Turkey Daze

I don’t know about you, but I still have turkey leftover in my fridge from last Thursday (it’s almost gone, though!), which I think has put me in a semi-permanent tryptophan-induced food coma. In other words, I’m behind in my blogging! I have several new finished projects to post, but today you get a repeat with a “twist” in honor of all that turkey. Okay, not really even a twist…but I wanted to introduce you all to my “turkey jacket”! It’s an Anthropologie jacket I got many years ago that has a pleated plaid “tail” in the back that reminds me of, well, a turkey :P. Paired with my Lady Skater cowl dres:

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Dress: handmade “Lady Skater Dress” by Kitschy Coo with cowl from Sewaholic’s “Renfrew Top,” Jacket: Anthropologie, Tights (that you can’t see): purple fleece tights from Saver’s, Boots: Clark’s

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Gobble gobble!

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Attack of the Frankenpattern + Meet my new sewing friend!

This weekend was full of new experiments! I cooked up my first “Frankenpattern” (i.e. a combo of two or more different patterns) in my “lab” – a combo of the Lady Skater Dress and the cowl version of the Renfrew Top. I love both patterns, and when Sarah at Grey’s Fabric and Notions told me about this particular combination, I knew I had to try it. Voilà!

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Dress: handmade “Lady Skater Dress” by Kitschy Coo with cowl from the “Renfrew” by Sewaholic, Tights: Anthropologie, Belt: Ann Taylor, Boots: Clark’s

I love many things about this dress – it’s warm (thanks to the cowl and longer sleeves and skirt) and it was super easy to make! I didn’t have to make any alterations to add the cowl – I literally just cut the whole Lady Skater pattern minus the neckband and cut the Renfrew cowl instead. Of course, I sewed both shoulder at the same time, since I wasn’t adding the neckband piece. One note – I did match the shoulder seam notch on the cowl pattern to the shoulder seams of the dress, which meant stretching the cowl a little through the back. I did this to take in extra fullness through the back neckline – usually, the neckband takes care of that part, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t have a gaping neck in the back. Not bad for my first Frankenpattern!

My second big experiment this weekend was – drumroll please – my new serger!!

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Meet the Pfaff Hobbylock 2.0, purchased at Grey’s over the weekend. I was timid about making such a big investment, but it’s already paying off! Since I sew soooo many knits, I knew I probably needed a serger, so I took the plunge. And I love it! Of course, it’s taken some getting used to, and there was a lot of frustration at the beginning – the first thing to happen when I got it home was that the threads broke and I had to re-thread the whole thing – agh!! But I learned a ton from my initial disasters, and now my serger and I are becoming fast friends. One thing that helped a lot – it turns out my mom is a Pfaff serger expert! Yes, really. She used to teach serger classes at her local fabric store before they closed. So after a frustrating first attempt at a garment (which I will show you later, after I’ve recovered from that trauma…), I got a private serger lesson via Skype. Totally awesome!

So, my new dress was also made on the serger. It was super fast and not nearly as intimidating as I has feared!

One other comment before I leave – Grey’s Fabric and Notions is pretty much my favorite place in the world. If you live in Boston, or near Boston, and need fabric, sewing machines, or anything sewing related, I highly recommend them! They have a wonderful fabric selection and the staff are suuuper helpful and knowledgable. Enjoy!

All the Rage

Several months ago while on a shopping/research excursion with my mom, it dawned on both of us that peplum tops are pretty much the “in thing” right now. We thought the fad probably wouldn’t stick, so I figured I didn’t want to invest in a style that might not last long. However, many months later I’m still seeing them everywhere! I always thought they were cute, so I decided I wanted to join in.

And you know from a few posts ago that the Lady Skater Dress is the “in thing” in the sewing world right now. Taking things a step further, Lady Skater Modifications are super “in,” too. So, peplum top + Lady Skater Dress + modifications = all the rage – amiright??

Anyhow, I’ll cut to the chase. I used Amanda’s Lady Skater Peplum Tutorial to make my own peplum top, using the Peplum 3.0 skirt mod. Le voilà:

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Top: handmade “Lady Skater Dress” peplum top by Kitshy Coo, Pants and Belt: Banana Republic, Boots: Clark’s, Cardigan: LOFT

This is another wearable muslin, made from the scraps of my first Renfrew top. It’s kind of amazing how little fabric this takes! Of course, I didn’t have enough fabric for long sleeves, so I’m wearing short sleeves when it’s 40 degrees out (oops…), but it was a good pattern test. I think for my next one I’ll make the bodice and skirt an inch longer each – what do you think?

Since the fabric I used doesn’t have a ton of stretch, I shortened the armband pieces by an inch on the sleeves to keep their shape. I probably should have done that for the neckline, too, but didn’t remember at the time. I’m also still trying to decide if I like the size I used for the sleeves – I’ve been making a size 3 top, but I’m wondering about a size 2 armhole and size 3 everything-else. More experiments to come!

Skating Time!

Sadly I haven’t gone ice skating yet this year, but whenever I do I’ll have the perfect dress – my new Lady Skater Dress by Amanda from Kitshy Coo. This pattern came out in June, and I’ve been reading so much praise for the dress from other bloggers that I had to try it! And it does not disappoint – this is definitely my favorite dress pattern so far, and I plan to make many, many more!

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Dress: Lady Skater Dress by Kitschy Coo, Belt: Ann Taylor, Tights: Banana Republic, Boots: Clark’s

I’m really liking the fit, but I did end up having to make one alteration – I shortened the top by about 2.5″. When I put together the dress with the top as-is, my prominent tummy and bum were, yet again, a problem…grr! But I quickly realized that raising the skirt up would allow the fullness in the skirt (a nice, swishy partial circle) to cover up those problem areas. So, after a little seam ripping and cutting, the problem was fixed!

I’m starting to develop a new understanding of and appreciation for my body shape now that I am sewing more. I’m getting a better sense of which patterns works for my shape and which don’t. And just because a particular cut isn’t flattering doesn’t mean I’m “fat”! It just means I need to make a change or two (or maybe look for a different pattern). This is helping me find a healthier, more realistic way to think about my body. And now I realize why I love high waists and full skirts so much!