Actual Sewing Content

Keeping it classy with canned corn pattern weights. #sewing

After procrastinating for many many weeks, I finally had a chance to trace and pin the Colette Violet pattern. I’m on the fence about pinning. Sometimes I think it leads to accurate cutting, sometimes I think it makes the fabric bunch up and I like to keep it as flat as possible. I’m using a striped grey cotton from my stash.

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Esteemed Sewing Assistant turned Pirate Cat. #sewing #cats #catsofinstagram #cat #sphynx #sphynxofinstagram

Esteemed Sewing Assistant in Training, trying to be a Pirate Cat.

What you don’t see are hours spent saying, “No, don’t sit on that!” — everything from the fabric, the ironed out patterns, the pattern on the fabric, to “No don’t play with the pin cushion!” until Esteemed Sewing Assistant in Training fell asleep.

More to come soon.

Colette Laurel: Wool Gabardine Version

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Finally, proof of sewing! And it’s not even black.

I finished my wool gabardine Laurel late December last year, and only shamefully had a chance to document it today. I haven’t worn it out yet, but it’s only because it is much too cold to wear dresses right now.

In full disclosure, I made two (!!) muslins of this before I was satisfied with it. I also cut it incorrectly the first time and had to sew it twice. I serged the seams, hand-basted the sleeves in, and hand-sewed the hem. All in all a lot more work than I’m used to and with much struggling, especially since I’ve turned to knits and never look back, but definitely well worth it.

Pattern review below.

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Project Details:

Pattern: Colette Laurel.

Pattern Sizing: 0-18.

Description: Jacket with skirt and peplum.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Wool gabardine, with an invisible zipper.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, had I chosen to read them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This is the second time I’ve made this pattern. I really like it, simple, yet versatile.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Yes, many. Lowered bust dart by 2 inches, shortened hem by 1 inch, lowered the neckline by 5/8 inch, removed 1 inch from the center back, made a narrow upper back adjustment, adjusted the sleeve cap and removed all the extraneous ease from it, and lengthened the sleeve to try to hide my sleeve (somewhat unsuccessfully.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. I see many more Laurels in the future.

Laurel, The Gatsby-Hacked Version

It took way longer than it should have, but I finally finished my version of Laurel. I finished reading The Great Gatsby on my commute the other week, and I wanted something that would capture the decadent, opulent, lush feel of the novel.

Btw, I didn’t realize how sheer this dress was. I’m lucky there’s a brown fence behind most of me.

Edit: Thanks for reminding me guys, I am entering this in the Colette Patterns contest.

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Pattern Description: Loosely fitted basic sheath dress or top.

Pattern Sizing: 0-18. I cut a 4 on top and tapered to a 6 on the bottom.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, sort of.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I have on idea, I didn’t read the directions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how versatile and simple this pattern is.

Fabric Used: Sheer crushed velvet.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I changed this pattern a lot. I dropped the neckline, took out the front and back darts, and raised the hem. I wanted a 60s-inspired does 20s-inspired version. I serged the side seams and hem and used seam binding to finish the neckline and armholes. I removed the darts since I didn’t think the crushed velvet could handle it, and I wanted to keep it simple.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. I’d really like to sew this so it would actually look like Laurel version, and not severely modified.

Conclusion: I’d definitely make this again.

What I’m Working on This Week: Laurel, The Gatsby-Hacked Version

Sheer crushed velvet, with topaz and cobalt blue flowers.

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It’s been quiet around these parts since I’ve been doing a lot of pattern modifications on Colette Laurel and have no decent photographs to show for it.

I’ve been working on my version over the weekend. No sleeves, lower neckline, no darts, much more simple shaping. I finished reading The Great Gatsby on my commute last week, a novel thing since I’m a very slow fiction reader, and I’ve been greatly inspired by that. I want something that will mirror the lush opulence and decadence of what the 1920s are in my head (at least based on what I read from Gatsby>), and it’s been slow going.

Hopefully this project will be done in time for the Laurel sewing contest next week.

The Sons of Anarchy Macaron

Front view.

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This is my first time doing side-seam pockets. Not bad!

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Sitting down. The skirt is very pouffy.

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Checking for pockets.

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Bracelets, snake & roses, closeup.

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Standing next to some shrubbery. You can almost see the bodice contrast here of eyelet vs. lined eyelet, but not really.

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Alright, so this has nothing to do with Sons of Anarchy but I watched a lot of it over the weekend.

I finished Macaron over the long weekend and I like it a lot. I haven’t worn it anywhere yet but it’s very comfortable. I used a cotton tomato warm red eyelet underlined with a cool blue-based red cotton broadcloth, and for the contrast I just used the eyelet as is. It worked out pretty well, but I think I killed all design detail with the bodice since it didn’t have enough contrast.

+ Re-drafted the waist part to be a straight waist
+ Added gathered skirt with side-seam pockets
+ Removed the sleeves
+ Removed the back neck darts
+ Changed the zipper to be a center back zipper
+ Used invisible zipper

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Pattern used:


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Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Dress with cap sleeve, contrast fitted bodice, side invisible zipper, pleated skirt with hidden pockets.

Pattern Sizing:
0-18. My sizing was all over the place. I cut a size 4 bodice, size 10 waist, size 6 hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The bodice did, yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really liked the unique bodice. Next time I’ll definitely take advantage of this design detail and use a more contrasting fabric.

Fabric Used:
Red cotton eyelet, underlined with red cotton broadcloth

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Plenty. Re-drafted the waist part to be a straight waist, added gathered skirt with side-seam pockets, removed the sleeves, removed the back neck darts, changed the zipper to be a center back zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. I definitely want to make a second version of this, but with more contrast on the bodice pieces.

I really like it! Very comfortable to wear.

What I Wore Today: Sencha’s Last Stand

Front view 1, awkward pose.

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Side view 1, possibly bad ass pose.

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Blouse: Sencha, handmade fail
Pants: jeans, hand me down from my mom
Shoes: thrifted

When I’m too lazy to set my hair the night before, I default to some kind of classic look.

I’m on the verge of retiring this Sencha, and now I know why.

I made this a year or so ago out of polyester charmeuse. I was still new to sewing then and didn’t realize that quality fabrics were not polyester. Today it’s 80 degrees and very humid outside, and the material was not helping.

As for modifications, I cut the neckline a lot lower and made covered buttons. I finished the sides with French seams and learned how to work with a very slippery fabric. I also raised the darts by a good inch or so.

This version also needs about four inches added to the length. To remedy this I put a black chiffon top underneath it so I wouldn’t be tugging at it all day long.

I wore this to work today and I was mostly fine, until I had a meeting with our other devs and I was really self-conscious. It also rides up a lot because it’s so short.

Verdict: Definite Sencha fail. Definite charity donation.