nettie bodysuit

Lauha Vent Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtMeet my new favorite skirt! Ever since I made this dress last year (and realized I both could wear and enjoyed wearing maxi-length clothing) I’ve been wanting to try out a maxi skirt. It’s a silhouette I’ve never worn before, but I definitely love it.

I found the perfect skirt pattern, the Lauha Vent Skirt, in one of Named’s older collections. It has a gorgeous deep vent at the front and multiple small pleats at the front and back waistlines.

The fabric is a really fun parrot print rayon from Blackbird Fabrics (sadly sold out). It’s perfectly swishy for this pattern!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtDemonstrating the width… they kind of look like palazzo pants in this pic!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I made my usual Named pattern size of 34 and the fit is perfect! I shortened the skirt by a few inches (I forgot to write down the exact amount – oops!) before I cut it out which allowed me to just barely squeeze it out of 1.5 meters of fabric.

Construction is super straight-forward. The most challenging bit was probably cutting out those long pattern pieces while making sure the fabric stayed on grain. After that it came together really quickly!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I’m totally in love with this skirt! It was one of those cases where the stars aligned and the fabric and pattern were just perfect for each other.

Do you have a favorite maxi skirt or dress pattern? I’d definitely like to explore this silhouette some more!

<3 Lindsay

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

Ever since I saw this Madewell skirt I’ve been planning on making my own version. So when  I was contacted a while back by My Fabric Designs to try out their fabric printing service I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to create the exact fabric I was after.

I recommend ordering the swatch book first – it’s a lot better than just guessing what the fabric will feel like, and it’s kind of a fun reference on its own! I made a simple gingham repeat in Illustrator at the scale I wanted (.6″ squares) and uploaded it to the website where I could see how it looked as a full repeat on the fabric. I chose the silk crepe de chine for this skirt and I’m really pleased with the quality. I was worried the fabric would be a bit see-through in the sun, but happily it’s not at all. I was also glad to see how dark the black ink is – sometimes the black on printed fabric looks kind of washed out and gray, but it seems that the silk takes the dye really well.

madewell gingham skirtThis was the inspiration – a flowy, gingham skirt – but I didn’t copy most of the particulars. I considered a few different patterns, but eventually I decided that I just wanted a simple gathered skirt. It’s “self-drafted” in that it’s two rectangles – one for the skirt and one for the waistband. I used approximately three times the width of my waist in fabric for fairly full gathers. Even though it’s a simple design I took my time with this make and made sure to finish everything neatly: french seams, invisible zipper, waistband finished by hand, etc. It turned out exactly as I imagined, and it’s so lovely and floaty to wear!

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

To go with the skirt I made a sleeveless black Nettie bodysuit. I’d forgotten how much I like this pattern – it really is perfect to wear with skirts! I thought I might have to alter the shape of the armhole when I made it sleeveless, but I actually liked it just how it was. To finish the armholes I made bindings the same width as the neckline binding (1.5″) but attached them with a 3/8″ seam allowance rather than a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Silk Gingham Skirt

Silk Gingham Skirt

I’m really happy with My Fabric Design‘s service and how my fabric turned out. It seems like they’re in direct competition with Spoonflower, but since I’ve never printed fabric there I can’t really compare the two. Their pricing seems comparable, though they each have a few unique substrates not carried by the other. It’s always good to have options, so I’m glad there are more companies like this popping up!

If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, they currently have a coupon running for 25% off with the code “photo25” through April 30th.

<3 Lindsay

The fabric for my skirt was provided by My Fabric Designs. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

Galaxy-painted Anima Pants (with tutorial!)

What’s this, heels and sweatpants?! A bit of a departure from my usual style, but for a good reason: Papercut Pattern’s Anima Pant competition! Pushing me out of my comfort zone and into the Milky Way…

Now these pants aren’t at all similar to my original sketch. And they’re actually my second pair of Anima Pants. I made my first (full-length) pair out of white jersey and dip dyed it, hoping for a white-to-violet effect that I would then embellish with gold foil. Sounds nice, right? Unfortunately they turned out more of a grayish purple color, although they do have the color gradient I was going for. The color combined with the long length looks pretty frumpy on me, so they’re in a time-out situation until I figure out how to jazz them up.

But I’m actually really glad Plan A didn’t work out, because it pushed me to come up with an equally elaborate Plan B! I looked at fabric painting and dyeing tutorials online for inspiration, and I came across a couple galaxy-print shirt DIYs. “Galaxy painted Anima pants?” “Sure”, I thought. “Why not?!” And the process was actually super fun, and turned out way better than I expected! ( I’ve included a tutorial and progress pics at the end of the post if you want to make a pair for yourself!)

I wanted to pair these pants with something simple that wouldn’t cover the waistband: enter Nettie #4! The Nettie pattern has earned tried-and-true status in my book, and I knew I could make one up in just a couple hours. This is the scoop-neck, high-back, bodysuit version.

I bought this fabric during Girl Charlee‘s Fourth of July sale just because it was super cheap, but I ended up totally loving it! It’s a soft and stretchy rayon blend (my fave) and the color’s actually a really pretty orangey-red jewel tone, though it looks redder in the pictures.

The pant fabric is a medium-weight black jersey that I’ve had in my stash for a while. I only had one yard, and I was just barely able to fit the pattern pieces for the cropped length on it.

Since this was my second pair it came together really quickly. Overall the pattern and instructions are great, and I would definitely recommend this pattern! The only tricky part was the waistband. I had a lot of trouble doing the foldover method in the instructions, so for this pair I did my usual elastic insertion method where you sew a tube with an opening and thread the elastic through. This worked a lot better for me and this waistband is a lot neater than my first one. I did still have trouble with the buttonholes though. My machine does NOT want to make buttonholes on knit fabric. So they’re not too pretty, but they’ll do the job.

I didn’t follow any one tutorial, but kind of amalgamated the information from a few different ones. The process was basically the same in all of them. Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Put some bleach in a spray bottle, dilute it with water, and spray some galaxy clusters onto your pant pieces. I just used some bleach-based bathroom cleaner that was already in a spray bottle. The orange spots take a few seconds to show up, so don’t spray too much all at once. You want to build up gradually. I let mine sit for about 30 minutes, and then washed them to stop the bleach from eating away at the fabric too much. Then I let them dry in the sun (which took about 5 minutes because it’s so hot).

Step 2: Using a sponge, build up layers of purple, blue, and white fabric paint (in that order). These should also be built up gradually, as you can always go back and add more later. The color fades a little as it dries, so I went over each piece twice. There’s no real method to this – just do whatever looks good to you! I concentrated the blue and purple around the outside of the orange clusters. This is what it looked like before I added white:

Step 3: Add stars by dipping a toothbrush in white paint and flicking it onto the pant pieces. You may want to practice this on a piece of scrap fabric first. In this picture you can see my finished back leg pieces with my bleached-only front pieces, as well as the sponge and toothbrush I used for painting.

Step 4: Let the paint dry overnight, and then sew up your garment as usual! I chose to leave my waistband, cuffs, and inner pocket black.

Let me know if you have any questions! And thanks for reading!

<3 Lindsay

The (Accidental) Nettie Shirt

Nettie number 3! (See 1 and 2.) This was actually supposed to be a bodysuit, but I blithely ignored the suggested amount of vertical stretch the fabric should have. I thought it would be fine because my last bodysuit wasn’t very vertically stretchy either, but I think this one has practically none. Lesson learned.

I was almost finished, the leg binding was on and everything, when I tried it on and realized that crotch was not gonna snap. Or rather, it maybe would, but then the neckline would be pulled indecently low. I thought of adding an extra piece of fabric to make it a bit longer, but I decided to just turn it into a shirt instead.

So I took my rotary cutter to it right above the leg openings (goodbye perfect bindings) and cut a new strip of binding to finish the hem. I’m happy with it, even though it’s not what I originally planned.

I did both the scoop neck and scoop back on this one. Paired with some shorts it’s perfect for summer!

If you haven’t hopped on the Nettie bandwagon yet you should check out this inspiration post Heather Lou just did in preparation for the sew-along. Netties, Netties everywhere! I really want to try that triangle cut-out. Maybe Nettie #4…?

<3 Lindsay

Nettie & Tania in NOLA

Last weekend my husband and I took a quick trip to New Orleans for my 24th birthday. Neither of us had been there before, and it’s within reasonable driving distance from Austin, so we figured “why not?”

I made these Tania culottes a few weeks ago, but hadn’t worn them yet because I didn’t have a top that would work with them. Enter the Nettie bodysuit. It really is the perfect accompaniment to skirts/culottes.

Incredibly, I’ve never owned culottes or a bodysuit before. But let me tell you they are both brilliant pieces of clothing. Seriously. I need about ten more of each. So breezy, so comfortable, so practical yet effortlessly chic. The next day I wore jeans and it was really amazing how hot and uncomfortable they were in the New Orleans humidity compared to culottes.

I’ve never been much of a skirt girl because I hate worrying about things like indecent breezes and carefully climbing in and out of cars. They’ve always been more of an occasion piece, and less of an everyday staple. Culottes are set to change that. While they’re not totally foolproof, they certainly decrease the likelihood of flashing passers-by, and when they’re paired with a bodysuit there’s really not much to flash.

The culottes were pretty easy to construct. As many others have mentioned, you definitely want to let them hang overnight before you hem them. Mine grew by a couple inches in some places. Certainly the most time-consuming part of this make is evening out and hemming the two wide circles of the legs.

I cut an XS, and was planning on cutting the length of a L, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric (these are total fabric eaters, by the way). I was worried they would be too short, but they ended up being a great length. They look a lot shorter on the model than they do on me, which I’m assuming is because I’m 5’4″, and not model-height.

As if it wasn’t enough to discover the wonders of culottes and bodysuits while making this outfit, I also discovered my new favorite fabric: rayon challis! I don’t usually go for big, bold prints, but I fell in love with this red floral from The Common Thread in Austin. This fabric is so soft and lovely and drape-y, but also very breathable.

(In the pictures below you can see how the culottes look with a tucked-in cami instead of a bodysuit: not so good.)

I’ve already sung the praises of the Nettie dress in this post, and the bodysuit is just as great. For this version I went with the scoop neck, high back, and short sleeves.

The fabric is a lightweight cream-colored jersey from Jo-Ann. So lightweight that it’s actually see-through. In order to keep my bra hidden from view I doubled up on fabric in the top half of the bodice. I basically added the optional shelf bra, but without any cups or elastic.

The bodysuit fits great, is easy to get in and out of, and is super comfortable. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never worn a bodysuit before, but I really love it.

New Orleans was a blast! It’s such a beautiful and culturally rich city. And those lax liquor laws…let’s just say I’m all in favor of drinking cocktails from plastic cups while looking out over the Mississippi. And if you want to buy beer at 8am on Sunday morning, hey, why not?

<3 Lindsay