Touch the Sky

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So here’s what my Merida pieces look like together!

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To recap, I made a set of outfit pieces to subtly reference this outfit Merida wears at the end of Brave.

So I made the skirt first, and spent ages to embroider it.

Then I made the top, which I probably won’t wear much alone, but they do look nice together!

sideThey’re connected using a bunch of hook and eyes, so that the skirt doesn’t ride down and reveal the green lace peplum.

I got all gussied up and pincurled my hair, which ended up a little wilder than I expected. Perfect for a dressed up Merida!

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Have a happy Thursday!

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Chase the Wind

I posted two weeks ago about my Merida skirt, which I’m super proud of… all that embroidery…

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Today I’m going to tell you about the top that I made to match it. I was never really into two piece sets, because most of the ones I found consisted of shorts and a top. But when I had the idea to make the Merida themed outfit, I knew that I didn’t have a need for a black dress. I wanted to have a more versatile outfit, so a two piece set of a skirt an a top it was!

The peplum craze is still going, and excepting my Belle Mark 2 (where it was “accidental” because it as a dress was too short, so I cut it shorter) I don’t have any in my wardrobe, so I wanted to try one out…

Verdict: I don’t really like it, but I’ll talk about that more later.

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The top is made of the same heavy black linen (from Joann’s) as the skirt, but its got a green lace layer over the peplum, and is lined with a forest green “posh” lining from Joann’s. The lace is this gorgeous stuff from my stash, and is the same as I used in the Dandelion suiting dress and the Dandelion linen sleeveless top. I actually think that this linen might be the same weight as that sleeveless top

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I self drafted this top from the same general “block” that I started with for Peggy. The block itself is quite… wrong, but it was a good starting point for the moment. Since it was wrong, I had a few adjustments to make. I had to raise the armscye since it was drastically too low. I also made it sleeveless, so I raised the edge of the shoulder and made the shoulders a little more snug. I had to adjust the front and back darts in order to get it to hang properly. Using a side seam zipper seemed like a good idea at this point, especially since I only had a deep green, not a black one, but I’m not sure that it was the right call.

The muslin I made out of the same linen was pretty terrible, so I had to make changes. Namely change some of the darts, and fix the side seams, which were leaning to the front. The back of this version is now both tight and loose, with a bubble above the darts… I’m not sure if its that the fabric is super finicky, or if its a problem with drafting that I’ll need to fix for next time I make one of these, but I guess time will tell.

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The peplum itself is a 3/4 circle skirt, and is hemmed with black bias binding. It’s got a lot of body, because the linen is so heavyweight. That’s probably why I don’t really care for this peplum. I do like the idea of it, and I like the Belle version, made out of a fairly thin knit so it hangs flat, but I think the body of this version is too much. Especially with looser bottoms like these jeans. I don’t own any pencil skirts, because I feel like I can’t walk in them, but I bet such a skirt would be a great match for this. I’ve mostly worn it with skinny jeans, and I think it balances well.

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Looking at the pictures, I can’t tell if the horizontal waist seam is bubbling or whether its an unfortunate trick of the light. Now that I have a full sized ironing board this will probably be easier. My tabletop ironing board was too small for its own good, though I’ll keep it around for small scale things like quilt top seams and the like. I’ve been thinking about adding some embroidery up by the neckline, but I think I’m just going to leave it alone. More versatility. The neckline doesn’t always lie flat, which is something that I will need to improve for future drafting projects, but when its tugged at, it will, so once rigged up to the skirt, or any skirt for that matter, it should help.

Realistically, this top will mostly be used with skirts, since its a plain but structured top above the peplum, but if I ever go on a trip and bring it along, I can see wearing it alone. Only time will tell!

I’ll be back soon with pictures of the two parts together, but before that, I need to actually rig up a way to fasten the two together… Procrastination is my specialty, after all.

Shooting for my own Hand

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This skirt is my pride and joy of this quarter of the year (aka post September).

I made the skirt first, in late September, knowing that I would use the other part of the bundle of linen that I bought to make a matching (complimentary?) top. That part I finished, technically in November, but I’ll talk about it in another post.

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On the subject of fabric, this is a heavyweight linen from Joann Fabrics, in black. It is heavy enough that I really don’t need a slip or slip-shorts under to keep it from sticking from tights and stuff, and it helps give the skirt some body.

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It’s a 3/4 circle skirt, my favorite kind, and I used a facing for the knee length hem. I didn’t get any pictures of it, though. The other end of the facing was closed using bias tape (pink and pastel green, since that’s what I had on hand), and then carefully sewn to the main skirt.

The waistband is plain, embellished lightly with black thread and lines, also to help the interfacing stay better. And I used a zipper to close it.

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There are two full sized in seam pockets that I adore. They get in the way of the zipper a bit, so I can’t pull the skirt over my hips easily, but it fits fine over my head.

It sat mostly unfinished until mid October when I got this crazy idea to embroider it.

By hand.

You don’t have to tell me how crazy I am. I know how crazy I am.

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I found this gorgeous art that is supposedly concept art. And I loved the knot at the bottom, so I copied it, and stuck it on my skirt!

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Six hours minimum to finish each motif. There are eight. So that’s a minimum of 48 hours. Plus the extra time the first four took (about 4 hours), means this embroidery alone took 52 hours…

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There is so much extra body to the hem. It’s not pretty on the underside, but eh. I can deal with that.

I may do extra embroidery… But not right now!

Syrah and Netties

At least for midseasons, so Fall and Spring, I have fulfilled my wearable blanket dreams.

Meet Syrah, version 2.

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This fabric is fuzzy, and yummy, and just barely stripey. It was also free, since my parents gave it to me as a gift. Actually the same gift as the green one, so I got two maxi skirts for nothing as basically a gift. Did I mention its fuzzy?

I just want to pet it.

Forever and always.

I made this Syrah in nearly the same way as my green version.

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I changed up the pockets in theory. I tried to make them flatter, which I did succeed at. They’re a bit too small now though, so I’m not sure it worked well. I can still fit my keys and phone, but my hands don’t fit.

The waistband is also the flat one. I like the ruched one, but I can’t wear a shirt over it, if I’m having a large tummy day (because isn’t food wonderful?). The flat one works much nicer for this purpose. I like wearing shirts tucked in with it, but its nice to have the option.

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It’s just such a comfy skirt!

Plus, it works really well with my new Nettie shirts!

I’ve had this black thin t-shirt from Forever 21 for years. It never fit very well, but it was necessary for my first job, and I’ve had no reason to get rid of it… except for the holes from acid and a few little stains.

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But if I was getting rid of it, I needed to replace it. So when I went fabric shopping a few months ago, I tuned into the black jersey fabric. I actually found two, one that was very t-shirt stable and opaque, and one that was super drapey and silky with a hint of sheer. I couldn’t decide which was better, so I bought both, and they’re super comfy.

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The pattern is the same as my turquoise one, and construction and everything are the same. By now, I can churn one of these out in just over an hour, if I set my mind to it. I am getting some wrinkles from the underarm, which I’ll try to fix on future Netties, but overall, these were a great choice!

Comfort is key, and all three of these makes are fantastic in that department.

Cause nothing beats a wearable blanket!

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.

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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!