The Not So Basic Delphine

Tada!

Tada!

Back not bad except for a bit of bunching/pooling when the waist sags

Back not bad except for a bit of bunching/pooling when the waist sags

Cookie!

Cookie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I recently said to myself that I should sew more basics as I frequently have a hard time picking outfits since everything I own is either a pattern or a bright color. I have to say that this sewing project is a major fail on that front. While the Delphine skirt from Love at First Stitch would make a great basic skirt, the fabric I chose is anything but basic. I saw this Kayo Horaguchi canvas fabric at the Sew LA birthday party and thought that it would make a cute Delphine. The first time I made this pattern I made a size 0, but it was a bit snug and had to take it out a little at the zipper seam. This time I made the size 2, but this time it was way too big in the waist. Poo. I ended up taking the skirt in 1/2″ on each side at the back seam. The fit turned out pretty good and the fabric is as amazingly crazy as I had anticipated. Now I just need something basic on top to wear with this skirt.

Front

Front

Back

Back

Hand stitched waist

Hand stitched waist

Hand stitched Hem

Hand stitched Hem

 

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Tilly and the Buttons, Love at First Stitch – Clemence Skirt

Anchor Chambray

Anchor Chambray

When I saw that Love at First Stitch by Tilly (of Tilly and the Buttons) wasn’t being released in the US until October I figured that would give me plenty of time to get some other makes off my “to sew” list done before ordering the book and I placed the book on my Amazon wishlist. Well, I had been seeing a lot of cute Tilly and the Button makes lately and was feeling pretty jealous of all the UK sewists, so I ended up ordering the book, whoops. The book is really cute and fits the Tilly brand very well. It has a very clean, cute, Parisienne feel to it. The book teaches you various sewing techniques by walking you through different projects. I have had some anchor print Chambray by Robert Kaufman in my stash that I had been saving, but a couple weeks ago I saw the fabric made into a skirt on ModCloth which I thought looked perfect for summer. I was going to make a simple gathered skirt out of it,  I had made a few gathered skirts before, but decided to use the instructions from Love at First Stitch. For the Clemence skirt, Tilly basically goes over how to make a gathered skirt to fit your waist as an introduction to pattern making. Tilly suggests using French seams, but since I added pockets to my skirt I figured it would be too much of a pain to figure out how to incorporate the french seams with the pockets. Originally I was going to make the skirt sit lower on my hips so cut the waist band based on a 27″ waist, but when I tried it on after inserting the invisible zipper it just didn’t work right (of course this time my zipper looked good on the first try too). I took out the zipper and ended up cutting off an inch from each side of the skirt, I re-sewed the zipper and hemmed up the skirt. The zipper didn’t insert quite so smoothly the second time and the back looks a little bunch around the zipper (I guess maybe I cut the sides a little unevenly?), but it doesn’t look too bad. Overall it’s pretty cute. I bought some black Kona cotton to make a bow belt (which Tilly goes over in her book).

I’d definitely recommend Love at First Stitch. It is fun to read through, gives some good tips and includes some cute patterns.
Chambray Clemence skirt

Chambray Clemence skirt

Sewaholic Gabriola – or Cutting Rayon is the Worst

I have been MIA from the blog for the last few weeks for a couple of reasons, 1) I have been busy with work, and 2) I haven’t had any completed sewing projects to show off. Well, at least I can gladly say that I now have 2 completed sewing projects to debut.

My completed Gabriola!

My completed Gabriola!

The first project is the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt. As soon as I saw this pattern on the Sewaholic blog I knew I wanted to make it. I love maxi skirts and I loved how the bias paneling on the skirt really made it look different. I wasn’t sure what fabric to use for the Gabriola, but I knew I wanted something swishy and floaty, and finally settled on some emerald rayon challis from Fabric.com. I washed, dried, and ironed my fabric and cut out a straight size 2 from the pattern (I actually traced my pattern pieces onto tracing paper instead of cutting into my pattern, which took forever with the long lines of the maxi skirt). I folded and laid out fabric on my cutting table and carefully laid out all my pattern pieces, which I have to say was difficult because the rayon really wanted to slip and move off grain every time I tried to smooth the fabric, but I pinned and cut and I thought I did a pretty good job of it, that is until I tried to match up my pattern pieces. That is when I realized that my fabric must have slipped off grain/moved when I was cutting out my pattern pieces, because none of the pieces didn’t seem to fit together correctly when I went to pin the panels together! Ugh! Trying to match up the panels on this skirt was so frustrating; my fabric looked the same on the front and the back (I did mark the back with chalk, but the chalk was rubbing off as I handled the fabric pieces), there was really only one notch to match the pieces so I wasn’t exactly sure how the pieces were supposed to line up at the other sides, and I was dubious that my pieces were the correct shape to begin with after my cutting fiasco, also the pieces are cut on the bias so I think they maybe stretched a bit…so yeah, frustrating.

I managed to get all the panel pieces sewed, and finished the edges by pinking them, we’ll see if that holds up. I had an easier time sewing the skirt pieces and finished those edges with my serger. I put in the zipper (I still don’t think I am doing a regular zipper correctly because it looked pretty messy) and attached my waistband. I was pretty excited that it looked like a skirt, but when I tried it on and showed it to the bf he informed me he could see my underpants. Crap! So, I figured I had to add a lining if I didn’t want to scrap the skirt. I knew I didn’t want to completely remake the skirt for the lining with all the paneling, no way. I ended up  taping the pattern pieces together to make one front and one back piece in the same shape as the skirt, but short (I figured I only needed the lining to cover the butt). I cut out my lining from ambience bemberg lining, took the waistband and zipper out of my skirt and then attached the lining the skirt. I re-sewed the zipper and put on the waistband (making it slightly smaller this time).

My next frustration came with trying to even out the hem. I hung up my skirt from a hanger and sat there with my ruler, chalk, and scissors and stared at my skirt, I had no clue how I was supposed to even out the hem. Was I supposed to let it all fall in the middle or hold out the sides? No idea. I ended up evening it out to where it all naturally fell off the hanger. I then folded up the hem and tried it on, hmmm, too long….okay re-mark, re-fold, re-iron…better. I did the hem by hand, which took quit a while, but I finally finished! This skirt took me over 2 weeks of pure frustration to complete. I kept telling myself that after all the issues I had with this skirt that as long as it was wearable I would be happy. Well, it is wearable, but of course I keep thinking about all the things that are wrong with it. But you know what? After wearing it out I was actually pretty pleased with it. It is floaty and swishy and feels nice against my legs when I walk, so who cares if the zipper is wonky?

I love the paneling

I love the paneling

Yay! It's done

Yay! It’s done

So overall the pattern wasn’t bad to make and the skirt design is super cute, I think all of my issues stemmed from fabric choice and inexperience.

I definitely plan to make this again, but maybe in a more stable fabric next time, like voile?

I also completed the Coco dress by Tilly and the Buttons, but I hope to blog about that later this week.

Here's Coco!

Here’s Coco!