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

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! 

WIP Wednesday: July Edition

Apparently my cosplays are actually agents of Hydra. Every time I knock one out, three more spawn in its place. Here’s a quick look at what I’m *hoping* to have finished out in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed that I don’t get roped into twelve more 0_o

Sailor Jupiter: 

This has taken far more time than is reasonable. Do you have those costumes that are within your skill level, but you can’t seem to make it *just* right? That’s this costume for me. I have seam ripped those sleeves at least four times. But! I am going to finish this one. I need to in order to salvage my ego. Fortunately, I’m getting past the absolute worst parts (hopefully), and I’m down to the collar, hemming the skirt, and styling the wig. I have a shoot planned with Aperture Ashley at A-fest, so I’d better get busy!

photo2

Sailor Rogue: 

I realized about a week ago that I’m not going to be able to knock out a full extra costume for A-fest, so I decided to work with what I have. The result: Sailor Rogue! I’ve had this idea baking in my brain for months, but this artist’s piece is what tipped the scale. Fortunately, I already have everything but the tights on hand! I’ll be using various pieces from my Rogue and Sailor Jupiter costumes, and I have some spare gold satin from my Ms. Marvel dress for bows. I like the gold/green look better than green on green. I’m tentatively planning to wear this the Sunday of A-fest.

Captain Marvel Dress: 

This is my planned Monthly Stitch project for August, and I’m hoping to have it done for Fan Appreciation Day. I’m not going to get around to a full Captain Marvel this year, so I’m stashbusting and reinterpreting her design for a dress! I adore this one by Contagious Costuming, which was my inspiration for this project. I’d love to incorporate the raglan sleeves, but I also need to knock this out pretty quickly, so I may just go with a sleeveless version. Any thoughts? I’m hacking the bodice with my Cambie skirt. Because pocketses.

photo3
That actually should read Simplicity 1606. Derp.

Street Fighter Cammy:

This is actually a commission. A cosplay friend contacted me about a week ago asking if I knew anyone who could commission this for her in time for A-fest. I still had some green fabric leftover from Rogue, so I decided to help out. It’s pretty much just my Ms. Marvel leotard with adjustments made to the leg hole openings. I’m done with the base, so I’m hoping to have it finished by tomorrow.

photo1

I have a few other things in the works (including some non-cosplay projects), but I won’t get started on them until after A-fest, so y’all will just have to wait until next month’s post 😉 What’s on your project table right now?

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.

March Monthly Stitch (the first): Renfrew-itis

It seems you guys share my love of Sewaholic patterns. When I put up my choices for March, I underestimated the blogosphere’s love of the Renfrew top. The Alma blouse beat out the Renfrew for this month’s challenge by 1 vote! So I decided to make both, and I totally get the adulation now. The bands. Oh my, those bands…

But let’s start at the beginning. I decided to make this top the first weekend in March. I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m in costume prep mode for All-Con (which kicks off tomorrow!), and I wrapped up the bulk of my projects that weekend. Speaking of, I can’t wait to show those off to you guys!

I decided on a whim to test out the Renfrew. I went with view B because I had just barely enough fabric in my stash for it. Figuring out how to mangle out my yardage was actually the most time-consuming part of this endeavor. I toyed with the idea of doing a contrast color for the bands (like this blogger), but I managed to make the white work. Next time!

Aside from playing fabric-Tetris, this project went together beautifully. I was a bit flummoxed by the neckline, but only slightly. As others have said, I think it would have been better to reduce the neckline seam allowances to 3/8″ rather than 5/8″, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was off the center point by a tiny bit, but I don’t really mind it.

20140311-180034.jpg
Derp.

This project also forced me to work with my “new” serger! As you may recall, I was gifted an old Kenmore for Christmas last year, but I’ve mainly been using it to finish off my seams. It is a scary, loud, and heavy beast. I feel a bit like a cat around a vacuum when I use it.

no-anything-but-the-vacuum-joke_o_1635849

Well, I ran out of white thread about an inch away from finishing my neckline. Normally, I’d just run to my local Jo-Ann’s and pick up more thread, but we were experiencing a marvelous “wintry mix” at the time, so I decided against braving the elements and used my serger to complete the project. I am so glad that happened, because I am now having a love affair with my serger. I want to sew all the knits and stretchy things!

20140311-181421.jpg
Yup, reusing pics. Seen here with my Sewaholic Tofino pants.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew, view B

Fabric: 1~ yd of a “beefy” white jersey knit from my stash

Alterations: I cut a 16 for the top and waist and tapered to a 14 at the hips based on what others have said and the finished measurements. No length added! This was mostly because of my fabric restrictions, but it turned out quite well. I’m a lanky and busty gal at 5’10~” with a 42″ bust, and I was pleasantly surprised that it hit my ideal shirt length.

Notions: Thread.

Make it again?: Definitely. The main reason I bought the Renfrew was because of the cowl neck on view C. I want to eventually turn it into a “sweater” dress that’s an appropriate length for work. Now that we’re moving into warmer weather, I’ll probably make a few knit dresses to practice.

Favorite parts: Bands. These are ingenious. I want to finish all my knits with these bands. I really like the sleeve length as well.

Other thoughts: I really like this top. Like, really really like it. I actually wore it to work last week before I finished the neckline and it was suuuuuper comfy.

20140311-181432.jpg

There’s a slight bit of pooling in the back. I may need to look into doing a swayback adjustment. Or it could just be my awkward pose here. Either way, not a big deal for a shirt that came totally from the stash.

20140311-180130.jpg
I am super excited that I did a pretty good job of matching up my side seams! I do need to press it a bit.

Have you guys made the Renfrew yet? I’m so excited to have a basic white tee in my wardrobe again!

20140311-180247.jpg

Monthly Stitch Challenge: Tell me what to sew!

Ahhhh! Is March really going to be here next week? I feel like I’ve barely wrapped my head around February. Pics for my February pants challenge will be up soon, I promise! I’m going to try to get some decent photos and not cell phone shots.

For those of you who’ve recently started following this blog (welcome!), I participate in the Monthly Stitch. It’s a fun way to try out new sewing challenges every month and share them with the online community. March’s challenge is based around pattern stashbusting, but there’s a twist: you guys get to decide which of the following patterns I have to make!

I’m in major prep mode for All-Con (3 weeks and counting), so I won’t get around to making this garment until the end of the month, but that’ll give me an excuse to indulge in some fabric shopping.

I’m focusing on tops for March. I’ve managed to make a couple of decent skirts and dresses, but I’m still sorely lacking in work-appropriate blouses.

Here are the contenders:

From left to right: Taffy Blouse, Renfrew top, and Alma Blouse.
From left to right: Taffy Blouse, Renfrew top, and Alma Blouse.

1. Sewaholic Alma Blouse (furthest on the right)

I initially purchased this pattern as a base for a Pokemon trainer cosplay, but it’s too pretty to just use it for that. This blouse would be a great compliment many of the skirts and trousers I already own. I have a black poly blend that would work for this, but it’d also be cute in something more springy. Maybe a floral print?

2. Sewaholic Renfrew Top (center)

A basic knit t-shirt pattern. Can you guys believe that I don’t have a single basic white t-shirt in my closet? Insane. I have a fair amount of jersey knit in my stash that would work for view B. I really like view C as well, but I need the right fabric. Maybe a light blue?

3. Colette Taffy Blouse (pictured on the left)

Another pattern I want to make from the Colette Sewing Handbook. I like the sheer fabric in this photo. I’m not sure this would look very good on me, though :-/ I have really broad shoulders, so I might look like a giant bird of prey.

Bonus (because I can’t narrow it down to 3 patterns): Colette Sorbetto (not pictured)

A free pattern from Colette! I really like this blouse. Very simple, but there are so many ways to dress it up. I’d probably add cap sleeves so that I can wear it to work sans cardigan in the summer.

So those are my picks. Which one do you guys want to see me make? Either fill out the poll or answer in the comments 🙂 I’ll take a tally and post the results next Friday!

(Belated) January Monthly Stitch: Lapped Zipper

Oh, this skirt. It started off so, so well. I was so excited to have a skirt to post to the Monthly Stitch Collective. And on time!

This month’s theme was “New Year, New Skill”. My primary new skill with this skirt was to install a lapped zipper, which turned out okay.

20140207-093228.jpg

My problem was that when everything was said and done, I nicked a small hole in the center front of the skirt. Ugh. More on that after the pics.

Quick aside: Have you guys heard of Scruffy Badger? Well, she’s awesome. I discovered her via Tasia’s blog, when she posted a bunch of Renfrew tops with wigs. I am ashamed that as a cosplayer, I did not think of this. So have some pencil skirt with my Rogue wig and corset. Because why not? (Corset by Castle Corsetry, BTW. I absolutely love this thing)

So... pretty sure I just figured out what I'm wearing to the Nerdlesque show at All-Con.
So… pretty sure I just figured out what I’m wearing to the Nerdlesque show at All-Con.
20140206_172908
Back view.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Pencil skirt from Gertie’s first book

Fabric: 1 1/8 yds of grey Italian grey wool suiting blend. It’s the same stuff as my Cambie work dress.

Alterations: A few fit alterations and added horizontal pleats, inspired by Colette’s Pastille dress.

Time: I honestly have no clue. Those pleats took freaking forever.

Notions: Zipper, button, bias tape

Make it again? Yes, though I think I’ll go for a bold color. I’d love to try some of the alterations mentioned in the book, like lining it and adding boning to the waistband.

Favorite parts: Overall fit, the waistband, and the pleats.

Other thoughts:

After I had a minor freak out upon discovering the nicked spot on the front of the skirt, I decided to iron some interfacing over the hole and add horizontal pleats (inspired by Colette’s Pastille dress).

By the way, thank you everyone for the wonderful ideas! I thought that adding the pleats would be the easiest and most time efficient options. Ha! Oops. The Pastille dress is actually on my to-make list, so I’ll keep that in mind when I do get around to making it.

I like the overall look of the pleats (even if they took a million years), but it brought the skirt up a little shorter than I would have liked. Still work appropriate, but I don’t think the super high waistband really works as well. More than likely I’ll wear tops untucked with this skirt.

2014-02-06 17.45.19 HDR
Close up of the pleats. My apartment has terrible overhead lighting. Sorry.

The back also looks a little odd. The Pastille dress has an invisible zipper and no slit as far as I can tell. I’m decided to just tack it down and move on with life. I’ll have to see how much it bugs me when I wear it to work. On to the next challenge: trousers!

HELP! Pencil skirt crisis

All right, I need some help, guys. I’ve been working on a pencil skirt from Gertie’s book for my Monthly Stitch project (my new skill for the month is inserting a lapped zipper). I love this skirt (I finished it over the weekend), but I have one problem: somewhere along the way, I nicked a tiny hole in the front center of the skirt about 6″ from the bottom of the hem. I need some help on how to fix this, because I can’t stomach the idea of tossing this project.

20140127-181816.jpg
Out! Out damned spot!

I have two ideas on how to fix this so far:

  1. Cut the length off and make a shorter skirt. Doable, but not quite what I’m going for.
  2. Use a contrasting fabric below the nick. I have some black fabric that might be a possibility.
photo-7
Original length for reference. It falls about 2″ below the knees.

What are your thoughts?

20140127-181828.jpg
With contrasting fabric. I’m not entirely sure what this fabric is, but it feels like some sort of poly blend.
20140127-181838.jpg
Contrasting fabric full-length view.
pencil skirt
Rolled to just below the nicked spot. It’s still an okay length for work, but I’d definitely have to wear tights or leggings.

Gah, I hate making stupid mistakes. Any other suggestions are welcome.

P.S. Just a heads-up, but I’ll likely be changing the name of this blog within the next few weeks. I’m just waiting on a few things to go through before I make the switch.

Cambie #4: The Instruction/Conference Dress

I have a confession: this dress and blog post have been complete for about two weeks now, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to take pictures. Oops.

Anyway, say hello to Cambie #4! Or, a dress I can wear to places other than cons. I made this dress as part of my garment challenge. I wanted something practical, comfortable, and versatile that I could wear to work. The Cambie is one of my favorite dress patterns, so it was a clear winner for my first garment of the new year.

Front view. Oh dear glob, I need a haircut.
Front view. Oh dear glob, I need a haircut.
Side view. I love me some pockets.
Side view. I love me some pockets. Not sure what’s going on with my face. Pretty sure my BF is king of the awkward shots.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie, view A.

Fabric: 2 yds of grey Italian grey wool suiting blend from my newest fabric obsession, Golden D’or.

Alterations: Added 1″ to the bodice, opted for the square neckline variation, took out the front darts, understitched the bodice, and some minor tweaking for fit.

Time: 10ish hours. I finished the inside seams of the shell with a Hong Kong finish and also had some funky fitting issues.

Notions: Invisible zipper, bias tape used on the lining.

Make it again? Yes, after I get through a few other patterns. I’m thinking a pretty cotton sateen for my next go.

Favorite parts: Pretty sleeves, slash pockets, flattering design.

Other thoughts: WARNING: wall of text ahead.

I have some mixed thoughts about this dress. Now that it’s done, I like it, but it almost became a UFO (unfinished object) on several occasions.

The fabric is what really inspired this dress. I saw it on my first trip to Golden D’or in January. I bought it intending to make a pair of Juniper trousers, but then quickly changed my mind when I realized I could squeeze a Cambie and a pencil skirt out of my yardage. Score!

Since this fabric is a wool blend, I decided to err on the side of caution and use Eucalan in case of shrinkage. Problem was, my only local distributor was closed, so I had to wait a week for Amazon before I could even pre-treat my fabric. Ok, no big deal. I decided I’d use the time to make a muslin of the skirt since the A-line skirt is much more fitted than the gathered skirt.

Fast forward a week. Once I started cutting, I discovered that some of my pattern pieces were missing, so I had to redraft those based on previous Cambies. My biggest problem cropped up when I tried to attach the bodice to the skirt. My hip measurements are a size 10 in Cambie land (for reference, my bust is a size 16), but I forgot to allow for differences in darts and seam placement. Sigh. The easiest way to fix that mistake was to take out the front darts. I left the unmatched back darts in the back since I wear cardigans a lot at work (see: lazy).

It's a bit hard to see, but those darts in the back are off by about 1/2". Also, STUPID HAIR.
It’s a bit hard to see, but those darts in the back are off by about 1/2″. Also, STUPID HAIR. HELP ME HAIR GODS.

I had some trouble with the sleeves as well, partly because the sleeve lining is one of the pieces I had to redraft. I wound up taking about an inch off of them, which also helped with some weird drooping around the neckline.

Speaking of the neckline, I understitched the lining since I didn’t have quite enough fabric for a facing. At least, not with the pencil skirt from hell.

I guess this dress also *could* count for my new skills challenge, since I actually tried out my blind hem foot on this beastie. I think it turned out pretty well. I did the hem on the lining first so that it wouldn’t be visible if I messed up too much.

Still, all trouble aside, I think it turned out okay. I’m glad I stuck it out and finished. My sewing mojo has been really off lately, so finishing feels like a big accomplishment right now.

I mentioned that my work wardrobe is sadly lacking. My workplace dress is fairly casual, but I think this piece will be great for when I have to give presentations/instruction sessions and attend conferences. I still think it’s funny that I became a librarian partially out of severe introversion, but I do a metric crap ton of public speaking every semester.

Tl;dr I screwed up, but at least it’s passable and I know what to fix next time.

Also, I desperately need a real camera. Phone and iPad shots just aren’t cutting it anymore. Any suggestions?