Thursday, February 6, 2014

Amanda vs Gingham Taffeta Awesomeness


Three words, people.

Silk.
Taffeta.
Gingham.

After an almost five month sabbatical from the craziness of me noggin I’m coming back to you with a hot mess of crazy/awesome. Because while I have a rather mature Liberty frock, flirty gingham sundress and super cute boat tee and shorts combo ready to share this seemed the most obvious way to ease on back into things as lady like as ever…


Some things never change…

But what has changed is the fact I have silk taffeta in my life… This is the stuff 80s prom dresses and dreams are made of! Last September I was down in Melbourne for the epic Frocktails event and had a bit of a fabric binge with a number of the other fine ladies in attendance. We meandered into The Fabric Store and lo and behold I came across the majesty of this gingham and it was love at first sight. The freaky thing was this was one of only a handful of times I have known exactly what I wanted to make out of a fabric when I bought it. Puffy pleated skirt here I come! A little bit taffeta prom queen and a little bit 50s gingham. This is sheer perfection in Amanda-land!


So pattern wise I free styled this bad boy like a boss. I measured my waist and then added an inch to the ends to get the waistband length. I then cut along the fabric so the band would be three checks high. Booyah. For the skirt itself I used the width of the piece and played around with the pleats using the checks as a guide until I got the desired puffiness. Because if you are going silk taffeta it is an insult to the fabric to not have as much volume as humanly possible!


Okay, let’s talk some real talk. This was a super quick sewing project. As in, six days after I bought the fabric I had sewn it up in 15 minute chunks in the evening. And I wore it to a work function (and looked fierce). Heck, I even took photos to share it with y’all. That was until I looked at the photos and realised that it was too long- it looked saggy and not puffy and was relegated to lose three inches off the hem. Which really is no bigs, right? Unless you are a crazy perfectionist who wants to catch stitch this bad boy like a boss and it takes you a few hours to get this done. So poor little puffy skirt got put into the mending pile and as my sewing course folios were due it got ignored. And then Christmas projects began and the gingham marvel was left to be stylish in the corner of the room…


Cue a crazy post sewing-room makeover and I dug our little friend out, serged the excess off, popped on some Sherlock and invisibly hemmed it like a boss (side note: if you need to debrief after this season let me know- all of the amazings!) The hem stitches are placed so carefully that it is invisible to the naked eye unless you are being a super creeper and getting all up in my skirt’s grill. Not cool.


See what I mean?

And can we take a moment to pay a big snaps to my shirt? It’s an origami panda. And it totally feels like it was designed with this taffeta in mind. Crazy panda + silk taffeta = my happy place.


And let’s be honest, where would I be without some crazy posing? A lady has to flaunt her mad raptor skills!


What I liked about this project:
  • Invisible hemming like a boss!
  • The fact I totes made this up as I went- I get this is a basic skill but it was so freeing after finishing my Tiki dress of five billion steps
  • How well the checks matched! I unpicked the zipper twice to get the perfect match.


What I would change next time:
  • Gather rather than pleat- I feel there may be more taffeta oomph from gathering… Though I may be wrong…
  • Keep the length shorter. While I love tea length stuff on other women it makes me look like an angry dwarf (sans beard). And while I am all about heading to Isengard to smack down Saruman with my elf bro, brooding ranger and epic wizard friends in tow I don’t want to look like I have stumpy dude calves. 
  • Hem the dang thing in a time period that isn’t five freaking months. You know, just to mix it up.


Costing
Pattern: Me noggin… Does the gin I consumed while I sorted out the pleats count towards the cost? I’m going to say no…
Fabric: 1 metre of gingham silk taffeta (feel the 80s, people) from The Fabric Store, $28 I think?
Notions: YKK zipper $3.50, thread in stash
Cost: $31.50

See also: PoppykettleTilly and the ButtonsCation Designs 


And if you have made it this far thank you so much hanging round while I was having my little sabbatical. 2013 was, in all honesty, a bit of a jerk to me and I’m rather glad to see it gone. Here’s to an epic 2014 – I have a new sewing room, many projects and a fancied up blog to show off...


Here’s to staying sassy! 

66 comments:

Tamsinwp said...

excellent start to the new year! Looks swooshy and awesome. Really like the T-shirt too - I have a panda mad 7yr old who would go crazy for that! Hope 2014 is a better year for you.

MaciNic said...

I love the origami panda, my awe of your silk taffeta check matching is boundless, but I love most "while I am all about heading to Isengard to smack down Saruman with my elf bro, brooding ranger and epic wizard friends in tow I don’t want to look like I have stumpy dude calves" x

Buttontreelane said...

Lookin good! Freaking fantastic skirt.

Roisin said...

WELCOME BACK. Skirt is super fancy, You're a dudette. That is all.

Annette Tirette said...

Nope, no angry dwarf in sight. This is a winner!

And yesss Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock! I just watched the first episode again and noticed that 'liar' was already floating around in the first deduction Sherlock made about Mary. Eep!

Annette Tirette said...

Here's a screenshot:

Jennifer said...

Freakin' awesome skirt! Love it!

ShanniLoves... said...

Welcome back!!!

Roxanne Guillemette said...

Huzzah, you are back! And with a gingham vengence! You look mighty sassy in that silk taffeta number. I like it's versatile apeal: go casual with a t-shirt or all-out glam with a shirt or embellished top.

Ooh, and don't fret too much about the whole "I took 5 months to hem a skirt" thing... We've all been there! (At least, I have!) I recently went through my closet and re-hemmed a few dresses I wasn't wearing. Don't ask me how much time THAT took.

As for Sherlock... OH-MY-GOD-WHAT-THE-WHAT???? I can't wait another year for the new season... I'm re-watching old seasons and special behind the scenes episodes, but I fear this won't tide me through...

Amy T said...

That skirt was made for that panda. Congratulations on a winning number.
A cracking re entry to the blogisphere. Mega happy to have you back.

VickiKate said...

Fabulous and Yay! You're back! Love your T and skirt.

Amanda Russell said...

Aww I'm so glad you're back! I've missed you!! I totally thought your top was a perfect match to the skirt, and boss points for hemming the skirt invisibly; I would have done a double folded machine hem - bing bang boom, no apologies there - HA! But yours looks very profesh :)

jacqcoldwell said...

Looking fabulous, lovely to see you back :)

Sabs said...

Welcome back m'lady, you were missed! 2013 was a bitch to me too, here's to an awesome 2014. And how well you've started it - panda? gingham? Why it's a veritable feast for the eyes! Shall we call it pingham? Or pandemogingham?

Suzy said...

So much awesome to comment on! Love the skirt, love the tshirt and love Sherlock (mary!!!!!).

Neeno - Sew Me Love said...

Loves it!!!!! You are too cute!

Amanda Adams said...

Pandas are all kinds of fierce! 2014 is going to rock :D

Amanda Adams said...

I feel I need to go swooshing around sassily somewhere. Mmm brunch in Braddon... :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, lovely! 2014 is about bringing sassy back :D

Amanda Adams said...

OMG, I know! I was completely bowled over!!!

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, lovely lady :D :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye! I'm not sure I can stand in front of a camera and not goof around :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, lovely! It's good to be back!

Amanda Adams said...

Rox- I am so there with you on Sherlock. IT blew my tiny little mind with all the awesome :D And it is comforting to here that other people have things sitting round waiting to finish... I'm not alone ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Why thank ye, my dear! I feel like Past-Amanda was totally looking out for Future Amanda when she bought that shirt!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank, lovely! IT's good to be back :D

Amanda Adams said...

Naww! All us rad Amandas have to stick together :D OMG I totally forgot about a blind hemming foot. Seriously. I literally just faced palmed sitting in my lounge room reading this. GAH! Note to self- clean out machine feet box.

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Jacq! It's great to be back :D

Amanda Adams said...

All the cool ladies are going to have a fierce 2014, I have decreed! And pandemogingham it shall be, fo sho!

Amanda Adams said...

Suzy- the Mary thing? OMG, right?! Season four needs to hurry itself up STAT!

Amanda Adams said...

Nawww, thanks, Neeno :D :D :D

Amanda Adams said...

Bwah ha ha! I have been rewatching all of the LotR movies and I fear I may be viewing my life through Tolkien glasses currently ;)

Amanda Russell said...

Oooh blind hem foot - that's on my I-WANT list - any excuse to make hemming easier! LOL

Nyssa Jayne said...

this is an excellent start to 2014!

re pleating vs. gathering for oomph, i like pleating because then i can avoid excess fabric around "trouble areas", but you get a nice, even effect with gathering. the best way to get more oomph is to use more fabric -- three times your waist measurement is a figure quoted by girls who wear lolita, which is the fluffiest of all fashions.

glad to see you back on the interwebs too. :)

CGCouture said...

Welcome back! I love the skirt, but it's a bit overshadowed by origami panda awesomeness. ;-) And yes to taking forever to hem things--every. single. time. :-)

Ginger said...

This is ADORABLE! I love it on you! And the origami panda-- so much cuteness and awesomeness all rolled into one! Glad to have you back!

Kirsty Maurits said...

Love love love! That t-shirt matches it so perfectly, it's amazing. Glad to see you back on the blogging scene!

Kirsty Maurits said...

Love love love! That t-shirt matches it so perfectly, it's amazing. Glad to see you back on the blogging scene!

Kirsty Bunfield (kbfield) said...

Yay that you are back blogging and gosh I wish you'd got that fabric at A2F so I could run down and grab some of it. Loooove it! God, I've got to get watching this season of Sherlock. What am I waiting for!?

BusyLizzie said...

You are back with a vengeance!! No surprises, I love that skirt, super cute and of course totes fierce :) Rocking as always

Jeifner said...

You are a panda wearing skirt drafting 50's/80's boss! Looks great on you and makes your waist seem even more itty bitty than it is.

Angela said...

Love it! and the matching panda is awesome. Cheers for 2014!

tors (girl, meets wolf) said...

And you've started 2014 like a boss! Awesome skirt, fantabulous pictures as per usual - vastly jealous of your silk taffeta goodness and if you do end up heading to Isengard please take me with you, I've always wanted an elf bro. Can't wait to see what you come up with next, here's hoping 2014 stays amazing for you so you can entertain me with your sewing skills (and raptor pics obvs) x

Bec Stitches said...

Yewwww rock it :)

Amanda Adams said...

Fo sho! It's a life changer :D

Amanda Adams said...

OMG I need to try the three time floofiness gather! This is the best tip ever, Nyssa! :D

Amanda Adams said...

All the cool ladies like not to be rushed with their hemming ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, lovely! Origami pandas make EVERYTHING better!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye so much :D I also have an origami penguin shirt... I need more gingham taffeta STAT!

Amanda Adams said...

Merci, lovely! Best shirt/fabric unintential match ever!

Amanda Adams said...

We must petition for gingham silk taffeta- surely they can't deny us!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, lovely! All my makes with fabric from that weekend have been winners- fabric style twins!

Amanda Adams said...

J- we must Sherlock debrief! All of the amazings! And let us talk about knitting again soon- I'm going to finish that Miette before I head to Japan!

Amanda Adams said...

Naww, thanks lovely lady! Panda tee is my current favourite top at home... :D

Amanda Adams said...

Bwah ha ha! There should be more 50s/80s combos I say :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you so much, lovely! 2014 is going to be fierce!

Amanda Adams said...

Tors- we both need elf bros. Let's make this happen! :D :D :D

Amanda Adams said...

Like a boss! Thanks, Bec! :D

Craft Sanctuary said...

YES silk taffeta gingham skirt of awesomness! Starting the year off right! Glad you're back :)

poppykettle said...

Awesome Amanda - and you're absolutely right - gathered taffeta is boofier than pleated taffeta, but they're both fabulous! Love the length of this skirt!

Amy said...

Didn't think it was possible to fit so much awesome into one post... Fantastic skirt! Origami panda! Sherlock and LoTR! Glad to see you back - we missed you.

Amanda Adams said...

Like a taffeta boss! All the ladies need to rock the 80s ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Why thanks ye, Miss Mel! Taffeta for all!

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks so much, lovely! Pop culture references and raptor poses are back with a vengeance...

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Hailey said...

CUTE!

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