Tag Archives: skirt

Finished Projects: New and Old

0315 Collage

Life, man. It gets away from a person.

I just HAD to share a new dress that I made for my birthday Valentines Day the upcoming Joanna Newsom concert (March 29!!). I have some other projects that I have not yet shared in cyberspace, so let’s get reacquainted!

0315 6397 Collage.jpg

Pattern: vintage Simplicity 6397
Fabrics: Raw & kimono silks from etsy; lining, Robert Kaufman Radiance

My 30th birthday was in December and I was toooootally confident I could finish this dress in time for my cocktail hour, which happened to be occurring in…two days. Can’t say I’m proud of rushing through one of the rare times I make myself a SILK DRESS. In the end, I had to wear another ensemble but REALLY HERE, I had cocktails to drink so whatever.

Plus, it has a cape-like thing on the back and that makes up for any mistakes. Such as, the not-great yoke attachment:

0315 6397 Simplicity Sad yoke

I’ve pressed it a few more times so it’s getting there, but for now, most people’s point of view will be here:

0315 6397 Simplicity Front

Not too bad, Brad. It also helps that the front doesn’t matter much, look at this BACK:

0315 6397 Simplicity Back

[of the dress]

Not my most creative work as far as deviating from the pattern illustration. Try to guess which version I made:

0315 6397 Simplicity

I wanted to add some contrast, so I lined the inside of what I’ll call the cape-doublet (Frenchified!) with a gray kimono silk print that is just so delicate and lovely, I had to work up the courage to use even the small bits for this.

0315 6397 Simplicity Inside cape

Worth it!

The pattern had the cape just dangling in the wind, and I thought that was just asking for embarrassment (let’s say, a gust of wind throwing it into someone’s face. Most likely mine and yes I think about these things). I decided I’d cut the dress a few inches shorter than the cape and baste the ends to the raw hem of the dress. I cut out a lining with the front and back pieces, a few inches shorter than the dress. Attaching the lining along the hemline and basting the necklines together, the hem was lifted into place and the cape curved around it. It makes just a hint of a bubble hem and just a fun photo opportunity!

0315 6397 Simplicity lining

To keep with the no-hem theme, I cut out a mirror-image sleeve and folded it over into a double-layer that I basted as one piece. In all likelihood, I’ll be very overdressed at the concert as Seattleites tend to wear North Face and jeans everywhere. But I like being overdressed, so I CAN’T WAIT.

05 May11 NEXT

0315 1887 Simplicity collage

Pattern: Simplicity 1887
Fabric: vintage from a garage sale

I finished this last October or November when I was still working on my STOUT projects. I assume I never blogged about this one because…well it’s a skirt. It was easy, it has elastic, it has pockets and an attached tie belt. There.

I worked some pattern-mixing in. Both fabrics are very polyester stretch wovens, making them perfect for skirts (only way to keep things breathing).

0315 1887 Simplicity pocket

I love the elastic panel across the back. The pattern includes options for pants and shorts, getting me closer to having the confidence to attempt pants or shorts again. Beginners: GET ON THIS PATTERN. You can do it!

0315 1887 Simplicity Back

0315 1887 Simiplicity skirt

05 May11 NEXT

0315 Mary Jane booties collage

Pattern: Mary Jane Baby Booties via Red Heart
Yarn: Pure Silk by Debbie Bliss in Purple and some 100% cotton yarn

I wish I had counted how many baby booties I’ve made in the last year. This is the only pair I crocheted. I’m currently on a shopping fast and am challenging myself to use what I already own instead of buying everything I think I need. I’m a firm believer that constraints make me more creative. But it doesn’t necessarily make things easier.

I almost went out and bought some new yarn, thinking I didn’t have anything that would work. I searched through my bits and pieces drawer (DIFFERENT from my yarn drawer!) and found these forgotten-about skeins: one is 100% cotton and the other is 100% silk. YES THAT BABY DESERVES SILK ON HER FEETS. I think the colors look great together and are not a combination that I would usually choose. See? More creative already.

There’s a sweet little Wednesday Addams-style dress I’m working on next. And about four saved drafts that I want to post. I suppose that means I’m back on blogging! Later!

Finished Projects: Sewing and Weight Gain

Before I get started, I want to let y’all know I recently did a tongue-in-cheek guest post titled How to Prevent DIY Anxiety for Coletterie. Welcome, new readers! And thanks to Sarai for taking a chance on a little-known vanity blogger. I’ll let the conversation on that piece continue on Coletterie because today I wanted to talk about the chubs.02 Feb22 Callingallchubbies I feel so cliché when I talk about my weight. I also find it next to impossible to actually just talk about my weight without advice, reiterated diet myths, or being told I’m not fat as if that was all I was looking for (I realize it’s well-intentioned). It is of course, not the end of life as I know it. I realize I’m still the person I am, no matter what size. I’m also not a lazy public health crisis. I don’t feel unattractive to my partner or ugly. I do admit being humbled when, as a thinner person, I extolled the virtues of confident double-digit-sized women, and then find myself thinking too long and too hard about that unflattering angle a photo caught me in. To be honest, I knew it was coming and I’m not interested in trying to stop the tide. I’m perfectly happy with my life and I’m not going to waste my time counting calories and running on a boring-ass treadmill. I already tried that anyway and I hated it far more than I hated finding another dress I was unable to zip. It’s just a fucking dress, now hand me a scotch and some chips.

02 Feb22 DesignedforchubbiesThat being said, I feel like I’ve developed a strange deterrent from starting a new sewing project. Why spend the time, energy, and (already spent) money on a new dress, only to outgrow it after only a few wears? Which seems very counterintuitive at first. Sewing is supposed to be a way for a person to create clothing for an individual shape. So surely, I hold an advantage as a sewist in that I don’t find myself sized out of some brand that doesn’t believe in the mythical being called the Size Twelve. But, mind blown, no matter how great my hand-hemmed, fit-adjusted-three-times, waist-nipping dress fit over the months I was creating it, after a year and a few more pounds, it no longer fits. Now, I have to not only think about the fit in the present, but also the fit a hypothetical twenty pounds from now. My usual hourglass style doesn’t work so well without the hourglass shape.

At the same time, though, I’m surprised at how much of a relief it is. Like I said, I knew Getting Fat was my genetic and/or cultural destiny and now that I’m no longer delaying the inevitable, it’s actually a little freeing. Like I’ve spent the last fifteen years as a fat wolf in a thin sheep’s clothing (yes, I was the Fat Friend, and no, I am not getting into that on the Internet). So now I’m a chubster and I’m still happy. Happier. And I secretly feel like a badass when I wear something I “shouldn’t” and don’t make any excuses for it. I imagine all the times I pointed out flaws in myself for doing things like Sitting While Wearing Pants and try to imagine what I thought would happen if I didn’t say anything. Did I expect someone to say it for me? Wouldn’t that make the Fat Fink the jerk? Hyperbole aside, others are fatter than me and others are thinner than me, so who cares? My weight is my business.

But, with this new-found fat awakening, I still care about comfort. So bring on the elastic waists! In fact, I’m planning on spending 2015 Sewing Things Only Using Tractables (new tag: STOUT). I might need to work on that acronym. But I’m trying to be more open to seeing the potential in the non-fitted.

Beginning with…

03 Mar16 skirt collage

Pattern: McCalls 3817 from EJVintageAvenue via etsy
Fabric: Garage sale (print) & B. Black & Sons (solid wool)

If you ask me, this is a prime example of look-at-the-technical-drawing-not-the-illustration. Look at that envelope! It looks like a fever dream set in an 80’s office!

03 Mar16 skirt patternBut there was something about the pencil skirt and the black a-line skirt that caught my eye. Pencil skirts have always been uncomfortable to me, but I can’t resist the sexy secretary look. A pencil skirt with stretchy sides, though? In a print to take the edge off the elastic waist? BOOM

03 Mar16 skirt side comparison

No zipper necessary, making this an excellent beginner pattern. PLUS, only one yard of 60″ wide fabric. The print fabric has a bit of a stretch, which also helps the comfort quotient. Can’t get enough of this skirt!

Bonus points, it’s the skirt version of a hat I made for my dad.

The pattern includes a kick-pleat in the back, but I decided to sew it up “for that streamlined look” (don’t know why that requires quotes, but it felt right).

03 Mar16 skirt backLooking at these pictures, you can see exactly on the seam where I decided “Screw the kickpleats!” so I might go back and readjust the back seams to make it a little more consistent (that’s not being perfectionist, right? Just detailed?). My S.O. assisted me in the photography for this post and of course, as I’m looking through the images, I come across this number:

03 Mar16 butt

I get the help I ask for.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to making the a-line version. Highly recommend! It’s just about as comfy as a new set of slippers…

Not much more to say here than what I said the first time I made these. I do have to say the marled look was not the original plan and instead a happy result of Shopping My Stuff. Didn’t quite have enough of any one yarn to knit these and used two instead. I’m loving my new (relatively) frugal self.

Since I’ve never been good at conclusions, especially when I start writing about something as personal and contentious as weight, I’ll simply offer a St. Paddy’s Day toast: To a cozy STOUT year!

Finished Project: Little Red Skirt

10 Oct25 red skirt collage

Pattern: Simplicity 2451, view D (+1/2)
Fabric: garage sale

I can’t imagine this is going to be a very long post. My Little Red Skirt was one of those projects that I whipped up without a problem. I got the fabric from a friend of a co-worker’s fabric garage sale back in 2008 or 2009. The woman was a fashion designer on top of that, so it was a magical garage indeed. She was selling vintage and new fabric for like $1 per yard and let’s just say I spent more than $50 there. Then, I became way too scared to use up most of the fabric I bought because that is a fear that I have. But I love those Sudden Clarity Clarence moments when I match a pattern to its fabric, which is what happened here.

10 Oct25 red skirt front

The fabric is so busy that I thought only a mini-skirt would do it justice. You may have noticed above that I used view “D 1/2.” The pattern offers a longer version with a vent and a mini version, cut off above the vent. I cut out the longer version so I could hem it at just the right length, and ended up with a mini vent in the back. Juuuuust right.

10 Oct25 red skirt back

The zipper!! I’ve had this stashed away for some time. It belonged to my step-grandma. She died when I was a baby, but my mom inherited her insane amount of sewing, knitting, and crafting supplies (THREE SEWING MACHINES) and I have spent the last decade pilfering these supplies from my mom.

10 Oct25 zipperEven though the fabric looks like a woven (and I guess it technically is, I don’t know these things), it has a substantial amount of stretch to it. Like any Mad Men fan, I love pencil skirts, but my baby-making hips make them feel too constraining. This pattern is great because it’s wider in the hips and then slims down at the hem, so not exactly a pencil skirt but close enough. The stretch in the fabric makes it that much more comfortable. I usually wear skirts that fit higher around my waist, but as long as I have pockets, I am a happy skirt-wearing camper.

10 Oct25 red skirt