Hawthorn

DSC03311 So I really wanted to trek it to Hawthorn Ave to take pictures of my Hawthorn dress, that seemed so meta to me. However, the mister was hungry so that didn’t happen… boo. I love this dress so much!!! I hope I didn’t go too cutesy with the heart shaped buttons for a grown-ass woman. Essentially if I’m left to my own devices I dress myself like a toddler. True story: at the library on Saturday a baby laughed at me for wearing the same shoes as her. In fact the same shoes I’m wearing in these photos #grownupfetus

DSC03320This dress is beautifully drafted. and much more fitted than previous Colette’s. I did absolutely no adjustments to the size/ fit. This is a straight size 4 and fits pretty darn perfect. I know a lot of petite women struggle with Colette’s because they are drafted for a bustier figure than most commercial patterns. The fit is intended for a C cup in case you didn’t know. If you’re a curvier lady though, this should fit great!

DSC03322This fabric came from the Pendleton Woolen Mill. They are having their summer clearance sale and all of their 100% cotton fabric is only $2.50 a yard. So awesome! They just sell off the remaining fabric from their clothing line and it’s supah nice. Almost all of the cotton is plaid shirting, except for this lavender oxford shirting I picked up. If you’re in the Portland, OR area I recommend checking them out.

DSC03305I found these buttons at the Button Emporium. Man that place is a trip! I was really torn between these white hearts and some purple elephant buttons they had. Or maybe I should have gone with wizards and dragons.  or Virgin Mary buttons? The options are endless there. I went with the hearts because that was my original vision.

DSC03312I sewed this according to the directions except for the collar and pockets. I read in the Flickr group that if you sew the collar with 5/8″ seam allowance it comes out too small, so I stitched it at 1/4″. I also drafted these big ass patch pockets. I knew I wanted pockets but I didn’t want to add side seam pockets which would add bulk to the skirt and affect how it hangs. These are inspired by the shape of the pockets on jeans. I took photos of my process, to write a post showing you how to make them. Soon guys… soon.

DSC03302The guts of this dress are serged and this is a nice well made dress that I’m kind if in love with. The way this moves with me when I walk is perfection. Bravo Sarai! This is my favorite Colette pattern so far.

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Laurel…. and Some Tacky Underpants

DSC03099I’m finally blogging my Colette Laurel. I was able to squeek this one under the deadline for the Laurel sewing competition.

I entered this into the self designed fabric category. I had been wanting to hand stamp a dress with french bulldogs for over a year. I had seen the cute pony dress over on the blog A Beautiful Mess and really wanted to make a version for myself. When I saw the Colette competition, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out this technique. I found a bulldog silhouette on the interwebs and used it to make a stamp with craft foam.

DSC03092I cut a size 4 (which is my standard size in Colette). It came out HUGE. I ended up shaving this down to a size zero right under the bust to the hem. I’m still able to pull this over my head without a zipper even though I shaved so much off of the side seams. I omitted the sleeves and drafted a Peter Pan collar.

DSC03082It didn’t came out as cute in real life as it did in my head. It’s a little *too* homemade looking. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing something made by Patricia on Project Runway… LOLZZZ. I think this is going to end up in the never worn part of the closet. I’m not ready to give up on this idea yet. I want to try screen printing some smaller scale bulldogs on a future version of Laurel.

In other news, I made my first pair of panties (ewww…. I know that’s a fairly universally hated word). This is the most ridic item of clothing I’ve ever made. These are made from an old T-shirt that was thrifted and destined to be underpants. I used Zoe’s free pants pattern. I finished the edges with fold over elastic and these are very comfortable hipster panties.

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I’m currently working on making my first bathing suit. I hope it come out cute :)

XX, Cynthia

Truffle Shuffle

Guys, I’m gonna need a bigger closet soon!

I’ve got fall sewing on the brain, but I decided I need to make *at least* one last summer dress, before the weather turns. I’m glad I did because Truffle from the Colette Sewing Handbook is so cute!!! I always feel like a lady when I wear one of their designs. I’m going to a masquerade themed event in October and I think this thrifted turquoise fabric would go nicely with a mask made of peacock feathers.

I looked through my patterns and decided that the stiffness in this fabric would pair nicely with the ruffle. I was a little concerned because the pattern calls for 3 yards of fabric and I only had 2. I laid out the pieces and they looked like they all fit so I started cutting. They didn’t all fit. I wasn’t able to quite fit the ruffle on grain, so instead I cut it on the crosswise grain. I hope this won’t cause any problems in the future, but I don’t think it will. The ruffle still sits at the waist on the bias. This might help you conserve some fabric if you make Truffle.

I told my photographer husband I thought this photo would come out vaguely pornographic, unfortunately it’s the only photo of the back

I didn’t make a fitting muslin beforehand since I have had such luck with Colette in the past. This dress does fit a little bit looser than other designs of theirs, so keep that in mind. It’s perfect with this stiff fabric, but I imagine it would look a little frumpy in a fabric with less body.

I opted to not line this. I have a hard time slipstitching my linings in place without distorting the fit of the bodice. I also think a lining is unnecessary in a summer dress. I serged the inside edges to keep them from fraying. I used bias tape to face the neckline and arm holes. I used another one of my hoarder metal invisible zips, and finished with a rolled hem.

This dress came together quite fast. I would recommend this pattern to a beginner. It features a classic shape, with a fun twist. I finished my sister’s birthday shorts so expect a post as soon as I can get some photos.

This is my natural expression when my face is relaxed

xx, Cynthia

Sweet-Twee Macaron

I know this isn’t Earth shattering news, but I absolutely adore Colette Patterns.Sarai designs such pretty, flattering, feminine designs. I always feel like a lady when I wear one of my Colette’s. I even got a compliment from a stranger as soon as I left the house today. That always feels good :) This is Macaron, and I unfortunately let it languish in the pattern stash far too long. I decided to pull it out so that I could participate in this months Sew Collette, hosted by Erin, Rochelle, and Sarah.

I found both of these fabrics thrifting, so this pretty dress cost me only about $15 to make. Gotta love that! The blue floral is a very light and somewhat sheer cotton gauze, and the brighter blue is some sort of drapey linen blend. I have a bunch left of both fabrics, so you might see some more of them.

As far as making this , I finished this in a day. That’s not to imply that it was easy or came together quickly. I just got super focused and had a dressmaking marathon. I think I spent about 8-9 hours total on this (thank you Radio Lab and This American Life podcasts)! I found this dress to be quite challenging and every bit the intermediate rating that it has.

I had originally planned for some sheer silk chiffon for the upper bodice and magenta rayon twill for the body, but I’m glad I haven’t cut into those fabrics yet. I’m not sure if my skills are up to snuff to make a challenging dress out of challenging fabric.

I don’t know if other people have noticed this, but I had a few typos on my pattern. Most notably one of the midriff pieces, was missing the cutting line for the size 4 . I guestimated, but there was little bit of fudging the skirt to match the waistband. Other than that every thing went together well, if not quickly. It’s pretty tricky attaching the sweetheart, to the upper bodice. That alone took me an hour.

I love the shape of the sleeves on this dress. It’s a very subtle but pretty detail. It mimics the overall curviness of the rest of this dress. I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding these sleeves to other patterns in the future. This dress is so flattering and easy to wear. I really like this! The guts of this are serged and not super interesting. I also finished this with a super-crazy-long metal invisible zipper. I didn’t want to frack my scissors up cutting it down so the zipper goes all the way to the hem.

I’ve had it in my head for months to make a fall version of this dress with a cream colored cotton lace and mustard yellow wool. Since I haven’t found either of those fabrics, don’t expect to see that version anytime soon. I’m really itching to make it though, so hopefully I can find that fabric come October or November.

xx, Cynthia

P.S. I just saw that I’ve reached 100 followers (I’m at 103 actually) which is very exciting to me. I’m very thankful to have ya’ll to gush about our mutual hobby with. I’ve got a giveaway to say thank you planned. I just have to decide what I’m going to put together. It’ll be a nice goody-bag of supplies, patterns and fabric. Expect a post on that this weekend.