A Wiggle Dress, or Joan Holloway for the Day

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When it comes to music, my heart belongs to the ’60s. Long before Mad Men came on the scene, I had spent my teen years singing along to the Beatles and other British Invasion bands, Motown groups, and whatever else the oldies radio station would throw at me. I also thought Paul McCartney was just the cutest thing ever (was I even aware, watching A Hard Day’s Night, that he hadn’t been that age in 30+ years?). So in honor of my beloved decade in music, I thought it was high time I made myself a ’60s-inspired wiggle dress.

The pattern I chose is from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, and boy did those gussets give me a hard time! They pretty much landed this dress in UFO territory (that’s “unfinished object” to my non-sewing friends). I even posted it as my UFO photo for Bimble and Pimble‘s #bpsewvember challenge on Instagram. It was folded up and stored away. I felt free.

But, you know what? Between wanting my very own Joan Holloway dress and receiving encouraging comments to finish it from my Instagram buddies, I decided to give it another go. This dress had its challenges, but it’s done, I learned some new techniques, and I can add it to my FESA tally. Win-win-win!

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FESA: Butterick 5455 Pencil Skirt in Plaid Wool Bouclé

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Here’s the follow-up to my outfit post from last week where I’ll be focusing on the pencil skirt I made to go with my new Marion cardigan (update: the wool is a bit scratchy where it directly hits my skin, which was always one of my hesitations with knitting, but it’s not too bad and I ain’t stopping now!).

Anyway, this is the skirt portion of Butterick 5455, another FESA creation and a dress pattern that I scored for a song at a thrift store this past summer. What a glorious feeling! I’d like to try the whole pattern one of these days.

I had to bring in the waist a bit, but I’d leave it as is if I made the dress. Actually, I took the waist in just a pinch too much and really had to pull at the fabric in the hopes it would stretch to fit me more comfortably (saying “please, streeeeeeetch” while you’re doing that helps). Thankfully, it worked. Just remember you learned that “industry” tip here first. 😉

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Marion KAL: Jalapeño Cropped Cardigan

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This is my fish face, apparently.

Aha! I’ve finally gotten around to posting my finished Marion cardigan from the KAL hosted by Andi of Untangling Knots. The KAL ended on October 25th, but I’m mighty pleased to say I had this baby blocked and ready to wear about three or four days ahead of the deadline.

(And then didn’t get around to taking photos before going on vacation to Savannah and Charleston. Whoops!)

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, the recommended yarn for this cardigan. As a knitting novice, I liked working with it and found the smaller skeins (110 yards) handy for carrying on the subway. Downside: more ends to weave in! It didn’t grow after blocking, not that I noticed anyway, and it feels soft.

Halfway through knitting this cardigan I worried the wool might feel scratchy against my skin, but it thankfully doesn’t. In these photos I’ve paired it with a black camisole and a wool bouclé pencil skirt I also recently finished. I’ll follow with a post on that one soon.

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FESA 2014: Hmmm, the Mock Wrap Dress

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Hi, all! Hope you had a nice Halloween/weekend. I’m here to start November off with a little number I wish I could say I was happier with, but it’s just a bit “meh” for me. Oh well, have to have those every so often.

This is one of my FESA creations, the first of a few unblogged projects from the past two months. Despite my infrequent blogging I’ve been on a sewing roll so I look forward to sharing stuff with you!

This is McCall’s 6884, a mock wrap dress pattern. Though I’m very happy with my Vogue pattern I figure you can’t have enough of something that you really like, and I do like me some wrap dresses! The mock design kind of defeats the purpose of a wrap – and I know some of you agree – but I thought I’d try it for one big reason: wind control factor. You see, between walking in the city and standing on subway platforms there are definite opportunities for a wrap dress to go flying all over the place. When I saw this mock design I thought it’d be neat to get the look without that worry.

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Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

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Riding on the “yay, I’ve successfully made it through two group challenges this year!” wave, I’ve signed on for yet another: the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA) hosted by Sarah and Lisette.

Cold weather clothes have always been a struggle for me, even when I was buying them in stores. In my first few years of sewing I only wanted to sew summer sundresses, but in the past couple of years I’ve been – dare I say it – excited to fill some major gaps in my fall and winter wardrobe. What can I say, it just gets a little tiring to wear the same three cardigans to winterize most of my clothes!

I’m going to keep my FESA plan simple (even so, it’ll be interesting to see what I can get done by November 30th). I find that the following patterns are essentials that fit my lifestyle, which is certainly a motivator.

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