Yet another knit dress. Since I’ve decided to make projects that I’ll wear more often, I’ve been sewing a lot of knits. I finished this burgundy knit dress a few weeks ago, and only had a chance to post about it now. It’s versatile both in summer and autumn, and is something that is not black and manages to photograph decently.
The Black Swan-stagram.
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For those of you that haven’t seen the film, the Black Swan is the ballet counterpart of the White Swan — graceful, measured, sensual but not overtly so, bold, violent, passionate and dominant.
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Natalie Portman reference photo.
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The only part of this costume that I made was the skirt. The skirt is twelve layers of tulle, sewn in layers of three layers of tulle, and sandwiched together four times until I got twelve layers. I did not want a sad, not-very-poofy tutu, and I was also worried about making one that was a little see-through, but this one works well enough I think. Tulle is really, really hard to work with: slippery, hard to cut, moves around a lot, and the Esteemed Sewing Assistant loves to sit on it. This skirt is definitely not precise, but I think it works. If you have to make anything precise with tulle, cut very carefully and work very slowly. Tulle has a mind of its own.
I cobbled together this costume from last minute purchases from Amazon (white tights, shoes, tiara) and things that I owned in my closet (black leather bustier, loads of eyeliner). To deal with the see-through factor (since I didn’t have a leotard bustier) I’m wearing a black high-waisted undies over my tights, just in case anything shows in the back, which it somewhat does. My outfit looks nothing like the official Black Swan costume from the waist up, since I failed at putting feathers on my original bustier, but I’m ok with taking artistic liberties.
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Of course, I’m not the only one who dressed up. Esteemed Sewing Assistant absolutely hates his costume.
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Finally, now with pictures.
This is the second version of the No 1 Loose Draped Dress, from the Japanese book Drape Drape. This is the third version I’ve made now, since it’s quick to make, wearable and comfortable. I’ve already worn this to work a few times. This is the last version of this pattern that I’m making.
I really likes sewing with knits, but I don’t feel like my sewing skills are getting any better. Nevertheless, more Drape Drape to come.
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This is the No 1 Loose Draped Tunic from the Drape Drape series, Book 1.
I really like this top. It’s comfy, easy to sew, drape-y (ha!), can be finished in two hours, made of only two pattern pieces. It’s a little low cut (more on the back than the front) and it does move around, so wear something gorgeous underneath it and have good posture.
This is the second time I’ve made this pattern, first as a dress, now as is as a top. I have a third one in the works, another dress version of this.
This present is a little late, the last batch of presents made for a proliferation of Leos in my life. I used quilting cotton in a vintage pin-up print, Hawaiian looking with girls in bathing suits all over it, and lined it in blue cotton broadcloth. I finished with a metal zipper.
Like a true insomniac procrastinator, I finished this last night at around 2 am, starting with the cutting and stitching together. I gave the present to one of my friends today, and I think she liked it.
This is the third pouch I’ve made this month. I have one more to go.
I really want one of these now!
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I made this shirt at 3 am a few weeks ago when I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been steadily working on my bridesmaid dress, but I don’t like working on more than one sewing project at a time. I was still in the fitting stages of my dress, so I decided to work on this non-sewing project.
I was also going to the punk exhibit at the Met the next day, so I wanted something homemade.
This shirt started it’s life a few months ago. I got it at a listening party over the winter. I liked the design but the last size left was a large. Since then it’s been relegated to a gym shirt. I cut the top open, but it was a still a poor gym shirt — it didn’t breathe easily, and since it was so baggy it got in the way of everything.
I’ve worn it out only once, but since then it’s survived going to the garment district, going to the Met, walking around, going on the subway, going to Central Park, getting dinner, staying up late — all without wardrobe dysfunction. No knots became untied, nothing rides up, and it’s surprisingly breezy in 90 degree weather, since the sides are mostly open.
Construction notes: I cut the top off and cut the side seams open, forming a large rectangle. I cut ties on the side, and fitted it on my dress form, knotting it in three places on the side, and knotting it in two places to form shoulder straps. Since t-shirt jersey doesn’t fray, I didn’t treat the ends. This is something you should only do with heavy, good quality t-shirts: anything lighter and I don’t think the knots would hold up well.
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.
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I’m back to taking pictures inside my living room, but hopefully not for long, since I could barely get decent pictures of this project.
This year’s first finished sewing project is a tote bag. I actually finished this last year, a few days ago, but only had a chance to post about it now.
I’ve wanted a really cute tote bag to bring when I do errands for a few months now. I almost bought one on etsy, when I realized I could make one myself for a fraction of the price. I used leftover black denim for the bottom piece and some quilting cotton skull and roses fabric for the main piece. I lined it with the quilting cotton. It’s lightweight and folds up nicely. I’ve used this already to bring my gym things and so far, so good.
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Fabric: Lightweight blue denim, $5/yd, 2 yds
Pattern: McCalls 3730
Notions: two covered buttons, one invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: 3 weekday evenings
First worn: I haven’t worn this yet
Wear again? Yes!
Total price: $11
I wanted to emphasize the casual nature of this skirt, since it’s made in light blue denim, so I paired it with a jersey t-shirt and flats.
I’ve wanted a suspender skirt for a long time, and finally got around to making it. However I don’t own a lot of unsaturated colors, so I had a hard time trying to find something to pair it with.
For the most part I stuck with the pattern, but added some changes:
+ shortened the hem
+ adjusted the waist and hips
+ tacked on the suspenders to the covered button instead of making a buttonhole, since making a buttonhole through 2 layers of fabric seemed cumbersome
+ changed the back slit to a back vent
+ adjusted suspender length
+ hand-sewn the inner waistband facing so it wouldn’t flap around when wearing it
+ serged the seams
( crossposted from Sew Weekly )
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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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Dress with cap sleeve, contrast fitted bodice, side invisible zipper, pleated skirt with hidden pockets.
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.
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.