Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bold Patterned Fall Tunic

And here it is. Finished last week, finally photographed yesterday. (I'm standing in the middle of our construction site, which has the advantage of having a level spot to put the tripod.)

I love it. The fabric is very stiff but it's still comfortable anyway. I added a bit of rick rack, which I suppose is controversial stuff but I like it. These colors say "fall" without being a typical fall print. I think I'm going to wear this on Thanksgiving, even though we're staying home this year.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Been Sewing

It feels like forever since I posted anything new here but I have been sewing. I finally started quilting a quilt that I had planned to have finished by now. I have been working on the top off and on since this time last year but it wasn't going well so I got discouraged with it and procrastinated. But now I'm going to try to rush through it and just get it done.

I did make the teal, brown, and orange tunic and I love it but I don't know when I will get around to photographing it. Maybe today, maybe next week. I also made a pair of sweatpants which are now my favorite sweatpants ever - so comfy - but I probably won't be showing those. The part of me that wears pants is very camera shy, if you know what I mean.

Finally, I do have one little thing I can show you. This doesn't look very good just thrown down on the table but I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It's for my granddaughter. I put fancy, sparkly buttons on it because she likes sparkly things. And so do I, so I'm thinking I might do this for myself sometime. Flannel with sparkly buttons? Why not?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Lack of Impulse Control

I was going to sew the orange, teal, and brown fabric next but the morning I was going to cut it... HOLY SHIRT it was cold! So flannel was on my mind. I knew - I knew - that in just a few days it would be near 80 degrees Fahrenheit again but the flannel kept calling to me and so...

This is really a very nice flannel. I'm guessing it's about 7 - 8 ounce? Very warm and soft. I love it. I think this might be my Christmas outfit. Unless it's 70+ degrees on Christmas which totally can happen in Oklahoma as can -20. We hope for something in between those two numbers.

The pattern is McCall's 9065 again, view B all the way this time. I had to shorten the sleeves about two inches. That and raising the neckline an inch like I did before are the only adjustments.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Two Fabrics

I wasn't going to post about these fabrics until I made the tunics but I'm hoping to get some feedback, about the second of them especially, so here goes. These are both from the same Etsy shop that I mentioned before.

First, I have washed this one but not ironed it so it looks a little wrinkly. I suspect that it's going to be one of those "wrinkles are a feature not a bug" fabrics anyway.

I love the colors in this one. Naturally, they don't look quite as deep and rich as they do in person. This is going to be another McCall's 9065. This is bold but actually a pretty typical print for me.

And now it's Crazy Time. I wanted something a little crazy and "out there" so after days of looking and thinking and seeing my first choice (which actually, in retrospect, wasn't especially out there) sell out, I chose this. (I think my other half is going to have words about this. He's not really into crazy.)

From top to bottom in the photo is nearly the entire width of the fabric. It's oriented differently than I expected but that doesn't change my plans. My original plan to was to center one of the shapes - I don't know what to call them, wavy columns? - vertically on the tunic but which color, the pink or the red and teal? Then I thought, maybe I don't want to center that shape after all but rather have the zig-zag space between them run down the center, more or less, and the more I think about it the more I'm liking this idea.

I'm excited about this fabric and was going to sew it right away but now I'm thinking it might be best step back and let it simmer for a few weeks. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

And So an Obsession is Born

I have a habit - I don't know if it's a bad habit or not - of using the same pattern over and over again when I find one I like. Here is my second McCall's 9065 and I have in mind at least three more that I want to make very soon.

But first I want to talk about the fabric. The little local quilt shop used to sell one and two yard pre-cuts. I say "used to" because I have not seen any there since they changed ownership, which is actually probably not a bad thing. I would go in and grab several two yard cuts, whichever ones caught my eye, with no real idea of what I would do with them. This was one of those pieces. You might not want to stare at it for too long if you're prone to seizures.

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Isn't that the craziest? Honestly, I have a little trouble making my eyes focus on it. I have had it for a couple of years and the other day, for no particular reason, I thought of it and decided to try to get another M9065 out of it.

I shortened it about two inches and as you can see made elbow length sleeves. I also raised the neckline a little bit so I won't be flashing everyone. (I have an idea for fixing the first one. It's really just too low.) I like it and I'm thrilled that I used a piece of fabric that I wasn't sure when I would get around to, if ever.

As I said, I have already planned three more tunics from this pattern, all long sleeved. One will be a cozy red and white plaid flannel and the other two beautiful, beautiful Dutch wax prints (likely another new obsession but I'm going to try not to indulge any more for a while) that I ordered specifically for this purpose and received today. I am really excited about these.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Summer... No, Wait! Fall!

Hey everyone, I bought a new pattern and actually used it only a few weeks after I bought it! And if you're saying "So what?" maybe I should tell you that I have patterns I bought over 20 years ago and have never used. (But I will use them! Someday.)

Anyway, this:

(I always forget how incredibly yellow the overhead light in this room is.) I used the hem of View B and the sleeves of view A. They are supposed to have tabs but I'm not fond of sleeve tabs so I left them off and stitched down the turned up cuffs so they will forever stay in place with no fuss.

I swear my topstitching was straight before the camera got a hold of it. The camera hates me. It not only makes me look fat and old, it makes my sewing look wonky. (Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I originally bought this lightweight cotton fabric with the intention of making a summer top but the days have been a little cooler and I was inspired to make this instead. And I love it! It was super easy to make and it fits perfectly without any alterations. The neckline is maybe a bit too low for cool weather, not to mention modesty if you're concerned about that sort of thing, but it's okay. I'm definitely making more of these.

Here's one more pic:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Marcy Told Me To

WARNING: The first part of this is a little bit political and possibly controversial so if you don't want to read that sort of thing just skip down to the good stuff.

There was a discussion a while back at Oonaballoona about African fabrics and whether it is okay for white people to wear them. Short version: Marcy said "Go for it," so I did.

I have been attracted to these fabrics for a long time - the bright colors, the bold, unusual prints - but I have been hesitating. In some situations being a white person (especially one from redneck country) can be a little uncomfortable. Yes, I know, I know... my life is good; I have nothing really to complain about. But still. I don't want to offend anyone or make anyone else uncomfortable and sometimes it's not completely clear what is right. I think the Internet makes us all a little more sensitive in both good and bad ways, or maybe "aware" would be a better word for it. Thanks to the Internet I have been made aware that there is a such thing as cultural appropriation. Sometimes it's clear what that means; other times it's a little more fuzzy.

As Marcy pointed out, the fabric in question, Ankara or Dutch wax prints among other names, has a very mixed cultural background. That got me to thinking, there are other, more commonly used fabrics, with designs that have been "appropriated" from other traditional cultures, batik and paisley for example. (BTW I came across this amusing page (at least it amuses me) telling us that we're all going to Hell for wearing paisley.) These designs and others have been popular for so long no one even thinks about their origins and whether or not we "should" wear them. We are nervous about African fabrics because they are new to many of us and we first became aware of them during the Internet era.

If you think about it, almost everything we think of as American originally came from somewhere else and that's somewhat true of Britain as well. I believe that incorporating elements of other cultures into our clothing and home decor can show respect and admiration. I know not everyone will agree and that's something else I wanted to address. One of the mistakes many of us make in regard to Others is thinking of members of any given ethnicity, religion or any other group you want to put people into, as being all the same, having all the same opinions, etc. Learning to think of all people as individuals first would help us in a lot of ways.

* * *

Okay, here's the good stuff:

The pattern is Butterick 5748, one of two that I'm currently obsessed with and can't stop making over and over again. (I was going to take pictures outside this time but it's been raining for two days and I didn't want to wait.)

Ugh. It is nearly impossible to hold one's face in a normal looking smile when taking timer pictures.

To be honest, only the bodice is B5748 and that has been modified. The skirt as it came with the pattern is a full circle but I used a self-drafted half circle with pockets instead. The bodice has a high, wide neckline, which I do not like so I always change the neckline and since I cut it freehand it comes out a little different every time.

Here's one more. I like this picture even though it's a little dark. You can see the actual length of the dress better in this one.

UPDATE: Oooo! I almost forgot the most important thing. I love it. Of course I love the pattern, obviously, but I really love the fabric. It has a nice lightweight but sturdy feel and the colors are great.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Soon to be Useful

A year or two ago (maybe longer; I can't remember) when the Hancock Fabrics in Tulsa had their going out of business sale I bought 3 pieces of cotton interlock knit. I originally planned to make t-shirts and only bought one and a half yards of each but later I decided it was too heavy for summer wear. Mornings have been cool lately so I was inspired to get out that fabric and make this:

I used this Butterick pattern, view D.

I wasn't sure I had enough fabric but I decided to lay out the pieces and see and it was just enough. It was very fast and easy to make, only two pattern pieces since it has kimono sleeves. I didn't bother with the button and loop because I doubt I would use it. I faced the neckline and front edges with wide bias tape.

Here it is with jeans:

The other two pieces of knit fabric are pink and orange. I don't know if I will make exactly the same thing with them but I'm very tempted.

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Pretty Simple Dress

Remember this?

This piece had been in my stash for a few years and I had planned to make something a little bit fancy and dressy but I decided that what I really needed was another casual, lounge-y type of dress so...

It's actually not very different from my original plan; I just made it loose fitting with no zipper instead of making it with a fitted bodice. As a "house dress" I'm happy with it. The arm holes are way too big so if I ever wear it in public it will have to be with a t-shirt or cardigan and I hope no one gets down on their knees to inspect my scallops but mostly it's okay. The little pink buttons are non-functional, for decoration only.

This fabric feels lovely - lightweight and smooth. I loved it when I bought it but as it sat in my stash love changed to merely like but now that I've made it and worn it my feelings about it are tipping back toward love.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's HERE!

Look what came in the mail yesterday.

The top fabric in the picture is the purple fabric I wrote about in my last post. I am absolutely thrilled with it. The colors in the picture are reasonably accurate but there's a subtle quality that just doesn't come through in a photo. Anyway, love it and will sew it soon even though it's going to be a summer dress and fall is rapidly approaching. But that's what they make cardigans and tights for, right?

The other piece was an impulse buy. I can never resist a colorful paisley. It's from a different Etsy shop and even though it came from Florida both pieces arrived on the same day. This one will probably sit in the stash until next spring or summer.