Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Short Stuff

And now for something completely different.  It's contemporary (well, sort of), and it's short.  These descriptors are not usually ones I use in reference to my wardrobe.

But actually, the second of those things is the reason I was able to get a fourth item out of this brocade fabric.  I have a pencil skirt, a full skirt, and a cropped jacket, and now this skirt.

Here is another example of me using a much longer zipper than is necessary.  But it's easy to shorten, and it means I always have the length if it's needed.  And it was the only black invisible zipper on hand, so that's what I used.  Don't use your good sewing shears for this purpose, use those craft scissors instead to cut through the plastic coils.

If you go this route, I highly recommend covering the cut end since cut zipper coils can be sharp.  It also looks a whole lot nicer than a ragged cut end.

This brocade fabric likes to fray, so binding the seams was a no brainer.

This is the length of the skirt per the pattern, if you can believe it.  It's SHORT!  Actually, it would be even shorter if I took up the recommended 2" hem.  I would have lengthened the pieces, however, I didn't have the fabric.  In order to get as much coverage as possible, I drafted a facing and used a 3/8" seamline.  Taking turn of cloth into account, that gave me an extra 1.5" in length.

I decided to forego the lining since I did not believe that this fabric would cling to a pair of tights.  Also, a bemgerg rayon would drape completely differently than the skirt, and I decided it wasn't worth it in the end.

And, of course, I added a ribbon hanger at each side seam along the waistband.

I am planning on pairing this with an oversized sweater that I recently knit.

It was a very quick project using what I had on hand, which always feels good.  And I finally made the incredibly popular Vogue 1247!  It's a great skirt, although it's really, really short (by my standards, at least).  I could see adding another version to my wardrobe, although next time I hope that I have a little bit more fabric to pull that hemline down another inch or so!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Classic Red

Ah yes, the Stanwyck Skirt from Charm Patterns.  You are probably familiar with this design.  There are a few options, including a straight skirt version; but this time around I went with the gored circle skirt.

And I added a whole lot of extra length.  I think in the end, it was close to six inches in total from where my size should have been cut.

This meant that I did not have enough wool to cut out the oversized pockets that come with this pattern.  This was a disappointment for a day or so, even though I was not sure I was going to like the massively oversized pocket in this drapey wool.  But once I knew that my yardage wouldn't let me have my pockets, I suddenly wanted them.  That is, until I realized that this classic silhouette will get a lot more wear as it is, and I got over the loss of the pockets.

The zipper was hand-stitched in place.  I absolutely prefer this method to using a machine since it gives so much more control, and the stitches disappear into a fabric like this.  Since discovering Wawak.com years ago, I purchase 24" zippers to have on hand.  This sometimes requires me to shorten them for things like skirts, but that is easy enough, and a small piece of fabric covering the cut end keeps everything nice and tidy.

I also decided to take the extra time to add a few boning channels to the waistband.

I am always sorry when I don't, especially with a wider waistband like this one which tends to collapse while being worn if it doesn't have a little extra stability built in.

And since I couldn't find a matching red cotton in my stash, I had to dig around to find a print that would work with the red wool.  It does add a bit of character, although I don't usually go for such a contrast.

And then we get to the part of the program where the hem drops obnoxiously on the bias.  I was not expecting this much drop in such a heavy weight fabric, but there you go.

The wool does have a lovely drape, so that was probably one of the reasons.  I was thinking that a melton wool, which has a felted texture, would behave like a felt, but I guess not!  Or would felt stretch?  It doesn't have a grainline, though, right?!  If it's just matted fibers, it doesn't have a grain?

But anyway, I had to cut over an inch off of the bias portions of this skirt.

One of the unnecessary things that I did was to bind the raw edges of my fabric.  If you pick at the raw edges of this wool, it will fray slightly, but not very much.  But I decided that the look of the rayon binding was a much more finished choice, so I went with it.

And the final thing to do was add some loops for storing this garment on a hanger.

I found a package of vintage cotton binding in the stash, and decided that it would work quite nicely.  I stitch the folded open edge closed, and applied it to the waist seam before stitching the waistband lining closed.

In certain lights, the waistband boning is somewhat visible.  I could go back and underline that waistband with some cotton flannel, but I don't think many people would notice, and I don't know that the issue will bother me enough to go back and open up the waistband and add some.

I am quite pleased with the way this turned out.  I have a few longer length wool skirts that get a lot of wear in winter weather, and this one is bound to get in on the rotation.

It's a very classic silhouette that dresses up or down very easily.

And now I think I need more melton wool in my life.  This stuff is very pleasant to work with, and I love the heavier weight of the wool.  But most of all, I love my new skirt!


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Flirty Forties Plaid, or is it Buffalo Check?

At a pattern swap a few years ago, I spotted this wonderful rayon fabric.  The colors are right up my alley, and as you see, the yardage came home with me.

The only real issue with the textile was that it was very lightweight.  Also, the top that I imaged making with such a fabric was going to need a skirt to match.  Since I don't have a whole lot of solids in my existing wardrobe, the project stalled.

Turns out, that was a good thing!  Because somewhere along the line, I decided that this fabric had to be a dress, even if there was not very much yardage to play with.

Enter, Butterick 6380.  The pattern requires very little in the way of fabric, and I thought the print would look great with a 1940s themed silhouette.

I always have an idea of how I am going to style a dress while I am stitching it together.  For this particular project, I had a different idea about shoes until I realized that I had the perfect pink pumps in my wardrobe.  Maybe that's a sign I have too many?  But that can't possibly be true!

I really do love the way this frock turned out.  If I had to pick something out that bothers me slightly, it would be that the tabs that pull the neckline open creates a little bit of pull on the sleeves, which in turn, loses some mobility through the sleeves.  There might be a way of moving that tab up or down to improve the movement allowed, but it may just be a function of the design.

But other than that (and it's really not very noticeable unless I need to grab something off of a high shelf, etc.) it's a wonderful dress pattern.

I haven't yet found a fabric to make another version, but I plan to at some point.  The fact that the pattern requires less than 2 yards of 60" wide fabric is AMAZING!  It calls for a full lining, meaning that another 2 yards is required in lining fabric, however, with a fabric of suitable weight, that wouldn't be necessary.

But it's going to be difficult to beat this one.  And a big part of why is that the color combo is so fabulous.

I am currently knitting away on a bright pink sweater, so something about the color pink is drawing me in lately.  Then again, pink always has been and probably always will be a favorite, especially paired with blue. 

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6380
Shoes:  Remix "Babydoll"

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Petal Pink


If you are a knitter, you have probably come across this wonderfully whimsical design.  Kate Davies Designs published the pattern in 2010, and I suspect I found it soon thereafter.  I remember being very excited about casting on, but I didn't have the proper circular needles, and I am not usually a fan of bulky yarn so I had nothing in the stash that was suitable.

And then there was a decision to be made about color.  Should I go for something neutral and in a palette that is owl appropriate?  

I will say that I almost never use suggested yarns for knitting patterns.  In my early knitting days, it was a lack of access, I suppose, and with vintage patterns, the yarn is often no longer produced and/or very difficult to find.  For the vast majority of my knit projects, I simply find a similar weighted yarn in a color that I like, and make it work.

But for some reason, with this pattern, I went looking for one of the suggested yarns: in this case, Rowan Cocoon.  I found it for a great price, and I decided that pink owls would be lovely, whether or not they exist in nature!

I had my needles and my yarn, but for whatever reason, I never got started on the project until November 2019.

After finally casting on, the sweater was completed very quickly.  It's amazing how little time it takes to knit up a bulky weight yarn!

I definitely prefer working with lighter weight wool, but how could I resist these little owls!

There was always a question of whether or not I would add buttons for eyes.  In the end, I decided against it, preferring that the little creatures be a little more challenging to find.

And that just left weaving in a few ends.

Here are the little guys prior to a wash/blocking.

And after a gentle bath . . .

Here is the completed sweater.

I finally wore the sweater and took some pictures.  The only real issue is the yarn.  I paired this with a black wool skirt, and boy does that mohair fuzz get everywhere!!  I am used to having Tino fur hang around my wool clothing, but this is a whole new level of fuzz transfer.  I may just have to find a tweedy wool to make a skirt that won't show the pink mohair quite so well!