A New Bag and A Sack (Dress)

**Sorry guys and gals: I accidentally hit “publish” instead of “save draft” the other day, so you may have gotten an alert about a new post and then not been able to get to it. Apologies for the confusion or irritation–I’ll try to read my buttons for comprehension (as opposed to color-coding!) from now on, LOL!**

Hi again! It has been a damp few days here in Ohio, and your intrepid blogger has managed to forget her rain boots and then step headlong into many, many puddles wearing suede flats. There was much swearing and lamentation. But it’s also warm enough not to need a coat, so I’m trying to keep it all in perspective! 😀

Today I have actual THINGS to share–hooray! (Well, one finished thing and one started thing.) I’ve been busy sewing (and fabric and pattern shopping…oops) and have really been pushing myself to crank things out while I have the inspiration fresh in my mind. I have a few other ideas swimming around in my skull right now, and I’m hoping to get to them right away; it helps that I am officially done with weeknight shifts at the shop and have those few hours each evening to toil in my sewing room.

First up, the finished thing: a Cooper bag for MEEEEEE! Tom got one for xmas, and I’ve wanted one for myself ever since. I was able to construct the entire shell out of leftover fabric from other projects (those of you who have been reading my nonsense for a little while will likely recognize them) and only had to buy the nylon lining and hardware.

Cooper pieces

Cooper pieces, minus straps

Proudly holding up the bag

Proudly holding up the finished bag (and check out that toothy smile, yay!)

Ripstop lining!

Ripstop lining!

Front

Front, with bonus cat hair and stray thread…

Back

Back

A terrible photo of the bag, but we need a Mulder cameo!

A terrible photo of the bag, but we need a Mulder cameo here!

Apart from working out how to cut the ikat accent pieces, this was a very straightforward project for me. Even the ripstop sewed up without a fuss! I had only purchased 2 yards of the ikat originally (at $17/yard, I felt bad even buying that much!), and since I cut out my Scout tee without thinking about leftovers, I had to pick my battles for these accents. The flap is my biggest disappointment in terms of print placement–I just did not have the right piece of fabric left over to center that motif on the pattern piece, but I am glad I was able to get all the colors in there and kind of echo the flap pattern on the bottom front pocket piece. I was lucky to be able to use the stripe on the flap and the bottom pieces for some design continuity as well, and I was also able to match the stripe going around the bottom of the bag from front to back. The black glazed linen (of vintage Simplicity 1281 fame) was used for the main body pieces, the faux straps, the bottom gusset, and the underside of the flap (not enough ikat for both flap pieces), and I used some leftover orange canvas from Tom’s Cooper for the strap tabs and front body pocket.

I omitted the rivets on my Cooper, just because I am a lazy-ass. The webbing on my bag is nylon–as opposed to the cotton I used on Tom’s version–and it was very easy to deal with, although I stuck to finger pressing the folds instead of ironing, just to be safe. If I were to make another version of this bag (and I very well might some day!), I will stick to the cotton webbing. I do not doubt the durability of my nylon webbing, but the cotton stuff I used for Tom’s bag was so much sturdier and heavier and less slippery to the touch, which I (apparently) prefer. That being said, the nylon webbing was much easier for my machine to handle than the cotton version, which was a welcome relief!

I decided that it might be a good idea (mostly for Future Mads, but maybe for a few of you, too) to do a quick list of supplies for each completed project I post going forward, so here is the Cooper list:

  • Cooper bag pattern from Colette
  • Just under 1 yard genuine ikat from Michael Levine (this colorway is sold out, but they carry lots of others)
  • Not quite 1 yard Italian bottomweight glazed linen from Gorgeous Fabrics (long gone, but GF always has great stuff!)
  • Scraps of orange canvas, originally from Fabric.com
  • Almost 3 yards 1 1/2″ nylon webbing from Strapworks
  • 4 x 1 1/2″ nickel sliders from HardwareElf (I used Item # R-005)
  • 2 x nickel magnetic snaps, size 18mm, from Fabric.com
  • Roughly 1-1.5 yards ripstop nylon from Joann Fabrics
  • 1 Microtex needle, size 70/10 (for ripstop)
  • 1 denim needle, size 100/16 (for everything else)
  • Black polyester all-purpose Guttermann thread
  • Orange polyester all-purpose Guttermann thread (for orange canvas pieces only)

As if the bag weren’t enough, I have also started work on a dress!

Coming soon: the Inari Tee Dress!

Coming soon: the Inari Tee Dress!

MOAR IKAT!!!!!

MOAR IKAT!!!!!

Inari pieces (taken before I finished my binding)

Inari pieces (taken before I finished my binding)

This post is all ikat, all the time, huh? 🙂 I bought both cuts together, and was originally planning a Scout tee with both versions. And then I decided that I really wanted a sack dress (seriously), and planned to turn my Scout pattern into that sack dress. And then I saw the Inari pattern and liked the vaguely-cocoon-shaped silhouette better than the kind-of-A-line lengthened Scout. I’ll be honest: when Named’s newest collection, Ticket, came out, I was kind of underwhelmed. Nothing really jumped out at me as I scrolled through the page, mostly due to the styling. But once I opened each pattern individually and looked at line drawings and extra photos, I had to have Inari. I instantly knew that I would use this ikat for it, and set out to start working on it straight away. I did encounter a little trouble with the PDF assembly, though:

Wait...something seems "off," doesn't it? =)

Wait…something seems “off,” doesn’t it? =)

Above is Saoirse’s idea of “helping.” Her definition is slightly different from mine! She stayed there until I gave up and walked away to brush my teeth for work, at which time she decided that if I wasn’t trying to work on it, she wasn’t interested in playing with it. Cats, amirite??

Once again, I am not completely thrilled with my fabric layout on this one. I had 2 yards to work with, but 2.5 would have been ideal to wastefully center the vertical motif on the pattern pieces. My layout ended up being rather wasteful anyway, but it was the closest I could get to centered while getting the main design on both front and back. The sleeves and folded hem bands were sort of haphazard, though I tried to make both sides identical. After tracing my pattern from the PDF tiles, I took out my Scout pieces and copied the shoulder width onto my Inari pieces. The Scout is a truly amazing fit in my shoulders right out of the envelope and I didn’t feel like muslining a sack, so this seemed like the best (read: easiest) course of action. After cutting out, my next step was to sew seam binding to every. single. raw. edge. I could have used the overlock on my machine, but this just seemed like a nicer, better-looking option. It was painfully slow work, but will be worth it when my dress seams DON’T fray down to the stitching and fall apart on me. 🙂 I am hoping to have this dress finished by next week so I can wear it–it’s officially Spring here now, and my legs would like to take a break from pants for a while! And of course I will share photos and junk here, so check back!

And remember that little sidebar about pattern and fabric shopping? >=D

Beautiful ombre silk crepe!

Beautiful ombre silk crepe!

Three loud jerseys and one ginger-y scuba knit

Three loud jerseys and one ginger-y scuba knit

3 new vintage top patterns!

3 new vintage top patterns!

It’s not my fault, guys. (Spoiler alert: it never is!) Gorgeous Fabrics had a sale and I succumbed to my fiber lust. Specifically regarding that ombre silk crepe: I’ve had my greedy little eyeballs on it for MONTHS and finally got up the nerve to buy some. It’s 60″ wide and runs from red at both selvedges into coral, and then to orange in the center. I feel like it NEEDS to become a long, split-to-there dress of some sort–what do you think?? I also got my first-ever cut of scuba knit (with another on the way!), along with some really bold-but-awesome jerseys for tops. The patterns came from the ebay shop Vintage4me2, which I highly recommend. Again, not my fault, there was a sale, yadda yadda yadda. The late 50’s V-neck top isn’t something I ever thought I’d gravitate toward, but it’s super wearable and could work with knits or wovens; it also gave me a vaguely 1920’s vibe, and you know I’m all about that!

I’ll stop here for today, but hopefully I’ll have a finished cocoon/sack/dress-like item to show you very soon. What are you all up to these days? Splashed about in any good puddles lately?

Hawthorn Sew-Along!

This might be a good time to reiterate that I’m really new to sewing. As in, I haven’t technically finished a project yet. (Well, I did do two hems by hand for a friend, and have one dress nearly completed, minus finishing the neckline and hemming the sleeves and skirt.) And yet, when I saw that Colette Patterns was having a Sew-Along for the pattern I just got from them, I felt like this was something I needed to do, right now. Here is the link for the Sew-Along (and contest, which I’ll probably participate in as well):

Hawthorn Dress Sewalong

After getting all worked up about this project and how it would be the most fun thing ever, I got a reality check. First, I looked at the schedule and realized that the muslin stage is now over, and the first few actual tasks are upon us. I do not even have the pattern out of the envelope, you guys. But I told myself, “No big deal, guy–you got this. You have 10 yards of muslin and an entire weekend to fritter away. You’ll be caught up in no time!”

Reality check #2: my fabric. I ordered this pattern with a specific fabric in mind: a beautiful peacock-y blue shot cotton that’s very light and perfect for a summery sleeveless version of the Hawthorn. I’ve had the material for weeks, and felt sure that I was all set in that respect. But no. No. You guys, the version of this pattern that I am making calls for 3 5/8 yards; I have 2 1/2 yards. Not nearly enough. And even though I was seriously deep in denial about this fact (“But wait! Maybe you got 54″ wide fabric and 2 1/2 is enough! SHUT UP DON’T TELL ME IT WAS ONLY 45″. YOU LIE!”), I confirmed it with my purchase receipt. So I ordered another piece of the same stuff, 1 1/2 yards, so that I will have enough. I’m hoping I can cut the top portion and the collar pieces off the smaller piece and save the 2 1/2 yard piece for the skirt sections.

On top of all of that, I cannot seem to find buttons that I like in the correct size. I seem to be drawn to 3/4″ buttons, but I need 1/2″ buttons. And I need 13 of them. I am hoping that by the time we’re at the “sew the buttons” stage, I have found the perfect soulmate buttons and they have arrived from Internet Land in time for me to stay on schedule.

Needless to say, these complications aren’t quite what I envisioned when I decided to participate in my first-ever Sew-Along, but I’m thinking this will turn out okay. Assuming that I don’t fuck up the actual sewing portion of the assignment. O_o

I’m tackling the bodice muslin this weekend (a skirt is mostly just a skirt, so I’m not worried about making a muslin of that), which is scary (Colette Patterns are drafted for C cup, and I’m flat an A, so lots of adjustments must be made). I’m hoping to start the first few fashion fabric steps this weekend as well, and will update accordingly. Wish me luck!