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Cheetah Moneta

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I imagine that the post title rhymes. If it doesn't, please don't tell me, it makes me happy.

I made the Moneta dress from Colette Patterns! I've been planning to make this dress since the day the pattern came out. I'm really pleased with the final product, although the sizing was a bit off. I recommend measuring the actual pattern pieces to get the finished garment size, then factoring in the stretch of your fabric. I made the pattern according to the size chart and I had to do a lot of surgery on my dress to bring it down to a wearable size. 

I took it up in the waistline by adding a seam about an inch and a half above the point where the gathered skirt meets the bodice, where I took out about two inches of length. I then took the dress in about three inches on either side seam.  

My next version will fit better, but it can't possibly have a cuter fabric. This orange is my favourite colour ever, and cheetah print can only improve a good thing. It's from Girl Charlee, where the selection is amazing and all my money awaits spending.

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This is me being happy about orange, pockets, and owning matching skull-themed shoes and belt.

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Vintage Bedsheet Sundress

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Vintage Bedsheet Sundress

I've been sewing faster than I can photograph my finished projects lately, but here's one to show you!

I made this dress from a thrift store flat sheet. It was a 50/50 cotton/poly blend double sheet, and I easily got this dress out of it, as well as a twirly little skirt for my kid. We can be matchy matchy now, if we care to (we don't). All that for $7! While we're at it, the cardi is from Modcloth, the belt is from Asos, and the shoes are from Target.

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I deviated so far from the original pattern that it's hardly worth mentioning, but it's the BurdaStyle Shakira dress. I added 48” at the bottom hem, tapering to a high waist, and cut the neckline to a wide V, removing the button placket. The dress isn't cut to be closely fitted, so it looks like a nighty until I pop a belt on it. Suddenly - bam. 50's themed garden party, here I come. 

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Can we just talk about how well the colours match the cardi and shoes? Happy sigh with me: aaahhhhh. (It also matches my purse, but I didn't want to overwhelm you with all that perfection)

Also, in the spirit of fashion, bravery, and body acceptance, I took pictures without a cardi. To post on the internet. You know what? People who will judge me for being fat will do so even with the sweater, but they will miss out on that pretty neckline if I cover it up. Also summer is hot. Yuck.

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I never knew I would love wearing a bed sheet this much. Now to find a 50’s themed garden party...

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I'm Even Sewing For The Dog Now

You know, this blog is looking more and more like a sewing blog and less like the yarn-appreciation site it is meant to be. The sewing projects move quickly and get photographed and make my bloggy life easy. I promise there will be yarny goodness soon. Until then (SURPRISE!) more sewing.

I think good crafting ideas absoltely must be shared. Not necessarily ideas so good you could patent them and have yarn money for life, but all the little things we think of that might make someone else's handmaking easier or better. I had one such idea. 

A little backstory...

I have this dog, you see. Loki by name, pain-in-the-ass by game.

This is Loki and his sister as puppies (left). I thought you'd like to see something cute. You're welcome.

This is Loki and his sister as puppies (left). I thought you'd like to see something cute. You're welcome.

His favourite napping spot under the sideboard didn't look particuarly cozy, so I decided to get him a bed. I searched tirelessly, dear readers, for the right dog bed. It needed to fit my budget and fit my small to medium sized dog. It couldn't have stupid paw-print or fire hydrant upholstery. It absolutely was not allowed to look like a tiny couch or armchair. It had to be flat because he sleeps all stretched out. Above all, it had to be washable. Of course, it didn't exist.

How could something so simple not exist?

How could something so simple not exist?

Luckily, I remembered that I am a fair-to-good seamstress, and that I had the perfect fabric. What could I stuff it with that would have lots of volume but could easily be washed? Most stuffings get lumpy and awful if you machine wash them. And then it happened. The Idea. What is soft, cushy, completely washable, and can be easily found at a thrift store? A bed comforter! How had I never thought of this before? $14 later, I had a good sized, quality comforter that had already successfully been washed many times. I folded it into a Loki sized square, took some measurements, cut two pieces of fabric of the same size, and sewed a giant zippered pouch. If I hadn't had a perfectly sized zipper handy I could have put buttons or ties on the open end. It's essentially a giant pillowcase. In went the comforter, on went the dog, and voila! Canine coziness! Even better, he can ooze any kind of liquid he likes on it and I can just pop it apart and wash it.

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If you want to make a comforter-stuffed dog bed of your own, I have a few tips for you. 

1. Use a washable decor-weight fabric. I used a cute striped denim from Ikea. I had originally bought it to make a dress, before the early 90's called wanting their tacky denim jumpers back and I thought better of it. Ikea's decor fabrics are fantastically priced and a delight to work with.

2. Once you've sewn the pouch and turned it right side out, topstich around the three closed sides, and on either side of the zipper. It will add strength to your seams and make the whole thing look more professional. 

3. If you're buying a thrifted comforter, choose one you wouldn't mind using as a blanket, because it's always good to have a second use for the things you buy. Choose one with a cottony looking outer fabric (for washablility) and lots of loft. Shake it out outside before bringing it in and wash and dry it on hot right away. You may not live in a city infested with bedbugs and fleas, but I do, and it's worth a litte extra care.

4. If you want to de-stink your dog a bit, throw a lavender sachet in with the comforter, or put a few drops of essential oil in the centre of the folded blanket. Of course, make sure that your dog won't be harmed by your chosen scent, and that he isn't repulsed by it. Go easy on the scent, as his nose is way better than yours, and it's his bed.

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There you have it folks! My not-genius-but-still-useful idea is yours to play with. Enjoy!

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More Sewing - The "90's Floral Meets Mad Men" Dress

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More Sewing - The "90's Floral Meets Mad Men" Dress

I've finished sewing a second garment! This dress is heavily modified from the BurdaStyle Shakira Dress (which I have made before) and was well worth the multitude of alterations. I changed the style considerably by shortening the sleeves, completely changing the neckline, adding facings, changing the fit, and replacing the back zipper with a keyhole and button closure. Basically I really need to get my hands on a basic sloper pattern that fits me so I can just draft my own patterns.

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I really like the slightly 60's vibe it has in the wide neck, slightly puffed sleeves, curvy shape, and above-knee hem. However I mostly like the fabric, which fits beautifully with all the dark 90’s florals I've been seeing lately by actually being a dark floral print my mum picked up in the early 90‘s. 

Wind and angles make things look more flared than they are, yo. Looks cute though!

Wind and angles make things look more flared than they are, yo. Looks cute though!

The neckline miraculously and almost perfectly matches that of my Floating Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. This is mostly great because I never know what to wear that sweater with - now I have at least one option. The colours work impeccably too!

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I'm pleased with the fit in this dress - I made about a hundred alterations (I don't make muslins, I just alter everything as I put it together. I am a terrible person) and I think they were worth it. My fitting goal isn't to hide "imperfections" so much as to emphasize things I think are awesome, and I'm happy with this attempt.

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My only irritation is that I have a mole that is perfectly framed by the back cutout. It's like I'm trying to show it off. Not the case, I'm afraid. But isn't my haircut fun? The undercut makes me feel like a punk princess. And yes, I am trying to show that off. 

I'll be back soon with more pretty things!  

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And Sew it Goes

I've been sewing my little heart out lately, although you'd never know it from the few things I've produced. I'm a little out of practice it seems, and I've had to unpick an unholy number of stitches. However, the first successful finished garment of the year is one I am very happy with.

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The pattern, Plus Size Printed Tunic from Burda (which I have made twice before), is nothing to write home about. In fact, I think the pattern as drafted, with oodles of ease, long full sleeves, and a round neck with a centre front slit opening, would make me look like a granny in her nightdress. This would be ok if I was a granny and it was a nightdress, but I'm a few years out on that one. I lopped off the sleeves, changed the neckline to a low V, and added darts at the back neck and at the front from the sleeve. I also inserted some rather fetching ruching at lowest point of the neckline after the above picture was taken.

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I am trying to play a bit with this year's spring/summer trends in my sewing (while keeping my personal style in mind) so I opted for both a nautical look (with bonus stripes!) and some colour blocking. Isn't the bodice fabric precious? Altogether, I absolutely love this top. The fit is really good, especially with the ruching, and the cut and pleats allow the skirt portion to skim over my unruly midsection with ease. Pardon my expression in the outfit photo, I was running late and all the pictures Jake took showcase variations on my "I know I asked you to do this but please hurry the fuck up" face.

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I feel a bit like a nautical version of Wonder Woman in this top. Needless to say, that is awesome. Do you think Nautical Wonder Woman captains an invisible boat? Man I sure hope so.

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