Science Girl Eats Again
This is the dress I made for Science of Eats 2014. I’ve been super busy lately, but I still wanted to do a new Science Girl outfit, so I made up this dress pattern in about 10 seconds. And by made it up, I mean I decided to attach a simple circle skirt to the waist of these deer-and-doe tshirts. I chose mushrooms because it was part of the theme of this year’s event to seed your own mushroom log.
This dress is made of Spoonflower’s new Modern Jersey. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this fabric, and the more I sew with it the more I love it. The fabric is designed by Nadja Petremande.
Also a cool trick for all those lazy seamstresses out there like me: If you have a serger that can do a rolled hem (and most can!) you can get that curly hem effect by simply stretching the fabric out as far as you can while sewing a rolled hem. Just choose a thread color that compliments or contrasts your fabric, and you get a fantastic effect with almost no effort.
Librarian Apron Dress
I was planning this dress out nearly a year ago (for this post). I never actually got around to finishing it until we got crazy snowed in this week.
The pattern is the Retro Butterick 4790 dress. It has an interesting structure, its all one piece that goes over your head and connects in the back and the front. I’ve been meaning to try it out for awhile, just for that uniqueness.
I found the sizing a little odd, which is not unusual for retro patterns. Luckily, it has a very casual fit, so it works out. The waist was very tiny and the bodice was a little large. I used ties in the front instead of buttons, which also made the fit easier. It has that great classic ’50s silhouette, and the full skirt swings around your knees. I can just imagine a crazy librarian wandering around and climbing up ladders and dusting shelves in this dress. It makes me happy.
The fabric is Spoonflower’s organic cotton sateen. The quotes fabric is by me, you can see it here. I used quotes from many of my favorite books and authors: Neil Gaiman, Dorothy Sayers, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jasper Fforde, JRR Tolkein. The book spines fabric is a lovely design bypeacoquettedesigns.
I love this dress. I love its fabric. I loved making it. I loved wearing.
I really really hate my photographs of this dress. This is one of those times when I acknowledge that I really need a real camera. And maybe some practice, or some skill. And probably a better spot than my dining room or back porch to take photographs. This dress is amazing. My pictures of it are absolute crap.
Other than that, I’m really proud of this project.
I made this dress for a Christmas/Birthday party we threw at our house for a roommate. I wanted something visually simple but that felt wonderful and moved with me.
I chose a very nice dark green velvet for this dress because I wanted that tactile experience. I also have never sewed with velvet before, and I wanted that experience. Photographing that velvet was a serious challenge with a crappy phone camera. It is a very dark rich green color, and when the low lights hit it at the christmas party, it glowed. It was beautiful. I lined it in silver satin-y lining which felt soft on the inside and showed when I twirled.
This pattern is Vogue 8814. It turned out great, and I already have more plans to use it again. It was very simple and easy, but joining those pieces cut on the bias gives it a very elegant look. I included a picture of the cover of the pattern. Because of my inability to photograph the velvet well you can’t see the very interesting structure of the dress. It is comfortable to wear, and twirls fantastically.
I altered the back of it pretty dramatically. The pattern had two choices, with a fully closed back all the way up to the neck and a zipper, or crossed straps. I used the pieces for the full back, but then cut out a diamond shape where the zipper would be and had it simply close at the back of the neck. I attached a filigree bead and a swarovski crystal to add an awesome sparkle and bring interest to what is normally the most boring part of a dress.
I made this dress for a wedding I attended last summer. You may recognize the pattern, I used it for the Science Girl Eats dress, and (with heavy modifications) the Fifties Alice dress, and this border print contra dance dress, and this first instance of the returning dress. And even, actually, when I made a bride’s maid dress for a friend’s wedding last june.
This dress is silk, and I took more care with it than I usually do with sewing. I even used horse-hair braid in the hem and I cut the hem unevenly (intentionally this time, I promise!) because I wanted the hem to curl and twirl with every move. It worked perfectly.
This is the Retro Butterick 5603 pattern.
I love this pattern because it is easy to sew, it is super flattering, it is easily adaptable to whatever I need to use it for. The dress can be casual and fun or formal and yet still comfortable to wear.
Hey readers, its sharing time! Do you have a pattern that you return to time and time again? Do you have a pattern that is perfect nearly every time you use it? Do you have a pattern that you’ve had to buy multiple times because you keep wearing out the tissue paper (or maybe you don’t even need the pattern anymore because you can draw it with your eyes closed)?
Science Girl Drinks Beer
There is a local science museum that holds adult events where you can drink beer and eat food and learn about science! They’re pretty fantastic. My roommate works there, actually, so from the earliest events I’ve had fun creating themed garments to wear to each event.
This was for the yearly favorite of Science of Beer (last october). The fabric is decorated with beautifully sketched hops, an important ingredient in brewing beer. It is designed by Phillip Markel, and you can find it here.
The dress pattern is excessively simple, as are my preferences. You can basically lie down on the fabric and trace yourself, then add a seam at the sides and on the shoulders. The fabric is spoonflower’s organic cotton knit.
If you’d like to see the other dresses in the Science Girl collection, check them out here.
This was a dress I did to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding last summer. And yes, you’ve seen this pattern before, its one of my favorites. Its the Retro Butterick 5630 dress.
I lined it and added some green tulle to simulate a petticoat and add a little flash of color when I twirled.
Its made out of spoonflower sateen that is hand-dyed. It was a charming and fun wedding. Each of us made our own dresses and dyed them. The bride and groom are some of my closest friends, and they know how to throw a wedding.
I managed to get a few decent closeups of the halloween Lion Tamer costume. (Granted, these were taken with my cellphone in my dining room, and not by the lovely professional photographer who took the others.)
The jacket was an altered pattern from Butterick #4954. I removed the high collar, and gave it lapels and turn-backs instead of the straight buttoned front that was pictured. I lined it with bold stripes to give it that true circus look.
The corset was from Butterick #5662. I removed the lacings from the front, for simplicity’s sake, and added some large brass brads.
You can also see the truly ridiculous number of crystal rhinestones that I added to the corset, the hat, and the spats. I was going for a sparkly flame effect, and if I’d had more time I would have covered the whole jacket in flames as well.
While the whole costume went off fantastically, I think my favorite part of this project was designing the fabric designs themselves (with the help from my fantastic coworker.) I enjoyed creating the metallic gold effect in the printed designs. Spoonflower cannot print with metallic inks, but you can simulate the effect with some fancy photoshop gradients, and a little bit of work. I think it turned out fantastically! You can also see in some of the pictures that we added some fake distressing, dirt smudges, dirty cracks, frayed threads. We wanted the costumes to look well worn. This is also my excuse for not ironing them well, by the way. We’re a phantom circus, a ghostly dead circus, clean unwrinkled clothing is beyond our cares.
(see full photo set)
I was having fun with border prints for this wonderfully easy project. Deer and Doe is a french pattern company that I absolutely adore. I’ve been lusting after many of their patterns for awhile, and they they released this easy t-shirt pattern for free! That’s right. You, too, can download it right now. I plan on making many many more of these awesome tshirts. Hopefully, someday, I’ll be able to report further on Deer and Doe’s other patterns.
The pattern is easy to sew, it took me about 30 minutes to do each shirt with a serger. It is incredibly comfortable, and flattering on anyone.
This was also another excuse for me to use spoonflower’s new Modern Jersey, a 4-way stretch jersey knit, which I’ve come to love the more I use it.
The fabric for the first shirt was designed by Jadegordon (here on tumblr), who is one of my favorite spoonflower designers. You can find the lovely tentacle fabric here.
The fabric for the second was designed by CeanIrminger and can be found here.
This was a lovely easy lazy project. Spoonflower has a new fabric in our dye-sublimation line called “Modern Jersey.” Its a jersey knit fabric with four-way stretch. Its soft and pliable and easy to work with and I wanted an excuse to play with it.
The ginko fabric is designed by frumafar and can be found here.
Note that on Thursday (Feb 13th) Spoonflower is having a Free Swatch Day to promote this new fabric! You can get your very own swatch of Modern Jersey for FREE!
Years ago I got a simple maxi-dress from target that’s become one of my favorites because it is so simple and comfortable. I used it to copy this dress. And by copy, I mean I merely laid out the old dress and traced it onto this new fabric. No pattern necessary. The only seams in this dress are along the sides, and at the shoulders, its that easy. You can see how lazy I was with the hemming, as well. I like to claim that I cultivate uneven hemlines as a fashion statement. Sometimes its true, this time it was laziness.
I think that if I wanted to write a blog that was more about sewing techniques I’d call it “The Lazy Seamstress.” And I’d share all the short-cuts I tend to take while sewing, and how sometimes they’re worth it and no one notices, and sometimes they’re a disaster.
…But I’m too lazy to write all that down.