Wearing Yesteryear: Class of August 2012

Wow, it’s already the very end of August and I have two posts to write, this one and my Sew Weekly Reunion one (my creation for that post has been done for a few days now, so I’ll need to skedaddle and take some photos!).

I’ve been working on a button for the Wearing Yesteryear series so others can join in – thanks so much for expressing interest! While I meant to have it ready for this month’s entry, I got caught up on a bunch of things and will have to delay its grand reveal until September.

In the meantime, it’s time to open the yearbook and have a Class of August 2012 reunion!

The Caged Bird Sings Dress

Blog Debut: August 28, 2012
Pattern: Vogue 8380 (view B)
Worn In: Summer
Wearability Meter: Oh goodness, I have not worn it at all this summer!
Lessons Learned: Don’t rush; don’t tuck your lining into the hem of the fashion fabric on a floaty skirt like this; add some darts or take some of the fullness out at the top of the bodice.

Well, geez, this is an easy post. I just made this one garment – automatic Valedictorian! Did that really happen?! Actually, I did finish another one, but since I ended up posting it in September I’m just going to leave it for then. Simplifies things for the administrative department here at Sewin’ in the Rain Studios. 😉

I fell in love with this cotton lawn fabric the moment I saw it at G Street Fabrics in northern Virginia two summers ago. Little birdies coming out of their little cages – it was all too irresistible. Overall I was happy with this dress. I made it specifically for a Sew Weekly challenge (before it froze in time forevermore?) so when I had a chance to bring it on vacation to Maine for a fun photo-shoot I rushed to get it done.

And if there’s one thing that’s never worked for me in the sewing world, it’s rushing.

I tried to hurry along in hemming the lining, a voile that was proving to be tricky to handle (keyword: rushing), so I decided I’d be all clever and tuck it into the hem of the fashion fabric. I didn’t realize it then, but wowser was that a big mistake! If you click through to the original post you may notice the hem pulling at some points. That’s all the lining’s doing. I’m thinking that was just a no-no thing to do with a skirt so floaty and full like this.

Also, if I make this pattern again, which I would like to do, I would re-work the neckline/bodice area. See how my neckline is kind of curving inward? That’s because it was all a bit loose up top (you’ll notice on the Vogue model how the neckline sits a bit differently) so I had to tighten the bow. Not too big of a deal, but I don’t think it’s a very flattering neckline look on me as it currently stands.

I had this goal of fixing the hem before this post and that didn’t happen. Drats! I might have to check in on its two-year reunion next year since I think it does have potential.

Any questions about this pattern? Have you made it? I’d love to see!


Wearing Yesteryear: July 2012 One Year Later

Hello everyone! It’s me again, back with yet another post (I know, they’re coming in left and right!).

So, this is a series I’ve been meaning to start for awhile now, but I’ve just never gotten it off the ground. It’s a pretty simple concept: write a reflection post a year after a sewing creation was shared here on my blog in order to see how it wears in the long run. Sure, it’s nice seeing pretty pictures of a garment, but how does it wear in reality? Does it fit nicely into my everyday wardrobe or is it a great piece to take out every now and then for a special occasion? Has it since been altered or does it never see the light of day because, well, things just didn’t work out for one reason or another?

That’s where this reflection series I’m calling “Wearing Yesteryear” comes into the picture. Since I’m not the most prolific of seamstresses, I can review all the projects I posted in July 2012 right here, right now in July 2013. Last I checked that’s a grand total of two (yes, two!) projects.

I think this is a great way of being honest with yourself (and with your readers) about what really works and why or why not. It’s not the worst thing in the world if a project doesn’t work out as long as you can learn from it. This is easy to say now, but that’s why Wearing Yesteryear is a helpful way of separating enough time from the hours you put into making a garment you hoped against hope would come out just as you had planned, only for it to end in frustration or plain ol’ misery.

Okay, so without further ado, here’s to kicking off the Wearing Yesteryear series!

muddy waters dress

The Muddy Waters Dress

Blog Debut: July 11, 2012
Pattern: Cambie Dress by Sewaholic Patterns
Worn In: Summer, but would be a better spring dress with the Bemberg lining (see below!)
Wearability Meter: Sadly, a dud
Lessons Learned: Go with my high bust measurement for the bust and do possible FBA; Bemberg lining in humid summers –> just say no!

What a sad way to start off Wearing Yesteryear, but if we’re going for honesty here I must admit that this dress just doesn’t work. I last wore it to Gertie’s book launch party last fall; just to prove how often I don’t wear this, there’s a small chocolate cake stain on the bodice from the party that I haven’t removed.

The problem? Gaping at the neckline from going with my bust measurement when I should’ve gone with my high bust measurement. I was trying to provide more room in the bust area, but if I drop down one size to reflect my high bust measurement I can work in an FBA if needed. I’ve never done one of those before and I think my method of cheating by going up one size at the bust failed me this time! I tried shortening the sleeve pieces to fix this, but that ended up pulling the darts in odd ways that only I seem to notice (which is enough to keep me from wearing it despite the compliments this dress received!).

Another thing? Bemberg lining in a hot and humid New York summer just does not breathe. Wowser was I trying to convince myself otherwise in my original post or what?! 🙂


The “In the Garden of St. Mark’s” Skirt

Blog Debut: July 21, 2012
Pattern: Flirt the Issue Skirt by Anna Maria Horner
Worn In: Summer
Wearability Meter: In regular rotation!
Lessons Learned: Fabric print is key; easy to care for; in another version, I’d add inseam pockets

This super easy to make skirt has definitely found a place in my summer wardrobe. The pop of those big flowers pairs nicely with a plain top as seen above, and it makes a simple outfit quite fun and interesting! I’m not an accessories person outside of earrings so the print accessorizes for me. The elastic waistband makes this a nice adjustable piece.

The cotton broadcloth fabric is also super easy to launder so when it gets dirty it doesn’t sit in the laundry basket for weeks waiting to be hand washed.

There’s definitely room for inseam pockets here and I’d work that in to a future version. Doesn’t really bother me though, and I even wore this skirt yesterday to work!

Okay, that’s it for now. Do you do these kinds of reflection posts of garments you’ve already made? Do you find it helpful?

Kwik Sew 3602: The Brambly Hedge Pajamas


How cute is this fabric?! I spotted it at Purl Soho here in the city and just knew I had to make a pair of pajama pants for my mom who loves Brambly Hedge. Have you heard of Brambly Hedge? It’s a collection of stories first published in the early 1980s in the UK centered around the lives of little mice. It’s cute!

So that brings me back to this fabric, which isn’t actually based on Brambly Hedge. 🙂 The above photo doesn’t really reflect the colors of this print, but the next photo does. It’s a Japanese cotton called “Nursery-Versery” and it’s designed by Heather Ross for Kokka (love her stuff!). I feel like pajama pants give you an opportunity to use prints you wouldn’t usually use on other garments.

Continue reading

Sewaholic Renfrew: In Search of Musical Notes

Happy weekend! Here’s my scoop-neck Renfrew shirt from Sewaholic Patterns. I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago while waiting out the hurricane (I was fortunate enough not to lose power, or worse).

Similar to my first version, I’ve already worn this shirt a bunch of times. It’s so practical and comfy! I can wear it to work, to dinner with friends, around the house or for outdoorsy work (all of which has happened between this version and my first). That’s what I call a good deal right there.

In this photo I’m also wearing my new dangly red shell earrings that I bought from Jenn’s Handmade Jewelry on Etsy. Yay, I love red!

I picked up this knit a year ago when I was pattern testing this top for Tasia, but I ended up using other fabrics. The black stripes on a white background remind me of sheet music, which makes me think I’m missing some musical notes to go with it! I think I’m starting to figure out the amount of stretch a knit should have for a top like this. It can be tricky at first, but through practice and wear it all starts to come together. Continue reading

V8379 Dress: The October Issue

I’m very happy to share my latest creation, a knit wrap dress made from Vogue 8379! This might be my favorite sewing project yet. I wore it straight away and the fabric is sooooooo comfy.

It came just in time too; I hadn’t completed anything since the end of summer’s First Impressions Dress. Yikes!!

Hmm, is it just me or do I match the furniture?

This dress is called “The October Issue” because I was cutting out the pieces while watching the Vogue documentary, The September Issue. In October. Yeah, heavy stuff coming to you live from Sewin’ in the Rain Productions. I had wanted to photograph the dress outside, but tomorrow’s forecast and the next few hurricaney days sure ain’t lookin’ pretty. As such, the photo quality falls short of stellar.

I picked up this (polyester/blend?) knit fabric over the summer, the first fabric purchase of 2012 for me (I’ve been good otherwise!). Since I don’t have many knits, adding to my stash isn’t as bad as when I buy more and more cottons.

At $3 a yard and $1.99 for the pattern during one of those online super sales, this is my most cost effective outfit to date! That doesn’t happen often for me since I tend to oooo and ahhh the slightly more pricey fabrics and patterns.

Continue reading