Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pink is Not Usually My Color (Still Not Sure That it Is)



I don't think I have much to say about this make, given that I've already used this pattern.









But let's do this thing anyway.

Fabric: rayon from Joann
Notions: stay tape, perhaps the Dritz Brand
Alterations: enlarged and stabilized neckline with stay tape, added sleeves via the Simplicity 1690 top, graded out the hips, left out the zipper, accidental curved hem


When I first bought this remnant (one yard!) my first thought was "skirt," but then I finished my microsuede Simply Shift Dress and decided to see how the dress would turn out in rayon.

I decided to add kimono sleeves and through pattern perusal I rediscovered Simplicity 1690 view C. So I very unscientifically laid the top/ blouse pattern over the partially cut Shift dress piece and cut out a sleeve (extending as far as the fabric would allow). This was all intended for a dress for The Monthly Stitch December Party theme, but I got sidetracked. In late January 2017 I decided to tackle it for my first finished project of the year.



In my musing and desire to finish quickly (ha!) I decided to completely handsew the slippery rayon with no lining. And due to my desire to try new things I decided to incorporate french seams for a clean(er) finish (thus deciding against pockets).

During the making I also added stay tape around the neckline (hole enlarged for my head, as with the previous Shift)...



...and in my inexperience using the dress form I accidentally cut a curved hem.



When dressing for church I realized that I need to make a new slip since all of mine were too long. For modesty I threw on a pair of shorts underneath (which you can see in the photos).


Thoughts during the making and photographing processes:
  1. Learn how to hem properly! (I was a bit mad at myself and am slightly worried that it's more of a tunic than a dress).
  2. Learn about lighting in photos. These are sadly washed out (which might actually have to do more with the background. I had trouble finding a place with good lighting and privacy!). Experiment with different backgrounds and lighting, which will be easier when the warmer weather comes. 
  3. An epiphany about my hoarding tendencies. I have a tendency of being afraid of ruining things, so I avoid cutting into lovely fabric and thus when I look for fabric for a project I am loathe to actually cut into a 4 yard piece when I only need 2 yards. This makes me more willing to collect more fabric so I can avoid destroying all my pretty things. Start being bolder.
  4. Part of why I'm so slow at this creation business is because at every step and half-step I reassess my plans. I'm gonna try to make most, if not the entire plan, before I make the first cut to see if I can keep the momentum going.

In the queue:
1. Falling leaves upholstery Delphine
2. Watery dots Anna
3. ?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Into 2017 (Yeah, I'm Late)

2016 was a weird year for me, emotionally and personally. But it was a good year creatively.

Blog stats:
- 8 blog posts this past year.
- 4 were project posts.
- With 4 unblogged but finished projects swimming around the house. (From left to right: hacked Sew Liberated Gathering Apron as a dress, Lane Top in palm leaf shirting, stretch lace Scout, Simplicity 8022 PJ bottoms in cotton flannel with little orange foxes)

Collage format courtesy of Fotor.com


Eight finished projects over five from 2015, not bad!

Now to thoughts about this year.
  1. I'm not setting any do-or-die-trying sewing goals for this year. However I plan to sporadically follow themes for Stashbusting 2017The Monthly StitchSew Alongs and Sewing Contests, to finally enter something in Indie Pattern Month, and to finish more items (like 57 yards worth. See #3)!
  2. Refrain (more) from fabric purchasing.
  3. Per Stashbusting 2017 I measured the stash. 571 yards not including UFOs. It's frightful, seeing just how much I have, but so helpful because I've reacquinted with so many pretty and inspiring fabrics. I don't know that I can sew through 10% of the stash (57 yards for the year!), but I'll sure make the attempt!
  4. Have fun!

On the sewing queue:
  1. Black and pink floral rayon Simply Shift (Finished! Planning to blog soon)
  2. Flannel blues and turquoise modified Lane Top  (UFO)
  3. Watery black dots on white cotton Anna Dress (have an image, need to jump into the tracing, cutting out, fitting, sewing, etc.)
  4. ?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Old Singer

So I was working on the blog post for a project finished back in June and decided that none of my photos were lit well enough. So I set that aside to work on this post.

While on vacation to visit my dad's side of the family we stayed in the house he grew up in, and in my room was this.



A Singer Touch & Sew 600.

I'm not going to say a lot because the actual workings of the machine don't interest me enough to research (sorry!). If I had worked with the machine, I'd comment, but I couldn't find a pedal... ;) Anyway, enjoy the pictures.

























Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Frocktober! (Back in the Groove)

So it's been three months since I last posted, though I have finished one or two items and have at least one non-project thing to note. We'll get to those later.



So the skinny is that just I finished a new dress! I've been having a hankering for some new garments for a while, so yay!


Photographed after a busy Sunday


Oops, thread

Actual dress color

This is Grosgrain's Simply Shift Dress and I started it last winter, January or so.

Back in November 2014 I was religiously checking Burdastyle every day when Kathleen introduced this pattern. I was seduced by the many pretty and practical iterations and the promise that you could make it out of just one yard of fabric!

So last winter I dug through the stash and found all fabrics that were around and equaled a yard in length. I compared and considered and decided on the green microsuede, a winter fabric if I ever saw one, and one that I would not cry over if this dress did not turn out.

The pattern tops off at size 12, one size smaller than my hip measurement. With a bit too much optimism I cut out the largest size in broadcloth, intended for the lining, as a test run. My suspicions were confirmed when this attempt came out too small. To allow movement I unpicked the back seam a few inches for a vent.

When I got to the microsuede I jacked out the hip measurement an inch or so, as far as the 58" fabric would allow. I decided to nix the zipper and then the dress pieces lay forgotten for a nine month gap...

... and then I waffled on sleeves (because without the seams it had the option to be a slightly cap/ kimono sleeve effect). So I measured my head and sewed a 1.5" seam allowance, trimmed the extra and pow! I could pull it over my head without a closure!

After a few days contemplation I nixed the sleeves, discovered that the naps of the front and back were running in opposite directions, realized that I'd forgotten to take into account that I'd cut the pieces on the fold (thus creating a little fold in the front and back of the neckline), unevenly topstitched the neckline and armholes, and messily hemmed and thus finished the dress at 2am. I wore it to church the next day and here we are today!


So yeah, this is not the best made dress, but it's a new make and a wearable muslin!

Later, while looking through these photos I realized that without the jacket it needs some waist definition, so here's a few more photos. 




Yeah, the he inquisitive dog crashed the photo shoot. He's very cute, though. I forgive him.


Pattern: Grosgrain's Simply Shift Dress
Fabric: green microsuede and blue broadcloth from Joann's
Notions: none!
Alterations: made the neckline larger, graded out for the hips, and nixed the sleeves and zipper

The sewing queue:
1. White Belladonne (mostly completed. Halted due to accidentally snipping a hole in the waistband)
2. Blue plaid(ish) flannel Lane Top
3. ?
4. ?
SaveSaveSaveSave

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Spring Picnic Belladone


So I actually finished this back in March! (Hence the tights and boots).

This dress has been on the brain for quite a while, maybe a year or two, though then it was just to be a straight blue dress. This is my um, 1...2...3...4... 5th Belladonne iteration.






I started off with about a yard and eight inches and did some creative arranging to fit the pattern pieces in, which led to one of the back pieces being cut off grain.* There was also some repositioning of the skirt pleats to hide a hole that I missed during cutting.

*Maybe that's why I can't get the wrinkles out of the bodice...

I did my normal alterations:
  1. Removed 1" vertically from the bodice
  2. Didn't sew the vertical bodice darts, but also didn't draft them out (I should really make the dress without that inch removed)
  3. No skirt hem facing
  4. Still need to figure out the little notch above the zipper
And several months later I realize that I've been sewing bodices wrong in general. Working on remedying that.





Originally I planned a straight blue dress, but that was a bit boring so decided to add some flavor with the tattersall shirting in the form of bias binding on the neck holes, arm holes, and the back cut out. But then decided that there was too much visual interest up top so played around with which bias binding was visible, and framed the waistband with flat piping.

The construction went nicely, though it was waylaid at times with me trying to make decisions and being otherwise indecisive about where the bias tape was to be attached.

And now one of my major challenges with the dress will be ironing out the wrinkles!


Fabric: blue twill, blue and white tattersall for pockets and bias tape and flat piping
Notions: 16" zipper, self-made bias tape and flat piping
Alterations: removed vertical 1" from bodice, didn't sew the vertical dart in bodice, no hem facing, shifted the pleats an inch or two outward to hide a hole

The sewing queue:
1. Floral Simplicity 1810
2. Tan/ khaki pleated camera purse
3. Blue gathered Belladonne dress
4. Poodles on pink Sorbetto

Monday, May 16, 2016

Busy Summer!

Yep, I'm late with my Me-Made May posts but I just wanted to quickly note the plethora of sewing  activities for the Summer.

June is Indie Pattern Month on The Monthly Stitch! 30 days of four themed sewing contests:



And there is another Indie Pattern Month week contest in July!


Also starting in June is the Outfit Along hosted by Lauren of Lladybird and Andi of Untangling Knots. This contest/ sew along/ knit along runs from June 1st through July 31st and features the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and Andi's Zinone top.


Currently there are discounts attached to both sets of events:

  • Indie Pattern Month May Discounts (some of these have already expired, but there will be another round in June)
  • "To celebrate the Zinone's launch, Andi is offering 20% off up until the official OAL start of June 1. Use the code OAL2016 to get you that discount!"(quoted from Lladybird)

And The Monthly Stitch has a pattern swap sign up running until May 20th.


Whew! Summary over!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Blossoms on the Bike Path




Yay! Another Monthly Stitch challenge met!

This here is the Shwin Lane Top in "specialty cotton" per Joann's. I had two separate yards (remnants) that were officially 44" wide with the floral design being closer to 40" across. But I obviously had enough for this shirt! 

As per The Monthly Stitch sub-theme, Flower Power, I have two floral fabrics, the 3D floral for the front, back and back yoke, and sleeves, and another white fabric for the inside yoke (so I wouldn't be pressing two bumpy layers at once) and as bias binding for the neckline and hem.





This is actually my second Lane iteration. The first will hopefully be blogged soon. I present this one first so that I could get my Monthly Stitch contribution in before the month's end.


The construction instructions are pretty simple, though there is one step that I could not make heads or tails of just by reading. Both times I made this top I had to play around with the pieces in order to figure out what the instructions were trying to convey.

On another note I need to make this top without bias tape hems because I think that the specialty cotton has more drape than the quilting cotton, which makes the hem flair out more than preferred.


Aand today's photography session is brought to you by the Rookie Photographer! She can't figure out what makes some photos blurry and/ or washed out and she was constantly looking for interlopers because she chose the public bike path for the location. Thankfully the location is on a bridge that offers some privacy, and it was 40 degrees out, so most of the population was indoors. In fact there was one interruption, which caused the Rookie Photographer to ditch the last few shots of the 10 shot burst to try to hide what she was doing. (Chronicled below, which very nicely shows more fabric detail).






Fabric: Specialty floral cotton, (presumably) quilting cotton
Notions: self-made bias tape from quilting cotton
Adjustments:  XS graded to medium in the hips, elastic in lieu of button and button tabs, bias tape for hem and neckline, no pocket


The sewing queue:
1. Simplicity 2154 Pencil skirt (partially sewn)
2. White Belladone  (partially sewn)
3. Blue-green bottom weight Lisette (Butterick) 1419 (cut out)
4. A green microsuede Simply Shift Dress (on the brain)


Oh, and my Me-Made May pledge:

"I, Laura of Creating Distractions, pledge to wear at least three handmade garments a week and to finish making at least two more during the month of May."