Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Long-Awaited Black Skirt

  I realized about 6 years ago that I needed a basic black skirt. I was just beginning my forays into sewing at that time, and had two skirts (neither of which fit) under my belt. The second was created using math, so I altered my math a bit and laboriously sewed up a black skirt with some too-stiff, too-shiny fabric. It was closer to correct this time, except too tight in the waist, and I actually wore that skirt a few times in spite of its issues. Ever since then, I've been looking for the perfect black fabric to make a skirt that fits. 

  A couple weeks before Thanksgiving this year, I bought the perfect black twill from Nick of Time Textiles. This stuff is beautiful! It has a soft hand, enough body for a skirt but is light enough for a shirt, and enough drape to swish beautifully as I walk. The only thing I don't love about it is its lint-attracting qualities, but I'm pretty sure that is a problem with all black twill.

  I originally intended to make a dress from it, but since I bought quite a bit of yardage (and it is 68 inches wide), I decided I would have enough to make a skirt once I'd finished all of the other garments I made that week. I made the same style of skirt as my two drop-cloth skirts, since for some reason I still had the pattern piece I'd used.

  It isn't a perfect fit, since my tummy hasn't gone down from the last baby as quickly as I'd hoped it would, but it's eons better than any other black skirt I've ever owned. And since most of the fit issue is at the lower belly, and my shirts are usually un-tucked and hit around my hips, it's not noticeable.

  I did make a couple more changes this time... I cut extra width on one side of the center front piece, with matching width on the right front, and only put buttons on that side. I also interfaced under the buttons, and made thread chain loops instead of elastic or fabric ones. And finally, I serged everything instead of French-seaming, since I had less than one day in which to sew this.

  I apologize for the last two photos... they were lovely, but adding my watermark did something horrible to them (that didn't show up until I just uploaded them) and I'm not sure why. And this next photo... it looks like I'm being all pose-y, but I was actually just making sure Gaiw wasn't playing with my tripod (which was a birthday gift from my wonderful husband).

  There you have it, a simple black skirt, which has already proven its worth by multiple wearings. =)

  I have just one more post left to conclude the Thanksgiving sewing, and it is by far my favorite of the pieces I created that week. I've been saving the best for last! =) I know, some of you are waiting to see the rest of the Christmas gifts I made, but I just can't bring myself to post things out of order like that. All in good time. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

  If you hadn't noticed already, I've been taking it easy with blogging, but I should be back in about a week with the rest of the Thanksgiving clothes, as well as all of the gifts I made for Christmas this year. I hope you have a lovely, relaxing, fun, blessed day celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Denim Baby Dress And Black Onesie

 This is the outfit Beckers wore for our family photo this year:
 A denim dress, with an asymmetrical opening, contrasting, collar and waistband, and plastic heart snaps (I still love these snaps);

  and a black onesie with a ribbed envelope neckline and lettuce-edged sleeves:

  There is a reason that neither of these are worn by Beckers for the individual photos.... I made the ribbing on the onesie too big, and didn't add enough ease in the bodice of the dress. Also, the skirt of the dress is too narrow for a baby, though these proportions would have been perfect for an older kid.
  The dress is technically reversible, but since the pink side is so much lighter weight than the denim (and is also a bit too sheer) it's not likely to get much use on that side:

  Also, I DID iron this dress before taking pictures of it... but these fabrics both require extra steam to remove wrinkles, and my iron's steaming capabilities are far below average. =)

  I still like the idea behind this dress, but here's what I'd change if I were to make it again: I'd add about 1" total ease to the bodice, double the flare in the skirt, and widen the collar by an inch. Also, I probably wouldn't line the whole thing next time, just the bodice.

  Since I know you all just come here to see the baby, here she is =) (This photo was NOT posed):

  Next up, the things I wore for the family photos. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ruffle Skirt and Black Shirt

 I mentioned a couple weeks ago on Facebook that I ended up making 6 garments for the annual Thanksgiving family photo. Well, I finally have individual photos of a few of them. First up, a skirt made from ruffle fabric for Gaiw, and a black I'm-not-quite-sure-what-to-call-the-neckline shirt for Booper.

  The shirt collar is similar to a turtleneck, but I purposely made it soft and loose... so not quite a turtleneck.

  As you can see, I made a mistake when sewing the collar on. It was supposed to be wrong-side of collar to right-side of shirt, but I did it right-side of collar to wrong-side of shirt. I had 5 other garments to sew that week though, so I didn't pick it out, though I may still do that at some point.

  I made it longer than usual, so it looks nice and cozy, and did a lettuce-edge on the sleeves and hem, as well as the collar.

 The skirt was simple too... ruffle fabric with a plain knit underlining and a knit waistband.

  I made a mistake on the skirt too, and didn't use enough negative ease in the waistband. The knit had a lot more stretch than I'm used to! I had to unpick that, because it wouldn't stay up as it was. It worked much better the second time. =)

  The knit for the shirt, waistband, and lining, is from Girl Charlee. The ruffle fabric was on a daily deal site a few months back.

  The other garments I made for the photos are a top and skirt for myself, and a shirt and dress for Beckers. My husband was also wearing something I made though! He wore the Negroni shirt I finished this spring, which honestly is the entire reason we all wore denim and black. I don't have copies of the family photos yet, but I should have individual shots of Beckers outfit later this week, and my outfit soon after.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Birthday Two For Gaiw

 Gaiw is growing quickly,

  And is now 2 whole years old.... and finally has enough hair for pigtails!

  She's an energetic little girl, who repeats every sentence many times to make sure you understand, gives hugs regularly, adores food, and gets into everything. She loves dolls, bears, and her special blanket, and has been known to change shoes 9 times in one hour. Her clothes are also cycled regularly, and she loves to get her hair brushed. She's the messiest eater I've ever met, but she will loves to have her hands washed when she's finished. I love this little girl. =)

  I made her a three-tiered, elastic-waisted skirt for her birthday. I took a few shortcuts to make it go quickly: I left the selvedges on the strips I cut so I only had to finish the horizontal seams, used a ruffling foot to sew them together, and did a serged rolled hem instead of a proper hem. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the serged hem looks.

  The fabric was a gift from my friend, Karen. I'm so happy I finally had an opportunity to use some of it! =)

  I also made a cake, but since I was particularly short on time this year, it is undecorated. It's a classic white-cake-turned-pink, because what little girl wouldn't want a pink cake on her birthday? I frosted it with stabilized whipped cream (whipped cream plus gelatin) and some ganache. That frosting combination is definitely high on my list. =) The great thing about stabilizing the whipped cream is that it stays fluffy for a very long time in the fridge, instead of melting.

  Happy birthday, little Gaiw!

Thanks for stopping by,