Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MMM Day 29: Double FO Whammy

Apparently a couple of days off work and avoiding all of the things I need to do around the apartment makes me a very productive sewist, because I have two new projects to share!

Office Artist Outfit (MMM Day 29)

Office Artist Outfit (MMM Day 29)

The top: 
This fabric has driven me crazy for the last two years.  I bought about three yards at Stonemountain and Daughter when I was living in Berkeley, and as soon as I brought it home I realized I had no idea what to do with it.  It's a rayon challis, and a logical person would take advantage of its drape and the abstract pattern.  What did my perpetual beginner self settle on, 18 months later? A fitted dress with a princess seamed bodice.  Underlined in poly.  Oy! That dress is ill-fitting, on top of being a terrible marriage of pattern and fabric - instead of displaying the print, I hacked it up into as many pieces as possible, and all of the seam lines are terribly distracting.
Seeking redemption, I settled on a simple, bias-cut cowl neck top (Butterick 4132) for some of the remaining yardage.

Office Artist Top (MMM Day 29)

I didn't even unfold the directions for this top.  Instead I read through Sunni's tips for sewing on the bias, and made a few modifications to the pattern.  I skipped the facings, which a) I generally don't like anyway, and b) were not going to work with this fabric, which is ever so slightly sheer.  Instead I did a narrow hem along the cowl neckline, and used bias binding for the armholes and back neckline.  I was even good and I let the top hang for 24 hours before hemming.  Go me!

Office Artist Outfit (MMM Day 29)
The resulting shirt is just what this fabric needed - the print is largely intact, the bias cut works perfectly with the drapey rayon, and it fits.  Hallelujah! Maybe I'll consider myself graduated to intermediate now...


Fabric: Rayon challis from Stonemountain and Daughter (available at Vogue Fabrics now)
Pattern: Butterick 4132, view A
Modifications: Eliminated facings in favor of narrow hems and bias binding.  Cut a size 10 initially, but took in to an imaginary size 6.

The skirt: 

I cut out this skirt before the move, and sewed it up in the new place.  I'm quite pleased, though I did have to do a little fitting of the side seams - it was coming out way too big.  I feel like New Look patterns are worse than most others in terms of having too much ease built in - I cut a 12 based on my measurements, and ended up sewing an 8, the smallest size in the envelope.  In a pencil skirt especially, this doesn't make much sense to me.  The skirt is supposed to sit at your waist, but if I had sewn the recommended size for my waist measurement it would have been falling off.

Office Artist Skirt (MMM Day 29)
Anyway, I love that it's black and work appropriate, and it will see a ton of wear I'm sure.  It's also super comfy and not too boring; the jacquard texture adds some interest.  This would have been the perfect opportunity for a bright and fun colored lining, but I was working from my stash so it's black on black.  Oh well.

Fabric: Cotton jacquard from Fabric Mart, bemberg rayon from
Pattern: New Look 6107 skirt
Modifications: Cut a size 12, sewed up the side seams with 1.25" SA, slightly more at the hips.  Drafted a lining using Sunni's tutorial.  Lengthened the vent by a couple of inches, and hemmed halfway between the two options given by the pattern.

Only two more days of MMM to share! I'll admit I'm looking forward to wearing some RTW dresses that have been sitting in the closet all month.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MMM Days 27 & 28 (in which I join the sewing accidents club)

Day 27:

MMM Day 28

Dress: Me-made pre-blog.  Unfortunately I probably won't be wearing it again... I got a grease stain on the chiffon during lunch, and in trying to get it out somehow managed to create two more stains.
On the table: The beginnings of my Chantilly dress... see below for more of that adventure.

Day 28: 

Skirt: Also me-made pre-blog, details here.
Shirt: H&M

Ah, day 28.  The day I finally sewed through my finger.  See, I was zipping along with my Chantilly dress, and was supposed to be attaching the lining to the shell when I attached my finger instead.  It's all a blur, really, but I think I pulled my finger back as the needle was coming back up, because my machine ended up a couple of inches away from where it started.  The needle also broke at some point, fortunately not in my finger.  I screamed, and boyfriend came to my rescue and cleaned me up (I've been known to faint when medium-large amounts of my own blood are involved, so my eyes were closed).
Despite the searing pain, once I knew I wasn't going to lose the finger or anything, concern #1 was the dress.  Not a drop of blood.  Concern #2 was the machine, which appears to not mind sewing through flesh at all.  Good to know.

Anyone else suffer any sewing-related injuries recently?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

FO: Sort-of Sorbetto / MMM Day 26

MMM Day 26 / Sort-of Sorbetto

Pay no mind to my frizzy hair... the humidity has arrived.
This was going to just be a simple, sleeveless Sorbetto, until I tried it on and was not a fan of the uber-boxy shape.  I gave it a couple of tucks under the bust (inspired by Sunni) and some elastic to the center back, which gave it enough shape that it felt more stylishly swingy and less like my body had disappeared.  Then I decided it needed more so I added some tulip sleeves (inspiration here) and a peter pan collar.  This was the first time in a while that I just experimented and played with a design, and it was a lot of fun!

Sort-of Sorbetto

Sort-of Sorbetto

Sort-of Sorbetto

Sort-of Sorbetto

It's got a couple of issues - the collar doesn't sit 100% right, mostly because I was too lazy to even watch the 10 minute video tutorial Gertie has on drafting peter pan collars so I just winged it.  I also didn't break out the iron even once while I was making this blouse, even though I used bias binding to finish the neckline and the sleeves.  I'm really horribly lazy about ironing while I sew, even though I know that it will make everything look better and more professional.  Some days I just can't be bothered to fill it with water, plug it in, and press down on things, you know?  Sometimes one press at the end is all I can handle.  

Fabric: Marc Jacobs cotton print from Fashion Fabrics Club and plain black cotton for contrast pieces.
Pattern: Colette Sorbetto, with tulip sleeves (modified from New Look 6107) and a peter pan collar.  Cut a size 2 in width, 12 for the armscye depth and 14 for the length.

Outfit details: 
Shorts: Marshall's

Have a good weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Slipping.... (MMM Days 22-25)

I've really fallen down on the job with outfit photos the last few days... so much so that I only have one photo to show you! I'm resolving to be better and finish out the last six days with pictures and everything.

On a more positive note, I've been off of work on my staycation for the last two days, and got to meet up with Sonja of Ginger Makes yesterday for some fabric shopping.  I had a great time, and it was nice to have some company while shopping.  Sonja is great and we got to go to some shops that are closed on the weekends, like Steinlauf & Stoller and Metro.  We walked into Metro and were completely overwhelmed... the store was smaller than I had expected, but had a ton of fabric crammed into the little space.  From Paron and Metro I picked up some chambray, gingham, and denim.  I was on the hunt for a good eyelet (scallop hem, not too stiff, in a non-pastel, not white and not black) but the only place we found any was B&J and I was certainly not prepared to spend $25+ per yard.  All in all though, it was a successful trip.

You may recall that I had resolved to finish 10 garments from my stash before shopping for more fabric... I only made it to 8 before yesterday's trip, but I finished two shirts today! So, MMM Days 26-31 should be a little more exciting.  I also spent some time today putting all of my fabric on the new set of shelves in the bedroom - it was a little horrifying to see how much I've managed to accumulate! We aren't talking mounds upon mounds, but four decently sized piles is still more than I thought I had.  Stashes really do sneak up on you.
Back to the single photo and outfit details... (hanging my head in shame...)

Day 22: 
I wore this exact outfit - my Kasia skirt and a short sleeve sweater.

Day 23:

Dress: Me-made Anthropologie knock-off
Belt: Forever 21
Shoes: Adrienne Vittadini from DSW

Day 24: 
I wore my SPRING! blouse, jeans, and red flats.

Day 25: 
I wore this dress, which I almost never wear out - can't layer over the dolman sleeves.  This looked especially fantastic with my red socks with pink hearts and mice on them.

Anyone else feel like they're running out of steam with their daily MMM photos? Just six days left!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Aaand we're back - MMM Days 16-21

Internet! I have internet! (Ok, so it's moving at snail-like speeds right now.  But better than nothing!)
Time to catch up on MMM.

Day 16: 
I have no idea what I wore this day.  I'm sure I wore something me-made, but I have no photographic evidence or even the faintest memory of the outfit.

Day 17:


Mad Men inspired
Shoes: Adrienne Vittadini from DSW

Day 18:

MMM Day 18

Me-made Anthropologie knock-off.  I wore this dress once after I blogged about it, only to discover that it was incredibly uncomfortable.  I couldn't raise my arms more than 45 degrees away from my sides! It sat for a long, long time, and then right before we moved I decided to fix it.  I unpicked the sleeves, cut off the collar, took the dress up an inch at the shoulders, made a new collar, gathered the sleeve caps and re-attached the sleeves.  Now it sits slightly above my natural waist, but since I have full range of motion in my arms, I don't care.
Shoes: Indigo by Clarks

Day 19:

MMM Day 19

Sweater: Gap
Skirt: Pre-blog, Simplicity 2451 in a Joel Dewberry sateen.  I like this skirt, but it tends to ride up during the day since it sits below my natural waist.
Shoes: b.o.c. sandals

Day 20:

MMM Day 20

Old Navy
Sweater: Old Navy
Skirt: Me-made.  This skirt is getting a ton of wear these days.

Day 21:

MMM Day 21

Agatha cardigan
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Rain boots outside, flats at work, and no shoes at home.  It was such a rainy day today.

Also featured in Day 21 - my new cutting table!! It's everything I dreamed of, except for the beech colored legs (the store didn't have white), but who really cares? It's huge compared to what I'm used to, and I think it will make the cutting process much more enjoyable.  Or at least tolerable.  Now if only I could find the power cord for my sewing machine...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Checking in

Just crawling out from under the boxes to say that I'm not dead. Just building a bunch of furniture and getting settled. No Internet yet, but hopefully soon! I'm having fun reading everyone else's MMM posts, and seeing them is keeping me motivated. I haven't missed a day yet, though I did miss a photo or two.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MMM Days 12-15

Well, the moving monster seems to have caught up with me... I've had a skirt cut out for over a week, and haven't sewn up any of it! I have found time to fix a couple of previous makes though, and I'm thrilled that they're wearable now - there's nothing worse than opening your closet to find several things that you would wear, if only that one thing (generally too-low armscyes in my case) were fixed.  I'm also blaming the moving monster for my lack of a photo yesterday - I had to run an errand after work, and ended up walking the mile-and-a-half home on what turned out to be an unexpectedly humid evening.  My hair, my face, and my attitude were not photo-ready.
Tomorrow is moving day, and Saturday is furniture-shopping day, so hopefully after that things will settle down enough for me to sneak a little bit of sewing in.  Anyway, on to the outfits.

Day 12:

MMM Day 12

MMM Day 12

Dress: Me-made, over a year ago.  It certainly has its flaws, but generally I don't mind them.  It is very girly and young, so I only wear it when the weather is nice and I'm in the right mood.
Shoes: Seychelles

Day 13:

MMM Day 13

MMM Day 13

Shirt: Previously un-blogged.  This is my second New Look 6107 blouse.  I cut a straight size 8, took it in a little at the waist, and raised the armscye by 1".  Overall I'm pretty pleased with the fit, though I got lazy about moving the darts down after I raised the armscye and I definitely need to do that next time.  The fabric is a lawn from FFC, which is striped or polka-dotted depending on the light.  While I love that feature, it's also not the softest and is a little stiff.  Oh well - can't have it all I guess.
Skirt: Second-hand Anthropologie
Scarf: Gift from my sister
Shoes: b.o.c.

Day 14:

MMM Day 14

Shirt: Me-made, my first New Look 6107 blouse.  I made the alterations as planned, and now it's completely wearable which makes me very happy.
Skirt: Me-made, pre-blog
Sweater: Gap
Shoes: I did wear shoes, I swear.  I just don't remember which ones.

Day 15: No photo :(.  I wore my Jalie 2921 dress, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Have a good week, everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Red Pants & MMM Day 11

Day 11:

Red Clovers (MMM Day 11)

Red Clovers (MMM Day 11)

Red Clovers (MMM Day 11)

Pants: Colette Clover
Shirt: Bought it ages ago from Marshalls
Shoes: Etienne Aigner

My second pair of Clovers! I'll make this quick, since a) I have to leave for work, & b) these are pretty similar to the last pair I made.

Improvements over last time:
  • Longer
  • Pockets I can actually use (the last ones were super tiny)
  • Better construction on the welt pockets
Still needs work:
  • I think I need to shave off about 1/8" from all of the pieces, to account for the fabric stretching out over the course of the day.
Fabric: Stretch cotton sateen (shows every.single.wrinkle.) from AK Fabrics.  Facings & pocket linings in leftover navy stretch from my Mad Men Dress, also from AK Fabrics.
Pattern: Colette Clover
Modifications: Done sallieoh style.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

MMM Days 9 &10

Day 9:

MMM Day 9

Skirt: Beignet
Shoes: Adrienne Vittadini from DSW

This shirt drove me absolutely crazy all day long.  It's fine (maybe a tad wide in the shoulders), and then I sit down and the neckline gapes all over the place.  I made another shirt from this pattern recently (blogging it soon!), and shortened the armscye by an inch in front and in back. This helped a ton with the gaping problem.  I think since the armscye is too low, moving my arms makes the shirt ride up and bunch, and then it doesn't come back down, which makes the gaping really bad.  Next time I'm going to try rotating a tiny wedge out from the neckline into the shoulder gathers, to see if that fixes it 100%.  I think I can rescue this shirt by ripping out the sleeves, removing an inch of fabric below the yoke on both sides, and adding the sleeves back again.  To the alteration pile it goes...

Day 10:

MMM Day 10

Sweater: Second-hand from I don't remember where.
Skirt: Kasia Skirt
Shoes: Adrienne Vittadini again.

No comfort issues here - thank goodness.

Anyone else discovering that your clothes need serious alterations to avoid flashing people at work?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5... 6... 5, 6, 7, 8!

Day 5:

Day 5

Me-Made Jacket:  Sewaholic Minoru.  I love this jacket - it's what I always reach for on a jeans and t-shirt weekend day.
Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: H&M

Day 6:

Day 6

Me-Made Pants: Colette Clover.  I never get tired of wearing these - they're like magic happy pants because I made them.  Pants! I may never get over that.
Shirt: Old Navy (sheesh... they should pay me.)
Sweater: Express
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction
Bag: From my sister's trip to Italy.

Day 7:

Day 7

Me-Made Shirt: Jalie 2921.  My first blogged project!
Skirt: H&M.
Tights: Kohls?
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction, again.

Day 8:

Day 8 (Front)

Day 8 (Back)

Me-Made Sweater: Aidez
Dress: Anthropologie
Boots: Santana Canada
Hair: Courtesy of the wet weather.

Almost 1/3 of the way there! Today was the first day I had real issues getting dressed - hence the repeat item.  It's partially a weather issue - it's been a little more chilly and damp than I had anticipated.  I need more me-made sweaters, and more basic skirts that can be worn with tights.  The other issue is work attire - my work place is kind of a wear what you think is appropriate/what the boss in your office thinks is ok, and in my case I've settled on no jeans.  This means I have to find me-made tops that go with work appropriate bottoms, something I don't have much of, RTW or otherwise.
I also did a tally today, and I've made 7 items (two not blogged yet) from my stash since I declared no more fabric shopping.  I said I wouldn't shop until I had finished 10 of the spring/summer projects I had listed, but I've deviated a little from the plan and made a couple of things that weren't on the list.  They were from my stash though, so I'm counting them anyway.  The goal is still 10 projects before shopping, they just might not all be projects I had pre-planned.  I say good enough.  Sometimes there's just something you have to make, you know? Like red pants... more on those later this week!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

MMM Day 4

Sweater: Cherry Cardigan (pre-blog)
Skirt: Patternless, also pre-blog but taken in last week.
Shirt: H&M

Two me-made items today! Taking in this skirt was an interesting experience.  I made it a couple of years ago, so it had some strange things going on - no seam finishing, side seams that were definitely not at the sides, and a too-short zipper that meant I almost ripped it every time I tried to put it on, despite the fact that the waist was too large.  Now that all that is fixed, I know I'll wear it all the time.  It's a great basic that goes with almost anything.  I'm so glad I'm getting some use out of my sweaters too - I don't wear this one nearly enough.  

When I'm crunched for time or don't feel like enduring the embarrassment of taking photos out on the street in my busy neighborhood, we do photos in the hallway of our apartment building.  The lighting is much better than in our apartment, plus there isn't anywhere to stand in my apartment that's furniture-free.  This has worked out fairly well, except for when I hear a door close down the hall or the sound of the elevator coming up and the nice, poised me from the photo above turns into this:

(You can see that I'm beginning to wave my arm, to signal my boyfriend that it's time to put away the camera before someone sees and the neighbors think we're crazy.)

At least you get to see the front of the sweater?

Friday, May 4, 2012

MMM Days 1-3

And so it begins...

Day 1

MMM Day 1

Sweater: Old Navy
Skirt: Beignet Skirt
Shoes: Etienne Aigner wedges (New! And cheap! And comfy! I'm in love....)

Day 2

MMM Day 2

This is my go-to, cozy but acceptable for work outfit.
Sweater: pre-blog Aidez.  I love it, though the yarn (Cascade Eco) pills like crazy.
Dress: Marshalls, ages ago.
Death trap Boots: Santana Canada.  They have almost no traction, which lead to an unfortunate incident on the stairs a couple months ago, and some unsightly bruises.
Sorry about the dirty mirror pic, and the death stare.... this is what happens when your boyfriend/photographer is busy studying.  Obviously taking your girlfriend's MMM photos are more important than law school finals, right? Right?

Day 3

MMM Day 3

I went a little mod.  Green dresses & brown boots seem to be items of the week.
Dress: As Luck Would Have It dress
Boots: Etienne Aigner

I'm enjoying this so far - it's more fun than I thought it would be! Plus, it's pushing me to fix the me-made things that need little tweaks.  Soon I won't have to feel guilty about the sad, never-worn me-made things that stare at me when I open the closet.

How's your MMM going?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Endless Possibili-tees

(Sorry, that's a terrible title. I couldn't help myself.)

After my two successful versions of Jalie 2921, I've been feeling fairly confident working with knits.  So, I decided it was high time I came up with a basic t-shirt pattern to play with.  I based it off of Jalie 2921, eliminating the center front seam and making the pattern more fitted in the waist and less fitted in the hips - I hate it when shirts cling there.



Version 1 was mostly a success, though the V neck ended up slightly off-center and I had to add some embellishment to hide it.  There's also extra fabric at the back, and it's more clingy at the hips than I like.  I sized down on the sleeves for this one, because I prefer longer sleeves to be more fitted.


Version 2 was supposed to just be a plain, basic v-neck shirt, but I was cutting the fabric way past my bedtime and made a little oops - in the last piece large enough for the back of the shirt, I started cutting a second front.  So, I did a little improvising.


I definitely prefer the fit on this one - I nipped in the waist more on the back piece only, which add some shaping.  The hip area clings less too.  I sized up on the sleeves here, because I hate skin-tight short sleeves.

Now I'm so excited to see what I can do with this pattern, especially with a thinner knit - this one definitely has more "heft" than I tend to prefer.  Some inspiration:

Source: via Mika on Pinterest

Source: via Mika on Pinterest

Source: via Mika on Pinterest

Source: via Mika on Pinterest

And yes, I did survive Day 1 of MMM! I'll have a post up later this week with photos.  How's your week going?