Tag Archives: diy wardrobe

Work has exploded in the last couple weeks, so I haven't been able to get into the sewing room, as sad as that makes me. So, to keep this blog from turning into a completely barren wasteland, I'm going to update about a dress I made back in December but haven't blogged.

The Pattern 4 Pirate's Wiggle dress is a figure hugging dress that is for those who aren't afraid to flaunt it! Normally, this style wouldn't be in my comfort zone, but made up in a black fabric, it's close enough to a LBD that I can feel moderately comfortable in it. I wore it to a date night to see a musical (Waitress - loved it!!) and I still felt like the most dressed up person there. It didn't help that it was pretty cold that day, so must people were choosing warmth over glam. Not me! Ha!

P4P Wiggle Dress - fantastic LBD
P4P Wiggle Dress - fantastic LBD

The instructions are pretty straight forward, but of course I managed to complicate it a bit. I didn't do any pre-cutting alterations, other than to give myself very large seam allowances around the bust. Then, I just tried it on and pinned it and sewed (and repeated like 5 times). I took a large chunk out of the back, kind of like a sway back adjustment, as well as some off the sides. Around the top of it, I took several inches (maybe 4?) out of the upper bust.

P4P Wiggle Dress - Off the Shoulder
P4P Wiggle Dress - Off the Shoulder

The only thing I really deviated on is the finished for the top. Instead of doing encased elastic, I finished it with a band. For some reason the thought of it just turned didn't seem as nice to me. Probably just me, but I wanted it, so I did it. To make the band, I measured the top once all the adjustments were done. Then, I multiplied that by .85 and used that length to make a band from. From there it was just like finishing any banded edge.

P4P Wiggle Dress - Added band
P4P Wiggle Dress - Added band around the shoulder

I cut it originally at calf length thinking I was going to add a circle hem, like a mermaid skirt. However, after trying it on, it was overwhelmingly black. I decided some leg was the way to go and chopped it off just above the knee. With high heels, this was perfect for a night out!

P4P Wiggle Dress
P4P Wiggle Dress

I have a couple other Wiggle Dress shirts (sounds funny to say it that way!) planned. However, if I don't get to them soon, it will be out of season and I don't know if I'll end up making them or not. If I do make it again, I'd like to more of the adjustments up front instead of pinning and sewing after cutting can be frustrating. In addition, I'm going to add more of a peplum/flare shape to the hem of the shirt.

This is the second planning window this year, and I've already got to admit failure. I didn't get much of anything done from my list in the last two weeks. In my defense, work was the culprit and I can't control that. Until I find a long-lost uncle with millions of dollars who will let me retire and do nothing but sew, I'm afraid I have to keep the work folks happy. In any case, the point of planning, as far as I can tell, is to change it as soon as possible. ūüėČ

  • For the next window, I'm going to keep the Sunny Dress hack. I've got it all cut out, just need to assemble. Easier said than done as it's got bias tape lattice design elements.

    Sunny Dress Hack Sketch
    Sunny Dress Hack Sketch
  • I'm also keeping the goal to complete the Seamwork York WIP. It shouldn't take too long, so I want to get it done.
  • I'm going to remove the Shelley leggings from this window's goals. I bought the new Avery leggings pattern from Helen's Closet and will be sewing those up soon, although not this window.

    Avery Leggings - Helen's Closet
    Avery Leggings - Helen's Closet
  • I also bought the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet and beautiful navy floral DBP, so I'm adding that to the list.

    Blackwood Cardigan
    Blackwood Cardigan

That will probably fill my time, but if I do have extra time, I'll fill it with practicing pattern drafting. Nothing too specific, just practicing drafting for me and draping for the half mannequin.

Off I go!

My first plan of what two sew over the course of two weeks has gone well, somewhat to my surprise. Historically, I've not been great at making a plan and executing it, as I get distracted along the way. By breaking it up into only a two week plan, it's a lot easier to stay focused as I can tell myself that I'll get to decide on my next project very soon.

 Updates

1. Made a muslin version of the Sunny dress. Good thing, too! It was very badly fitting, so I ended up doing some surgery on it to get it to fit. I made an IG story of the process, which you can check out on my story highlights here (http://instagram.com/ladyreed84).

Hacked but wearable Sunny Dress muslin
Hacked but wearable Sunny Dress muslin

2. Design Sunny Dress hack. Done! Although I confess that I didn't finish this till Wednesday, but I'm counting it close enough. :)

3. Design a 3D capsule wardrobe. I spend over an hour on this one, so I'm calling it complete. However, I realized after that hour that I had no idea what it meant to design it. Was I wanting to pick patterns? Was I working through shapes, silhouettes, etc.? I finally ended with a pile of sketches of things I want to make and I picked a few patterns that I'd probably start with to make those. I'm not limiting myself to these, as I want to make what I want, assuming it fits in one of the style categories. So, in the end, I'm calling it complete, but I'm not really sure how or what I accomplished. Effort for the win!

4. Pick 3D capsule wardrobe color palette. Done! I did this and I'm in love with it! I have lots of fabric in the blue, black, white, gray. However, my accent colors I have less of. Now I can do focused shopping and feel less wasteful about me purchases. Win, win!

5. Made two pairs of PJs for my hubby. He wears them all the time now, which is the best possible compliment!

Next Up

For the next two week, (which has already started and I'm just now getting to this) I'm going to have to go light on what I want to sew. Work is insane until the 24th, so I won't have a lot of time for bliss projects. I'll pick two things to work on and a couple things for if I have time.

1. Sew the Sunny Hack. It's designed and the pattern is ready, just cut and sew now!

2. Cut out the Seamwork Shelly leggings. I really like the gusset (panel?) for shaping and am hoping to get a great fit! I'm going to make these out of light gray poly jersey.

3. (IF TIME) Tape together the Ames jeans patterns. Due to have absolutely no time lately, I may bite the bullet and do PDF plotting for this one. We'll see...

 

2018What a year! If I had to describe 2017, I would say it was a year of hidden growth. Not pleasant, but not terrible either. It was a year of learning to move forward when many of my dreams and plans went down the toilet. As I was learning to operate through some heart-deep disappointments, I found myself not producing much. Not just in how much I sewed, but through any outlet. There wasn't many tangible things to show for 2017. That's not a bad thing; it's just how last year went.

I already feel that 2018 will be a different sort of year. I can't say exactly why, and maybe it's just wishful thinking. However, I am already thinking of this year as the year of expressing myself. I've grown so much this last year and I have so many opportunities ahead of me as a result. I'm looking forward to stepping into this year with everything I am and seeing the changes around me and in me that come from walking in a place of joy.

When it comes to my sewing, I want to intentionally focus not just on more, but on more intentional wardrobe building. I have been sewing things that are pretty, but then finding myself not wearing them because they aren't what I need for everyday wear. This year, I want to define what I'd like to wear and then sew that. For example, I often sew dresses, but don't wear them daily, so I need to quit sewing them so much. I wear pants and shirts, not even skirts generally. I want to focus on wardrobe staples that I can wear and find joy in every day.

Besides the type of item I'm sewing, I want to begin sewing connected items. Capsule-ish, but with more options. I'm calling it 3-D Capsules. It's about finding looks and colors that I enjoy and then building many options that will fit into it. I'm going to do a entire post on 3-D Capsules to explain them in more detail.

When it comes to fabric, I'm going to try to start finding more intentional joy in my choices, both to buy and use. I love fabric and I have a probably too large stash. I want to begin pulling out the quality fabric that brings me joy and giving myself permission to get rid of things that no longer are "me" or that were not what I expected when I bought them (I do a lot of online fabric shopping and sometimes it's different that what I'm anticipating.)

Here's to 2018, whatever it may bring, I hope to traverse it with grace and joy! And hopefully lots of sewing!

 

Pink Linen Nantucket

These shorts make me so happy! If you'd asked me if I wanted a pair of pink shorts before I laid eyes on this fabric, I would have said no. But little did I know that I needed them. Truly, needed.

The fabric claimed it was linen (bought from the late Hancock Fabrics), but it wrinkles so little, I suspect it's a linen/poly blend. It's also lightweight and slightly see-through, so I will have to be conscious of undergarment choice. Other than that, it's perfect for summer shorts!

Pink Linen Nantucket - Back

The pattern is Seamwork's (referral link) Nantucket. It was a really quick sew and only a couple minor alterations. I raised the front and back crotch slightly as well as adding overall length, starting from a 16.

I also have a personal distaste of drawstrings. So, I altered the waistband to be flat in the front and gathered in the back. This worked beautifully with one exception.

When I sewed in the elastic on the back, I wanted the sewing to look like ready-to-wear. I zigzagged over the elastic to try to get it closer to that look. However, it stretched out the elastic really bad when I did, so now the waist band is slightly too large.

In addition, I should have taken some waist width out to account for the flat front, so it's all a little too loose. I'll have to take it in soon, as it tends to fall down to underwear showing levels.

Pink Linen Nantucket - Front waistband

Pink Linen Nantucket - Back waistband

Now, I have a fun pair of cool short to wear and they please my inner child. Fun in the sun!

Pink Linen Nantucket

 

PS: I finished these shorts just in time for the last heat wave to break. Isn't that just the way? By break, of course I mean that it's now mid- to upper-80's. Still summer and all of August left to go.

3 Comments

I was digging through my stash and when I came across this fabric from who knows how long ago. I thought, there's enough here to muslin the Adelaide! I liked the blue roses and it seemed like a summery dress, what could go wrong....?

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Fabric

After looking at it a bit, I realized it would be too sheer to wear as is, so I decided to line it. No big deal. Since it's sleeveless, I would need to find a way to line it that would clean finish. No big deal.

Well, you know how it goes. First, the clean finish method I found worked like a charm, but because of the narrow straps took me nearly an hour to get the pieces turned through. An hour. This was after several hours of adjustments and muslining (probably not a word, but you know what I mean). *sigh*

So after fiddling with fit and fabric and finally getting it all sewing, then it sat for awhile as I couldn't find all the parts to my snap installer thingy. Finally, after way to long, I got this wrapped up.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Front View

Overall, the fit of this dress is pretty good. I give it B- in fit. For quality of construction I give it A-. But for fabric selection I give it C or maybe D. I feel like I'm clothed in drapery. This didn't occur to me until the first time I tried it on, so I don't know what I would have done differently.

This pattern was the first pattern I'd done an FBA on that didn't have a waist seam. I followed the Curvy Sewing Collective instructions here and got the front piece done, no problem. Then, when i tried to true it up to the back, it was all kinds of wonky. I knew it would pull really bad from the apex to the waist and it did. I split the difference between the pieces in half and added it to the back piece to get it lined up better. There's still some pulling, but it masquerades as needing more FBA room, which I don't think is true. (You can kind of see it in the above picture.) I'll keep practicing with this and see if I can figure out more of what I did wrong.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Back view

This doesn't wear all that comfortably. The snaps need to be closer together on me, so it gapes funny. It's nice for around the house or quick errands, but it's not good for any place I'll be sitting.

Blue Rose Seamwork Adelaide - Side view

 

I'm not actually sure I'll make this again. I don't love how it fits on me and and I don't feel particularly awesome in it. It's OK and it's good to have a quick make (now that I got through this round) summer dress in my arsenal, but it won't be a go-to pattern.

Construction and Fit Notes

  • Cut size 16
  • 1.5" FBA
  • Graded out at waist a smidge (technical term)
  • Shortened 3/4" at back shoulder
  • Shortened by 2"
  • Added pockets
  • Sewed side seams above pocket at 1/2"
  • Sewed the bottom seam of the waist tie at 3/8"
  • Sewed the armhole seams (for clean finish) at 3/8" to make more room for turning (I might always do this as it's just wide enough to cover my bra straps as it is.)

Things I'll Do Different

  • Add more snaps. Due to all my fit fiddling, the snap marks weren't right anymore. I evened them out, but in the future, I'll add more. I might even go as close together as 4" and then add as many as I need to get down to the bottom. It gapes weird now.
  • Raise the darts up 1.5" or so
  • Remember to sew the side seam at 1/2" BEFORE putting the pockets in.
  • I'm on the fence about the length. I shorten things by 2" by default as that's a good start. I like the length when looking at the front, but the back seems kind of short to me. Next time I may add some length back in.
  • Sew the tie all at 3/8" seam. It seemed awfully narrow compared to the pictures at 5/8". I only didn't sew the whole thing that way because I was too lazy to pick all the stitches back out. ūüėÄ
  • There's weird bunching where the bottom of the pocket meets the seam. Not sure why or if my pocket piece

1 Comment

Happy Blog Birthday to me! One year ago I posted about a top that I love and wear often. I only posted a small percentage of all the things I made in the last year, but I love all the things that I posted and the things that I didn't. Here's to another year of beautiful makes!

Tropical Pink Hayden

This is an awesome finish that's way high up my favorites list. I love the fabric (rayon) and the print. As much as I like it, it's not on my all time favorite makes because the fit isn't quite right. I made quite a few adjustments, so even though it isn't perfect, it's pretty good.

  • Shortened the bodice by 3"
  • Took 3/4" out of back shoulder line, adjusted neckline and sleeve head to account for that
  • 1/5" FBA and adjusted front band to account for that
  • 1/2" swayback (I probably won't do this in the future)

Tropical Pink Hayden

I need to make a couple of changes to the front still. I did a 1.5" FBA on the side princess line piece and only took out .75" back out at the waist. I think I need to take a little more out of the princess line seams. The neckline is still a little weird. One recommendation from another sewing friend (thanks, Sarah!) is to take a 1/4-1/2" from the front shoulder line. Since I will probably be making this again, I might play around with that.

Tropical Pink Hayden - Back

The back isn't my favorite as it's not as flattering, but I think I could make it better with a few fitting tweaks.

Tropical Pink Hayden - Back Closure

I didn't have a button that I liked for the closure, so I tried using a hook and eye. Bad idea. Technically, it works. However, the neckline doesn't sit correctly as it needs a little bit of the gap the button closure provides. In addition, if the tension gets off the hook and eye pops open. One of these days, I'll fix it and add the button. You know, as soon as I have time. Ha!

Overall, a comfortable shirt that will be getting a lot of wear and a great pattern that I will be glad to make again.