Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Introducing... the Curvy Sewing Collective and the Curvy Colette Blog Tour!

I'm so glad I can finally talk about this! 

Mad props to T for creating this awesome logo!

Oh my, where to begin? I suppose this all started with Colette Patterns. Not long after Sarai announced that her company would soon be releasing knitwear patterns with an expanded size range, I received an email from Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette asking if I would be interested in joining a plus size blogger tour that Colette would be sponsoring with the two new patterns for knits.

This was literally my response:

I am the epitome of professionalism.

...I know I'm a dork. Don't judge me. 

So yeah, during our group's discussion of the blog tour and the planning and logistics of it, we started talking about how sad it was that there isn't any good, consolidated resources online for plus-sized sewists. So many of us start sewing because of the dreadful options (or lack there of) available to us in RTW, but then with sewing there's another parcel of challenges to deal with, such as bad patterns, grading up sizes, and FBAs. Banding together, we decided to form the Curvy Sewing Collective, to fight crime and the forces of evil to create the resources for plus-sizes that we wish had been out there when we ourselves started sewing. 

We have some awesome stuff in the works (including a website to contain these awesome resources), but for our first group project is Curvy Colette: A Plus Size Blog Tour, aka the thing that got this whole ball rolling!

I'm not until the tail end of the tour (I have something special in the works that will take some time to facilitate), but definitely check out the fabulosity that precedes me! Jenny already has her post up, debuting Colette's awesome new Moneta dress, so go have a look over at her blog and send her some love. It's well earned! 

Wednesday 16 April:  Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday 17 April:      Mary at Idle Fancy
Saturday 19 April:       Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute
Monday 21 April:       Tanya at Mrs Hughes
Tuesday 22 April:       T at UandMii
Wednesday 30 April:  Mary at Young, Broke, & Fabulous  (Me!)

Monday, April 14, 2014

FO: The Pink Feminist Jean Jacket

Hey, remember that Craftsy class I mentioned a couple of posts ago? Janet Pray's Sew Better, Sew Faster? Well yeah, I made my jacket and I think it's my new favorite garment. 

It's funny, when I originally ordered this pink stretch denim from Joann, I was disappointed that it was a darker pink than what I perceived online. But then I dyed my hair and I think the fabric matches my hair better than the color that I had originally thought it was. Yay. 

Anyway, this Craftsy class is amazeballs. I think I got it on sale for like $30, and given that the jacket pattern that comes with it (Jacket Express) is like $23+shipping on it's own, that's a fantastic deal. And really, the class's content is soooooo worth it, even buying the class full price. So worth it. Believe the hype- industrial techniques are the bee's knees.

Yes, I know, it's time for me to bleach my roots. Shhhh...
See those sleeves? I think I might have used one pin when setting those. And btw, if this jacket looks wrinkled, it's because it's cotton and it spent last weekend being shoved in and out of my bag at the Quidditch World Cup. It's doing pretty well considering. 

Some notes on sewing this jacket- if you want it to be close fitting, like mine, size down from the pattern measurements. It has quite a lot of ease. I do definitely recommend this for plus-sized sewists, given that the pattern goes all the way up to a 4XL (for reference, I made a medium!). 

And now I'm a fan of jeans buttons. Stick a hole in the fabric, shove in the two pieces, and then hammer them together. So easy and sturdy. I'm such a fan. 

I'm not a fan of topstitching- so, SO much on this jacket. Omg. I used regular thread instead of topstitching thread because a) I didn't want the stitching to be that much of a feature, and b) my machine hates doing topstitching and I knew that sewing this would be a pain in the ass if I did it with the actual topstitching thread that makes the tension go haywire on my sewing machine. 

Did I mention that I made this jacket in a day and a half? Because I did. I shudder to think how much of that time I spent on topstitching alone. 

Anyway, I actually have a bag in the works for a Pokemon trainer cosplay, but until it's made, by Pokemon X/Y trainer badges are gonna chill out on my front yokes.

This jacket is was basically created to be a canvas for my nerdiness and feminsim. Behold the back:

The jigglypuff patch says "feminist killjoy". :D

The idea for this jacket and the patches (which I all found on etsy, except for one...) came from a feminist facebook group within the quidditch community, so I felt the need to finish it before World Cup. Continuing my hand embroidery kick, I made a quidditch-themed patch especially for the occasion:

I also embroidered this onto the inside back yoke:

Anyway, speaking of World Cup, it was amazing! My team didn't qualify, but since it was at North Myrtle Beach, just a few hours from where I live, I was there assistant reffing and cheering on my friends who were playing. Here are a few pictures from the quidditch highlight of my year:

My team captain and I
Courtesy of Ben Holland Photography

My friend Tommy tried to get a selfie with everyone there.
Not the most flattering picture, but photographic evidence of me actually reffing.
Courtesy of Isabella Gong Photography
My friend Kyle was a pink haired snitch. Obligatory pink haired picture together.
I found a unicorn. We were majestic fantasy creatures together.
My friend paid me to make him a snitching kilt. This is that kilt.
Courtesy of Monica Wheeler Photography

And because people love to sarcastically ask me how we "fly" in real life quidditch:

My favorite part of this picture is that you can literally see the fear if the substitute seeker's eyes (he's the fellow in the other yellow headband).
The answer is through sheer force of will. And very physical snitches. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FO: Nightwing Dress for Minerva Crafts

Almost a year ago exactly, I had to take my little sister to Warped Tour, a music festival that I didn't particularly care to go to, but she had to have a chaperone and I got saddled with the job. While sitting there in the heat, listening to some band that I didn't like, I designed a dress based on my favorite costume design and color scheme of Nightwing, my favorite male superhero. 

Nightwing is who Dick Grayson, the original Robin, becomes when he grows up. Given that I did a Robin casual cosplay last year for the Super Online Sewing Match, I suppose it's fitting that this year I sew a Nightwing casual cosplay for Minerva Crafts:

The base pattern that I used was Kitschy Coo's wonderful Lady Skater dress. I hacked the front and back bodice pieces into eight different pieces each and then sewed them all together to make the Nightwing design. 

Ignore that pink hair that I just now noticed on my back... -_-U

One of my favorite aspects of Nightwing's costume is the finger stripes down his arms, but I'm not a fan of long sleeves, so I hacked the sleeves into three pieces featuring a blue center stripe that aligns with the blue yoke I created on the front and back bodice shoulders.

I swear this character is the closest that women get to fan service. I mean, just look at that ass asset to the Justice League.

For the skirt, I combined the pocket construction of Sewaholic's Hollyburn skirt with the skirt originally drafted for the Lady Skater pattern, and then added some binding top make the construction more knit-friendly. I love panel pockets and these work quite nicely with this dress, I think.

The cotton jersey that Minerva Crafts carries is perfect for this kind of knitwear piecing, and they have the perfect colors for a Nightwing dress. If you want to make one of your own, you can get the materials in a kit from MC. I'm think of making some tutorials for how to hack a pattern to make something like this. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Transformation Tuesday and Some Sewing Planning

I really like this Transformation Tuesday trend I've been seeing on various social media. It's fun. And I find it kind of hilarious how I'm regularly mistaken for being a teenager, when I know how I actually looked as a teenager (aka nothing like what I look like now). Behold:

Easter, circa 2005
Now almost nine years later:

Some days I still have nightmares about that denim skirt and the questionable fashion choices of my youth. Er... my youthier youth, rather. Perhaps I'll eventually look back on the second picture as another display of questionable youthful style. XD

Speaking of denim and questionable fashion sense, I have a feminist denim jacket in the works! I'm taking the Sew Better, Sew Faster class on Craftsy and I'm using the Jacket Express pattern that comes with the class for my jacket.

In the pattern picture, it looks kind of frumpy, but some of the versions I've seen of it in the wild made me decide to give it a go for the pink denim jacket of my dreams. Like check out this awesome purple version over at Sew Fine Studio:

So yeah, I've gotten myself some bright pink denim from Joann that so very conveniently matches my hair:

I actually bought this fabric way before I had even considered going pink, so this is really a happy coincidence. And what will make this jacket "feminist", you ask? The assortment of patches that I've acquired for it!

The Jigglypuff one says "feminist killjoy". :D
I might embroider a couple more for it, actually. In any case, I'm super excited to make this jacket! It was inspired after some link sharing over on the quidditch community's feminsim group on Facebook, so I might make a quidditch patch of some kind and try to have this made before World Cup at the beginning of April. My team's not playing in the World Cup (we're not even IQA members, so that's always been off the table), but it's in Myrtle Beach this year, just a state away, so I'm going and cheering my friends on and assistant reffing!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FO: Denim Madeleine

First, let me say thank you all so much for the kind words about my hair! I've never taken such a big hair risk before, and I'm glad that so many people like it. ^_^

And now for something new...

I've lusted over the Victory Patterns Madeleine skirt for ages, and a couple of weeks ago I finally got around to making one for myself. Since last year, I've discovered that I really like denim skirts. I so very rarely wear pants, so denim skirts basically function for me the way that normal jean pants do for everyone else. A casual staple. 

Gold button and lapped zipper in the back.
I love the look of suspenders, though they're kind of impractical when you have boobs as big as mine... But lol I wear them anyway. They are, however, removable, and the skirt also looks cute with the suspenders worn down.

These pockets are GINORMOUS. I hope they still look nice over time, but in the mean time, it is fun having suck ample pocket space. XD

The sun was *really* bright yesterday...
Anyway, returning to the topic of my hair and coordinating outfits... This may be my new favorite dance picture:

And I'm getting super excited about planning my sewing around my new hair color. Like check out some of these prints that I want to work with:

And I'm DYING to make a dress out of one of these two border prints:

The problem is that I like both color schemes but I'm not sure which I want to sew with. On one hand, I like the blue/mint version better. On the other hand, the idea of such an unabashedly PINK outfit is so veryyyyy tempting. Especially given that these are dance shoes that I own:

And I would likely be using the Colette Hazel pattern for this hypothetical dress:

What do you all think? Which fabric do you think would be better for my hair coordination sewing?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

FO: Galaxy Lady Skater

Now that I've gotten the elephant in the room that is my hair out of the way, check out my new dress! 

I've wanted a galaxy print dress for ages, but I didn't want to buy one and all the galaxy print fabric I could find was stupidly expensive. Then this showed up on Girl Charlee and I promptly bough six yards of it. Two of those yards became this dress and the other four was turned into a Cascade skirt that I will blog about eventually... The problem is that getting people in this house to take my picture is like pulling teeth. -_-

Anyway, the Lady Skater Dress pattern has pretty much become my TNT pattern for knits. This is the fourth time that I've made it and I feel like I have the fit down perfectly now. This fabric, btw, a thick polyester "scuba" knit is perfect for this pattern. It's so sturdy and stretchy! 

And I love that it matches my galaxy Keds. :D

Back to the pattern, my main alterations that I do is take in the shoulders and shorten the waist. With this version, my serger ate the binding, so the binding's a bit on the narrow side, but still looks good I think. I also had to seam the back part of the skirt to squeeze this out of the two yards of fabric. Btw, I made this entire dress from cutting to finishing in about 2.5 hours flat! I did the whole thing on my serger and I'm a little blown away by just how quickly I was able to make it!

And not gonna lie- I've had this fabric for a while, but my impetus for finally making this dress was the idea of pink hair with it. My mom says that I "look like a cartoon character" like it's a bad thing. :P