I made one last March at craft camp, and loved the pattern but I made it up in a bastard fabric. I thought I would wear it as a housedress but I never have, since it’s pretty thin but also polyestery, so it’s not great for hot days, and the front sits funny so I always have to be adjusting it, which I HATE. I’ve gotten rid of it now, I can’t remember if I gave it to the op shop or just literally threw it in the bin. But I did love the pattern, and in fact I cut out another one on the last day of that craft camp, to sew up when I got home. I can’t remember how long it took me to get to but obviously it was more than a month or two. Why would I sew anything in a timely manner?
Here I am wearing it at the zoo. The reason I am laughing is that I was there with S, and he had reminded me of our first official date which was also at the zoo. The whole day we had heard an odd groaning noise echoing throughout the grounds, and when we got to the Giant Tortoise, we found out what it was. The male tortoise was on top of the female tortoise – backwards. Making groaning noises. While she made ‘I am over this’ faces like only Giant Tortoises can. We left very quickly and have not been back to see them since. Giant Tortoise Encounter, indeed.
Anyhoo, the dress. It’s made from the same thick jersey that I made my Blank Canvas tee in, discussed in the last post. I think the line was called seaspray or sea… splash? Sea… something? This was originally a dusty plum colour, one of the uninspiring colours left at the end of the season, so I got a whole lot of it for half price. I wish I’d bought more. But the colour was meh for me, so I chucked it in the washing machine with a navy dye packet, bringing the cost back up (those things aren’t cheap) but making a fabric I really love.
I wear this dress ALL. THE. TIME. Actually I wanted to wear it today but realised I can’t find it, and had a mild panic this morning. It is just so easy to throw on and wear. And it has POCKETS.
Not that I put much in the pockets. Being jersey, they stretch out and hang funny if there’s heavy stuff in them. But tbh, it’s nice to have somewhere to put your hands. I’m wearing a skirt with no pockets today and I kept trying to shove my hands into phantom pockets.
I did a lot of fiddling to get the fronts right and as you can see they still bunch. I really ought to have done an FBA, but I was too lazy and short on time when I cut it to figure that out. I also cut the skirt out flat and failed to realise I had cut all four pieces facing the same way. (I do this FAR too often. Get it together, self.) And I think I did the same thing on the bodice, too. I remember cutting another bodice piece from one of the skirt pieces, and I had enough left over to cut one extra skirt piece correctly, but only one. So the one of the back skirt pieces is the wrong way on the bias, but I haven’t noticed any problems with it. The skirt is unhemmed here because I couldn’t wait for the skirt to hang so I could hem it before wearing it. I have since gone back and done a rolled hem on the overlocker. (Overlockers and sergers are just exactly the same thing, right? I use them interchangeably, sorry for any confusion). The angle is weird in the bottom photo so you can’t see, but at that point the hem was right on my knees. I think it’s since stretched out, and I should go back and take the waistband up. Actually, I bet that’s why I can’t find it, I probably put it in my craft room to do that, instead of back in the wardrobe.
As I said I really do love this pattern, I recommend it highly, and I’ve worn this dress once a week minimum since I made it, but I’m not sure I’ll make any more. I am just not sure about crossover/surplice bodices on me. I think they look great, both on other people and on me, but they just feel a bit weird on me. Just a personal preference, I guess. I have some red jersey that I was going to make into a tira but now I think I might make up a Red Velvet mashup, with a Red Velvet bodice and a Tira skirt, but then I have the same issue I had with the Blank Canvas tee with kimono sleeves. They’re a million times easier to sew, I’m just not convinced about them on my body. Or I just downloaded the Penny Pinafore because my most worn boughten dresses are a couple of princess-line stretch velvet dresses. I mean to be fair, mostly that’s because they are velvet and it’s hard to go past that, but still. It’s a shape I like on me, but princess lines on a large bust are tricky and have defeated me before. Maybe they’ll be easier in a knit? She says, hopefully.
I was going to buy the lady skater pattern but then I thought, I have probably dozens of long-sleeves tshirt patterns in Ottobre magazines. I’ll just sew one of them and whack a skirt on it. Done. (Swearing aside.) Especially since one of my sewing goals (that sounds very official. It’s just a thing I’d like to do, really) is to sew more of my everyday stuff that I wear all the time but find hard to find good quality, well fitting versions in stores. In not-summer, I wear a scoop neck black knit, long or 3/4 sleeved shirt pretty much every day, and the ones I have are wearing out, so I’d like to make myself some more. I also downloaded the free plantain pattern from Deer and Doe, I couldn’t resist the peer pressure, so that might be a goer. I’ll probably take the side seams in because floaty over the midriff is not a style I feel real comfortable in, but that’s easy enough.
ANYHOODLE. The navy tira is actually the third one I’ve sewn. First was the muslin one, and the second was a costume one, in terrible, awful costume crushed velvet.
That stuff is NASTY. The little synthetic nap bits came off and itched like fibreglass. Am I the only one who has that as a reference point? My dad used to work in a fibreglass factory, so I grew up knowing that particular itch of ‘oh no, I have a tiny rigid prickle somewhere in my clothing.’ Urgh I’m getting sympathetic prickles just thinking about it. You know that feeling when you get a teeny plant spike in your foot but you can’t see it? Like that, but all over. I had to shower after every time I sewed this, and wash it twice before wearing. I’m still picking it out of my overlocker.
Because the velvet wasn’t as stretchy as I expected, I ended up having to split the sideseam and add a strip of fabric in there, and it’s still pretty tight, so it’s a bit of a struggle to get on and off. But that’s fine for a costume. I sewed it for a cartoon themed quiz night. I went as Lumpy Space Princess. Spot the resemblence?
I also sewed a robe thingy and a beard for S, who made a crown and a cut out penguin, and went as the Ice King.
And my cousins went as Marceline and Princess Bubblegum. I won’t put their pictures up, because of internet privacy etc, but some of you will have seen them on my facebook. These are all characters from Adventure Time, which is an excellently weird TV show that I am like a season behind on because it got too deep and I have too many feelings about it. We won ‘best team costume’ so that was satisfying.
In other costumey type things, I made this flower crown for my cousin’s birthday
To go with the Somebody Please Help Will Graham tshirt that I bought her. For those of you who are confused, the T-Shirt is a reference to the tv show Hannibal, and the flower crown is a fandom meme. I do not watch Hannibal, because I cannot even look at stills of the food without feeling nauseous, but their fandom is one of the most delightfully weird and lovely ones out there. I am in the Hannibal fandom fandom, I guess you could say. And the cast and show runner are also delightful, and when a fan brought them flowercrowns at ComicCon they wore them the whole panel and now Bryan Fuller, the director, now makes them to keep on set and gives them out to actors. What a DELIGHT. Also he gives interviews about feminism and queer representation and PLEASE DIRECT THE NEXT STAR TREK, BRYAN, PLEASE SAVE US FROM JJ ABRAHMS. So. Anyway. That’s what this flower crown is about.
Speaking of fandom things, I also made the same cousin a little Jesse doll for the ending of Breaking Bad, which she was very distressed about. He was whipped up at the last minute, so he’s pretty dodgy but oh well. It is surprisingly hard to make a doll-shape that doesn’t look ridiculous. I am pretty not-happy with this doll as a product but he was very well received so I’ll get over it.
I also got one of my most favourite people in the HFC gift swap over christmas. She is allergic to wool, so I made her a fleece version of the tentacle scarf. I neglected to get any good photos of it.
But she did send me a lovely card with photos of her wearing it, which warmed my heart. For the tentacles, I eyeballed a triangle shape with a rectangle on top, and made up a paper pattern. Then I cut two tentacle pockets out of the contrast fleece. I cut little strips of the main colour and rolled them until they were about the right size, pinned them on, and sewed them down. Because it doesn’t fray I didn’t have to be too careful, I just had to make sure I got the edges down. The hardest thing was getting the proportions of the suckers right. It took one Cindy Lauper interview (highly recommend) and one BBC documentary to finish them. (Isn’t sense memory weird?) Then for the main scarf I cut two lengths of the fleece, sewed it together in the middle, cut the ends into triangles, sewed them to the pockets and turned them right side out. Done. I also made a hat to go with it:
Out of a free internet pattern. I made it in a rush and it’s a bit wonky, but somehow on J’s head it looks amazing. How does she do that? I still have a bunch of fleece left over and I was going to turn it into a manatee but now I can’t find it. I have several pieces of fabric that have gone awol in the last few months. Maybe my cat is hoarding them somewhere?
Can you tell that this is my ‘dagging around and doing things’ jumper? It is looking the worse for wear now and I should have bought ten because I love it. It has a nice big kangaroo pocket for ipods/scissors/whatever.
More toys. My best friend’s kid got really obsessed with this one youtube video of puppies breastfeeding. ‘Puppy!’ was one of his first words. So I made him a puppy:
The body is just a rectangle, the legs just tubes, and I made the ears up. I used some old clothes I’ve been hoarding because ‘I might make something out of them one day!’ Finally I did. The belly is a knitted vest that I bought already felted – it used to be a men’s XL. But I haven’t worn it for ages because it’s pretty bulky. The rest is old linen pants that wore out in the thighs and also are vastly too small for me now, but the fabric is lovely. I did buy the flannel for the ears, and the ribbon for the puppies legs. The puppies have velcro on the underside so they stick. All the faces etc are embroidered.I was going to make more, and not give them the creepy thin prototype puppy on the right, but I ran out of time (sensing a theme here…) so that is what they got. Oh, well.
I also made covers for my sewing machine and overlocker.
The sewing machine has a hard plastic case but it’s annoying to put on and take off, so I never use it. I just sort of eyeballed it, and this one came out too big so I put a couple of pleats in it. I thought I had a photo of the finished one and also the overlocker one – which is the same fabric (drill from spotters) only pears – but I don’t. So, this is all you get. I made bias binding and piped it, because I wanted to and it was good practice. I made a handle for the sewing machine one but didn’t bother for the overlocker. For the sewing machine cover, I made it up and then lined it, but that turned out to be super annoying, so I just underlined the overlocker one. Both have medium-weight interfacing fused on. I still have to overlock and hem the overlocker cover, because when I was making it the thread kept snapping and I got the shits and abandoned it.Phew! That’s lots.