Junk Food Nation

IMG_20130812_191749_975While I was making this dress I realized I should concentrate my fabric buying on solid pieces of fabric because that’s what I tend to pull most out of my closet. Of course that’s what I realized while making a party dress out of the silliest fabric ever made. In my head, I thought this would be a fun flirty dress, which it is, but it’s also very bold. I don’t know how much I’ll wear this. Note to self: Don’t buy fabric because it makes you laugh.

This is Vogue 1288. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more of this dress made up because it’s super cute and super easy. I like the low sexy back and this is loose and comfortable to wear in the summertime heat. This honestly took maybe three hours to make.

IMG_20130812_191906_831The instructions tell you to make a metric shit ton of bias binding and bind all of the seams. I ignored those, perhaps that would be necessary with a sequinned fabric, but not with the soft rayon challis I used. I just serged them all. The neckline and armholes are bound with bias. It’s a very neat and clean finish.

IMG_20130812_191833_581I made a straight size 12 and really should have graded out to a 14 in the hips/ thigh area. This skirt is tight on my… errrr… “strong” legs. I’m going to call this dress a wearable muslin instead of the finished dress I had in mind. I really do love the sillhouette and I really do love pizza, but maybe not together

Brave 3.0 I Bombshell Edition

DSC03183I hope you’re not sick of swimsuits by now, because here’s another. So by now it seams that everybody has made or is making the Bombshell Swimsuit. If you haven’t yet, you should probably get on that because all the cool girls are. Every version I see makes me squeal about what a bunch of hot babes us sewing/bloggy ladies are. It is universally flattering.

When I saw that one of views was a high-waisted bikini bottom, I knew I needed to make a version for myself. I found the red gingham swimsuit fabric from Mill End. I think this make a cute Maryanne from Gilligan’s Island style bikini. I actually forget to cut one of the pieces out and when I tried to fit it onto my remaining fabric I didn’t have enough. I told the mister on the phone and was pretty dramatic about it. He picked some more fabric while he was out because he’s sweet on me, and now I have enough to make another bikini :).

DSC03188The top is one of the views of McCall’s 5400.This is turning into quite a versatile pattern. It has so many options that it’s a good one to pick up at the next 99 cent sale. This top feels very secure to wear while swimming. I typically buy only halter style swim tops anyways in RTW so it makes sense for me to finally make one. When it came time to stitch the swim hook and make the loop on the back of the suit the fabric was much too thick for the stretch needle I was using. I was trying to sew through 2 layers of elastic and 4 layers of fabric at that point. I switched to a top-stitching needle and that did the trick.

DSC03186Now onto the bottom. I made a size 8 at the waist tapering out to a size 10 at my hips. This suit used up and entire spool of thread, in between all of the basting and I zig-zagged my raw edges since my serger isn’t back from repair yet. Holy Moly that’s a lot of thread! When you make this just be prepared to do quite a bit of unpicking along the ruching. Also, don’t think you’re smarter than the directions. I kept going on ahead and then having to back up and unpick bits (maybe that’s why I used so much thread… LOLLZZZZ). The way Heather has you put this together is quite clever, in particular the elastic around the legs  and how it continues on into hemming the skirt. Clever, clever, clever…. it almost felt like origami.

DSC03191I was able to finish this the morning of July 4th and wear it all day on a daytime drinking/ river floating extravaganza. I felt like a babe, and this didn’t fall apart or expose me when I took a tumble over some rapids.

xx, Cynthia

Brave 2.0

DSC03133 I made another bikini ya’ll! And I have at least two more bathing suits planned so I hope you don’t get bored. I love swimming so much. Maybe it’s because I’m a pisces or maybe because it’s the most fun thing in the world? This one is made from McCall’s 5400. I made the lower cut panty (view F) and adjusted the tankini pattern (view E) into a bikini top.

I used some remnant swimsuit fabric purchased in the flat fold annex at the Mill End, my local fabric store is rad and like half a mile from my house (dangerous). I made a size 12 up top, and got honest with myself about my size and made a 14 on the bottom. This suit doesn’t do the nasty muffin-top-squishing-in-my-soft-bits that my last me-made suit does.

DSC03145My serger is still in the shop getting worked on (I really busted it trying to “fix” it). This was made entirely on my sewing machine. Don’t be scared to make swimsuits if you don’t have a serger. It’s not necessary to make a secure, stretchy, comfortable swimsuit.

If you’d like to make this pattern for yourself, there are a couple of things to watch out for. The elastic guide that they give you is far too big. Just toss out those pieces and go by feel. On the front of the leg openings I didn’t stretch the elastic out at all, but you want to pull it fairly tight starting around your crotch and around your booty. You don’t want to flash your beaver at the pool when this gets wet, do you? Also the low cut panty is practically pube low, so keep that in mind depending on how modest you are.

DSC03164To make the top into a bikini I had to make a back piece for the cups provided for the tankini top. For the size 12 I made a rectangle that measured 14.5 inches and was the same width as the bust piece. For extra support I inserted small pieces of boning into the side seam allowances. I also disregarded the directions by inserting elastic along the top of the bust piece. They don’t have you do that and it didn’t seem secure enough to me. I also inserted swim cups that I harvested out of an older swimsuit that has seen better days. This top is essentially a bandeau top, much like the suit I just made but it feels much more secure and supportive. The halter strap helps a lot!

DSC03169I wore this yesterday to float the river. We drove upriver a few miles and rode the current back to my apartment. We even took the dogs (one of our tubes has a mesh bottom). Bacon looks so cute in his life jacket! The poor guy just sinks when he tries to swim #bulldogproblems.  If you follow me on Instagram (my username is Cynbular) You may have seen that my sweet Spanky had to have an emergency surgery on his eye. We were able to remove the sutures and the dreaded “cone of shame” on Thursday and he’s feeling and doing much better as you can see how handsome he is in this photo.

xx, Cynthia

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.



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

XX, Cynthia

I’m a Sewaholic!

DSC02828 Happy new year! I hope everyone survived the holidays. I’m back with my first sewn item of 2013, the Thurlow trouser.

These pants feature a lot of “firsts” for me. My first Sewaholic pattern, pants, fly front zipper, and also welt pockets. I followed along with the Thurlow sewalong, which made these a breeze to construct. Thanks to Lauren I had success with my very first welt pocket ever attempted.

DSC02825I cut a size 6, but then ended trimming off an inch from both side seams. I’ll start with a 4 next time I make these (and there will definitely be a next time). The curved waist band makes these *so* comfortable, the rise is just right, and they don’t show booty crack when I bend over…. HOLLA!!! Thank you Tasia! All of my RTW pants, if they fit my thighs are too big in the waist. These fit both areas, it’s a great day.

DSC02819I made these using some of the bolt of stretch denim I got for super cheap at Scrap. The fabric was donated by Columbia Sportswear, and is very heavy duty. I was concerned that it would be too bulky, but I just took extra care in pressing and used my clapper to make all of my creases super crisp and flat. I lined these using a little bit of a Michael Miller sugar skull print I had in my stash. I love how colorful and fun the interior is.

DSC02833I really like these pants, but I’m not sure if they’ll have much longevity. I had a couple oops. I didn’t muslin these since I have so much of the denim, so that’s bound to be the case. I accidentally serged a hole in the crotch trying to finish a seam. I darned it and put some fray check over the hole, but this denim is extremely prone to fraying. I also think I cut a little *too* close to the “windows” when I made my welts and I can see a tiny bit of fraying in the corners. Mistakes are just a part of the learning process though, my next pants are just going to be that much better 🙂

DSC02818I haven’t decided if I’m going to write a year end round up post, with my sewing resolutions for the new year. My number one resolution is to take my time and work on fit. I did that with these pants and they feel so comfortable because of that.

DSC02830xx, Cynthia