Shifting Waters Fumeterre

Last summer I was lucky enough to win a prize in the Indie Pattern Month competition for my pattern hacked Nettie dress, and this prize included two patterns from Deer and Doe, and one pattern from Paprika Patterns! I’ve been interested in both companies for a while, since I found the folded mini skirt tutorial from the latter years and years ago, and since I tried the Deer and Doe free t-shirt pattern.

This is the Deer and Doe Fumeterre skirt, and I made it in January. And yes, this is March. I’m not fantastic at the getting posts written and picture taking at reasonable times…

I bought this awesome two tone (green and aqua) chambray over the winter holidays, and had no idea what to do with it. I remember the bolt saying Robert Kaufman (like my favorite fabric-dress combo) but I can’t find it online. It’s got some weight to it, and pretty much no drape, but its not heavy enough to count as jeans-weight denim, and I probably wouldn’t have worn it as a jacket (though it would’ve looked awesome)! Yet I couldn’t bring myself to remove it from my shopping cart. Both colors you see in the photos in this post are accurate, in different lights!

When I got it back to my house, I looked through my “catalogue” of patterns, and realized that even though it doesn’t have the drape expected for the Fumeterre, it would look so awesome!

Using the recommended size, I traced my pattern pieces, and was able to cut out the skirt with very little left over. Looking at the pattern, I decided that I couldn’t give up the chance to use the pockets, and the button band. I’m not regretting the button band idea, but I now wish I’d used only a partial button band instead (faked the lower half), since the opening doesn’t flow well due to the lack of drape in the fabric.

The pockets are glorious though! I interfaced the pockets, which does affect the drape, but they haven’t really stretched, which is ideal. They’re huge! So handy to have in a skirt, and they look pretty cool too.

The inside has a lining, though I attached each lining piece to the pattern pieces, so I suppose it’s more of a flat-lined lining than a true one. But it made it easier to deal with just a bit of lining that slinks, rather than a full skirt of slink that I would need to deal with the seam frayage. This way, I just bias bound each of the skirt seams, and ironed the seam flat. This did eat up a lot of my bias stash, but it was worth it!

(Also, I noticed the stain when I was already on vacation, and just decided to go with it… I’m going to work on it later!)

The hem is long! I’m almost 5’3″, and in my heels around 5’4″, and I shortened it by over 2 inches, and might have cut off some in advance as well. I like the length I’ve got it at now, but I’d definitely shrink it earlier in the process next time. Mostly because I’m not really a heels-often person. Though my new pair is super comfy!

One of my favorite things about this version (beyond the fantastic pockets) is the buttons I chose. The waistband button is a golden shank button, made of plastic, but so cool! The other buttons are a greenish-blueish shifting ombre color thing. They’re pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

The only issue I’m finding with my skirt, which is totally a fabric thing, is that is wrinkles early and often. It’s definitely something I’m going to find annoying as I continue to wear it, but I also know that this skirt is wonderful to wear and waft around in, and I’ll wear it until it falls apart!

This got its first real wear in Seattle for a meteorology conference, and the next big wear in New Orleans for a vacation, where the green wall pictures were taken… I’m considering this business casual, but it works in real life too!

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Dancing Shoes

Have I ever told you that I ballroom dance?

I think I have, since I judge nearly every make involving a skirt for its swishability, but just in case, this is your warning!

So I go to social ballroom events monthly, and typically more often than that, especially during the semester. And that means I almost always have the “But what should I wear!!” problem…

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This summer and fall I rectified this by altering a vintage dress, and making a gathered maxi skirt.

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Now, the vintage peach dress fit me nearly perfectly off the rack. It would fit better if I wore a vintage bra, but that would require me having one…

It looks to be a handmade dress, as there’s no label, but if it isn’t then it’s been drastically altered. It looks to me like a 50’s dress, and the seam lines are so interesting that I considered buying it regardless of if it fit me…

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But it did, and that made me quite pleased. Until I tried to take it off, and couldn’t manage. It had a side zipper and slipped over my head with little issue, but then I couldn’t get the dress over my lack-of-biceps… Luckily I had a friend with me in the thrift store.

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However, I did not have a friend around a few days later when I got stuck in it again, around midnight. So I seam ripped and carefully cut my way out of the sleeve. It felt like a real workout by this point. I seam ripped the zipper out, and sewed up the side seam, and input a center back zipper. It’s not my best work, but it’s passable in person.

I also took up the hem of the “slip” underlayer a bit, since it was at an awkward length for me originally, and left the tulle lace layer alone. Every time I touch that layer, though, I seem to tear the tulle, so I try my best to be careful, but I’ve mended some of the big tears, and I have more to do.

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So then a few months later I wanted to make a new skirt to help get me out of my fall funk, and I put together this maxi skirt together out of a length of what seems like curtain fabric and some heavy lining fabric. So I call it my Giselle skirt… Get it?

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The lining is cut in a nearly A-line shape, and I gathered the curtain to put it into the dress. As it’s a border print, I cut off some of the top and saved the bottom hem. I aimed the hem to be about an inch off the ground when in my ballroom heels, and it may be a smidge short, but it’s still plenty long.

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But when I realized that I still needed a closure, and to take in the waist, I decided to try a temporary closure, which I haven’t yet fixed. I’m using some hook and eyes to provide shaping, and I pull the maxi skirt over my head for “closure,” so that the skirt stays above my hips, but still falls nicely. It works especially well with bodysuits, so that’s been my pairing of choice.

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This is the first of a series of posts labeled: “Annabelle’s Last Chance to post 2016…” Be prepared for a small influx this week…

Got any clothes that you pair with a specific activity (beyond workout wear)?

Second Blue Skirt of the Summer

This skirt was produced in August, in the heat of my “Crap I’m not ready for DragonCon” frenzy, but in July I had raided the Hancock going out of business sale and gotten some blue seersucker…

It became a skirt, but really, it’s never going to be worn out of the house. Cute, mostly comfy, way too clingy.

This skirt unfortunately shares a bit of those adjectives, but not the right ones.

But first the background.

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The fabric is a rayon from Joann’s that’s pretty opaque, but can be a bit transparent in certain lights. The one thing I didn’t take into account is that it’s more of a shirt weight, and is too drapey to be flattering in a skirt this long.

I created a pattern based off of the fabric I had (just over 2 yards), and made it as circle skirt-like as I possibly could. I drafted side seam pockets that also inserted into the waistband, which was magnificent foresight, since the fabric definitely would not have held side seam pockets on its own. And it has a side seam zipper as well, to add to the confusion.

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Sewing it together was pretty quick, but the hem. I hemmed it by hand. which I think took 2.5 hours. I waited the requisite 2 ish days between sewing an hemming, but I still haven’t gotten it quite right…

Ankle length was what I was going for, because I wanted to show off my adorable heels, but I accidentally got it a little short, and now its a slightly awkward length…

The waistband is also a little too big, which currently is held together with a skirt hook and a safety pin, and the pockets ended up too low, in order to keep the skirt at a near ankle length…

So in short, it’s clingy, and comfy, but not terribly cute…

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It definitely worked for DragonCon, with the corset over it (as shown in all these pictures), but when I wear it with normal shirts and stuff, I have to be careful not to show my lower stomach bump. It’s one of the reasons I don’t wear tight around the hips skirts much, and it shows a lot in this skirt.

So, now that I’ve regaled you with all the info on this skirt… I should tell you that I’m going to make this into something else. I’m thinking a shirt. I don’t think I can squeeze out an Archer, but I’m going to try!

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I’m going to need to make another Ariel skirt, since I love this outfit in general, but I have to find a better fabric, and I’ll want to make as full a circle skirt as I can, for the floof factor.

Hope you all had a lovely Halloween/October!

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!

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.