Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Spearmint from Lolita Patterns

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns
Seduce them from 20 paces without removing a stitch!
Hello friends, have you heard about the Spearmint from Lolita patterns yet? No? OH BUT YOU MUST!

Spearmint Sew-Along Badge 200 x 200

There will be a sew-a-long much later but now I want to tell you about this coat. Its the first test pattern I've every done and it was challenging, a wee bit stressful, and very, VERY rewarding. I've had more than one coworker try to steal or bribe me out of this coat. A word of warning, however, its considered a top coat, so its perfect for transitional weather, an opera coat, or if you live in a more temperate area like I do, its perfect for most winter days.

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns

I made the first of the plus-size range, the size 18 with almost no modifications. I did do a forward shoulder and large arm adjustment (my first on a 2 piece sleeve) which is standard for me. In full disclosure, there were a few issues with the beta test pattern. On the plus sizes specifically, the pockets were oddly low and the sleeves a couple inches too long. These have been fixed in the released version! I also could have fixed both issues during construction, but I'd already perfectly pressed the pockets and I like longer sleeves for warmth, anyway. On the plus side, the pockets are easily accessible with the seat belt on, which is good cause I'm pretty absent minded about where I store keys and phones.

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns
Very long sleeves!
But we're here to talk about how awesome this coat is! I've been looking for something with this sort of romantic collar for AGES and there's nothing out there in my size. I love the Lolita aesthetic but its rarely available in my size, which is why I'm kind of in love with Amity and her company right now. She did some serious market research and uses a completely separate block for her 16-24 sizes. This means no FBA was required! And with 3/8 inch seam allowance the princess seams were a breeze to sew up.

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns

For the shell I used a Shetland wool I acquired from Fabric Mart a few years ago, and the lining is a silk twill by Marc Jacobs, ALSO from Fabric Mart. The combination of the two makes this very warm, especially with a hat and scarf. You can see the hem itself is bagging a bit, this is completely my fault. I did not stay stitch the seams together but have since fixed that. Its in the instructions and very easy. The other thing that was amazing is the bag out lining is done completely by machine! It was a very non-euclidian feat of geometry that had me going "This will never work!" and then TADA!! It was done. Like magic. My mind, it boggled. This is the first full size coat I've made and I think I'm going to make the shorter version of this next in turquoise. And possibly one for Felicity too! Deets: Shell Fabric: 4 yards of Shetland wool at $8 a yard Lining: Three yards of silk twill (60" wide) at $9 a yard Pattern: Retails for $22 dollars and if I hadn't pattern tested I'd be more than willing to shell out my money for it! Time to Complete: Including muslin, construction, and feedback, a total of 12 active hours over three weeks, second one would take about 5 from cut to finish

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns
In seam pockets!

More photos!

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns
Back view

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns

Spearmint by Lolita Patterns
Yup, that's how I roll.

And there it is y'all! You know you want to make this coat, you really do.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Linen Hawthorn

Hi there.

I made this one around the end of September, early October. I know it seems strange to for someone living in the Northern Hemisphere to make a linen dress in the fall but its really not. For instance, it was high in the 30's (F) last week, and its high in the 70's this week. And stupid humid.

Construction on this was pretty easy. This was my second Hawthorn, the first was a shirt, as yet unblogged. I added pockets but they are a little too low. I moved them up for my Red October one. I also used larger than called for buttons because this is such a large scale print. Its lovely though, very much lives up to the description of 'watercolor print'. I also did a blind hem, which I got my MIL to help with. I stood on her coffee table so she could pin while my husband, roommate, brother-in-law and uncle helped rearrange her new furniture (which is why the table was in the kitchen).  When they were done, I of course had an audience of snarky commentary. But they all thought the dress was pretty and I had an accurately pinned hem, so.. bonus?

Check out the sexy collar.
 The other thing I love about this fabric is how little it wrinkles for a linen, and even when it does it just kind of adds to the charm. I mean, come on. LINEN! This stuff is a dream to work with, it presses and shapes well, it behaves under the knife and needle, its breathable and I can wash it myself, though I only partially dry it and then iron while still moist. I got it from Fabric Mart on sale, of course.


OK, I know you are gonna ask about the shoes. I found them on Amazon a while back and bought them, gently used I later found, because they were similar to Jeffrey Campbell boots that sold out on ModCloth. But they were this hideous gray color and I hated them every time I put them on. So I had a brilliant idea, LEATHER DYE!  Made do and mend, right? I've worn them to work twice with this dress and both times people exclaimed about the shoes. Which is awesome but WHAT ABOUT THIS AWESOME DRESS I MADE YO!?

Pattern: Colette Hawthorn
Fabric: 2.5 yards of linen at $10yrd (half price)
Notions: 14 buttons x .75 each
Time Actively making it: 5 hours
Total Cost: 35.50

Happy Lady K
That's all folks! Have you made anything super awesome lately? Tell me about it.