Thursday, May 16, 2013

Midsummer's Night Dream!

My Midsummer's Night Dream dress by Papercut Patterns! 

Let me just say first of all, THAT I LOVE THIS DRESS. Its a wrap dress, with adjustable straps, so it was easy to get the right fit. I cut a small, and due to fabric restrictions, the hem comes up in the front vs  staying level like in the original.

This was a dress of firsts for me!

1. Working with such a slippery material. I took Andrea of FourSquareWalls advice and used lots and lots of starch and pins. Thankfully the underside of fabric is not nearly as frictionless, otherwise cutting would have been an absolute nightmare.

2. Making bias binding.

 This was again, a bit of adventure due to the slipperiness, but LOTS of starch and ironing were my best friend on this guy.

3. I finally use my serger to do a rolled hem! I was going to wait until I had orange thread, but I thought black might look cool in a dramatic sort of way. I'm glad I trucked ahead because I actually really like it!

Sorry that my face is blurry in EVERY photo. I propped my camera up on the counter, and with the timer it could either focus on the dress or my face. I chose the dress. 

There is a good amount of overlap in the front too, I wore it outside today, where it is fairly windy, and no unwelcome surprises. 

I was loosing my balance...

THE BACK IS LITERALLY MY FAVOURITE PART. The way the skirt drapes is such a beautiful shape!! 

I love the details of the little ties too :)

Ah! Little rebel string there!
Fabric is just from FabricLand, mystery blend. In terms of changes to the pattern I just took it in by an inch and a half under my armpit to stop some of the sideboob (bra) showing. 

This is one of my first projects in a while that I have been really pleased with! Yay! Gettin' my mojo back I do think.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Briar Take Two/ MMM!

Side view

Another brair! This one is a. a cardigan and b. white! It feels so comfy and soft :) I'm really happy with it. Also what you can't see from this photo is the small family walking by, and children asking if I was a statue while I posed for the timer to go off. 

My sewing machine got really upset making buttonholes in this fabric though! Oi! Error after error message kept flashing. They looked okay though, so I just marched forward making them. 

I could not get a decent shot of the front buttoned up to save my life. I propped my camera up in trees, on stools, and tried selfies to no avail. 

I really love these buttons though with the white knit! They seem so regal! Additionally all I had in the house was brown thread, and I REALLY wanted to finish this project before I left for Japan, so brown thread I used! I think the contrast actually looks pretty cool.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Okay, so for my birthday I bought some unbelievably soft, and breathtakingly beautiful Nani Iro fabric.

Blue Little Letter
It is the fancy double weave version and everything! With such a beautiful fabric I now am faced with a choice, do I make something simple and comfortable that I'll wear all the time, or do I make something beautiful, and more special occasion-y?

Unfortunately I am pretty polarized in my wardrobe. Its either chilling hard, or going hard with little in between. I swear part of that is student life, as I always feel a little awkward rocking business casual on campus.

Cute top? Cute pants? Cute Dress? I mean what an awesome dilemma to be faced with, but a dilemma none the less.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bacterial Break Briar

In celebration of finishing my mircobiology midterm, I made a briar last night!

Its a super cuddly black french terry my boyfriend got at fabricland for one of his projects. Fortunately for me he decided it was too heavy for his purposes and I got to use the scrapped project to make this beauty! 

The cropped version doesn't take much fabric, and you can cut the front and back in two pieces if need be. 

Sorry for the horrible photos, I'm in a classroom studying plant physiology, so I used my laptop and the fluorescent lights aren't doing much for me either. 

I cut a size xsmall in the neckline (I like I higher neck), and a medium in the shoulder/arm/chest area and graded back down to an xsmall. I also graded the sleeves from a medium to an xsmall and added a couple inches of length to them. Next time I think I will cut a small in the shoulder/arm/chest region just because there is a bit of unnecessary pooling under there. 

The briar seemed like a summer top to me, but it has been really nice to wear on these blustery days (still snowing a bit where I live). Additionally, it doesn't get all bunchy at the bottom with my coat, hoolllaa for cropped sweaters! 

ALSO THE SLEEVES ARE LONG ENOUGH. This is a big deal for me. I feel my wrists are the most scandalous part of arm. They always seem to be bare, or flashing out of sleeves. Alas, they have finally be tamed by french terry. 

Here is my last attempt at classroom photography! 
I feel like is definitely cake, but special cake you know? Ice cream cake! Its simple and comfortable enough to wear with a lot of different things, and all the time, but the design is just a little fresher than my other staples.

I love independent patterns as I have said before. LOVE. Obsessed! I think Megan Nielsen is my favourite right now though, because her patterns are a little less formal that a lot of other designers. For example, Colette, oh my goodness, beautiful! Sadly though, when I'm at the library, class, or lounging around at school I just don't find dresses as comfortable to sit in for long hours. Additionally, my campus is made mostly of hundred year old limestone buildings in Canada, i.e. draughty in a parka.  Sadly beautiful dresses, then require leggings and sweaters, and I feel a little ridiculous wearing a dress when I don't really need to be wearing it. As in I could be just as easily be wearing only the leggings and sweater. I think there is also such an easiness and chill vibe I get from Megan Nielsen's designs that resonate with my personality a bit better. I am just super into it right now!! I already have plans to make a bunch more Banksias and I can't wait!

Now back to everyone's favourite... GLYCOLYSIS!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sewing Spectacular

If anyone lives near Toronto, or is a sewist planning on going to Toronto, I highly HIGHLY suggest you visit the Workroom. It has the most amazing fabrics, Robert Kauffman, Nani Iro, Melody Miller, Liberty of London, and so many more. The space is so light and airy, very nice place to sew in, even with 5 other people at there stations!

I should explain! The Workroom is not just a fabric, notions, independent patter, and sewing book store its also a sew by the hour store where you can use their machines/sergers/space/etc. to sew your own projects.

I was lucky enough to take the zippered pouches class there this weekend! Such a spectacular birthday gift from the boyfriend, he also let me buy what ever fabrics I wanted for it, so of course I went big.

I have always wanted to sew something with Liberty of London fabrics, but the student budget doesn't leave much room for them, so I am so happy to have even a small project in such a gorgeous floral.

The other fabric is by one of my most favourite designers, Jay McCarrol, who is to this day, probably also my favourite Project Runway contestant.

I also lined them oppositely to make a nice little set. I like the contrast of the Art Deco-y florals with the ultra modern spore like fabric.

I can't rave enough about the space, the class, or the teacher/owner Karyn! What a patient, kind, human! One struggles not to enjoy her company. If you've ever wanted to get into sewing, but were unsure about how, I really recommend taking the Sewing Essentials or other beginner classes at the Workroom, you truly can't go wrong.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kelly, I'm Spiralling Out of Control!

Sorry for the continuous updates on this kelly skirt, I am writing finals and every step feels like I have concurred the sewing world!!! All that's left on this galpal is the buttons! I decided not to do any scallops only because the skirt ended up shorter than anticipated, and time constraints before my family vacation!

I have to say I am have fallen even deeper in love with this skirt pattern. New number one skirt pattern. I am in love Megan Nielsen and her patterns. The Banksia is already my got to, number one woven top pattern, and I plan on investing in a Briar pronto.

It has been such a pleasure to sew, but a few things I would change about my approach.

Make S instead of M next time! Also, check the fit around the waste BEFORE sewing french seams. I won't lie, I didn't unpick them, I just introduced a third seam making it... a SUPER french seam?

Additionally next time I REALLY want to do scallops!!

All I have left are those pesky buttons!

Hopefully I will get the buttons on soon! I am so happy the way this skirt is turning out! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just little by little

I am so impressed how fast this skirt is coming together! There is something to be said for simple patterns, and their immediate satisfaction results. 

I was thinking today while sewing that I could have drafted a skirt equivalent to this one on my own, as I have seen others do around the blogsphere. To be honest with you though, I just don't feel right about it with independent designers. Its like I know them! I read their blogs, I see pictures of their children, I actually get so much happiness about supporting their businesses. As always the instructions are beautiful, but I also find the supplementary stuff designers like Megan Nielsen and Tasia provide online are a huge component of why I love buying their patterns! Its like I am never alone in my sewing. The effect could also be amplified by all the other bloggers who are sewing the same patterns as you. Such a wonderful sense of community and support. 

As a student sometimes it is hard to justify the cost of independent patterns, but for me, if it means owning less patterns, but supporting the businesses with practices I believe in (like printing on recycled paper for example) I think its worth it.

Anyway, I am in love with this pattern, and am so excited to sew those scallops!!!!