Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August Sewing Thoughts and Plans

It's the middle of August! Can you believe it's the middle of August already? Every year around this time I start thinking back to early spring and all the things I was excited about sewing then and all my ambitious plans. This year I have not done well at sticking with plans. I'm not terribly concerned about it. I got distracted by some other pretty fabrics and made a few things. I also altered and remade a few old things to make them more wearable and I made a few dresses for my little granddaughter, some of them using small leftover pieces of fabric. Oh, and a couple of shirts for my husband. (Zero chance I can ever get him to model them.) So really, not a bad summer so far.

Still, I'm a little disappointed that I haven't gotten around to this yet:

Or this:

I also have this set of companion prints that I've been thinking about.

I'm not going to go to the effort of photographing all of the fabrics I'm thinking about right now, just one more because I'm seriously thinking this might be next. Or I might make another shirt for my husband; I don't know. (Right now I'm working on another lovely little dress for the granddaughter.

I have had that piece for several years but just recently got freshly inspired.

The good thing about living in Oklahoma is that summer weather can last a month or more beyond the "official" end of summer so I still have time to sew these and more. I think what I am most disappointed about is that I haven't worked on a quilt this year. I started a quilt top that I had hoped to have nearly finished quilting by now but I've barely started sewing the top so I might spend some time working on that. I have so many quilt ideas. The hard part of that, for me, is getting the top done because I don't enjoy that as much as I do the quilting.

So how have your summer projects been going?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

My New Favorite Dress

It's another Butterick 5748. (I know... I keep making the same two dresses over and over again, but LOVE!)

With pockets of course.

And here's the back. I really kind of hate showing this pic because I hate my arms and also, on this one, because I didn't bother trying to match the pattern and it came out a little goofy looking but... oh well.

I love this pattern, obviously since I keep making it, and I absolutely over-the-top love this fabric. The colors are amazing. But can you believe I finished it over a week ago and haven't even worn it yet? It's been cooler than normal for August and when I get dressed in the morning and it's only 64F I just reach for something else even though I know it would be fine later. But I will wear it soon.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Oops and Nice Recovery

I don't have a before picture. I photograph almost everything I make so I thought surely I had to have a picture of the dress somewhere but I didn't find one. Here's what happened. It was a simple A-line dress. I loved it, mainly for the fabric. I have a bit of a thing for ladybugs, you see. But it had a couple of problems so I didn't wear it very often. One problem was that the arm holes were a bit too small. Easy to fix, right? Well, perhaps I am a bit overconfident at times. When I got done "fixing" the arm holes they were way too big.

So for a while I pouted and tried to think of a way to fix them again. But the armholes weren't the only problem. The pockets were too small to be useful (I made it before I got a smartphone.) and I don't wear A-line dresses much anymore. So I decided to give it up and make something out of it for my granddaughter.

It's McCall's 9227. I lengthened the skirt because she's tall for her age but I might have lengthened it more than I needed to. I think it will be okay though. She often wears longish dresses and not just the ones I make. I will get to see her and give it to her this weekend.

Now I have just one problem: I no longer have a ladybug dress. I can't not have a ladybug dress. Must go fabric shopping.

* This was actually a while ago that I made this and I already have something else to show off but who knows when I will get around to it.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Happy Flower Faces

I don't have just one favorite color (at least not one long term favorite) but I must say, the color orange makes me ridiculously happy.

I liked the way this dress turned out so well that I did the same thing with the bodice on this one. The skirt though, is just a plain gathered skirt. It looks much longer in the picture than it actually is. It's just a bit below mid-calf.

And the faces? Here are the faces. I like that only a few random flowers have faces.

Here's the back of the dress. I am addicted to these scoop back dresses.

Before I made the dress I made this bolero or "shrug" as the kids are calling them these days. It's cotton voile with embroidered flowers and I sewed lace trim around the edges, just about an inch in from the edge.

I'm not 100% thrilled with it but it's okay and it might occasionally be useful. Hmmmm... I wonder if it meets the Congressional dress code.

One more thing - the shoes are Clark's Cloudsteppers and they're amazing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Future of Sewing

It's always fun to discover new sewing bloggers but this one is especially exciting. The sewist who blogs at Let's Get Sewing is only 14 years old and she's doing a great job at both sewing and writing about it. I'm guessing based on her spelling of some words that she's in the UK. That's one of my favorite things about the Internet - that I, a grandmother from Oklahoma, can connect with a teenager from the UK without even really trying.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Finally Sewing a Favorite Fabric

First, the fabric:

Isn't it fascinating? Vintage sewing machine and notions ads and corset ads! I love it. I have had this fabric for several years, maybe as many as ten. It doesn't seem like that long but time has a way of getting away from me. For a long time I was indecisive about what pattern to use. I finally decided on two patterns and here is the result:

The bodice is Simplicity 1803, view C and the skirt is Simplicity 1882. I eliminated the front bodice seam and notch and adjusted the neckline for my narrow shoulders. I lengthened the skirt to my preferred unfashionable length and made it slightly fuller. And I love it! It's not perfect but it's a pleasure to wear. You know how some clothes just feel right? This!

Here's a pic showing off the pockets. They're my favorite thing about Simplicity 1882.

It feels good to finish something that has been in the stash for so long. Now I'm ready to move on to some more recent and more colorful fabrics that have been speaking to me lately.

And Another New Look 6963

I think this is the last one of these I'll be making for a while.

I normally wouldn't choose a fabric with this much gray but this one is so cute and geeky. It's vintage control panel stuff with cute little faces hidden in it.

It's a nice, lightweight 100% cotton - perfect for a summer shirt. I don't wear shirts and trousers much in the summer though. Dress weather is here. I have only worn the last one I made twice so far. But once in a while I do want something like this and I like to have choices.

* * *

That picture of me above will be the last one taken on that deck because it's gone now. We demolished it to make way for something bigger and better - a huge building project that's going to take weeks at least. That has been occupying my mind lately to the exclusion of almost everything else but I have managed to finish another sewing project which I will post later.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Happy Colors

I'm tempted to call this one The First Dress of Summer, even though it's not officially summer yet.

I'm not sure standing in the shade was the best choice for this picture but I've learned from experience that standing in bright sunlight doesn't work out well either.

I used Kwik Sew 2671, my go to pattern for casual house dresses. I have made it at least a dozen times with various modifications. It has huge armholes because it's meant to be a jumper so I always raise the armholes about an inch for decency. This time I added the scalloped collar from an old blouse pattern and the border around the bottom of the skirt. This is the third (or is it the 4th?) time I have made this collar and I'm definitely getting better with scallops. This is the best so far.

And of course, pockets. I was going to make side seam pockets on this one but I didn't have enough fabric.

I actually finished this one over a week ago and then spent a few days being indecisive about what to sew next. Do you ever feel like you really need to sew some of the older fabrics in your stash but you really want to sew the newest ones? While I was being indecisive though, I did sew an adorable little shirt for my granddaughter using some "scraps". Then I finally decided to start another long shirt for myself with a piece that's not one of the oldest fabrics in my stash but not new either.

But I'm really in the mood to sew dresses and the shirt will be done soon so I need to decide what's next and it really doesn't matter, does it? It doesn't matter if a piece of fabric sits in the stash for years waiting for inspiration to strike because it always does, eventually. I think we all have these weird little feelings about what we're "supposed" to do and we usually don't even stop to think about whether they make sense or not. They are our internal rules and we have an urge to follow them and at the same time an urge to break them. We must always keep in mind that sewing is one of the safest places to break rules.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Pretty Comfortable Outfit

This is another New Look 6963, my current favorite loose, comfortable shirt pattern.

I absolutely love it! The 100% cotton fabric had been in my stash for a year or two, I think. I had originally had in mind a shorter, more fitted blouse with short sleeves but I'm glad I changed my mind and made this instead. Sometimes you get an idea and you just know it's the right thing.

I also made the knit slacks.

Not much about them worth showing off but they are comfortable and the color goes with several tops that I already have. The fabric is a soft drapey 10 ounce cotton spandex from Nick of Time Textiles. You never can tell exactly what you're going to get when you order knits online. Even knowing the weight and percent of stretch doesn't tell you much because two fabrics that are allegedly the same weight and stretch can be vastly different. Anyway, I'm pleased with this fabric and the other one I ordered even though it's not exactly what I was hoping for.

One thing I was not pleased with was the shipping charges. Nick of Time is located in the northeast which means shipping cost is so ridiculous it almost seems criminal. Not blaming Nick of Time, not even really blaming UPS but I really wish someone out here in the middle of the country had a good selection of good quality cotton spandex.

Other than being made from a soft drapey fabric, they might be just a tad too long which would account for the wrinkles but they are comfortable and not so long that it will be a problem. When I worry about making things too short I make them too long and when I worry about making things too long I make them too short.

Just For Laughs

For that good laugh that we all need once in a while, have a look at these crazy fashion photos. Such innovation! Did you ever think of wearing a friend as a fashion statement? I don't know... it looks rather uncomfortable to me. Oh! I see bold stripes and see-through crochet dresses are still in style. (#6) Thank goodness for the classics, amiright? The left pic on #14 puts me in mind of Magritte. And there's a nice picnic dress on the last page! Most of this stuff though... I don't even know how to comment on it. Maybe some of you talented sewists and fashionistas will have more to say.