Thursday, 6 June 2019

Spring Cabbages

I've had my eye on this Kaffe Fasset cabbage fabric since I first saw it at Modern Bee, had it in my stash for years, and finally, two years ago decided to hold my breath, grab my scissors, and cut.

The pattern is my old fav, Simplicity 1873. I wanted to change things up a bit, though, so I altered the neckline in both the front and back.

For the front, I changed it to a sweetheart neckline. Since I was making this for a fancy wedding, I won't lie, part of the sweetheart neckline decision was to get the girls "out there". My biggest mistake while putting in the sweetheart neckline was not initially interfacing the neckline. I tried it on and found that the neckline didn't hold it's shape due to the lack of support and so I had to go back in there between the main and lining to apply some fusible to support the neckline shape.

For the back I thought I would try just a simple V neckline, which was easy to do.

The skirt is a full circle skirt, with pockets (of course!) added for practicality. I hemmed using horsehair braid, my still fav method.

As I mentioned, the fabric is a Kaffe Fasset quilting cotton. For the lining, I used a royal blue Bemberg Rayon that I still have from when my local Fabricland closed.

For the wedding, I made Trev a matching tie, and I must say that we look pretty cute when we are out and about in this combo.

Other than that, there's really not much to say about this beauty. It's one of my fav makes to date just because the pretty fabric flatters my skin tone so well. We took these photos along the Niagara Parkway when the cherry and Magnolia trees were all in bloom. Spring along the Parkway is always lovely.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Peak me.

I did a thing and CANNOT wait to show you guys!

Let's take a closer look:
Notice any similarities?

Last year I took a printmaking class at Rodman Hall. We did monoprinting using Gelli plates, made printing blocks from styrofoam plates and sticky-back fun foam:
A My Favorite Murder themed tote bag I made for a Christmas exchange last year.
...but most of our time was spent creating relief block prints out of lino. When deciding what to make prints of, it was pretty easy to decide I would carve an image of Sweet Dee's face into the lino. I mean how could I not?


My lovely instructor, Kristen, suggested at some point that I experiment with the fabric ink that we had in class, and LIGHTBULB! YES I WILL MAKE A DRESS WITH DEE'S ADORABLE FACE ON IT.
I used my trusty Simplicity 1873 altered scoop neck bodice and added a circle skirt (with pockets, duh!).
Since this is a bodice I've sewn up many times before it went relatively quickly (as quickly as avoiding sewing 12 darts can go for a procrastinator), and the skirt went quickly too. The longest part of the process, and the most avoided, was having to heat set all the cute little Dee faces with an iron so that they don't come out in the wash. 
For the fabric, I used some quilting cotton that I picked up with the express purpose of this dress. Everything else in my stash already had a print or did not have enough yardage.
Look at how the back hangs!!!! SO puuuurrrrrtyyy.
In terms of construction when making my own fabric print, I had to make some adjustments. The first thing I did differently was I precut all the bodice and skirt pieces before printing on them. This allowed me to choose print placement (a.k.a. avoiding dogface boobs). In fact, since I knew I was going to put in pockets, I sewed the pockets and side seams, and even pressed the centre back skirt seam under so I could get perfect pattern matching just by lining everything up and having the stamp lay across both pieces. Doing this did result in a few lines where the bulk of the seams interrupted the print, but I preferred this to farting around with the stamp and trying to match it all after the fact. I only wish I had thought to do the same for the back bodice pieces as well.
I printed using Speedball screen printing ink, hence why each little Dee is inconsistent. For my next fabric, which I've already printed, I used their block fabric ink and I got a much nicer and more consistent print.
My handmade linocut.

I used horsehair braid again for the skirt hem, but instead of machine hemming it with the blind hem stitch like I usually do, I hand-sewed the hem. Sometimes you need to add those little touches to special pieces like this.
I used my stash Rayon Bemberg for the lining. Yup, that's the same stuff that I picked up like three years ago when my local Fabricland closed.
Overall I can't say much more than I LOVE THIS DRESS. I mean, we all knew I was a crazy dog mom, but like I've recently said, taking things to the next level makes me beyond happy. I have already been playing around with more printmaking and fabric and can't wait to see what I can do next!
Let's not forget our tradition of dumb faces:
Had to crop Trev's finger out of this one 😂

And one for Dee with her eyes closed:
So tell me: would you make your own fabric? What would you put on it? I need all the ideas!

PS. LOOK AT THIS DOODLE A STUDENT DID ON THEIR NOTE THE FIRST TIME I WORE THIS TO WORK 😍... doesn't it just make you want to squeal with happiness?! Oh yeah, and it's like maybe an inch and a half big so it's doubly cute.😍😍

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Meta circle skirt V2.0

Thought I'd be one and done, didja?

Well, I'm back, and this time with ANOTHER meta circle skirt. Although I complained about not feeling very comfortable in V1.0 due to using a pretty lightweight fabric, I do still wear it because I find a circle skirt to be very flattering overall (Plus, who doesn't love twirling around in one?).
I decided some time ago that I wanted to be extra, as the kids would say (Seriously, I have to push down the "extraness" with every make... you guys are getting the watered down version with most makes 😳), and make a maxi circle skirt, so when I found this 108" wide quilt backing cotton sateen (at a store I had a giftcard for, no less!), I felt that the stars had aligned and decided to give'r.
With 108" to work with, I was able to cut a giant doughnut shape into my fabric just as I would have if I was making a shorter circle skirt. I decided to put pockets in, so I ended up making two more seams than I had to. I probably could have put the pockets higher up, but am just glad they are there. Not using a purse is so liberating!
Embrace the wrinkles, I took the pictures after wearing it, k?
I used a nice metal zip for the back. I figured the skirt has a weight to it, it would be nice to have a weightier zip on it. I didn't worry about pattern matching. This thing is so huge that you can't always see the seams in between the folds of fabric.
I used horsehair braid to finish off the hem (a.k.a. my new fav method), but decided to forego the blind hem in favour of actually getting to wear it out to the theatre/not spending a million hours hemming.
 As with pretty much any other time I make a circle skirt, I cut the waist to be much smaller than I should. Either my math is wrong (pretty sure it's not), or the waist stretches out way too easily (yes I staystitch), because my waists usually end up too big. This one, however, with the smaller cut ended up great, and I actually had to trim a touch off the top to get it to fit my waistband.
Overall thoughts:
Pros- extra swishy, feels very fancy, large pockets, nice weight and feel to fabric, hangs prettily, tons of compliments from strangers!
Cons- pockets too low (my fault), makes washroom trips challenging (like there is a LOT of fabric here people), not super practical for day-to-day use, gets toasty af in the summer (my fault for picking a hot day to wear it out lol).
Although it is super fancy, I still might wear this dude into work on occassion. If nothing else, it will be nice for when the hubs and I go out for a nice dinner, go to the Shaw Fest to catch a show, or have a wedding or other fancy thing to attend. It was sitting on my PIP pile for so long I'm just glad to have completed it.

Would I recommend you try a maxi circle skirt? Yeah I actually would. I said to Trev that if I  knew how to sew when we were getting married I would have been wearing this skirt (albeit in a different fabric), with a homemade top or bodysuit. I think this could be really scrumptious in a velvet or wool, something warm and cozy for winter, or something sheer (with a slip) for summer.

I wish I had gotten a .gif or video of it twirling to really give a sense of how nice it moves, but I didn't, so instead, here's an outtake:
Would you try a maxi circle skirt? What fabric would you make it in?