Birthday Dress

It’s been over a month since I made this dress, and yet I’ve only worn it once or twice. But it’s special, cause it’s my birthday dress.

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The week before my birthday I was finishing up the TARDIS sewing, so I didn’t get a chance to make the dress. The day before my birthday I got back from a ballroom engagement and didn’t have the energy or willpower to start. I think I got as far as retrieving the fabric before I gave up and collapsed on my couch.

This green lace printed polyester jersey had been in my stash forĀ  a couple months, after I picked it up because the print was so cool despite the polyester-ness. I knew I wanted something sleeveless (so my armpit sweat wouldn’t be cooped up {is that too much info? Sorry}), and I’ve been wanting a handkerchief hem dress for a while now.

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So on my birthday morning I pulled myself out of bed and cut out a square for the skirt, and then used the Nettie shirt pattern I’ve manipulated to make a front and back. I remembered to cut out the arm and neckbands at this point, instead of having to go back and get them later.

I managed to get it sewn up, eat both breakfast and lunch, and get to campus for my class with caffeine in hand. And with time to make more caffeine for class, which is always a plus.

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Wearing it that day, though, showed me that I had miscalculated the length I’d need in the bodice, and it just got longer as the day went on. It was too short to be dropwaist, and too long to wear without some sort of waist definition, so I have been wearing it with my life belt.

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About a week ago, I added some elastic to the waist seam, which helps with the droop, but it’s still loose at the waist. Maybe I should take it in some more.

Anyway, the armbands instead of sleeves are definitely comfortable, and it looks nice sleeveless. I’m probably going to be making more this summer! And I have a nice amount of fabric left, so I’m thinking a short sleeve Nettie hack. I’m going to cut that out now, I think!

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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!

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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…

 

Uganda

Out of all of the places that you can choose to study abroad, one of my friends chose Uganda, and had a lovely time in Kampala, the capital city, and toured some of the countries that have been in the news for not-so-great news over the years.

When she got back, she was just as bubbly as ever, but having read her blog of her adventures, it was clear that the experience had changed her deep down, which is really what such and adventure is meant to do.

Our schedules didn’t match up much for that winter break, but the one time we were able to get together she gave me this lovely African wax print cotton fabric that she had picked up there! It’s a gorgeous color and feel and just plain lovely.

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I’ve worked with batiks before, when I’m quilting they’re my favorite, but this was different. This was special. What was I going to make?

So I delayed, I waffled, I forgot about it for a while, and I waffled some more.

My mom suggested a suit, like a pencil skirt and jacket. Now that I know more about construction, I know that would likely have been difficult construction-wise, since I would end up wanting a long sleeve jacket, and pencil skirts out of wovens take up fabric because the grainline really does matter… And I don’t like pencil skirts, which counts against this plan too.

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I did like the idea of a jacket, and in the future, I may use the scraps to manage that. But in the meantime, I made a dress.

I happened to be muslin-ing a pattern for my Susan costume, and realized that the corset pattern I used for that costume, when actually fitted to my body without the insane ease, had pretty nice lines. So I muslined half the pattern for Susan, which I have not continued working on yet, and the other half for a woven dress.

My methods from this point on grow a bit…sketchy. I managed to get the bodice made up quickly, and even cut out a lining and sewed that up too. Then I started on the skirt. I measured the fabric and it was only 40 inches wide… Which was not anywhere near long enough to make a 3/4 circle skirt, which is definitely my favorite kind. It was barely going to be decent with a full circle skirt (at least in my mind). So I cut out a waistband, which hadn’t been planned. Even with that addition, I’ve still got to wear tap pants, mostly due to the sitting-down factor. I like to sit down, and I especially like the extra insulation of not sitting down and getting my legs and maybe butt stuck to the seats. Just a personal preference.

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But the dress is lovely, and I’m so glad I was able to use my special fabric in such a pretty and useable way!

And… pockets.

Simple Staples

Looking at my wardrobe, I realized that there were some items that would be really helpful to fill out the holes. For instance, I had a few casual dresses that just didn’t fit, so I cut them down into shirts. I saved the cut edges, and one of these is coming up in a project. But this leaves a gap or two.

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For instance, as much as I don’t like the idea that every woman should have a “little black dress” in their wardrobe, it does come in handy. Especially because for me it’ll fill in the gap between the casual running around dress and the slightly dressy option. So I took some black interlock that I had saved to make a skirt, and I made a dress instead.

What I really needed was a sleeveless dress, one with straps to make it summer appropriate, but because its interlock it’ll still be good for fall and spring. And simple. Something that doesn’t scream special, so I can wear sweaters or jewelry that outshine it without clashing.

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So I brought out the trusty bodice block that I made the final Belle dress from and started cutting. I only used one layer for the bodice, keeping it cooler, and I’ve now noticed that the princess seams aren’t perfectly where they should be, and I had to take it in on the sides. Time to draft a new one!

I used a fabric band to finish the neckline, and created a simple waistband. I made up a half circle skirt, and added pockets. Who doesn’t love pockets?

Now I’ve got a question. Do you ever make yourself something that works perfectly with one specific bra? Not that it won’t work with others, but that it is meant for one? Because I placed the straps of this dress specifically to hide this one bra, knowing that I’m too lazy to always wear a strapless bra whenever I wear this dress. And after wearing it a day, I know that the straps need to be taken in!

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It’s a super comfy dress, and filling in a wardrobe gap is always a good thing.

Phyllis

The farther I get into making my Susan costume, the more I realize that there are not many easy titles for blog posts… I almost named this one Gastrovascular. Then I realized that was creepy.

It has been a while since I’ve worked on this, but I realized it was high time. Now the undergarments are finished, and I’ll be getting to work on the overdress!

So the fabric is quilting cotton, a white on white floral pattern. I had three yards of fabric, supposedly. In reality it looked more like two yards, and maybe a quarter more. I also have a very bad idea of distances, so it could just be me.

front

First I cut off the pieces for the waistband and the “sleeves.”

The sleeves I basically just winged, hemming the sides, and then folding over until it felt right. I cut the full length of the fabric in half, so its about 22 in for each side. I know that when I wear it for real, I’m going to have to Topstick or otherwise adhere the sleeves to a proper point on my arm, which I’ll figure out later, when the overdress is finished.

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The skirt then used up the rest of the fabric in pleats, though I ran out of pleating room towards the back. I used a technique I learned for stage costuming for the closure. AKA if it’s never gonna be seen, don’t bother with a zipper.

back

So I just made a simple opening, with a skirt hook and eye. That does cause that gappage in the back, though its never gonna be seen, and I’ll be wearing a slip, just like I am here (in case you were wondering…).

pleats

Look at that pleating job! But I will have to re-iron all of it. Humph.

So that’s it I guess for Susan’s undergarments!

But I shall leave you with the motifs for Belle’s necklace! So one of these days (meaning hopefully today or tomorrow) I’ll finish that up and soon after will have a blog post on it! Yay for costumey things!

motifs

Vintage Lace and Velvet

At long last, ufo 2 has been found and can finally be shown off!

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This dress was given to me by my boss when it really began to fall apart.

Someone used it in a short-run production that featured zombies, which made this a perfect dress at the time, but after that it was really unusable as a costume. Once it can’t be washed or dry-cleaned, it loses usability.

I’m not sure whether its a real 20s dress, but I’m pretty sure that’s the era it was supposed to be from.

Alas, I can’t show you it in its complete form, as I tried to work on this dress previous to starting this blog.

But here are the parts of the dress, and what I’ll be using to fix it up.

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First up is the main part of the dress, made of a deep, deep blue velvet. It’s a very lightweight velvet, which is soft and nice ad well worn.

Personally, I don’t find this dress flattering.

You see, I have this thing called a stomach, and my stomach likes to be fed, and simultaneously doesn’t like crunches. Trust me, I’m working on talking to it about this.

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But I like wide skirts, the twirly effect! This dress is more like a sheath, with a little bit of swing at the bottom.

It also comes too low at the top, when I had tried it on with the original lace top, and it is a very long dress on me.

I’m contemplating options, if you couldn’t tell.

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Here is the original top, made of what looks to me like a cotton lace. It had aged to such a lovely yellow-brown color, but I assume the original color was a yellow-beige.

But it nearly fell away as I cut it from its hold on the velvet body. It was ready for relief.

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Finally, this is the top I’m planning to use to rework this dress. It’s a very white polyester lace top.

Remember my Belle mock 2? That was the original shirt I was going to use, but I snapped it up for that project when I couldn’t at all find this one. But a recent discovery brought this one back to the light!

I’ll probably not end up working on this for awhile, but I thought it was high time to show it to you guys!