June: A Review in Pictures

Despite my lack of blogging, I have been sewing and getting things done. And I just can’t keep myself away from the blog…so here’s a quick recap of my month. A pictorial June review :)

I had my bridal shower! According to the game we played, I know nothing about Dan. Should probably work on that :)   I also wore this dress to another family wedding.

Thanks to my Aunt Barb for the picture!
10464335_10204164628904482_8415979041374224828_nI made a maxi skirt. It is the Rene Maxi from Named. I couldn’t find any other reviews of this pattern online and it isn’t on their website for sale any longer, but it was a really easy pattern and fit wonderfully. I used a drapey rayon challis.
Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 2.32.21 PMDSC_0659DSC_0664Made three new T-shirts from an adapted Plantain pattern by Deer & Doe. I’m loving this pattern – it fits great, is easily adaptable and is a quick sew (See versions 1 and 2).IMG_2233 IMG_2230I had a bachelorette party in NYC…where a lot of this happened.

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I made version A from the new Vogue 9006 using a J.Crew poly crepe from FabricMart. This pattern gets two thumbs-up. More detailed review to come.Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 2.56.58 PM

V9006IMG_2241We ‘renovated’ our roof deck, i.e. we bought fake grass and a plastic pool. It’s WONDERFUL!IMG_2259I made another bridesmaid robe – this one for my goddaughter and Jr. Bridesmaid. AND I learned that I won a recent giveaway on Madalynne for a white lace robe by Girl with a Serious Dream!! It’s beautiful and now I don’t have to make one for myself :) :) This is a good thing, I’m running out of time!IMG_2269

We finally hung up my thread holders and a bulletin board in the sewing studio using 3M strips we already had…should’a done this months ago…DSC_0668What I’m working on now: Vogue 1351. A relatively simple bias cut cowl neck dress using a silk crepe de chine.

DSC_0669This is my first bias cut garment and it’s going alright. I’ve got some puckering on the skirt side seams. It isn’t terrible puckering and some goes away when a body fills out the dress…but it’s still apparent, especially near the bottom of the skirt. I interfaced the other side seam which helped tremendously to insert the zipper and there is less puckering.

Is there a way to reduce the puckering? Should I unpick it and re-stitch the side? Should I add interfacing? Maybe once I put in the lining it will sit better? I know bias cut fabric will stretch especially at the hem, so I’ll let it hang before hemming. But should I let the side seams stretch out before sewing? Since the fabric will stretch downwards doesn’t this automatically add stress on the side seam and pull it down?
DSC_0670LAST, but not least, I had my thesis committee meeting which went well and if all goes according to plan, I’ll be graduating next summer! In order to get to that point, I’ll be very very busy in the lab. Which is fine with me – things have been working lately and it’ll be a race to the finish!

I guess it was a pretty busy June when I put it all together. Hope you’re all having nice summers (or winters for y’all in the other hemisphere).

Completed: Floral Wedding Shower Dress

I love my new dress!

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[Don't look too closely...the lining wasn't hemmed for these pictures - GASP!]

To remind you, I made this dress for my wedding shower this coming Saturday. I was so sick of making white dresses and was looking for an alternative when this Maggy London cotton sateen from FabricMart literally landed on my doorstep. Literally. I’m a member of Julie’s Picks and when I saw this swatch, I marked my calendar for the first of the month so I could buy some as I knew it was going to sell out quickly. I believe I got the last two yards! And I would have bought more – it’s just so pretty!
DSC_0497Looks like some pups want to join in on the photo-shoot fun. What they don’t realize is that it isn’t fun.
DSC_0555DSC_0557They got bored. No surprise there!DSC_0559Since I only had two yards, and it was a border print, I  knew I had to choose a pattern wisely.  I ended up using Butterick 5949, shown below. I was initially attracted to the pattern because of the fun pleated bodice, but after making a muslin I quickly scrapped that idea. This sateen was too stiff for those lovely drapes (in a nice wool crepe it would be so beautiful!). But after staring at the pattern for a while, I came to the conclusion that the wrap bodice would be perfect!

DSC_0577I typically avoid wrap front dresses. I don’t like low cut tops because I fidget with them constantly to make sure everything is ‘where it should be’ and woven wrap front bodices just seem like a nightmare to fit. But I decided to make a muslin anyway. It looked alright! That isn’t to say I didn’t make a bunch of modifications though….here’s my alterations to a size 12:

  • Shortened entire bodice by 1/2″ (at the lengthen/shorten marking)
  • Removed another 1 inch from the back bodice length at the middle of the back armscye. There was a lot of gaping at the armhole and just too much additional fabric.
  • Deepened the neckline by removing 1/2″ from the neckline edge (this pattern is very modest fyi)
  • Stabilized the neckline with strips of silk organza
  • Interfaced the waistband with silk organza.

The fit still isn’t perfect but luckily the fabric hides it well in these pictures. The waistband pulls up a little in the front, which I think it because there isn’t enough length to go over my bust. And this pulling is made worse by how much I removed from the back bodice length. The fit is pretty darn good though!

A quick aside, THANK YOU for all your feedback for my StyleArc Rosie top!! I had to finish this dress first for the shower but I plan to go back to that top for my next make.

DSC_0551In my two yards of fabric, I was lucky to get two full panels of the more saturated flowers. This allowed me enough fabric to cut out the A-line skirt. I played around with the layout of the bodice pieces and decided to include the edge of the saturated border flowers at the shoulders to give a little color to the top.
DSC_0499The skirt of this dress is pretty short…I’m 5’8″ and it hits 1-2″ above my knee. I hemmed with purchased bias tape to keep as much length as possible.
DSC_0515I’m super happy with the depth of the V-neck and the coverage. There’s no gaping and the silk organza strips will help to avoid any stretching over time.
DSC_0532 DSC_0537 I usually only publish the pictures of me that I like, but if you ever meet me in person you’ll quickly realize they don’t represent the way I look 99% of the time. So here’s a few pictures to get to know me better hahaFlowersThreeFaces I learned how to make collages! FlowerDetailsDoggies! I can’t help but take more pictures of them everything I have the camera out.
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I can’t leave you without another picture of my awkward curtesy :)DSC_0513I don’t typically give into my girly flowery tendencies….but I simply love this dress! I feel so pretty and girly in it. The fabric was just the perfect choice and I highly recommend this pattern as well (with some alteration).
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We’re leaving this afternoon for our last wedding planning trip to Minnesota. I can’t believe it how quickly time has flied since we got engaged – we’ve sent out the invitations now and are wrapping up many of the final details. I’ve still got loads to sew before the wedding…but I’ve done adequate planning for each task so they should be nice filler projects. In the meantime, I have my bachelorette party and a thesis committee meeting. I’ve tried really hard to keep sewing during these stressful times, because sewing it a wonderful stress reliever for me (most of the time!). Unfortunately, I think I’ve hit my limit and it’s time I took a step back from sewing and blogging. That isn’t to say I won’t be reading about everyone else’s fun summer clothes, or even blogging here occasionally about projects completed months ago that haven’t gotten any blog-love. I’m just making a conscious uncoupling (!!!) to focus on wedding stuff, completing my PhD, and spending time with my fiancé and pups.

Toodles!

I almost forgot…here’s the picture of the Maggy London dress with the same fabric. I like mine better :)maggy-london-lavender-print-fit-flare-dress-product-1-9732341-924720910_large_flex

Me-Made-May Week 5 and Reflections

Whew - I made it through Me-Made-May! Also two posts in two days…I’m on a roll!

Me-Made-May Reflections:

  • I have a lot more handmade garments than I realized! I made it thought the month without any duplicates and I still have more in the closet I didn’t wear (including almost every dress I’ve made…whoops. I suppose I should stop making dresses, but that’s just not going to happen).
  • I already reach to wear Me-made garments almost every day
  • I don’t profess to sew the most stylish or trendy clothes…but I’m very proud at how functional my Me-made wardrobe is. I’ve learned what works for me and what I’m comfortable wearing. It’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon and sew a new Indie pattern, and I love supporting the Indie companies, but most just aren’t practical for me. Sidenote: Is anyone else getting a little irritated at how huge the Blog Tours are becoming? Ex: Pattern Parcel #3…the list goes on for ages! I see why advertising is important, especially for the Indie companies, but at some point it must become harmful to them. I actively avoid buying things that are too aggressively advertised.
  • As expected, MMM pointed out 2 gaping holes in my Me-Made wardrobe: bottoms (which I predicted) and cardigans.
  • Through the month, I’ve paid attention to the characteristics of the clothes I enjoy wearing. As I’ve mentioned many times, I work in a lab so I’m restricted to pants and closed toed-shoes (EHS regulations). Moreover, I’m around bleach all day, and since I don’t reliably wear my lab coat (it’s a hassle), I need to wear clothes aren’t too drapey and fall close to my body…otherwise when you lean over the bench to grab something, your clothes can touch unseen bleach and BAM, it’s ruined. It’s happened too many times, and usually to your brand new favorite shirt :(
  • Taking daily pictures is not fun – but if you leave your camera set up on a tripod in the living room it gets easier
  • I need to do something different with my hair (haha)

And the final set of pictures:

Tuesday, May 27th:
DSC_0454Yellow Swiss Dot Top

Wednesday, May 28th:
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Checked Grainline Archer

Thursday, May 29th (Happy Birthday Dad!):
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Orange Falling Leaves Blouse

Friday, May 30th:
DSC_0476Polka-Dot Butterick 6024

 I’m almost done with a dress for my bridal shower next weekend. And then after that, I might take a blogging break for the rest of the month….June is going to be a crazy crazy month.

It’s beautiful weather here in Boston – time to get outside and relax a bit while I still can!

Polka-Dot Butterick 6024

I haven’t had much time or energy for sewing lately…but it’s much easier to sit at my computer and type blog posts! Life has been crazy hectic, but in a good way. I’ve been working long hours in the lab and making good progress in preparation for my Thesis Committee meeting later in June so I’m really happy with that. Unfortunately cells and experiments don’t adhere to ‘weekends off’ or 9-5 hours, which is good because I have flexibility to plan my time, but also means I am at the will of my cells and animals. I have been working on writing a guide to how PhD’s are obtained – but there is just so much to tell, I’m having a hard time splitting it up into manageable sections.

I made this top a few weeks ago when I needed a quick and easy project. It’s Butterick 6024 and I was motivated to make this top after seeing Maureen’s version which I found on Pattern Review. Sidenote: Maureen recently made the CUTEST doggie tuxedo’s…I need to make one for Teddy for the wedding! So cute!

I made a size Small which corresponds to Big Four sizes 8-10. This is one size smaller than my typical Big Four size 12…but based on the final garment measurements I went with the smaller size. The fabric is another cotton/silk JCrew voile from FabricMart. This fabric is quite lovely – I’m not typically an animal print person but this ‘cheetah’ print is just barely animal print, which is just enough for me :)  . The colors are a nice off-white and charcoal – although the charcoal has a certain blue shimmer to it.

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It’s a little hard to see, but there are front tucks along the neckline. I made View A with the following changes:

  • Remove high-lo hem and shorten by ~4 inches
  • The bust is a good fit but I removed 12″ from the bottom circumference (sewed with 3″ SA on both sides) tapering to printed SA about 2″ under the bust
  • The armholes were tight so I lowered the bottom about 1.5″

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 10.19.41 AMThis top was too long and had a TON of ease – the fit before my adjustments was similar to this Vogue top that I made.
DSC_0468DSC_0471After I finished this top I wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not – hence the lack of immediate blogging. So it went to the back of my closet until I was running out of Me-Made garments for Me-Made-May and I pulled it out. I do really like it! I wore it with black jeans and a bright pink cardigan. It was comfortable and easy to wear all day as I ran around lab finishing my experiments.
DSC_0476This was my first time making tucks and luckily, this fabric presses well so I think they turned out pretty nicely. The neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding.
DSC_0482The only little thing I don’t love is that the tucks aren’t completely symmetrical. I’m kinda OCD about symmetry and balance and since there are a total of 9 tucks, 5 are pressed to one side and 4 pressed to the other side. I don’t think anyone but myself will notice…but it just bugs me.
DSC_0485DSC_0479Overall, I’m really happy with this top. It fits pretty well and is light, airy, and comfortable for hot summer days to come (hopefully they come!). Although once it’s hot, I know I’ll just complain until it’s winter again!