My Closet: The Hunting Skirt

Hello friends :)

So do you remember how I told you that I was going to tell you a few different articles of clothing that I own that inspire me.  Well here is the first one.  I'm pretty sure this is my most favorite piece of clothing that I own.  Period.  

When I started sewing, back probably around my sophomore year of high school, I got a large bin of fabric from my grandmother.  I found some gorgeous plaid  fabric that was semi-sheer that I totally envisioned an a-line, lined, twirly skirt.  I had never sewn anything before and I was nervous, so I decided to make a practice skirt.  Little did I know that I was about to make my first ever wearable muslin :)  I went through the bin of fabric that my grandmother had given me and picked out the absolute most ugly fabric I could find.  It was a drab brown background with random hunting scenes on it, with hounds, and men with rifles, all clad in vivid yellows, greens, browns, blues, etc.  Looking at the fabric, I thought to myself, there is NO WAY that I am ever going to want anything made of out this... perfect for practicing with!

I didn't have a pattern, so I made some measurements, did some math and flew with it.  The practice skirt turned out great :)  It wasn't super well fitted or well made, I only finished about half the seams, and I had no idea what I was doing for most of it, but I felt confident enough to make the real deal.  

So I painstakingly cut out the plaid fabric and replicated what I had done, and bippidy-boppidy-boo!  Skirt.  Funny thing happened though...

The more I looked at my practice skirt, out of the "ugly" fabric, the more and more I fell in love!  To this date I'm pretty sure it is my favorite article of clothing!  I have received more compliments on this skirt from people, and have had several wondering if I had bought it from anthropologie (which to me is a compliment since I drool over their clothes.)

So I guess this is my first inspirational piece.  I love it because... 

a) I made it.  I get this giddy wonderful feeling in my gut every time I put it on.

b) I love the colors.  The vivid browns, yellows, and greens make me feel so lovely.  These colors have really become my favorite colors.  They are what I prefer to dress myself in.

c) I really love the fact that something that I envisioned was going to be an ugly mess, turned out to be so eclectic and wonderful.

d) The "hunting" nature of the skirt always makes me want to put on some wonderful leather riding boots and go galavanting in the countryside.  

So that is it for my first inspirational piece of clothing.  How about you?  Do you have any items that you've made, expecting to turn out awful, and in the end, they turn out to be a favorite?


Blah, blah, blah

Yes friends, I may have the ke$ha song in my head, but that is besides the point.  Do you ever feel blah about your sewing?  I hit a spot like that this week with my peony!  It is really weird but it seems like I totally run out of steam when I'm really close to being done!  All I have to do on my peony is hem the sleeves and the bottom!  Goodness, I should just get it over with!

Anywho, I suppose I have been making some progress this week on the Sew Colette Challenge.  I made up my meringue skirt, pictures to follow soon.  I also, in trying to follow the guidelines set before us in the Colette Sewing Handbook, have been trying to a) figure out five articles of clothing that are my favorite, and b) make a croquis.

I haven't been able to chose all five yet, so I figure that I'll make different posts on each article of clothing that I love so that I can tell you a little more about each of them :)
I also used photoshop to figure out how to make a croquis on the computer, although now I just have to actually take a photo and make one.  (I used a random photo to learn how to make the outline).

So, I know this was pretty much a bunch of nothing, but it is at least a little of what you can expect to be heading your way soon.  Thank-you for your patience with me :)


Sew Colette

So friends, I have been debating back and forth.  Should I or shouldn't I?  I have joined the minoru sew-a-long, (even though I haven't started yet... I told you I wouldn't keep up due to work), and I'm in the middle of my peony (which I hope to finish soon).  But I already have the fabric for the meringue skirt all ready and it would be so fun!

So here goes.  Again, I can pretty much promise you that I won't be able to keep up with everyone, but hey, what's a little more motivation?!

In case somehow you have missed hearing about this awesome sew-a-long, it is devoted to sewing one of the patterns from the colette sewing handbook  each month.  It is hosted by Miss Crayola Creepy and by Rhinestones & Telephones!  They are starting this month with the meringue skirt!

How about you?  Anyone else joining?  I joined the flickr group and I'm super excited to see what people come up with!


The Turquoise Truffle Sorbetto

I'm sure that you are sitting in your chair (or laying on my bed as I do often while checking my blogs) and asking...

"Montana, don't you sew anything other than sorbetto blouses?!"  Truth time.  Yes.  Yes, I do.  BUT, when I'm short on time and need a sewing fix, there is nothing quite as satisfying, especially since I love love love them!  They are so fun to wear.

As you guessed it, here is another one!

I was planning on taking pictures along the way to show you the construction of the tucks.  But I got too excited and forgot.  Oops.  You'll just have to imagine if you will.  I originally wanted to try pin-tucks, but had an idea in my mind that I didn't quite have the fabric for.  So, I settled for just regular old tucks with a much smaller version of the original box pleat in the center.

I wasn't able to tuck in the perfect amount of fabric in order to use up all the fabric alotted for the box pleat, but that just meant that I had my roommate help me with the side seams, which ended up with an awesome fit that I love :)

Another fun adjustment is the back neck.  I have noticed that the back of my sorbetto's tend to gape slightly when my shoulders are not slouched.  Now, this may be a whole different fitting issue in itself like the slope of my shoulders, or an incorrect back width or between the armsyces (armsycies? armscye?  armsceese?!  Really, what is the plural for that???) or something.  I will really have to consult my Fit for Real People, one of these days.  But anyhow.  To quick fix the problem on this top, I just made a quick inverted pleat in the center!  It actually turned out way more adorable than I planned.  And, of course, this gave me just the excuse that I needed to put a fabulous, sparkly, vintage button on the back :)

And I shall name thee, the Turquoise Truffle Sorbetto.  And you shall be mine!


Cutting, marking, cutting, and marking...

Hey friends,

Just a quick check in!  I'm making progress!  After making three... yes, count them, 1, 2, 3! muslins, I finally got the fit just right on my peony :)  It seems a little obsessive, but I learned a lot about myself through this.  I am really hoping that now that I have really perfected this muslin, it will give me better ideas on what to look for a change on the first round for my next project, and the next!  I learned to fit better, I learned darts better, thanks to Carrie and Oona, I learned that I am short waisted, which helped.  I used my Fit for Real People a lot, and I now feel slightly more confident with fitting!  One project at a time, yes?

So, I just spent the last 3 hours tracing out the remaining pattern pieces, cutting the parts out of my fashion fabric, marking all the pertinent markings, and getting ready to sew the damn thing together!

Pictures to come soon I hope, but until then, something I thought was interesting!

This picture has been floating around Pintrest, you may have seen it.  I love that sewing allows us to use both sides of our brain.  We have to use the left in order to be methodical, mathematical, and logical with our sewing.  But, there is so much creativity involved!  We are allowed to be wild, crazy, creative, abstract, and express our joy through the fabric we choose, and the way we tweak our patterns!  Love it!


Peony Inspiration Board

Some inspiration that I pulled together for my Peony dress.  These colors are incorporated and I'm hoping to make them the most prominent.  

What have you used for inspiration lately?


Minoru Sew-A-Long

Hello friends!

I'm in!!

More on that later!  I know I won't be totally on time but,  I have picked my fabric (it should be in the mail) and I can't wait to show you, but for now, you'll have to just wait, jittery with the anticipation!



Peony Fitting Issues

First Goal of the New Year:  The Colette Peony!

I saw this pattern when Colette first released it with it's fall patterns, and to be honest, I wasn't super impressed...  and then I saw it made up in some patterned fabrics and fell in LOVE!  I had bought some Amy Butler fabric on a whim, and just happened to have enough, because when I started thinking about making the Peony, I realized I already had the perfect fabric in my stash!  But I am determined to make this dress well, and be happy with the fit when I'm done! 

I've discovered that I am fairly picky with bodices.  And, I really don't think I've made one yet that I like.  It is time for this to change.  So, I'm working on the fit, and I don't know how I feel about it.

I made a muslin of the bodice ( I haven't yet attached the sleeves, I wanted to get a fit for the bust part first.)  I was horrified at first because the neck was sooo high!  I felt like I was choking, but when I turned it down such as it would be with the facing attached, it felt better.  I also felt like there was way too much fabric across the back shoulders, but when I put in the zipper, it felt a little better.

I talked my love into taking a few pictures for me so that I could analyze the fit better and hopefully get some suggestions from you! 

One of the biggest things that I have found is that I feel like the front, underneath the bust is way off.  After looking closely, I think the verticle darts need to be moved outward about an inch, they are not pointing towards the bust point, they could also be shortened about a 1/2 in. I think.  I'm not sure if this will help with the bagginess or not though...  Will it be different with a skirts weight to pull down on the front?  Is there a way to shape the darts differently so that I don't have quite so much fabric there?

Based on feel, I thought the back was going to need some major adjustments, but based on the picutres, I was actually quite pleased.  Maybe a slight swayback adjustment is in order, but I am not sure.  Confession:  I have never actually done a swayback adjustment, and only fairly recently (within the last 3 months or so) figured out what the heck a swayback adjustment meant!  (If you are new like me, here is a post by Gertie that gives you an idea of what a swayback adjustment is...) But after checking with my Fit for Real People, I realize it would be a fairly easy adjustment, and I'm hoping it should take the few little wrinkles out in the middle there.

What do you think?!  I am relying on you my friends!  I don't have anyone else to help me, so please by all means, shout out any ideas!  I appreciate any feedback! 

I'm super excited to just get to making this dress, but I also don't want to waste my time to end up with a mediocre product, so I'm really trying to pace myself.

Side note:  This is also the first time that I have traced a pattern!  I used freezer paper, as suggested in the Colette Sewing Handbook!  It worked wonderfully!

Looking forward to your ideas and comments!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hello 2012!

Hey friends!

Prior to the Christmas holiday, I was vacillating between wanting to a) blog regularly during the holiday, and b) just frickin' enjoy Christmas with my family.  As you can obviously tell, I chose option B.  I had a wonderful holiday filled with family, home, snowshoeing, dog, cousins, coffee, friends, and my love.

Then it is back to the ol' grind of work, which is why you have as yet to see a few of the things I whipped up before/during Christmas.  (But, pictures are coming, I promise).

So... it's January, and everyone is making resolutions, or NOT making resolutions, haha.  But many of my fellow bloggers that I have been reading, have been setting goals.  I like this idea.  Plus, I've been thinking of a few things lately, even prior to New Years, that I have been wanting to apply to my life.  So, here goes.