Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring For Cotton Challenge: Flowers and Gingham

I tried to put the Spring for Cotton button here but just got the broken link/missing image symbol.

Whew! For a while there I was worried that I wouldn't make it before the deadline. I love this challenge but I feel a little guilty about participating because it really isn't a challenge for me. I sew more cotton than anything else because it's what I like to wear. But I can't pass up a chance to show off to more people. So here it is.

Let's start with the obligatory goofy pose.

The pattern is Vogue 8789. Well, mostly. This is the third time I've used this pattern and I have never used the skirt piece that came with it. I'm just afraid I wouldn't be comfortable wearing a skirt that's that ridiculously full. Instead, the skirt is simply two rectangles the width of the fabric. And, as you can see, I added strips of gingham. That's 100% cotton too.

I absolutely crazy-love this dress and I'm terribly impatient for the weather to get warm enough for it. It was 64°F (That's about 20°C, according to my handy little converter) when I took these pictures. (tripod and timer) A bit chilly for me so I've only worn it for about 15 minutes.

Here's the kitty photo bomb shot. Actually, I'm surprised I was able to get any photos without her in them.

And finally, a close look at the fabric...

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Favorite Stores

This week's featured store is Wawak Sewing. They have all manner of sewing supplies, accessories, and notions including things I didn't even know exist but what really keeps me coming back is zippers! Just one example: they have brass jeans zippers as short as 3 inches, (and up to 11 inches) in 18 different colors! And the prices! (Yes, I know. I'm using too many !!!) All of their jeans zippers are less than one US dollar each. And small orders are no problem. I try to wait until I need several items at once because I hate when shipping costs more than the item I'm ordering but if you only need one zipper you can order just one zipper.

Their selection of buttons seems fairly limited - just standard shirt buttons, coat buttons, etc - but you can buy them by the dozen or by the gross. (some styles) And, as I said, a lot of other sewing supplies and notions, including a lot of stuff intended for commercial/professional sewing like huge, 6000 yard spools of thread. In addition to the things you would expect, like thread, buttons, zippers, elastic, tape measures, bobbins, scissors, sewing machines and parts, they also have things like steam irons, hangers, garment bags, lint brushes... I hardly know where to stop. Just go browse.

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Favorite Stores

I have decided to start a series of brief reviews of my favorite online stores. (In some cases extremely brief; I'm not sure you would even call them "reviews") I will try to post these once a week.

First up is Create for Less. I mostly buy buttons from them but they have all kinds of sewing and craft supplies. They have a good selection of buttons, lots of the basics and a few fancy and novelty buttons. I wish they had a better selection of trims - laces, rick-rack, piping, etc. They do have quite a bit of that sort of thing but I often find myself wishing for more.

The website is easy to use. If I could have them make one improvement it would be to be able to search for hole buttons or shank buttons only. Shipping time (to Oklahoma) is about what I normally expect - usually a week or less.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hurry Up, Summer

I finished this a week ago but today is the first nice day we've had in that time. It's been cold and raining and I wanted to take a picture outside. First, here's a close-up of the fabric.

I bought it at a local quilt shop last year, in fact, almost exactly a year ago if I remember correctly. This wasn't one of the things I was considering for my "next project" but I got a sudden craving for something summery.

Apparently, I can't stand up straight when I'm not looking in a mirror. There are some odd wrinkles here and there that I didn't see until I looked at the pictures. Oh well. I used the skirt from one pattern and used a blouse pattern, New Look 6078, as a guide for drafting the bodice, because I've made it several times and like the way it fits. The darts end up in the right places without a lot of futzing with it.

Here is one reason why I will almost certainly never be a popular sewing blogger: I keep making the same basic shape of dress - fitted or semi fitted bodice and gathered skirt - but it works for me. I have made different styles but these are the dresses I wear all the time (in the summer) while others just take up space in my closet. Minor variations, and of course many wonderful prints and colors, make each one fun and different.

My thoughts on rick-rack and hem lengths are relevant to this post.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Oh! Shoes!

I am definitely buying this: Women's Ballet Flat Sewing Pattern. Aren't those the cutest? I like the plain, the three-strap and the one with the laces. The one with the button is nice too. I'm not a big Mary Jane fan, mostly because I have a high instep and the strap hurts my foot. Which, I suppose, might be a problem with the three-strap version too, but they're cute.

Shoes are not something most people think of as something you can make yourself but I first started thinking about the idea long before the Internet. I came across a book about how to do and bought it but at the time just finding all the materials seemed like a huge hassle. So I just dropped the idea and didn't think about it for years but lately my difficulty in finding shoes that I like has started me thinking about it again. I don't think making my own is going to be my magic solution. It will be a challenge to make them comfortable, durable, and attractive enough to wear out of the house. But it might be fun and I'm ready to give it a try. Don't be holding your breath or anything like that though. It might be a while before I post my attempt here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

We're doing it all wrong, Darlings

A local quilt shop posted this image on their Facebook page.

What a difference between now and then, right? Maybe not as much as we think. Of all the women I've known who were around in 1949 (grandmother, aunts) I cannot think of one who would not have laughed at this as much as I did.