tencel denim deer & doe arum dress

by Nicole on January 13, 2016

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Say hello to my current favorite pattern–the Deer & Doe Arum Dress! It’s no secret I’m a huge D&D fangirl. All of their patterns are exactly what I envision for my perfect wardrobe–super wearable, and a little sweet without being overly vintage-y or twee, with cute modern details.

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Arum is described as a “dress with kimono sleeves, subtly cinched thanks to princess seams in the back, adorned with a bust pocket.”  I’ve been wanting to make a simple dress like this for forever and have toyed with the idea of a Colette Laurel or maybe a Grainline Scout lengthened to a dress. But in the end, Arum won because D&D patterns fit my body well, I love the neckline, and the back princess seams are both pretty and super easy to adjust. Also I’m now into kimono sleeves because no sleeves to set in!

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Ta-da!!! Kimono sleeves!

I sewed this up on Christmas Eve to wear on Christmas Day. No lie, these photos are actually from Christmas Day; it was like 75 degrees! It’s actually cold here now, but luckily the dress looks equally cute with tights and boots.

I confess to slightly over-fitting the dress. I started with the largest size (46) and graded up to a 48 everywhere but the shoulders. I made a muslin, and then ended up taking the back princess seams way, way in. The resulting dress gets a little snug when I sit down, and also requires a bit of maneuvering over my bust when I put it on and take it off. But still, I really like it. I already altered my pattern to reflect where I took in the princess seams, so I’ll probably just sew them with 3/8″ or 1/2″ seam allowances next go-around instead of 5/8″. I did a forward-shoulder adjustment and took a deep hem (1.5″ folded over twice). I also made the neckline slightly more scooped, and chose bias-binding for the neckline instead of the facing.

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I think this dress has probably gotten me more compliments than anything else I’ve ever made. The fabric is great–it’s a tencel denim from Blackbird Fabrics (sadly sold out now) with cute little white polka dots.  The dress also feels very modern and RTW, so I think people are shocked when I tell them I made it. And the shape just works really well for me. I’ve always been more into fit & flare in the past, but now I’ll be looking at this silhouette a lot more.

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Cute little bust pocket detail. I topstitched mine in white to make it stand out a little more.

This dress is so easy to wear and makes me feel happy, so there will definitely be more in my future!

Since sewing this up at the end of December, I haven’t even touched my sewing machine! I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting–I finished a Dreicke beanie, am almost done with an Effortless Cardigan (just need to finish knitting the collar!), and am about to start on a Gable sweater for my sister-in-law. What are you currently working on?

high-waisted ginger jeans

by Nicole on December 11, 2015

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Hi, friends. I have lots on my mind and lots to say, but I can’t seem to find the right words lately, so I’ll just launch straight into the sewing… I finally got around to making a high-waisted pair of Ginger Jeans! I previously made the low rise view once here and two more times here.

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This time around, I made several changes in terms of sizing and adjustments. My previous Gingers were starting to feel a little tight in the booty region (most likely due to the weightlifting routine I took up in late September), so I decided to cut a size larger than last time. When I did my basting check, the butt fit perfectly this time, but the waistline was really gape-y, so I ended up pinning out a giant wedge along the back waistband and yoke. I also slimmed down the thighs quite a bit by sewing a larger seam allowance (mostly taken out of the back thigh). I’m really happy with the fit now!

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I definitely prefer this high-rise view to the low-rise view. Since I don’t really wear my shirts tucked in much, the jeans are maybe a liiiittle bit higher than I’d like for everyday wear, but the back view on this higher pair is much more comfortable and I think is more flattering. What’s crazy is how different the high-rise view looks on my body, compared to the samples and other people’s high-waisted versions. I feel like the high-rise actually looks almost normal-rise on me??? But I can’t figure out why! Is my booty-meat lower than other people’s? Is it just that my butt is giant? Is it because my legs are short, but my torso is long? Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I think anything is wrong with my body. I’m just really curious why the fit is so different, so if you think you know why, do tell!

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The denim is just some cheapo stuff I got from Fabric.com a while back, but it has a neat subtle houndstooth-like texture:

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Anyway, I love these jeans and they’ve already seen a bunch of wear. And now I’m finally ready to cut into some of my Cone Mills denim! I’ll definitely make this higher-rise version, and I might experiment with shortening the yoke slightly, and adding what I remove back onto the back leg, as it seems ever so slightly off for my body. But I’m still ridiculously happy with them as-is!

backyard party

by Nicole on October 19, 2015

We had a little backyard party with my family about a month ago, and spent the afternoon playing ping-pong and washers, eating pizza, drinking beer, and laying around in the grass. Here are some of my favorite photos from that day (heavy on my nephew Rowan because he’s obviously a very easy subject).

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