A Wearable Muslin & the Sewing blahs (Grainline Morris Blazer)

A Wearable Muslin & the Sewing blahs (Grainline Morris Blazer)

This post contains my bitches faces yet.
This post contains my bitches faces yet.

Have you ever just completely lost your will to sew? You’re halfway through a garment and just can’t bring yourself to finish it? Let’s say that you have. What’s up with that!?!? I’d been wanting to sew this Morris Blazer for quite sometime, and it’s not particularly difficult sew, why get so blah about it? I’ll admit that it is a bit boring in plain gray, and I really don’t love sewing knits, but still!

Swear I'm going to stop posting pictures of the backs of garments. Ugh.
Swear I’m going to stop posting pictures of the backs of garments. Ugh.

I opted for plain gray for this, because I wanted to wear it to work. I cover up my arms everyday, so I needed something that would blend with multiple garments. Originally, I had planned to wear this to the Brian Fallon show I went to in Chicago, but I really dragged my feet and didn’t get it done. Instead, I wore the peplum top I made 23984783974 years ago. Btw, if you’re interested, I met a photograph who took fucking FABULOUS photos of that show, which you can see here.

We also took cheesy bathroom photos because it made our eyeballs look weird.  But hey, lace peplum!
We also took cheesy bathroom photos because it made our eyeballs look weird. But hey, lace peplum!

Back to the blazer. Since I was afflicted with a terrible case of the sewing blahs, I kinda rushed this. And as the fabric is a gray ponte I got at Joann’s for a steal, I decided to just treat this like a muslin. Which, in a way, was fortunate, because I have a few changes to make. For starters, the shoulders are too wide and need to be taken in a bit, which I really need to remember to do on anything with sleeves. The sleeves are also too roomy for me and will have to be taken in. I’d add 1-2 inches to length overall, except for the sleeves, where I’ve already added 3 inches. I think it would be a bit sturdier if it was fully lined, and clearly, I need to do a better job sewing it. Those sleeve gathers are awful, and the top stitching is complete shit.

"Wow, that's some wonky stitching"
“Wow, that’s some wonky stitching”

I don’t blame the pattern for any of the issues, it has definitely been a user error! And I’ll absolutely still wear it to work, of course. I really do wear all my me-mades, even if they’re kinda garbage. I have some fun things to sew soon, so hopefully I can kick the sewing blues. Also, I know I haven’t posted lately, but I swear I’ve been sewing. Check out this quick skirt I made for St. Patrick’s day, based on the By Hand London Kim dress!

Forever awkward.
Forever awkward.

It’s fun, right? Hopefully my next post brings us back to quirky fun sewing projects. Also, progress posts on my Halloween costume are coming soon, so that’s exciting. Happy sewing πŸ™‚

By Hand London Kim Dress

By Hand London Kim Dress

I'm told I don't look like a ham here.  I'm not buyin' it.
I’m told I don’t look like a ham here. I’m not buyin’ it.

A few weeks ago, the lovely people at Minerva Crafts sent me a few yards of this lovely polka dot chambray. While chambray screams “make a Granville” to me, I wanted to do a dress. Probably because I always want to make a dress. I’d been wanting to make a Kim dress for awhile, so there you have it. Chambray Kim dress. In honesty, I was expecting the fabric to take MUCH longer to arrive (it took about a week or two), so I shamefully shelved it for a bit while I finished my other projects :/

"Hey, look how awkwardly I can stand.  Pretty cool, I know"
“Hey, look how awkwardly I can stand. Pretty cool, I know”

For starters, this dress was an absolute dream to sew. The fabric cuts and sews beautifully. I whipped through the dress in a day and a half, and that’s including the time I spent unpicking (serged) things I’d sewn on upside down. Sadly, it’s just a given that I’ll sew something upside down, or backwards, or to the wrong side…I do it every time. It’s probably pathetic.

I like how this angle really shows the wrinkles from playing with puppies.
I like how this angle really shows the wrinkles from playing with puppies.

I really, really like the bodice on this pattern. I cut a straight US 10 of version 2, and the bodice fits me pretty well, though I did take in a bit. I could probably stand to shorten the straps a bit, but I’m not complaining. The bodice has princess seams, so no darts. It’s also fully lined, which I always love. I tried to follow the bodice instructions completely, and I’m glad I did. It’s an interesting way to do things (at least to a novice like myself), but the finish is really clean and the assembly is easy. That said, it’s hard to know how it’s going to fit until it’s finished. If you’re concerned about fit, definitely do a muslin! I’m terrible about making muslins. I almost never do it and that’s because I’m both very busy and very lazy. It helps that I have a fairly standard “hourglass” figure, so my fit issues are typically minimal for sleeveless dresses. Pants and jackets are another story entirely!

Bodice/boob details.
Bodice/boob details.

For the skirt, I also cut a US 10, this time of version 1. The versions are easily interchangeable, so mix it up! I personally always prefer a sweetheart neckline to a scoop. The petal skirt is what originally attracted me to this pattern, and it didn’t disappoint. There are four simple darts and a bit of pleating (pictured above), which I adore. More details about those woes in a future post! The pattern calls for basting the overlapping front portions together before attaching to the bodice, which I liked and seemed to work well. I do think next I would slim the skirt down a bit. I would for sure like something a bit more fitted. I also think I will do a stitch to hold the front pieces together. On photo day, it was pretty windy, I only narrowly avoiding a wardrobe mishap! Like always, I added some pockets, always pockets. My apologies for the wrinkly look, but there was a puppy to play with!

Okay and maybe I did a shitty job pressing the pockets.  Hush.
Okay and maybe I did a shitty job pressing the pockets. Hush.

On the back, I omitted the hook and eye. I know it looks better to have it, but I have giant man hands and they’re tiny and fiddly and I hate sewing them. It pains me. I’ve convinced myself that the zip on it’s own doesn’t look horrible, so whatever. Now that Kim is finished, I think it’s time to get more of this fabric and make that Granville! Happy sewing πŸ™‚

OH! And I chopped my hair off!!! What up, mid life crisis?!?

Fabulous Fall (McCall’s 6754)

Fabulous Fall (McCall’s 6754)

I really can't make any more posing excusing.
I really can’t make any more posing excusing.

McCall’s 6754 is my go to pattern. I think I’ve made it at least 7 times. This is a knit pattern, but I’ve made it in everything from quilting cotton to some weird poly-crepe type fabric. I’ve made it sleeveless and raglan. I’ve added pockets, zippers. I added horsehair braid once. It’s such an easy pattern, and who doesn’t love a good circle skirt!?!

So many dresses.
So many dresses.

I purchased this fabric last year (yay for destashing!), and have been struggling on what to do with it. I love that it’s reversible, but couldn’t think of a way to showcase that. Finally, I decided fuck it. The fabric is soft and cozy and perfect for a fall dress. Wearing this dress feels like being wrapped in the softest blanket, it takes “secret pajamas” to another level.

I like that dress, but it would look better on my floor.
I like that dress, but it would look better on my floor.

The very best part of this dress is that it was sewn up after work on Tuesday. Fabric cutting included, it took about 3 hours. It’s crazy fast and easy. I do, however, wonder about darts on the raglan sleeves. It’s a knit, why have a dart on the sleeve? Any ideas? Other than the darts and finishing, I did all the sewing on my serger. Originally, I had intended to do bands at the sleeves and hem, in the stripes also, but I ran out of energy. The pattern doesn’t call for bands, just fold and stitch, but I really like the look and stability of it. I would suggest sizing down. This fabric tends to “grow” as you wear it, so I think could have even gone down one more size! It is very easy to edit along the way, so if you cut it a bit too large, no worries. I’ve sewn this so many times, I disregarded the instructions. I believe it calls for elastic at the waist in all versions, though. I don’t add it. I don’t think it needs it and I just don’t like the look. But if you do, go for it! It’s an easy add.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm dizzy.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’m dizzy.

This is my last make for the Sew Long Summer Sew Along!! I hope you’ve all enjoyed it. Happy sewing πŸ™‚

The 30th Birthday Dress (Butterick 5882/Gertie Shelf Bust Dress)

The 30th Birthday Dress (Butterick 5882/Gertie Shelf Bust Dress)

I enjoy booze of all kinds.

I made my deadline, and completed Butterick 5882 on Saturday, moments before walking out the door! If I’m being honest…I’m still not completely pleased with the dress, but…it’s my birthday so I’m giving myself a pass πŸ˜‰

Buzzed posing in a public place

I made some alterations to this pattern. I added my usual pockets, and I changed the bodice. I lowered the boned portion and curved it along the bust. If I could do it again, I would lower it a full two more inches, it STILL sat too high for my taste. I really wanted something that sat under my bust, where the underwire of a bra hits. I also altered the cups, to compensate for lowering the shelf, by adding two more rows of pleats. For me, the cups go too far up toward my shoulders, I would change that a bit if I made this garment again. I cut a size 12, and it was just a bit too big. In the future, I would cut a 10. This is a Gertie pattern, and for some reason I ALWAYS have fit issues with her patterns :/

High bust cups and gaping.
High bust cups and gaping.

The main fabric is also from Gertie’s collection, with the bodice cups and straps just being a black quilting cotton. I lined it with some kind of polyester “lining” fabric, this dress uses a ton of fabric, so I felt like using cotton lining would make it just too heavy. The fabrics were a dream to sew, and the lining felt amazing on the skin, staying cool even in the muggy Ohio summer.

I dunno why I can't stand up straight like a normal person.
I dunno why I can’t stand up straight like a normal person.

I did an invisible zip, because those give me the least amount of trouble! All of my seams were serged, with the hem just being serged and turned up. All and all, the dress is far from perfect but it worked for the occasion! Definite party dress vibes! Happy sewing πŸ™‚

Tbt: The Philadelphia Dress (Sewaholic Saltspring)

Tbt: The Philadelphia Dress (Sewaholic Saltspring)

This post has terrible photography.  I'm sorry.
This post has terrible photography. I’m sorry.

Let me tell you a short tale of a girl and a concert. Last year, I saw on Instagram that two of my favorite bands (Jimmy Eat World and The Gaslight Anthem) would be doing a limited amount of shows together. Noticing that one of these shows was in Philadelphia, I immediately purchased two tickets. Here’s a fun fact: Philadelphia is not 4 hours away from Cincinnati (that would be Pittsburgh), it is NINE FUCKING HOURS AWAY! That’s fun to find out after making a commitment πŸ˜• However, my friend Kendra is a trooper and agreed to make this voyage with me.

Thanks Kendra!
Thanks Kendra!

Since I knew I’d be walking around/driving a lot on this trip, I wanted something comfortable. Enter the Sewaholic Saltspring. I had sewn this up with Amy shortly before that, I think in one day. I always find Sewaholic patterns easy to sew, the instructions are great. I opted for the shorter version, but the longer version would be great too (especially if you were doing a maxi dress challenge hint hint wink wink nudge nudge). The fabric was from the Joann “silky prints” sale, even though it’s clearly not silky at all! My best guess is that it’s a crepe de chine?

Scandalous statues!
Scandalous statues!

I added a belt to the dress, because I just like a more accented waist. I still wear this dress all the time, so I think it’s definitely work a make. Also…driving nine hours for a concert is definitely worth it, do it!!!

Unrelated, but I’m finally getting this Bloglovin thing together, so follow my blog with Bloglovin Happy sewing πŸ™‚

Me-Made-May’15 Week 3

Me-Made-May’15 Week 3

I really need to get better at this me-made photography. At the very least, I could post the full outfit instead of just waist up photos πŸ™ I promise to improve!!

Terrible photography.
Terrible photography.

For week three, I opted for my anchor dress. On this particular day, it was hot here in Ohio and my air is still out, so easy, comfy clothes were the way to go.

The "I'm working" pose.
The “I’m working” pose.

My second outfit was yet another McCall’s M6754. For some reason, the solid green was a huge hit at work, even though I think the floral is a much better fit. The one was a very early make, and it shows in some of the extremely wonky stitching! Oh well, I still wear this stuff with pride.

I have to say…this challenge is a lot easier than I expected. As an added bonus, it’s really driving me to finish/mend some old projects I have lying around! I’m looking forward to sharing week 4 πŸ™‚ Happy sewing!

Me-Made-May’15 Weeks 1 & 2

Me-Made-May’15 Weeks 1 & 2

So I must confess: I only wore one me-made item the first week of May πŸ™ In my defense, that week was only two days long, though…

Week one also happened to be half priced frap week!
Week one also happened to be half priced frap week!

Week one I opted for the lace tank from the Back With a Peplum post. At work, I cover up my half sleeves, so…also features a rtw cardigan. You’ll notice, I finally got around to finishing the neckline and arms with bias tape. Also, I have spectacles now! Though I don’t really need to wear them all the time, you’ll be seeing them often, as I’ve always wanted glasses.

For week two, I opted to wear two versions of McCall’s M6754, my go-to pattern. Expect to see more of these in the future, and probably a blog post about them πŸ˜‰

On the way to work, no cardigan.  No spectacles, because check out that eyeliner.
On the way to work, no cardigan. No spectacles, but so much makeup.
Bathroom selfie and and the return of the spectacles.
Bathroom selfie and and the return of the spectacles.

The hardest part for me has been getting decent photos, obviously! My apologies for the low grade cell phone photography, I need to recruit someone to take photos for me. I hope you’re all having as much fun with this as I am! Happy sewing πŸ™‚

The Anchor Dress

The Anchor Dress

At it again with the killer posing.
At it again with the killer posing. I swear I don’t have that many wrinkles!!

So I know this is a super old pattern, but…I still think you should make this dress immediately. Β It’s the Butterick B5317 by Maggy London and it’s fantastic. The dress features six fairly large pleats, right underneath the bust, which makes itΒ very flattering. The pattern calls for a side zip, but as I made mine in a knit, I omitted the zipper. However, I did notice that the bodice darts were a bit too pronounced, so perhaps such a sturdy knit was not the best fabric choice? The pictures don’t do the bust any justice, though, Β I’m the worst at pictures. Β Also, I ended up taking the straps up a few inches, and the bodice in a bit. Honestly, I have nearly constant strap issues. At this point, I’ve planned for it. By pattern sizing, I should have made a 14, but I scaled down to a 12. I think I could have done a 10.

Awkward ankles, weird shadows, and unfinished shoulder seams.
Awkward ankles, weird shadows, and unfinished shoulder seams.

I opted out of doing a contrast fabric, frankly, I just didn’t have one and there are NO fabric stores where I work or where I live. It’s only a thirty minute drive to Joann, but still…no time. Also, since I didn’t do a contrast band on the bottom, I decided to try out a rolled hem. ROLLED HEMS ARE THE BEST!! Once I figured out how to set up my trusty serger for this, it was beyond easy. I usually serge all my seams, so I’ve come to expect setup difficulties, but here there were none! Success on the first try!

Pretty hems!
Pretty hems!

All and all, this dress came together in about three evenings, from start to finish. Around six hours, I think, including fit issues. I’ll actually get some wear out of it, and truly, the fit isn’t that bad. Also, shout out to Etsy and my momma for my awesome Harry Potter locket πŸ™‚

I know I know, my clasp is showing.
I know I know, my clasp is showing.

Happy sewing!

Throwback to the “Va Va Voom” Dress

Throwback to the “Va Va Voom” Dress

As you can tell by my limited amount on posts, I haven’t been blogging for very long! Since I’m busy this week doing lots and lots of mending, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pre-blog makes.

"Sewn by Ashley:  a history of bad posing"
“Sewn by Ashley: a history of bad posing”

I love this dress. I mean really love. I’d sewn this dress with Amy from That’s Sew Amy. From cutting the fabric to finishing the dress, we got both of our dresses done in one day!! Now that’s a win! Not to mention, we were sewing these from the Frankenpattern contest., so there was a decent bit of “winging it”. I think sewing with others is just so much easier, don’t you? I find fitting and working out pattern issues are much less problematic!

Happy sewists!!!
Happy sewists!!!

So my version of this dress was a mixture of Simplicity 1426 and Gertie’s Pencil Skirt. To combine the two, I made the pencil skirt but omitted the waistband, and just added to the width of the bottom band for the top. Then I added a center back zipper to hold it all together. Easy peasy. I did size down the top, if you follow the pattern guides, I’ve found the top to be too loose not at all like the pattern cover.

Awkward faces and fitted tops.

I made this one out of a patterned stretch twill, which was fantastic to work with, and black gabardine, which I had purchased by accident. The gabardine was just meh to work with. This being the first time I’ve used it, though, it may have just been the wrong material for this project. Still turned out what I think is fabulous dress, which I am still trying to find a reason to wear!

Scandalous slit!
Scandalous slit!