fall belladone

This dress is the reason I bought the Belladone pattern… my first one turned out to be the best wearable muslin I’ve ever made (well, that’s sort of a stretch, I did intend it to be a real, live dress too).

IMG_3898 IMG_3899Something about this fabric seemed French to me.  Who knows.  I picked it up from the DC/MD/VA blogger meetup last year.  This dress was supposed to make it the the layaway box, along with the boots, which were in there briefly,  but it is just too perfect for this time of year with the in-between weather.

IMG_3894IMG_3891Rummaging through my inherited stash, I found this coat zipper and loved it.  But it reminded me of something I couldn’t place at first… you know what it is?  This kick-ass dress by Heather Lou that made me discover her blog and her amazing sewing talent.  So maybe I ripped it off of her, but copying is the sincerest form of flattery, AND I’m like several seasons behind, so….  basically, I’m really not as cool as her.

IMG_3895I made the same modifications as with the first one (a 38 top and a 40 bottom), but I think if I was to make it one more time (likely), I will add another inch or two to the bodice.  I’m a little too tall. It was also the first time in a long time that I did not use french seams – I thought the fabric would be too bulky so I just finished with a cheapie zigzag stitch and ironed them flat.

This time around I hid the bias tape because I could not find a good color match and didn’t want contrast on this one.  But I did add a pop of orange inside from my Nonna’s hem tape collection.  I’m nuts about blue and orange.

IMG_3913This one might be a new favorite in the closet…

baby pillah

One of my college roommates recently had a baby shower; the moment I found out she was pregnant, I knew what I had to make her.  A baby pillah.

This particular friend had a ratty and well-loved doll-sized pillow that served as her teddy bear her whole life; dubbed “baby pillow.”  With her lovely southern Virginia accent, this came out “baby pillah,” and we LOVED teasing her about it.  So of course, her baby has to have his own baby pillah.

IMG_3874 And a little aviator hat to wear home from the hospital!

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This is the Aviatrix baby hat, made with Rowan Cashsoft Aran from many years ago.  I think this barely took a half-skein, it’s sooo teeny-tiny, and so soft.  Raveled here.

IMG_3873I made some tags with brown kraft labels stuck to some origami paper and attached with baker’s twine and a safety pin.  Baby pillah is machine washable and has a ‘lifetime’ warranty; future repairs and replacements are covered.  I stitched all the seams twice in hopes of adding some durability.

The coolest part?  The pillow matches the nursery colors, of which I had no idea.  It’s my sewing sixth sense, you know, NBD.

more lakeside pajamas

Uh, this looks to be the beginning of a personal collection of Lakeside pajamas….

IMG_3801I’m nuts about this crazy fabric – it’s been in my stash for 4 or 5 years from the remnants at Osgood’s in Springfield, MA.  It’s a satin I guess (I really know too little about textiles).  Unfortunately I did not have enough to match the pattern.

IMG_3802Mr. Nice is responsible for props.  Vegan Pie in the Sky, anyone?  🙂

I attempted to make bias tape out of the scraps, which resulted in a wonky tank hem, but it’s not too bad.  I chose to use regular bias tape for the neck, straps, and shorts for some structure, but was worried that it would be too stiff for the hem.

My weirdo “bias tape” resulted in something more like piping along the hem.  These are about the only 2-3 inches of it that weren’t crooked.

IMG_3809IMG_3812I also put a little loop in the back of the shorts so that I can do this:

IMG_3813I went a size up on the shorts because nobody wants too-tight-satin.  I’m torn about what size to make for the next two sets (one top already cut, next fabric bought), but I’m thinking the shorts look a little loose in the pic below?  Maybe I need to grade between the sizes.

IMG_3804Oh yeah, and another lovely improvisation of mine due to a limited amount of fabric was to cut the front waistband on the bias.  Terrible idea, it’s kind of stretched out, but well, they’re still wearable so far.

I’m going to try not to turn this into a Lakeside-only blog… I’ll have to find something else to post to break it up!

my jams

Apparently I’m not the only one who was drooling last year when Jen from Grainline made the cutest pajamas ever for herself (see, I even pinned them back then!)… thank goodness she did not force me to try to create them on my own.  Guaranteed disaster.

IMG_3797Lakeside Pajamas!

IMG_3730There will be many more of these to come, I foresee.  I made a size 4 top with no modifications and a size 6 bottom.  I finagled the part of the side seam where the bias bindings meet a little differently than in the instructions and I think on my next pair I will only sew 1/8″ side seams on the shorts before attaching the bias binding (or just baste it) because my seam did not end up encased in the binding.  I’m considering going up a size in the bottoms – since they’re woven they don’t have a lot of give, particularly when you’re getting in and out of them.  Also, for some reason I could only fit 1″ wide elastic (rather than 1.25″ that the pattern called for) – but it works just fine.

IMG_3775Luckily these are pajamas.  The public won’t see my errors.  Except right now.

IMG_3776I ended up using a contrasting binding by accident (all I had) and ended up liking it a lot.  Something about the print and the color combination looks Japanese to me.  The fabric is actually a quilting cotton from G Street – I’d like to try something more drapey like the pattern recommends, but this is nice and crisp and lightweight and not as heavy as some quilting cottons, so I like it too.

IMG_3747I topstitched in a contrasting color because I’m lazy and don’t like changing the thread.  And I’m trying to force myself to be more neat and careful.  I’ll give myself a solid B on this one.

IMG_3742These were surprisingly quick – I thought all the bias binding would be tedious, but it was actually quick.  I think from now on I will bias-bind EVERYTHING.

Final conclusion:  they have been officially sleep-tested and I love them!  And there is a pile of fabric at my feet waiting to be chosen for the next set…

did I just make that?!?

A Bombshell!!!

IMG_3675I know everyone has seen more than their share of Bombshells lately, which tells you just how amazing this pattern is.  Aside from making you feel like one, its been quite a bombshell on the sewing community in fact.

I cannot believe I have made a bathing suit.

And it fits. And it didn’t dissolve when I went in the ocean.  And it’s drip drying on my shower curtain rod right now, like a normal… bathing suit.

IMG_3671It bears mentioning that while a lot has been said about how this swimsuit has empowered women in regards to their body image, I have to say how much it has empowered sewists too.  This is by far the most impressive thing I have ever made, and never thought I could.  Especially for us sorry souls without a serger and no hope for a serger anytime soon.  Heather Lou helped a poor little so-so sewist like me feel like The S&%* for a minute! And hosting a sewalong to hold our hand through it? This woman deserves an award!

IMG_3665Here’s the details on mine:  I cut a size 8 top and size 10 bottom, per the measurements on the pattern.  I am 5’10” so I added 3 inches to the length, just like she did in the sewalong.  Do you have any idea how nice it is to wear a one piece that is actually comfortable and long enough for your torso, covering everything it’s supposed to? Wow!

IMG_3669Because I was worried about the sheerness of the white fabric with nude lining, I added an extra crotch piece (underwear style), but because of the bathing suit’s “skirt,” it really didn’t matter.  I used swimsuit cups from the sewing store, not because I need the support that others need… let’s just say I need some “structure.”  After I got them all sewed in (I was nervous about this part) I discovered they are in there a little uneven and wonky.  That got me very worried about looking kind of Kitty a la Arrested Development, post-boob job, but I think it turned out ok.

IMG_3672The zigzag stitch on my machine is generally pretty heinous, and I really can’t adjust the width or length, no matter how much I fiddle with the settings (I have the most basic of basic machines), so from the outside my seams unfortunately look a little Frankensteinish (see below).  However, for finishing the edges, they don’t look bad, because the edges are bulky enough that the stitches don’t pull.

IMG_3673I had a lot of difficulty with finishing the bustline – so much gaping that the bust looked all stretched out.  Or maybe it was stretched out.  I had to rip the whole thing out twice, which isn’t fun with lycra and elastic.  But I have to say that I expected to have a LOT more difficulty with this project, so if that was the extent of it, I’m more than pleased.

Oh, and I HAVE to mention – this fabric?  $9.77/yd remnant at G Street!  Yes!

the newest scout

Scout – all the rage, right?!  I just can’t stop.

IMG_3645It’s sweaty in Baltimore.

Anyways, when I made my linen and wool Scout, I drafted a collar with some leftover Archer fabric.  I loved the color so much, and loved how it looked with my Scout pre-sleeve insertion, that I thought I would put it to use on a sleeveless Scout.

IMG_3652 cropped

I used the Wiksten tank hem again, by laying that pattern piece over the Scout pattern, matching them at the armholes, and used bias binding to finish the armholes the same way as the neck.IMG_3570

This was a stashbuster, hence the variety of fabrics.  I think I would have preferred all green, but I’ll take it.

IMG_3561What kind of Scout will be next…?!