Sunday, September 21, 2014

I've been on a roll, baby

I'm not really sure what it is but something about this new house has got my sewing mojo on like whoa. In the last few weeks, I've turned out two of these tops (but only one picture):

Another Belcarra blouse:

One shirt and one little dress for pinky neither of which I have a picture of. And this:

Or as I like to call it, my most favoritest thing I've seen since pinky's Christmas dress. It's probably my most favoritest thing I've seen for myself since . . . well I'm not really sure but look at that skirt!

I die. It all started probably about two years ago. I went into Joann's and came across the most wonderful stupendous summer fabric of all summer fabrics. It's a linen rayon blend that practically sparkles in the like. Not Edward Cullen sparkle because no but cool, gleamy magic sparkle. This stuff is like butter. No, not butter. More like heavy cream flowing over my hands and now over my hips in luscious, sweeping folds of deliciousness. I knew I wanted to live in such glory so I bought two yards even though I had no idea what to do with it.

Within a few months, Burda Patterns went on sale at Joanns which like, never happens. They were $2.49 for heaven's sake. Since they are rarely on sale, I didn't have a running list. I just sat down and browsed the catalog. Then suddenly, right before my wondering eyes, what should appear but Burda 7069

The heavens opened up and smiled down upon me, showing me just exactly how my magic gleaming fabric should be used. The line drawing and such suggested chiffon or some other light and filmy beast but I would not be dissuaded. My linen-rayon blend had spoken to me.

And then I told it to shut up for two years.

A few weeks ago, I happened to see a beautiful swishy skirt featured on Frabjous Couture's blog that renewed my burning need to make that fabric wearable. So I went out to the shed and looked in every single box until I found it. Of course it was in the box at the front of the shed, not the ones way in the back that threatened to swallow me whole and of course I looked in the box at the front last. But no matter. I found it and I now have this gorgeous skirt to call my own.

But it's well worth the weight I think. I lined it with a soft white cotton batiste and closed it up with an invisible zipper. Then I let it hang in the closet for a few hours, as you ought with something sporting bias panels. Of course I let it to the last minute and had to put in a simple hem this morning. It's only turned up the once and sewn down with a long stitch. Later, I'll let it out and allow the skirt to hang overnight as is proper. The lining is merely serged. At some point in the future, I'd like to add some peekaboo lace to the lining just as an extra touch.

Construction is pretty straight forward. This bad boy has five pieces. You sew the yoke together, then the skirt pieces together. Then attach the skirt to the yoke and put in a zipper. Really, not even Burda could write too scarce a directive for this one. The yoke seems are merely pressed open while the skirt seams were finished with the serger. The size 14 fit right out of the envelope. The skirt was a little long but that's easily solved.

I love this thing so much that I have two more versions cut. I picked version B, the pencil skirt for both as I thought the design elements could really be highlighted. The first was my test muslin in a brown Wal-mart a bit heavier than chambray fabric. I basted it together rather quickly just to check the fit at the waist then promptly took it apart. I should, however, have it done by next Sunday I think. The second version is made from a leftover length from this skirt that no longer fits me. I have a pile of navy blue piping just waiting. The lines of this skirt disappear into the linen-rayon and would into the hydrangea print of the blue fabric as well but the piping will great magic of them. At least that is my hope.

The blouse is also Me Made but I not only can't find what I did with my copy of the pattern, not a single pattern piece oddly enough, but I can't find it on any of the Big 4 sites. I'm guessing it's gone out of print sometime between when I bought it which really couldn't have been more than two years ago and when I finally sewed it up. It's been sitting in the unfinished pile for an eternity for want of a bias binding about the neck and the right buttons. It's made of Swiss Dot, which if you've been paying attention here for a while, you may have noticed my love affair with the stuff.

If you're wondering what else I have planned, new skirts need new tops, do they not? I've been bogged down in FBA and muslin hell. You really should be shocked. I dislike doing FBAs and as a self professed lazy heifer, you know I don't do many muslins. But along with sewing mojo, the seamstress fairy has dusted me with fit dust. After all, if you're going to be brave and start cutting into your silk hoard, you want to be damned sure the resulting garment will actually get worn. Am I right?

Check out my adorable shoes!! I've worn them all summer. They were a leeeetle small when the arrived but either they've stretched or I love them too much to care because they feel fine now. I bought them from Rue La La which means you can't go over and buy them now that it's been a few months. But Amazon has them here. I'd recommend ordering them half a size up and they have yellow??? I WANT YELLOW! They only had coral and navy on Rue La La! Yes, that's coral. Amazon has the right of it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I sewed something!

No really, this is epic. Epic in so many ways. Epic because I'm a procrastinator, epic because of the recent move, epic because this dress gave me first from the beginning.

It all started with this pattern.

It's a beautiful pattern, wouldn't you agree? The lines, the piping, the breeze nature of it all. I was in love. Somehow though, I got the impression that it was for knits. So I'm sitting there, knit fabric in hand, looking at Sewing Pattern Review when it finally occurs to me that this is totally for wovens.

Because stupid is a thing that sewing sometimes makes you feel.

Then I had a magic moment. A few months ago on a whim, whim in this instance referring to those incessant emails I signed up for that lure me in with the promise of wonderful fabric, I bought two coordinating fabrics from Mood. When it arrived, I swear the heavens opened up and wrapped me in their loving Italian cotton embrace. There are really no words for the glorious feel of this stuff. One half of the pair is a smooth, cool lipstick red cotton sateen and the other half is some kind of woven miracle that words cannot express. I'm sure there's a fancier name but Mood listed it merely as Italian cotton. So in adequate, let me tell you. It's patterned in black and white and on the flipside, also black and white but the pattern is reversed.


So looking at this pattern, I had an epiphany.

I could use the red cotton sateen to make this dress, create piping from the 5/8th yard of houndstooth that's been sitting in my stash since some company messed up my order and it would coordinate beautifully with a chic cropped Italian brocade jacket in a reversible black and white pattern.

It would heaven. But heaven, in the sewing world, is often ruined by a terrible fit or a terrible pattern so I decided to do a wearable muslin. And then, I became oddly invested in the turn out of this wearable muslin. I had some pretty pink pique sitting around and fixated on the idea of the gorgeous resulting dress. Then I became invested in acquiring (but not making) the perfect piping to coordinate and then determined not to buy more. I can't explain it. I just painted myself into a sewing corner.

Finally, I threw caution to the wind, cut out the bodice pieces despite being in the middle of a move, and then well, I moved.

And there is sat.

And sat.

And sat.

Just waiting, I suppose to be the first garment I sewed in my new house.

Ta da!!!

I don't know where  my camera charger is. Can you tell? This might be the worst picture I've taken in a long time.

Also on the list of whatevers, the waist is hella uneven along the zipper line, the bodice is too long, the waist is a bit too small, and we aren't going to discuss the zipper I put in three times before having to replace the zipper altogether. Did I mention my iron died after I got the bodice together but before I put on the skirt?

Oh and let's not forget that my dog rolled all over the rest of the yardage after I cut out the bodice but before I cut out the skirt. I'm not even sure what the dog did to it and quite frankly, I don't care. I do care about the tomato seeds my son scattered on it. Maybe they will come out in the wash.

But it's finished. My sewing and thus, my blogging mojo are back in business.


Now I just need to find my damned camera charger so I can get on that sew along thing. I didn't forget, I promise. But I won't be mad if the rest of you did. I'll be remaking this dress in the aforementioned sateen and when I do, I'll post a proper review. If you decide to make up it before then, you should probably leave the bodice as is. I lengthened it because that's what I do but it's a multi cup size one and thus my usual way of getting out of an FBA was unnecessary.

Well, dude, that's a lot of gifs and a lot of words for nothing more exciting than two pictures of an ill fitting dress. The first pic, btw, is of the bodice folded up. The second is of the bodice as is. And here's two pics of the piping which turned out beaaaaaaaaaaautifully in an otherwise meh dress.

Before I show you the second pic, I should mention the other first that comes along with this dress. This is the first time I've used all three of my machines on one dress. I used my reliable SE-350 on the piping, the bodice seams, and the majority of the skirt seems. The waist was attached using the serger and the skirt seams were finished with the same. Then I whipped out my gorgeous coverstitch machine to hem up the skirt.

So there you have it.