Monthly Archives: April 2014

Where’s Waldo Coco Top

Ah, I’m finally almost up do date with the posting of my sewing backlog and here is my final project of the pieces I photographed earlier this month. But as I am writing this I have 2.5 (I’m currently half way through a project, hence the .5) me-mades and one non-clothing sewing project that I would like to post. It appears that I am sewing faster than I am blogging, I’m sure this has to do with the fact that I am semi-unemployed at the moment (currently waiting for a sewing related gig to open up). I don’t know if this backlog is common with any other sewing bloggers out there, if you guys are reading this I would love to know!

Since this post seems to be of a semi-personal nature, well at least so far, I have been meaning to mention that this summer I am going to Paris with my husband for our 2 year anniversary/belated honeymoon! Anyways I have been doing a lot of planning and researching as well as stitching up some basics that I plan to wear this summer and will hopefully be perfect for France. If any of you have suggestions of Paris related things that we should keep and eye out for please let me know, especially if any of those happen to be fabric stores, because duh, I would love to hear them!

Anyways with the mentioning of Paris I find it all too fitting to share my Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top with you! I have nicknamed this my Where’s Waldo Top for obvious reasons. When Tilly first announced this pattern I did quite the happy dance, I had been meaning to make a Breton style top to eventually replace the three H&M Breton tops I have and wear frequently.

Where's Waldo Coco Top

Let’s talk about the fabric first. I purchased this ponte de roma online from Stylish Fabric, it was on the cheaper side, which is what I was looking for but still had the size stripes I wanted. This is technically the coral color, although in person it looks red (but not a deep scarlet). Initially I was a little sad about what the color looked like in person, but since then it has really grown on me.

For sizing I cut a size 4 through the shoulders and bust and a size 5 through the waist and the hips, but I have considered tapering it in to a size 4, but I have yet to do it. Regardless I am really digging this top. The only other alteration I made was a ½ inch FBA, which I think is going to become my standard alteration.

I have really been digging working with knits, they are so easy to make and fit, so if any of you have been afraid to delve into the world of knits all I can say is DO IT! It isn’t scary at all, I mean it hardly needs any seam finishing, if that isn’t a sell I don’t know what is.

Where's Waldo Coco Top

Where's Waldo Coco Top

So far this is my most worn Me-Made yet, the only problem is I did find some pilling after my second time wearing it, I’m not sure if this is due to the quality of the fabric or if this is just the nature of polyester ponte de roma, since this is my first time working with it. Other than that there isn’t too much else to say about this top, it is a really straightforward design and I required little alteration to it. All in all it is a great pattern and I would recommend it to any sewing level since Tilly takes you through each step wonderfully and in color photographs in the instructions or on her blog.

Where's Waldo Coco Top

One final announcement, I am going to take part of Me-Made-May ’14 this year! For those of you who aren’t familiar with MMM is a month challenge to wear items that you yourself have created. Each person makes a pledge that will state how many me-mades they will wear. This challenge really helps you wear what you are making as well as figure out what is missing from your makes. So here I go

me-made-may'14

‘I, Jeanne of TheJeanneBean, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavor to wear a minimum of 4 handmade garments a week for the duration of May 2014’

While daily picture posts are not required I do plan on taking them so I can more easily look back and see if I am maintaining my goal, but I think rather than posting an outfit photo each day on Instagram (I really don’t want to clog up my non-sewing friends feeds) I am thinking of posting a recap on here instead. But I’m sure there will be a few pop up on Instagram. I would love to know if anyone else has signed up for MMM’14, we could keep each other motivated!

Xoxo
Jeanne

Quick Facts:
Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons’ Coco Top
Size: 4 tapered to 5 in waist and hips
Fabric: Coral Ponte de Roma
Alterations: ½ inch FBA

Shaggy Dog Anna Dress

Wow two posts in a two week period! Here’s hoping I can keep this up, but I’m not promising anything. Anyways life has been a little slow as of lately, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing especially when it comes to sewing (guys I have a ton of projects either in the works or in my queue)! Anyways I started this dress back in February, I quickly finished the bodice but was being indecisive and a little scared of starting the skirt, so this project sat around unfinished for a while, which wasn’t the worst since there was no way I would be able to wear it in the dead of winter. Without further ado, here is my Shaggy Dog Anna Dress.

Shaggy Dog Anna Dress

I purchased this fabric about a year and a half ago from the most amazing estate sale that I have been to (The entire attic was stuffed full of vintage fabric, most of which still had tags on it!) and have been saving it for a pattern that I knew I would wear.

Detail of Vintage Shaggy Dog Fabric

After my success with the Anna Dress by By Hand London I decided to use the bodice and experiment with the skirt. I had been admiring pleated skirts as of late (especially those by Roisin aka Dolly Clacket) and decided to use a vintage Stretch & Sew pattern as a guide. I had made the skirt prior and like the way that it fit but instead of using the back pattern pieces (which were gathers and not pleats) I decided to simply cut the front again for the back, but cut it in half and add a 5/8″ seam allowance and then shifted the placement of the pleats so that the zipper wouldn’t over lap them. For the bodice I cut the same size as my previous version but did the v-neck rather than the slash neckline, looking back I really should have done an FBA since the chest is a smidge tight and the front of the bodice rides up a little in comparison with the back, but I plan on wearing this with a belt so it really isn’t that big of a deal. It just goes to show you how the fabric really makes a difference, since I didn’t have a problem with my rayon challis version. The only other alteration I did was add pockets (from Colette’s Peony Dress), which really makes this dress a hit with me.

Shaggy Dog Anna Dress

Shaggy Dog Anna Dress

While sewing I did notice how stiff this cotton was, but I didn’t really think much about it, but once it was finished it was very noticeable in the rear, so I washed the dress in vinegar to help soften it up a bit, and it did help a little. The butt still wears a bit odd and I’m trying to decide it i should unpick some stitches and make it gathered instead (thoughts?), but for now this will be a perfect summer dress, that is if summer ever gets here (heck I would just be happy if it would stop snowing!!!)

I’m entering this dress into the Sew Dolly Clacket dress contest. If you aren’t familiar with Roisin’s Blog you should really check it out, she uses awesome novelty prints and lots of independent patterns to make the most amazing dresses. This lady is high on the list of seamstresses that I greatly admire. I hope my dress lives up to her awesome work!

Next up is my Coco Top from Tilly and the Buttons!

Quick Facts:
Pattern: The Anna Dress by By Hand London and Stretch and Sew #407
Fabric: Vintage cotton Shaggy Dog
Size: Bodice 12US/16UK Skirt 42
Adjustments: Used front pattern pieces for back and shifted pleats
Pockets

Spring Peony Dress

As mentioned in my previous few posts I have a small back log of posts coming your way shortly, now that it has finally been sunny enough to photograph them! And to begin with I present you my second Peony Dress by Colette Patterns, this time I made the short sleeve version, with a couple other alterations, as well as patch pockets! If you follow me on Instagram you will recognize this from several preview pictures.

Spring Peony Dress

To be completely honest, this dress was a pain in the butt to make. I decided to use a lightweight black and white gingham that has a slight stretch to it (I picked it up a year or so ago at a fabric store that was going out of business) and to add a little visual interest I cut the bodice on a bias as well as added black piping. This is actually the second bodice that I cut since I had run into a few problems installing the invisible zipper, but more on that later.

In addition to the alterations that I used on my Winter Peony Dress I also did my fist FBA (full bust adjustment), up until now I had been terrified of doing one and essentially avoided it at all cost, but I’m so glad I sucked it up and did it (and guess what it was super easy!). The other adjustments that I did was shift the sleeves forward by about 5/8” of an inch to help give me a better range of motion and lowered the side bust darts by 5/8″.

As I mentioned previously this is the second bodice that I cut out for this dress (thank goodness I bought so much of this fabric) the reason for that is that I really hadn’t had any experience with bias cut fabric up to this point and time so I didn’t stabilize it short of stay stitching the neckline. By the time I had gotten to inserting the zipper the fabric had stretched out quite a bit and the problem was that I couldn’t tell until I had finished everything and was about to wear it. Imagine how upset I was when I saw that the zipper was rippling up and down my back and I resembled a stegosaurus! After looking around the interwebs for any type of solution and trying many things I decided it would be easiest to cut a whole new bodice and treat it very delicately. For the second time around I used fusible knit interfacing to stabilize the zipper opening (using Sunni’s instructions) and stitched up the seams and darts using tissue paper to prevent my sewing machine from stretching the fabric, as I was sewing. This final bodice is much better, but is still a little ripply, especially if I stand up really straight. I also wish that I could get a little closer to the zipper teeth, but I think it is mainly the fault of this lightweight fabric. Oh well.

Spring Peony Dress

Spring Peony Dress

To add a bit of visual interest I added black piping to the neck, sleeves, waist, and pockets. On the first bodice I used the piping along with the facing and it definitely felt a bit bulky, but while working on my second bodice I saw Gertie’s post of using piping as self facing (duh!) and now the neck is much less bulky. Along with the piping I cut out bias patch pockets rather than using the inseam ones provided with the pattern, and I must say they are my favorite part of the dress! They help break up the busyness of the gingham along with looking absolutely adorable.

Spring Peony Dress

Overall I am very please with this dress, I still can’t lift my arms super high (I’m really not sure of what kind of adjustment could help remedy this), and the zipper is a little off, but I definitely pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this one. I did a ton of “firsts” (FBA, piping, bias, self drafted pockets) and made a dress that I fell with be great in a variety of seasons.

Next up is my dress for Sew Dolly Clacket!

Xoxo Jeanne

Quick Facts
Pattern: Colette Pattern’s Peony Dress
Fabric: Cotton with stretch Black and Whit Gingham
Adjustments: 1/2” FBA
Shifted sleeves forward 5/8”
Took out 1 1/2″ from back neck
Moved shoulders over by 1/2″
Lowered side bust darts by 5/8″
Used Piping as self facing