Monday, May 22, 2017

FO: Tigeröga Hollyburn Skirt

Guys - I made a whole outfit! This is a rarity with me, but I knew that I wouldn't have any tops to wear with this skirt fabric. I've had this skirt planned ever since Katharina of Fröbelina posted hers over a year ago :) I'm glad it's finally a reality!
I always love to look at Ikea's fabric, but I can never figure out what to make with them other than skirts. I've bought a few cuts over the years, but this is the first one I've made into something. It was entirely Katharina's fault. I liked her skirt so much that I made sure to grab this fabric from Ikea next time I could get over there.
I went with the Sewaholic Hollyburn pattern again, this time trying a new way to do my alterations. I needed extra room at the waist, but in this stiff fabric I really didn't want to add to the hem. So I measured out 1" from the pattern at the side seam, but I angled back down to the original hem. It was so simple, but it really made a difference in how this feels. I really like how this version lays :)
I went with a lapped zipper again (my fav), and this time I used a vintage 7" metal zipper from the stash. I went with the 7" because 1) I didn't have a 9" like recommended and 2) I have the problem of my previous Hollyburn (or two) being a bit too open when I'm trying to zip the skirt up (meaning they actually fall off and I have a hard time keeping them up over my hips). So I just took my black Hollyburn, opened the zipper 7", and made sure I could get it over my bum - which I could :) So 7" it was. The fact that it's metal is just because I liked the color of the zipper tape better than the others I had available.
And no lapped zipper of mine ever goes without a close up photo, lol. I just love them so much. Isn't it the perfect red? I love when that happens with stashed stuff, don't you?
Then, of course, there's the ever beloved pockets. I could seriously wax poetic about these pockets all day. They are so awesome.
And the side view. I love the shape you get with this pattern when you use a fabric with a lot of body. It keeps its shape well. I also love the length of this skirt. I always try for knee length, but sometimes I'm guilty of going a bit too high. I'm talking a 1" difference here. It's crazy how much that 1" can affect your comfort. This one is just long enough and stiff enough that a gust of wind does not trouble me - something that I never really thought about until I lived on the river. It's so windy here! I love that I don't have to constantly worry about any Marilyn moments with this skirt. I want my clothing to be worry free.
Another thing I did a little differently this time was try out a Hong Kong finish inside. As you can see I vastly underestimated the amount of bias tape this would take, lol. I had the idea because this fabric has so much body that you wouldn't see the thicker seams when worn, so why not try it out? I went to my thrifted stash of bias binding and picked colors I thought worked ok, then I'd run out and pick another, lol. I have 5 different bias tapes on here, most of which were sewn with my nifty bias binding foot - which I've never used before but I surely will now. It was fun to try something new. It took hours longer than my other Hollyburns, but it's a fun result even if only I will ever see it. 
I bias bound the waistband inside and then stitched in the ditch to close it. I really like this effect :) I also finished the hem with bias tape and then hand stitched it down. I didn't need the extra length, I just was going for consistency inside the skirt - well, as much consistency you can get with 5 different bias tape colors, lol. 
So there's my latest Hollyburn :) Check back soon to find out about my shirt that I made to go with it!

Fabric: 2 yards Tigeröga cotton print fabric from Ikea - $ 13.50
Pattern: Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic
Notions: 7" metal zipper - $0.10, various lengths of bias tape - $1.00 (thrifted), thread - $1.00
Time: 6 hours
Total Cost $15.60

Monday, May 15, 2017

FO: Black Hollyburn Skirt

I've been very good about buying fabric lately. I got on a kick of trying to catalog my stash on Trello à la Camille of Attack of the Seam Ripper. This was such a great idea when I read it last year, and I have added any new fabric and info to my trello board as soon as I can, but guys - my stash is massive. I used to think it was massive before I moved, but I got rid of more than a bucket full at my estate sale last September so I thought I was good. Then Hancock closed ... and I went to The Sewing Studio ... and I found more fabric at thrift stores then is probably good for me (but I was on the hunt for my Medieval dress and was in costume making "oh this could come in handy" mode at the time). The result has been that I have so much fabric that I am not nearly as tempted by the new and pretty as I have previously been. My stash is outgrowing my closet where it lives, which is my biggest wake-up call.

Anyway, what does that have to do with this skirt? In light of my non-fabric-buying-mood, I knew I would be safe to go on a button trip to The Sewing Studio. I was extremely close to finishing my Alecia Beth cardigan, and I wanted to have buttons on hand so I can call it done when the time came. I has looked at Hobby Lobby (my only local-ish store) but came up empty handed. So I decided to venture to Orlando and run a few errands one day, one of which was go to my favorite store :) I hit the mother load on buttons (they were clearancing entire tubes of buttons for $2 and $3), and I restrained myself on fabric except for just this one piece. In their bargain Annex there is a table of garment industry remnants that they sell for $5 per yard. This fabric was just too cool at the time, and it was a great price, so I decided to buy enough to make a Hollyburn skirt. I cut the skirt out within days, so that makes this fabric not count as stash :) Hooray! lol
I know this looks like a very boring skirt, and you'd be partially right in assuming that. The fabric is a black matte polyester with slubby lines all over. When I was in the store with the fabric, something about the fluorescent lighting made the slubs really stand out and look cool. I thought it would make a cool basic skirt - but in real life the texture isn't anything super exciting, lol. But there was something else this fabric had going for it - the party here is on the inside: this fabric is satin backed! Imagine a satin backed crepe but heavier and with a nice texture on the outside and that's this fabric. I knew it would be a great basic item with just a touch of something special, and I am always in need of a black skirt (who isn't, right?), so the satiny back side made this have no need of a lining but still feel like it has one.
I used the trusty Hollyburn skirt pattern from Sewaholic. I've made this pattern a few times now, so I knew the adjustments I needed to make. This one I did slightly different, but it still turned out with a good fit :) I need a bit more at the waist than the largest size of the pattern, and last time (on my Deep Purple Hollyburn) I added about a half inch to each seam, but that feels like a bit too much in the center front. So this time I only added to the side seams. I was slightly afraid it would put the pockets in a weird place, but all is well.
The pockets are always my favorite feature of this pattern, and these are just great, lol. They really are the perfect pocket. I always want to put my hands in them. One change I did make with this skirt is that I cut the fabric on the cross grain. When I bought it, I just figured the slubs went along the grain of the fabric, but they actually go on the cross grain. There was literally zero difference in the stretch (or lack thereof) from the grain to the cross grain (since this is totally polyester and such a tight weave), so I decided to just go with the cross grain. I can't tell any difference whatsoever in the fit, so it all worked out. I just really didn't want the slubs to go horizontally across my hips, and I'm happy with their direction this way.
I decided to go with a lapped zipper on this skirt because I think it looks a bit dressier plus I love them. They just look classy and I've really developed a knack for sewing lapped zippers. It's funny that I avoided them for so long because I just didn't understand how they worked, but now that I do I can't stop sewing them, lol.
Here's a close up of that lovely zipper :) I used a thrifted 9" zipper from my epic stash, and in this super slick inside fabric that is a little too long. As in it actually is difficult to keep the fabric up on my hips to zip it up, so I try not to open the zipper up all the way, lol. Is that a first world problem, or what? And of course the I had to add a close up of the lovely pocket :) Man, they're great.
Here's the satiny inside :) I overcast all the seam allowances because this stuff loved to fray. Another change I made was to sew the waistband as two pieces instead of just one that is folded over. The slubby texture is slightly rough, and I wanted to take full advantage of the satin side for lining, so I used two pieces of waistband to ensure I had the satin side touching my skin. It worked out really well. I even hand sewed the waistband closed! I hate doing that, lol, but since it was so nicely finished inside I decided to go the extra mile there.

I also decided to hand stitch the hem. I have a hard time hemming this skirt by machine unless I'm top stitching it, but again I wanted to keep things a bit smoother outside so I just went for it. It's a bit wavy outside, but to be honest I can't remember if I pressed it after sewing the hem, lol. So it may even out when I steam the heck out of it.
So that's my new skirt :) I know it's not super exciting to look at, but I find it very exciting. I'm always on the look out for a good black skirt! I didn't realize until I was taking photos of my recently finished makes, but this skirt looks really cute with my Sailor top. I actually managed to unintentionally make a mini capsule wardrobe out of the Sailor top, this skirt, and then another skirt and shirt that will soon be blogged. Always nice to have choices that work together!

Fabric: 1.5 yards of black textured poly with satin back - $11.25
Pattern: Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic
Notions: 9" black zipper - $0.10, black knit stay tape - $0.10, black thread - $0.50
Total Cost: $11.95

Thursday, May 11, 2017

FO: Red Dotted Swiss Sailor Top

Ever since joining Creativebug last year, I've planned on making the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts. It's such a simple shape and seemed pretty flattering in general, plus the examples were just so cute! I had to give it a try. I finally decided to just dive in a few weeks ago.
So, this is the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts. The pattern is part of a class on Creativebug, so you print out and assemble the pattern like normal, but the instructions are given in video form. The class itself is very easy to follow, giving close up demonstrations of each step. The class is designed that even a beginner could end up with a cute shirt. You can use any type of fabric you like, and while the quilting cotton examples are tempting, I knew I wanted to use something different.
My fabric is a simple dotted Swiss cotton in red that I bought when Hancock Fabrics was going out of business. We're talking in the last days of their business, meaning this was one of the few remaining bolts. Which is kind of surprising since this is nice fabric. It's a light, breezy cotton that is just slightly sheer but the color helps with the opacity. I bought 2 yards not having any clue what I would make, but it was only $2 a yard so I went for it. It suddenly struck me that it would be great for this pattern :) Gotta love those random bits of inspiration. I think the dotted texture really helps a very plain top.
This fabric really is great for this pattern. There is a bit of shaping at the waist, but mostly this is just a boxy top. The fact that this fabric has a nice drape really helps keep me from looking like a lego brick. If I pull my arms out (like above) it definitely looks a bit boxy, but I don't typically stand that way, lol. I think the real saving grace is that it flares just a touch at the hip, giving the illusion of shaping.
I was skeptical about raglan sleeves on my shoulders, but I'm happy they look good :) The raglan sleeves seem to give my shoulders a bit of extra pouf which I'm never opposed to. I like the sleeve bands as well - it all balances well together I think. Even though the design is simple, it's well thought out because the sleeve hems, bottom hem, and neck band all have a similar look when finished.
It may be a bit wide of a neckline with my shape. I had to adjust the neck throughout the day when I wore it the first time - not so much it bugged me, but enough that I realize it's not perfect fitting. But really how much fitting can you do on a top like this?
So that's my Sailor top :) I have a few random fabric cuts in things like rayon that I think would be great in tops like this, so I'm sure I will be making more. The nice thing is that this pattern come with your membership to Creativebug, so if you're interested I'd definitely recommend following the links!

Fabric: 1.5 yards red dotted Swiss cotton - $4.00
Pattern: Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts on Creativebug
Notions: red thread - $0.50
Time: 3.5 hours
Total Cost: $4.50

*I am an affiliate of Creativebug, and I get a little something if you sign up through me. I bought my membership with my own money, and all opinions about this pattern are completely my own. I just really liked this class :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

FO: Crazy Daisy Shirt

After my not quite successful first try at the Boogie Retro Shirt (seen here), I was curious to try a few things to improve the pattern for me. I chatted with Andrea of The New Vintage Wardrobe on the Curvy Sewing Collective's Facebook wall about her successful shirts. She said that she never had luck with the gathered bodice, and also didn't love the placement of the pleats in the pattern. Instead she would make up the whole shirt, then pleat them as she liked and sew them down. I decided to give this method a try myself, plus a few other minor changes. The result is some good, some not quite, but it's another wearable item :)
Since this was another experiment, I wanted to use a fabric I wouldn't mind being without. A few years ago a friend of mine offered up a bag full of "ugly knit fabric". She was clearing things out, and these pieces had been given to her long before and she knew she would never use them, but thought I could use them for muslins. She was so right :) But proving ever that one woman's "ugly fabric" is another woman's "potentially wearable", I've always kind of liked this particular print, lol. I just have a thing for daisies. The knit itself is cotton interlock, and the daisies are a thick ink style printing on top. The daisies are slightly rough feeling, especially in contrast to how soft the fabric is itself. So it's not the highest quality, but it was perfect to use for a top I didn't know would be wearable or not. So thanks, Holly, for hating this fabric, lol. 
This time around I not only did the suggested "add pleats at the end", I also:
  • removed 1/2" scoop from bodice at front arm scye (to fix the pooling of fabric at my arm pit)
  • added 1" to the sides of the neckline (to fix the exposed garments issue)
  • added 1/2" out at the hip in a curve
  • shortened each neckband by 1"
  • started pleats lower down on bust (as before they felt too high)
I'm happy to say that the changes mostly worked, but some worked a bit too well, lol. Namely the neckline now has so much added at the side that it just looks like a scoop neck that is pulled down to a slight v. I was pretty bummed to realize this when I finished this top. It's still wearable, but this plus the little girl-ish print makes me feel a bit dorky, truth be told. I do like the bodice pleats in theory, but I don't like my application. I kept wondering if there was too much "cupping" going on under my boobs as I was pleating, but with how I wanted things to sit at the neckline it was what I needed to do. I realize now that I needed to almost have a bit more fabric to accomplish this in the way I was trying. My pleats pulled too much from the bottom of the shirt, making the front shorter than intended while also pulling fabric up between my boobs (creating the cupped effect). It was too late to do anything about it on this make, but I will note that next time. I have another love/hate with where the pleats sit. I do like where the pleats sit visually - it just looks "right" to have them centered between the boobs instead of slightly above them. I don't love that there is a good 1.5" - 2" of fabric above the pleats though. Due to my religious garments, I couldn't dip the neckline lower, but my brain knows that this style is supposed to dip lower so I keep thinking it doesn't look right. It's not bad - I think I wouldn't mind as much had the sides not been quite so wide. It definitely makes my boobs look a bit bigger, lol, so there's that.
You can see in the side photo that the added fabric at the hip is kid of pooling. I actually have slight wings of fabric sitting there, which is surprising. I think the curve I added was just more drastic then my body could fill right there, so I will be scooping that bit out next time. You can also see how the front is a bit shorter in the photo. This is a common problem for me that I always forget to adjust for, but the pleating exacerbated the issue here. Note to self: add more length to the front next time! I usually don't notice until the top is finished and I look at the side view photos. Oh well.
Things look good in the back. On my first version I was feeling a little gaping at the back neckline, which is why I decided to shorten the neckband this time. This alteration actually worked beautifully and the neck on this version feels much more secure. I also like the fit through the back on this one, and I was able to ease the gathers much nicer at the sleeve cap so there are no puckers this time :)
So now I have yet another Boogie Retro Shirt that is just not quite right, but it's a bit closer :) I am determined, folks. I will crack this pattern and make it work for me. Next time around I will remove a little at the neckline and maybe try to eliminate the center front seam (I'm never a fan of front seams on me for some reason, but I did it because of the design here). So expect to see more of this pattern soon. In the meantime at least I have a cute and extremely springy daisy top :)

Fabric: 1 yard daisy printed cotton interlock - free
Pattern: Boogie Retro Shirt by Cecelia Theresa Designs
Notions: clear elastic - $0.10, white thread - $0.50, woolly nylon thread - $0.25
Time: 2.5 hours
Total Cost: $0.85