Distract with a bow

Blue belladonna

Blue belladonna

Blue belladonna

Blue belladonna

Blue belladonnadress: self-made // shoes: Swedish Hasbeens // bow: F21

The second I saw this fabric I knew it was going to be a Belladone. Even if there wasn’t enough I planned on making a peplum top version. Luckily with some strategic fabric cutting, there was! I snagged this from Tall Sarah’s pre-move stash clearing so I have no idea what it is but it feels cottony and has some texture to it.

There’s a secret to the bow. What happened was that Tall Sarah gave me this fabric on Wednesday, and I decided that I just HAD to make the dress in time to wear to her going away dinner on Saturday. Except that I made this decision at about 9am Saturday, which was quite inconvenient and left me about four hours to do it. Somehow I made it happen but it meant that I didn’t have time to run out and find the right kind of zipper (also laziness) so I had to make do with a regular zip, which looked terrible. My solution was to add a bow, which distracts you from the horribleness of the zipper. I’m also redoing the hem. It needs to be trimmed down and I think I’m going to try out my blindhem foot on this one!

In other news, I just watched the entirety of the Great British Sewing Bee and I CANNOT stop noticing how the pattern is crooked down the front. Although considering it didn’t even occur to me to make it straight I’m surprised I even ended up with an oval in the middle! Yikes.

Lately

1. The Crafty Foxes said a sad goodbye to two Sarahs and an Emily who all moved away resulting in #horribletimes.

2. I made a pair of Prefontaine shorts! I have a cute idea for a matching top so fingers crossed that this works out.

3. Fiiinally finished that stupid dotted Archer and now it’s my favorite damn shirt. Also finished up another pair of Jamie Jeans. I think I’ve figured out the perfect combination of fabric and pattern alterations for the perfect pair of jeans!

4. I randomly decided to pick up knitting again and finished my second Effortless cardigan. Ruv.

5. I’m visiting California briefly and have spent most of the past few days taking luxuriously long naps with this babby. She is very appropriately named Kaylee and has an elusive and bratty does-what-he-wants brother also appropriately named Malcolm.

6. Oh and I also sort of bought a sewing machine. I’ll post a review soon — we’re still getting to know each other but I’m already smitten!

And lastly, Michal Golan is having an end of summer sale! Plus they’re offering an extra $10 off if you use the code “ping014″ so if there are any handmade sparklies you’ve been eyeing make sure you go snag ‘em before the end of the month!

ping014 (1)

The cat’s pajamas

Cat pajamas

Cat pajamas

Cat pajamas

Cat pajamaspajamas: self-made, pattern here, fabric here

First off, I’m obsessed with this fabric. In fact, all of these are pretty much adorable and amazing and I need them. I have half a yard of the grey/white cat heads but I think I need a summer pajama set in the cream colorway of this fabric. All the meowzers!

Anyway, the moral of the story (of these pajamas) is that I watch too much New Girl. In my defense, Jess spends a lot of time in pajamas and they are always adorable. So I decided I needed my own set of cutesy old man pajamas, complete with piping and short sleeves. I used view B of McCall’s 6249 but with the short sleeves. And I made a contrast bow for the pants but decided it would be huge and uncomfortable so I left it off. I pretty much went according to the pattern except that for the pants and the sleeves I slashed it partway in to attach the contrast piping.

In other news, I learned how to make piping! Turns out it’s not that hard if you can identify which foot is the zipper foot.

My only beef with this pattern is that the front facing seems to be attached weirdly. I’d thought it would extend into the shoulder seam but it’s a bit short and the instructions seem to want you to just fold the edge parallel to the shoulder seam (but about 1″ too short) over and finish itself. The problem then is that it keeps flapping toward the front and the right side is visible in nearly all the photos. I also interfaced it as instructed but that was a bad idea. The fabric is a little on the thick side for this pattern so the neck area ended up being a bit too rigid. I might take it apart and redo the facing and remove the interfacing. Maybe.

In other news, KITTEHS! My favorite part are the happy mice. See if you can spot them.

 

Moar maxi

Floral stripe maxi

Floral stripe maxi

Floral stripe maxi

Floral stripe maxi
dress: self-made, self-drafted, fabric here

I lost the stupid screw-on plate thing that attaches to my camera that then slides onto my tripod. It’s meant getting a little creative with outfit photos, which is why I’ve been sitting in all of the maxi dress photos. Boyfriend was making fun of my contortioning in the last photo and I realized I rarely smile in blog photos so I threw that one in.

I’ve spent the past week falling further and further down the rabbit hole of researching sewing machines. Last week I was dead set on getting a Bernina. Then yesterday I was positive that one of the Pfaff Ambitions was what I needed. Today I still want a Pfaff but I’ve decided I also need a vintage Bernina. Probably a 730/830 Record.

I’m currently sewing on a borrowed really basic Brother that only sometimes likes to play nice, and my machine back home is a pretty basic Janome. After over a decade of sewing I think I want something a little fancier. Especially since playing around on the machines at Grey’s made me realize that no, you’re not supposed to have to fight that hard to make a straight line.

Sidenote: IDT sounds amazing. Not having to shell out an extra $100 for a walking foot also sounds amazing.

So yeah, any sewing machine advice would be greatly appreciated.

Horses prance through a silver storm

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dress

Horses maxi dressdress: self-made, fabric here // belt: thrifted 

To be totally honest, I kind of hated maxi-dresses until kind of recently. I usually prefer short floofy skirts. I think it was having to bypass more than half my wardrobe when getting ready for work that made me reconsider going maxi. Now I’m kind of addicted.

A few months ago I bought an olive green maxi-dress with two super high slits up the leg in the front. It was super hot in a slightly Khaleesi kind of way, but also semi-skanky. I thought about returning it until I decided that would be dumb because I can sew things and it was a really gorgeous dress. I’m really glad I decided to listen to myself on that one because once I sewed up the slits 3″ on either side it’s become one of my favorite dresses. So much so that I ended up tracing it and making a pattern from it, from which I’m basically creating a small maxi army.

The first one was that black maxi skirt from a few weeks ago, and this is the second one. I’m normally horrible at waiting for things so the word “preorder” makes me run the other way, but I saw this horse knit at girlcharlee.com and was so smitten I didn’t even mind waiting the extra two weeks for my entire order to get to me, just to have these horsies.

Now, I’d heard some mixed reviews about Girl Charlee and I’m still a little on the fence about them, but it’s the kind of fence where I just spent $60 there and already have another cart full of fabric I’m coveting. Most of what I’ve bought from them has been awesome but about half of it has ended up being lighter weight than I had expected based on the product descriptions and some fabrics (like the horsies) have been pillier than I’d hoped. On the plus side I was worried this one would be see-through but it’s totally not! Anyway, I’ll keep buying from them since they stock such cute prints but probably not for things like leggings because my tush does not need to see the world.

Sidenote: I did not realize I had a tan line.

The dress pattern is pretty simple. I think this one took me an hour to put together. It’s just a front and back bodice with two identical skirt pieces. I cut a strip of fabric the length of the waist (all the way around, front and back) and stitched in the ditch to attach it to the bodice/skirt seam, then sewed the other side down about 1.5″ above, making a nice cozy tube for some elastic to live inside. My pattern drafting skills are still nonexistent but I can do a tutorial if anyone’s interested.

In other news, I recently re-watched the entire X-Men series (holy inconsistencies though) and just started reading some of the comics. Sooo if I start sewing exclusively in spandex, please stage an intervention.