Monday, May 23, 2016

The Silly Bird Dress

This is it - the dress that caused my recent moment of angst. It wasn't all that big of an ordeal to fix it. Of course I did have to take the zipper out but I didn't take the dress all the way apart like I was thinking I would have to. I took the bodice in about 3/4 of an inch on each side but instead of taking the skirt off and re-gathering it I "cheated" and just tapered out to the original seam at the outer top edge of the pocket. (And that sentence probably made no sense without a picture to illustrate.) Anyway... in sewing, cheaters often do win.

It's not perfect but I love it anyway. I used the bodice of Butterick 5748 but I wanted to make sure all the birds were the right way up so the skirt is just a rectangle. Here's the back:

This is the second dress I have made that has a scoop back. Before I made the first one I was a little worried that it might bother me but I love it and I'm definitely going to make more.

But lets talk about the birds for a minute. I love this fabric. It has owls, ducks, roosters, and some smaller birds of indeterminate species. And look - some of the roosters are green! I want a green chicken for real. Parrots have green feathers so it's not that much of a stretch. You genetic engineering people get on that will you? No? Well fine then! I'll just wear my wonderful silly bird dress and dream.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Something Simple

Several weeks ago Denver Fabrics had what they call "cotton suiting" on sale for $1.99 a yard! I bought two pieces, one of which was this lovely pin-cord.

I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do with it:

(I did take two photos with the blouse tucked in but I didn't like them at all.) I used the skirt pieces from Vogue 8811. I didn't make a waistband, just a narrow facing cut from a scrap of lighter weight pink cotton. Strictly speaking, it didn't need elastic; my ample hips would have kept it up without it but it felt loose to me so the facing became a casing for elastic. And of course it has a 7 inch zipper and pockets. (The blouse is very old, probably close to 20 years. I rarely wear it. I keep it around just in case I need a white blouse.)

I love the skirt. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. I already have several summer tops that I think will look okay with it and a couple more planned that I think will look even better.

~ ~ ~

After I finished this skirt (Wednesday) I immediately went back to work on That Dress and it's almost finished. I just need to hem it and that's it. I have discovered (or decided) two things: 1, Merely the fact that I worry that unfinished projects will become never finished projects means that I probably won't let that happen even if I stop and work on something else for a while, and 2, taking a break from a project gone wrong to work on something else can actually be helpful. I won't say that I will never completely give up on a project but if I love the fabric and there's any chance that it can become something wearable there's no giving up. It's just the way I am.

Monday, May 16, 2016

#100 and Thoughts on Unfinished Projects

This is the 100th post on this blog and it's going about like I expected. I still don't get to sit at the popular kids table. For a little while I tried to think of something "special" for post #100 but after considering a couple of ideas I decided that 100 posts is nothing. It's just a start. If I make it to post #1000 maybe that will be worth celebrating. So I just decided to post what's on my mind right now, just like any other blog post.

So, a question: How do you feel about sewing projects that are left unfinished for a long time, maybe forever? UFOs, some people call them.

I remember two projects (during my childhood) that my mother started and never finished. Actually, I'm sure there were more than that but there are two in particular that stick in my mind. One was a plain red sheath dress that she was making for herself. I remember at one point she was upset that she hadn't finished it. The other was a dress she was making for me. The fabric had small yellow roses on a white background and it was going to have a solid yellow under-skirt and, I think, yellow trim around the sleeves and neckline. I can't remember the details of the pattern very well. I was about 8 or 9 - maybe as old as 10? Anyway, I was really excited about that dress but for some reason she never got around to finishing it and to this day I still feel sad about not getting to have and wear that beautiful dress and I have even considered making an adult version of it.

Perhaps because of my memories of my mother's unfinished sewing projects, I have a fear of not finishing things. I have always sewn one thing at a time and not even cut out the next one until I finished what I was working on. That has changed a little bit in the last couple of years. I now have two sewing machines and sometimes have a project going on each one but I still very rarely put something aside and move on to something else.

Last week I was working on a dress that I was excited to finish and wear but when I got it to the point that I could try it on it turned out that the fit is way wrong! What is usually my correct size is about 2 sizes too big. (Yes, I know, that's why we make muslins but I don't.) I can fix it but I'll have to take it most of the way apart, including taking out a side zipper. I hate taking things apart and I was so disheartened I decided to quickly move on to the next thing - something simple and quick. I really want to go back to the dress soon but at the same time I feel that it is in no way urgent since it's starting to look like we might not even have a real summer and it's very much a summer dress. I will finish it but I still have this nagging thought: "Hurry and do it now or you might never finish it."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

And Another New Look 6963

I don't have much to say about this one other than... I love it. I love the colors, I love the lightweight, yarn dyed cotton fabric, and I love the pattern, obviously since I can't stop making it over and over again. I started out to make it exactly like view C, the one with the short turned up sleeves, but when I tried it on before hemming them I liked the sleeve length so I just gave them a standard shirt sleeve hem.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Inspirations and Temptations (or the lack of)

Well, you see what happens when I decide to do a "weekly feature"? Nothing last week and almost nothing this week. As well as being relatively uninspired right now I'm also unmotiviated so I'm not even going to bother with pictures, just a couple of links. (As usual I have another finished thing to show off and will try to photograph it sometime within the next couple of days.)

Roisin has made the retro Butterick pattern that I just recently purchased. I don't know if I can really claim this as inspiration but maybe a little nudge to go ahead and make one myself?

At any given time there are always at least three dozen fabrics at eQuilter that are tempting me but I'm really not going to buy any more fabric for a while. (except that I really do need something for some new summer pajamas and I might have to buy a couple of fabrics to start another quilt but other than that... really, no more fabric until I've sewed at least half of what I already have.) But anyway, isn't this the most fascinating and exotic print? There was also a gorgeous floral that I fell in love with but I can't find it now. Sold out already?

It has been five whole days since I sewed anything and I'm trying to decide what to sew next. The weather is really screwing with my motivation. Sometimes I really think Mother Nature is menopausal.

(I really think I probably use the word "really" way to much.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Floral Vintage Vogue

After a couple of basics and a just okay outfit I really wanted to sew something I will love. Well, I at least like this - a lot, but it's not perfect.

This is Vogue 8811. I bought this pattern two or three years ago, loved it at first then started feeling skeptical about it and never got around to trying it until now. I lowered and widened the neckline and added pockets. Overall, I'm not sure if I like this bodice or not. I sort of like it but it's not quite right somehow. I do not like shoulder pads so I adjusted the shoulders for the lack of shoulder pads. I think I need to shorten it (the bodice) about an inch next time. (maybe) The skirt, on the other hand, I do love and I will be using it again. It's a half circle.

The pattern included a piece for making a matching belt but I decided to buy one instead and ended up buying two. The one above was supposed to be grey. The photo on Amazon looked light beige or "bone" color (exactly what it looks like in my photo) but the description said grey. I trusted the description but it was the photo that was accurate. The other one is a neon yellow. I was hoping it would match the bright yellow-green leaves.

Close, but not quite. I like it anyway though - the color, that is. I like the narrower width of the beige belt. I still want to find a grey belt that is actually grey as well as a couple of the other colors from the fabric.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What next?

Do you ever finish a project and you can't wait to start the next one but you have no idea what you want to sew? It should help to have sort of a plan but for me, not so much. I went into my stash and fondled all the fabric and looked through my patterns. I found a couple of pieces of fabric that I forgot I purchased even though it wasn't all that long ago - less than a year. Nothing really screamed, "Sew me now!" Well, actually, most of them screamed, "Sew me now!" and that's part of the problem. Also, which pattern to use and that I haven't pre-washed the fabrics I most want to sew right now and waiting an hour for it to go through the washer and dryer is just too much because I want to cut it out right now. So I'm blogging instead. Make sense? No, of course not. Who said this was supposed to make sense?

I do have something new and wonderful to show off. I'll try to get around to photographing it later when, hopefully, it has warmed up a bit. It is ridiculously cold for the second day of May. And by the way, it's my birthday. I am... no wait, that can't be right. I am a number that seems unreal and doesn't really matter anyway.