Hawthorne on Hawthorne!

Ah yes, once I finished my new Hawthorne dress I felt compelled to pose in front of Hawthorne Ave in our neighborhood.  It was fate!

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I made my Hawthorne in a turquoise plaid chambray.  I absolutely love shirt dresses, and this is not my first so I found the construction to be very easy.  The tough part was matching up the plaid. I actually ended up having to switch sides for my buttonholes in order to match it up just right. I think the placket on the skirt looks a little stiff or off somehow but I guess I can deal with it.

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Colette Hawthorne

 

I really like the little collar on the Hawthorne, it gives it a vintagey look with the flared skirt.  I read some reviews where people didn’t like that it was in three pieces and would have preferred it in one, but this really didn’t bug me too much. It assembled nice and easy without too many adjustments.

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I used these turquoise  buttons that I bought at the flea market in a grab bag, I had to dump out my jar and find all the matching ones. Luckily there were plenty of these and they matched my colors just right. I made my dress a little loose in the bodice, mostly for comfort.  I find that overly fitted bodices in shirt dresses can pull in weird places and give you “peek-a-boos” between buttons.

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Check out my matching plaids! I’m always happy when my matching works out as planned 🙂   This is a great dress, and a good one if you are wanting to try out a shirt dress for the first time.  It is definitely less complicated than some others I have tried.  Colette is the best y’all!

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Zig zags and paint

Last night I attended my friend Tina’s surprise birthday/painting party, and it was a total blast! She loves dressing up so everyone was to show up in cocktail attire for the occasion. This of course made me excited because I just finished my chevron “zig zag” dress, and I was itching for a reason to wear it. I found this retro inspired polyester material at our local Hancocks and I couldn’t leave the store without it, even though I generally avoid working with this type of fabric. I decided to make McCalls 6115 which is about as an easy of a dress to make especially with this finicky fabric. Its pretty much two panels with a channel to run the straps through. I did my darndest to match up the stripes, however this dress is a pretty big sack when its all said and done so I had to take it in quite a bit. Matching up the stripes became less of a necessity and more of an impossibility. I ended up belting the dress anyhow so I don’t mind it too much.

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I really love how it turned out, I think this dress may be coming with me on my trip to Europe. Bonjour!

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While at the party, we all had to cover our sophisticated outfits with aprons to avoid getting splattered with paint. It was well worth covering my dress, I forgot how much I enjoy painting. I used to do quite a bit of oil painting, but when I started school a couple years ago I just didn’t have the time for it anymore. It can be a very time consuming hobby! However, now that I will have the summer off and I finished graduate school I plan to get in at least a little painting time! The theme for the painting party was the Louisville skyline with bubbles floating about in the sky. I decided to deviate my theme because I wanted to hang it in my sewing room, so instead of bubbles I painted spools of thread.

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It turned out kind of meh, we had to finish within a limited time frame as it was a painting party and it ended up a little sloppy and kindergartenish as a result. I may go back and try to fix it up later on, although this was done with acrylic paint. Here are all the other painters’ finished masterpieces, they all turned out great and we had so much fun!

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I really enjoy painting natural scenery and using a lot of texture when I paint. Here are a couple of paintings I have done that are hanging up in my house:

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All this art is really getting my creative juices flowing, I’m really getting excited to start creating this summer! Oh and on a completely unrelated side note, check out who I met at a local art fair recently- Gunnar from project runway! He was so friendly and kind, he didn’t even mind me asking for a creeper fan pic 😉

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Love local celebrities!


Perfect plaid sundress

I have been eyeballing this vintage rainbow plaid cotton from someone’s grandma’s estate sale on Etsy for about a month. I finally talked the seller down on the price and I snatched it up, I am inlove with the bright colors and how light and airy the cotton is. I washed it to get the grandma stank out of it and it didn’t shrink in the tiniest bit. Its strange though because when I iron this I can still get a hint of old lady closet from the steam, but eff it. I have had the Lisette passport dress pattern in my stash for a hot one, and this was a match made in heaven. Its a simple dress, and the light cotton will be great for these hot ass Kentucky summers.

Here I am at the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair this weekend, my most favorite annual art fair.

 

The dress was pretty fun to make, the darts in the front really make the dress. I have read several of the reviews for the dress and some people left the pleats open, however I felt like this would bother me and look a little sloppy so I stuck with the directions and sewed them closed. Also, there was an abundance of complaints about the side zipper. Having just struggled with a side zipper on my Peggy Olson dress, I got a longer zipper and sewed it in the back of the dress, I am really happy I did this, I think it turned out much better than if I had gambled with a side zipper.

I was a little tipsy when I took these pictures so don’t mind my disheveled hot mess hair. I also didn’t bother putting in the facings as many others suggested and I just used turquoise bias tape instead, worked out great no muss no fuss. I love this dress! I got mad compliments too, I think this dress will be making the rounds quite a bit this summer 😀


Mad Men, and mad chickens!

In honor of this evening’s new Mad Men episode I decided it was time to post my “Peggy Dress”.  I think I’ve seen about 5 other versions of Peggy’s infamous black and white plaid dress, but my favorite is hands down the dress made by the lovely Julia Bobbin. I love her modern take on the sleeves and the buttons but maintaining the shape and the curved collar. This is a dress I had to have in my closet!

To make my dress I used McCalls 5792, the view in the lower right hand corner with the collar (funny enough it is in a black and white houndstooth in the drawing… destiny?)

I had to make a few alterations in order to capture the essence of Peggy that I was going for. In this pattern the collar meets in the front on the left side of the neckline, but I wanted the collar to curve around the front and meet in the back. This was a pretty simple fix however, I just swiveled it around to the back and lined up the closures in the back center. I also had to create my own little sleeves for this dress, this was also rather simple to do, I just used the sleeves from another pattern and made my own, and altered them down until they fit just right. Finally, I had to create my own bias belt for the dress, this was a little challenging because I ended up having my belt come out a couple inches too short due to a lack of a beefy piece of fabiric left over after cutting out the rest of the dress. I made the belt line up in contrast to the rest of the plaid so that it would stand out, so I ended up having to match up the extra inches and sewing them justright so they would belnd in. It certainly didn’t turn out perfectly but it isn’t noticable.

A few dislikes/ issues I had while making this dress was obviously the plaids not lining up perfectly. This is always a struggle I realize and the back seam not matching up I can live with, but the collar ended up being on an angle from the rest of the dress, I was hoping it would mimic the belt. Oh well…  Also this dress had a side zipper, this wouldn’t have been a big deal but I don’t particularly like side zippers. On this dress it was especially a more annoying installation since I added the sleeves. In the end I was pleased with how the zipper turned out though, so no harm no foul. Lastly the bodice ended up being bigger and more bunchy than I would have liked, I think this is what bothers me most about the dress. I may try to take it in a bit later on but for now I have other projects on my list.

Issues aside, I still am fond of my Peggy dress and I will wear it proud as Peggy would at Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce. In fact I wore it today at my Honor Society induction, here a picture my Mom took (though it was quick and not the best view)

In other news, our little chickies finally arrived last week! Unfortunately of our 6 chicks we ordered, one was left off the shipment, and one didn’t make it through the first day so we have four girls for now. We will be getting replacement chicks in a couple weeks though, so our brood will be one happy egg laying bunch! Meet our chicks Farrah, Frankie, Pumpkin and Jamal:

And the cluck hut


Lisette 2060- getting ready for Fall!

 

As soon as I saw the new line of Lisette Simplicity patterns I immediately became obsessed with 2060. This is a very retro 60’s inspired dress (in my opinion) with a contrasting neckline and a matching belt. The lisette fabrics that were released at Joann’s were actually really pretty too, however even on sale I thought they were overpriced so I decided to make my own version.

 I had this fun retro scalloped cotton print which was perfect for this dress, so I began a search for a purple/raspberry solid that would go with it well. I found this fuschia material which I am still not entirely sure what ts called, it is a polyester on the outside and the interior is a shiny satin. Its a bit heavier than the cotton, but since this is a Fall dress it is well suited. Although I will say that since its thicker it doesn’t gather as well with the belt, but it won’t stop me from rocking it out.

Here is the interior:

The dress itself was not bad, the challenge was mostly working with two fabrics that differed in texture, but they were both very stable soI didn’t struggle too much. The center neckline on the dress piece was supposed to be gathered, however this fabric wasn’t having it with the gathering and it would have looked too bunched and scrunched had I forced it so I just made one pleat instead.

Sorry I took these pictures at night and the contrast is a little wacky. This dress also gave me the opportunity to try out the button holes on my new machine and they turned out absolutely perfect! I was so astonished by how automatic and beautiful they turned out with virtually no effort- I am used to making my own manual button holes with my mechanical machine. Truth be told though, I did screw one up with my seam ripper, but I was able to hand repair it- it doesn’t look as fabulous as it did pre-hole torn but the button covers it so oh well.

The rest of this dress was easy- it was a box dress and just pieced together like a simple puzzle. My favorite part of this dress was making the obi-belt. It was so simple and had decorative top stitching added around in rows. Mine is definitely not pristine by any means, but nobody will notice! I think I may use the belt pattern by itself to make some fun belts for other outfits.

I love this dress, it was definitely a fun one to make and it really has me excited for Fall clothes! I am not completely done with summer yet, but after making this dress I am starting to look for more retro/vintage inspired pieces. My husband and I have been on a Mad Men marathon kick lately too so I am really falling in love with the 50’s poofy style dresses too.