Top it Off

My inspiration for today was this little gem:

Yep, that’s the cover picture for the pattern that I used. It reminds me of when my mom would try and speak in slang back in high school.  Everything hurts for so many different reasons.  Close to being right, but so terribly, terribly wrong.  Oh McCall’s 6566, what hath thee stylists done to you?

Anyway, somehow I was able to look past this pattern’s cover charm and made myself a quick little top:

I picked up a couple of yards of dotted lace at a fabric sale.  I imagine I’ll use it for the top half of a Macaron or Ava sometime in the near distant future.  For now I can’t handle starting something that I don’t think I can finish in less than 3 hours.

She’s not so perfect, but it sure was fun to make a see though top. The sleeves are a bit off. I can’t put my finger on it but something is slightly wrong.

At least I started and finished it on Sunday.  I didn’t really follow the directions so I had to make the shoulder seems a tad lower in order to make the neckline work.  I think it turned out fairly ok.  I’ll keep you updated on the wearability.

Back on that Horse

I know, I’ve been gone for quite some time. Things got a little crazy with traveling and work and then traveling again ,and I became a little burnt out on real life and anything that had to do with not sleeping or ‘achieving goals.’ So over rated.

It didn’t help that I bit off a little more than I could chew with a few different projects I had going at once. One of which I can’t figure out how the h-e-double hockey sticks to put together (the Chantilly) and what the heck I should line it with :/  All this lead up to a big giant road block that I couldn’t seem to hope over.

So I came up with a game plan: hop back on that horse.  Best way to do that? A super awesome easy-peasey pattern that will boost my self-esteem and get me sewing again.  Insert:  Wiksten’s tank top + dress sewing pattern (here).  She released it as a PDF and I just HAD to get it (that instant gratification always gets me.  but then it’s followed by cutting out and taping tons of paper together, which slightly lessens the satisfaction).

The pattern is super easy and flattering.  A front, a back, a pocket and a little bias tape.  That’s it! It just reeks of ‘please make multiple copies of me!’

I made the dress version with a few slight changes. I added an inch and a half to the length because, as they say, I ‘got legs for days.’  I also lined the dress, as the material was a little see-though.  I think it turned out pretty swell. The fabric is some weird synthetic blend of sorts, but I really like the colors.  I plan on wearing this at Coachella in a few weeks.


With a little help from daylight savings time and my favorite cooking/brownie-eating partner we have an actual picture of me in something I made. Yay!

And here’s me trying to take a picture of myself (classic):

There’s going to be a few more of these in the future, that’s for sure.  I’m thinking one with a lace back, and another that I can try out a little block printing technic on.  And possibly a third in chambray with a pocket.

I feel better.  It’s good to be back.

Pop Champagne

I went to Stitches West today with one of my favorite crafting buddies. We poked around the stalls and I picked up a few wonderful skeins of yarn that some day just may turn into socks that end up talked about ’round here. But let’s be real that won’t be for a few months. I also grabbed some lovely heavy weight black stone buttons.  One of them, see below, I thought would be just dandy for a cocktail ring.  I dug up an old ring that lost it’s stone long ago.  Which was a shame, I picked it up for 2 euros at a Flea Market in Italy and it was a really pretty big teal stone (and by stone I mean hung of some sort of unrecognizable man made material).

Having glued that darn stone on quite a few times I knew better than to try that again.  I thought I could put the button loop to good use and nix the glue.

So I got out my trusty old Dremel and went to town drilling a hole in the center of the ring base. I ended up with this:

Well, that wasn’t part of the plan. Yep, I popped that cheep little ring off its cheep little platform.  It’s a good thing that I’m better with pliers and wire then I am at taking not-blurry pictures.  A few twists and turns and five minutes later I’ve got this little gem:

A cocktail ring no academy would be proud of.  While this might not get me into any highbrow after-parties, it sure is fun.  I just hope that it’s sturdy enough to not fall apart on me again.  I thought I had some E-6000 glue around to help secure things a little more, but I couldn’t find it.

Next up: Two of my cousins are both expecting little bundles of joy sometime this summer. Better get crackin on some baby blankets.  Unfortunately my taste is nothing close to adorable babyness, so I might need to stretch my boundaries a little bit.

You can’t always make what you want.

Some weeks you make something super awesome.  Some weeks you go to Mardi Gras.

Yes, true, I could have planed ahead, and the truth is I did.  Last weeks project was supposed to be a pretty little Colette Pattern number in the following fabric:

– omg i just love it some much i might die –

And this week I was supposed to wrap up the toe of those socks. But that didn’t happen. I didn’t finish that dress and instead I made this for “this weeks” project:


And let me tell you.  Pretty darn useful.  Much better than my cards just floating around willy nilly in my handbag.  Yes I said handbag.  Yes I’m 75.

So like the title reads, You can’t always make what you want… but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you make what you need.

*I ment to post this Monday, but then I got food poisoning and couldn’t look at my computer for 30 hours and got behind at work. Awesome Sauce.

Coral me Happy

If you didn’t know it, I have a slight obsession with the color coral.  This should have been the coral themed month.

This week I finished up another pair of long awaited socks.  I can’t wait to wear them all the time.  The pattern is from Purl Bee, they’re called perfect fit socks and baby they weren’t kidding.  These are a dream to wear. I never wanna take them off.  I bought the pattern and yarn when I was in NYC a few months ago at the famed Purl Bee store in Soho.  Cutest little store ever.  So glad it’s not in my town or this girl would be in trouble.

The ingredients:


I added a little cable stich in so that I didn’t get to board just knit-knit purl-purling my way though the pattern.  They alternate rows every 15 rounds, but I wish I’d gone for 10, oh well.  The cables also helped me to keep track of how far I had to go.

  • Week: Six
  • Started: Thanksgiving 2011
  • Completed: February 12th
  • Percent done before 2012: %49.9
  • Point: 1

And she barly slides in with a point.  I give you exhibit 1:

This is what was completed as of January 1st.  I thankfully had left the toe to stich up so that it would be just under %50 complete.

I started these socks at Thanksgiving.  We were at my grandpa’s and I was supposed to be knitting up these bad boys for my mom for Christmas, but of course couldn’t knit the in front of her.

Somehow I finished up most of the first sock while we were in LA.  My mom’s I wrapped up Christmas Eve.  What can I say, I like to keep it close to the wire.

So Nice She Made it Twice

Sure, I should branch out more, try new things, see new places.  But sometimes you just wanna go to that restaurant you’ve been to a thousand times and order that thing you love because you just know it’s never going to let you down. And it’s not worth the risk.  Risks are great and risks are good, but risks are for next week.  This girl needs some comfort food, especially  after last weeks disaster of a fitting technique.

So this week I revisited the egg-drop-soup-shirt pattern I made up a few weeks ago.  This time, however, I used some fancy new techniques that I’ve always been too lazy to try.  And you know, I think it made everything a tad easier.  Turns out Ms. Sarai from Colette patterns was right! How dare I doubt.

Look! I even took working pictures:

I copied the pattern onto paper! Which, I’ll have you know, makes it a dream to cut out using my rotary cutter. I might need to do this step more often…

All was going so well, and beautiful.  The top was basically done and it was Sunday evening and I was feeling so accomplished! And then I did this:

Son.of.a.beep.  Yep, I caught the center of my sleeve in my surger when I was sewing up the armhole.  You’re welcome.   After that I decided I needed to take a little 24 hour break to mentally get back in shape before I ripped off the sleeve, cut a new one (it was so easy with my paper pattern piece!) and sewed it back on.  

And whabam! Shirt done!


*Pictures have been taken in daylight hours.

I made a few changes, mainly shortening the sleeves and sewing a 5/8 inch seam around the collar and ties and not a 1/2 inch seam like the first shirt.

  • Week: Five
  • Started: February 1st
  • Completed: February 6th
  • Point: 1
  • Will She Wear It: totally, though I wish I had made the ties and colar a little thicker
*Update: I like the colar and ties size better now, but I do wish I had trimmed the seem allowance so that they draped better.

Other things I did this week:

Remember how I heart deer?  Well I’ve had this Echino oilcloth fabric for quite sometime and, I needed a quick one-night-stand sort of project.  So I made up one medium sized origami bag from Amy Butler’s book:

I already have  a set of 5 matching bags.  And then another set of two matching bags for my make up, and then I made a set pf 5 matching bags for my Aunt for Christmas.

(one of five)

So I have a problem. Whatever.

Sew up and Dye

Next time I think I’ll make a muslin.  I’m so against them and most Colette patterns whip up just fine as long as I use my correct size (cough cough).

My thoughts when I first finished: Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever sewn up something this bad in years. YEARS.  And that includes the time I made a scarf with a detachable hood (we all make mistakes).

I’m not sure exactly how I was able to do everything so wrong.  I think part of it might have to do with the fact that I really should have sized the bodice down, as I originally thought when cutting it out. OR when I sewed up the bodice and tried it on, I could have done it then, Or you know, a number of other times.  I (mistakenly) thought that is wouldn’t need as many fitting fixes as it was a wrap dress. Wrong.

So here are the things that went wrong: Size, style, fit, possibly even construction

Things that went right: fabric?

Ok, granted it looks not as terrible on my mannequin.  But let’s face it, I’m not quite built like her, and it looked like a wretched awful mess on me.  Fitting issues we’re the main problem, but also this style isn’t really my jam.


Gross. It looks like it was made up by a ADHD kid wearing a blindfold.

Here we have the humble beginnings of the monstrosity above. I’m not sure why I bought this fabric, it’s a white with blue dotted swiss fabric that’s far to sweet. But it turned out to be lovely once I dyed it dark gray. And yes, I spent the time to dye an ill fitting dress a different color.

I must say, I almost gave up.  But I said no, we can get though this.  I have a blog post to do tonight! So I did what any good seamstress would do, I took out my seam ripper and tore the dress apart to just about nothing. Then I tried to fix the fit without completely starting over.  I would have, don’t get me wrong, but I dyed the fabric gray (after I started the dress, but before finishing it).  So that way I wouldn’t have any extra material in the correct gray. Best.Idea.Ever.  Next time dye at the end, or the beginning.  Or just dye some extra fabric, for giggles.

Alterations I made to the dress; I took in the side seams, shortened the bodice, shortened the back (where the ties come out of), moved down the shoulder seams, and connected the facing to the body with some iron on double sided tape. And after all that, It still has some fit issues.  But it’s done, gosh darn it!

  • Week: Four
  • Started: January 24th
  • Completed: January 29th
  • Percent done before 2012: 0
  • Point: 1Time: Far too long
  • Wear again: Not out of the house.  It’ll be a good lounge around in heels dress, you know, because I do that, all the time.

Things I’d do differently next time: make a muslin, shorten the bodice, go a size (or two) down in the top, make the scoop neck version, move the pockets up.

The final version is alright. Nothing I’m proud of, it’s still a little big in the top and it slips off my shoulders a little. I realized far too late that Gertie did a crepe sew along a bit ago.  Upon rereading I’ve realized how I could have avoided many of my fitting mistakes.  C’est la vie.

I did do some cleaning in the dress this afternoon, however, so at least I got a little use out of the garment.

* this post has far too many words.