Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Meta Circle Skirt and a Brontesaurus

Apologies in advance: I set up an elaborate shoot with a friend and forgot to charge my camera so these are all done via phone.
Hey-o! How are you all doing? The school year is winding down here and the weather is gearing up to be a scorching hot summer (joy.). I've been super productive lately, but mostly outdoors.

After making ALL. THE. PORTSIDES., I desperately needed to make something for myself. I hadn't been a selfish sewer in SO long. I thought that now would be a good time to revisit my goal of making a functional tee for wearing with my skirts. Enter the Bronte.
I bought this pattern last year sometime but never got the chance to make it because of the quilt and Portsides. I figured this quick little window of time would allow me to whip one up.
 I found the construction to go pretty quick all in all and the instructions were easy to follow. I used the same gray Ponte knit as both of my mother's day gifts from last year. I like the idea of using Ponte for tees with a bit more substance, but I'm not entirely sure it is a good idea. It is super easy to work with since it is a stable knit, but I found some of my seams, especially the shoulder seams, to be a bit bulky. It took a LOT of steam from my iron to get them to calm down. I'm thinking I might give the plantain a go in some Ponte just to see if it is better without the overlapped shoulder detail. I know, I know, just buy some jersey, but I have like five cuts of Ponte that I'd like to use first.
I cut out a size 10 and graded out to a twelve at the hips. I feel that the fit is pretty good.
Unfortunately, I forgot to check how my fabric would deal with my iron/heat. If you look closely, you can see that when I used the steam setting, I made the fabric shiny on the back. I also did it on the arms, though it is less noticeable.
I accidentally used a different coloured thread to sew on the middle button on the left side so I made the right match. I used a plain wide zigzag for the top stitching and I rather like how it looks.
The circle skirt took a bit longer to make. The fabric that I got was only 45" wide so I had to piece this whole thing together in four panels. And me being me, I HAD to pattern match.

I'm very pleased with how that turned out. I mean it took friggin long enough. As part of my efforts to really take my time with my garments to make a handmade wardrobe that I will wear often and that will last, I bound all the seams inside the skirt.

As you can see above, my side seams are closer to the back than they should be. I didn't stay stitch the waist and it stretched out like MAD so I just took some fabric out of the back....so I suppose this isn't a "true" circle skirt but whatever.
I used my rolled hem foot again, and still had trouble going over the seams. Any tips for dealing with this?
I got the fabric for this skirt at a local quilting shop. It is an Art Gallery Fabrics print called Pointelle Shade and it feels lovely and soft and drapey. I love that it is a circle skirt with circle fabric. What can I say? It's the little things in life.
I made the skirt so it would fit a 29" waist which is a bit bigger than mine but I figured I would ENSURE I could wear this in the winter when I eat all the things. In order to piece everything together, I added a 1/2" of SA to each side of my pattern piece. It seemed to work out pretty well.
Not the greatest picture but you can see how the skirt falls a little nicer.
Overall, even with the issues I had with the top, I'm pleased with the outcome here. I've already gotten a few compliments at work, and I look forward to making some coordinating pieces to go with each separate all while working through my stash. More than anything, I look forward to swishing around in this skirt.
Swish Swish!
Let's not forget our daily outtake (trust me there were lots to choose from):
Shanen: Spin! I'll take a video so you can get the skirt twirling. Me: Ready? I am.
So, big questions: What tee patterns have you tried and liked? Have you ever tried using Ponte for something like a tee and been successful? Should I give up entirely and save the Ponte for a different project? Am I overthinking this entirely? Any tips, tricks, and suggestions are appreciated! I really want to make things I can wear easily over and over again and feedback is always helpful I find.

Take care :)

Friday, 20 May 2016

Clueing for Looks

A few years back, Shanen came over for an evening hangout and--long story short--I got her hooked on Sherlock. So for Christmas two years ago, I thought it would be fun to make her a Sherlock skirt. We only just got around to taking pictures now.
I saw a few Sherlock skirts on Etsy, but figured that if I could find the fabric on Spoonflower (which I did here), then I could easily make one myself. You may recognize the overall theme of this skirt as "Bored Sherlock".
I picked up one yard of the cotton poplin, and figured it would be enough for a subtle gathered skirt.
Channeling the Sherlock collar flip.
When my local Fabricland went out of business a few years ago, I also bought them out of their wide black elastic. I figured that since this skirt was a surprise, I didn't want to sew a skirt with any major fitting. Shanen's mom helped out by measuring her (telling her it was for something that she was working on), so that I could get close to her sizing. I cut the fabric into a rectangle and stretched the elastic to fit the length of fabric, plus seam allowance. Easy-peasy.
I made sure to do my best to not end up with a weird pattern placement on the butt.
Can you spot the magnifying glass? Girl is dedicated to the theme.
I lined the skirt with a lovely blue Bemberg Rayon.
I also bound all the seams with blue binding, but didn't get a photo. One of my favourite parts of the skirt, however, is this:
Wait, what?
I was trying to think of a way to add the smiley face from the wallpaper in the show to the skirt. At first I was planning on getting some fabric paint, then it hit me...embroidery!
I added a patch pocket, because, let's be real, all skirts are better when they have pockets, and then I did a simple split stitch smiley face. I was even extra careful to match the pattern of the pocket to the skirt.
Doing her best to channel Sherlock's thinking face.
Overall I am super pleased with how this turned out, an luckily, Shanen was too.
There is no better way to find fellow Sherlock fans in the world than to wear a skirt made out of his wallpaper print.
Oh! And let's not forget the best outtake of the "shoot":
Someone was having trouble keeping a straight face.

{Honey, you should see me in a crown}