Sunday, 22 September 2013

Fall Sewing Plans

The other day I noticed Sarah is starting the Fall Essentials Sew Along today. I've never participated in a sew-along but, hey, I've got some fall sewing on the adgenda, so why not give it a try.

My fall and winter wardrobe is rich in separates but a bit sparse in the dress department so I am going to attempt more dresses. And more colours. Fall is colourful, but winter can be very bleak, especially
when the sand turns the snow a drab brown colour.

First up - a Simplicity Project Runway in a rayon knit. It is at least one size too small (I bought the pattern at a thrift store), but this is a very forgiving knit so it should work.

These two prints work with both of the solids (so much for my dress resolution) tho' the grey is photographing more as navy. I have already made up the grey into a skirt.

I'm going to try this McCalls pattern for the first time on this print. I'm not as keen on it as I was when I bought it two years ago, so it will do as a wearable muslin. I have enough fabric for the 3/4 sleeve version.

The print on the left has a bit of stretch to it so I will attempt to use it in a knit pattern. I have made the top before with a very stable knit so I think it will work. If not, I will add a zipper to aid in donning said garment.
The skirt is my TNT skirt pattern and is already cut out and ready to go.

I have three meters of the green so I should be able to make Simplicity 2444 again (posted about yesterday) with the 3/4 sleeves and the upright collar.

I know I said more dresses, but I am trying to use up scraps. Here is Vogue 1247 with small pieces of
corduroy and upholstery fabric. I made a skirt out of the upholstery fabric but I screwed up the pattern, so it is now sitting in the naughty corner while I figure out my next step.

These next two aren't dresses either, but they are both colourful. For the orange I plan to use the ImageWear skirt and the flowers will hopefully sprout into a Hollyburn.

I'll have to see how far I get before I need to start my winter sewing.

How is everone else doing?

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Two Muslins; One Wearable, One Needs...Work

I've had a couple of projects finished for a few weeks but I haven't been able to blog about them. First my camera went on vacation with my parents -they were over 20 kilometers from home when they realized they didn't have it, so I loaned them mine. Then it wasn't convenient for The Geek take pictures of the finished items. Just because she would be late for work, or silly things like that! I mean, really, where are her priorities?!?
I finally pinned her the other afternoon while the sun was still out.

This dress I cut out Labour Day weekend. It went together quickly, but it is a trifle to big. (I have to decide if I am going to sew for the size I am right now or hope that I regain the muscle I lost and I return to my former glory, and sew for that size. Decisions, decisions!)

It is a pattern from the late '60s, early '70s that I picked up at the MCC in a major haul earlier this year. Judging by the envelope and the tape on the pattern pieces, it has been well used. I like that in a pattern. The fabric is a quilting cotton in a swirly pattern I felt was very '70s-ish.

I thought adding pockets was a grand idea, but they pull the dress down in strange ways; I set them a little too high.

The back pulls a little strangely too. Those pockets may have to go.

I took in the dress another 1.5 cm at the top part of the bodice but stopped where those dratted pockets are. The more I look at these pictures, the more I realize adding pockets was an ill-conceived idea. I think I'll take them out and run the narrowing seam down the entire side. Later. Summer is pretty much done now so this dress can hang in the contemplation corner for the winter.

This second dress is Simplicity 2444, another MCC score. I bought it in spite of the ghastly green satin number on the outside of the envelope. I have seen this made up in several different ways all over the blogosphere and was glad I glanced at the line drawings before discarding it as ugly.

I had several garden-type parties to attend this summer and felt a garden style dress would be appropriate.

The fabric is from a garage sale for $2 including a spool of thread -we Winnipegger's do like our bargains.

It has pockets. They are in the correct place. Enough said.

This was a quick and easy make and I really like how it looks.

I wanted to have some morning glories in the pictures as they won't be around much longer, but I ended up squinting into the bright sun. A small price to pay I suppose.

I wanted to add details about the construction, but I transferred all the photos from the card when I loaned the camera to parents, and now I can't remember into which file or onto which computer (first world problems), so you'll just have to take my word that the lined bodice made the armholes so much easier to finish.
I've received many compliments on this dress even tho' The Geek (self-appointed Chief Constable of the Fashion Police) does not like it. She thinks the flowers are much too big. I think that just means she won't try to borrow it any time. Win!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Oh! The Possibilities

Waterproof fabric called Urban Zooslicker. 
I had no idea I could find such interesting stuff here in Winnipeg. 
The last time I went to Mook they had just a small selection of fanrics with unknown fibre content. I was quite disappointed and saw no reason to go back.
 Today I happened to be in the same mall so we walked over to have a look. They now have a much larger selection, mostly of quilting cottons, cotton flannel, and some shirtings, and most of it is labelled. I'll have to keep them in mind. 

Monster Thurlows

My denim Thurlow shorts were coming along well. This was the last project I had to sew of the big batch I'd cut out in June. I was going to test the fit of the Renfrew with these shorts and wanted to finish them so I could change the thread on the serger.
I managed to find a 4" zipper (I picked up five or six at the MCC last time I was there) and even tho' it was green, I liked it. I fluffed the zipper facing, having cut out the piece the wrong way, but I simply cut out a piece of the lining fabric and attached it to the first one. No problem.

I forgot to take a picture of the zipper facing before the waistband was attached.

 I sewed the side seams and finished the hem but when I pressed them, something melted on my iron. 

 I bought the denim at Fabricland a few years ago. It was labelled as cotton with a small percentage of lycra but I haven't liked how the denim Hollyburn I also made from this fabric is after a few washings. It seems to have developed some pilling,  something I have never had happen with denim before. That, and this incident with the iron, makes me wonder what about the true fibre content.
Then it came to putting on the waistband. The first time I tried, neither side fit. I made certain I had the cut them out the right way after having screwed up the zipper facing, so I was confused. I didn't have enough fabric to cut out another set of each, and I was saving my last bit of Vikings for something else. I decided I would just put them on with the lining facing out -you know, add visual interest with the sea monsters dancing around my waist and all that. But they didn't fit that way either. There was some...language... while I wondered if Loki was taking an inappropriate amount of interest in my sewing room.

Which one of you is Loki?
 The third time I pinned the waistband, denim side out, it fit -almost.

By this point I was losing patience so I serged off the excess and called it good enough.

 When it was time to fit the waist. I pinned the front and pulled in the back, then machine basted it in place. 
That seems kind of much.

I couldn't see the back very well, so I went to consult The Geek. (Side Note: I cut these out in June according to my measurements but I have lost quite a bit of weight since my surgery; a lot of it is muscle mass. I had no idea, however, that my quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and gluteals had atrophied so much. In other words, I've lost my bum.)

Once The Geek stopped laughing about my droopy drawers, she pulled the waist in a little more and we decided I should take in the lower back seam a bit.

 So I did. I think that is another 1.5 centimeters, tho' I can't remember for certain.

 These aren't sitting on my hips properly, but the front isn't too bad (I'm still pretty much the same size there, other than of the topography of my lower belly which doesn't affect my fitting).

The back is better but still less than optimal.

The side seam is no longer vertical and the waistband stands away from my body too much.

Conclusion: I pulled out the second row of machine basting and have put the shorts away for now.It is almost too cool for shorts anyway; I will revisit them in the spring. Hopefully by then my @$$ will have decided what it is going to do with itself.

I am undecided if I will try to make any trousers this winter unless I can find a really easy pattern. I do not feel like going thru' the hassle of fitting if this condition is only temporary. If it is, I will definitely use the Thurlow pattern, with a few modifications (I will make a mock fly instead of the fly extension/fly facing combination - I find them rather bulky) and cut them a few sizes smaller in the back, a backside version of an FBA.

I hate it when I spend time on something and don't have a finished garment at the end, or even learn anything useful. (~sigh~)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Eighties Flashback

Twenty-five years ago today my best friend, KJL, was married and I stood up with her as her Matron of Honour. This is me, in my self-made dress.

I know the '80s were quite the...fahion...era but where do I start? From the top? I still have just as much hair, tho' it is considerably shorter now.

I remember being much happier with the 'test dress' I made out of burgundy-paisley patterned olive-coloured cotton. The leg-o-muttons sleeves were much that dress than in the final satin version.

I didn't like sewing this satin and found it very difficult to press, as evidenced by the ripples along the side skirt seams and the hand stitched hem.

I will say it is a good colour for me; I do look best in bright, clear colours rather than pastels. And it isn't teal, tho' I look nice in that colour too. The things we do for our friends; she wore jade green shantung for me (I picked the fabric, she picked the pattern)!

But those sleeves! I"m stiuck on those sleeves!! How cliche can you get?