Friday, May 30, 2014

Daisy Chain Sureau

This is my second version of Deer & Doe’s Sureau dress and I’m completely smitten.  In fact I’ve got version three planned out already!  The only dilemma is if I’ll let it jump ahead on my sewing list…
Since its spring I thought short sleeves and a fuller skirt would be more seasonally appropriate. To increase the skirt fullness all I did lay the skirt pattern piece on my massive roll of butcher paper, trace off the side edge and use the width of the paper.
My biggest adjustments were to the bodice.  I finally wised up and raised the armsyce ¼ inch.  On both my Bleuets they’ve felt a bit low and despite not noticing it as much on Sureau #1 I think that was more a matter of flannel having some give.  I went with ¼ inch to avoid over correcting and after wearing it feels pretty good.  I also adjusted the sleeves the same amount in addition to shortening them.  Oh, and I took a ½ inch out of the bodice center back.  Sometimes tiny adjustments like these make all the difference.

Originally I intended to line the dress due to the sheerness of the cotton lawn and actually cut the pieces out before deciding not to.  I used a white cotton but the more I handled it the more I became it was too thick compared to the lightness of the lawn.  It was in the evening and all the fabric stores where closed and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find the correct weight so I decided to skip it.  I really, really didn’t want to wait until the next morning and after standing in front of the mirror holding up the fabric I felt it was just opaque enough.
 Funnily enough Oona posted about her unlined voile pants around the same time I was making this dress.  So there must be something in the water that’s causing sewers to throw caution to the wind from coast to coast.  #nolinings

I did add a few extra steps which I felt added up to a better dress.  I stay stitched the neckline and fused very, lightweight interfacing to the facing. The neckline on my flannel version didn’t sit completely flat until I went back and sandwiched some fusible tape between the dress and facing.  I also under stitched the neckline out of habit.  I felt the placket needed the extra stabilization so I interfaced it in addition to topstitching it.  The only downside to this is that the fabric is sheer enough that you can tell what was interfaced while the dress is on my dress form.  But I think it’s less noticeable when I’m wearing the dress.
Like usual I set my sleeves in flat and tried it on before sewing up the side seams to determine what I wanted my final sleeve length to be.  With a few quick slices of my rotary cutter (after carefully lining up my clear plastic ruler) and I was good.  Oh yeah, I also added two thin strips of interfacing along the side where the zipper would be inserted.  This helped the invisible zipper go in almost perfectly.  I wasn’t convinced it was worth going back and trying to fix something off less than 1/16”.
 Since the placket and neckline were topstitched I simply machine hemmed the skirt.  This was quick and easy and let me finish up quicker so I could get down to the business of wearing it the next morning!  I actually found the perfect lime green flower buttons but ended up not including them.  The dress already had a lot going on and I didn’t want the buttons to be overkill.

I started off this post saying how much I love this dress and I really do.  Like it’s the type of garment I want to mentally think of who I’m going to see in a day so I can keep wearing it without it being too obvious.  Sadly this scheme is ruined by Me Made May and daily outfit photos.  But once June rolls along all bets are off!  Actually, by the end of writing this post I’ve decided that as soon as I find appropriate lining (#3 will be lined) I will let it skip ahead to the top of my “to sew” list.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Me Made May Week 4

Wow!  I can't believe the month is almost over and we’re heading into the home stretch!  I have yet to feel the stress of figuring out what to wear that’s new and somewhat exciting.  In fact I’ve still got a few new makes I’m hoping to bust out for the first time this month.  Here’s what I’ve been wearing this week.

Day 19
My two favorite things about this dress are all the topstitching and being able to rip it off thanks to the pearl snaps.  This is also the make that introduced me to the awesomeness that is Deer & Doe.  A denim dress is a great basic and because it’s lightweight denim it can be worn year round.

Day 20
Simplicity 2863 (Built by Wendy)
Looking back this is the exact same outfit I wore last year on MMM13 Day 19!  And being completely honest I’m not sure how many (or how few) times I wore this dress in between but it was most likely exactly like this.  I firmly believe that when you can wear polka dot shoes, then you find an outfit that goes with polka dot shoes.

Day 21
Sewaholic Pendrell
Looks like Friday’s polka dot parade has started early between yesterday’s shoes and today’s Pendrell.  If only this top wasn’t polyester but at the time I made it my area seemed to be going through a natural fibers polka dot drought.  Luckily that has since ended.  Every time I wear this I wonder why I don’t war it more and then remember about the poly.  I really should get around to making another in a fabric I actually like wearing.

Day 22
Jamie Christina Mission Maxi Tank
I made this tank to test out the fit of Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi pattern.  Feeling lazy, I didn’t hem it although I did serge the bottom edge.  Sometimes taking out that twin needle seems like so much effort.  It’s wicking fabric so I can see wearing this on runs.  Everything seemed good so during the evening I whipped up a dress version.  And yes, I did properly hem the dress.

Day 23
Megan Nielsen Tania culottes
It’s polka dot parade day!  Naturally my Tania culottes were the obvious choice although I went back and forth on what to wear with them.  The weather was iffy on temperature so I tried them with tights and discovered that I’ll be able to rock these babies into the fall!  But I decided to be optimistic and went with lilac & hot pink cowboy boots.  Like you do.  And I figured this slightly cropped t-shirt would be the perfect length for the Tanias.

Day 24
Sewaholic Renfrew
The easy way to make jeans and a t-shirt into a proper “outfit” is to add matching shoes.  This was the perfect outfit to wear while running a few errands and wondering if it was going to rain.

Day 25
Clearly this is the weekend of purple.  While very similar to how I styled this Datura earlier in the month, my jeans and flats are different

As for the hope of working on pants this month… they’ve been put on the back burner.  As the days get longer I tend to wear dresses more so they’ve been at the front of my mind.  That and polka dots.  Add the fact that I feel the RTW jeans I have fit pretty well, even if some of them are getting kinda old.  I actually spent Sunday working on Named Jamie jeans but they need more work to get rid of some majorly unsightly excess fabric.  And more topstitching thread.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Me Made May Week 2 & 3

Over half way done and I’m still going strong!  In this group I have my first repeat although it easily could be more.  One of the downsides of Me Made May is tracking what you wore each day when you have some new favorites freshly completed.  I know I’m not the only one who after finishing something feels the need to wear it all the time and figures if different people see you wear it than its ok to wear it a couple days in a row.  However taking daily photos makes this glaringly obvious and probably a bit boring for viewers who aren’t me.  I’m attempting to exercise some restraint until June when I won’t have the evidence staring back at me.  It does help that I’m on a huge sewing kick (I even gleefully had a couple marathon tracing sessions which I normally avoid like the plague) with days getting both longer and warmer so I’ve had a number of new options.  I’ve always preferred my warm weather wardrobe and find so much more inspiration to sew all of the things.  Things would be a bit harder if we were all doing Me Made March like Zo originally did.

Day 5
This is my all-time favorite Renfrew.  It’s my favorite color (turquoise) and the rayon knit is super comfy.  Too bad the teeny, tiny 1/8” stripes photograph so terribly.

Day 6
In my quest for all things Deer & Doe I could hardly overlook Plantain, a free t-shirt pattern.  I bought this fabric specifically for the pattern and almost wish I hadn’t.  It’s printed slightly off grain so who knows what will happen after I wash it.  Regardless there will be more Plantains in my future.  Plus I wore this will sewing yet another D&D pattern: Chardon.

Day 7
Sewaholic Renfrew & Crescent
A Sewaholic twofer today!  Warm weather in Seattle means I got to bring out a favorite skirt from last summer.  In my mind few fabrics say summer quite like seersucker.  While I wore it with a Renfrew it might look better with a Nettie to better show off the pieced yoke.  And yet another project is added to the list…

Day 8
It was cold and rainy today and seemed very fall like so this plaid flannel 90’s throwback felt appropriate.  During my wardrobe rotation this was in my “needs to be cleaned before being put away for the season & yet not too dirty to wear” pile.  I can’t be the only one who has one of those, right?

Day 9
Built by Wendy: Rock the Boatneck
This was my first make from Built by Wendy’s book Sew U: Home Stretch and I’m not super in love with it.  There’s plenty of things I’d change for next time but am really fond of the navy & cream striped cotton knit.  One day I may finally get around to tweaking it a bit more (I seriously took the side seams in a ton!) but for now it works when I’m cleaning & moving stuff around.  Plus it worked for the Friday theme of blue.

Day 10
Sewaholic Renfrew & Colette Chantilly
Two makes to show today.  My school was having an open house in the evening so most of the day was spent rearranging rooms and setting everything up.  I just barely had time to go home, bake brownies & change into my Chantilly before heading back to school.  While setting up, everyone was trying to figure out what to wear and thinking it should probably be something we made.  A lot of people defaulted to black but I figured this was a great chance to rock some polka dots.  Plus I have shoes the perfectly match those dots!

Day 11
Kitschy Coo Lady Skater
Yet another to be blogged make!  Needless to say this pattern makes a perfect casual yet 100% pulled together dress that is easy to wear.  It worked out great for Mother’s Day when there were no set plans; I knew I was ready for anything wearing this.

 Day 12
I made this dress last year in the early fall and only managed to wear it once before it got too cold.  So I was excited to wear it again after thinking about it all winter long.  It’s mostly orange ditzy floral printed linen and my favorite part just might be the origami like flounces on the shoulders.  I’m so glad I didn’t decide to toss them.

Day 13
Sewaholic Alma & Thurlow
Another all Sewaholic day.  This was a favorite combo last summer and was thrilled to finally wear it again.  The shorts went together pretty quickly and only took a little taking in to fit properly.  I think a few more pairs are needed this summer with front running ideas being grey chambray and polka dotted challis.  This is probably my perfect shorts pattern and four Almas may not be enough.

Day 14
Simplicity Cynthia Rowley OOP #?
This is actually the very first thing I used my serger on.  I wore it once, decided it might be a bit sheer in direct sunlight and it didn’t fit the best and has been taking up closet space ever since.  I wish the sleeves were a bit shorter and that I had a better belt to wear with it.  I like the contrast of the brown leather but it’s a little too big and there’s no way to make it smaller.  This may become a “just at home” dress.

 Day 15
This is my first try at the Chardon skirt and once again am pleased with the results of a Deer & Doe pattern.  Once again I can’t help but think a Nettie would be perfect for a skirt like this to really show off the waist.  I picked this shirt mainly based on footwear and don’t think it’s the best pairing but also not too bad either.  I seem to be lacking in tops to wear with skirts that hit at or just above the waist.  Everything I have just seems too bunchy after tucking in but when not seems to cover up the skirt design features.  I plan on making another version with the back bow and would hate to cover up that added cuteness.

Day 16
This Friday’s theme was: Too Pretty to Wear Pants, and it was the perfect time to debut my latest dress.  After a few minor alterations I think I have my perfect dress and yet another Deer & Doe win.  Something must be in the sewing air as I was making this the same time Oona was making her voile flyaway pants since we both brazenly chose not line them.  And I smile every time I think about it.

 Day 17
Project Runway
Some days you just have to ignore the sewing & other assorted crafting and clean.  And I’m talking real cleaning, not checking for stray threads or lint in your serger, but actual here’s my scrub brush & that is a toilet.  They type of thing I never enjoy the process of but always feel better about the results.  And this always seems like a good time to wear those makes that you just don’t wear for whatever reason.  With this dress I tried a new silhouette but don’t think it’s the most flattering for me.  I like photo #2 where I pulled it in at the waist creating some waist definition so much better but will likely keep this as a cleaning dress rather than go back and try and alter it.

 Day 18
Deer & Doe Plantain
My 1st repeat & I fully admit I had to quick check out my previous photo to make sure I styled it differently.  This time I went more casual with straight leg jeans and Converse.  Wearing it again simply reminded me that I need to whip out a couple more versions.

I hope everyone is enjoying Me Made May and not feeling too stressed about keeping to their pledges!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Me Made May ’14 Week One

Ok, so this was a super short week – just a few days – but I’m off to a good start.  It didn’t hurt that for the first two days we had some gorgeous, warm weather in Seattle.  I was very excited to break out my warm weather clothes and gleefully banish the cold to the dark recesses of my closet.  Sadly it didn’t last and I had to hold off on finishing the wardrobe rotation plan to avoid freezing.  I only hope the sun will come back soon!

 Day One

These are a recent make and I have a more in depth post coming up – I just need the rain to stop in order to get more pictures.  These are made out of rayon challis and turned out to be super comfortable on a warm day.  I can’t wait to make more!

Day Two

This pink seersucker blouse was made last year in anticipating of Me Made May and was a favorite throughout spring and summer.  This Friday’s special theme was Cocktail Hour which just happened to correspond to my latest project.  Alas!  I didn’t have blue thread that was a close enough match so I stalled out at the cutting out stage.
Oh yeah, that leopard martini glass came with a bonus cocktail recipe on the bottom.  Here it is:
 Day Three
Deer & Doe Datura Blouse

My most recent Deer & Doe make and very versatile.  It took me from class to a one year old’s birthday party.  It’s perfect for layering under little sweaters.

Technically I wore this briefly on Day Two during my trip to the DMV to renew my driver’s license and get a new photo.  However I was in and out in less than 10 minutes so there goes that idea that the DMV is the 7th Circle of hell – it is possible to have a pleasant experience there.  I try and avoid wearing light colors in ID photos since the time my light colored shirt faded into the background and it looked like I was topless.  Not a good look so I stick to bold colors now.

 Day Four
Sewaholic Alma Blouse

This blouse is also part of an upcoming blog post and the fabric was used in a couple more garments including my delayed Thurlows.  This time around I added 2” in length and made the notched neckline for the first time.  Pardon the frizzed hair – I got caught in a couple heavy rain showers today.

 I really didn’t anticipate any problems this early into the challenge so there’s not too much more to say.  It’s always interesting to look over daily photos to determine what type of garments you actually wear the most so I’m looking forward to the end of month summary.  Last year I realized I needed more separates so I’m hoping to see more of that this year.  That and the return of warm weather!