Showing posts from May, 2016

MMM Week 4

I didn't include this as part of my original pledge, but I'm trying to see I can go the entire month without repeating outfits.  I've made it so far, but barely and only because I've made a couple dresses during the month.

Here are my week 3 outfits.

Sunday, May 22

I think you can start to see a trend here.  Sunday's are my lazy days.  I often do go out to brunch or something, but this month so far, we haven't been.

On to the bad work bathroom selfies for the week.

Monday, May 23

Greenstyle Laurel cut at the shorter length with RTW leggings.

Tuesday, May 24

Today I'm wearing my second Ottobre Optic Flowers dress I raised the waistline piece about an inch and I think it sits better than the first one.  Although, my preference would be for it to be even higher.  But then it wouldn't be a dropped waist dress anymore.  Lol.

Wednesday, May 25

This is another Lady Skater that I made at the end of last year.

Thursday, May 26

This is a Seamwork Mesa that I wasn't pleased with.  But since I've lost a little weight, I think it looks better on me now.  But I still probably won't be making anymore of these.

Friday, May 27

Butterick 5950 that I made last summer while I was unemployed. 

Saturay, May 28

Saturday we went up to Port Moody, BC to watch my daughter's lacrosse game.   She's been playing goalie since she was little and Canada has women's indoor lacrosse leagues that we don't have here in the states, at least not in Washington.  She was playing in the upper age division because their goalie got a concussion and is out for the rest of the season.  She had 36 shots on her goal and didn't let a single one in.  She told me afterwards that no one thought they would win against this team and the captain was preparing her for a horrible loss.  But her team won 3-0.

This photo was taken at a sushi restaurant my husband and I went to before the game.  Not the best photo of my outfit, but in all the excitement I forgot to have him take more.  I'm wearing black RTW leggings that you can't see, with a Love Notions Laundry Day Tee that I made with a white and black pinstripe fabric that I dyed purple.

Rose Red Lady Skater

May is inspiration month at The Monthly Stitch.  I have noticed that I have many dresses made out of fabric with lovely prints.  So, the easiest way for me to put together an outfit is to make leggings and/or cardigans in solid colors, neither of which I've successfully made yet (perhaps foreshadowing IPM...?)

So, as I was looking through TMS archives to find an inspirational post, this one for  Rosemary's Fabulously Red Lady Skater caught my eye.  It's a solid color, it's my favorite dress pattern, it's red, which I've traditionally avoided wearing, but lately have been told I should wear it more often.  So that seemed like a perfect dress to copy.  Especially since I even already had fabric on hand.

I had recently picked up some Rose Red Poly/Lycra Abstract Jacquard Double Knit from Fabric Mart with the intention of making myself a red dress.

And here's a photo I took of it to show off the texture.

I've made the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater several times, but I tried something a bit different with this one.  The fabric is a bit scratchy, so I decided to line it with something that would feel better against my skin.  So I chose a very soft black and red animal print rayon blend jersey that I picked up from a flawed fabric bargain lot from Girl Charlee.  At first I only planned to line the bodice, but as I was constructing it, I thought about how the waist seam would end up being itchy and the dress being on my legs sitting at my desk all day might bug me too, so I cut the skirt pieces too.

I sandwiched the pieces together at the waist seam, as I did with the plaid version I made at the end of last year.  I didn't line the sleeves, but my insides were looking so good that I thought maybe I would try a French seam to attach the sleeve.  This red fabric is pretty thick, so both of those plans were just terrible ideas.  Granted, I didn't clip the curve of the sleeve seam, but still, the thickness of the French seam made the shoulder look bumpy and very bad.  Luckily, I only did one before I realized it was a mistake.  As for the waist seam, I just felt like the seam was too visibly bulky with all 4 fabrics joined together like that, and all 4 steam allowances all bunched up together.  So I started ripping out seams.  Which added a week to this project.  Mostly because I pouted some for a while at the fact that I had to do so much seam ripping and also because the lighting in my comfy spots are terrible for being able to rip out stitching that so closely matches the thread to the fabric.  But I did find some daylight times to be able to do it eventually.

Once I reassembled the dress with the lining hanging completely separate, the dress looked so much better constructed than it did previously.  And I just love how it looks on the hanger with the black and red animal print peeking out.

Here's the finished dress inside out on my dress form.

I even added French tacks to keep the lining from shifting around too much.  I followed this tutorial from Ohhh Lulu.

And here I am wearing it out in the driveway.

My husband and I walked down to the park at the end of the street to take these photos.  Not many turned out very great.  Here's me doing my best Vanna White impression.

And this one was me trying to act shocked in response to my husband making some crack about how he's stalking me in the woods.  My new glasses have transition lenses, so I don't really notice them changing and am always surprised to see I'm wearing sunglasses in my photos.  haha.

MMM week 3

Here are my week 3 outfits.

Sunday, May 15

Again, I didn't leave the house and I just lounged around sewing and planning.  I cut out a red Lady Skater with a full lining for the May Monthly Stitch challenge, and I thought it would be a quick make, but I messed up trying to get fancy with the sleeve insertion and I have a lot of stitching to rip out now.  I've not had a chance to get it done during the day when the light is good.  But I identified a problem that I need to resolve -- better lighting in my living room next to where I want to sit and do the hand work (ripping, catch stitching, etc.)

Now what you've been anxiously awaiting, the awesome work bathroom selfies for the week.

Monday, May 16

Sew Straight and Gather Uptown/Downtown dress.  This was the wearable muslin I made from some Girl Charlee (affiliate link) flawed bargain lot fabric.  I love this dress, but the fabric is very thin, so I have to wear a slip with it.  I should have fully lined it.

Tuesday, May 17

This is a self drafted 6 panel skirt.  I had this fabric from some point in my way-back past and I think there was about a yard and a half.  I calculated a pattern for a 6 panel circle skirt, but I didn't have enough fabric for that, so I trimmed the edges down until I could fit 6 panels onto my fabric, matching the plaid horizontally.

I pretty much always wear this skirt with this Coheed and Cambria concert tee because the colors match really well and also because I love to promote my favorite band.

Wednesday, May 18

Polka dotted GreenStyle Creations Laurel.

Thursday, May 19

SisBoom Megan with a nice 70s vibe.  I got many compliments on this dress.  One from a guy at work and many from people at my dance studio.  I think maybe that was because it's so short!  I did wear a pair of white Old Navy shorts underneath, even at work, just to feel confident I wouldn't flash anyone.

Now that I've actually worn it, I have some additional thoughts that didn't occur to me when I wrote up my original blog post.  I like the bell sleeves, but as you can see in the photo, you can often see the inside of the sleeve, which just bothers me for some reason.  And the construction method of the sleeves calls for a bias strip sewn to the sleeve up in the bicep area to make a casing for the elastic.  I think if I were to make this dress again with the bell sleeves, I would make the upper sleeve and lower sleeve two separate pieces and sew them together to create the elastic casing and line the lower sleeve so that it would look good from any angle.

Friday, May 20

My very first Lady Skater dress.

Saturay, May 14

Seamwork Moji.  I'm not very fond of these pants and I think the fabric I used makes them look like hospital scrubs, but I wore them to brunch on this chilly morning.  The place we went to is partially open and a cool breeze would waft in occasionally, so I stayed all bundled up the entire time.

MMM week 2

Here are my week 2 outfits.

Sunday, May 8

I didn't end up leaving the house, so I was just in lounge wear all day sewing a (hopefully) wearable muslin of the Seamwork Perry from the latest issue.

I spent a lazy day trimming the pages for a few Seamwork patterns then taped the Perry together.  Then I spent way too long trying to decide which size to make.  Of course all this while I'm lazing on my couch watching the Magic Mike movies and then 10 Things I Hate About You for the 200th time.  Hopefully I'll post something about that Perry soon.

On to the bad work bathroom selfies for the week.

Monday, May 9

Colette Moneta.  This is one of my favorite dresses to wear.

Tuesday, May 10

Today I'm wearing my first Ottobre Optic Flowers dress that I blogged about last July.

Wednesday, May 11

Today's dress is my dyed GreenStyle Creations Laurel.  I'm not sure I love this dress.  Although, it has gotten fairly big -- more so than a lot of my other dresses I made during the same time.  So that might be one of the reasons I feel like it's not the most flattering silhouette on me.

Thursday, May 12

Another Ottobre Twig made out of the white green daisy on white cotton jersey knit from a Girl Charlee knitfix that I dyed purple.

Friday, May 13

Lady Skater dress.  I took a bunch of cute photos in this dress at the pocket park at the end of the street, but apparently never posted anything about it.  Worst. Blogger. Evar.

Saturay, May 14

This is a Seamwork Perry that I finished up on Friday.  I really like it and I already have my next one cut.  I need to take some better photos then write up a blog post about it.  My husband didn't tell me that I was frowning in almost all of them.

I've made 4 Anna's, and 3 of them are dresses!

My (almost 20 year old) daughter is named Anna, so the dress I made for Portland DOR was my 4th Anna, but the 3rd By Hand London Anna.  I haven't blogged about either of the other two yet.  I made a floor length red and gold one last year for the Banff DOR's Red & White ball.  That was the first one I planned to make, but it ended up being my second one.

My first was an unplanned make that I ended up needing to wear to a funeral.

Both of them were sewn with French seams (the first time I'd ever done that!) and lined bodice.  The black dress (lovingly referred to as my Melissa dress) also has a skirt lining that hangs freely.

I love the way they fit and, unfortunately I don't have any good photos of either of them on me.  But I do have this one with my dance instructor, Ya-Ya, and some real life Mounties.

At some point in the past I purchased some of this interesting looking velour from Morex Fabrics with the intention of making a muslin of the Seamwork Camden that was inexpensive but still pretty enough to wear if it worked out.

When it arrived, I discovered that velour is stretchy, which I should have known, but didn't occur to me for some reason.  So I instead, for some reason, cut a bodice for an Anna, removing the back zipper seam.  I sewed it up to see how it fit in a stretchy fabric and then I put it aside.

Fast forward a few months and I need at least one more dress for my long weekend of dancing, but I'm having trouble deciding on what to make.  So I decided to cut a skater style skirt to attach to this waiting bodice.  I took the Anna front skirt pieces and lay them out with the center front on the fold and the side front piece overlapping the center front piece by the 5/8" seam allowance.  I then placed the skirt piece from my Lady Skater pattern on top for comparison and spread the side front piece away from the center front piece, keeping them connected at the seam line.  I did that until the side seams were parallel.  The Lady Skater piece was more narrow, but I wanted the waist seam of the Anna skirt to stay the same.  I then cut the fabric out around both pieces, lengthening the skirt a bit.  (I'm sorry I didn't think to take photos!). Then did the same for the back skirt.

I also lined the bodice with some white burnout knit fabric I had from a  Girl Charlee bargain lot.

I decided to hem the dress with horsehair braid to give the skirt a little bit of extra body.  It's pretty subtle, but I really like how it turned out.

But I finished my newest Anna in time to take to Portland.  I wore it the first night for the bus tour and dinner cruise.  Then I took these photos in my hotel room afterward.

I got several compliments, which always makes me feel good.  Most of the people from my dance studio know I make a lot of my own clothes, so I usually get some, "Did you make this one?" type questions.

This dress was really quite simple though and I really like how it looks.  I think I'll try making another in a fabric that suits itself for everyday wear.

MMM Week 1

This is my first year participating in Me-Made-May.  Yay!

Here's what I said in my pledge that I managed to add on the signup post on May 2nd.
I have planned to participate for a while, but now I'm officially stating that I, jennifer (MizzSmartyPants) of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavor to wear at least one me-made item each work day for the duration of May 2016. In addition, I also pledge to wear a me-made item on any weekend day where I leave the house.
So here's my first week of outfits.

Sunday, May 1

I was in Portland for a dance competition last weekend, but I knew that Sunday was May 1st, so I specifically packed a me-made dress to wear to come home in.  Although, silly me, I didn't think about getting a good photo, but I do have a photo that you can kind of see what I'm wearing.

I took this photo to see my hair after I took down the updo that the hair ladies gave me for Saturday's competition that I slept in because I was too tired to deal with all the hairspray and glue (yes, glue) in my hair.

This was the most recent Lady Skater I made.

Monday, May 2

My work week photos will most likely all be work bathroom mirror shots.  I don't have a full length mirror at home for some reason and I'm always in too big of a rush out the door in the mornings anyway.

This is my animal print Moneta that I made over a year ago and wear quite often.

Tuesday, May 3

This is a dress from the Ottobre 5/2015 issue and the design is called Twig.  I thought I blogged about it, but couldn't find the published post.  Well, it's because I never finished the blog post and it's sitting there as a draft.  I guess I need to get on the ball with that!

Wednesday, May 4

This is my Rainbow Ethnic Chevron Lady Skater that I didn't blog about, but mentioned in my Top 5 of 2015 post.  It's one of my favorite dresses because the colors are so pretty.  I have some extra of this fabric so I can make another when this one wears out or if I lose too much weight to be able to wear it anymore.

Thursday, May 5

I was feeling a little blah this day and I also had a dance lesson after work and no clean dance pants to wear under a dress/skirt due to not having done laundry yet since spending a long weekend dancing.  So I'm wearing RTW jeans with a See Kate Sew Dreamer Tee I made last summer from a green stripe knit and then hand painted flowers on it to cover up some dye bleed the fabric picked up in the wash.  I swear I remember writing up a blog post about this top, but I don't have one, so who knows what I was remembering.  I'm also wearing my elephant kimono that I did actually blog about in February.  I'm not as pleased with how I look in pants and tops because they all cut me right in half at my widest point.  But I have some ideas about how to fix 

Friday, May 6

This is one of the dresses I made for last weekend's dance competition.  Friday night's dinner had a Bohemian theme, so I, of course, had to make a dress.  I was a little unsure about wearing it to work because it sorta feels a bit on the nicer side.  But it was fine and I was worried about nothing.

Saturday, May 7

This is a Simplicity 1375 dress I made last summer as part of a contest that I ended up winning.  I thought I blogged about it because I remember writing details about the construction and posting a photo of the sketch I did if it.  But I must just be blogging in my dreams. 

I don't think I've ever actually worn this dress before today.  I wore a $3 Old Navy tank top underneath to give a little bit of modesty.  I'm not usually one to worry about that too much, but the neckline on this dress is pretty low and we were going out to a family place for breakfast.  

Burda Bohemian maxi

One of the themed nights of the Portland Dance O Rama was Bohemian.  So, since that is a style that is very in right now, I thought it would be fun to make a dress that goes with the theme.  I bought a lovely blue floral rayon woven fabric from JoAnn's, but I also ordered a floral burnout knit from Fabric Mart.  When the burnout knit arrived, I completely fell in love with the colors and I knew it would make the perfect long, flowy maxi.

But what pattern to use?  I looked through my huge stash of patterns and had some candidates, but I also searched on The Fold Line and asked in some FB sewing groups to see if there were any better, preferably PDF, patterns that would work.  But after all was said and done, I settled on Burda 6950 that I had in my stash of paper patterns.

I made the longer version as is without hemming it, then tried it on and measured how far away from the floor it fell.  I then added seam and hem allowances to that measurement and cut two panels of that height and the width of the fabric.  I sewed them together end to end, gathered it up, using the dental floss and zig zag stitch method and added a nice ruffle to the bottom.

At first I also added some eyelet lace trim and basted it together, but it looked a little too Little House on the Prairie for my taste.  So I ripped it all out.  I'm really sorry now that I didn't get a photo of it before deciding to remove it.  I'm sure you would all agree that I made the right choice though.

The other change I mad to the pattern was I lengthened the sleeves to be long enough to reach my wrist plus an allowance for a narrow casing.  I just extended it straight, instead of tapering it and then added elastic at the wrist to produce a wide, romantic sleeve.

I wanted some buttons to match the magenta color in the fabric, but I couldn't find any at the 3 different fabric stores I went to.  While I was at Pacific Fabrics, the ladies working there didn't seem to have a lot to do, so when they asked me what I was looking for, I actually enlisted their help.  One of them suggested I use fabric covered buttons, which I hadn't done before.  She then further came up with the idea to use a matching ribbon to cover them instead of just using the dress fabric.

I really love how it came out, even though the color isn't quite a perfect match.  And the buttons exactly match the ribbon I used for the neckline and waistline ties.  Although, I'm thinking I might remove those and add elastic there instead.  The ties are cute, but it just feels awkward when putting the dress on.

The dress was a big hit at the event and I got several gushing comments on it.  Even though I only wore it for about 90 mins during dinner before I had to change back into my dance dress for the evening competition, I was very glad that I made it.

I had hoped to make a slip dress to wear under it in a peach knit fabric I have in my stash, but I had a lot of sewing to do for my event and since I already had a dark brown RTW slip dress, I made the peach dress the lowest priority in the sewing todo list, so it ended up getting cut.  Since I don't really have any other plans for that fabric, I'll probably go ahead and still do it to wear with this dress in the future.  But the brown looks nice as the under layer, so I'm not complaining.

I love how this dress is so light and flowy.  When a breeze kicks up or I'm walking fast, the skirt whips against my legs and just feels cool.

I'm sure I'll be making some more of this dress, but next time I'll probably do it as the pattern is drafted.