Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Dress Failure

I am almost always unsuccessful in my quest to make a cute New Year's dress, and this year was no exception. Meet Simplicity 2497, view B (before the sleeves have been attached. Which they never were, because I stopped work on this dress.)



This is not a particularly fancy dress, but I don't really go fancy on New Years. I stop by the Elks, go hang out at my friend's bar, go home early, and then watch trashy tv. I don't need too much fancy.

Except for the side zipper, this Cynthia Rowley dress is very easy and straightforward to put together. The side zipper is a total pain because you have to insert it down the side and into the pocket. Which I had trouble figuring out and pretty much got it wrong. (At this point I was sewing out of control. You know what I mean. It's that point in the project where you are just trying to get it to work any way you can and the directions have pretty much fallen by the side of the road. If I were to do this again, I might just leave the pockets out.)

Although the zipper side is by no means perfect, it was wearable. My husband said any wonkiness looked like I had just taken my hand out of my pocket. (I will settle for less than perfect. Far less it turns out.) No, the real trouble came during the million times I tried the dress on. It looks like crap on me. It is in no way flattering to my figure. Really not flattering. If I was a larger lady, I would stay away from this pattern. Even my husband who is smart enough to say I look good in everything, told me it was bad. It looked okayish head on, but the side view just made me look really really big. I had doubts about this dress before I cut it out, but my fabric was cheap enough that I figured it wasn't worth it to make a muslin. Well, my reservations were correct.

Oh well, I have my red skirt with the blue embroidery that always serves me well. I will triumph.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gingerbread House: Tripods Take Over the City.

It was their unblinking eyes that caused the populace to cringe in fear.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Best Husband Ever

In addition to making the best Christmas Eve dinner ever (and for 15 people,) my husband went above and beyond this year for my present. I got a Jimmy Carter peanut mug, my annual Xmas business book (Too Big to Fail,) and an assortment of Vogue magazines from 1909 to 1954. Yup, he haunted ebay for weeks bidding on these mags. Here is a sampling of some of the covers. (He also got me a Home Arts from the 30's and some Modern Priscillas from the 20's.)

Feb 1909


October 1918


March 1940


December 1940


April 1954


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Butterick 5249

So, loosely inspired by a skirt I saw online, I decided to veer from my December sewing plan, and make up Butterick 5249. I generally do not like Butterick patterns because they seem sort of dowdy to me, but this pattern was mentioned in an issue of Threads and I kind of liked it. I had no intention of ever making the ruffle bottom version, but denim + ruffle bottom = kind of what was in my mind. Here is the obligatory bad picture of me in the skirt. (I know a great many of my pictures suck. Between crappy camera, husband who shoots at an angle that makes my legs look stumpy, and my inability to strike a pose, it is a fairly lost cause. I'm working on it.)



Here is the skirt laid out flat so you can get some better detail. (I had worn it, and then ironed it, which explains some of the wonkiness.)



I don't care how crappy the pictures are, I look really cute in this skirt. It is a high-waisted skirt, and I am not yet at the point where I want to be tucking things in, but I took a great deal of care in constructing this skirt so that I could take it apart and increase the seams as I get smaller. (I am still on my downward trend.) I LOVE this thing. I don't need another one right now, and it is not a style I usually go for, but it fits perfect and I feel good in it. (Two things to note: The ruffle does not go all the way round the bottom. The front panel is ruffle free. Had it not been, I would not have made it. Also, before hemming it 2 inches, the length was seriously dowdy. I was very unhappy at that point.)

And, I learned some new skills.

Skill #1: Insertion of an invisible zipper. (One of the nice ladies at Nancy's Sewing Basket gave me a good pep talk. And I got an invisible zipper foot.) It is not perfect, but it is GOOD ENOUGH!

Look; practically invisible.



Skill #2: I used my blind stitch foot to do the hem. It also is practically invisible! (Well, not really, but it is a nice compromise between a straight stitch machine hem and a hand stitched hem.)

Next up, my New Years dress! (Maybe.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Simplicity 3786

You may (or may not) recognize this shirt pattern from the Month of Tops. It is the pattern which was used for the first shirt, which I thought I hated, but turns out I don't. (It is hard to see the pintucks on this black fabric.)



This is me after coming home late after nice dinner last night. (Hence the cutting off of the tired face.) I used a stretch black cotton from Fashion Fabrics Club. I did not use a stretch fabric the first time I made it, and while that shirt is wearable, it is not as comfortable. The pattern calls for a ridiculous amount of ease, and I went one size below what I usually wear, because it turns out I don't like ridiculous amounts of ease. (A side note: I almost never actually use the sizes given on any pattern to determine what size I should make. I always look at the size of the finished garment, and compare to my own measurements + ease. If the pattern does not have finished garment measurements, and I am lazy and don't want to measure the thing myself, I will use the size chart and make a muslin.)

As per usual, I hemmed it up to shirt length instead of tunic length. (Hate tunic length.) I really like this pattern and am thinking it might make a cute dress. (Like dress length.) Hmm. I have a lot of other projects right now, so we'll see.

On the knitting and crochet front, I am busy on my Xmas presents, and will show some pictures after the day itself. I have a sweater going for myself, but that is on hold right now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shame Sewing



Yes. I made a fleece elf costume. It's not for me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Planning

Well, not much sewing is going on here because of the flu. But I can have some fun planning head, and I have a least three things lined up for December.

1) Simplicity 3786


I will make the short-sleeved version with the pintucks. (Shortened of course. The tunic length does no favors for me.) The fabric is a black stretch cotton from Fashion Fabric Club.

2) Hot Patterns Plan & Simple 24/7 pencil skirt



I got this nice blue corduroy also from Fashion Fabric Club. I'm not completely sold on the A-line from this pattern, but I love the pencil skirt.

Barbie Clothes:



I think my niece Rowan needs some vintage-style Barbie clothes for Christmas.

I need a dress for this New Years Eve, but I haven't settled on anything yet. I don't go too formal, but I like to have something nice. Hmmmm. I dunno.

I'll leave you with some goodies that came in the mail for me this week. I love getting new patterns.