Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finally giving in...

The Internets tell me that I have to "claim" my blog on Bloglovin', so if you're using that instead of Feedly (why?) you can now follow me there.

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Things I've Sewn Lately: Colette Laurel

Say hello to Laurel, blog pals! 

This dress was made from the Colette Laurel pattern, their newest release. The pattern is for a shift dress and a blouse version of said dress. When Colette released the pattern, they also announced a huge competition. I wasn't going to participate, but then the lovely Charlotte of Seam Ripped posted a PSA with information about Elliott Berman's annual 50 percent off sale.

Say what?

Elliott Berman 50 percent off sale? Sign me up! 

I got several cute things, including this sheer printed fabric that just screamed Laurel. 

Yes. This is a Missoni knit print. See the tiny peach writing? It says Missoni. Very sheer. Perfect for an underlined dress like Laurel. You may swoon. 

It's a pima cotton and I will admit that I was surprised by how stretchy it was. I ended up underlining it with sheer white stretch pima cotton from G Street fabrics. It was $24.99 a yard (though it was 20 percent off). Didn't I swear off buying fabric at G Street? Sheesh! I think that makes the underlining more expensive than the outer fabric.

Matching the two fabrics together, by the way, was an absolute BEAST. It took forever. Millions of pins. Lots of cursing. The sheer, super stretchy Missoni stretched if you looked at it the wrong way.

But it came out well in the end. Phew!

I used plain old bias binding on the neckline and cuffs and, per the pattern's suggestion, I left off the underlining on the sleeves, which I think adds interest. My mom and dad weren't sure how they felt about it, but I think it's kind of fun.

I also took my mom's suggestion and let the dress be loose, in the '60s shift dress style. This dress is so super comfortable. And it has enough weight and hang to it that it would be perfect for a workday where you feel like you need a looser dress. We've all been there, right, ladies?

Our dogwood tree is blooming finally. Pretty, isn't it? It's rained for the past two days, but since the contest deadline is tomorrow, I had to get pictures, rain or not. It's misting in all of these pictures, but I made Greg brave the elements to get pictures with the tree.

All in all, Laurel is a really well-drafted pattern. Everything fit together beautifully!

And it goes together very quickly. The whole thing is three pieces -- front, back and sleeves. I didn't bother setting the sleeves on my muslin, so the muslin went together in about an hour, cutting to sewing!

There is a lot of ease in this dress, I thought -- though of course part of that is the dress shape -- so I definitely suggest a muslin.

I don't know if I'd make the dress again (I'm not a huge shift dress fan -- one is probably enough!) but I do think I'll definitely make the top at some point.

Best of luck to everyone else entering the contest! And for those not entering, check out the Flickr group. The dresses people have made are incredible! In addition, you can check out my review on Pattern Review.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Things I've Sewn Not-So Recently: New Look 6808

I made and photographed this top sometime during the winter -- and then never managed to post about it. Woops!

This is New Look 6808, view C.

I loved this pattern. It was really simple to work with and I think it came out really cute! This blouse is definitely the type of blouse I'd buy for myself.

I eliminated the darts in the back of the blouse so that I could pull it over my head and wouldn't have to put in a zipper in the side. The idea of a zipper in the side of my blouse does not sound like a good time.

But otherwise, the pattern is awesome!

I actually didn't wear this blouse all winter besides this photo shoot, because the wideness of the collar doesn't work with any of my cardigans, which is a bummer, because I initially thought it would be cute with a cardigan. Alas.

But I do think it will be lovely with jeans or tucked into a skirt when it's warmer outside!

I really enjoy the little bow detail on the collar. The collar was very easy to sew, which, as those of you who've tried making collars before may sympathize with, is so not always the case.

The one thing I'm bummed about with this blouse is that the fabric I bought is SUPER wrinkle-prone. I was trying to buy a softer off-white cotton, but this is fairly stiff, and, as mentioned before, wrinkle-tastic. At least it's not see-through, though. Little victories, right?

If you're interested, feel free to check out my Pattern Review post on this top.

I've also made another of this top, using the same fabric I lined my Butterick skirt with, and I adore it. I'll try to take pictures next time it's nice out!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Me-Made May 2013!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've taken 'So Zo's Me-Made May pledge!

I, Aleksandra of Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs, sign up as a participant of Me-Made May 2013. I endeavor to wear one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013. 

I'll be doing lots of sewing between now and the end of May, I'm sure, and I have several new garments lined up to show off as well, including two new Colette Ginger skirts, a Sewaholic Lonsdale dress, a Sewaholic Renfrew and lots of other goodies.

I can't wait!

If you're doing Me-Made May too, let me know in the comments so I can follow you! I am so excited to participate and see what awesome outfits you all have hiding in your closets. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Is Here -- Along With Lots To Do!

If it's been awhile since my last post, it's because I've been a busy little bee around the house! Over the winter, we managed to obtain a ton of free lumber. I saw an ad for free lumber on Craigslist and drove out to  the boonies to borrow Greg's parents' truck and, when he got home from work, we went off to pick it up. Turns out there was a lot of good stuff... 4x4s, 2x6s and miscellaneous other stuff. 

I'd like to state here and now that my experience of driving that truck, which is on the old side and, of course, stick shift, through rush hour in the D.C. suburbs was not my finest moment. 

But I did it and it was so worth it.

Some of that stuff was 14 feet long! I think the people who gave it away were house-flippers. So while I worked one Saturday, Greg set to working. 

With spring here, it was time to create some more garden boxes. I already have a 6x12 one out back. These two are out front and they contain root vegetables (beets, carrots and potatoes -- on the left) and strawberries (on the right). 

And then, of course, Greg built me this monstrosity for tomatoes in the side yard. It's 7x14.

Let us not forget that I'm growing squash around the tree out front. It's a lot of garden space to fill, ya'll. 

So with that in mind, I started some seedlings. (And I direct-planted some other things.)

 Yes. Get excited for lots of canning this summer.

We're growing (or experimenting with):
Several types of tomatoes
Several types of sweet peppers
Several types of cucumbers
Red onions
Spaghetti Squash
Butternut Squash
Brussels Sprouts
... and probably several other things I've forgotten about. And one of my coworkers promised me an acorn squash seedling.

I may need my head examined come fall...