pixelated flower kimono

I bought this awesome silky patterned fabric at the Goldhawk Road meet-up, when Lauren of Lladybird was doing her transatlantic trip. Here is a post and some pictures from the meet-up that Kelly of makesewdo shared. Ok, back to the fabric. Look at this!

kimono1

I didn’t have a clue what I was going to make out of this – my first thought was a dress, but it’s both a little thin, and a little overwhelming for me to wear as a dress, but I got 2,5 meters so I would have enough a dress-appropriate amount anyway. I bought some midnight navy twill for a Robson coat as well, and some dark grey silk charmeuse for a slip (oooo, luxury!), but this fabric I had no plans for.

It took me a short week, and then I realized that much better than making a dress out of this, would be making a kimono! I’ve seen people on the interwebs looking all stylish in jeans and heels and flowy kimonos, and I might try that, but more likely is floating about in my apartment, looking all bohemian and lovely when I have stuff delivered at the door. Yeah, much more likely!

kimono3I’m not quite sure what I’m doing here – channeling a stern prison warden perhaps? Haha! Photo by Linn Heidi Stokkedal

I used a combination of this Elle Apparel tutorial for some rough measurements and general ideas, this vintage looking diagram as a cutting layout guide, and a whole lot of eyeballing. The length is completely dictated by the length of the fabric, and then everything else followed from there. It’s roughly 36″ long, 31″ wide across the shoulder, and the sleeves are two rectangles of 16″ (folded double for the cuff) and 20″ for the armhole length. From the scraps I pieced together a rectangle for the belt, and another rectangle to hem the kimono.

A slight aside – this fall I’ve taught an evening class on designing and sewing, and have had a great little group of teenagers taking the class. We even had a photoshoot arranged for them at the end, and I managed to have a couple of pictures taken of me too. The photoshoot was great fun, and a little creepy since it was at a deserted prison! Peeling paint, elaborate iron cell doors, brick wall sections of the yard… the works!

kimono2Photo by Linn Heidi Stokkedal

watercolor hemlock

watercolor_hemlock4

Alright, moving along with my recent photoshoot pictures! This is a Hemlock tee that I finished last week. I made one this spring that I’ve worn a lot, currently out of commission because of a grease stain… Anyone have suggestions for grease stains that have been sitting for a while, or through the tumble drier? Dish soap did not do the trick!

Fabric: Viscose jersey from Stoff og Stil, unfortunately not on their website.
Pattern: Hemlock Tee from Jen at Grainline studio.
Techniques: Jersey fabric, neck binding, serged seams.

watercolor_hemlock2

I tried something a little different with this version, which I mentioned in the previous Hemlock-post. I narrowed the neckline by maybe 1″, and narrowed and shortened the sleeves as well. I was trying to make the fit just a little less casual, but I think the success of the fit is quite dependent on the casual details! I also did shorten the neckline band past the usual recommended 85%, since this fabric is extremely drapey, and the previous Hemlock neckline didn’t lie quite flat I think from not being short enough. I guess I overdid it a bit – this neckband pulls and makes the neckline significantly smaller than it was without. I feel like Goldilocks – the first was too big, the second too small – the third will be perfect!

watercolor_hemlock

The fabric is a little unusual for me, but I’m working on getting comfortable with prints and… well, non-solids. I really like the color of this watercolor-psychology-ink-blot-test-pattern – it’s kind of fun! I’ve lost the little sticker with the info, but I’m pretty sure this is a viscose jersey. It’s the drapiest I’ve ever handled – seriously, it was like sewing with water solidified.

watercolor_hemlock3

Next up I think will be the kimono/robe I’m making from fabric I bought in London at the recent Goldhawk Road meet-up! I’m almost done, so then it’s just a matter of getting pictures taken. I’m of course having the same issue as the rest of the bloggers in the northern hemisphere – freezing temperatures and lack of daylight. I will find a solution!

black lace belcarra blouse

Yeah, look at that alliteration in the post title! I have a bit of a backlog of garments I want to post about, so I did a really chilly photoshoot outside my apartment today. I think this Belcarra blouse is the oldest, judging by my instagram feed I finished this in mid-August. I remember wearing it tons right after finishing it, and being very pleased with it. Which I still am!

Black belcarra blouse (4)Check out my new glasses! I’m really pleased with them. They are the Tame Cat pair from Bergen-based company Kaibosh.

Fabric: Soft bamboo twill and lace in black, both from Stoff og Stil. I don’t see either fabric on their webpages, but I think I saw them both in the store last time I was at the Bergen location (for any locals looking for it!). Also black bias tape from the depths of my stash. It’s probably vintage by now.
Pattern: Belcarra Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns, view A. Size 0 at the hips, and size 2 pretty much everywhere else. I did bring the neckline in, roughly following the size 4 markings, graded to nothing at center front and back. Also, a 1,5″ FBA resulting in a bust dart.
Techniques: Raglan sleeves, bias binding, handpicked understitching.

Black belcarra blouse (2)

I made the most rookiest of mistakes in preparing for this blouse – I didn’t check the test square when I printed out my pdf pattern. I never have my printer set to scale anything, so I simply didn’t bother to check until after I had assembled and cut the pattern, and yes! It was 10% smaller than it was supposed to be. Ha! After some careful pattern measuring, and realizing I barely had enough left of this bamboo twill to make the smaller size anyways, I decided to not re-print the pattern. A quick muslin showed I needed more room at the waist, and to narrow the neckline. I’d seen several people mention the width of the neckline, so I was prepared for that regardless.

Black belcarra blouse (3)

Despite being a smaller than intended size, I still didn’t have enough fabric without piecing the back! I made it curved to look a little more intentional, and even shaved off some length in the middle to make a sort of sway-back adjustment while I was at it. It doesn’t bother me too much to have a seam across the back – but then again, I can’t even see it when I wear the blouse!

Black belcarra blouse detail

I sewed on the bias binding by hand. I could have done that by machine of course, but the width of the bias tape had me worried about terrible stretching. Also, by handsewing I could turn this into a portable project, like knitting! I actually did most of this while visiting a friend and drinking tea. I pickstitched to function as understitching (because I love understitching and it makes everything prettier), and then sewed the bottom edge down as invisibly as I could. I hemmed the bodice in the same way – well, I overlocked, then turned up and slipstitched.

Black belcarra blouse (1)

So there it is! Success! And yes, it wrinkles, and yes, the bamboo twill is a little stiff, but it’s also a little shiny, so it’s forgiven. And yes, the black fabrics are two different kinds of black, and yes, I have some small adjustments like lowering the bust dart and taking out a wedge from the apex towards the raglan sleeve seam, but I use this top lots, and I like the way it looks. I’m thinking of doing the version with the pintucked sleeve next!

disqus & instagram

Hey there! Just a quick check-in to tell you I’ve made a few updates to the space, like a new header (greenish golden yellow! I love that color), and switching over to Disqus for the commenting handling. If you’re already signed up with a Disqus profile, great! I’m a total newbie to this, but I’ve understood that you can use your facebook, twitter og gmail login as well, or just post as a guest with your name and email. Let me know if you have any issues with anything!

Aaand… I joined the Instagram-bandwagon! I’m usually really slow to jump on social media things, really waiting it out to triple-check that it’s something that fits in with my style and that it’s something I’ll stay with. You can find me at www.instagram.com/indigorchid, or click that instagram-logo right in the sidebar over there. I’ll probably not be the five-photos-per-day type of poster, but I’m aiming for consistent little snippets of stuff that catches my eye!

Never a post without a photo! This is what I did last weekend, that I referred to in my post about the twisted jersey skirt I made:

2014-07-26 16.13.25Seeing the port full of masts and sailboats during the Tall Ships Races recently.

 

twisted jersey skirt

twisted jersey skirt

John’s camera did some really wacky blurring on this photo, but I thought it was still cool! This weekend Bergen has been host to 70 sailing ships in this years Tall Ship races, the couple thousand crew members of the ships, and about half a million in visitors. It’s been a lively weekend, to say the least! There has been concerts, beer gardens, activities and open ships to visit. We took a stroll on Saturday and enjoyed the sunshine and the crowds, and I made a skirt for the occasion. This was seriously a 30 minute project from start to finish! It might look like a dress in the picture above, which is of course because I’m wearing my nearly perfect tshirt in the same fabric. A belt in a contrasting fabric helps the illusion that the two pieces are actually a dress – double duty garments are the best!

Fabric: A rayon jersey from Stoff og Stil, in a heathered blue.
Pattern: Totally and experimentally made up.
Techniques: None. Well, if you count overlocking and twisting fabric, then sure, those.

twisted jersey skirt

That is the Russian vessel Kruzenshtern in the background, the largest participating ship. It’s crazy big! And that is me cooling my feet on a recordbreaking warm day for Bergen. It felt so nice.  So, the skirt! I’ve been wanting to make a jersey miniskirt to fill a gap in my wardrobe – I’ve realized I reach for my striped miniskirt a whole lot, and it’s the only miniskirt I have! I’ve seen these twisting jersey skirts several places, and think it’s a great way to make a jersey skirt more interesting. The tutorials I found on the webs were really confusing to me, so I sort of went with what I thought would work.

This is pretty much just a tube that has been twisted before being joined together along the short end. Let me explain: I cut a square about 1 yard x 1 yard (that is 2x the length of a well-fitting miniskirt x a little less than the hip circumference of a well-fitting miniskirt), folded in half with right sides facing in, and sewed the long edge shut. Then I turned the tube right side out, and before lining up the two short ends to overlock across the four layers, I twisted one side so the first seam intersection was nudged about 1/3 of the way down from the top. This means that the long, first seam runs from the top edge on one side of the center back seam, around the body but spiralling very gently downwards, and ending at the center back seam further down than the starting point. Yeah, so not the easiest thing to explain, but I can expand if anyone is interested! I did have to shape the back seam a bit, to hug the waist but not be super-tight across the hips.

twisted jersey skirt

Later in the evening we went back downtown to sit outside and have a beer after it had cooled down a bit. We took these pictures right about midnight actually, so that tells you 1. how warm it still was, and 2. how much light we’re still getting here at night! Love that. I did an outfit change too, so you can really see that it’s actually a skirt, haha! I call this a success, and looking forward to wearing this well into fall with tights and boots. But for now, I’ll be baring legs for as long as I can. Happy summer!

change of lace plans

Thanks for your feedback on which color lining to use with my lace skirt! It was a pretty clear vote for the purple, which is probably the color combination most in line with my style as well, so purple it is!

Lace skirt in progress, purple lining

The process and comments I got from you guys threw me for a loop though. You see, I was planning on using Sewaholic’s newest skirt pattern Rae, which is an easy panelled a-line skirt. I was a pattern-tester for this one, and after making  the test-skirt I thought it would make for a fun skirt in lace. My thought was that a fancier fabric like lace paired with an easy-going silhouette like the Rae skirt and a colorful lining, would dress it down and make for a fun but more casual skirt. I still think I’m right, but what I didn’t fully take into consideration were my own preferences for dressing! The truth is, I don’t really wear that style of skirts. I feel better in straight and fitted silhouettes, and the fuller skirts that I have are panelled and flared rather than gathered.

Anyways, I stood in front of the mirror and lamented how little the purple would be visible if it was hanging freely like I had planned. As I smoothed the fabrics taut across my legs to see how close the lining would need to be to show through, it made a pencil skirt shape, and bam! I should be making a pencil skirt instead! I might have smacked my head at this point, since duh – I wear a whole lot more pencil-shapes in skirts and dresses than I do gathered waists, and it makes sense to make what I would actually buy. So, new plan is to make a pencil skirt instead, and I am far more excited about that, so that’s a good sign.

portrait_blouse1  Ireland-dress_crop  Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail  Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

Since I’ve already cut the panels, I’ll stick with those – there are six of them; four side pieces, one front, and one back. I’ll need to take the sewn skirt apart though, since I’ll be underlining with the purple polyester, and I’m thinking a wide facing on the inside to work as a waistband. I’m not putting an invisible zipper into lace fabric, so I’m thinking either a lapped zipper on one side or an exposed zipper in the back.

Anyone else change their tactics in the middle of a project? Sometimes I keep going, even though something feels a bit amiss, but it usually results in a garment I end up not wearing much!

help me choose lace skirt lining

I am making a skirt in a black lace fabric, and I want to do something fun with the lining so you can actually see the lace pattern! It won’t be underlined, just a free-hanging lining layer. If you’re thinking this is the same lace I used for the Oh lulu Grace panties I made recently, you’d be totally correct. I’m thinking a couple of Belcarra blouses might be my next project, and I’m picturing using this lace again for the raglan sleeves, with maybe some black bamboo twill for the main part. We’ll see!

Lace skirt in progressKitten… “helping”.

Anyways – I pulled out some lining options from my stash, but I’d like some help in choosing which one to use! I took some close-ups and some bigger-picture pictures to help see how it looks up close and from a bit further away. Inside, in front of a mirror, these all definitely looked a little more muted.

Purple

 Lace skirt in progress, purple lining Lace skirt in progress, purple lining

Pros: I like the color. It feels classy. Cons: Polyester staticy fabric. Very little contrast.

Pink

Lace skirt in progress, pink lining Lace skirt in progress, pink lining

Pros: Fun color! Awesome silk charmeuse (same as the lining in my Valentine’s day skirt!). Cons: A little too much contrast in brightness?

Yellow-green

Lace skirt in progress, yellow-green lining Lace skirt in progress, yellow-green lining

Pros: Another nice fabric, dyed china silk. I do love the color. Cons: So much contrast! I think that is too much for me.

Yellow-orange

Lace skirt in progress, yellow-orange lining Lace skirt in progress, yellow-orange lining

Pros: Slinky fabric, it’s remnants after my Ireland-dress. Cons: I love the color, but paired with black it just reads Halloween to me. No?

Patterned warm colors

Lace skirt in progress, patterned lining Lace skirt in progress, patterned lining

Pros: Not as… abrasive in contrast as a few of the other options. A little unexpected! Cons: It might look a little messy?

Alright! Please chime in guys! Any favorites? Any clear “no way”? I’m thinking of this as a fun and casual dressy skirt – going out to dinner and a movie, birthday parties… the like. I’m just having a hard time deciding what looks fun and casual and what looks like “too much”!

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