Tuesday, October 26, 2021

No Fear... of Horizontal Stripes

Actually, looking at the pictures, maybe I should fear horizontal stripes. Yes, they definitely do make me look fat but I don't care; it's comfy and kinda cute and I love it anyway.

I spotted this polyester knit fabric at Walmart. I don't often buy fabric there but I always look and once in a while they have something nice. After I got it home my original plan changed. For some reason I suddenly just had to make it with integrated sleeves. I'm very happy with that choice.

I have actually worn it in public once. (gasp!) I think it looks pretty good with this very old velour jacket.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Sometimes You Need To Live Unintentional

A funny thing happened. You see, I often browse fabric just for fun on Etsy. I impulsively favorite a lot of fabrics without any real intention of buying. Like, out of 25 to 30 favorites I might eventually buy one. Maybe two if I'm feeling like a big spender. So I favorited this wild geometric wax print and thought no more about it. But later that day (or maybe the next; I can't remember) I got a coupon! A really, really good coupon. I think it was 20% off? I can't remember exactly. Anyway, within a few days three yards of this exciting fabric was in my hands.

I had to find something to go with it because I thought an entire dress out of this fabric might be a bit much. I don't often mix prints but I thought a simple print might be better than a solid black bodice. So after much searching I settled on this octogaon print. So, without further babbling, here she is:

I'm going to call this semi-self-drafted because I did use an existing pattern as a size and shape guide for the bodice but changed the neckline. The skirt is a half-circle. I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to embelish the bodice to make it look like it really goes with the skirt and finally got the idea to cut out one of the diamonds from the wax print and sew it to the upper left on the bodice.

And I absolutely love it! It's kind of far from what I usually choose. I'm generally more attracted to bright florals and novelty prints but this is so awesome and I love it more now than when I first clicked that little heart on Etsy.

Oh by the way, the Etsy shop is Waxprintslacesnmore. The shop owner is super nice and ships really fast.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Another "Boring" Basic Summer Dress

This is why ya'll never comment, isn't it? I just keep making the same two dresses over and over again. But this is what I love to wear. It's the bodice of Retro Butterick 5748, with a gathered skirt. It has pockets and a side zipper, of course.

This fabric is more interesting up close, some pretty colors.

I love it and I've worn it twice already. Right now I'm working on something more bold and interesting. I would say "out of my comfort zone" but I don't think my "comfort zone" has an "out of." It does involve one of my two favorite patterns but you can make any pattern interesting, right?

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Helloooo? Anyone out there?

It has been months! I didn't intend to abandon this. I'm guessing there's probably no one reading this because no one was reading it before I took a seven month break. Anyway... I want to catch up on showing off some of the things I've been sewing this year but for now just this one because it happens to be what I'm wearing right now.

It is (mostly) a highly modified Simplicity 1803, if it's anything, but I prefer to think of as just the result of my faffing around with various pattern pieces. (Huh. Spellcheck recognizes the word "faffing". I hope it means what I think it means.) It has pockets (of course) and a side zipper. The fabric is from eQuilter. Sorry, not a great photo but I think it would be hard to see detail anyway with this lovely, busy print.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

I'm Still Here

Hellooo? Anyone out there? It's been forever. I have been too busy for either sewing or blogging. Okay! Okay! I've had plenty of time for Twitter.

Anyway, WE'RE LIVING IN THE NEW HOUSE!!! We moved in on October 16th. And actually we're still working on the house and still in the process of moving in.

This is my sewing room, the cleaned up corner of it anyway. The door goes to a small closet, which is stuffed full of all my lovely fabric. And, yes, the ceiling is pink.

I made the curtains. They're too narrow because I screwed up and didn't order enough fabric. That's okay though because I don't really have any need to ever close them.

I also made curtains for the living room and kitchen.

I hope to get back to sewing soon. I'm sort of afraid to say "Happy New Year." I feel more like...

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

And a Little Something For Me

I haven't been sewing a lot this summer. I have made a few things for the granddaughter and reworked a couple of things, let out an old favorite skirt that had gotten too small around the waist (You know clothes shrink if you leave them in the dark end of the closet for too long. True story.) but not a lot for myself that's new. The biggest reason for that is that I already have ten feet of clothes stuffed into a five foot closet. But we are getting very close to finishing the new house that we have been building for three years. It makes me anxious to talk about being close and maybe being able to move in in a few weeks; I feel like that kind of positive thinking invites disaster. But anyway, if we ever get to move into it (there, that's better - "if") I will have a huge walk-in closet with lots of room for current and even future clothes.

I bought this gorgeous big floral from eQuilter several years ago, with the intention of making a shirt or tunic - something bright and colorful for winter - but it's a lighter weight fabric than I anticipated so I put it away to wait for a fashion epiphany. And here she is!

It's mid-calf length. It looks longer in all the pictures. I only had enough of the floral for a very simple dress so I used this old Simplicity pattern and added the asymmetrical yoke and pockets. The animal print fabric is from a local fabric store. There was slightly over two yards left on the bolt and I got a 30% discount for buying it all. So I have a big piece of it left over.

One of the dresses I made for my granddaughter last year had this style of pocket. I loved them and have been wanting to put some on a dress for me ever since.

Finally, I made a matching mask and I sort of didn't want to share this picture because it makes me sad but such are the times we're living in.

Now I'm ready to look fashionable for my weekly grocery run. And honestly, in normal times I rarely went anywhere non-essential anyway. About all I have had to give up is lunch at Whataburger once every month or every other month and the occasional breakfast at IHOP.

The first and last pictures were taken in what will be my sewing room in the new house. The wall color didn't photograph well. It's actually a gorgeous bright sky blue. We don't have a ceiling light in there yet, just a work light on a stand. That's the reason for the weird shadow on the wall.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Two Little Dresses

I made these two dresses for the granddaughter, who will be 7 years old this fall.

This first one is McCall's L9462. (sort of) It's made from scraps so the skirt is pieced together, as you can see. And I added pockets which don't exactly line up but it's okay. It has pockets! It's a little short. Not too short, just that she will grow out of it sooner.

Next is New Look 6205. First time I have used this pattern. And I forgot to add pockets to it. My bad. It was very easy. I like it so well I really wish it came in my size too.

She likes them both. Pink and purple are her favorite colors.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Are Old Lady Dresses Inevitable?

First of all, I must say it feels like it's been forever since I posted anything here, but I see that the last post was March 18th. It's been a while but not as long as it feels like. I have sewn a few other things besides this latest. I might get around to blogging them or I might not. Anyway...

My closet is full of bright, cheerful colors and prints. That's the way I roll, but I feel like one should have at least one serious outfit. For many years my serious outfit has been a plain gray polyester skirt and a dark blouse but I thought it couldn't hurt to have one more and I liked this fabric a lot even though I normally avoid gray like a flesh-eating virus. (Sorry. Probably shouldn't joke about viruses right now.)

I used these two patterns because why buy a new pattern when you can Frankenpattern it? (Why buy a new pattern...? Well that's silly even for a rhetorical question but you know what I mean.)

It turned out that I cut the bodice a little too short so I added a band between the bodice and skirt. I kind of like that detail even though it was just done to fix a mistake. (I feel like the skirt is hanging oddly in this photo but I didn't feel like going back and trying again.)

The whole time I was sewing this I kept worrying that it was going to be an old lady dress. I cannot have old lady dresses! Yes, yes, I'm 62 but "old" is and always will be 20 years older than I am. Right now old is 82+. When I am 70, old will be 90; when I am 80 old will be 100 and so forth.

Anyway, now that it's finished, it does look like an old lady dress but I don't hate it. I may wear it once in a while when I don't necessarily need to wear a serious dress. It would be a shame for this lovely, subtle floral to end up neglected and forgotten in the dark end of the closet.

(Photo taken in the new house, which is still unfinished but we're getting close. It feels like it would be bad luck to estimate when it will be ready for us to move in, though.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

One Thing Postponed, One Thing Completed

I really hate not finishing things. I hate quitting in the middle of things. But sometimes it's the best thing to do. Shortly after Christmas I started making a coat. I was excited about it and it wasn't really difficult but for some reason, I don't know why, I couldn't make myself work on it for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time, two or three days a week at most, and there were some weeks I didn't work on it at all. Needless to say that is not the way to get things done.

I did finally get it done to the point I could try it on, the outer part and the lining separately. It's going to fit fine other than I can't move my arms. I don't know what to do about it and by that time it was the middle of February and I realized that by the time I got it finished - if I could fix the problem and finish it - it would be too warm to wear it. So I decided to put it away until this fall and move on to something else.

After that experience I wanted a sure thing and something happy. So I got out this piece of lovely pink striped shirting and New Look 6963 and made this:

It's view C. I added three inches to the length, for no particular reason. The sleeves are from another pattern. I also added a fake pocket. I normally despise fake pockets but I thought it might make a nice accent and I have no need for a pocket in that location.

I had some small green buttons that I thought would go perfectly with it. I hesitated to use them because I was sure I bought them for some specific purpose but I couldn't remember what. I finally decided it didn't matter and used them and I'm glad I did.

I am extremely pleased with it. It's pretty and cheerful and very comfortable. The fabric has a slight stretch.

Since finishing that I have made a pair of stretch pants (trousers) for myself that I am somewhat less pleased with but one can always use another pair of comfy stretch pants for at home. Then I made leggings for the granddaughter and I'm seriously worried that she might outgrow them before I can get them to her or that the weather will be too warm for leggings and in that case she will definitely outgrow them before it turns cool again in the fall. Oh well, they were quick to make so not much loss of time. Maybe she can give them to one of her smaller cousins. (All her cousins on our side of the family are boys but she has several girl cousins on her mom's side)

So that's my sewing so far this year. Usually by this time of year I'm very excited to sew dresses but so far this year I'm not feeling it, even though we have had some lovely spring-like days already. I have been distracted by other things. In my personal life they have been all good things, which are much easier to be distracted by. For other things, the bad things the world is throwing at us, sewing is the distraction so I'll get back to that when I run out of other good distractions.

Stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

New Year, New Sewing Coming Soon

Wow, it's been a really long time hasn't it? And I'm probably being excessively optimistic to assume that there's even anyone out there reading this. I have done a little sewing in the past few months but not a lot - a few things for the granddaughter, a few minor fixes and re-fashions, and one new thing for me that I need to photograph but no promises as to when I will get around to that.

But today I want to talk about my new life-changing gadget that I got for Christmas. Electric scissors! (The lower blade is the same color as the upper one. It just looks weird in the photo for some reason.)

To be honest, I used to have a slight disdain for electric scissors, when I thought about them at all which was hardly ever. But we all eventually reach an age when our various parts don't quite work the way they always have. It was becoming nearly impossible for me to cut out a whole garment without taking a break. Or several breaks. So, with Christmas approaching and my other half begging for ideas, I dropped a hint that I might like to try electric scissors.

And they are amazing. They cut through any fabric like it's not even there! It's not an exaggeration to say they're life-changing. Well, not much of one anyway. My only complaint is that they are really loud, almost "hearing protection required" loud. And yes, I love that they are pink.

I cleared out a drawer of my treadle sewing machine, which is what I mostly sew on, for the new gadget and its accessories (charger, extra blades) and it amuses me that this modern gadget lives in the drawer of a hundred-year old antique.* I love little incongruities like that.

This week I started a wool coat, cut out with my new electric scissors, and so far it's going well, although I'm taking it really slow, only working on it a little bit at a time, for no particular reason other than I want to be lazy, drink tea, read books, and spend too much time on Twitter but I expect to get back into sewing as we get closer to warm weather.

(*I can now officially say it's one hundred years old. Various websites give its date of manufacture based on serial number as between 1910 and 1920.)