Science Girl is Sour

Science Girl had the opportunity to attend a new event last week. The Museum of Life and Science had an After Hours event about the “Science of Sour.” It covered everything from fermentation, to pickling, to how your taste buds work. And of course I had to make a themed dress.

Spoonflower actually had a pickle design contest lately, so I had a lot of designs to choose from. My favorite was this design by pinky_wittingslow covered with watercolor cucumber slices, and even a hint of dill in the background. I used the cotton lawn fabric because of its soft texture and easy drape.

I used the same dress pattern you’ve seen plenty of other times on other projects. To switch things up a bit I hand drafted petal sleeves. I’ve been meaning to try them again in something more formal, and I’m so glad I did. It added an interesting element to this dress that I feel really drew attention.

I reviewed this pattern here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

Because the lining would show at the edge of the sleeves I wanted something perfect that would complement the colors of the pickles. I chose this design by brainsarepretty and printed it on satin. Slippery to sew, but perfect for linings.

 

Colette Hawthorn Dress ★★★★

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This was the first shirt dress pattern I’ve ever used. It was fairly easy to follow, and certainly satisfying to complete. It does suffer from the usual colette problem where I seriously have to adjust the bust darts, because I believe she drafts her patterns for a larger than usual bust size. But its an easy adjustment to make at this point. I will say that I have some trouble with the way the collar lines up, and depending on the fabric you choose you should definitely skip the interfacing. Maybe its just because I’m a sloppy sewist, but both times I’ve used this pattern thus far, I’ve had trouble lining up the waist seam-line across the buttons. One side always turns up a millimeter or two higher than the other.

However, Colette’s instructions are excellent, and definitely great for a beginner. I’ve been too lazy to actually put a button placket in either version of this pattern that I’ve tried, but once I do I know that her directions will make it clear and easy.

I’ve completely both the peplum blouse version of this pattern, and the dress, and both turned out excellent.

You can see the peplum version of this pattern here: Cotton Lawn Peplum Blouse

Here are some images of the dress version:

 

Spring Birthday Dress

So here’s my birthday dress for 2015.

The pattern is Dahlia by Colette Patterns. I used the sleeveless version and altered it a little bit to shorten the straps to raise the neckline, and I lengthened the hem in the back to create an asymmetrical hemline.

Its a great pattern, easy and fast to put together, with very little fitting involved considering the gathered bodice and six-panel skirt. I liked the use of self-made bias tape for the straps and sleeve binding, it was a nicely finished detail that didn’t require a lot of effort. I’ll probably try the sleeve version when it gets to be closer to fall again and I’m looking for warmer clothing.

I wrote a review of this pattern here: Colette Dahlia Dress ★★★★

The fabric was a spring green linen I found on sale at joann’s and simply had to have. But I wanted a bit of color to really give some detail, so I added the hand embroidery.

Colette Dahlia Dress ★★★★

2lineartThe colette dahlia was quite easy, and is definitely a true beginner pattern. The way you use bias tape to create the straps is quite clever, and will definitely help anyone who has a fear of inset sleeves (as I definitely first did).

This pattern does suffer from the same problem as many colette patterns where her drafted bodice is larger than average. The use of gathers and the lack of darts means that you can mostly get around it, but if I wanted to be true to fit I’d have to do a bust adjustment.

Version 2 is perfect for a comfortable summer party dress. I’ve yet to give version 1 a try with the sleeve, but I’m sure it will be just as easy and fun as the first.

Here’s what I made with the Dahlia: Spring Birthday Dress

Christmas Dress 2014

So this was my Christmas dress of the year. I knew I wanted to do something a little bit over the top, couture inspired, silvery gray, and covered in sequins. I was predominantly inspired by this 1950s dropped waist dress by Hardy Aimes. (And created a inspiration board on pinterest.) I ended up not going with the scalloped edge neckline like I wanted, but kept the scalloped dropped waist.

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I bought an entire bolt of tulle off amazon (where, fyi, you can get it super cheap!), about 60000 sequins in a variety of gray and smoke and rainbow sheen colors, about 10000 hotfix crystals, and an acre of ribbon. I even got a tambour embroidery hook and frame, and told myself I was going to learn an awesome new skill. As you can see, I totally ran out of time. There are some sequins along the seam at the dropped waist, and at the neckline, but thats it. The neckline was actually originally going to be the edge embroidery on an epic shawl I planned to wear, but ended up repurposing when it was clear I was barely going to be able to get the dress finished, much less the decoration.

I didn’t use a pattern at all. This is probably the most complicated garment I completely planned and draped by hand. There were a couple of terrifying moments when the party I wanted to wear it to was three days away and I thought I had completely screwed up the bodice. Thanks to an amazing friend who ended up drafting extra darts while it was on my body, the thing turned out amazing. The upper back is unlined gathered tulle, and on my skin it looked amazing. I wish my dress form wasn’t gray so you could see the effect.

Overall, I am very happy with this dress. I got an unusual shape that I’d never played with before in the dropped waist. The color was beautiful at nighttime parties with lots of lights. I got a ton of compliments, and would probably wear it again if I had fancy parties to go to, ever. But I do wish I’d been able to sequin and bedazzle the shit out of it like I wanted to. Maybe I’ll get around to it someday, but I doubt it. There are always more things to sew!

Science Girl Drinks Beer… yes, again.

Science of Beer is coming up, hopefully I can get this made by thursday for Science Girl, it’s been awhile since she’s made a real appearance. I loved the interesting gradient effect on their poster and wanted to emulate it. I’m also trying out a 3D modeler that allows me to see a dress concept without going to the expense and bother of actually sewing it. Its fun to play with!

Pattern is Burda 122- Cap sleeve Godet Dress

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Hops and wheat designs by Phillip Markel on spoonflower.

The middle yellow has the chemical makeup of ethanol (like the second panel in the poster) and was “designed” by me for the purpose, as well as the pale gray with museum butterfly logo.

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I reviewed this dress pattern here: Burda Style Cap Sleeve Godet Dress ★★

Painted Dress

I believe I may have mentioned how much I love the effect of watercolor prints on fabric. This is one of my favorites. Wearing it makes me feel like I’ve rolled around on an artist’s palette. The design is by HeyTangerine, and you can find it here.

The pattern is Peony by Colette. I altered it slightly to lengthen the sleeves and add fullness to the skirt. The original was a woven fabric, and had a zipper up the back. But I’m a big fan of comfort and laziness, as you know. By simply removing the zipper and using a 4-way stretch I can pull this dress on over my head.

You can read my review of this pattern here: Colette Peony Dress ★★★

The belt is a separate detachable piece, and is reversible if I want a different color effect.

Also, it has POCKETS! Damn straight.

The fabric is my still ever-favorite Spoonflower Modern Jersey.

Colette Peony Dress ★★★

17lineartSo, I confess. I changed this pattern so much, its hardly the Peony dress anymore. If the Colette Moneta had existed at the time, I probably would have chosen to make that, as thats practically what I ended up with anyways.

So, the first heretical thing I did here was to make this dress out of a stretch knit. I removed the back zipper and made it a pull-over-the-head dress. Then I turned the skirt into a 3/4 circle skirt instead of the a-line skirt the pattern pieces show. I chose a sleeve length that is basically halfway between the short cap sleeve and the three quarter sleeve options.

Given that, I still had the same old bodice dart problems as I do with all colette patterns. The darts require re-sizing and repositioning for me every time. I also should have made this dress without the neck facing. I don’t know if its because I chose a knit fabric, or what, but the facing refuses to lie down and always ends up poking up like an errant tag in the back. Even after I’ve tacked it down in multiple places.

But if you ignore all my complaints, I still love this dress. And its not the pattern’s fault I went all over the map with weird changes here.

Check out photos of that fateful project here: Painted Dress

Vogue Dress V8814 ★★

10lineartI absolutely love the way this pattern looks on the cover, but I fear that it is one of those instances where reality will never quite match up. This pattern is very difficult to fit properly. Now, I know I’m not a runway model size, with a perfect ratio from top to bottom, but so very few people are…

Both times I attempted this pattern, I ended up with weird fitting around the hips and a top that was loose not quite right. Making any sort of modification to the fit of the pieces is difficult precisely because of the interesting construction that drew me to it in the first place. The pattern pieces are actually a series of skewed trapezoids that fit together to create a really appealing shape, especially if you choose a direction print and use it well. But that just means that fitting it accurately is well beyond my skill.

Maybe someday I’ll come back to this pattern. You can read about my two experiences with this pattern, and see the results, here: Christmas Velvet &  Chevron Dress.

Chevron Dress

Remember that velvet christmas dress? I said I had plans for that pattern again, and here it is! I chose this fabric because it exaggerates the interesting piece-work construction. The pattern is Vogue 8814. It’s fascinating to me how the same pattern can create dramatically different dresses. Summery and bright and floaty, versus dark and smooth and luxurious.

The fabric is by Domesticate of Spoonflower, printed on kona cotton. I wrote a review for this pattern here: Vogue Dress V8814 ★★

This was also an excuse to play with some hand embroidery. It is a braided chain stitch. I love the tutorials on Sarah’s Hand Embroidery’s website, the pictures are clear and beautiful and helpful.