Miter by the Sea

To end the old backlog, I’ve come to show you my awesome shell.

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In March, about a week before Spring Break, I was on Facebook well past my bedtime, and I saw that Cake Patterns was looking for testers for some of their new tops. I jumped at the chance, especially because I knew I’d have some built in sewing time. I jumped on board with their Miter Shell.

Of course, then the envelope with the pattern arrived and I sat there staring at it.

Firstly, I was facing the fact that my perfect week off had to include a Chemical Oceanography take home midterm, as well as a math program in Matlab that I had been already putting off for a week.

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So of course, after putting off all of these things until the end of the week, I spent the Friday before school started back up not doing homework, but instead working on this new pattern.

I made the Espresso leggings a few years ago, and it was lovely. I’m not a leggings person… at least not unless their a pajama replacement. Or a replacement for tights in winter. But I still wear these leggings, and as soon as the inspiration strikes, I’ll take the pattern out again.

This means I was already familiar with the type of pattern, with the sizing and the connecting the dots loveliness.

I connected the appropriate dots, pulled out my roll of IKEA drawing paper that I use for patterns, and I traced and cut to my heart’s delight.

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First I made it up in this orange mystery athletic wear knit that I had just received in a mystery fabric bundle thing. To be honest, the stuff had very little recovery, I used a stitch that was waaaaaay to small, and I found the back “laces” too large, so along with the lack of recovery, they were sagging (and they felt even more saggy).  Also, with the square neckline, and my arguably large bra cup size, and therefore high “cut” of a bra, there was an inch of bra showing at the corners.

At that point, I kinda hated my creation. In a Frankenstein sort of way. Let’s start with the fact that it was bright neon orange. I’m not a bright orange kind of person. So I had very little interest in making this draft work, especially fiddling with it all day. (Also my day probably started at 11am. So all day may be misleading).

I went back to my homework until Sunday.

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After spending all that time musing, in between chem and math, I realized that the only thing that I really needed to do to fix this was raise the neckline. I did that a little bit in the drafting, but mostly by taking up the shoulder seams. After that I shortened the neckline and arm binding to match, and cut the fabric. (I cut this one, the top of my Nettie dress, and my Nettie top all at once, so I knew for a fact that I didn’t have enough for the back weave, since I was eeking out everything I could just to get all three). I still needed something for the back weave, so I pulled out my collection of vintage notions, and found these lovely seam binding laces in the perfect colors. Of course, I didn’t have enough of either color, but I did have enough for a cool looking pattern!

This is such a comfy shirt. In reality, the weave rarely sees the light of day, mostly due to my cardigan obsession no matter what the outside temperature, but I think its such a nice touch. In the future, I might take in the back a smidge, to reduce the draping a bit. It’s nice when I’m not standing straight, which if I truly face it is most of the time, but it looks so loose in pictures. And the shoulders are quite wide on my uber narrow ones, so I might skinny those up too. Who knows, though. I might forget!

I’ve been waiting to share this with you for over three months, but I can now share that all of the Tidepool Collection, including this one, the Miter Shell, is up for sale on SewingCake.com. I’m definitely getting the Endeavor Trousers soon.

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**I’d like to reiterate that all of these opinions are based on the testing copy, and I am unable to make remarks on the final product. But I’m sure its fabulous!

Dinglehopper

Today I made this lovely cardigan and it makes an awesome topper to a Little Mermaid Disneybound/subtle cosplay.

If you want to read about the details on the cardigan, you can read them here, on the Monthly Stitch post.

But if you want to see my impromptu Ariel cosplay, here are my dinglehopper friendly pictures!

dinglehopper thinking

So this is my first Syrah skirt, a nice bright green, my Bronte top (or a RTW one), and my new Jenna cardigan!

P.S. This is probably just something weird, but these are honestly the only two pictures where I didn’t look at the camera, which definitely ruined the “illusion.”

The Whole Package

So it’s now June.

That means it’s hot in the South. At least, anywhere that isn’t mountainous.

I was walking home from a ballroom lesson at 9:00PM, and I was still too hot, wearing jeans and a thin blouse, because it was still 85*F.

Any thought of taking up running this summer is quickly fleeing.

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But that means that when the separates challenge at The Monthly Stitch came up, I knew that there would be no hope of Ginger Jeans, or even Ginger shorts (too tight for the weather). It had to be something skirt-like. Flowy and preferably breathable. And some sort of top.

It’s been windy, though. And windy plus skirts does not always make for a good combo.

Since I lost my pattern for culottes, which was arguable fatally flawed… (Butt length after creasing from sitting is not the best idea), I bought the Tania culottes pattern from Megan Nielsen.

And I love them.

I haven’t shown you my first pair yet, but rest assured its arriving soon.

This pair, though, exists because I went into Joann’s to get fabric for curtains… And came out with this loveliness.

Let’s forget for a moment that I’ve never really patternmatched. Because pattern placement to avoid flowers on boobs is not quite the same  idea. And that I don’t really use patterns with very linear placements. Because it’s been engrained that I would need to be extra careful with those.

But I bought it anyway. Does it help that it was on sale for 50% off? I think in total the fabric cost me 15 bucks for 3 yards…

It might be a deep navy, but I’m considering it black. With the creamy offwhite, it was a warm black tone to it… Or so I’m telling myself. And it’s sheer enough that I wanted to line the culottes. Of course, I decided this after I got home from the store.

Tania culottes with a pocket

So this is my pair of self lined Tania culottes!

I measured a large for these, which surprised me a little, but my tummy did grow a bit from end of semester bad eating habits, so I trudged through it. Like many others, I cut the extra large length to go with the large other measurements. I did have to shorten the crotch curve, which I did uber-scientifically on my last pair (which was already finished) by sewing a larger seam allowance. Since that worked, I just transferred that to the pattern. I also followed the recommendation to raise the seam even more for the lining, which did bring about much confusion with the then four large skirt like pieces, but I think it worked out. Also I don’t have invisible zips handy, so I just put in a regular one. And a pocket. I added a pocket. Because it was very important.

pattern unmatching

Once I had put it all together, before letting it hang for a few days, I tried it on and immediately hated the wide waistband. It just looked so… wrong. Thinking back on it, I remember a pattern that suggests against stripes for the waistband since it was curved. And I’m guessing this was why. But also I’m a fairly short waisted person, but most of my belly fat exists in that lower region below the bellybutton, and with the high waistband, I was going to have to do some excessive fitting to get it to sit close to my body (stay tuned for that in my first version). So I decided to hack off half of it, and pulled out my bias binding collection and used some lovely green to deal with the seam. You can see a peek of it above. Also, look at that pattern almost matching. The lines are at least correct!

Then I let it sit for more days than I care to admit. You see, this week I’ve been having trouble getting to bed before 2AM. But instead of going with that flow, I’ve been still trying to sleep starting at 1, which cuts out a significant amount of available sewing time. As is the waking up late, BECAUSE I WENT TO BED AT 2!

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I used my rolled hem foot. I think this marks the third time? And this is probably the first time with the right kind of fabric. It was not easy, and the hem is not even. The lining might even have been peeking out a smidgeon. Shush, don’t tell! But it’s pretty darn good for the first time on miles and miles of fabric.

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And then the top. I love the Dandelion top/dress, and I figured it was time to make it again. Especially because I’m planning a “super secret” version. But first this one.

My fabric choices were easy. I had just made a Tania pair out of this linen, and it was a perfect amount to use for this shirt. And this lace, I love this lace. I used it on my last Dandelion, to accent the side panels, and the amount used for the yoke here didn’t take away any more yardage. Just into the scrappage from the previous one! I still have quite a few yards, and I’m not sure what to do with it.

Dandelion shirt detail

I cut a medium, like I had done for my first one. The first one is nice and comfy, but it is a little loose above the bust, which I should’ve realized would  become a problem in a sleeveless version. So there were quite a few alterations, including taking in the back, taking up the shoulders, taking in the side seams, changing the back yoke shape, eliminating the zipper, and taking in a wedge of the lace.

It’s still not perfect. I might need to readjust the bias tape, and I should take the shoulders up even more when I do that. But I’m kinda in love with it. It should also get softer after a wash, which’ll be nice. It’s not scratchy, but its also not soft. But soon. Soon it’ll be soft!

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I like these two options together. We’ll see how much wear they get together. But they will certainly be mix and matchable! In fact this is the first intentional post on the beginning of a little capsule wardrobe. I’ll talk more about it later, I promise!

MMM15 Wrap Up

It’s nearly half a month later, but I’ve finally gotten to the wrap up.

It was a good May.

I moved (again). I took a vacation to visit my brother’s graduation. I started work on my Master’s research… I made plans for lots of makes and didn’t follow through.

What I did work a lot on was the dress for my Susan costume, since I really want that done before July, so I can get working on the TARDIS.

Here’s a pic of almost everything I wore this month (skipping over a few days for fit parameters and me made cardi only):

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And my tallies. First up number of me made garments:

Shirts – 9

Bodysuit – 1

Cardigans – 3

Dresses – 3

Skirts – 2

Culottes – 1

And number of wears per type of me made garment:

Shirts – 13

Bodysuit – 1

Cardigans – 6+ (cause I’m sure I wore one on some days that I didn’t photograph)

Dresses – 5

Skirts – 4

Culottes – 1

So obviously I rewore garments. In fact, I quite often repeated outfits, cause that’s something I like. Really, I have no interest in changing that.

The one thing that I really noticed was that I need to actually work on doing all the alterations that I put into the alterations pile. Both sleeveless Archers, my blue skirt, and some others that I can’t remember are all stuffed into that pile awaiting the day that I get bored enough to fix them. But I definitely shouldn’t have waited, because it definitely limited my options… To the point that I took out a sleeveless Archer for the last day, since all it really needs is to fix the bias tape before I next wash it, since the fabric frayed beyond that.

I do need to be a better packer for trips… Not all of my trip wardrobe worked together, and since it was much cooler than I expected I couldn’t wear any of the shorts or skirts except the maxi, which made it more difficult.

And I want to rework the other skirt that I wore. It was made a year before I started the blog out of quilting cotton, and is really comfy. Shorter than I thought though… But comfy and cool in hot weather. It needs some kind of lining, though, and pockets. Definitely pockets.

What I learned through MMM?

Always have pockets!

(Actually I learned that before, but it’s worth repeating).

Overdue T-shirts

It’s high time I show you these t-shirts. It’s been two months. And I love three out of four to death. So these are definitely long overdue.

Now I’m thinking about the fine on my library card…

First up is a plain Nettie t-shirt.

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Remember the brown one I made last year?

It’s almost the same pattern but with a bit more room around the midsection. It really means I spend less time picking it out of my lovely belly rolls when I sit down.

Come on, I know I’m not alone in that.

But this time… it’s turquoise.

Or aqua. Some people like to tell me that my sense of color is wrong. I’m going with turquoise.

P.S. Whoever owns the eBay shop that I bought this fabric from: I need more of this. Lots more in every color. It feels like butter. Or nothing. Whichever is your ideal texture. I’m going with butter. I don’t even know what its made of. But its that awesome!

Okay, second:

The Nettie top for a dress. Using the ultimate fabric from above

nettie dress front

Basically I took my Nettie top pattern, chopped it an inch from the “waist” measurement, added wide elastic, and then this skirt bottom.

Actually this was an ultimate refashion of me mades. The waistband elastic came from a skirt that I made before I understood that a rectangle elastic skirt looks painfully awful on me if the “lining” and the outer fabric are both puffy and not at all drapey. And the skirt came from a Big 4 dress that just didn’t look right. Mostly because the top looked a bit, how should I put it… mumsy. Now I’m 23. That’s a perfectly okay time for a person to be a mum, but I feel like many don’t want to look like theirs. Cause that’s what this dress did for me. It made it look like I had saggy breasts and no waist. So I unpicked the skirt, and used it here!

dress back

Isn’t that better?

Super comfy and has become my long car ride dress. Because it’s awesome.

Third one:

Plantain

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So a few years ago I made leggings out of this odd fabric from Walmart. And I had a lot left. And I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. So I made a Plantain. Not my favorite, but it is summer now. And that shirt is hot. Perhaps when it gets a bit cooler? My last one fell apart, so I couldn’t compare, but the last one was arguably destined to fall apart. My serger needs some more tinkering.

It’s still kinda a meh look for me. I think that my opinion on Plantains is that the sleeve is awesome, and it’s a great pattern to hack, but on me I much prefer a Nettie to a straight up Plantain.

And lastly:

A grey Bronte.

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I got this spongy grey wonderfulness a few months ago, and I knew it was destined to be a Bronte. In all fairness, it should have been a sweater. That’s the kind of sponge I’m talking about. But I looked past that and made it up to be my most favoritest top ever. Or at least this month.

Note: favorite fabric is the turquoise, and this is the favorite shirt. Just to be clear.

I think I might have added some extra room to the bust, since it was creating deep lines in the first one, and I winged out the below-bust to give me some belly room, like with the Nettie.

It’s super comfy, and great when the air-conditioning makes you want to wear winter clothes in the middle of summer. Because if you do, then you die when you go back outside, so… I like this option better.

Well, there’s my t-shirts! I’ll do my MMM15 round up soon.

But first I should find that library card…