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.

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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.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fabric I Honestly Did Need

I went to the little quilt shop in town yesterday. It and Walmart are the only local places to buy fabric. Strangely, I managed to leave with only two pieces of fabric that I needed to go with fabric I already had.

The upper left fabric, I bought from eQuilter.com. I had originally intended to make a long sleeve tunic so I only ordered 2.75 yards but it is lighter weight than I had expected and I immediately thought, "light, breezy summer dress!" I could make a dress with only two and three-quarter yards but it somewhat limits my options so I thought about it for a while and soon decided that animal print would be the perfect thing to go with it. I bought two and half yards of the animal print, way more than I needed, because it was the last left on the bolt and it was 30% off if I bought it all.

The upper right fabric is also from eQuilter and also only 2.75 yards but for a different reason: that's all they had left. I always planned to use it for a dress and knew I would need something to go with it and so, the pink pin dot. I might make this one next. The weather has been horrible lately and I need to sew cheerful things.

Gathering II

Well, as they say, you're never too old to learn. If you were here last week you might have seen me being all angsty about gathering. I got some good suggestions and I was excited about the dental floss idea but for some reason I decided to try Marcy's suggestion first: always pull the bobbin thread. In 40 years of sewing nobody ever told me that. I don't think my mother knew that either because she always gathered by hand. Anyway, it worked. I gathered the skirt on the little floral print dress and the thread didn't break! Thanks, Marcy.

I'm the kind of person who is very embarrassed by and reluctant to admit to my mistakes and ignorance but if this can help someone else avoid 40 years of not knowing how to gather I can bear the shame.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Another Little Dress

I made another dress for my granddaughter using McCall's 9207. I really like this one. I like it so much I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much I like my own work. It looks a little odd the way it's laying in this photo but the rick-rack is placed exactly on the waist seam.

I added several inches to the length and it has pockets. You probably can't see them in the photo.

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I added a ruffle to the first dress I made from this pattern, to make it long enough so here's that one. It's a bit of mess but it will be fine for a 3-year-old to wear for everyday play. (I plan to write a separate post sometime about my adventures with gathering - followup to my previous post on that topic.)

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Sweet Little Blouse

Nothing I wear can be honestly described as "little" but that's how I'm thinking of this one - "a sweet little blouse."

I love this fabric with its little roses on a pale pink background. I used some half inch clear buttons that I had in my button stash. I used to only buy buttons as I needed them but I'm finding that having a button stash makes life so much easier.

The pattern is Kwik Sew 3511, which I have used several times. This time I cut a facing for the hem and that worked out so much better with this curved hem. I could never get it to look quite right before. The fit of this pattern isn't the greatest and I know I should try harder to fix it but it's okay and I'm lazy and not very good at fitting.

Anyway, I love this blouse and I'm going to wear the heck out of it this spring and summer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fabric Lust

Somehow I always end up desperately wanting fabrics from three different online retailers at the same time. And Denver Fabrics is having a sale so it might actually be four. Husbands don't understand these things. They don't understand how you can have seven medium size plastic bins full of fabric, plus almost as much stuffed into the closet in its original shipping packages, and still need more. Yes, need. I needs it.