My New Favorite Sewing Pattern

In the past few years I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences with patterns by the French pattern company Deer & Doe. You may have seen me blog about them before with my Sally costume (Belladone), Luna Lovegood shorts (Chataigne), and my Marauder’s Map skirt (Azara). I’ve also made some two pairs of Safran jeans, I just finished a Givre dress which I can’t wait to wear, and I have a few other patterns that need to get made (Bruyère, Pensée and Sirocco), but so far my favorite thing they’ve created is the crop top and skirt version of the Zéphyr dress.

The reason I bought this pattern is because I got some insanely wonderful Star Wars fabric from Knitorious that I wanted to make into something special, and once I saw this outfit option, I knew it was meant to be. And it turned out AMAZINGLY well. I’ve always been a little wary to sew with knits, and shirts have been daunting, but this pattern makes perfect sense to me, and the pieces fit together exactly as I expect them to.

Showing off my bling after the Star Wars race weekend

Derby Day and May the Fourth be with you 🤓

This is one of my favorite outfits I’ve ever made. The fabric alone gets a lot of comments - I don’t think people expect to see Darth Vader next to pretty flowers. But the outfit as a whole is truly wonderful. I’ve never been super confident about my midriff, but lately I’ve been jealous of all the cute outfits that include crop tops. Luckily high waisted pants and skirts are in style, right now, and this outfit gave me the courage to try it out. And I love it. I love the way the skirt accents my natural waist. I love the flirty bit of skin that shows, but that it’s also conservative enough to wear practically anywhere. I love the cut of the skirt and where it hits on my legs. It’s all around perfect.

And that first outfit turned out so well that I’ve made a few other pieces with this pattern since - all separates, so far. A big plus is that they can be mixed and matched with each other or with other shirts/bottoms depending on the style I’m going for.

I have never been sweatier in my life.

I have never been sweatier in my life.

First was a running top for my Star Wars half marathon in April. I used a similar floral Star Wars fabric, but this time in a swim material, and used black performance knit on the sides and arm and neck bands, to add a sporty touch.

Next was a cute pink skirt from a great ponte knit I found at Joann’s. This skirt pattern is so simple to put together. I only got a yard of this fabric, and because of the width of it I ended up having to do two back panels for the skirt rather than just one back piece, and that alteration worked easily. I have several other ideas for more Zéphyr skirts with fabric I already have lying around. I also made a black skirt out of the same ponte knit because black goes with everything and this has already turned into a great staple to have in my wardrobe. This ponte knit has a bit more body than the double-brushed polyester I used for the Star Wars skirt, so it stays flared, rather than flowy.

Then, around 10pm the eve before Denver Pop Culture Con (formerly Denver Comic Con), I finished making hubby a Star Trek uniform, and got jealous that he was going to have a handmade Star Trek outfit, but I wasn’t. I could have worn my usual red Star Trek t-shirt dress from past years, and still matched him. I also didn’t HAVE to match him, and was thinking that maybe I could go as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas (as I have a handmade dress and a great backpack to match), reuse my Tardis dress again, go as Mary Poppins, or wear something nerdy and handmade, but not a cosplay. But what I really, truly wanted was a handmade outfit to match hubs. I had extra stretchy red and black fabrics from Nathaniel’s uniform, and I had the black skirt mentioned above, so, since I’d already made the crop top twice, I figured I’d whip one up as quick as I could (under 2 hours). I didn’t hem it perfectly, and I didn’t do all the top-stitching recommended, because I wanted to sleep as much as possible, but honestly, it turned out great, and someone even asked me where I got it! One of the highest compliments I can receive when wearing something handmade.

Needless to say, my love affair with the Zéphyr pattern is far from over. I have a few more skirts I already know I’m going to make, and I think I’ll try one of the dress versions somewhat soon. And if you see me wearing a black skirt, chances are high it’s this one here, because it’s perfect.

signature long.png

A Walk Through a Glass Garden

Can you believe I have lived in Boulder my whole life, and I only just recently went to the Denver Botanic Gardens? Pretty crazy, right? I often find it hard to escape my Boulder Bubble for much, but I'm glad I did for this. Right now there is an exhibit featuring the amazing glass art of Dale Chihuly. If you've ever been to the Bellagio in Vegas, he's the guy who did that gorgeous glass flower ceiling there. The Chihuly Exhibit is up for just another month or so, but if you can get down there, I highly recommend it. Hopefully I can drag myself to Denver again before it's gone ;)

I thought it looked like a collection of planets.

Of course the visual appeal is amazing, and if you like pretty things, you will love this exhibit. But what really struck me about this is how much patience and passion Mr. Chihuly must have. Each individual piece of glass takes time, focus and devotion. I found this quote on his website:

“The process is so wonderfully simple, yet so mystifying.”

My photographer man - the shadows those made were pretty amazing!

It really is just different colors of glass, so it is "simple", but each piece is unique, even if you use the same colors or techniques, and I'm sure that one slight misstep will cause either a bit of a disaster (it is glass after all) or a beautiful mistake. I don't think that someone who didn't love what they did would say this.

Now I say that I am impressed with his patience. He must spend weeks if not months on some of the larger pieces. I don't think that I would have the endurance to do what he does. But it is not my passion. If he hated the glass, he wouldn't be successful like he is today. Because this is his passion, it doesn't matter if it takes every hour of every day to create the next masterpiece, it will be completely worth it. May we all be so lucky to find something in which we can spend every waking moment completely engrossed.

I feel extremely lucky to be able to witness art and beauty in this world. How crazy to think that each person is unique, and one different event in their life could have been the difference between living a "normal" life, and being able to share their work with the world. A huge thank you to Dale Chihuly, for reminding me that the world is still a wondrous place, full of beauty, where following your passion is worth everything.

 
 

P.S. Thanks to Artsy.net who found this entry and liked it enough to reach out to me! Learn more about Dale Chihuly here.