violet month, dahlia preview, and some outfit planning!

hello friends! I’ve been busy this past week. I finished my very first computer build and IT WORKS!! so you can expect more updates since I won’t be working solely on my dinky chromebook [sorry chromebook you know I still love you]. if any of you are into computers, you can check out my pcpartpicker list. unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, save for a quick instagram of the monitor when it finally turned on. I’ve been working on this computer for months, and just about everything that can go wrong did go wrong so I was SO ready to just get it going!
well, you’re here for crafts, not computers! although building a computer is kind of a craft..ANYWAY
I also dug out my camera and tripod, so I have some nice photos for you all! “nice” in the sense that they aren’t mirror shots with my phone..they’re still taken in my crappily-lit room that is a total mess after cleaning out my desk for the aforementioned computer..and I don’t have any photo editing software loaded up yet, so you’ll have to deal with uncropped/unfixed photos.
deal with it

so the coletterie announced January is violet month, which is awesome since I’ve had that pattern sitting in my stash for a while! I kicked myself into gear and made a muslin, since 1. muslins are important and 2. I’m not a huge fan of loosey goosey blouses so I wanted to make it more form-fitting. I was inspired by the lovely fit on Lauren’s swiss dot violet and Lilly’s vintage floral violet, and Jane’s polka dot violet made me realize how badly I need more polka dots in my life. quick side note: the sewing blogger community is so fabulous. seriously, all I do is stalk everyone’s blog and drool over your gorgeous makes and take notes on pattern alterations/fabric choices/your amazing life. SORRY NOT SORRY
back to my violet! the muslin went together quickly and easily, however after I cut everything out I realized I probably didn’t need to muslin the whole facing? but whatever, it’s good practice for the ~real deal~. I had my mom pin me into the blouse [thanks for not stabbing me mom!] and..well, see for yourself!

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I cut a size 2, going off the finished measurements rather than my own. to my surprise, the front fit fine! I was expecting to add in some vertical front darts, but they’re not necessary. as for the back..

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in the picture it doesn’t look TOO bad, but there’s all kinds of room in there. I kept hearing about “sway back adjustments” in blouses and pants and stuff and had no idea what they were..my weird brain was picturing someone overly exaggerating swaying their butt while struttin’ down the street. some quick googling learned me a thing, AND NOW I’M AN EXPERT. jk. my back poof is more vertical than horizontal though, so I’m going to just take a vertical wedge out of the back. I’m sure it also has something to do with the gathering into the yoke, which I can’t decide whether I want to keep or not. I was never a fan of gathers; I converted the ones in my dahlia to soft pleats [which you’ll see in a minute!]
the sleeve, however, is too tight. I have that problem in a few RTW blouses, probably because of my massive biceps [ha]! so I stopped at the one sleeve, and I’ll try sewing the other with a smaller seam allowance and see if that works. if not, I’ll just stick a wedgie in there. the armpit area is fine, just the sleeve opening is a bit constricting!
oh and I almost forgot, the FABRIC! unfortunately I didn’t take a picture, so you’ll have to use your imagination. when I was at JoAnn’s picking up muslin for Sam’s coat a while back, I was perusing the aisles and came across this adorable white cotton with small black flocked polka dots. I made a mental note to find something to do with it before I bought any [yay restraint], and when I decided to make violet I knew exactly what to use! I also picked up some plain black kona cotton for the collar, since contrast collars are fun. as for the buttons, I grabbed some plain shiny black shank buttons. I almost went for satin-covered buttons..but then, I didn’t? I dunno, I just liked the other ones better!

so my dahlia still sits as it did last time I posted, but now I have PICTURES! it should be complete soon though; I found an invisible zipper foot on amazon, and in order to get free shipping I had to get $35 worth of stuff. so I picked up the colette sewing handbook! everything arrived yesterday while I was busy setting up computer stuff, so I could only skim through the handbook. but hopefully this weekend I’ll rip out that ugly zipper and resew it PERFECTLY, YEAH! onto the photos!

awkward angle..'sup

awkward angle..’sup

detail shot! topstitching on the yoke isn't perfect..but yolo

detail shot! topstitching on the yoke isn’t perfect..but yolo

oh god..that zipper..that uneven waist..IT BUUURNS

oh god..that zipper..that uneven waist..IT BUUURNS

well, my plaid matching could use some [a lot] of work. which is part of the reason why I went for colourblocking in the first place..I knew I’d fuck it up. as you can see, I still need to gather up the neckline; that should tighten things up there. and that zipper..it’s not nearly as bad as my very first attempt at an invisible zipper, which I should dig out and show you guys. seriously, it’s hilariously awful.
I feel like the center panels on the skirt could be well, centered more. the way the plaid falls kind of bugs me. but oh well! live and learn. I’m super happy with everything else; length is good, sleeves are comfortable, and the fabrics work together.

while at work earlier, I found a good housekeeping magazine at the desk. [to provide some context; I work 2nd shift at the front desk in a retirement home. obviously other people work at this desk and all of our reading materials/snacks/crossword puzzles tend to be shared!] I didn’t have anything else to do, so I was flipping through it and came across a blurb on midi skirts. the first photo [below] reminded me of the newly released oakridge blouse from sewaholic patterns!
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I was inspired to make a similar outfit. I’ve never really made croquis before, so I whipped out my sketchbook and wung it. here’s the result:
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the inspiration outfit has a pleated brown pleather skirt, but I hate browns so I’m thinking of a black hollyburn skirt [also by sewaholic!] since I own that pattern already. as for the blouse, I know I literally JUST said I don’t like loosey goosey things but I really like the look of the flowy bow! I’ve been looking at blue chambray, but I should pull out my wardrobe palette and pick something from there. once I get home, I’m going to add some colour! I always see beautiful watercolour croquis, but I don’t know if I even have any watercolours anymore.

so friends, that’s what I’ve been up to! my resolution for completing a garment a month is lookin’ good, the dahlia will definitely be done by the end of January, if not the violet as well! yay~

disclaimer: any products linked in this post are NOT affiliate links or whatever those things are where I get money if you buy stuff after clicking ’em. just sharing what I got in case you wanna get stuff too!

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dahlia progress

hello friends! long time no see. it seems like this blog is looking like more of a monthly thing rather than a weekly one like I planned..it’s okay, I have an excuse! the wifi has STILL been down at work, and as I mentioned before that’s where I do most of my internetting. but we got a new router, so hopefully it’s back for good!
first off, what have I been up to? my dahlia is SO CLOSE to being done. I made a second muslin after recutting a size 6 all around, and it was still doing weird stuff. I was pinching all over the place trying to figure out what to do, when I pinched out the sleeve seam and EVERYTHING FELL INTO PLACE. seriously, it was like magic. suddenly the shoulders were fine, the yoke went into the right spot, everything. it was amazing. here’s my before and after pinning picture:

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LOOK HOW PERF

LOOK HOW PERF

so I figured out I needed a narrow shoulder adjustment. fixed the pattern pieces, and because I was getting impatient I didn’t bother making another muslin. I got right onto making the final dress! [actually that’s a lie. the second muslin sat for a while, then I made the adjustment on the pattern and thAT sat for a while, then I traced and cut new pattern pieces and those sat for a while..]

I got as far as putting in the zipper, but I don’t have an invisible zipper foot so it didn’t come out as nice as I would have liked it. I banged out the whole construction up to that point in a day so I was frustrated with it and put it aside..and of course, haven’t picked it up since. I documented most of the construction in a snapchat story, which is actually super fun and neat to see the whole thing go together. I saved most of the photos to post here, but there are a few holes.
I also saved most of the photos before captioning them, so I will try to remember and recreate..photo dump ahead:

all cut out and ready to go!

all cut out and ready to go!

dahlia fuckup #1

dahlia fuckup #1


dahlia fuckup #1..I always manage to sew at least one seam like this. seam rippers are your friend!

this is the point in which I realized I did a narrow shoulder adjustment on the bodice pieces bUT NOT THE SLEEVES. trying to sew the sleeve to the front bodice and finding a whole inch of extra fabric at the end was not fun. after much cursing, I made the adjustments and cut out new sleeves. always buy extra fabric, friends!

everything lines up!!

everything lines up!!


not pictured: I fucked up that same seam as in the previous picture. fuck me, right?

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the gray suiting frays like a bitch and a half, so I used the mock-overlock on my machine. I wish my serger wasn’t dead :c

grading seams is messy. D+

grading seams is messy. D+

bodice completed!

bodice completed!

hahahahahaha fuck you side seam

hahahahahaha fuck you side seam

invisible zippers are scary

invisible zippers are scary

and that’s all I got. somehow the picture of the mostly completed dress got lost, too.

I was going to also post about my new year’s resolution and what else I’ve been working on, but this is gearing up to be a large post so I think I’ll split it up!

see you soon, friends!

dahlia sewalong – part two

hello again, friends! it’s been a while. I’ve had a crazy month filled with crazy happenings–both good and bad–so I apologize for my absence. mainly the wifi has been down at work, and that’s where I do most of my blogging! unfortunately, the insanity has cut into my sewing time so I haven’t made too much progress on my dahlia. I did make a muslin, though! I haven’t made a muslin since my senior prom dress back in 2010. I know it’s a great habit to get into, but I’m impatient! I do plan on making muslins much more often now, hopefully I’ll stick to it!
anyway, I’m very glad I made a muslin for my dahlia because I need to make some adjustments. I also noticed a few goofs I made: when I cut the paper pattern, instead of grading the bodice from a 4 to a 6 at the waist, I had cut a straight 4. so I ended up grading the waist yoke as a temporary fix, which kind of goofed up my muslin a bit. I also didn’t actually grade the skirt pieces like I planned [late night pattern cutting is bad for you!], but that was an easy fix.
so! here’s a dinky phone mirror pic of my bodice muslin. please excuse my tummy, I haven’t done the skirt muslin yet.

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I have some gapey shoulder thing going on, which will hopefully be fixed with the neckline gathering. it’s a bit large in the bust [I don’t like ease, like, at all.] but it’s tight in the back and arms. here’s an awkward photo of the back I took with a potato:

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looking at the photos it doesn’t really seem bad, but it’s tough to get in and out of..mostly out of. I have to pull it inside out over my head and my shoulders pop and it’s not fun. I actually have that problem in a good amount of clothing I own..I don’t know what that means though. broad shoulders? large high bust? I’ll have to look into that. anyway, I plan on re-cutting the bodice in a size 6 and doing a small bust adjustment [which sounds weird to me since I’m used to, ahem, busting out of most clothing]. I’m not used to adjusting patterns for fit; I usually either sew patterns straight or [more often than not] make up my own “patterns” and wing it as I go. which is useful for the knits I usually work with, but dealing with unforgiving wovens following a specific pattern is another story!
so that’s as far as I’ve gotten in the month or so of this sewalong. great progress, huh?! that’s how I do.
I have, however, bought three new patterns and am planning a fully tailored peacoat for the boy. I’m real good at planning, and buying things.

dahlia sewalong – part one

hello friends!

I’ve been (im)patiently awaiting the next sewalong post¬†on fit and cutting, so I could make any adjustments/grading before I started cutting up my pattern. I plan on making version one, although I prefer the skirt on version two so I might switch it up. I’m a newbie at adjusting patterns, so I don’t want to mess anything up! I’ve only ever sewn straight sizes, even though I prefer much less ease than what is generally given. I absolutely noticed it in a dress I made from simplicity 2886. I only wore it a couple times, since it fit so weird, and then one of the straps broke and I haven’t been bothered to fix it.

anyway! I picked a fabric from my stash for this adorable dress; it’s from back when I worked at JoAnn’s and bought just about any plaid fabric that I saw. it’s a medium weight plaid suiting in lavender, grey, and a bit of shimmery metallic silver. I never wrote down anything about the fabrics I bought, but I think it’s some sort of poly blend. it’s pretty soft, with a slight stretch to it. here’s a potato picture under incandescent light:

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I can’t find it on the website; I bought it over 5 years ago and I’m pretty sure it was from one of the featured spring collections. I only bought 2 1/2 yards of it though, so I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to make it work since dahlia calls for 2 1/8, plus the extra for matching plaids. I was hoping once I cut out the pattern I could finagle it, but I much prefer the fuller version 2 skirt and I wasn’t sure how that would look with the plaid. after showing the pattern to one of the residents here at the senior home, she suggested colour blocking and ideas started flowing! I’ll need to pick up a solid fabric, probably in a charcoal grey. my plan is to cut the bodice, waistband yoke, and skirt center panels in the plaid, and the sleeves and skirt side panels in the solid grey. here’s a quick ‘n dirty sketch I did over the pattern line drawings to get a feel for how it’d look (again, sorry for potato quality. I’m at work and only have my cell phone camera on me!):

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tonight I’ll be making adjustments and cutting out the paper pattern, and hopefully will get started on a muslin tomorrow. as my first sewalong, and the first pattern I’ve used in a while, I really want this to be perfect!

later, friends!