December Monthly Stitch: A Kupo-tastic Hoodie

hoodie front

Kupo! I was super excited to see this month’s Monthly Stitch theme: geek out! I’ve been thinking about making a moogle hoodie for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity. My boyfriend also mentioned that he’d like a Final Fantasy themed hoodie, so of course I went into WE MUST HAVE MATCHING THINGS mode. Sadly, this will probably the closest I’ll ever be to getting him in cosplay. Still, I’ll take it!

If you’re not familiar with moogles, they’re a race of teddy bear/bat-like creatures from the video game franchise Final Fantasy. They’re insanely adorable and one of my favorite creatures from the FF series. I could go into a lengthy explanation of why I think they’re so cute, but I think this video from the FFXIV King Mog boss fight does a pretty good job.

I feel like this song belongs in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Very Danny Elfman-esque. But I digress.

ballet pose

I originally tried making this project with cheap anti-pill fleece from Jo-Ann’s using McCall’s 6614. It was okay, but not quite as awesome as I hoped. I set the project aside to work on Princess Jupiter and Stanley Tweedle.

When I started again, I went with the Avacado hoodie from Seamster Patterns. It’s a fantastic design and gave me lots of opportunities to play with color blocking. The only part of the hoodie that gave me pause was the front pocket. Fortunately, Mari made a video tutorial describing the process.

pocketses

In terms of fabric, I went with French terry and purple sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee. The terry is okay. It’s very shed happy, so I made sure to serge all the seams. I would have preferred white sweatshirt fleece, but GC didn’t have white when I ordered. Oh well, no big deal. On the plus side, the terry is quite warm.

The face appliques were the most time-consuming part of this project. I used scraps of black, red, and pink fleece for the ears and the face. The face pieces were fused with applique paper and then satin stitched to the terry.

dat face tho

I made the red head bobble with red fleece and then stuffed it with batting. I originally wanted to attach it with pipe cleaner, but it was too heavy to stay up. Instead, I attached the bobble with a large heavy-duty snap. This actually works out better overall, since now I can remove the bobble to wash the hoodie.

aww no ball

I absolutely love the wings. I drafted them using this pattern as a guideline. I doubled them up and top stitched them down just above the princess seams in the back. I left the edges of the wing free so they sort of flap when I walk.

back

The Basics: 

Pattern: Avacado hoodie, view B

Fabric: 1.5~ yd. French terry, 1~ yd. purple sweatshirt fleece, and black, pink, and red anti-pill fleece for the face.

Alterations: I slashed the hood and added 5/8″ seam allowance to create room for the ears. I also added a zipper to the center front. Also did a small FBA and added ribbon to the neckline to reinforce it.

ribbon

Notions: Thread, zipper, applique paper, twill tape, batting, snap.

Make it again?: Probably. I’d love to have a couple of regular versions of this hoodie for everyday wear.

Favorite parts: Other than prancing around as moogle? I really like the overall shape of the hoodie. The princess lines are very flattering, and I love the thumb holes.

herp derp

Other thoughts: I adore this hoodie. It’s very happy making. I don’t think I’ll make another one for myself (though if someone wants one, I’d be happy to take a commission!), but if I did, I’d make the ears a little smaller and add interfacing to keep them up. The terry really didn’t want to stay up, but the fleece helped with that. I’d also add the ribbon all around the neckline prior to adding the zipper for a cleaner finish.

I can’t wait to wear this to PAX South! And make a Tonberry hoodie for the BF to wear with me 🙂

What’s your favorite Final Fantasy creature? 

Advertisements

November Challenge: Lady Skater-frew

skaterfrew front

Say hello to my latest skater baby: the Lady Skater-frew!

The Basics: 

Pattern: Lady Skater and Sewaholic Renfrew

Fabric: 3 yds of ponte de roma from Girl Charlee

Alterations: Blended bodice patterns together and added 3″ length to skirt.

Notions: Elastic and Wundertape.

Make it again?: I’ll definitely make another Lady Skater, though I’m not sure about another Lady Skater-frew. I love it, but I think one is enough (for now).

Favorite parts: Same as the last two skaters. I really adore the cowl on this top. It feels like wearing a giant (but very pretty) sweater!

skaterfrew side

Other thoughts: I really don’t have anything new to say that I haven’t mentioned with my navy and black and white Lady Skaters. It’s super comfortable and very quick to put together. Honestly, the longest part of construction was my pattern alterations. I paid careful mind to alterations, since the Renfew top uses a 5/8″ seam allowance and the Lady Skater uses 3/8″.

Basically, I laid the Lady Skater bodice over the Renfew pattern and blended the two together. I left the neckline and arm scythe of the Renfew alone so that I wouldn’t mess up the neckline or the sleeves. I thought about adding length to the sleeves, but I’m glad I didn’t, since they’re a little too long as is. The sleeve length doesn’t bother me too much, since I like slightly longer sleeves on my sweaters.

skaterfrew back

To make sure the dress would fit okay, I basted the sides together down to the waist before I serged it. I did have to take in the sleeves and the upper part of the bodice a bit (still could probably take them in more), but again, that’s primarily because I was dealing with two different seam allowances.

As I mentioned, I really like the giant cowl on this dress. I think I’ll make a cowl neck Renfrew top soon. I took Tasia’s advice and stitched down the seam allowance to the neckline, which makes a nice finish. I used a zig-zag stitch, but I think I’ll use my twin needle in the future.

skaterfrew doof

Overall, I love this dress! My only complaint about it is the material is prone to pilling. I’m having this problem with my other skaters too. I need to de-pill them and probably start hand washing them. Boo. Still, they’re pretty and fun to wear!

Have you made a Lady Skater hack? How did it turn out?

September Challenge: All About That Polka

Dots, that is. As promised, here’s Lady Skater #2! Better late than never, right?

polka dot front

The Basics: 

Pattern: Lady Skater with cap sleeves

Fabric: 2 yds of B&W polka dot ponte de roma from Girl Charlee

Alterations: Added 1″ length to bodice and 3″ length to skirt.

Notions: Elastic.

Make it again?: Yup. I’ve got a Skater/Renfrew hack next up on my sewing list!

Favorite parts: Same as last time. Comfort, quick finish, twirl-friendly skirt, flattering bodice.

polka dot side

Other thoughts: As expected, my navy Lady Skater has been a regular since I made it a few weeks ago. This polka dot fabric seemed perfect for LS #2!

Unfortunately, I had a few issues with this one. The main issue I had was that somehow I couldn’t eek out enough fabric to cut the neckband on the fold. At least, not on the stretchy cross-grain, which is what it’s supposed to be cut on. Okay, no big deal, just add a teeny bit extra on the pattern piece, cut 2, and combine. Simple, right? Well, I stretched out the band far too much as I sewed it to the bodice, resulting in the ugliest neckline ever. So I seam-ripped, and repeated. The second neckband was better, but kind of droopy. I think I cut it a bit too long.

Polka dot back

I also had pattern placement issues for the 3/4 length sleeve that I originally wanted, probably because I added length to both the bodice and the skirt. I also had 3 yards of fabric to work with on my navy dress, but only 2 for this one. I don’t actually mind the cap sleeve on this dress, since it gives me something a little different from the navy skater.

My last mistake was totally self-inflicted derpiness. I was about 6″ short on the amount of clear elastic I needed to finish the front bodice, buuuuuut I didn’t realize it until after I attached clear elastic to the back bodice. Derp. I used some leftover regular 3/8″ elastic to stabilize the bodice. Works fine, but the waist is a tiny bit wonky with the different amounts of elasticity.

Sewing up this baby was a breeze, even with seam ripping. I started around 7pm on a Monday evening and finished hemming around 9:30pm. Not bad for a single night!

seated dress

I really like how easy it is to style this dress. I have so many colored cardigans, leggings, and tights in my closet that I can use to add a little something extra, though I really need some more colored belts. I’m thinking a bright red belt is a must.

Next up is my Renfrew/Lady Skater hack. I found some gorgeous magenta ponte de roma from Girl Charlee, so I’m hoping to get to that sometime in the next week or so for October’s Frocktober theme. Probably a cowl neck with full length sleeves.

Have you made a Lady Skater hack? How did it turn out?

August Challenge: More like Captain Marvel-ous!

captain marvel 1_Fotor_Collage

The Basics: 

Pattern: Simplicity 1606 bodice and Sewaholic Cambie skirt, view A

Fabric: 1.5 yds of blue cotton sateen (stash), 1/2 yd red cotton sateen, 1/2 yd gold charmeuse (stash), 1 yd of cotton muslin

Alterations: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Lots.

Notions: Zipper. Cording for piping, harvested from pre-purchased piping in my stash (because I hate myself). 

Make it again?: Not likely. I love it and will definitely make more character-themed dresses, but not this one. Likely. I don’t know. Who wants one? 

Favorite parts: All of it. The bodice came out exactly like I hoped it would, which makes me super, super happy. 

Process: This dress is totally inspired by Contagious Costuming’s beautiful Captain Marvel dress. As soon as I saw it, I wanted it. I thought it was a perfect “frosting” project for this month’s theme, since I’ll probably only wear it out to geeky events. Fortunately, I had a fair amount of fabric in my stash that was perfect for the project. 

It begins...
It begins…

I knew off the bat that I wanted the Cambie skirt. It’s flattering and has pockets! What’s not to love? Figuring out which bodice I wanted was a little more difficult. My initial inclination was to go with Simplicity 1699, and in hindsight, that may have been a better option since the neckline is drafted higher. I opted to go with Simplicity 1606 instead since I had it in my stash and I wanted a little hand holding to perfect the fit of the bodice. For my first muslin (yes, first), I made size 22 since it corresponded to my full bust, but I was swimming in it. Then I went back and made size 16, which corresponds to my high bust. Much better fit, though I still had to adjust for pooling under the bust. This tutorial was a great help in that department. 

Once I had the fit figured out, I drew out the design and used my muslin as a pattern. I didn’t want to destroy my good fabric, so I made up a third muslin to test the fit. I went back and forth on adding the faux raglan sleeves, and ultimately decided to include them. I’m very glad I did, because I really like the look of them. 

After getting muslin #3 made up, I was ready to make the real deal. It honestly came together pretty quickly and easily since I’d already “made” it so many times. I did underestimate how much blue I needed, so I had to cut the length short by 2 inches. I also had to do some clever folding to get the skirt to work out. Oops. 

Piecing it all together.
Piecing it all together.

I assembled everything a little counter-intuitively. In a typical dress,  you’d make the bodice, make the skirt, then attach the two. I took Contagious Costuming’s advice and assembled the full front then the full back. This made satin stitching the star and installing the zipper much easier than if I went the standard way. 

I opted to reuse my first muslin for the lining. I just lined the bodice since I wanted this to be comfy for summer cons. Yay cotton. I attached the lining to the zipper and then finished off the sleeves using this snazzy technique from Colette.

At this point, I thought that I’d just be able to add the collar and be done. HA. No. After drafting and creating a collar that I was oh-so-proud-of, I basted it in place… and felt like my head was swimming in it. Despite being large in stature, I have a tiny head. Much sadness (especially after making my own bias tape and piping. Grrr). So I decided to sacrifice the collar (though my lovely fellow Monthly Stitchers suggested making a jacket, so that’s happening). Still, that left me with the issue of how to finish the neck without seam ripping. I opted to press my seam allowances under and top stitch it down. I also top stitched the edges of the arm holes for matchiness. 

detail front

Other thoughts: Even with all that work, I’m super proud of this dress. It’s hella comfy and I absolutely love how it turned out. I didn’t get finished with it in time for Fan Appreciation Day (I actually bailed since didn’t want the temptation to spend money), but I did wear it to Friday of A-fest and styled my hair after Captain Marvel’s fabulous faux-hawk from the 2012 run. I also nearly died when Kelly Sue complimented my dress. 

tumblr_nad6ljxoiH1sxq29yo1_500

And now for some obligatory dress form pictures. 

dress front

dress back

pocket detail
A fun little detail. I made the inside of my pocket red. Just because. Also: delicious seam matching.
pocket detail 2
Another little detail no one will see. I finished off the edges of my pockets with some yellow bias tape to reinforce the seam and keep in line with the color scheme. I left the bodice lining floating, since it really doesn’t bunch up.

I’d really love to make more geeky character-themed dresses in the future. I always forget how comfortable they are, and they’re just as much fun as cosplay. Rogue and Wonder Woman dresses are definitely in my future! 

June Challenge: Hello Bombshell!

Front view
Helloooooo Bombshell! 

Say hello to the last project I sewed up before moving! June was Indie Pattern Month, so I decided to go with an indie company that I’d never used before: Closet Case Files. I purchased the Bombshell pattern last summer, but never got around to it. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t, since I had no clue how to work with spandex last year. 

side view

The Basics: 

Pattern: Bombshell swimsuit, view A

Fabric: 1.5 yards of green spandex (leftover from my latest Rogue project), and 1 yard of white moleskin for the lining (leftover from my first attempt at Jupiter)

Alterations: Tapered from an 18 at the bust to a 16 for the rest of the pattern. Added 2″ of length.

Notions: Swimwear elastic.

Make it again?: Absolutely. I completely adore this pattern. I’d love to make both the halter and bikini versions! Now I just need to find friends with pools 😛 

Favorite parts: Uh, everything? The gathering was annoying to do, but it resulted in a very flattering finish. I love how it’s sexy even though it provides full coverage! I don’t feel like I’m going to have any kind of wardrobe malfunction. 

back view

Other thoughts: I am so, so glad that I waited on this swimsuit. It’s everything that I hoped it’d be. Working on my Ms. Marvel and Supergirl definitely gave me the skills I needed to be happy with the final result on this. I did use the sewalong for extra guidance.

no glasses

I made one major mistake early on, and it was such a rookie move. I didn’t look at the pattern pieces very well when I was assembling everything, so I wound up attaching the back side pieces together. After gathering them. Have I mentioned how much I hate seam ripping serger stitches? Re-stitching everything took a teeny bit too much seam allowance off of each side, so the suit is a tiny bit snugger than I’d like, but it’s not too bad. I just have to wiggle a bit to get it off and on. 

The gathering really was annoying. While I love the final result of gathers, the process of making them annoys the crap out of me. Has anyone tried gathering this on a serger before attaching the pieces together? I may try that with my next one. 

inside out

To provide a bit more support in the bust, I harvested some cups from an old bikini and added a bit of elastic under them to create a quasi-shelf bra. I don’t really notice the elastic, but the cups are a great help. They don’t provide a ton of support, but they do prevent nippage. 

I did mess with the front tab a bit. The pattern tells you to pull it down to where you sewed it on the front and stitch in the ditch. I tried it on and pinned it according to instructions, but it made my boobs look super weird. Instead, I sewed it to the top with the elastic. It was a weird process, but it looks much better on me. 

cups
Close-up of the cups and the tab.

Overall, this suit fits beautifully. I had a tiny bit of gaping with the top elastic, so I’ll have to cut my next one down to 80% of the overall length as Heather suggests. 

Not bad for a stashbusting project! I think I spent a total of $4 for the elastic (an extra $11 if you count the pattern). Now I just need to convince the BF to go with me to New Braunfels for some tubing. 

Have you guys made this pattern yet? What are your thoughts?

P.S. Did you guys see that the Sewaholic Cambie is now a PDF pattern? Yeah, I think it’s time to make another Cambie dress.

May Challenge: Maybe it’s Mabel(ine)

Remember back in March/April when Colette announced they were releasing knit patterns? I squealed with joy. I was looking for an excuse to play with knits more. This is partly out of a desire to build a more functional wardrobe, but also so that I could practice using my serger for something other than finishing seams.

When the patterns came out, I was a little… underwhelmed, especially since I dropped $50 for the pre-packaged order of Mabel, Moneta, and the new book. Mabel just seemed so simple (that’s the main reason I went with version 3, since it looked more interesting). Silly me. I should have known that Mabel would quickly become a favorite.

mabel front

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Mabel, version 3.

Fabric: Approximately 1 yd. of leftover grey mid-weight mystery knit from the stash.

Alterations: Added 1″ length

Notions: Thread. I did have to spring for a twin needle since I didn’t have one on hand.

Make it again?: Definitely. I’d love to make another version for work in the near future.

Favorite parts: Comfort and how quickly I was able to finish it.

mabel rear
Not going to lie, I kind of love how this skirt makes my rear look. Definitely go for a thicker knit with this pattern! This is the lightest I think I’d go.

Other thoughts: A bit of back story for Mabel. I started working on this last Tuesday. I was at a weird mid-point with some of my other projects and costumes. I needed to make a store run for more supplies, but it was the end of the month and I didn’t want to spend money on more stuff until payday. Still, I had a creative itch and wanted make something. I dug around in my stash and found this fabric leftover from my first set of Lilith leggings. It took some clever folding and cutting, but I managed to cut this in a large (perfectly matched up with my measurements) and add an extra inch of length.

The overall construction of this skirt is ridiculously simple. So much so that I kept referring to the instructions thinking that I had missed a vital step. The only time I deviated from the instructions was in the construction of the waistband. I don’t have quite enough space to work with my serger and my sewing machine at the same time, so I nixed the stitch in the ditch and just serged all of it together at once. Yay laziness.

Mabel took 2 1-hour sessions to complete. I did the cutting and the bulk of the construction on Tuesday evening and then finished the kick pleat and the hem on Thursday after picking up a twin needle. My original plan was just to hem it with a zig-zag stitch, but I’m glad I picked up the twin needle. It’s a great technique to know for mimicking RTW clothes!

I really like Mable. She’s super comfy, versatile, and a perfect length to wear to work! I’ve worn her twice so far (once casually and once to work) and will probably keep her in my regular rotation over the summer. I just hope I love Moneta this much!

mabel skirt
Casual Mabel ensemble for a fabric shopping excursion last week.

Have you made Mabel or Moneta yet?

April Challenge: Sewing Double

I originally planned to sew up doubles of Colette’s Sorbetto (another contender from last month’s challenge) for this month’s challenge, but I had a whole slew of issues with it. I’ll probably post about it later this week. Fortunately, I’ve sewn duplicates of a few other garments this month, one of them being another Alma blouse!

Alma collage
Left: March challenge Right: This month’s challenge.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew

Fabric: 1 1/2 yds of grey cotton sateen with 3% spandex from Jo-Ann’s. I’ve had a streak of good luck from Jo-Ann’s lately and I really hope it continues.

Alterations: Ditched the sleeves and used the bands for the cap-sleeve version to finish the arm holes. I made the collar detachable using snaps. I also added 2″ in length.

Notions: Thread, interfacing, snaps.

Make it again?: Definitely. I’d love to make another version for work in the near future.

Favorite parts: The overall shape. It’s absolutely perfect for my trainer cosplay.

Other thoughts: This is definitely a happy marriage of material and pattern. My original plan was to stashbust some linen and use the Sorbetto when I couldn’t find this pattern (I need to organize. Bad). Fortunately, that plan was a disaster and I stumbled across this lovely fabric when I was out shopping for supplies a few weeks ago. The spandex is great, because it’s just enough to allow me to pull this over my head sans zipper.

There’s not much else to say about this blouse. I still really like it. It was nice to have something come out well after a series (see: 4) of Sorbettos that just don’t work. I definitely need to make swayback adjustments to this top in the future and possibly full-bust adjustments. But for a costume/work piece this totally fits the bill.

On to the pics!

alma front
Thinking about taking this in a bit more at the waist.
alma back
Definitely need to look into a swayback adjustment for future blouses. I’m standing slightly lopsided, which makes it extra wrinkly.
alma blouse side
No zip! Also, look at that fabric covered button. I am so happy with how that turned out.
alma no collar
No collar! Peter Pan collars are super cute, but they always feel too cutesy on me. This way, I can wear this top to work and not feel silly. I finished off the neck with bias tape made from the same fabric.

Cambie #6: The Leaving Dress

I guess this technically meets April’s challenge requirements as well? Continuing on the wedding theme, here’s my friend’s leaving dress! It was kind of funny how this turned out. She was IMing me about 3 weeks ago, telling me she was stressed about finding a leaving dress since her main dress is so delicate. Then she started listing what she wanted: sweetheart neckline, A-line skirt, and sleeves-but-not-sleeves. So I sent her some of the wedding dress Cambies from Sewaholic and said, “You mean this dress I’ve already made 5 times?” Thus, I took on the task of making her leaving dress.

carissa cambie front

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie View A

Fabric: Chiffon, charmeuse, and bridal lining. All of the fabrics used are scraps from her main wedding dress.

Alterations:

  • Some sizing weirdness. I had to make some adjustments for her shoulders and bust area.
  • Length: She’s 5’3″ (as a comparison, I’m 5’11”. Apparently I like to feel extra tall around my friends), so I had to do some length adjustment with the bodice. The shell fabric was also too delicate for pockets, so I just used the front lining piece for the shell.
  • I moved the zipper to the side seam.
  • Understitched the front of the bodice.

Notions: Zipper.

Make it again?: I swear, this time I’m taking at least a 2-month break before making a new Cambie. I’m also going to need to buy the pattern again or completely re-draft it from my old Cambies. I lose another piece every time I made this dress.

Favorite parts: I am really happy with how this looked on her. Granted, my friend can make a trash bag look cute, but I’m very pleased with the overall fit. I’m interested in taking on sewing and costume commission work in the future (like, years from now), so practicing on people now is giving me an idea of how I need to go about it. Since we didn’t have time to make an actual mock-up (I know, I know), I made a “muslin” out of the lining first then made the adjustments to the pattern and shell fabric.

Since this is a much nicer dress than some of my previous ones, I really took the time to match the darts and side seams. They came out perfectly! *does happy dance*

I also took the time to hand stitch the waistbands! Such a pretty finish. I have a horrible time making stitch in the ditch look nice, and this was perfect for making the stitch invisible from the front.

Cambie side

Other thoughts: OH EM GEE I HATE CHIFFON. If there is one reason I wish I had another week or two to make this dress, it’s the chiffon. That crap is a slippery, fray-happy bastard. I wound up just serging it to the charmeuse and treating the chiffon and charmeuse as one layer. Not the best idea, but it’s the only thing I could get to work with me with the time crunch. Do you guys know of any good chiffon resources or tutorials?

I’m also not happy with the hem. I wish I’d kept the skirt layers separate and done a rolled hem. Live and learn.

cambie back

Unfortunately, the bride didn’t get to wear the dress. The chiffon layer got damaged in transport (oil stain *cries*). There’s still leftover chiffon, so I may try to repair it when she gets back from her honeymoon. If she still wants it, that is. I was a bit bummed when she told me, but at least neither of us put any extra money into it. Plus, it was a great learning experience.

Now that this is finished, I’m back to cosplay prep! Dallas Comic Con and A-Kon will be here soon and I’ve got 4 costumes to make! Hopefully I’ll get 1 or 2 finished this weekend 🙂

April Challenge #1: A Belated Valentine’s Macaron

Are you noticing a theme yet? I get really ambitious with my sewing projects and then realize I still have a 40-hour a week job and life obligations. Oops.

Anyway, I started this Macaron back in February, intending it to be a dress for a Valentine’s Day date with the beau. I ordered my fabric from Mood in late January, but there were some shipping mix-ups and I wound up having to pick up the fabric directly from my local post office, which has insane hours and I can never seem to make it there before or after work.

I got the fabric the week of Valentine’s Day, and nearly finished it all in 2 evenings when I ran out of bias tape for the neck and arm holes. V-Day came and went, and my almost-finished dress just sat on my dress form and stared at me. There were some minor tweaks that I though about making (the interfacing I used on the waist was meh and one of my front pleats doesn’t exactly line up correctly). But I moved on to other projects. I mentioned it to my friend that got married last week, and she said that I HAD to finish it for her wedding. Well, if it’s for the bride…

Me and the lovely bride. She made this dress with her mom! It's absolutely stunning.
Me with the lovely bride. She made this dress with her mom! It’s absolutely stunning.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Patterns Macaron

Fabric: 2 yds of a glorious garnet cotton sateen from Mood (I’d been eying it for months) and 1 yd of lace from Fashion Fabrics Club

Alterations: Lopped off the sleeves. I finished the neck and the arm holes with bias tape due to the sheerness of the lace. I cut a straight 16, but I should have tapered to a 14 at the waist and hips [scribbles down notes].

Notions: Thread and zipper.

Not quite as matchy as I'd like, but I don't think people will be looking too closely at my armpit.
Not quite as matchy as I’d like, but I don’t think people will be looking too closely at my armpit.

Make it again?: Yup. I have a fun and a dressy version complete. Now I want to make a casual and a work-friendly version. Maybe with an A-line or a pencil skirt? I forgot to add the length to the bodice. I need to add that to my notes for next time.

Favorite parts: Aside from my previous gushing over the lovely bodice, I adore the way these fabrics compliment each other. I really want to use my scrap fabric to make a few accessories, like a bow belt, a clutch, and some shoe clips.

Other thoughts: I’m just really, really happy to have this project done. It was bugging me all of March. I really like the sleeveless option on this dress. It makes construction super quick (aside from a 2 month break in-between sittings:P). I nixed the pockets on this version, but I wish I hadn’t. They really are quite handy.

front - macaron

Hanging with the beau. At least it worked for one of our dates!
Hanging with the beau. At least it worked for one of our dates!

 

(Belated) Monthly Stitch #2: Alma Blouse

One of these days, I’m going to actually meet the deadline for the Monthly Stitch posts. I finished this blouse in mid-March, but pictures held me up (and helping my friend with her wedding this past week. Today is couch/recovery/sangria day). Fortunately, I got a fancy new camera that actually takes decent pictures! It’s a Fujifilm FinePix S6800 if you’re curious.

Man, flash makes an insane difference.
Man, flash makes an insane difference.

The Alma blouse beat out the Renfrew top for my March challenge by one vote. I decided to make both since tops are something I really need more of in my wardrobe. I was super happy with how quickly this blouse came together. I think it took me somewhere in the realm of 4 hours. The only things that slowed down the process were the sleeves and the neckline.

Oh, hey toes. How's it going?
Checkin’ out my awesome pedi.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew, view B

Fabric: 2 1/2 yds of a cotton voile from Golden D’or. I picked up extra yardage to underline the front. The fabric is marvelously airy (perfect for Texas summers), but wrinkles like a mofo. I have to iron and steam the crap out of it anytime I wear it 😦 I’ll pick something less wrinkle-tastic for my next version.

Alterations: Cut a 16 for the bust and waist and tapered to a 14 at the hips. However, I think I could have taken the entire thing in an extra size because I can pull it over my head easily without the zipper.

Notions: Thread and invisible zipper.

Oh, hey invisible zip. Didn't see you there.
Oh, hey invisible zip. Didn’t see you there.

Make it again?: For sure. The main reason I bought this pattern is because it’s the perfect base for my upcoming Pokemon trainer cosplay. But it’s also an amazingly versatile blouse for work and hanging out. Since making it, oh, 2 weeks ago, I’ve worn it to brunch with the girls and to work. It goes well with skirts, trousers, and jeans.

Favorite parts: The overall shape. It’s very flattering without being super tight.

Other thoughts: This is such an adorable top. I wanted something that looked spring-y, breathed well, and could work for a number of settings. This definitely fits the bill.

alma back

I do have a few hangups that I’ll probably go back and fix (maybe). The fabric belt is adorable, but when I make future versions, I’m going to add length to accommodate for it. The top hits a good length on me without the belt, so I think I’ll take it in an extra 1/4 in on each side to get a bit more shaping. I also still need to add the thread loops on the side seams.

no belt 2
Playing with the self-timer on my camera. Don’t mind me.

The gathered cap sleeves are cute, but I don’t think they really work for me. I already have broad shoulders so in future versions I’ll make longer sleeves or go sleeveless. I haven’t decided yet if I want to seam rip these bad boys and make it sleeveless. It’s definitely a possibility, since I’m fairly certain I put one of the sleeves in backwards 0_o. The bands are a very clever finish for this version.

The notched neckline of view A is cute, but I think I’ll go with the rounded neckline for speed in future versions. I opted for the notched neckline for visual interest since I chose a solid fabric. I may add an extra row or two of top stitching. We’ll see how I feel about it in a few weeks.

2014-04-03 19.33.15

All in all, a cute blouse. It’s a great wardrobe staple, though I imagine I’ll wear it more on the weekends due to the wrinkle factor. That drives me crazy at work. On to April’s challenge!