Hey, look, I actually finished something! (And some MMM stuff)

I haven’t had a chance to write in the last few days, so I’m going to do days 9-12 all at once. But slightly out of order, because day 10 features my latest project, and we all know that’s the most interesting thing I have to talk about, right? Right. So now that that’s out of the way, here’s….

Day 10:
Top: Me-made, blogged below!
Jeans: Express, via thrift store
Shoes: J.Renee
Necklace/earrings: Me-made, blogged below. 

I made this top from the blouse pattern in the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook–the first project I’ve made from there since the coat I made for the publication. Aside from re-drafting the sleeves and leaving off the ribbon trim, I made this pretty much as is, though I had to taper down the sides an extra 5/8″ to where the waist seam split. (I’m mainly writing that so I remember to alter the pattern.) Finishing this off took me more or less literally all day on Wednesday. My plan was to finish this and then watch part 3 of the Jean-ius course so I could move forward on my jeans, but after I tallied it all up, this took me about 7 hours to finish up. I’m not sure how–it’s not like I was goofing off! Must have been all that seam finishing. And the sleeve hems took me awhile to figure out, including some unpicking.

 And another gratuitous shot–though I know the sun makes this not the best view of the shirt, or the most flattering view of my face, you can see the necklace a bit better here. And look how red my hair looks! (Ok, I’ll admit it, that’s my main reasoning for posting this one. I like pictures where my hair looks really, really red!)

Things I learned from this project:

  1. My pattern-altering skills need work. I was going for more of a flutter sleeve and I wanted a non-gathered sleeve, but I think I didn’t take enough off the top to smooth the cap out, and I didn’t add enough flare to the bottom. Plus it’s way too long to have worked as that style. I think the bell kind of works fine, but still not what I’d originally pictured.
  2. When adding seam allowances myself, I should probably read ahead in the directions first to see where I might need to allow more. The waist drawstring casing would have worked so much better if I hadn’t had to make it so narrow.
  3. Partially bias-cut peplums are HARD to hem flat! I had to occasionally take a tiny tuck in the hem to get rid of the extra fabric. It was fine since it’s polyester, but if I’d made this out of cotton, I’d be worried about it showing through the front after pressing.
  4. Even though I feel like this shirt took me much longer than it should have, I’m really glad I took the time to finish each seam. This fabric frayed like crazy, and it probably would fall apart within a few washes if I hadn’t. Actually, I’m still a bit concerned about it, to be honest.
  5. Sewing the sleeves in flat is good. But I still should have hemmed them with the bias strip in the round, because I would have saved myself a lot of trouble and they would have matched up better in the end. (One edge was slightly longer than the other, and I didn’t know until the bias strip was already sewed on, aka too late.
  6. I should probably also make the slit a little longer next time. I don’t know if I have an exceptionally large head or what, but this was just a liiiiiiiittle bit hard to pull over!  (See above, since I can’t get the pictures to cooperate.)

All in all, though there are things that could have gone better, I think this blouse was a great learning experience. And since the entire point of the book is altering and manipulating patterns to make the design really your own, I think it was a successful step in that direction for me. Now I just need to come up with a good name for this, since I’m a dork like that–I’m a bit torn, since the print looks kind of vine-like when close up, but from a distance, it makes me think of a computer matrix. I’m currently leaning towards the latter, since the whole “zeroes and ones” thing makes me think of an Andrew Bird song by that title.

And before I leave day 10 completely, here’s a closer-up view of the jewelry:

I think this one also pre-dated the blog. I somehow got my hands on these purpleish freshwater pearl beads, and in playing with those oblong ones, came up with this flower pendant. So I ran with it.

Now for a little skipping back and forth in time!

Day 9:
Top: Me-reconstructed–a thrifted dress that I chopped into a top, along with some altering at the shoulders
Shrug: Me-reconstructed, blogged here
Trouser Jeans: Worthington, I think from JCPenney’s
Shoes: Array
Earrings: See below

This was my sewing marathon day, so I wanted a top that was fitted enough that I could easily throw the blouse over top to check the fit. This fit the bill well. Not my best shot expression-wise, but it shows the outfit the best, so let’s just pretend this is my model shot, ok? I also discovered that these pants are not too short for me when worn with flats–they just look terrible with my boots.

And the earrings–another craft fair leftover, but with the two-tone effect that makes them not sure if they’re blue or green, depending on the lighting (as illustrated here), they worked pretty well with this top!

Day 11:
Top: The “Doolittle” blouse, blogged here
Pants: Apt.9, and the only store-bought pants I have that still fit and flatter like a dream.
Shoes: Hotter
Earrings: See below

I was strongly considering changing into jeans after teaching lessons, but didn’t. In retrospect, I probably should have, since my boyfriend and I were hanging out at his place, and these pants didn’t fare too well against the fur of two golden retrievers! But the truth is that I really only have two pairs of jeans that are ok for outside-of-work wearing right now, since my best-fitting pair are out of commission until I finish the next step or two of the Jean-ius class and can take all of that hand-basting out. I wore the one pair the day before, and skinny jeans with a top this fitted is not my thing. So I stuck with this again.

The earrings were something a bit different for me. Usually, I try to match my jewelry colors to the colors in my outfit. I decided to play around with contrasting. Once again, these earrings are craft fair leftovers–actually, one of the few things that came back to me after I’d let my mom, my sis-in-law, and several of my friends at the stash. Poor, unloved earrings. And if blue and gold is good enough for my old university, it should work, right? I think this would have worked a bit better if I’d had another yellow accessory to go with it, like a bracelet or a pair of shoes or something, but it was kind of fun to go outside the box.

And finally, yesterday:

Day 12:
Top: The Sorbetto formerly known as Azalea, blogged here
Jeans: The same ratty thrifted Old Navy ones I wore to work
Sandals: J.Renee
Earrings: I forgot to take a close-up pic, but they’re me-made with light blue swirly beads.

I didn’t have a lot of time to throw an outfit together, since I ended up with a spontaneous family outing shortly after I got home from work, and then spent the evening hanging out with two of my really good friends. I grabbed this one on a whim, since it was warmer today and I hadn’t actually worn it in public yet, despite making it months and months ago–I figured I needed to give it a shot! And looking at this picture, I’m warming up a bit to the Sorbetto pattern– I’d thought it would be horribly unflattering on me, since it’s not fitted at the waist like I usually go for, but it doesn’t look too bad in this shot. (Still needs to be a little longer on me though, I think. Just enough that I can raise my arms without flashing midriff. And I’ll probably ditch the pleat if I make it again.) It was really comfortable to wear, though, which is great for a weekend top!

I’ll do today’s outfit in another post– truthfully, I haven’t even put on any accessories yet, since catching up on outfit pics was a higher priority for now, so I’ll have to get that picture later!


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