Mar 092016
 

Oops! A few days ago, I had a post up at imagine gnats about three pairs of Megan Nielsen’s Virginia leggings that I made.

For Rachael’s post, I tried to be good about showing the leggings since I do really appreciate it when other sewers show how clothes look on real people (although I did specially make this Plantain tee for extra butt coverage 😀 ). In regular life, though, I always wear my leggings under skirts or shorts.

virginia leggings normal look

I didn’t realize until I was editing these pictures that those shorts look kind of weird with that shirt. hah!

Nov 192015
 

Today I’m posting over at imagine gnats about the Darling Ranges dress I made in double gauze.
darling ranges dress in double gauze

I went through about 14 muslin versions of the bodice — my floor was covered in discarded bits! And this was right after I read a post on Sew Mama Sew advising sewers to avoid muslining in order to be less wasteful. >_< It turned out that the first 12 or so versions were due to my shifting my darts incorrectly; once I followed an actual method (instead of winging it), I only needed one muslin to get the darts in the correct place and a second one to adjust the dart height. gahhhh.
darling ranges dress in double gauze

The coral stripes are a little outside of my comfort zone, so I was nervous about using the fabric well and actually sketched a bunch of options for the stripes to go on the dress. Could you tell that I tried to make the front chevrony? 😀 The back is pieced to be chevrony too, but I regret that a little because it’s always covered by my hair, and now I’m worried that the bias edges at the waist will stretch out funny.
darling ranges dress in double gauze

I wonder if next time, I should lower the neckline a skotch? It maybe looks like I was a little too aggressive in raising it… In any case, I definitely like it better belted. 😀
darling ranges dress in double gauze

Jun 022015
 

I was super excited about Megan Nielsen’s latest Brumby skirt, so I bought it right when it was released and sewed it up that weekend. And I’m a big old copycat, so the first version I made was a view 1 (above the knee and for medium to heavy fabric) denim version with the first nice topstitching I’ve done, ever!
denim brumby skirt

The instructions are fantastic (as usual) and include nice tips for beginning sewers, like pinking the pocket seam allowance, applying the interfacing to the waistband facing pieces (I’ve used other patterns that don’t specify whether to interface the facing or exterior pieces), and understitching the waistband seam. The skirt is designed to have an exposed metal zipper in the back, which would be so cool! — but I didn’t have the right kind of zipper in my stash, so I just put in a slotted zipper with a hook and eye at the top. (After reading another blogger mentioning that she noticed many women at an event whose zippers were coming open because they didn’t have a hook and eye at the top, I feel compelled to put them in. :D) Oh, now I see that the slotted part kind of pulls open… so it’s a good thing the zipper matches the topstiching thread!
brumby skirt slotted zipper

I made a size small with no adjustments and was able to make this skirt with just one yard of fabric. I did have to cut the waistband facing and pocket lining out of different lining fabric, and the grainline of my pocket facing pieces are perpendicular to what they should have been, but that’s fine with me.
denim brumby skirt

I looooove the Brumby’s deep pockets, and I also think the contoured waistband is fantastic. It gives such a nicely fitted look to the waistline, but it’s actually really comfy and skims over my waist without feeling restrictive. I find it a noticeable contrast with my Hollyburns, which also cinch my waist nicely, but definitely feel cinchy.

Oh, and I was so excited about how the topstitching turned out — I kept stopping to squee about how pretty it was! I used actual topstitching thread, an actual topstitching needle, and my Juki TL-2000qi (as opposed to my Juki F600, which I feel like has a weaker motor) and it was easier to do than I had worried it would be.
denim brumby skirt topstitching

I’m also wearing the new Eucalypt tank I made at the beginning of the month. This was the shirt where I realized that I shouldn’t have been pulling the bias tape facing while I was applying it to the armholes and then applied it properly on the neckline, so you can see how the arm binding is ripply but the neckline is smooth. I think I need to make a larger size, but I find it a little boggling since my bust measurement is only 33″, and I’m pretty sure this is a size small, which is supposed to be for a 36″ bust!
brumby skirt and eucalypt tank

The second Brumby I made was view 3 (knee-length for light fabric) with view 2’s pockets, using 1.5 yards of rayon challis. I ended up whapping off an inch or two from the hem after it was almost done, and I hope I can figure out how much to adjust my pattern now because I like this length. (About the weird pictures — it was drizzling then, and my skirt isn’t actually spotty. 😀 )
rayon challis brumby skirt

Since the rayon challis is a little delicate (and shifty shifty shifty), the pockets were pretty droopy, and the hem actually drooped correspondingly under the pockets. I’m not sure whether that was due to the fabric or slight tension issue my machine was having, but I ended up having to trim mountain-shaped bits out from under the pockets in order to even out the hem. I did wonder if that’s why view 3 isn’t designed with pockets, but I’ll take droopy pockets over no pockets any day! 😀
rayon challis brumby skirt

I lined this skirt since the rayon is a tiny bit sheer (I could just see the silhouette of my legs), and for that I used a yard of some polyester that felt pretty stable and strong. I was a dope and used the front pattern piece with pocket cutouts when I was cutting my lining, but I wasn’t willing to go buy more lining fabric, so I just patched it back up. It’s all enclosed now so you can’t see it, but the gathered lining was showing through the thin rayon waistband, so I serged the lining’s waistband+gathered edge, and I think now it’s not super noticeable.
brumby skirt polyester lining

I did try topstitching the rayon to see how it looked, and it looked terrible, so I stitched in the ditch under the waistband. I also used an invisible zipper plus another hook and eye closure, and I’m happy with how it turned out!
rayon challis brumby skirt zipper

I only serged the bottom edge of the lining because the polyester didn’t seem to fray very easily, and I serged and turned up once for the rayon challis hem because that looked nicer from the outside than when I tried doing a normal rolled hem.
rayon challis brumby hem

I’m super happy with my two Brumbies! This is such an adorable skirt pattern, and I’m looking forward to making more versions, especially denim ones with more topstitching. 🙂
rayon challis brumby skirt

Jun 012015
 

I had so much fun with my first Me-Made May! Since I was already comfortably wearing handmade clothes every day, I was more focused on fixing wardrobe gaps, and I was excited to be sewing clothes all month. I only got a little burnt out on my very last make of the month, mainly because it was the first time I was really noticing the shifty shiftiness of rayon challis.

Did I make my wardrobe gap-filling goals? Mostly… I still have to make a pair of Chataigne shorts, but I did sew another pair of Tania culottes! I also made more work shirts and skirts: 1 Eucalypt tank, 2 Belcarra blouses, 1 Ondee sweater, 2 Linden tees, 2 Chardon skirts, and 2 Brumby skirts.

Here’s my most-worn make of the month: my new ponte Tania culottes. I wore these almost all the time at home since they’re so comfy! I feel like the ponte plus the 1″ elastic is flattering (holds in my tummy, hehehe!), and since the ponte is a bit heavier, it’s less likely to fly up in the wind. 😀
ondee sweater and tania culottes

I let my culottes settle on my dress form for a week before hemming them mainly because I was procrastinating. I also fixed my dress form so that the rear hem would end up a more appropriate longer length — it didn’t have enough back there. hahaha! And it turned out to be a good thing that I put off the hemming step for so long, because in that week, I learned from Sewaholic how to use the little clippy thing on my dress form to mark my hemline!
fixt my dressform!

I’m also wearing my new Deer & Doe Ondee sweater that was eked out from the leftover French terry from my Briar top. I was so stoked to get another shirt out of that fabric, especially since it was originally only a 1.5 yard cut. This is View A without a collar (size 36), and since I omitted the collar, I used the neckline binding method from the Briar top. This time, I really trimmed down my seams, and it turned out much nicer. Now that I’m looking at this Ondee in pictures, I think that I’d better try making another version as View B with View A’s sleeves (I’m not sure if the higher neck is flattering for me).
ondee_tania_closer

Did I learn anything from Me-Made May? Yes! I did try to mix up my outfits a little more, and I suspect that I’d turn high-waisted skirt + tank top + short cardi into my work uniform… if I ever got around to making more tank tops and cardis. ;D Also, one day I wore my wussy-cropped Briar (I had made it less cropped so that’s it’s just barely long enough to cover my tummy when I wear jeans) with my Tania culottes, and I really liked how it looked, so now I’d like to try making a true cropped Briar. I’m going to turn into a Megan Nielsen clone! 😀