Two Plantain Shirts (plus bonus adorable cat)

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This post has an extra special appearance from Betsy – my relative’s adorable fluffy Persian kitty. I can’t tell if she’s annoyed with me holding her because her face always looks like that. Either way, she’s super nice. My cat, Peanut, would never let me hold her like this.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Both of the knits for these two shirts are from LAFinchFabrics.com.

Deer & Doe Plantain ShirtI bought them for other projects which have been cut out but not yet sewn. Luckily I had enough left to make a couple Plantains – the free shirt pattern from Deer and Doe.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This shirt is made with a lightweight but pretty stable cotton poly blend jersey with a very slight, barely noticeable burnout. Best of all it was THREE DOLLARS for two yards! Let me repeat that – THREE WHOLE AMERICAN DOLLARS (plus shipping obvs)!!!!!

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough leftover fabric for the back but I had just enough of some scrap black rayon jersey that was nearly the same weight. I also used that black to cut out the elbow patches.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

I didn’t make any fit changes other than grading between sizes from the waist to hips. I like the way the shirt flares at the hem – good for a pear shape like me.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Onward to Plaintain Part Deux:

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

This one used a denim (it’s a heather-ish blue on the outside, white on the underside) french terry that is super lightweight and drapey. It’s like it was made for this pattern. Too bad it’s now sold out.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

My serger is on the fritz right now so I sewed both of these with a zig zag on my regular machine and used a twin needle on the hems and collar.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

One thing I loved about this pattern is the neckline. I like the wide round shape and the collars on both shirts sit nice and flat. I know every knit is different and there’s no way of knowing if a pattern’s collar piece is going to be too long, too short, or just right. It’s often trial and error, but for both shirts the length was perfect. Like, it’s the Goldilocks collar!

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Sometimes you need a quick sewing project to get your sewjo back. I hadn’t made the Plantain before but both of these shirts came together in only a few hours.

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Well, that’s it for today but because you deserve it – here’s another cute cat picture. Betsy says “Happy Sewing!!”

Deer & Doe Plantain Shirt

Cat Print Grainline Alder Dress

Cat Print Alder Dress

I don’t know why it took me so long to make this pattern – it’s a fantastic pattern, as I would expect from Grainline. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t often wear sleeveless tops/dresses? Although, this dress may be the one that breaks that habit.

Cat Print Alder Dress

This’ll be a short and sweet post. Not much to say about this dress other than praise. It’s not very fitted at the waist so I like the scooped side hem. The shorter length in the front and sides helps balance out the looseness, I think.


Cat Print Alder Dress

Cat Print Alder Dress

The pattern is Grainline’s Alder dress and I made no significant changes to fit or design other than slightly adjusting the pocket placement.

Cat Print Alder Dress

Jen at Grainline is a genius when it comes to armholes – she drafts them perfect every time. No gaping, no pulling, not too low or too high. And the armscye works for everyone – even if you need to do an FBA/SBA on her patterns, you don’t have to mess with those armholes. It’s like the Goldilocks armhole.

Cat Print Alder Dress

This cute print is from Stitch Lab here in Austin. It’s a quilting cotton but it works well for this pattern. The little round kitties on this print are so much fun – it’s like wearing Neko Atsume on your body.

The simple plastic buttons are from my stash.

Cat Print Alder Dress

I always get compliments on it when I wear it because of the print. People love cats!

Game of Thrones: Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

This whole costume turned out much better than I anticipated so be ready for an abundance of photos in this post. If you want to see more pics, check out my Flickr album.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

I also promise to keep this post as spoiler free as possible.

margaerydress

So, why Game of Thrones? Why Margaery? Well, the costumes on that show are fantastic. And GoT has no shortage of fabulous lady characters of all types but I like Margaery’s character for several reasons. As a young queen she’s clever and ambitious. Tenacious, self-serving but at times truly kind. She’s loyal to her family but is always looking out for #1. She knows how to play the game and she does it with flair.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

And she is played superbly by the lovely Natalie Dormer whom I first watched on The Tudors many years ago (her signature smirk is difficult to mimic, I tried my best).

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

But in the end, I thought I could figure out how to design one of her iconic costumes without needing to use a pattern.

Let’s talk about the dress. After assessing pictures of the real costume, I used the highly accurate method of “Let’s See if This Works” to design my version.  I did a combo of flat pattern manipulation, draping, and excessive pinning until I got a bodice shape that worked.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

From the production stills, it looks like a wrap front gown with skirt gores. So I designed a cross-over front with hooks and eyes for closure.

As for the skirt, I measured my waist, divided it by six, added seam allowances and cut 7 gores (one for overlapping in the front) that widened at the hem. I lined the skirt and the bodice with white muslin.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

The shoulder bits wrap over from front and attach at the back sides. There’s actually a trapezoidal shaped piece under the neck connecting the two shoulder pieces in the real version but for mine, I decided to simply make the shoulder parts wider to meet in the middle.

The main bodice fabric is some poly brocade from Joann, a lucky find as I struggled for months to find a suitable design with the correct colors. The only problem – it frays and snags easily.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

The shoulders are a stretch velvet, also from Joann, stiffened with some deco-bond-like Pellon interfacing for handbags, and are attached by hand tack stitches in a few spots along the bodice.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

The skirt used voile from Fabric Wholesale Direct. It was cheap, wide, and the perfect color.

I lined the skirt and the bodice with white muslin.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

What to do with my hair kept me from taking photos for so long. I hate wigs, usually, but I had to admit, my natural hair wasn’t going to cut it. So I bought Arda Wigs’ Grace Classic in Light Brown. I still don’t enjoy having an itchy, sweaty scalp but for less than $40 it was the perfect hair for this costume and I’m glad used it.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

Finally, the belt. Margaery hails from Highgarden so flowers play a major part in her costume motif. Her house motto is “Growing Strong.” I purchased my resin rose belt from this Etsy seller (highly recommended, but it looks like she’s no longer making it. You could always send her a message and ask). The belt is attached with skinny ties on either side sewn into the waist seam.

Margaery Tyrell Cosplay

I’ll try wearing this cosplay to the local Comic Con in the fall. I had better wear it while I can, the final season of the show comes out next year!

Patterns for Pirates – Peg Leg Leggings

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

EVEN. MORE. ACTIVEWEAR. SEWING.

Yep, I’m on a roll and perhaps even a little obsessed. Most of my sewing the past couple months has been geared toward some type of sports, exercise or outdoorsy-ness. Sorry, not sorry.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

This is my first Patterns for Pirates make and it’s pretty successful. These are the Peg Legs – a simple leggings pattern with no side seams (yay!) and no waistband elastic (double yay!).

The fabric is again from Rockywoods.com (gotta maximize that shipping!). It’s a fancy UnderArmor HeatGear poly/elastane knit with SPF 50+ and wicking ability and all that cool stuff.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

I made a size medium, capri length but this fabric is so stretchy the legs could easily stretch to my ankles.

 

My only struggle with this pattern wasn’t with the design itself but the assembly. P4P uses “no trim” printing pages. You just line up the edges. At first I thought this was cool, no cutting! But my printer doesn’t print less than ~3/4″ from the edge in any direction. That means lots of edges got cut off including most of the page numbers.

p4p_wtf

For example – is this a B or a D? I’m pretty sure it’s a 4?? Who knows!? In the top corners, printed numbers 1, 4 and 7 get so truncated that I can’t tell them apart. A page number printed in the center of the page (like a watermark) would have helped. There wasn’t even a full page layout image included in the instructions to which I could compare my printed sheets!! Ugh, that annoyed me.

Luckily there weren’t many sheets as this pattern is only one piece (you cut the legs shorter for the four length options and the waistband is just a rectangle you cut out separately) and the pattern tells you not to print a couple pages if you’re below a certain size.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

If I were to make these again I would even out the rise between the front and the back. The back waist is a little high for me and the front waist is a little low.

Since these leggings have no pockets for keys they’ll probably be relegated to yoga/exercise rather than running.

Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs

These were a fun pair to whip together in an afternoon – few pieces and even fewer seams! But they’re a little plain. Next time I want to try the Sewaholic Pacific Leggings as they have more decorative seaming and a back zip pocket at the waistband, better for running.