Welcome to Crafted by Carrie!

Formerly Apricot Adventure, my site was long overdue for a name and style update. But don't you worry, it's still the same content written by silly ol' me ... just behind this prettier facade!

Pattern Review Winter Street Dress…Styled for Spring!

Do clothes ever remind you of something that seems completely unrelated?

It actually happens to me quite often. For instance, this dress remind me of ice-cream cones in summer. It took me a while to come up with a reason why, but I’ve rationalized it must be because the colors are so similar to mint-chocolate chip ice cream. Not that I mind this association – who can resist a summers-day ice cream cone?!

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I’m mad at how washed out the mint color looks in these pictures…The mint is a beautiful color in person and contrasts perfectly with the black and white. Looks just like mint-chocolate chip ice cream. Except black and not brown :)

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As the title suggests, this is Deepika’s new design for Pattern Review – the Winter Street dress! (a sister to the Summer Street dress). Now I’ll be completely honest (cause that’s what reviewers are for right?!), I didn’t think the style was very ‘me’ when I printed it out. That is to say, it’s not the style I tend to gravitate towards. So I decided to make a fast muslin to check style and fit. I followed the charts and cut a straight size small. My measurements are 35.5″ bust, 28″ waist, and 36″ hips so it was a perfect size match. While taping and cutting out the paper pattern, I was worried it was going to be too small. We sewers have the ability to look at a flat pattern and instantly determine whether we think it will fit, of course I think we can all agree that we tend to overestimate our actual size. The point being, I didn’t think I’d be able to get it on!

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Of course everything turned out great. The dress fits wonderfully and moreover, I love the style! The tulip skirt is flattering and the inverted pleats really do give just enough wearing ease through the belly region…so you can feel comfortable even after a big meal :)  Before making the muslin, I added 3 inches of length to the skirt for muslin but quickly found it was an unnecessary change. I love the length of the skirt as drafted and since it tapers in at the bottom there’s no need to worry about a swift wind lifting anything up!

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Given that spring just sprung in Boston, I knew I wanted to adapt it for warmer weather. When I looked through my stash, I found some mint ponte (from Stylish Fabric) sitting next to white and black striped interlock fabric (from Hart’s) and I knew immediately that I needed to combine these fabrics for the dress. I’ve been drooling over all the Coco’s throughout the blogosphere and took a tip from Tilly to Breton-ize the dress by adding a striped yoke. I also shorted the sleeves.

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THE TULIPS ARE BLOOMING!!! GAHHHH – IS SPRING FINALLY HERE?!

I think all of us reviewers can agree that the pattern is super fast and easy to make, even with the contrast yoke! For this version I removed about 1/2 inch from each side of the back piece. I found that the front waistline was just the right length but the back needed to be shortened to avoid swayback drooping. I was stupid and didn’t use clear elastic to stabilize the waistline and it was obvious that the pleats were weighing down the top (this is in the instructions btw, I just didn’t follow them, whoops). So, I unpicked my overcasting and everything, and sewed clear elastic to both the skirt and bodice pieces because everything had stretched out a lot by this point. This made the pieces come back together easily and now the waistline and pleats are much more stable.

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I know I’ve got a winner when Dan approves…and he definitely gave me a thumbs-up! He’s said a few times now that this dress reminds him of something Zooey Dechanel would wear as Jess in New Girl…I guess that’s a compliment right?! DSC_0095 DSC_0111Don’t miss the other stops of the Winter Street Dress Blog Tour! So many cute dresses!

Mad Men III Challenge: Megan Draper meets Irene Galitzine

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I wasn’t planning on taking part in Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men challenge. But last Sunday morning as I was reading through the blogosphere I was motivated to do one final Google image search of “Mad Men dresses” to see if I could find a dress that could be easily replicated with a pattern or fabric already in my stash. Unlike my previous searches, I finally found inspiration: Jessica Pare as Megan Draper.

Mad Men (Season 5)

I quickly learned that she wore this dress during a memorable performance of Gillian Hills song “Zou Bisou Bisou” for Don’s surprise birthday party.  Megan Draper’s character is influenced by the 70′s and if I had planned ahead, it would have been a hard choice which of her outfits to recreate.  I looooove her style.

I was in luck, because I had just bought this 1970′s Irene Galitzine vintage pattern. I bought it specifically for the jacket, but the blouse was the perfect base pattern to make Megan’s black mini-dress and test the pattern sizing in the process. IMG_2089I want so many Galitzine vintage patterns and found out that I’m not the only one – they’re among the most expensive on Ebay!

Without further delay…let the show begin!

I apologize in advance for how many pictures I have…I had way too much fun dressing up for this :)DSC_0018 DSC_0021 DSC_0024 DSC_0031 DSC_0028 DSC_0027 DSC_0025 DSC_0035DSC_0043 DSC_0049 DSC_0061 DSC_0059 DSC_0057

It took quite a few attempts to get a pose similar to the one from the show :)

And yes, in case you did notice, my ‘microphone’ is our TV remote with duct tape on the end – gotta improvise!

Construction Notes:

This was my first vintage pattern and I want to make more! The pattern markings were so clear and obvious and the directions were incredibly detailed. Much more so than current Vogue patterns.

I bought some embroidered polka dot chiffon and a black georgette to underline the body from my local Sewfisticated. The body is still slightly sheer – I probably should have used a more opaque fabric. I used some stiff black nylon fabric as underlining for the collar and cuffs. The cuffs and collar, BTW, are french cuffs and french collar (??, is that a thing??). It’s constructed in a similar way as the cuffs anyhow. I don’t own cufflinks and don’t plan on buying any, so I just folded down the collar and cuffs and slipstitched them down.

This dress sewed up very quickly since I used absolutely no seam finishes. Haha! I made this dress purely for the fun of dressing up! But the drafting was wonderful – every piece came together so well and it fits fabulously through the neck, shoulders, armholes, and bust. There are shoulder darts and they fit really well. The neckline is tight but doesn’t choke.

DSC_0013DSC_0074 DSC_0071Yesterday morning I decided to cut the hem without trying it on == STUPID idea. Before it was right above my knees and I knew I wanted it a little shorter to replicate the original mini-dress, but after my ‘blind’ hem (haha pun intended!) it was way to short to allow for any sort of hem. Which was fine with me because I didn’t want to have to do a rolled hem on a dress I’ll probably never wear again. DSC_0069 DSC_0067I couldn’t tell from the pattern how oversized the sleeves were going to be, but they turned out just right I think. Not so big that they get in the way, but big enough for the style to be noticeable. DSC_0015I’m considering shortening it even further to make it the blouse it’s suppose to be. Here it is tucked into jeans to simulate a blouse. I really like it like this actually – I’m just hesitant that it’s out-dated and wondering where I’ll ever wear it again. My biggest concern with it is the neck which it too high. I suppose I could just shorten it.

DSC_0077 DSC_0081 DSC_0084 And an obligatory picture with Miss RubyDSC_0091You may have noticed that I actually ‘did’ my hair and makeup for these photos!! In the last week, I have purchased my first blow-dryer and curling iron ever. Yes, that’s right – I did not owned my own blow dryer. It tell’s you how little I care about how my hair looks! I only get it cut ~once a year and in between cuts I have been known to either cut it myself or allow others to cut it. Anyway, it’s fun to get dolled up once in a while :)

Two new tops…Plantain + Scout

As promised, I’ve continued to make more plantains. Here’s my second version using a striped knit from Girl Charlee.DSC_0007

I love the slight swing of the shirt at the bottom. It’s just the right amount to be comfortable and cute, but not look overly exaggerated.

There are still some swayback issues to take care of…

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But some pretty decent stripe matching!
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This shirt is another winner. I continue to see many more plantains in my future!

Next up is a Grainline Scout in a silk/cotton voile from Fabricmart. This was not one of the JCrew fabrics…but is extremely similar and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is from JCrew but wasn’t advertised as such.DSC_0003 The fit in a woven fabric isn’t as good as in my previous knit version (which I wear all the time, LOVE that shirt). DSC_0012I used french seams throughout (except for the sleeve attachment) and I really tried to focus on my pressing. I made sure to press each seam flat before pressing to either side. But as you can see, it still appears a little taut down the back where I added a seam.

The voile doesn’t fall close to the body so I don’t know if it was the optimal choice for this T.  Since the shirt is relatively short, it flairs out a little too much for my liking, making me a appear a bit bigger in the middle than I’d prefer.
DSC_0006 It’s hard to see the print from afar…it’s cute little gray fans throughout. DSC_0009If I sew Scout again I’ll have to put a little time into altering the pattern to get a better fit…or use a draper fabric.

Here’s a little clue as to what I’m currently sewing…
IMG_2089My first vintage pattern! I bought it specifically for the jacket, but am currently working on an adaptation of the blouse into a dress for Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men challenge…any guesses who my inspiration was??

Spring Updating!

Well it was about time for a change now wasn’t it?!?

As you can see, the look and layout of my blog has undergone a massive, and much needed, change. I updated the title and URL of my blog to reflect what I actually blog about – sewing and crafts! Crafted by Carrie makes much more sense than Apricot Adventure, don’t you think?? Most of the updates have already been made but don’t be surprised if you notice little changes here and there as I perfect the design.

I’ve contacted BlogLovin’ so all followers should be moved to the new URL and site name without issue.

And just to include some sort of graphic – I’ve chosen and purchased shoes for my wedding. Check another item off the list :)

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Have a good weekend!