Friday, August 22, 2014

Plantain Two Ways + Tribute Sewing

Whoa-ho. Not only is this my first post in months (eeep), but it's my first time participating in a Sewcialist theme month. I figured if I'm going to rise from my (blog-y) grave I might as well do it with something good, right? In my lack-of-posting defense, I did just move to NYC and I am still in the oh-so-delightful process of desperately trying to secure a place to live that isn't the size of a shoebox- there simply hasn't been time to sew or blog, and that's a damned shame. Technically there still isn't as I am still desperately running around Manhattan and Brooklyn begging people to like me enough to let me spend money to live with them (renting a room is weird, guys), but hey, I decided it was time for a break.

Anyway, I have two makes to share in this post, both the same pattern put to very different effect. First up is chronologically first and not my tribute thingamabob, but as it utilizes this tutorial by Anna of Paunnet you could still argue that it's a tribute piece. Yes indeed- it's a Plantain babydoll dress!

More detailed pictures to come, I swear, but these are the sanest full-length shots I have. I made my sister's day by asking her to take photos of me in two dresses when we went to a local (Virginia) botanical garden, hence the legit photos and equally legit scenery. I haven't blogged about it but I've made the Deer and Doe Plantain Tee five times now, and I don't think I'm stopping any time soon. The neckline and fit just work beautifully on me, and I feel so comfortable and cute wearing it whether it's in dress form or a top- I definitely need to get some of their other patterns soon!

Let's ignore the somewhat derp expression (in my defense I'm standing in a tree...) I'm making and my admission sticker and focus on the fabric and finishings here, shall we? This is a really nice knit from Wanderlust Fabric, my new go-to for knits- I love almost everything they sell. This cute birds-on-denim-blue fabric is out of stock now, unfortunately, but it was a breeze to work with. You may be noticing that this Plantain dress does not have even the shortest of sleeves- I didn't add any sleeves whatsoever to make this a perfect go-to summer dress (that can very easily be cozied up for fall). I finished the arms the same way you finish the neck, which I think gives it a very cohesive look- I'm actually really proud of my bands!

It's also the perfect dress to pretend to have magical tea parties in, but let's be real, that's ANY dress because pretending to have magical tea parties is awesome.
I've already worn this dress a slew of times, both in Virginia and in NYC, and it's already passed the NYC test- an employee at the NBC Experience store complimented me on it!

Now we come to the tribute-y portion. I've a fan of many sewing bloggers floating about the interwebs, but there's one in particular who's encouraged me to really think about why I sew, what kind of clothes I actually like to wear, and, more importantly than that, suck it up and join in the online sewing community. When I saw that the theme for August was making something inspired by someone else, I automatically knew both what I wanted to make and who had inspired me to make it, because I was already planning on making something inspired by this person!

That's a jacket in my hand, for the record, not a cute lace insert- although now I want to try that!

This is once again a Plantain dress, although I didn't follow a pattern hack for this one- I just extended the hem aaaalll the way to the ground. I determined length via the highly scientific method of lying down on my fabric and having my sister put a pin where my ankle fell, because I couldn't be bothered to deal with measuring tape. It's probably a tad long as a result, but eh, I had no problem walking in it. Again I neglected to add sleeves, but I finished both arm and neck in a different manner than before; rather than use bindings, I used the new-to-me technique of French bindings, a la this tutorial from 110 Creations. I really wanted a clean finish to make this dress slightly less casual, and this binding technique definitely pulled that off! The fabric is also from Wanderlust Fabrics and this one is still in stock, and it just feels so nice against the skin- perfect for a summer dress.

Told you it was a jacket. Also don't worry about why I look so alarmed here; I was tired and it was early, hence skittish reactions to cameras.
Can you guess who I was inspired by? Here's a list of things I associate with my honoree:

  • Knit fabric
  • A tried-and-true (for me) pattern
  • Maxi-length dress
  • Florals
  • Unintentional, but in hindsight perfect: the garden these photos were taken is was the Japanese one!
If you guessed Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, you'd be 100% correct! I feel like she's a popular choice for tribute month and it's really not hard to see why- she's such a positive, helpful presence, and her sense of style is both really wearable and really cute! I wanted my contribution to both honor her while also being something I'd wear, challenge or no, and I definitely think I achieved that here. 

So, that's that! Hopefully it won't be another multi-month break before I post something. My sewing machine is still states away until I find an apartment (have I mentioned yet that I'm apartment hunting? Any Sewcialists in NYC looking to rent a room/get a new roommate? I swear I'm nice!), but now that I'm in NYC I don't really think I have an excuse not to sew. I'm looking forward to becoming more active in the sewing community, maybe both on and offline, who knows!


  1. D"AWWWWW!!!! Thank you! That dress is awesome - and I can honestly say that before I'd scrolled down, I was already thinking "Man, I could use a dress like that!" It looks really pretty on you - they both do!

    1. Heh, thank you! :D You've definitely been a huge inspiration to me sewing-wise, so I'm happy you like my dress in your honor. (Also, man, maxi dresses are COMFY, I totally get it now.)