A Look Back at Winter (Wait…)

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Happy first day of Spring to all you people of the Northern Hemisphere.  Any New England readers?  Yeah, sorry.  It doesn’t feel like spring here.  After trying to be “in the moment” and enjoy winter and all that, I got kind of grumpy yesterday.  But every time I started to complain, that idea that unhappiness often comes from expectations not meeting reality kept swimming to the forefront of my mind.  Maybe I needed to change my expectations.  I have to tell you that I’m not doing a wonderful job of this, but I’m trying to reframe my expectation from, “Spring should be here RIGHT NOW!!!!!” to “Spring will come…someday.”  Like I said, it’s a struggle.

I was preparing a spring-related post for you yesterday when I found these VERY wintry pictures on my camera, some of which were too snowy not to share, so here’s a look back at winter in northeast Massachusetts, where we broke records for snowiest winter, coldest month, longest stretch below freezing, and so on.  And I give all the Canadians and northern New Englanders permission to laugh and say, “Cry me a river–that’s normal for us.”  Southerners, though….if you felt gypped by winter and are really sad you had no snow, please come visit.  You can take some of ours home with you!

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

I went with my parents to look at the snow on Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  When I was younger, we lived mostly in the southeastern parts of the US, and I couldn’t fathom the idea that there could be snow on a beach, because beaches were where you went when it was warm.  Even after all these years of living in New England, I still think it’s weird/cool that there can be snow on a beach.

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

A Snowy Winter in Massachusetts

My Dad took this picture of my Mom and me by one of the walls of snow.  We couldn’t believe how high they were!

Now, I’m praying every day for spring.  I hope you are having a wonderful, sunny, lovely, flower-filled spring if you find yourself in the northern half of the world.

 

Soma Swimsuit Test: Bikini Top Variation Two

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I am so excited to share Variation Two of the Soma Swimsuit with you today!  This is my last test garment for this pattern, and I think it’s definitely the coolest and most flattering, at least on me.  The fact that its structure is naturally somewhat supportive probably helps.

Enough talk, though.  Here it is:

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

 

I really love how this came out.  It kind of makes me wish I had more of this fabric so I could use it to try making a tankini, but I’ve used it all up, and Girl Charlee, the site I ordered my fabric from, doesn’t have any more.  I will say, though, that while I love the combination of these two fabrics, the coral one, which is a midweight, is much easier to sew with than the lightweight chevron print.  Lesson learned.  I think my final products with the midweight fabric were much better and more professional looking than what I managed to make out of the lightweight, too.

So, details on the top:

I followed the directions, but used Lauren’s idea to prevent any, um, textural show-through in the front.  She used about four layers of lining and one layer of the outer fabric in the cups.  This was a bit tricky, but I persevered, and it came through alright in the end.  My machine was able to handle all the fabric layers, which was a huge relief.  I think the only other thing I did differently, was that I sewed a double line of stitches on the top and bottom elastic.  I hadn’t sewn down far enough and the elastic was flipping up a little bit at the chevron fabric.  Hopefully this will help.  Here’ s the suit before the final edging elastic went in:

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

Soma Swimsuit Test:  Bikini Top Variation Two

So, here are my questions now:  If I were to make this into a tankini (kind of like this), could I add a little more support like an underwire or a shelf bra?  Would that even be a good idea?  I definitely don’t know what I’m doing in that area (it doesn’t help that I forgot to put the shelf bra into last year’s suit, either).  How much chance is there that I can force it to work?  I think I would make it one size bigger next time, so I want to make sure it still has good support.  I want everything held in place!

I’ve contemplated taking a break from this pattern and making one or two of the Jalie swimsuits, in the hopes that those patterns might show me my answer.  The Soma suit has a great stylistic edge, but Jalie has years of experience on its side.  I also think I might need to change gears completely for a short time.  My head is starting to swim with all these bathing suit questions (no pun intended), and I can hardly walk into a clothing store without snapping a picture of inspiring bathing suits.  I really, really, really want an awesome suit that I love by summer (and I want to be awesome at sewing bathing suits), but I may be on the edge of bathing suit burnout, so perhaps I’ll sew up a few t-shirts or a skirt as a break, and then get back to it.  Does anyone have any tips on adding support to women’s suits or do you have a favorite bathing suit pattern?

I will admit, learning how to sew these things is very empowering.  I think I might be getting a little arrogant (my pride is outflanking my skills).  I look at the price of bathing suits, and I think, “Yeah, right!!!  I can make that!  And it will cost less, be cooler, and be unique!”  Yeah, maybe I need to step back a few paces…

Still, check out my work as a whole:

Soma Swimsuit Test Suits

It feels good to have done all that, even with the imperfections.  And giving myself the opportunity to practice makes me feel like I can get the obligatory mistakes out of the way on the path to ultimate bathing suit domination.  Someday, even Anthropologie shoppers will wish they had my suits!  Wahahahaha!!!!

And on that note, I think I’m going to sign off and look for something different to sew.

The Unblogged Cardigan

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Remember when I was doing all the sewing with Polartec?  I made the skirt, the dress, a pair of pants that didn’t make it on the blog because instead of fitting me, they fit my child, and a cardigan that has yet to make an appearance here.  So, while I’m currently still busy with bathing suits, I thought I would show you this cardigan that I sewed just a little while back.  Don’t worry though; once I test out my latest bathing suit top, we’ll talk bathing suits again.

This cardigan was made from McCall’s 6844.  I was completely inspired by Bianca’s green jersey version, and would still love to make one like hers someday, but since we seem to be living through a Canadian winter in Massachusetts this year, fleece was more seasonally appropriate.  I made it with the same Polartec Classic 200 Sweater Look fabric from Mill Yardage as the pieces I mentioned above.

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

I made a medium of View C, which has a shawl collar and a high/low peplum.

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Thanks to the many reviews on the Pattern Review site, I skipped the interfacing in the collar and sewed the sleeve in flat.  Also, despite what the pattern says, the front does meet, so I debated adding a closure, but skipped it in the end.

I liked the idea of modelling this in the snow while also wearing the red shirt I made so, on a “warm” day in the 20’s (Fahrenheit), we went out and took some pictures.

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Cardigan (McCall's 6844) by Pattern and Branch

Here’s a shot of the red shirt in action, too. ;)  The shirt was sewn from an Alabama Chanin pattern.  See the link for more details.

I have to say, this was a really quick and easy pattern.  The cardigan is comfortable, super warm, and looks really cool with the variable length of the peplum.  I like that the fleece fabric has enough body to make the back and sides stand out in a really interesting way.  I noticed on Pattern Review that a lot of reviewers loved this pattern, and were churning them out for themselves and as gifts for others.  I was not so generous and only made one for myself.  Selfish sewing is my favorite…

(Maybe someday I’ll have made all I want need and by then my skills will also be awesome, and I’ll start making things for other people instead of only myself.  I’ll keep you posted on that.  It might be awhile.)

Next up (probably):  more bathing suits!!!

 

Soma Swimsuit Test: One-Piece and Low-Rise Bottoms

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Monday was sewing day, and I’m pleased to say I made real progress.  I finished the one piece and the low-rise bottoms test versions of the Soma Swimsuit pattern by Papercut Patterns.

Soma Swimsuit one-piece by Papercut Patterns

one-piece front

Soma Swimsuit one-piece by Papercut Patterns

one-piece back

 

Soma Swimsuit low-rise bottoms by Papercut Patterns

low-rise bottoms front

Soma Swimsuit low-rise bottoms by Papercut Patterns

low-rise bottoms back

Don’t you think the snow is an appropriate backdrop?

Here are my notes and thoughts for you.  I sized the bottoms down from the medium that fit my measurements to a small and the top of the one-piece from a small to an extra small after testing out the high-rise bottoms and the bikini top variation 1, which is a similar style to the one-piece.  I think that for the low-rise bottoms, I should go back up to a medium, although I like the high-rise bottoms in a small.  I also used a different elastic technique on the low-rise bottoms and I think it makes them look like…well, have you ever seen a swim diaper?  Kind of like that.  The good news is that they’re not going anywhere, but they give me some serious muffin-top, if you know what I mean.

The one piece is easy to put together even if you are different sizes on the top and the bottom.  Because the back doesn’t close, you just need to make sure you mark the midpoint of your top and bottom pieces and line those up.  (The pattern tells you to line up the markings on the top with the side seams of the bottom, but if you just mark the mid-points of top and bottom pieces, everything still works out.)  I definitely heard some popping stitches as I pulled the one-piece on, but thankfully they were basting stitches.  Everything felt pretty secure, but if you are someone who likes support up top, this is not the suit for you.  Sadly, I do like some support or else Speedo-like compression, so I think I will not make the one-piece in my final fabric.  I also wonder how the fold-over elastic is going to hold up over time.  Still, the suit is wearable, professional, and a vast improvement over last year’s attempt.  Also, I really like the mid-weight fabric in the one-piece as opposed to the light-weight fabric I used for the bottoms.

Here are a few close-ups in case you want to see details:

Testing the Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns

waist detail, one-piece

Testing the Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns

front strap details, one-piece

 

Testing the Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns

waist detail, low-rise bottoms

 

I still have bikini top variation 2 to go, and I have high hopes for more support and coverage from that pattern.  If all goes well, I hope to turn it into a tankini in its final version.  I’ll keep you posted!

If you are looking for more details on pattern, fabric, notions, etc., see my last post here.

 

The State of Things

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I feel like I’ve been sucked into the sewing vortex.  Without the chance to easily go outside for walks or have as much time to myself due to all the snow days, all I’ve been doing is sewing, thinking about sewing, reading about sewing, trying to avoid thinking about spring and summer, and looking at fabric websites to fuel my sewing.  I like it best when the blog reflects a wider range of things than just that, but sewing is mostly what’s going on.  Give me a month and I’ll probably be back to watching surfing documentaries to make it through the end of winter, but for now, I have to keep my head in the game and think winter, winter, winter.  That’s why I’m sewing bathing suits.  ;)

Here’s a peek at what’s going on over here:

 

The State of Things at Pattern and Branch

The Soma Swimsuit Pattern by Papercut Patterns

I’ve decided that I WILL conquer swimsuits (hope I don’t have to eat my words).  Maybe you recall last year’s attempt.  This year, I plan to try again.  I got the Soma Swimsuit pattern from The Papercut Collective for Christmas, and I want to try all three suit options (two two-pieces and a one-piece).  Sorry to have to tell you up front that I won’t be modeling them for you.  This isn’t about body image issues.  It’s about the fact that I don’t want pictures of myself in undergarments or bathing suits on the internet.  Everyone has their threshold.  I will, however, take pictures of the suits (not on me) if and when I finish them.

I ordered some fabric from Girl Charlee  and elastic from The Fabric Fairy and, at the wise advice of my husband, decided to do some test garments with leftover materials while I waited for the new materials to arrive.  I’m glad I did because it’s giving me a chance to figure out my size and to freely make mistakes without ruining my “final” fabric.  I made a small top and medium bottoms, but while they fit, I think they will fit better if I go down a size, so that’s what I’m going to try next.  Their sizing is rather more generous than ready-to-wear sizes.

 

 

Testing the Soma Swimsuit

Test versions of the high-waist bottoms and Bikini Top version 1 (front)

Testing the Soma Swimsuit Pattern

High-waist bottoms and Bikini Top version 1 (back)

The salmon colored bottoms are mediums and the chevron bottoms are smalls.  Thankfully both have the same amount of coverage, but the smalls feel more secure.  I’m really not a bikini wearer, but there are times I just want to sit at the beach with a tank top on over my suit, and not have my stomach get all sweaty.  Plus, I’m wondering about making bikini top version 2 into a tankini.

The shower has become the testing ground.

Testing the Soma Swimsuit Pattern

While the top fits (you can adjust it a lot to get the perfect fit), I noticed that the bust darts were off-center, so I sized down for my tests of the one-piece and bikini top version 2.  I don’t wear an extra small in ANYTHING, so if you sew this, make sure you take your measurements with the knowledge that you may still have to size down.

Now I’m working on making a pair of low-rise bottoms, the one-piece, and bikini top version 2.

 

Testing the Soma Swimsuit

Testing the Soma Swimsuit

Testing the Soma Swimsuit

 

A word on supplies:  I ordered fabric and lining as well as swimsuit elastic and fold-over elastic.  I had leftover bra rings from a project I never made (I got them at Sew Sassy).  I had to buy a few bathing suit hooks at Joann Fabrics as well as some bulky/wooly nylon thread for my bobbin thread and 100% polyester thread (I chose Gutermann) for my top thread.  (I don’t have a serger, so these will be sewn on a conventional machine using a stretch needle and a walking foot.)  I did not order the bra strapping or swimsuit cups/foam for making cups.  I really wanted to, but the cost was starting to get prohibitive.  Here is the problem I ran into:  if I wanted the best prices, I had to order my supplies from about four different websites.  But then I would have to pay shipping at every one of those websites.  I searched the web for two days and finally found one site that had ever single supply I might want or need:  Fabric Depot.  The hardest part, though, is that their shipping costs are pretty high, so having limited funds, I decided it was time to follow Tim Gunn’s perennial advice and “make it work”.  I don’t want to spend all my hoarded Christmas money on a single sewing project.

In case you are thinking about making this suit yourself, here are some helpful blog posts around the web.

  • For lots of fun information on the suit, check out the tutorials posted on Papercut’s site.  They include making your own straps (I did this.), making bikini top version 1 reversible, sewing the high-waisted bottoms, making bikini top version 2, creating your own bindings, and finding supplies in various countries.
  • Inna (The Wall Inna) posted her one-piece version of the suit.  She made her own covered straps.
  • Lauren of Lladybird posted her awesome take on the bikini versions (see version 1 and version 2).  She also solves the problem of, um, modesty issues if you don’t have bra cups or swimsuit foam to insert into your suit in her take on version 2.  I’m going to give this a try myself on version 2.  My version 1 certainly would have been better with a little more…well, some cups.
  • Sallie (of sallieoh) rocks version 2 and introduces a strap variation.  She also tries out using swimsuit foam for coverage in her version.
  • Find the tankini take on bikini variation 2 that I mentioned above over at Unlikely Nest.  She also tries her own strap variation.
  • And on oh, she dabbles, C makes pretty cool versions of the one-piece and bikini variation 1 with high-waisted bottoms.
  • Finally, not Soma related, but very helpful anyway, I used this post for inserting elastic last year.  I used Papercuts instructions for the two bottoms I’ve already finished, but I’m going to try these techniques out on the low-rise bottoms.  That post is part of a larger series on the blog Kadiddlehopper that was really informative as I made my first forays into the world of sewing bathing suits last year.

 

 

It’s Winter

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Wow.  It’s really winter out there.  After a not-too-cold or snowy December and January, we’ve been hit full force with snowstorm after snowstorm in the last few weeks.  Our car got rear-ended just after Christmas and it came back from the shop all lovely and pristine right as the first flakes of the first real storm began to fall.  You can imagine that we’ve been driving VERY carefully.

I’m getting some good sewing done, but it’s starting to feel like all I’m doing.  I miss getting outside and shooting pictures, but it’s hard to find kid-free time for that with all the snow days.  I’m trying to hunker down and go with it, but today I threw my camera in the car in case I could pull off the road for a good shot or two.

Every week I pass this house and barn and, to me, it has such an iconic New England look.

It's Winter

There are several spots around here that I just relish every time I pass them.  I’m starting to think that photographing them may be an interesting and worthwhile project.

I hope your weekend is good and filled with whatever weather you are wishing for.

Details: The Red Shirt

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It’s a good (although slightly stressful) problem to have when your sewing outpaces your blogging.  Maybe it’s all these snow days, but I feel like the sewing has been flowing, if you know what I mean.  I want to get some quality pictures before I show you some of the latest projects, but I do have pictures of the finally finished red t-shirt!  Remember it in its original form?  Or maybe you remember what it looked like after going through the wash?  If not, I’ll give you the quick recap here:

Details: Finished t-shirt

The first version of the shirt with beaded collar

To survive in this household, most garments have to be able to make it through the washer at a bare minimum.  The dryer is negotiable.  So, it was with fingers crossed that I threw this one in the washer and dryer.

Details: Finished t-shirt

The trim didn’t make it through the washer.   :(

After consulting the experts (my mother and grandmother), I took the trim off.  I looked for more in the fabric store (so many good rhyming phrases today!), but nothing had the same pizzazz as my beading.  I could have tried beading it myself or something, but that sounded like a lot of work for a t-shirt of questionable fabric quality.  So in the end, I cut some strips of t-shirt fabric and bound the edge using a zig-zag stitch.

My first try wasn’t awesome…

Details: Finished t-shirt

 

The zig-zag was so wide it looked homemade in the worst way.  So, I ripped it out again and tried one more time.

(Wow.  I can’t believe I just typed that.  Usually I would just ignore this kind of mistake and wear it as it is.  I must be…getting better!  Oh, my goodness!  I’m becoming better at sewing!  I hope this doesn’t mean I’m responsible for fixing EVERY mistake.  You have to have some boundaries.)

The third try was the ticket.  I like this finish so much better.

Details: Finished t-shirt

Details: Finished t-shirt

The back has that little sewing line that both covers the join in the binding and acts as a tag so you know which side is the back.  Clever, huh?  I didn’t even plan it.  I just decided that it was supposed to be that way after I had done it.  That happens a lot in art, too, by the way.  Just in case you ever wondered…

Details: Finished t-shirt

I sewed a little seam at the front to make it look v-ish.  Now it kind of makes me think of this old GAP t-shirt I used to have that had a rough-stitched look to it.  That was a great shirt.  Its spirit lives on.

I’m so happy to have a wearable shirt.  I needed a few good t-shirts with some small, interesting details to form the base of my winter fashion ensembles.  ;)  If anyone has an awesome boat/bateau neck pattern that they love, please leave it in the comments.  I’ve been contemplating that in black for occasions when I want to look put together but still wear a t-shirt.

 

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)

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I think it’s time for a photography post, don’t you?  I have plenty of sewing to share, but we went for a walk in the woods recently, and I took lots of fun pictures that I want to show you.  Of course if you were to look out my living room window now, it would look nothing like when I took these pictures.  Now our area is covered in snow, but we made it through a month of official winter before it turned really cold and snowy.

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)I’ve been experimenting with sun shining into my camera.  I don’t quite have it figured out yet, but it’s fun to try.

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)Look at that green!  Living in the north has taught me that after a winter of grey and white and black, you can crave the color green.

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)

Outside in January (Before All the Snow Came)

Of course we need some interesting fungi, too.  You can’t have a walk in the woods without that, right?  ;)

 

 

 

 

Pattern Review: New Look S0595

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In my quest for a real winter wardrobe (as opposed to wearing fall clothes that aren’t really warm enough and just trying to layer them), I made a winter dress with more of the Polartec 200 that I used in my Alabama Chanin Long Skirt.  The fabric is from millyardage.com, and it has a sweater look on the outside, but is fleecy on the inside.  It’s also really thick and lofty feeling and is nice and wide.  My husband was wonderful (as always) and bought me six yards, so I have a lot of it.  I was inspired by some of the loungewear-type dresses I’ve seen in places like the sundance catalogue and the clothing section of Victoria’s Secret (I couldn’t find the image on their site, so here is a link to it on PopSugar).

As I was wandering around Joann Fabric one day, I found this pattern, New Look S0595 (which is listed on the Simplicity website as Simplicity or New Look 6298) , and it looked like just what I was going for.

Pattern Review:  New Look S0595

Pattern Review:  New Look S0595

I’ve also been in search of the perfect raglan t-shirt pattern, so I thought that if I liked this pattern, I could also turn it into a t-shirt or tunic.  The pattern is made for knits, so it seemed like it would have a lot of possibilities.

There were no reviews on the Pattern Review website, which is my gold standard for finding out about patterns before trying them.  Fortunately, thanks to the reviews of this pattern on the Ordinary Time blog (here and here), I went with the smaller of the two sizes I was contemplating (I would fit the 14 in the bust and the 16 in the waist and hips, so I went with the 14.).  She notes that the pattern has a lot of ease, so when in doubt, choose the smaller size.  I wonder if I could have gone down another size, but I wanted some ease, so I think the size I chose was ok.  I made View D, but with long sleeves instead of three-quarter length sleeves.  (Warmth!)

The pattern came together really quickly.  It definitely helped that I used a jersey needle and a walking foot.  I’m a slow sewer, but I cut it out one day and sewed it the next.  I love that there is no need to finish any inside seams since the fabric won’t fray.  That definitely saves time.

I had hoped there might be a little more shaping around the waist area, but there isn’t, so it looks a little…sack-like.  That’s not necessarily bad, if that’s what you are going for.  As my husband and friends pointed out, my sundance inspiration picture is also a straight silhouette, but the way that the model is standing keeps you from noticing it quite as much (and it’s probably all pinned in back to give it more shape).  See what you think:

Pattern Review:  New Look S0595

(Standing sideways kind of minimizes the sack thing.)  Here are front and back views:

Pattern Review:  New Look S0595

Pattern Review:  New Look S0595

Now some cool styling. ;)  I was pretty proud of it, but my men’s jacket does make me look a little pregnant (which I’m not).  Hm….

Oh, well.  I’m still going to wear it.

Pattern Review:  New Look S0595

 

So, would I sew it again? Would I recommend it to others?

I might sew it again.  It does sort of fit in with the idea of wearing blankets shaped into normal clothing.  It definitely fits the goals of warmth and comfort.  As far as flattering my form, I don’t think it does that, but it’s so comfy, I wear it anyway.  I got lots of compliments because it looks so warm and cozy (which it is; this fabric is great), but I wish it had just a little more shaping near the waist.  What do you think?  Is it worth trying to take it in a little on the sides or in that back seam?  Would it work or would it just skew things?  Maybe that’s something worth trying if I make it into a t-shirt.  Now, though, I’m anxious to get on to other things.  I still have a bunch of the Polartec fabric, so I cut out a cardigan, and I have a few other projects in mind, too.  Gotta keep things moving!

You can read my review of this pattern here on Pattern Review.

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style

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In my now decade-long quest for THE ULTIMATE WINTER SKIRT, I have thought of many fabric combinations, patterns, and crazy ideas to create a long winter skirt that would be warm and yet still look good.  What I really want is a skirt that feels like I’m wearing a blanket, but looks socially acceptable.  To that end, I ordered a vintage pattern, and started poring over fabric sites looking at faux fur.  I went through my fabric cabinet and considered (finally) using some of my wool.  I even thought about cutting up our Vellux blanket as lining.  The Polartec website became very familiar to me as I researched interesting technical fabrics.  Finally, it dawned on me.  Why not make Version 1 of THE ULTIMATE WINTER SKIRT from a pattern I already knew I liked?  What about a Polartec sweater knit (which I was itching to try out anyway) with the Alabama Chanin Long Skirt pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design?

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)

The more I sew, at least lately, the more I find that what I’m interested in doing is exploring.  As I contemplated what I wanted to sew in the coming year, or at least the current season, I realized that I want to try out new and interesting fabrics in (hopefully) new and interesting ways.  My wonderful husband obliged me by purchasing a large amount of sweater-knit fleece in a charcoal color from millyardage.com as a Christmas gift.  Goal number one with that fabric was to attempt the skirt.

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)

I cut out the same size in the Alabama Chanin Long Skirt that I usually use (I’ve also made this skirt in cotton/modal jersey.), and bound it with fold-over elastic that I already had.  I didn’t stretch the elastic when I was sewing, though, so the waistband came out looking…wavy.

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)

So, in the interest of time and not losing momentum on the project, I cut off the waistband and sewed on another, this time stretching the elastic as I sewed.  It was still a bit wavy, but the skirt is meant to be sort of low-rise, so when you put it on, it works.  (Only one note of caution–if there is any chance you may have young children tugging on your clothes, watch it.  There’s always the possibility you could get pantsed in this skirt.  Can you get “pantsed” in a skirt?  Whatever you call it, watch yourself–no one wants to lose the bottom half of their outfit in public…well, no one should want that, anyway.  It could definitely happen in this skirt.)  This particular pattern has a small train, which I love, and which I kept in the jersey version of the skirt.  It does drag on the floor a bit, but it looks lovely.  For this winter version, though, I trimmed the back even with the front, cutting off the train.  It would be too sad to have the back of the skirt covered in snow, slush, and salt.

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)

As yet it is unhemmed, partially because I love the raw-edged look, and partially out of curiosity.  I want to see how the length works with my various shoes and if I can get away with raw edges in this fleece sweater-knit as well as I can with a cotton jersey.  I may hem it later.  The other reason is that I want some instant gratification on this pattern, and I can call it done if I don’t hem it.  Now you know the whole truth.

And now…I must tell you of my initial triumph.

On Sunday I wore the skirt to church with a stretchy sweater and my wool “poncho” (a.k.a. piece-of-fabric-that-I-wrap-around-myself-and-secure-with-a-kilt-pin).  I wore long johns underneath and booties with socks.  On that day, I knew I had finally achieved an ULTIMATE WINTER OUTFIT.  I was essentially wearing blankets and pajamas:  long underwear (“pajamas”), a skirt that felt like a blanket, a sweater as stretchy as a t-shirt, and a “poncho” that was really a blanket wrapped around me.  I was wearing pajamas and blankets, but it was socially acceptable enough that I felt like I had dressed up for church!

But wait!  Was I essentially practicing deception…at church, of all places?!!!  Was I really wearing my pajamas and blankets to church?!  Well, I’m going to say no to the deception, but YES to the awesome nature of that outfit.  All winter outfits should have the qualities of ultimate comfort and warmth while still being socially acceptable and looking good.  SUCCESS!!!!

I feel that my life is now fulfilled.  Blog, finished.

Just kidding.

 

Alabama Chanin Long Skirt, New England Style (Pattern and Branch)