12.17.2013

go go girl

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Seasons Greetings from Galveston, TX! This week I'm preparing to make the yearly trek back East to spend the holidays with family, which means putting in long hours at work, doing ass-loads of laundry, cleaning the house, boarding the animals, and trying to eat up anything perishable in the fridge.  Thank goodness I got all my holiday shopping/gift-making finished up this weekend! Truthfully, I've been on a bit of a holiday roll as of late, which is quite odd for me. Usually I have absolutely zero Christmas spirit until I step foot in my parents bedecked house a few days before Christmas.  But this year I'm starting to feel it, and it's kinda nice! 

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I think part of the reason for all my holiday cheer has to do with the fact that it's actually been cold enough in Texas for it to feel like winter.  Yes, yes, I know I'm sporting bare legs in these photos, and that's because, well, it warmed up again... but believe me when I say that it was actually and truthfully legitimately cold just a few short days ago! And since 90% of my wardrobe is warm weather garb, I found myself in the same position I always find myself in when the cold finally decides to strike in these parts - with nothing to wear! 

I've often joked that I'm part reptile because it seems that whatever the temperature is outside, that's the temperature of my body (and that's why I'm most comfortable at, oh, say 90F). I have seriously got to be the most cold-natured person I've ever met! My husband will back me up on this since he has been subject to my alarmingly cold feet and hands (and legs and arms and...) for quite some time now. So you can imagine me, a few weeks ago, feeling completely unprepared during our first cold snap, huddled in a blanket in front of my computer, numb fingers scrolling through pages and pages of online fabric stores and muttering to myself through blue lips and chattering teeth "woooollll.... neeed woooool"...

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As soon as my paycheck was in I was ordering this dense, smooth, medium weight, 100% wool knit from Mood. And, oh man, did this stuff deliver! It was exactly what I was looking for - comfy like a knit, but oh so cozy. Some crosswise stretch, but pretty stable (no lycra), it doesn't wrinkle, but it pressed like a dream, and zero itch. Truthfully. I'm pretty sensitive to itchy wool, and I can wear this stuff against bare skin all day without wanting to claw it off me (although I like to layer, because, see above - re: reptilian blood). And it's black. I don't know what it is, but I have been feeling very 'black all over' with my clothes lately, so expect to see more black on this blog before the season is over!

I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it too. This is the Saiph Tunic from Papercut Patterns' new Constellation Collection - a gorgeous group of patterns with some really standout pieces.  I was pretty tempted by a few of them, but then my eyes clapped on this simple, beginner pattern, and well.... it was love at first sight. I mean, a boxy, shapeless shift of a dress?! Be. Still. My. Heart! It had "Sallie" written alllll over it!! 

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Actually what really drew me to this dress was some of the pretty details, like those French darts at the bust, and the inseam pockets.  There is actually some subtle shaping in the dress, making it much more elegant than wearing a giant rectangle. And while I'm not super passionate about pockets in dresses (I can go either way) I do love when they are a design feature like they are here. 

I made this in a size XS, but I did a real mental dance about whether I should go down a size or not because of the roomy fit and the knit fabric.  In the end I decided to go with my measurement size because I didn't want those bust darts to end at my collarbones, and I was too lazy to lower them.  The fit is definitely roomy, but I don't regret making this size. Honestly, if I were to make it again I would probably cut the same size, but maybe narrow the shoulders. The only alterations I made to the pattern was to add 1 inch of length to the bottom hem band piece because I wanted to be able to wear this as a dress, not as a tunic (as the name suggests) and I took about 1/4 inch of height out of the sleeve-cap to reduce the ease, because I was using a knit (otherwise the sleeve-cap ease would have been perfect as drafted).

This was super easy breezy to sew up.  I finished the cuffs and hem by interfacing them first with some knit fusible and then using my twin needle to topstitch them - makes for a really neat finish.  And I alternated between using my sewing machine set to a long-ish (3.5) straight stitch and using my serger to sew the seams.  Most of the major seams (side seams, hem band) were done on the serger. I used a random white button I had in my stash for the back closure (I think it gives a subtle 'Wednesday Addams vibe') but, really, you don't need it - this is one that can slip right over your head. I stabilized the shoulder seams with a bit of clear elastic, but if I were to make this in a knit again I would also stabilize the front band seamline/pocket openings.  I don't mind the way they droop a bit here, but I dream of them sitting nice and flat and giving a really crisp, architectural feel.

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I've already blabbed to my husband, my boss, and anyone else who I can get to stand still long enough to listen, about how I need, like, three more of these dresses in my wardrobe and then I would be a happy (winter) camper! It's just as cozy for curling up on the couch as it is for sitting at a desk, or gardening, or doing the myriad of other things that I do in my day to day life.  I just wish Mood had this   wool knit in other colors (like a bright red! or ivory - like the sample garment on Papercut Patterns website!) but I'm thinking of trying it out in a ponte next. Does anyone have experience working with ponte? What's the cozy-ness factor?

As you can see, I had a little helper with me while I shot these photos.  I thought the presence of Lucille might mitigate some of the weird comments and stares I tend to get when I take blog pictures. It's been my experience that people do not mess with you when you're accompanied by a large black, menacing looking dog, even if she is a big softie. I tried to get a good picture of the two of us, but unfortunately poor Lucille wasn't feeling so good. Shortly after this she started eating grass and vomiting! Poor puppy! Better out than in. (Don't worry, it was nothing serious, just random dog barfs...)

So here's a picture of me posing like weirdo, and sweet Lucille, looking rather green around the gills, to wish you and yours a very happy holiday! I hope your days are filled with lots of good food and even better company! (And perhaps a little sewing-related giftie or two to close out 2013?) See you in the New Year!

xx

28 comments:

  1. Super cute dress!

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  2. A Stitching OdysseyDecember 17, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    You're a minx, you're a minx, you're a minx!!! I really love the mod look of this on you and you should totally make more! Lladybird Lauren is a ponte expert, so it's worth asking her for your next version ;o) Also, how cute is Lucille!?! Hope she's all better now!

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  3. Awwww, barfy dog, been there. I like this version of the dress more than the pattern. Also, as much as I love crisp stuff, the droopy pockets are really working for me. Love the boot/sock combination with it, too!

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  4. Great garment, and great photos. I'm always so impressed that it seems like you just stop at a random spot on the sidewalk and brave photos. I like to go outdoors, but I also like to find hidden spots where no one will see me! Anyway, I do hope you find time to make many more of these. They really do have Sallie written all over them!

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  5. You look stunning and modelesque as always! Lekala has had a pattern very similar to this for a while and I've been dreaming of making it as a fall/spring comfy-like-pj's-but-more-put-together outfit. I would imagine it would work just fine in ponte, but ponte is mostly poly (or at least the kinds I've found), so they feel polyestery and tend to pill relatively quickly. I'd probably stick with more of this stuff--I'll bet mood has it other colors if you call them. Or they will soon if there's some demand. :-)

    Hope your doggie feels better soon! It's not fun when our furry kids are sick. :-(

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  6. The back of this dress is super hot! Gorgeous!

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  7. I'm glad you've got a cute wool dress to keep you warm! What cool design lines. And I love that you and your pup look like you're color-coordinated! Safe travels and happy holidays.

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  8. Lovely work. I've made three Saiphs so far, it's such a great little pattern for this time of year (one is a Christmas gift for my mum!). Thanks for the tip on interfacing around hems on knits too, I'm going to try that as I do still get the odd waviness.


    I like ponte a lot, it's not exactly super snuggly but as a stable knit it's very easy to sew and care for/wear. I made my mum's Saiph in a ponte and it worked great. It's also good in a woven... I'll be blogging my first one tomorrow :)

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  9. Very cute, I like your adjustment on length and the tip on sleeve head adjustment for knit - never thought of that! Three papercut patterns have just arrived in my mailbox (although not that one - athough I did um and aah about that one for a long while!)

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  10. Ooh I've got this pattern and you've just made me want to make it up. It looks so great on you. I have some ponte that I was thinking of giving a run so am interested to find out about it too.

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  11. adorable! and totally the kind of dress i want to wear these days, so i might steal your idea, and make something similar (if i ever find the time for that, i'm workind on way too many stuff these days)

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  12. Ooh I thought of you when I bought this dress! I thought it seemed like your style! I can't wait to see your version!

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  13. Thanks for the ponte tips! And yeah, Anytime I can interface the hems on knits I do. It doesn't work if you really need that hem to stretch, like on a fitted t-shirt or something, but on something like this - and even the sleeves - it does wonders to help get rid of some of the wavy-ness. Just make sure you use a fusible with a bit of stretch, and cut the stretch going in the same direction as the hem (so horizontally and not vertical) so there is some give. I just cut an inch strip and fuse it to the wrong side, serge the raw edge and then fold over and double-needle topstitch.

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  14. This dress is just so my style, looks so adorable with your boots and socks! It will be very cozy with tights and maybe a sweater when the cold weather comes back, funny thing, I almost moved to Galveston, I visited a few years ago.. it is such a unique place. Have a wonderful holiday too! Hope the puppy is feeling better.

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  15. I realised I have a Pavlovian reaction to seeing your little suntanned face that goes something like WHEEEEEE SALLIEEEEE PRETTYYYYYYY. Makes my mornings when I see one of your posts. Ahem. Embarrassing girl love business aside, this is basically the same thing I want to wear every day. I don't know what it is about winter, but I basically only wear short tunics/dresses and tights. LIke, every day. And because I haven't actually, you know, MADE ANY this year, everything looks ratty and gross (also only want to wear black so I wear the same old H&M high/low black top and leggings twice a week. I need a staycation where I can just pump out like 5 of these). This little wool mini looks just made for overeating and couch cuddling. You and Lladybird are really making me want to bulk order yards and yards of wool knits..... And merry christmas my darling! Hope you and Mr. Nick have a great holiday!

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  16. Ooooh, I love this, especially the way you've styled it with boots and high socks! So cute! It's so swingy and fun! Your doggie is so sweet-- what a face!

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  17. This looks incredibly chic on you - and you know... for those of us in cold climates, when the weather turns gears, my personal rule is - ADD TIGHTS! LOL. Lots of my warmer weather clothes get re-worked in winter with the addition of tights and maybe a hoodie or cardi :) Your sweet dress and little boots have a very cool 60's vibe to them with bare legs but add wooly tights and a red scarf and you'd be all cosy and chic for cooler days too ;) Lucille is adorable - If i saw you taking photos with her I'd probably ask if i could hug her haha.

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  18. Very cute dress! I'm sure you'll get a ton of wear out of it :) your doggie looks really cute too! I just got the Rigel bomber pattern from my sis for xmas, so my sewing wish list is already a lot smaller! She did ask me to make one for her as well, but I'm super happy too :)

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  19. Love this. You look awesome. Have a safe trip.

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  20. You are just my favorite. That is all.

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  21. All I have to say is, get ready for the cold! Philly harm a rather warm fall, but a couple of weeks ago, bam, winter hit. We've had four snow falls in one week and almost every morning has had snow showers. I'm I'm upset that once again, we miss each other. I'll be home in Florida next week.


    This dress is awesome. I knew you were a smart gal, but it was reaffirmed when you anticipate the sleeve cap needing less ease due to the fabric being knit.


    Have a great (and safe) trip, Sallie!

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  22. This is such a gorgeous make!! I'm loving all the latest Papercut patterns, before now, not so much but this collection I bought 3 patterns!!


    I myself run hot not cold. I read up a little on Ayurvedia and I'm supposed to eat cucumber, lettuce and cool producing foods and I'm to stay away from heat producing foods like chilli, ginger, peppers, tomato, aubergine, potato etc. Which i guess means you should be eating that stuff.


    Very merry Christmas season to you and yours lovely lady !x

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  23. Ooh I love Ayurvedic remedies!! It's funny because during the summer I usually have to stay away from the heat producing things because I'm prone to weird heat rashes and skin flare-ups, but maybe in the winter I should up the heat producing foods...? That's not really a punishment, I LOVE spicy food!!


    And I can't wait to see your Papercut makes! It really is a pretty cool collection of patterns.

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  24. beautiful, sallie! there is nothing i don't love about the choices you made on this pattern. have a great holiday!

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  25. Wow, this is so gorgeous!!

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  26. Oh, your dress is super cute! Perfect length and it looks really classy in black, I just love it! The waitress pockets remind me of that Rachel Comey Vogue pattern that was so popular last year.
    And I'm like you, and really feel the cold. Wishing you safe travels and a very happy Christmas!

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  27. I love this dress! It looks really comfy and chic and sexy all at once. Is that possible? I guess so! And I love Lucille!!

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