Tag Archives: Stripes

The Whirly Twirly Girl Skirt

While I made both of the garments on display in this post, I’ve named the post itself after the skirt, and I think you will know why when you see the photos.

Sometimes you see an idea on the internet and despite all of your attempts to not be a pure unadulterated consumerist, (by the way, how was your me made may? I learned a lot about my outfit patterns and gave away some things I never touch, which was great!), you just hear a voice in your head whisper gimme. And this skirt tutorial from By Hand London was 100% one of those things.

Link in photo!

 

No matter how many years I celebrate, 32 this July, yay! (I love my birthday!!!) or how many times my mother gives me the “stop dressing like a little girl” look, I love a ruffle. Dammit, I do! Is that okay? Can I be a feminist if I love ruffles? Yes, of course I can. But why have ruffles become so gendered? I mean, look at the way men USED to dress:

I mean, come on. That’s some hard core manly ruffle right there. That’s DOPE. How did this happen? Why didn’t men fight back? Who doesn’t want to feel so fancy? How did we come to THIS:

Ah, well, their loss. Perhaps in this age of openness in the realm of sexuality and gender we can somehow return to a more egalitarian ruffle space. We can only hope. But for now, I love a good ruffle, and that doesn’t compromise my plans to tear down the patriarchy, but it does mean that when I twirl I look amazing!

RIIIGHT? Ah, a good twirl, who doesn’t love it?

Weeeeee!

I used the tutorial to make this skirt, and it couldn’t be easier. It’s also, by the way, a total fabric hog. I eked this out of three meters of  58 inch wide striped fabric from Thakur and as you can see, the ruffle is no where near as ruffly as it could be, so, well, I guess my mother will be happy.

Still, I was able to play with the directionality of the stripes, which I love. I get a lot of compliments on this skirt when I wear it which is always a good sign (although I dress for ME!).

The shirt is a Deer and Doe Plantain, in an organic cotton knit from Fabric.com, and that’s all there is to say about that, I mean, it’s a knit cotton t-shirt, I’ve made a bunch of them, whatcha gonna say about it, yeah you could buy it at H and M or whatever but it takes me, like, two hours to make from cut to hem.

The bow in the back is a cute touch. Love it. Love this skirt! I don’t really have that much to say about it but what’s-his-face got some great photos of me so….what else are blogs for?

Twirl! Twirl! Twirl! It’s very hard for me to not do this everywhere I go in this skirt.

I made it midi length which I like, despite my height. I’ve been over this on my maxi and wide legged pants journeys, but it’s still so tempting to live by old fashion rules. Whatever, I can’t possibly find this dowdy, I mean, it’s too fun!

Ah, this skirt. I recommend that you make one for yourself, should you so desire. Obviously don’t dip into consumerism or do it if it compromises your sense of your feminist journey, but sometimes, that little gimme voice is right. You might need this thing in your life. I know I do…

 

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Filed under By Hand London, Deer and Doe, Sewing

The Easy Being Green Dress

Ever since I started sewing, Black Friday has taken on a strange feeling for me. I’ve never been all that into Black Friday, honestly, my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas because….Judaism, so I never needed to take advantage of the sales to make sure I have gifts for everyone. But since I started sewing, even though I got into it because it seemed fun, I think quite differently about consumption and buying and the impact of my buying choices. Of course, some might say that I’ve shifted my commerce from clothing to FABRIC but these are lies, lies I say! No, I am trying not to buy fabric unless it’s for a specific project, which is HARD, people, I swear. Anyway, regardless of my fabric consumption which depending on who you talk to is minimal (me) to out of control (Mr. Struggle, foolish silly man, he should know better than to get between me and my fabric…) I just don’t really buy clothing anymore. The rare sports bra or a piece of outerwear, perhaps, but nothing more. So when I see all of the sales and the flurry of activity on the Friday after Thanksgiving, it’s interesting to me but I see it from far away, like I’m watching a movie. Which is probably bad, because there are things I should buy, but I can’t bear to be a part of that experience, honestly, it just seems awful and exhausting and besides, the idea of undressing and trying on a bunch of clothing in dress-room lighting after a huge meal the day before sounds about as fun as a root canal. Without drugs.

I know there are people who love this holiday, Black Friday, that is, and you always hear about crowds lining up earlier and earlier outside of large stores waiting for their deals, but honestly, I can’t imagine that. And then you always hear about people who get injured in some way trying to fight someone for that amazing bargain and you have to figure, holiday gifts, expensive, a trip to the hospital over a pair of designer jeans? Priceless. That being said, if Mood Fabric had a Black Friday sale I would probably end up killing someone, straight up, so I shouldn’t judge, right?

So instead of doing any shopping, I spent the day hanging out with my family, writing, and of course, taking a Pilates class to try and deal with the meal situation of the day before. And instead of buying something, I wore a dress I made. Like I do. And I DID buy this fabric on sale almost six months ago in a sweater knit close-out from my beloved Girl Charlee, so, hey, look at that!

EBG1

This is another Sewaholic Renfrew. I’ve made so many of this pattern I can’t even count them. I probably should stop documenting them but OH well, you’re welcome.

The sweater knit was easy as pie to work with, and I even managed to match up stripes which is surprising as I really didn’t have a ton of this fabric with which to work! This is a deeply simple pattern. If you haven’t made it, you probably should. That’s just all I have to say about that. EBG3I’m not usually a stripe person, because of my propensity for eating large amounts of bread most of the time, but I think these kind of work, the thin stripes with the thick ones, it’s a little kinder, don’t you think?

EBG4Ohhhh, blurry. Sigh. Cold weather and early sunsets really don’t help my sewing photos, do they? Indoor photos, meh.

EBG6A little side view where you can admire my awesome stripe matching right there. That’s another thing about Black Friday, once you start sewing and you see what a mess of a lot of discount clothing is, you kind of just roll your eyes like the snob sewing makes you and sigh, impatiently, over mis-matched stripes and plaids and other such nonsense.

EBG2And there we go. Another lightweight sweater dress photographed by my lovely mother and a nice substitute for anything I could have possibly bought.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to money versus time. Right now, I have the time to make things for myself, and so I do, and I can, and that changes my relationship to consumerism. But if my life looked different and my time was differently allocated, maybe I would NEED those Black Friday sales, because I wouldn’t have the time to sew, buying clothing would be a necessity. So it’s easy for me not to participate in shopping culture because I have the time to find an alternative. If I didn’t, I just don’t know. But I hope I keep making this a priority, because I really don’t want to get stabbed at a Target someday….

 

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Filed under Clothing, Sewaholic Patterns

The Break My Own Rules Dress

In news that will come as a surprise to literally 0% of people, I have a lot of life rules. A LOT OF LIFE RULES. Never fight a land war in Asia. That’s a give-in. No sex in the champagne room. It’s gross, and unhygienic, and maybe other people want to use the champagne room, it’s not just for you and your sexy times! I don’t even LIKE champagne (I’m a prosecco girl myself) but STILL, it’s important. Last Crusade is the best Indiana Jones movie, duh, because of NAZIS and also CONNERY. Chocolate is always appropriate. Food isn’t caloric if you eat it while walking. Nude underwear with white garments. Come on. That’s an easy one. Walk quickly at all times. Walk like you have somewhere to be BECAUSE I DO. Winetimes are the best times. At all times. What else, what else, there are so many! Never show up empty-handed. Be nice to small children and animals. Don’t trust cops. I’ve got a lot of em. And one of them is, stripes don’t look good on me so I wont were them. EVER. EVER.

And yet…as it turns out rules were meant to be broken. (Except that land war in Asia one, come on, people, learn the lessons of history!) Because I recently got this striped fabric in a drunken purchase from Girl Charlee (yes, I drunk-buy fabric, come on, be cool I could do far worse things…) and under the influence of wine I was like, STRIPES? I BET I COULD LOOK AWESOME IN STRIPES AM I RIGHT? ALSO, KITTENS! AND MORE WINE MAYBE A LOT!

Wine me is the best/worst me, real talk.

BUT. Sober me was the one who actually got the package and had to deal with the stripes I had ordered. Sober me was like, ohhhhh, drunk me, we need to have a chat, and drunk me was like, yeah, fine, whatever, but I want chinese food and sober me was like, I can’t really talk to you when you’re like this and drunk me was like, you’re a pretty girl and sober me was like, you’re drunk but I’ll take it and drunk me was like, pretzels? and sober me was like, didn’t you just ask for chinese food? and drunk me was like, I’ll tell YOU when I’ve had enough! and sober me was like, this isn’t even making sense anymore and drunk me was like, your face doesn’t make sense anymore and sober me was like, ohhhhhhhhhhh boy.

So those two haven’t really worked it out. Good luck to them. But the rest of me made a dress, because you know what, screw the rules, worst comes to worst, it’s a beach cover up. That being said, I think this might have worked!

TBMORD 3Right? I think the stripes might be big enough that I’m out of the danger zone! If you don’t know about the danger zone for stripes, good for you, but if you do, feel free to weigh in, please and thank you.

TBMORD 1The pattern is actually one that I have used the hell out of, and it no longer really exists. It was Dixie DIY’s swing shirt, a pattern that has since been discontinued. You can buy a version of it now, though, here. I got this when it was still a free download and boy have I made use of it. This is the second dress version of the shirt I have made. The first is a cute minty thing I never documented, so this time, during a lull in my day, I practically forced my roommate Emily (thank you, Emily!) to snap these.

TBMORD 2I really just elongated the shirt. Due to some hem issues this ended up shorter than I might have liked, but I did get a lot of love from the older gentlemen in my neighborhood so that’s…disturbing.

TBMORD 4I did a decent stripe-matching job, though it could have been better. It’s always about matching stripes versus fabric efficiency, isn’t it?

TBMORD 6A little back view for you. The dress is too simple for words. I added elastic at the waist but I will probably always wear this with a belt so no one will ever know! Sadness.

And that’s that. A very deeply simple knit dress that took me, like, two hours start to finish, and YET, I never thought I would make such a thing! What a world. Breaking all my own rules. But that champagne rule thing, that’s forever. Count on it.

TBMORD 5What are your life rules?

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Filed under Dixie DIY, knit, Sewing

Don’t Mind My Yacht Shorts (MMM Day 4)

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there, I was too busy, thinking about gin and tonics and talking with Buffy and Mitzy about summering on the Cape. New Money? What is that, some sort of musical group? I have no time for such things. The Daughters of the American Revolution are having a dinner at the Club and I simply can’t decide which string of pearls to don. They’re doing lobster tails, so gauche, but one simply endures, doesn’t one?

Now, obviously I am not the same person as the person who would say things like that. After all, I don’t even like gin, let alone country clubs. I don’t think they even LET pedestrians of the red sea like myself into most New England country clubs, let alone half Puerto Rican ones, but I digress. The point is, these shorts make me feel like I’m in Nantucket, on a yacht, chatting with Vanderbilts. They strike that perfect balance of silly and nautical which I feel strongly haunts the WASP with vengeance. After all, this is a group of people who wont discuss their feelings but WILL wear red pants with tiny whales embroidered on them. The hell?

I also made the top. It’s from Steph’s lovely Blank Canvas T-Shirt pattern (FREE PATTERN!) but I lowered the neckline, because it was a bit of a choking hazard on me. The fabric of the shorts came from scraps leftover from my San Cristobal Skirt. Something about this just screams San Juan to me, so it feels appropriate that I got both photographed down there. My brother took these photos, so obviously he improved, as a fashion photographer. Thank goodness.

The shorts pattern is Simplicity 7688, one I’ve used before. I didn’t have enough fabric to lengthen it, as I did in the past, so these are rather, um, short. Yet another reason I left these down in San Juan, I don’t think I’m bold enough to rock this length and this look here in the States.

I have to say, I love the way this pattern fits. I resized it and it must have gone well by some random chance because I think the fit works nicely.

See, look how happy I look!

And here you can see the full length of the top. I just tend to tuck things in so I look more like I walked off a 1960’s movie set, but I recognize that not everyone rolls that way. Thought obviously they SHOULD…

Cadfael was of course instrumental in the cutting and sewing process. He always is.

I saw this cool shot on my way to the supermarket and couldn’t resist photographing this little view into a house in ruins. So I’m sharing that with you.

Now, whose up for a game of croquet? It coincides quite cleverly with cocktail hour.

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Filed under Challenge, Fabric, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel, Vintage

The Thank You Tasia Top

Sew Grateful week may be over, but my gratitude goes on and on! And today I would like to thank a wonderful and amazing Tasia, of Sewaholic, for the pattern that has taken the interwebs by storm and set my heart a flutter, and that would be the deceptively simple Renfrew Top.

Tasia is amazing, number 1. First of all, she’s Canadian, and I will pretty much do anything a Canadian tells me to do at any time. (Sidenote: Go watch Slings and Arrows right now, if you haven’t already. Don’t question me, just do it.) Tasia’s blog, Sewaholic is fantastic as all hell, filled with awesome tutorials and tips and tricks and truly excellent question posts that generate smart and helpful discussions.  And, most importantly, she bikes to work! I also do this, so I love her.

Additionally,  Tasia designs patterns especially for pear-shaped ladies. I am not, in fact, a pear shaped lady, rather I am an hour-glass shaped lady, but still, I appreciate her making a range of patterns for lovely pear-shaped ladies. I like knowing that it’s out there, you see. So anyway, I’ve always admired Tasia’s designs, but never actually made one myself, despite the plethora of amazing makes out there (google Pendrell Blouse if you need something to do for the next, say, ten hours, because that’s how many amazing iterations of it exist). However, Tasia recently released a pattern in knit, the Renfrew Top. And people, my heart, it nearly exploded.

As you may or may not know, I’ve recently jumped into the world of sewing with knits head first. Dixie DIY has been hugely grateful, as has Made By Rae, who recently did a week of interviews with champion knit sewers. As someone who doesn’t own a serger, and isn’t planning on buying one anytime soon, not for lack of interest but for lack of funds, I have been on the lookout for ways to make knit stuff that doesn’t look hopelessly home-ec. Enter Tasia with the Renfrew, as if on cue. And so I bought the pattern in pre-sale, got it almost instantaneously, and, armed with this striped knit from the Hoarder Stash, came out with this:

In other interesting news, my hair is really big.

And I love it. I LOVE IT. It looks like a real, honest to god shirt! That’s what Ginger’s boyfriend said, and he is very wise. It looks so professional! Right? RIGHT?

It’s the bands, people, the glorious glorious bands. There are fabric bands around the hems of the sleeves and bottom of the shirt, and they just make it look so good!

Look how happy the bands make me!

So happy. My enormous face is aglow with happiness.

Now, onto the construction. As I said, Tasia designs for Pears, and I’m not one of those. So I had to do some resizing. I traced the pattern in a size 10, and graded to a size 8 in the waist and a size 6 in the hips, essentially ruining all Tasia’s hard work in scaling for pear-shapes. Sorry, Tasia! I kept a 10 in the shoulders and sleeves, which, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have done, because the sleeves are a bit too long. Oh, well!

And this is the face I make when my sleeves are too long.

Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with this top. It came together in a ridiculously easy fashion, taking up maybe 4 hours of my life, all together.

I like the length of the body of the shirt a lot, it’s perfect for me. And I cannot wait to make more of these. I sewed up View A, but there are two other options, a short-sleeved v-neck, and a 3/4 length-sleeved cowl neck, which, if you mix and match, makes a total of 9 combinations, as Tasia reminds us on the envelope. Challenge? Accepted.

And the back, if you are interested.

I know it’s more typical to see horizontal stripes then vertical ones, but I swear, they are death to women with anything going on in the chest region. So I went vertical, because I think they look awesome. But I threw in the horizontal ones on the bands A. for variety and B. so I didn’t have to worry about matching! Two birds, one stone.

I didn’t mean to do this, but the neckline came out all white, even thought it was cut from the same cloth. Oh, well, it actually looks rather nice, I think:

You can just see the zig-zag used to keep the collar in place. Luckily, I don’t mind that kind of thing. In fact, I kind of like it.

A final photo of happy, stripy, me. And it should be noted that not only am I wearing Tasia’s pattern, BUT the cowl I’m wearing in this photo is one I made after I saw her version and was inspired! It’s the honey cowl, and after I selflessly made one for my friend Becca to help her through the cold Chicago winter, I made one for myself! A girl can only be so selfless….

So thank you, Tasia, for all that you do.

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Filed under Clothing, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing