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?

Saturday, 8 September 2018



In keeping with my promises of not giving a flying f*ck as to how often I post, here I am after a very extended absence.

I'm still sewing, though not as much (not for lack of wanting but lack of time), I've picked up a few other hobbies along the way (namely embroidery, painting, and printmaking), I've gotten a smartphone (!!!!!) and have fallen into the instagram rabbit hole head first (oh boy), but I'm still here.

I thought since I've gotten a good jolt to my sew-jo these past few weeks that I would get back to posting my makes on here. I really do enjoy and miss this blogging community.
The temperatures have dropped dramatically in Niagara basically overnight. We've gone from 40 degrees with the humidex, literally not able to peel the layers of clothing off fast enough after work, to 16 degrees and ready for everything fall and Halloween.
I picked up the Ebony pattern from Closet Case Patterns after some humming and hawing (I think last year's Black Friday Sale? That's usually when I pick them up). I can't remember why I didn't pick it up when it came out but I'm glad I eventually did.
The pattern is easy and quick. Fitted through the arms and shoulders and immediately flares out. Perfect for pasta.
I cut a straight size 8 based on my bust measurements in view A, jewel neckline and long sleeves.
I picked up this navy stretch velvet in Montreal over the March Break funnily enough, so this dress is extra Montreal. I think I may have actually seen Heather walking on the street the first day we got in to Montreal too, but was too tired to randomly yell "Heather!" and see if I was right or not.
The fabric has the perfect 90s fall vibe (just a tiny bit witchy/Halloweeny/gothy, a lot a bit comfy cozy), and I'm really happy I went with this pattern and fabric together. I was overly worried that the neckline binding would be too stretchy so I used hem tape to stabilize it just a bit, which ended up making it not stretchy enough (I had to fight with it, go figure haha).
I mean, honestly, I don't have a ton to say about this make because it was so simple. But that's okay. Simple can be good. Simple is good. If you are thinking about this, go for it, I am honestly glad I did. I may end up making some more winter Ebonys at some point, maybe even more velvet ones, and I look forward to swishing around in this one this fall and winter.
 My only regret is forgetting to put in pockets 😭. #IcouldunpickitbutIwont #nexttime

It's been a while since we've taken pictures for a blog post and it showed. So here you go, my usual, just trying to #keepitreal:
Yes, I am a human. This is how we non-robots hold our arms.

Please share! What have you all been working on for fall?