Saturday, December 21, 2013

Evergreen Skirt

I used Nette's Scallop Button Up Skirt Pattern. Learned that I am very
inconsistent when I try to sew scallops; some look slightly curved, and a lot just look pointy :P
  I'm really happy with how the piping looks! And how huge the pockets are!

  The process threw me off--hem first?! what?! but it was nice at the end when I realized I didn't have to hem it cause it was already doneeee :D


 I didn't have enough solid green for the whole thing, so I used quilting cotton for the hem facing and the inside part of the pocket.
 Also, I didn't want to topstitch, so I used a catchstitch to secure the waistband down, the button facings, and the hem facings. It was a lot of hand sewing, but I made it through half of Season 2 of New Girl that night, so that made it bearable. Sidenote: I didn't know Season 2 was on Netflix!! It was such a nice surprise!

Coach Tour Dress in Knockoff

This is basically what it comes down to

      Hey world: I made a knockoff Modcloth dress! Eeeeee, I'm so proud of myself! My dream wardrobe is pretty much comprised of Modcloth apparel, and now I have a dress that looks like theirs but I made it! And I saved money! And I madeeeee it! And it actually looks like the dress I was modeling it after!!!!

     I realized a  while ago that a ton of dresses I love from Modcloth  are pretty basic shapes; they just have lots of cute details that make them look so amazing. I looked up the details on their Coach Tour Dress and it didn't seem too complex. I found the blue double knit on and was initially nervous since I'd never sewn with double knit before. The description said it was good for cheer uniforms and choir robes and I was like ehhhhhh maybe not, but I decided to risk it and it worked great. Easy to sew and I don't need a zipper!

And the buttons! I love the little Celtcic knot heart buttons! That's what I love about making my own version of the dress-- I had a basic shape to work off of but got to change it up however I wanted.

I used Simplicity 2145 as a base, but made lots of changes. I made a waistband and the little button tabs, and changed the pleats to gathers in the center. I left off the underbust gathers from the original dress-- I hate boob gathers!!I think they look awkward :P

     I used the bodice for the cowl neck view, because I figured the triangular collar kind of equated to shawl collar. Turns out it's not really; the fit was all loose up top. While trying it on I noticed it actually looked better backwards, so I cut out a 2nd back piece, a little wider, and used it for the front. Whatever works!

the buttons seriously might be my favorite part
  I completely winged it on the collar; I just cut a tube of fabric with the circumference of the neck hole and sewed it on, the put the dress on and dress on where I wanted to cut it. I'm completely surprised it worked out as smoothly as it did; I thought I was going to have to spend a ton of time figuring out how to shape it, but I managed to get it the right shape on the first try!
I've never really been into cowl necks, but the dress looked so cute, I figured I'd try this shawl cowl neck-ey thing and see. I think I can pull it off-- I feel sort of like a Boyscout wearing a neckerchief though.
check out that asymmetry ;)
finished all those raw edges with lace. BY HAND AWYEAH!

 All in all, I'm just really happy that I was able to see something I liked and replicate it. It makes me feel so proud and skilled, like, I was able to do that, on my own. Wowza :D

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Taffy that Almost Wasn't

     So I started this Taffy last year, around September or Octoberish I think. I tried to make bias tape out of the main fabric, and since I was new to making bias tape and the fabric is so light and drapey, it worked out pretty terribly. Then I finished the neckline and one of the sleeves with the bias tape, and that ended up a mess. So I got frustrates and threw the blouse back in with all my fabric.

     Then two nights before I went home for Christmas break I felt the need to sew, but knew it wouldn't be a smart idea to start a whole new project, because I'd have to pack up all the little pieces and take it home.

     So over a year after I started it, I ripped all the crappily applied bias tape, reapplied it, finished the other sleeve, and hemmed the sucker.
      I wasn't sure how I felt about the sleeves at first, but I think I like how huge and fluttery they are now. I really like the fabric too-- I got it at the thrift store across the street from campus, so I'm sure it was less than $5. It's so silky smooth with a stripey design.

 I used the Taffy blouse pattern from the Colette Sewing Handbook. It's been forever since I started the project so I'm not completely sure, but I think the only change I made to the pattern was to take out the darts. I also left off the back ties. It's a pretty loose but still flattering fit. No closures necessary!
 This is the first pattern I used French seams on. They're so neat and finished looking!
The sleeves look so pretty!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Butterick Has Never Been So Fierce

Ok, I don't normally see fabric and have an instant vision about what I want to do with it and how exactly I want it to turn out. Just doesn't happen. But this time, it happened. Oh, it totally happened. The second I saw this fabric the mental image of these shorts came to mind. And for once my plan worked out damn near perfectly. I don't know what it is about the fabric I bought in Costa Rica, but so far the two pieces I've made from it have been FANFUCKINGTASTIC. Exhibit A: Summer Truffle. Are you ready for Exhibit B? Behold:
The pattern envelope for Butterick 5682 has a woman wearing her normal denim-colored jeans with a sensible button up shirt. She's even wearing sensible belts with her pants. I cut 3/4 of the inseam off and used it for orange cheetah print shorts. And that's the awesome part of sewing: you can change things up if you want. I think I succeeded in that at the very least :P

 Like I pointed out earlier, this fabric is de Costa Rica. I was sooo excited to find a fabric store in Heredia, my friends and I just wandered upon it one day while going to a bakery for lunch. And it's pretty lucky we found it too, because when I asked my host mom if there were any fabric stores, it turns out I was asking if there were any factories....awkward. Lesson: fabrica = factory and tela = fabric...beware the power of false cognates!!!! So anyhoo, it was within the remnants section of this fabric store where I had my vision of cheetah shorts. I didn't even notice the little flowers in the background of the fabric until I was getting ready to cut it; I just saw orange and cheetah and was all, LETS DO THIS. I'm not even sure how much it cost because the man piled all my remnants onto a scale and told me the price and that's what I gave him and then I went home giddy on a fabric high and that's how that happened.
I followed the pattern except for the giant inseam length I cut out. I think the hemmed inseam length is something like 4 inches--don't judge I'm only 4' 10"! I made a muslin for a size 12, which is what my measurements say I should be. I've never made pants before and wanted to figure my shit out before cutting into my cheetahlicious remnant. Wellll size 12 gaped a ton at the back waistband and was pretty loose in general, so for the real deal I made a size 10. I decided to leave off the back pockets since I never really use back pockets, ever, and I figured they'd just blend into the back and you wouldn't even be able to see them. I shortened the pattern at the waist by 1 1/2 inches because I'm shorrrrrt. I used this tutorial to shorten the waistband and fix the gaping. I was relieved because at first I thought I was going to have to attempt a swayback adjustment and wasn't feeling very confident about all this cutting up and hinging and extending patten pieces. But all I had to do was cut 8 lines into the waistband pattern and overlap each line by 1/4 inch. So all in all, I took the waistband top in by 2 inches.

Guys, I was so excited about this project whilst sewing it. I was only going to sew for an hour or so on Thursday, but once I started I couldn't stop. All I had left to do last night was the hemming and finishing the waistband edge. And since I love these things so damn much I attempted flat felled seams! Yeah buddy, these shorts are LEGIT! I used bias tape to finish the pockets and for the waistband edge, because I figured a flat felled seam would never work with so much bulk. I topstitched with a double needle for the hemming. I didn't have a black zipper, so I used a brown one, nbd, you cant even see it anyway. I followed Grainline's method for inserting fly zippers because the pattern instructions confused the shit outta me, not gonna lie :P I absolutely love the little heart button I used on the waistband even though it blends in so much. And yeah, the buttonhole is pretty terrible. I made it too small at first then attempted to lengthen it. I guess that's supposed to teach me to measure things more carefully or something :P

the different shades are actually little flowers and leaves :)

The sewing for these went really smoothly. Ok, actually, I broke 3 needles and bent another one beyond use...3 of those were due to zipper and one just randomly broke, I don't even know why. But yeah, whenever instructions tell me to go ahead and sew over zipper teeth from now on, well, Imma be skeptical...But OTHER than that, the sewing went great! I don't know if it was because I was really in the zone or what. I was super terrified because I had the idea that sewing pants was pretty much the worst thing in the history of ever. But I followed the instructions an hey! I actually wound up with shorts! Lookatthat! :D

And the reallllly crazy thing is that they fit well. I saw a bunch of crotch wrinkling with my muslin, and just kind of stared at it in the mirror for awhile without really knowing what to do. The crotch is like the cursed part of pants patterns; I've read sooo many reviews/blog posts about the woes of crotch fitting. I took 1/2 inch more out of the waist for the legit shorts than I did for the muslin, so maybe that did the trick. Or maybe the cheetah print somehow masks all the flaws. Either way's cool with me ;) With my modification, the waistband fits me really nicely. They sit a little higher on the waist than I'm used
look at that nice seam finish! and ignore that orange blob, idk what

 the hell it is
to. They're not legitimately high waisted; they're just not low rise. But the way I see it, this just means there's zero chance of crack attack, and I like those odds ;) Oh, and they fit my butt too! I'm think I'm obligated to try making these up as actual jeans and see if I can make this miracle fitting happen a second time! If/when I make these again I think I'm going to make the pockets deeper though. I can fit my phone in them, but I have a pretty tiny phone. Let's just say these pockets 'aint holdin no iPhones.

I'm on a sewing high right now :D I MADE SHORTS AND THEY DON'T SUCK IN FACT THEY LOOK EXACTLY HOW I WANTED THEM TO!!! And they were quick too! How did that even happen?! I love it!
 Except there's one problem....what does one wear with orangey cheetah printed shorts? I don't really wear orange anyway (even though orange and black are my school colors) so I'm kind of clueless. Before these shorts orange never really appealed to me. But come on. As cheetah shorts? How the hell could you not love these? Actually, when I first tried them on, my thought was, I'm not sure if these are the most awesome or awful things I've sewn They straddle the line, forsure ;P

Monday, August 5, 2013

Float On...

Have you ever heard that Modest Mouse song? It's a good one ;) I don't know; that line just comes to mind when I look at this skirt...
...because it's a floaty hi-low skirt! It also reminds me of tropical islands and sipping fruity drinks out of coconuts, but that's not really Modest Mouse-like :P
But I went with the whole island thing anyway with this multistrand necklace a friend gave me for my birthday a couple years ago. And all that vine-y awesomeness going on in the background. They're wild morning glorys, and I like the overgrown effect. Maybe it's not the cleanest look, but I like it, and I don't think anyone in my family feels like going through the trouble to hack it all away.
     I actually made this skirt in May...looking at my post from the other day made me remember I actually got more sewing done than that one dress, I've just been unphotogenic and tripodless and feel weird asking my family to take a bunch of pictures of me. I built a bridge and got over it though and got my little bro to take these :)
So I used to think I couldn't wear island-ey things, being the small whitegirl that I am. But lately I haven't been caring so much about what I can and can't "pull off" and more on what I like...and I like hi-low!
 I bought this remnant of fabric from Hancock Fabrics. It was one of those, "I love this fabric, it's so cool!" *buys fabric. gets home* "Awh crud, what the hell am I going to make with this?!" It's this sheer, guazey stuff with what looks vaguely like globes and abstract islandey designs...I really don't know how to describe it. Point is, I had no idea what to do with it. So it chilled out hung up on one of my dorm walls for a year as an improvised wall hanging. Until I had my lightbulb, ISLAND SKIRT! moment.
     I didn't use a pattern for it, because I don't have a hi-low skirt pattern and the project was too much of a whim to seek out and buy one :P I'm kind of surprised it turned out halfway decent. At my level, I feel like if I don't follow a pattern/exact instructions, I'm going to end up with the most homemade looking piece of crap eva. I did, however, use this tutorial, especially for the diagram on how to cut the taper.
Pretty much, I laid my fabric out and cut it into two pieces, one a wee bit longer than the other, because with floaty island skirts made from sheer fabrics, layering is always acceptable. Well to me anyway ;) I sewed up the sides so I had two tubes of fabric, put the shorter one on top of the longer one, and cut my taper. I also have a third layer of green broadcloth I found hanging around the house. It's literally just barely long enough to cover my butt, but I wanted it just in case the other two layers gave a little too much of a view :P I basted the three layers together, then sewed the "waist" to a waistband width piece of elastic. I kept the elastic stretched out as I sewed it so when I was done it all scruncehd back together and I can get into it without popping all the stitches.
    That being said, the gathering is pretty bulky. It didn't look very obvious to me with the top over it until I looked at the pictures and was all, "Well that looks awful" Ohs wells; I'll find some way to make it work out.
     The picture of the waistband shows how ridiculously frayed the fabric gets, so I  made sure to zigzag all my seams. And the hem? It's A ROLLED HEM I'M SO PROUD THANKS FOR ASKING! But forreal, this is the first rolled hem I've ever attempted, I had to do it for two layers of the fashion fabric, and I sewed it by hand, which took forrrrrever. I definitely spent more time on it than I did on all the other parts of the project put together. This post on the Coletterie gave excellent instructions. But even though I couldn't get a good picture of it on my wimpy little Nikon, trust me, it looks damn fine ;)
     I'm kind of disappointed I didn't wear this out this summer, but I worked at a sleepaway camp from the beginning of June to the end of July, and my outfits there consisted of T-shirts I didn't care about getting muddy, tie-dyed, or mauled, and sport shorts. It wasn't the sort of work environment that appreciates floaty island attire, but hey, maybe I'll get invited to a tiki themed party and be able to give this skirt the night out it deserves.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Truffle

      Dang you summer, doing that thing where you're arriving one minute and then suddenly it's august and where the hellz did you go?! But at least I got one dress out of ya ;)
     This is Colette's Truffle pattern, minus the drapey thing. I wanted a quick summer dress, and Truffle proved a good choice-- sleeveless, scoopneck, barely any pattern pieces.
  Just look at this knit, it's so summery and cute! While in Costa Rica during May I chanced upon a fabric store, delved into their remnants and returned to the States with several treasures. I knew I wanted this to be an easy, casual summer dress the minute I saw it. I mean, it's sunglasses and scribbled hearts; I didn't really have a choice. The hearts even have glitter! Come on!
I made the skirt more of an A line than it originally looked. I just used a ruler to draw the side seam lines out at more of an angle. I didn't need a zipper since I used knit fabric. This made the sewing even quicker, I whipped this baby up in a night after getting really frustrated with a different dress and throwing it aside. I wanted to make something quick that actually turned out how I wanted. One truffle later, confidence = restored!

I had a bunch of gaping at the back neckline, so finnegled this V thing to get rid of the excess fabric. It got the job done, I think, but next time I'm just going to take some width out of the back pattern  piece before I get into the fabric. I don't know though, I think my odd little pleat thing looks nice, I'll just call it a design element.

 As far as finishing goes, I just turned everything under and topstitched it all down with a double needle.

 All in all I'm happy with my Truffle. It's bright and cheery and comfy--it makes me want to go find a beach and lay out all da

Oh yeah, one more thing-- look at my adorable bunneh! He's such a cutie :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

In Which I Try Out Some C-Rowlz

   Why hey there again, how you doin? Didn't think I'd actually finish another post before October, didja? (Me either lol I'm pretty proud of myself!)
   So, waaaay back when, I did a post on me being a cheap-o and buying cheap-o mystery fabric and how I was going to make a dress out of it. The lady at Hancock Fabrics told me that they had no idea what it was. I don't remember what it was labeled as, but even I knew it wasn't telling the truth, and I am in no way a master of fabric content knowledge. But hey, super cheap fabric! Woot!
    And now, I give you Simplicity 1873:
I don't even know why I posed like this. I'm offering this voluptuos skirt up to the heavens maybe?
Most of the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity patterns I've seen have been super cute, and this one is no exception.
     Look at how cute that is! I went for view C, except I left off the little tab things and added the sleeves from view A.
    Yeah, it looks cute. Too cute. I've found that I normally can't wear clothes that are too frilly or cutesy because they make me look like a twelve year old. And that's way too easy to do as it it when you're a mere 4 feet ten inches of petite-ness, as I am. I did not keep this in mind when making 1873. I liked sewing the dress. I learned how to make sleeves and pleats. I used bias tape instead of facings (I hate facings). I hemmed the thing by hand! All in all, it turned out well. But I think it makes me look like I belong in the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.
    First of all, sleeves were a bad idea. I was thinking that, for practicality's sake, sleeves were a good choice that would make the dress more wearable. It was the first time I attempted a dress with sleeves, and while they worked out fine, I just don't like how they look on me. They're actually pretty cool; they start out wider where they attach to the armhole and then these tiny little darts make them narrow at the bottom. But I think the sleeves are the main contributing factor to the overwhelming cutesy factor the dress exudes. Puffy sleeves do not make me look my age. Maybe I'll take them off and see if I like it more.

10 darts for 2 sleeves! I put alot of work into those suckers!
   This is me copying the pattern envelope's model. The pose looks just a liiiittle different on me haha. (Please ignore the red eye. I'm just too lazy to fix it right now.) Is it just me, or does the way the model holds her hands seem a little weird? I've only ever seen Barbie dolls hold their hands like that.
   Ok, so my neckline looks super gapey in this picture. And it kinda is in real life, so there's another dislike. But mainly, I noticed that Miss Model looks about three feet taller than me in this dress, and she rocks it. I'm willing to bet she would've been able to rock those sleeves too, And yes, she is wearing heels, but my black heels are currently out of commission :/ And I'm willing to bet that she'd still look Amazonian compared to me without the heels.So maybe this dress isn't meant for the short statured
     As you can tell, that skirt is pleated. I like pleats more than gathers. I wore a pleated skirt 5 days a week from 4th to 12th grade (woooooo Catholic School! Represent!) so that's what my mind went straight to when I was sewing the them haha. I thought the directions explained them pretty well, and that's saying something since normally, I get really confused really easily by pattern instructions. Maybe this means I'm getting better.
This is the skirt before pleating. This is the first full-skirted dress I've made, so I was surprised at how long it was. Yeah, yeah, I know: that's what she said. But more importantly, I'm glad I was a good little seamstress and transferred all those markings because normally I'm not a stickler for that, and if I hadn't, figuring out the skirt would've been a nightmare. And what're those little blob shaped things you see? Why yes, I did add pockets to the dress!
    Like the sleeves, the pockets are an element I'm proud of, but that aren't quite flattering. After I cut all my pieces out I noticed a perfectly pocket shaped scrap and decided pockets were practical and I might as well add some. I followed the instructions for Colette's Hazel,  which has you sew the side seam up to where pockets are, sew around the pockets, and then finish down the rest of the seam, and TaDa! Inseam pockets!
    I didn't put the pockets in the side seam though. For some reason, I decided to put them in the front. I put them in correctly and all, but it turns out that my placement wasn't the wisest. The pockets are fully functional, but...
...well, it doesn't exactly work out with the pleats. But hey, now I know, and knowing is half the battle, right? ;)
    The thing about this dress is that I've had everything except the hem done since July. Then I took it to school where it sat in a box until sometime in November when I was like, why haven't I finished this thing yet? And then I wanted to be fancy and hem it by hand, which took hours.
    So all in all this was a super labor-intensive dress that I like, just not on me. But between all those sleeve darts, the pleats, and the hem, it took ages. Oh, and I even finished the seams with bias tape, which was also a first. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures, but let me assure you, it's there. And that took awhile too.
    I think I'm going to try taking the sleeves off. If I still don't like it I'll live. I learned new techniques making the dress and in this case, that's good enough. But if I can figure out a way to make it look good on me, it's gonna happen!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mints and Mercados

*I definitely started this post at, like, the end of January/beginning of February. So that's why I'm narrating about Christmas break-- it was still recent then*

    Whoa dear, where has the time gone?! Apparently I'm just as bad at keeping up with blogging as I am with diary-ing...whoops. I was supposed to keep a blog last semester for a class and that didn't fare much better than this one. We were supposed to be updating it multiple times a week, and I think mine got six posts in all. Once again, whoops.
     I should've known that this would happen. I mean, how could I think that bad at keeping a diary + moving 6 1/2 hours away and starting college would somehow equal a well-kept blog? I did manage to sew a little last semester; I just never found time/bothered to take pictures or write about them.
    But some major sewing zen hit me over Christmas break! Basically, I had nothing else to do haha. So boy do I have some projects to show you!

   This, in case you didn't know, is Ava from Victory Patterns. I don't remember how I learned of Victory Patterns, but I did, and they have some awesome looking patterns. And now I can testify to their awesomeness, because Ava is amazing.
   I'm just going to go ahead and be honest: Ava reminded me of Colette's Macaron, and that's what initially made me want it. I'd seen pictures of the Macaron all over the interwebs and loved it. Ava was cheaper than Macaron though, and came with more options; you can make it a blouse or two different lengths of dress, cap sleeves or sleeveless. It even has optional ruffles for the neckline or sleeves. 
     So I bought Ava as an end of semester present to myself, figuring I'd just spend my extra printer money to get the pattern from Adobe Acrobat into my hands. At my school, we get $20 in printing money automatically figured into our account; printing a page costs 7 cents I think. I had a ton of printing money left over at the end of the semester, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to print a pattern. Well. This sucker ate up all that extra printing money and then some. On top of that, the printer was being silly and printed on both sides of the paper without directing it to do so. So I couldn't put any of the pattern together at all, because I'd have the one page but then the sheet I was supposed to attach it to was printed on the back of it. Grrrrrr. I went home for break emptyhanded; the car was too full for my sewing supplies and machine so I didn't expect to get anything done over those 3 weeks.
     But fate smiled on me. I convinced my sister to print out a copy of the pattern at work. She works at a school so printing off 70 pages at once was no big deal. Bonus: while taping the pattern together I came across a single permission slip for a movie day or something (apparently the 2nd graders were going to watch a PG movie instead of a regular G one...what's the difference between the G and PG ratings anyway?) And I FINALLY got my mom to let me use her Bernia. She's super protective of it even though she doesn't use it regularly. When she told me how much it cost I understood why-- it might just be the poor college student in me, but four figures is waaay more than I'm going to spend on a sewing machine anytime soon. I got mine as a birthday present but still know it's a cheapie Walmart one, and that's fine with me because I don't need anything fancy. But anyway, I managed to use my mom's machine all break without breaking it (BREAK; BREAKing it--so punny!), so yay for small victories! And I actually kind of like my crappy little Brother better, honestly. All break I couldn't get the Bernia's bobbin winder to cooperate with me; when I did get it to work the setup wasn't exactly the way the manual or my mom showed me to do it, but the bobbin was wound, and that was good enough for me! I'll give it this though: that Bernia is a quiet gently purring cat compared to my obnoxious constantly barking yappie dog of a sewing machine.
  Ok, enough backstory. Here are my Avas.
This is the first one I made. I hated it when I first tried it on. I was soooo disappointed because I worked really hard on the thing and even matched the zigzags at the side seams. And I finished the seams; nothing fancy, just a zigzag stitch, but normally I don't start a project with an "I'm going to finish ALL THE SEAMS and be legit!" mindset.
    But since I'd spent a bunch of time on it I decided to just finish it up anyway. And once I finished it, I was suddenly in love with it. It was a great feeling, trying it on again, expecting to be disappointed but instead being all, WOW. Hot damn I made this, this is awesome!
     I was able to get it over my head without the zipper's help, so this baby is zipperless. And yes, it's quilting cotton, but I don't care. The minty green zigzags were one of the only things to catch my eye the night I went to Hancock Fabrics, so they came home with me despite their fiber content :)
     Pretty much the only thing I don't like about how it turned out is the neckline. It's doesn't lie flat, but it's not bad enough to discourage me from wearing the top.
     I didn't match the zigzags at all the peplum seams, because there are six of them total and between you and me, I forgot to buy extra fabric to match everything up. Yeah, I forgot to do that for all three lengths of fabric that were destined to become Avas, even though they're all prints. Somehow I managed to avoid disaster though!
     Let's move on to Ava #2! First of all, look at this print:

it's darker in person
     Normally, I'm super timid about wearing prints. But I love this one sooooo much! It's a corduroy, which I'd never sewn with before, but it was a breeze to work with.
 OMG this fabric made me love prints. It kind of reminds me of Carnival-- Brazil Carnival, not carnival de US, with popcorn and bearded ladies and other carnies. I'm not sure if this is overly stereotypical, but this is what I'd want ot wear shopping in a street mercado somewhere in Latin America.
    The pink is a knit, I'm not sure of the specifics. I was when I bought it, but I soon forgot. I was careful to remember to zigzag the upper bodice and the part where the upper and lower bodice connect.
    This dress was actually meant to be a gift for one of my sisters. I was sad to give it away; I honestly wanted nothing more than to keep it for myself. Well, it turns out it doesn't exactly work for Ally, so now it's mine! And now I feel bad for hoping I'd get to keep it because I got what I wanted and Ally got no dress :/ But then again, I love this thing. LOVE. IT.
   Ok, you might've maybe noticed that this baby is a teensy bit short. Ok, it's pretty short. That's one of the reasons Ally didn't keep it; she's a bit taller than yours truly. It's almost too short for me, but I love it too much to let it keep me from wearing it. And in my defense, Ally is still a tad short, so I thought it'd work for her. I don't really know how it's so short; I made it according to the pattern, and normally I give things a super hem or chop off a good bit at the bottom. For reference, I'm 4' 10". Sooo if I were a normal height this dress would be unwearable. Pretty much the only time I've been thankful for being vertically challenged.
     And now that I think of it, the pattern comes with a tea length option, if that's more to your liking. Personally, I don't wear dresses or skirts that go below my knees; they make me about 2 feet tall. And hey, I'm young and free; I can get away with short dresses still.
    For sizing, I used the smallest size-- I think it's 0 (and I'm too lazy to go check, see what a professional blogger I am lol) for the bust and widened it to a 2 for the waist, making it the length of the size 0. It's a little loose in the waist, but nothing too upsetting.                                                         
   And since this pattern has a circle skirt, know what it's great for?! TWIRLING THAT'S WHAT.

      It took waaay too many tries to get those pictures. Lotsa dizziness. But also lotsa fun :D
     Technically, it's not a full circle skirt. I didn't have enough fabric for what the pattern pieces needed, so I narrowed the panels at the bottom, making sure not to take anything off at the waist, so that it'd all still fit together with the bodice.
    Obviously, twirling doesn't help the length issue, I'll have to watch myself. Possibly wear a pair of Spanx underneath.
    I did a hand picked zipper for the first time on this dress, I used this Sewaholic tutorial. On my first try I did the stitches backwards. Like, instead of the tiny little pinprick stitches showing, the bigger ones were on the outside and the little ones on the inside. The tutorial was awesome though, I just read something wrong in there somewhere. I went back and followed it step by step and everything was peachy keen :)
     Hemming these suckers took foreverrrr. I used Gertie's tutorial for narrow hemming circle skirts, and it too was easy to understand and implement. I love all the sewing tutorials on the Internet; they're lifesavers:)
   Woah-k, this turned into a long post! I'll wrap up with a Like/Dislike list about Ava.
-LOVE the sweetheart-but not-really neckline
-NO FACINGS (no me gusta los facings)
-lots of options/variations
-I'm sooo happy both prints worked well, especially I've never really done prints before. I'm pretty impressed I didn't completely screw them up.

-skankalisciously short
-the neckline on the top (I've realized it works better when I cut  the neckline/ sleeve bands a little shorter than directed, then stretch them to fit. Prevents gape like a BOSS)
-I feel like the dress is more for fall, so I have to wait allllll summer to wear it. Boo.