.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

Also, I kinda forgot to sew the back darts on the shorts. Oops. Which makes sense now 'cause I was like "why are these back pieces longer than the back bodice?" I ended up sewing a line of stay stitching and easing in the excess. Only after finishing the whole garment did I realize my mistake.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

Possibly because of that dart mistake I stitched the back waist seam tighter to fix what I thought was a sway back issue. I usually need to make some kind of sway back adjustment anyway but had I paid attention the back waist might have been smoother. Oh, well.

By Hand London Holly Jumsuit

The Results: I like it. I really do. But having never been a romper wearer it's an unfamiliar look for me that I have to get used to. Like, you really gotta ooze confidence to sport a more stylish version of toddler-clothes.

The first time I wore it was to a sewing meet up where I felt comfortable dressed in whatever I've made in front of my friends but afterwards some of us went to a restaurant and that's when I suddenly realized "I am wearing a romper. In public."

An yet the Earth did not implode. AND even Justin said it was "cute" (I'm going to print out that sentence and frame it). Maybe I can pull off this look?? Aww, look at me - branching out in my personal style. I should give myself a pat on the back for that, right after I figure out the easiest way to use the bathroom while wearing a onesie...

October 15, 2014

Simplicity 1419 with Smuggler's Daughter Fabric

Simplicity 1419

Amazingly, it's been kind of chilly the past couple days which made me think - how can I style a sleeveless dress for this frigid 60 degree weather we're having? So I paired it with some tights and a long sleeve shirt and a, uh, winter necklace, I guess? FASHION!

But then you might be asking: "Dixie, if you dressed up for cold weather why didn't you take these pictures outdoors?" and I would say, "Are you insane!? It's practically a new ice age outside! But no matter, it's now nap hibernation time."

Onward to the dress -

Simplicity 1419

The Pattern: Simplicity 1419 is a Lisette pattern that is pretty much your standard fit-and-flare design with skirt pleats and a darted bodice. I thought the simple style would be a good way to show off this border fabric. Plus, I've never used this pattern before so I wanted to see how well it would turn out.

Simplicity 1419

The Fabric: This lovely lavender linen from Smuggler's Daughter. It's a mid-weight which made it substantial enough for a dress. What I really loved was the wide, embroidered, cut-out border on one edge.

I did the pretty standard choice to place the border on the hem but you could add it to other places like a front or back yoke or even use it for lace-y short sleeves.

The fabric is wide so I was able to cut out the whole dress in two yards with quite a lot of fabric leftover (at one point I thought I was going to add sleeves but then decided not to, even with sleeves cut out I still had a ton of fabric remaining).

I didn't line the skirt because I like the open effect (I think it looks really good with the tights). But you could line it with a complimentary color for a little bit of pop at the hem.

Simplicity 1419
(I don't really know what I'm doing in this picture but here is a side view.)

I worried the embroidery would be difficult to sew over but it was fine. On the side seams I sewed a normal straight stitch then serged the seam allowances. If you don't have a serger, you could zig zag or bind your seam allowances with something like Seams Great.

Simplicity 1419
(Pockets, yay!)

The Changes: Only a few. I shortened the bodice by an inch. Normally Simplicity patterns hit my waist at the right spot but lately I've been gravitating towards a slightly higher waist. Not sure why. It doesn't look like much of a difference in the pics but I can tell when I wear it.

Simplicity 1419

I also took a little bit of fullness out of the skirt at the curved hem to make the straight-ness of the border less noticeable on the finished dress.

The pattern has you add a tiny button and loop at the top of the front neckline, making the slit into a keyhole. I left it off. I like the open look. Plus, I hate trying to turn tiny tubes (there's a lot of alliteration going on in this post, sorry).

Simplicity 1419

The Results: This is quite a cute dress and bonus points for taking it from summer to fall! I love love love the eyelet at the hem, especially from a distance where you can see the full pattern. It's a solid color so it goes with many other garments but the eyelet makes it stand out. A little cake with your frosting, if you will.

Big thanks to Smuggler's Daughter for this wonderful fabric! And if you want to save on your first Smuggler's Daughter order you can like them on Facebook for a coupon code worth $10 off!

October 9, 2014

Silk Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

The Goal: I am on a roll lately. Cranking out sewing projects like I'm a one woman factory. I've got probably five garments in progress at the moment.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

This is good because I've also been buying a lot of fabric recently for some reason (who am I kidding, the reason is this store).  So I need to use up that fabric while the sewjo is running high.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

The Pattern: The Weekend Getaway Blouse from Liesel + Co. It's my first time using one of their patterns and it's a print-at-home copy.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

This is the part where I feel necessary it's to make a complaint. I've never used a digital pattern quite like this before. Trying to assemble the pages had me so confused. Nothing made sense. The corner-matching numbers seemed to be random or upside down or not logically connected to any other page.

I tried looking for a print layout somewhere in the PDF instructions to use as an assembly guide. Nope. No layout. Then I realized why. This pattern isn't like the patterns I'm familiar with where all the individual pages line up to make a huge grid.

No, this pattern has partial pattern pieces that need to be cut off and connected to another partial pattern piece on the same page. There's no print layout because the pattern is not laid out.

Let me give you an example -

In the first pic on the left side you see what seems to be the center back (on the fold) of the main body piece. And in the second pic you see that I cut off the upper right corner of the page, flipped it and attached it on top.


Ya with me? Here's another where the corner of the bottom of the shirt/dress needs to be cut off of the page, rotated, and re-attached.

Not only am I totally confused but I'm also annoyed - in the second example notice how much wasted space is on both of those pages!

Now, the rubik's cubism of this pattern is the only problem I had with it. The blouse itself is great. The shirt fits well. Instructions were adequate and I liked that they avoided using a back facing and opted for bias tape facing instead.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

Also, the way they attached the bias tape with the front facing together at the shoulder seams was clever.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

The Fabric: A snake skin print(???) coral silk charmeuse print from Form and Fabric (which is closing shop soon and I don't know how I will survive).

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

I starched this stuff within an inch of its life in order to cut and sew it.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

The Changes: Only one - I raised the neckline up by an inch and a half. I think if you made this top out of a more stable fabric like a cotton voile you wouldn't have this issue, but the silk keeps slipping this way and that, and sometimes it wants to slip down pretty low.

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse
The Results: Sometimes I feel like I'm just copying my own previous blog posts. There's really only so many ways to say "I like it!" So, whatever, I like this shirt. It's a nice shirt and I'm gonna wear it a bunch. Plus, it's SILK! Also I feel like I could be appropriately dressed for an office career setting. Of course I don't work in an office but it's nice to know it's a possibility. Because reasons?

Liesel + Co Weekend Getaway Blouse

Oh, and this skirt is also "new." I made it ages ago, it began life as a Butterick straight skirt but I widdled it down to fit better in the waist and make it more of a pencil shape. It has an exposed zipper in the back which had just started to be cool. That should give you a clue as to how old it is. It's made out a stretch cotton sateen which attracts dust and cat hair the way Benedict Cumberbatch attracts fangirls. It's nothing special. Just a plain black skirt. I'll wear it. End of Post.