Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Indie Bundling and Fox Tops

I play my fair share of video games, and one of my favorite ways to get great indie games is the Humble Indie Bundle, as it gets me games at a good price while also helping really worthwhile charities. It sometimes means I end up having a huge roster of games I will never play (I am not masochistic enough for Super Meat Boy), but it's also enabled me to get beautiful games like Bastion and Braid, and it's let me stumble on games I might not have otherwise sought out for myself simply because they were included in the deal.

Many of you can probably guess where this is going: how goddamn ecstatic I am that this sort of thing has spread to the sewing world. When Dixie blogged about the Perfect Pattern Parcels I let out a shrill little squeal of glee (I think I was on the train at the time so that was kind of embarrassing but worth it) and, well, instantaneously bought it. Just like with the indie game bundles I didn't really want everything in the bundle- I mainly wanted the Summer Concert Tee and the Ava Dress (which I have been LUSTING after for a good long while), had a glancing interest in the Lady Skater as a good simple staple dress, knew my sister'd like the Accordion Bag and honestly had no desire at all for the Dandelion (although it is beginning to grow on me, don't fret- it's just not something I'd have bought on its own!).  But. I am 100% here for supporting indie designers whenever I can, and I am 200% here for childhood education. It was a no brainer; I had to be part of this. And hey, now I have five new patterns to play with, although I think I'll gift the bag pattern to my sister as she'll get more use out of it (she's a quilter, she has a lot more fabric scraps laying about).

Anywho, sewing! I made probably the "trendiest" thing I ever will today: a fox-print peplum tank top.

No one here is a good photographer and there is no good lighting. I'm sorry. We tried.
I'm not 100% satisfied with this just yet, as the fit isn't at all right. This was that McCall's pattern I posted about, and it's honestly okay, it just needs tweaking. For one, I had to cut two inches off the shoulder straps- they were WAY too long, Secondly, it fits a bit large all over- maybe I should've cut a small instead of a medium? I'm going to wash it and dry it to see if that bit of shrinkage'll fix it up, but if it doesn't I'll have to get creative. Don't get me wrong, it's entirely wearable as-is, but I would like it to be properly fitted, not kind of... baggy. You'll notice I threw a cardigan on over it, and that's because it pooches out at the bust. Maybe it should've had bust darts as well as the... front... middle... darts... I need to brush up on my terminology.

Girl Charlee fabric haul!
The fabric itself is a really stable knit (like it feels more like cotton) from Girl Charlee. It's not very soft nor is it very stretchy, but goddamn, I can't say no to the foxes and the cheerful bright blue. Again, hopefully washing'll fix some of these issues. I was hella impatient and didn't prewash (I know, I know, bad me!), so there's hope yet! I'll be prewashing the peacock blue and owl print knits in when I do this load of laundry so I don't repeat my mistakes (I prewashed the knits for both my completed Plantains, rest assured).

... and yes, I'm making another Plantain with the peacock jersey. The owl print jersey there'll be my elbow patches and a patch pocket. Don't judge me. It's become a tried-and-true already and I am totally okay with that.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sure is dusty in here but I CAN'T STOP SEWING THESE PLANTAINS.

(Note: I'm gonna go back through and add photos to this when able, I haven't gotten the chance to take good photos yet but I just really want to post something.)

Has it really almost been a month? Two months? Am I that kind of blogger? Turns out I darn well might be, but that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing. I've actually been sewing a lot, between cosplays and discovering my almighty, burning love of Deer & Doe's free pattern, the Plantain.

I know, I know, I missed the contest! Which is a darn shame, as I've got my eye on basically all of Deer & Doe's patterns (but most particularly those cute as hell Chataigne shorts and the super wearable Sureau dress, those might be coming home soon), but I doubt either of my makes would've been in contention. I've already made it up twice and have every intention of getting more fabric to make a lengthened dress version (just lengthening it, not making it a cute empire-waisted sort of thing like the tutorial they made is for- although that is cute!) and another t-shirt one... and this time I'll finally actually sew elbow patches on! Adorable fox elbow patches, no less. Despite my love for elbow patch everything, I shockingly have yet to actually use the elbow patch parts of the pattern.

I did do a bit of experimentation, though! Inspired by the lovely Newcastle Cardigan I made my boyfriend (which I still need to blog, dammit me, and which will soon be joined by another- making one for myself, aw yes oversized boyfriend cardigan), I decided to try making a shoulder and back yoke for the Plantain- a kind of color-blocking effect, I guess? It makes the top and sleeves sparkly purple while the rest is more toned down gray is what I'm getting at. Would you believe that both the purple and the gray are the same fabric, just different sides of it? When I first got it the fabric felt a little stiff, but after prewashing it it became so soft and drapey, it's just lovely. I think it was a bit too lightweight for this particular pattern (oh, how that neckband gave me grief), but I struggled through and I'm pleased enough with the result.

That was actually the second one I made, though, and I gotta say, the first one gets a lot more wear even though it's far simpler. Simple is good, though- it's in a lovely olive green, which is one of my staple colors, and it just flatters me so well. It's comfy as hell, instantly makes me feel 20% more put together than if I threw on a regular t-shirt, and it smells so damn nice since I prewashed it with my long-lasting clean scent... scent... beads. In fewer words, this is the perfect combo of comfort and style for me.

I fear that I've unleashed the knit monster, and it wants more. I can't stop eyeing Tilly's Coco pattern- that slashed neckline dress calls to me, with cuffed sleeves, perhaps, and a nice black and green stripe... I also picked up a knit top/dress McCalls pattern as Joann's had McCalls patterns on the 5 for $7 sale and that's when I buy everything, if it's gonna be a non-indie brand (Big Four? I'm trying to pick up the lingo here!) pattern. I also got: a dress (with pockets!) pattern that will be fantastic for colorblocking or mixing patterns a solids, plus it's such a sleek styling- love it; a back cutout dress pattern that I think drew me in due to it being vaguely Belladone-esque (still going to get the Belladone, though, this version doesn't have pockets, which is a crime); a shirt dress/blouse pattern with an optional high-low hem, my absolutely favorite kind of hem, no shame whatsoever; aaand then the oddball pattern, a Civil War uniform pattern than I'm going to use to make Zach a Zeon uniform.

Flirty dresses, comfortable tops and cosplays, basically all I ever want to sew and wear.
Now that I'm through Katsucon, I get to sew for myself again! I'm thinking of breaking into the Zinnia pattern, as I have some wonderful olive polka dot eyelet that's begging to be made into the lined version. I got some material to make the sleeved version of the McCalls top pattern I just got, and am waiting on material for another Plantain because I have a problem people. I also have some silk tweed that I've no clue what to do with, but oh I wanna do something. Maybe a jacket? What's an appropriate application for silk tweed?! How did I end up with this fabric that I don't even know what to do with?!

Also, any favorite cardigan patterns? I live in cardigans 90% of the time, and if I can make my own with knits so much the better. I'm eyeing the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan, or maybe a waterfall cardigan I can wrap into different styles of top (I had a pattern for that in my tabs but then my browser crashed and I lost it, uhg.)

Final bit of exciting news... I might end up in NYC next academic year? I'm deciding between two grad programs, one in Washington, D.C. and the other at NYU. Whatever I choose it'll be a big difference from my undergrad experience in a small tourist destination!