A Top When A Dress Won’t Do

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Sometimes you sew something and it doesn’t work out the way you thought it would. That’s what happened to me when I first tried on my Oreo Cookie wrap dress and realized the skirt pieces didn’t overlap properly! I had used Vogue 8379 for the top, but winged the bottom since I didn’t want the full skirt that came with the pattern. Mistake.

I thought I could save it by adding a snap-on-a-string contraption, but that really didn’t do anything to prevent the top skirt piece from staying in place (especially when I sat down). While I did wear the dress with tights to the office a few times, I just never felt truly comfortable in it.

And so it sat in my closet, largely unworn.

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A Year with the Minoru Jacket

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Greetings, pumpkins and candy corns! It’s been over a year since I’ve made the Minoru jacket by Sewaholic Patterns, so I thought I’d do a little review on how it’s fared. In short, I love this jacket and would recommend it to anyone.

(Please know that when it comes to the Beatles I would only wear something I’m proud of  – here I am at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts exhibition earlier this year commemorating the Fab Four’s first US visit 50 years ago!)

When Tasia first released this pattern, I really loved the casual yet figure-flattering design (the zipper and elasticized waist were two big winners in my book). Although it’s been a while since I worked on this, I remember it coming together fast so I’m hoping to make another version one of these days. I seem to have a number of coat projects lined up in my mind.

I wear this jacket in the spring and fall, and the vibrant blue adds some serious happy factor when it reemerges from storage. I really only ever pair it with jeans since I like my dresses and skirts to be covered by knee-length coats (a preference I apparently share with Sewaholic’s Caroline!). It pops so nicely against dark jeans.

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Wearing Yesteryear: April – June 2013

I’m back with another review post of past creations. If you’ve been following along you’ll know I was posting these monthly, but I thought it made sense to combine them into three-month chunks. My last post was in March, so today I’ll be covering how the garments I made from April to June 2013 fared one year later. Off we go!

(Click on the photo or the link below it to go to the original post.)

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Vogue 8379 Knit Wrap Dress

I’ve worn this dress lots! As with my other versions of this pattern, this is a very practical yet fun addition to my wardrobe. It’s great for work or for special occasions, depending on how it’s styled or what kind of fabric you use. I’ve also worn this particular dress in the colder months by pairing it with tights and a cardigan.

This dress has received some nice compliments, perhaps the best one being “That looks expensive!” from the cheery cashier at Pret A Manger. I’ll take it! I want to make a dozen more versions of this pattern…

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Wearing Yesteryear: Class of March 2013

I have been sewing away this past month, but you’d never know it from looking at my blog! There is one Colette Beignet skirt in red wool gabardine in the works (very excited about this after some initial pressing issues), fixing some pillows for my sister, and another secret project that is a gift for someone. This last one is the project I’m closest to finishing, yet I won’t be able to share it until this certain someone receives it! I should be sending it out by the end of this week so hopefully there’s a blog reveal post in the works soon.

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Silk dupioni hanging from my apartment’s picture rail. That’s one way to avoid folding it up to deter the wrinklies! Three cheers for historic interiors.

Of Sew-Alongs and Sewing Meetups
Oh, and I’m also participating in the Sew Sexy Sew-Along being hosted by Clio of Clio & Phineas, Lisette of What Would Nancy Drew Wear?, and Wanette of Sown Brooklyn! My sew-along track record is the pits, but what the heck – why not?! I plan to make a Sewaholic Cambie/By Hand London Charlotte mash-up using red silk dupioni (seen above), which I have already dubbed “the Charmbie”. If I pronounce it with a French accent, will it sound sexier? 😉

Also, a meet-up happened! Lladybird was in town and a whole bunch of us gathered on Saturday to shop the day away in the Garment District. I feel like I should do a post about that, but how about I just officially endorse the wrap-ups of the day written on Peter’s, Aleksandra’s, and Lisette’s blogs?!

Anyway, I figured I could share a Wearing Yesteryear post for March 2013 (no finished projects for February 2013, alas). Yay, a freebie post for me! And this is one I’m very excited to share…

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The Sabrina Coat

Blog Debut: March 25, 2013
Pattern: McCalls 5717
Worn In: Late fall, winter, early spring
Wearability Meter: Very much so!
Lessons Learned: This was fun, so make another one 🙂

Okay, so I really love this coat! The whole tailoring process was really fun and a great learning experience. I’ve found that I can wear this coat in temperatures ranging from the 30s to the low 50s F (~0-10 C). One of my favorite features is the length of the coat, which covers knee-length dresses and skirts. Makes for a nice clean finish I think!

Everything seems to have held up well over the past year. This winter has been COLD so I spent most of it in my goose-down coat, but I’ve definitely worn this baby enough times this season. I had used a flannel-back satin lining to give a bit more warmth to the coat. Originally I wasn’t sure if it was going to make me super hot, but now I know I could stand to add a layer of interlining if I wanted to make the coat even warmer.

I’d love to make another coat in a slightly more casual fabric. Oooo, temptation! But, for now, I have some spring projects on the mind. Are you getting ready for some spring sewing? Or autumn sewing for those down under?

(Random note: WordPress has changed the look of the smiley emoticons. The 😀 one looks kind of strange!)

Wearing Yesteryear: Class of January 2013

We’ve been pummeled with another round of snow today here in New York City, and now that I’m all cozy in my apartment again I remembered that I’m way overdue for my January Wearing Yesteryear post! But first, check out this elderly woman shoveling snow in front of her building this morning. She must be in her 80s, but was out there like the tough cookie she is! Her younger neighbor joined her as I took this shot of all the snow accumulating on the stoops of these Murray Hill brownstones.

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Intense! And this was just 9am. We still had a few more hours to go, and this evening the snow is back at it! I walked about 15 blocks in this and passed a bunch of shop owners shoveling outside their stores. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoyed my walk in the snow. 🙂

Anyway, back to the snow-free sewing world – here’s my lone graduate from January 2013:

The London Fog Skirt

Blog Debut: January 15, 2013
Pattern: Simplicity 5454
Worn In: Spring, Summer
Wearability Meter: Very!
Lessons Learned: When shortening the length of a skirt, true the seams properly.

I love this skirt! The color makes me sooooo happy and the pockets are fun to have around. I wore this regularly over the summer with a number of different tops. It’s a bold color, but it still manages to pair well with both prints and solids. Win-win! I typically wore sandals or flats with it.

The one thing I goofed up on was shortening the skirt. The original pattern is a straight skirt at about calf-length, and when I shortened it I came out with a fuller skirt than I had anticipated (I wanted to preserve the original silhouette). Next time, I’ll narrow the hem to account for the fact I’ve adjusted the length. My mistake wouldn’t have been as big a deal if I had used fabric with drape, but this cotton/linen canvas is a tad stiff.

Oh well! Can’t complain. I’m just a slight perfectionist. 🙂 I’m still excited to wear this skirt and I’d like to make more! If you like this design but have a hard time finding it, you might be interested in the similar Hollyburn Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns.

That’s it from me. I have a new shirtdress done and it just needs to be photographed. Stay tuned! In the meantime,

Happy Valentines Day!