Monday, November 9, 2015

A Beach Cover-Up

I realized there was a project I left off my Fall sewing plans, part 2, despite the fact I had already started it!  This was just a super simple tank dress to use as a swim suit cover-up, but it evolved over time.

I started out with the Wiksten tank pattern, which I chopped at the waist, and did a simple a-line skirt, with a curved hem.  The fabric I used was originally a double-gauze, but I had already removed one layer, as I just liked the plaid fabric.  I had intended having a button placket center front, but I made my bias tape too skinny, so I dropped that idea, and just did a bias-tape binding around the neckline and armholes.  I also was more in quick-sew mode, wanting to crank it out, so I just pinned the crap out of the binding and sewed it in one step, instead of sewing it first to the outside and then the inside.  It worked out, but it's not my best binding work.

The second change involved the waist.  When I got it mostly sewn up, I just thought it looked like a sack on me, so I zig-zag stitched a skinny piece of elastic along the waist seam.  It was a bit slap-dash, but it works for a beach cover-up!

Piece number 2 of my travel wardrobe down, many more to go!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Off to a good start!

As I mentioned in my last post, I have already started in on my fall sewing plans, part 2, and I whipped up a sleeveless tank Inari tee dress.  I started with my modified pattern from my winter cocoon dress, and left off the sleeves, made it a much bigger scoop neck, and added about 9 inches in length.  It was a quick sew, and I'm in love with it!


The neck and arm bindings could have been a tad tighter, but I love how they give it a slightly sporty vibe.  And because I'm never one to make something without immediately wearing it, below is the way I wore it to work yesterday!  Throw on a sweater, some boots, and some jewelry and it's winter work appropriate.


Fall Sewing Plans, Part 2 (Also known as tropical vacation sewing plans)

Last week I was merrily thinking about my fall sewing plans, and it occurred to me that I'm going on a three week trip to Thailand in December, and therefore should sew my entire wardrobe for the trip.  Tropical Thailand is a little different from Fall/Winter in the Northeast, so my sewing plans have needed a little revision.  I have slowly talked myself down from the ledge of spending every waking moment sewing until December, but even still, there is no way I will be able to accomplish it all. :)  Also adding to the tricky factor is that I've been doing some reading, and it turns out there are a lot of confusing advice about what to wear there.  It's a very hot, humid country, but pretty modest, so things like shorts and tank tops are frowned upon.  I'm not a big fan of skirt-wearing in the summer (thigh rubbing issues), but I'm figuring it out.  Without further ado, here are my fall sewing plans, part 2!

1) Featherweight black/white knit tank dress, based on the Named Inari Tee dress.  My sweater cocoon dress was so comfy, I immediately thought of doing a tank dress out of this delicious feather-weight knit I got from Emma One Sock.  It will be super lightweight, but not clingy, to combat the heat, and will be just below my knees, which from what I can tell is the safest non-maxi skirt length.  Apparently it's totally possible to wear above the knee-length if it's not too short, but that is the shortest length for visiting temples.


2)  Repurposing one of my original fall sewing plans, I've come up with a dress pattern for my silk jersey material.  This will be the Sallie jumpsuit/dress, with the kimono top and again a just below the knee skirt.


3)  Knit wide-leg capri pants.  I'm going to do a test run with some pea-green jersey knit I haven't been too excited about, but mainly I want them in black for traveling purposes.  I'm thinking about just adapting the pants portion of the Sallie Jumpsuit, because I'm too lazy to cut out another pattern (it seriously takes up valuable sewing time!).  When I went to Africa, I took a pair of pants like these and they served me well, so  I think they will work for Thailand as well.

4) The Pauline Alice Rosari skirt in this fun viscose/rayon fabric which I also just got from Emma One Sock.  I would love to have the buttons down the front, but if I don't have time, I will have to skip them.  I've been experimenting with skirt shapes over the years, and I'm not really a fan of full gathered skirts, since I carry my weight in the my middle, so I think this A-line shape will work well both for my body type and for being cooler than my usual straight skirts I wear.  The pattern is actually intended for fabrics with more body than this pretty light-weight rayon, but I think it will work out in the end.  I'm going have it so the solid olive color is at the top, with the floral border.


5) Black/white squiggle silk tank top, using a modified Wiksten Tank and fabric which I once again got from Emma One Sock, but ages ago, and I don't have a photo of it.  Instead of making it straight down, I'm going to add a ruffle to the bottom, more like the tank below.

There are a few more less-defined things on the list as well, but I doubt I will even make it to the end of what I've listed here, so we'll save those for later!  I may have been a little devious and already made one of the items, so you'll get to see that one before too long as well. :)

A cozy cocoon for winter

This dress was actually the second piece completed from my fall sewing plans, and I've worn it multiple times already, but just hadn't gotten around to taking photos yet!  This was the one garment I had a clear plan on, which was to modify the Named Inari Tee dress (photo on the left below) slightly to match my inspiration photo (on the right) slightly better.


I accomplished this by using the sleeves and upper bust area of the Plantain Tee, which is tighter fitting, and grading out to the cocoon shape of the Inari tee dress.  I also ignored the split hem in the pattern, but did maintain a bit of a high-low hemline.  The fabric is a super thick double-knit from Gorgeous Fabrics, which is a lovely color and looks great, but it's pretty synthetic, which I'm not crazy about.  



The cocoon shape is not the most flattering, but it's super comfy!  I also promise I am not pregnant, despite the bump. :)  The neckline is the one thing I'm debating changing up.  I used a typical knit band, and it's pretty wide because I used a double-width of the cables, so the finished band when folded over is one cable.  In theory it's a good idea, but the fabric is so thick it kind of makes the neckline look all squidgy and sloppy, as well as I feel a little little like I'm choking (I have to keep pulling it down to look like it does in the photo).  I'm thinking about just chopping off the band and doing a lower neckline without a band, but I haven't decided entirely yet.  What do you think?

There are three pieces left in my fall sewing plans, but I've already decided to switch gears a bit.  Stay tuned for fall sewing plans, part 2!