Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic
Tag Archives: geek
May 25, 2014Posted by on
And Happy Geek Pride Day!
Today I’m spending the afternoon working at the little local fabric store and wearing my newly made Star Trek comic print skirt.
I didn’t use a pattern for my skirt. It’s just a basic petticoat-style skirt with an elastic waistband, which I made with rectangles of fabric. (More details in a minute.)
I still have plans to remake a better fitting knit Dandelion top a la TOS style, but I haven’t gotten to that point in my sewing queue.
So I’m just wearing an old store-bought polo I’ve had in my closet for years with my new skirt. The polo’s a bit too long for the skirt, but it’ll do for now.
I’ve had this fabric for months knowing I wanted a geeky skirt out of it. I was even able to print-match across the seams without losing too many inches!
Here’s a simplified how-to diagram to explain making the elastic-waistband skirt (detailed instructions following):
Mine finished about 19½-inches long (knee-length worn a couple inches below waist) using the following measurements & steps:
- Cut one 6½-inch tall strip for yoke and three 17-inch tall strips all the width of fabric (mine was 44 inches wide).
- Sew shorter yoke strip together for center back seam, creating a loop with the fabric.
- Sew three longer strips together end-to-end (match print if desired and able), creating a loop about 3-times the diameter of the yoke.
- Hem longer loop with a double-fold – ⅜-inch fold then another ⅜-inch.
- Fold top of yoke down ¼-inch then another 1¾-inch for 1½ -inch elastic casing. Stitch down leaving opening at center back for elastic.
- Mark the four quarter points of each loop of fabric on unfinished edges (top of larger and bottom of smaller yoke loop).
- Gather larger loop and attach to yoke bottom edge with ½-inch seam allowance, matching 4 previously marked points.
- Insert elastic cut at comfortable length to fit just below waist. Overlap and stitch ends of elastic and stitch casing closed. Evenly distribute fullness around waistband.
- Stitch in the ditch through elastic at center back and through the elastic in 2 or 3 other places on the waistband to hold it in place.
Here are a couple of sewing tricks I like to use:
This skirt works really well with a petticoat underneath so I pulled out my ‘50s style petticoat (it’s an XL kid’s size so it’s shorter than the period appropriate length).
My husband hates the petticoat look but I love it!
It required spinning.
We will see how many fabric store customers notice my geekiness at work today or even know what today is. By the way, I always keep a towel in my car – but my dog gets more use out of it than I do.
Speaking of the dog, you might be wondering “where’s Wensley?” because he usually likes to photo bomb. Believe me, he tried but there was a door in his way this time:
And I leave you with this silly picture, because I still like the skirt best with the petticoat underneath:
One to beam out. So long, and thanks for all the fish!
October 17, 2013Posted by on
I finished building a Wonder Woman cape!
As much as I wanted to keep it, I didn’t make it for myself (which is why it’s so short on me). I made it for a special little girl named AnnaMay.
I first heard about AnnaMay on Jen’s EPBOT blog and was inspired to help make her geeky dreams come true – she wanted to be Wonder Woman for Halloween. (Thanks, Jen, for being the instigator and letting me be a part of the fun!)
I was given the task of building the cape and the boots (both of which will have their own posts about how I made them later) while someone else made the top & skirt, and Jen
made bought the accessories (original plan was her making them).
Before I mailed it off to its intended owner, I had fun wearing the cape for some blog photos taken by my mom (Thanks, Mom!). I think we should all wear capes – just because!
I was trying to get a good shot of the back as I spun for the camera, but there was such a shutter delay, my mom and I had trouble timing it. We kept getting the same angle over and over!
So I kept spinning. And spinning. And I got really dizzy. Which gave me the giggles. Which made the whole thing just spiral into silliness.
I don’t think I’ve been that dizzy since grade school when I would turn in circles until I collapsed to watch the ceiling keep turning above me.
There are two ways to tie a cape.
One way is the standard bow in front:
The other is a way to avoid the bow riding up to choke the wearer by wrapping the ties over the shoulders & under the arms (like a backpack) and tying it behind the wearer’s back but under the cape:
It makes me happy that AnnaMay will never outgrow her cape, which is part of the reason I spent so much time on the details.
She will be wearing it tonight at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I can’t wait to see (and share) pictures!
(UPDATE: See pictures of AnnaMay in this post!)
Enjoy your cape, AnnaMay! I hope you proudly wear it to shreds! I certainly had fun test-driving it! =)
* “No capes!” (on YouTube)
September 10, 2013Posted by on
(Warning: Major geekery ahead.)
Personal log, Stardate: 67158.4
Captain Mari Miller of the USS Disparate Disciplines contacted me via subspace with a request to test another one of her new sewing patterns. (See my last test for her Avocado Hoodie in this post.)
I’m honored for my blog to be the last stop in her Blog Hop for the Dandelion Dress & Top.
The previous stops have been as follows:
- Rhonda of Rhonda’s Creative Life
- Wanett of Sown Brooklyn
- Winnie of Scruffy Badger Time
- Velosewer of How Good is That?
- Lizzie of Sew Busy Lizzie
- Joyatee of Joy and Smiles
- Lisa of Idle Hands- the Ms-Fits’ Workshop
I started with a mockup of the sweetheart neckline top to check the basic fit. I’m pretty close to being an exact size 0 according to the pattern’s measurement chart, so I cut everything at that size.
The main alteration I needed to make was dropping the underarm seam just a bit because it felt a little high to me. (I’m picky about my armseye fit, and I will avoid wearing something if I feel like it gives me an underarm wedgey.)
The unusual style lines make this pattern perfect for color blocking, and I wanted to make sure I showed them off.
I decided to make two versions – a solid color sweetheart top (B2) and a color-blocked sweetheart dress (B1).
The pattern recommends using a woven fabric (aka non-stretch) but I wanted to see how it would work with a thicker t-shirt fabric (I was hoping the darts would fit me a bit better in something with some stretch), so I cut up a men’s 4X tee.
I eliminated the pattern’s center back seam and cut the back on a fold since the fabric had stretch. I also added a few inches to the length of the top.
The end result was a TOS inspired shirt with a black rib-knit edged neck. Unfortunately, the darts were still too pointy and not quite right on me.
Then I made the dress – TNG style, because Leila inspired me with her skant from a few months ago.
I made my dress out of a drapey polyester suiting fabric that came in both red and black. (Yes, I know, expendable crewman. I’ll just avoid any away missions while wearing it.)
I stitched the triangular side panels in as I do when sewing inset points and completely left out the darts.
After everything was assembled, I discovered that I needed to alter the back neck a little because it was gapping. (One of the disadvantages of fitting yourself – it’s hard to catch those back issues in the first mockup or two when you can’t really see your back!) So I reshaped the seam connecting to the back sleeve.
I fussed and tweaked for a long time with the front bust. Ultimately, I decided I needed the tiniest of darts, and put one in that was less than half the width printed on the pattern. (I could probably eliminate them altogether if I messed with the pattern some more.)
I had fun taking photos in my new Dandelion skant. And now I actually have a Halloween costume this year because of my Star Trek inspired dress!
I kind of want to make this dress in a less geeky color-blocked version, but I haven’t found the right fabrics yet. (I’m thinking bright green & grey, or orange & grey.)
To show that it can be styled a little less Trek-like, I paired it with some pointed pumps and a necklace. Behold the power of photo editing software (even in my amateur hands):
In conclusion, I think the silhouette and style lines of this pattern are wonderfully interesting, and once the fit is perfected, it’s magic. Both the dress and the top are super comfortable.
I enjoyed sewing this because the pieces were so different from normal. The instructions were easy to follow and because of its unusual construction, I would be sewing along, and suddenly, I would be finished! It was sort of strange not being able to anticipate the end.
The only real difficulty lies in the fact that it can’t be altered in the standard simple ways if it doesn’t fit exactly right – there is no side-seam to take in, etc.
Everyone who wants a fun and different construction challenge should definitely give this pattern a try!
Buy your own copy – here’s the link!
And make it so sew!
=/\= Personal log, supplemental: My husband loves my new light-duty uniform and says I could pass for a secretary on a starbase.