Thursday, 5 December 2013

Planning Ahead and Dreaming Just a Little

So, I've been working away on my Portrait Blouse.  I recently discovered that I've sewn the back on inside out (after I'd tied everything off and of course using French Seams at the shoulders).  Luckily (or unluckily since this is likely how I made the mistake) the fabric looks the same on the right and wrong sides.  So, I'm going to spread the darts and sew them down, like it was an intentional point of visual interest.

In other, more optimistic news, I've been told some of the patterns I'll be getting for Christmas.  I have a lot of extended family, and decided that I would ask most of them for patterns this year.  One of my aunts discovered that she wasn't the only one who was given a list of patterns so called to make sure no one else would get me the same patterns.  Which means I now know some of my presents and I've been excitedly plotting.  They'll likely be familiar from my Patterns of Note posts recently.

I know for example I'm getting New Look 6227.
New Look 6227

Now, all I can imagine is view A, in bright red!  Now luckily, Tilly, from Tilly and the Buttons is currently hosting the giveaway to end all giveaways!  The Stitcher's Dream Christmas Givaway runs until Sunday December 8th, so I would definitely recommend heading over to check it out.

I found Vibrant Cardinal Red Wool Blend Coating at Britex Fabrics and Red and Black Jacquard Print Lining at Minerva Crafts and I think I need both so I have a cape for spring!

Well, good luck everyone!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Patterns of Note: Modern Edition

Today, I've got two modern patterns.  These are still in print so they should be easy to find, which means they are perfect for putting in Christmas lists.

Pattern Number One:  Butterick 5813
Butterick 5813
This one is from Butterick's Retro line, so the vintage styling is built right in.  The pattern envelope shows both the wiggle version (with and without a bow at the empire waist) and a full skirted version.  I think I'm really partial to both actually.

It seems to be fairly fitted through the waist with princess seams.  However, all of the shaping in the bust appears to be gathers, which would make it super simple to adjust, should it be required (and it's always required).

Pattern Number Two:  McCall 6834
McCall 6834

This one isn't from a specifically retro line, but it seems very classic to me.  I love how the pleats of the dress seem to flow out of the princess and center seams of the bodice.  I feel like I'm going to have trouble making that line up properly.

And there we have it, a sneak peak into my Christmas List, and hopefully a view of projects I'll be working on soon!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Another Girdle Experiment

The other day, I was reading over at Fuller Figure, Fuller Bust, a trick for stockings.  For her photo shoot she used nylons that had been cut off so only the legs remained.  This means that the stockings don't have that elastic ridge around the top, like stay-ups do.  And, without the elastic the stockings don't cut into he tops of your thighs.

So, early yesterday morning I cut the tops of my uncomfortable Dollarstore Nylons and slipped (or, rather pulled, squirmed and hiked) into my girdle and wiggled my way to work.  The girdle was just as comfy as last time.  I didn't have any issue with it cutting into my waist this time.  I'm not sure if I wore it at a slightly different height, or what, but it worked.

I did have one issue.  I think because the stockings were a little too long, the garter tabs weren't being pulled tight at the back.  This led to some pretty sharp pains where the garters were digging in.  But, I undid the back tabs and didn't have a problem.  The front and side tabs were able to keep the stockings up, and the back tabs didn't bother me at all hanging loose.

So, another successful girdle experiment!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Trio of Dresses

Today, I bring you three vintage dress patterns from a wonderful blog I like to follow for inspiration.

Erin over at A Dress A Day has now posted a hundred dresses that she`s made.  (Take a moment and let that sink in.  100 dresses she has made. Anyway...)  She usually accompanies the dress with the pattern she used as well.  Which means I have a small list of patterns she`s shown that I`d somehow like to acquire.

So, today I present to you three of my favorites!

Vogue 9670:


This dress looks super cute, but also pretty casual.  It seems like something I could wear all day while I do whatever errands I need to do, but could also wear to the office.  Erin posted about it first here, but went on to post quite a few more.

Mail Order Pattern 4946:

I certainly couldn`t pull of the seersucker with yoke stripes going the opposite direction from the bodice stripes.  But, that`s exactly what Erin did, which I`d say is suitably impressive.  I think I`d be far more likely to use either a solid and a print, or use the same fabric for the yoke and the dress.

Simplicity 1577:

This dress is adorable.  It`s another dress that I could see being perfect for doing errands in or going out for coffee or lunch.  It`s even got pockets!  Erin had a bit of an obsession with the dress, starting here.  There`s a long list of posts where she`s shown this dress.  I`d be hard pressed to pick a favorite, which I`m taking as a sign that I should make this for myself.

And this concludes today`s Trio of Dresses.  If you`re ever in the market for some pretty dresses, you should definetly go check out the hundred dresses as A Dress A Day.  I know I`ve started a vintage pattern wish list!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Every Girl Needs a Cape

At least, I'm pretty sure I need a cape.  Welcome to A Coat Thing Part 2.   Today's coat, I'll admit, isn't technically a coat, but it definitely falls into that category.

Without further ado:

Coat Number 2:
New Look 6227

This pattern doesn't seem quiet as popular as Coat Number One from Friday.  I found one review on PatternReview.  However, just because it isn't popular doesn't mean it's not wonderful.  I mean really, go take a look at her View A.  That, is one gorgeous cape.

I'm a little torn between Views A and B.  But, like she said, do I really need more than one cape?  I could probably do View A in something lighter, light a trench-weight cotton and then View B in a mid-weight coating wool.  Then I have something for the warm days and the cool ones....

Still, not likely the most pressing thing I need for my wardrobe... but only if I'm thinking logically.  This might be the top of my list of Most Wanted Patterns right now...  (Dear Santa, ... )


Friday, 25 October 2013

A Coat Thing

Perhaps the weather turning cold has gotten to me (You can't prove I saw snow this morning.  I'll never admit it!  You can't make me!!), or perhaps its just that time of year, but I've been very fascinated by coat patterns of late.

I've picked two of my favorites.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be sewing any coats this season... its a little too late, and I'm not certain coats are the most pressing thing in my new wardrobe quest.  I'm not sure that this means I won't end up with a coat pattern or two in my stash though...

Coat Number 1:

Butterick 5824 by Gertie

I like Gertie.  She's not only profound in the vintage sewing scene, she's also hugely inspirational.  She's doing pretty close to what I want to be doing, sewing for a living.  (For me right now, that's still a pretty far off dream, but that's really not what we're looking at).

I also really like this coat.  The length is something you don't see as often any more.  It's nipped in a little at the waist and then flares out into a glorious swing skirt.  It's got a wide collar that I'm pretty sure could be snuggled into, though it does look like a scarf will be required, given the low V-neck.

My only hesitation, is the kimono sleeves.  They look good on the model, with her arms down.  But the review over at Edelweiss Patterns has a number of pictures that show some extra fabric there.  Which, is totally to be expected with kimono sleeves, but probably won't enhance my already-large bust.

The Options:  Attempt to draft a gusset.  Possible,  scary, and would definitely take a couple muslins before I could do it in any nice coating fabric.  Option Two:  Make it as a lighter Spring / Fall coat.  With a lighter fabric the bunching fabric will be less obvious.  Option Three:  Look for similar coats.  This is sad, because I'd really like to make Gertie's coat, however if I don't think it'll look good on me, it seems kind of like a waste.

And, since this has gone on for longer than expected, stay tuned next time for: Coat Number 2: The Cape!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Emotional Energy

Real life can be a bit of pain sometimes.

I've been feeling really drained recently.  At first I thought I was just tired, and then it was just my cold and then ... and then...  Not too long ago, I realized that I was slipping back into depression, which I've fought with before.

Now, I realize that, yes I was slipping into depression, however that was not my only problem.  More than just the depression, I lacked any stores of Emotional Energy.  This is the kind of energy that fills you with that Get-Up-And-Go, with the motivation to get you through the day.  More relevantly, it's also the energy I use for sewing, and writing and blogging.

Now, I love doing those things.  But, there's only so much gas in the tank, and recently, my Emotional Energy Tank has been leaking.  This week, I came to the startling, yet blatantly obvious realization that work was the leak in my tank.  Well, not work itself, I actually rather enjoy secretary-HR-management.  However, the current work environment is rather hard on me.

I'm constantly pulled between my Mother-in-Law and everyone else.  Be it, my darling boyfriend, the other staff members (who are usually unhappy and in my opinion not treated very well), or just the general public.  I've also had increasing contact with the Handy Man, who is now dating my Mother-in-Law.  He's not only drunk or drinking more often than not, but he also reminds me very strongly of my mother's abusive ex-husband.  Then there's of course the drama of my Mother-in-Law (not so quietly) waging war on not only the previous owner of the hotel, but also on her business partner (more quietly, as far as her partner is concerned, though everyone else and the cat next door knows).  And finally there's the fact that I'm constantly on call, to not only my M-i-L but also to the Handy Man and every member of staff.

Drama drains my emotional energy.  And I'm not sure if you can tell, but there's a lot of drama going on in my life right now.

Step one to a solution is identifying the problem.  I think I've sorted that one out.  Step two, is finding a way to stop the problem.  So at the moment I've started looking for a new job.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

In the mean time, I might be a little more absent around here that I'd like.  I'm not getting much sewing done to be honest, so I'm not really sure what I can show you.  What I am going to try and do, is find some patterns that I either like or want to try, or just feel like showing off / pointing out.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Lacey Goodness!

I finally wore my Rago Girdle to work yesterday.  If you remember, or rather, if you've forgotten, I ordered it from Lady Grace a little while ago at the same time as I ordered my longline bra.

Rage Style 1359
I do quite like it, especially now that I've worn it.  I had a bit of an ordeal finding thigh highs to go with it.  I did pick up a pair from the local Walmart, but when I originally tried them on together I didn't think that the tights came up high enough.

Luckily, I was able to pull the girdle down a touch and the tights up, and it worked.  By the end of the day I was having some pretty serious issues with my tights cutting into my thighs.  Now, this was deeply uncomfortable, but it was also no fault of the girdle.

I did find that the girdle cut in a little bit at the waist, but it only took a quick adjustment each time to fix it.  Other than that, the fit was spot on.  I found my tummy firmed up, not flat, but firmer.  I didn't find much of a lift behind, but it did firm up my derriere up nicely. It also gave me that 'wiggle' when I walked that girdles are known to provide.  Even with the constriction around my legs though, I found that there was enough stretch that I was still able to do everything I needed to.

All in all, it was an excellent purchase.  I quite enjoyed wearing it, though I will not likely wear it every day.  It will certainly be making a re-appearance when I wear the wiggle dress I'm hoping to make soon!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Morality vs Legality

I'd like to prefix today's post by saying I'm not a lawyer.  I have no background in copyrite law (or any other type.), and that I've not done all of the research I'd like to do on this subject.

There seems to be some debate in the internet-sewing world as to the acceptable and legal use of store-bought patterns.  There are some people who firmly believe that any use of these patterns for anyone besides yourself, and especially for sale, is a violation of copyright.  And there is the opposite camp who is convinced that once you've bought the pattern you're free to make it for whoever you want, and charge whatever you want, from now until the end of time.  Naturally there are some camps in between: the Make-100-per-Pattern camp, and the Each-Customer-Buys-A-Copy camp, the With-Designer-Permission-Only camp.  There's probably almost as many versions of 'Acceptable Use' as there are people in the debate.  The argument that I find most interesting is that it is legal to sell things you make, but it is morally wrong.

I'm in the camp of if it is legal to do so, then there is no reason I shouldn't.  To start, don't confuse this with Because it is legal, it is not wrong.  That's a different debate.  What I'm saying is that as long as it is legal, I don't see why it would be morally wrong to sell something I make.

I think it is wrong (and illegal) to photocopy the pattern and sell that.  I think it's wrong to claim that the pattern is mine.  However, I believe it is my right to sell things which I make.  I am putting in my time, effort and knowledge.  There is skill involved in sewing, you can't just sit down one day and whip up a coat.  And I don't think I'm taking anything away from the pattern-maker by doing so.  People who are going to buy already sewn items are not as likely to buy a pattern.  And, when I'm selling things I've made it will involve posting pictures of items to the internet.  I would think, seeing well made items from a pattern would make other sewers more likely to buy the pattern.  I know I at least look around for some finished examples and pattern reviews before buying a pattern.

So, that's my view on the matter.  Don't sell someone else's pattern.  But if you want to make something to sell, store-bought patterns are free game.

P.S. Again, I haven't finished my research, and I'm not a lawyer.  I should not be quoted in a court of law.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Muslin-Block

Sometimes I don't like making muslins.  Sometimes I just want to sew a dress, and I want to do it NOW.  (There are other times when I enjoy making muslins and adjusting patterns).  Sometimes, this leads to rash decisions, and sometimes it leads to a stalemate.

Last time I wanted to sew something right away, I went with a sundress I had made before.  I made a couple small pattern changes, and cut this fabric.  Now, having started I realized that I made at least one mistake... I lengthened the bodice but I didn't lengthen the back piece.  I'm fairly sure that I can put a pleat in the front midriff piece that will balance the two out.

However, now I'm a little stuck in that project.  Rather than finishing it quickly, I've completely stalled out of fear for what else could go wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've been working on muslins for the Portrait Blouse from Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing for quite a while now.  I've made one that was split-sized, between the shoulders, bust and hips.  Then I adjusted it, and did a kind of full bust adjustment and a narrow shoulder adjustment all in one, and moved the hips up a size.  Now I just need to make one more muslin to make sure that I haven't thrown anything out of line with these changes and I'll be able to move into real fabric.

Now, the other day, I wanted to sew.  But I didn't want to make another muslin.  That's all I'd been sewing recently and I really wanted to sew something I could wear right way.   But, I also didn't want to sew the dress, because that means I might discover a mistake that I can't fix.  Worst case scenario, I will have a fairly nice A-line skirt if I've made an irreparable mistake, but that's not always a comfort.

I think I'll just have to buckle down on my next day off and sew the last muslin.  Once I've gotten past that, I think I should be able to make a Portrait Blouse pretty quickly.  And my next project from the book is likely to be the A-line skirt, which won't require a muslin.  (Yay!)

Friday, 27 September 2013

Visiting Generosity

A few days ago, there was a lovely woman staying at our hotel. Now, Judi is an interesting woman.  She's in her late 60s and lives about an hour from where I grew up, in Southern Ontario.  One day, she woke up and bought the cheapest house in Canada.  She looked it up on the internet, sent the agent an email, and bought it sight-unseen, for about $5000.

The first time we met Judi she was driving out to New Brunswick for the first time to see her new house.  She stayed with us for a day or two, and then went on her way.  We got a phone call when she arrived, and then out of the blue, she showed up at the hotel again on her way back.

The house is very cute.  We got to see a bunch of pictures.  It's all worn wood on the outside.  Fairly small, but on a gorgeous lot, near the water.  You can see the ocean from her front porch.  Its just  summer house for now, without insulation you can't really live there in the winter.  She's planning to fix it up though, so we'll see what she decides to do.

She stayed for a couple days.  And spent all of Friday a part of Saturday before she left helping with renovations, like painting, around the hotel.  She also took a trip into the Salvation Army (thrift shop) and came back with a pearl necklace for me!
Isn't it gorgeous!

This is a shout out to the wonderful people like Judi.  Who buy houses they've never seen in cities they've never been to.  Who help with renovations at the hotels they stay at.  Who give gifts to people they barely know.

Thanks Judi!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Technical Difficulties!

I'm sorry about the Hiatus everyone!  I had company coming up for the weekend, so I wrote all my posts ahead of time and set them to publish automatically.  (I was so proud of myself.  All organized and pro-active and what not!)  Well, apparently, I didn't set them to publish.  They were still saved as drafts.

Yikes!

So, I'm back, and we'll be back to our regular schedule with a post tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Snood!

For those of you who don't remember the earlier posts of the Snood Saga, the thrilling tale can be found here.

Selfie before Honey is up to take pictures for me.
There was a sneak peak on Monday of the finished snood.  Overall, I'm really happy with it.  No, my stitches aren't even.  No, I didn't manage to follow the pattern perfectly.  However, I did manage to crochet my first pattern.  And I did manage to make myself a snood that is comfortable and looks fabulous.

The other side.  Sorry, it's really hard to see anything here... 

As I mentioned originally, I found the pattern online, and then followed along with a tutorial on YouTube.  It turns out, the pattern I chose was wonderfully simple.  There were a total of four types of stitches.  The Chain, the Long Treble, the Double and the Single Crochet, and the last two were only used at the end for the boarder.  Since so much of it was the same, it made it really easy to learn the stitches.

It wasn't on the original pattern, but the tutorial showed how to add a row that lets you feed a ribbon around the edge.  There is a ribbon on the pattern 'envelope' picture, but it doesn't seem to go around the edge, just sits on top.  I did follow the extra step, but I haven't had a chance to get a ribbon yet.  In part, because I haven't decided what colour I want to use.  I could stick with black so it still matches everything.  Or I could go with white, which will still match everything and give it a little bit of a pop.  OR, I could go with red, which won't match everything, but will certainly be eye-catching...

I did manage to produce a passable version of the hair do I looked at in the second post.  I skipped the curl set, in part because by the time I had it finished it was time for bed and I didn't stay up late to set it.  However, I think everything still worked out alright.  I still need to work on my Victory Rolls.  But, I'd say it was a victory for me, because I was able to wear my hair done up for work, and not only did it stay done, I didn't feel like it was a total mess.

And, to conclude on a completely unrelated, but amazing note:  Bill Nye is on Dancing With the Stars:



Monday, 16 September 2013

Outfit of the Day

Some days, I just like the way I look.  I hope everyone has those days sometimes.  When you look good, and know you look good, its and instant moral and confidence boost.  I had one of those days yesterday.
Apperently, asking if Honey could see my shoes
didn`t equate into please include my shoes...

I was well enough rested to pop out of bed when the alarm went off at 7:00am (and that is a rare occurrence), so I had all this extra time I usually spend getting up, and I wasn't sleepy to boot.  The other thing that helped was that I picked out my outfit before I went to bed.

Now, I will admit to being a little bit OCD about planning things, but I don't usually plan my outfits ahead of time.  However, it made my morning so much smoother I'm considering doing it more often.  Finding clothes take two minutes in the evening, but when I'm groggy and just waking up, finding an outfit takes forever.

So, with all this extra time, I was able to do my hair.  That's right folks!  Not just in a bun, or into a clip, but I actually styled my hair.  Yes, that is my snood, finished late the night before.  And let me tell you, I liked it.  I really enjoyed having my hair looking good.



I also wore my Kasia Skirt for the first time.  (Remember I mentioned that whole Shoe-lemma thing?)  I`m still not completely happy with it.  There are some things I wish I`d don differently.  However, now that I`ve worn it for a day, I definitely like it more than I did when I tried it on for the reveal post.

P.S. Stay tuned for my Snood Review!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Shoe-lemma (That's a Shoe-Dilemma)

I really like shoes.  For me, the wrong shoes can completely ruin an outfit.  But, the right shoes are a) usually expensive because I have good taste or b) unusually uncomfortable.

I've been trying to find some good shoes to wear for work.  Something professional, with a practical heel, and closed toed because it's almost winter.  I bought one pair, which I've left at work and can't find a picture of online (But I'll edit one in when I grab it), and I thought they were the ones.  They were amazingly comfy when I tried them on.  And I got sportive and comfy-making inserts.

And they are comfortable.  I can walk in them, I can run when I have to.  But, they are NOT comfy after I've worn them for a couple hours.  And this, is a distinct problem.

Unfortunately, it's a distinct problem I don't know to solve.  And it's a problem for two reasons.  One, is the obvious, my feet hurt all the time issue.  The second, is that if what I have to wear are the semi-nice flip flops, I'm only able to wear pants to work (because I can't wear pantyhose and flipflops).  Which means, I have three nice skirts that I'm never wearing, and one pair of dress pants that I wear every day.

What have you found for comfy shoes that still look nice?  I'm looking at Fluevog.

Opperettas - Malabran at $269.00 CAN
Mini - Bunny at $309 CAN










And yes, ringing in with three digit price tags, this is really more in the realm of shoe-porn as my friends call it.  I've heard they are well worth the price and last forever, but I can't really justify $300 shoes right now... Sigh.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Snood Progress Report

Well, I've been working on my snood for a few days now.  All of the pattern information, as well as an introduction to my non-skills of crochet, are in my first post here.

Even though I'd never crocheted before, I'm finding the pattern fairly simple.  There's really only two types of stitches so far, and I've only got two more rows left.  My stitches aren't even, and I'm not able to conserve my movements the way an experienced crocheter could, but that will come with time.  I've also forgotten to chain between stitches occasionally, meaning I have some mesh squares that are triangles.  I'm not too broken up over it.  As long as nothing terrible happens in the last couple rows, I have a wearable snood, and in a lot of ways, this was more of an experiment anyway.

I seem to have enough wool left that I should be able to make another one once I've finished.

I'm not going to show you any pictures today, I'll save it for the big reveal.  Instead, I'll leave you with this tutorial I found on YouTube for a cute snood and victory roll style.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Special Delivery!

Couple days ago I got a delivery from LadyGrace.  I put in my order on August 15th for a Keira Longline Bra  by Goddess and a Pull On Open Girdle by Rago.  They arrived on Tuesday September 3rd.  Shipping did take three weeks, however the website warns that international shipping (from the US to Canada) can take up to four.  Packaging was nothing to write home about, just the standard plastic wrap in a bubble envelope, but both items arrived safe.

I've worn the Longline bra to work twice now.

Photo courtesy of Goddess, I'm not so bold as to post
pictures of my unmentionables yet!
The first thing I noticed was that it's harder to put on than a normal bra.  Because the row of hooks up the back is so much longer I can't do it up behind me.  The only way I've found so far is to do up the row of hooks in the front and then shimmy it around.  Slow, but effective.

Once it's on, I've found it to be fairly comfortable.  I like the way it hugs my ribs and I think it really helps to define my waist line.  The first day I wore it I wore nylons over top.  The nylons have a tendency to cut in at my waist uncomfortably, my hope was that the longline bra would help stop that with the two rows of boning at the side back.  Unfortunately, it actually just made it worse as I now had not only the nylons cutting into me, but the boning as well.  Today, I wore it without the nylons, and I did still have a bit of an issue with the boning cutting into my hips at the end, however it was only a quick fix, and it wasn't nearly so bad as yesterday.

It has nice wide straps, which I've found to be fairly supportive.  I have noticed though that I'm having some spillage issues.  The cups are fairly high cut, but I'm spilling into the center.  I ordered a 38G, which is the same size of bra I tend to wear in other retailers, however I think that I may have gotten a better fit if I had gone up to a 36H.  There is no underwire in the cups.

Overall, I'm very happy with the Keira Longline Bra and the service of LadyGrace.  I'm definitely going to keep wearing it, and after seeing how it fairs in the wash and with regular wear, I'm seriously considering buying a few more!

Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Rago Girdle in a few days!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cheap&Now VS Expensive&Awaited

I've come to the conclusion that I probably need some more tops to wear to work right now...

Now, I would really like to have a selection of well made, well fitted shirts to wear to work right now.  However, these well made, well fitting shirts seem to either be expensive, or requires a bit more sewing time that I really have right now.  A full wardrobe's worth of self-made clothing is the goal, but is going to take some time to do.  The other option then is to buy a 'Temporary Wardrobe' of cheaper shirts.  Things that look nice and fit well enough to hold me over while I finish making my new wardrobe.

I can't keep wearing the same 6 shirts to work every week, at least not when half of them don't fit well and I'm doing laundry every other week if I'm lucky.  So, I think the only feasible option is the Temporary Wardrobe to get me through the transition.  I've got a day to myself today while my Darling Honey takes the puppy down to the States to get fixed (I'm so excited).  My main task is going to be laundry, but I'm going to try and go shopping as well.   I'll pick up a few more shirts, and that way I'll have a little bit more variety in my wardrobe, and not have to keep wearing shirts that don't fit.

It's interesting to realize how much effort it takes to create a good wardrobe. Especially knowing that back in the 50s and 60s it was simply expected.  But, as discussed in an article by the Huffington Post Seven Ways Your Grandmother Dressed Better Than You there are some other things that have changed as well.  Those were eras when clothing was made better and was expected to last.  The price tag reflected this too.  There wasn't the option of cheap disposable clothing that has taken over the main stream.  This was also a time when people were expected to dress for the occasion, whether it was taking the dog for a walk, or going out to a party.  Now, everything has become far more casual and it's acceptable to go out to the store in pajama pants.

What are your thoughts?  Is it better to budget and plan a little bit to have high quality items that will last multiple seasons?  Or do you prefer to pick something up at a good price, wear it for a month or two and replace it?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Happy Labour Day!

In honour of the last weekend before school starts, I thought I would look at another selection of Harmony in Dress by Mary Brooks Picken.

The College Wardrobe.


Ah, college.  The only time a woman requires any gym clothes.  I had assumed, reading the Home and Business Woman's Attire that clothes for active pursuits weren't mentioned because Mary didn't think they were part of the main wardrobe, but here we are, the college girl is expected to be active.

I've also noticed that the College Woman requires more shoes...  And more underwear... I don't know about you, by my wardrobe really hasn't changed that much since I graduated.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Design

One of the online retailers I've stalked a lot recently, but haven't actually ordered from, is having a design competition.  They're called Collectif and you can find them on Facebook or their website, or in brick and mortar stores if you live in the UK.

To enter the contest you need to submit three outfits.  I've designed all of my items now, and I'm teaming up with a friend of mine who's going to draw them out properly.  One of the biggest things I did while designing, and we did while I was going over my (horribly drawn) concept drawings, was to try and make sure it was a cohesive collection.  On one hand, we don't want everything made from the same fabric, or even all in one colour.  But, I want the pieces to mix and match.  So, I found myself constantly asking can I wear Top #1 with Skirt #3?

It was a little bit of the same process as designing a capsule wardrobe.  You don't want everything to be super matchy-matchy, but you have to be able to make multiple outfits with each piece.

So, if anyone else wants to enter, the information is on their Facebook page.

And, I'm pretty sure if I win, I'll be spending my 200 pounds on this.  It looks fairly warm, and adorable.  A little over the top in some ways, but look how cute it is!  And that hood!
The Gretel Coat

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A New Skill

I'm not entirely sure I can pull of a snood.  But, I am entirely sure that I'm going to try!

They don't seem particularly hard to come by, but they're certainly not available locally.  Rather than buying one, I've decided that I'm going to try to make one.  I've discovered this pattern, and luckily enough, this  YouTube tutorial made for exactly this pattern.

I think that I should mention that I have no idea how to crochet.  Rather, I have some idea, I've seen it before, but I've never crocheted before.  So, hopefully with the guidance of the great YouTubes and my amazingly crafty StepMother, I'll be able to figure it out!

I'm hoping to go get myself a crochet hook and some yarn this week, and I'll give it a try.  And, of course, I'll keep you all in the loop!


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Entertaining

Sorry for the unplanned absence.  My mother and younger sister came up for a surprise visit.  They stayed at the hotel, not at my place, but they came home from work with me and didn't leave until about time to go to bed, so I couldn't carve out time to get a couple blog posts up...

What are your views on entertaining?  For me, there are a select few who I'm happy to just have come visit, without any sort of plans and we'll just figure it out as we go.  But usually, I like to have things ready..  A clean house, something planned for dinner (if they're staying, or over near a meal time), drinks in the house to offer them and some idea on how to entertain my guests.

I've come to the conclusion that this might be an old fashioned view of entertaining... My grandmother has a cook book, it was a wedding present.  I forget what year it was published, but its from an age where entertaining is always much closer to my preference.  There is a large section in the back about planning dinner parties.  From menu to seating plans.  That's right, it expects seating plans to be the norm for small dinner parties.  And a lot went into it too!  Unfortunately, I don't remember most of it...

It really seems to show how much has changed though.  Not that long ago, seating plans were the norm, now, we're inviting people over without deciding what to make for dinner...

Do you think we're changing for the better, or loosing something wonderful?  Or is it just different?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

More Than Just Clothes

I firmly believe that looking like a Bombshell is more than the clothes and what accessories you pair them with.  The biggest part, to me, is the personal confidence and how you feel about yourself and your body.

Two years ago, I went to the gym every day. I watched what I ate even though I was still on a residence meal plan.  I lost 20lbs and I felt amazing.  I logged my weight every day in a graph, and I loved seeing the trend line sink down.  Once a month I did Benchmarks, pushing myself hard to see how many sit ups or push ups I could do before I gave out and it was amazing seeing how much stronger I was getting.

Then, I had a housing crisis that I'm not going to get into.  Needless to say, I couldn't get to the gym every day.  Now, two years later, I'm slowly gaining back the weight I fought so hard to loose, and I'm just as weak as I was when I started going to the gym.

But the worst part is the way I feel.  I feel a little angry with myself, but mostly I'm just embarrassed.  I'm embarrassed by the way I look, about the number on the scale and the way my stomach jiggles.  And I'm scared.  I know that if I don't get this under control I'll be right back up where I was when I started going to the gym.  That is something I can't handle.

This is not how I want to feel.  And this is not how I want to look.

Back at Christmas I'd realized I was having a lot of 'fat days'.  I'd decided enough was enough and since I'd recently come into a hand-me-down Wii, I put WiiFit on my list.  Instead I got a gift card for Walmart.  It took me a couple months to finally get the game.  I few days later I'd tried to set it up and run into issue after issue until I gave up.  Last night I decided enough was enough and I set it up.

Now, in my tiny living room, I am going to play WiiFit every day.  I've gotten my scale out, and I've started tracking my weight again.  Right now, those numbers hurt.  But this morning was a tiny bit better than yesterday.  Just a daily fluctuation, but it was still a nice way to ease the pain.

I can't wait to start seeing that downward trend line again.

I have about 50lbs to loose until I'm at the goal weight I set three years ago when I started going to the gym.  That is my end goal still.  But my first goal is a little simpler.  By the end of the month, I want to loose something.  I don't care how much, I just want to weigh in at less than I did yesterday.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Your thoughts on Seam Finishes?

I must admit that I never used to finish my seams.  At all.  If it was an especially fray-friendly fabric I would pink the seam allowances, but usually at the end so I would have awkward gaps as I got close to intersecting seams.

With Kasia, and the (supposedly) quick-y project I'm working on right now, I've been finishing seams.  With Kasia, I used bias tape to make bound seam allowances.  I'll admit though, that I did some of them at the end, so I need to finish the bias tape by hand, which I haven't done yet.

The dress I'm working on now will be a combination of bias binding and french seams.

I haven't give it much though before.  But, I've traditionally only sewn semi-formal wear and almost universally under an absurd deadline (like, I need to wear the dress the next evening...).  In cases like that, I simply don't have time to finish the seams like I should.  But now that I'm sewing for long term wear, I think that it's worth the extra time to make the garment look that much better, and last longer.

Do you finish your seams?  What method do you use, and how do you decide?

Friday, 16 August 2013

A Tailor's Ham

I've begun putting more care into the construction of my sewing, now that I'm sewing clothing that I'm hoping to wear on a day to day basis.  I finished the seams in my Kasia Skirt.  I'm actually pressing seams, not all of them yet, but as directed.  Before, I'd just finger press the spots that needed it to continue sewing.  So, I'm not the star pupil yet, but I am working on it.  And one thing I've discovered, is that its easier to do things properly with the proper tools.

Enter the Tailor's Ham.

It looks a little like a hat, before it's stuffed
I found this pattern at Tilly and the Buttons.  Its quick to print off and super easy to put together.  I will admit, I did have to take all the darts out and redo them because my points were off though.  After I fixed that, it was just a quick fill with shavings, stolen from Lindy Bunny, and we're off to the races.

I used leftover fabric from Kasia.  I'm really happy with it, it's working well.  My only problem is I don't know how to get all the dust off from when I was filling it...



Little Lindy Bunny

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing

I have a secret.  I bought Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing a couple weeks ago. 
 

I've been pouring over the pages, and it’s all pretty wonderful.  I was going to wait until I’d finished one of the projects to share my thoughts, but, I’m impatient and I can’t wait to share.

Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing is pretty well known around the internet.  It's one of the blogs that I've gone back and read the entire archive of because its so full of useful information.  And her book is exactly the same.  You can see the sample pages she posted in a Flickr pool here.  

The main reason I wanted the book is for the patterns.  I'll admit, I usually find sewing manuals slightly disappointing.  That being said, I've found the technique section really useful.  Its been mentioned around the internet that she doesn't simplify this section.  I tend to agree.  There are some advanced techniques, especially I'd say, in the Tailoring section.  However, the instructions are still easy to follow.  I think this is the only sewing manual I've actually read cover to cover to date.

I'm pretty excited about the patterns.  The first one up is the Portrait Blouse. But I have to say, I think I'll be making almost all of them, either as printed or with a couple variations.  It has been mentioned that there are a few flaws in the patterns.  And some things visibly off in the outfit shots.  One I've heard is that the darts in the sheath dress don't line up.  While it does look a little off in the image, I'm going to hold off on my judgement on such things until I've tried the patterns in question.  At the moment, it could just be how the dress is sitting.  

P.S. I apologize for the late post.  We lost power for a while last night in a thunderstorm and I had some issues getting my internet back up and running... 


Monday, 12 August 2013

Kasia 6012 Reveal

The first piece of my new wardrobe, the Kasia 6012 Pencil Skirt is finished.  I'm not entirely satisfied with the fit, I'd make some changes if I were to make it again, but I'm happy enough with this one.  I used a black cotton blend as the main body and a leftover black satin for the yokes.  I had been planning to use a slightly heavier red crepe-back satin, but apparently I'd used that for something else.

Front View
I talked about the pattern changes I made in my earlier post.  I think that the fit I got was pretty good.  There is some extra room across the hips, but it gets fairly tight when I sit because there isn't much stretch in my fabric.  I think I'd peg in a little bit more at the hem if I make it again.  My last issue with the fit is the way the yokes puff out.  I think that if I'd used a heavier fabric, closer to the main fabric, I wouldn't have had this problem.

The only change I didn't talk about last time, because I forgot I wanted to do this until partway through, is that I converted the back slit.  I turned it into a kick pleat using this lovely tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch.  I made the pleat in the satin that I used for the yokes, thinking that it would peak out occasionally and have a nice contrast.  Unfortunately, using bias tape to finish the edges (because the satin frays like you wouldn't believe) left it a little out of shape and thick in the hem so it tends to just stay open.  However, I kick pleat is definitely something I'll be tackling again.


It's surprisingly hard to take mirror pics from behind... 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Thimbles

I was hoping to reveal my Kasia Pencil Skirt today, but I ran into a hiccup.  I don't sew by hand.  I've never liked sewing by hand and I don't think I've ever done it well.  However, when I was finishing the waistband, with the stitch in the ditch method, it warped out of shape.  I finished the seam with an extra two inches on the inside and none of the seams matching up.  So, I've unstitched it and am about half way through stitching by hand.

A cheap sewing-kit thimble, just like mine
Its going unusually well this time.  I won't say I love it, and I certainly won't claim to be making the tiny neat stitches my grandmother would make, but I don't hate it.  I think part of the reason is my thimble.  I tried using a thimble once before.  I wore it on my thumb, because that's what I used to push the needle through.  This time, after the most preliminary of internet searching, I learned that I should be wearing it on my middle finger.

And, those first stitches look like they were sewn by a blind toddler.  I found it really awkward.  But, now that I'm half way through the waist band, I'm sewing faster, and it's easier too.  I'm not going to pack up my sewing machine any time soon, but I'll certainly be less reluctant to finish things by hand now.

Maybe if I get one of the gorgeous metal thimbles like this one I'll start sewing everything by hand
Yep, I could see a lot of hand sewing with this... 
...

Friday, 9 August 2013

A Wardrobe Re-examined

Since discovering the change in my work-wardrobe needs, I've gone back and re-evaluated the wardrobe that I'd planned out.  Unfortunately, the conclusion I came to was the that the list of clothes I had was not really a functional wardrobe. It was more a list of styles that I wanted to include.  

Luckily, I've since found Mary Brooks Picken's Harmony in Dress! Mary wrote a number of etiquette books  between 1915 and 1957.  Harmony in Dress was written in 1925 and is all about the etiquette of proper dress.  It's at least 20 years before the styles that I'm looking at, however its hard to turn down a lovely ready-made list of what a 'proper' wardrobe would consist of.  

Mary includes an itemization of the wardrobes required by School Girls of various ages, 'The Home Woman', 'The Business Woman' as well as information on travel and morning wardrobes.  I've come up with a hybrid of the Home Woman and the Business Woman's wardrobes that I think will work well for me. 

The Business Woman
One of the first things I noticed about both of the wardrobes is a distinct lack of separates. There is one skirt and blouse set in the Business wardrobe, presumably to match the suit jacket.  But the Home wardrobe doesn't even have that.  I'm not well enough versed in 20s fashions to know if this is a general fashion, or if Mary is writing for a specific class of society.

One of the smaller differences I noticed was that the Business Woman needs twice as many hats as the Home Woman.  The only explanation I can come up with is that the Business woman goes out more often, but I'm really not sure.  She also needs an extra pair of shoes... 
The Home Woman
I'm not sure if this is a modern idea, or if it's because my workplace has a black/white dress code, but I'll need at least some separate items between work and home.  However, there is some overlap between the two wardrobes, so I certainly won't need both in their entirety.  

I started by combining the two wardrobes together and eliminating the overlap.  Then, I traded some of the dresses for tops and skirts.  I love dresses, and I would never plan a wardrobe without them, but while I'm building my wardrobe I think I need the versatility of separates.  

I'm also not sure about the underwear, hosiery, footwear, hats and miscellaneous.  These are also the parts of my wardrobe that I'll likely have to purchase, so I think for the time being I'll let them happen as they do and I'll focus on them once my clothing is sorted out.  

So, my revised wardrobe plan is as follows:

Wraps:
1 Winter Coat
1 Spring Coat
1 light suit jacket

Dresses:
3 casual dresses
1 light afternoon/officce dress
1 wool afternoon/office dress
1 light office dress

Skirts and Waists:
3 casual skirts
3 casual tops
2 office skirts - heavier
2 office skirts -  lighter
5 office tops


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Making Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis

I thought today I’d offer you a review of one of the first pattern making books I got.  I’ve had Making Your Own Dress Patterns, by Adele P. Margolis since high school.  It’s aimed at the beginning pattern maker, and has introductions to the basic slopers, moving darts, adding fullness and general design adjustments.   

It works similar to an exercise book in a number of ways.  It provides cute little quarter size slopers and then instructs you on how to adjust them into a number of different styles. 

I love that the book teaches you how to adjust the sloper, rather than to draft certain styles.  I think that those are far more transferable skills and will be more useful in the end.  However, the book doesn't teach you how to draft a sloper for yourself.  The book tells you that many pattern companies have sloper patterns and they can be called a “foundation pattern, master pattern try-on pattern, shell pattern, basic-fitting pattern, ect” (p. 18) and explains that these can be used to make new patterns in the standard sizes.  She also says that many home sewers like to use personalized slopers.  But, creating these is never discussed.   The book states a few times through it that it is aimed for the pattern-making audience, not a sewing audience.  I think this is likely the reason that drafting a sloper has been left out...

Ooo! I divided darts :)
The book is full of useful information.  However, it can also be very repetitive at times.  Because of its workbook nature, the book instructions you through many versions of essentialy the same procedure.  For example, there are five examples of moving darts in the bodice.  Each example follows the same process but move the dart to a different end location.  This is an excellent way to make sure you’re comfortable with the process, but it can also be a little tiresome to read through. 

There is also a very large section in the second half of the book which outlines the changes required for a huge number of different styles.  These are mostly changes that I think many would be able to figure out, based on the techniques in the first section of the book.  However, the guidelines can be very helpful for a novice or uncertain pattern drafter.  I also find that the dozens of example drawings can be a good place to look for inspiration.  There are probably dozens of dozens of illustrations through the book.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful book for a very new pattern maker, or for a young sewer.


P.S. No one can judge you for making little paper patterns for all of your dresses... It’s oddly therapeutic to play with little paper slopers.  And I’m sure I’m developing useful skills! Not that I waste embarrassing amounts of time with this or anything... 

Monday, 5 August 2013

A Pencil Skirt

The hotel where I work has undergone a change of ownership.  This has come with a promotion, a ton more hours, and the need to dress more professionally.  I have a very small professional wardrobe, so I've tried to buckle down and get to building one.  And the shirt dress has moved to the back burner for a little bit.  I'm honestly not sure if this is a bad thing, or blessing in disguise.

I've discovered that there are actually a lot of different sources on the internet for free patterns.  I plan to do another post about those soon.  In the mean time, here is one I've found: Kasia 6012 by BurdaStyle.  First of all, it's a free download.  I can't possibly argue with that.  Second, the super cute hip yokes will let me sneak in a little bit of colour into the black and white dress code.

At the moment I'm working on the muslin.  After two constructions and 4 or 5 rounds of marking it up, I think I've got it.   I'll start by saying I had lovely pictures to go with this posts, and when I came to write I discovered my camera has eaten them... And of course, I'd just finished taking the muslin apart.

I had to size up a bit based on my hip measurement and I knew from the chart I wanted to add about an inch in length.  So, I traced the pattern and made those two changes before making my first muslin.

When I was adding hip width, I noticed that the pattern didn't seem to have any real shaping for the waist.  I couldn't find any hip point, nor did the pattern appear to narrow.  You can see what I mean in their pattern diagrams here.  I decided to trust the pattern and assume it was built in somewhere and I just couldn't see it.

It turns out, trusting the pattern was the wrong call.  I came out with a muslin that fit fairly well around my hips, but had a solid 6" extra fabric at the waist.  Knowing the difference between my waist and hip measurement, that means there is some shaping.  However, even if I hadn't added width for the hip I don't think it would have been enough.  The other issue I had was the that distance between the waist and the hip (which I found by looking at where the yokes fell) was about an inch too long.

I pinned both of these issues out.  I took the inch vertically in the front pieces and back as well as both yokes.  For the width, I determined a hip point and then took from the two side seams and center back, fading to nothing at the hip.

This time it was a lot closer.  Now that it was sitting properly at my waist, it was pretty easy to see I needed to take out a little bit more.  I pinch out another two inches along the side and back seems and am now pretty happy with the fit.  I didn't bother adjusting the waistband for the last time.  Having taken out some width on them before, creating an awkward seem allowance down the center, I knew that taking any more wouldn't really work.

I can barely tell which line I want to use... 
So, I do need to draft the waistband but that's a lot easier to do on paper in my opinion.  I also want to trace out my final muslin-pattern.  I know a lot of people just use their muslin pieces, and I think I would usually as well.  My issues is that there are a few tucks and bumps in the pieces from how I took them in.  Generally I think the final muslin doesn't have all of those.  But, since I didn't cut new ones, just refashioned the first, it's unnecessarily mucked up.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Shirtdress- An Update

I guess the issue is pretty obvious looking at it now... 
If you remember, I had to draft a pattern from scratch for the top of my shirt dress.  It was a fairly simple process to draft a blouse with just 3 pieces (back, front left, front right), which I figured should be fine.  Now, looking back, it's pretty obvious from the pattern what's going to happen, but I followed the tutorial so I guess I just assumed it would work.  It didn't.  I'm not sure if it's my figure, or if I've made a mistake somewhere in drafting, but the sharp curve at the bust doesn't work in a side-seam.  My guess is that its a combination of my larger bust size and the slightness sharp curve from bust to waist shaping...

Unfortunately, I didn't figure this issue out until after I had cut it out in my nice fabric.  I worked a little bit trying to save it, but, eventually had to admit that it's a lost cause.  So, lesson learned, make a muslin.

That's as high as I can lift my arm...
Back to the drawing board, or drafting board I guess.  My first thought was darts instead of shaping at the side seam.  So, away I went.  I made a fairly straight side seam and then used a dart through from bust point to hem to create the shaping.  I added a second dart from bust point to the arm scythe to take out some of the extra fabric there.  This resulted in a bodice I'm fairly happy with.  I'd add a touch more ease in the side seams, and it's ready to go.

The difficulty is that apparently, I can't draft a sleeve pattern to save my life.  So, I've found this pattern from Burda Style for a blouse.  It already has a nice sleeve pattern, so I working on sizing the rest of the shirt up to fit me.


So, I wanted to make this a progress report.  But, since I've pretty much lost progress since my last post, that seemed a bit misleading.  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the update.  I'll hopefully have another progress report, hopefully with actual progress, soon.

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Blind Hemmer Foot - A Saga

My daring boyfriend started a new job a couple weeks ago.  And, as with all new jobs, this required a new wardrobe. (Ok, not all new jobs need a new wardrobe, but the best ones do!)  One new pair of dress pants came home a solid three inches too long, and after a quick “Darling would you please?” I had agreed to hem his pants...

Ladies and gentlemen, this should not have taken me anywhere near three and a half to four hours.  But, it did.  To this point, I had never used the blind hem foot.  So a part of this exorbitant amount of time was spent with the machine’s manual, and looking at YouTube tutorials.  But an embarrassing amount of time was spent staring at the machine, willing the stitches to line up. 

As a monument to my struggles, and an inspiration to others (so that you can say ‘at least I wasn’t as bad as Angie was’ when you try), I thought I’d document my painful process. 

Step One:
Pour over the manual and identify the blind hem stitch.  It’s a straight stitch with an occasional zigzag.  Then, watch at least a few YouTube tutorials. This one was fairly helpful.

Step Two:
I measured up 3.5 inches, which was the ‘tiny bit’ that his pants needed shortening, then turned the pants and ironed in the new hem to get a good crease.  (Pro Tip: Follow the iron’s guidelines for the type of fabric you’re working with.  Yes, I have learned that the hard way.)  I put a few pins just above the hem to hold the crease while I did the next couple steps.

Step Three:
Unpick the old hem.  Fun Fact: Dress pants have a single turn hem, not the double that I was taught to use for everything.  My guess is that this helps them hang nicely.  Fun Fact #2: I double turned his pants anyway.  Yes, I realize now it would have been very easy to adjust the tutorial methods.  No, I didn’t realize that at the time.  Once the old hem was unpicked, I cut the pants at the crease of where they were originally hemmed.  That left me 3.5” to make the new hem.

Step Four:
Fold that 3.5” so that the raw edge is tucked away.  And, iron again.  Generally, I kind of like the ironing part of sewing.  But, with my current dining room table set up, and no ironing board, switching between sewing and ironing was a bit of a trail...

Step Five:
Creative folding.  The idea is to have the pants inside out, then fold the hem so most of it is inside the pant leg, leaving about 3/8ths of an inch sticking out, and then you have a fold of the pant leg on top.  The straight stitches will be on the hem allowance while the zigzag will sneak out and catch a tiny bit of pant leg.  You might need to adjust your stitch width so that you only catch a tiny bit.  To do this, I walked my machine until the zigzag stitch, lowered the needle half way and then adjusted until the needle was in the right spot.

Step Six:
Sew.  Yes, it sounds just that easy.  It’s unfortunately harder than it sounds.  If you don’t sew in a perfectly straight line, you either don’t catch the pant leg, or you catch too much and the stitch is visible on the right side.  I did both.  Personally, I think I’d need to walk the whole hem to actually have one that is perfectly invisible.  Luckily, my honey didn’t mind having just a mostly-invisible hem.

So, I hope that you enjoyed hearing about my struggles.  If I ever find an easier way to do this, I promise to share with all of you!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Very Bad Photo-shopping :)

Today, I've decided to subject you to my very very bad photoshopping-paint skills.  After long and hard debate, I'm going to use the blue and white fabric to make a sundress.  I like the pattern, but, I'm thinking I'll adjust the bodice a little.  Last time I adjusted the bodice to fit. However, although it fit, the bodice was not exactly complimentary to my figure.  Perhaps that's because the fit was, admittedly, not perfect.  So, if I redrafted the pattern again, and really hammered out the last few flaws perhaps it would be better, but I'm still not in love with the bodice as it is.  And, I'm planning to adjust the one I've already made, so I'd rather do a slightly different bodice so that I have two different sundresses in the end.  Make sense? 

This, is the unfortunate photoshop I've made to attempt to show you my new plan. Most of the dress should look familiar.  The skirt, the straps and the waist section of the bodice are all from the pattern.  And the back will be entirely from the pattern.  The difference will be the top section of the bodice.  We're going to have some rouching across the front.  I'm thinking of a solid lining with a contrast fabric. 

Now, I realize this means I will need to iron out the last couple fitting issues with the pattern, so that this dress fits better than the last one.  However, I'll need to do this for the other dress anyway, otherwise, I'll have most of the same fitting problems as last time.  And this will take a little bit of pattern drafting.  But, I think in the end I'll have a nice sundress pattern.  And, I think it's a bodice pattern that can be carried over into more formal dresses as well.  Yay multipurpose patterns!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pretties- Fabric Selection and a Pattern Choice

As promised, a sewing update :)

I have not made it to the fabric store to pick up the things I need for the Shirtdress.  However, I have a small stash of fabric which needs a use.  Today's fabric exploration is this: 

There are much nicer colours in person, a bit darker and much more vibrant.  I got the fabric for Christmas last year, or possibly the year before, and it's sat in my sewing bin since then... It's a mid-weight silk of some kind, but without the tags, or any kind of information, I'm really not certain beyond that.  (I'm the first to admit, I'm horrible at identifying fabric...)  I have just under three yards of 48" width.


Now for the dilemmas... I have no idea what to make with this.  And that, I'm sure, is part of why it sat for so long.    I'm sure it would make a nice Pencil Skirt, but I traditionally prefer to wear my light colours on top.  That also mostly rules out circle skirt, although that it closer.

One option is a sundress.  I've made New Look 6557 before in view, but it required some major alterations to fit my larger-than-average bust.  (as a G cup, that's fairly normal, but that makes it no less annoying..) Even after my alterations, I'll admit to being less than happy with the outcome.  So, do I make a dress and just change the top, since I'm happy with the fit of the waist panel and the skirt? Definitely an option and I have a design in mind.  And it should come in at just about three yards, which is exactly what I have. 
My other option, is a bolero jacket.  I have New Look 6564, and I think View F is really cute, and would work well with the fabric.  I've had this pattern as long as the other one (I think the same Christmas I got the fabric actually), but have yet to try it.  Up sides to this pattern are that it uses less fabric, which means I'll have some left over to make something else.  Granted, that will just lead back here to another "What should I do with this" post, this time with about a yard and a half left of fabric.  However, I'm sure that would be enough to make a shirt of some kind... The downside to this one is that I'll have to adjust a new pattern.  I'm about 3" larger in the bust than the biggest size here.  The other downside is that we're going into summer at the moment, which means that jackets will be a little less In Season than sundresses.

All in all, I think I'm leaning more towards the Sundress.  However, I think that the jacket is a pattern that we'll see again.  After all, it's bound to get colder again eventually, and I'll need something to wear then too.