February 23, 2016

Sewing Bread: BHL + Birkins.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

Jeans are the Gateway Drug to Separates.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

My closet is filled with all manner of sugary cake, frosting, and every treat in between, with very little bread. But since forcing myself into sewing up the Birkin Flares as a holiday sew, suddenly I want stuff I can wear with my jeans. I have heard that this type of garment, that pairs with another garment, this thing is called a "Separate."

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

SEPARATES. EGADS!

I wasn't going to test the latest BHL pattern, because, Not A Sparkly Dress. Not only Not a Sparkly Dress...a top. I'd go so far as to call it a BLOUSE. A quick check of my closet reveals that in eight years, I've made about a dozen things that can be counted as some sort of top. And none of them can really be called a blouse. Plus, I don't own blouse material! I haz brocade, and velvet, and gazar...so, I thought I'd pass.

And then this Liberty of London silky cotton, meant for a maxi length copy of Sallieoh's bohemian midi dress, screamed at me from its place on my party shelves:


HEY I KNOW IT'S WINTERTIME AND YOU WANT TO SEW ME UP INTO A CURRENTLY UNWEARABLE BOHEMIAN TRAILING DRESS BUT WOULDN'T A BLOUSE BE THE WAY TO GET ME ON YOUR BODY RIGHT THE F NOW?!

Mouthy fabric, that Liberty. I finally get what y'all have been hollering about. This print, Anna's Garden, is a reissue from the 70s. The flowers are large format and organically placed, which is what sold me. The fabric is whisper soft and floaty, the kind that you don't want to prewash for fear of changing the hand. But prewash I did, and dried it in the dryer, because I like to be honest with myself: I'm not laying my separates out to air dry. I will mistreat about 90% of my separates. Mainly because 90% of my separates are RTW, so maybe that will change now that I'm hooked on the Bread Drug...at the moment though, I'm mistreating. I mean, check the snaps I hammered into this poor stuff. Those snaps are too heavy for such a delicate fabric! Lookit how they're pulling the organza interfaced placket! I will forever have to daintily pry them open with a fingernail! 

But I do not care. I like the look of them.


Also not caring: that my second pair of Birkins still do not have rivets, or back pockets, or a proper button. I liked how this wooden guy paired with the deep indigo, so I went with it.


A deep indigo which incessantly rubbed off on my hands. If Marc Jacobs actually stocks this yardage in RTW, it definitely comes with a warning tag: do not sit on light colored furniture in your new jeans. Ever seen that tag? I used to think it was BS before I started to sew.

I added two loops on the center back, because, well, where the yardage for my first Birkins did not have enough stretch, this fabric has way too much stretch. Perhaps I will Goldilocks myself into the proper denim for my third pair, but I'm not holding my breath. I had a little war with the waistband, when I had to take everything in to account for the stretch factor, which you can see in the front shot.


This denim would be better suited to a pair of skinnies, and I should have just hung onto it for the release of the Kendalls, but I couldn't wait. I really was frothing at the mouth to sew another pair, so I considered it a science experiment. They wrinkle at the front and absolutely need a belt-- and hey. They need pockets. To be honest, I was so tired of washing dye off my hands, I abandoned ship on pockets. Let me get my strength back, imma add them in, and take about a quarter inch off that back hem, too.


oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

Let's talk more about the blouse! When I test, I try to sew up a straight size with as little modifications as possible. So, this is a straight size 8/12, with no fit modifications. My short waist wasn't an issue with this swingy shape. And, it is a beautiful swingy shape! WHICH YOU WILL SEE NO EVIDENCE OF HERE! I will never wear this loose. I SAID NEVER. Something about the equation of my big hair + my badonkadonk + a wide shirt hem just doesn't equal good. However, I'm thinking about lengthening it to summer dress length and wearing it full swing. 

Remember Summer? Yeeeeeah. Like right-above-the-knee breezy summer dress, strappy flat sandals, a couple bangles, triple scoop of gelato around 4pm in the park...

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

I digress. Changes I made: the pattern has two collar options, neither of which are my style, and unlike the swingyness of the shirt hem, that's not so easily changed by a tuck-in. So, I measured the neckline at the SA and freehanded a standing collar, which fully encases the button placket. And instead of buttons, just three snaps on the front, since I only want to wear it tied or tucked.

Changes I made, not so much on purpose: the sleevehead is actually supposed to be a bit gathered, but some testers (me) thought it was supposed to be a smooth application, and some testers (ME) reset the sleeve 4 times trying to get all the puckers out. The gals at BHL have changed the main illustrations to reflect the gathers that should be there, but the instructions only note that it's a fuller sleeve, so keep that in mind if you're sewing it up. However, I like my mistake, so I'll probably remove a bit of ease from the sleevehead when I go for that summer dress.

Summer.

Sorry, I gotta go think about Summer now.

Pattern: BHL's Sarah Shirt, final PDF pattern provided to me in exchange for testing
Fabric: Liberty of London (sold out, another colorway) and Marc Jacobs Denim, both from Mood Fabrics.

42 comments:

  1. Oooooooooooooo - that fabric! Sooo lovely! Both of these pieces look amazing :)

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  2. DAT FABRIC! I've been eyeing the Sarah shirt for a lengthen-it-into-a-dress-because-I-miss-summer project.

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  3. Love both pieces. They will mix and match with tons of other clothing!

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  4. You reset the sleeve 4 times? You are such a good tester. I feel like a sewing queen for half-ripping out one sleeve this weekend!
    I think a swing dress version would be so cute! And this fabric: Love!

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  5. Everything about this outfit is lovely. I wish I knew how to sew well enough to make it. Alas, I'm just a beginner.

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  6. Lovely! That fabric gives me heart eyes. I feel you on the denim-colored hands issue.

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  7. That blouse fabric is soooooooo everything. That's the kind of print I oogle at the store, take the bolt out, feel it's drape and put it back. Because it is everything I am not LOL.

    Jeans with too much stretch - been there, done that. Learned that it is always best to go down a size and I never remember to do it.

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    1. yeeeeah. i went down a size for it and it's STILL too much stretch! bummer.

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  8. Love that fabric - so colorful and happy!

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  9. Love that blouse so full of color and LIFE! Yesssss Fabulous!
    Hugs
    Shari
    MyDailyThreadz

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  10. Tip: To prevent the color from rubbing off on you, your hands, your couch, etc, try a vinegar rinse. It works as a mordant to bind the color to the fabric. Works well on RTW too.

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    1. i gotta get on this, i've heard this and never tried it (i hate the smell of vinegar!)

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  11. You are so cute! Yes it's true, jeans are the gateway drug to separates. In my closet are many, many.
    jeans. And separates -- many, many separates. My Few dresses hang unloved and unworn waiting to become vintage, whereupon I will sell them to make jeans and more seperatws

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  12. I am in awe of your top stitching. Perfect! Is there a knack or a trick or a technique you use?

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    1. i used the triple stitch on my pfaff at a 4.0 length, with a shiny poly in the top needle, sloooow speed, and a 1/4 inch quilter's foot. worked like a charm!

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  13. that '70s style suits you so well! love your version of shirt (and that fabric is insane)

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  14. I LOVE THIS!!!! <3<3<3<3<3 must go copy....

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  15. That Liberty of London fabric is gorgeous! and the Birkin Flares are a perfect match. Great job as always.

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  16. Your stitching is awesome.

    How do you re-set a sleeve that many times without just ruining all the fabric and making everything look messed up and tired??

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  17. Fun, fun, fun! The jeans are fabulous. And what's a little run off? It's always good to leave your mark ;) Well, maybe not on someone's white sofa!!

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  18. Oh My Goodness...your curls are adorable Oona! My curls wanna be your curls!

    Personally, I love the juxtaposition {yay, no spell check needed} of the silky fabric with the snaps. It's these little bits of the unexpected that really make our makes special!

    Your jeans are fab! The fit is fab! The top stitching is fab! All FAB!

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  19. I am in love with dress too, but this inspires me to branch out. Excellent work!

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  20. As a child of the 70's, an era which fostered in me a love of all things vibrant, colorful, flowery and bohemian, can I just say that while I think your blouse and jeans are fabulous WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT FABRIC? How is it that I am finding this fabric right at the time when I most do not need more fabric? You know what? I'm just gonna tell myself I have no business buying anything Libery until I can sew at least half as well as you can, Ms. Oona. Also, FYI, weird things are happening with Wordpress when I try to post comments places, so I'm hoping this isn't my second comment here. Although this outfit AND FABRIC would 100% rate a 2nd comment. So. Pretty.

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  21. "big hair + my badonkadonk + a wide shirt hem just doesn't equal good" unless you include the spike heels that adjust the proportions. Got some? Try it out.
    Okay so the jeans are wonderfully made and look great as does what I could see of the blouse. Give you props - that is alot of work you did there. I am not sure what you see/feel exactly but I would rock every part of that look - but with some very high skinny heels....and some oversized single colored leather satchel bag with lots of metal hardware. Great work there Madam.

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    1. Oh - don't forget the oversized shades.... ;-)

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    2. i LEFT my perfect pair of spike heels in the great cross country move of '07! or maybe it was '08. whichever, it was a dumb move...

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  22. I tend not to worry about what's the 'right' sort of fabric for a particular garment - the fabric I choose will be that garment AND IT WILL BE HAPPY TO BE THAT GARMENT. Seriously, though, I love the loud floral for a soft long sleeve blouse, I think it's a perfect choice. And I'm a big fan of pairing wood buttons with dark denim, so I love that you've used a wood button on your flares.

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  23. This is such a fun outfit and is so you! Fun, 70s separates totally work with your vibe! Oh and I second the vinegar thing- add about a cup of white vinegar to the wash and it will set the color really well (and helps keep things from fading as quickly in future washes).

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    1. gah i hate vinegar! i'm forcing myself to try this.

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  24. The whole darn get-up is just lovely!

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  25. The blouse fabric doth take my breath away.

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  26. The Birkins are great! And for another true 70s vibe they need some embroidery added on the legs. You got the machine that can do it too. On trend, and WAY less expensive (I'm seeing $1600 price tags for them at Nordstrom). Like the top too.

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    1. ha, i've had this very thing waiting for inspiration since january! the jeans are made and ready, the wide leg left open below the knee. maybe i should go check out those valentinos ;)))

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  27. Oops, spoke too soon... Valentino has a pair of straight legged butterfly embroidered jeans for... wait for it... $3500!

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  28. I just got used to sewing skinny jeans; now I have to go back to wide-leg?????? Sigh. The good news is - I remember the 70s.

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  29. I really love this outfit...REALLY LOVE IT in fact. It's very cool. I love the new skirt and top as well actually. I am not really a dress girl..maybe that's why I am excited for your new found separates path?? I have a floaty shirt dress stuck in my head too..now to dig myself out of my life /sewing slump to attain such yumminess . ..xx much love honey xx

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  30. Before you subject yourself to the hated vinegar wash, I would suggest this advice, from a dyeing site that I have used for many years and trust completely.
    http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/dyeblog/C1605100905/E20130118090411/index.html

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  31. HAHA. I wish you would sew sallie oh's dress. I got the same fabric and the pattern to copy it, too, and I'd love to see another before I attempt it.

    That said, I love love love this outfit and I'm ready to go dancing with you!

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied if not always written!