August 2016 Outfits

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I recently acquired a dress form.  So I thought it made sense to share the garments I’ve sewn up this month with her help (name still TBD).  Turns out, I’ve been pretty productive!

Lekala 4517 (more…)

She Wears the Pants book

A few months ago (I think it was … May… ?), I won a copy of She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada from a giveaway over on Measure Twice Cut Once.  Thanks again Susan!  I don’t wear pants often, but there are actually only two “pants” patterns out of the 17 patterns in the book.  Or three if you count culottes as pants, I don’t.

Fleece Jacket

So far I’ve made two of the patterns from the book, the first of which was No. 07, the Fleece Jacket.  I don’t know a whole lot about fabric, so I’m not 100% sure what she means by fleece, but I did know I didn’t want a polar fleece jacket.  I went with this purple merino knit which I would describe as thick interlock because it doesn’t roll up on the edges and is the same on both sides.  I had started to make something else with it that wasn’t working out, so I took that apart but still didn’t have quite enough for the jacket, so I decided to add contrasting grey panels to the under arm sections.  The two piece sleeve facilitated this well.

Fleece Jacket detail

There were a lot of firsts on this project (as well as my lack of experience sewing knits), including first bound buttonhole, first use of knit lining fabric, and first jacket with a lining, but I am very happy with it overall.  It is very cozy but still looks put together when worn over a dress.  I’m looking for a better button though.  The one on there now is ok, but I think it could be a lot better.

Velour Blouse

Next I made No. 05, the Velour Blouse.  I didn’t think I’d ever wear anything with velour on it, but this top is way cute.  I realise now that the eyelet and lining were both supposed to be knit for this pattern also, but because of the boxy shape it doesn’t actually make any difference if the fabrics are woven instead.  I have no problems putting this on.

I picked up the eyelet fabric at Mood when we were in NYC in June and it is super cool.  I got the last bit off the bolt so there was not enough to make much, but I was able to squeeze this pattern out of it.  I cut this in the size M even though I’m more of an L on the size chart because the jacket is a smidge big in the shoulders and the shoulders are really the only place the blouse needs to fit well.  It turned out perfect!

In retrospect I should’ve picked a lining that matched the velour a little better because you can see the seam where the facing and lining are joined on the outside through the holes in the eyelet, but I doesn’t bother me that much.  As soon as it gets warmer I know this will be a springtime staple!

She Wears the Pants top half

I would not wear these garments together because they don’t match at all, but here they are for giggles!  If I make the culottes I could have a whole mismatched She Wears the Pants outfit… (though I have a vintage culottes pattern I want to try first)  There are a couple other patterns from this book I want to try (draped mini dress? YES), and I think it would be worth buying if I hadn’t won it first.  I did notice a few mistakes in the labelling of the pattern pieces both on the pattern sheet and on the diagrams accompanying the instructions, but it is relatively obvious something is wrong and easy enough to figure out after realising this.

Pigeon dress

My most recent project has been this dress!  The pattern is McCall’s 6649, which is actually a blouse, but I made some modifications– I added 2″ of length at the waist and 7.5″ at the bottom hem, which was the longest I could manage as I only had 2 yards of the pigeon fabric, “Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus” Chorus Line from Cloud9 Fabrics.  This didn’t leave enough fabric to have a matching collar or yoke, so I made those contrasting, as well as the front button placket, in Nigella Grandiflora in Hunter by Amy Butler for Rowan.  Nigella is home dec weight cotton sateen, so I only interfaced the collar to keep it from being too bulky, but still had issues with the collar stand and ended up scrounging the outside piece from the pigeons, leaving the inside collar stand to be made from an recycled old shirt (plaid).  I left off the pocket flaps, and made it short-sleeved, because it’s almost summer and I’m seriously lacking in summer clothes!

This was my first attempt at flat felled seams.  The pattern didn’t call for them, but they look so nice and finished inside and out, so I wanted to try them.  Around the arm holes they are not perfect, but only from the inside.  The side seams I give a 10 out of 10.  I did all my top stitching in a contrasting light grey varigated thread (because I didn’t have anything that even kind of matched…) and I think it turned out beautifully.

I also made a pin cushion.  It’s a cactus and I’m quite happy with it.  I waxed the floss I used for the spines to they would be a bit stiff, and that worked out as intended.  I need to practice my french knots!

Pigeon dress detail

Pigeon dress detail

Prickly pin cushion

First flowers

Hey everyone, Swampy here. I’m a pukeko, and I used to live in New Zealand, which was super cool. Then I came to live in the US with Robyn, and it’s really boring.  She is always going to work and stuff… what’s a pukeko to do when stuck in an apartment all day?  Blog of course!  Robyn hasn’t even updated this year, surely she won’t mind if I do a little blogging in her place…

Me and the Wiksten pattern

I found this pattern lying around, and as this has become predominantly a sewing blog, I thought I’d sew this for myself. I apologize for the poor photography, I had to get Chalupa to take the pictures, and I’m not convinced he knows what he’s doing.

Making a muslin

The first page of the pattern instructions has a size chart to determine what size will fit. The smallest size (XS) is for a bust measurement of 32-33″. My bust is only 11.5″, so I knew I was going to have to make some serious modifications to make this tank fit me correctly. I started the process by whipping up a muslin to try on.

Trying on my muslin

Here I am wearing the muslin. I made a few adjustments and got the best fit I could achieve with this pattern. It is clearly designed for humans.

Drafting my improved pattern

Next, I drafted an improved pattern based on my muslin.

Choosing a fabric

Then I chose a fabric for my final product. I only used fabrics from the scrap bin, because I know how sewists get protective of their stashes!

My new Wiksten tank

Chalupa was taking a nap during the next bits so we didn’t get any photos, but it wasn’t all that exciting anyway. Here I am in my finished Wiksten tank! I think it looks pretty snappy. Let me know what you think in the comments! Until next time, Swampy out.