Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter of Wearable Shirts: #1

Welcome to the first garment of the winter of wearable shirts! I need tops that are easy to wear, don't look sloppy, and are easy to clean. I've got six planned in total and am excited to throw out the holey, stretched, and pilled shirts that they will be replacing.

I've always loved eyelets, but they can end up way too cutesy for my liking. In need of inspiration I turned to google with the search term 'edgy eyelet' and found this beauty. Then The Fabric Store sent out an email showing all their stunning eyelets and I had to have some. I found this geometric, blue cotton beauty. I wanted white, but I wanted something with straight lines to make adding the insets smoother so navy it is. The insets and lining is light silk-cotton, also from The Fabric Store. Then I saw Pattern Review's Bargainista Fashionista contest and moved this project up to the front of the queue.

I used Simplicity 1366, but I belled out the sleeves and added more room at the center to make room for my ample bosom. The finished measurements on the pattern felt a bit...suffocating. I eyeballed where to add the insets, but I find when one's chest is larger, higher insets give the impression of perkier boobs. I actually had a lot of fun putting this together, it was all a big experiment. I wasn't going to add an inset to the back, but after cutting I found a huge imperfection in the eyelet and was worried that the shirt wouldn't last past a couple of wearings which would have rocketed me into a fit of depression.

I was going to make the insides so beautiful with bound seams but I ended up running out of the lining fabric because I had to double-layer it for modesty so only the shoulder seams and sleeve seams are bound, the armcycles and side-seams are pressed open and serged in navy. The neckline is bias bound as part of the pattern.

I adore this shirt. I love the dropped shoulders and the boat neck and the loose fit. Its one of the few woven shirts that actually fit without making me feel like the Hulk about to rip every seam. How awesome would this look with a pair of high-waisted white Gingers?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Patterns: Vogue Spring 2015

I'm traveling for work and have long, lonely nights to myself. Judgements!

This batch of patterns is kinda dishwater dull, but there are two that I really like.

Vogue 1440
This yoke gives me life! I'm making this with a white front/yoke and a black back to really emphasize that point. I could leave the rest of the pieces though.

Vogue 1437
Love this whole outfit...almost. That top is fantastic, I adore loosely draped tops and with a wrap too, sign me up! This skirt is fantastic, color block, slit, weird-ass ties. Wait, weird-ass ties? Fiance thinks they look like the orthodox jewish string-things and I think they look like they could blind a child standing close if you turn around too fast. I know fringe is a trend this season, but you need more than two 'fringes' to really count as fringe.

So if I buy anything from Vogue, I'll buy these two.

Onto the, 'let's just say these aren't for me.'

Vogue 1435
She's so pretending she's Nicole Kidman right now.

Vogue 1432
Whoa, gotta respect that seaming detail, musta been a bitch of a pattern to draft. Have fun adjusting this for different bust sizes.

Vogue 1434
For all the fanfare Vogue was making about Mizrahi's first pattern in a long time, this is bad. So so so juvenile. Photoshop out the model and put in a child and this is a lovely Easter dress. But for an adult women who is legally allowed to consume alcohol, this is sad. Also after Mizrahi's 'is the moon a planet or a star' moronic drivel, I can't even.

Vogue 9096
For the distinguished karate madame.

Vogue 1431
This looks like a fitted drum major uniform, I should know, I was a drum major. Band nerd forever!

Vogue 9077
I actually really like this one, but only with the contrasting bands, without them its just a shirt-dress. The extension of the constrast into the collar makes this really special. I have a feeling this is a ripoff though, it looks familiar.

Vogue 9091
Incontrovertible proof that Vogue follows Lily Sage & Co. (I love her fearless style)

Vogue 1442
She got her dress caught in her underwear and they forgot to photoshop it out! Heads are going to roll in the Vogue Pattern offices.

Vogue 1438
Back that thing up, gurl.

Vogue 1433
Ok so I have this weird thing where a movie comes out and I could swear up and down that it came out a year or two ago. I can remember the red carpet and the commercials for it, but people just call me crazy. This dress has already come out right? Fabric and all? I'm from the future, shhhh

Vogue 1436
So boring I'm falling asleep.


Friday, January 9, 2015


Originally conceived as a light summer sweater to wear while watching the sun set in the cool evening breezes of the Hawaiian islands, this monstrosity holds none of that poetic promise.

Gargantuan is loosely based off Pickles Good-Morning Sweater, I say that because they only offer one size for free and being the cheap fuck I am, refused to buy my size. Now I'm pretty good at sewing, I can riff pretty well, hell I can even pull off some baking improv, but I do NOT have the experience under my belt for knitting improvisation. So I went for it, like the idiot I am. No fear! The first incarnation of gargantuan ended up being about 4 times my circumference, yes gargantuan was preceded by colossus. Colossus was frogged for that reason and there was no yarn left for sleeves. Just the world's biggest sleeveless sweater.

I used Blue Sky Alpaca worsted cotton which feels amazing, like velvet. I purchased from Jimmy Beans which has the best customer service ever. Brick and mortar yarn stores always seem to be manned by the snarliest women so I generally buy all my yarn online. Plus if Jimmy Beans does not have a picture of a certain color, they put up a picture of one of their dogs. That makes them good people in my book.

My main problem with gargantuan is the neckline. Nope not the giant sleeves, I like those although they ended up a tad or two bigger than intended, nor the giant body, its the neckline that really gets my goat. Its too high and too tight. Being a lady who likes sweaters that don't choke me, I'm going to do something about my predicament. I wanted to get pictures up before I ruin this thing because I'm performing never before attempted (at least by me) sweater surgery. I have grosgrain ribbon which I'll sew to the sweater at the neckline I want, cut away what I don't want, then turn and sew. I'm essentially bias binding the sweater.

I'll probably ruin gargantuan and I've already thought of several reasons why this won't work, but its better than never wearing my beautiful behemoth.

Oh yeah, I went to Hawaii almost a year ago, so that didn't work out.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New McCalls Patterns: Spring 2015

I'm kinda over dresses at the moment, so these aren't setting me on fire or anything.

McCalls 7088
I love Trace Reese, but I don't love boob conforming seams. I saw a dress very similar to this recently where the underboob region was white and the upperboob was black. Like a big white arrow pointing up. With just one fabric, you don't see the seam so that's ok, but what's the point? Does it give a better fit?

McCalls 7081
Candy striper! My god that is some impressive stripe matching. STANDING OVATION!

McCalls 7084
Same pose, its Swirly Striped Skirt Spring! I like this one better, its more flattering. Now I know that the pattern companies, McCalls especially, paying attention to the blog world. So its nice (and smart commercially) that they are following what the audience wants, ie. shirt dresses, all the shirtdresses! Then again, with that information they do some not so nice stuff too (see below).

McCalls 7100
Hey, its the Rigel...

McCalls 7080
With some faded plaid and floppy boots, this would be perfect for a Nirvana concert. Wait, what year is it?

McCalls 7090
Stop making patterns for this dress, please!

McCalls 7082
Shit just got real.

McCalls 7089
Whoa, that's a turnaround! I'm trying to understand the story here and what I'm getting is that her dog ran away and all she's got left is his leash. She wants to run after him, but her damn legs won't break free from their cage. We all know where the dog went.

I used to be a doginatrix and now look at me.
McCalls 7087
1960's Betty Rubble. That collar is too damn big.

McCalls 7086
My word that's unflattering. Why do you have to pose like this if you're in something 50's inspired. Were all women then walking with pointed toes and horizontal hands?

McCalls 7094
I was looking into hacking the Archer in something like this, but maybe I'm just a trend hag. Thoughts?

McCalls 7099
Well isn't someone off to a fabulous day of stripping down to nothing in a filthy public bathroom.

McCalls 7093
Go ahead and put some thing in the pocket of a crepe de Chine, charmeuse, chiffon, or georgette t-shirt, we'll see how practical it is then.

McCalls 7097
Have a happy Swirly Striped Skirt Spring!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Archer: Numbre Trois

Let me tell you a story, its called Buttons are Traitors. A few revolutions around the Sun ago I had to go to the bank. I was wearing a cute button-down I got from one of Target's fancy designer series collections, blue, fancy bib detail. I liked that shirt, I thought I had a good rapport with that shirt. There were about 6 people in line so I waited and while I was waiting I noticed an old man staring at me. I mean gross staring. In my head I said, Hey you dirty perv, why don't you stare at something else, you're mother is ashamed of you, I bet no woman has ever loved you. In my head I was mean to him, I don't like gross old men gaping at me. Once I got to the front of the line I reached for my purse to get my bank stuff and when I looked down I saw. I saw that my purse strap had unbuttoned my shirt. Down. To. My. Navel. Perv had every right to stare, I was standing half undressed in the middle of Bank of America. Buttons and I have had an uneasy relationship since then, very untrusting, I get out of the car, leave the house, take of a jacket, I do the button test which essentially involves feeling up my chest in public to make sure the spacing between buttons is even, if there's too much I know disaster has struck.
Then a light shown down upon me while reading blogs, people were waxing poetic about snaps. Snaps, I thought, snaps that don't betray, could this be my salvation?

This is my third archer. I wanted a textured black fabric so I bought this black, burnout polka dot cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics. Its not black, its black and navy and it changes from black with navy dots to navy with black dots in a pattern making pattern placement kinda a bitch. Also, its not cotton, its def got some poly in that as it burns under the iron pretty fast and doesn't wrinkle a bit. These pictures were taken minutes after pulling the shirt out from luggage and no ironing. It also attracts fuzz likes its going to a fuzz party.

Not a great picture, but you can see the change in the polka dot pattern.

For Archer Trois, I went with the butt ruffle. I gotta say, I'm a big fan of the butt ruffle. Business up front, ruffle in the back, baby. Things to note, the ruffle gives a hem a much deeper curve so its not as easy as a hem as the non-ruffled version. Also, the pattern for the ruffled upper back (not yoke) doesn't include a pleat and it turns out my double-wide shoulders really like the room provided by the pleat so this puppy is a bit tight in the back.

I really like the extra long sleeves in the Archer pattern, at least on me. I like when my sleeves go to mid-hand. Maybe it looks a bit sloppy, but it feels good. I also finally got the absolute perfect placement of the closures which I wasn't able to for my first two Archers. 

And finally, the snaps. They are perfect. I haven't had a snap incident yet and all pervy men have been kept in their place. Archer, the perfect snapdown shirt.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Today's ripoff is a bit old, I'm getting slow!

Vogue 8805
Vogue 8805 is a super popular, super cute dress. Its also pretty basic, so maybe, just maybe its a coincidence that its look a lot like....

This Preen dress! I mean for heavens sake, they choose a similar color story, its not a coincidence.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Patterns: Butterick Winter 2014

I wasn't going to post these until I say B6151 so let's start with that one.

Butterick 6151

The neck brace, the straps, what the hell is that zipper thing? This pattern seems to think that boobs are dangerous velociraptors plotting to break out of their cage and devour their handlers. Why else would someone think that four straps or two layers of zips are necessary?

Butterick 6128
Butterick's trying to get some of that wrap dress fairy dust that is floating around the blogosphere. The magic of the wrap are the curves it gives (or enhances on) the body but this one isn't giving her anything. The maxi-wrap is a bit first-lady (not Michelle, she's too cool) -esque.

Butterick 6127
Comeon, just call it the Princess Kate line.
AKA, the knock-off of LK Bennett line. 

Butterick 6131
Heavens me that's cheap. Please don't put your bridesmaid in this.

Butterick 6143
Hips gathers? Maybe if you're a twiggy twig-person.

Butterick 6130
Just stop making jumpsuit patterns. Its been done and done better.