Monday, April 21, 2014

something old, something new...

I'm not sure I have anything borrowed.
But there is also something blue.

Got two patterns in the mail - my Chelsea dress and a vintage pattern.
I really like the vintage one because it has a little bit more fitted shape to it, while still picking up on the high-waisted babydoll style.  I'm also really excited to try the Chelsea.  I like the yellow muslin I made for a weekend summer dress, but it is impractical to wear at the moment for a couple of reasons.  First of all, the quilters cotton from which it is made does not cooperate with tights. (Can you say static cling?!) It's too cold and the dress is too short to be work-appropriate with bare legs.  When it's a million degrees out on a Saturday in July, though... I will be wearing this little dress for sure.

Also, the sleeves are too poufy to wear a sweater over... so that is another strike against it as a pattern that I could wear to work.  Even if I made another iteration with a longer hem that I could wear sans tights in the summer... I always wear sweaters at work because they air-condition with a vengence in my workplace.

I was planning to cut out another version from that first pattern I adapted but this time try it without a collar, with a straight 3/4 sleeve & a little less fullness in the yoke. But now that I have the Chic & Simple book and my new patterns, I have the choice to make a mock-up of something else... so I am a little torn over whether to perfect the Franken-pattern or go with something new.

Here are the fabrics I had planned on using for the second muslin, but I'm thinking I may make the Chelsea with them instead, with the flowers as the main skirt/sleeve and the inky dark blue as the yoke/collar. I vastly prefer that way of dividing up the two fabrics to the way it was shown on the pattern.  Here is an example from Christine Haynes' blog of a version made by one of her students with this division of fabrics.

The ink blue is 55% linen 45% cotton and the floral is a lightweight 100% cotton with a lovely drapey flowy quality that will be a lot softer and less crispy that the yellow quilter's cotton.  I have a few pictures of me in the dress... but not the best.  This, I realized, is one reason why I enjoyed sewing for dolls.  It's much easier to photograph your creations that way.  When you are sewing for yourself, you are at the mercy of others to photograph you!  All the sewing bloggers out there that I have been enjoying so much lately must have some talented friends and lovers... because they have marvelous photographs.  Incidentally, it also seems that most everyone of them has great hair too.  I am lacking in both regards.  My hair is rather fine and lifeless and my husband is quite inexperienced with photography.  Not sure what I can do about the hair... but my sweetie makes up for what he lacks in natural photographic talent with a very good nature and willingness to learn.  He has promised to try to get better at photographs, if I continue to sew garments for myself.  Here are his first tries... with just a hint of pixlr-o-matic magic...


And... here is a weird selfie that I took to try to get the detail of the sleeves and yoke on my body. As you can see, there is a lot of volume in the sleeve that would get bunchy under a cardigan. There is something weird about the volume in this pattern... it's a little too big in the middle part, but I love the swing in the lower part of the skirt.  I think I will give it a rest and have a go at Chelsea.
Today I was contemplating future projects and realized that I had a bunch of really nice heavy black cotton 4-way stretch jersey that I had ordered from ebay when I had the idea of trying to sew yoga clothes. I am thinking of trying a variation of the Ice Cream Social skirt from icandy-handmade. The circle skirt calculating widget that she references is totally fantastic! I was really impressed with it and it will take a lot of guesswork out of making a nice basic black circle skirt.  I am thinking of trying a 3/4 circle so that it's not too full around my pear-shape, but still accomodating.

This realization of a piece of fabric I had totally forgotton that I own, got me thinking about de-stashing.  I parted with a huge stash of fabric when I moved to Asia 7 years ago.  Since my return, I have recollected a lot of fabric but it is mostly silks, satins, and brocades for ecclesiastical garments, felt for appliques, or small bits of kawaii fabric for dolly clothing... however, my mom let me keep a one trunk of sewing stuff in her garage when I was abroad and I found a few things that I've saved for years that could be made into clothes to practice getting fit and style that I like before I invest in new fabrics.

The trim on top is something I got relatively recently at a thrift store in the little town where my in-laws live.  The thrift stores there are still abundant with neat vintage fabrics and notions.  I got 3 yards of this 5" wide pin-tucked and embroidered cotton trim for less than $1.  I was thinking at the time that it would made a nice skirt on a dolly dress... but I think it might also make a nice decorative hem on a pattern I am wanting to try... the Miette skirt from Tilly and the Buttons.

I got this Ginger Lamb wrap skirt last summer when I was in Portland, nwt at Buffalo Exchange on Hawthorne. I love it and the Miette looks like it's in a similar vein... and would be cute in lots of fabrics, with or without pockets.  The Pinterest board of variations on this skirt is quite inspiring!

I think maybe I will try it with the Prussian blue linen that's halfway down the stack.  For the very gauze grey voile, which is about 15 years old, I am thinking of the babydoll top from Chic and Simple, but with gathered sleeves instead of elastic. And the black is the jersey.  That leaves the linen/cotton brown fabric.  I bought it on the same day as the blue linen... about 10 years ago. Still waiting to make it into something.  I think I will make the Retro Shift Dress from Chic and Simple. This fabric is pretty neat.  It's a tan and indian red weave cotton & linen blend.
It has a neat slubby texture and the burgundy tint of the dark brown makes it a lovely rich color.  I think it would look cool with a variety of different belt options for an easy summer dress & I can test out that pattern.  Looking more carefully at the Chic and Simple book, I realized that the baby doll top and dress are of the same pattern and the Back to School and Retro Shift dresses are both from the same pattern, one make with sleeves & pockets, the other without.  I think that's sort of cool to have these interchangable options because once you perfect fit and technique with one, there are other things you can do with that knowledge.

Without further ado, I will say adieu and get to some actual cutting and sewing!  Bon soir. <3

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