Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anyone down to switch with a newbie?

Details at Closet Case Files.

Please choose a beginner pattern and I'll do the same!

Fashion Reject

Well, it took almost 2 weeks but I've finally finished the GD McCall's 6553 Fashion Star tent dress!

It didn't take that long to sew the dress. I spent most of those two weeks re-threading my serger and waiting for my knit interfacing to arrive. I didn't even know knit interfacing existed until I tried ironing my regular-ass interfacing onto the ponte and they weren't havin' it. 

I chose to make it in black ponte which is a heavy polyester double knit. This material is great in that it drapes well, I can take it to the fold-and-wash, and doesn't wrinkle. It's definitely a cold weather fabric so I'm gonna try to squeeze in a few wears while I can. 

This is my fourth dress (ever!) and my first attempt at many techniques. Firsts include:

1) Working with a knit
2) Using a serger 
3) Slipstitching (hand stitch!)
4) Sewing a hook and eye closure
5) Using knit interfacing 
6) Sewing a waist tie 


I sewed the waist ties into the side seams, as suggested by Ginger Makes, to avoid flesh-baring gaps at the side seams. I also used a hook and eye instead of the button/thread hole thingy and omitted the pockets because I'm lazy like that. My hem is also a little on the short side but that's fine with me. ;)

Wonk alert:

1) My waist ties are uneven in size due to a serger miscalculation (meltdown) 
2) My back yoke slipstitching is lookin' rough.
3) I used the multi-colored thread that came with my serger with the rationale that no one would be able to see the inside. The hi-lo hem begs to differ.
4) The hook and eye need to be re-stitched so that they are more side-by-side than overlapping.
5) The armhole interfacing are just tragic. They keep trying to pop out and have little red and yellow threads sticking out.

What do you think? 

Loosey Goosey

Le Back

The Nitty Gritty


The neckline won't lay flat, even with staystitching. Suggestions?

The Rainbow Thread of Doom!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

There's nothing like the excitement of a new project. Getting the patterns in the mail, reading the envelopes, and going over the instructions are a close second to trying on the finished garment for the first time.

This enthusiasm quickly wanes when the cutting out process begins but it's sweet while it lasts.

The envelope, please...

 McCall's 6553 and 6696

This beauty, "Patternmaking (Portfolio Skills)" by Denmic Chunman Lo, also came in the mail. I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. reading and admiring the beautiful illustrations. It's well written and makes the pattern making process easy to understand. I look forward to making my pattern block and, eventually, my own designs.

Fresh flowers, fresh bread, new patterns, and Blue Bottle Chemex coffee.
A happy mess!

I'm starting with the Fashion Star tent dress in black ponte, which will be my first time working with a knit. Now let's do the damn thang!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm participating in the Elisalex sewalong! I'm going to Mood tomorrow in search of a nice silk print or dark green flannel. I'm also strangely drawn to this tweed...

...which would be perfect for the sleeveless Reversalex! Perhaps with a contrast red silk reverse? 

I need to really think about this since I tend to fall in love with crazy prints/textiles, never wear them, then donate/sell three months later. It's like I have this zany lil' alter ego that struts around in floral dresses and listens to boy bands when I'm really more of a black-clad, Joy Division type. It's like I need to remind myself that just because the Moschino model looks great in this hot lil' floral mod dress...

...doesn't mean that it's a good look for me. I know I would feel like a giant tool in this dress but I want it! This might also explain my affinity for rom-coms or...this is painful..."Gossip Girl" which I discovered last month while sick and am now hopelessly devoted to.

mean queen, Blair (the BEST bitch)

I guess that's one of the upsides of a handmade wardrobe: you spend so much time planning and laboring over a single garment that it gives you time to really think about what you're making. It takes the impulse away and leaves you with something that truly reflects your personal style.

Until next time,

xoxo Amy

I've made a handful of garments since receiving my sewing machine last year (thanks, Mom!), most of those being novelty xmas gifts, so I'm aware that this is a little ambitious. My hope is that by writing this down for the whole world (5 people) to see I'll be more likely to follow through.

1)McCalls 6696 Sleeveless Silk Dress
Planned Modifications: Swap out the shirt collar for a mini Mandarin.

The inspiration:

dress by Madewell

2) McCalls Fashion Star 6653 in black ponte

Planned Modifications: Nada

I bought the fabric from Mood yesterday and man, it's heavy! That means it'll drape well, riiiight (seriously, I have no clue)?

It comes with and optional self-tie belt which I will use to reel this puppy in at the waist so it's not so all-over-the-place Olsen twinny.

3) By Hand London Elisalex dress in forest green silk.

Planned Modifications: Nix the tulip skirt for an A-line. A medium-weight silk with a bit of gathering around the waist should work. I might swap the scoop neck for a crew neck because I'm modest (lies) and dig necklace-on-top styling. Maybe I'll throw in a couple of in-seam pockets if I don't feel like killing myself by the end.

4) Victory Patterns Roxanne Shirt/Dress Version 2
Planned Modifications: Might lengthen to the knee.

Dream fabric: "Bleach Regazzi" stretch by Tesutti which at $45/yd means I'll be dreaming for a looong time:

5) Salme Kimono Blouse

Planned Modifications: Regular hem on the sleeves. I made this before in one day which means it should actually only take a couple of hours.

In this crazy silk floral from ebay:

6) Silk shirtdress. I haven't found the right pattern yet but this is the look I'm going for:

dress by Rag and Bone

And last but not least...

7) Leather shorts!

No pattern yet. Any ideas? The ones I've seen on Burda are matronly at best, which is quite a feat for GD leather shorts.

I've never worked with leather, made shorts, or sewn a fly zipper so this should be a real "learning experience" (i.e., total nightmare but hopefully worth it in the end).

Check back for the craptastic results or bask in shadenfreude when I never post again!