Two Grainline Willow Tanks

Grainline Willow Tank
A double feature for today! Two versions of the Grainline Willow Tank. Perfect for scraps or short yardages!

I love all the Grainline patterns I’ve tried. I’m surprised it took me this long to make this pattern.Grainline Willow Tank

I had enough leftover cotton from my Grainline Farrow dress to whip out my first Willow.

Grainline Willow Tank

It’s a super simple pattern. Only two pieces plus bias for facings. I like the extra deep hem which helps give the bottom of the shirt some structure.

Grainline Willow Tank

For this first shirt, I tried a size 6 but decided the fit was just a wee bit too big. The dart points are also a little low.

Grainline Willow Tank and Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

So for my second version, I made a size 4. Better. The dart points are still slightly too low but they’re not terrible. When I make this a third time I’ll probably just rotate the points slightly higher.

Grainline Willow Tank

This version used a Japanese cotton also from The Cloth Pocket.

Grainline Willow Tank

AND (!!!) I used leftover suede from my A-Frame skirt to make bias binding for the neck and armholes! It’s an effect that’s better felt in person than in pictures but I love the added texture and sheen of the suede against the palm print.

Grainline Willow Tank

I’m teaching a class at The Cloth Pocket for this pattern if you want to learn to make it yourself (or just want to spend some social sewing time with me and a few new friends)!

Blueprints A-Frame v2.0

Grainline Willow Tank and Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

This is my second version of the BluePrints for Sewing A-Frame skirt. This fabric is black so it may be hard to see the seam lines. You can click on the images to zoom in.

I’ve now taught this pattern as a class a few times and I’m always impressed at how well it fits everyone who has made it. It helps that the pattern includes fitting instructions.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

For this skirt, I again made the pencil skirt version, this time in a faux suede. It’s been several years since I’ve sewn faux suede but this fabric from The Cloth Pocket washes very well and was easy to work with. It’s obviously thinner than the corduroy that I used last time so it tends to wrinkle and show lines where I tuck my shirt into it. Gotta work on that.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I was concerned that this fabric was a little thin for this project and bounced around the idea of interlining it with something stronger. I’m glad I didn’t do that to the body of the skirt because I liked the result but I should have used a thicker interfacing in the waistband. It has a tendency to roll over time. Not sure if I want to take the waistband off and re-stabilize it. Not sure if that’s even possible now that I’ve already added the buttonhole in back.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I lined the pockets with the same scraps as my last A-Frame because I had enough fabric left and that fabric is so finely woven and thin I knew it wouldn’t add bulk.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I still love that lapped zipper in the back. It’s a nice touch you don’t often find in modern clothing.

I hand hemmed the skirt but with this suede, you can still kind of see the line of stitching. It’s less noticeable without the camera flash.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I sewed the same size as my first A-Frame and it fits well everywhere… except that darn waistband. It’s just a little too snug. Just goes to show that two different fabrics will not behave the same way with the same pattern.

Ok, I think I’ve now convinced myself that I need to replace that darn waistband…

Star Wars’ Rey Cosplay

Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Happy Halloween!! This year I stayed home to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters (and maybe eat all some of the candy myself) but I wore my new Rey costume from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

star-wars-the-force-awakens

This cosplay isn’t screen accurate – for one, the color was hard to get right. In some stills from the film, Rey’s outfit looks more gray than beige. And obviously many of my details aren’t the same as the movie’s (like the boots) but it’s good enough for wearing to a convention or Halloween party.

A photo posted by Dixie (@dixiediy) on

Let’s break down the costume…

Shirt

I started by adapting the bodice pieces of a t-shirt pattern and extended the shoulder line to create simple “cap” sleeves. I bound the neckline with the same cotton rib knit as the shirt and tea dyed the whole thing with some English breakfast.

Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Pants

Rey’s pants in the movie are made from raw silk. Mine are a tea dyed linen/cotton blend. I lengthened the leg pieces on a generic, elastic-waist PJ shorts pattern and added cuffs on the legs.

Body Wrap

If you’ve ever been to Joann Fabrics you’ve probably seen this textured cotton gauze. I bought like, 7 yards of it in beige, split it lengthwise down the middle, and gathered it at the shoulders. The texture of the fabric naturally makes it look gathered at the waist and the belt holds it in place. Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Belt

The belt is a long, plain belt base from Tandy Leather wrapped twice and tied on one side. I used strips of leather scraps from a “scrap bag” (also from Tandy) to hide where the belt ends meet.

Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Wrist Band

I didn’t have a leather piece long enough to make the wrist band so I had to stitch leather scraps together in sections.  This isn’t actually the way the wrist band is supposed to wrap around my arm but I must have cut it too small to fit with the arm wraps underneath. I basically reversed engineered the thing based on photos but this McCall’s pattern does the same thing. Too bad that pattern was released after I made most of my costume.

Bag

The bag was self drafted based on images of Rey’s bag. It’s made from cotton duck, nylon “belting”, and some rectangle rings. After wearing it to the Con I decided to add velcro to keep the top from flapping open.

Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Boots

Just some brown fake Ugg boots. If you want the real deal – Rey’s boots in the movie are made by PoZu.

Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Arm Wraps

These were the most difficult thing to get right. At first, I used tea dyed muslin strips about 3in wide wrapped around my arm and tied a the wrist and bicep. But those things wouldn’t stay up and they’d spread apart at the elbow. I was constantly adjusting them.

Version two is made with individual strips of tea dyed leftovers from the shirt which were sewn to a center seam. Then those strips were sewn to each other. This version stays up better but I don’t like the visible stitching…

Staff

This was the big prop of the outfit. It consists of 3D printed pieces slipped onto a wooden dowel rod, wrapped in black paracord and tea dyed muslin scraps. The strap uses some cotton twill with bronze clips connected to a little bit of leather scrap with bronze snaps.

A photo posted by Dixie (@dixiediy) on

My staff is only 4 ft long while the movie version is about 6. This is on purpose; I didn’t want to be accidentally whacking anyone with a stick as I walked around a convention floor.

I’ve gotten plenty of wear out of this costume so far. I wore it to Austin’s ComicCon in September and I wore it to three Halloween events as well.

A photo posted by Dixie (@dixiediy) on

If you wanted to do this project the easy way – use McCall’s 7421 for the pants, shirt, wrist band, belt and arm wraps. And just use a really long piece of cotton gauze for the body wrap with gathered shoulders (this pattern’s version isn’t the same as in the movie). If you want to know any more details about the costume feel free to leave a comment!

Star Wars Rey Cosplay

Vintage 70s Skirt – Simplicity 8019

Simplicity 8019

I’ve seen these little button-down, a-line, mini skirts all over the place lately so when I saw Simplicity 8019, a 1970s re-print skirt pattern in four lengths, I bought it to make my own version.

This skirt is a bit of a wearable muslin, I don’t love the fit but it’s good enough for now.

Simplicity 8019

I used a black cotton velvetteen from a now defunct local store paired with some matte black buttons from Joann.

One note about the pattern – I cut the shortest view, which on the pattern drawing comes above the knee, like I wanted, but the pattern pieces easily came to my knee (plus a 2″ deep hem). I shortened the skirt by about 3″ and sewed a narrower hem.

Simplicity 8019

The fit isn’t terrible. Originally the skirt pieces were too big in the waist but with so many vertical seams that problem was easy to fix. But when I went to attach the waistband it was too small. I made it work but I wonder if I made an error in cutting the waistband? Maybe I cut the wrong size or the pattern paper got folded while cutting? In the end, that made the waistband a little small.

Simplicity 8019

Also my attempt at quickly fixing a sway back issue resulted in some pulling at the center back waist that I don’t like. Next time I’ll pay better attention to my adjustment process.

Simplicity 8019

The only other aspect I don’t love is due to fabric. This velveteen has so much body and combined with the a-shaped skirt panels the skirt swings out at the hem, particularly in the back. It’s only noticeable at certain angles and I’m hoping in a different fabric the skirt will lay better. If not, I’ll use those handy vertical seams to take some bulk out at the side bottom of the back panels.

Simplicity 8019

I guess I’m just disappointed because this was such a simple pattern that I expected it to work easily and not require much alteration. Oh, well. They can’t all be winners and I have worn this skirt several times so I guess that counts as a success.

I have this pattern cut out of some demin ready to be assembled and hopefully I can remedy the fit issues this time.