Friday, May 31, 2013

Things I've Sewn Lately: Cake Patterns Pavlova

I was so excited the day Pattern Review announced that it would be selling Cake Patterns -- I ordered Pavlova and Tiramisu that very day! 

I love wrap and faux wrap tops and the whole aesthetic of the patterns really appealed to me. 

My Tiramisu took a reallllly long time to arrive (something with the U.S. supplier running out), so I started with Pavlova. Originally I intended to make only the top. The fabric I used is some GORGEOUS off-white bamboo knit from Mood, purchased on my New York trip.

This stuff was an absolute dream to work with. I should completely swear off cheapo knits, because working with this fabric made me realize what crap I'd been working with before. This was easy to sew and perfectly drapey. I can't say enough good things about it.

After I finished the top, with the pattern pieces still strewn about my ironing board, I ended up with a queen-sized sheet with a big rip in the middle. So I decided to make a bedsheet circle skirt a la Cation Designs.

I couldn't be bothered to find matching thread, so I did rows of embroidery on the waistband in the same off-white I'd used to topstitch the top. (The embroidery did not come out awesomely, so I didn't show it here -- it's a little uneven -- I'm still learning to use all the features on my fancy machine!)

Now. The pattern. The instructions/markings on the pattern are a little bit wonky. I don't know if all Australian patterns are this way? Or if Cake does its own variety of sizing? But I was a little confused at the outset. The markings on the pattern correspond to the steps in the directions. Which, if you don't read the directions as well as you should, can be bewildering. And the pattern doesn't have sizes marked, it has inches. I'm probably a little slow on the uptake, but I had to check and recheck to see if the inch markings were for finished garments or not.

I also did not like the waistband on the skirt. It's realllllly narrow for a circle skirt. I think maybe next time I might steal the waistband piece from a Colette Ginger... I really appreciate a thicker waistband on such a voluminous skirt.

Once you get the hang of it, the pattern is really very nicely drafted and the garment, in my opinion is super flattering. And I loved the method the pattern used for doing the sleeve bindings -- genius and impossible to screw up. Absolute perfection.

I do wish I'd heeded the Internet warnings about how short the top is -- that's another reason I made the skirt as well. I didn't have much that was high-waisted enough to be wearable with the top.

All in all, this was a pretty good pattern and I loved the results -- though maybe next time I'll make a few modifications of my own.

Have you made a Cake pattern? How did you feel about it?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Me-Made May -- Week 4!

Why is May such a long month?

Like everyone else, I'm getting pretty sick of Me-Made May.

For day 20, my first day of 5 a.m. shift (!), I just cheated and wore my Amerson undies under my jean shorts and tank. I will say, though, in the spirit of Me-Made May, this was the first time I'd actually worn them all day long and I LOVED them.Will definitely make another pair now!

On day 21, I wore my bedsheet circle skirt again. I love this skirt. So comfy for hanging around the house.

Day 22, I wore my new Tiramisu dress, made from one of my NYC fabrics. This photo actually was not taken that day. Expect a post on Tiramisu soon -- I've already made two of them. I'm in love.

I'm embarrassed (not really, but we'll pretend) to say I re-wore the Tiramisu the next day. I actually didn't wear it the entire day on day 22, so it seemed OK to re-wear for day 23. But here's a pic of me cooking fried rice in an apron I made in November. I wear this apron all the time.

On day 24, I wore New Look 6808 with jeans. I actually went to work this day, which warranted, you know... shoes. Fun fact: I never wear shoes at home. I'm allergic to shoe-wearing.

Day 24 found Greg and I going out to the fancy Whole Foods for dinner (this WF near us has like... restaurant-esque eateries inside it. It's insane) and then to Fast and Furious 6 (which was amazing if you like fluffy action movies, which I do!) I'm wearing my beloved denim Ginger skirt and a cardigan and tank top.

On day 25, WE WENT SAILING! Yayyyyy! For those who haven't been reading for a long time, I lived on the boat my dad and I co-own for three years. This was also Lyra's first-ever sailing trip! I don't know how much fun she had, but doesn't she look super cute in her lifejacket?

I don't have any me-mades that are really suitable for sailing, so I re-wore my Amerson undies under a pair of shorts. Look how pale I am! Yikes!

Day 26 I wore my Renfrew top in the morning for errands, but my hair was gross and I was slightly pink from the sun, so pics just didn't happen.

Bonus shot of Lyra in her PFD to make up for lack of day 26 pics:

Reflections from the week: I worked the 5 a.m. shift every day but Friday, so I had copious amounts of time after work to do whatever I wanted. It was amazing! Not so awesome for clothes, though. I basically rolled out of bed, worked in PJ's and showered post work.

Currently working on: Nothing! Just finished my second Tiramisu yesterday. I think I'll make a wearable muslin of the Cambie dress next. I have a king size light pink flat sheet I'm eyeing. But I have to wait for new rotary cutter blades to come in the mail, because girlfriend doesn't cut pattern pieces with scissors. Too much work!

Me-Made May is nearly OVER! Just one more post to go and we'll call it a success. Woo!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Me-Made May -- Week 3!

Well, this week was the most difficult yet, I'm sorry to say. What's worse, you're going to get some recycled photos. I did a seriously abysmal job of taking pictures this week.

On day 13, I once again wore my leggings and shawl outfit. Creature of habit, party of one!

I think I also wore that outfit on day 14. Or maybe I wore last week's tunic and leggings outfit? I can't find photographic evidence anywhere! I know I wore me-made, though. Scout's honor!

Day 15 features a recycled photo, but I wore nearly the exact same outfit. Butterick B5649 skirt with a white t-shirt top and a cardigan. I am so disappointed in myself, but this skirt has an indelible grease stain on the front now. And some fraying inside. I think I might just make it again, but better, because I love it. I can't believe it's already stained after only five or so wearings! Boo.

On day 16, I woke up extra early to meet a friend from the internetz for breakfast! I wore my new (as-yet-unblogged) Pavlova top with my denim Ginger skirt. Loving the Pavlova top! It's a little messy here, but this is post-breakfast and after a few hours of sitting and gabbing. I wore this to work later in the day, too.

On  day 17, I went to work and work my black faux-wrap top, New Look 6150. Love this top! (Recycled photo.)

This is where it gets rough, folks. On day 18 I wore absolutely NOTHING me-made. We were headed to a wine festival for the day, and it was unexpectedly cold and rainy. i'd planned to wear my cute new Lonsdale, but it was just too cold and... well... I need to do wash. Fail. It occurred to me later that I should have worn my Amerson undies! Next time...

Day 19 was hot and sticky from the previous day's rain, so I pulled on my Washi dress for yard work. I love the Washi for gardening. Nice and washable! Here I've paired it with (unpictured) gardening clogs, a bug-repellent bracelet and gardening gloves. So fashionable, right?

Reflections from the week: This week was rough in a lot of ways, but I think I did pretty well. I'm really disappointed that I had to skip a day, but in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse. I managed to keep the legging look to a minimum, at least. I'm hoping this week will be warmer. I'm on the 5 a.m. shift all week from home, so maybe I'll actually do exciting things in the afternoons and put on real clothing...

Currently making: Cake patterns Tiramisu. I never really got on that last week, but I hope to have more time to sew this week. :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Me-Made May -- Week 2!

OK, so this whole Me-Made May thing got much more difficult in week 2. I worked at home all but one day, which makes for very boring and repetitive clothes. In addition, I kept forgetting to take real pictures, so this post will have a lot of Instagrams.

Last week I mentioned that I was planning to count a mom-made piece of clothing for Me-Made May. In the day 6 picture, you can see the shawl my mom made. I love this thing. It's amazing and it has pockets. I like to wear it with a long-sleeved top layered over a long tank top and leggings.

Here's a slightly better view that shows the awesome pockets:

Day 7 found me at work in my trusty corduroy dress, made from Butterick B5781. I think I might just turn this dress into a skirt. I always wear it with a sweater overtop and the wonky neckline still bothers me. (Photo taken by a wonderful, long-suffering co-worker.)

I worked at home again on day 8, this time wearing an unblogged t-shirt dress. I had trouble with the hem on this one, making it extra short, so I turned it into a tunic and wear it with leggings. It's really soft and comfy. 

Bonus shot of me conferring with my co-model: 

On day 9, I wore my shawl/long-sleeved top/leggings again. I wore a slightly different color top, but didn't bother to take more pictures.

I also did laundry on day 9 and realized that one of our sheets had a big rip in it. So, inspired by Cation Designs (my new favorite blog!) I decided to turn it into a circle skirt (I had just finished making my Cake Patterns Pavlova top, so I already had the pattern out and everything).

So on day 10, I wore this:

Man, it was hot that day. Sorry for the extra shitty picture. I did some alterations to this skirt post-pic, so I'll tell you all about them in another post.

On day 11, I had my last day of mentoring -- after four years, I decided it was time to stop mentoring, mostly because I moved states and driving to the meetings was getting really tough. Still, it was really sad.

I wore my khaki Ginger skirt with an RTW J Crew top (ancient).

On day 12 it was gorgeous out! Greg and I did a bunch of errands and worked in the garden. It was nice and warm, so I wore my Washi Dress (I removed a bunch of fabric from the front/sides to make it look a little less maternity on me.)

Reflections from the week: I do not have a lot of variety in my work-at-home wardrobe. And it's not even because I'm trying to wear me-mades! If it wasn't Me-Made May, I probably would have worn the shawl outfit three of the days I worked at home. Also, I wear a lot of blue, grey, black and white. Hot damn. I should keep an eye on that. Seriously every outfit this week was based in blue, black, grey or white.

Currently making: About to start cutting a Cake Patterns Tiramisu. I have plans for two of them if the pattern works out for me.

Anyway, that's it for week 2. I'll try to do better next week, I promise! (Although as I write this, I'm totally wearing the shawl and leggings outfit again -- what can I say? It got cold!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Me-Made May -- Week 1!

A little late with last weeks Me-Made May challenge post, but better late than never, right? 

On day 1, I did something totally crazy and unprecedented -- I wore pants. This is a very rare for me, I can assure you. This top is another version of New Look 6808. The pants are from the Ann Taylor Factory Outlet because Ann Taylor is one of the few places I can buy pants. The fabric was bought on my trip to NYC. (It's a little rumpled because I took this photo after work.)

An "action shot" from day 1, taken by one of my fabulous coworkers.

In the interest of keeping it real, this day 2 picture was taken over breakfast before a dermatologist appointment, errands and a day of working at home. So no makeup, because the dermatologist needs to see your skin, right? You may recall that a trip to the dermatologist was one of my goals for the new year. I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that I don't have skin cancer.

I'm wearing a Renfrew top, made from NYC fabric, with jeans and Toms shoes.

Day 3 saw another day of working in the office. I'm wearing a denim Ginger skirt (made from NYC fabric, natch) and a New Look top (made with overpriced G-Street fabric.) Along with an RTW sweater. The top is unblogged because I'm not super pleased with the fit. I did the sleeves twice and they are STILL tight on my biceps. I never knew I was so ripped until I started sewing, sheesh.

I'm watering the seedlings in this picture, because the Flickr group Friday theme was water. Look how big my tomatoes and peppers are getting!

On day 4, I wore my Ginger again, this time with an RTW white t-shirt. We went to the annual crawfish boil hosted by Greg's former boss. It was amazing! We ate our weight in crawfish and beignets. So good.

On day 5, I totally thought about wearing my Ginger again, but I figured you guys might get bored. So I wore my re-cut Washi top (made with fabric from Seattle) with jeans and a cardigan and Toms flats.

Lyra seems unamused by the whole Me-Made May thing -- probably because I haven't made anything for her! Woops!

Reflections from the week: The first week was fairly easy. It was a congressional recess, so I worked days in the office a lot. This current week will be more challenging because I'm working at home most days and I normally just wear yoga pants and sweatshirts when I work at home -- and I haven't made much of that. I'm planning to count the one item of mom-made clothing I have (a lovely shawl) as me-made, though, because it's warm and awesome and it's going to be too warm to wear it soon.

Currently making: A Cake Patterns Pavlova wrap top, which hopefully will fill some gaps. I also just ordered some super cute sweatshirt fabric, so that might help. It's been really unexpectedly cold recently. I've been freezing!

How is your Me-Made May going?