Saturday, July 18, 2015

90s rayon Clover dress

Who was I kidding, Ricky is not fired at all. He's my #1 photographer.

Check out the artsy shit he did with these leeeeeeaves! I'm using it as a reveal for this new dress:




This is the Clover Dress by Brooke Tyson for Papercut Patterns. It is a very simple raglan sleeve pullover dress with no buttons, zips, or closures of any kind-- thus the basis of its appeal! The V-insert on the chest provides a bit of interest. I opted for lace, to sort of mimic the example on the pattern cover, shown below.

I found so many great Clovers on the internet while I was out combing for inspiration! Here are a smattering of my favorites. I like them that much. :) Also, all of these ladies had the perfect skinny belt to wear with this drapey dress so their waist didn't get lost. Note to self: Skinny belt!

Not familiar with this blog, but it kicked off the theme of pretty blue Clovers with black inserts.

I found this lovely blog when researching Clover dresses. She made two that I just love! Plus she is quite stylish so she pulls everything off with panache. This first dress with flamingo print has a V-insert made with the same fabric as the rest of the dress, but accented with piping. I may steal that idea for round two!

Numero Dos has that blue fabric, black insert thing going on! I think the dark colors allow it to play nice with the boots and tights for a cooler weather outfit.

 The lovely blog of Miss Make revealed two informative Clover makes. She made this fantastic dress version with a black insert (again) but a nice green fabric.

The first was this blouse with a yellow floral print-- guess who was planning to make a yellow floral Clover!? She made the blouse version in this light print with a big black V. This helped me decide on something more sheer, like lace, to have a little less contrast on my dress. It also helped me choose a contrasting neckline.

So I found my floral rayon challis on and ordered it, but when it arrived it read a lot more YELLOW than I expected. Also, the flowers were smaller than I had hoped. Online, it seemed more balanced between black background and yellow/mustard flowers (with little green leaf accents). I was a little disappointed, and also concerned that the yellowy fabric would look terrible on my pale skin without a bit of contrast at the neckline. I decided to cut the neck band bias strip out of black fabric to solve that problem. Unfortunately, the whole project was put on pause for weeks because I could find aboslutely NO suitable black fabric in my stash and I didn't go to the fabric store for quite some time (busy, heatwave, budgeting). 

FINALLY, I went to the fabric store yesterday and picked up half a yard of black peachskin polyester fabric cause it was the best I could find. I came home, finished sewing up the neckband and side seams, hemmed VERY hurriedly, and wore this dress to our dinner double date at the Indian buffet!

Un-belted, this dress is VERY buffet friendly. So flowy!

It has a seriously 90s look to me.  Babydoll dress in floral rayon challis... Yup. Super 90s. I feel like Larisa Oleynik or Melissa Joan Hart probably wore this exact dress at some point.

This is just the beginning of my floral fabric love affair. I'm about to order a BUNCH of floral printed knits.

I've been thinking about fabric choices. My most recent fabric splurges involved lots of woven fabrics (these generally do not stretch and whose edges, if left alone, fray). I had lots of visions of blouses, button downs, etc. I have sewn up a couple of those fabrics, but not many, opting instead for the knit fabrics in my stash (knits are stretchy and don't fray, these are the fabrics of your t-shirts, sweatshirts, jersey dresses, leggings...). Part of what I dread about wovens is the finishing of raw edges, but I realized I can improve the experience by using special seam techniques. This dress was sewn up entirely with french seams. My most recent (as-yet-unblogged) denim skirt has flat-felled seams. Overall, I think I favor sewing knits.  But that may be a symptom of where I've practiced the most.

Anywho, I have rayon challis in a blue print ready to roll. But I don't know yet what my next project will be. I'm trying to get back in the groove after that heat wave!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Astoria" knock off

First of all...

Major update of the moment:  Ricky and I got engaged last weekend!!! We were at a party full of friends before the World Naked Bike Ride and he completely surprised me. I actually took all the photos for today's blog entry on the day that he proposed-- before he proposed. I had no idea what that day had in store for us... The last week and a half have been a very surreal blur of celebrating and being with friends and family!!! And also... sweaty, gross, heatwave.

Portland had a serious heatwave for the last two weeks. Pretty much every day was over 90* if not 100* and that's outside temperatures... My little sewing room gets the worst of it because it has big windows facing the West and we live on the second story of our buiding and HO. LY. CRAP. it is so goddamn hot in this room. I can't stay in our house most of the time, let alone try to sew in this room. I have been out of the house most of the time trying to stay cool.

And I really miss sewing. :(  But between the engagement, July 4th, out of town visitors, and the general weirdness of the heat wave, I've almost been to busy to care... ALMOST. The heat wave has made me feel like I'm on vacation, except none of us are actually on vacation... but it's too hot to stay in our house, so I've been out CONSTANTLY.

I sewed something awhile ago! Time to blog!

For awhile I've been contemplating the Colette Seamwork Astoria pattern. At first, I found it underwhelming. Then, I started thinking it might be the perfect layering piece for a tall lady with me. Embrace the cropped sweater length, wear it with a high waisted skirt, etc...

I thought, hey! I could use some of those! But isn't it more or less a cropped long sleeve t-shirt pattern, just sewn up with a sweater knit?


So I just sewed up the long sleeve version of the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater and cut it off at the waist. I added a thick waist band and thick wrist cuffs.

I used this awesomely thick jersey type knit from Mood Fabrics. It was on sale for $6 a yard or something like that and I had this sweater in mind when I ordered it. It's thick! 

So.... after I cut it I was SUPER SAD when I realized that I cut the normal Lady Skater neckline for this sweater. I meant to do a high neck like the Astoria! WTF, how did I space on that?!?!

The reason I care is that this scoop neck will make it awkward to layer with. Most of my t-shirts (especially ones I made myself) have a similar neckline to this sweater, so they're just going to peak out irregularly from underneath this neckline. 

On the bright side, I think that I can just wear it with a camisole underneath and hopefully that will be warm enough. I have a really hard time planning outfits for weather that is different from what I'm currently experiencing (like packing for a trip in a warmer climate than Portland during the cold months) so maybe it will all work great!


It's also a little longer than the Astoria, methinks. Oh well! That makes it more versatile for wearing it with pants.

Time shall tell! 

I seriously can't wait to start sewing again. When this heat calms down.

What a crazy couple of weeks, you guys.