The Plantain Stripes Back

So, I may have a bit of a pattern crush on the Plantain. And this is just the beginning.

I’ve made the Deer and Doe Plantain four times now: an unblogged muslin (super comfortable, and waaaaay too big), here and here, a project yet to be blogged, plus two projects yet to be sewn and two more that are still in the planning stages. That would make, all said and done, four different pattern variations not counting changing sleeve lengths.

I still haven’t gotten it quite perfect. There’s some bunching under my arms that I can’t quite figure out. I’m trying to add a bit of width. I’m thinking maybe it’s too tight. Either that or the armhole still isn’t right.

You can see that a bit in this little project.

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Sorry about the face. It’s what happens when I look at the camera.

What you can’t see is the topstitching.

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I used white thread for all the topstitching. And then painstakingly colored all the topstitching over the black stripes with a black Sharpie. If I were classier, I would have used a fabric marker. But I didn’t have any of those. The Sharpie worked, though. This shirt can’t stay out of the washer, apparently, and the black holds fast! Maybe because I ironed it right after thinking it might help set the marker.

The fabric is Riley Blake, probably a medium-weight. It keeps its shape beautifully.

And that is officially all I have to say about this shirt.

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I think my next plan for this pattern is to reshape it to a more fitted tee–which I kind of have already done with the dress variation I’ve made.

And now, friends–PANTS. They are happening. They are cut out. They are awaiting a jeans button. MY LEGS SHALL NOT FREEZE THIS WINTER.

Farewell, y’all. Stay warm out there.

A T-shirt Dress of Seasonal Confusion

I’m alive!

I’m so tired. So, so tired.

. . .

Fall is official, y’all. And what better way to celebrate than to share a dress that would be perfect for spring.

Plantain dress

This is the Plantain from Deer and Doe. You know.

All I did was measure some things. . . and draw some things.

Did I mention I was tired?

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There’s a pretty major swayback issue. I have no idea how I go about fixing that when there’s no waist seam. Research needs to be done.

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The fabric is from Girl Charlee. With somewhere between 30-40% stretch, it works really well for a dress. Stable but not too stiff.

I am, in spite of my exhaustion, pretty excited about this dress. I most definitely want one in black to wear with my kimonos. And also in all the other colors.

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Anyways, it’s good to be back. I’m not sure how “back” I am though. So much tiredness. But, I do have a ridiculous number of projects to share. . .

Now that I’m posting again, maybe I can even start catching up with my blog reading!

. . .

I’m so afraid to log in to my reader.

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So, what’s new with you? Did I miss anything?

A Lucky, Not-So-Lucky Plantain (And Maritime Muslin!)

And now that I’ve revealed my summer sewing plan, let’s start with something completely unrelated, shall we? 😉

I love it when indie designers offer free patterns. I’m not one to purchase a pattern just because everyone else is–thank goodness! I simply don’t have the budget for every new bit of indie awesomeness that comes my way. So, before I invest in a semi-pricey pattern, I like having the chance to get to know a designer a bit better with a free pattern offering. It gives me an opportunity to see how the downloading works and how the patterns and instructions are laid out.

Deer and Doe designs, as you know, are very beautiful; however, I’d never met one that I just absolutely had to have. Until the Plantain started appearing. I really loved the relaxed fit and the elbow patches–and the price!

The first Plantain I made was several months ago just after the pattern was released. It was really an experiment/stash buster. I used what I think was some rayon ribbed knit in white with some leftover navy for the elbow patches. I don’t know why exactly–maybe I was all about going oversized to pair with some leggings I’d made?–but I made a size or two too large and lengthened the sleeves and the hem, I think. The result was. . . comfy. But not something to be worn out of the house.

So, a few weeks ago, when I purchased some green and white striped jersey from Girl Charlee (it was perfectly cut! They can do it!) with no pattern in mind, I eventually settled on attempting the Plantain again.

Plantain 1

 

I ended up cutting different sizes in different areas based on the fit of my first Plantain. The neckline and shoulders are a 34 which goes out to a 40 at the end of the shoulder. The side seams are a 40 or 42 (can’t remember!) and then the length is a 46. Once it was all sewn together, I eyeballed the hi-lo hem (which was not my wisest decision) with a rotary cutter.

Plantain 2I am rather in love with the result. The fabric tends to bunch up a bit above my bust, so perhaps I should have sized a bit differently in the shoulder area. The hem is a bit odd at the side seams; I should have worked out a smoother transition there.

 

Plantain StitchingI used my stretch twin needle for all my topstitching. I finally figured out how to adjust the tension of my bobbin–which is a rather scary thing to do as there’s no visual indication of how tight it is. So, there is some trial and error involved. But, a looser bobbin thread helps the fabric not pucker up as much between the two rows of topstitching and it helps maintain a proper zig zag on the bottom. It looks altogether more polished and professional than any other non-coverstitch machined topstitching, I think.

 

Plantain 3

As luck would have it, the first time I wore my brand new Plantain out, I came home with an oil smudge on the front. I have no idea when that happened. Since it was about 2:00 a.m., I just doused it with cornstarch (in hopes that it would absorb the oil) and washed it in the morning. At first, I thought I’d conquered the stain, but once it came out of the dryer, I could still faintly see the spot. You don’t really notice it unless you know it’s there, and you certainly can’t see it in pictures.

The second time I wore it, I got a tiny tomato sauce splash spot right in one of the white stripes. I pretreated and washed it immediately and luckily that stain came right out. But the oil smudge persists.

Oh well–if I can manage to wear this top without destroying it, I plan to live in it for the rest of the summer. Wish me luck!

The shorts are my first pair of Grainline Maritime Shorts. They are made with a rather terrible cotton/poly blend stretch denim. It feels lovely and soft on the outside and like P.E. in the 80’s on the inside.

Plantain 4

 

Truth be told, they are too big. So too big that I don’t need to unzip or unbutton them to take them off. It’s a little ridiculous; it’s also due to the stretch in the fabric. But, can we all just take a moment to celebrate that this is the first time in the history of the world that I have SEWN A PATTERN STRAIGHT OUT OF THE ENVELOPE. And by that I mean that I made absolutely ZERO changes to the pattern and it just fits (except for the largeness–but they stay on just fine! Seriously, it’s the fabric).

Actually, it’s not the first time–I sewed the Archer without any mods. But the Archer needs some armhole adjusting, so I’m not sure it counts.

Whatever, y’all. Jen gets me.

When I discovered the ickiness of the fabric, I decided to use it as a wearable muslin. I think I sewed a 10 because that’s what I did with my Moss. But, I’m just so happy that there’s no weird gaping or enormous leg holes or odd crotch curving or riding up. The shorts just fit, and I’m so relieved that I don’t have to work on them forever to make them pretty much perfect.

And now, I need to put together a little weekend wardrobe. Friday, I am flying to Arizona for a yearbook conference (my very first grown up business trip!) which I will be late for because my flight gets in with not enough time for me to get my car and drive to the hotel and they were going to charge me $200 to change it! Ummm. . . no. But, whatevs! I’m excited and a bit nervous because I may have to Talk to People. Did you know that I’m super socially awkward? I totally am.

And once I get back, it will be time to start gearing up for school. Wow–where did the summer go??? Must. Sew. FASTER!