High-fiving a million angels!

ZOMG you guys, I DID IT. I actually finished my #SewDollyClackett number on time! (barely.) I also realized, like YESTERDAY, that it also fulfulls the Sew Vintage Pledge!

VSPP 300

I’d been procrastinating on actually, like, SAYING I was joining the pledge because I didn’t want to feel like a doof if I didn’t finish it. But here it is, a vintage dress I finished, WOOT! Back to the dress…

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So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I used Butterick 5748, which Roisin herself has already used several times. (So did Shelly at Cuckoo Chanel, woot!)

I had some *troubles* with this one. The last dress I made that required any amount of fitting was my graduation dress, I had problems getting it to fit around the bust, and I had to take it in a ton. On this dress, I started small, and ended up eventually just cutting pretty much a straight size 14. When I got most of it together yesterday, LSH looked and was ACTUALLY IMPRESSED. He said, “It looks really good!” I pretended not to notice his surprise and just take the compliment. 😉

But lookie here at this little target-
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What on earth is that thing pointing at? Is it marking the nippular area? I don’t get it.

Anyhoodle, I made four freakin’ muslins of the bodice. UGH KILL ME NOW.
As you can see in the photo above, it’s not perfect. There’s a weird little ripple-y part on the bodice front that disappears if I stand just right and tug it just the right way.

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I ended up essentially drafting my own skirt because I didn’t have enough fabric to do a circle skirt. I ended up cutting a couple of trapezoids, because I wanted it to be poofier at the bottom than with a straight-up gathered rectangle. I did some box pleats at the front, and then one over each back bodice dart as well.

I didn’t line the whole dress, just the bodice (although now that I think of it, I can’t remember if the directions call for lining the whole thing anyways.) It’s actually fairly pretty on the inside!

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The instructions say to “understitch as far as you can.” I tried on two parts, and to steal a(nother) page from Roisin’s book-

fuckthisshit

So I gave up on that nonsense pretty damn quick.

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I’m not always sure the “right” way to actually finish things with the lining (and by not always, I mean NEVER), so I just catch-stitched around the whole waist and at the zipper.

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It’s a skill I’m working on, but it’s passable, I think. I’ll let you in on a secret- I haven’t finished the skirt seams off yet, because I needed to quick get photos and slap this blog post together before the deadline!

I tried really hard to do careful pattern placement of the cowgirls, but I didn’t have a ton of fabric to waste, so I ended up sacrificing a couple of them.

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Pour one out for the lounging lady on the left who got her face mauled.

There are still several fitting issues- I think next time I’ll take a bit out of the center front, and use a smaller size at the armholes and then grade out. I had to add some width to the center back on each side because I do not have a vintage-y waist (or much of a waist at all.) Having LSH around to help pin me together and then mark the lines on the fabric was super helpful. He’s a handy type of fella. I also made the scoop back less scoop-y- I think I raised it about two inches. I kept a journal of all the changes I tried to make, so hopefully next time there will be a few less muslins (like maybe only two!)

Now for fun photos!

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I had to include this- it’s, like, my first AND LAST selfie ever. Derrrr.

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From the back! (whilst spinning)

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So yeah, I like to spin. Wackily.

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This was between spinning and trying to do a funny pose, so yeah, here it is haha.

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Obligatory Dolly-Clacket-Style shoe shot!! 😀

In a future post, I’ve got photos from my vacay to Los Angeles- I think some from LACMA will interest people who like clothes!

Did you manage to finish your #SewDollyClackett in time?!

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She’s not my friend. Friends don’t get their friend’s care bears all sweaty.

Hello err-ybody! I haven’t blogged in AGES (again) but I’ve been busy! I’m working on a post about the large project I’ve been doing lately, but I can’t publish it yet, because it’s a gift for a friend. I’m so happy with it though, and it will be a VERY photo-heavy post- forewarned is forearmed, yes?

Something else I’m super stoked about though, is THIS:

Roisin, aka Dolly Clackett, is one of my FAVORITE bloggers. She’s got style for days and a killer shoe collection, in addition to being a funny, funny lady. Well, this lovely gal is getting married, so one of her friends, Sarah, at Rhinestones and Telephones, got up this great contest/tribute to Roisin- wherein the contestants make a dress in true Dolly Clackett (TM) style, for prizes. Also, for fun. I do not AT ALL expect to be the winner of this- there are too many amazing sewists (ugh that word) taking part. However, it was just the boost I needed to finally get up and make a dress along DC’s style lines. I already had fabric that I impulse-bought when I saw one of Roisin’s dresses, and I scanned my patterns to see what I’d like to use.

I decided on this:

Pattern and Minion

Pattern and Minion

Which I cannot get to rotate no matter what I do. UGH. Sorry for sucking at life, guys. Anyhoodle, it turns out Roisin has used this pattern like 8 gabillion times, so it’s definitely going to fit on that mark.

And THIS is the fabric I chose:

Pin-up Cowgirls! WUT WUT!

Pin-up Cowgirls! WUT WUT!

I’m pretty freaking stoked about this fabric. When I was interviewing for residency, I went out to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where every year, they have Frontier Days, which is a big rodeo and celebration of frontier life. I totally want to go to it someday, and I totally want to wear this completed dress to it. Because I’m cool like that.

I’ve started a muslin for the bodice:
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Try not to be too jealous of my blue bra. This photo was tough to take to demonstrate the fit at the moment. It fits pretty well in the boobal region, but the neck and arms feel too tight. I’m going to sew the sleeve and neck edges down 5/8″ like they’ll be when sewing the lining and bodice together to see if that loosens it. The back, however, is totally like, 2.5″ too narrow, so I’m going to add some width to muslin #2. I may also raise the back up (it’s a really nice scoop back) so that bra-straps won’t show. I may add 1-1.5″ to the length as well- I’ve got a pretty long torso. We’ll see how these changes for before I decide if I need other changes. I may also do a gathered skirt instead of the one that comes with the pattern- I do not have 4 yards of fabric! I’ll also be doing a center-back zipper instead of a side zipper, because no thanks.

Here’s another little something I’ve been working on intermittently:
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The pattern is from etsy shop WeeLittleStitches, which has loads of really great, unusual/non-traditional patterns.
I was going to make this for Nugget, but now that I’ve completed Jasmine, Pocohontas, and part of Mulan, it’s so damn cute that I’ll probably keep it for myself. Besides, she’s got plenty of princess stuff, and should read more books about dinosaurs (when she learns to read).

That’s about all I’ve got for now. Have you ever started a gift for someone, then sneakily kept it for yourself?

If boys had uteruses, they would be called duderuses.

I’ve been whinging for awhile about my lack of mojo for all thingy crafty, haven’t I? Well, luckily I got a Joann’s flyer chock-full of coupons a couple of weeks ago and decided to buy some patterns and some fabric with my graduation money. I bought 5 patterns, but the one I started with is Simplicity 1878 from the Lisette Line- the Diplomat Dress. I made a short-sleeved version with a length between views B and C.

So- here’s my issue (and please tell me if I’m just being totally mental.) I looked at the outside of the pattern envelope, and there were a certain set of measurements per size listed. On the INSIDE, however, on the actual pattern, there was a TOTALLY DIFFERENT set. So, for size ten, one measurement said it was 38-ish inches, with 3 or 4 inches of ease. I read that as “38 inches +4 inches = 42 inches” . This proved not to be the case, as I discovered to my displeasure when I was sewing up the dress. Question- was this unnecessarily confusing, or am I just completely mental? I found the differences very hard to understand.

As I’d cut a straight size 10 (which I should’ve known would be too small, considering that’s what a someone I follow on Pattern Review cut if I remember correctly, and she looks TINY- not naming her in case she doesn’t want people knowing her size). Rather than throw an epic fit, which is my wont, I simply added a 4 inch strip to each side of the dress, going from the outer edge of the sleeve to the bottom of the dress. Voila, the dress fit! Woot! There were a few more seams, obvs, so the garment is a little “busier” than it would otherwise have been, but I don’t mind.

005It was freaking BRIGHT outside! Thanks to the Hubs for playing Mario Testino for me. I found this cotton sateen as I was trolling the clearance section (50% off red tag, woot!) and I just snapped up three yards of it. Good thing too, since I needed to add those lengthy strips!

011Superwoman pose, wooot! I’m really, really, really happy with this dress. It’s SO comfortable, and I think it’s really cute.

009I was even able to omit the zip in the back (HOLLER) since I added in the strips on the sides. YESSSSSS.

010Here you can see where I added the strips to the sides- I don’t think it looks so bad, and since it means the dress fits, I will TAKE IT. The only “issue” (and it isn’t one, really.) is that sometimes if I lift my arms up, the dress hikes up a little bit over my bumper and hangs out there. This is ridiculous, since my butt is FLAT. Or is it? Have those stairs on my walks/runs everyday finally been giving me a butt with some kind of shape? I’ll check and let you know.

I made this dress over a couple of days whilst my Hubs was fixing his brakes (at his parents’ house, since they have a garage and tools, and we do not. Ugh, apartment living!) My MIL kindly gifted me with this sexy beast. ZOMG.

003MY VERY OWN SERGER, Y’ALLS! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! It’s her old one- she’s got a Pfaff that she uses now, so she’s letting me have/borrow (not sure, but don’t care!) her Riccar R734. I almost lost bladder control. I hugged it immediately. I’ve never serged before this dress, and now I want to serge everything in sight. (I actually used her Pfaff for this dress, but am using Rickie on another. Her name is Rickie.)

012Tidy insides, yay! I’m still working on the confidence to get up-close-and-personal with my actual seam line, but for now, I’m just pleased to have fancy, clean edges.

You see the dark line near the top of the center seam? Yeah, I forgot to put the foot down. Whoops.

015013I also forgot to finish the bottom of the neck facing- meh. I haven’t done the inside of the sleeves yet- not sure what to do there. I’m afraid that if I zip it through the serger, it’ll get bunched up and cut the dress and I’ll be MUY UPSET. So I may just pink the edges at some point.

I’m going to try this Pattern Review Template (with some additions of my own) to help me remember bits and pieces about doing this dress. Copied and pasted from PR:

Pattern Description:
Diplomat Dress- shift style

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a 10- should NOT have done that. Need a 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Sure did, except for the strips on the sides.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, thankfully. I liked that it pointed out specific times to finish the seams- otherwise I never know when to do it!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Not too mentally taxing, lots of fun to wear!

Fabric Used:
cotton sateen

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
4 inch strips down the side to make it fit; length is between the B and C lengths.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely to both! I’ve already started another version!

New Techniques Learned/Attempted:

  • Understitching
  • Serging
  • Using facings
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Keeping my temper

Epic Meltdowns: ZERO!!! Mark it on the calendars, people.

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I LOVE THIS DRESS SO MUCH!

I’m hungry for blood, and also candy.

Woot woot! I finally graduated last Friday! The proof can be seen below, in my ridiculous regalia.

farquaadLord Farquaad himself couldn’t ask for a more velvety hat. It was quite silly.

Underneath all this nonsense I DID finally get to wear the dress I’d been working on for so long! It’s Simplicity’s 2588, the version that is sleevless, uses a neckband, and has the flared skirt.

Y’all, it did NOT go altogether smoothly (as noted from my zipper misadventures.) I still think I’m going to go back and re-do the zipper, but I left it as my MIL finished it, so that it was at least wearable. I learned a bit about fitting with this project- namely, that I don’t know how to do it. I made a muslin and everything, and I still had to take in some bits at the sides and upper-bust. The neckband is also a little too large. If I were to make it again, I’d make a smaller size of neckband and  bust, and grade out to the waist (assuming I can figure out how to do that- I think one uses a french curve for that?) The pleats don’t make the perfect “V” where they’re supposed to meet in the front, but I don’t mind. I think it looks fine, and uh…unique!

I just re-took my measurements right this minute, and I’m a 34 Bust, 30.5 waist (ish- My waist is a little hard to find because I’m kind of straight-up-and-down) and about 38 hips. I think. If I measured them in the right place. I feel like I don’t have that classical hourglass figure that’s marked on the backs of all the pattern envelopes, so picking the right size is a little tricky for me. I’m sure it is for everyone though; I mean, how many of us really have the exact shape on the envelope?

MegansGraduation 190Here I am outside my school; it was in the 50s (F) so I didn’t hang out long. I’m hoping to get better, close-up photos after I re-do the zipper. The wind and drizzle-y weather did a number on my sponge-rolled hair, too. Grumble!

The Hubs picked out the fabric for this, and I’m SO happy with it. It’s a lawn or poplin (can’t remember) Lisette fabric from Joann’s. So lovely. Wrinkles like crazy, but it’s alright- it’s a little harder to see with all the swirly colors. I totes wore my leopard print heels. In retrospect, not a comfortable choice by a LONG shot, but I loved how they looked.

MegansGraduation 185I clearly need to work on my posing for photos- my right arm just hangs there as if I’d had a stroke. Nice. But I needed a wider view so you could see the pretty flowers!

Other than this dress, I haven’t done squat lately. My mojo is just GONE. I cut out a muslin Sorbetto a few days ago, but I haven’t sewn it up yet. The Hubs and I are still house-hunting, I’ve started packing (mostly stuff we don’t use) but the apartment is full of tote bins. I’m in kind of a grumpy place mentally and I just can’t get off my duff to even re-thread my machine. It’s very grumbly-making, because I’ve FINALLY got the time, but not the will.

How do you guys restore your crafty mojo?

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Back from Belize!

Helloooooo interwebs! I am back from my month-long rotation in Belize. I worked hard, traveled a bit, and most importantly, met some AMAZING people.

The whole group before our ATM cave adventure!

The whole group before our ATM cave adventure!

Warning: this is rather a photo-heavy post, with very little to do with crafting. I took my knitting down to Belize, but didn’t touch it all month. It’s too hot and humid down there for that shiz! I did however, do a little of this-

Belikin Stout

Belikin Stout

A smidgeon of that-

"Watermelon Bliss"- at Barefoot Bar in Placencia

“Watermelon Bliss”- at Barefoot Bar in Placencia

whilst also seeing a bit of these-

Tree-Climbing Nuggets

Tree-Climbing Nuggets

And a few of these-

Village Cuties

Village Cuties

I traveled a bit, to places like these (for work)-

On the beach in Barranco, a Garifuna village in the south of Toledo District, Belize

On the beach in Barranco, a Garifuna village in the south of Toledo District, Belize

Tried a little of this-

Trying, yet again, to read an EKG

Trying, yet again, to read an EKG

But mostly enjoyed a lot of this-

Chillin' in clinic

Chillin’ in clinic

With a touch of this-

KITTEH

KITTEH

And a great time doing stuff like this-

Outside the cave at Blue Creek

Outside the cave at Blue Creek

As for craft-related- Right before I went, I cut the legs off this jumpsuit thingy I’d gotten YEARS ago before I went to the Dominican Republic for my sister’s wedding. I haven’t worn it since, having come to the conclusion that jumpsuits aren’t flattering to anyone, ever. I therefore cut those janky legs off and sewed on a half-circle skirt of super-soft brown jersey. It didn’t go perfectly, because I’ve never sewn knits before, but it was good enough for a casual, beachy dress. I ALSO still have the legs, and can wear them on my arms. I can totally just swan around my apartment like Blanche Devereaux-

Blaaaaaanche!

Blaaaaaanche!

Anyhoodle, here’s the dress in question:

Skirt-onto-top

Skirt-onto-top

Big Waves!

Big Waves!

Well, I’ve got a LOT of blog-reading to do, now that I’m home (internet in Belize is pretty sketch), so it’ll probably be awhile till I get back to my pencil skirt (I’m both tired and uninspired!). I need a little rest and reboot of my crafty-craving. I’ve got some super exciting awards-posts to share, but that’d have to wait for a different day.

I loved Belize, but it’s good to be home! What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled?