2013 Year In Review: Hits

Top 5 of 2013Continuing with my 2013 Year In Review posts, I’m happy to present my Top 4 Hits of the year (yes, I only have 4 again).  Yay!  These are the garments I’ve worn the most, enjoy wearing the most, and am most proud of.  They’re the garments that make me feel like a million bucks – confident, stylish, and just a little smug.  : )  Hope you enjoy seeing them all again!

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The turquoise dress goes to a wedding

My nephew giving me bunny earsThe turquoise and yellow dress is making the rounds at my summer get-togethers.  I wore it to a wedding recently, and clearly my grandmother and nephew approve, haha.  Plus, I think the bunny ears complement the dress quite nicely.  : )  I’ve been really enjoying wearing this dress, and I can’t wait for my yellow version to make its debut!

Below are a few “action shots” of me dancing with my nephew and parents in the dress.  Clearly a good time was had by all, as these less-than-flattering poses indicate that I didn’t care who was taking my picture.  : )

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Turquoise and yellow dress – finished!

Turquoise and yellow dress - Butterick 5353 - finished!

I am proud to present my finished turquoise and yellow dress, finally!!  : )  After all the pattern alteration drama and muslin frustration, I think this dress actually came out pretty nicely.  I love the color combination and the slim cut of the dress, and I can’t wait to show up at my lab looking fabulous in this baby.  It was a lot of work, but I’m calling it a success!  : )

Project stats:

Pattern: Butterick 5353, fitted dress with circular neckband

Fabric: Turquoise and yellow are Kona cotton by Robert Kaufman; polka dot lining is Vivie Sprinkle by Alexander Henry.  100% cotton.

Modifications:  Not too bad, despite all the fitting drama.  Added 1 inch in length right above the waistband (a regular adjustment for my long torso), removed about 1/2 inch from the front armhole area, and took in about 1 inch in the back shoulder area (essentially adding shoulder darts in the princess seams; required adding about 1/2 inch of length at the top of the side back pieces).  I cut a size 10 for the bodice and waist, and between a 10 and 12 for the skirt.  The 14 corresponded to my actual measurements but was WAY TOO BIG.

Level of crafty satisfaction:  Love it!!  And pretty proud of myself for turning a mess into a nice dress.  🙂

Lots more photos below!

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Long weekend = lots of sewing progress!

Turquoise and yellow dress - outside front

Apparently all I needed to really get this dress in gear was a 3-day weekend, because this baby is almost DONE!  Woo hoo!  : )  Between yesterday and tonight after work, I put the skirt pieces together, attached them to the bodice, and put in the invisible zipper.  This just goes to show how much sewing I could get done if I didn’t have to work!  Wouldn’t that be nice?  : )

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A turquoise and yellow bodice

Turquoise and yellow dress - bodie front

Finally, I’m actually putting this dress together!  The bodice is mostly complete at this point… isn’t it pretty?  : )  I haven’t started on the skirt yet (which will be all turquoise), but that’s next on the list.  For now, I’m enjoying oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over my finished bodice.  Yay, actual progress is being made!  No more f-ing muslins!!

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I am sick of muslins!

Turquoise and yellow dress - second muslin complete - front

My turquoise and yellow dress is still in the muslin phase… and the end of the fitting process can’t come soon enough.  Oh sewing gods, please save me from this fitting odyssey!!  Blargh!  The good news is that my second muslin really did come out better than the first.  The photo above was taken after I re-installed the zipper, and I’m pretty satisfied with the fit.  Finally.  As they say on Seinfeld, serenity now!!

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Good news: second muslin appears to be less ginormous

I spent most of the day today working on my turquoise and yellow dress, and I’m happy to report that the second muslin appears to be much less enormous and much less ridiculous than the first.  I’m not sure that I’m 100% satisfied with the fit just yet, but we’re making leaps and bounds compared to my triangular-alien muslin.  Woo hoo!

Turquoise and yellow dress - deconstructed first muslin

Step 1: I ripped out all the seams of the first muslin, collecting all the little threads in a neat pile, as usual.  : )  I was so glad to see this fabric in a flat pile as opposed to a huge mess hanging off my shoulders!

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Nailed it

Butterick 5353 muslin - nailed it - FAILEnough said.  : )

The “nailed it” meme is so hilarious.  I almost fell off my chair at these “17 Pinterest Fails” on BuzzFeed.

And no, I haven’t yet mustered up the energy to tackle my disaster muslin from last night.  I think its timeout will need to last at least another 24 hours.  I’ll get back to it eventually though – I really do want that dress!

[Left image credit: Butterick Patterns B5353]

This muslin is a hot mess

Turquoise and yellow muslin - front

My first muslin of Butterick 5353 was such a disaster that pretty much the only thing to do at this point is sit back, have a big glass of wine, and laugh at how ridiculous it is.  : )   I don’t often call my projects a hot mess, but this one definitely fits the bill!  Please excuse the awful photos in this post – I struggled so much with this stupid dress tonight that I didn’t have any energy left for decent photography.  Just please join me in maniacal laughter about how sewing projects can sometimes go very, very wrong.

There are many things that went horribly wrong with this muslin, but I think the main ones are as follows:

  • I cut this dress at least one size too big, as it is baggy absolutely everywhere.
  • I added too much length to the bodice.  Typically I add an inch at the shoulders and an inch at the waist, but it added up to way too much length in this case.  Pattern alternation FAIL.
  • Even taking into account the previous two bullets, the bodice is HUGE.  Do you see all that extra width (several inches on each side) under my arms?  WTF?!?!???
  • I suck at sewing princess seams (it was my first time doing this) and circular seams (ditto).  Curvy seams are not for beginners!

This dress makes me look like a triangle-shaped alien from a very unfashionable planet.  As LOLcats would say, I haz a sad.  😦

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Change of plans: same colors, different dress

Turquoise and yellow fabric

As a woman, I reserve the right to change my mind at the last minute.  : )  I had originally thought about making another 60s dress, but after making two in a row (here and here), I decided I wanted something a little more modern this time around.  Then again, since I was really digging the teal and yellow idea, I kept that part of the plan.  Behold my new fabric above!  The teal is more of a turquoise since I couldn’t find the *perfect* teal, but I’m happy with it.  Close enough!  And how cute are those polka dots??

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