Mochi Staple Scout

April Rhodes Staple Dress + Grainline Studios Scout Tee mash-up, in Cotton and Steel Mochi Lawn

I’m not pregnant… the dress just tends to puff out at the belly a little. The effect isn’t so bad in real life!

Confession: I finished this dress about two months ago. I took the photos about a month ago. Oops.

I’m wearing it today, and that’s what reminded me to finally put this up.

The dress is another “Staple Scout”– a mashup of the April Rhodes Staple Dress and the Grainline Studio Scout Tee. I won’t say too much about it, because construction-wise it’s exactly the same as my first Staple Scout, so you can read up about it here if you’d like more information. I love my two Staple Scouts– they make a perfect go-to summer work dress. Super comfortable with their shirred waistlines, and made of cool, comfortable cotton lawn, pull one on and I’m ready to go. I really should make more, because I have to keep reminding myself not to wear them TOO often! On my own time, I definitely prefer dresses which let me feel the sun on my shoulders and upper chest. However, my job as an elementary school English teacher in Korea requires me to cover all that up– and these dresses are a good way to do it.

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The only difference between this and the last one is the fabric. It’s called Mochi Floral Lawn in teal, by Cotton and Steel. I bought mine from fabric.com, it’s temporarily out of stock but they’re due to get more in. I definitely recommend it. Compared to the Kaufman lawn I used for the last dress, it’s not quite as soft, and it’s smoother. It seems to wrinkle a bit more.  But these differences are very slight, the fabric really does seem to wash and wear well. If this is the standard quality for Cotton and Steel lawn, I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for more in a different print!

I’m cheap with my fabric, and always want to use as little as possible of it so that I might be able to squeeze another project out of the leftovers. I recently made pj shorts from the leftovers of my other Staple Scout, so I’m expecting to do the same with the leftovers from this one, as both were 3 yard cuts. For that reason, I used a fat quarter of quilting cotton for the pockets– a kind of pale sea green (the colors are a bit off in the pic below, and I’m terrible with color names anyways, maybe that’s not the right thing to call it) which I had lying around. I think it goes really well with the colors in the dress.

The pictures were taken by my friend Anna, who was visiting me from Canada, as we walked around the Naksan Art Village in Seoul. I had another friend come visit me literally two days after she left, so all up I had visitors staying with me for about a month– had a really great time, but didn’t leave any time for sewing!  Now I’m visitor-less for the next three weeks or so and trying to get myself in gear to get some sewing done in this window of opportunity, because after that I’ll be busy for a month with two visitors and a trip to California!

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Tiny Flower Staple-Scout

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My very first pattern mash-up! Nothing particularly complicated, but I’m proud of it. Making progress towards bringing all the lovely little monsters in my head to life. This dress is half modified Scout Tee, and half Staple Dress (from the waist down). Actually, I also used the pockets from the Colette Hazel dress (they’re deeper than the Staple Dress pockets), so this dress has elements of three patterns thrown in.

I know, in the pictures it doesn’t look radically different from a plain old Staple Dress. However, there are some significant changes. This version has set-in (rather than kimono) sleeves, and so is more fitted around the shoulders. It also has a higher, narrower neck– higher than the original scout tee. I used the pattern pieces I altered for my own scout tees, so that the neckline would be higher and Korea-appropriate (A skirt that barely covers your butt? No problem. A tiny bit of cleavage? ABSOLUTELY NOT!).

There’s also a side bust dart, part of my scout-tee alterations.

If you’re curious about how I did it, I basically just laid the Scout pattern pieces over the Staple dress pattern pieces, matching them up at the waist (which I measured and marked on the Scout tee. I used the shirring line on the Staple.). I then put some tracing paper over it, and traced it out, blending the two patterns together. I measured carefully to make sure my side seams would still match up. Here’s a visual aid:

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Anyways, enough rambling, here’s the important information:

Pattern: mashup of Grainline Studios Scout Tee and April Rhodes Staple Dress (with Colette Hazel‘s pockets).

Sizing: Heavily altered size 16 Scout (see here for more information on that), and a Staple dress graded from XXL at the bust to XL at the waist.

Fabric: Kaufman London Calling Lawn, in Tiny Flower (black). I bought mine at fabric.com. I absolutely love this fabric, soft, smooth, easy to work with… Just going my the fabric qualities, I would love to buy it up in more prints, but to be honest I find most of them a bit… daggy (or, “frumpy”, for any North American readers… was just informed the other day by an American friend that she had no idea what “daggy” meant!). I like this print though, despite (perhaps because of?) its 90s vibe.

Notes:

–Store-bought bias tape for the neckline,

–black quilting cotton for the pockets (which feels a bit heavy for the main fabric… something lighter would have been better),

–shorter than the original Staple dress

–3 lines of shirring.

Here’s a before-and-after for the shirring.

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I’m never sure how to finish a post…. but that’s all I can think of to say about it, at the moment. I guess I’ll end by saying that I really love this dress, and it’s gotten a LOT of wear– the fabric is so light, it feels as close as you can get to not wearing anything at all. When I wear it to work, I feel like I’m cheating and wearing a nightgown! It’s perhaps a bit casual for a teacher in Korea, but then again most of what I wear is perhaps a bit too casual. And I did get a lot of compliments on it at work, including by the principal, so I’m going to take that as the all-clear!

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(photos taken right next to my shiny new apartment building… this rather scenic decay always reminds me of Korea’s rough past)

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.

La Venta Scout

So! My very first woven top! Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee.
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I’m not a fan of the loose-top-and-pants anything-and-pants look on me. I definitely feel my most confident in fit-and-flare silhouettes. However, I’ll admit that it’s nice to have a few tops to throw on over pants on those days where I can’t be bothered with wrestling on tights (or shaving my legs… ahem.)

Kind of like the April Rhodes Staple dress, I fell for this pattern after seeing so many wonderful versions around the interwebs, didn’t expect it to look great on me, but bought it anyways and reasoned with myself that even if it isn’t my favourite look on MY body, it WOULD be comfortable and practical. Also like my two staple dresses (most recent + favourite one here), this top has been in constant rotation in my wardrobe ever since I finished it about two weeks ago.

I made quite a lot of alterations, in an attempt to enlarge the bust and reduce how far it stuck out at the hem. My first muslin was definitely a tent situation. Not cute.  In fact, it was such a discouraging tent of fugliness that I cast the project aside for almost two months. But I recently decided to take another crack at it– the experience I’ve gained in the last two months put me in a better position to tackle it again. I think it worked out okay in the end, although I probably should have done a slightly bigger full bust enlargement– it’s always feeling like it wants to creep up over my bust.

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So, here are some details:

Pattern: Scout Tee by Grainline Studio. I’ve had it for a while, but was… disinclined… to assemble the pdf. I hate pdfs. Would                    rather pay extra for a printed copy, any day!

Fabric: La Venta  organic voile from the Cloud9 Palos Verdes collection. I bought mine here. I really love this fabric– it’s so                    light and breezy, perfect for a summery top! It was nice and easy to work with, too. The only downside is that it                            wrinkles  really easily, but I suppose that’s typical of voile– I’m resigning myself to the wrinkles under my belly from                    sitting down.

Size: 16

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Alterations:  — Full Bust Adjustment, adding a side bust dart. I foolishly threw out the pattern piece I did this on…. er. I think it                             was 1″ (for a total of 2″ added). I didn’t want to add width to the waist/bottom hem, so I drew a straight line                                 from under the newly added bust dart down to the original hem. I made all the rest of the changes on a traced                             copy of  this altered pattern piece.

–Neckline raised 1″

–center front lengthened 2″, curved to nothing at the sides. The front was too belly-flashy on the original pattern!

— 5/8″ wedge taken out from the flat pattern center front, starting at the bottom hem and tapered to nothing at the                          neckline

— 1″ wedge taken out of the flat pattern from the front side seam, tapered to nothing at the bottom of the bust dart

— Center back lengthened 2″ at the hem, curved to nothing at the side seams.

–Side slits

What’s with the side slits? Well, all these alterations, and I got a bit over-zealous in removing width at the bottom hem. My first muslin just tented out so much, I got carried away trying to remove that! When I finally made it up in this nice fabric, I found that I’d taken too much width out at the bottom, and it was feeling tight on my hips (despite a previous wearable muslin somehow being completely fine?! What is that about!). So, how to deal? Side slits! I’m calling it a design feature… I kind of like the look of them. And I’m happy enough with this version of scout that I really can’t be bothered to make more alterations… so future versions will likely all include these side slits too.

Wear again? Already have. Many times.

Make again? Already did. One and half times. What is that half? You’ll see…

Eh. Enough. Here’s some awkwardness.

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Lakeside Stampede

Finally got my little sister to cough up some pictures of the pajamas I made for her for Christmas! I should have remembered to take some pictures when I was in Australia, because here they are looking like she’s just rolled out of bed in them…. sigh. Oh well, they’re still pretty cute! And she does get bonus points for the cat in the background.

Grainline Studios Lakeside pajamas

Grainline Studios Lakeside pajamas

The Pattern: Lakeside Pajamas by Grainline Studios

The Fabric: August Stampede cotton lawn in teal. By Sarah Watts for Cotton & Steel, bought from Fabric.com, here. Looks like it’s on sale right now!

I love this fabric, it’s perfect for smooth cool summer pajamas. Very light but not too sheer, so it didn’t need a lining. Felt lovely to work with. I used a bubblegum pink bias tape (also from fabric.com) for the binding, the print has some pink in it and I think it goes perfectly.

This is a really great pattern, and came together very easily… well, except for one rough spot. I really struggled with the bias binding at the point where it overlaps and runs up the side seam on the shorts! There may be a tutorial somewhere on how to do this better, but I didn’t check it out… I kind of had to force it flat, and it’s a bit wonky in that one spot. Oh well, it’s those little defects which add the character that generic store bought clothing lacks.

Since I live in Korea, I didn’t get to try it on her beforehand, and was working off the measurements my mum sent me. If I made them for her again, I would size up, because they are a bit snug. Her measurements were in between size 8 and a 10, so I went with the 10, thinking that would leave enough room for a bit of the “freshman 15” when she goes off to college this fall. Next time, I’m definitely making the 12! However, I’m not sure whether the measurements my mum sent me were totally correct, so I’d hesitate to judge the pattern on this.

I made these pajamas for her, because I loved the look of the pattern but really doubted it would look good on someone plump and busty like me. Things like these are much better on her body type. However, when I was making them, I decided that I really do want some for myself, regardless of how flattering they’d be… I’ve now taped together and cut out another print of the pattern pdf in my size. It’s sprawled all over my couch, waiting for my attention. We’ll see how that goes.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the back, alas, looking even more rumpled than the front (but with just as much cat).

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