Whale of a Coat

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This is my new coat!!!

Ain’t it purdy?

It’s warm too!

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And it looks kinda Victorian (although its super not period accurate, or even vaguely accurate, and but at least give me a smidge steampunk? Kinda? Maybe? Okay I’ll continue…)

Now for the details… This is mostly the coat from Simplicity 8262, which is a new Leanne Marshall pattern. It has seven princess seamed panels with a nearly full circle skirt between them. Or it feels like it, at least.

The fabric is a wool poly blend, which started out grey. I spent one night carefully dying each piece, hoping to get an emerald color. Moss is nice too…

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I started by making a muslin out of some neon paisley that I kept around for muslin, and when I started handling my wool fabric I decided to also use it for interlining. As in take apart the muslin and use it for interlining.

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My muslin fit pretty well, except around the armscye, but I ended up overfitting it regardless, so I can only get one close fitting sweater under it at a time. So no thick sweaters plus this coat for me, unless I carry them separately. But it’s working lovely so far!

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The collar is made out of what I think is a wool felt, though I thought it was poly, because most of the time I can’t have wool on my neck and chin (due to sensitivity), so I was slightly miffed to find out it was wool, but it keeps it nice and warm!

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I modified the front to get more of a double breasted feel, and I used bound buttonholes… For the first time! Aren’t they cool! A little messy, but for a first set, they’re pretty snazzy.

I also added a zipper to the inside, which I’m considering moving around a bit, but it’s useable for now!

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Also, does it look a little sticky? I lined it with this awesome blue whale flannel from Joann’s. It does add some bulk, and some friction, but I like it! I did line the sleeves with slippy lining. Pink, since I didn’t have enough red for the job. For the sleeves I also underlined with flannel instead of the muslin fabric… Less bulk with hopefully equal wind protection.

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Looking at the pictures, I still need to work out the button and zipper placements, but the rest of the coat seems nice and smooth!

Now it just needs to stay cold out. It’s only been that cold for one day a week since I made this.

Also, Happy New Year!

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Green Julia Cardi

This post has been long in the making…

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I got the Julia Cardigan pattern from Mouse House Creations way back in late 2014, I think? Back when the Perfect Pattern Parcel was still around.

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I made it up for the first time in December or early January. And I’m still not sure how I like it.

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The fabric is only 2 way stretch, so the lower arms are a smidge tight, and they’re drafted small as well. There also wasn’t enough of the fabric to get two bands out, so I made due with one, and I don’t think it works well with mine.

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And my swayback game is strong, and this really shows it. I also tacked down the back neckline for security and flexibility’s sake.

But I reach for it weekly, so I guess I must like it?

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I’m thinking of cutting another neckband of a black or other complementary color to assist in the movement of the neckline, but I also have been planning a lot of things. Like jeans and corsets and house cleaning. We’ll have to see how much procrastination I do in the next week before my last final ever!

Really the first pair of Tanias

Confession time. I’ve been really procrastinating with making up this post. I made these back in May, and I do like them a lot, but actually wearing them to take pictures has been the hold up.

I showed you my second pair of Tanias, since I entered them in the Monthly Stitch contests in June, but I’ve been procrastinating on these ones.

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Picture taking is getting boring, especially since I don’t have a nice porch anymore. I have a porch, but it faces the inside of my apartment complex, so posing there make me feel super weird.

And there’s no good place inside my apartment as well.

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But I finally managed the pictures. They’re not fantastic, but here goes!

These are the Tania culottes from Megan Nielsen.

The fabric is a linen mix from Joann Fabrics, and it has a nice body and drape, but before getting washed a few times, they were excessively scratchy at the crotch area.

I think I cut the size large, since that was supposed to be my waist size, and I cut out the XL length. It’s not too short, but its certainly not long.

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The construction went easily and quickly, and the first time I wore them I noticed two things.

The waistband was too big at the top of it, but fit well at the bottom. And the crotch seam was a bit too low for me. I think its supposed to be low, but with the linen and my lack of thigh gap, my thighs were rubbing against each other and the seam, and they got a bit raw.

So I took in the top of the waistband a little, and sewed the crotch seam another half inch in.

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It’s definitely more comfortable now, and it was nice in the heat of summer when I wanted to stay cool, and if I get a fall (it seems like its skipped fall and headed straight to winter here) it’ll be nice to wear with some tights, since the linen is heavy enough to not get too static-y.

So, I’m nowhere near caught up on the backlog I’ve got, but this is a nice start!

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!

Completely Different

And now for something completely different…

pockets!

As a short person, I always assumed that I wouldn’t like maxi skirts, no matter what people say about how they can make you seem taller…

Those people wear heels.

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Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against swimming in fabric. Why do you think I love circle skirts?

I also love the feeling of fabric against my legs when I’m ballroom dancing, and jeans are just not cutting it. Frankly, this won’t work for that either, but still.

But I think I’m in love. (I did just say that about my couch to everyone, but it definitely applies to this skirt).

And I fell hard.

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If you’ve been following my pictureless MMM15 posts, my Syrah skirt has made quite an impression, and not just because of a trip with limited outfits. (P.S. I got the pattern as part of a Perfect Pattern Parcel! Love those things)

It’s just so darn comfy! Perhaps the comfiest I’ve been barring pajamas. And maybe even then… but that could mean that I need to make some pajamas.

I cut it out, and I’m pretty sure I took off maybe an inch of lengthdue to me being short. I went for the ruched waistband, which is great, but I bet I would’ve preferred the straight one.

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Also pockets. I now require them in anything less than a ballroom only dress/skirt. So I pulled out the Hudson pockets and used them. I should draft them a little differently for the curved waist, but like ’em!

The fabric is some kind of mystery fabric that is at least 75% of definitely polyester. But it dries in a split second!

I followed the instructions and bought swimsuit fabric for the “slip,” and because I’m short I probably have enough for at least 4 more, since I didn’t quite add in all the length to that one either.

There was a bit of an issue easing in all the fabric, especially when I added the pockets, but I don’t mind a slight wrinkle or two!

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Because the fabric is a knit, I made the executive decision not to hem it. Instead it got caught on my sandals for a week. I fixed it by cutting down the sandals instead.

So, definitely a super comfy make, that was concurrent with some Tania culottes… Also green. Do you sense a theme? Because I definitely do. And I’m pretty certain that my next make will be too.

Green and Grey

This may be my most comfy “work appropriate” dress.

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I say that in quotes because, as a graduate student, my work attire is pretty much jeans and shirts. But as a tutor, especially one so close to the age of my students, sometimes I dress a little dressy to stand out.

But I don’t care, because this Dandelion is fantastic for both worlds.

I made this up last November, I think. I was giving a presentation, and I needed to get my mind off of it, so I made this!

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The grey fabric is the same as my swingy circle skirt, and I think I’ve still got a bit left… some kind of slightly stretchy lightweight suiting. The lace was given to me by my mom, ego had gotten it from a friend who previously taught home ec for a school that then got rid of the sewing side.

As much as I find it unfortunate that the kids are missing out on the wonders of sewing, I’m pleased that I got some awesome French lace! There was also some lace in black and a burnt orange, so I’m looking forward to some nice lace makes!

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So I made up the sweetheart neckline version… I ended up not needing to put in a zipper, which was perfect, due to the stretch of the fabric. When I don’t have to fiddle to put a zipper in, everyone’s life is happier!

Plus being able to just pull this over my head feels fantastic!

I did have a problem with the facings that was pretty much all my fault. Even though I have some interfacing, all I’ve got is the sew in kind, so after making a muslin for this dress, I just used the muslin facings as interfacing… which added tons of bulk in the neckline.

For a while I got away with just folding the facings under, but they started to roll out. So I stitched them, and the excess started to roll out. So finally a few days ago, I tacked down the ends of the facing to the seamlines in order to keep everything in its place.

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Have I mentioned comfy? It does ride up a bunch when I wear it with leggings, but soon it’ll be too warm for leggings, and then I’ll be sailing smooth!