It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, wait, it is a bird.

Fun fact I learned on the honeymoon: apparently, the hummingbird is the national bird of Jamaica!

Another fun fact we learned: marijuana is not actually legal there. But we saw some growing in an herb garden there by the place we went bamboo rafting anyway. No, really. There was a sign and everything. But I won’t post the picture that D took, because I don’t really want to post pics of drugs on here, you know?

A third fun fact I just looked up on Wikipedia is that the plant used for hemp, while part of the same species of plant, is not actually marijuana. Which is good, since that’s what I used to make my Hummingbird skirt.

So, on to the finished products, shall we? Starting with the top.
Hummingbird front
Yes, this is that top I was having a ridiculous amount of difficulty with last week. Thankfully, I’m overall pleased with the results. I got this fabric a few years ago from Mood, and while I was able to use the other piece from that batch fairly quickly (hey, a year is pretty good for me!), this one had me stumped for some time due to the large scale of the print. So this definitely took some thinking, and some tweeting, but I think I managed to handle the print and any potential chest-placement issues as well as I possibly could have!

Changes made to the top:

IMG_0601
  • I added a center front and center back seam, to accommodate dealing with the print.
  • I rolled the facing under and stitched it down–it was just not working in this particular fabric. (Case in point, see left–this is literally as good as it would get.)
  • As a result, I serged a rolled hem on the sleeves instead of the facing strip. I did this on the peplum hem as well.
Hummingbird BackChanges that I’ll make next time I make this top, because I would make this again:
  • Use a knit that stretches both ways instead of just one. I think this would have made the neckline work better.
  • Shorten the top at the waist by 1″. I used a 19″ for the shoulder seam, and I think I measured it badly since it was pretty late at night when I did it and I was still tired from the honeymoon.
  • Lengthen the peplum by 1″ + hem allowance, because I do like the finished length of it.

I was pretty satisfied with the print matching on the back, but looking at it in this picture, the big green and black diamond shapes pop out kind of oddly! Overall, this shirt is kind of like a polka-dotted, multicolored Rorschach test, isn’t it? But I kind of like it. I still have about a yard of this to use up, so I’m thinking I might just make some pajama shorts or something like that where it won’t matter if I match the print or not!

    IMG_0604Moving on to the skirt–I just barely managed to squeeze this one out of the hemp, since there was a huge chunk cut out on one side. I have a scrap that’s most likely big enough for a small bag left, and therefore, I’m considering this piece stashbusted!

    The one major change that I made to the skirt, which I need to remember to add to the pattern, is a bit of reshaping towards the top. Which, again, could have easily been bad measurements on my part. Thankfully, I had the foresight to just baste the side seams together before I tried it on, because it was huge! I ended up making the seam allowance at the top of the side seams 1 3/8″ instead of 1/2″, tapering back down to that 1/2″ by close to the bottom of the pockets. I also took in the top of each of the seams surrounding the center panel and the top of the back darts in an additional 1/8″ apiece. Again, those tapered back down to the original seaming. I did go ahead and just leave the side seams wide, since they were all nicely serged and everything. As a result, I also had to reduce the length of the waistband by about 4″.

      Hummingbird front 2Let’s have another look at that skirt, shall we? Along with an introduction to one of my two new sewing buddies! This furry little photobomber is Crosby. (His big brother, Malkin, is the one trying to knock me over in the back view shot. My husband had these two when I met him, and named them after two of his favorite hockey players.)

      I think this picture nicely highlights the other change I would make the next time I make this skirt, which is to add an inch or so to the hem. I’m used to knee- or full-length skirts, so this one feels reeeeeally short to me! And wearing it outside of the house is definitely going to be a bit of a stretch to my comfort level. But hopefully I can work myself up to it, because I bet the hemp is going to be really cool and comfortable for the mid-Atlantic heat and humidity!

      So there you have it, two new finished garments! If there’s one thing I learned from this sewalong, it’s that I’m a much slower sewist than I thought. So it’ll be interesting to see what I can actually get done in 30 minutes a day, because pretty much every step took me nearly twice as long!

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      12 thoughts on “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, wait, it is a bird.

      1. Great outfit! The colour is nice and the fabrics go well together. It doesn't look too short to me, but I can totally relate to getting used to longer skirts. I'm working on a mini skirt now, I hope it won't feel too short.

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      2. It's gorgeous indeed. Very casually ellegant and very you, I think…

        Hemp's not the same as marijuana, but still it's somehow disappearing here in the Czech Republic. Hemp cords used to be a normal house fixture; now I cannot get them anywhere, which is annoying, because I want to use them for my historical cording. :-/ At least it seems hemp fabric can be got, as your outfit proves!

        The skirt is also shorter than I would be comfortable with myself; but it looks good on you, so I think it's definitely worth working up the courage.

        BTW, I need to tell you how much I love your sharing the disappointments and alterations needed with us on your blog. Sometimes, I learn a bit from it, and either way, it's encouraging: things just don't always work out, period.

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      3. I'm not sure how easily the hemp fabric can still be obtained–this was purchased from Dharma Trading Company years ago for a dyeing experiment that my mom was doing. This stash piece was the leftovers from whatever bag project she did. Have you tried looking for hemp cording from a jewelry supplier? I remember finding some thick hemp cord at the local chain fabric/craft store years ago in that section. I still have quite a bit of it, too.

        And thanks for that bit of encouragement–this record is as much for me as for public consumption, and I try to keep it real on here. Sometimes projects just don't go the way I want them to, and I want to be able to look back and learn from that myself!

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      4. Working on it! We don't have the professional pics back yet, or even picked out for our main album, but there's enough on Facebook from my friends and family that hopefully I can find some good shots on there to use.

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