scarves

The time since I last posted has been filled with a variety of things. I’ve finished the last of my knitting UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) with the exception of my blanket, which I’m still slogging along on. I have an informal goal to do at least 4 inches every time I work on it, but some days I don’t feel like working on such a large project. I’ve knit a few more ruffle scarves, which will be available in Raeosunshine Pets‘ auction the second week of February. I’ve listed a few random items I somehow missed in my shop, and I’ve sold an item (not made by me, sadly) that I had hanging around for ages at a much better price than I expected on eBay. I had a birthday yesterday (I’m 34 now) and I took myself shopping for new fabric, new yarn, some new knitting needles, and some meat at Mattie’s request that was “not chicken.” We eat a lot of chicken.

The fabric, once pre-washed, will be made into another pair of pajama pants for me, and I have a fun idea for a new scarf using the Edgar pattern I used with that bulky green and yellow yarn last month I think it was. I’ve got rainbows on the brain, and if you know anything about me, you probably know I love bright colors. I think after I get another few inches done on my blanket I will start on that project.

I’ve also started going through my grandmother’s cedar chest a little at a time and seeing what’s actually in there. I’ve pulled out about ten dresses and one blouse in various states of completedness, and I am betting there are others because I still see more fabrics pinned together into rolls and stuffed into bags in there. Everything I have taken out so far needs to be hemmed, only has some of its facings, a few things are damaged.

Some of the more interesting pieces in the chest. A blouse, a colorblocked dress, plaid dress with schoolgirl pleated skirt, and completed dress with rip in one sleeve.
Some of the more interesting pieces in the chest. A blouse, a colorblocked dress, plaid dress with schoolgirl pleated skirt, and completed dress with rip in one sleeve.

I’m hoping I can finish some of the dresses though it’ll likely be with bias tape or some other type of matching fabrics for facings, but need to look at them more in depth first.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Hopefully my next post will be showing you some completed items!

Yesterday I showed you the jacket from this costume and the nearly finished blouse underneath it. Today I am showing you the whole thing together. I am really please with how this costume turned out and I cannot wait to wear it for Halloween! I’m so excited!

S9723FrontAll

 

I made a lot of changes to this pattern as I went. As I think I mentioned yesterday, the blouse was lengthened to be able to be a separate piece from the skirt, and I added a side zip to it as well as slitted the upper back and finishing the edges with bias tape and a snap so my head would fit through to put it on.

Ruffles

 

I let off most of the trim this pattern called for. The jacket is already really wild so I was going to let that be the eye catching piece of the outfit and not compete with that.

I decided to tuck the front of the skirt up to give it more body and to show of those ruffles in the petticoat that I spent so much time working on. If you now me, you know I hate gathering and I hate doing ruffles, even if I love them when they are done. That petticoat was sent from Hell to make me crazy!

This was taken before I tacked up the over skirt.
This was taken before I tacked up the over skirt.

I was worried the waist would be too snug with the skirt fitted over the petticoat but if anything its a little loose and could be a bit tighter.

All in all I am really pleased with this one and glad I ignored the bad things people have said about this pattern and decided to give it a try with modifications.

Thanks for reading!

 

S9723EnvelopeSimplicity 9723 features a dress with two styles of skirt, and a jacket. At PatternReview.com, two people have reviewed this pattern and they have had mixed things to say. One, its extremely historically inaccurate. Two, there have been various issues with the pattern, which I was glad I read about before getting started. The bad comments were almost enough to make me search for another pattern to use for Halloween (yup this is the basis of my Halloween costume this year!) but in the end I decided to go with it and make corrections as needed.

I spent a small fortune on fabrics for this project and so far I seem to have overbought across the board but the fabric allowances given on the envelope back are given for multiple pieces of the costume together-  there is no measurement given for just the jacket, its the jacket and skirt together. This left to me guessing at the amounts needed and at this point I have an extra yard+ of silver pleather as well as a good 1.5 yards left over of the black poly-cotton broadcloth.

The jacket is done in a bright silver metallic pleather with a reptile texturing to it, with black poly-cotton broadcloth for the lining. The blouse and petticoat (which I am currently working on) is done in the same poly-cotton broadcloth, and the skirt will be done in a deep red medium weight satin.

S9723Front

 

The biggest complaint with this pattern, and I agree with it completely, is that the blouse and skirt are sewn as one item, not separates. This is easy enough to fix. I added several inches in length to the blouse, and instead of having a center back zip as was intended, I cut the center back on the fold, and inserted a zipper under the arm. The neckline is high and snug though, so I cut a slit into the upper back at the neckline, finished the edges with bias tape, and added a snap closure at the neck. That way I can pull it on easily, but still retain the same look as before. I thought the neckline would make me feel claustrophobic but oddly enough its pretty comfortable to wear.

S9723Back

 

People who reviewed this also complained that the sleeve cuffs of the blouse are too tight to close when worn. All I can figure is they took too large of a seam allowance because not only are they closed when I put it on, but I can slide my hands through them while they are fastened without issue.

S9723Piece

 

I have the main pieces of the petticoat stitched together at this point, and when I resume working on it, I’ll be stitching together the ruffle pieces and adding them to the bottom of the petticoat. Then it will be on to the outer skirt an after that I’m done. I’m not looking forward to the petticoat ruffles as I hate gathering, but its got to be done. I’m looking forward to finishing this one and getting to wear it out for Halloween!

First off, let me say I love this blouse! However, that said, I learned a few things form it about choosing the wrong fabric. This is a really cute blouse with a rounded collar and a giant bow in the front. I think this blouse would be equally cute (and someone suggested almost Asian) if finished without the collar and bow. I fully intent to make two other versions of this blouse, one with neither collar or bow, and one without the bow.

S2154ViewBFront

 

I chose a polyester charmeuse for this blouse, mainly on account of it being pretty, but that turned out to be a bad call. The fabric was so set on unraveling that after I finished it and put it on, the seams just started shredding apart. Eek! I ended up taking some bias tape and binding the seams which seems to have solved the problem.

S2154ViewBBack

 

I hadn’t finished the armholes when I took this pic of the back, but the only changes I made were adding a hook and eye to close the back neck rather than a button and loop as called for.

I love how this blouse turned out, but there is very little ease in this pattern and if you’re between sizes, definitely go up a size! I really should have cut a 20 instead of an 18 because of my large bust. Next time I sew it, I’ll be adding to the seam allowances just a bit to give myself enough room to finish this with French seams and not be quite so snug.

Since my order I put in to fabric.com finally came in on Monday, I washed and dried my new fabrics this morning and got to work printing, cutting, and taping the pieces for this free pattern at Be My Goth. I’ve had this pattern bookmarked for ages but was on the fence about actually making it. When I saw the fiery red-orange crochet lace on clearance I knew that was going to be what I made it with. I already had a yard of dark grey rib knit in my stash from another project I’d bought for, so that was set.

bemygothlacefront

 

The pattern has three pieces- front, back, and the sleeve cuffs, but I made a few changes to it as I went. I cut the largest size, but did not add the seam allowances as instructed. My crochet lace has quite a bit of stretch, and I’m not sure her pattern was designed for a fabric with stretch in it. She doesn’t mention stretch in it anyway. I tried it on and found the neckline to be too wide, causing it to fall off of my shoulders, so I gently rounded over the corners at the edges of the neckline form the shoulders and brought it in about 3″ total. That helped with that issue, but I still felt it was a bit too open at the neck.

bemygothlaceback

 

I went ahead and cut a piece of rib knit a few inches smaller than the neckline measurement, and stitched that in place. I really liked how it looked, so I did the same for the bottom hemline. Because the crochet knit is so open, its pretty much impossible to finish the edges neatly, which was my other reason for applying the rib knit to the other raw edges, and while you can still see the raw edges on the seam lines, the end result is much neater and cleaner than it would have been just hemming them. The original instructions call for a rolled hem on this, but I’m not sure if that would have worked with this lace anyway.

The back hemline is quite a bit lower than the front one, which was an element of the original design, though Be My Goth’s original version was more of a cropped top. I’ve got enough of a full bust that most tops I make I need to add a few inches to, and this being designed to be short there was no way I wasn’t going to add some length to it. I think I used just over a yard and a half of the lace for this top, and probably would have been a yard and a half even had I not added the length to it. The amount of rib knit used barely put a dent in the yard I had. I’m not really sure what I will wear this with besides my black tank top, but I really hope I can come up with a few options because I am very pleased with it.

blocks21-241I also was able to stitch up 4 more squares for my quilt a few days before as well, and these ones are done using all squares instead of strips. I’d like to say I’m making a dent in my scraps but really I’m not. Its insane how many cotton scraps I have already cut and still more not readied for use.

The square making is going slower than planned but eventually I will get them done. I’m looking forward to that day when I can start arranging the squares and start stitching them together.

KS1262Mattie and I were invited to an 80’s themed party later on this month, which gave me something new to work on in my sewing room. I thumbed through my pattern stash, looked at dozens of options online, and after not finding anything I really liked that was available within a size or two of what I needed, I decided to go with Kwik Sew 1262 View A from my stash. This is  pretty basic pullover blouse with a tie detail at the neck, and its construction is pretty simple. Of course I decided to go all out 80’s and buy gold lamé too sew it in, which I started to regret as soon as I started cutting the fabric.

I really like the slightly puffed sleeves and the tie neck detail, and I can honesly se this making a very wearable top in a more durable fabric. The gold lamé though- I’ll probably wear it once or twice and at some point it will vanish from my wardrobe in a fit of frustration.

I did about half of the sewing on it this evening, constructing the main part of the blouse, and tomorrow I will hopefully get to the sleeves and hemming it. I had originally planned to do a skirt with a matching gold lamé ruffle but at this point, I’m thinking I’ll just skip the ruffle and do a floral print mini instead. I’d at least like the skirt to be wearable for normal every day use even if the blouse is not.

IMAG1017Here’s my thoughts on this fabric and why I can happily go to my grave if I never have to sew anything with it again.

Pros

  • It’s super shiny and fun
  • It’s lightweight

Cons

  • It’s polyester so probably does not breathe for shit
  • Its like sewing aluminum foil- every pin prick and ruffling of the fabric shows. I am living in terror that I will have to rip out a seam and it will leave the fabric full of pin holes.
  • Its slippery and hard to keep moving evenly and constantly wants to pucker.

I’m sure I will have more thoughts on it as I work towards finishing the blouse, but that’s all for now. Gold lamé, you suck!