Graduation Dress 2017

Blue seems to be a recurring colour in my summer graduation dresses, see the evidence from 2014, 2015, and 2016. Again in 2017, I found myself attracted to blue yet again. This time I picked two blues with the intention of making something with a circle skirt. However, the idea lost its appeal and I started looking around my pattern magazines for something new. Turned out that I liked another pattern from a Simplicity magazine. It could also be done two-toned, so that worked out great.


This was the pattern, in Simplicity Naaimode 16, pattern 6-10. It came in sizes 38, 40 and 42. Since I generally don’t fit in size 38, I redraw the 38 pattern to get a size 36. I made up the pattern, pretty much as drafted. At the start the only thing I changed was to also add piping along the side-back seam and the back skirt seam. I also had to pull up the shoulder seams as it was too long. That resulted in the one on the left:

The proportions of the top were just off. It was too high and there was not enough darker blue. So I recut fronts and put those on while attaching it lower on the front by about 4 cm or so. This was much better as showcased on the right.

I hemmed the dress with the lining slightly longer than the shell. I liked the idea of some of the darker blue peeking out.

The side view is to show how the piping ran on. The invisible zip is slightly not invisible enough but it isn’t too bad although I like the matching on both points (skirt and top).

It also looks clean on the inside. I am hoping that the fabric does not fray too much in between the layers. I’ve worn it since graduation and it is comfortable to wear. It will most likely see more wear this summer.

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Summer Playsuit

Have you ever noticed that when it is very hot out, you don’t feel like making clothes for hot weather (or making any clothes for that matter)? When it’s not very hot out, it also does not feel right to make clothes for hot weather, afraid to jinx it or something. Saturday, after the enormous heat wave we have been having, I decided to make the hot weather outfit that I needed for the summer. I’d spotted a really cool patter in Simplicy Naaimode 24, a jumpsuit with options for length, pant-width and top style.

I chose to make the short version of the wide legged one, with the ‘A’ top, which is the one where the shoulders are not bare. I’d bought some white jersey with yellow flowers especially for this purpose. Also because I wanted to make something with a pattern that would be suitable for outdoors (octopuses really aren’t for everyday wear). So on Saturday afternoon, I set to work, ironing the piece of fabric. I finished the entire thing that night, apart from hemming and some other little things. It’s pretty comfortable so far. I made one change and that was to add belt loops, apart from that, it is as drafted size 34. It feels really quite big, but I guess that is what makes it comfortable.

I’m going to have to wear it out once it gets hot to see whether it actually works as hot weather gear, but I hope it will! I might make it again in the long-legged version, although I will take in the top then to prevent the gaping at the overlaps.

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Swimming Octopus

I bought some fabric that has an interesting feel and pattern last year. I didn’t get round to determining what I wanted to make from it, so it languished in the stash. It is covered in octopuses on a blue background and it feels almost waxy? The people who I bought it from told me it was for swimwear. I’m not sure whether that is true, but I decided to make some (swimming) shorts out of it.

The pattern again came from a Simplicity magazine, although I’m not sure which one. I french seamed the entire thing to prevent the raveling. Now, the placement of the octopuses is not ideal, with that mutated big on over my butt, but I’m not going to care about it, I think.

Here is it flat outside (top) and on the insides (bottom). The fabric is quite similar on inside and outside as you can see.

I haven’t worn it out yet, but I’m planning on doing it as soon as the next heatwave hits. Last week we had one, but I was too lazy (and too hot) to actually go outside to the beach. Who knows how it will hold up..

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Toothless Gift

A friend of mine seemed to fall in love with my Toothless when I finished it last year. She implied or asked (long time ago, I don’t really remember) she would like one for her birthday, and I decided to try and do that. I failed in having it finished on the birthday, but it is done by now. It took slightly less than a year in little increments, but still a substantial project. I made a few changes compared to my own one. This one has a semi functional mouth with a stomach that can house a fish. His eyes are also a little different and the face does not look the same. However, it is still quite cute, I think.

And here he was, hiding on my chair during construction.

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Round Up

So.. It’s been a while, but I’ve actually been doing some small things. I felt too lazy to post them before, but now I feel I should, so here goes.

May! I participated in me-made-may and wore at least one piece of self-made clothing every day in May. I also took pictures for the first half.

Fish! I saw a fish pattern on the internets here and decided to make one. So now there is a fish living in my house.

Scarf! I made a another circle scarf, now without any blue to be able to wear it with my other clothes. This one is gray-white and black-white polkadots.

Hood! So part of May was the annual LARP event that I frequent. On the Friday it was due to start, my central heater thing gave an error, so I spent the afternoon calling and waiting for a plumber-type guy to fix it. While waiting, I decided to make a hood based on this pin. I fudged the measurements a bit because I had a pieces of fabric left over from the graduation dress/blue coat that I decided should fit, even if they weren’t exactly correct. I made the thing in about.. 2 hours? I wore it for the weekend and it was nice.

Others! I’ve been working quite hard on two large projects, a graduation dress and a big plushie that have taken up a lot of time. However, they aren’t finished yet (just hems on the graduation dress though), so I won’t post them yet…



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Cut Out Top

So, I found a new website with free patterns on it, always a good time. It’s called On the Cutting Floor, and it has a number of interesting, but mostly simple, patterns. I found one that was really cute, called Cut out top (you can find the tutorial here). The free patterns are size 4, which I hoped would sort of fit me. The pattern was printed, I cut it out, cut out the fabric (the same fabric as the Shrug) and sewed it all together. I did make some changes to the shoulders (squared them a little) and took in the sleeve cap a little. I think I also possibly overlapped the cut out bits a little more.

I still need to wear it out, but I hope that it will be nice and warm and that I will be able to wear it by itself. The length of the body seems quite nice and covering but the sleeves may be a little too long. We will see once I wear it out, wish me luck!

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Riding Jacket

I wanted to make a riding jacket. I just didn’t really know how, or whether I had the skills, or what fabric to use, among other things. So I did what I tend to do, collect pictures on a Pinterest board (Blazers in this case) and let the project rot, fester, mature in the back of my mind. One of the pins that sparked my interest was this Nanette Lepore Sherlock Coat. I’m not entirely sure whether riding jackets have been a relatively recent dream of mine, or whether it’s been there for ages, but it was time to do something with it.

The relative success of the graduation dress meant that I used the same pattern again, but with some alterations, effectively none of the pieces stayed the same:

  • The bodice pattern pieces were printed out off scale (accidentally), so a size larger was cut and the bodice was lengthened by a centimeter.
  • The shoulders were made square and thereby shortened the center front.
  • The center front was split, broadened and curved with a longer front edge.
  • The sleeve pieces were lengthened to full length and got an elbow dart following this tutorial from A Challenging Sew.
  • The collar was drafted following this tutorial from Em Makes Patterns.
  • The shirt/peplum pieces were drafted.
  • An attempt was made to pattern match the pinstripes in the fabric.
  • The lining had a vent added at the neckline.
  • Hanging loop added at the back.
  • Facings were drafted for the sleeves ends and a bias strip for the bottom.

Perhaps more things changed, but this was a multiple month project and I have terrible memory. The fabric was wool-esque (not sure of the actual content), dark blue with light blue and gray pinstripes. The sleeve lining was some bright blue lining stuff I also used for my dark blue winter coat. From that previous experience I knew that that fabric was really shifty, and my overlocker was still in the naughty corner for not working so I got myself a new toy! I bought a walking foot; oh my, the improvements in my sewing are staggering! The remainder of the lining was some dark with blue triangle fabric that also produced a failed shirt before.

Everything was sewn together and I didn’t have to do too much editing to the fit. The design is not completely the same as the original inspiration, as I hated that back and was more into this type of thing. I did want to keep the option of closing the front, like this. I used some buttons I had in my stash for some time now. Domed military jacket inspired buttons that worked really well and attached nicely. I also added a button to the inside right to close the front. I am quite happy with the finishing, I think it looks quite nice on the inside too.

I did my best to do stripe matching where possible, and I’m quite proud of how well that worked. I wore it for Easter this year, and while I was afraid that the sleeves would be too tight, I didn’t have any troubles on the day. There are three ways of wearing the jacket: open, with hook & eye closed and completely closed. The longer back-end does take a little bit of getting used to, but I feel really happy when wearing it.

I proclaim it a successful project!

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