Leopard dress for the win!

I completed a dress! In leopard fabric! With princess seams! Without any snags! After my striped dress fiasco, I hoped this Simplicity rebound dress would help erase the sour taste of defeat from my mouth and give me back my sewing confidence. And boy, did it deliver!

After my latest defeat, I felt a little shaky and wanted to sew something that would be fool-proof, something i'd be able to finish and that I would actually want to wear. The answer came by way of Lauren, of Lladybird fame, who was hosting an outfit-along with Andi Satterlund from Untangling knots. The two stylish ladies (seriously, i'd like to steal both their wardrobes!) have teamed up and are offering tutorials helping crafters to sew and knit two coordinating garments for an outfit. While I love the concept, I decided to keep it simple by making the dress only. (See!? I learned my lesson: don't bite off more than you can chew!)


Admitting defeat and moving on

Stripey dress 005
Chevrons in the back
So things have been really quiet on Brand New Old Fashioned... It's because I have struggled with one of my worst sewing fails to date. Don't worry, i've had the time to swallow my bitter defeat and i've already moved on to another project. So what happened, you might ask?

Remember my plans for that perfect bias bodice striped summer dress? After all the planning and muslin making, the construction went swimmingly. Cutting the fabric? Piece of cake. Matching the stripes? Effortless. Lining the bodice? Easy peasy. I admired my work on the hanger: it looked great and I was extatic.


Fitting a basic bodice AKA the worst looking muslin in the world

My sketch of the stripey dress
Hi you guys! My first spring-summer project is a GO!

I've been dreaming of a striped summer dress ever since I bought this thin cotton fabric at a local indie fabric shop. However, as I quickly learned, stripes are finicky and don't get along with most patterns. Those with lots of darts or curved seams aren't recommended. After considering a few, it came down to the Cambie dress or the Dirndl dress pattern from the Built by Wendy book. The latter won because of it's simple lines: I could easily alter it to make exactly what I wanted. A few years ago, I had made a simple cotton dress using the same pattern. Since my fitting skills were non-existent, the results were ok at best: now I see all its fitting nasties and I can't bear to wear it. This time around, I've taken the bull by the horns and am altering the pattern for a perfect fit. The Fit for real people book really helped, as did the many blogs I read when trying to understand what needed to be altered. I realized, while working on this project, how usefull detailed construction posts can be for a newbie like me. As a result, I decided to contribute in my way by including lots of details in this post.

Thus, this is a detail-heavy post, so if you're not up to it, feel free to just look at my awful pictures instead.


Wardrobe architect: accessories

The Wardrobe Architect
It's already week 12 of the Wardrobe Architect project! This week has us thinking about those all-important accessories we use to enhance our style. I have to admit I am not a huge decorative accessories person, mainly because they make me look too "done", like I am trying too hard. That being said, I do indulge in lovely practical accessories like glasses, bags, belts, hats, sunglasses and the odd scarf. So here is a summary of my accessory requirements.


Wardrobe Architect week 9: the capsule wardrobe

The Wardrobe Architect
You might already be aware of my undying love for the capsule wardrobe. Last spring I wanted to create a Spring-Summer wardrobe, but -alas- life took another turn and the project never really took-off. This year, however, I sense that my new-found style awareness (curtosy of the Wardrobe Architect project) has given me an advantage: i'm more in-tune with myself and have better knowledge of what I want this capsule wardrobe to represent and be. Yes, I may end up not completing the wardrobe by the end of summer, but I feel that simply having these guidelines might motivate me to sew more and plan ahead! 

Choose one to six silhouettes for the season.

Create a color palette.
I'll be using the one I made a few weeks ago. Why? First, because I LOVE these colors! Second, because I already have a few items in these colors in my wardrobe. Since this is warmer weather fashion, I will make an extra effort to include the brighter statement colors and shy away from my darker neutrals.

Break down your silhouettes and colors into a list of pieces. Organize what to make, what to buy, and what you already own.

  1. Red skinny jeans
  2. Dark wash skinny jeans
  3. Navy shorts
  4. Olive green shorts
  5. White and navy striped tank
  6. White and navy tee
  7. Shortsleeved white blouse with navy polka dot 
  8. Dark wash jean jacket
  9. Short black jacket
  10. Black tuxedo jacket  
  11. White polka-dot shirtdress (tattered...)
  12. Red and white pinstripe shirtdress
  13. Black shirtdress (color is fading)
  14. Black polka dot sweetheart dress
  15. Cerulean blue linen Cambie dress
  16. Striped flats
  17. Polka dot keds
  18. Black leather ankle combat boots
To buy
  1. Whiskey gladiators
  2. Red flats OR tan boat shoe
  3. Band t-shirts in colours other than black or white
To make
I'd like to make more casual garments like easy knit tops and woven blouses to go with shorts and jeans. A few nice casual summer dresses would really be usefull too: a few in knit and others in lightweight fabrics like cotton and seersucker.
  1. Magenta and black coton chevron dress
  2. Strappy Cambie dress
    Chevron dress: it's not as bright in person!
  3. Navysolid coton Simplicity 1803 dress view C
  4. Voile perfect dress rub-off
  5. Abstract print Kirsten Tees
  6. Batik ikat sleeveless blouse  
  7. Sleeveless printed colorful lightweight knit lady skater dress
  8. Red and white striped boatneck Coco breton shirt
  9. Colorful ikat knit dress McCalls 6073 dress
  10. Cotton Summer dress New Look 6557 view B or C
  11. Sleeveless shirtdress 6696 (color? print?)
  12. Shortsleeved shirtdress 6696 (color? print?)
I know... lots of stuff on the list, right? Also, a few things are still unclear, perticularly when it comes to color and fabrics. I think I may need more inspiration to pinpoint these down. Maybe Polyvore can help, or I can simply visit my local indie fabric shop. But it's ok if the list is long! I know I won't make or buy half of it and that is fine by me! My point is not to succeed in completing the wardrobe: it's to start sewing again, but in a more productive manner! I see the capsule wardrobe as a tool to help me focus and plan my sewing projects. I already have two garments in queue... what about you? Have you already started your spring sewing? Do share!

Well, i'm off to make a muslin for my modified Cambie dress. Toodles!