Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Stashbusting Olive My Knits Dress

Apologies for briefly turning into ModCloth -- what with the Put a Bow on It! top and now a ridiculous homophonic pun (also called a polyptoton) -- but I really couldn't resist. 

After getting back to TCOCC a couple weeks ago, I had to do some major cleaning in my sewing room. Since we had subletters at our apartment over the summer, I kind of just threw everything into the sewing room for storage. Well, while I was tidying up and re-inventorying my stash (I'd kind of forgotten what I had while I was away), I was slightly horrified at how many knits I had from two years ago -- before I started blogging, and before I really even got serious about sewing, in fact. Back then, I didn't know anything about natural fibers or wardrobe planning/coordination; all I knew was that knits don't ravel and oooh! that's inexpensive and pretty! Since we're going to have to move at the end of the school year, and after reading about other sewing bloggers having had to pack up their stash and move, I decided that I need to do some pretty serious stashbusting now. I've got a lot of wovens, too, and quite a few wools that I should also tackle, but stashbusting knits takes less energy and thought, so I'll start there. Also, the knits are the oldest items in the stash, and the more time passes, the more danger that I'll never get to them. Mind you, I still like them, but they're just not as shiny and attractive as newer fabric, so I don't ever reach for them first.

Ummm, let's talk about that skirt hem for a sec.
So, in my quest to use up my stash, I pulled out this teal, olive, and brown print that I've had forever. I actually bought it three years ago because I loved the colors, and then I realized (and rightly so) that my skills weren't up to par yet and I would only destroy this lovely knit the way I almost did with my salmon-colored disaster. However, I didn't have this epiphany this until after I'd cut out the skirt, and crookedly at that. But that's fine, I'll pretend that the asymmetric hem is totally on purpose. I was originally going to fix it, but now I kind of love it.

It's called a design element, okay?

The top is just a cap-sleeve tee, the same pattern as this dress, but a little longer so as to get the slightly bloused look on top of the belt. Putting it all together was pretty ridiculously easy, especially since the top of the skirt perfectly matched the width of the bodice, so it was just a matter of pinning it together and sewing a zig-zag stitch. And now that I've done so many neck bindings, even this one went on super quickly! Seriously, I busted this dress out so fast, my husband couldn't believe that I'd just made a whole new dress (and a presentable-looking one at that -- nary a hippo or lion or superhero in sight!) during his nightly COD:MW3 session.

I'm so glad that I picked up this vintage belt just this summer, as it's the only one in my fairly extensive belt collection that works with this dress! Somehow, all my other ones look wrong. Thankfully, the dots on the fabric are also dark blue, so it mostly works with the belt elastic. When I purchased the belt, it was much too big, but that was an easy fix -- just unpick, measure, cut, and stitch -- done in five minutes. Gosh, I love knowing how to sew.

Summary:
Fabric: 1.5 yards of cotton-blend knit, printed with teal, olive, and brown shapes that remind me of actual olives
Notions: None!
Techniques: Neckline binding
Hours used: Dare I say, one?! Yes, it was that fast, to cut a top from a pattern I'd already vetted, and sew literally less than ten seams. I am falling in love with knits and how they don't need seam finishing all over again.
Will you make it again? Yes! If ever there was an instant gratification dress, this is it.
Total cost: I bought this fabric such a long time ago, it feels free. But to be honest, it cost $4. The belt was $7.
Final thoughts: I loved Aleah's nautical dress that's versatile enough for any occasion, whether that be work, hanging out, or going out to dinner. I think this dress fits that bill, although the colors definitely read more autumnal in my mind. Wearing knits is so comfortable, and this cut/style is like cake for me, but fun cake because of the colors. I can't wait to pair it with boots and a teal cardigan for fall!
I'm seriously in love with all different fractions of circle skirt -- have you noticed that all my latest projects have been deliciously twirly?

I've got four other major knit projects planned, but the next one up isn't going to be quite so cake-y (although if you're looking for cake dresses, check out the Tiramisu dress pre-sale!). See, I wore my Mucha Maxi this weekend, and my husband was so taken with it all over again that he actually put in a request that I make another form-fitting maxi dress. This is the first time that has ever happened; usually the request is that I not make such weird things...

Have you ever gone about systematically stashbusting? Where/how did you start? Has your sig-o ever requested that you make more of ____? 

40 comments:

  1. Your neckline finish is beautiful! I love that print, and I thought the hem was on purpose until you explained it. =) I also like your pun, hehe. (I've got a couple puns coming soon on my blog...)

    I'm really lucky that my husband likes most of my clothing choices (sometimes he even encourages the weird-streak in me!). He looks at patterns with me occasionally and asks me to make certain dresses for myself. (lol - I think the only thing he really wrinkles his nose about is when I wear my hair in pig-tails or Kaylee buns.)

    I think it's pretty normal for me to buy fabric and hang on to it for at LEAST a year before I use it (unless I am sewing for someone else).

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    1. That's very sweet of your husband to look through patterns with you! And it's good to know that there are other long-term stashers out there!

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  2. Love this dress! Aren't knits the best?!? They are definitely my favorite to sew with because I tend to wear those makes the most.

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    1. Yeah, much as I would, in theory, love to always wear wovens, sometimes you can't beat the comfort and low maintenance of knits!

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  3. Super cute! I haven't ever done a systematic stash bust, but I am in the process of relocating my stash and it is kind of a pain (I am finishing grad school soon, and I figure it is better to slowly move it back to my parent's house so I won't have so much stuff to deal with when I am busy dealing with other things, like finding a job). Anyway, I hope that your systematic stash bust continues, because it sounds like you are going to be making lots of fun stuff! Can't wait to see what else you come up with this year.

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    1. I think the systematic stash-busting is going to continue, if only because I'm getting super fed up with my own sewing room! Moving slowly sounds like the way to go...good luck finding a job!

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  4. really cute dress! nice work on the finishing, and that fabric is so cute! love it.

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    1. Thanks! I will confess the hem is totally unfinished, though...

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  5. Great dress! How wonderful it was that you didn't buy any new fabric but used what you had. I love that!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, this dress has the double satisfaction of being both a wearable garment, and a stash-bust!

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  6. lovely print - and the colours looks great on you!

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    1. Thanks! I do love this combination of colors!

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  7. Super cute print and dress. Love this on you!

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  8. Oh, that's so pretty and so simple, I love it. And hoorah for whipping it up so quickly. x

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    1. Thanks, Jane! These quick whip-up dresses are just the best!

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  9. I read, re-read and read again that first sentence and though "homophobic? that's pretty out of character for Cation Designs, and what's so homophobic about this headline anyway?"

    Oh, homoPHONic. One letter makes all the difference.

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    1. Oops, didn't mean to freak people out about my homophonic tendences! :)

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  10. Hooray for stashbusting/completing UFO's! Especially when they turn out cute! I'm currently trying to do some stashbusting of my own, but it's been kind of slow going. :-/

    Typically, my hubby doesn't really suggest that I sew more of anything in particular, but he definitely has his favorites of the things I've made...some of which I'm confused about why he likes them. ???

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    1. Heh, husbands are so weird sometimes! Maybe it's time for a chart in order to whittle down the characteristics of his favorite garments!

      Best of luck with your stashbusting!

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  11. The only thing my sig-o has requested is that I make enough things so my stash will all fit into one closet :) I love the dress - the print is very fun, and I am definitely a fan of the added navy belt :) Yay for rescuing it and making it awesome!

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  12. Ooohh! I love this! What a pretty knit turned into a pretty dress! Great job! The belt looks great with it!
    All I am doing right now is stash busting! I think the family will kill me if I walk in the house with another piece of fabric. (I inherited several fabric collections so they grew overnightish.) I am putting more thought into what I am making, trying to tone down the weirdness so I can wear them out of the house without causing family shame. :) Since I am tall I find it easier to make what I want in the length I want so I don't look like I am perpetually growing out of my clothes. Soon I am going to steal your Remaking and Replacing RTW button to proudly display on my blog. It is so neat to find I am not alone in making my own clothes!

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    1. Heh, mostly I walk in with new fabric when nobody is looking except the cat, and Walnut is sworn to secrecy :) I think it's great that you can use sewing to make clothes work for your own body's requirements! And you are definitely not alone in making your own clothes!

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  13. Such a beautiful dress!! I love the pattern on the material and the style is great! You look beautiful in it too! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. I love this dress! especially the cap sleeve and asymmetrical skirt hem!

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    1. Oh good, the asymmetrical hem passes muster!

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  15. hello miss fancypants. you are sewing up a STORM. i greatly admire those who can stash bust (rather than option B, donate half of it and start over). and i love your design element. now, do you tell strangers you messed up, or you meant it? i've been trying to go with option B on that one lately. i'm apparently turning into a B grade kinda gal.

    i love your twirly dressse!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you don't even know what I've sewn but not yet blogged! I feel slightly like a bipolar person in the manic phase, because I've just been churning out garments like never before. I think my husband would love it if I just donated the stash, but I just can't do it! And I don't think you're a B grade gall at all -- or else how would you be a MSN blogger?

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  16. i totally read the asymmetry as a design element :-)

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  17. This is really, really cute! Love the little cap sleeves! Hooray for instant grat projects!

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    1. Thanks! Now the challenge is to move away from instant gratification and back into something meaty that I can really sink my teeth into!

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  18. I am GOOFY CRAZY over that fabric!!! I too love the ease and forgiveness of knit. I am going to have to learn that neck binding...it makes the dress look so nicely finished.

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  19. Oh man I love love love this dress! That print is fantastic, and you're right, it definitely fits my critera for a dressy/casual crossover dress. I'm all about this kind of fun(fetti?) cake sewing!

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  20. Hehe. You've had it for forever and it is three years old? Sounds like your stash is reasonably in control! I'm just now making a skirt from fabric I have had for 15 years, which my Grandmother bought in the 1940s and never made up. That's forever!

    Great dress too!

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  21. I love this dress but its the neck binding and finishing that really sets it off!! How on earth can I learn how to do binding like this? I started with knits last year when I was pregnant and they were wonderful as my belly grew but I used a normal bias and tucked it under. This edging is so much more professional! Teach us how! Please?

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    1. I linked to the neckline binding technique I used up in my summary. Check out Sherry's tutorial -- it's excellent!

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