Mojave Scout

Mojave Voile Grainline Scout TeeI’m terrible at this blogging thing… I actually finished this top nearly a month ago. It took me this long to get around to bugging a friend into taking pictures for me!

Actually, I’ve worn it around friends a bunch of times– but every time I somehow manage to forget. Anyways, here it is. As you may have guessed, it’s a Scout Tee. Please excuse the wrinkles– I actually DID iron it right before leaving the house, but the photos weren’t taken until an hour or two later. And the fabric, for all its virtues, wrinkles like crazy.

I’m not going to say too much about the construction of this top, because it’s exactly the same as my last scout tee. Like the last one, I finished the neckline with store bought bias tape– still no luck in getting it to lay flat! Anyone have any tips? I even under-stitched this time! Oh well, it doesn’t bother me too much.

I really love this fabric, and have had it set aside for a while. It’s cotton voile by Art Gallery Fabrics, the print is called Mojave in Illuminated. I bought mine from Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory, it seems there’s still some available. It’s silky-smooth and slightly sheer but not so much that I feel a need to wear something underneath. It’s also lovely and light, perfect for summer. Although, it was a bit of a pain to sew with– The seams kept wrinkling, I fiddled around with stitch length and tension but couldn’t find a great solution. I probably needed a finer needle/thread, but I didn’t have those on hand, and wasn’t willing to wait until I could get them online/go mime at the grumpy old dude at the tiny local sewing shop until he guessed what I was after (I really need to learn some Korean sewing vocabulary!). I ended up following a tip I read online and gently pulling it taught as it went through the machine, that helped a lot– although, I totally forgot to do that when I was zig-zagging the side seams. They ended up super wrinkly, so I had to go back and unpick them… ever tried unpicking  a tight zig-zag stitch? Not fun. Here’s a before and after for that… hard to tell in the pictures, but it was a definite improvement.IMG_2168IMG_2169

Reviewing the me-made clothes hanging in my closet, it seems that blue with a splash of yellow is definitely my thing. I’ve decided to just go with it…. the dress I’ve got in the works right now fits that theme too.

I still don’t like the loose-top-and-pants (or in this case, shorts) look on me. Reviewing these pictures, and those from my last scout, confirms my fear: they make my boobs look huge (and not in the right way), and totally hide the fact that I DO have a somewhat defined waist. So this will probably be my last top for a while– at least until I find the perfect pattern. I’m on the hunt for a fitted top pattern– perhaps something with princess seams– with a high neck and short sleeves, which I can wear tucked into a high waisted skirt for work. But it’s not urgent– I much, much prefer wearing dresses. Now that I have two me-made top options (in fabrics that I LOVE), I am totally satisfied that that box has been ticked.

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Curious about the writing behind me? I believe it says something along the lines of “car garage”. Haha exciting, I know.

Florascape Hazel

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Yet another Hazel Dress by Colette Patterns…. I’m not going to say too much about it, because this is the third I’ve made so far! Promise my next dress will be a different pattern!

I tried mixing it up a bit by altering it to have a sweetheart  neckline… it’s not very obvious in these pictures, but it’s there.

altering the center front bodice piece of the Hazel dress for a sweetheart neckline

altering the center front bodice piece of the Hazel dress for a sweetheart neckline

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Here’s some details:

Pattern: Hazel dress by Colette Patterns.

Fabric: Florascape in Moonstone by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics.

Size: 16

Modifications: shortened on the pattern by 2 or 3 inches, neckline raised by 3 cm (?), then altered to a sweetheart neckline.

Okay that’s enough. I’ll leave you with some other awkwardly posed pictures of the dress…

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With my lovely photographer :D

With my lovely photographer 😀

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Manhattan Hazel

So! My first post with actual clothes in it. It’s about time. I haven’t got detailed photos, unfortunately– I always feel so awkward being in photos alone, and generally try to avoid it. Next time, I will try to be more diligent. Maybe.

Here it is, a summery sundress which I’m quite happy with:

Colette Hazel Dress

The Pattern: Hazel Dress by Colette Patterns

The fabric: Quilting cotton–  Manhattan in Dusk, designed by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics. I bought mine from Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory.

Hmmm… What is there to say about this dress? I wasn’t sure that such a busy print would work out for me, as much as I loved it. But it’s definitely grown on me, and I now really love this dress. I know that quilting cotton for clothing is a bit of a sewing faux pas, but I think it makes a really lovely summery sundress, as long as the bodice is quite fitted. Sure, it wrinkles like crazy, but It’s also the easiest possible fabric to sew with– perfect for a novice like me– and stands up well to the rough treatment I put my clothes through. I generally have a Survival Of The Fittest laundry policy– no special treatment, a regular wash cycle and minimal color sorting– so the weak and fussy are doomed to perish. Quilting cotton can make it through!

As for the pattern, this is my second Hazel dress. Granted, it’s only the third pattern I’ve sewn. The first, Colette’s Pastille dress, was a fitting nightmare. The second, Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt, is my skirt true love, and has been been made up in three different versions already with plans for a fourth. My first Hazel, also made up in a quilting cotton (pictured below), went really smoothly (once I got the fitting sorted…well enough…), and is now one of my most worn garments. So I knew I needed more!

Colette Patterns Hazel Dress

My first Colette Patterns Hazel dress

Here are some notes on the pattern:

Fitting:

–size 16, with all bodice pieces raised by 3 cm along the top edge so that the top of my bra where it meets the straps wouldn’t show. I’ve read other people making similar adjustments– I think the pattern either assumes a much perkier bust point, or is simply cut too low at that spot!

–In this second version, I also used the size 18 skirt for a more gathered result, and shortened the hem on the pattern by 2 inches.

–I also used bias tape all around the top, instead of facing. I’d recommend this– no worries about facing staying in it’s proper place!

–pockets were sewn with a narrower seam allowance, for more depth.

What I love: The flattering fit of the bodice, the wide bra-strap-hiding straps, the deep pockets.

Remaining issues: The waist is too long (designed for someone taller, no doubt– I’m just over 5’2″!), but I’m not sure how to alter that without messing up the triangle point. But it’s not a huge problem, I doubt I’ll bother trying to do anything about it. Also, it’s a size too big at the waist — thanks to some bustiness, I always fall into a different size on top than the rest of me! I really didn’t want to tackle a FBA on this unconventional bodice construction, and just went with the bigger size. I’m on the fence about whether to take the waist in on my next version. On the one hand, a smaller waist might be more flattering, but on the other the bigger waist leaves plenty of room for big-meal-expansion, and is super comfortable!

Well, that’s more information than anyone needs… so I’ll leave it here, with two more pics of the dress in action.

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