Tag Archives: outfit

mystery fabric contest 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

Mystery Fabric Contest dress 2017

I’ve been a little absent from the interwebs the past several weeks and here is the reason why.

My school does a mystery fabric contest every year (here’s last year’s entry).  The rules are pretty simple. You pick a random bundle of fabric that’s all wrapped up and labeled with only a color. You have to use at least 50% of each piece of fabric in the bundle, and this year there was the added “Red Carpet” theme.

I decided to make thing really really easy on myself. *snerk* Actually what happened was my brain decided to fixate on one idea and wouldn’t budge, and I ended up making approximately 200 yards of bias tape. (Nope, that’s not striped fabric.) And then it just had to be reversible.

In the interest of not including 100 photos in one post, I’ll save all the how-to’s and befores and afters and progress photos for the next post.

Adventures in drafting – overalls

Overalls

Overalls

Overalls

Overalls

Overalls

Overalls

Overalls

I was sooo sad when my pants drafting class ended. Huge sad face.

The class was taught by Lynda Maynard (who also taught the Copying RTW class I took over the summer) and it was so much fun and I feel like a master of crotch fit now. That sounds dirty. But then again, so did most of the class. We used Suzy Furrer’s book* and drafted from our own measurements, and then it was just making muslins to tweak the fit. The rest of the class consisted of taking turns putting on our muslins and standing on a table while the entire class investigated our lower halves and volunteers pinned out corrections. Super hilarious and super fun. I used my draft to make a pair of skinny jeans (more on these later) and then just because I thought it was hilarious that she included it in the book, I also drafted the overalls as my final project for the class.

*It’s weirdly super expensive on Amazon so I would check elsewhere first. I snagged my copy from my school bookstore for like $60. (EDIT — A reader helpfully suggested this link, where you can get it for $65 plus shipping. Thanks Anastacia!)

These overalls are SOCOMFY. I started off following Suzy Furrer’s drafting instructions but like most drafting books I’ve worked with, there are no construction details so I got really confused about the button facings and why there needed to be front and back ones of the same shape. I ended up kind of deviating completely from the book and basically just drafted a copy of these Madewell overalls.  I tried something new with the pockets and basically added a muslin lining and then attached them as patch pockets. I also used two strands of gray thread instead of topstitching thread (someone in my class did that and it looked really cool).

I actually really love them in a lighter wash so I’m thinking I might need to make them someday when these wear out because I’m not sure I needed a pair of overalls, much less two pairs. The fit is mostly spot on, I think they’re just a bit baggier than the leggings/tights/skinny jeans I’m used to wearing. I do think the bib is a bit long and I had wanted to add a front pocket but didn’t get around to it before class started. Whoops.

**If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to learn the ins and outs of fitting your crotchal region, Lynda teaches this class every fall at Cañada. (She also used to teach a pants construction class here that I’ve been unsuccessfully campaigning for them to bring back.)

 

Adventures in drafting // christmas dress 2016

velvet xmas dress

velvet xmas dress

velvet xmas dress

velvet xmas dress

OHAI. It’s been a while.

I realized the other day that while I’ve alluded to certain things, I haven’t actually talked about anything life-related in a while. So here’s a life update in a  nutshell:

Last year I decided that my old career was not exactly panning out to be what I wanted (a lot of this had to do with licensing regulations in California, but that’s boring and not sewing-related).  At the same time, I had signed up for a flat pattern class at the local CC just to have something to do while I looked for a new job after moving from Boston back to California. Pretty much by week 3 of the class I decided I was going to need to switch careers.  The next semester I signed up for a full class load. Now I’m finishing up my last semester (well, technically I’ll have one last class next semester) while interning as a pattern maker for a local designer.

So, lots of changes going on in the last year! Spoiler alert: I love it.

Anyway, full time school + internship + part time job means not so much time for blogging, which I really miss. I have a whole pile of clothes I’ve sewn in the last six months that need to be photographed. I keep being hesitant to do it because it’s too cold outside. And then I remember I used to do this in Boston, in the snow, in 30 degree weather. I’m shivering just thinking about it. -_-

ANYWAY, now that we’re all caught up, meet this year’s Christmas dress.

The backstory is that my friend kept buying these gorgeous velvet dresses from Anthropologie, and then we planned a weekend holiday trip and decided one evening we would wear velvet dresses. So I got on Pinterest and looked for velvet dresses and found this lovely one by Holly Willoughby.

Making the pattern was pretty straightforward. Move bust darts to waist and turn them into gathers, neckline yoke thing, V-front cutout that meets in the middle, puffed sleeve with gathers that don’t go all the way to the armhole. Since I was using velvet and didn’t want to bother with a separate lining, I made facings for the front and yoke to make it easier.

I used a cheapy stretch velvet from Fabrics ‘r Us because this was kind of an experiment. We’ll call it a Christmas muslin. It actually wasn’t that hard to sew together. I basted the tricky bits but other than that the pile of the velvet sort of acted like velcro and it mostly stayed put. I used stitch witchery for the hem and sleeve edge to avoid having a row of stitching. It stays put and I just think it looks nicer.

The beading was super fun and so quick now that I have a beading needle. I didn’t even bother buying new beads. I’ve done so many beading projects in the last few years that I have an assortment of extra beads and the original dress didn’t seem to have any distinct beading pattern so I just used what I had.

Anyway, I do kind of wish the insides were a little prettier (I was kind of rushed because this was one of two finals week procrastination projects) but I’m in love. It’s one of the comfiest fancy dresses I own and I’ve already worn it twice. The velvet makes it look dressy but the stretchy means more room for feasting.

Maybe I need one in green too..

 

 

Accidental Sashiko

Sashiko dress

Sashiko dress

Sashiko dress

Sashiko dress

Sashiko dress

There’s a funny story behind this dress. Several months ago I got one of those “Here are all the things your stash needs!” emails from Fabric.com and one of the fabrics pictured caught my eye. I forget the designer (I want to say Robert Kaufman but I might be lying) but it was this beautiful chambray with lines of thread running through it. I immediately thought of fun, simple, rustic-looking summer dresses. Except they were sold out of it in like five minutes because holy crap it was beautiful. The idea of those summer dresses stuck in my head though, so after I took Copying RTW and made the flower-picking dress pattern, I decided maybe I should make my own stitched fabric. By hand.

Meanwhile, I had also come across Japanese-style mending on Pinterest, which if you aren’t familiar with, you should check out immediately because it makes me want to “mend” all of my clothes, regardless of state of wear and tear.

Anyway, those two ideas squashed together and I grabbed some cotton crochet thread and the needle with the fattest eye I could find and started stitching away at the two yards of gorgeous cotton chambray I picked up at Stone Mountain and Daughter.

It took.. forever. At least two seasons of Arrow. (salmon ladder ftw)

When I was about 86% done, I showed it to a friend, who said “Oh! Are you doing sashiko?” My response was “No, I’m just stitching.” When I was about 92% done, I showed a photo of it to another friend, who said “I can’t believe you’re sashiko-ing your own fabric!” It was around then that I figured I should probably look up what sashiko was. Whoops. And then around 95% completion, a third friend recommended a sashiko needle, which I didn’t even know existed. And lastly, when I showed up in my pants drafting class (taught by Lynda Maynard, who had also taught the Copying RTW class), Lynda started telling me all about her sashiko machine.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that this took forever and I need to look into different needle types because I also didn’t know that beading needles exists. But that’s a whole other embarrassing story.

 

Toasty


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DSC_0483jacket: pattern here 

Was everyone keeping Waffle Patterns a secret from me??

I discovered them a while ago actually, and I remember my impression being that all of her samples looked impeccably, perfectly put together and that I loved the shapes of her garments but wasn’t sure I could pull them off. For some reason I was also worried her patterns might be a bit more hands off and geared toward more advanced sewers who don’t need much in the way of instruction.

Now, I would definitely say that Tosti is an advanced pattern, but she does hold your hand every step of the way. She has graphics illustrating literally every step and everything is marked clearly. Some of the trickier steps are even explained in further depth with photo tutorials on her blog!

The other thing I loved was that the way the pattern is drafted meant that I didn’t have to do much to the pattern before I started sewing. First off, the seam allowances are 1/2″, which I’ve gotten used to using when I draft. The sleeves were the perfect length on me (I have monkey arms and my wrists gets cold so I like my sleeves a little past the wrist bone), and the jacket itself is the perfect length on me! The shoulder seam is shifted to the front a bit so it sits on your actual shoulder. The only thing I had to change was to rotate the sleeve in the armhole a little because my shoulders point forward, which changes where I need extra fabric in the cap. I didn’t actually change the draft or anything, I just rotated everything about 3/4″ forwards and ignored the fact that notches/seams no longer match up. No one’s looking at my armpits anyway (hopefully). AND she’s included layers in the PDF so you can select which size(s) you want to print and only print those! I sewed a straight 38 so I just unclicked all the other sizes and only the lines (stitching lines and cutting lines) for the 38 showed up. She also gives you simple instructions for how to do this if you (like me) had no idea this was even a thing. (Why doesn’t everyone do this??)

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I started with a straight muslin where no changes were made. I did sew the first sleeve as indicated and noticed some poufing in the back so I sewed the second one rotated to compare. I was really thrilled with the way everything fit as drafted!

For my jacket, I knew pretty much immediately that I wanted one in a dusty navy color, with a plaid flannel lining and fur-trimmed collar. I got 100% navy cotton twill at Joann’s and I used a plaid flannel from my stash for the lining of the main coat. I was SO CAREFUL with my plaid matching except I completely forgot about it when cutting out my upper/lower pieces on the left side. Somehow I managed to get half the lines matched but it still bugs me.

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I lined the sleeves with a tan lining fabric from my stash (destashing ftw!) and while they feel great and my arms slide in super easily, I kind of wish I’d used a darker shade so there wasn’t such a stark contrast. Oh well. I also added plaid elbow patches to the sleeves because why not.

Concerning pockets: I think everyone knows I love pockets. Obviously you look at any of her samples and immediately notice “Wow, lots of pockets!” When I realized she’d included instructions for SIX different customizable pocket options I nearly died of happiness and wanted to try one of each. I decided to go with Pockets A (flap pocket on chest), B (zip pocket on opposite side of chest), C (bellows pockets with flaps), E (arm zip pocket), and F (double welt pocket on inside). And believe me, I only left out Pocket D because it would’ve been weird if the large front ones didn’t match.

Also, this isn’t included in the pattern PDF but she did post this tutorial on how to add a fur trim to the hood. I saw her jacket and immediately drooled all over the navy twill I bought. It was a bit of an adventure finding the right faux fur. At first I went to Britex but the only one they had that was remotely the right color family was slightly too greenish and was $75/yard fur with a cutting minimum of 1/2 yard. Fabric.com had the same cutting minimum and I really only wanted like 6″. Etsy was also a fail, since people were mostly selling giant pieces for baby photo shoot backdrops (weirdly specific). Eventually Joanns of all places came through and I picked up this gorgeous foxy faux fur that is super soft and goes so well with the blue. Fun tip: look for a faux fur that has modacrylic in it (mine is 10%). It mimics animal hair growth patterns, is super soft and realistic looking, and self-extingushing. (Thanks Textiles class!)

The snap buttons are from Joanns and were super easy to install. You do need to buy the little attacher thing but it was like $3, and then all you need is a hammer. The zippers were from an Etsy store and I had SUCH a hard time finding a long separating zipper that matched the tiny pocket zippers that I ended up just ordering tiny separating zippers for the pockets. It wasn’t ideal but you can’t tell. Next time I think I’ll just have to be ok with slightly mismatched pocket zippers.

When I bought the pattern I kind of assumed I wouldn’t need two utility jackets like this and would only make another if this one needed to be replaced, but with how well it fits and how often I’ve been wearing this one, I think I’ve changed my mind. I’m thinking of doing an unlined version in the traditional army green. And maybe a quilted ventless vest version in some kind of wool with the shorter collar and fur-less hood.