Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Where Dreams Begin

I came across these great photographs of textile mills by photographer Christopher Payne. Personally, I think factories of all kinds are fascinating and this is where fabric is made so, doubly fascinating.

Click on the link above to see more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sewing On My Mind

Here is some of the fabric that I have in mind to sew up in the next few months. I wouldn't call this an actual commitment but, somehow, when I go public with what I'm thinking it gives me a tiny bit more motivation to actually do it.

Winter/Early Spring

I don't have a lot of fabric in my stash that I plan to sew for winter. These are all destined to be long sleeved shirts and I could easily get them done in the next month. I was originally thinking of the fruit print as a fall thing because, fruit, but I'm not all that strictly seasonal. I will probably make the pink check next. The green with tiny floral print is going to be another Granville shirt. (I think.) I'm not sure about the batik. I might put that off until fall. I'm not totally thrilled with the light purple I got to go with it and I've sort of been on the lookout for something I like better.

Besides the pieces in the photo I have some polar fleece for more slippers and some stretch denim for another pair of jeans that I'm thinking I really should make soon even though they're not as fun as some of the other things.


Of the next two photos I was going to call the first one "Priorities" and the second one "Maybes" but then I got to thinking stuff like, "Oh, that one should really go in the Maybes and that one in the Priorities," and "Wait, there are a couple more pieces I should have included in one of these pictures because I definitely want to sew that one soon." So these are just two pictures of some of the stuff I'm thinking about.

Top row: These three fabrics are all destined to be what I think of as "cute little blouses" even though in my size they are certainly not little and probably not all that cute either. The sky blue with the tiny rosebuds is probably the oldest piece in my stash.

Middle row: I think this insect journal print is awesome. It and the yellow and gray next to it are going to be tunics. The one on the right, the music and floral print, is going to be a dress. I'm making it one of this year's priorities because I was going to sew it last year and didn't. I want to do a scalloped hem. I've never done one before so I'm hesitating about that as well as some other design details and also not wanting it to be too fancy, or "too pretty to wear".

Bottom row: More summer dresses. I'm pretty confident about those two.

And the second summer group...

Top row: I love the silly bird print. It's going to be a dress but I don't know yet what pattern I'm going to use. The plaid, an Indian cotton, is going to be a summer shirt. The last one in the this row is covered with antique sewing and corset advertisements and I love it but I can't settle on a pattern. I've changed my mind several times. It's a fairly hefty, stiff quilting cotton so I'm thinking it will have to be something without too many gathers or other fussy stuff.

Bottom row: I had been looking at the pink with the antique trucks for a while but I was going through a penny pinching phase and told myself I didn't need it. Then I saw it was down to the last 3/4 yard and bought the last of it. Now I have to find another fabric to go with it. I have no idea what it's going to be. The gray floral - what is that doing there? Just recently I was saying something about practically being on a crusade against gray and grayed out colors and here I am with an all gray fabric? But just look at it! With its little roses and tiny dot background it's very cute and cheerful even if it is just gray. Pink, yellow, or red accessories will liven it up even more. Besides, I find that even I don't always want to look like I was in an accident in a crayon factory. The last fabric, an old-fashioned tiny floral print in old-fashioned colors, is sweet. Another dress, maybe a retro or vintage pattern. I have some little red buttons to go with it.

Comments are welcome, as always.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Partial Fail In The Jungle

Hello everyone and welcome! It's Jungle January!

Okay, here's what happened. I found this awesome fabric. I try not to overuse the word "awesome" but let's be honest, there are lots of awesome things in the world and this cotton fabric is certainly one of them. There is so much going on on this fabric it would be impossible to capture it in one photo but here's one anyway.

It's a little scary, having a great piece of fabric. You don't want to screw it up. You want to make the right thing, something you will wear and love, not something that will just hang in the closet because it's not right for you or your lifestyle. So I thought about the chicken dress. I had misgivings about it at first but I actually wore it a lot, about once a week all summer, so it seemed the perfect thing to do with this lovely safari fabric. (The neckline is a little different.) Easy to wear, few seams to interrupt the gorgeous, huge print. But, sadly, I don't like the way it turned out. What sort of works for a dark print won't necessarily work for a lighter print.

I wish I had made a more fitted bodice. I decided to try it with a belt and that's a slight improvement but I don't have one that really goes with it. I don't wear belts a lot so I don't have many. Now I'm thinking I should take it apart and re-do the bodice but my inner lazy person is saying, "I fricking hate to take things apart; let's just add some belt loops and go find a belt that matches it better." I'm actually sort of leaning toward, "take it apart and re-do it" though.

I have a confession to make - I actually made this back in late July but I never blogged it. As you can see I had plenty of time to fix it but I haven't yet. Since it's now January I tried styling it for winter.

I'm not sure but I think I like it better with the gold t-shirt. But I doubt I will ever wear it this way. It's a summer dress. Here is how it looked last summer.

I have conflicting feelings about this dress. I love it but at the same time I don't love it. I love what it could be so I'm going to work on it.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Laurel Burch Tunic

Back in October I blogged about being tempted by this Laurel Burch fabric. Well, not long after that I bought it and another Laurel Burch fabric.

In person the floral fabric doesn't seem as insanely bright as it does on the eQuilter website. Bright colors always look brighter on a screen and I knew that but I was so dazzled by the image that I didn't think about it. It's also a lighter weight fabric than typical quilting cotton so I thought about buying more of the floral and making a summer dress with the dark fabric as trim or a collar or border or something. But I decided to go with my original idea. (I hate flash pictures and I really freaking hate timer pictures.)

I did a bit of pattern hacking to get this look. I used McCall's 6076 shirt pattern, laid the center front line on the fold and lengthened and flared it out a bit and I used the sleeves from an entirely different pattern. I gave it a seam down the center back, a single button in back and a side zipper. And, of course, dresses and tunics must have pockets.

At first I wasn't sure about the result. Is it too weird or goofy looking? Did I make a fashion faux pas? But I wore it on Christmas Eve, with black leggings instead of the purple ones you see here. I think I liked it better that way - with the black leggings. I got compliments from my sisters-in-law and they're more fashionable than I am and my husband liked it a lot so I guess it's okay. Actually, I like it too. I hadn't worn leggings before, mainly due to the lack of tunics with pockets but now I'm planning more tunic and legging outfits. Mostly for warmer weather though. I was slightly cold all day when I wore this even though it was nearly 60°F. "Fleece lined" leggings are not as warm as advertised. (Or maybe it was just me; I was just having a cold day.)

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Colors

Hello and Happy New Year everyone. Surprise! This is not an abandoned blog. I have been sewing but the real challenge is in getting around to photographing the stuff I want to show off. But I will. I must. The lovely Anne's Jungle January is upon us. But that's not really what I wanted to talk about.

I take pride in being a bit of a fashion rebel, or to be perhaps more honest, simply unfashionable. So when I talk about the Pantone Top 10 Colors it is usually to declare that I will not be jumping on any fashion bandwagons and that I will continue to wear what I like, fashionable or not, or to make fun of the color names, like a few years ago when the color of the year was a lovely pink that for some reason was named after a yellow and white flower, the honeysuckle.

But anyway, this year's colors...

I actually like most of these. I might have to risk being fashionable by buying fabric in some of these colors. (Of course, by the time I get around to making something of it it won't be "in" anymore.)

I like almost any kind of pink from insanely bright to something very delicate like this year's color of the year, Rose Quartz. Delicate pastels usually don't look that flattering on me but I think I might need something in this color anyway. Perhaps I need a pair of Rose Quartz color shoes.

The Peach Echo is nice too. I used to have a dress that was almost that color and I think I already have some t-shirt knit that is close to it.

Serenity - not really a fan. (of the color, that is. Of the movie, a huge fan but that's not what we're here for is it?)

It seems like Snorkel Blue is just a new name for a color that's been around a long time. I like it a lot and I definitely want something this color.

Buttercup - Yes! I love yellow. It's a sort of scary color and not particularly flattering on me but I often wear it anyway.

Limpet Shell - I have been loving aqua and seafoam and similar colors in the past couple of years so I am very attracted to this lovely color but it's more something I would paint on the walls than something I would wear. It's another delicate pastel that probably wouldn't look that great on me.

Lilac Gray - I have practically been on a crusade against dull, grayed out colors so, no.

Fiesta - Yes! Orange is still in!

Iced Coffee - It's okay as a background color, I suppose.

And finally, Green Flash. I can't decide how well I like this color. I do like some greens - most greens, actually. I'm just not sure if I like this one a lot or only a little.

What about you? Are you considering adding any of these colors to your wardrobe?